pixelbunny's picks

A foodie and beauty blog

Archive for May, 2013

Okonomi House

with 2 comments

After spotting this place while navigating the random roadblocks that pop up downtown, Mr. Pixelbunny and I decided to try out some okonomiyaki, a type of japanese pancake. I had never had one before and Mr. Pixelbunny had not had one since moving here from Vancouver. So we picked a date night and off we went.

 

The Atmosphere

The first thing we noticed is that this place is rather old. The tables are old. The counters are old. The huge menu on display behind the counter is practically retro. Round, red paper lanterns hang from the ceiling and create a border around the top of the windows.

Okonomi House - menu
Paper menu that gets handed over to the kitchen

The menu they hand out to you when you’re seated is a double sided paper inserted into a plastic pocket protector. Then, you’re handed a paper menu to check off what you want.

 

The Food

Okonomi House - Sunomono Salad
Sunomono Salad – $4.25 

We started off with the Sunomono Salad. It is definitely pre-made and sitting in the fridge because no sooner had we given our order, they returned right away with this bowl. The bowl itself is cold, which leads me to suspect that it’s been sitting in the fridge for a while. There’s some rice noodles at the bottom, seaweed on top, then your imitation crab meat and cucumber slices. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on top as a garnish. The sauce itself is very vinegar-y. I wasn’t too impressed with this.

 

Okonomi House - Beef Okonomiyaki
Pork Okonomiyaki – $6.95

We ordered 2 okonomiyaki at first: beef and pork. I didn’t bother taking pictures of all of them because, quite honestly, they looked exactly the same as above, save for some different slices of meat on top. We were a little surprised that there was hardly any toppings on it but then we realized you had to pay extra for the katsuobushi and aonori (bonito flakes and seaweed flakes). So when we ordered a third okonomiyaki (chicken), we made sure to also order the katsuobushi and aonori. Imagine our surprise when it came like this:

Okonomi House - Katsuobushi and Aonori
Katsuobushi and Aonori – $0.50

You have to put it on yourself! On one hand, it’s good because you can control how much or how little you want. On the other hand, you have to pay $0.50 extra for this?!

For the okonomiyaki in general, they tasted just ok. There are very finely chopped cabbage in it (I was expecting larger slices of cabbage to make it more hearty) and quite a bit of pancake batter. The meat itself was a different story. The pork okonomiyaki was very thinly sliced, and you could barely tell it was there. The beef okonomiyaki had thicker sliced beef, but very chewy and tough. The chicken okonomiyaki had small, thin chunks of chicken scattered throughout the pancake.

 

The Verdict

For a cheap eat and you’re not craving fast food, this is a good alternative. It’s not all that great, but I would pick this over a fast food burger joint. Other than that, I can’t really recommend this place.

 

The Place

Okonomi House
23 Charles St W, Toronto, ON
416-925-6176

Written by Jessica

May 28th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

L’Oréal Color Riche Nail Polish in 213 – Sassy Pink

with 4 comments

Another polish I picked up from the L’Oreal Warehouse sale for Spring 2013, this colour is a a bright pink.

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 213 Sassy Pink - bottle
Mini bottle

I love these mini 5ml bottles because they’re just enough to try a colour without committing to a full size bottle. This colour is super pretty – a bright pink (but not a hot pink). No shimmer in this colour and dries to a perfectly glossy finish. Again, I got away with 10 days of wear before chips started showing. These formulas are amazing!

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 213 Sassy Pink - nail swatch
Nail swatch

This would also be good for summer time too, not just for spring. See how ridiculously glossy this is? I took this picture without using top coat.

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 213 Sassy Pink - drip
Another artistic attempt

I need more practice getting that drop in focus!

Written by Jessica

May 24th, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Posted in Beauty,nails

Jack Astor’s

with 3 comments

Did some heavy duty spring cleaning over the weekend and as a reward, Mr. Pixelbunny, G and I headed downtown to Yonge and Dundas Square with the intention to patio it up at Jack Astor’s. Unfortunately, there was a huge wait list for the patio (15 people in front of us!) so we opted to sit inside instead. We got a table after about 30 min of waiting.

