August 30, 2012

Dress & Heels from Hong Kong | F21 Belt, Bracelet & Sunglasses | Derng MAX Choker
Coach Penny Crossbody Bag & Boyfriend Watch

While I was shopping in Asia this summer, I was immediately drawn to this dress the minute I saw it. Loved the colours, and there were so many variations of it too! This one was my favourite, and upon wearing it, I realized it was basically an easy colourblocked outfit! Adding the yellow gave it a bit of life that it needed, making it perfect for Sunday brunch :)

On a side note - I've been loving the new Legacy collection from Coach! The vibrant colours initially drew me into the collection (which is why I picked out the yellow!), but the styles are so simple and will be classic pieces for many years to come. Check them out!

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Chapel of Love

August 27, 2012

Happy Monday everyone! Today I'm writing to you from.. Edmonton! Yes! I'm home, but sad to have left Vancouver.. except that I'm heading out for another mini trip this week! This time off to Calgary & Banff before starting up school again :)

On my nails this week I've got OPI's Chapel of Love - a colour I always go back to time & time again.

Chapel of Love is a beautiful hibiscus pink shade, which looks like a creme at the surface. What makes it really special for me though, is how it looks under light. The polish is full of gold microglitter, giving it beautiful shine and more character.

Due to the fact that there is the gold glitter, it greatly increases the wear time of the polish. This shade wears well on my nails for up to a week, with minimal tip wear. Now thats amazing!

The formula applies very smoothly, but is on the watery side, which leads it to require a bit thicker of a coat than usual. But at two coats, it's definitely opaque and good to go!

Edmonton food

Lannathai Cuisine [CLOSED]

August 25, 2012

A while back as I was driving home along Calgary Trail, I noticed there was a new restaurant on the left hand side, but knowing me, I was driving too fast to figure out what the bright sign was trying to tell me. A couple days later, I realized it was a new Thai restaurant in town and I definitely had to check it out!

Lannathai Cuisine - 7219 104 Street - Edmonton AB

I remember going to Unforgettable Chinese Restaurant which used to occupy this space about a year and a half ago, and trust me, ignore the name cause it really was a forgettable dinner that I had there. It was great seeing a fresh new restaurant in it's place, spacious and brightly lit inside. My mother always begs me to take her out and try new restaurants, so this was the perfect option for her birthday dinner with my family.

As we sat down, there was only one other table occupied at dinner time. The table was clean and set nicely, and our server promptly brought menus and informed us of the specials for the night. I typically have a couple favourite Thai dishes, and if you've followed me long enough, you can probably name them out - pad thai, papaya salad, pad kee mao, tom yum soup & mango sticky rice. Lucky for me, they were all on the menu.

Starting off with the Tom Yum Koong ($13.95) it came out piping hot in the traditional pot to keep it warm throughout the meal. The flavours were strong, the herbs were fragrant, and the broth itself was not too spicy or salty which started off our dinner just right.

Next up was the papaya salad ($10.95), and this dish really packed the heat. The salad also had lots of julienned carrots, sliced tomatoes & bean sprouts, which is a little different from the salads typically seen in Edmonton. It was nice to have it served with some cabbage leaves which helped with neutralizing the spiciness, but I really could do without the portion of carrots, or have a smaller proportion. I found the carrot flavour to be overpowering, when I really wanted to be tasting the dressing. The vegetables were, however, very fresh, and the dish had a great presentation.

The Pad Thai ($13.95) arrived just as we were finishing up our salad, and we were pretty surprised with the size of the dish - it was quite a bit larger than we had expected. The noodles were tender, not sticky (I HATE when noodles stick together!), and there was a nice ratio of chicken and sprouts to the noodles. The chicken was tender, and with the lime juice added on top it was a nice dish.

Drunken Noodles ($13.95) are usually my favourite noodle dishes because I love the taste that the basil gives to the dish. Lannathai's version definitely did not disappoint, and it was my favourite dish of the night. The broad noodles were coated nicely in sauce, and not too oily. The vegetables in the dish picked up the flavours really well and still had bite to them, giving a nice contrast in textures in the dish.

