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. 

Thursday 19 December 2019

Gift Guide for the Boys, Guys & Gentleman in your Life

Shopping for men can be a bit tricky because they are often so indifferent and nonchalant about everything. How do you shop for a person who is happy with everything? That is not good enough for me. I want them to be wowed and excited by the gift. I hope this gift guide will spark some ideas for you. 

As the old adage goes, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Every guy I know is absolutely infatuated with cooking meat. The meat cooking device they are all fawning over is the Dash sous vide circulator. According to my male friends, cooking meat via sous vide makes for a more tender, evenly cooked and importantly a juicy piece of meat because the meat is cooked in a vacuum-sealed pouch of its own juices.

Gift Guide for Gals, Girls & Females in your life

This gift guide inadvertently turned into a partial wishlist of mine because I kept thinking, I am a female, so what would I want to receive as a present? Then I became overwhelmed because I felt my gift guide was not diverse enough in price point, so I added additional items that are not pictured above, but can be found at the bottom of the post. I tried to select items that are functional and can be used long-term. Hopefully, my gift guide will help you procure the perfect present! 

Smash + Tess is a Vancouver-based company that specializes in comfortable rompers made with a bamboo cotton blend. This summer I had picked up their Play Set in Billy Jean Blue and I am obsessed with it. Hoping to pick-up one of Smash + Tess' Sunday Rompers soon. Another Canadian brand, Roots, makes the best sweats and their updated silhouettes include slim-fit styles like the Cabin sweats with cuffed ankles. 

Monday 16 December 2019

H2 Rotisserie & Bar serving up Holiday Movies and Dinner

Holiday Movie Night at H2 Rotisserie & Bar at The Westin Bayshore

What are the holidays without a couple of holiday movies? In fact, holiday movies are the only kind of movie that I am able to re-watch over and over without getting bored. H2 Rotisserie & Bar within The Westin Bayshore is showing beloved holiday movies on Mondays leading up to Christmas.

This past Monday I made a reservation for their 6:00 PM screening of The Holiday and it was an absolute blast! The team at H2 Rotisserie rearranged he furniture in the lounge. Their comfy velvet couches were positioned in front of a large screen on which they projected the movie onto. Each couch had its own table, so you can kick back, relax and eat while you watch the movie. They are also doing this adorable hot chocolate cart during the movies which come with a plethora of cute toppings and if you are looking for more of an adult beverage, you can have the hot chocolate spiked from the bar.

Sunday 15 December 2019

Discover Unique Oddities at 2019 The Weirdos Holiday Market

Have you ever been baffled as to what to get that one friend of yours because they are just .... weird? I myself happen to be a weirdo and I am happy to say that I am weird and proud! This year I discovered a new market, the 2019 Weirdos Holiday Market. It is hosted by This Monkey's Gone to Heaven and today,  December 15th, 2019 is their final day. You have until 5 PM to pop by the Ukranian Cathedral Church on West 10th, just off of Main Street to take to discover "Oddities, Trinkets and Scientific Interests."

Most people would say I am a preppy girl, which is true, but I have always been fascinated by unique weird objects. I just find it fascinating and something interesting that we do not often see. At the market, there were lots of taxidermy, sculptures made from real bones, and mounted butterflies. One of the vendors makes statues out of various animal bones. I loved the Chameleon and it comes with the most stunning glass dome making it ready to display. I was pretty close to bringing it home! 

Wednesday 4 December 2019

3-Day Mini Vacation at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler

Four Seasons Resort Whistler - one of many cute details
Living in Vancouver has its perks. We have access to the most stunning temporal rainforest-covered mountains, some of the best weather year-round and Canada's largest ski resort, Whistler, is just two hours away by a car making it perfect for a quick getaway. I was in desperate need of a mini-vacation to decompress and re-energize, so I hopped online and booked myself a 3-day stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Whistler

There is so much I want to share with you all about my stay at the Four Seasons as it was beyond amazing - simply magical! The customer service at the Four Seasons is top notch and you would be hardpressed to find better and the building itself is grand, furnished with warm walnut wood, plenty of crackling fires and perhaps the largest covered valet entrance I will ever see in my life. Since the hotel is nestled amongst the mountains secluded in the Upper Village, you get the most unbelievable views. 

