Monday, December 24, 2018 / Pensacola, FL, USA

The Ultimate Guide to Pensacola, Florida

If your dream vacation includes relaxing time at the beach, outdoor activities, eating good food and drinking amazing cocktails, all paired with cotton candy sunrises... Pensacola is the place for you.

Pensacola is located in the Northwestern part of the Florida state and sits on the Florida Panhandle. It is also about a 3-hour drive away from New Orleans, which I found to mean that the Southern hospitality is everywhere in this city! The first Naval Air Station is also located in Pensacola and it is also the base of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team! I have been told that it is a huge event whenever they do demonstrations and people line up on the beach just to watch it. If you get a chance, you need to go sailing on a trimaran with Condor Sailing. There are only 21 made in the world, and only 1 open to the public. The other 20 are still used for racing around the world! There is no leaning side-to-side, so therefore no seasickness!! Also, Captain Kirk is awesome. I actually got a couple DM's on Instagram from locals in Pensacola reiterating the same thing, so you know it's got to be legit ;)

If being on the water isn't your thing, you will absolutely love the beach. The sand is the purest white you'll ever see - it literally looks like a land of white sugar! It's the most amazing thing to walk around in, and it even squeaks as you walk on it because the sand is composed of almost 100% quartz!!! I highly recommend setting your alarm before the sun rises, so you can go to the beach to watch the sky turn into the pinkest cotton candy-like sky as the sun was rising. It was honestly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

Other activities I'd recommend checking out is the National Naval Aviation Museum and Fort Pickens, if you're into the historical sights! You can also visit one of the State Parks in the area and explore. We decided to visit the Big Lagoon State Park during our visit and spent some time canoeing! It was actually so peaceful to float around in the area (even though it was like an arm workout haha). After that, take a drive through the beach houses as they're all so stunning!! It was really fun to walk around and just explore different neighborhoods and see the different types of houses.

Don't forget about the food here too! As you can expect, the seafood is amazing in this town and it's something you don't want to miss out on. We got our fair share of oysters, fish, and shrimps, to say the least! Pensacola is also home to Restaurant IRON, one of 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America. We also enjoyed a really nice breakfast on our hotel balcony during our stay at the Hilton Pensacola Beach, where we got to enjoy the sunrise and ocean breeze from our rooms.

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I hope you were able to learn a bit about Pensacola through this post and that the above convinced you that Pensacola should be on your list of places to visit next!! To be completely honest with you, prior to visiting this region of Florida, the only two things that came to mind when someone mentioned Florida was crazy drinking in Miami or Disneyland in Orlando. I have been to both and have loved my time there, but Northwest Florida officially has my heart.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Host A Cookie Exchange Party, with President's Choice®

Ain't no party like a cookie party! 🍪🎈

Guys, can you believe it's mid-November already?! Although people typically mourn over the end of summer/autumn, this is actually one of my favourite times of the year. The gorgeous autumn colours (remember my trip to Muskoka I posted about?!) + the ramp up towards the holidays makes my heart happy. I always try to emphasize spending time with family and friends during this time of year & one of the best ways to do that IMO is to host a party!

The smell of cookies baking in the oven has got to be one of my favourite smells, but I'm a princess when it comes to cookies. I like variety, so when President's Choice® asked if I wanted to host a cookie exchange party, I was all in. The rules were simple: everyone bakes a dozen cookies. You meet up to share your cookies with everyone else & eat 'em all together! I can't think of a better excuse to noms on some cookies haha, can you? ;)


Tuesday, November 13, 2018 / Muskoka District Municipality, ON, Canada

Exploring Our Own Backyard, with Ford Canada

*beep beep* Get in, we're going on a road trip!

This past weekend, John and I decided to have a one-night stand & take a mini road trip up to Muskoka. We've both never been, or are we honestly 'cottage/camping' people, but with the new 2018 Ford EcoSport, we decided to go on an adventure up north together.

Our main focus of this trip was to (1) relax and unwind from the past couple of crazy busy months, and (2) learn to explore our own backyard! When's the last time you decided to spend a weekend just 2 hours away from home? When's the last time you decided to forfeit exploring your own country to go explore somewhere further, like the United States or Europe? That is definitely me, and I know I'm not alone in that.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018 / Florida, USA

15 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit Northwest Florida

If you've never been to Northwest Florida, I am not afraid to say that you are completely missing out! I visited South Walton, Pensacola, and the Emerald Coast, and I cannot say enough good things about it. So, here are 15 photos from my trip to NW Florida, along with a couple reasons, that I hope that will trigger your interest in planning a trip to any one of these areas!

Sunday, September 16, 2018 / Walton County, FL, USA

3 Reasons Why You Should Visit South Walton on Highway 30A

Have you heard of South Walton or Highway 30A? Located in Northwest Florida, South Walton stretches 26 miles along the Gulf of Mexico. It is made up of 16 little beachside towns including Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Inlet Beach, to name a few. The main road that goes through these towns is called Highway 30A, which is a scenic highway that 'hugs' the Gulf of Mexico coastline.

