travel

A Weekend In Oakville

Hello lovelies!

I do love a good staycation, as you’ve read about in my previous city guides on Port Credit and Burlington. It’s been a little while since my last GTA staycation guide. This post is a special one, as I have I teamed up with Visit Oakville to showcase some of Oakville’s hidden gems.


Did you know that I actually lived in Oakville?


…For about seven months during the school year during my post-grad at Sheridan. Funnily enough,   I never really took the time to explore what great things this town has.

I think that late summer is such a great time to go because there are so many events going on! Oakville is a pretty chill city, and a great one for a little summer escape away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, but it still has plenty of things to offer.

Venturing to far-away lands can sometimes be time-consuming and expensive – why not take a staycation? Today, we’re looking into some of the best spots to stay, eat, and visit around the Oakville and Bronte area.

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An Evening Exploring Burlington

Hiya lovelies!

It’s the summer time, and that means…weekend getaways! In my last staycation post, we looked at prime spots around Port Credit (read here). Continuing with my series of staycation spots within the GTA, we’re traveling down to Burlington. Burlington is another lakeside town sandwiched between Oakville and Hamilton. I haven’t visited since I was a kid, so I thought it would be nice to bring my parents down with me for the weekend.

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A Staycation In Port Credit, Mississauga

A Staycation in Port Credit, Mississauga

Hello hello hello! Looking for a vacation, but don’t want to travel? How about a staycation in Port Credit? Located 30 minutes outside of Toronto’s downtown core, Port Credit is a not-so-hidden gem during the warm, summer seasons. With lots of great restaurants, parks, and gorgeous walkways, it’s worth making a trip out here for a weekend this summer!

I’m sure you’ve all seen my Toronto travel guides. Toronto is great and all, but sometimes you just want to get away from the noise and bustle of the city. There are so many great little gems in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that you might not know about, and I’ll be exploring a few of them this summer! Let’s take a look at how I spent my weekend in Port Credit…

Most of you will know by now that I love to travel and see the world, and I think going abroad is incredible. Nothing beats new cultures, new adventures and new experiences! However, so many people forget that we live in a wonderful place too…If you’re a GTA local or new to the area, it’s definitely worth taking a day or two to explore the charming cities and towns outside of Toronto.

Fun fact – I actually grew up in Port Credit! I went to middle school and high school in the Lorne Park / Clarkson area. I’ve seen the town grow and bloom throughout the years, and it’s really shaping up.


WHERE TO STAY: WATERSIDE INN

In my opinion, there’s only one place to stay when you come visit Port Credit – The Waterside Inn!

Located right in the heart of Port Credit, The Waterside Inn has you right in the middle of all the action. It is set against the harbor with the dreamiest of views, amongst all the great little restaurants and shops. It is also located minutes from Port Credit GO station on the Lakeshore West line, about a half-hour train ride from downtown Toronto’s Union Station.

 

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When I am planning a staycation, I want a nice big room with lots of space.

Staycations are all about relaxing and discovering cities and towns around you! The rooms at the Waterside Inn are very cozy. 🙂 The rooms are all suites, so you get a bedroom, living room, and kitchen area. We stayed in one of the Residential Suites, but they also have deluxe rooms and penthouse suites. Although the decor is a little bit dated, it has the charm of a boutique hotel. I think these rooms would be perfect for extended stays.

The bathroom has lots of marble, very instagrammy… [/pipdig_padded_text]

The kitchen comes with a washer and dryer, utensils, a stove, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher.

We had a huge balcony! Our room overlooked the Port Credit harbor…

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It was nice to sit outside in the evening and watch the sun set.

I felt so cozy after winding down in the evening after doing my skincare regime. Currently loving the Laneige Bright Renew line. You can read about my current skincare regime here!

I know that this venue is very popular for summer weddings and events so keep that in mind! 😉 Parking is $10/night (located behind the hotel in the Marina lot) and high-speed wifi is included on every floor.

The Waterside Inn is home to Breakwater Restaurant, a highly rated, classy little establishment if you’re looking for a more formal meal or evening drinks. They hold seasonal events, such as the popular Father’s Day brunch! Although we didn’t experience the Breakwater, I think this would be a lovely venue to dine at with family.

 

To top it all off, the customer service has been incredible. The general manager, Toni Frankfurter, was so lovely and really brought my experience at the Waterside Inn to a whole other level! Customer service really does make a difference, especially from independent boutique hotels – it feels much more special than the cookie cutter experience of big hotel chains. A huge thank you to the Waterside Inn team for looking after us so well.

Wine-ding down for the night.

Of course, we wound down in the evening with a class of JP Rosé Azeitão Syrah 2016 Bacalhoa wine*. Is it weird that I drank mine iced? It was a nice way to end the evening, looking out onto the lake.

I won’t lie, it’s a super girly drink – it is light pink and has an almost floral aroma, of roses and wildflowers! How lovely is that?

I’m terrible with describing wines, but it is described as having a fresh finish with a mineral note and a slight sweetness. It’s a medium-bodied and refreshing summer wine, and a great one to accompany a night in…complete with a face mask of course! You can find it at LCBO here.

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FOR THE BRISK MORNING WALK… JC SADDINGTON PARK.

There are a series of beautiful little parks on the lakeshore worth venturing out to. JC Saddington Park is located just off Lakeshore Blvd, a short walk from the Port Credit lighthouse.

I used to go on walks with my parents here during summer weekends when I was a kid, so it’s quite a nostalgic place for me.

JC Saddington Park is lined with little trails along the waterfront. It is a very popular choice for families to visit in the summer time, with lots of gatherings and BBQs. It can get quite busy at times, but it never feels crowded. Matt and I like going there after dinner because a circuit around the park definitely helps the food go down!

Keep in mind that during summer weekends, parking can get quite hectic during peak afternoon and evening hours. If you’re staying in Port Credit, there is parking along the main road, but there is Marina parking (behind Waterside Inn) for $10.

HONORABLE MENTION: PORT CREDIT MEMORIAL PARK…

If you don’t mind a bit of a shorter circuit, loop around Port Credit Memorial Park which lines the Port Credit river. You’ll likely see lots of rowers paddling up and down the river under the bridge. We arrived on the evening of the Dragon Boat festival so we saw a few of those speeding about! [/pipdig_padded_text]


FOR LUNCH… SNUG HARBOR

I love supporting independent, local restaurants and we certainly did that this staycation. Let me first say… dinner time peak hours at Port Credit are insane during the summer months. If you want to eat at the Snug (and not wait 2 hours for a table,) your best bet is to arrive at around lunchtime.

Snug Harbor is a cozy little restaurant located across from The Waterside Inn. Set right in the marina, Snug Harbor is a homey seafood restaurant that has one of the best views of the town! Unfortunately we arrived at about 7:45PM for dinner and there was a 1hr 45min wait. The Snug Harbor does not take reservations during the summer months due to demand, so we decided to try again some other time. I’ve eaten at the Snug before and it’s great- totally recommended if you manage to get a spot! Try to sit on the patio if you can, the warm summer breeze off the lake is lovely and you can watch all of the boats come in and out of the marina.

MUST TRY: Coconut shrimp, Rainbow Trout, Seafood Pescatore, and the classic Fish & Chips.

 


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HONORABLE MENTION…THE WORKS.

As a burger lover, I’ve got to mention to The Works! The Works is a gourmet burger place a little ways down the street from Burger’s Priest, and is more suitable if you want some place to sit down and relax. It’s pretty hip looking inside (think: exposed pipe and brick, drinks served in measuring glasses, burgers arrive in metal trays… etc.) I reviewed the Hamilton location here! The Works also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

I got the Juicy Lucy, which is your regular tomato/lettuce/onion burger, except the patty is filled with cheese! So gooooood. I also got a side of spicy die cut chips – a nice little change from the typical fries.

MUST TRY: The Juicy Lucy burger, the Nacho Libre burger, and the Son of a Beech burger.

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FOR DINNER… CROOKED CUE

As I mentioned earlier, dinner time gets quite busy in Port Credit on the weekends! We ventured out to the Pump House Grill (40 min wait) and then Door Fifty Five (30 min wait) before we finally got to the Crooked Cue. It has more of a bar atmosphere but it was recently renovated and looks quite sleek inside.

Half of the venue is a restaurant and the other half is billiard tables. Although it looked pretty full inside, we were immediately seated in a spacious booth. Our waitress was lovely 🙂

 

I ordered the classic Fish n Chips. You might remember me going through a fish n chip phase during postgrad earlier this year where I literally ate it every other meal… LOL. Anyway this was much better (obv).

My fish n chips came on a huge bed of fries but the plate was quite small so it was a bit hard to…navigate? Either way, the fish and coleslaw tasted great and I left the restaurant feeling quite full and content.

Matt got a massive Jack Daniels Smoked Burger, and he really enjoyed it!

Overall, I really liked the Cue. We’re probably going to come back sometime in the summer. I’m sure the atmosphere really picks up later in the evening as it seems like a popular place for drinks and pool.


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HONORABLE MENTION: COLOSSUS GREEK TAVERN

If you’re into Greek food, I’d say it’s work checking out Colossus. I’ve eaten there quite a few times and I really like their food – you can’t go wrong with a chicken souvlaki! I love Greek food because it isn’t super fried and greasy – just clean, simple food. A chicken skewer, some tzaziki, potatos, and a salad – so good! Colossus tastes like great, home cooked food.

 


FOR  A LITTLE DESSERT… SCOOPS

One of the classic little shops on Lakeshore is Scoops – an independently owned ice cream shop that offers a huge selection of flavors. Chances are you’ll see the line going out the door. Worth the wait in my opinion because nothing beats an ice cream cone on a hot summer day near the lake!

MUST TRY: Espresso Robusto (especially if you’re a coffee lover!), but there are about 50 different flavors to choose from!

 

FOR THE ~ROMANTIC~ SUNSET WALK: PORT CREDIT WATERFRONT TRAIL.

The summer sunsets in Port Credit are absolutely gorgeous. You have the silhouettes of the famous lighthouse against dreamy fire-lit sky.

There’s a circuit I love doing which basically goes through Port Credit Memorial Park (up against the Port Credit river, back up and around, across the street towards Snug Harbor, and along the back walkway! There are always lots of people around and usually a few street musicians – just some really good vibes.

You can also cross the bridge and walk up along the other side towards JC Saddington Park. That will give you another great view across the harborfront which looks totally different at night.

If you have a car and are willing to drive out a bit towards Clarkson…

HONORABLE MENTION: JACK DARLING PARK
Jack Darling is another park I love frequenting. It is a large park with long winding trails that line the lakeshore, eventually reaching Ratray March. The park itself is very popular amongst families, so you’ll see plenty of groups starting BBQs or having gatherings. There are lots of big willow trees and shady spots to sit. Protip: bring bug spray… the gnats can get a little insane.

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You can find all of the locations posted on this handy little map! 🙂 (Jack Darling is a little bit out of the way though so you might have to zoom out.)

Parks are marked in green, hotel in orange, and restaurants in purple!

Have you been to Port Credit? Have you visited any of the other lakeside cities in the GTA? Do you take staycations?

*Thank you to the Waterside Inn for providing a room in exchange for an honest review.

 

A Relaxing Day | Sol Luna Y Mares Resort in Cuba


Sending you a little piece of sunshine!


Hello lovelies!

