Friday, 20 June 2014

Fancy Schmancy Oatmeal

That's what it is really isn't it? Overnight oatmeal has taken Pinterest by storm, and in Mason jars I might add. It's the hipster, healthy, instagenic trend and I just decided to hop right on.

I've made it before, but I guess I just wasn't putting the right stuff in before. Tonight I decided I would give it another go. I mean before they were in regular plain-jane bowls, but this time I put it in a Mason jar and I mean once something is in a Mason jar it must be cool right (haha)?

Refrigerator Oatmeal, Breakfast with Kiwi Banana Strawberries Raspberries and Chia in a Mason Jar
The problem with most health smoothies and 'health foods' these days is that people forget that even if something is healthy, you still can't eat too much of it. I mean eating straight avocado and peanut butter for days on end (mmm) will result in an excess of calories and weight gain even though they're both super foods! With smoothies, we all love to just pile everything right on in right? It's no wonder Booster Juice and other retailers usually end up serving us 600-700 calories in a cup! I don't count each calorie but I mean it's good to have a rough idea of what you're eating right?

So I made sure not to put too much of everything in it this is what I used:

  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (approximate) of Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds 
  • 1/2 of a small banana
  • 1/2 of a kiwi
  • 1 handful of raspberries
  • 3 sliced up strawberries
  • A sprinkle of splenda
And it turned out soo good ( I mean I'm writing this the night before so I haven't actually finished it) but.. well it just looked so good I couldn't help but give it a small taste test 'just in case'. At first when there was only the oats and the milk I realized how little it would make. It filled up my jar maybe 1/3 of the way and I mean, it just looked really sad. Thankful when you finish putting in all the fruits and stuff it evens out and it fills up pretty nicely. Heh, I had to take a photo when everything was so nicely layered but after I swooshed it right up to see how it would look - and also hope that maybe it will help infuse the taste of fruits better throughout the night.

Refrigerator Oatmeal, Breakfast with Kiwi Banana Strawberries Raspberries and Chia in a Mason Jar


Refrigerator Oatmeal, Breakfast with Kiwi Banana Strawberries Raspberries and Chia in a Mason Jar

Refrigerator Oatmeal, Breakfast with Kiwi Banana Strawberries Raspberries and Chia in a Mason Jar

This is after swirling everything around. And it STILL looked fantastic (or maybe it's just me)

... Chia seeds are so cool. 


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Aritzia Private Sale 2014 Clientele

It seems that the private sale has a name now, and as you can see it's Clientele.

Email invite of Aritzia's 2014 Private Sale this year named Clientele
Oh shit 17% battery.. dying!
                                      

                                      Email invite of Aritzia's 2014 Private Sale this year named Clientele

I love this time of the year! Over the past year or so I think I've started to slowly move away from Aritzia. I mean throughout highschool you would come to realize that everyone in the school had the same item.  There was a Betsy floral pattened-type shirt that was a staple for a few years, I mean they might even be selling it now.  I'll always be grateful for H&M and Forever 21, but the store I really like now is Zara! They have lovely designs at price points that are similar, and if anything they have a wider price range. 

Anyways even though I may shop at Aritzia less now, it's during the Private sale that I do go back every year. I swear that's probably the only reason I qualify for the sale! Haha, no that actually can't be it- I'm guessing that once you qualify you just remain a member. Has anyone had an experience where they no longer got the email?

I wonder what the customer appreciation gift will be this year. Last year it was a candle and I believe the year before it was a beach towel.I actually wrote about an order I received last year as part of the sale and  pictures of the aforementioned candle (it was really nicely packaged).

Not only is everything in the store 20-40% off but they offer free online shopping ! If Aritzia could remain this way throughout this year I would probably be more of a loyal customer haha. It might even be more worth it, they allow you to return it for store credit while everything you buy in-store right now is final sale!

Aritzia free shipping for members during private sale
Look no minimum! 


Anyways when I find out more about the specific gift and sale discounts I'll post more details! It starts tomorrow June 16th in stores and online on June 17th.

