outfit

Shearling Jacket

December 31, 2011

After seeing Katherine wearing her faux shearling jacket, I pulled mine out of the closet to wear for a lunch date last week.


Jacket: Korea | Shirt: Zara | Jeans: Old Navy | Heels: Zara | Necklace: H&M




I'm so glad that the weather has been treating my city well - it's December and about +5 degrees Celsius outside! Unheard of. Normally we are piled with knee deep snow and temperatures of about -30. A warm faux shearling jacket like this is perfect for the weather. Oh, also! These particular jeans from Old Navy - I will be doing a post on them in the new year because they are amazing! Stay tuned.



As the last post for 2011, I wish you all safety, happiness and good health for the upcoming year. And however you choose to be ringing in the new year tonight, I hope you have a wonderful time. All the best to you & your family and friends in the upcoming year!

baking

My Christmas in a Nutshell

December 30, 2011

Hope you all had an amazing Christmas spent with your family and friends. Just thought I'd post up a couple pictures to share with you - I'm so exhausted from the past couple days, but so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life! And that includes those of you that keep up with my blog :)


{my glorious 9ft christmas tree}



{candy cane macaron}



{gift exchange with girlfriends}



{ho ho ho}






{my gift inside santa's pants}



{christmas cake pops for gifting}



{gifts for the family}



{my reindeer cake pops}



{a gift from the bf}



{mixed greens w/ tomato, basil & bocconcini}



{strawberry crunch from CL}






{jingle G}





Til next year - :)

holiday

Holiday Red

December 29, 2011

I usually find red to be too sharp of a colour for me to wear anytime throughout the year other than the holiday season because my skin is quite far towards the pale end of the spectrum. But come holiday season.. you'll find me head to toe in red & gold, be it nails, lips, or jewelry.

Over the past couple days I've been wearing Love is a Racket from the Serena Williams Glam Slam sets.





The colour was particularly difficult to photograph, but it is a gorgeous cherry red polish packed with coral/pink glass flecks that can be seen from various angles. It almost seems to me that the flakes in the polish give off a gold tinge - the polish is amazing when seen under sunlight!





Formula on the polish seemed thinner than usual, and took 3 layers to achieve full opacity. The colour wore very well though, showing signs of minimal wear even after six days! :)


natural light


Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families and friends - I will be posting up some snippets for you to see tomorrow!

Edmonton food

The Bird's Nest of Beijing

December 29, 2011

Every winter solstice, my extended family in Edmonton gets together to celebrate Winter. Who likes winter?? Not me. Especially when it's cold. But this current winter in Edmonton.. can't say I have too much to complain about thus far. I'll enjoy it until the worst comes in the new year.

Anyway, back to dinner. I think a lot of Chinese people celebrate the coming of winter - they call it "冬至", or "Dongzhi" which pretty much is the winter solstice festival. Many families go out to eat and celebrate the coming of winter. I think my family has been doing this every year since I was young.. not that I'm complaining, I love free food!

The Bird's Nest of Beijing - 10425 100 Avenue - Edmonton AB

We went out to the Bird's Nest of Beijing Chinese Restaurant downtown, a place I had never gone to or heard of before. It's located inside the Comfort Inn on 105 street - in a similar type of setting as Delicious Delicious located in the Howard Johnson.




This particular restaurant specializes in serving Sichuan cuisine, which is characteristically known to be comprised of spicy food. When looking through the menu, I'd say approximately 65% of the items are marked with a chili pepper on the side indicating the dish is spicy. So if you can't take the heat, steer clear of those items!




On this particular night, the service was subpar. They were evidently understaffed, and it took ages to wave down the server to get anything we needed. It was easier for other tables around ours, as they also offer hot pot at this particular restaurant. With hot pot, it's more self serve and less reliant on attention from servers.


Zhenjiang Ribs


The ribs in this dish were seasoned well, and cooked with zhenjiang vinegar. The sourness from the vinegar wasn't overpowering, and was a nice touch to the dish. Unfortunately it came the table lukewarm.


Diced Chicken in House Sauce


The meat in this dish definitely wasn't chicken. It was tougher, moreso like turkey.. The flavour was great, but overly salty for my taste. Also arrived lukewarm to the table.


Fish Stew in Vinegar Sauce


The fish used in the dish was nice and soft, with vinegar being the dominant contributor to flavour. With wood ear fungus accompanying the fish, it was nice contrast to the soft texture of the seafood.


Xinjiang Stir Fried Lamb


This was the first dish that actually arrived to our table sizzling hot! Maybe because it was on a heated plate upon serving. The lamb was tender and spiced well, but I really did not like the abundance of spices sitting atop the slices of meat. It was distracting and a lot of herbs got stuck inbetween my teeth.


Dry Fried Snow Beans on a Bed of Olive Leaves


This is one of my favourite dishes to have when I eat out. The beans are normally deep fried to give the beans a crispy exterior, but a tender interior. I love the texture! The beans were one of my favourite dishes from the meal


Spicy beef stew


This dish packed on the heat. Four different types of hot peppers were used to slow cook the beef in a very oily sauce. I couldn't eat it cause it was so spicy!