Monday 2 December 2019

Challenging myself to 15 blog posts in December 2019

Another December and another potentially failed attempt at Blogmas by me! In fact, I have already missed publishing a post on December 1st - Whoops! This year, I am going to be a little more realistic and aim to publish every other day. I like to do things a little differently and actually post for the entire month, not just till Christmas. The goal is 15 posts for the entirety of December! 

For December 2019, I am going to be publishing a diverse array of posts. There will be food - obviously - some skincare, clothing, gift guides and of course, lots of Winter adventures. I already have a couple lined up.

The first post is going to be my stay at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler! I have been working on it for over a week and cannot wait to publish it because I had the most amazing time staying with them and cannot wait to share it with all of you. 

Thursday 28 November 2019

Superfly Ziplining Adventure in Whistler

Superfly Ziplines base camp 10 minutes north of Whistler village 
Whistler is an outdoor enthusiast's dream destination. A two-hour drive north of Vancouver, Whistler is ranked amongst one of the best ski/snowboarding destinations; however, Whistler also boasts an incredible array of outdoor activities year-round. Initially, my 3-day trip to Whistler was booked with the intention of lounging in pj's in my room, order loads of room service and soak in the pools aka to relax, recharge and decompress. But when a wicked the wicked opportunity to go on a 3-hour ziplining excursion with Superfly Ziplines Whistler, you do not turn it down! 

Superfly Ziplines is 10 minutes north of Whistler Village on Cougar Mountain and offers a convenient shuttle from Whistler Village and several hotels. Their four ziplines are custom built and what makes them truly unique is that the ziplines are dual. This means you and a friend get to zipline down the mountain side-by-side but on your own individual wires. Two of the ziplines are over 1 KM in length making them the longest in Canada. Superfly offers tours all year round even if it is snowing. I can only imagine how magical it is to zipline while it is snowing! 

Friday 22 November 2019

Four Seasons Resort Whistler Balcony Breakfast

Four Seasons Resort Whistler my balcony breakfast
Everyone has their "must-haves" for when deciding which hotel to stay at and for me, the hotel has to offer a killer breakfast because breakfast is the most important meal of the day! For my mini getaway, I stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler because their in-room breakfast towers looked scrumptious and I have never seen anything like it before at a hotel. It is like a high-tea tower, but better because it is full-sized breakfast food!!!

The Four Seasons Whistler offers a few breakfast towers. The Power Breakfast is on the healthy side with a focus on lean meats, fruits, health bars and a spinach, chickpea & quinoa breakfast burrito as the main. The Express Continental Breakfast is for those wanting a quick and easy breakfast of granola & berry yogurt parfait, pastries and fruit salad. All of their towers come with tea or coffee and a chilled juice of your liking. The Power and Express Breakfast Towers both sounded delicious, but I wanted something heartier for breakfast as well as a bit of both sweet and savoury. 

Wednesday 20 November 2019

My BC Transit Story: 13 Year Relationship

Only picture I have on hand of me in high school.... ahhh terrible Grade 12 pictures. 
I have been a regular transit rider since the second day of grade eight. I live in Richmond, but attended a high school in Vancouver, so I would take public transit every morning to school and then bus back home after. I still remember rushing out the door and piling into the car with my neighbour to catch the 7:18 AM 480 UBC bus. The 7:18 AM time will forever be ingrained in my mind as I caught that 480 bus 5 days a week for 3 and a half years before the Canada Line was introduced. 

I completed my Bachelors of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health at UBC and then too, I rode the bus to and from campus. Over the years, I have worked for several different companies and depended on the public transit system. Now I work in North Vancouver, but live in Vancouver, but even still, I wake up early, take the Canada Line and catch the 240 at 5:51 AM to make it on time for my 6:30 AM start time. 

Sunday 17 November 2019

BETA5 Cafe Opening Party including holiday flavour preview

BETA 5 Holiday Creampuffs: Christmas Tree | Rudolph's Nose | White Forest | Snowball
BETA5 is kicking off the holiday season with the opening of their very first BETA5 Cafe aka BETA5 2.0! The 900 square foot cafe can seat up to 16 patrons and is conveniently located adjacent to their current production. So if you are craving some BETA5 creations, you will still need to make the trek into the industrial neighbourhood near Science World, but rumours have been floating that a more central downtown location is also in the works. To celebrate their opening, BETA5 invited media and influencers (like me!!!) to preview their 2019 Holiday Collection.  

