Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Vancouver Mural Festival 2020 Spreads the Message of Unity and Physical Distancing

Artist: Benjamin T. Stone
I finally had a chance to head by Robson Street to check out all the murals for Vancouver Mural Fest 2020. Glad that I did because the next morning, crews had started dismantling the storefront covers in preparation for the reopening. In my opinion, Vancouver is lifting its social distancing measures in a haste. Vancouverites have already been the mockery of Canada for flaunting their freedom by flocking in troves to beaches and parks. With only warmer and nicer days ahead, I can only imagine the crowds that will be forming along Robson Street. I digress. 

I must say, the 2020 murals are by far my favourite. I love the colour choices and the collective message of strength and unity. This is why I am extremely bummed that these murals are not going to be permanent fixtures in Vancouver. I feel like a lot of the murals from years prior are too "graffiti" in style for me or strongly connected to Native American Art which I also do not relate with. This year's pieces we can all relate to and understand! 

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Celebrate Mother's Day From a Distance with these Last Minute Vancouver Gifts



Mum's do a lot for us and they deserve to be celebrated and a single day in the year does not sum up how much they mean to us. Given the current state of the world and the restrictions in place in my own hometown - Vancouver, we need to celebrate our amazing mothers from a distance. I am lucky enough to live at home with my mum, so I will be spending Sunday, May 10th, annoying my mum with all my love hahaha. 

Most gifts are completely off the table because boutiques, malls and shops, for the most part, are closed. I tried to look for Vancouver-based local gifts for mother's day. This is also a great way to support local businesses and makers. The best places to look for a gift for your mum would be at local grocer-cafes, florists and patisseries. 

Saturday, 2 May 2020

The French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake is Simply Delicious


I have been on a mission to find a cake recipe that is not only easy and quick to make but also delivers on flavour while remaining deliciously moist. After countless hours of research - yay for Google! - I came across The French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake. This lemon yogurt cake stands apart from others with its simplistic method and soft moist crumb. 

You might be wondering why it is called the "French grandmother's" lemon yogurt cake. the story goes that Grandmother's in France added yogurt to their cakes for added moisture and then measured their remaining cake ingredients with the glass yogurt jar. Unlike North America, yogurt in France is sold in adorable little glass pots. The yogurt is cultured in the little glass jars that they are sold in. Each little yogurt class jar is approximately 1/2 Cup in measurement. So one jar of yogurt, two jars of sugar, 3 jars of flour, 1 jar of oil etc! 

Monday, 27 April 2020

Hidden Neighbourhood Gem: The Federal Store Luncheonette & Cafe



When it comes to hidden gems, neighbourhood cafe-grocers are at the top of my list. These little establishments are so much more than a place to grab some pantry staples or a quick bite to eat. Nestled between some of Vancouver's most beautiful early 1900s homes, The Federal Store Luncheonette & Grocer has helped foster a sense of community, inadvertently uniting the neighbourhood. 

The Federal Store is definitely a special place and can be found at the corner of Quebec Street and 10th Avenue. Despite being only a block away from the chaos of West Broadway and Main Street, the atmosphere surrounding The Federal Store is calm and tranquil. On any given sunny day, you will find patrons chatting away happily inside as well as at the tables and lawn out front. It is honestly nice to get away from the big city noise and linger around at the Federal Store and basking in the warmth of the sun. 


Friday, 24 April 2020

Spreading Support and Positivity for Healthcare Workers through balloons


I work at one of the busiest hospitals in BC and my windowless office is hidden in the subbasement of the building. Needless to say, I do not get any sunshine nor much foot traffic. I also begin work at 6AM aka when everyone is sleeping. So I arrive at work when it is pitch black out and do not see daylight until 2 in the afternoon. 

Last week, I walked out of work to a delightful sight. A local business had donated two massive balloon arrangements with words of encouragement and overall positivity during these uncertain scary times. I could not help but smile because the balloons were bright happy shades of colour and mixed in were some cute accent balloons like the rainbows with smiling clouds. Nestled amongst the balloons were beautiful messages done in gorgeous lettering. I wish my writing was that pretty! Seriously great penmanship. 

Friday, 10 April 2020

My Go To Skincare For Average Skin with Mild Acne


Problematic skin seems like the bane of all our lives, but it is what it is. I had my fair share of acne. I recall waking up to a new angry pimple nearly every morning in high school. The worst part was how big, red and painful my acne was. Despite acne wreaking havoc on my skin throughout my adolescent years, I know only get the occasional angry pimple. For the most part, I get a few little bumps here and there and some redness. 

I have tried a whole slew of acne-targeted products. The over-the-counter topicals and creams to the fancy facial washes and serums. Heck fun fact, I even took a year of antibiotics, Minocycline, but decided to go off of them because I wanted to reduce the amount of medication I was putting into my body. 

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Rediscovering my love of Board Games and SCRABBLE


Who remembers weekend afternoons playing board games with your siblings, cousins and friends? Growing up, my family and I loved to play board games because believe it or not, in the '90s there was no wifi or internet at home and we only had basic cable. No on-demand movies or tv shows or endless world wide web entertainment. What we did have was each other and board games! 

The first couple of days of the Government mandated physical distancing and isolation was wicked because it felt like I was on Spring Break. Hangout at home in my comfy leggings and sweatshirts. Not being nagged by my parents for being lazy and cooped up at home was wicked! But there is only so much TV and mindless web surfing that can fill your days. After the initial excitement wore off of getting to kick back, relax and watch all the TV I wanted, my brain began to feel like mush. I basically turned into a zombie laying on the couch passively watching the Next Great Spring Baker on loop. 

I need stimulation, I need excitement, I need to be challenged! This is when I rediscovered my love of board games! When I was younger, I preferred Monopoly, LIFE and SORRY! Monopoly is still lots of fun, but definitely requires four players for a decent game pace. I only have my Mum to play with me, so SCRABBLE has been the winner for us! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Pink Tea Latte has hit the 5 year milestone!


Happy 5th Birthday to my little blog, Pink Tea Latte! I can hardly believe that I have been writing my blog for 5 whole years. I swear it feels much longer because it really has been laborious and time-consuming, but none the less, I love my cute little Lifestyle Blog! 

Technically Pink Tea Latte turned 5 years old on March 15th, 2020, but with the pandemic unfolding in Canada, I thought it would be in bad taste to start celebrating my blog in the midst of a global pandemic. Slash I was also super busy and did not have the time to even plan and organize something fun, so I am glad I was able to wait a few weeks. 

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!!! 

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. 

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.