Zen Garden – ICNbuys

***Just wanted to mention that ICNbuys sent me this Zen Garden for free to review, but opinions & statements are 100% mine – if I didn’t genuinely like it, I wouldn’t want to be associated with it lol. 

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Good day my friends~

I was sent a lovely zen garden from June, who works at ICNbuys – an Amazon-based company that sells zen gardens. Though I had never looked into buying one for myself before, I always loved the aesthetic and was more than happy to have one for my living room.

On their page (located here), there’s quite a few different gardens to choose from. Though I really liked some of the ones with flowers, I picked “o” because I thought there would be more designs I could make with the sand and the stones, and the minimalist design would be easier to match with my current furniture and decor.

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It arrived very quickly after June let me know that it was sent, and it came nicely boxed.

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Upon opening, all the little pieces were neatly packed separately. I was worried the sand would be difficult to unpack if it had shifted during delivery, but the company was very meticulous.

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The package also came with an instructional booklet explaining how to get started with the zen garden, as well as all of the mental and spiritual benefits of having one – boosting creativity, relieving stress, and practicing meditation. This zen garden is a miniature version of the traditional ones originating from Japan – a small, stylized landscape with rocks, water features, and trees created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto, which were intended to imitate the essence of nature and aid in discovering the true meaning of life.

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Though you can’t sit inside this small, desktop version to contemplate life, I did find it fun and relaxing to draw designs in the sand and decide where to place the little rocks and statues. It comes with some utensils that made it easier to draw more intricate designs, as well as sample photos in the booklet to gather inspiration from.

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I think it also makes a great decoration for your room, or a nice gift for a friend – when my friends come over to visit me, they always like drawing designs in the sand and it’s pretty interesting for me to see the differences in the designs that people make. I spent a fun afternoon with my boyfriend sitting on the floor trying to come up with cute designs and arrangements – he used some of his super-chef plating skills to help me make the one in the pic above~

If you have a zen garden/have any questions, please reach out to me and share your experience 🙂 thanks for reading!




Aerial Yoga @ Cardio Go w/ Classpass

If you’re here for the Classpass deal (3 classes for $10) click here!! Post is not sponsored in any way, I just love this service & it made a positive impact on my life ^_^. Scroll down to the 4th paragraph for just my aerial yoga experience lol, I ramble too much when I write. 

Hello my lovelies!

Lately with my (sadly) increasing age, I’ve felt myself wanting to focus more on my health and wellness. For some people, who I absolutely admire, it’s easy to make it to the gym/attend fitness classes and eat healthy. However, if you’re like me and the only exercise you get is going dancing and your diet consists of 80% take-out, making the switch to a better lifestyle is hard. I’ve been pretty good at trying to eat at home more often, but it was hard for me to get more into exercising – I work at a shoe store where our stock room (which I have to go to every time a customer tries something on) is down two flights of stairs, and after a long shift, nothing sounds more unappealing than heading to the gym at my building to grind it out on the treadmill some more.

Then my friend Andrew referred me to an app called Classpass. It’s a service where you pay a monthly subscription for “credits”, which you can spend on classes, which vary by value, but the cheapest subscription ($40/month) gets you 3 classes minimum. Classpass has a TON of options for fitness classes, including drop-in hip-hop/jazz/ballet/dancehall/etc. dance classes, spin classes, yoga classes, pilates classes, barre classes, work-out boot camps, and much more, even including open gym time at so many high-quality studios in Toronto.

So far, I’m halfway through my second month and I love it because there’s so many class options available – in any given day, there are pages and pages of classes you can sign up for easily through their app or on your desktop. They all have well-written descriptions so you know exactly what you’re getting into, how to get there, and what to bring. I’ve been super happy with the service because not only do I find the price really reasonable ($13 per class – most hot yoga classes are $17-20 for a single class & monthly memberships costs over $100), it gives me so much flexibility with timing, because the schedule is made up of many studios across the city instead of just one studio so I can nearly always find a class I want to go to when I have time. Also, since there’s so many different types of classes, you’re not restricted to one activity and you can try different activities without commitment! So far I’ve only done hot yoga and aerial yoga, but I’m definitely planning on trying some of the dance classes, burlesque, and barre in the future.

