Sunday, 26 June 2022

The Frenchsicle - French's Ketchup-Flavoured Popsicle

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of French is mustard. Not ketchup and definitely not ketchup-flavoured popsicles, but that is precisely what happened mid-morning in downtown Vancouver on June 22, 2022! 

Just outside the Holt Renfrew was a cute little ice cream cart in French's iconic mustard yellow colour. Ketchup-flavoured popsicles aka the Frenchsicle were passed out to those who were brave enough to give it a try. Ketchup is a universally beloved condiment, but reimagining it as a frozen treat is a bold move on French's part! 

What does a Ketchup Popsicle taste like?

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Melanie Auld Permanent Bracelet Welding

Dainty jewelry is all the rage right now and I am here for it! Melanie Auld is a Vancouver-based jewelry boutique that has steadily garnered popularity for its charms and layered pieces. In addition to their ready-to-wear jewelry, Melanie Auld has added a jewelry experience to both their Vancouver and Toronto locations and I got to experience it firsthand!

When I heard Welding being offered at Melanie Auld, I immediately headed down to their South Granville location. "Permanent" bracelets are fairly new to Vancouver but have been around for a couple of years in cities like New York and LA. My guess is that the Pandemic slowed down a lot of plans for businesses, but nonetheless, Vancouver finally has the jewelry experience at the Melanie Auld boutique.  

What is WELDING?

Monday, 23 May 2022

Itsumo Brings Japanese Lifestyle to Vancouver

Japanse crafted goods bring so much joy to my life, so after discovering Itsumo, a Japanese Lifestyle store in Vancouver, I needed to visit immediately. The shop curates a collection of pieces crafted by master artisans in Japan. Itsumo focuses on natural intentional pieces that are made to last. 

Itsumo is tucked off of Main Street along East 6th, so it can be easy to miss. But if you have ever been to the Mount Pleasant location of Cartem's then Itsumo is just a few paces away. The shop focuses on Japanese specialty items as well as carries an impressive selection of incense which is traditionally used in temples and at home. You can also find coconut ash at Itsumo which is the traditional medium used to hold burning incense sticks.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Birdie a Non-Violent Personal Safety Device

Being a petite female living in a big city, there are times that I feel unsafe. I am an avid transit user, both early morning and late nights and there have been instances where I have felt uncomfortable. I have finally picked up a personal protective device, the Birdie and I am excited to share it with you!

In Canada, there are laws prohibiting possession or use of pepper sprays or mace for personal protection. Truth be told, I do not want to have something like mace on my keychain because imagine accidentally spraying it into your own or friend's eyes. I do not want to be the idiot in the ER with inflamed painful mucus membranes and eyes because I sprayed myself with pepper spray. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Happy Easter from my Baby Chicks

Happy Easter Everyone! It is hard to believe that I became the proud mother of three beautiful chicks two month ago! Some questions that keeps coming up are "Do you still have them" " How big are they now" "Are you going to eat them"

Lets make one thing clear - I am NOT going to eat my chickens! They were more so of a pet. Would you eat your dog? Probably not! 

After hatching, the chicks were with me for a week after which they all returned to the farm to rejoin their broods. I also returned all the hatching equipment back to the company.

I do not know how big they are now, but on the day I returned the chicks to the farm, they had already grown 30% more. All three of them had gained strength in their flight feathers and were able to jump off of things. The black one actually flew up onto my knee when I was sitting on the floor! Another day or two, they would have been able to fly and jump out of the bin I was keeping them in! So it was definitely time for them to return to the farm because I was not about to have three chicks free-ranging in my bedroom and crapping every where.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Lonsdale is OPEN

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters has officially opened their 5th location across the Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver! The Lonsdale location is a short walk from the Lonsdale Quay and the Seabus dock making it an accessible cafe to meet up with friends. Warm sunshine fills the space courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows which are also great for people watching - or puppy watching if you are me!

I have been a longtime fan of 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters' sub-brand, Lucky's Doughnuts. Since the opening of their very first Main Street location in 2012, I have been obsessed with their soft pillowy yeast-risen doughnuts. No other doughnut has come close to the deliciousness of Lucky's. 

