Sunday, March 31, 2013 / Richmond Hill, ON, Canada

» He has Risen

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay."
Matthew 28:5-6
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Today is a big day, for many reasons.
First and foremost, today is the day that He has Risen. That in itself is something to celebrate about.
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Secondly, today is a big day for me too. Tim Neufeld from Starfield (my favorite Christian singer growing up as a kid) led worship this morning at my church. He was amazing. Listening to his voice transported me back to my elementary school. His voice is still the same and his passion for Christ is remarkable. 
Besides having an amazing worship session, I got the chance to meet him and talk to him personally. He shared his story and helped me realize my passion for helping the less fortunate.
I always knew I had a soft spot for children. And I always realized how my heart tugs and hurts whenever I see someone that is less fortunate (ie. A homeless/disabled person, etc). But I never put the two together.

And with that being said, my heart was literally pounding a million times a second when I was talking about this (okay not really but you know what I mean) so I just concluded that was a sign for me to step up to my calling and sponsor a child. :)
Say hi to the new addition to my family: Linet Wakio Khamisi
She lives in Kenya, and is going to be turning 4 years old this June.
By sponsoring her, I am just hoping that she gets to experience a fraction of the blessed life that I fortunately got to have.
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Lastly, today has definitely been a wake-up call for me.
I realized how beyond blessed I am. 
So many people complain about not having enough money to buy that designer purse, or some people even complain about having problems spending too much money. I've definitely said those things before, but it's SO silly. Like, here I am complaining about having too many clothes and there are people in this world who struggle to live day by day.
Who am I to complain?
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TLDR? Count your blessings, and learn to use your own blessing to help those who can't help themselves.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

» Buca: A taste of Italia

Another week, another TripCs with V!
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This week, we were quite last minute in choosing a restaurant to go, but I'm so glad V suggested this little Italian place. I would not have known of this restaurant if I wasn't with her. Although the address says it is on King Street, you would not have been able to find it unless you walked down this sketchy alleyway and turned a little corner.
But despite the ugly exterior, the interior made up for it.
How adorable is this set up?!
Situated in a big room with super high ceilings, open kitchen, Italian speaking staff.. I was transported back to Italy.
The menu was quite special because they change it every so often. Our waiter was explaining to us how the head chefs go to Italy months at a time to learn the new concepts and bring them back here to practice. How sick is that?!
hand-rolled dumplings made from onion ash, served with fresh broccoli, pecorino and
parmigiano cheese
double-stuffed ravioli, braised duck and foie gras, goat cheese mousse finished with
goose crackle, fresh citrus and lovage
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Overall, the food was amazing!
The gnocchi was kind of plain tasting and not as appealing as described, but the ravioli was to die for.
What I really liked about the ravioli was that they split the filling in half. So half of the ravioli was filled with the braised duck and foie gras, while the other half was filled with the cheese. Very interesting way to present the dish. Delicious!
And for dessert, we obviously had to end it off with the Classic Tiramisui.
It was amazing. It lived up to my expectations :)

So overall, I had a great experience at Buca. I definitely recommend it to anyone that loves Italian food (who doesn't?! Let's be real.)
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Address: 604 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6
Phone: (416) 865-1600
Buca Osteria & Enoteca on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» Romeo & Juliet National Ballet

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Being a ballerina (lol) when I was younger, I have loved ballet since I was a kid by default.
Romeo & Juliet has always been my favorite Shakespeare play, next to A Midsummer Night's Dream. In my high school days, I've watched the live play at least 3 times. But when I found out that I'd have time this year to watch Romeo & Juliet as a ballet, I just couldn't turn that opportunity down.
This was definitely something I was looking forward to ever since purchasing the tickets 2 months in advance!
Found this little telephone booth set up in the lobby of the Four Seasons :) so perfect, since at that exact time, my dad was in London for a business trip heh
Ready for the ballet to start!!
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Overall, I had an amazing time. It was amazing to just see howwwww great these ballet dancers were!! Juliet was amazing. She had such good form... Like wow, her legs LOL it made me miss dancing! :(
However, I also realized how difficult it would be to follow the ballet (since they don't talk, obviously) if you didn't know the story. I'm just really happy I got to watch this ballet with my beloved mommy!

If you love musicals and dance, I'd definitely recommend you to go see a ballet :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

» There's Always Tomorrow. Always.

"You’ve waited this long for someone to kinda, sorta, maybe pretend to like you, and it probably feels like it’ll never happen again. It will. Right when you’re not looking for it, when you’ve ceased to be a soppy washcloth, desperate for someone – anyone – to love you, when you’ve channeled your energy into achieving your goals and living a badass lifestyle that makes you happy, someone will come along who genuinely appreciates what an awesome human being you are. It won’t be forced, it’ll just make sense. And it will make you wonder how on earth you ever settled for less, and grateful to every single thing that brought you to this place and this moment."
I found this in my notes on my phone this morning on my way to work. What a great read slash reminder.
Happy Monday!! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» March Madness: Day 1&2

It's official. March Madness is more stressful than work.
If you asked me what March Madness was a month ago, I would have asked you whether it had to do with food and if not, then no.
I've always loved watching basketball, but never did I know that I would enjoy something like this so much.
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I'm SO glad my coworker forced me to take part in our company's pool for March Madness this year. He explained how everything worked and it sounded pretty fun. I mean, if I joined the pool, that would mean I'd be allowed to watch the games at work right? (Right?!?)
So even though I was going to make a huge fool of myself infront of everyone in my office.. I decided, why not?