 

The Atmosphere

When you first check in with the hostess, they take your name down and how many people are in your party, then hand you a pager. You’re free to roam around just in front of the entrance until your pager goes off, beckoning you to go back and claim your table. You walk a short, narrow walkway from the entrance to a desk that takes the pager back, then sends you and a waitress/waiter to take you to your table. If you turned right from the desk, you’re in the bar/sports lounge area, complete with TVs, high tables and bar chairs. Turn left and you’re in regular restaurant seating, with lower tables and chairs and booths. We were seated in a booth.

 

The Food

Jack Astor's - Cool Breeze
Had to start the evening off with a drink!

I got the Cool Breeze, a drink that combines raspberry vodka, melon liquor, blue curaçao, orange juice, sprite and a lemon hopper. Garnished with a slice of orange. I’ll admit, it did look a lot like windshield washer fluid (the picture came out more green than it actually is). It tasted great though. A little fruity and sweet, and not too heavy on the alcohol. Just the way I like it!

 

Jack Astor's - Jack's Macho Nachos with Beef Chili
Jack’s Macho Nachos – $14.44 + beef chili $2.59

Since we all ordered drinks, it was only natural to get some nachos to go with it! We got Jack’s Macho Nachos and opted for the beef chili on top. Be warned, this is a very large plate and definitely made for sharing! I think this could have easily been an appetizer for 5 or 6 people! The nachos were loaded with tomatoes, green peppers, onions, jalapeños, and three cheeses. The beef chili topping included ground beef and kidney beans. Topped with a sprinkle of green onions and served with sour cream and salsa, this made for a really filling starter. Which would explain why our entrées would be…

 

Jack Astor's - Caesar Salad
Caesar salad – $9.69

SALADS. Yup, we all ordered salads because we figured the nachos would be too big for us to order an actual entrée. I opted for the Caesar Salad. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just some crispy romain lettuce, croutons, shaved parmesan cheese and bacon bits. Maybe it was the dressing but my salad was quite salty.

 

Jack Astor's - Dressed to the Nines and going to Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad
Dressed to the Nines and going to Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad – $15.76

Mr. Pixelbunny ordered the cobb salad, which was a really good choice because it tasted so good! Romaine lettuce, celery, avocado, egg, tomatoes, bacon and blue cheese. Topped with three large buffalo chicken fingers, this dish was also very filling! I swiped a chicken finger from his plate and it was so juicy on the inside. Yum! I also like the blue cheese dressing in this salad (I’m a blue cheese lover). So many good things in this salad.

 

Jack Astor's - The Smiling Buddha
The Smiling Buddha – $15.88

G got The Smiling Buddha salad – a very healthy, fruity, nutty, salad that has to be good for you. It has mixed greens with strawberries, cucumber, spiced pecans, dried cranberries, dried apricots, pear, apple, black and red quinoa, goat cheese and finally a grilled chicken breast. My favourite was the spiced pecans. It’s a lot of things in one salad but it works really well together. Some sweetness from the fruit, crunchiness from your veg, savoury from the chicken and goat cheese. You can create many different combinations of flavours with every bite and the best thing is any combination works.

 

Jack Astor's - My Cookie ate Your Brownie
My Cookie ate your Brownie – $? (can’t remember)

Mr. Pixelbunny was craving dessert so he ordered this, a chocolate chip cookie but with a brownie in the middle! They are definitely baked to order because it came out hot and fresh. The outer cookie edges were a little hard and crispy, but once you reach the middle where the brownie is, it’s soft and and chewy. You can definitely tell where the brownie is in the picture above. Our waiter served this to us with 3 spoons so we could all dig in! An awesome sweet dessert to finish off the night.

 

The Verdict

This place is great for parties and get togethers with friends. However, if you’re looking for a quiet place to catch up, this may not be the place for you. The music they play is pretty loud and with the bar/sports lounge being so close, it can get extremely loud, especially if there’s a game showing on tv. The food is great and the wait staff is super friendly. On busy nights, they might forget about you so flag someone down every once in a while.