Co-owner and lead pastry chef, Adam Chandler, loves to experiment with new and unique flavour profiles and equally enjoys the newest technological developments. BETA5's Cafe has been outfitted with the latest chilled display. The L-shaped counter displays their chocolate as well as their signature cream puffs, but there are other non-cream puff desserts in the works. Fingers crossed for some cake! I am going to try my best to describe the refrigerated countertop in words, so bear with me. The more widely used chilled cases have a door that is kept shut, but this commonly leads to condensation to build up inside. The moisture from the condensation can affect the pastries. The new BETA5 showcase has been designed to be half-open so there will be no condensation problem. There are pictures at the bottom that give you a look at the case. 

Monday 11 November 2019

Discovering Canada's Coolest Artisans at Circle Craft

I have been meaning to attend Circle Craft for many years and finally made it out there for the very first time. Monday, November 11, 2019 is their final market day, so I want to get this post up ASAP so anyone curious can check it out. Over the years, I have visited several craft markets in Vancouver, but none of them come close in size to Circle Craft. 

I believe there are over 300 different artisans and makers from across Canada showing at Circle Craft. While you peruse the row upon rows of intricately crafted goods, a string quartet played joyous holiday music. 

There is so much to explore, from delectable jams and preserves to whimsical ceramics. I wish I had a million dollars because I would have purchased everything. The quality and craftsmanship were impeccable! Some of the artisans were fairly new, only dabbling in their craft for just over a year; however, their work was indistinguishable from those who have been honing in their craft for decades. I reckon Circle Craft must have a selection process and only accept vendors that meet a certain level of quality. 

Saturday 12 October 2019

Potter's House of Horrors Scare-ific Haunted Houses

With Hallowe'en fast approaching, scare-tastic shenanigans have been taking place all across the Lower Mainland. Now I must admit, I am an absolute scaredy-cat and tend to gravitate towards non-frightening activities like going to the pumpkin patch or celebrating my birthday - I am an October baby!!! Anything that causes my heart to leap out of my chest is not my thing, so I am shocked that I loved Potter's House of Horrors

Thursday 26 September 2019

Pampering myself with a pedicure from Onyx Aesthetics

I am drained, exhausted and overworked, so it was high time that I treated myself to something nice. I booked myself in for a pedicure at my favourite nail salon in Gastown: Onyx AestheticsI love getting my nails buffed, shaped and painted, but if I had to pick between a manicure or pedicure, I will always choose the latter. 

For pedicures, you get to sit in a comfy chair with lots of cute cushions and have a technician massage and scrub your feet until they are supple and smooth. Plus lets be real, pedicures last forever. I swear the polish on my toes will last for months, never chipping, just grows out. 

Sunday 15 September 2019

Fufú Café is putting the wobble in Soufflé Pancakes in Vancouver

Fufú Café | dress - Aritzia shoes- Steve Madden

Fufú Café is finally open which means we can all get our fill of wobbly Soufflé Pancake goodness!!! A few Fridays back, August 30th, I was spoiled with a private tasting of their menu and I must admit, do not let the light airy texture of the pancakes fool you because they are deceptively filling. 

Before I get into the main event - the soufflé  pancakes - I want to highlight Fufú Café's interior which drew inspiration from Art Deco Architecture. Royal navy blues, gold Calcutta marble and dusty rose pinks serve as the backdrop for the café. My favourite detail is the geometric molding that moves from the wall up onto the ceiling. Also the full-length mirror with a rounded top is everything and I want it for my room. To summarize, I am living for Fufú Café's aesthetic! 

Fufú Café specializes in the ever-popular Japanese-style Fluffy/Soufflé Pancake. Their menu is dedicated to these light and airy pancakes which gained popularity over the past couple of years. The airy melt in your mouth cloud-like texture is achieved from expertly folding in whipped egg whites into the pale yellow batter. Patience is of the utmost importance as they take 15 to 20 minutes to execute. Truly a labour of love. It is tough to describe the delicate texture that has made this style of pancake so sought after, so you really just need to go try the soufflé pancakes in person yourself. 

