Saturday, January 30, 2016

7.314 Here I Go Again

sometext
For New Years, the Mister and I decided that we were finally going to spend it downtown. We've been meaning to do it for the past couple of years but plans always seemed to fall through. Since we owned a car now, it was much easier to commit to this year. The last and only time I spent New Years downtown was back in 2012 with my sister and cousin. When it was over we said we'd never do it again. But here I was, doing it again. I wanted the Mister to experience what it was like at least once in his life.

sometext
Ho Jan Chinese Restaurant
45 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5B 2A1

Before heading down to City Hall, we grabbed a bite to eat at Ho Jan Chinese Restaurant because I saw that they had all day dim sum which was what I was craving.

sometext
We ordered the Wonton Soup, Dim Sum combo which came with a spring roll, Siu Mai, Har Cow, BBQ Pork Bun, Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus leaf with minced Pork, and Hot and Sour Soup (pictured with the Wonton Soup). I was disappointed that they didn't have the Cheung Fun which are rice rolls with sweet soy sauce. That's my favourite dim sum food! The Siu Mai and Har Cow were good though, and the Hot and Sour Soup was especially yummy. The rest was just ok, not a total fan of the dim sum combo to be honest.

We also ordered the Honey Garlic Chicken Wings and House Fried Dumplings. These were also very tasty.

sometext
Overall the food was good and the service was good too. It's a typical Chinese restaurant so obviously I don't expect a great ambience. If we ever come here again, we'd for sure try the more traditional Chinese menu foods. We came here looking for Dim Sum but I don't believe this is what this restaurant is known for.

Overall: Ambience C+, Food A-, Service A-, Price B.     {Stars: 3/5}

sometext
sometext
sometext
City Hall looked so magical with skating rink, lights, and the addition of the Toronto sign from the Pan Am games. I hope the government changes their mind about moving the sign because it's perfect just where it is.

sometext
sometext
I just love festive Christmas lights! The words cozy, warm, and cheer come to mind.

sometext
So... spending New Years downtown Toronto wasn't exactly what I remembered it being like. There were no performers this time. I looked up the reason why online and learned that it was because CityNews wasn't hosting. So basically this year they called it a "Toronto's Largest Skating and Dance Party"- which was a bit of a fail because the DJs they had were pretty much crap. They kept playing the same songs and their beats weren't even great. I think the funniest part was when people were trying to jam but there were kids in the crowd so it was kind awkward. I would never bring my kids to a crowded place like that, that's just a no-no.

sometext
The fireworks were cool but nothing compared to when CityNews hosted. They lit their fireworks with a bang!

sometext
I learned from the year I went with my cousin and sister to never go to the main entrance by Queen Street. Just go off to the side under the bridge instead!

sometext
The crowd was chaotic. Cars were literally stuck in place because they couldn't move. It looked like something out of a zombie movie, us being the zombies. I wish I could of captured in photo how crazy it was.

sometext
During the holidays, my sister was dog-sitting for a friend. It's the same dog that she dog-sat before!

sometext
This time I walked him a few times when she couldn't.

sometext
I was in the park one day and let him off the leash because he could use the extra exercise of running back and forth. There was a moment when I was afraid he might run off, but I was 99% confident he wouldn't, otherwise I wouldn't have let him off the leash. He was pretty happy to be free and on his own.

sometext
Here we are one evening by a school. It's less scary to be in empty places like this when you have a dog.

sometext
A couple times I also bought him some Cesar Canine Cuisine. This particular one was Top Sirloin. He whipped up the whole thing in a matter of minutes.

sometext
sometext
sometext
He met Kirby but they don't even care for one another. At one point Kirby starting chewing on Porsche's (dog) fur thinking it was carpet or something. You think that between the two, you'd need to protect Kirby, but it's the other way around. In the end I had to take Kirby away lol.

sometext
I brought him along with me one time to drop the Mister off at his home. It was less lonely with him there on the way back.

sometext
sometext
sometext
Here is the first snowfall and the first time my car has been in snow. I don't have winter tires, the ones I have are all-season tires but they have pretty good traction. We were planning on buying winter tires next year but I guess we don't have to!

sometext
sometext
Driving during winter makes the car so filthy. I like to go to the $2 do-it-yourself car washes every week to wash the salt off.

Before.

After.

sometext
Bought this crappy "absorbent" towel for $1. It claimed that it could dry a whole car with one sheet. Never again.

"Dare to be different. The world is full of the ordinary." -Unknown

Thursday, January 21, 2016

7.313 The Christmas Feels Is Dead

This past Christmas didn't feel like Christmas at all. There was no sign of snow and the weather was pretty warm for December in Canada. On Christmas Eve, we were invited over to my cousin's place to celebrate and see his new house. The picture on the left was their Christmas tree and the picture to the right was our Christmas tree (I'm sure long time readers remember what my tree looks like).

sometext
Earlier in the day my mom treated my younger sister, her boyfriend, and I at Pho Mi Asia. Their food was good but service was a little below average. I'll do a proper review when I come back here with the Mister.

sometext
Then in the evening we feasted again with my whole family and the boyfriends- my brother, two sisters, my mom, the Mister, and my sister's boyfriend. There was a big gathering which included my cousin's family, their family extension, as well as my other cousins on my mom's side.

sometext
sometext
His house was beautiful. It was newly renovated and he did most of the renovations himself!

sometext
We played with play-doh with my niece. It turns out she's a little OCD. She didn't want us to mix the colours or take out too much play-doh in an effort to prevent them from drying out. It was at this point that I learned that she was just like me when I was younger. I saved my stickers and beads and never wanted to use them. Actually, I still have my stickers to this day.

