Matcha + Snacks

Hello and happy August 🙂

I’ve always loved matcha lattes from cafes and matcha-flavored desserts, but I’ve never actually had just matcha powder to use before – so when my mama gave me a tin, I had no clue what to do with it. I don’t have a whisk and I didn’t want a hot matcha drink right in the middle of summer, so I went on Pinterest. I just wanted to share 2 of my favorite ways to easily incorporate matcha into your snacking habits! ~

First Recipe: Matcha White Chocolate Covered Strawberries 

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For this, I bought some white chocolate chips from Bulk Barn and loosely followed a recipe from Pinterest (I always add things to taste LOL). For that bowl, I added in only about half of a tablespoon of matcha (or until the color turned light green) and I felt that it was the perfect matcha/chocolate balance. Unfortunately, these strawberries weren’t the prettiest -.-, but they still tasted amazing!

Recipe 2: Matcha Yogurt Parfait 

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For this, I just added a tiny spoonful of matcha powder to my vanilla yogurt, and added some raspberries/bananas and honey. I didn’t have chia seeds, but I feel like they’d be a great addition to this as well! I love the taste of matcha so it made my regular yogurt taste a little bit more fun, and it also gives you a nutritious energy boost so win-win I guess!

Feel free to message me with any other easy/lazy-girl matcha recipes as well! A little bit of matcha goes a long way, so I’ll still be working on my tin for a while lol.

-E.

PS: I’m obsessed with my new rose tattoo by Ethan Albert at Chronic Ink!! He did this one gratis as part of his apprenticeship, but he’ll be taking appointments within the month when he completes his training!

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Buca Yorkville

Meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time was nerve-wracking, but it was also dope because they took us out for dinner at Buca Yorkville (I was sooo grateful!!), a newly-opened “seafood-centric” Italian restaurant affiliated with the other iconic Buca restaurants – Buca on King and Bar Buca. Though I’ve never been to either, they’ve been extremely talked up by ma boo (who’s a chef so he’s into this shit) so I was so excited to try Buca Yorkville, especially since I adore seafood!

When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the decor of the restaurant. It was really simplistic but beautiful, with very minimalist yet thoughtful details. The restaurant featured a large open kitchen, where you could watch the chefs (there were a lot of them!) at work.

Our server was amazing as well – he was so on top of his shit and knew so much about the dishes, their ingredients, and the process. He gave really thoughtful suggestions and provided a lot more insight about the menu.

The first thing we ordered I unfortunately do not have a photo of (I felt so extra taking pics of my meal in front of his parents LOL). It was the Nodini, rosemary bread knots with olive oil and garlic, and lemme tell you ohhh my goodness they were AMAZING. I might even be shameless enough to go to Buca Yorkville in the future just to get an order of those (or 2 or 3) and a cocktail or something. They tasted like they came straight from the oven, and were soo buttery and rich.

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Next, we got the Salumi di Mare, a selection of cured fish that was so unique! One of my favorite things to get are charcuterie boards, and I’ve never really tried selections with cured fish, so it was so interesting to try five different types of seafood salumi, something Buca Yorkville is well known for. We tried the Soppressata di Tonno (spicy pork fat & tuna bloodline salami) and Soppressata di Polipo (octopus salami, preserved lemon) for sure. The one with the green bits was a shrimp and pistachio, while the middle one was a very flavorful and dry fish. The board was served with black bread dumplings which were so unique and great to pair with the board, as well as tart and crisp picked onions.

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For my main, I ordered the POLIPO E VONGOLE – braised octopus, b.c. clams, bone marrow, cavolo nero, crisp artichoke, fregola sarda. It was super rich but super tasty, and the bone marrow really added a unique flavor to it.

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Jake ordered the RAVIOLI – Alaskan king crab stuffed pasta, pea tendrils, brodo di mare. Though I didn’t get to try much of it, what I had was amazing!

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For dessert, I ordered their lavender gelato, which came with a warm little puffy bread thing. I loved it so much – one of my favorite things to eat is hot / cold pairings for some reason. This dessert was Jake’s order (he’s a huge fiend for sweets lol), the PIZZELLE – crisp abruzzese waffles, chestnut ganache, whipped cream, and crema inglese. It was so rich and delicious, and was served with the cream poured in front of you. As if you needed to get more excited about dessert.

Something else I wanted to mention was the sugar that came with coffee – they have this amazing espresso-infused whipped sugar that you can put in your coffee. It’s extremely sweet but also quite bitter from the espresso flavor. I could honestly eat it on its own, but its so rich that only a tiny spoonful would make a huge difference in a cup of coffee.

Overall, I thought this restaurant was awesome. Amazing service, presentation, decor, and food. Next on my list is to try their more casual snack bar experience, Bar Buca!

