January 28, 2012

So I've recently started to have a liking for Instagram. No, scratch that. I'm loving it.

I always thought Instagram was too hip for me.. until I tried it. Now I want to insta-everything. Just thought I'd post a couple snippets of my week, and what's to come in upcoming posts for you!

Chocolate Chip & Peanut comfort cookies - Recipe soon!

Learned about worms in my Medical Microbiology class..
then the prof handed out worms for everyone to eat!

Red Velvet Cupcakes - Recipe soon!

Curiousity Cola tastes just like the Coca Cola bottle gummies!

Making chocolate macarons - recipe soon :)

Coach x Tony Duquette cuff bracelet.. which did not fit :(

Tutti Frutti lychee frozen yogurt with mango, mango jelly & mochi

Used the Naked2 Palette - tutorial soon!

Grande iced coffee with milk & 3 pumps white mocha syrup - my new best friend

Don't think my nerd face has hit this blog yet. Enjoy 8)

Find me on Instagram - littlemissandrea
I'd love to see your pictures too! Leave me your username in the comments below :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Coach x Tony Duquette

January 25, 2012

After a (somewhat) long absence, I'm back! Last week was extremely cold in Edmonton.. with windchill, temperatures dipped down to -45 degrees celcius. I tried to convert that into Fahrenheit with those unit converters on the internet - all of them failed me! So I took the liberty of doing calculations by hand and figured it out for my American readers. -45 Celcius = -49 Fahrenheit. SO. COLD. Stepping outside of my house was a nightmare.

Anyway. If you haven't heard about this collaboration already, I want to share it with you today! For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, it shouldn't be a surprise to you that I love the American brand, Coach. This month, Coach has collaborated with the team at Tony Duquette to design a line of fashion jewelry and accessories.

During his time, Tony Duquette was a world renowned artist and designer. He designed costumes and sets for movies, winning him awards, and even designed jewelry for royalty during his career. He has had numerous exhibits at museums around the world and is well respected in the world of art and design.

When I first laid eyes on the preview pictures of the collection, there were a few pieces I coveted. But over the past week.. I have found myself to love more, and more, and more. Here's the pieces I love.

And of course, I've been trying to stick to my new years resolution of budgeting and spending less.. but I've been bad this month. I'll try again in February.. haha

... Anyone want to guess what I picked up?? :) I will reveal everything later this week!

By the way, I'm now on Instagram! Find me! I'd love to see your pictures :)

Edmonton food

Late Night: Corso 32

January 23, 2012

Back when my friend Lucy was visiting in town from Vancouver, all us girls got together for a late night adventure at Corso 32. I personally have not been to Corso 32 (shocker!), but it is extremely popular here in Edmonton and I've always wanted to try it out. The opportunity just never came up.. We called about a week in advance to inquire about reserving for dinner, but they were unable to take us until 10pm on the night we wanted to dine. After hearing so many good things about the restaurant, I really couldn't say no! I'd do some late night dining if it meant having some delicious food.

Corso 32 - 10345 Jasper Avenue - Edmonton AB

Corso 32 is a local Italian restaurant, aiming to focus on "simplicity, quality and creativity". Owned and opened by chef Daniel Costa, who has been named one of Edmonton's Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine, he named the restaurant after his family's address in Campania, Italy. Funny thing is, Lucy actually used to work with Costa a couple years ago in another restaurant - it was pretty cool to see that he had accomplished so much in just a couple years.

Just a little more about the restaurant - the menu changes regularly not just to mix things up, but to accomodate seasonal ingredients and the availability of local produce. Sustainability is awesome! All their pasta is made by hand and meats cured in house. Every year, Costa also flies his culinary team over to Italy for inspiration and to learn more about Italian cuisine. Can you see why I was excited to try this place out?!

When we arrived around 10:00, I was surprised to see that the restaurant was still quite full and busy. The restaurant itself is not too big, but they do have a table that can accomodate a large party.

Considering it was pretty late to be indulging in a large meal (I had to resist the urges!), we ordered a couple antipasti to share before indulging in dessert.

{Grilled Cheese: boschetto al tartufo, charred onion, sunny up egg, Umbria truffle, $14}

The most decadent and delicious grilled cheese I have ever hand in my life. Hands down. The bread is grilled to a nice crisp, balanced with the soft, gooey cheese and the liquid egg yolk. The boschetto is full of flavour, with a kick from the truffle. If you're at Corso, I would say this dish is a must.

{Arancini: funghi misto & fontina, $11}

With the arancini (crispy rice balls), I really didn't know what to expect. However, I was delighted once I bit through the crispy exterior. to find a rich, creamy interior. The cheese was perfectly melted and tasted oh so good. Textures really worked well in this dish - I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to order more!