sometext
sometext
My Holiday nails. This is one coat of Essie's "Bordeaux" over Essie's "Penny Talk". It's one of the most beautiful combinations and I learned it from Essie! I've done it with the matte top coat before and it's stunning, but this time I wanted it to be vibrant and glossy. Although beautiful, the staying power on these polishes isn't that good. It chipped within a couple of days.

sometext
Christmas dinner this year. Unfortunately the Mister couldn't make it this time around due to work. As you can see, we just don't care for presentation these past couple of years- all we care about is the eating part haha.

sometext
This is what I got for Christmas this year. I was so surprised when I opened up my elder sister's present and saw the Humans of New York book! I like Brandon's page on fb and am constantly reading about people's stories. You can learn so much and it's really eye-opening. Along with the book, she also got me the file folder. And yes, that is a gigantic Lindt Lindor. That was part of my younger sister's and her boyfriend's gift to me.

sometext
The other part of the gift was this J.Crew necklace. It's a really nice necklace with multi-faceted colours that shine through in the light.

sometext
This bracelet was gifted to me by my brother. He gifted everyone in my family with a bracelet according to their personality and likes. I got this one because he knows how much I love skulls.

sometext
sometext
This year the Mister let me choose my Christmas gift :D He said I could anything. At first I didn't even know what to choose... but then I remembered that I had been meaning to buy myself a silver Kate Spade watch since I didn't yet own a silver watch (believe it or not).

sometext
I've always admired the bigger dials that I've seen on other girl's wrists. I've been wanting to get one of my own so that I can stack it with bracelets. I specifically wanted Kate Spade ever since I laid eyes on Stephanie's watch that she posted on her blog back in 2012. Yes, that long ago.

sometext
And then came... BOXING DAY. The Mister and I woke up early (6am), grabbed breakfast at McD's, and then headed to Toronto Premium Outlet. But apparently, that wasn't early enough. When we got there, there was no parking space available anywhere. We went around for half an hour and found no empty spots. Because of the tension from the parking lot, I left the car because the Mister and I were at each other's throats.

sometext
I went inside to see this huge line outside a few stores like Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade and Burberry. I snapped a picture so I could show the Mister and you guys how crazy people are. The line was so long that it literally snaked around a couple times. It was at this moment I realized how absolutely mad this whole situation was. Here we were, in a fight, feeling frustrated over parking, and for what? Shopping? Just the day before we were enjoying each other's company and spent some lovely time with the family. At that point, I called it quits. I phoned the Mister (who was still trying to find parking) and we got the heck out of there. It just wasn't how we wanted to spend our precious holiday days together.

The only store I went into at the Toronto Premium Outlet was J.Crew. The store wasn't as crowded and I wanted to see if they had any good deals on their jewelry (50% off- $31.25 each). I only managed to find two necklaces (which the Mister was glad about because it made the trip worthwhile to him). There were a couple pieces of clothing that caught my eye but I was in no mood to try on clothes. I really did not enjoy shopping at all. I felt so lonely without the Mister; plus who on earth could enjoy shopping knowing that your significant other is out in the parking lot war zone?

sometext
Here is the first picture of my collective Holiday/Boxing Week shopping. The J.Crew necklaces I mentioned are on the far left. I also picked up a J.Crew sweater on sale for 50% off ($52) at their regular stores, a really nice long sleeve shirt from TopShop (not on sale unfortunately), The Big Bang Theory Season 8 on sale for $17.99, and a couple of body creams for approx $3.50 each from Bath and Body Works.

I picked these up from Winners over the Holidays. I found this dried fruit potpourri and thought it was so unique. It would look lovely on my kitchen table or hallway table during the Holidays. I also got the golden deer head because it would look terrific hanging on the wall over a bar cart. I swear I keep picking up decor items for my non-existent future home and I think it's starting to make me look crazy. I also got my first ever poncho! I've admire them on girls but never thought I would be able to find one that would look nice on me.

sometext
I also scored these from Winners on different days. I've been eyeing these exact two perfumes ever since they debuted. I've come across so many perfumes at Winners, and have become so familiar with the brands that they carry, that I figured I would miraculously find Burberry's My Burberry ($70) and Marc Jacob's Daisy Dream ($60) one day. Luckily for me, that happened within weeks of each other!

sometext
I got a 40% off coupon in the mail from Aldo so I put that to good use and got myself my first pair of brown boots called "Janella" be sure to sign up with ebates to get some money back! I got these boots thanks to Elle Florence. She had raved how much she loved them in her Best Boots and Shoes for Fall 2015 and it also gets amazing reviews on Aldo's website! I haven't had the chance to wear them out yet but I've tried them on in my room and they feel super comfortable. They feel very well made and the leather feels super soft and supple.

sometext
I don't believe I shared this with you yet. I ended up getting this acorn at regular price ($32.50) because I was afraid that they would sell out by the time it went on sale.

sometext
sometext
And lastly, I got a Dyson DC61 Animal hand vacuum! (I used it right away after I got it). It was on sale for $250 and the Mister paid this for me :D Ever since I moved into my own room I've been meaning to get a proper hand vacuum because I clean every week. The hand vac that I used was the one from the brand Shark and I constantly needed to recharge it since everyone in the family would use it. This Dyson one is so much more powerful and the battery lasts a lot longer. I love using it on my carpets and it works great to get the leftover down feathers underneath my bed that I can't reach. This vacuum will also work great on our car and my mattress.

p.s. I'm having problems uploading my pictures to photobucket. Please bear with me as I try to resolve this issue. I'm hoping it's just a server issue that will get fixed soon so that I can continue to blog about how my new year was.

"It's not happiness that make us grateful; it's gratefulness that makes us happy." -Brother David Steindl-Rast