Cirque du Soleil

Odysseo by Cavalia [GIVEAWAY]

June 28, 2014

If you live in Edmonton I'm sure you've seen the billboards or at least heard the buzz about Cavalia's new show Odysseo.


Odysseo by Cavalia is the only 6D show in the world. It marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Odysseo by Cavalia features 67 horses and 48 artists in a larger-than-life theatrical production that sends hearts racing. The concept imagined by one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, is an absolute feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering the spectacular with soul.

I don't know about you, but I love Cirque du Soleil. I always find the shows so captivating and I just watch the shows in awe! I'm really looking forward to seeing what they have in store for Odysseo. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be collaborating with Cavalia and Michelle Peters-Jones (of The Tiffin Box) on a very special project that I'll be able to reveal soon!

So to celebrate this upcoming production I'm going to be sending one reader a pair of tickets to Odysseo! The show runs in Edmonton from July 9 - August 3 and you'll be able to attend the show on a night of your choice, depending on availability. Follow the rules below to enter.
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THE GIVEAWAY

ONE pair of tickets to a showing of Odysseo in Edmonton ($250 value)
(July 9 - August 3)

DETAILS

To enter you must leave a comment on this blog post telling me why you want to win the tickets to Odysseo, and leave me your email address in the giveaway widget below. Please make sure you leave a valid email address, as this is how I will be contacting you.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES

1. Follow Little Miss Andrea via Facebook
2. Follow me via Twitter (@littlmissandrea)
3. Tweet about the giveaway and tag @Cavalia, @littlmissandrea & this blog post
4. Follow me via Instagram (@littlmissandrea)

This giveaway is open to everyone able to attend a showing of Odysseo in Edmonton. All entrants must be 18+ years of age or have guardian permission to enter. You have until July 9th to enter, and the winner will be selected by random and contacted via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you don't want to take your chances, you can purchase tickets to a show here.

Calgary food

Modern Japanese Fusion: Carino

June 27, 2014

Every trip I make to Calgary is an "eat-cation." It just seems like there's a bounty of restaurants that get rave reviews, so I try to fit in as many meals as possible every time I'm down there. A while back I was in town with some family and we decided to check out Carino as I had heard some good things about their ramen!

Carino Japanese Bistro & Wine - 709 Edmonton Trail NE - Calgary AB

Located within close proximity to other popular eateries, Carino is a little different from the rest. The small space is decorated with mirrors and black chandeliers, giving it an upscale, modern feel. On the menu there's French and Italian twists on traditional Japanese dishes so it was hard for us to decide what we wanted to try.

We ended up starting with the Ahi Poki Rice Bowl ($14) with marinated ahi tuna, shallots, sesame oil, green onion and avocado. The fish was fresh and the aroma of the sesame oil was the predominant flavour of this dish. The avocado gave it a creamy texture, and I like that the rice had been mixed with some rice vinegar to give the dish some tangy notes. I just wish there was a greater portion of tuna!

Next up was the FSM Hash ($11.95): 2 poached eggs, yuzu hollandaise, corn, onions, peppers, chorizo sausage, pork belly, beef, and garlic potato hash with grilled focaccia. It was your typical Sunday morning brunch with a little twist. The eggs were poached perfectly and the hollandaise the right consistency. The potatoes were well seasoned making the hash very tasty, but aside from the different hollandaise I didn't find this dish to be too special.

Our next dish was the Loco Moco ($14) which featured a wagyu beef patty over rice, teriyaki sauce, mushrooms and a sunny side up egg. The wagyu patty was cooked to have some pink on the inside, but it was tender and juicy. We broke it up and mixed it with the sauce, egg and rice to make a delicious mish mash of sorts. The yolk kept everything together and it was a pretty filling dish.

The Mentaiko Pasta ($14.95) was surprisingly one of my favourite dishes at the table. Spaghetti was mixed together with pollack roe, baby scallops, prawns, shiso leaf & seaweed. I love tobiko (flying fish roe) but had never tried pollack roe and quite enjoyed it. This pink roe is miniscule and adds an unexpected crunch and briny flavour to the al dente pasta. There was a nice portion of seafood in the dish but the roe is what made me love this dish the most.

Last but not least was the ramen I had been waiting for. We chose to go with the Miso Ramen ($13.50) which consisted of a miso broth with BBQ pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, corn, bamboo shoots, a boiled egg & wakame. The pork was flavourful and tender and the noodles were al dente. The miso flavour was prominent and the broth had a nice depth of flavour. Not the most amazing ramen I've ever had, but pretty good for Alberta standards.

