Burger

Five Guys Burgers & Fries

June 30, 2012

Back in the day, Sherwood Park felt so far away from where I live in the South side. Hell, it still feels that way. Downtown & the North side of Edmonton are SO foreign to me even to this day. I almost feel like I've only ever been in the South side my whole entire life.

Five Guys Burgers & Fries - 100 Sierra Springs Drive - Airdrie, AB

Then came the day when I was watching Unwrapped on the Food Network maybe two years ago during the summer, and seeing Five Guys Burgers & Fries being featured changed my life! When I heard that a location was going to hit Sherwood Park, it was almost enough for me to venture out there. Almost.


Recently, a new location has opened up in the South side! The five guys made a good move. But instead of fighting the crowds on opening weekend in Edmonton, I visited the Airdrie location beforehand.


Five guys promises a fresh burger, made to order the way you like it. At all their locations, there are no freezers on hand, but rather coolers.. so that your patties are always fresh and never frozen. Vince and I had arrived shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon, and while the restaurant wasn't packed, it was still substantially busy. After we arrived is when things started to heat up. A line started to form behind us, and we were glad we arrived when we did!


Like other fast food joints, you line up, and choose the burger you want, with the toppings of your choice. They don't have any preset burger choices, and all the toppings you choose are free. Go crazy! Their regular burgers are served with two patties, and for those who don't have a huge appetite, the 'little' versions are served with just one.


One thing that should be noted, is that they are not contained in a nut-free environment. These five guys are famous for using pure peanut oil for cooking, and the restaurant itself is laden with boxes upon boxes of peanuts for your enjoyment. Eat up & get your fix! It does say on their website, that while they do not wish to purposefully exclude guests from their restaurants, the peanuts have become a part of their identity and they will continue to serve them as long as they are open. Many restaurants site the usage of peanut oils due to it's chemical properties. Peanut oil has a higher smoking point, leading to a crispier, deep fried end product with a unique taste.


Vince and I chose to go for the Cheeseburger, dressed the way we like it, and the cajun style fries along with a drink. With the pop, you are expected to serve yourself and the refills are free. Totally gives you something to do while you wait for your order. Or you could just gorge on peanuts like I did. Your choice.


Our order took a little over 4 minutes for us to pick up, and upon first bite into the burger, the patty was tender and juicy, and tasted fantastic. The cajun style fries on the other hand weren't exactly crispy the way I had expected them to be. The short ones were crisp, but the longer ones couldn't hold their shape, and were a little limp as seen in the picture above. I wonder if it's due to the fact that they had to be seasoned? In the future I'd definitely want to try them plain to see how well they are on their own.

All in all, it was a yummy burger and I would return. For a burger, fries, and drink, it came out to around $13, which isn't asking for much when you consider how much you would pay at a sit down restaurant at lunch for the same thing.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Airdrie) on Urbanspoon

OASAP

Mint & Lace

June 27, 2012


Blazer: Purchased in HK | Top: F21 | Shorts: c/o Oasap | Shoes: Coach
Accessories: Coach Clutch & Watch, T&Co. Necklace, Bracelets purchased in HK





The first set of pictures where you can REALLY see what type of tan I picked up while I was in Asia. I swear I'm at least two shades darker than when I left! At least I'm not pale like a ghost anymore. Anyway, I currently have this obsession with mint & lace, and I was so excited to receive this pair of lace shorts from Oasap.com.

I love that the lace on this pair is very durable, and not thin like most of the detailing you'll find on many lace pieces for the season. I know that it's not going to rip when I sit down & get up! They're also a high waisted style, so I can wear them with a shirt tucked in or without.. it's like getting two pairs of shorts in one. Talk about versatility! Oasap has many affordable pieces, and with free worldwide shipping.. well, it's time to start doing some shopping if you ask me! :)

Essie

Manicure Monday: To Buy, or Not To Buy?

June 25, 2012

After a weekend of sunshine and rain.. it's Monday, folks. Hope you all had a great weekend!

This week I have another polish from the Spring 2012 Essie Navigate Her collection. I don't really comprehend the name itself, but To Buy or Not to Buy is quite a complex polish.


Under normal circumstances, it seems like your run of the mill lilac creme polish. But in the bottle, it's easy to see that its packed with blue/purple duochrome sparkles that shine when the light hits them just right.