-E.

 

OOTD

Quick post about my outfit for a casual date night at Queen St. Warehouse ~

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Top: H&M, Skirt: Dynamite

I’ve been really loving current fashion trends that go more “casual” and “street” vs. the very “girly girl” or “preppy” look that was in when I was in high school lol. I could never give up my girly pencil skirts (they’re so flattering!), but instead of pairing it with something dressy I wore it with a slightly-too-large H&M T-shirt which I knotted, and Stan Smiths (so basic! Kill me!) for a less fitted & more comfy outfit.

How do you wear your girly shit while still keeping it casual & comfortable? Lemme know!

-E.

TOT the Cat Café

Happy Saturday friends ~

This past Thursday, I took my boyfriend (who loooves kitties) to the cat café near College & Spadina to play with the cats. I had gone to the TOT once last year for a short time, and felt like I didn’t really get to experience it fully because it was packed, and when I finally got in all of the cats were tired and sleeping and we didn’t want to wake them up :(.

This time around, it wasn’t too busy – we waited ~25 minutes to get in. Their rule is that you can play with the cats with a minimum $5 purchase of food, or with a $10 donation. We bought apple cider, an orange soda, a cheese cake, and a fruit cup. I was super dissatisfied with the service this time because half-way through finishing the fruit cup, we saw that some pieces of fruit were completely covered in mold… when bringing it to the attention of the employee, he didn’t seem very apologetic, stated that they were “made today” (yes, because apples turn black within the day.. smh) and simply gave us another fruit cup, which also tasted super weird (we threw most of it out). We didn’t further complain because we like the cause that TOT is supporting and that they’re helping animals, but I don’t think it excuses this mishap as it is an issue of food safety. Seeing how cavalier the employee was about such a large amount of mold was a little bit scary, as his attitude would also affect the condition of the other food he’s responsible for.

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After our wait, we were able to go into the cat room to play with the cats! They were so much more energetic this time than the last time I came, and I had a lot of fun petting them and playing with toys. Some of them seemed a little bit scared of humans which made me a little sad, but they were so cute that I’m sure they’d find homes really soon.

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A heads up for anyone thinking to go in the future – the area is very very small! The employee let in 8 or 9 people at one point, and it was super cramped. Depending on who you’re in the cat room with, your experience may vary. For me personally, if I see someone playing with a cat I won’t come up to the cat and interrupt them, but the people in the room with us obviously thought differently. The people who went in with us were super loud and obnoxious, which slightly dampened our experience (side note – I somewhat admire those kinds of people though, like I wish I was secure enough to be super rambunctious in public and not care at all what others think lol).

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^ He looks so happy lol!

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Despite the mold and other situational factors, I still had a really good time and had fun playing with the cats with Jake. I really hope that in the future, someone expands on this idea and we get more cat cafes, or even dog cafes like they have in Korea~

-E.

DREAMS FESTIVAL 2017

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As you may know, last weekend was Toronto’s annual “Digital Dreams” music festival, which was this year rebranded as “Dreams” – a 19+ “boutique” music festival geared towards those who consider themselves more “music enthusiasts”, rather than those who are just looking for a good time. I bought my tickets for just Saturday super last minute, off someone I found on Toronto Rave Community for $80, though one-day tickets retailed for $125 (not including fees) from the Dreams website.

With the rising popularity of music festivals and electronic music, I wanted to write a post about my experience for anyone contemplating attending next year. I just wanted to clarify that my experiences are based on my music tastes and preferences completely, and that other people may have had a completely different impression of the festival completely!

To begin, it was really hard for me not to compare this year’s experience with my experience last year, despite the rebranding. Last year I went for both days, and paid ~$250 for everything. I was extremely happy with my experience last year as I found that the lineup was more diverse, the production was more grand, and the crowd was larger. Though there are upsides to having a smaller crowd at a music festival, I love meeting new people and making new friends while bonding over music.

As with last year, there were 3 stages – one “main” stage with the most popular DJs, a secondary stage that usually plays “deeper” music, and a tent which ranges from bass, to dubstep, to trance. Last year’s main stage was huge, but unfortunately renovations to the venue made it impossible for them to keep the same set-up as last year. As such, this year’s “main” stage was TD Echo Beach (last year’s secondary stage), and the secondary stage was what they called the “Waterfront” stage but was SO small that apparently some attendees who went both days didn’t even know it was there.