I can’t believe that it has already been a few months since I left for the sunny beaches of Holguin, Cuba. If you read my last Cuba post, you’ll know that I spent a week at the Sol Rio Luna y Mares resort. It was my first time in Cuba, and I had such a lovely time! I’ve started full time at my internship which means the typical 9-5, so while I’m getting everything sorted out, let me dust off this post which has sat in my drafts for a little while! 🙂

I absolutely love travel books, and the Lonely Planet Shoestring series are some of the best travel resources you can find! I loved flipping through Lonely Planet’s updated Central America On A Shoestring*. It includes maps, and recommendations, hidden discoveries, and advice on how to optimise your budget for the trip. Although we spent most of our time on the resort, it will definitely come in handy because I’d love to come back and explore some more!


Happiness is warm beaches, sunny skies, and a drink in hand!


 

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Wellness Centre

If you know me, you’ll know that I absolutely loooooove spa treatments. I just love spending my days lazing around in warm wrm water and the sun. Sol Rio Luna y Mares also has a wellness centre, which was unfortunately under construction during our stay… no sauna for us! The wellness centre houses the resort’s beauty services, spa treatments, medical services, and fitness area.

It smelled really nice and there was soft music playing, which was very relaxing. There is a little jacuzzi and a small pool out front which was lovely. The centre wasn’t crowded at all so it was a nice and quiet little getaway area.

After, we took a stroll down to the beach. Matt was getting a massage.

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So let’s just say… I was not made for life at sea.


Or exercise, for that matter. On one of the days, we decided to go on an excursion package offered by the resort. Ours included swimming with dolphins (which I had mixed feelings about,) snorkeling, and then wrapped up with a seafood lunch at a private lookout.

After our session with the dolphins, we hopped on a catamaran and were taken a short distance out from the resort. Now, I know how to swim and was quite excited to see all the fish and underwater life! However my goggles had a crack in them and my breathing pipe kept leaking saltwater.

After about 3 minutes I felt choked up and exhausted and floated back to the boat where I promptly threw up and then napped on the catamaran net.

To top it off, I fell asleep on my stomach and the net left an imprint along the entire front of my body!

Here’s what I learned.

  1. Don’t sleep on the catamaran net or you’ll end up looking like a grilled fish.
  2. Scuba diving is cool and all but I’ll stick to watching underwater Youtube videos.
  3. I’m a lot less fit than I thought I was.

The seafood lunch was fantastic, although Matt was feeling seasick so I ended up eating both of our portions 😀

 

Bought myself a pair of sandals from an on-site vendor! They have the word “Cuba” stamped into the sole.


La Pinta

Sol Rio Luna y Mares is an all inclusive resort. Most of the time, we ate at the buffet near our rooms in the Mares section of the resort. However, you are able to book a meal at one of the resort’s many restaurants during your stay for no additional cost. We decided to check out La Pinta – a mediterranean restaurant located right on the beach. I loooove mediterranean food (especially sea food!)

We ate at 7:30PM. It was a shame that the sun had already set because it would have been quite nice to watch the sunset during dinner!

We booked a dinner at the resort’s Mediterranean restaurant, La Pinta. During our stay at the resort, we had a few opportunities to eat at the specialty restaurants (which were inclusive in the overall price.) It was a lovely little small building right by the sea. The weather was warm that night…

I started with the seafood brochette with green salad. Next was this seafood Cuban soup, with vegetables and fish! It was so good!! I could have gone through bowls of this.

The main dish – mixed dish of seafood – chef’s style. There was a mix of fish, lobster, rice, and vegetables. So goooood. I was highly debating the lobster dish but I wanted to try the variety platter. 😛

On certain nights, the resort held events in the reception area, like White Night! Everything was decorated with white material and guests were encouraged to wear all white. There were even white desserts!

 

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It was a really fun time, with alcohol and desserts in a constant flow. 😛

That wraps up my Cuba posts (a bit late, but better than never!) You can read the rest here.

Have you ever been to Cuba, or visited a resort? 🙂

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Trip To Cuba – Sol Rio Luna Y Mares Resort Review

Cuba Sol Rio Luna y Mares Resort Review

Hello hello my lovelies! How’s it going?

A bright one from me today! Cuba is a place I’ve always wanted to visit and if you follow me on Instagram (@sachietv) you’ll know that I was there last week! I got on a plane and flew down to C-C-Cuba for a week at the Sol Rio Luna y Mares Resort!! I’m all about warm sun and clear skies, and literally did a backflip when I found out I was going with Matt and his family.

I had never been to a resort before – the closest experience for me would have probably been when I was 12 and went on a cruise. I couldn’t wait to park myself in front of those crystal blue waters and try to get some colour into my super pale skin. I have a little photo diary ready for you, as well as a rundown of the resort we stayed at!

Sol Rio Luna y Mares is a medium sized resort but there are quite a lot of things to see there, so I’ll be breaking this into a few parts! Let’s talk about the venue itself and the beautiful beaches today!

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Ontario Science Centre + Marché Restaurant | Toronto Travel Guide

 

December 31, 2016

Hello lovelies! Hope your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were fun! I’m starting to get back into the swing of regular blog posts. How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? I’ve always been the type of person who wants to go out on New Year’s, wear a fancy dress, and party all night! However, I’ve haven’t actually been able to cross that off my bucklet list. Maybe next year. This New Year’s Eve, we took it easy.

Matt and I had a pair of free tickets to the Ontario Science Centre which expired on the 31st. We had no other plans, so we thought why not? I’ve never actually been to the Science Centre, so we figured it would make for a nice little date. Unfortunately it’s a little ways outside of downtown Toronto, just off the Don Mills Parkway.

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Top 10 Best Free Travel Apps

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My Favourite Travel Apps for iPhone – Top 10 Best Free Travel Apps!

My iPhone becomes an invaluable resource when I’m travelling – not only does it double as my camera and social media hub, but the travel apps make me feel like I’m walking around with a personal guide. I’m directed where to go, what places to see, how to get there, where to stay. Languages disappear, tickets are all in one place – the possibilities are endless. I’m here to share 10 of my favourite travel apps (all free!) that ensure a smooth trip, as well as saving me both time and money!

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Cottage Getaway Week | Photo Diary, Where to Eat in Gravenhurst, & My Fave Summer Makeup!

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A Week Away…

…In the middle of nowhere aka Canadian cottage countryside aka Muskoka aka Gravenhurst, Ontario. Well, a bit more out of the way, in a tiny little town called Washago. Matt’s family invited me to stay with them for a week at a little cottage they rented from a close friend. This was my second year staying with them, and I was looking forward to a week of relaxing and ~becoming one with nature.~ Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go our way. Keep reading to hear what happened, as well as taking a peek at my favourite summer look with my current go-to makeup products!

 

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Santa Monica Pier & Gen Korean BBQ | A Week in California

An evening stroll on the Santa Monica Pier…

Following our day trip to the Getty Museum (which you can read about here,) we decided to head on down to Santa Monica! The main purpose of our trip was to stop by Third Street Promenade to do a spot of shopping (hello Madewell, Cotton On, and most importantly… Uniqlo!). I follow a ton of LA vloggers on Youtube, so it was really funny for me when I stepped into the little shopping plaza at the end of the street and felt like I had been there before!

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Round 1 Arcade & Japanese Purikura! | A Week in California

 

Round 1 Arcade

Round 1 is a large arcade, offering everything from rhythm games, dance games, bowling, karaoke, driving simulators, crane games…and more! It’s always a highlight during my trips to California because it’s so bright and exciting. It’s especially interesting because it offers a selection of Japanese and Korean arcade machines, including…purikura!!

I had one mission in mind…to do some more purikura! Purikura are japanese photobooth machines, with extra eye-enlarging, leg-stretching, and skin-smoothing filters. The photos are taken against a green screen, which is substituted with various cute backgrounds! Once the photos have been taken, you head to the side of the machine and decorate/doodle on the photos! I did two sets of group photos with my friends – keep reading to see how they turned out…

 

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Visiting The Getty Museum, Galleria, and Gardens | A Week in California

A Day at the Getty

For the past four years, I have made the trek out to the beautiful and sunny state of California! The main purpose of my trip is to attend Anime Expo, but I usually like to stretch out my stay and fit in a bit of sight seeing here and there.

On the second day of our trip, we headed to The Getty Museum. I remember seeing photos of the museum’s fantastic architectural design on tumblr and longed to visit… now I can finally cross it off my bucket list! The gallery itself houses many iconic works and sculptures by the likes of Van Gogh and Cezanne, as well as impressive gardens and a breathtaking view of the city below.

Admission is free, and there is a small tram that transports visitors from the lower parking area to the upper galleria and museum.

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GenBeauty Toronto 2016 | Event Recap + Creator Party

 

Generation Beauty Toronto 2016

Generation Beauty (or rather, GenBeauty), was held on May 14-15 at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. You may recognize the venue, as it is the same hall that Fan Expo Canada is held!

GenBeauty was founded by Youtube Star and ipsy creator Michelle Phan. It’s not so much a convention (like I originally though – more on that later), but a gathering of brands, beauty content creators, and their audiences. This was their first time holding a GenBeauty event in Toronto, let alone Canada. There have been other events held in New York and Los Angeles, and it was nice to see the online beauty community expand into Canada.

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Ripley’s Aquarium Toronto | Toronto Travel Guide

Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto

A continuation of my adventure downtown with Redbubble… (psst, there’s a giveaway too! Check it out!)
The Ripley’s Aquarium opened in 2013, right next to the CN Tower! It’s a large aquarium that features a very streamlined path – you make your way through tanks featuring fishes from freshwater and saltwater lakes, to the shark tunnels, to tropical fish, the rays, the jellies, and a behind the scenes of the water filtration systems. It’s a beautiful and relaxing environment, great for destressing (unless you’re afraid of water, haha!)

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Spirited Away with Redbubble + GIVEAWAY!

 

Spirited Away

As you guys already know, I absolutely love Redbubble! It’s a fantastic website where you can get beautiful artwork printed on almost everything, ranging from clothing, to phone cases, to duvet covers, and notebooks! Not only can you get unique pieces to wear, but you’ll be supporting the artists you love at the same time. I was more than excited to join them for their spring campaign. I picked out a few Studio Ghibli inspired pieces featuring some awesome fanart from super talented artists!

I have a few pieces to share with you today! There’s a fun giveaway at the end where you can win my featured pieces, so keep reading! 🙂

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Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe; Toronto’s First Maid Cafe!

Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe…

Tucked away in the heart of the Toronto is a huge Otaku secret. In their efforts to expand and introduce Toronto to Japanese food culture, the famous Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake cafe has opened up a maid cafe.

Maid cafes are a prominent and reoccuring theme in Japanese anime and otaku culture, and can famously be found in areas of Tokyo such as Akihabara. Maid cafes combine elements of anime, and cosplay culture – it is often a small, brightly lit, and pastel coloured cafe. Customers are greeted with a hearty “Irasshaimase!” or welcome! Girls in maid uniforms (think more cute and reserved than kinky/sexy) serve desserts such as cakes, parfaits, and teas to visitors, as well as perform dances at set times.

Mle and I decided to visit Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe! Here’s what we discovered…

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The Estee Edit Launch Party

#BeautyAttitudes

About two weeks ago, Sperrens and I were invited to the Toronto launch of The Estee Edit! As you may have heard, The Estee Edit is part of the Estee Lauder line, but with a fresher and more trendy approach! We walked down to The Distillery District (which I had surprisingly never been to – it’s so rustic and cute!) The launch was actually held at a venue called Airship 37. The room we were in was chic and modern looking, decorated with white couches and blue lighting, totally on par with the brand’s look!

There were makeup stations set up in the middle of the room to play with the products…

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An Evening in Downtown | Sansotei Ramen, A-Game Cafe, & Cafe Crepe

Let’s Go Downtown!