Funny thing is, when applied on the nail, they basically disappear and are nowhere to be found.. unless you look hard enough and hit just the right angle. If you look closely at the bottle in these pictures, you'll see those little deceiving flashes of purple.


Although I have plenty of lilac polishes in my collection already, it's the presence of the glitters that make this one stand out above the rest. Application was smooth and the polish was fully opaque in two coats.


After 4 days, I start to see some signs of wear, so this polish is pretty good in my books. Although subtle, this polish might be a great addition to your collection! So to buy or not to buy? Buy.

outfit

Spots & Frills

June 23, 2012

It's the weekend! Anyone have exciting plans at all? I'm super excited to be working all weekend... not.

So you might remember Christina M. Boutique from a little while back, and I have another piece to share with you today.


Top: H&M | Skirt: bought in Vancouver | Belt & Tights: F21 | Shoes: Coach
Accessories: Christina M Boutique, Coach, H&M

The Emily bracelet is so easy to wear, and I love the bracelet in the hot pink colour! It instantly adds a punch of colour and elegance to an outfit at the same time.


I love taking accessories to add interest to an outfit, and the pink does just that for me. It stands out, and I've gotten so many compliments on it too! Christina has tons of new styles coming out for the summer, so make sure to check out her shop here!


Have a great weekend everyone!

Edmonton food

Oranj Sushi Bar

June 20, 2012

I always find it weird when restaurants decide to name themselves after everyday objects, but obscure the spelling to make themselves seem upscale and trendy. And that is what happened when Oranj Sushi Bar opened up in West Edmonton Mall.

When I first saw the signs that a new Japanese restaurant was set to open up on Bourbon street this past holiday season, I was actually quite excited to see that another type of cuisine would be available in the mall. The only traces of Asian cuisine in the mall really don't cut it for me - Tokyo Express, Edo Japan, Pho Hoa.. etc. etc. cause in the end, they're all considered to be fast food. But for a sit-down Japanese restaurant to be situated amongst burger bars and family restaurants? A nice change.


That was until the place officially opened. I had friends that stopped by to try things out, only to say that the food wasn't fresh, or they had run out of rice, or run out of fish, amongst many other things. It was obvious the small restaurant had not fully anticipated the possible traffic they would encounter in one of the world's largest shopping malls, or maybe they did and were incredibly understaffed. Either way, I decided not to visit until they had settled in and started to be comfortable.

I stopped by for lunch with a friend during a weekday around noon - and the restaurant was practically empty. The wooden interior with bright accents of orange make the restaurant feel very modern and upscale, but the dimmed lighting gives it a sense of invitation and intimacy. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to draw a busier lunchtime crowd.


Flipping through the menu, the offerings are numerous, and the prices are relatively expensive for what you get. I don't mind paying more for food, but the quality needs to reflect the reasoning for higher pricing. Lisa had ordered the vegetable roll, which she said wasn't bad.


Wanting to have a light lunch, I opted for their version of Dragon eyes. Unlike the one at Mikado, this one has asparagus in it, which really didn't do anything for me - especially since the crunch is being contrasted with the soft rice & salmon. I like the Mikado classic with the green onion, which gives it a kick of extra flavour. The ORANJ sauce both lining and drizzled on the roll had a bit of spiciness, but was overly sweet. And you know how much I hate when my food is supposed to be savoury but turns out sweet... (or now you do!)

While the food was just mediocre for us, the service was probably on par with the food. Our server did check in here and there, but it took forever for us to get the bill and finally leave the restaurant. I do understand that their location is prime - Bourbon street is packed on the weekends - and the high prices are probably required in order for them to continue running and paying the high price of rent. But when customers feel that the prices aren't justified by the prices, the kitchen really needs to step things up. The food here seems alright, but for the prices they're charging, I'd rather eat somewhere else in the city.

Oranj Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Essie

Manicure Monday: Essie Tour De Finance

June 18, 2012

Tour De Finance. What kind of race would that be? Probably super boring unless you're a finance major. Anyone out there in business? Hah.


Oh, Essie. This particular shade is from Essie's Navigate Her collection for Spring 2012. It's not really the most unique of shades, as it's a very typical hot fuchsia tone that many nail lacquer companies out there carry. But hey, it's a great shade for the summertime!


Although I tend to hate polishes that don't have a creme finish, Tour De Finance is one of those shades that can look like a creme, but have a subtle shimmer to it.


The shimmer hiding in the base shines pink & blue, and you don't really notice it much unless you're under the light at the right angle.