Who would have thought that Japanese and Italian cuisine could mix together? I definitely didn't, but Carino is here to show that it can be done and executed well. It is a little pricier, but the intimate atmosphere is perfect for a dinner date or celebratory dinner.

Carino Japanese Bistro + Wine on Urbanspoon

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday: Toucan Do It If You Try

June 23, 2014

Happy Monday! The weather is absolutely gorgeous in my city and I hope it is too wherever you're reading this from! :) It's been a while since I've done any Manicure Monday posts, so thanks for putting up with me and the lack of updates. Things are busy, but I'll try my best to keep up!

The last shade I picked out from the OPI Brazil collection for this year is a lovely coral creme shade. Toucan Do It If You Try runs more on the orange side and is a great shade for the summer months. Live.Love.Carnaval is still my favourite from this collection, but this one is a close second. The formula is smooth, a breeze to apply and dries to a glossy finish. I wore this shade while I was in Mexico and it stood up to four days chip free in the sand & water, so it's definitely made to last on all your summer adventures.

outfit

Scribblz

June 19, 2014


Campre Tee | Skort c/o Loudmouth Golf | Gifted necklace
Coach Heels, Sunglasses (similar) & Watch (similar) | Clutch from HK

I've never been a golf player. I tried it once and hated walking the long distance trying to find my ball. Mini golf I can tolerate, but the quick game doesn't compare to the amount of time spent on a golf course. So naturally I don't own any golf apparel and have always thought that women's golfwear is pretty boring. Polos, shorts and skorts in simple colours look great, but I don't think it's anything to get excited about.

But I've been proven wrong. When I first found out about Loudmouth Golf I was surprised to find that there was a company dedicated to statement golfwear! The company makes a ton of fun prints that will add some spunk to the golf course and they're not just for men either. I picked out a skort in the Scribblz print according to the fit guide and it fit perfectly. I was actually quite surprised with how well it fit my petite frame. The skort feels extremely durable and I don't even have to play golf to wear it. So whether you're looking for a new statement outfit piece or you're an avid golf player, I'd recommend checking out what they have to offer! (Psst, I love the Drop Cloth print!)

bakery

Coffee Break: District Coffee Co.

June 17, 2014

For many, coffee is essential to get them through the day. I'll admit that I'm not a major coffee drinker, but I definitely appreciate the aromas that come from those roasted coffee beans!

District Coffee Co. Cafe & Bakery - #101 10011 109 Street - Edmonton AB

District Coffee Co. is one of the newer cafes in downtown Edmonton and I finally had the chance to stop by for the first time a few weeks ago. Those of you that follow me through my other social media outlets will know that my boyfriend and I have already grown attached to this place as we've stopped by once a week since our first visit.

Nate Box of Elm Cafe (and the fantastic sandwiches!) is the owner of District and with this space the focus is on quality coffee and baked goods. It's a small space with limited seating, but given the downtown location I would imagine most customers will take their orders to go. And if not, there's great patio outside where I've found myself seated and soaking up the sunshine more than a few times.

District Coffee Co. is the first cafe to bring Calgary's Phil & Sebastian Coffee to Edmonton, and it doesn't disappoint. At $3 a cup it tastes great and gets the seal of approval from my boyfriend & I. Especially when I get to dip the delicious Salted Caramel Biscotti ($1) into it.

Aside from the coffee and pastries, District also offers a small food menu with oatmeal, granola, rice pudding, soup, salads and sandwiches. On my first visit I tried out the Orange Salad ($8) and it hit the spot. The combination of cucumbers, cauliflower, wild rice, carrots, radishes, snap peas and green onion in a lemon canola vinaigrette was refreshing and perfect for a sunny afternoon on the patio. The sweet and tangy vinaigrette over the crunchy vegetables and chewy bits of rice made it so easy to eat and held me over 'til dinner time.


Bacon & Egg Waffle Sandwich // Toasted Marshmallow Rice Krispie Square

District Coffee Co. is a great addition to the downtown core. Even though I live in the far south end of the city, my boyfriend and I have added a stop at District into our Saturday morning routine. The location makes it convenient for us to drop by before hitting up the City Market down on 104th street on Saturday mornings and we get delicious waffle sandwiches ($7) to munch on while walking from one vendor to the next. The bacon & egg with a tiny bit of syrup give the perfect sweet and savoury balance sandwiched between the fluffy waffles. The Toasted Marshmallow Rice Krispie ($2.50) is soft, chewy and not too sweet, making it the perfect guilt-free indulgent treat! So make a quick stop at the cafe whenever you have the chance and make sure to pick up a rice krispie square if they aren't sold out. I promise you won't regret it!

