Tuesday, April 29, 2014

6.210 The Comforts of a Hotel Bed

For the last few months I have been investing in my bedding. The final purchase was the actual duvet itself and I've been thoroughly enjoying sleeping in it for the last couple of weeks. My bed is an integral part of my day and night, it's where I wake up in the morning and sleep at night. That's why I was willing to wait until I found the right pieces to make my perfect dream bed.

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The first bedding item was this cheapie sheet set I found at Canadian Tire on sale for only about $20-25. Not only was it cheap, it had the damask stripe pattern that I want for the theme of my bed.

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Then some time after I found my dream (yes, this one is absolute perfection) duvet cover by Wamsutta. It's white, feels super silky soft, has the damask stripe pattern, and it's a full/queen size so I could totally use this for my future queen bed in my future home haha. This one was a bit pricey at $110 at Bed Bath and Beyond but I had a 20% off coupon which helped. Love!

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Last (for now) but not least, I finally bought my duvet. Starting off my mornings in the comforts of a fluffy and warm yet lightweight duvet is something I've always wanted to take home from a hotel experience. No more heavy-as-heck blanket! I got the duvet for 50% off from Sears.ca- still $225 after taxes though.

I admit, it was a bit of a gamble buying a duvet online from a company who has closed most of their stores. Although my duvet turned out fine, I wouldn't recommend buying from Sears.ca because 1) I learned that my duvet was backordered when I got my confirmation email even though it was in stock when I bought it- and they never even updated the webpage to reflect that it was backordered; 2) The tracking number was completely useless because I couldn't even check it the entire time I was waiting for it (2 weeks); 3) It says easy returns on the webpage but when I click on it the webpage isn't found; 4) I never even got some sort of physical receipt with my duvet; and 5) It's hard to decipher if the duvet I got is the same one I ordered online (there's no code I can check and compare). So I'm sure you probably can tell why the company kind of went under... let's just say I'm never ordering from them again.

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Okay so it's not exactly all of what my dream bed would be or look like (my mattress would be supreme quality and my duvet would be ultra luxurious- from the Hotel Collection range of course) but we know all of that it would only cost me more money- something I'd rather invest when I get my own home. What I have now is good enough for me. Now the next step is getting new pillows because my current ones are dying on me. And I don't think I'm done with my bed just yet, I feel like it's still missing some pizazz (also still need to get my hands on a Hudson Bay point blanket).

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Oh and the diffuser I had on my bedside table has run out (left- Mariposa Lily, an amazing scent) and now I have replaced it (right- Water Lily & Aloe, also smells nice). They're both from Target. And because the black cap does not go with my colour scheme, I simply just reused the silver cap from the old diffuser. It looks more clean, crisp, and better in my opinion.

If you follow me on Instagram I posted a "guilty" online purchase I made from Sephora (I made an order on the last day of their VIB 15% sale), will share in the next post. I'll just let you know now, it's all YSL haha.

Life Lessons: You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping. That's a significant chunk of your life not to consider investing in a good bed. You don't have to have all the "fluffy" stuff if that's not your thing. The integral part is the mattress. To sleep on a good and comfy mattress is something I highly believe in. Not only will it do your back some good, you'll be able to sleep better, and in turn wake up to brighter mornings.

"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not." - Oprah Winfrey

Friday, April 25, 2014

6.209 Sonia "Kashuk Tools" (Face Brushes)

I know... it's been a long time coming, I apologize. I promised this post ages ago but I couldn't get myself to take pictures and write it up. I hope I didn't keep anyone in anticipation and that somehow you forgot about it all together somewhere along the way. But now it's here so let's get on with the post =)

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Here are all the Sonia Kashuk face brushes I own. I had to make several trips to Target over a few weeks (possibly a couple of months) to get all the brushes (they kept selling out). Why get them all? Because I came to realize how amazing the brushes were after my first purchase. Sonia Kashuk brushes are incredibly soft to the touch and at the price point they sell them, it's a total steal in my opinion.

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Before I go into the brushes individually, I wanted to point out how unique the handle of the brushes are. It's shaped in a way that fits perfectly into the hands when in use. It's comfortable to hold and I find the design very neat.