Aritzia private sale 2014 customer appreciation gift candle scents
It comes in Fig, Paradis, Sakura and Santal (if it's too small to read in the image). From what I've read a lot of people seem to like Sakura! P.S. Apparently it's possible to receive multiple candles, in the past people have gotten one from the Aritzia store, one from stand alone TNA stores and even one from online. Hope that helps!
Tell me about what deals and steals you find or link me to your hauls! :)

Edit June 16: So apparently the sale actually starts online TODAY (and not the 17th as shown).
These are the discounts currently being offered, enjoy! I've also seen from other posts online that the gift this year is a candle once again. They're packaged very nicely just like last year (and obviously they look different). I believe they come in four different scents.

Edit June 18: It looks like they are even personally calling customers! I read that they did this in previous years but I thought it was pretty exciting that I got one today (on Voicemail). They basically say the same thing saying that there is a sale and to come in for 20% off everything.

Edit June 19: Finally got the chance to go in store! They were pretty in your face as per usual asking if they could help and constantly asking to take your clothes away to the changeroom for you (making sure that they get their employee card on your purchases). Though they didn't even ask me for my email when I got there and just believed me for what I said- though I'm sure it's checked in the system when you pay. I tried on a million things but was kind of unsure, since I know my sizing I think I'll just be ordering online so that I can return it if I change my mind - like I said it's final sale in store!

Reminder: Every year there's actually an even bigger, and better sale following this. That means things will be further reduced (it's cheaper than the discounts being offered to you as a "Private Customer") and they don't do price re-adjustments so I suggest you think long and hard1




Aritzia private sale discounts 2014
As you might have noticed, the list seems to have grown smaller from the previous years. Actually it might not have but that's what it feels like to me! They used to have Toms, and Marc by Marc Jacobs listed (off the top of my head) and I'm sure there were many more -this might be because Toms doesn't seem to be available anymore. This is for online!

The instore version looks slightly different!
                                

Aritzia private sale 2014 discount
I love the floral theme they have going on
                                 

Aritzia private sale 2014 clientele candle Sakura
It's too bad this photo is so yellow-y, the packaging is so pretty! 

                               Aritzia private sale 2014 clientele candle Sakura

Aritzia private sale 2014 clientele candle Sakura
It actually smells fantastic! Even when it's not lit, I'll kind of look around and start wondering what smells so good around me haha
                               

I left the shopping bag in my car all day, and it was pretty hot .. ): I think it actually melted a bit - it's a bit warped. The candle smells great though! 
                               

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Belly/Naval Piercing Experience and Q/A

Honestly, I have always been a fan of the naval/belly button piercing. I'm not sure if there's an media influence or anything, but they've always seemed so glamorous! I wanted one for myself just because I thought it looked nice, and not to appeal to guys or whatever BS reason some people may assume).

Despite always wanting it, I held off on getting it pierced, I mean:

  • What if it hurts?
  • What if it scars? 
  • What if it gets infected?
  • What if it rejects?
But after years of always dismissing the idea, I finally got it! Despite the years of deliberation, it was still fairly impromptu - I decided to get it the week before my exams. I mean, all I had really been up to that week was studying. Though I'm not sure that was really the best timing to have to worry about sitting up properly and not slouching over it! 

Anyway today was a sad day, I actually took it off. It was a really short-lived experience, since I had it for approximately less than two months! And the reason why, is pretty typical, it was rejecting.

So I thought I would just throw out some knowledge here and there to answer any questions people may have about getting their belly button pierced and etc. 


Did it hurt? 
Um, not reaally. I never really thought that I had a high pain tolerance, but I'm starting to think that maybe I do? I know that this varies considerably from person to person. I mean, I obviously felt it - you are sticking up a 14 gauge chunk of metal through your skin, so to some degree it did feel slightly uncomfortable. I think it just hurt about as much as I had expected it to! 

I actually had my cartilage pierced before, and I think the entire healing process hurts a lot more for that. You spend a lot more time with it feeling like it is throbbing and what not. While with my belly, I could barely feel that it was pierced for the rest of the day or week (unless I hit it). 