The formula here applies smoothly, although streaky in the first coat. I had to use two coats to even things out, despite having it be a highly pigmented polish. The only disappointment was issues with wear. I saw my first chips within a day, and it unfortunately went downhill from there. It's a very pretty colour, but for a shade that you can find produced by other companies, I would skip this one since the chips really aren't worth it!

Cleanser

Murad Clarifying Cleanser

June 16, 2012

For the last couple years of my life, I would just use whatever cleanser I could find to wash my face in the morning. It didn't matter what was going onto my face. This was my mindset: I wash my face really well the night before, and the only place my face is going to be throughout the night is on my pillow. Nothing dirty will be on my face, so why do I need to use anything specific to clean it in the morning?


All was well, until I started to use a cleanser I got as a deluxe sample from Sephora: The Murad Clarifying Cleanser. During the friends & family event, I was given the chance to redeem a 4.5 oz. size sample for 100 points. Such a good deal! So really, it didn't matter to me whether or not I would like the cleanser, since it was just going to wash my face in the morning.


But now, I've grown to like it so much that I think I'm going to continue using this cleanser forever and ever and ever. Yes, I'm feeling pretty committed. I used it for the entire duration of my trip in Asia, and give it a big thumbs up!


The active ingredient in this cleanser is one we all know too well - salicylic acid at a 1.5% concentration. The cleanser is targetted for the treatment of acne, and while I don't have that, I'll normally have a breakout here and there. Since the beginning of it's usage in my morning routine, I haven't noticed any breakouts at all - awesome!


This particular cleanser is clear, and runs on the more liquid side of things. It carries a slight scent.. I'd say somewhat herbal, but refreshing at the same time with citrus notes so I don't mind it at all. I don't want to scare you with the word herbal, but when I think of herbal, I picture that gross chinese medicine soup.. this cleanser is NOT that type of herbal. Otherwise I'd run in the other direction and you'd never see me again.


I honestly use the smallest amount, and once it touches water it lathers up quite nicely and glides across your face. I think I use 1/3 of a pea sized amount and it's more than enough for me. It's been over 2 months of using it, and I'd say I've gone through 1/5 of the tube - I feel like it's going to last me forever. The cleanser leaves your face feeling clean, but not stripped - I hate when cleaners make you feel all dry. For me, the cleanser is soothing, giving my skin an almost cooling sensation. I love washing my skin in the morning! If you're looking for a new morning cleanser, I highly recommend this one :)

Available through Murad.com & Sephora

Edmonton food

Indulgence 2012 Recap

June 13, 2012

Indulgence. What does that word bring to mind for you? For me, I see myself sitting at a table of glorious food ready to dig in and stuff my face silly til I pass out and fall over. Yeah.

Okay, so maybe that's not the picture you had in mind, but it's totally the one you have in your head now.

This past Monday, I had the opportunity to attend Indulgence: A Canadian Epic of Food and Wine held at the Delta Edmonton South. It was my first year at the event, and although I was a mixture of feeling hungry, nervous, and overwhelmed at the same time, I had a great night eating great food and spending time with wonderful people. I'd like to extend a big thankyou to the committee members, winemakers, producers, chefs and volunteers who worked so hard to put this event together. Everything was well organized and ran smoothly - you all deserve a huge enormous round of applause.

All the proceeds for the ticket sales for the event goes in support to the Junior League of Edmonton. Judging by the number of people at the event and the scorching temperature in that room (it felt like I was back in Hong Kong from time to time!), I'd say the event was a success. So let's just keep this plain and simple: I'll show you pictures of the food created by the restaurants and you can pretend you were there eating it too. But be warned, there were 21 stations - more pictures after the jump.


4th and Vine Wine Bar & Bistro: Savoury Mo-Na's mushroom bread pudding with red & white
currant reduction, pickled maitake, beech brown mushrooms and roasted garlic tops


Urban Diner: Sylvan Star Grizzly Gouda grilled cheese served on aged Gouda sourdough with
aromatic tomato soup & Italian-style herbed mac & cheese croutons


vivo ristorante: Four Whistle Farm smoked lamb leg braised with Gull Valley tomatoes and
served on fig & olive bread with red onion jam & wild watercress


Share: Doef's Greenhouses' cucumber and daikon raita salad with black curry
Queen Charlotte halibut & spiced tomato chutney

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: My Pointe Exactly

June 11, 2012

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend - the weather was not so kind here in Edmonton, and I ended up catching a cold! Boo. Ship me back to the warm weather in Asia, please! Haha, kidding (or not..)