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This Large Powder Brush #1 was one of the first brushes I picked up. "Delivers a light dusting of bronzer or powder in one sweep." This is one of my favourite brushes I own and it's also one of the softest. It's not too big nor too dense or sparse, it's just the perfect size and density to use for powder application. I use this mainly for setting powders or if I want light coverage from powder foundations.

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This Blusher Brush #2 was the other brush that I first picked out from the line. "Sweep blush on the apples of the cheek for a natural-looking flush." I've mentioned before that I prefer tapered brushes to apply my blushes. It's also the perfect size and density for blush application in my opinion. I like to pat my blush onto my cheeks and this brush doesn't prick my face one bit because of how super soft it is.

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This Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush #4 ended up being last face brush I got because it was always sold out. "It applies, it blends, and it buffs. It does it all for the creme product." When I first got this brush I thought it would be perfect for liquid foundation application, but it turned out it wasn't. I didn't read the description until now so it makes sense why it recommends it for cream products. With liquid foundations the brush absorbs too much of the product and doesn't spread the foundation well, but with a denser product like cream foundations it performs extremely well. The brush is short and dense which keeps the cream product at the tip of the brush and gives you the ability to buff the product onto the skin. It's also feels super silky and soft to the touch.

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Synthetic Foundation Brush #5 is a brush that I'm on the fence with. "For flawless foundation application." Before I even used it I could already tell that the brush seemed a little small and a bit stiff for flawless foundation application. Because the brush head is shorter and smaller, the bristles aren't as long and flexible to effortlessly apply liquid foundation (especially if the foundation is more watery). What ends up happening is that it leaves streak marks and it also takes longer to apply. It could possibly do better for precision application for hard to reach areas or used with denser products like cream concealers and cream foundations.

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Synthetic Domed Multipurpose Brush #16 is also another brush I'm on the fence with. "Ideal for any creme or powder product; for application, buffing or blending." I find the brush too flimsy to use for buffing or to work with cream and liquid products. It's okay with powder but doesn't pick up powder as well as the #1. Overall, it's kind of an awkward brush because synthetic normally works well with liquid and cream but this brush just doesn't.

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Medium Angled Multipurpose Powder Brush #17 is a wonderful brush to use for contouring. "Partner with any powder, pressed or loose for a more precise application and sculpting." Although it says it's a multipurpose brush, I mainly enjoy this just for contouring because it has the perfect density and brush head size, and because the bristles are super soft so it doesn't prick me when I pat or swipe it on my skin.

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Dense Blush/Powder Brush #24 is a very versatile brush. "Ideal for any type of powder application, blending and buffing out any harsh lines." I love using this for powder foundation application because it's dense and short enough to apply and buff with. Without saying, the bristles are super soft so it doesn't irritate my skin especially if I'm using it for all-over application. I've tried it with liquid foundation and it performs okay with it but I prefer using my Sephora brush over this one for that. It's also great to contour with because the brush head is small and dense enough to buff out any harsh lines. I personally have not used it to apply blush because I find it too dense, but if you like to apply your blush heavy-handed I'm sure it would be great for that too.

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Domed Blusher Brush #29 is my favourite brush out of them all. "The domed bristles of this blusher brush are the perfect shape for swirling blush on the cheeks for a flawless flush." Surprisingly it's quite hard to find a nice domed brush head that is small enough to fit my petite face. I love using this to contour with because it's small enough to sweep and fit nicely just below my cheek bone to give me the perfect contour. It's also great to use for blush, face powders, and even powder highlighters! As you can probably tell, it too is a very versatile brush.

Life Lessons: I recently had a conversation with someone about dealing with unfairness in the workplace. It can be very frustrating when you find yourself working harder than those around you while they slack off seemingly unnoticed. But interestingly enough, they told me a tale about their own experiences with working with lazy coworkers. Although at first glance it may seem like lazy workers are benefiting from doing less work and taking their own mini breaks, their own unproductiveness does affect them in the long run. When it came time to renewing their contracts, they didn't have it as easy (or at all) as the person who always put in the effort to do their job. And when it came to being recommended for other work positions, only those who showed great work ethics were recommended. So in reality, you don't have to look too hard to see that eventually hard work pays off. They may not be doing anyone any favours, but they're also not doing themselves any either.