I am not a Thai curry person. The Thai culture is known so well for their curries, but I really don't enjoy curry unless it's Indian curry. We did order the Gang Dang (Red Curry, $14.95) though, for the sake of everyone else at the table, and they agreed the spiciness and flavours worked well together. However, it was a little bit too sweet for their liking - perhaps a little heavy on the coconut milk? We ordered small bowls of steamed rice ($2.00) and coconut rice ($2.50) which both turned out to be really big (capable of serving at least 2 people). Makes me wonder how big a large bowl is.

At the end of the meal, we were all quite stuffed, but as always, I had room for dessert. We ordered the Sweet Rice Mango ($5.99) for us to share, but I was a little disappointed. While the mango was sweet, the rice was so salty! So overly salty that we gave up on the rice halfway through and focused on the mango by itself. Typically the rice is supposed to have a bit of a salty taste to it to bring out the flavours of the mango, but they were definitely a little too heavy with the salt on this one.

All in all, it was a nice meal at Lannathai, and the family had a great evening. The server was friendly, and was able to check in on us frequently throughout the meal. What I like about this restaurant is the portion sizes for the price that you pay. Thai food is known to be on the expensive side with small portions, but with competitive pricing to other Thai restaurants, Lannathai has the biggest plates I've seen so far. You get a good deal, and the food is good. It's unfortunate though that they are on Calgary Trail in a location that many people often drive by without noticing. They do have a big sign out in front though, so if you have a chance, stop by and give them a try!

Lannathai Cuisine on Urbanspoon



August 22, 2012

Joe Fresh Shirt | Shorts from HK | Derng Gilles Necklace | Coach Wedges

When I first eyed these shorts on the wall during my recent trip to Hong Kong, I knew they would be mine. I didn't even have to try them on and paid for them immediately. I love the scalloped hem with the cut out details. The high waisted style elongates my legs, and the shorts end up looking like a skirt. Nothing but love!

I'm heading down to Seattle today.. catch you all soon!

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Pink-ing Of You

August 20, 2012

Hello from Vancouver! Hope you all had a sunshine-filled weekend.. cause I sure did! I'm so glad to be away from work & home.. just to relax and enjoy! It's so refreshing to look outside and see the beach from where I am :)

This week I have yet another classic colour from the OPI permanent collection to share with you.. and it's because I'm Pink-ing Of You! Yes, I'm as cheesy as can be. This particular shade was first released in the 2002 Sheer Romance collection, and is a subdued bubble gum pink that is so easy to wear all year round.

The jelly like quality to this polish makes it a special pink for me. The polish is pigmented, but like all other jelly polishes, there is a semi-transparent nature to it. The formula is so easy to work with, giving a smooth flawless finish every time.

The polish wore chip free on me for five days with minor wear at the tips. As Fall is right around the corner, this polish was a perfect way to have a bit of colour before transitioning into the darker shades I have ready for autumn.. but I'm still holding out for an Indian Summer!

Have a great week everyone, I'll catch up with you soon! For now.. off to the beach!

Edmonton food

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt Opens at Southgate Centre

August 18, 2012

About three weeks ago, my favourite frozen yogurt shop here in Edmonton opened their second location - Tutti Frutti invaded Southgate Centre! For their grand opening, they were offering free yogurt to all patrons from 12-3 PM, as well as $2 off a yogurt with a donation in support of the Edmonton Food Bank. Free swag & support for a local organization? Big fat check mark in my books.

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt - 5015 111 Street - Edmonton AB

When I arrived at 11AM for the media preview, it was clear that this yogurt chain has a cult following - a line already began to form for the event starting at noon! That's true dedication if you ask me.. or perhaps really cheap customers. Just kidding. They were real fans :) By the time the public event started, the line had begun to wrap around the mall, and easily had 150+ patrons in line. The wait time to get yogurt was probably up to 1 hour, and the line just continued to grow!

Albeit much smaller than the original Whyte Avenue location, the space at Southgate is fresh and bright, which is much needed to liven up the quieter area of the mall. I already foresee the foot traffic to this area of the mall to increase ten fold. Before Tutti Frutti arrived.. I would probably visit that portion of the mall maybe once a year.. but now my visits might just be greater than 10 each year. We'll have to see. The inclusion of orange in the colour scheme is different, but works really well with the energetic vibe of the place!