Hello friends! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend – mine was quite eventful! Today, I’ll be posting another one of my Toronto Hot Spot series. Hopefully these posts will introduce you to new places to stop by for lunch or dinner, or if you’re looking for something fun to do downtown Toronto! You can read the rest of the posts here.

Saturday’s events are all within walking distance, and could make for a fun night out downtown.

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My Travel Carry-On Essentials / Fjallraven Kanken

I’ve got a case of wanderlust.

It seems like almost all of my favourite bloggers and vloggers seem to be on vacation! I’ve been hardcore dreaming about my next trip. I can only really afford to go on one trip a year at the moment – Los Angeles in July for Anime Expo, but that’s more of a networking trip if anything. Matt and I have been talking about doing a few little trips within the province and possibly in the States, which has gotten me all excited for traveling again. Today, I’d love to share some of my carry-on essentials when I go on long trips, whether it be by train, plane, or bus!

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Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake in Toronto | Worth the Wait?

Hey lovelies!

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake – the “it” bakery/cafe that’s on everyone’s lips at the moment! Their supposedly famous Japanese Cheesecakes attract the masses, resulting in hour-long lineups outside their Toronto shop. I recently took a trip downtown and stopped by in order to find out what all the hype was about, and if the cheesecake was actually worth the wait!

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A little trip to Pwllheli, Wales…

Pwllheli, Wales

Whilst digging through my exchange photos, I came across some that I had taken during my exchange in 2013. As many of you know, I studied abroad (at Leeds University in England) during the 2013-2014 school year. I didn’t blog much (too busy traveling), but luckily I still have a backlog of photos that I can share with you.

I was invited to stay in Wales with my aunt and uncle since I wasn’t returning home for Christmas during my exchange. As my aunt and uncle typically live near Cardiff, it was a family tradition for them to stay at a seaside holiday home in Pwllheli, located in north western Wales. So, shortly after returning from a trip to Northern Ireland with my friend Lindsay, I took a train from Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly, to Chester, and then to Bangor.

 

Yes, I saved all of my train tickets from my 9 months in England… I’m getting quite nostalgic now haha. I arrived back from Northern Ireland on the 21st. Unfortunately my residence had turned off the heating as most students had returned home for Christmas. I was the only person in the building, which was very cold… Naturally, I caught a cold that lasted for 3 weeks 🙁

Most of the photos I took were quite personal. I spent that week with my cousins (in their 30s – 40s) and their children (aged 4 – 9), and I’d like to respect their privacy… instead, I’ll be showing you the beautiful landscapes!

The Welsh landscapes are absolutely gorgeous… lots of rolling hills and beautiful seasides. Our house looked out onto the sea, so beautiful….

Many of the nearby houses were painted! A nice touch for the seaside… Also, Welsh Christmas weather is beautiful! Feels like a Canadian April, haha. It was lovely not having to spend it digging myself out of 5ft snowbanks.

The inside of our house was very comforting…The English sure know how to do Christmas! Lots of decorations, sweets, and someone was always cooking!

Despite being surrounded by family, I did feel quite lonely. It was my first Christmas away from home. All my cousins were much older than me, and their kids were all quite young. Nobody my age, and a weak wifi signal… (Nooooooo!!!) I spent a lot of time taking walks or playing on my 3DS haha…

The children were very lucky! Santa was very generous this year…

 

On Christmas day, we drove up to a nearby town called Criccieth. My cousins participated in a rowboat race whilst the children and I cheered from the stands…

 Criccieth castle in the distance.

 

 The weather suddenly picked up and the waves doubled in size! Crazy crazy weather!
These photos are actually taken a day or two after, when we visited another port. I can’t remember the name, but it was beautiful.

Hope you liked this post… I’ll see if I have any other photos that I can dig up for a travel diary!

Have you ever been to Wales?

Thanks for reading!

xox,
Sachie


You can also catch me here: YOUTUBE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM BLOGLOVIN!

Bulgogi House, Honeymee, Round 1 | Sachie’s California Food Tour

Hello lovelies!

Here is my last post from my California food tour series this year. We visited these two restaurants on our last day in LA.

Our last day was a lazy one. We didn’t really have any plans – Megan was working an afternoon shift so it was up to Tako to keep Jord and I entertained. We ended up spending an hour wandering around a Daiso, lol. After Megan finished her shift, we went back to her place.

Actually a bit of a funny story – Jord and I had arranged to meet Dyrus for Korean BBQ, but because of some scheduling conflicts, it didn’t work out. Bummer 🙁 Instead, Megan and Tako took us to a place they often hit up – Bulgogi House.


Those shirts, haha! I learned that I apparently don’t grill my meat the proper way at KBBQ. I normally drop a few pieces on at a time and continually add meet to the grill after pulling some off. Megan and Tako’s method was
1. Drop all meet onto the grill
2. Mainly eat beef because its fastest to cook, occasionally other meats, but not chicken because that takes forever.

A very good method, I may or may not have adopted it. Although I do love my chicken.

You can find Bulgogi House here.

Bulgogi House

18751 Colima Rd,
Rowland Heights CA 91748
>(626) 965-2007

Hours

SUN – THUR:
11:00 AM – 11:00PM
FRI – SAT:
11:00 AM – 12:00AM


For dessert, our friend Aria recommended for us to check out Honeymee! It’s a dessert shop that specializes in delicious dairy ice cream drizzled or mixed with sweet honey!

 Look at that logo! So cute. I’m an absolute sucker for pretty design. The store itself is quite small and is based in a small plaza with other Asian restaurants/retail stores.

 Upon Aria’s recommendation, I got the ‘Sweetie’ ice cream! It was 4.25 – however, if you check in on yelp, there’s a discount! You show your checkin to the cashier and they’ll give you a discount (I think it was like $0.25 or something)

The soft serve icecream itself was milky and creamy… absolutely lovely! The honey was sweet and worked very well with the icecream. I ate it up super fast. Definitely recommend this place! A lovely way to end our trip in California, especially with the hot weather.

Visit Honeymee here.

Honeymee

YES PLAZA
18180 Colima Rd. Suite A
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Hours

Monday – Sunday:  12:00PM – 12:00AM


 Finally, we had to check out Round 1 Arcade! I always see this place in my Californian friends’ snapchat stories. It’s a huge arcade with tons of games, photo booths, rhythm/dance machines, a bowling alley, and karaoke rooms!

I finally got to do purikura / japanese photo booths! They’re really cool because after taking photos, you move to a separate screen outside to add stamps/doodles to your photos!

Spent most of my time playing Pop’n Music… It’s so cute! I love the character designs. We also played the crane catcher games. Jord won a Rilakkuma, which he then passed down to me after we spent a few hours gathering enough tickets to win him a Shibe plush.

Find Round 1 here:

Round 1 Arcade

Puente Hills Mall
1600 S Azusa Ave, Ste 285
City of Industry, CA 91748
>626-964-5356

All in all, I had a lovely time in California! Unfortunately, I think I lost my vlogging camera on the plane or in the airport. 🙁 So all of my LA and Anime Expo footage is lost…. Poop.

To read about where I ate in California and Anime Expo –  check out these posts.

Have you visited any of these places? 

Thanks for reading!

xox,
Sachie


You can also catch me here: YOUTUBE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM BLOGLOVIN!

Luckdish Curry | Sachie’s California Food Tour

Hello lovelies!

Next stop on my California food tour – Luckdish curry! For the second and third day of Anime Expo, I got currryyyyy!!! Curry is one of my favourite dishes! Thai! Japanese! Indian! You name it! My favourite is Japanese curry though…

Luckily, the food truck lot at Anime Expo had a Japanese curry booth…and that’s where I stumbled upon Luckdish!

There was a bit of a line but I didn’t care! I was starving, and curry is a hearty meal that will fill up your stomach.

I got a medium chicken curry bowl ($10) with a spicy level of two. I can’t do spice at all, and level two didn’t really feel like a two lol. I was expecting mild spice but got a load of sriracha? on top of my curry. Had a bit of a kick which took a little getting used to.

Although I complain about the spice, I got the same level the next day! Tasty chicken curry on top of a bed of white rice with onions, beans, and parsley. So tasty, and it smelled so good! Definitely recommend them if you’re a fan of curry. They’ve got some other things on their menu such as curry burritos, quesadillas, and nachos!

You can catch them over on their website, and on twitter.

Thanks for reading!

xox Sachie

Shin-Sen-Gumi Ramen | Sachie’s California Food Tour

Hello lovelies!

Welcome to another post in my series – Sachie’s California Food Tour! You can read the rest of the posts in this series by clicking here.

Tired and hungry after spending a day at Huntington beach, we decided that we needed to fill up on good food. Megan and Tako were very enthusiastic about Shin-Sen-Gumi Hataka Ramen in Fountain valley.

We reserved a table of six. There a few tables ahead of us, and a line of people waiting outside. Luckily, California weather is perfect so we just sat at the benches outside the restaurant and waited for the host to call our name. From what I can remember, we waited for just over half an hour…? Didn’t think this place was going to be too busy for a Monday but we were wrong – there was a constant line of people streaming through the door!

The inside of the restaurant is quite small. Best if you’re coming in pairs or groups up to three, as there are only about 2 sets of large tables at the back.

I ordered a regular ramen with normal noodles, an egg, thick soup oil, strong soup base, and curry paste. I added the entire bowl of curry paste into the ramen which I would not recommend if you don’t lovelovelove curry like I do. (It made the dish quite salty, but still really good!!)

Oh my godddDDD THIS WAS SO GOOOOOD. Probably one of the best ramen dishes I’ve ever had. I’m not even the biggest fan of ramen (I prefer udon), but seriously…. so delicious. Everything was cooked wonderfully – soup was savory, meat was soft, egg was perfectly done, and just the right amount of noodles. If you finished up your noodles, you could order an extra portion for $1.50. I believe the dish cost around $11 total for me (usually about 8 but I added the curry paste.) Such a great price compared to ramen places in Toronto, which would easily cost you $15+.

Definitely going to drop by this place again the next time I’m in California! I highly recommend it.

I would love it if you could follow me on Bloglovin!

Thanks for reading!

xox,
Sachie


You can also catch me here: YOUTUBE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

California Beach Day | In N Out, Huntington,& Bonfires

The Beach Episode

Hello lovelies! Part two of my California blog series – be sure to read Part 1 here, all about Anime Expo! Jord and I really wanted to have our ~California Beach Episode~, so we arranged a day out at the beach with Tako, Andrew, Megan, and her boyfriend!
Before that, Tako took us to In N Out. I always hear Californians talk about In N Out, and how good it is! I thought it was just a regular fast food chain, but as always, I figured there was some truth behind the hype. We decided to stop off at an In N Out before our day trip at Huntington Beach! It’s got a ~secret menu~ as well, but I ordered the standard “#1” – a double-double hamburger with a drink and fries!
Watching my soon-to-be food baby come into creation…

 

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A Week in Los Angeles | Anime Expo 2015, Porter Robinson, and The Fire

Anime Expo 2015

It is time…..for the Great Anime Expo Update of 2015! During the 1st – 8th of July, I flew from Toronto to Los Angeles for North America’s largest anime convention – Anime Expo! Anime Expo is my all time favourite convention – the level of cosplay is higher, the convention halls are bigger, and events are more grand than any other convention I’ve been to!

 

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Cheer Burger | Sachie’s California Food Tour

Hello lovelies!

Here’s the first post in a new series on my blog… Sachie’s Food Tour! 😀 If you’ve been following me on twitter or instagram, you already know that I recently went on a trip to Los Angeles, California, for Anime Expo! I had a fantastic time at the convention….but an equally as exciting time feasting at various food trucks / restaurants!

