Wednesday 28 March 2018

Pink Tea Latte's 3rd Birthday Celebration

Pink Tea Latte is officially three and the only way I know how to celebrate is by throwing a birthday party. Many of you have already seen pictures on Instagram (@PinkTeaLatte) from the party at Prado Cafe Fraser street location. It was a brilliant evening filled with sweets, new and old friends as well as lots of laughs. 

I am still in disbelief that my first ever event for Pink Tea Latte was such a big success. I never imagined so many individuals would come out to eat cake with me. I am always paranoid that no one will show up and frankly it does stem from childhood as I have had birthday parties where literally TWO people came. That is crushing for a 10 year old and worst, my parents had rented out a few lanes at a bowling alley for my birthday, so there were not even enough players for a lane. So yeah, I have never been the popular kid, far from it, more like the dork. As I have gotten older, my confidence has grown and this party really has boosted my self-esteem. 

I think there are a few elements that helped this birthday party be a success, but there are also a few that I would change. Before I get into that, I want to give a massive shoutout to the companies that were integral to making the event a reality. 

Firstly, Prado Cafe was such a brilliant host reserved half their space just for us. Not only did we have a private sectioned off area to ourselves, they also made us a mountain of their No Name cookies (They taste like a s’mores to me!) and my personal favourite, the Raspberry Oat Bar which is made with real fresh raspberries. On top of all that, my guests got to enjoy actual Pink Tea Lattes! It is an almond milk base beet root latte and a portion from every purchase goes to the DTES Women’s Shelter and to Cynthia’s Place in Surrey. 

Boft Canada provided all attendees a discount code for prints. Garden Party Flowers spoiled me with 5 floral arrangements. Of course no birthday is complete without a birthday cake. Noms by Mon made a massive Raspberry Chiffon cake that was encased in sweet sticky toasted meringue. She also made adorable fresh fruit custard tarts and gold painted pink macarons. 

What I Would Do Again?

Eventbrite | By having guests RSVP on Eventbrite, it helped reduce my fear of no one showing up. It also helped me ensure I did not have too many guests for the space; however, it is rare for all RSVP’s to actually attend, so I released extra tickets. Just as I had predicted, several RSVPs were no shows.  

Treat Bags | I had brought a stack of cute paper bags that I gave to all of my guests to fill with treats from the party to take home. Everyone loved this and they really loaded up, but more importantly, it reduced the amount of food going to waste. 

2-bites | All of the food was small and did not require plates and napkins aka reducing my carbon footprint. 

Simple Decor | I kept feeling like I needed decorations, but I am glad that I left it simple and did not clutter the space with balloons, streamers, confetti etc

Invitation | I am so happy with how my invitations turned out and I would definitely do them again

What I Would Change?

Hashtag | I forgot to set a hashtag for the event. 

Amount of Food | I kept thinking we would run out of food, but it ended up being three times what we needed. I need to order less food. 

PhotoBooth | I want to make a simple backdrop for everyone to take pictures against

Flowers | I had all those gorgeous arrangements, but next time, I want to spread them around the space more. Would also love to do a wall piece.

Activities | I want to have a small party game or something just to bring up the energy and make it fun - BUT everyone had an amazing time. 


Raspberry Chiffon Cake with Toasted Meringue by Noms by Mon

A Boft print of Prado Cafe's cookies
Raspberry Oat Bar from Prado Cafe
No Name cookie from Prado Cafe

Fresh Berries & Custard Tarts by Noms by Mon

All of the flowers from Garden Party Flowers
Pink Latte from Prado Cafe

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Temporarily Blocked on Instagram... Ummm Really?

I am going to be honest, I am guilty of being overzealous when "liking" pictures on Instagram. In the past, I have been temporarily blocked from liking posts for a 24-hour period; however, this is a completely different situation! My instagram --> @PinkTeaLatte 

This morning, during my morning commute to work, I was on the skytrain and wanted to use my few free minutes to respond to the comments that have been left on my Instagram posts. I left a total of 10 replies on three of my pictures - yes, I counted and am not grossly underestimating the number. Literally on MY OWN F*CKING POSTS! 