One of the more unique classes I took with Classpass was Aerial Yoga @ Cardio Go, a gym on King Street just steps from St. Andrew Station. I signed up for a Level 1 class, which was said to be suitable for beginners, but I was still a little nervous because I have 0 arm strength or balance. But I’ve seen tons of photos of people doing aerial yoga before and it looks so dope, so my curiosity triumphed my insecurity and I signed up.

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I arrived at the gym and the receptionist showed me where the change rooms were and the yoga studio where we’d have the class. Cardio Go is equipped with lockers and shower facilities, but you have to bring your own lock.

I got changed and went to the room we were going to do yoga in, a hard-wood floor studio with hooks hanging from the ceiling, and the instructor told us each to grab a bag with straps and a mat, and showed us the correct way to hang the straps according to your height.

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The class started on time, and the instructor asked how many people were new – about 5 or 6 of the 15 people who attended that session. As such, I wasn’t alone in being a complete noob and she went through the basics slow enough for most people to get it. Some moves involved using the strap to help you stretch, others used the the strap as a seat, and in general the moves increased in difficulty as the class went on – we even learned two up-side down poses (which weren’t as hard as they look!). There were a variety of moves we learned – some were to help in flexibility, while others were core/ab exercises involving hovering or pumping for a certain amount of time, which actually led to me being pretty sore the next day. Also, one thing I never really considered was that the strap can be pretty painful :(. With the moves that required a lot of weight to be put on the strap, it really digs into your skin and makes it hard for you to hold a position, even if you have the strength for them.

Unfortunately, I thought the instructor was pretty bad. She was extremely scattered and disorganized (she didn’t even know what time it was most of the time and asked people in the class multiple times), and seemed way more interested in showing off her moves, and showing us how to do “cool-looking” moves than actually building a good foundation of aerial yoga skills or getting a good work-out. Her explanations for the easy moves were decent, but for the hard ones she would just demonstrate a set of 3 moves SUPER quickly, and no one would really get it, so she would just go one by one around the room helping certain people, but it was so inefficient because she’d only be able to get to 2-3 people before moving on to the next move, while a lot of people stood idly not knowing what to do. She was also very shrill. I found it frustrating yet hilarious that sometimes she’d try to adjust people by yelling randomly at them – for example, when someone’s leg was in the wrong position she’d yell “Leg! Leg!” across the room with 0 indication of what to actually do with your leg. There was absolutely none of that lovely, calming, namaste-esque element you usually get with yoga, so I feel like this class should be re-labled aerial “moves” or something.

Despite the bad teaching, I still had a fun time learning new moves and I think I would go again, but just make sure to take another class with a different instructor because the parts of your body that it works out is so different from hot yoga – I was sore in so many places I didn’t even know could be sore. Keeping the straps from swinging was a challenge as well! I think I’d also wear long sleeves and pants next time to reduce the pain from the straps, but I had been so used to going to hot yoga lately that I just wore my usual outfit haha.

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If you were interested in aerial yoga or looking for more ways to stay fit, I hope this post helped you! Feel free to DM me on instagram/comment if you have any questions or just to chat about it 🙂


California – Piano Cover

One of my all-time favorite songs is California Love, and DJs Chris Lake, SNBRN, and Matroda are somehow able to make it better (in a different way! the original is dope don’t get me wrong) by adding groovy vocals and an extremely dance-able house beat. As an ode to the amazing song that’s been the background music of countless late night drives, cold walks home from class, fun hangouts with my favorite people, and just good ass times, I made a little piano cover. Hope you enjoy! ♡


Sassafraz – Winterlicious 2018

Living in Toronto has its perks, and one of the biggest is the sheer amount of restaurants to choose from. That’s why I love Winter/Summerlicious — a cute little food event in Toronto where well known restaurants offer a prix fixe menu with their iconic offerings, so you can finally try the many different dishes you’ve been meaning to without breaking the bank. Though some people aren’t fans of Licious due to lower quality in some restaurants (I can attest to this as I used to serve at restaurants who participated; some of them use it as an opportunity to make money on quickly produced dishes) I always do hella menu research and online creeping when deciding on which restaurant to treat myself at — and this year I chose Sassafraz.