This year, I was most excited to see Malaa, DJ Hanzel (Dillon Francis’s deep-house spinning alter ego), Shiba San, Dillstradamus (Dillon Francis + Flosstradamus), Anna Lunoe, Feed Me, and Infected Mushroom. I was super happy with all of these artists’ performances, but unfortunately I feel like the production of the event overall decreased my enjoyment. For example, international DJs like Malaa, Shiba, Hanzel, etc., were playing on the Waterfront stage, which was one of the smallest stages I have ever seen at a festival. Given their status and their fan base, I felt that it was such a waste of their talent to have such a minute set-up. Not that I believe that bigger is better (I am all for “intimate” venues LOL), but issues with that setup are that there wasn’t room for the crowd (a large majority of people were sitting on a hill as there wasn’t enough space to dance!) and sound bleeding (hearing sounds from other stages – it really distracts from a set).

All in all, I had a good time because of the artists killing it (I think DJ Hanzel, Malaa, and Shiba San did a great job especially), but I definitely do not think it would be worth going if you paid full price from the website, which was more expensive than last year but offered less value. I’m not sure what Ink was trying to do by marketing it as a “boutique” festival this year, but I really hope that next year they return to what it used to be!

See below for a video of DJ Hanzel’s opening at the Waterfront stage~

-E.

P.S. – I realize I have extremely unique music taste in EDM, but if you like deep dark shit, check out my July ’17 playlist on SoundCloud (no DVBBS or Chainsmokers here hehe)

ELECTRIC ISLAND MAY 2017

Hello friends!

Despite promising myself I’d blog more this year, I ended up taking another 2-month hiatus — but the good thing is, I finally graduated! After months of that University of Toronto grind, I’ve managed to get my undergrad degree for Rotman Commerce and my minor in psychology completed (as well as achieving my goal of increasing my GPA!!! :D)

With Canada Day coming up, I thought I’d write this post about Electric Island – one of Toronto’s most iconic summer music festivals for techno and tech house music. Traditionally hosted on Toronto Centre Island – you take the ferry and walk out to Hanlan’s point where the stages and music are. There are 5 EI’s per summer, each one is on a long weekend from May to August.

My first time at EI was last summer, and I loved it so much I ended up attending 2 more that year after my first experience. Though I would only consider myself someone who appreciates techno (I love that kind of music but I haven’t explored as many artists in that genre as I have with other genres like bass or house), I find that everything – the crowd, the setting, the music – goes together in such a unique and wonderful way that is so different from other festivals I’ve been to. Even my friends who aren’t the biggest fans of techno (they need that 1-2-3 jump lol) really enjoyed Electric Island. Some of my favorite DJs I’ve seen at EI are EATS EVERYTHING (amazing amazing set – check out this song he remixed of Green Velvet it’s one of my favs!), Green Velvet (playing a Get Real set), Joris Voorn, and Ben Klock.

So, I’ll post a few photos I took at the event as well as a recap video I made 🙂 Hope it makes it easier for some of you to decide what you want to do for Canada Day~

Note: This year, Toronto Island has unfortunately been closed due to flooding. The May 2017 event was held in Woodbine Park, and the Canada Day event is to be held in the Portlands.

-E.

Photos:

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Video:

 

** Electric Island also has tons of fun little things like ping pong (sponsored by SPiN), food/drink vendors who are pretty generous with samples, and cute backgrounds to take photos at! This post was not at all sponsored or influenced by anyone – I just love going to EI and wanted to share my experience with my friends 🙂

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories

With the launch of new Facebook Messenger stories as well as Whatsapp stories, I was just wondering what you all think about this new “story” trend that is emerging on all of our social medias.

Originally beginning with Snapchat, the story revolution lets us quickly and easily show our friends what we’re up to immediately. It also has the added benefit of having a “temporary” feeling, so we feel less inhibited when sharing photos or videos that we may not want a record of in the future.

As Instagram stories have picked up in popularity, I’ve noticed a lot less people have been viewing my Snapchats. I personally prefer Snapchat – I’m a sucker for cute filters (see below), geo-filters, and other options that Instagram doesn’t have (yet). I also add people selectively on Snapchat – they’re friends I’ve chosen that I personally want to see my stories, while on Instagram everyone can see mine, unless I make my account private or block them individually, which ain’t nobody got time for that. I also enjoy making custom geo-filters for my friends and special occasions like birthdays, and Instagram doesn’t have that feature yet. Finally, I follow a lot of people on Instagram. For some of those people, I enjoy their feeds, but I couldn’t care less what they get up to on their stories. As such, I’m forced to go through their stories to see those from my friends I do care about.

Unfortunately for me and other Snapchat fans, Snapchat’s popularity has been declining and we have to turn to Instagram to see the stories that our friends have posted. I just wanted to know – what are your opinions on Snapchat vs. Instagram stories? What do you think is going to happen in the future? Let me know in the comments, or send me a message 🙂

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(my current favorite filter – it’s so cute ^_^)

-E.