Monday 9 September 2019

21.1 KM SeaWheeze 2019 Complete

My body hurts, my ankle is swollen, but I finished the SeaWheeze Half Marathon and I would do it again! This was my second time running a half marathon. I had done the Seawheeze in 2017 and it still remains a fabulous half marathon experience for non-runners and runners alike. Just do not let the Yoga - Fun - Party - tagline fool you because 21.1 Kilometers is no easy feat.

Lululemon goes out of their way to make the SeaWheeze a 3-day event which is completely free and open to registered runners. The energy that surrounds it is positive and everyone is in amazing spirits. This and many more reasons are why the SeaWheeze will probably remain the only half marathon that I am willing to my body through this much pain. 

For the two days leading up to race day, Jack Poole Plaza and the Convention Center are given a glorious makeover and are the site for pre-race events. There are lots of free swag up for grabs and complimentary services like massage and hair braiding. Not to mention lots and lots of yoga! 

Tuesday 20 August 2019

First Time at Diner en Blanc Vancouver

Fleurs De Villes: Gorgeous floral sculpture in the background at Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2019
I have been wanting to attend Diner en Blanc for a couple of years now. In fact, I actually purchased tickets for Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2017, but since I was a student with a part-time job, additional costs of attending Diner en Blanc were not feasible for me, so I ended up giving them to a friend. Now that I have a full-time job, I can finally attend and have an amazing time!  

Diner en Blanc's history is quite interesting. The original - Le Diner en Blanc de Paris - was held by a small group of friends in 1988. They decided to set up a dinner in the midst of Parc do Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne. The once small and "illegal" has grown into a massive must-attend night that has thousands of guests descending upon a secret location for a night of fun, laughter and great food. Currently, Diner en Blanc takes place in 30 different countries in over 80 major cities. The main attributes to Diner en Blanc are that everyone must be dressed in white, you must bring your own table, chairs and food and the location is kept completely a secret until you board the chartered bus. 

This year, Diner en Blanc 2019 was held on Thursday, August 8th at George Wainburn Park, which overlooks the gorgeous Yaletown Marina. Technically my friend and I were part of the "charter bus" group that was going to board a bus at David Lam Park, but we were massively duped because as it happens, the secret location was only a block over. Our "charter bus" group just ended up walking five minutes over to George Wainborn Park in Yaletown. 

Thursday 1 August 2019

Vancouver's Hidden Lounge: Key Party

Local restauranteur Rachel Zottenberg, recently named one of Western Living's 2019 Foodies of the Year, is bring some much-needed excitement and thrills to Vancouver. Let's face it, Vancouver has a bit of a "no fun" reputation and a non-existent nightlife. The half-block on Granville Street basically sums it up! Sure, bubble tea and chic hipster cafes are yummy, but sometimes I just crave something more thrilling than the newest insta-worthy latte. 

Key Party is the newest addition to Zottenberg's already impressive portfolio of restaurants and lounges. Hidden behind the facade of Zottenberg & Son's Accounting is the most bougiee 1970's inspired cocktail lounge in Vancouver. Do not let the dusty facade of the boring accounting office that has been plucked straight from 70's fool you because the two spaces could not be more of a juxtaposition of one another! 

The under the radar lounge has no signage, so only those "in the know" actually know about it, but despite being incognito, Key Party is filled with patrons sipping cocktails. The lounge is gorgeous. Thick red velvet drapes cover the walls and flank a massive hand-painted mural of a woman trying to look demure while she casually drapes her naked body over a tiger. In the background, two other red-haired women are also nonchalantly hanging out in the nude and completely unfazed by the giant wild cat. If not for anything else, just go for the naked ladies in the mural! I also loved the Himalayan salt votives that covered the space making for a delightful glow and cozy atmosphere. Not to mention the crystal cut barware was stunning so no matter the drink, you are going to feel special sipping from those glasses. Even the spouted pitcher used for mixing cocktails was crystal! Definitely made me feel like I was at an opulent Great Gatsby party. 