 

The Place

Jack Astor’s
10 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON
416-263-9800

Written by Jessica

May 21st, 2013 at 11:45 am

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Bi Bim Bap Korean Stone Bowl Riceteria

without comments

Mr. Pixelbunny and I were both late getting off work one night and we decided to eat at Bi Bim Bap again. We had been there when it originally opened and really liked it, but haven’t been back since. Since it’s on our drive home (he picked me up when I finished), we stopped by for a bite to eat.

 

The Atmosphere

When you walk in, there are tables to the left and right walls, bar seating by the front window, and a small bar at the back that covers the entrance to the kitchen. The front window has a lit up sign that changes colours every couple of seconds and it does reflect into the dining space. So don’t be surprised when you’re looking at your meal and there’s a tint of green/blue/red/yellow. Seating is comfortable and everything is clean. Unfortunately the tables are starting to show their wear and tear as some of the table edges and small bits of the top have been chipped off. On top of every table in the middle sits a call button where, when pressed, you hear a “cuckoo” sound by the bar. It’s one way to call the waiter over but I didn’t see anything lit up so I’m not sure how they know which table is calling them.

 

The Food

Bi Bim Bap - ban chan and Apple Hot sauce
Ban chan of kimchi (left) and pickled pepper, radish, carrot and cucumber (right). The two shot glasses contain Apple Hot Sauce – used for mixing with your bibimbap. Both are complimentary.

After we made our orders, we were presented with two side dishes and our choice of hot sauce for our bibimbap. The kimchi had a mild spicy flavour and not too sour, which was great. I loved that it was still crunchy and not mushy at all. The pickled veg was also really crunchy and had great pickling flavour. We didn’t bother waiting to eat it with our bibimbap – we just ate it all as soon as we got it! The hot sauce we both picked was the Apple Hot Sauce. It’s a red chili pepper sauce with a hint of apple flavour to it. Being categorized as a mild hot sauce, there was just enough kick to make my nose slightly run (was that too much?). When mixed with the bibimbap, amazingly good.

 

Bi Bim Bap - miso soup
Miso soup – complimentary

Unfortunately, the miso soup was really salty. Maybe it was because we came so late (it was close to 9pm when we got there) so perhaps it had boiled down to a concentrate? Anyways, there’s small cubes of tofu as well as freshly chopped green onions as a garnish.

 

Bi Bim Bap - Korean Taco
Korean Taco – $4.99

Labeled as the most popular menu item, I can see and taste why it could be. You get six mini tacos where the shell is made from a tortilla-like chip, then filled with bulgogi, kimchi, then topped with radish and one diced red pepper. I ate the first one by itself, but for the rest I had the idea to use one of the spinach leaves lining the plate to wrap around the taco shell. It was much easier to eat since holding the leaf would allow you to have a better grip on the crumbling bits when you take a bite. The leafy bit also added some nice flavour to it too.

I kind of made several comments out loud about how good it was (because seriously, it was really good!) and then I noticed the table next to us ordered it too, AFTER they had already finished their meals! Hah!

 

Bi Bim Bap - Beef Bi Bim Bap with extra egg
Beef bibimbp with extra egg – $12.98

We both ordered the same thing, hahaha. Beef bibimbap with an extra egg added. The egg was perfect – runny yolk and silky egg white. Broke the yolk and let it run through the rice and cook that way. The best thing about bibimbap is that the stone bowl is super hot so your meal stays hot the entire time. The beef is very flavourful and cooked with onions, cabbage, carrots, red pepper and green onions. It’s also loaded with veggies and not overloaded with rice so there is a great proportion of rice to meat to veg. Want to know how much veg is in there? You’ve got carrots, radish, cucumber, bean sprouts, spinach, zucchini, and burdock. The menu says there’s fiddleheads as well but I don’t think I had any in my bowl. As a garnish, dried seaweed and sesame seeds top it off. Mixed all together with the Apple hot sauce and it was so amazingly good. I mixed mind completely and loved the mix of flavours. Mr. Pixelbunny only mixed minimally and let the rice sit at the bottom of the bowl. The result was a layer of crispy rice that he could peel off and crunch into it. I will have to try that next time.

