Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Reminiscing with the NYC Ballet

April 30, 2012

Let's get personal. Ballet, or even dance in general has a very special place in my heart. My mother enrolled me in my first ballet class at the young age of 3, and through the ups and downs, I stuck with dance and grew to love it more and more until I was just about 19 years old. Throughout the years, I was enrolled in various classes - ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop - man, I even taught hip hop for a while! But, above all, I enjoyed ballet the most. The form and grace of ballerinas was inspiring, and stepping into my first pair of pointe shoes was probably the highlight of my dance life.


My very first and very last pair of ballet shoes

I do miss ballet from time to time, which is why I was so excited when I first heard that OPI was coming out with a collection featuring the New York City Ballet. And of course, I had to pick up every colour available in the collection!


The NYC ballet collection is the soft shades range for this year, and while I have many similar shades, I had to have them all. Soft shades are appropriate for all occasions, whether it be in the workplace, or special events. I don't think you can ever own too many!


The first shade I chose to wear was You Callin' Me a Lyre? What's interesting about this particular collection is that they are all jelly polishes! So pretty.


You Callin' Me a Lyre is a peachy pink shade, and due to the formula and nature of the shade it doesn't go fully opaque. I had a little bit of an issue with streakiness during application, but a total of three coats was necessary to smooth everything out.


The formula was very nice to work with, and as stated before, it levelled itself out and became a nice uniform polish on my nails. The colour wore very well for about 4 days before signs of chipping appeared.


With the 5 soft shades this year comes a glitter topcoat called Pirouette My Whistle. The polish is full of fine silver glitter, and speckled with silver hexagonal glitter pieces.


The polish is relatively dense, so one coat is definitely enough for layering. It flows well onto the nail, and dries quite smoothly for being a glitter. Here I've worn Pirouette My Whistle over top of You Callin' Me a Lyre?


One of my favourite nail polish tricks is to wear a glitter coat over top of another polish. Glitter is notoriously difficult to remove, and because of that property, it makes your manicures last a lot longer. During the times when I have exams or just don't have time to change my polish regularly, I make sure to seal my manicure in with a glitter coat, so I don't have to worry about chips after at least 6 days.


So there you have it: the beginning of the OPI NYC Ballet collection. More to come next week!

Edmonton food

Fiesta at Tres Carnales

April 27, 2012

Six months ago, if you asked me whether I would ever eat pig head, I would tell you that you were out of your mind. Of course not. Then came Tres Carnales.

Tres Carnales Taqueria - 10119 100A Street - Edmonton AB


Where do I even begin? Tres Carnales is one of the most popular restaurants in Edmonton - the food is good, authentic, and affordable. It was named the best new restaurant in Edmonton for 2011 by Avenue Magazine, and they're scheduled to be featured on the Food Network show You Gotta Eat Here. What's not to love?


A couple months back, before the taping of You Gotta Heat Here (this review is so overdue!! My apologies.), my pal Andrew and I headed to Tres Carnales for a quick lunch. We arrived around 1:30, which is past the lunch rush, but the restaurant was still busy and full of people. When you enter the restaurant, you get a sense of an upbeat vibe, and can't help but be excited about where you are, and what you're about to eat.


After taking in the environment, you find yourself standing before a board decorated with menu options and a feature for the day. All offerings can be served in the form of tacos, quesadillas, or tortas depending on your appetite. There is quite a range of options available, so there's definitely something for everyone. Order away, then find a seat at an empty table and wait for your food to be delivered!


To start, we went with the Guacamole Y Totopos which I had heard so many good things about! The creamy mixture was well seasoned, and really hit the spot. The chips were quite crisp, and perfect eaten with the guacamole.


Andrew loves fish. When we go out, ahi tuna is his fish of choice. Naturally, he had to go with the Pescado: lightly battered and fried fresh Pacific Red Snapper. The portion size of the tacos was huge! Beyond what we both had imagined, and very tasty. The battered fish had a crisp exterior, while the inside was perfectly cooked, and without that seafood flavour - we knew the fish was fresh. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of fish, I enjoyed the fish tacos.