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Located in the middle of Yorkville, Sassafraz is a cute yellow building that houses a mid-sized restaurant.

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The inside is split into two areas — a comfy lounge area with big couches by the windows, and a fancy dining area that’s gorgeous.

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Though I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends about this resto (some love it, others say it was underwhelming), I chose it because there were so many items on their Winterlicious menu I wanted to try. I ended up ordering the escargot & bacon skillet, paccheri pasta, and flourless chocolate cake.

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We started off with some carbs & caffeine (combination of the heavens) and let me be real with you — I meant to order their alcoholic iced latte but I believe the server misheard me and brought a regular one. Though it was a bomb iced latte, I kind of wish I tried the cocktail version but sigh, it was 2:30 on a Monday and homegirl was probably looking out for me.

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The first to come was the escargot & bacon skillet, which was honestly the my favorite part of the meal. I love escargot and I don’t have it often, so it was such a treat to be able to have it today. The sauce was made of some creamy and heavenly substance that was so good, we ended up dipping the rest of the bread in it. I also considered asking the server for a take-out container for the 3 ml of sauce left over because yum, but I restrained myself to not embarrass Jake.

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My main, the paccheri pasta (smoked chicken, oyster mushrooms, arugula, pine nuts, herbed ricotta, porcini cream), was also dope as hell and super filling. I’m not really sure what the type of pasta noodles were called but they were nice and thicc and sort of rigatoni-shaped. The smoked chicken was cool too, because it had a unique flavor that I don’t have too often. It’s fun to switch shit up.

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I (obviously) also ate some of Jake’s order, the pork tenderloin, which was adeptly named as it was tender as fuck (pls issa joke I know how wrong this is). My favorite part of it was the Gruyère barley risotto — I had never tried barley prepared like this before and it has a really cool/novel “mouth-feel” (as Boyle from Brooklyn 99 would call it). It has a texture that pops in your mouth and a nice subtle flavor.

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For dessert, he got the cheesecake which was pretty good but nothing super interesting or special; wouldn’t write home about it but would eat it again.

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My chocolate cake was also really good, and so so so rich. It came with passionfruit and mint gel that really complimented the dark semi-bitter chocolate as they tasted so different — the passionfruit was super tart and the mint was a weird experience because it kind of reminded me of toothpaste but eating it with the chocolate was oddly enjoyable. On top was a scoop of barley ice cream that really balanced everything out because it was a lot more subtle than the other components.

Overall, I was super pleased with the meal and thought that the service, environment, and general vibes of the restaurant were good. Their Winterlicious menu is really similar to their regular lunch menu, so it was dope that I got to try so many of their dishes. I honestly think I’d go back just for that escargot skillet. The portion sizes were also really generous — we didn’t even finish our desserts (not because we didn’t want to!!).

Hope this helps you decide on restos if you were torn for Winterlicious, and if you go, let me know how you liked it 😙

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It started blizzarding after lunch and I love playing in the snow ^_^


1 Second Everyday – 2017

Inspired by my friend Andrew, I took one second of video every day in 2017. Though it makes my year seem a lot more fun than hard work (I always forget to take videos when I’m studying/grinding hard, but always remember to when I’m eating haha), it was so dope to be able to look back at all of the memories — just a second of video really helps you remember the little details about special moments you may have forgotten. I’m definitely doing it again this year, and I can’t wait to see what my 2018 looks like ♡


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.


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!

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.


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.


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.


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!


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!