 

Bi Bim Bap - Soo Jung Ga (cinnamon ginger drink)
Soo Jung Ga – complimentary

After we finished our meals (and boy were we stuffed!),  we each received chilled bowls of Soo Jung Ga, a cinnamon ginger drink. A single pine nut floats in the drink. It’s really refreshing and I could totally imagine drinking this on a hot day. The neat thing is that there’s a recipe for it here on Bi Bim Bap’s website. It’s under the FAQ section.

 

The Verdict

A really good place to go for bibimbap with quality and fresh ingredients for a reasonable price point. It’s not cheap, but it’s not overly pricey either. However, for the amount of food you receive and the quality of the ingredients, it’s well worth it. Go try it if you have a craving for bibimbap!

 

The Place

Bi Bim Bap Korean Stone Bowl Riceteria
950 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON
416-787-7423

Written by Jessica

May 18th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Chanel’s Coco Rouge Hydrating Crème Lip Colour in #19 – Gabrielle

with 2 comments

Ladies, I have found THE red lipstick. I used to have a gorgeous one by Lancôme (Le French Touch Absolu lipstick in 314 Rouge Saint-Honoré) but sadly it is misplaced and I can’t find it anywhere! So I had been without a red lip for about 6 months now. Not anymore with my most recent find!

I was perusing the Winners in Mississauga and my eyes could not believe what I was seeing in the beauty section. Is that Chanel? Lipstick?! At Winners?!?!?! I immediately grabbed one to hold onto while I looked it up on my iPhone (how did people go makeup shopping at Winners without smartphones?). The reviews I read were numerous and said similar things. Gorgeous red. Works on both warm and cool skin tones. Universally flattering.

And at a price tag of $24.99 (regular $39!), how could I pass it up?

 

The Packaging

Chanel Rouge Coco 19 Gabrielle - packaging
Gorgeous sleek packaging

I love that Chanel keeps their products in such a classic design – black with gold accents. And of course, their iconic Chanel logo on the top of the container. It’s a twist up lipstick container with sturdy packaging. I like that when you put the cap on, you have to push a little to hear the “click” sound of it closing completely. It’s like extra insurance that the cap won’t fall off when you have it in your bag and risk smearing lipstick everywhere.

 

The Product

Chanel Rouge Coco 19 Gabrielle - lipstick bullet
There’s “CHANEL” stamped right into the bullet. It’s so pretty!

Although not visible on first inspection of the bullet, there’s a tiny hint of shimmer in this formula. However, once applied, you can’t really see the shimmer at all.

Chanel Rouge Coco 19 Gabrielle - swatch
Swatch 

 

Chanel Rouge Coco 19 Gabrielle - on lips
On the lips

The lipstick glides on like a dream. Smooth. Creamy. Beautiful colour pay off. And since I was feeling extra girly, I went and kissed Mr. Pixelbunny on the cheek. It was so cute to see a lipstick mark on his cheek and still have amazing colour on my lips afterwards.

 

The Verdict

This lipstick is incredible! It really is a gorgeous red that could fit all skin tones. It’s bright enough to be bold, but not crazy enough to induce staring. I love it.

 

Where to Buy

  • The Bay
  • Holt Renfrew

Sells for $39 in Canada and $34 in the US. Canadian readers, if you can hold out and make the trek cross border to purchase your beauty products, it’s well worth it!

Written by Jessica

May 17th, 2013 at 11:51 am

Posted in Beauty,lips

L’Oréal Color Riche Nail Polish in 305 – Dating Coral

without comments

I picked this one up at the L’Oreal Warehouse sale for Spring 2013. It’s a gorgeous orange-pink colour that wears beautifully.

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 305 Dating Coral - bottle
Mini bottle that holds 5ml

You can’t see it in the picture, but on close up inspection of the bottle, you can see some shimmer in the colour. The colour also looks slightly different depending on what lighting you’re in. Outdoors, the colour leans more orange whereas indoors, the colour leans more pink.

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 305 Dating Coral - nail swatch
On the nails

I love this colour. It’s so bright and perfect for Spring. I wore this with both base and top coat and was astonishingly chip-free for 10 days. 10 days! That’s unheard of for me and nail polish!

