Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Lucky Cats

Happy Lunar New Year! We have officially entered the year of the rat. If I had unlimited funds, I would be at Disneyland's California Adventure because Micky and Minnie Mouse are throwing a massive lunar new year party! Super cute and absolutely fitting because after all, they are mice! Disney has also launched a collection with Gucci for the Lunar New Year. What are the odds that Disney would collaborate with my favourite luxury brand. I have been a Gucci girl all my life! As much as I wanted to love the House of Mouse's foray into luxury goods, I felt the pieces were a bit lacklustre. The style is far too 70's 80's retro style. Do not get me wrong, I love me some classic vintage pieces, but more the refined old opulence that the large luxury design houses got their start from. 

Since I am not going to be investing in a piece from the Gucci x Disney collection, I ventured around town in search of other fun Lunar New Year inspired goods. Initially, I was looking for Year of the Rat themed eats, but I found myself drawn to a Japanese talisman, the Maneki-Neko, aka the Lucky Cat. These round-bellied cats wave their paws to beckon-patrons into shopfronts and are commonly found perched above registers at Asian restaurants and shops. 

Money Tea is the newest addition to Richmond's already impressive boba market; however, Money Tea sets itself apart with their Lucky Cat theming. Their window-display alone has over 50 lucky cats, each painstakingly crafted from clay and finished with immense care to detail. The ceramic kitties all boast big smiles with their right paw up in the air. I loved how each Lucky Cat was unique. There were geisha kitties, fishermen and cherry-blossom decorated ones. I personally fell in love with the fortune cat wearing a blue kimono and the kitten wearing a pink kimono with 3D blossoms. 

Inside the shop, the walls are covered in massive murals featuring more Lucky Cats, but I think the ceramic figurines in the store window were my favourite. Also, the fortune cat figures are coin banks! I want one really badly because can you just imagine all the positive joujou that would possibly come from depositing your spare change in a lucky cat bank!? Unfortunately, they are not for sale nor easily accessible as these stunning Lucky Cats were purchased in Japan. 

As I basked in the glow of good fortune, I quenched my thirst with their "Yangleduo" beverages. The popular Asian fermented probiotic drink called Yakult, makes up the base for the Yangleduo series. I am sure you have seen those little tiny yakult yogurt drinks before. I got a passion fruit and a peach yangleduo drink. Both of them came in special bottles that mimic the shape of the famous yakult beverages - super cute! 

I thought the passionfruit would be my favourite since passionfruit has such a lovely tartness, but I actually enjoyed the peach yangleduo more. The passionfruit was a bit lack lustre which is shocking considering how strong and exciting the fruit itself is. The peach was a far better pairing with the yakult and also came with lychee flavoured chewy balls which literally had the texture of real lychee, so at first, I thought they had added in fresh lychee pieces. 

Now my lucky cat adventure did not end there! Over at The Baker and Table in Vancouver, I was able to get my hands on one of their limited edition 2020 Lucky Cat Mochi Melonpan buns. The decoration was on point! The melonpan captured the roundness and adorableness of a lucky cat down to the red collar with a gold medallion. The Lucky Cat mochi melonpan bun was filled with chocolate raspberry. I thought the bun was moist with a lovely chew. The filling I thought could have had more depth. Raspberry is a bright summer berry and was completely overpowered by the chocolate. It was a bummer, but when it comes to the novelty of a cute lucky cat or other character shaped melonpan buns, The Baker & Table is the place to go. The Lucky Cat bun was limited edition; therefore, is no longer available; however, they have lots of other flavours and fun character-themed buns like baby Yoda and Shiba puppies.

Wishing everyone a fabulous Year of the Rat! 


Money Tea
3779 Sexsmith Rd #1116, Richmond

Friday, 17 January 2020

There is snow in Vancouver and I am loving it!

We finally have snow in Vancouver! Can you believe it? We have snow in Vancouver and it is actually sticking. I do not remember the last time we had a snowfall that lasted beyond a day or two. I think we are on day four of actual snow still blanketing fields and rooftops. 

