Monday, December 30, 2013

• Big Moments of 2013

December 31st is the one day I sit and reflect on my past year.
And my favorite thing about having this blog is that I can document it (so I'll remember).

Here are a couple of my big moments,
and some of my small yet significant moments
of 2013

Starting with the biggest moment of 2013:
I finished my undergrad! I can't believe I'm at the point in life where I am no longer a student.
Cheers to that!!

My 2nd biggest moment of 2013:
I found my dream job, and will be officially starting my full-time career here in January!

And my last big moment of 2013:
Receiving my first letter from my sponsored child in Kenya.
In April of this year, the little voice in my head was urging me to sponsor a child so I decided to listen to it.
Everyone, meet Linet! :)
I can't wait to watch her grow and help her in any way I can.
All I want is to share with her at least a fraction of the fortunate life I have.

And now, the rest of my little moments in 2013: 
In August, I had the chance to visit Disneyland and relive my childhood memories!

I finally got to see Taylor Swift, one of my favorite singers, live (and this was my first concert ever!)

I made frosting successfully for the first time!

I finally got a new laptop after 5 years!

Being front row for AvB and being on the jumbotron :) oh and having Armin smile at me and copy my little happy dance, nbd.

As a pre-graduation present to ourselves, we went to Vegas! (best time)

I actually went out and dressed up for Halloween lol I haven't done dressed up since I was probably 7 years old! (not a fan of this day)

Meet the 3 most important people in my life: my family :)

And yes, I convocated :)

First and last Homecoming as a Laurier student! I'll be an Alumni from now on :o

Going to my first Raptors game with the fam! So happy my parents enjoyed it :)

I had the opportunity to attend the launch party for Grey Goose Cherry Noir

Seeing SHM in Toronto! *insert emoji*

That time I jumped off a plane 15,000ft above ground...yeah. Skydiving in Las Vegas :D

I made sweet potato gnocchi from scratch, and it was actually super delicious! (I'm not a good cook lol)

Ending off my Laurier career with one last amazing summer!

Surviving #darkTO and the crazy ice storm!

Plus many more that photos never captured :)

And last but not least, my foodie adventures - aka what 80% of my blog posts are.
I cannot wait to be back downtown so I can continue to try new things (and food)! :D

And the end-of-the-year quote that I always tell myself:
2013 was an amazing year that was full of many milestones and surprises (good ones), and I am really thankful for everyone who was part of my life.
So 2014, you have a lot to live up to!

Have a wonderful New Years celebration, and be safe everyone!
Cheers to the end of 2013 *clink clink*

Sunday, December 22, 2013

• these small moments

Today I woke up to a blackout :( aka no power, no heat, and just sheets of ice outside.

So instead of waking up and starting to study right away, I had a couple hours of quiet time while I waited for power to come back :)
It was much needed.
Just me, the quiet world, and my slippers!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

» Candy Cane Bliss

My morning coffee ritual has officially become excited for Christmas!
What better way to express that excitement than through candy canes?
1 cup of delicious hot coffee or steaming hot chocolate
1 large candy cane
Optional: an additional candy cane(s)

And there you have it :) your very own Peppermint Christmas in a cup!

Cheers, xo

Friday, December 13, 2013

• these small moments

{ biting into a macaron to find out that there was a secret filling }

I love my sweets. But when there is a delightful surprise, it's even better.
These were from Butter Avenue. Read about my post here :)
This macaron flavor was Hazelnut and Cranberry. It's an odd flavour to combine but trust me, it was so good! Especially with the cranberry jelly surprise :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013 / The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada

» El Catrin Destileria

As it was my first time being in the Distillery District for the Christmas Markets, I've never had a chance to try El Catrin. I've only heard good things so I was quite excited to try it out. Even if it meant waiting in line in the freezing cold for an hour!
Everyone who didn't make reservations had to sit on the patio, which was thankfully heated (but barely).
Here's their narrow walkway into the restaurant.
The restaurant was actually decorated really well, in my opinion.
The patio area comprised of intimate booths and also scattered tables surrounding a fireplace in the middle.
The interior, however, was another story! It was such a different 'feel'.
Snapped this pic of the inside as I was heading to the washroom.
If I ever come back, I definitely want to sit inside!

Back to the food...
We ordered a pitcher of their House Sangria, which was actually disappointing! It was full of ice and the only fruit I saw in it was bits and pieces of orange peels - not what I was expecting at all. 

Our appetizer:
Guacamole en la mesa | avocado, tomato, onion, fresh cilantro, serrano chili
Too bad it came after we got all our food! Fail.
The Sangria and the guac on the side

And to the main course: tacos!
Out of their taco menu:
Baja Tacos | crispy fried haddock, chipotle lime coleslaw, flour tortilla

And under their house specials section of the menu:
Cochinita Pibil | Pork brisket braised 24 hours with axiote and orange juice  and slow roasted in banana leaf, served with black bean purée,  queso cotija, habanero and red onion pickle and corn tortilla
Costilla Corta en Mole Almendrado | beef short rib braised 24 hours with almond mole, sweet potato  purée, sautéed sugar snap peas

Sorry for the lack of photos. It was super dark there and we were way too cold to take good photos!
- - -
Overall, all I could think about was how cold it was.
The heaters weren't working too well, and we got seated on the side of the restaurant where gusts of wind kept visiting us and our table of food. Needless to say, our food got cold really fast where it wasn't that hot to begin with.
The baja tacos were my favorite of the night! It had a little spicy kick to it which made it even better. The guac was good, but how can you go wrong with avocado? But the last two dishes from their house special menu was not good at all. The meat was super dry and cold - not appetizing what so ever.
I probably would have liked this restaurant more if it was a nice hot summer day or if I was sitting inside.
El Catrin Destileria on Urbanspoon

Hopefully I'll be back to the Distillery District another time to try out another restaurant!

Monday, December 09, 2013 / The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada

» Toronto Christmas Markets

- - -
After experiencing Christmas Markets for the first time last year in Paris, I had to check out Toronto's!
Located at the Distillery Historic District, V and I decided to go check it Toronto's Christmas Markets on the first weekend and it was paaaaacked (and full of holiday cheer)!
Look at the beautiful lights! And the crowds and crowds of people.

I've never been to a Christmas market until last year (I got the opportunity to experience the one in Paris, France and also the one in London, England!) and although I'm not a big fan of crowds, I thoroughly enjoyed walking through these markets. It basically screams, "Happiest time of the year!" hahah I love the Christmas cheer :)

We walked by all the booths and nothing really caught my eye. So needless to say, I didn't purchase anything :(
But we did get these...
A little sneakpeak of the Christmas tree there.. :)
Bebe Rudolph!
Being silly while waiting in line 
They have a Coca-Cola photo booth! For $1, you get 2 photo strips as souvenirs.
Also, free Coke as you're waiting in line :)
Although it was freezing, I couldn't pass it up!
And the enormous Christmas tree :) such a pretty sight!
The markets after closing.
The booths look soo cute and the streets are so peaceful. Love it.
If only it snowed a little and there was snow on the ground.. It'd be perfect!
It's a perfect date place to go over the holidays, but hurry! It's over on December 15th so you only have a couple more days!
Enjoy :) xo
- - -
My actual look for the day hehe
I haven't gone out in a longggg time due to studying, so this was the first time I've curled / put on make-up in weeks LOL
Bored of studying = selfies galore!

But on a happier note (aka food-related note)...
After waiting in line for an hour in the cold, we finally got to try:
Stay tuned for my next post!
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