 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Polish in 305 Dating Coral - drip
Fancy shot

Behold my sad attempt at a fancy shot. It’s incredibly hard doing this when one hand is holding the brush and the other hand is trying to steady a camera. I need to dig out the old tripod.

Written by Jessica

May 14th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Beauty,nails

Wow! Sushi

with 3 comments

Mr. Pixelbunny and I met up with some friends and they suggested Wow! Sushi. They’d been several times before and really liked it, so we figured it was time for Mr. Pixelbunny and I to branch out and try some other sushi places.

 

The Atmosphere

Situated in a row house, this place is extremely small. It can seat about 20 people but prepare to be cramped. There is not a lot of walking room, nor is there a lot of place to put bulky things down. Be prepared! The sushi counter takes up a good chunk of the space (at least 1/3 of the width of the place). The chef behind the counter and the servers greet you unanimously in japanese when you walk in through the door. A little reminiscent of izakayas, but not as loud.

 

The Food

Wow! Sushi - Sashimi Appetizer
Sashimi Appetizer – $12

There were 8 pieces of sashimi on this plate: 2 slices of salmon, 2 slices of butter fish, 2 slices of torched sea bream, and 2 slices of seared tuna. There was also a bonus of 1 shrimp. The sashimi was extremely fresh and tasted wonderful. I only wish that the slices were a little bit thicker.

 

Wow! Sushi - Agedashi Tofu
Agedashi Tofu – $3

A favourite of mine at sushi places, I ordered the agedashi tofu. For $3, I was impressed that it came with 6 large triangular pieces. Lightly deep fried and served in the tentsuyu sauce (dashi, miring and shoyu), and topped with bonito flakes and shredded seaweed. This was so flavourful and delicious. We ate this one very quickly.

 

Wow! Sushi - Yam Tempura
Yam tempura – $5

There’s supposed to be 5 slices in total but one was eaten before the picture. Oops! It was fried perfectly, but my only beef is the price. Each slice of yam tempura works out to $1. A bit pricey for me.

 

Wow! Sushi - Global Leslie Maki
Global Leslie Maki – $12

A roll that has spicy tuna and snapper with cucumber, then topped with unagi and avocado and drizzled with teriyaki sauce and toasted white sesame seeds. This was quite filling and tasty. The teriyaki sauce was enough flavour that I didn’t need to dip it into the soy sauce (though I did once just to see what it would taste like – salty). I liked to put a bit of wasabi on the piece, then pop it into my mouth. It’s not a mini mouthful and it’s not a super big mouthful, but it’s certainly a mouthful.

 

Wow! Sushi - Wow Special Maki
Wow Special Maki – $12

This was a dynamite roll (tempura shrimp in the middle) that was topped with shrimp and avocado. You can sort of see on the plate that they wrote “WOW!” with teriyaki sauce. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t think it was all that special.

 

Wow! Sushi - Japan Go Maki
Japan Go Maki – $10

This was a california roll that was topped with cooked salmon, cooked scallop, and a generous helping of tobiko. Aside from the california roll part of it, it was really tasty. The salmon and scallop were fresh, and when combined together with the tobiko and some teriyaki sauce, it tasted amazing. I would definitely get this one again.

 

Wow! Sushi - Yam Tempura with Avocado Maki
Yam tempura with Avocado – $5

For $5, this one was a great deal! You get 8 very large pieces of maki roll for a very good price. The yam tempura was creamy and the deep fried part was still a little crispy, so you can a bit of a crunch to the roll. The avocado was creamy too so you had a nice melting texture in your mouth.

 

Wow! Sushi - Dragon Maki Black
Dragon Maki Black – $12

A dynamite roll with cucumber inside, and topped with unagi and avocado slices. Add the drizzled teriyaki sauce and sprinkled with toasted white sesame seeds and you have another tasty roll.

 

The Verdict

Even though this place is a little more on the pricey side, the quality is quite good. Some plates are more worth it than others so if you choose carefully, you won’t break your budget. I definitely want to go again because I spotted something the table next to us had and I want to try it! It must have been a sashimi plate because the fish skeleton (after it was filleted I assume) was pierced with a long skewer to make it curved and stand up a little. It’s a bit hard to explain, but if I go again, I will take a picture of it.