{Pear carpaccio: arugula, pecorino tartufo & roasted walnuts, $13}

As a lover of beef carpaccio, pear carpaccio piqued my interest and I had to try it out. The thinly sliced pear was sweet, and a great way to cleanse the palate before our next dish arrived. Contrasting the sweet, juicy pear was the pecorino tartufo, adding saltiness to the mix. The walnuts changed up the texture, making this an all around interesting dish.

{House made goat ricotta: maldon sea salt, crostini, $13}

The ricotta spread was thick, creamy, and a fresh change. Cold ricotta on warm crostini.. mmm. It's a simple dish, with minimal flavour, but I liked it. When we ran out of crostini, our server gladly brought out more so we could finish up the ricotta. My attention was actually caught by the charcuterie board - simple but elegant, with Corso 32 engraved in the wood.

Now a meal isn't complete without some dessert.

{Ginger Spiced Cake}

The feature dessert for the night was a ginger cake. Served warm, moist, and covered in caramel sauce.. heaven on a plate. I am not a fan of ginger in baked goods at all. Hate gingersnap cookies, loathe gingerbread .. but this here was delicious. The ginger was subtle, and the cake was delicious.

{Vanilla Panna Cotta: vin cotto, pistachios & honey grappa, $10}

Panna cotta is amongst my top desserts, sitting next to creme brulee and chocolate mousse. Corso did a fantastic job with the panna cotta - it was not too sweet, and the flavour balanced with the vin cotto. Pistachios were an interesting addition of texture and the colour gave life to the dish, but I personally prefer my panna cotta to be smooth and undisturbed by other textures.

All in all, our late night adventure to Corso 32 was excellent. The server was attentive, while the atmosphere was warm and inviting. It was the perfect place to catch up and spend some much needed time with my girl friends. Daniel Costa, you've brought something wonderful to the Edmonton food scene, and Corso really sets the bar high for other Italian restaurants. I look forward to my next visit!

Corso 32 on Urbanspoon



January 19, 2012

What colour do you think of when you hear the word temptation? I think of green & red. Cause the word temptation makes me think of Adam and Eve in the garden.. tempted by the apples on the tree. Am I weird? Haha

Anyway, I'm totally okay if temptation is purple. Especially the Temptation shade from the OPI Designer Series! The OPI Designer Series are a special line of nail lacquers formulated with diamond dust, giving each shade high shine, shimmer, and a holographic finish.

DS Temptation is my very first purchase from the line, and wow, this shade is a glitter party on your nails. Within a pale blue base is tons of glitter in different sizes and shapes: purple, blue, green, silver, and a hint of pink.

What surprised me with the formula was the density of the particles. Each coat applied quite sheer, when I expected it to be dense and full of sparkle like the colour seen in the bottle. Due to this formulation, I had to apply a full four coats to attain opacity. In addition, the polish dried quite gritty - this one is a topcoat eater! I needed two coats of topcoat to eliminate the rough feeling. I likely would need a third to fully smooth out the polish.

Nonetheless, this colour is gorgeous. But... a pain to remove. Definitely use the foil method to avoid headaches during polish removal. The polish wore very well, with minimal tip wear for a whole week. The Designer Series line is a tad more expensive than the regular OPI polish line, but for this shade, I would say the extra money is worth it. The shade amazing on nails, and so difficult to ignore!


Finally Here: NAKED2 Swatches & Review

January 17, 2012

Just a quick note to those interested in the Old Navy Rockstar Jeggings, Old Navy just released a 30% off online code! Enter NEWYOU at checkout. Ends 1/19.


Woop woop, the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette is finally in my hands and I have it here to share with you today. I've tried so hard to get this palette in every way possible.. and I'm glad to finally have it in my posession. On the day of the release back in December, I was all set and ready to order it the minute it came out. But to my dismay, Urban Decay does not ship outside of the US! So I figured.. I have a US address to send to, so I must be able to get it! But then, they didn't accept my Canadian credit card or paypal account.. so I called it a day. The minute it was released on the Sephora website I snagged it.. then it took over 2 weeks to reach me. But now the wait is over.. and so is my rambling.

The Naked2 palette was highly anticipated prior to the release, but I know some people are feeling disappointed due to the similarity and lack of mattes in this palette. I personally do not mind owning a second neutral palette, because that's what I like to do when I wear makeup. Keep it simple and elegant.

So let's get to it. This will be a picture heavy post!

note: my palette came without the brush! But Urban Decay has taken care of me and is sending a replacement brush. UD, if you are reading this, thank you!