Now I am a snow lover, but for every snow lover like me, there are probably five snow dreaders in Vancouver. Yup, the number of people that completely freak out over snow in Vancouver outnumber snow lovers like me. Sorry, cannot relate, I just love the snow. It is magical, beautiful and I can run around in it all day! Also, when snow falls from the sky in big gauzy white puffs, it feels like a magical Disney movie moment! 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Bloedel Conservatory is a Topical Paradise in Vancouver

Situated at the highest point in Vancouver within the iconic Queen Elizabeth Park is a tropical paradise, the Bloedel Conservatory which is home to hundreds of tropical plants, flowers and birds! In celebration of its 50th birthday, the Bloedel Conservatory hosted a month-long Festivale Tropicale! 

It was pretty hard to resist because who does not want to escape Vancouver's gloomy rainy, windy and pathetic attempt of snow into a tropical-themed festival. I am sorry for not posting about this sooner and profusely apologize to all those who missed out. I actually went on the very last day of Festivale Tropicale, January 5th, 2020, so I barely made it for the festivities too. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Top Nine Instagram Pictures of 2019 vs. My Personal Favourites

I love seeing my Top Nine Instagram posts, so I could not wait to see which nine pictures were most loved in 2019. Now Top Nine shows me the pictures YOU loved the most, so I thought it would be fun to share the pictures I loved the most from 2019. As some of you already know, I am a hobbyist photographer and I put in a great deal of energy into my pictures. Every picture I post is special to me because it is my way of sharing a special moment, event, or time in my life or just some straight-up delicious fantastic drool-worthy food! 

A quick examination of the Top Nine 2019 generated for @PinkTeaLatte (show me a little love and check out my Instagram! ) shows that everyone loves food, but specifically more of the "professional-style" photographs I took of the Mandarin Curd Rice Pudding Cream Puffs from Beta 5 and the giant cookie cakes I made for my blog's fourth birthday. Cutesy "instagramable" food is also really beloved like the flamingo puff and the mermaid hot chocolate. And then straight up epic food spreads like the My Balcony Breakfast from the Four Seasons Resort Whistler which I would also say I styled to be more editorial/professional. Thankfully I made the cut too and yall love me just a tiny bit because I popped up holding a massive white avalanche rose!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Year In Review 2019 Edition

HAPPY NEW YEARS! Wishing each and every one of you a fabulous 2020 and the start of a new decade.

Before pressing forward with 2020, I wanted to take the time to reflect on 2019. Both the HIGHS and the terrible LOWS. 

HIGH: New Job
I finally mustered up the courage to apply for a position I had been eyeing for over a year. I should have applied sooner because I landed the position and have been working there for half a year now. 

LOW: Burnt Out Millennial
I always think I can do it all, but in reality, I am only human and ultimately ended up severely burning myself out. Perhaps three jobs plus a blog plus school was a little too much for me. I did finally say goodbye to one position and I am hoping to leave another position later this year too. 

Monday, 23 December 2019

Fabulous Gifts for $50 or Less

The under $50 gift guide is my favourite gift guide because it includes items that are fun, silly and understated. The male versus female gift guides always end up being very gender-specific and as much as I try every year, it still happens. Perhaps next year, I will stick to making gifts of different price tiers. 

I am loving the cross-stitch kits and have already purchased three from Stranded Stitch (review coming soon!) What makes these stand out for me are the fun quirky designs like La Croix, Llamas, plants, Frida Kahlo and so on. The 365 days of Art, Creativity or Drawing are fabulous little books that have a daily prompt for a small sketch. Calendars may not seem like the most exciting gift, but the Rifle Paper Co. calendars are definitely more of a "premium luxury paper goods." This is great for someone who likes to make notes in calendars because most Rifle Paper Co calendars are made with a paper that can be written on, not a glossy paper that causes the ink to smear. 

Aurora Winter Festival Food Tour

picture from Maggi Mei
Can you believe the holiday season is almost over?! Fortunately some of the holiday festivities are going to carry over into the New Year. Aurora Winter Festival has made its annual return, but this time they have partnered with Playland. The Aurora Winter Festival will remain open till January 5th, 2020! I got to tag along with my friend Maggi (Maggi is a Vancouver-based foodie & lifestyle blogger: for the Aurora Festival media food event. Thank you Maggi for thinking of me and inviting me to be in your video!!! 

I was Maggi's plus 1 for the Aurora Winter Festival, so I decided to be lazy and not bring my camera and simply enjoy my time there. In hindsight, sort of silly of me because now I have no pictures; however, Maggi is an absolute gem and asked me to be in her Youtube video and has given me permission to use it for this post! We got to visit 7 restaurants dishing out delicious eats at this year's Aurora Winter Festival.