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Hatch Day! Say Hello to my baby chicks!

I woke to peeping on Friday March 11 morning which was a massive surprise since Hatch Day was actually the next day. In total, I got three cute little chicks from six eggs. 1 egg was a dud, 1 egg I had dropped and 1 egg failed in its hatch. 

Two chicks had hatched overnight. The larger black coloured one and a teeny tiny little yellow chick. Both were still covered in fluid from the egg, so their feathers were matted down. For the first few hours, they would peep for a little bit and fall asleep as I am sure the hatching was exhausting. Near the end of the day, both were lively and full of energy. I had stepped out of the house in the evening and when I returned, the duo had turned into a trio with the addition of another tiny yellow chick. 

As much as I wanted to remove the chicks from the incubator, I was told to leave the chicks for 24 hours. The warmth and humidity help their feathers dry off and become fluffy but also give them time to gain some more strength in their little legs. 

Friday, 25 March 2022

The Batman: Dark, Gritty and Intriguing

The Batman has hit theaters and all everyon can talk about is Robert Pattinson as the titular character. Alongside Pattinson is the sensational Zoe Kravitz as Catwomen. The duo are quite the sexy matchup on screen and share a couple of electrified suggestive moments, but only share a single kiss throughout the entire 2 hour 56 minute run time. Oh yes, it is a LONG movie. We need to bring back Intermissions because I needed a mid movie stretch and bathroom break. 

There has been nothing but praises for The Batman, but for me, it is still no match for Christopher Nolan's Dark Night Trilogy. But, it is still better than the disaster that was Ben Affleck's horrendous DC universe Batman. The Batman is the darkest, grittiest live action movie to date. Practically every scene was dark night-time with heavy rainfall. All the tones were black, grey or neutrals making everything feel scary and creepy. To keep with the moody tone of the movie, Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne was made out to be emo. I could not take him seriously with his messy long bangs and smeared black eye makeup. Gave me major Spiderman 3 Tobey Maguire emo without the weird ridiculous pelvic air thrusts. 

Friday, 18 March 2022

Final Egg Candling Disaster before Incubator Lockdown

It is Day 18 aka Lockdown day! This is the last time I get to candle the eggs to check for development before putting the incubator into lockdown, which means I will not be allowed to open the incubator until the eggs hatch. Opening the incubator during lockdown IS detrimental to the eggs as it would cause a drop in temperature and humidity. Also in preperation for lockdown you have to add additional water to sustain the higher humidity over the course of the next four days. 

Since we are close to hatch day, the chicks have grown significantly therefore occupying a larger part of the egg. It also means candling is trickier as the developing chick body blocks the light from passing through making the egg just look dark. The smaller eggs were still the easier of the two sizes to candle. I could identify blood vessels, but it was nearly impossible to see anything in the large eggs. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Dessert Club takes us to Japan - India for Flight 3

Will Travel for Food Flight 3: Japan-India just took place and it was another big win for the Dessert Club. With Grapes & Soda playing as host, everyone took their seats and eagerly awaited their trays of food. This time around, the menu was vegan/vegetarian focused. Just like a real flight, each patron could pre-pick either the Japanese Tray or the Indian meal tray. I went with the Indian meal while my dining companions opted for the Japanese trays. 

Grapes & Soda has been on my list of places to visit for years, but just never got around to it. The majority of the space is dedicated to the cocktail bar, so it was only fitting that there would be special drinks for the evening. Mixed by Kaname Yasui, there was the Black Sancho Gimlet, a Roasted Banana Coconut Lassi and an Apple Oolong Soda. Of the three, the Apple Oolong Soda was the cocktail for me as I love fizzy sodas and it was on the sweeter side. 

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Maison Kitsune Cafe was not my Parisienne Dream

Cafe Kitsune is the newest addition to Vancouver's coffee scene. The allure of a Parisienne-inspired cafe where I could live my best "Emily in Paris" life was just too great to miss out on. Quietly opening its doors to Vancouverites along Water Street in Gastown, Cafe Kitsune offers classic caffeinated beverages and a small selection of eats. 