Packaging. The Naked2 Palette is a upgraded version of the original Naked palette, with improved packaging, with cooler toned shades. What I really love about the packaging is how sturdy it is. Unlike the original velvet packaging with a magnetic closure, the Naked2 palette is housed inside sturdy plastic with a snap closure. This way, I don't have to worry as much about bringing the product with me when I go travelling. The material used to construct the palette is also much more user friendly. The velvet of the original was prone to collecting dust and fuzzies - not to mention very difficult to clean if any makeup was spilled on it! The new plastic material is much easier to clean, and the embossing gives something extra to grip and hold onto.

In addition, this new palette features a much larger mirror for use. I personally don't like using the mirrors inside palettes, but this can be especially useful for those of you that like to do makeup on the go, or need to do touch-ups throughout the day. It gives you more space to work with, so you don't have to put your face so close to palette just to do your makeup.


full palette swatch

{ Foxy | Half Baked | Bootycall | Chopper }

Foxy is a matte cream shade, ideal for the inner corner or highlighting the browbone. Half Baked is a metallic gold, and the eyeshadow itself is so soft & buttery. This would look beautiful in the inner corner/inner half of the eyelid! Bootycall is light champagne tone with a subtle sheen. Also great for highlighting the browbone! Chopper is a beautiful metallic rose gold, with a similar buttery texture to half baked. The two metallic shades of these four are so incredibly pigmented!

{ Tease | Snakebite | Suspect | Pistol }

Tease is a strongly pink matte taupe, while Snakebite is a dark bronze with a slight metallic sheen. Suspect is a pale, golden beige with a hint of shimmer, whereas Pistol is a shimmery gray brown.

{ Verve | YDK | Busted | Blackout }

Verve is a beige pearl shimmer, sitting beside YDK, which is a cooler bronze in comparison to Snakebite, but with a metallic finish. Busted is a milk chocolate brown shimmer. Blackout is a deep matte black, but is not as pigmented as I anticipated. The formula is a little drier, leading to the splotchy swatch.

The original Naked palette contained many warmer brown shades, whereas the Naked2 has cooler, greige and taupe based shades in addition to some warm (eg. half baked, chopper). In all honesty, it is possible to go with either of the palettes. If you don't yet own either Naked palette from Urban Decay, I would recommend the Naked2 solely based on the convenient, updated packaging.

Which palette do I favour? I'll let you find out after I try this Naked2 palette out a little more!

The palette will be available in American Sephora stores by the end of this month. For us Canadians, I've been told it will arrive at the end of February. Otherwise it is currently available from both Urban Decay and Sephora online.


Old Navy Rock Star Jeggings vs. J Brand Skinny Jean Legging

January 15, 2012

Without a doubt, one of my best purchases of 2011 was my J Brand skinny jeans off Hautelook. I have a couple pairs of J Brand's, but this one is my favourite of them all. On a whim, I visited Hautelook and the skinny jeans were on sale and with a sz 23 available. I immediately snagged them up and have been wearing them nonstop since.

Why do I like them so much? The inseam length and the fit. I think they were made to be ankle jeans for the taller ladies out there, but the short inseam works very well for me as I just tuck in the bottoms seamlessly (about 2") and they are still comfortable. The jeans hug my legs in all the right places, and I love the shorter rise and snug fit in the hips!

J Brand vs. Old Navy

Recently, one of my favourite bloggers Wendy wore the Old Navy Rock Star Jeggings in a post - she looked fantastic in them! I was curious and looked into them right away.

The ON jeggings come in a wide array of colours and with a variety of fit options (!!). They come in regular, tall and petite fit, with the regular running in three different inseams - short, regular & long. When I was ready to order, there wasn't a colour I wanted in 0P, so I ended up ordering the 0R in Ruby with a short inseam. It seemed to me that the major difference between the two was the inseam, where petite features an inseam of 29.5" and short with a 30" inseam. However, upon arrival, my pair with the short inseam had a measured inseam of 27"! Perfect.

As in the comparison pics below, you will see that the J Brands and the ON Jeggings fit exactly the same. The only difference is the inseam length, by which I prefer the ON Jeggings since I don't have to fold them up at all! For reference, I have very short legs. My measured inseam is 26"

The Old Navy pair is actually a tad stretchier than the J Brands, giving me leeway when I pig out on food! (Almost always, haha) The pricepoint is fantastic, coming in at under $50 per pair with tax included. That being said, Old Navy consistently has sales and deals on their website, so it's likely that the jeggings can be purchased at a much lower price. Compare that to the $212 price tag of the J Brands.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a pair if your size is available! I highly recommend them.