 

The Place

Wow! Sushi
11 Charles St, Toronto, ON

Written by Jessica

May 11th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes

without comments

As mentioned in a previous post, I had won a giveaway from Procrastinating Pretty in conjunction with FarleyCo. Part 1 was The Batiste Dry shampoos I have reviewed here. This post serves as part two, where I will review for you the Real Techniques Core Collection brushes!

A little side history first: Real Techniques brushes were created by Samantha Chapman, of Pixiwoo fame. She developed these affordable brushes and now they are finally available for purchase in Canada! In addition to being available on FarleyCo’s website, they are also available at Wal-Mart although the last two times I’ve been there, I haven’t spotted them yet.

 

The Packaging

Real Techniques brushes - front of package
Front of package

It’s housed in a semi-sturdy plastic package with all its information printed on. There are no stickers sealing the edges so it makes it a little harder to tell if the package has been opened before. However, the way that the tabs are inserted in order to close the box means it is a little difficult to open the box without damaging the tabs. So make sure you look closely at your package to make sure it’s unopened.

 

Real Techniques brushes - back of package
Back of package

The back has information about Samantha, as well as detailed information about each brush that’s included. This is pretty useful to a beginner like me since I’m likely to look at a brush and then wonder what to use it for, haha.

 

The Product

Let’s look at the brushes themselves first.

Real Techniques brushes - name on handles
Real Techniques printed on the handle

Real Techniques brushes - type on handles
Roll the brush 180 degrees and the brush type is printed on the handle

Each brush is composed of a rubbery base, a light weight aluminum handle, and synthetic taklon bristles. The rubbery base is what gives the brush a bit of weight in your hand. The whole brush itself is fairly light in comparison to other brushes out there. I thought the brushes could be stood upright on their bases, but according to Real Techniques’ website, only certain individually sold brushes can be stood upright. I guess because these come with their own brush holder/stand, you wouldn’t have a need to stand them upright on their own.

The aluminum handle is very light, and I feel like it could dent really easily, but I’m not about to drop them on the ground for the purpose of research. If the entire aluminum part really is the ferrule, then that means you can wash your brushes without fear of water getting towards the back of the ferrule. I’m not saying that you should put the entire brush upright under running water, just that when you’re lying your brushes flat to dry, there is quite a bit of distance for the water to travel in order for it to reach the back of the ferrule. Also, on the aluminum handle, are printed labels for both the logo and the type or brush. This is helpful to me until I can tell what brush is what just by looking at it. Otherwise, it’s a nice reminder. The labels are printed (applied?) right on the aluminum and they don’t scratch off. Yes, I actually tried to scratch off the label because I thought it was a sticker appliqué. And no, the label did not budge.

 

Real Techniques brushes - brush heads
Beautifully soft bristles

Surprisingly, the bristles of each brush are super soft to the touch. They are made of synthetic taklon bristles that are hand cut. They’re definitely softer than my old Quo brushes. They’re not as densely packed as my Sigmax brushes, but they’re not sparse either.

Let’s look at individual brushes:

  • Contour Brush – Great for putting bronzer under the cheekbones since the size of the brush fits really well under the cheekbones.
  • Detailer Brush – I used this one to put powdered eyeliner on. A really small brush, it also works well for the inner corner of the eyes and the lower lash line.
  • Pointed Foundation Brush – Smaller than I expected, this foundation brush didn’t streak on my at all and provided with a beautiful finish.
  • Buffing Brush – I used this to put blush on and it works amazing. It blends out really well if I accidentally put a little too much on initially, and finishes off to a soft glow. I think it would also work well with powder foundations.

 

Now for the portfolio/holder.

Real Techniques brushes - closed holder
Closed with velcro tab  and string holder

The outside of the portfolio is covered with a silky nylon. There’s some foam padding underneath the lining so it feels a little plush under your fingertips. A velcro tab keeps the portfolio closed when it’s put away for storage or for when you’re traveling.