Krystle (@dineandfash) & I was fortunate to visit the area with Visit Florida earlier this month & I cannot tell you how quickly I fell in love. I am so, so excited to share what I saw and experienced when I was there!

Friday, August 31, 2018 / Toronto, ON, Canada

Why You Should Stay at Hotel X, A Luxury Hotel in Toronto

Ever wanted to just escape the hustle & bustle of the Toronto city and just stay at a luxurious resort... But still be in the city? X marks the spot at Hotel X Toronto.

Toronto’s newest, and only luxury hotel is now open on the Lake Ontario Waterfront & it welcomes you with open arms. I recently got the opportunity to stay here for a couple days with 3 of my favourite ladies, Krystle, Solmaz, and Soheila, and it was the perfect staycation. Hotel X is owned and operated by the Library Hotel Collection (LHC), which is a luxury boutique hotel brand known for operating some of the best hotels in the world, including the Aria Hotel in Budapest (#1!!). So you best believe LHC knows what they're doing with Hotel X. Besides being a luxury hotel, Hotel X has everything - and when I mean everything, I mean...



Friday, July 27, 2018 / Chicago, IL, USA

What to Eat and Drink in Chicago (+ A Travel Vlog!)

Chicago has always been one of my favourite cities to visit. It has so much great food, the nightlife is awesome, & it has beaut architecture! When we visited the city a couple weeks back, our main priority was very clear - we wanted to eat good food and have a couple draanks. And we did just that. I decided to put together a fun, little vlog showing everything I ate and drank in Chicago. I'd highly suggest eating and drinking everything we did, because we had an amazing trip ;) haha kidding (maybe). But if you are interested, I listed out everything down in order below for your reference! 


• Chips on the plane (because calories don't count when you're on vacation)
• Military latte at Sawada Matcha
• Breakfast at Meli Cafe
• Rosé at The Hampton Social (pinterest #goals)
• Drinks at Parlour Pizza
• Lunch at Little Goat Diner
• Gorgeous cocktails at Z Bar in The Peninsula Chicago
• Pizza and drinks at Parlour Pizza (again haha)
• Beer(s) at a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field (+ a chicago dog)
• Taquitos and chips at Cafe El Tapatio
• $1 beers and ramen at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya
• Coffee from Peets
• SHACKBURGER FROM SHAKE SHACK (+ crinkle cheese fries YUM)
• Ending off the trip with a beer cheers at ORD

Thanks for following along!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 / Chicago, IL, USA

Most Instagramable Cafe in Chicago

No questions asked, Sawada Matcha is the prettiest coffee shop in Chicago. Opened by Hiroshi Sawada, the first Asian World Champion Barista of "Latte Art World Championship" in 2008, Sawada Matcha is the sister cafe of the original Sawada Coffee in Chicago.

Sawada Matcha is located in River North and has a completely different vibe when compared to Sawada Coffee - think more modern, more photo friendly, more Instagramable, same delicious matcha.

I'll let the photos speak for itself!

"What to order at Sawada Matcha" is really a preference question. They're famous for their matcha, hence the name haha, but specifically known for their military lattes. A military latte is a matcha latte with a shot of espresso. The mixture between the roasty espresso & creamy matcha is just unbelievable!! But regardless of what you order, you can be sure that it will come with the prettiest latte art. See for yourself below!

So if you're into beautiful lattes and a pretty interior, be sure to add Sawada Matcha to your list of places to visit when you're in Chicago next. Cheers!

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Friday, July 13, 2018 / Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal in One Day • Photo Diary + VLOG

If you think the above cover photo is a photo of me in San Francisco, you are mistaken - this was taken in Lisbon!!


Monday, July 09, 2018 / Provence, France

Lavender Fields in Provence

Checking out lavender fields in Provence has always been on my bucketlist, but I didn’t know I’d be going to visit them this year! When planning my road trip through France, it honestly did not even cross my mind to go because I had no idea when lavender season was. When we arrived in France, it came up in a random conversation and I learned that it was actually the PERFECT time to visit. I was so, so happy that we were able to add it to our itinerary on our last day before flying back to Toronto.

Staying in Marseille, we drove an hour up north past Aix-en-Provence towards Valensole to seek out the beautiful fields of purple. Although there are a number of spots to choose from, we decided on finding lavender fields in Valensole (aka the closest one) and it honestly couldn’t have been a better decision!

Even though I would have LOVED to go during sunrise or sunset, we weren’t able to due to the distance it takes for us to get to and from our hotel in Marseille. We ended up going around 5pm (to miss the harsh, afternoon sunlight) and it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t busy – everyone was able to spread out into a row of lavender and take your own pictures.