"I cannot formulate an expression using tangible words from any language that would even begin to express just how much you piss me off." -Unknown

Friday, April 18, 2014

6.208 Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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View from outside Marshall's store downtown.

Is it weird that I feel more productive when I blog? The same goes for cleaning my room every week but at least that makes sense. Today is my day off but tomorrow I have to go to work... at 7am. It's a major time switch and it'll probably shock my body and mind. Feeling sleepy at work is the worst.

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Last week (or maybe it was the week before?) the Mister and I ate at Swiss Chalet [apologies that the photo is blurry]. The original plan was to go have some pho but because my feet were killing me after being on my feet for hours (I was wearing heeled booties), I suggested we head into Swiss Chalet which was closer than walking to the pho place. The Mister had never been to Swiss Chalet before. I suggested he order something with their famous Rotisserie chicken. He ended up getting the Quarter Chicken Dinner with an oven-baked potato as his side, I ordered the Chicken Pot Pie (which I've never tried before) with sweet potato fries as my side. The Mister ended up loving it and straight up said that we'd be coming back often for sure.

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For dessert the Mister got the Sticky Toffee Pudding (which was so good) and I got a simple Vanilla Sundae with butterscotch sauce drizzled on top.

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That same day we dropped into the LCBO to pick up some beers and whiskey for the Mister (I picked up a bottle of white wine too). This might sound funny but I like buying drinks for him. I told him to pick three beers he's never had before because I wanted him to try some new ones. As always, he was stubborn and unwilling to cooperate because he didn't want me paying, so I had to help him pick. He was appreciative in the end though.

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I made these cute little breakfast in a ramekin one day. I got the idea from this website although I didn't use the same ingredients. In mine I had homemade hashbrown, bacon, onion, cheese, and egg. One day I hope to bring back my recipe posts but for now I'm too busy to put them together. Funny enough I still have old photos for recipe posts that I never got around to doing.

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Remember how I mentioned my memory card died on me? I got a new replacement. This one hold much much more and it processes faster too!

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I got these shirts from H&M not long after I got my other pink one. They're the same style just in different colours. The polka dot shirt is my first patterned top. I'm branching out guys, I'm definitely trying =)

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I also picked up this cute H&M statement necklace. I don't own anything like this so it's a first.

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Surprisingly I don't have a good ol' pair of plain denim jeans (that fit nice and comfy) in my closet. I thought it was time to get myself a pair. Lisa always mentions Gap so I thought I'd give the store a go after obtaining a 40% off coupon. I haven't shopped there in ages.

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I managed to find the perfect pair after some help from an associate. It was pretty daunting staring at a wall full of jeans (they all start looking the same after a while). She suggested I get the ankle cut since I'm shorter, and sure enough, she was right. I haven't had jeans fit me lengthwise so well. Finally a pair made for petites like me!

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These pair of booties I bought online from Aldo. I kept my eye on the black pair for so long hoping it would go on sale but it never did. This colour, however, did go on sale for an amazing price of $34.95 down from $90. Not only am I on a mission to inject more colour into my wardrobe as a whole, I couldn't have been more in love with the burgundy colour; it's unlike anything I own (then again, I have a very small shoe collection lol).

And that's all I have to share for today. I have a few more things to share but I didn't take pictures yet (which includes another Sephora order hehe). On the "life" front, work has been super busy (I'm talking finishing work at 3am, 4am, 5am to even 7am one day) all because of the Easter weekend. The Mister has been busy preparing for his exams so we haven't been making plans and I've been lazy about gardening so I haven't even planted down my seeds yet. Eeps! Oh and I'm currently watching a Korean Drama, Heirs, and I'm totally addicted. Haven't watch Kdramas in so long! They're still as good as I remember them to be.