 

Real Techniques brushes - open holder
Opened up

The inside of the portfolio has a canvas nylon. There’s also no foam underneath but a board of some sort (cardboard? plastic?) that gives the portfolio structure. A thin elasticized band runs across the middle and is sewn into the portfolio at different spots, creating widths just wide enough to fit the handles of your brushes. Although this is a creative idea, the rubberized bottom of the brush handles makes it an incredible pain to fit in. The rubber is not conducive to sliding through the elastic and instead, catches and drags. Once you’re able to work through the brush handle through, it does fit nice and snug.

 

Real Techniques brushes - bend back to fold
Bend at the back and use the black ball to pull back on the string and keep it in place

To make the display stand, you bend it at the halfway mark and pull the string through. The black ball acts as an anchor and holds the string in place so it can’t slip back through. It’s a little hard to explain in words but once you see it, you’ll understand it.

 

Real Techniques brushes - standing holder
The stand with all four brushes on display

Isn’t it pretty? Just ignore the background. I was going through a Spring Clean and didn’t know where to put my cake and cupcake carriers for the time being. Brushes on display are pretty to look at but not all that practical if they’re going to be your daily use brushes.

 

The Verdict

I love the quality of these brushes! I keep reiterating that they’re super soft because they really are! Aside from being on the lighter side of weight, I have no other complaints of the brushes. The holder would be somewhat useful for travel, but definitely not for every day use. These are great brushes for beginners (like me!) and maybe perhaps for some of you seasoned beauty lovers.

 

Where to Buy

Written by Jessica

May 9th, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Posted in Beauty,tools

Mississauga: Eddie’s Wok n Roll

without comments

One of my girl friends introduced me to this place a few years ago when we were hanging out in her part of town and she suggested this place to me for Hakka food! Eddie’s Wok n Roll serves Indian style Hakka Chinese food. I know of the dialect (one of my best friends speaks the language) but I’ve never tried their food before. I was intrigued. So we got a few friends together and we went… and loved it. It’s been over a year since we’ve last been there, so we figured it was time to pay another visit.

 

The Atmosphere

Located in a large strip plaza, you can spot its large, bright green sign when you pull into the parking lot. When you’re inside, it has a very Chinese restaurant feel to it – lots of tables close together, a couple of Chinese room divider screens, intricate Chinese carved woodwork. There have been times when we’ve gone and had to wait for a table. This time, we arrived at 7:15pm and got a table right away.

 

The Food

Eddie's Wok n Roll - Manchurian Beef
Manchurian Beef – $11.25

The Manchurian Beef had thin slices of tender beef in a peppery, ginger sauce. It looks heavy on the sauce, but since it’s served with a big bowl of white rice, I don’t mind it at all. It’s mild on the spice scale.

 

Eddie's Wok n Roll - Laksam
Laksam – $12.50

This dish is a Malaysian curry dish with lightly deep fried chicken in coconut milk. Green and red pepper slices mix with onion slices and meld together in one of my favourite plates to order here. I can’t eat here without ordering this dish. It also comes served with a big bowl of white rice. It’s medium on the spice scale.

 

Eddie's Wok n Roll - Spicy Coriander Chicken
Spicy Coriander Chicken – $10.75

Another really tasty plate, deep fried chicken with a heck of a lot of coriander in it (love!). It also has a spicy kick to it, which made me glad it was also served with a big bowl of white rice. As you can see in the picture, green and red peppers, onions, and some chilli peppers round out the dish. This was another one of my favourites of the night. It’s medium on the spice scale though slightly more than Laksam.

 

Eddie's Wok n Roll - House Special Manchurian Chow Mein
House Special Manchurian Chow Mein – $9.75

Don’t let that vivid colour scare you! Oddly enough, what I thought would have a lot of flavour ended up being the most bland out of all our dishes. I kept thinking in my head that I would taste ketchup, tamarind sauce, or something sweet. Instead, it was very mild tasting and not sweet at all. Served with shrimp and chicken, the noodles are stir fried with some veggies (green and red pepper, onions – I’m noticing a trend here). It’s not overly salty either. I thought it worked as a starch dish, because it tasted pretty good when you added any of the other dishes to it. I think I probably should have tasted this one first before trying the others because I really could not pin point any particular taste. Sorry!