The lattes were served at our table in beautiful porcelain cups on a matching saucer. I do not think I have ever seen porcelain dishware at a casual eatery before, but I loved it and felt posh sipping out of the pearlescent cups. I had a classic matcha latte while my friend joining me opted for a plain latte. We paired our hot beverages with some food off of their brunch menu. The food is very rich, so go when you are hungry!

Friday, 11 March 2022

Candling Eggs in Anticipation of Chicken Hatching

Hatch day is fast approaching with Saturday, March 12th being just under a week away. I have my fingers crossed that I will have a brood of cute little hatchlings! In anticipation of the chick hatching, I have been checking the egg development by candling them. 

I thought candling would be simple. Place egg on light and observe the embryo development. Maybe I am doing it wrong, maybe I have bad eyes (fun fact: I have terrible eyesight - 6.25) or the eggs are not fertilized. It is tricky to get a glimpse into the eggs. Darker shells reduce the amount of light that shines through. It also does not help that I have no idea what I am looking for when candling. 

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Vallea Lumina Winter Whistler Night Walk

How I have gone this long without checking out Vallea Lumina is beyond me because I love outdoor attractions! Vallea Lumina is nestled within BC's glorious old-growth forests atop Cougar Mountain, a quick 10-minute drive north of Whistler Village. The unique outdoor multimedia excursion is part of The Adventure Group's numerous outdoor offerings in Whistler. Coincidently, Superfly Ziplines is also based out of the same location, so it was already a familiar site for me! 

I do not want to spoil Vallea Lumina for those that have yet to visit, so I am going to limit the amount of details I share. If I had to describe Vallea Lumina in one sentence, it would be:

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Hatching Chickens at Home - Initial Set-Up

I have always been an eccentric individual, but hatching chicks officially cements my title as the quirky weirdo in the friend group! I strongly believe that as humans, we all have our own path in life. We come across certain moments in life that can be interpreted as "signs" and on Thursday late night, I had just that happen to me. 

On my drive home I was listening to the radio and that is when I heard the advertisement for chick hatching experiences. The moment I was in front of my computer, I researched the company. For $155 plus tax, I would receive all necessary equipment to hatch fertile eggs. I am not even exaggerating when I say that within minutes I had entered my payment information and submitted my order. The next pick-up window was two days away on Saturday and it just so happened to be at the Ikea adjacent to my house. 

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Flight 2 Dessert Club x Potluck Hawker's Eatery

My friends have been raving about Potluck Hawker's Eatery and it was about time I tried it for myself. Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Sam Shem of The Dessert Club, is collaborating with various chefs and restaurants across Metro Vancouver for his Will Travel for Food series. Flight 2 takes us to Thailand and the Philippines! The Flight 2 collaboration between The Dessert Club and Chefs Justin Cheung and Raymond Reyes of Potluck Hawker's Eatery was a 2-day event. 

Since it was a limited event, tickets had to be purchased in advance. It was $55 per person which included a snack, beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), main and dessert. 

  • House-made bar snacks
  • Choice of beverage (alcoholic and non alcoholic options available)
  • Choice of main: Khao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai style curry chicken noodles) or Sisig Sizzle Rice (Filipino minced pig head cast iron rice plate)
  • Choice of dessert: Thai Tea Ice cream cake, Halo Halo or Turon with Chocolate Pot de Crème

Sunday, 2 January 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2022 is Pronounced 2020 Too?

Pandemic year number 2 has come to an end and we have officially entered 2022! For me, 2021 was still a great year. I know for many it was financially and medically challenging, but I was lucky to have had some wonderful experiences. 

In 2021:

  • Purchased my very first home! A beautiful 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom Townhouse!
  • Made amazing new friends 
  • Started a Fiverr business
  • Began taking care of my skin with monthly facials
  • Took a spontaneous trip to Calgary to Banff to Golden B.C. and back
  • Celebrated my 28th birthday with the Four Seasons Whistler team
  • Accepted a permanent work position
  • Shopped locally from independent boutiques
As for 2022, I do not know what it has in store for me. People are already labelling it to be a repeat of 2020 because if you say it out loud, it sounds a lot like "2020 Too." I for one want to stay positive. 

Happy New Year and Cheers to 2022!