Life Lessons: I once had a conversation with someone about life and relationships. They shared their philosophy with me and it's something I could never forget to this day. They said that life is about creating moments and memories so we should never forget to keep making them. And it's true. When you look back on your life, that's all you have. The "things" don't matter because it's not what's important. The things you do remember are people, experiences, moments, and the memories. So don't forget what's truly important in life and keep on creating.

"Just because someone doesn’t love you in the way you want them to doesn’t mean that they don’t love you with all they’ve got." -Unknown

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

6.207 L'Oreal Warehouse Sale + VIB 15% Off

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This year I was lucky enough to be able to go to the L'Oreal Warehouse Sale. My sister's boyfriend's mother had tickets and gave them to her which she then so kindly invited me and our mom along.

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We went on the second last day so most of the good stuff was probably gone but at least we didn't have to wait in line for too long. It was about a 2 minute wait.

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To be honest it wasn't exciting as I thought it would be. It could be because we went so late in the sale but there really wasn't that much there to be excited for. I expected more from a sale that is invitation only.

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This is what I ended up getting (minus the serum and nail polishes shown below). The shampoo and conditioners were $4.50 and $3.75 each. Pretty good deal.

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I forgot to include this in the above picture. I picked up this Lancome Genifique serum because it was only $28.75 after further reductions. Quite a steal, no?

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I also forgot to include these Essie polishes (I'm forgetting everything that I bought from the sale lol). There weren't many interesting colours left but these were totally up my alley. These were only $4.75 each. The cobalt blue "Bouncer It's Me" is unlike any other colour I have- perfect for Spring and Summer! And I got the gun metal "Over The Edge" because I love the gun metal colour.

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I'm most excited for this out of my whole purchase. It's a blush called "Tangerine Tint" #134 and it was $22.75. I try not to buy blushes unless it's unique because I have so many already. This looked different to what I have so I figured it was okay. It looks perfect for Spring and Summer.

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This was the only lipstick colour, "Beige" #203, left that I found suitable to wear. I was quite surprised that they still had this colour left because the other lipsticks were totally not for me.

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Sephora has their VIB 15% off sale going on right now (I have two bags because I shopped on two separate occasions #shopaholic). But before their official sale, they had their VIB Rouge Spring Social which I RSVP'ed to but couldn't make it. I was hoping to snatch the cute free makeup bag they were giving out but was bummed that I couldn't participate. But then, Sephora brought back the free makeup bag offer for one day only for all VIBs. I was afraid that they might run out (silly me) so I went early in the morning to get mine. Of course when I was at checkout I saw that they still had plenty bags left. I'm such a beautyholic that I assume most people are crazy like me and would run to their nearest Sephora right when they open to snatch up a free makeup bag. Free + Makeup, those two words will get me running anywhere haha.

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Isn't the little cosmetic bag cute?! I went a little lippie crazy this time around. At least I spent less this time than what I did during the last 20% sale. I think it's because I didn't buy any skincare items- which can be very costly.

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I finally got my hands on the Tory Burch perfume that I've been eyeing. They were sold out at my local Sephora so I had to get it during my second trip to the sale. I have been eagerly waiting to get this!

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Isn't the bottle sublime? The scent is light and fruity. I love it. The only thing though is that I find it doesn't last very long on me. Still, I'm happy to have it in my collection.

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I have also been waiting to get my hands on this Guerlain Lingerie De Peau foundation. It would have been a better deal to get it at Shoppers Drug Mart during one of their 20x the points event but I couldn't help it and picked it up anyway. I heard really great things about this foundation so I hope I got the right shade for me.

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Yes, more YSL lippies. No surprise here because I'm totally obsessed with them. I got the Volupte Sheer Candy in "Tangy Mandarine" #10 and Rouge Volupte Shine in "Orange Impertinent" #16. I think you can tell I was leaning towards the oranges for Spring and Summer. I'm so excited for warmer weather. Can't wait to wear these out soon.

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And I also got a couple of YSL's newest creations, Gloss Volupte. I was so excited when I found out about these. I got "Corail Gandoura" #203 and "Rose Orfevre" #19. I also wanted the popular shade "Rose Jersey" #202 but it was sold out online and at the stores I went to. The applicator wand on these is so lovely and unique. It makes application a cinche.

