Sunday, 29 March 2020

Blossoms, Spring & Physical Distancing in Vancouver

If I were asked what my favourite season would be, I would struggle to pick between spring and summer. I love the hot summer days that stretch well into the evening. With summer comes lots of outdoor adventures and travelling as well as festivities. However, living in Vancouver means we get to experience one of the most beautiful Springs. Outside of Japan, I swear Vancouver has the second-best cherry blossom season. 

March is a beautiful time of the year in Vancouver because the cold grey winter days turn into sunny spring days. Vancouver streets are dotted with fluffy pink cherry blossom trees of all varieties and need I say more? The days start getting longer and warmer and all the pink cherry blossoms make me happy and smile. 

Spring is also the time that we start seeing florists receiving fresh peonies and other beautiful spring blooms like anemones and ranunculus. Vancouver has lots of fruit and vegetable farms. The berries should be coming into season soon which means trips to Krause Berry Farms for all the hot berry waffles!!! 

Now Spring 2020 is not like years prior, in fact, it was the start of the global pandemic aka Corona Virus / Covid-19. I am sure we are all familiar with it now because it has drastically altered our lives. I never imagined that I would experience a global pandemic, but here we are. All of my favourite shops, boutiques and cafes are closed until further notice. There are no delicious spring pastries to sample or roaming the streets while soaking up the spring sunshine. The streets are empty and most businesses have closed their doors because "Social Distancing" or now re-worded to "Physical Distancing" is being enforced by the Canadian Health Ministry. 

It is a scary time and I really wanted to acknowledge it in a blog post as I do not want to completely ignore the pandemic on my blog, but at the same time, I do not want to make COVID-19 a prominent part of my future blog posts. We are all experiencing the effects of coronavirus. I want to continue keeping my blog, Pink Tea Latte, a fun positive space! I think we are all a little exhausted and drained from hearing every influencer constantly talk about it. I myself live and experience the effects of COVID-19 firsthand as I am an essential healthcare provider; therefore, it is constantly on my mind and it has taken a toll on me. It is scary going to work because the hospital I work at is the main hub for all COVID-19 related cases in the Lower Mainland. 

I do not know when all of our lives will return to "normal" nor can anyone give us a timeline of when physical distancing will be lifted. For now, continue with practicing hand hygiene, continue to maintain physical distancing and monitor yourself and loved ones for symptoms. I also want to remind everyone that physical distancing does not necessarily mean "home quarantine!" As long as you practice "physical distancing" you can go on walks, soak up that Vitamin D and enjoy the beautiful pink cherry blossoms because they will not be around for long! 


Sunday, 15 March 2020

Pretentious and Pink aka COPS Miniature Doughnuts Toronto

Off one of the main roads in Downtown Toronto is a mini doughnut shop that is literally head to toe pink! COPS Doughnuts is a tiny hole in the wall establishment that I would have completely walked past if not for their dusty rose painted brick exterior with the massive text "HOT DOUGHNUTS" painted in bright fuchsia pink. Inside, COPS continues with its love of their signature "blush pink" from the walls, to the benches to the order desk and even the coffee machine. Oh, and of course, the packaging is more of their COPS shade of pink! The only exception is the repeating slogan "The Golden Days Are Now" which has been expertly hand-painted with what I can only say is liquid gold paint. 

COPS boasts a bold menu that truly comes off as a little too try-hard millennial bordering on pretentious. Their daily offerings include plain mini doughnuts, cinnamon-sugar dusted and a flavour of the day. Their beverage offerings are further limited to solely drip-coffee, so basically screams millennial hipster again! 

Saturday, 14 March 2020

I Accidentally Crashed a Colgate PR Event in Toronto

Spot the Colgate by the phones!

When I attend PR/media events it is because I have been sent an invitation to do so or joined as a plus one to someone who has been invited. In anticipation of my trip to Toronto, I made a list of boutiques, cafes and restaurants that I need to visit. Majesty's Pleasure was at the very top of my must-visit places in Toronto. 

Majesty's Pleasure combines spa services with cocktails. They have two locations which are both ornately decorated including a full cocktail bar. The couple behind Majesty's Pleasure wanted to create a space where you can indulge in self-care because they strongly believe releases endorphins which make you happy! Majesty's Pleasure is primarily known for their nail treatments, so I planned to sit back and relax with a cocktail while getting my toes painted. 

After enjoying an early lunch at Oretta, my cousin and I ventured down the street to Majesty's Pleasure's King Street location only to find a sign on the door stating they were closed for a private event. This was my last day in Toronto, so as if I was going to leave without popping my head in. Like I always say, "You will never know unless you try." 

Friday, 6 March 2020

Indulging in Pasta and Art Deco at Toronto's Oretta

I love getting out of Vancouver and going to a different city because the food scene is new and exciting to me. Vancouver is starting to feel a bit boring to me because I have tried most places and many of the new restaurants to be similar in style and cuisine. So in Toronto, I have yet to still discover many of the restaurants, cafes and boutiques! On this trip, I was only able to tick off a couple from my list, one of which was Oretta. Prior to flying out east, I asked a couple of bloggers which restaurants they recommend and Oretta was on the top of everyone's list. 

Situated in Toronto's King West area, Oretta, simply put is beautiful. The dramatic arched ceiling to the gorgeous gold-gilded pink art deco accent walls and a massive horseshoe-shaped bar with with a pink and gold marble countertop. It is hard not to find yourself in awe of Oretta's interior because pictures cannot do the grandeur yet effortless class justice. 

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. 

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.