The interior is a throwback to retro vintage vegas vibes. For atmosphere, I wanted to create a space where people could relax and meet new people. A place where you can just let go and have a good time.  
                                                                                          Rachel Zottenberg, Co-Owner of Key Party

Monday 29 July 2019

Bear's Blooms Brings Local Flowers to Vancouverites

Bear's Blooms: Delivering BC-grown flowers to the door's of Vancouverites
There are a lot of amazing floral shops in Vancouver; however, the majority of flowers used by the florists are flown in from around the globe. This came as a shock to me considering the numerous flower farmers in BC. Bear's Blooms recognized this and is helping Vancouverites connect with local growers. 

Bear's Blooms is challenging both consumers and florists to think local. By using flowers that are grown within the province - many of them come from within the Lower Mainland! - Bear's Blooms' carbon footprint is significantly smaller than the traditional florist as none of their flowers or greens are flown in from across the world. 

Bear's Blooms is a bit of a different business model as they offer a weekly subscription floral delivery service. The subscription model allows Bear's Blooms to be more accurate in the number of flowers they need for the week, so they can significantly minimize their weekly flower waste. Florists, on the other hand, can only estimate the number of flowers they will need for the week. On average, a florist typically discards 40% of their floral inventory. 

Friday 19 July 2019

H Tasting Lounge Summer Patio Party

You know what the best part about spring and summer is? Patio Season! It is finally hot and sunny in Vancouver and I try to soak in every second of it. If I am going out to eat, I am getting a table on the patio because every minute spent indoors is a minute of summer wasted.

L to R: Christina Kaspercyk (Lumin Pictures), ME in the middle, Ruby Gillett (@rubygillett)
H Tasting Lounge is just off of Vancouver's Seawall inside the luxurious Westin Bayshore Hotel. From the patio, you get a clear view of Coal Harbour and the Northshore mountains. Before I get into the food and drinks, I cannot resist mentioning the Art Deco design of H Tasting Lounge. Art Deco has always captivated me with its bold geometric shapes and jewel tones crossed with rich yellow gold. H Tasting Lounge has gone with a contemporary take on art deco and breaks up the rich royal blue and gold with soft lilacs and white marble. I also love the amount of natural sunlight that drenches the space from the skylights and massive windows. Needless to say, H Tasting Lounge is a stunning space that embodies effortless luxury.

The Harbourside Patio is very spacious, and the distance from the seawall gives patrons still a sense of privacy. Not to mention the hotel is nestled away in a quiet neighbourhood, so there is no sound of traffic and roaring cars to kill the mood. 

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Pangea Pod Hotel | A Night In Whistler

This is Part Two of my 24 hours in Whistler. Part Two is going to focus on accommodations: The Pangea Pod Hotel

The Pangea Pod Hotel is in the heart of Whistler Village. It had made quite the buzz last summer when it first opened its doors. It is no secret that hotel prices in Whistler are astronomical. During peak ski and snowboarding season, some hotel rooms can go for as much as $1000 per night! That is MADNESS! No wonder I keep my visits to Whistler to day trips. 

Unlike traditional hotels, husband and wife duo Russell and Jelena Kling, set out to create a boutique-hotel-like experience at an affordable price. (Weekdays range $85/1 person, $160/2 people; Weekends $170 /1 person, $280 /2 people). Honestly, the only time I am in my hotel room is when I am showering, getting ready and sleeping. It is a rarity for me to utilize hotel amenities like pools or gyms or whatever else they might offer because I want to spend my time exploring the city. 

Saturday 8 June 2019

Pastry Chef Extrodinare: Julien at Au Comptoir

Au Comptoir: The Pistachio Mille Feuille with fresh Raspberries

Most people pick restaurants based on what they want for their entree, but I, on the other hand, make my decision solely based on the restaurant's dessert menu! Dessert is life and life is too short to not indulge yourself. Vancouver's dessert scene is phenomenal, but one restaurant has always caught my attention: Au Comptoir. 

Au Comptoir's Executive Pastry Chef, Julien, also noticed my infatuation of everything sweet. Before I knew it, I was seated across from the man himself with a sampling of his creations on the table between us. 