House Fried Rice


In order to have plain rice at the table, it would cost $2.50 per person. With that in mind, we figured ordering two different dishes of fried rice (~$12) each was a more sensible choice given our table had 12 people. The house fried rice was indicated to be spicy, and it definitely had some heat to it. Upon the first bite, it wasn't spicy.. but you could feel the spices working their magic after swallowing the bite of rice.


Beijing Fried Rice


Last but not least we ordered the non-spicy Beijing Fried Rice. Despite the way it looked, it arrived hot to the table and tasted better than I thought it would


Cookies for Dessert


Overall, the food was just okay for me. I found many of the dishes to either be way too salty, or doused in oil, with a good portion of them arriving to the table lukewarm at best. And when I went home that night, I suffered a stomach ache due to the oiliness of the dishes (I have a bit of a weak stomach when it comes to oily food!). One thing to note about this restaurant though, is that they feature an $8 lunch buffet! Definitely a good deal if you're in the area and want to find food for cheap. Otherwise, grab your spicy food fix elsewhere!

The Bird's Nest Of Beijing Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

outfit

Stripes

December 24, 2011

Up until last winter, I never really had any long sleeved shirts, yet alone sweaters. I stocked up like crazy on comfy shirts last year, and this season I've been obsessed with acquiring roomy knits and soft sweaters.






Blazer: Talula | Sweater: Joe Fresh | Jeans: J Brand | Heels: Zara
Necklace: H&M | Bangles & Ring: F21 | Bag: Coach


This particular sweater was a steal. I found it while I was actually doing some grocery shopping.. from the Joe Fresh collection at Superstore. I usually overlook their offerings, but I've recently found a lot of their pieces to be so cute! This particular sweater is so, so, soft, and at a price of $10 I just could not refuse.

beauty

My First Glymm Box: December!

December 23, 2011

Anyone here heard of Glymm before? I really wasn't aware of this program until one of my friends informed me of the program back in the month of November. In the states, there's companies like Birchbox, Eco-Emi, Test Tube, and many more that offer a box of deluxe samples every month for a fee of around $10. I never knew Canada had started such a program, so I signed up right away and just received my box yesterday!

Glymm offers a box with 4-5 deluxe samples each month for $10, which is inclusive of shipping. I honestly think it's a great deal if you're looking for a new beauty product to try out, or if you're still trying to find the perfect product that works well with your skin. I mainly just like getting stuff sent to me in the mail ;)



The box arrived well packaged, but was a little bit difficult to open due to the positioning of the tape on the box. After breaking a nail and prying it open, you'll find a beautiful pink box on the inside, waiting to be opened.





Inside this month's box, I received...



Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask, Ahava Mineral Hand Cream, Yves Saint Laurent La Parisienne, Sula Beauty Natural Lip Gloss, a $10 gift card to use on Glymm.com, and a cute jar of jellybeans.



The box itself is accompanied by a card with information about each product, and the price it sells for at retail for a normal size. Seeing as the Sula lipgloss is full sized ($8), that one sample alone almost pays for the entire box. I will be testing these out within the next week and will let you know how things go!

So far, I'm pretty impressed with the packaging and the way everything was sent to me. There was an email confirmation sent to me following the purchase, as well as an email with tracking information in it when the box was dispatched out for delivery. Subscriptions to the service can be done in monthly or yearly installments. For the monthly program, after the first box, you will be automatically billed once a month on your credit card without notice, until you decide to cancel your subscription. I just want to put this out there ahead of time in case any of you get confused with their system, because I sure was! I saw two charges on my credit card, and found out afterwards that I would automatically be billed.

If you are still looking for a Christmas gift for the makeup junkie on your list, Glymm has got you covered. There is an option to gift a subscription to anyone, in 3, 6, 9 or 12 month subscriptions. Perfect for the beauty and makeup obsessed.

The Glymm box is exclusive to Canadians - so sign up for the program if you're interested! (referral)

China Glaze

Tutorial: Glitter Gradient Nails

December 22, 2011

Coming from my post yesterday, I present to you a glitter gradient tutorial for your nails, just in time for Christmas! This post was requested by lilkiddo, after seeing the design when I swatched the OPI Nice Stems collection.

So many colours can be mixed and matched to use together for this tutorial. For Christmas, a mix of red and gold, or green & white frosty tips would look amazing! The choice is up to you :) What I would recommend, however, is to use a finer glitter polish, or a shimmer polish to form the gradient. It makes it much easier to complete the design and have it look polished and chic.




Paint a layer of base coat, followed by your base colour of choice. For this tutorial, I will be using China Glaze's For Audrey












Do you guys like simple nail tutorials like this? I will definitely do more if you guys are interested! And if you try this tutorial, let me know how it turned out! Have fun :)

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