I think it is absolutely absurd that I am being temporarily blocked for engaging on my own account. As well 10 replies is hardly an abuse of function and I have definitely commented far more in a short period of time before, but what irks me is the fact that I am being reprimanded for commenting on my own work. Why does the Instagram community need protecting from me responding on @PinkTeaLatte as @PinkTeaLatte??? It is like they are protecting me from my own self and accounts that have chosen with their own free will to comment on my work. Also, all of the pictures on @PinkTeaLatte is original work by me. The photos are all watermarked with my name, it is my work and I give myself and my readers to comment as much as they like! 

Instagram, you need to check yourself at the door. Stop being so extra and enjoy the few moments of popularity you have before you are ultimately replaced by a new social media. So many social media companies have come before you and have been forgotten and replaced by new better social media apps. I personally want a social media app that goes back to real time posting without the bullsh*t algorithms that decide which posts deserves to be at the top of your feeds. I want chronological order feeds please! Thank you twitter for keeping it real and not trying to re-invent theirselves every few months. 

I guess for the next 24-hours I will not be able to reply to any of the comments that are left on my account. Feel free to check it out and inundate it with comments haha and I will reply to all of them after this temporary block is lifted. I feel like I am Monopoly Jail right now. Would love to hear your thoughts on this on the comments below because I can respond on my own blog! 


Sunday 25 March 2018

Café Ça Va brings a little bit of France to West Vancouver

Café Ça Va DineOut Vancouver 2018
Past downtown Vancouver and over the Lions Gate Bridge is Lower Mainland's bustling new food scene in West and North Vancouver. I myself do not get out there often enough, but when I do, I am never disappointed. Now Dine Out Vancouver was quite some time ago - two months - but I cannot get Café Ça Va out of my mind. Being a Vancouverite and a Foodie, I have definitely dined at a huge proportion of restaurants in the Lower Mainland. Which also means I have eaten at most of the DineOut Vancouver restaurants. This year, I noticed an exponential increase in $40 menus, but if you actually do the math, in most cases, you are probably saving $4 tops if not even less. Café Ça Va happened to be a new restaurant for me, but also at the more reasonable $30 per person DineOut menu. 

If not for the food, go for the interior decoration because the space is stunning. I loved the white carrera marble tables pared with dark navy blue chairs and tufted banquets. There were gorgeous crystal chandeliers and hidden crystal wall sconces as well as a cute eiffel tower decal on the window. I must commend their interior designer for taking the risk to paint the walls dark navy blue, but also painting the ceiling the same dark colour worked really well and its not something you often see. Oh and did I mention the bathrooms? Yes, there are crystal chandeliers in the bathrooms too and each of three are wallpapered with a different pattern and like the main dining room, the wallpaper is carried onto the ceiling too. My inner Pinterest fanatic was very happy! 

To begin our dinner, we got Mussels & Frites and the Warm Potato Salad. Mussels & Frites is very french and is really about the broth which Café Ça Va  did a splendid job on. It was an aromatic blend of spicy chorizo, fresh herbs and tomato jam. I loved the presentation in the miniature pot and the moment our server placed it in front of my friend, a gasp escaped him because it smelt so good. BTW - I do not eat shellfish; however, my friend is half french and he was impressed. I had the Warm Potato Salad which literally tasted like a hot baked potato with sour cream and chives. The arugula was tossed in a rich creamy chive Crème fraîche and there were these perfectly roasted little gold potato halves. I can see how this menu item can be overlooked by most diners as it sounds like a bbq dinner potato salad, but it is not, far from it, the Warm Potato Salad is a next level arugula salad. 

Executive Chef Behshad Zolnasr decided to surprise us with his Beet and Buttermilk Salad, a vibrant dish of mixed beets and radishes, rye crumble and buttermilk mousse. Gorgeous to look at, but this girl is not a big beet person. I am over Vancouver's beet infatuation! That being said, the salad was delicious. 

French cooking is often associated with butter, baguettes, meats, refined pastries, but there is a lot of pasta too! For my main I had the Roasted Squash Ravioli that came with a brown butter sauce and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy sage. I am sorry, but four ravioli pieces are not enough for me. This is why I do not like ordering raviolis, tortellini or agnolotti because you get hardly enough to fill you. The roasted squash filling was sweet and nutty. The pasta was under filled for me and I think it is the reason that the outer edges of the pasta became stiff. 