The main reason I favour Tutti Frutti over other frozen yogurt places is the self serve concept. I guess I may be a little of a control freak, but really, it's nice to control your portion size and proportion of toppings. Due to the smaller location, there are 8 flavours available at any given time (compared to the 14 available at Whyte Ave.), which is still plenty to choose from, allowing for a range of flavours that can accomodate to many tastes.

Currently, the pricing for frozen yogurt is set at $0.54/oz, which has gone up from the original $0.49/oz. But still, the price for the average sized yogurt with a mountain of toppings comes out to about $4.00 - $4.50 for the serving. With fresh fruit and dry toppings, the possibilities for creating a unique yogurt are endless. I must mention though, like Pinkberry, the nut toppings are set adjacent to the dry toppings, allowing for the possibility of cross contamination, which can be a huge issue for patrons that may be allergic to nuts.

My yogurt for the day of course consisted of my favourite TF Tart, blueberry which was thrown in for fun, and a brand new favourite: salted caramel! If you stop by when they have the flavour, definitely try it out! It's heavier on the caramel flavour, with a hint of saltiness to tie it all together. It tastes delicious. The crew here at Tutti Frutti Southgate are friendly, and so welcoming. I've already visited twice since the opening, and it's always so clean in there! The staff are fabulous, which makes the experience all the better. Try it out & enjoy!

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt (Southgate) on Urbanspoon


Benefit Cosmetics Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++

August 16, 2012

Over the years, I've found my skin continues to change and I'm always on the lookout for products that target my problems. For the past two years, I've found myself to have little dry spots here and there around my face.. and needless to say it's really annoying!

When Benefit released their skincare line last year, I quickly picked up a few of the products. One of them happened to be the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion with SPF 15 PA++ protection.

I was mostly intrigued by this product because it is an emulsion - a product that you do not commonly see in the North American market, but very frequent over in Asia. For those of you new to emulsions, they are basically very lightweight moisturizers, with a watery consistency (although not necessarily meaning they are runny). Benefit's version is very lightweight with a watery consistency, making it easy to apply and is instantly absorbed by the skin, drying to a semi-matte finish.

The inclusion of SPF protection in the product is great, but definitely isn't enough to protect your skin adequately in the summertime. But in the end, the product does what it intends to do, and keeps my face free of little dry spots. If you have really dry skin though, this may not be the product for you as it isn't intensely hydrating due to the lightweight formula. For my combination skin, I'm left with a moisturized face, and don't feel oily throughout the day.

As for the packaging, you'll notice it comes housed in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser. The bottle itself is fairly heavy, and if you are clumsy and drop the bottle, it is more than likely to completely smash. What I do appreciate though, is the pump dispenser which keeps the product clean and is much more hygienic than tubs of moisturizer that you have to dip your fingers into.

My biggest problem with this product isn't the performance of the emulsion itself, but rather the scent. It is a very strong, floral/shampoo like smell, and takes a while to dissipate. Those of you sensitive to smells may find your noses absolutely against it, but it doesn't affect the moisturizing properties at all. In the end, it is a nice, lightweight moisturizer that has sun protection, and leaves the skin feeling smooth without added greasiness throughout the day.

Anyone tried this product out yet?

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Do You Lilac It?

August 13, 2012

Happy Monday everyone! Gosh, I start every Monday like this, don't I? Too bad, you have to live with it because I'm boring and unoriginal ;) The weather was gorgeous over the weekend, but dang, the mosquitos here in our city are horrendous. I have bites all over the place and can't stand to wear any long clothing of any sort or else I get overly itchy. So sad.

This week I have another oldie from OPI to share with you: Do You Lilac It? This particular shade came from the Brights collection in 2009, but luckily is a permanent shade and is available all year round.

For me, Do You Lilac It? isn't a true lilac shade, but rather has periwinkle undertones to it. Definitely more blue than pink to give it that look, but the resultant purple is beautiful on nails. The formula is perfect and application is a breeze with the brush, and honestly, you could probably get away with applying just one thicker coat. In the pictures I am wearing two - it's a habit.