Now, let's talk about that pig head again. Arriving at the restaurant, the feature, Cabeza de cerdo, caught my curiousity, but my stomach wanted to run in the opposite direction. Slow cooked pig head served with pickled veg and salsa mexicana. The words echoed through my mind repeatedly, when suddenly Chris (one of the owners) pointed me out! Uh oh, now I HAD to eat something crazy to meet expectations. Just kidding. I had faith and ordered my dish, hoping for the best!

My dish arrived at the table a couple minutes after Andrew's and Daniel (another one of the owners) brought it to the table. It took a little while longer, because he did not like the plating of the first dish that was meant to be mine - this is what I like. Care and attention put not only into the taste, but into the presentation of food. As I closed my eyes and took my first bite, my mouth exploded because the flavour and texture of the dish was amazing. The pig head had a nice crisp skin, while the meat was juicy and tender. The pickled veg and a bit of squeezed lime juice added a nice tangy kick, hitting the dish out of the ballpark for me.

The three carnales here put so much thought and passion into what they love - and you really can tell. With trying to keep ingredients as local as possible, and producing all their salsas, guacs, and marinades daily, it's no surprise that they've found their place in the hearts (err.. stomachs?) of many Edmontonians.

Never would I have thought I would eat pig head. Well played, Tres Carnales, can't wait for what you serve up to me next!

Tres Carnales Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Hong Kong

Jet Setting

April 25, 2012

Exams are finally done and over with, and following 4 years of hard work, I'm finally done with my undergrad degree! Yippee!


While you're reading this, I'm flying up above the clouds - on my way to Hong Kong. I'll be spending the next six weeks in Asia, checking out different cities! I may not be updating this blog as frequently as I would like, but you can definitely keep up with me via Twitter (@littlmissandrea) & Instagram (@littlemissandrea). Talk to you later from across the pond!!

Essie

Manicure Monday: Ole Caliente

April 23, 2012

Hi everyone! Happy Monday - not! Just kidding - I hardly slept over the weekend studying for two final exams that I wrote today, and now I'm studying for my last one that is tomorrow. Soon I'll be able to sleep in again! Hope you all had a better weekend than I did!

Today I have a beautiful coral red to share with you from Essie's Navigate Her Spring Collection. The coral red colour itself screams more Summer than Spring for me, as I tend to wear my coral shades in the Summer months - but no matter. This coral is so pretty when worn, and should be flattering on all skintones.


The polish itself was saturated and extremely pigmented. I think I could have gotten away with one thicker coat versus the two thin ones I applied.


The creme formula applied like a dream and was so easy to control on the nail. You might look at the colour and think it looks familiar, and yes! The shade is very close to the OPI Holland collection shade Red Lights Ahead... Where? They could almost be dupes of one another, but I see a little more orange in the OPI shade, and more red in Ole Caliente. If anyone wants swatch comparisons, let me know and I will compare them!


The polish wore wonderfully for a full five days before chipping - sounds good to me in my books :)

Talk to you all when I'm done my last exam!

Essie

The Office x Essie Polish?

April 18, 2012

Just popping in to say hello before I get back to studying! I'm writing my first exam this afternoon :)

I came across this image yesterday via Pinterest and LOVED it. I can't vouch for the validity (although I've tried to search everything, and even contact their PR - nothing has been confirmed!), but it is absolutely awesome either way.


I am a huge fan of the office, and love the names to the polishes - seriously, so fitting. I love Creed & Kevin.. they seriously have the best random lines in the show! Anyone else love The Office? I hope this picture is legit!

Have a great day everyone!

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Strawberry Margarita

April 16, 2012

Strawberry margaritas. Something I could definitely go for right now considering I don't think I'm ready for my exams at all this week! Hence why OPI's Strawberry Margarita is my perfect shade for the week.


Strawberry Margarita is a shade from the Mexico collection a while back, but such a great pink for the Spring and Summer months!


This particular creme shade is what I like to call a 'soft hot pink'. Not a neon bright pink, but just a bit brighter than your conventional pink shade.


The formula is smooth and is perfectly opaque with two thin coats. It wore chip free for 4-5 days, and it definitely is a shade I'll be going back to in the summer!