My friend had the hearty rich Boeuf Bourguignon. The stew was ladled over a bed of sautéed mushrooms, pearl onions, lardon and pomme puree (mashed potatoes). The meat was tender and pulled apart easily; yet still held its shape and had amazing savoury flavour. I sampled some of the mash and it was everything you want in mashed potato: fluffy creamy buttery goodness. 

Being a self-professed dessert connoisseur, the final course is what I look forward to at every meal. Frankly, I would skip the savoury and go straight to sweet if it were not for the adverse health risks if I only ate sugar haha. Café Ça Va is constantly doing a new feature dessert, so I expect there will be something new if I were to go in now. That night I had a poached pear dish and a black and white mousse. 

The poached pear presentation was really unique. The pears were thinly sliced and somehow folded to look like a crepe. I love fruit, but this dessert being just primarily sliced pear was not enough for me and desperately needed a sponge or custard, just something to give it more body. The black and white mousse was interesting and is where I saw Chef Behshad's time working at some of the most renowned Michelin Start restaurants including my Bae Chef Ramsay's restaurant. It was a white chocolate mousse covered in a black glaze and then a dark chocolate mousse enveloped in a white glaze. Throughout our meal the plating has been on pointe, but the glaze was clunky making the mousses just look like lumps on the plate. So the Chef did miss the mark for me on the desserts, but he took a chance and really presented something unique and creative. I live by the motto " you will never know unless you try" and he tried and for that I respect him! 

I will be returning to Café Ça Va for lunch as the service was impeccable - shout out to our server and front of house - and the atmosphere was amazing. I had a really lovely time and I cannot wait for another meal filled with laughter and fun. 


Beet & Buttermilk Salad
Mussels & Frites
Warm Potato Salad
Café Ça Va | Stunning Bathroom
Roasted Squash Ravioli
Boeuf Bourguignon
Chef Behshad at work
Black & White Mousse
Poached Pears

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Product Empties - Face and Body Moisturizers, Shampoos and more

I have amassed quite the collection of empties under my bathroom vanity, so it was about time that I got around to doing an empties review. I will be talking about my Lush empties in a completely different post because if I included them, this post would be far too long. Hopefully I get around to doing that review soon as I want to trade in my black pots for free fresh face masks as they are my all time favourite face masks! 

A couple months back Farmacy Beauty had sent me a package and within the package was this face moisturizer. Like most of their products, it contains their own special antioxidant, GreenEnvy, that is found in the honey that Farmacy's own bees make. I talk about Farmacy in detail in that POST or check out their Website

I really loved this moisturizer as it was lightweight, but still very hydrating. It was fairly unscented and the cupuaçu butter beads would blend in instantly. I am quite particular about my skincare routine; however, my mum is even harder to please and she loved this moisturizer. In fact she would often steal it from my bathroom, so if it can impress my mum, the Honey Drop is definitely worth checking out. Not to mention the packaging is gorgeous and I really loved the metal spatula that magnetically attached to the lid. 


This is my second Camellia Nut moisturizer from Aesop and I still love it. The consistency is thick, yet still you only need a small amount and it absorbs instantly into your skin. I love the pale yellow colour and my skin always feels nourished and hydrated. Since I have gone through two pots of the Camellia Nut, I want to try a different formula from Aesop, specifically the Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream because I am all about oranges. 

BODY BUTTER | Brazilian BumBum Cream

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this was an impulse purchase from Sephora. Honestly, whoever designed Sephora's cash register lineup area deserves a raise because it is genius. The sole fact that it contained "BumBum" in the name was why I bought it. It is a very thick consistency that took some time to work into your skin. There is a strong tropical scent that I personally found overwhelming. Though the notion that the caffeine in the cream helps make your skin firmer aka give you a perky butt, I just could not get past the artificial tropical scent, so I will not be repurchasing the cream. 