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I heard good things about these Too Faced La Creme lipsticks too so I wanted to give them a try. I picked up "Marshmallow Bunny" and "Juicy Melons". These were $26 each which is less expensive than what I normally buy high end lipsticks for.

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And lastly, I got an Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in "Native". I too heard great things about this lipstick line. This also retails for $26 which isn't bad in my books.

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The aftermath after all the picture-taking. I don't know why I always get so surprised at how easily these "small" purchases can add up. It doesn't look like much, 9 products, but boy does it do a number to my wallet. Nonetheless, I'm super excited to try all of these out in the upcoming months. You'll probably slowly see them in my monthly used products posts.

"The heart has reasons that reason does not understand." -Jacques Benigne Bossuel

Thursday, April 3, 2014

6.206 Our First

The Mister and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary in early March. It's a bit of a funny story though, as we ended up holding off the dinner for another evening.

Starting off with the exchange of gifts...
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The Mister got me this card and inside was a separate piece of paper which turned out to be the sweetest most precious letter I've ever received. I love getting cards from him. He made it a "thing" to get me Papyrus cards. I like to frame them and change them out according to the month, holiday, or occasion. They're like a piece of art except very sentimental.

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And this is what he got me. I have pieces from Rainbow Jade, Isis, and Bitter Sweet but I've never bought anything from Magnolia before. I know, it's typical for a guy to get a heart necklace for his girl right? I love it though because it was chosen by him. I'm not sure if he would like me mentioning this but... I really value this necklace not only because it's the first jewelry he bought me on his own accord, but because we were both tight on our budgets yet he still managed to get me this.

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And I got him a Fossil watch =) He loved it.

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I also bought white wine (shown left) for us to celebrate.

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So now you might be wondering why there's a picture of KFC. Well, #storyofourlives, the day of our anniversary we didn't eat anything since morning so we were starving by the time we got downtown. Since it was too early for dinner we headed into Eaton's to grab a bite to eat. I guess our appetite was bigger than what we had anticipated. We ended up ordering a bucket because we had a coupon (big mistake). By the time dinner rolled around we were still too full to go enjoy dinner a.k.a our evening was ruined LOL.

So our anniversary dinner was postponed for another day.
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This time we were smart and I suggested we have soup for lunch so that we'd be hungry by dinner time. It was perfect because I had been dreaming about Whole Foods' Butternut Squash Soup since the last time I had it and I wanted the Mister to try it too. This time it needed a little bit of salt which was fine because they had the little packets there. I also picked up the coconut water infused with pineapple and Snapea Crisps.

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These Snapea Crisps are bomb, very addicting.

And finally we made it to dinner!
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Originally we were suppose to celebrate at CN Tower's 360 restaurant, which we decided months prior, but we were both tight on budget so we opted for Milestone's instead. Maybe next year for our 2nd Anniversary we'll go there.

1 Bellini and 1 Budweiser. I seriously can't get over Milestone's Original Bellini. Best ever.

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For our starter we avoided the calamari (since it's not that great) and got the Sicilian Mussels. It was superbly delicious. The Mister has been turned over to seafood after this dish and now he says he's not afraid to try other seafood =D

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Last time I came here I got the Certified Angus Beef Top Sirloin and it was so good so I wanted steak again. We both ended up getting the Slow-Roasted AAA Prime Rib. He got the regular and I got the small. To be honest the presentation was lacking. The steak itself was very tender and tasty but eating was a bit messy and difficult to cut into. The "crispy" onion weren't crispy and didn't taste that great. I actually prefer the Sirloin over this Prime Rib.

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All finished!

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For dessert we ordered the Milestone's Dessert Shots which are the mini versions of their 5 favourite desserts. Best idea ever. Now we know what to order when we come back. We were big fans of the White Chocolate Cheesecake and the Break-Up Tub. The Caramel Gingered Apple Crisp and Ganache Torte were good too. We weren't really into the Key Lime Pie though.

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Heading home after a successful long-awaited celebratory dinner.

"There are only four words that is so much better than 'I love you' and those words are: 'I’m here to stay.'" -Unknown