Glossybox

Glossybox Update

April 14, 2012

Yay, it's finally the weekend! Yesterday marked my last class of my undergrad career - finally in the home stretch and can't wait for my four month break to start. But, gotta finish with the exams first. I might disappear for a while to cram everything I've learned into my brain, don't miss me too much! (Just kidding, I'm not that important :))



Anyway, a couple weeks ago after reviewing the first GLOSSYBOX, I was contacted by the company to become an ambassador. What does that mean for you? All my blog readers can get 10% off your first Glossybox by using my personal code: GLOSSY24! Glossybox in my opinion is one of the best boxes available in the Canadian market at the moment. For $15 a month, you get 5-6 premium samples to test out, and have the chance to discover new products unavailable to other companies. I was quite impressed with the first box I received, and can't wait for the next one. What are you waiting for? Sign up to become a glossy & take advantage of the 10% off!

*by using my personal code, I gain referral points when you purchase your first box

Edmonton food

Unfortunate Service: Pazzo Pazzo

April 12, 2012

A couple weeks maybe months.. ago, I found myself standing in a long lineup outside of Pazzo Pazzo, waiting in the cold like an idiot. Knowing me, I don't dress warmly to be outside when I expect to be indoors eating.. and if the line was any indication, I thought I would be standing outside for at least an hour.

Pazzo Pazzo - 10016 103 Avenue NW - Edmonton AB

It was the weekend that the Groupon deal for Pazzo Pazzo was coming to an end, but many of the patrons in line weren't those with the Groupon. They just plain loved the food! We were told that the food was awesome, and the portions were massive - there was no way we could eat two entrees. Challenge accepted.

When we finally entered the doors of the building after freezing for 10 minutes, I sent Vince up to the front to put our name down for a table. Funny thing is, I had called two days in advance trying to get a reservation, but the gentleman I spoke to on the phone assured me it wouldn't be necessary and would be seated when I got there. Poor judgement call, sir. It took 20 minutes for Vince to even get the attention of anyone in the restaurant, despite many of the employees standing in front of him, not acknowledging his presence. They were obviously understaffed for the night, as multiple tables were vacant, waiting to be cleaned. I had no idea how long we would be waiting for.

We waited a full 50 minutes before we were called to be seated at the table, and we knew exactly what we wanted to order after staring at the menu *which was covered in dirty food residue* while we were waiting.


I started off by ordering a peach & raspberry Italian soda. It looked beautiful when it arrived to the table, but the syrup proportions were way off - I felt like I was drinking cough medicine. Drinks aside, the waitress brought along a basket of bread for us to snack on until our appetizers came.


The bread itself was nice and soft on the outside, with a crisp exterior. With a bit of butter, it tasted delicious, and was so satisfying because both of us were starving.


Prosciutto e'Bocconcini ($16)

As we sat and waited for our appetizer, it seemed like the table next to us had ordered the same thing.. too bad they didn't, and our dish was actually sitting at their table. After sorting out the confusion with our waitress, they passed the dish over and we were able to eat. Honestly, something like that really shouldn't be happening in Edmonton's "finest" Italian restaurant.

For our appetizer, we ordered the prosciutto wrapped bocconcini, smothered and baked with tomato sauce and basil. The balls of bocconcini were substantial and much larger than I imagined, but wrapped in the proscuitto they were delicious. The only thing I wasn't too fond of was the middle of the bocconcini were still quite cold - possibly a little longer in the oven would have made this dish much better for me.


Carbonara ($22)

Next up to arrive was Vince's entree, the pasta carbonara. I was shocked at the mere size of the pasta, wondering if he would be able to eat it all. Then I started to wonder how big my entree was going to be - the people in the line while we waited were right! Pazzo Pazzo's version of the carbonara is made with chopped bacon, Italian sausage, mushrooms, garlic, parmesan cheese, eggs, and basil. While the pasta tasted good after the first few bites, the ratios of meat to pasta were too wonky for our liking. The dish was overwhelming to eat, because the meat was quite salty, and there wasn't enough pasta on the plate to tone it down. We ended up taking a lot of the dish home, and recooking it with more pasta to even it out.


Beef Tenderloin ($33)

Under normal circumstances, you may say I was out of my mind to order beef tenderloin at an Italian restaurant. And I would fully agree. BUT, I had read that the tenderloin here is amazing, and someone even recommended it to me on Twitter! All the main entree dishes on the menu at Pazzo Pazzo are served with your choice of salad or pasta, so I ordered the tenderloin to be served with penne pasta and a cream sauce.


