Saturday, 22 February 2014

Restaurant Review: Bloke & 4th

     From January 31st, until February 13th Winterlicious went down in Toronto. If you don't know, Winterlicious is where over 200 restaurants create a prix-fixe menu. Its a really good deal, as you can get 3 course lunches for $15-25 dollars and dinners for $25-45. I normally aim to try one or two restaurants I have never been to before. This year I tried, "Bloke & 4th" on King West. I went with four of my girlfriends and overall it was delicious!

     To start, I had the maple bacon dates & crispy halloumi with onion preserve & pomegranate molasses. This was great and because it was tapas-style. My only complaint was that there wasn't more! My main was pork braised beef short ribs with root vegetable mash, bacon & cippolini onions. I thought this was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. The dessert was bourbon chocolate & caramel pie. This was really good, but for some reason I wanted something on it. (Ice cream maybe? I dunno..) I didn't have any trouble finishing it though. The service was kind of slow, but our server told us he was new. It wasn't really a problem though, because we weren't in any rush.

     The look of the restaurant was very hip and it was filled with a younger crowd. At 10, they stopped serving food and it turned into a club. However, it was not the kind of music my friends and I normally like to dance to (We don't like beats and clubby music) So, we left and made our way to a more casual bar. 

     Overall, I enjoyed this restaurant, but Im not sure I would go there and pay the normal prices. It was good, but not that good! That's what Winterlicious is about, trying new places to see which ones are really worth going to, without the deal. 


Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Faves: The things that made me smile this week:

     Its all about the little things in life. It could be anything from a new song I heard on the radio, or a new food I tried. These are the things I'm lovin' this week!

February 7th-

True Detective: I got suckered into getting HBO again, because I love watching Girls on Sunday nights live. However, this season I am finding it kind of BORING. So, I started watching some other HBO shows. I gotta say I am hooked on True Detective. Matthew McConaughey has just been so good lately and this show is no exception. The show focuses on Rustin Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) as detectives on the hunt to find a serial killer. There's only been 3 episodes so far, so not too much to catch up on if you haven't seen it yet. 

Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish: This was an impulse buy, but omg so good! They remind me of dunk-a-roos as a kid (Do those still exist?)

Benefit's "Gimme Brow": I've been meaning to buy this for some time now when I tried it weeks ago, but they are always sold out! (So, it must be good) I wanted to try some kind of eyebrow liner, but I was kind of scared I wouldn't fill it in right and end up looking like a crazy lady. However, I tried this gel and because you dip it in a brush, its really easy to just coat over your brows. It gives the look of fuller brows without looking too done up. Love it! 

Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate: This winter has been unusually cold, or maybe I just got used to the winter being unusually warm the last couple of years. Whatever it is, I'm freezing and the only solution is hot chocolate. I picked up this spicy hot chocolate at bulk barn to try and it was chocolatey and spicy at the same time. Mind. Blown.

Happy Friday! I'm going to a restaurant for Winterlicious this weekend. Stay tuned for my review!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Oscar Buzz: pt 2

     This is the first year I have seen over half of the movies nominated for Best Picture and I've got to say, my second favourite may shock you. It was "Her," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. "Her" tells the story of a guy that is going through a divorce. In an attempt to get back into the dating world, he starts letting his friends set him up, but he doesn't have much luck. He finds more pleasure in communicating with his new iOS operating system and essentially falls in love with his iphone. It takes place in the future, where the iOS system is quite advanced and his iphone is able to communicate like an actual person. The problem lies in the fact that of course, the iPhone "Samantha," doesn't have a physical body. So, when Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) tries to do normal relationship things like introduce her to his friends, or have sexual relations it gets ummm, awkward. Scarlett Johansson plays "Samantha, and her voice is so captivating, who wouldn't want to date her?  As the new iOS system gets more popular, more and more people begin having abnormal relationships with their iPhones and problems arise. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will stop there, but this movie is definitely an interesting one and worth checking out. One of my favourite things about this movie was the cinematography. I am by no means an, "artsy"person, but even I noticed how pretty some of the views of Los Angeles were. I cant really see this movie winning Best Picture because there is some stiff competition, but it should take best cinematography. Also, as a side note if you have seen this movie, then you'll know what I'm talking about when I say, I hope the pants in the future are not that ugly. Those high-waisted pants scared me a little.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday Faves: The things that made me smile this week:

     Its all about the little things in life. It could be anything from a new song I heard on the radio, or a new food I tried. These are the things I'm lovin' this week!

January 31st- 

Fitsugar's Treadmill workout- I love running outside when the weather is nice, especially through trails or even around the city while window shopping, but winter makes that next to impossible. (I'm not crazy enough to run in -15 weather- no thanks!!) So, lately the treadmill has been my only running fix. The problem is, I find the treadmill super boring and I dread doing it, so much that I actually went two weeks without running this winter. For people that know me and how much I love running, that was just crazy. I ended up going to yoga instead, but my body needs both strength and cardio. So, I figured this workout would be the perfect cure to boredom, as it combines hills, endurance and sprints. I tried it out and I was right. It was awesome! It was designed by celebrity trainer, Alycia Stevein and apparently even Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are hooked on it. I can see why. It was a great workout and I'll definitely be doing it again and looking for others like it to beat the winter treadmill boredom!