I love food, and blogging…. so adding a food blogging feature on this blog was a natural path! Hopefully I’ll help out a few of you guys who are looking for places to eat!

Alright – first day of Anime Expo. It’s a huge convention, which means that most restaurants in the area will be full of cosplayers. Tired, hungry, and having to wait in massive lines? No thanks! Luckily across from the convention centre, there’s a huge parking lot full of food trucks!! Everything from sushi burritos, pho, riceballs, burgers, boba tea…..and more!!

(photo: yelp)

I decided to eat at Cheer Burger! I was drawn to the brightly colored truck, and the fact that I was seriously craving a burger.

It was only around noon and the line for cheer burger wasn’t too long, so I took a look at their menu. I ordered “The Works Burger” ($8) which has lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, 1000 island dressing, bacon, fresh avocado, grilled onion, home made angus beef patty, american cheeze, topped off with a toasted bun.

Starting to crave it again….

Hot day, so I got a Sanpellegrino sparkling blood orange drink! Tastes good but seriously overpriced – it was so hot that I didn’t even care anymore! If you’re going to a con, bring your own drinks.

Fortunately, it didn’t take too long for my burger to arrive…
THIS. THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD BURGER. Seriously!! Fresh veg, thick beef patty, yummy sauces dripping out… The avocado coupled well with the crispy bacon… aaahhhh I’m itching to get my hands on another one! (Why don’t they have one in Toronto, why???) For some reason this food truck has bad reviews on yelp, but I think they’re just from impatient customers who had to stand through long lines. I haven’t had anything else on their menu so I can only attest to the burger that I had.
I can confidently say that this burger lasted about 2 minutes in my hands. If you’re in LA and see Cheer Burger, grab “The Works burger! I guarantee that you’ll love it!
Follow Cheerburger on Facebook / Twitter!

You can also find the rest of my California food tour series here!

Thanks for reading!

xox Sachie

The Sheraton Gateway Airport Hotel in Toronto YYZ

The Sheraton Gateway Airport Hotel

Let the travel blogging begin! WOO YES, one of my favourite things to do! Haven’t been able to do it that often but I’ve got a great series of posts lined up for you! On July 1st, I flew out to the city of angels for Anime Expo 2015! However, the night before, I had the pleasure of staying in the Sheraton Gateway Hotel located in Toronto Pearson Airport.

While organizing my stay, I originally messed up the dates…twice! Felt a bit like an idiot because (for some reason) I thought that there were only 29 days in June. Luckily the Sheraton customer service was completely understanding and were able to change the dates of my stay!! What a relief! Made me look forward to my stay even more!

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Day at the ROM | Toronto Travel Guide

The Royal Ontario Museum

Popped by the Royal Ontario Museum today! Students get free admission on Tuesdays so we went to check out the exhibits. Especially wanted to see the dinos after seeing Jurassic World, haha!!

Brought my 50mm lens to test out, still getting used to fixed lenses since I’ve only really used an 18-55mm.

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Paris (1 Year Later)

Paris, Oh La La!

Heya lovelies! I found one of my old portable hard drives stuck behind my desk the other day! I had been looking for this hard drive for the past few months and it was wedged behind the back board of my desk and the back wall! I found a lot of old photos and videos that I had been meaning to upload but couldn’t.

So, here I am, blogging about Paris, one year later. Better late than never, right…?

Luckily I remember the trip quite vividly, and recorded my daily activities/thoughts in my 2014 Muji planner. I went on a spontaneous Paris bus trip with my school friends whilst I was on my 3rd year university exchange last year, between June 7-12, 2014. I had just returned from Portugal on June 5th and decided I needed to do some more travelling before flying back to Canada on the 22nd.

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A look around Chinatown | Toronto Travel Guide

Hello lovelies!

This past weekend, my mom and I went downtown for a little day trip! I’m always downtown these days because I get bored of living in the burbs and downtown is only a subway trip away. She hasn’t been down there for a while so it was nice to spend time on her in between final projects and work.

Starting the trip by getting off at Spadina station, took the street car to Chinatown just by Kensington market.

Stopped off at the Hong Kong Island bakery for some bunz. It was around lunch time so we stopped off for a quick snack.

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Lisbon Adventures | Sachie Abroad

Lisboa, My Love

I’m in the final week of my exchange before I head back to Canada. I fly out on Monday, and I don’t feel like I’m emotionally prepared to return. These past few months have flown by at a scary speed, it feels like I’ve been here for maybe 3 months max. So many things have happened.

I’ll be talking about my exchange experience in a future post since many people have asked me questions! I’ll also be doing a video over on my youtube page.

But anyway, this post will be about my recent trip to Portugal! I took a last minute trip with my friend Christa to Portugal on the 1-5 of June. We bought our plane tickets and booked our hostels the week before our trip. We flew with RyanAir. Tickets cost £64.99 from Manchester to Lisbon, and €54.99 from Faro to Leeds Bradford. A last minute trip to escape the grey skies of England and soak up some sun!

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the gathering 2014

Hi lovelies!

If you’ve been following me on my other social networks, you’ll have seen that over the past two weeks, I’ve been posting about The Gathering 2014 nonstop! In an effort to revive my blog,  here’s my Gathering experience masterpost, haha!!

If you don’t know what The Gathering is, check out my video on GeekandSundry Vlogs! :}

Basically, The Gathering is a huge LAN party held in Hamar, Norway. It’s filmed in the giant viking ship olympic stadium (which is named the Vikingskipet because it looks like an overturned viking ship!) Thousands of people flood into the ship, bringing their computer supplies and shelf equipment for 4 days of nonstop gaming fun! It was my first LAN event, and it was even more exciting because The Gathering had invited myself, Scott, Amy, and our producer Jenni, to host live shows!

Also, apologies for the quality! Pics were shot on my iPhone.

Flew with Norwegian airlines from Gatwick in London. Norwegian is awesome, such a pleasant flight. They even had free wifi! Definitely helped the 2.5 hour flight go by very quickly. I’m super fortunate as this trip was my third trip down to Norway. (First time for planning meetings, second time to film promos for the event.) Ya can’t keep my outta Norway!~ haha.

Walking into the ship and seeing this for the first time was definitely super exciting!! So many people! And so many cool shelves set up!

Here’s my walk-around vlog for the weekend! I tried to vlog as often as I could during the weekend, so much to see and do!

One of the cool events at the Gathering is that on the first day, after opening ceremonies, the lights are shut off revealing a dark ship filled with thousands of computer monitor lights! This is the magic button that Scott pushed to turn off the lights. DO I PRESS IT?? (You can’t see a giant red button and not push it!! ;D)

It looked incredible at night! You can kinda see some of the games that people are playing… Majority of people were playing Minecraft, League of Legends, and Counterstrike. Dubstep blasting 24/7.

As I previously mentioned, Amy and I did a talk show during The Gathering! We had a half hour show at 5PM every day, talking about the days events and highlights, as well as interviewing some guests and staff. I’ve never done live presenting on a talk show before so it was a new experience! I was really nervous about the studio headsets because we had our producer (Jenni), and the director (Kasper) talking into our ear, giving us countdowns, timing cues, and people giving us topics to bring up. Scary at first, but after the first livestream I found myself becoming more comfortable in front of the camera. We just derped around and chilled with the guests 8)

 Getting ready for the show! We dressed up in kigurumis which was really fun! I wore my Totoro one, which is too short for me hahah…. Oh well 😀

Jenni was sitting outside the Vikingskipet in a big media truck… She could see us on the cameras, and was sitting here giving us instructions during our show!

Scott had a late night talk show at 1:30AM. For one of his segments, he and Jenni had a nerf gun fight. Of course, we had to join in on the fun! Here we are as Felicia’s Angels. 😉

ON THE SECOND NIGHT, LEMAITRE DID A SURPRISE APPEARANCE. I PRETTY MUCH SCREAMED. I love Lemaitre, only recently got into them!! I thought they were french (because of their name), but apparently they were Norwegian! a;skfldjdklgdfkg so excited during their set, a little bit upset because the crowd really sucked haha. Lemaitre is indie electronic group, some of their music isn’t really suited for dancing, so a lot of people just stood there…. I was having my own little dance party though 😀

Got my crew sweater! They only had large sizes left when I got mine, so it’s huge!! Super comfortable though, I like wearing it when I’m lounging around my rooms in the evening. ~moe thugz 4 lyfe~

I also hosted the cosplay awards on the Friday with a Norwegian TV host, Kim-Daniel! He was super fun, great at hyping up crowds. So many people turned up, it was insane. There were so many fantastic cosplayers! Apparently there was a huge amount of people watching on the livestream as well.

Cameras on the main stage were really big! After a days work, eating at the crew house was great. Had bbq burgers which were amazing. Such lovely weather as well, bright and sunny.

A lovely woman from the Information:Games desk called Dawn, gave Amy and I a huge back of Norwegian candies!! I made a video tasting them 😀

 After everyone left on the Sunday! So much garbage omg it was insane… People also left computer parts, food, and chairs/furniture!! However, Sunday evening was also time for the crew party! Unfortunately Amy and Jenni had to leave early to catch their flight back to Los Angeles, so Scott and I had to party extra hard on behalf of them. 🙂

Me being a derp + Scott, Kasper the gorilla director man, and myself! 😀

All in all, The Gathering was a huge success! We didn’t really get to game or participate in the games, but we had a ton of fun hosting events and meeting our Norwegian viewers! If you’re thinking about attending the Gathering, you definitely should. There are so many concerts, events, contests and lectures/seminars to attend.

Thank you to KANDU, and The Gathering for inviting us. We really had such a fantastic time. Hopefully we’ll be able to attend again next year! :}

first trip to norway!

Heyo!

The past two months have been a nightmare for computer troubles… The new laptop that is currently on the way is stuck in customs, so I ended up renting a laptop from the university IT services. What a mistake, this thing is super slow and weighs a ton… so old school! I can’t wait until my new baby arrives so I can actually edit videos/photos/play games and move on with my life!

Anyway, a lot has happened over the past while! I went to Norway!! 😀

The purpose of my trip wasn’t for vacation though. I’m actually going to be attending The Gathering this year, which is a huge LAN party/ creative convention! Basically it’s going to be super fun, with lots of gamers, panels, concerts and shows! I’ll be working with the media team to host a cosplay competition and possibly do interviews/behind the scenes vlogs! I flew down there for their initial planning meeting, and to offer some input about event/panel organization!

On Feb 1st, I took the bus down to London. Met up with a youtuber who I used to watch quite often, Evan Edinger! Went out for lunch before my flight! He’s a pretty cool dude, kept teasing me about my Canadian accent tho… it’s not even that thick! 🙁 Took the tube down to Heathrow and flew to Oslo. Short flight, only about two and a half hours!

Met up with one of the organizers, Kasper, at the airport! His flight from Copenhagen was delayed though due to issues involving the transportation of a coffin…? He took the express train down to Oslo city centre to meet up with two of the other event organizers – Guro and Martin!

It was so weird seeing snow again, since we haven’t had any here in England this year!

We met up at a TGI Fridays, which was a little bizarre because it’s a very Americanized brand, but with a big Norwegian influence! We introduced ourselves and had a drink. (Alcohol is insanely expensive in Norway! Most cocktails were 114 kroners, which is like £12? Over $20 for a drink! Ahh!!)

Checked into my hotel! Had a quaint room with a single bed (next to a heater = toasty!), and wet room/toilet.

