7.30.2014

Chicago Bound


I'm heading to Chicago tomorrow for my friend's wedding this weekend and thought I'd do a little throwback to my first time there when I visited my cousin 5 years ago. This photo was taken at The Bean and I can't wait to be back in the Windy City.

7.28.2014

Taste of Toronto



Food, food and more food. Toronto held its first ever Taste of Toronto this past weekend and celebrated our love of food. With over 70 participating restaurants and exhibitors, the festival featured some of the city's best and most popular restaurants, food and drinks. In other words, it was true foodie heaven.

I had the pleasure of meeting celebrity chef, Mark McEwan, and it was nice to see him working the Bymark tent, making sure the orders were coming through and handing out dishes to customers. Incredibly nice and charming, he chatted us up for a few minutes before we hungrily devoured our food. I tried Bymark’s famous lobster poutine, with a generous portion of juicy lobster pieces, crispy fries, and smothered in a creamy b√©arnaise sauce. It was scrumptious to say the least, and one of my favourite dishes there. A bite out of my friend's fried chicken from One instantly revealed its deliciousness as well, with a nice crispy skin and a tangy chipotle BBQ sauce.






Although I wanted to try everything in sight, I had to be picky, which proved difficult for my indecisive (and hungry) self. In the end, I settled for seafood paella from Patria, Kinton’s pork ramen, Australia black truffle ricotta ravioli from Splendido as well as fresh oysters from there, and delicious deep fried octopus balls from GuuAs if that wasn’t enough, I also sampled various juices from Greenhouse Juice, Juice Matters, and Bloo, tasted several flavoured olive oils from OliveOil Emporium, and inhaled yummy chocolate spreads from Laura Secord



My absolute favourite from the festival though had to be something that was so simple and quite frankly, a genius concept: cheese wrapped in hardened maple syrup. From Ninutik Maple Sugar, maple syrup was poured over a tray of snow (yes, snow!) which hardened the syrup. Cubes of cheese (cheddar, gouda, and blue cheese) was then rolled in the mixture, coating it with a sweet and sticky layer. The combined flavours of sweet and salty was an explosion in your mouth -- it takes cheese to a whole other level. I'm not a fan of blue cheese on its own, but paired with the maple syrup was simply delectable. The sweetness from the syrup balanced out the sharpness of the blue cheese nicely. I'm thinking come winter, I may just have to pour maple syrup over my snow covered lawn and make these little bites of heaven for myself.




I was also lucky enough to run into the lovely Meghan Markle who plays Rachel Zane in the hit TV show Suits. As one of my girl crushes from one of my favourite shows, I was excited to meet her and she was so sweet and even more gorgeous in person.




By the end of the night, I was so insanely stuffed that I literally could not move, let only breathe. I had eaten my way around the festival, sampling everything to my heart’s (but unfortunately not my stomach’s) content. It was a great and fun experience and I hope to be back again next year.




7.24.2014

A Big Fat Chindian Wedding -- Ceremony Edition

 

As the whole point of my trip to Australia was to attend my cousin’s wedding, it was definitely one of the major highlights and I am so glad I went. Although there were a few hiccups during the big day, everything was still incredibly beautiful and wonderful. Held at Mural Hall, its grandiose setting was fit for a big fat Chindian wedding (Chinese-Indian hybrid). The day started with a traditional Hindu ceremony where a sacred fire was lit, and the bride and groom walked around it as blessings were chanted by the priest. 

With touches of both Chinese and Indian elements, the decor was stunning and aesthetic. I was excited that the ceremony also gave me a chance to wear my gorgeous sari again (I was a bridesmaid at my friend's Indian wedding last summer). Check back soon for part two of the Chindian Wedding chronicles where the tea ceremony and reception will be featured.









7.22.2014

Pretty Pink Notecards

I love handwritten notes. Whether giving or receiving, there's something personal, thoughtful, and meaningful with taking the time to write your thoughts and sentiments on paper, especially in this day and age. With these pretty pink notecards from Peter Pauper Press at Chapters Indigo, it makes the process all the more special.

7.18.2014

Mad for Mamasita




Before my trip to the Melbourne Zoo, I fuelled up and had an amazing Mexican meal at a place called Mamasita. A popular restaurant in Melbourne with line-ups out the door, its charming and cozy ambiance was inviting, but the real star was the food. We shared an array of dishes, from tacos, ceviche, fried tortilla chips, chickpea fritters, and a drowned sandwich, all mouth-watering and delicious. 

The street style corn in particular was to die for, chargrilled to perfection with queso (melted cheese), chipotle mayo and lime. I could’ve eaten 10 of these -- it was simply divine. My mouth is already watering as I'm writing this. Another outstanding dish was the grilled prawns with toasted garlic and a creamy green almond sauce. I especially liked that the food wasn't too spicy either as my taste buds can only handle a small amount of spice. Full of great flavours and depth, everything at Mamasita's was just delightful and I can see why it's one of Melbourne's hot food spots.






7.17.2014

7.16.2014

Lilac Love

This pretty lilac ukulele matches my nails perfectly. Love.

7.15.2014

Melbourne Zoo





When travelling to different cities, I always like a trip to the local zoo. So when I was in Melbourne, I was excited to check out their zoo, especially considering my love for Aussie animals. With palm trees and lush greenery, the Melbourne Zoo is not only a beautiful zoo, but Australia's oldest and home to over 320 animals. Although I didn't get to see them all, I did see the usual elephants, giraffes and lemurs, along with Aussie favourites such as koalas, kangaroos and emus. The Butterfly House and the Great Flight Aviary were lovely exhibits, with the latter broken into three different regions, representing an Australian rainforest, wetlands and bushland. I captured way too many photos but here are some of the best shots. To see my close up experience feeding an adorable koala, click here.









7.14.2014

Fancy Fascinator

Last weekend, I attended a garden wedding in a gorgeous venue at Niagara-on-the-Lake, wearing this fancy fascinator. Full post on the wedding to come soon.

7.11.2014

Mango Chia Pudding




A few weeks ago, I discovered the wonderfulness that is chia pudding and it has now become my favourite go-to breakfast. Creamy and rich, it reminds me of tapioca but better and tastier. I love waking up to this as you make it the night before and in the morning, it's ready to go. It's a super healthy start to the day and the chia seeds keeps you feeling full. I usually like to mix up my chia pudding with various fruits and toppings depending on what I have on hand; however, with mangoes in full summer swing, I knew I had to incorporate my favourite fruit into this yummy meal. Layers of silky mango cream intertwining with the luscious pudding create a sweet and delightful treat.




Mango Chia Pudding Recipe (Serves 4):

Ingredients:

- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla flavoured almond milk
- 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 ripe mangoes
- A handful of sliced almonds

Directions:

1. In a medium airtight container, combine the almond milk, Greek yogurt, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
2. Whisk in the chia seeds.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.
4. The next day, slice mangoes and scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth consistency. 
5. In a glass, spoon a layer of pudding, then a layer of mango cream and alternate until the glass is filled.
6. Top with silvered almonds or any other nuts. Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge.

7.10.2014

Tea Party Prettiness

A beautiful afternoon tea in the Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Post to come on this delectable experience soon.

7.09.2014

The University of Melbourne



The University of Melbourne is a beautiful university with a large campus and gorgeous architecture. As Australia’s second oldest university (or uni as the Aussies call it since they like to abbreviate everything), it is rich in history and culture. It also holds special memories for my cousin and cousin-in-law. They both attended the uni and took me on a little tour, showing me where they attended their classes, the lovely backdrops where their wedding photos were taken, and even the exact spot where they first met and my cousin proposed, 7 years later.