SHAMPOO | DryBar Sake Bomb & the Happy Hour

I should really start doing empties reviews sooner because I do not have one, but two DryBar shampoo bottle empties. The Sake Bomb is formulated to nourish your locks while the Happy Hour preps your hair for the perfect blowout. Of the two, I prefer the Sake Bomb as it left my hair hydrated, shiny and smooth. The Happy Hour is formulated to remove any product buildup and get your hair super clean which is essential for a good Blow Out. I just would not use it as a regular use shampoo as it really does strip your of all the oils; therefore, leaving it dry and frizzy. This was my 3rd bottle of Sake Bomb and yes, I will most likely be repurchasing it in the future. The Happy Hour, not so likely as it is a bit too intense for regular use. 

CONDITIONER | DryBar Sake Bomb

When I had purchased my beloved Buttercup hairdryer from DryBar, it came with a few sample size products, one of which was this adorable Sake Bomb Conditioner. As I never really used conditioner when my hair was short, it just sat in bathroom vanity cupboard, but now that my hair is long, I find my hair needs extra hydration, so I finally got around to using this small bottle. I liked the conditioner and only ever needed to use a small amount for my ends. If I was leaving my hair long, I would repurchase it, but since I will be chopping off my locks in a months time, I might just opt for a much cheaper drugstore brand for my remaining long-haired weeks! 

SHAMPOO | Fekkai Full Blown Volume & the Reparative 

I was introduced to Fekkai via the beauty subscription box, Luxe Box. Its often found in drugstores, but a step up from the stereotypical drugstore brand. I mostly just get it when I need to save a little money aka not purchasing a shampoo 3x the price. The Reparative was far too stripping for my hair, but the Full Blown Volume is decent. Fekkai Shampoos do contain sulphates and parabens. 

BODY BUTTER | Egg Mellow

Korea is renowned for its skincare products, so much so, that women stock up on K-Beauty products when they are in Korea. About a year ago, Nordstrom had a K-Beauty Pop-in where I picked up this and many other products - I think I spent $250 that day! Egg Mellow Body Butter by Too Cool for School is a formulated with both egg yolk and egg white extracts, shea butter and 7 different oils. It is a thick fluffy body butter that is pale yellow with not much of a scent. Even after taking the time to work it into my skin, I could feel a layer still on top and in fact when I would shower the next day, I could feel the body butter still on my legs and arms. The description on Sephora states that it "forms a protective barrier on skin for lasting moisture retention," so it may just have been designed to do this. I just prefer a body moisturizer that soaks into my skin and not just sit on the surface and then wash off in the shower. I will not be repurchasing the Egg Mellow. 

BODY WASH | Whipping by A'pieu

I had picked up the Whipping Body Wash as part of my crazy splurge at the K-Beauty Pop-In. I really love cows and find them adorable hence why this ended up in my basket. Body wash is basically suppose to just get your skin clean, so it should be pretty hard to mess up. This Whipping one was more like a cheap hand soap, just too harsh and drying. It is no longer available at Nordstrom, but more weirdly it does not show on A'pieu's webpage. Perhaps a sign of a failed product. 

Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any of these and what your thoughts are.


Sunday 4 March 2018

Best Birthday Cakes in Vancouver

Butter Baked Goods Funfetti Cake
I love cake and the best type of cake is celebratory birthday cake! I consider myself a bit of a sweets connoisseur and have probably eaten my way through 80% of the bakeries across Metro Vancouver. 

My editor at Dished Vancouver aka The Daily Hive Vancouver recognized my infatuation with sweets and gave me the task of compiling a list of the best birthday cakes in the Lower Mainland! Now I take my title of cake aficionado quite seriously; therefore, I only included bakeries that bake the most scrumptious cakes. How do I know this? I sampled treats at each and everyone of the locations. From many of the bakeries listed I have had my own past birthday cakes made from. 

In the last few years alone I have ordered birthday cakes from Cadeaux, Thierry, Trafiq, Small Victory and  Purebread most of which you can find on my Instagram plus all my other dessert indulgences. These are not the only places that I get my cakes from. If you follow me on Instagram (@PinkTeaLatte) or have read my past posts, you will know I also get a lot of my cakes custom made from a stellar private baker, @MonLovesToBake . I did not forget her! In fact, I actually called her up and asked if I could include her, but she wanted to wait until she had a storefront before she got such large-scale exposure. 