The next morning, I was picked up and we drove to a office building! We went into a conference hall and office area. I met most of the event and content coordinators, as well as the IT services group and camera operators. What struck me the most was that everyone spoke such good English! I was told that most people in Norway know how to speak English – as an English speaker, you would have no trouble navigating Oslo! We spent the entire afternoon in planning meetings. In the evening, everyone went out for pizza at large American-style pizzeria!

Giant cat loose on the streets of Oslo~

The next day, everybody returned to the final meeting where we went over the event briefs. After those were completed, Kasper and I took the train back to Oslo airport. Going through border services really makes me want to get my English passport, since it takes forever when you have to get through with one that’s non-EU! Took the tube to Covent Garden, stopped for Starbucks and people-watched for 45 mins, and then got on my 3.5 hour train from Kings Cross St Pancras to Leeds!

It was a really fun mini trip! I didn’t really get to see much of Oslo, but I’ll be returning once more before the actual event… Two more trips to Norway, yay! It’s a great opportunity for me to gain work experience, as well as getting to cosplay and present shows and vlog more! I’m really excited for the actual event…Gotta start on my Akali cosplay soon!

Most posts coming up soon, stay tuned~

york

Hiya lovelies!

Keepin’ in the swing of blogging with all of these travel posts! On Saturday, Lindsay, Christa and I took a little day trip down to York. I was talking to one of my flatmates about places to visit in England and she highly recommended it, so we bought a round trip, anytime off-peak ticket for only £8.10 (with out student rail cards). 

 

We ended up missing our first train by only a few seconds (but it’s ok because out ticket was an anytime ticket!) so we sat in Leeds station and enjoyed some ridiculously overpriced Starbucks. I think my new drink is definitely the Caramel Machiato!

The train ride to York was only 20 minutes! The weather was terrible (of course) – grey skies, very windy, random bursts of rain.

 

Both views of the bridge we crossed.
(Behind the scenes of me taking the photo, haha! Thanks Lindsay :D)

 Since York is a super touristy city, there were maps and information booths everywhere!
 Rememberance day is coming up – there was a statue and these crosses set up outside. People were also selling poppies. (The poppies here are different than the ones we have back at home – these ones were cardboard, whereas the ones I’m familiar with are felt.)
York Minster! We lined up to go inside but soon found out that the line was to a counter to buy entry tickets. (We assumed it was free, haha.) So we just stayed near the entrance and took photos. High ceilings and stained glass – beautiful!
Lindsay said something along the lines of “Constantine was here” except I heard “Constantine the Wizard”. It became a running joke for the rest of the day.
Headed down the little streets nearby known as the ‘York Shambles’. Took a walk down through Fossgate. The weather had took a turn for the worse so we decided to duck into a pub called ‘The Lion’s Head’.
It was dimly lit, so please excuse the bad photo haha! Surprisingly enough, this was my first time having a meal in an English pub (and I’ve been here for a month!) It was nice to have some home-style cooking.
 Clifford’s Tower. Again, we walked up to the top thinking we could get in for free (must be the student mindset) but there was an admission price. So we just stood up at the top for a while and looked out onto the city.
Across the street was the Castle Museum. We actually went inside (haha) because we wanted to visit a museum in York. Student tickets were £$7.50
 Exhibits showing toys from the 50s / a typical 50s style living room.
 Coffinmaker’s book of orders.
 Inside the museum, there was a replica Victorian street! The main street had replica shops that you could explore. There was also a back street that showed the living arrangements of the poorer folk. Photo on the right shows candles made of animal fat. One of the information guides said that those were candles made with the same method as back then. The room smelled sour and weird 🙁

 

There were also dungeons further inside the museum!
There were lots of cool exhibits – if you’re in York, I highly recommend going!
Decided on our next activity by flipping a coin – a tour of York’s chocolate history! York is the city where many large chocolate companies were founded, such as Terry’s Chocolate, Rowntrees, and some others who I can’t remember at the moment.
There were different stations that we were led through by a tour guide. At each station, there were tastings for the different methods chocolate/cocoa were prepared throughout history. At the last station, we got to make our own chocolate!

Prooobaably the nicest chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Super smooth and silky, we got to put our own toppings on it!

They decided to save their chocolate for after dinner but I couldn’t wait, lol
 Chocolate making demonstration where a chocolatier showed us how chocolate is prepared.
Makin it rain (chocolaaate) – We got to taste the chocolate he made as well! It had a dark chocolate shell with marshmallow and popcorn filling. So good.

Before heading back home, we passed by some of the ‘Illuminating York’ exhibits! Judging by what we saw, it looked a bit like Leeds Light Night. We probably would have stayed around longer to look at the exhibits but the weather was acting up and it was getting really cold. Walked back to York station and took our train back to Leeds!

York is beautiful! Hoping to go back again in the spring. 🙂

liverpool pt 2

Heyo lovelies! 

This post is a continuation from my last post! When Naomi and I booked our trip to Liverpool, we knew that we had to go on a Beatles tour! As recommended to me by somebody on twitter, we decided to go on the ‘Magical Mystery Tour‘.  Tickets were £15.95 each!


Most of these pictures were taken from inside the tour bus, hence a bit of reflection in some of the photos!

We had a lovely tour guide… He was actually the younger brother of Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood (as he said, “Liverpool’s second most famous band”)

 
Liverpool Cathedral – John Lennon auditioned to be a choirboy but was rejected! I think the tour guide said that later on, after the Beatles had reached worldwide success, the choirmaster still tried to take credit saying that if he had never rejected John, he never would have achieved his fame!

Row of boarded up houses aka “The Welsh Streets” because the streets all had Welsh names. One of these houses is where Ringo Starr lived. There have been issues as the city wanted to have the houses demolished, but doing so would destroy Ringo’s childhood home. It was eerie driving past a few streets up abandoned, demolished houses!
Pub which was featured on the cover of one of Ringo’s solo albums!
The ever-so-famous Penny Lane! Probably one of the most famous streets in the entire world. Another controversy- there was much debate as to whether the name of the street should be changed, as Penny Lane was actually named after James Penny who was an 18th century slave trader.
The childhood home of George Harrison (the one with the white flowerpot, in the middle.) George (like Ringo) came from very humble beginnings, living in this tiny house. Very cute with all the little buntings hanging from the wires!
Naomi is also a huge fan of the Beatles, and has the word’s from George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” tattooed on her shoulder. Ironically enough, the weather had been super unpredictable and rainy a few hours before – the sun came out for this photo!
Our tour guide told us that when the Beatles would check into hotels, they never used their real names (to prevent stalkerish fans or paparazzi finding out their hotel location). George used to use the name ‘Arnold Grove’, in reference to the name of the the street he lived on!
Next – off to Strawberry Fields! Often, John used to climb into a tree by Strawberry Fields and watch the girls go past. His aunt told him that if he was caught, he’d get hung. So in the song, John sings “And nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever”
The gates and plaque themselves are covered in the name of couples.
I look gross because I was feeling sick that day. 🙁 The gates were beautiful!
Drove past the childhood home of John Lennon. He lived in quite a big house compared to George or Ringo’s! The sign reads
“John Lennon
1940-1980
Musician and Songwriter
lived here
1945-1963″
Got off the bus and walked to the next stop, which was the childhood home of Paul McCartney. Got distracted by this pretty kitty in somebody’s garden. I miss my cat 🙁
John and Paul didn’t live too far from each other – only a few streets away!
We also passed by the church where John and Paul met, and the graveyard where Elenor Rigby is apparently buried. Apparently the Beatles claim that the song is not associated with anybody in that graveyard! The locals say that John was a choirboy at the church, and the boys often used to play amongst the gravestones. They say that John often used to hide behind the gravestone of Elenor Rigby! It may or may not be true, but it’s still a nice story!
After the tour, we ran through the sudden crazy downpour to the Cavern Club. The tour came with free entry! The Beatles played over 200 of their shows at this club. It’s underground and was super crowded, with huge walls filled with Beatles memorabilia! We could only stay in long enough to peek around, then we had to run back to the bus back to Leeds.
Really hoping to go back to Liverpool again! 5 hours was not enough to fully explore the city!

liverpool lovin’

Hello lovelies! (Just a warning, this is a very image heavy post! Most of the photos are under the cut)

This past Saturday (October 19th), my friend Naomi and I decided to take a trip down to Liverpool! The university actually organizes ‘GIAG – Give It A Go’ sessions! They are basically taster sessions where clubs allow you to attend a meeting for free to see if you’d like to join. However, they also had day trip opportunities! We decided to do the day trip to Liverpool. The trip cost us £17 ($28 CAD) which covered the round trip bus fare.

We met by the university at 8:45AM. The bus departed Leeds at 9AM.

Very dark and foggy when we departed. The weather was a bit crazy that day – first grey, then sunny, then rainy, then grey, then INTENSE RAIN, sunny, and then it just got really dark and stormy.

We arrived in Liverpool at about 11AM. We were given a map and were basically told “be on the bus by 5PM” Naomi and I set off on our little adventure!

 Liverpool has an absolutely gorgeous dock area! The architecture is incredible – love the mix of old and new buildings.
 Yellow submarine, hahah! 
Just off to the side, there was a tourist information area. Naomi and I went inside to buy our tickets for the Beatle’s ‘Mystery Tour Bus’! (That will be my next post!) 
As you may know, the Beatles first started in their home town of Liverpool! I think that’s what first brought this city’s name into the light – the home of those 4 boys that rocked the world. 
After getting our tickets, we went to the “Fab 4 Store”, which was located right beside the tourist information centre. Basically a little store that is full of Beatles memorabilia. 
“All you need is love”
 After walking through the store, we decided to take a walk further into the city. It is so beautifully decourated!
Passed by the Liverpool museum! It was free entry, so we decided to pop in and take a little look around.
 For a little museum, it was beautifully set up! The exhibits were all so nicely arranged. 

(Oooh so artsy~)
 After walking around the museum, we had an hour left before our bus tour. So we decided to head to Liverpool One, which is the big shopping area! It’s basically an …arcade of shops? (I think they call them shopping arcades here, which isn’t really a term we use back at home.) Basically, pedestrian streets full of shops! Very busy, lots of people. 

 At this point, my stomach cramps were starting to kill me so I didn’t really feel like going into many of the stores… But there were lots of women’s clothing stores! Forever21, Primark, Topshop, Urban Outfitters etc… Trendy clothing stores for young people! ;D

 Super hip band busking outside… I think their sign reads “Bolshy”. They were great, super enthusiastic. 
 Heading back to the information centre for our tour. It cleared up quite a bit, blue skies! (But not for long…) We took a back route behind some buildings and found this.
Next post will be about the Beatle’s bus tour! Hope you enjoyed this~ 
I really hope I can come back to Liverpool again! 5 hours was not nearly enough to experience this city properly. 


Leeds Light Night 2013

Hi lovelies!

On Friday evening, a two friends and I decided to head downtown Leeds and check out Leeds Light Night! It’s basically a night where there are lots of live performances, art exhibits, street food vendors…etc. If you’ve ever been to art/super crawl in Hamilton, or any of the art events in Toronto..it was kind of like that!

I think I prefer going out to artsy events instead of going clubbing… More fun wandering around a lit-up city at night with friends!

 First we headed down to Trinity Square (main downtown shopping district.) Lots of beautiful arcades outdoor/indoor shopping areas. Wish we had more of these in Canada.