Friday 7 June 2019

Pods, Pines and Pools: 24-Hours in Whistler

Every now and then, we just need to escape our chaotic big city lives. Whistler might be best known for its Snowboarding and Ski Scene, but it also happens to be a spectacular spring and summer getaway. In my case, Whistler was perfect for my Girls Trip! The Ski and Snowboarding slopes are just 120 KMs North of Vancouver in the Sea-To-Ski Corridor. This trip up to the mountains came at the perfect time because I really needed to disconnect from my busy work life. Despite being a short 24-hour mini trip to Whistler, we were able to pack in several amazing activities. 

Sunday 12 May 2019

Last Minute Mother's Day Brunch & Treats in Vancouver

Mother's Day completely snuck up on me and perhaps you too are in the same situation as me! There are a lot of special Mother's Day Brunches and set menu dinners, but they often are really crowded. Also, I have never been a fan of buffets. The food quality is never as good as a la carte since the kitchen staff is overwhelmed with pumping out large quantities of food, so the quality suffers. 

This is a quick list of my own personal recommendations of where to take your Mum for a memorable Mother's Day 2019! The list is partial to brunch and sweets because hello Sunday Brunch is a classic and what woman does not love a sweet pastry. 

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Crazy for Crazy Rich Asians

2018 was one hell of a year. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their big royal wedding, the Obama portraits were unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery and my favourite Disney star and singer Miley Cyrus married her hunk of a beau Liam Hemsworth. Another huge pop-culture moment that defined 2018 was the theatrical release of Crazy Rich Asians!

I had not read the book, so I wanted to read it prior to seeing the movie because I refuse to let the movie ruin a good book for me. Truth be told, it is rare for a movie to capture the spirit and charm of the book that is based upon. In this case, the movie did not do the book justice, but that is alright because it helped achieve other amazing milestones. The Crazy Rich Asians movie boasted an all-Asian cast, bringing much-needed diversity to Hollywood. Not to mention, this rom-com was an absolute international sensation! 

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Blossom at Metropolis Art Installation

The sun is shining, the clouds are parting and the early signs of cherry blossoms have begun to appear! I am happy to report that Vancouver has brushed off the winter cold and is welcoming the beautiful warmth of Spring. In fact, today was gorgeous out and I found myself turning off the heater and opening the sunroof in my car because believe it or not, I was hot in my car. 

Cherry Blossom season in Vancouver is one of my favourite times of the year and I look forward to it after our long cold rainy winters. I probably take an excess of 500 pictures of the blossoms every year because I find them so beautiful. Furthermore, Cherry Blossoms are delicate little flowers and are around Vancouver for barely a month. The soft fluffy pink flowers bring smiles to everyone's faces in Vancouver and did you know, Vancouver and Victoria are the only cities in all of Canada that have the iconic pink flowers! 

Saturday 16 March 2019

Happy 4th Birthday BLOG!

Happy 4th Birthday to my Blog! After a rough third year filled with setbacks, constantly being sick and switching jobs, I never expected to make it to year four. I am glad that I hung in there. Even though I wish I was able to put out more content, I am glad I focused more on the quality, so the small number of posts I did, I was really happy with them!

Going into my fourth year as a part-time hobbyist blogger, it is my hope that I am able to increase the frequency of posts. My ideal goal would be to post twice a week, but it is going to be a challenge as I actually do have a full-time job and attend school part-time. 

I really wanted to throw a big birthday party for Pink Tea Latte's 4th Birthday, but alas, I have been run down with the most brutal viral imaginable. So party planning was out of the question. Perhaps I will do a little something in the summer when Vancouver is finally sunny and beautiful. Stay tuned for that! 

Monday 11 March 2019

Riz Sushi Serving Up the Freshest Sashimi in Vancouver

When it comes to Sushi, Vancouverites are definitely spoiled as the city boasts a staggering number of Japanese restaurants, both high-end such as Miku and fast-casual like Togo Sushi. But as our fondness for Japan's most iconic dishes has grown, so has our appetite for quality sashimi. Over this past year, our craving for fresh fish was appeased by the influx of Poke Bars. But that too has become boring for our ever-evolving palettes.  

This is where Riz Sushi comes into play. Riz Sushi is literally at the cusp of Vancouver, a tiny storefront on the corner of Renfrew and East Broadway. Owner Keith invited me down to Riz Sushi for a taste and perhaps even a little education on Chirasi! 