The polish sits on nails for 4-5 days without chipping, and does benefit from a glitter topcoat. On my ring finger is Nothin' Mousie 'Bout It from the OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse collection. The shimmer and heart applied were so cute, but I find that the hearts are the hardest to control and apply. It's a great polish to layer atop of any shade, and I can't wait to try it over other colours.

Have a great week everyone!


Dishcrawl: Celebrate Summer with Downtown Eats

August 11, 2012

Anyone heard of Dishcrawl before? A dishcrawl is like a pub crawl. Except for foodies. And you tour through four different restaurants to eat in one night. Sound weird? It totally isn't.

Dishcrawl actually happens in a variety of cities in North America, and was an idea originated and first executed in the United States SF Bay Area. So when the opportunity came up in Edmonton ($45/ticket excl. drinks), I just had to join a group of 20 some other people and hit up local restaurants!

What I find really fun about the concept is that you don't know which restaurants you'll be going to. 48 hours before the night of the event, you will find out which restaurant to meet at, but the rest will remain a secret. My good friend & ambassador Teresa (@DishcrawlYEG) teased everyone days prior, by posting little clues here and there, trying to hint us as to where we were going. I basically gave up from the get-go because I'm terrible at guessing games.. but it was fun trying nonetheless!

The first stop of the night was at Red Star Pub (10534 Jasper Avenue NW), where we were treated to three different dishes. BAM. I really wondered if I would be able to eat all the food that night, especially if each restaurant were to throw 3 items at me. First up was the Roasted Tomato crostini - tender roasted tomatoes, with enough juice remaining to combat the dry crostini base. The cheese, pine nuts, and basil placed on top was the perfect touch. I loved this!

Next up was the Cannellini Bean Crostini - another yummy start to the night, but I preferred the roasted tomato version. The beans were pureed, with a texture similar to hummus - it had a nice garlic flavour to it. But with everything pureed, there's not much bite to it.

To end our stop at Red Star, we were served Mini Burgers: ground tenderloin tip with bacon apple relish and applewood cheddar. Finally some protein - the burger was juicy, well seasoned, and the sweetness from the relish was a nice touch.

After congregating outside, our group walked for what seemed like ages - down through to Churchill Square and past the Law Courts to arrive at the Oil Lamp (10247 97 Street NW). I'm not going to lie.. but this is one restaurant I never would have ventured into on my own time. It is located in a more run-down area, but once you step inside, it feels homey and is anything but run down. The bright yellow walls and decorative trinkets around the restaurant are welcoming, as is the owner George Broumas. Here we had a sampling plate consisting of spanakopita, a chicken skewer on a pita, and fresh greek salad with a side of tsatziki. The spanakopita was amazingly crisp, but unfortunately too salty for me to eat. Everything else was great though!

After some more walking, we found ourselves ouside the doors of Crepe Symphony (10115 100A Street NW), which is a place I had been wanting to try for ages. I love crepes, and I still haven't found a place that I really like here in the city - this makes Crepe Symphony the perfect contender. Owner Gelior Tataev treated us each to one savoury and one dessert crepe. First out was the Chicken and Mushroom crepe, which arrived hot to the table. The chicken was tender and tasty, while the crepe had a creaminess to it when eaten. The pickle pieces on top added an unexpected zing - but I liked it!

Shortly after, we were treated to the Banana Nutella crepe - I was so excited to dive right into this one, as you all know I love my desserts. I don't think I need to say too much about this one as it is self explanatory, but it really was melt in your mouth delicious. It was probably my lucky day too, since one of my dining companions hates bananas and I got a little extra ;)

To end the night, we finished our dishcrawl at The Free Press Bistro (10014 104 Street NW). I had never been before, and their newspaper theme is absolutely adorable. The inside is decorated with various newspaper clippings, all from historical events like the sinking of the Titanic for example. At this point, I was nearly stuffed and didn't think I could eat anymore, but we were given a plate with the Philly Press, Russian Potato Salad, and Homemade Potato Chips. The Philly Press is made with lean steak, peppers, and onion, which unfortunately was too dry for me. The Russian Potato Salad had a heavy dill pickle flavour which I did like, but I wouldn't be able to eat a lot in one sitting due to the prominent sour flavour. But hey, I don't think you can ever go wrong with homemade chips!