District Coffee Co. on Urbanspoon

Edmonton food

Food in the Fort: Meet Culinary Director Jasmin Kobajica

June 15, 2014

Throughout my years in elementary school I visited Fort Edmonton Park countless times. Whether it was for a field trip, a day trip with my family, or for summer camps, I usually enjoyed every visit to learn a little bit about history. However, the food was never something that I would look forward to...unless you count the ice cream at Bill's Confectionary on 1920 Street.

In the month of May Fort Edmonton Park opened its doors to the public for the season and announced the appointment of their new Culinary Director, Jasmin Kobajica. Jasmin brings with him a wealth of culinary experience, including recently serving 10 years as the Executive Chef at Cheateau Lacombe. I was curious to see what Jasmin had in store for Fort Edmonton Park and had the chance to sit down and chat with him.

To be honest I would never think of visiting Fort Edmonton Park for the food. Like I said, all I think of is either ice cream or bannock. With Jasmin as culinary director he is now overseeing all food services in the park, including the Johnson's Cafe, Mahogany Bar, Jasper House Bakery, Bill's Confectionery, Midway Treats & Treasures, and Masonic Hall. Many of these food outlets were previously managed separately, so Kobajica is hoping to consolidate food production to raise the bar and give visitors to the park a whole new culinary experience.

Inside Hotel Selkirk is the Johnson's Cafe, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and offers Sunday brunch and high tea on Wednesday afternoon. Johnson's cafe is where you can have an elevated culinary experience, consisting of menu offerings inspired by Edmonton's unique past and locally sourced fare.

Jasmin Kobajica has many ideas lined up for the park, but the first order of business is to improve the quality of food, as it is an important aspect of the visitor experience. To start, many items are being made in house. From breads and pastries being sold at the Jasper House Hotel, to the charcuterie at Johnson's Cafe, quality is the top priority. There is also a focus on sustainability and commitment to local producers, and many dishes on the menu at Johsnon's Cafe showcase local products. Fairwinds Farm, Moose Wood Acres, and The Cheesiry are just some of the names that you may recognize. What gets me really excited though is that Bill's Confectionary now serves locally made Pinocchio's Ice Cream! If you haven't had Pinnochio's, make sure to grab a scoop when you visit the park.

I had the chance to taste some of the small plates on the dinner menu at Johnson's Cafe and was pretty impressed with what was available. First up was the Birch Syrup Glazed Smoked Salmon ($14) served with lemon zest, Fairwinds Farm goat cheese and onion jam. The smoked salmon here is cured on site and has a delicate sweet and smoky flavour. It is not overly salty and I liked the pairing with the pickled onions rather than the traditional capers.

I also tried the Braised Pork Belly ($12) with parsnip puree, smoked crackling, and chimichurri. The pork belly here was moist and flavourful and the pairing with the tart and savoury chimichurri was a welcome addition. The crackling was not what I had expected as it was more similar to a chicharonne, but I enjoyed the crunch.

My last taster was the Housemade Headcheese with Duck Torchon ($14) served with spiced apple jelly and dark rye crostini. The headcheese was soft and had a nice flavour but I usually prefer for it to be a bit more gelatinous. The torchon on the other hand was lovely as it was smooth and easily spread onto the crostini.

An Edmonton-based tea company, VitalyTeas, has recently created a herbal tea blend just for Fort Edmonton Park. Served hot or cold, the Hotel Selkirk Reserve Blend is described as "a tangy and minty after-meal tisane with a smooth fruity finish". As an iced tea, I loved how refreshing it was with the light fruity flavours. And the colour is so pretty too!

In the past, Fort Edmonton Park never would have crossed my mind as a place where I would go for quality fine dining. But with Jasmin Kobajica on board, I'm definitely interested to check out the full menu and Sunday brunch! Kobajica plans on utilizing the park's greenhouse year round to grow produce for the kitchens to use and will hopefully move on to era-specific dining in the future. The only downfall is that you have to pay admission to enter the park if you plan on dining during park hours - so why not plan to be at the park for the whole day and soak up some history?

Hotel Selkirk / Johnson's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Beach

The 3 F's: Swimwear Trends 2014

June 10, 2014

Fringe, flounce, flutterkini. These are some of the hottest trends in swimwear for this summer and I absolutely love these styles. Back when I was shopping at Swimco for my trip to Mexico, I had the opportunity to check out all that Swimco had to offer. The fit experts in store were able to help with pulling these styles for me to try on and narrow down the pieces that were perfect for my body type.