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Attending KNOW SHOW Fall/Winter 2019-2020

Working Guess' Shearling-Lined Denim Jacket at KnowShow Fall Winter 2019/2020

Have you ever wondered how shops acquire merchandise that they sell? Shops and Boutiques attend Trade Shows where brands showcase their latest products for shop buyers to order for the next season. Unfortunately, such trade shows are closed to the public and can only be attended by retailers. So getting the opportunity to attend KnowShow, Canada's largest tradeshow, was an absolute delight!

A couple weeks back, Know Show had their bi-annual tradeshow at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This was the Fall-Winter 2019/2020 trade show. We might be nearing the end of our chilly season, but the buying for next Fall-Winter takes place a year in advance, so the Spring-Summer tradeshow for 2020 is going to be coming up in a couple of months this summer 2019! 

Thursday 14 February 2019

Meaningful Gifts for Valentine's Day

Valentine's, Galentine's, the day of love or whatever you may call it, February 14th is universally recognized as the day we all express our love to the special people in our lives. It does not necessarily need to be your bae or boo, it can be your best friend or mom because you love them unconditionally and you want to show them that. 

Unfortunately, like many holidays, Valentine's Day has fallen prey to commercialization. I am guilty of being materialistic, but personally, when it comes to gifts, I prefer thoughtful presents that have a lot of special meaning behind it. Because those are the types of presents I cannot go and just buy for myself! 

Here are my gift ideas that anyone would cherish for life! 


There have been so many instances where I have received a gift with no card to accompany it! I absolutely love receiving cards with handwritten notes inside. There are so many fabulous cards to choose from. Cards may seem like a no brainer and often an afterthought, but for me, they are my favorite part. My favourite places to shop for cards in Vancouver are Gastown and Main Street because boutiques in these areas carry cards designed by local artists! 


I love the advancements cameras have undergone because they allow me to take unlimited pictures and I can store them all on my computer for infinity! However, digital copies will never be able to replace a tangible printed photograph. There is something indescribable about printed photographs. I love how I can hold them in my hand and display them on my wall so I can walk by and be reminded of that particular moment every single day. Print out your favourite memories and adventures so they can relive them every single day! In Vancouver, I love printing my pictures at the BOFT terminals that are conveniently located in several malls across the Lower Mainland. 


Speaking of adventures, plan one! Materialistic objects come and go, but memories are forever. Create new memories that you can reminisce about for years to come. You can attend a cooking class together or go do a crafting class. In Vancouver I recommend the Dirty Apron for cooking classes and 4Cats for art workshops. 


Spa experiences do not come cheap, especially if you are wanting to get more than one treatment. I also prefer visiting the higher end spas as they tend to follow stricter sterilization procedures and use amazing products. In Vancouver, I am obsessed with Miraj Hammam Spa, a Middle Eastern spa like no other! 


Sunday 13 January 2019

2018 Year in Review #2018BestNine

2018 is already old news, but before I dive into my adventures of 2019, this is a look back at the fun I had last year. 2018 Best Nine has put @PinkTeaLatte Instagram account through its algorithm and it looks like you love sweets and colour as much as I do! 

The rainbow is well represented and so is my obsession with sweet baked goods and hot cocoa. Prominently centred in the middle is the cutest pink Unicorn-themed hot chocolate from Soirrette. How fitting considering my blog has the colour pink in it! 

Beverages were a big part of 2018 for me and not limited to the three in the #2018TopNine. The pink unicorn might be cute, but True Confections' Torched Devil Hot Chocolate was badass! A massive slice of their rich dark chocolate devil's food cake sat on top of the gorgeously toasted meringue and to finish, another generous swirl of meringue. There is something about piped meringue torched to a caramel brown. It just accentuates the sexy folds and ridges of the pillowy white marshmallowy goodness. Top right you will see a particularly fascinating drink, a Pink Tea Latte! Prado Cafe allowed me to celebrate my blog's third birthday at their Fraser location and to my surprise, they featured a beet Pink Tea Latte!

The only savoury item to make it into the #2018TopNine are the salmon crab cakes from Wedgewood Hotel's restaurant Bacchus. I got to go not once, but TWICE for a private tasting at Bacchus in 2018. However, I was more fascinated by their drinks, specifically Singapore Sling because the garnish for the drink is two strawberries carefully carved into luscious red roses. 