Kat Von D

Kat Von D Painted Love & Foiled Lipstick Set

January 12, 2012

Back in December I picked up the mini lipstick set made by Kat Von D. I've always heard pretty good things about the lipstick, and I was on my lip colour binge so I decided to pick up the set.

Each lipstick is about 2" long and contains 0.042 oz. of product. The packaging is identical on each tube, so the only way to differentiate them is by the name printed on the bottom of the tube.

Each tube of lipstick is very lightweight, as the tube is composed of plastic. Unfortunately, the lightweight plastic makes it feel flimsy and cheap, and the cap isn't the best at staying on the tube. If you're carrying the product around, definitely put it in a makeup bag to prevent any accidents inside your purse. The actual lipstick itself is much smaller in diameter than a normal lipstick - I'd estimate it to be about 1/2 the regular diameter. It's not a big deal for it to be smaller, if anything it seems to give greater precision. Not everyone's lips are the same size, so the smaller lipstick bullet allows for precise application and outlining of the lips.

Adora | Celebutard | Backstage Bambi | Hellbent | Vestalula | Whiskey Woman

The colours in the set do cover a nice range of reds and pink, but I do wish there was a plum shade included in the set. Adora is the only foil lipstick with microshimmer out of the set, while the rest are matte colours. Hellbent and Whiskey Woman are quite similar in colour, each with just a slight variation to red.

Adora, Celebutard & Backstage Bambi

Hellbent, Vestalula & Whiskey Woman

The lipstick itself is very pigmented and long wearing. Even if the product wears off the lips overtime, it does slightly stain lips, leaving behind faded colour. Now, my big problem with the product: the lipstick is not at all moisturizing! If you know me, I need my lip products to be moisturizing or else it's just useless. BUT, the product does somewhat save itself with the high pigmentation.

I did not end up returning this set because I liked the variety of colour - especially since almost every shade was matte. Being able to have many shades without having to commit to a whole tube of lipstick is what appealed to me. If you don't mind wearing a gloss overtop of your lipstick, go ahead and pick up this set. That's what I've been doing everytime I wear a shade from the set. Otherwise, stay away and look for another lipstick.

Available for purchase from Sephora.


Korean Village

January 12, 2012

When in the mood for all you can eat Korean BBQ, most people will think to head to Ginseng Restaurant in the south end of the city. The last time I went out for BBQ at Ginseng was about two years ago for a friend's birthday. I distinctly remember it being expensive, in the $30+ range per person - one of the big reasons why I haven't returned since. Being spoiled by the cheap prices in Vancouver and LA has forced me to stay away from Korean BBQ.. and I've been looking for other options.

Korean Village Restaurant - 7729 85 Street NW - Edmonton AB

Little known fact: when I can't fall asleep at night, I do one of two things: a) open up the FML app on my phone and read, to make myself feel better, or b) troll around on Urbanspoon looking for new places to eat at.

A few weeks back I did the latter, and came across the Korean Village Restaurant. I called them the next day to see if they offer AYCE Korean BBQ, and they do! For the price of $25.95/person.

On the drive over, we felt like we were heading in the wrong direction, as if the map was leading us to the middle of nowhere. We were driving around residential streets, and magically found the restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There are about 2-3 other Korean shops next door.. but really, this restaurant is in a random area.

The interior of the restaurant has a very homey feel to it. There's even a set of stairs that leads to a second floor, to a party room where they can host karaoke.

While Korean BBQ is a self served, self cooked meal, the staff at the restaurant were friendly and very inviting. They prepared hot food (spring rolls, tempura) at our request, and were available when needed.

The selection of food at Korean Village is limited when compared to Ginseng, but the selection available at the restaurant is sufficient to fill any BBQ craving. All the meats available (with exception to the shrimp) are seasoned and marinated perfectly. It all tasted so delicious! My only wish would be for them to have more banchan (side dishes), as they only have kimchi and beansprouts available. Some seaweed salad would be awesome!

After the meal, I gave a call over to Ginseng inquiring about their Korean BBQ. It seems as though their price has dropped from $30+ to $29/person! Seeing as their selection is greater, I would likely head to Ginseng if I craved Korean BBQ. But if I was in the area, I wouldn't hesitate to come back to Korean Village. If you like lots of variety, head to Ginseng. If you prefer a quiet, cozy meal, head to Korean Village.

One thing I should mention about Korean Village though, is that they have a stamp card program. Ater having BBQ nine times, the tenth is on them! So eat up, and check this place out if you're in the area :)

Korean Village Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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