I found that it was quite hard to plan because these lavender fields aren’t explicitly listed on Google Maps, like a restaurant would be per se. But I ended up finding one through endlessly searching on other people’s blog posts haha. The field that we went to was called Lavandes Angelvin (Latitude: 43.824546 | Longitude: 5.938015). If you’re looking for an actual place to put into your GPS, this is it. PLUS, this field has lavender and sunflowers. If you're lucky, you'll be able to see both!

Here are a list of things you must know when planning to visit the lavender fields in Provence:

• Please look online first as to whether the lavender is even blooming! There's no point planning to visit if they aren't even in full bloom. Even if they just started to bloom, you won't get the same 'full' effect.
• Stay a night in a town nearby. You’ll not only be able to wake up early to go at sunrise, you’ll also be able to stay late until sunset (usually around 9:30 to 10pm).
• To avoid aimlessly driving around the area, make sure you put in a specific address or coordinates into your GPS. It’ll save you the hassle of aimlessly driving to find the purple fields!
• If you have any form of allergies (i.e. to Spring, nature, etc.), do NOT forget to take your allergy pills 30 minutes before arriving. There are way too many things in bloom that will irritate your nose.
• Bee-ware of all the bees!! There are so many swarming everywhere. Even though they will most likely not hurt you because they are too lavender-happy, it is good to note. As long as you keep moving and don't both them, you will bee fine.

Enjoy, xx

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 / Toronto, ON, Canada

Behind The Scenes of MasterChef Canada Season 5 Episode 11: Pop-Up Star

When I got asked if I was available to be a guest on MasterChef Canada Season 5, there was no other response I could think of than "YES CHEF!"

7 months ago, I got the opportunity to visit the MasterChef Canada set in Toronto and be a part of the show in the best way I knew how - obviously not cooking haha. I'm leaving that up to the pros. Alongside 30 other blogger and influencers, we had no idea what we were in for until we got there. I was just excited to meet with the MasterChef Canada judges, Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile.

Once we arrived, we were quickly briefed that we would be in the Top 3 Home Cooks episode of MasterChef Canada and that we were going to be tasting their dishes and critiquing one of them. I was beyond excited. I've always wondered how they film cooking shows. When do they do commentary of the process and their dishes? Do the cooks actually get the correct allotted time as we see it on TV? Is it as stressful as they make it seem? I couldn't wait to find out for myself.

We watched a little from the backstage, which was basically a wall of a million cameras (so cool). And then, we got to walk through the MasterChef pantry in order to get onto the main set. When we were walking through, all of us could barely keep quiet from the excitement. We took a couple pictures, hence the picture of me behind the MasterChef Canada table/sign with a huge, fat grin on.

Once we walked on set and were being filmed, it goes a bit blurry haha. I low key blacked out a bit because I was so overwhelmed by how cool it was and also starstruck from the three judges. Because I sat right in front of the stage, I got to hear and watch the judges closely. I got to hear Chef Michael Bonacini and Chef Claudio Aprile chat about the home cooks on the stage (that's when they do their commentary!) and I remember them repeating certain phrases just to get their comments with the correct emphasis haha. Loved seeing that! And yes, we also got to witness Chef Alvin Leung yell "1 MORE MINUTE!!" haha. It was honestly such a crazy experience already.

The Top 3 home cooks did an amazing job under pressure, and it was so fun to watch them in action. Yes, they do work really quick and I swear they run up and down their stations at least 20 times in the last couple minutes! Congratulations to the top 3 for making it this far - Andy Hay from Nova Scotia, Michael Griffiths from Richmond Hill, and Beccy Stables from Alberta.

And then, it was our turn. The theme of the Season 5 Episode Episode 11 "Pop-Up Star" was that the top 3 home cooks would be opening their own 'pop-up restaurant' on set, with 10 influencers at each pop-up restaurant. We were served our dishes and we got working right away. We took our photos, and then it came time to taste the food. Chef Alvin Leung came to our table to ask us about what we thought about the food. If I am being honest, I don't even remember what I said! I seemed to have forgotten how to speak English LOL oops. Either way, before I knew it, we all finished eating our dishes and we were ushered to walk back out while the judges deliberated.

And that's a wrap! From being backstage, to walking through the MasterChef pantry, to meeting the 3 incredible judges, to watching these talented home cooks show off their skillz, & to just see how the whole production comes to life... To just say this was an amazing experience would be an understatement. A huge thanks to MasterChef Canada, Proper Television, and CTV for this opportunity. I'll never forget it!

Curious to see who's delicious lamb dish I got to taste? Tune in at 9pm tonight on CTV!

Here I am on MasterChef Canada!!! It was exactly what I had hoped for - a quick clip of me just eating haha. I'm looking way too serious though! Trust me when I say I was probably screaming from excitement on the inside :P What an experience!

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