All in all, the downtown Dishcrawl was an awesome event! I got to meet some new people, and even lose some calories with them along the way. What I really love about the concept is that it is almost like a guessing game, and you can discover new restaurants or hidden gems along the way. For myself, I had not visited any of these four restaurants prior to, so it was great to try so many new things at once. I highly recommend trying out a dishcrawl near you (click for cities where its held!) - but act quickly, tickets sell out with the blink of an eye!


Pop of Blue

August 09, 2012

Chop Suzi Top | F21 Shorts & Sunnies | Zara Heels (similar) | Coach bag & Watch
Helloberry wishing heart bracelet | Cheeky Thought Double Wrap c/o

So this is it. Basically my go-to summer look: Shorts & a tank.. and a sock bun to top it all off. It feels like this summer is the hottest it's been in Edmonton in years. It literally feels like I've landed back in Hong Kong some days due to the humidity! What's your go-to for the summer? :)

Manicure Monday

Manicure Tuesday: Dim Sum Plum

August 07, 2012

Happy Tuesday! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Some of you may think I've fallen off my rocker, but this weekend here in Alberta is a long one so I've been enjoying my long awaited 4 day weekend.. Therefore, Mani Monday has been pushed to Tuesday, this weeks new Monday!

For the weekend, I had my nails dressed up in another oldie but goodie - OPI's Dim Sum Plum from the Hong Kong collection back in Spring 2010. There's something about this shade that keeps me coming back to it every summer.

Maybe it's because dim sum makes me think of Asia.. where I wish I could spend my summers every year. Or maybe it's because this magenta-based plum polish is vibrant and lively on my nails in the summer. Take it as you will.

At two coats, the polish is completely opaque and wears beautifully for 3 days before chips start to appear. It doesn't have the greatest longevity, but the formula is so easy to work with, making application a breeze. Maybe that's why I love it.

Great, now I'm craving dim sum. Have a great day everyone!


Louisiana Purchase (w/ a Giveaway!)

August 05, 2012

A couple weeks back, I was invited to Louisiana Purchase to check out the restaurant and live entertainment. Having heard many great things about the establishment in the past, it was already had a place on my list of restaurants to try out in Edmonton, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. With live entertainment scheduled for that Saturday night, off I went for a late dinner with my good friend Ray.

Louisiana Purchase is no stranger to the food scene in Edmonton, having been owned and operated locally since 1989. Just recently they have begun to have live entertainment starting at 9:30 on Saturday nights which can really draw a crowd.

So we arrived around 8:45 PM to settle in and check things out, to find that the restaurant was about half full - nice to see that its still relatively busy past the dinner rush. Louisiana Purchase is located quite centrally in the downtown core, so I honestly was not expecting it to be too busy since the Street Performers Festival was going on. The weather was beautiful that evening, so the doors remained open to the patio, allowing a nice summer breeze to come into the restaurant.

Various portions of the restaurant are decorated in brick, giving it a rustic feel, but the black and red decor inside makes it feel more upscale, like you're dining in a jazz bar. The environment really takes you to the roots of where Cajun and Creole cuisine originate from. Not to mention, the croc printed menu cover makes me think of all those alligators down in New Orleans!

To start off, I ordered a freshly squeezed lemonade ($3.75), and it was definitely packed with fresh lemon juice. My lips puckered from the sour juice, but it ended up working really well to tone down some of the spicy dishes.

For dinner we had decided to do a sampling of different dishes so we could try out as many items as we could. Or perhaps it was because I couldn't decide on what to order cause I wanted to try everything... :) First up was a cup of chicken & sausage gumbo ($5.95), which arrived nice and hot to the table. The roux-based stew was hearty, with a nice ratio of protein to liquid. I would suggest taking one cup to share between two people if another appetizer is ordered, just because one cup can be pretty filling!


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