But I received something different. Both a tomato and a cream sauce. Turns out it was pretty good, and I was able to try out both of their offerings - I must say that I enjoyed the cream sauce more though, as the tomato sauce wasn't really anything special. Looking at the plate above, it doesn't seem like my entree was that big.. but turn the plate at another angle and you will see that I had a ton of food to eat.


There were TWO pieces of tenderloin on my plate! Cooked medium rare and served with veggies on the side, this tenderloin was perfectly cooked and seasoned, tender and moist. Probably one of the best steak dishes I've eaten out in a long time. My only wish for this particular dish, was for it to be dressed with less olive oil. My food was smothered in it, and was very oily. I would've liked having my food not dripping with oil.

Now here comes the bad part. The service. I've had some pretty bad experiences at some restaurants here in the city, but the service during the meal that night was nothing compared to some of the worst times I've spent in certain establishments. While I do understand that the restaurant was busy, I don't think waiters or waitresses should ever ignore patrons that they are serving. While I thought waiting 20 minutes just to have our names written down to get a table was bad, or even having one of our dishes sent to the wrong table was bad, our waitress never once checked in on us during our entire meal, or even cracked a slight smile. She never came over to our table to ask how our food was, she never came over to fill our glasses of water (which were basically empty throughout the entire meal), even despite seeing her look over at our table. IF our food was unacceptable, we wouldn't have been able to tell anyone, because no one ever came over to our table. After we finished with our entrees, we waited 20 minutes for her to come by to take away our plates. Seeing as we wanted the Carbonara to be packed up, she disappeared for another 15 minutes before reappearing with the bill. Not only did she come back with the bill, but our packaged food was nowhere in sight. 10 minutes later she returned, and we had to remind her that she had packed up food for us.

Honestly, for a place where the food is good, the service needs to be set at a higher standard. I wasted so much time at the restaurant that night just sitting around and waiting, I could have sat at home watching paint dry. I wish I could say that maybe this experience was just an isolated one and it won't happen again, but looking at the reviews on Urbanspoon, it seems that there is consistently bad service. It really is unfortunate because patrons such as myself may have possibly returned in the future if my dining experience had been better.

Pazzo Pazzo on Urbanspoon

Essie

Manicure Monday: Bangle Jangle

April 09, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with time off to spend with your families! And hopefully the Easter Bunny didn't leave you toooo much chocolate :)

It feels funny for me to be sharing this colour with you right now, since Essie's Bangle Jangle is actually a shade from their 2011 Holiday collection. But the colour just screams Spring to me!



Bangle Jangle is a lovely creme shade of lavender, with a smooth formula and very easy application. The colour is fully opaque in two thin coats, and wears well for over 5 days.



I wore this colour on two separate occasions, just to put some variation out there.


Bangle Jangle worn with Sephora by OPI's Flurry Up on the ring finger above, and topped off with Essie's Shine of the Times down below. I still am obsessed with flakie effect - love that this particular topcoat shines orange, yellow, and green all at different angles.



And to finish off, the winner of the Christina M. Boutique giveaway is Allison! I have sent you an email, please respond within 48 hours!

Have a wonderful week! :)

Calgary food

An Indulgent Weekend, Part Four: WURST

April 07, 2012

So on the last post about my little Calgary trip, I left you with images of a delicious meal from CHARCUT Roast House. After a long night of sleep with our full bellies, we woke up, checked out of the hotel and found ourselves outside WURST.

WURST Restaurant & Beer Hall - 2437 4th Street SW - Calgary AB


Seeing that it was Family Day, many restaurants were closed for the long weekend. Some places had taken my reservations on this day, only for me to find out later they had to be cancelled due to the stat holiday. Bah! Thank you to WURST for taking our reservations so last minute!


The minute I stepped into the restaurant, I had to take a step back and take in the view. The interior designer that worked for this restaurant is a genius. It's absolutely lovely inside! I tweeted one of the pictures, only to find out that my best friend who is studying interior design is a huge fan of the work! It felt so whimsical to be dining below the trees trimmed with lights.. great environment to be in for an early lunch.

We were seated near the bar, in the very spacious dining room. They had a variety of alcohols and beers on tap.. but I wasn't about to start drinking so early in the day ;) All the tables and chairs are crafted out of wood, being simple, but it worked well with the elegance of the trees.