 I have spent way too much money in this mall. Damn you shopping addiction! ;_;
 Saw this ad (I think it was for Topshop or River Island or something) and omg laughed forever. Edited in the words haha, made the ad 200% better.
 Right outside of the main Trinity shopping centre, there is a little church. (I think it’s called Holy Trinity?) People were performing there. These two sang beautifully. The church was gorgeous!
 Decided to head over to the main city hall building, where many of the other events were taking place. Light Night had events all across the city.
 Art exhibits being projected onto buildings.
 Radisson was lit up with different coloured lights.
 City Hall had a big clock work image projected onto the front of the building! It was beautiful! At 10PM, different moving images of people dancing and merry-go-round horses popped up!
All of the buildings are so gorgeous! I definitely want to visit this area during the day time!
Also tried out a different way of editing my photos – what do you think? 🙂

Adventure to Kirkstall Abbey

Hello lovelies!

A while ago, a few friends and I decided to walk down to Kirkstall Abbey! “Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery in Kirkstall north-west of Leeds city centre in West Yorkshire. It is set in a public park on the north bank of the River Aire.

 
It was quite a spontaneous trip – my friend (and fellow exchangee from Canada) Tabetha brought it up one day, and since we didn’t have plans (class hadn’t started yet), we decided to go on a little day trip! It was fun exploring Leeds, although we did get lost on the way there.


Cooking healthy meals (tacos lol) before leaving. I basically spend all of my time at my friend’s residence because I don’t have any friends at my own flat and it’s just more fun hanging out in other peoples’ kitchens.
 Leeds has some lovely,hilly landscapes! You wouldn’t really get this kind of view where I live, it’s mostly flat in Toronto. 
 CANADIANS OUT ON AN ADVENTURE! All of us (except Tom, the guy in the green shirt) are exchange students from the same university 😀
 Took a wrong turn somewhere and somehow ended up at one of Leed Metropolitan University’s pretty campuses! 
After trekking through forests and random residential streets, we finally reached the Abbey! Although by the time we got there, it was already 4PM and the abbey had closed for the day. :<
Oh well! Group photo anyway! 😀 It was a beautiful day!
The gates were closed, so we couldn’t go inside the actual abbey… We actually ended up returning to the abbey last Saturday because there was a market! The abbey is beautiful inside. 
Sat down and sketched for a while! The abbey had lots of beautiful roses growing in the gardens outside the gift shop area.
(taken when we went back the following weekend) – the inner halls were massive! Eerie to think that it was an actual abbey that people lived in hundreds of years ago.
 
Walking back in the evening – beautiful dusky glow~
 
More adventures to come soon! :]

HELLO FROM ENGLAND

HELLO FROM ENGLAND!

Heya lovelies! I’m here! In England! Ah! Ah! Ahhhh!!! 😀 (Just in case you were wondering why I haven’t been updating anything recently)

Last Tuesday (on the 17th), I flew from Toronto Pearson Airport to Manchester Airport. The days leading up to the flight were super hectic – rushing to collect all of the documents that I needed, trying to cram the last few clothing items into my suitcase, saying my goodbyes to friends, etc. I was quite anxious leading up to the date as flying across the world to live in a different country was something that I’ve never done before.

Leaving my parents at the airport was really hard, I was trying really hard not to cry haha! Super bravefacing. After I got through security and met up with one of my fellow exchangees, the anxiety melted away! It transformed into excitement! 😀

 I flew out with two other girls (Tabetha and Naomi) who go to my university! Our flight departed Toronto at 11:50PM EST and we arrived in Manchester at 11:30AM GBT. I was crammed in the Window seat with two pudgy ladies beside me who always gave me sour faces when I had to squeeze past them to go to the toilet. I actually offered for them to move in the window seat and the one day said she wanted the aisle seat because of her “long legs”. Sure lady, you’re 5’4, don’t talk to me about having long legs. 

Pesky titans on the wings. 
 Flying over Manchester~! 
 Next, we had to take the train to Leeds. Luckily, the Manchester train station is connected to airport. Naomi left to meet with some family who were picking her up, so Tabetha and I went to the little station cafe and waited for our train.

We actually got a bit lost because our ticket said to “Leeds”, but when we went to the time board, we didn’t see a Leeds train! We had to ask for help – we had to get on the Newcastle train, where Leeds was the third stop or something.
 Passing some charming little English houses~ With some typical English gray skies.
 Arrived at the train station in Leeds. The Leeds University International Meet and Greet help set up taxis to take us to our residences. Passed by the Leeds City Hall! 
STILL FEELS WEIRD SITTING WHERE A DRIVING WHEEL IS SUPPOSED TO BE.  
Arrived at my room! Stuff everywhere. I’ll do a room tour soon! 
For the next few days, we decided to just explore the city and get all of our essentials. 
Set up my figurines and put all of my clothes away. My room is super messy ughghghhhhh I also need to do laundry.
THE PHOTO I TOOK IS LIKE A PROMOTIONAL PHOTO AHHH I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE STUDYING HERE FOR A YEAR. 
I’m really not used to seeing such beautiful buildings everywhere. Compared to this, Toronto is bland. Seeing industrial block buildings and skyscrapers everywhere gets boring.
That evening we decided to go to a pub! I think eating at pubs is one of those English things that you have to experience.
Walked down by Trinity Square, which is this big shopping district with lots of charming shops, as well as big brand names! Can’t remember the name of the place we went to, but it’s the place that has the sparkly fairy lights outside! 
Live music! We went with some other students from my home university and one of their flatmates. It was nice just being able to sit, relax, listen to good music and enjoy each others company! 😀 
The walls were lined with books! 😀 We had lots of fun being the loud table of Canadians haha, cheering on the musicians after they were done their songs. :>
I’ll do a blog post and vlog about some other stuff later… Everything has been super crazy this past week with International Welcome Week and Freshers Week (which is their version of Frosh.) The nightlife here is insane, but so much fun. Can’t wait to blog about my adventures! You can find all of my exchange posts in the exchange tag. 
Seeya soon! 😀 

Sudden Realizations

Hey lovelies! 

I was checking dates on my phone and it suddenly dawned on me that today is the first day of September… whaaaaat??? Time goes by so quickly, it’s scary! I just turned 20 the other day as well which is insane.

Had a lovely birthday cake – chestnut cream cake (again.) Pretty sure I get this ever year, but it’s so good! It’s a flavour that it typically sold in Chinese bakeries- sweet (but not too sweet) and creamy.
My friends asked me, “How does it feel being 20? Do you feel old?” It’s strange, but I don’t feel any different. When I’d meet new people, they would ask me how old I am and I’d ask them to guess. Almost always, they thought I was 22-23. 
“Because you’re tall!” / “Because you’re more mature!” etc. I don’t even really get ID’d for alcohol or anything that often. It’s funny because when I’m with my friends who are older than me, people assume I’m the oldest one there! (That’s what I get for having baby-faced friends I suppose,) so I guess the majority of the people thinking I was over the age of 20 helped me ease into it a bit quicker, haha. 
I’ve been listening to a lot of Grimes lately, especially love her song ‘Genesis’. Such a good song! 

Anyway for some reason when I was listening to this song, I was thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m already 20.” That’s like a quarter of my life gone by. Within the next 10 years of my life, I might get my dream job, I might be married, I might have a child? That’s such a weird thought.

I had that same kind of feeling when I was at the 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon panel at Fan Expo. I felt so nostalgic and had this weird longing for childhood and then it dawned on me that I was about to turn 20 and I’m being thrown into the world of adulthood. I know I’m definitely thinking waaay to much into it for now but it’s just a really strange thought! I’m the kind of person who likes planning everything out/knowing all the details for long term future plans and it’s giving me a lot of anxiety as to the fact that I have no idea what’s going to happen when I graduate.

Gotta live the next 10 years of my life to the fullest, and what better way to kickstart it than by going on the exchange!

I’m so excited, still planning things out like what to bring with me, where my classes are, how I’m supposed to set up a bank account/cell phone plan, all without the help of my parents. As much as I am excited, I’m slightly terrified, but I’m looking forward to it! I guess it’ll be a little taste tester to see if I’d actually like to move there somewhere in the future.

I’ll blog about my exchange stuff later (there will be many more posts, probably going to make a blog series), just wanted to get this off my chest for now.

A Day On Center Island | Toronto Travel Guide

Hello lovelies!

Two weeks ago, I went to Centre Island with my parents! It’s an island that’s located right offshore from downtown Toronto. It is full of attractions – Centreville (small amusement park, mainly for small kids), restaurants, parks and beaches.

In order to get there, you need to take a ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (9 Queen’s Quay West)! If you’re walking from Union Station, just walk south along Bay Street to Queens Quay and you’ll see it.

I was really happy because I’ve been working full time since I got back from SDCC and haven’t really had a chance to go out on the weekend. The weather was beautiful which was great considering we’ve had a really crap summer so far, mostly cloudy days and rain.

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Niagara Falls trip

Hello everyone!
I found this photo set while cleaning out my computer… I think this was back in May… My parents decided that we were going to do a spontaneous Niagara Falls trip! Toronto is about a 2-2.5 hour drive  to Niagara Falls. We’ve been down there so many times (at least once a year for as long as I can remember), so we’ve already seen most of the touristy events. It was kinda just like a little get away from the big city. 😀

We mainly stay on the Canadian side, so we don’t have to worry about passports or anything.

This street is called Clifton Hill. It’s basically where most of the big touristy attractions are – haunted houses, fun houses, wax museums, ferris wheel etc.
Giant Frankenstein Burger King 😀 

The Great Canadian Midway is a giant arcade with lots of games… Kinda like Playdium!

Falls at night! So pretty~ 
One of the prettiest things to see at night are the falls… They shine different colored lights on them! These are the horseshoe falls (the smaller waterfalls located on the American side.) During the summer, there are always different light shows on the falls and fireworks! Very pretty.

I love the falls, but I kinda wish we’d go somewhere new. Too bad that you have to drive for hours to get anywhere in Canada. ;_;

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON ~ RECAP

Wow, another blog post?
Yup, I kinda want to try blogging every 2 days now! To make up for all the blog posts I should have been writing before. So on every odd numbered day in August, I’ll do a blog post! 😀

Also changed my layout a bit, what do you think? Less monochrome now!

Also apologizing in advance, all of these photos are from Instagram! I didn’t bring my T3i with me on this trip because it was way to heavy and I didn’t have room in my luggage. :< Vlog camera takes poor quality photos, so these will have to suffice~

Now continuing with the July recaps, I only had a week to rest + get my second cosplay ready for my next con…. San Diego Comic Con! Yessir, back to LA! (Honestly I’ve done more travelling this summer than I have within the past 5 years, haha) Geek and Sundry asked me if I’d like to go to SDCC as well, which of course resulted in more happy dances and rolling around on the floor/foaming at the mouth with excitement.

Day 0~

Flew from Toronto Pearson International to LAX, then took a tiny express plane to sunny San Diego! Arrived on the Wednesday, giving us a day of rest before we had to leave for the con. Also met Katie / Beautyarmory from the G&S vlog channel for the first time! She does awesome makeup tutorials! I was so excited, Canadians unite~ (She’s from Vancouver, on the other side of the country.)

Photo – beautyarmory
I was trying to figure out what was in my mouth when I was looking at this photo. Lollipop? Pen? Then I realized it was a glue stick…hahah orz…

Between that time, got my sniper (TF2) cosplay ready! Paul made my Sydney Sleeper which turned out beautifully~ I was quite nervous because I’ve never brought props across the border, let alone a giant rifle lol… Had to cut it up and disassemble it in order for it to fit ;_;

 

Made a little hat for one of my koala toys = Koala Compact! Gotta have a melee too – progress shot of the Bushwacka. (Made from a Dollarama foam pirate sword.)