Some of my favourite birthday cakes is the London Fog from Cadeaux. The whipped vanilla-bean chantilly is airy and light thus allowing the more delicate london fog tea flavour to shine. I also often find myself going to Thierry because their cakes are not the traditional layered sponge cake with buttercream. They do more intricate dessert cakes. I often go there in the in the Spring and Summer aka berry season for their Red-Berry Tart. A lovely tart shell is filled with vanilla bean custard then covered with local raspberries and strawberries. Thierry only wants to use the best ingredients, so restricts it to when fresh local berries are being harvested. 

I want to know in the comments below what your favourite birthday cake is? Where do you go in Vancouver? And go read my article!! 


Raspberry Chiffon Cake by @MonLovesToBake on Instagram
True Confections Devils Food Cake Slice a top of a hot chocolate (past post)
Matcha Crepe Cake and Fresh Mango Crepe Cake from L'Otus Cake Boutique
Individual Size of Passionfruit Mousse Cake at Thierry

Friday 2 March 2018

My First Ever Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks

I never thought the day would come that I would fall in love with lipstick. I own several tubes from Mac Cosmetics and between me and Mum, we have 3/4 of the Nars' Lipstick Pencils. However, only on rare occasions, you will catch me with painted lips because I cannot stand the feeling of lipstick on my mouth. Not to mention, it always makes my lips extremely chapped and my lips rarely get chapped. None the less, Charlotte Tilbury has completely changed my opinion on wearing lipstick, so much so that I have been wearing the colours regularly. 

The two colours are Penelope Pink and Secret Salma. These are my first ever Charlotte Tilbury products and I am very impressed by the quality. I have wanted to try Charlotte Tilbury since the day I walked past the massive makeup counter in Nordstrom. The mahogany red display accented with rose gold never fails to draw me in, but I could never bring myself to get a lipstick because I barely wear the ones I already own. My makeup knowledge is not the best and basically consists of Mac and Sephora, but after trying the luxury makeup line, I have been spoiled and can no longer go back to Mac! 

Penelope Pink is a nude pink that has a nourishing velvety formula. It goes on smooth with a bit of shine and the creaminess makes it comfortable to wear. I would say if you have Penelope Pink, you do not need any other nude lipsticks because it is a signature nude that you will find yourself reaching for. All the shades in the K.I.S.S.I.N.G range supposedly work with any skin tone. I actually did not pick out Penelope Pink because it and the other shade were both sent to me to try. Frankly, I thought the media team just spent a lot of time going through pictures of me to figure out what colours would be flattering. So I genuinely think Penelope Pink and Secret Salma would work for just about anyone and both are amazing basics to have in your collection! 

Of the two, Secret Salma is my favourite as it gives you a little bit of colour; yet it still works well as an everyday look. I can definitely see myself wearing it to work, but also out with my friends to dinner. It is part of the Hot Lips collection in which all of the shades are inspired by an iconic female and yes, ms Kim Kardashian West made the cut and it goes without saying the KimKW is her signature pale nude lip. Secret Salma took inspiration from Salma Hayek. 

Secret Salma is a deep-rose plum colour that apparently is ideal for bringing out brown eyes. I have big dark brown eyes and it really does make my eyes stand out. The lipstick finish is slightly matte and goes on a bit more pink than what it looks in the tube. 

I am a huge packaging fanatic and definitely have been suckered into buying items for the looks. Needless to say, I am living for Charlotte Tilbury's rose gold packaging! The grooves going up the length of the bullet makes it look like something you would find in an old Hollywood movie. Not to mention when the light hits the tube, it reflects it into a halo of rays. All my other lipsticks cannot compare because they are just plain black bullets that blend in with the sea of other black makeup packaging. 

It is definitely worth going down to your local Charlotte Tilbury counter and trying out their lipsticks. After a day of wear, your lips will still be soft and smooth. As I mentioned earlier, from the two, I would pick Secret Salma because I like a bit of colour. Recently I have been wanting to try something more dramatic like a deep plum colour, so if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below!


PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own. Affiliate links used.

Penelope Pink (L); Secret Salma (R)
Secret Salma