I was hoping they might have brunch available, but alas we were given the lunch menu. Gotta come back on a Sunday next time to try out their scrumptious sounding benedicts! We ordered two mains off the menu, hoping they wouldn't be large portions since we were still a little stuffed from dinner the night before.


While we waited, our waitress brought along some bread and butter in olive oil to snack on. It was served on a stone plate, which was quite heavy! The bread was cold and the butter was hard - wish they could have been presented to us warmed up.


Next to arrive at our table was a variety of mustards to go with the entree I ordered, but we happily spread it on our bread since the butter was too hard to work with. One sweet, one spicy, and one smooth - all quite unique, but I enjoyed the spicy one the most - full of seeds and great flavour. Man, I think I'm developing a love for mustard (usually hate it..).


Pile of Bratwurst ($14)

I ordered the pile of bratwurst, served with creamed potatoes, braised red cabbage, and mustard gravy, all served in a cast iron dish. First of all, it was a HUGE portion and I had no idea how to finish it! Second, it was delicious. All the bratwurst is made in house, there were two large sausages, and four smaller ones. The meat was seasoned perfectly, and tasted great paired with the mustards. The creamed potatoes filled about half of the dish, while the other half was filled with the cabbage and some extra vegetables beneath. The taste of the cabbage were reminiscent of sauerkraut - weird for me to be eating it warm, but still good. The taste of it in the dish was a little overwhelming at times when I forgot to eat it with the sausage or potatoes, but it was a nice contrast of flavour.


Jager Schnitzel ($23)

This was the first time Vince ever had "real" German food, so I told him to try out schnitzel. The Jager Schnitzel was served with wild mushrooms, creme fraiche and spatzle, and a couple extra veggies on top. The meat was tender, and the spatzle had bite to it, not too soft and not too hard. The plate was still quite a large portion, but he still finished it all.

Both of us were stuffed to the brim, unable to try out any of their other offerings, but I think I'd like to try out their charcuterie items when I come back. I didn't dare to do so since we had a pretty carnivorous meal the night before.

All in all, we had a pretty good meal and the service was great. I love the dining atmosphere and will be back! Especially since they now have fondue options... yum.

WURST Restaurant and Beer Hall on Urbanspoon

Giveaway

Meet Christina M Boutique (w/ a Giveaway!)

April 02, 2012

Lately I've been obsessed with Etsy. I spend so much time on that site, browsing and adding items to my cart nonstop. I literally have 50 items sitting in my cart right now and it's so hard not to buy it all! Good thing my Visa bill stops me :)

Anyway, we're skipping Manicure Monday this week for something better! I want to introduce you to Christina, owner of the Etsy shop Christina M. Boutique. Christina is based out of New York, selling gorgeous handmade bracelets and necklaces in a wide array of colours and materials. One of the items I've received from her is the Elle necklace in lavender, and I absolutely love how the necklace brings a soft pop of colour to any outfit.



Blazer: bought in Asia | Top & Bandeau: CR | Jeans: J Brand
Pumps: bought in Asia | Accessories: bfrend, Coach & Chrstina M. Boutique

Christina's shop just recently released some new designs, but I'm happy to say she has offered the Elle necklace in any colour to one of my readers! The necklace is a wonderful piece featuring a gold chain & soft ribbon. It will automatically glam up any outfit! If you're interested in winning the necklace, simply follow the guidelines below.


MANDATORY ENTRIES

1. Like Christina M Boutique on Facebook
2. Follow this blog via GFC
3. Leave a comment below about your favourite piece from her shop!

All 3 must be completed for any entries to be counted

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES

1. Follow Christina on Twitter (@Shop_ChristinaM)(+1)
2. Favourite her Etsy shop on your Etsy account.
3. Follow me on Twitter (@littlmissandrea)(+1)
4. Tweet ("Enter to win the Elle Necklace from @littlmissandrea & @Shop_ChristinaM http://t.co/eSEAjX2M")(+2)
5. Follow Little Miss Andrea via Bloglovin' (+1)

Please fill out the relevant fields in the Rafflecopter widget below - those are the only entries that will be counted. The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents 18+ years of age, or with parental consent. The winner will be chosen randomly on April 6th, 2012, and have until April 10th to claim his/her prize.

Make sure to check out Christina's shop. Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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