Based my cosplay off this fanart!

Day 1! 

Arrived SDCC was more than I ever imagined. First off, it’s MASSIVE. Probably 5 times the size of Fan Expo. Absolutely huge. Crazy too, so many people and promotional/PR events for movies and TV/comic series.

Only saw one Medic cosplayer though. 🙁 I thought there would’ve been TF2ers everywhere!

Had some footage in my vlog which shows the crazyness!!

Went to the Geek and Sundry space! They rented out this lounge/bar at Joltin’ Joes, just outside the convention centre! The whole second floor was dedicated to tabletop games, panels, and exclusive game demos.
Photo – beautyarmory
Katie and I being ~gamer gurlz~ and trying out new games! Experiencing bad hat hair because of my Sniper hat 🙁
Also met up with Felicia Day! She’s one of the heads of Geek and Sundry – her and Jenni (the producer) found my videos and asked me to be part of the Geek and Sundry vlogger project! Ahhh it’s so surreal. Katie was fixing Felica’s hair~ Felicia is super lovely, it was so fun getting to hang out with her! 😀
Did I mention that there was a photo booth? There was a photo booth. Met up with Becca and Neil again! It was lovely getting to see them again after Anime Expo! 😀
The day was really tiring, so we went back to change and get ready for the ~VIP party~. Katie and I left for the hotel first. When we got there (at about 3PM), we were told that our rooms weren’t ready. Although we were checking in after noon, it was understandable because of the sheer numbers descending on the hotel due to comiccon. So we decided to wait.
We waited and waited. In the mean time, I helped Katie put on her first pair of contacts! She bought these in the dealers room. Doesn’t she look amazing? Lizard eyes~
Anyway, Katie needed to get back to Joltin’ Joes because she needed to do Felicia’s makeup. After she left, I waited in the hotel for a room to free up. There was a waiting list, but most of the people in front of us had given up on waiting and just went back to the convention. Amy and Becca arrived (they were hotelling with us), and we waited it out together. After another hour, the lady at the front desk felt really bad for us and gave us a room upgrade. Instead of a room with two queen beds, we were given a room with a King bed, pullout couch, big bathroom, and balcony!
Got changed, and headed to the party! It was my first time going to a real VIP party, let alone a bar/lounge party. I’ve only been to a bar once with friends, but we didn’t stay long, and it wasn’t a super swanky type of deal either.
Immediately went to the photobooth.
I love this photo so much, we’re all having so much fun!
Bought that houndstooth print dress at Forever21… Got so many compliments on it! Yay!
There were lots of famous people at the party too which was kinda nervewracking… Of course, I didn’t know who most of them were because I don’t want many movies or TV shows. But, as pointed out to me by Katie, the Mythbuster guys were there, as well as Nathan Fillion (who was hanging out like 5 feet away from us), and Trevor Moore from The Whitest Kids You Know (who Katie went up and spoke to! Proud of her! ;D) Apparently the guys from Sons of Anarchy were there as well, along with John Barrowman. Didn’t see them though.
Also, Joey Graceffa, Meighan Camarena, Jimmy Wong, and Alex Carpenter were there! I saw them and wanted to go to speak to them but I was so nervous ;_; After I got some ~liquid courage~, I tried finding them but they had left. Super regretting not going up and saying hi!
Joey was actually the one who inspired me to start vlogging, so I was really sad for the rest of that weekend. v__v
The party was super fun! Went back to the hotel and totally crashed. Probably one of the most fun nights of my life. 😀
Day 2!
Gettin ready in Sniper. Super lucky with the pants! I was running around the day before I left trying to find brown skinny jeans… Found these dark brown skinnies in H&M for $15! Fate! 😀 Also the little hat fell off my Koala Compact, which made me very sad.
Katie was also cosplaying! She dressed up as Riese from a webseries called Kingdom Falling. She was wearing the actual outfit from the show! It was so well made. (Totally did a thorough inspection of if when she wasn’t looking haha :D)
As expected, the convention was a bit busier than Thursday. Lots more people, and a noticeable increase in cosplayers! I really commend SDCC for the ease of entrance, there were no long lines to get into the con!
Back at the convention centre. Finally spotted more TF2 cosplayers!! Stupid me forgot to put my sunglasses on. 🙁
Giant Ice King mountain at the Cartoon Network booth! I believe in this photo, the creators/artists of The Regular Show were doing signings. Also met up with Chanelle again! Oh my GODDD THIS GIRL IS THE PERFECT FIONA *fangirl scream/rolling on floor*
ALSO FOUND ANGELINA~ I love her videos! She’s from Ontario as well! Haha two Canadians meeting for the first time in San Diego. I was so happy I found her though, I really wanted to meet her! She actually knew who I was which was amazing, I was so surprised. I hope we can do a collab or something together in the future! ;0;
Found my halfu sista cosplaying TF2 scout! 😀 Met her for the first time at Anime Expo and she’s super cute! I’m sad that I didn’t get to see her fem! Demo cosplay though :< Next time!
Decided to take a break, went back to Joltin Joes.
Felicia doing an interview. Somehow overnight, blue streaks appeared in her hair! Magical~
Katie was setting up her supplies at the front of the lounge to do temporary tattoos with people!
After that, we had to go back to the hotel to prepare for…. party number two! Geek and Sundry community party! Much more casual than the VIP one, and really fun!
Party outfit! Tank top by 1% Talent, white jeans from Sirens. Wish I had brought accessories with me, something felt off!
DIVE IN PHOTOBOMB~~~~
This party was a lot more lively than the last one… The VIP one was more like a networking party. The community party sure was hoppin~ There were so many dance circles. And everybody knew how to swing dance. Kinda weird but very cool!
There was also this guy in a random Amish outfit… When “Livin in an Amish Paradise” by Weird Al Yankovic started playing, this guy ran to the middle of the dance floor and a huge circle formed around him. So funny!
After that fun night, we went back to the hotel. Didn’t get to crash right away because I had to film my vlog, which is why I look so exhausted haha. The night was super fun though! 😀
Day 3~~~~~
Saturday was the last day of the con for us, and Katie and I had flights that were leaving at 3PM that day. Woke up early that morning, got dressed, and brought our luggage down to the Jolt and Joes. Our first big event was the Geek and Sundry panel!

SO MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP.

I knew lots of people were going to show up, mainly for Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day (I mean compared to them, I’m a nobody haha, but I was super excited to me on the panel anyway! :D) I think around 2000 people showed up.

Pre-panel group photo!
Obligatory photo against “the” background! Huge eyebags from all of the excitement that weekend haha~

When I was sitting at the front, I kept looking out into the crowd and tried visualizing the amount of followers I have laid out before me. I have almost 30,000 subscribers on my youtube page… So that would be 15 roomfuls. *brain explodes*

I had so much fun though! It was truly a crazy experience. I loved every second of it!

After the panel, Katie and I ran around the con one last time. Went back to Joltin’ Joes to get our luggage and say our goodbyes!

 Byebye Felicia and Harrison! ;_; Hopefully I’ll be able to see you guys next year!
Sad to be leaving but super happy because we survived our first SDCC!
Flying back to Chicago O’Hare then Toronto Pearson. I was so afraid of missing my flight at Chicago because I only had 40 minutes to transfer. Due to storms in the area, we were delayed landing (apparently a mini tornado passed through the area! D:) I was so scared that I was going to miss my flight – I was seated at the back of a big plane, and I kept calling out the flight attendant to contact my connecting flight and tell them to hold it!! I actually sprinted through the airport because I only had 5 minutes and was totally convinced that I had missed my flight… I’ve never felt so stressed in my entire life.
Luckily, because of the storm, my connecting flight was also delayed!  ヽ(;▽;)ノ Felt like crying.
 
But yeah, that was my SDCC adventure! One of the best weekends in my entire life so far! Honestly, I can’t thank Geek and Sundry enough for getting me out there, it’s a total dream come true. ;__; I really hope I can go out again next year! Definitely gonna work on some more intense cosplays! 
 
Such a long post… Thank you for reading! See you in two days! :} 

Christmas Eve!

Hallo darlings!

Every year, my parents and I go downtown Toronto to eat at Marché (previously named Richtree). This year was a bit different because I was working on Christmas Eve.  My boss was nice enough to let me off early because she knew something was different about me! I normally wear very minimal makeup at work so when I actually made the effort to look nice, everybody noticed hahaha 😀

We took the subway to King station (one stop from Union.)

This is the entrance/outer patio area. It was all lit up, and the decorations were so lovely! Of course, it was quite busy because it was Christmas Eve and everyone was out for their Christmas dinner~

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Christmas Wishlist 2012

It’s almost time for Christmas! I know I’ve been eyeing a few things within the past week.
I’ve been doing some of my Christmas shopping for friends and family, which doesn’t really leave much left over for myself haha…. But it’s always nice to wish for things, right?

Here is my wishlist for this year.

xmas wishlist 2012

Christmas sweater, 29 CAD / River Island , 6.41 CAD / Falke opaque tight, 56 CAD / H&M , 8.01 CAD / Marc by Marc Jacobs combat boots, 665 CAD / Karl Lagerfeld collar necklace, 75 CAD / Michael Kors yellow gold jewelry, 365 CAD / Bangle jewelry, 20 CAD / Beats by Dr. Dre beat dr dre, 270 CAD / Benefit mascara, 23 CAD / Makeup brush, 17 CAD / Christian Dior , 23 CAD / Space Girl, 9.94 CAD / Phoenix Rising, 9.94 CAD

Of course most of these are just examples from Polyvore, not the exact brands of things that I’d like… But here we go! My 2012 Christmas wishlist.

Sweater, tights, boots – I feel like my sense of style has drastically improved within the last year! Last year, I didn’t really care about how I dressed, it was just go to class, go back to my room, and game/watch movies/be a hermit. This year I’ve really been getting into fashion, and style blogs. I’m a huge fan of the chunky sweater + tights + boots combo! I’d really like to find a nice winter style sweater (ugly Christmas sweater hahaha :D), warm tights, and black boots. I’m sure I can find these when I go thrifting!

Watch – I use my phone most of the time to check the time, but I think watches look so classy! Especially a nice rose gold watch. The only issue is that I have incredibly skinny wrists, so most of the time bracelets and watches end up sliding off, I’d have to get them fitted.

LUSH products – Love the bath bombs so much! I’d really like to try out some more!

Benefit’s They’re Real mascara – I got a sample size mascara in the November Ipsy bag and I love it! Probably my favourite mascara so far – separates lashes very well and lengthens them like crazy! They definitely live up to their hype.

Nail polish – Last year, I had this terrible habit of biting / peeling the tops of my nails off. In order to break this habit, I forced myself to paint my nails every week. I found that I was less likely to bite at my nails if they were lacquered up all nicely. Now, I love painting my nails! I’d like a few more colours to add to my collection!

Brushes – I don’t really have that many makeup brushes, so I’d like to try out Real Techniques brushes that were created by pixiwoo! I’ve heard so many good things about them!

Headphones – This was also on my wishlist last year haha. I’ve gone through so many pairs of earbuds, they usually end up breaking or getting lost. I need a pair of actual good headphones. I’ll probably have to invest in a pair soon for my audio engineering classes + for when I edit my videos, but a good pair of headphones are quite pricey….. weh.

Lighting equiptment – Something along the lines of softboxes, a big ringlight, or umbrellas? There is next to no good lighting in my house, or nice backgrounds that I can shoot against (unless I’m outside or in a public area, in which it depends on the weather/too much background noise.) Right now I’m using regular lights and as much as it works, I still get weird yellow cast on my face and shadows.