I still haven't gotten around to fixing my laptop, but luckily convinced Vince to lend me his for a couple of days (thanks!!) so I have a couple posts written up and ready to go in the meantime. And since it's Monday - here's another Manicure Monday installment for you!


My Pointe Exactly was a really interesting shade from the OPI NYC Ballet collection, as it's a grey jelly polish. The shade itself is not a true grey, and has more blue in it, making me want to call it a slate grey jelly. The colour will translate onto the nail if enough shades are applied - I'd say about 3 thick shades or 4 thin shades).


The colour does stand out as different from the rest of the soft shades from the collection, and wears very well up to five days without chipping. Application was a dream like the other shades, and dries relatively quick. The grey doesn't look dirty as you would expect, and should look good on all skin tones. It really is a unique polish since it is a jelly, so if you love greys, definitely check this one out!


outfit

Trenched

June 09, 2012

As I'm writing this, it's 3AM. Jetlag sucks. Only, the weird thing is that the jetlag I'm experiencing from this Asia trip is different from what I've encountered in the past. Usually when I get home, I crash, and wake up groggy and grumpy the morning after. For the days following, I wake up numerous times throughout the night and have the worst sleep ever. This time around, I sleep soundly throughout the night.. the only problem is that I sleep from 3AM til noon. Not exactly ideal, but I guess I'll take it over waking up at 4 in the morning.

So yes, I'm finally home, my laptop is still dead, and it's freaking COLD here in Edmonton. Well, it's not really that cold, but in relativity, I feel like it's winter again after coming back from Hong Kong. I've caught a cold, and it's forecasted to rain everyday for the next week, so if I do plan to step outside over the next few days, I'll be wearing this trench coat I picked up a month ago:


Coat: Zara | Top, Shorts & Tights: F21 | Boots: Bought in Asia
Jewelry: Derng | Watch: Coach | Sunglasses: Gucci

A well-fitted trench coat is something I think of as an essential piece in the closet. Perfect for Spring and Fall, the coat keeps you warm against wind and rain, and is such a classic piece that makes any outfit clean and sophisticated.



It's been so hard to find a nice trench coat that fits well. Probably because I've been looking in all the wrong places. This particular trench coat I picked up at Zara... in the kids department! I have no shame. The material is lightweight, water resistant, and fits so well over my small frame. All too often, I'll find a coat that fits in the body, but the arms are too long, or the arms fit well and the body is way too loose.


The fit of the coat is quite boxy if left unbuttoned, so I typically tie the belt into a little bow in the back and head out the door. For windier days, I'll button it up and tie a knot up in front.

What do you typically wear on colder days during the warmer months?

Asia

Asia Trip 2012: Thailand

June 05, 2012

Woohoo, I'm finally back in Hong Kong and no longer held in the clutches of the Great Chinese Firewall. So frustrating not having access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger and even Google at times!! Yes, I am a slave to social networking.

Anyway, I'm still in Hong Kong for another day, but managed to put together some of my pictures from my time in Thailand. I went to visit Pattaya and Bangkok - the time I spent there definitely wasn't enough, so I can't wait to be back soon!



left: riding elephants in Pattaya
right: birds nest dessert cooked in a fresh coconut


left: freshly made papaya salad at the Central Festival Pattaya Food Court
right: Gelato & sorbet bar at the Central Festival Pattaya Food Court


left: so called food truck: motorbike w/ a charcoal bbq attached
right: bbq squid off the side of the road in Pattaya


left: Pineapple fried rice served in a little pineapple
right: Sushi at the Central Festival Pattaya - $1 for 3 pieces!


left: Morning walk along Pattaya Beach
right: Perfect afternoon spent on an island off Pattaya


left: Dragonfruit w/ purple flesh - stained my fingers for a day
right: Mango sticky rice - best I've ever tasted & made before my eyes


left: Coconut juice - cold & refreshing
right: Pork skewers from a vendor at the Asiatique Riverfront
for 30 cents each - absolutely amazing!!


left: Lay's chips in Thailand: Chili & Cheese flavour
right: Milk Solid from Siam Paragon - Madagascar vanilla ice cream made w/ liquid nitrogen


left: Award winning Tom Yum Goong @ the Baiyoke Sky Hotel - so good
right: Saying goodbye to Thailand! Beautiful airport.

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