Suki hydrating oil- The winter makes my skin so dry, but I am in love with this oil! I put it on before my make up and sometimes even skip the moisturiser. It is that good! It smells like a spa treatment and costs only 30 dollars for a huge bottle that will probley last me all year. I got it at the place I get my eyebrows done, Honey and Fig, but you can get it online here too:

"Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy" by Helen Fielding- I was excited when I heard there was going to be another Bridget Jones book coming out. The movies go down as some of my favourite chick flicks for sure! Then, I heard the book would take place when she was in her 50's and I wasn't as excited. I decided to give it a chance anyway and the book didn't disappoint. Bridget Jones was still the same crazy girl everyone fell in love with years ago. The book was enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, mindless read.

Sombre- I've always been kind of scared to do the Ombre trend with my hair. I don't like my hair to be too high maintenance because I only get it done every 3 months. So, when I saw the sombre (subtle ombre) trend on pinterest, I thought it would be perfect for me and I was right. Loving this hair colour!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Oscar Buzz!

     I love love love the Oscars! Cant wait until March 2nd to see all of the actors and actresses glammed up on the red carpet and being my own “fashion police,” criticizing what they wore. I also like to see a lot of the movies nominated, so I know whats going on. Got to stay in the know! Going to the movies is also one of my favourite things to do, especially in the winter when I just want to do something low key. Lately, I have seen a lot and finally there have been some good ones that I have thoroughly enjoyed! One of which being, “The wolf of wall street.” I have loved Leonardo DiCaprio since Titanic, but “Catch me if you can” has always been my personal favourite. Until now, because, “The wolf of wall street” has taken its place as my favourite, with Leo playing yet another lovable criminal. He plays sketchy stock broker, Jordan Belford who opened a stock firm, scamming people into buying penny stocks. The firm utilizes the “pump and dump” scheme, selling a particular stock whole heartedly to all of their investors, to artificially bring it up and sell it to them for more than it is worth. This is based on a true story, that took place in the 90's and Jordan Belford got incredibly rich off of it. The film shows Jordan Belford's luxurious lifestyle- beautiful people, drugs, yachts and all. When I heard it was 3 hours long, I was skeptical a film could keep me captivated that long, but that just wasn't a problem here. It was just such a good story and Leo portrayed Jordan Belford amazingly! Jonah Hill was also great playing Donnie Azoff, Jordan's lovable best friend and business partner. I wouldn't be surprised if Leo and Jonah took best actor and supporting actor oscars, as they definitely would be my first choice! Jordan Belford's wife, Naomi Lapaglia (played by Margot Robbie) was also great and just gorgeous! This was the first time I have seen her in anything, as she is a fairly new actress, but I can see why they took the chance on her. She was perfect for the role and very believable, playing a woman Jordan Belford would have no problem leaving his his wife for. All in all- a great film, highly recommend seeing it, if you haven't yet!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday Faves: The things that made me smile this week:

     Its all about the little things in life. It could be anything from a new song I heard on the radio, or a new food I tried. These are the things I'm lovin' this week!

January 24th-

"Namaste" Toque- Sometimes a girl just has to treat herself, so when I saw this "Namaste" toque on instagram, I just had to have it. Lately, yoga has been my new obsession, so I think this hat is quite fitting. Can't wait til mid-Feb when this ships! (They were sold out, so I pre-ordered for February)

Matcha Tea- A couple of weeks ago, I heard about this tea on Dr. Oz and I was curious to try it. It is supposed to boost your metabolism and burn calories. It is loaded with 10 times the antioxidants as a normal green tea because is comes in a powder, instead of tea bag. So, instead of drinking the brewed water, you ingest the whole leaf. It's also a cancer fighter,  is loaded with nutrients, lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar, while calming and relaxing you. Sounds too good to be true! To make it you just take a teaspoon of matcha powder and whisk it with hot, but not boiling water. I picked mine up at David's tea, but you can probley get it at any speciality tea store. I really liked the taste of it and it was even better when I added a little agave nectar. It also gave me a great burst of energy. Bonus: The girl at David's tea told me that if you get bubbles when you whisk, its good luck!

Cupcakes- The last couple of weeks, I have been taking the Wilton course 1- Decorating basics class at Michaels. It has been so much fun and I've learned so much! This week was cupcake week. We learned how to fill them, ice them and create different kinds of flowers for the top. My favourite part was making the leaves. They were hard at first, but once I got the hang of it, I couldn't believe how great they looked!

Jason De Rulo ft. 2 Chains- "Talk Dirty"-  This song makes me wanna dance!

Happy Friday!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Strawberry White Chocolate Mini Muffins

     I've had a mini muffin pan for a couple of years now and its one of those kitchen accessories I could probley live without (hello donut pan sitting in the back of my pots and pans drawer that I used once after getting for Christmas last year), but mini muffins are more practical than donuts. So, I probley should make them more. They are perfect for that 10.30 am snack attack I seem to get every day at work. So, I've been meaning to make them and looked for different recipes specifically for mini muffins. This one looked super tasty: (and bonus! I already had strawberries and white chocolate chips) But I noticed there was some easy swaps I could do to make them more healthy. It is resolution time! Ignore the chocolate chips ;) Recipe makes about 36 mini muffins.

Here is what I used:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (If you don't have you can use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour)
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
2 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 snack size unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup strawberries diced small
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Here's what I did:
     Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan. I dont use mini muffin holders because I find them too small to fill. I prefer just greasing my pan, but grease thoroughly because when replacing oil with apple sauce, things can get a little sticky!

     In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a larger bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until just combined. Add in the strawberries and chocolate chips. 
Pour mixture in a mini muffin pan 3/4 of the way full. I found I had extra mixture and it filled about 1 1/2 mini muffin pans.
Lower heat to 400 degrees F. (Starting with a higher heat makes the tops puff out) Bake for 16-18 minutes. They are ready when a toothpick comes out clean. 
Eat and Enjoy! I freeze em and take them to work for snacks!