My favourite Beta 5 cream puffs seemed to have made the cut. The Mandarin Cream Puff make their annual appearance for Lunar New Years. The puff shells are filled with a mandarin orange curd that encases an almond financier. Rice pudding mousse domes the puff that is then given the perfect mandarin orange colour and a chocolate stem and leaf for garnish! 

On the other end are Noms By Mon's mini fruit tartlets which are made entirely from scratch, from the shell to the silky custard inside it. I have yet to meet a single person who has not fallen in love with these fresh fruit tartlets. Just below is Butter Baked Good's iconic Birthday Cake that is flecked with sprinkles all throughout in the vanilla sponge and vanilla buttercream! 

Speaking of rainbows, my all-time favourite mural in Vancouver along South Granville is the final picture. I saw this mural being painted a few summers back and since then it has become an integral part of Vancouver's urban art scene. I only hope to own a piece of Kristofir's work. Great art incites emotion and this mural brings me pure joy. 

2018 was a great year despite its rocky ending for me. I am glad it is over because now I can start making 2019 the best year yet! 


Friday 4 January 2019

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The holidays and Harry Potter go hand in hand. With the exception of three movies,Harry Potter movies have made their debut in theatres mid November. Not to mention when I was a kid, the CBC and CTV would run Harry Potter marathons during winter break. Harry Potter is practically a new holiday tradition! 

This year was no exception as Potterheads were given their second glimpse into the latest Harry Potter trilogy, Fantastic Beasts. I made certain to carve out some time in my absurdly busy work schedule to catch a showing. After all, it would be a crime in itself to not watch Harry Potter in theatres. As I rarely go to the movies, I like to spoil myself by getting tickets to Cineplex’s VIP Theatres. The seats are massive and are upholstered in a plush faux leather and an extraordinary amount of legroom. You can also order food and drinks (alcohol too!) from the comfort of your seat. If you are worried about spilling things on yourself, you will be happy to know that every seat comes with their own retractable tables. 


Speaking of crimes, the second instalment of Fantastic Beasts explores the atrocities committed by the infamous wizard Grindelwald. The beasts definitely take a backseat in this movie; however, we are still introduced to fabulous new magical creatures. My favourite happens to remain the Niffler, this time though we meet three adorable little baby Nifflers who continue to snatch everything glittery and shiny in sight. On the not so cute end are the Matagots, black eerie cats with massive glowing eyes. The Matagots are protectors of the Ministry of Magic in France. The most captivating creature was the elephant-sized giant Zouwu. At first it looks like a ferocious wild cat, but then you notice its massive tail that moves with the fluidity of a ribbon and reminiscent of a  Chinese dragon. 

The CGI work on the beasts was top notch and blended seamlessly with the actors. A far cry from when the first few Harry Potter movies were released. CGI was in its infancy. It is hard to forget the blue flying car in the second movie and how it stood out atrociously against the background. 

As mentioned earlier, the beasts were not the primary focus of this movie. Grindelwald spends the movie rallying purebloods together with the goal of taking over the no magics. He was specifically interested in recruiting one wizard, Credence. Oh yah, turns out, Credence did not perish in the last movie with the obscurial engulfing him into a menacing black ball of smoke. 

Now I do not want to give too much away, but you also get to learn the origins of several key characters in the original Harry Potter series. My favourite happens to do with the darkening of the Lestrange lineage. Yes, the very family from which my favourite dealer hails from, Bellatrix Lestrage. 

My primary critique of this movie is that it felt drawn out. By the end of the movie, it becomes apparent that the writers were focused on setting up the story for the third and final movie of the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Perhaps Crimes of Grindelwald simply fell victim to the second movie curse. I think what made the original Harry Potter movies such a success was that each movie had its own clear storyline and focus. There always was the overarching storyline of Voldemort, but it did not detract from the core story in each instalment. Needless to say, I tend to not gravitate towards trilogies. 

To sum up Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it is a movie that dives into the past and lineage of some of our favourite Harry Potter characters and how they came to be. Would I re-watch it, probably so I can soak up more details. Is it going to become as revered as the original 8 Harry Potter movies? I doubt it. 

Curious to know what your thoughts are on the movie in the comments below!