Knowing nothing about NCAA or any of the teams for that matter, I went about picking my teams based on whether or not I recognized the name of the team LOL good thing my basketball fanatic friends gave me their bracket as a reference, but I still ended up picking whatever.
Only until it was after that I knew those little numbers next to the team names were their 'seeds' (aka rankings, for people who don't know this lingo)...LOL oops. Upsets ftw? Haha

Yesterday was the official first day of March Madness, and let me just tell you... Everyone that partook (is that a word) in this was literally yelling/screaming/staring at their computer screens during the last couple seconds of each game. And that includes me.
I've never been so stressed out at work before!!

ANYWAYS, this was a long intro of a post.
All I really wanted to do with this post was to post the top 10 brackets in my company pool. 
And I am so proud to say that I am currently 4th place in my entire company.. How is that possible? I am so happy LOL (I know this is not going to last, as upsets can happen and it will literally make everyone upset and change the standings drastically).
But I am so beyond addicted to this right now, it is unbelievable.

What am I doing with my life right now? If you guessed blogging about March Madness at work on one monitor, and watching the games on the other.. You are correct. :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 / Toronto, ON, Canada

» TOCA at the Ritz-Carlton

To commence V and I's weekly date nights, aka our TripCs.. We decided to start it off big at the Ritz-Carlton.
What a gorgeous hotel!
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We went there right after work (around 5:30ish pm) so it was still quite early. We were practically the only people there :) perfect!
Our waiter, Courney, was the best! He was so nice and helped us with the menu and gave us a tour of their famous Cheese Cave.
Candlelit dinner :) hehe
Started off with butter, and bread
1st C of the night: cocktails
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2nd C: cuisine
left - potato “tiza”, braised veal, spicy tomato jam, aioli 
right - nova scotia smoked trout, confit potatoes, caramelized onions 
bottom - homemade cheese croquettes
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The famous Cheese Cave
And a special C: cheese
Courney was the best and gave us a free cheese plate as a sample! :)
I absolutely hated it LOL but V adored it. Good thing one of us loves cheese!
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We actually wanted our photo to be blurry.. Jk. :(
I don't know if I should say it was fortunate or unfortunate, but we actually had to leave our beloved dinner earlier than we wanted to because we went to watch Safe Haven (the last C: cinema).

At TOCA, they pride themselves of using mainly Canadian ingredients and local foods. It definitely contributed to an amazing food experience, I have to admit I didn't want to leave.
The service, the food, the atmosphere, the food.. unbelievable!
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181 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3G7 Canada
Phone: +1 (416) 585-2500
TOCA on Urbanspoon

If you are a major foodie and love fine dining, you will absolutely adore partaking in this culinary experience at TOCA. Promise.

Monday, March 18, 2013 / Waterloo, ON, Canada

» St. Patrick's Day 2013: Waterloo edition

One Word: EZRA.
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For this year's St. Patrick's Day, I headed up to Waterloo for the weekend in hopes of being a part of something crazy. Let's just say.. Mission Accomplished.

With St. Paddy's being on a Sunday this year, it left me no choice but to start my day early so I would be able to bus home to Toronto for work the next day.
Setting my alarm to 8:45am felt disgusting on a weekend, but it had to be done.
The girls and I woke up, got ready, and headed out to Ezra to start drinking! Woopwoop.
We'll always have Paris.
(S/O to Brie for making the cutest little treats, and Tee for hosting & the cupcakes heh)
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& Back on the streets.. (Click for more pictures)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

» photo diary: February edition

{ kng-xo }

{ the huge snowstorm.. Yup, the pile of snow is almost as tall as me }

{ beautiful sunshine after the snow day }

{ featured in the National Post! }

 { B3 salad from iQ Foods! I still like the Lima better }

{ Hiro Sushi with the coworkers on a snowy day - amazing sushi! }

{ Chinese New Year show at FMP ... Obviously my mother had VIP tickets.. }

{ fam bonding time! Over ice cream.. Typs. }

{ my Tassimo always saves my life when I have to pull an allnighter }

{ probably the yummiest / cutest lemon sorbet ever! Purchased from Costco }

{ Fam Day potluck :) }

{ curlssss }

{ my view during the morning drive to the GO station... Can't complain }

{ homemade macarons for Valentines! }

{ Grey Goose Cherry Noir Launch Party }

{ Best dish of the month @ Lee }

{ First Raptors game }

{ No words needed. }

This is a super delayed post but my February was filled with so many memorable events! Just doing this post made me happy hehe just to think back on how great Feb was. I can't believe March is already 2/3s over! Ahhh!!! Time is flying. But be excited for March's photo diary :)
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