 

The Verdict

Having never had Hakka style food before, this was absolutely delicious! I loved how there was a lot of dishes that were very similar to ones I’ve had in Chinese restaurants, but there was a lot of curry involved. Paired together, they make for a very flavourful experience. If you like Chinese food and Indian food, I think this is a great mix of both on one plate!

 

The Place

Eddie’s Wok n Roll
6400 Mill Creek Dr, Mississauga, ON
905-542-8613

Written by Jessica

May 8th, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant

Shiseido/NARS Warehouse sale for Spring 2013

with 10 comments

This was my first time going to the Shisedo/NARS warehouse sale and I was lucky enough to be in the lovely company of The Procrastinator and TOD. They are both so much fun to hang out with and we had lots to talk about. This was helpful during our 1.5hr long wait in line to get in. The sale was held at the Shiseido warehouse in Markham.

Having survived my first Shiseido warehouse sale, I have compiled some tips to those of you looking to go.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Resist the urge to wear heels (your feet will thank you later) and sandals (there’s enough people squished together that your feet can get stepped on).
  2. Use a cross body bag or at least a smaller bag with a zipper. So many women and girls brought their ginormous sacks which takes up so much space at the counters! The zipper is also useful because there’s no risk of anyone reaching into your bag and stealing anything (yes, that is super paranoid of me). I don’t know if anyone would do that, but the potential is there, especially if you have a very large bag that has no zipper closure and its gaping wide open.
  3. Know your colour in foundation and concealer. This will save you the time of having to wait to reach the counter, then trying to find the product to swatch, then trying to decide if it matches or not under warehouse lighting.
  4. When you’re at the counter, don’t second guess yourself and just get it. There’s time to sort through your things later and decide whether you want it or not.
  5. Do your homework before coming. So many people were asking questions about the skincare products that could easily have been found online.
  6. Have fun! There will always be that pushy person who practically shoves in front of you to reach the table first. Feel free to glare and give them the evil eye.
  7. Going with friends is a lot of fun. If someone reaches the counter first, they can always ask for things for you so you don’t have to spend time to get there!
  8. Bring makeup remover wipes. Swatching and cleaning up becomes a piece of cake.

Like I said, I went with The Procrastinator and TOD. We started our journey early (8am pickup!) and got there around 8:30am. We had a nice time chatting and playing with this adorable baby we kept on passing by in the lines until we finally made it in (it was 10am).

This is my haul!

 

Shiseido/NARS Warehouse Sale for Spring 2013
So many goodies!

  • NARS nail polish in #1780 Space Odyssey – $5 (orig. $21)
  • NARS concealer in Ginger – $10 (not sure what they used to be but the new revamped formula with new packaging is now $28)
  • NARS multiple in Cannes – $15 (orig. $46)
  • Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam – $23 (orig. $49)
  • Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Balancing Softener – $30 (orig. $64)
  • Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion – $32 (orig. $72)
  • Shiseido Perfect Smoothing Compact Foundation refill pan in I20 – $10 (orig. $36)
  • Shiseido Perfect Smoothing Compact Foundation compact only – $5 (orig. $9)
  • Shiseido Facial Cotton x2 – $7 each (orig. $9)
  • Clé de Peau Beauté Extra Silky Lipstick in #107 – $20 (orig. $52)

After coming home and comparing the warehouse price with the original retail price, this sale is definitely worth the crazy line up and crowds! You’re getting deals of at least 50% off. I did go a bit crazy in the Shiseido section, but I’m super excited to try everything. The NARS multiple and Clé de Peau extra silky lipstick were both impulse buys because Procrastinator suddenly swatched them on my hand and I was immediately smitten by the colour.

I want to thank Procrastinator for coming with me and letting me use her Colour Eye. I am not, to be quite honest, a very good judge of colour when it comes to matching my skin tone so to have her with me to look at swatches on me was super helpful. Thank you! You should trademark your Colour Eye. I think it will be quite marketable to other girls out there!

Did you go to the Shiseido Warehouse sale? Share your haul with me in the comments below!

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Written by Jessica

May 6th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Beauty,events