1 / 2 / 3

4 / 5 / 6

Of these three styles the flounce is my favourite, with fringe being a very close second. Flounce bikini tops have a layer of fabric that flows with every step you take. They're especially flattering on those of us with smaller chests as they are bust enhancing. Huge bonus! Fringe has been a trend for a few seasons now and it gives a similar enhancing effect as the flounce tops, but with a boho vibe. Depending on the length of the overlay, they can offer a bit more coverage than a bikini.

Up above are some of my favourite fringe and flounce bikinis currently carried by Swimco. I love that there are a variety of colours and almost every brand has something to offer. I purchased the Eidon Vice Frill Bandeau before I booked my trip as I loved the colours in the print, so Swimco sent me off with something else for Mexico...


Seafolly Tribe Tie Front Halter | Seafolly Ruched Bottoms | Sun'N'Sand Hat

When I first saw the Seafolly Tribe Tie Front Halter I was drawn in by the print. I loved the bright colours mixed in with the darker shades, and the fabric was so soft and the halter fit so well! I was so comfortable in it and knew I had to take it with me on my trip.

I've got to send a huge thank you to Swimco for all their help in prepping me for the beach. I love that they are able to bring in a ton of unique swimwear for shoppers and provide the help needed to find that perfect swimsuit. If anyone is looking to go off to a sunny destination or even just head to the beach for a weekend, check out Swimco! They've got stores across Western Canada and have now opened their online shop. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Swimco provided me with a $100 gift card to shop for swimwear. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. I was not expected to feature my shopping experience, nor obligated to do so. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.

Special thanks to Christina Shaw for the photos

bubble tea

Teas & Snacks: Teapsy Cafe

June 06, 2014

A few weeks back it was about 9:30PM and I was craving something warm and comforting to eat. Given that most restaurants close around 9:00PM, Diane, Teresa and I found ourselves checking out the snacks at a bubble tea cafe.

Teapsy Cafe - 9959 82 Avenue - Edmonton AB

Like most bubble tea places in the city, Teapsy was quite full on a Friday night. Tables were full of patrons enjoying bubble tea and playing card games and we were lucky to snag one of the last open tables. The space is small and cozy with red accents and artwork placed around the dining area. Upon opening the menu it was quite clear that Teapsy's specialty is their drinks, and there were numerous combinations available for to choose from.

We started off with some Egg Puffs ($5.50) which are an Asian snack favourite. Typically served as a street food with a crust and a bit of a cakey interior, they're the Asian equivalent of the Belgian waffle. At Teapsy, the waffle is golden and served with some matcha whipped cream. I was so excited to dig in until I picked up a small piece - it was soggy and definitely not freshly made. If anything, it was made earlier in the day and microwaved to a lukewarm temperature. Needless to say, it was not an impressive start.

Takoyaki ($5.50) is another popular Asian snack in which octopus pieces are cooked in a batter and topped with bonito flakes and various condiments. We had hoped the takoyaki would be made in house as it is fairly simple to make, but these were prepackaged then plated. Again, the takoyaki was made earlier in the day and reheated to a lukewarm temperature before being served at the table. From a food safety standpoint, Teapsy really doesn't do a good job of fully heating up their food. The flavour was good but I was so unimpressed at this point with the microwaved food.

We also ordered the Homemade Wontons with Spicy Garlic Sauce ($5.50) which turned out to be better. See what happens when you actually make the food in house? The wontons, however, were overcooked, leading them to be very firm with an extremely sticky skin. The wontons themselves had very little flavour, but the oil they were served in had enough heat and garlic to flavour the dish. Without it, this dish would have been another dud.

Teresa ordered the shrimp dumplings ($5.50) to satisfy her dimsum craving, and we already guessed beforehand that they were going to be store bought. Our suspicions were right, and the shrimp dumplings had very little flavour. On the plus side, they came to the table piping hot.

To go with the food, I had ordered the Pudding Milk Tea ($5.25) which is supposed to be one of Teapsy's special drinks. I expected it to be creamy with a custard flavour, but my drink ended up quite watery with a few small pieces of custard here and there. The custard chunks didn't add much to the drink, and after the first sip I instantly knew I should have ordered my go-to green tea. Oh well!

Unfortunately the late-night trip to Teapsy Cafe was a huge disappointment. If the food been served properly to food safety standards it would have been better. The cafe does feature shaved ice and a waffle that I'm interested in checking out, but whether I'm open to giving this place another shot is pretty slim. Has anyone else been there and had a better experience? Let me know!

Teapsy on Urbanspoon

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