Camera lens – Right now I’m looking at the Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens. I’d like something that can allow me to be more creative than my current 18-55mm kit lens, something that can give me the nice bokeh for both photos and video! 

And of course, some nice jewellery 😀 Like cool necklaces and stuff!

But I think, more than anything, I want….

To go to the United Kingdom! I need to start on my exchange application soon…. but if all goes well, I’ll be in the UK from September 2013 – June 2014! Spending my third year of university there! I am so excited. Hopefully I get accepted. From what I understand, we have to fill out an application, write a personal essay, and do a one-on-one interview with the exchange counsellors? As daunting as it is, I’m extremely excited. I am just SO BORED of Canada, I want to get out of here, if at least for a little while!

I’ll make a separate video/post dedicated to this later, but yes. I’d take a year in the UK over everything. 

BUTTERFREE CONSERVATORY

Hello darlings! Hope everybody (who celebrated it) had a wonderful Canada day / 4th of July! This year my parents and I stayed overnight at the Hilton Hotel in Niagara on the lake.
We’ve been to the falls so many times so we didn’t really do too many of the touristy things. We walked down to the falls and ate frozen chocobanana! It was delicious.

Before we returned home, we stopped off at the butterfly conservatory. For those of you who haven’t visited this place before, I highly recommend going! The butterfly conservatory is basically a big room with tropical foliage and temperature, filled with butterflies! You can walk in and take photos. Butterflies might even land on you! (They also have a habit of flying into you/your face, wahaha.)

Of course I took this opportunity to take some photos with my dslr! Butterflies love the attention so they were great models for my photos.

 
  

Some people were afraid inside. Unlike other bugs, butterflies are completely harmless. Some kids were freaking out because they might look a bit scary up close, but if they land on you its usually because they want to lick the salt off your skin.

This one was really pretty but unlike the other butterflies, it had a really long body… I’ve got a phobia of dragonflies (HATE THEMMM UGHGDFJKGHDFGK) and this one kinda reminded me of one so I made sure to keep a very big distance between them lol.

Sorry for such the delay in posts! My domain is about to expire so I need to figure out how to extend it….?
I think I’ll keep cherrim.net as my domain, so don’t worry about a URL change!

Seeya later!

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas! ヾ(。・ω・。) Here’s how I spent mine!
Christmas Eve- 
My family has this tradition for the past few years were we go to Richtree in Christmas Eve for Toronto! The Richtree that we always go to is located downtown Toronto.
Before going to Richtree we stopped by Eatons Centre which is a huge mall! Each year at The Bay across from Eatons, there are pretty front displays! ヾ(・ω・o)

Pretty picture taken on my camera lol!
They also had some pretty outfits in the window displays! 

 I love the gold dress here sosososo much! I really love metallic clothing/accessories… Like gold/silver/bronze shoes, dresses, hats, accessories! ♥(ノ´∀`)

 Love this jacket, it reminds me of Remi Altava’s (from Professor Layton) yellow trenchcoat! 

Anyway after that, we headed to Richtree!
Richtree is basically an open kitchens restaurant. You’re given little card type things when you enter! Basically the restaurant has little kitchens serving different types of food – they have areas for sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, seafood, roasted meats, soups/salads/juice bar etc! So you go to each area and choose something from that menu to eat! They make it in front of you and then take/swipe your card. 
Took pics in the washroom~ 

 I actually wanted to wear circle lenses that night but my eyes were red and irritated so I couldn’t… I tried to do my makeup with more warmer brown colours to make my eyes pop more though! Although it doesn’t really show. ヘ(;´Д`ヘ)

Sweater: borrowed from my mom; white cat shirt from h&m; bag from forever21. *attempt to sound like a fashion blog*  (ノ´д`)

Now, this is what I had to eat! 

Penne pasta with veggies and meat sauce! The plate was quite big, I’m glad I skipped out on appetizers or else I wouldn’t have been able to finish it! Omg the food was so good! 〜(^∇^〜)Seriously, love eating here! I love taking food pics lol, if only I had a dslr these would’ve been so much nicer! Too bad I don’t have that big of a stomach or else I would’ve ordered loads more.

I always buy the coca-cola in the glass bottles… I don’t know why but I like the glass bottles more, it seems…classier? I feel much cooler with a glass bottle wahaha. #sachiereasoning. Also, Christmassy nails! ヾ(゚∀゚ゞ) 

After the food we always have crepe!

This one had ice cream and strawberries, blueberries, chocolate sauce and vanilla icecream! It’s so good! Even if I’m stuffed and can’t eat anymore, it’s like I have a separate stomach for dessert!

Blood orange juice! 

This was the building that Marche was in! The lights were gorgeous!

Pretty tentacle decorations.  
After eating we headed towards Nathan Philips square! 

 There was a giant glowing signboard that provided some good lighting haha, people were looking at me strangely while I was taking pictures. I’m so purple!! ヾ(*д*)ノ゛
It actually looks like I have short hair in these pictures but I don’t lol, my hair is all tucked under my scarf.

We walked by Nathan Philip square! Loads of people ice skating! I’m not very good at ice skating, and it’s also cold… (。・_・。 ) Although, ironically enough, we haven’t gotten any snow here! It’s been like this for the past few years, the snow usually starts in January and can last until late March! Stupid global warming.

So that was my Christmas Eve! I’ll blog about Christmas Day soon, so please look forward to that!  It wasn’t very eventful though lol.

Also, if you’re interested in figures/nendroids, check out my Akiyama Mio (K-On!) nendroid giveaway!It ends on the 31 of December. 

Aaaand finally, I shall link this random picture of me planking in the subway station. Aw yeh first time planking. ☆-(ノ゚Д゚)八(゚Д゚ )ノ

Maid Cafe + Toronto trip!

Hello darlings! (・∀・)

Before I start, can you guys check something for me? When I try to click the [Follow via Google Friend Connect] button in the top right corner, I’m getting a We’re sorry… We were unable to handle your request. Please try again or return a bit later.” message. Are you guys getting this as well? I just need to know in case the link is broken so I can fix it. (・ε・)


Anyway, last Wednesday I attended my university’s Japanese Association’s maid cafe! I think it was for some charity thing.. I was still really excited to go though because I have never been to a maid cafe! (Basically a small cafe set up in which girls cosplaying in maid outfits serve you food and play games, take pictures…super cute!) (・ω・)/ I’ve seen them at conventions like Anime North and they look really fun so I decided to go with my friends Michael and Tim. (None of my girlfriends here wanted to go because they’re not into anime/cosplay. ) (ノ_・。)



The weather was horrible that night – very rainy/dark/windy. Luckily the building that the cafe was held in was down the street from my residence.






Cafe was held in a classroom. It was quite full! Admission came with a slice of cake and some tea.

I had strawberry cake. Oh god it was the most delicious strawberry cake I have ever tasted. (°∀°)b

Tim had green tea mousse cake and Michael had caramel-chocolate cake! So tasty~

More pictures under the cut!

Maids~ Fushi and Michelle!

We only stayed for about half an hour but it was still really fun! They’ll be having another maid cafe in the spring so hopefully I’ll be able to attend that as well. ≧(´▽`)≦


—————–

This weekend, my lovely waifu Ringo came over to my university! Haven’t seen her since Fan Expo ;_;

Went along with Wasi and Zarrar to see Zombie Walk (basically a parade where people dress up as realllly scary looking zombies! Quite a spectacle – you can see some awesome photos here!) . We ended up getting to Toronto a bit later than expected due to traffic.  (;´▽`A“

CN Tower~
When we got to Toronto we first headed to Bzhaun’s place to drop stuff off, but then we found out that the Zombie Walk was  pretty far from his apartment…so we ended up skipping out on it and going to Eaton’s centre instead.

Dundas square at night – it was really crowded because there was a street performer there!

(This picture pretty much sums up the night haha!) γ(▽´ )ツヾ( `▽)ゞ

After we met up with Anton, Nancy and Jeanie for dinner! It was lots of fun since I hadn’t seen them in a really long time. Since it was really late, everyone ended up sleeping over at Bzhaun’s apartment, who had a really nice view of the CN  tower + Lake Ontario!

Ringo and I were so tired the next day. (´_`。) We basically ended up spending half the day on buses since part of the highway was closed off so the ride back was super slow. All in all it was really fun getting to hang out with everyone again! It was a nice distraction before the upcoming hellish week (History essay for Thursday, Linguistics midterm exams on Thursday and Friday) (/_;)/~~ Somebody save me…

I’ll try to make a scheduled post showing you some of the pics I got from the cosplay event last week- got some nice studio photos! (●´ω`●)ゞ

Ottawa (Day 5) + Cosplay Progress!

Hey guys! Sorry for not updating in a while. It’s been really hot here and I’ve lost all motivation haha! orz 

Anyway, I’ll be continuing my report on my Ottawa trip! This post will be about Canada Day (July 1)

The main reason of why we drove up to Montreal/Quebec was to catch a glimpse of the royals!  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Princess Kate) made their first official trip as a newlywed couple to Canada! Which was super exciting since my family is a fan of the royals! Naturally, we had to go see them! 

Woke up at 8AM, left for Parliament Hill at 9AM. There were already so many people! They had fenced off this one area which my mom and I jumped over LOL, NO FENCE IS GOING TO KEEP ME AWAY FROM ROYALS.   Dad said he’d stay behind because he couldn’t jump the fence/too old or something. So my mom and I went ahead. She was bitching about how I took too long to get ready and how we didn’t have a good seat BLAH BLAH BLAH.


So many people!


View inbetween the butts of people standing up against the fence…


Then I came up with the amazing idea to climb up on one of the posts near the fence! If you can see the girl in the white/red shirt on the right side of the picture, behind the girl in the blue – she was also sitting on a post. I was sitting on the one to the left of her 


My mom and her asian sun-umbrella LOL 


Black cars arriving before the royals!


Also that day happened to be SUPER SUNNY. Coincidently, my mom decided to throw out our sunscreen because she said it had expired wtf. 

I didn’t get any photos because I was taking video, but basically Will + Kate rode up in a white carriage! They came in on the road right in front of me AHH I had such a good view and was so excited to actually be able to see them in person! It was super exciting! All you can hear in the video is be going “OH GOD OH GOD ITS WILL AND KATE AHH THIS IS SO EXCITING”.   I’ll post it when I upload it haha!

After that my mom and I went back to the hotel. My dad also got photos because he went in the information centre across from Parliament hill that was airconditioned and had big glass windows… So jealous that he didn’t have to wait out in the sun and burn like I did! But he didn’t get to see them up close ohoho~ 

Went back after dinner for the fireworks show.

The fireworks show was beautiful!  Only lasted 15 minutes.

And that ends my report on Ottawa/Montreal! Hope you enjoyed it! 

Also, I have some progress pictures for my Meiko cosplay! On the Friday of Fan Expo this year, I’ll be cosplaying Meiko (Vocaloid) from the song “Synchronicity”! I decided to do an armored cosplay after seeing the Lightning from Acksonl’s Anime Expo video! The armor looks so cool omg.  I was planning to cosplay Erza from Fairy Tail but it looked kind of hard, so I figured I’d start with something easier.

 It’ll be my first time making armor so I hope it’ll turn out alright.

Here’s what Synchronicity Meiko looks like –
Meiko.jpg

caption
 I think I did a pretty good job on the upper thigh armor so far, I’m just really scared of making the chest plate because I don’t want to mess up! It’s all made of craft foam using this tutorial.

I’m scared for the chest plate orz haha…. WISH ME LUCK! I’ll post progress pics here later!