How much was it?
I paid about $45 for the piercing and the belly jewelry. I actually went in on a Wednesday where the piercing parlour had discounted piercings. However I did pay an extra $15 (so overpriced) for an aftercare kit. They sold something that was pretty interesting (I don't think it's typical) where it was a box with about 36 Q Tips that could be snapped to release some healing treatment.  So altogether it was about $60.

How do you treat it?
I mean mine didn't heal well (mind you it was my body's decision and not any fault of my own really), but there are two different things you have to be careful with. For the first week I was told you should be cleaning about twice a day, and so this is with a Sea Salt Spray, the strange Q tips, or a Sea Salt Soak which is what seems to be the sought after after-care by the piercing community. Here is some helpful advice on the forum, from a really informed nurse, about the benefits /rational behind it. 

In addition to this you should be cleaning it in the shower. Along with the earlier mentioned product of the spray, Adrenaline also sells a cleaning solution. I didn't actually get mine pierced there but I was super lucky that my roommate had leftover cleaning supplies from when she got hers done there. My piercing parlour just told me to use Spectro Gel, which is antibacterial I think, similar to Cetaphil. I was always too afraid to touch the piercing in fear of irritating it, so even in the shower I just ran the gels around it super softly and kinda cupped my hand around it so water could fill up around it. I also read that it's important to do this step of cleaning it in the shower last, to remove all the junk that comes from your shampoo and conditioner!

I keep hearing about rejection, what does that mean?
Rejection is a much more passive process, and doesn't have anything to do with an infection. It's simply your body's natural process of removing foreign objects. Although I'm slightly mad at it for not accepting the piercing which I loved, I guess I should be slightly grateful to know that it is trying to take care of me. So what this generally means that it is pushing the piercing towards the surface, and for a naval piercing that generally means that the skin between the two exits will continue to get thinner. 

So a lot of the time it can actually look fine (which is the deceiving part). I mean an ugly flared infection with pus oozing out of it is pretty hard to ignore, but rejection doesn't have signs that are as blatantly obvious and makes it really easy for denial. From what I've read sometimes it'll be red around the exit holes, it might be a little bit tender, the holes around it might grow larger and loser and again the skin gets thinner. Just to clarify when I say it is getting 'thinner' I mean that the width of skin between the exits//balls seems to be growing shorter. 

So now I'm just hoping that it doesn't scar much. I'm kind of happy that the second hole is on the inside of my belly button because you don't really see it as much, but the top ones is pretty visible. I'm just going to wait for it to heal a little before applying some Bio-Oil like my friend recommended me to do along with some Vitamin E :( It's too bad it rejected I loved it! When I see the little curved bar I just wanted to shove it back in haha.

Anyways so if you have any questions about getting it, the process or what not just leave it in the comments! And if you've experienced this too (belly piercing complications are extremely common) comment as well, I'm sure we can bond over that haha. In addition, everything from above is tips and knowledge I picked up from reading a lot of online posts and my own experience I am by no means and expert.


Thursday, 5 June 2014

Montreal: Tam Tams!

So finally the most exciting trip: Tam Tams.

What's interesting about this is that it doesn't show up on many (or any) of the "Things to Do in Montreal" guides. Thankfully I heard about this from my friend who raving about it, it was one of those you have to go kind of things. You just have to experience it! And she was right.

video
 This is a 5 second glimpse to provide you an idea of the atmosphere and surroundings! I wish I could have gotten more of the dancing but my phone encountered some problems.


Montreal Marche (Market)

 Day 2: We went to the Jean Talon Market. Here in Montreal there are two well known markets: Jean Talon and Atwater. And of course we visited both! Honestly, the vibe and atmosphere of going to these marketplaces is so unique; although in essence they are all extremely similar because they revolve around the same concept, each city has its own vibe and adds its own flavor! Just two years ago I got to visi the Seattle market, known as the Pike Market, which is actually where the first Starbucks was started.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Montreal - I am Impressed (Part 1)


Montreal, Skyline, Mount Royal
The view of Montreal from Mount Royal! It was beautiful.
So this weekend, I drove over to Montreal with my family. The last time I went when it was still summer was probably 7-10 years ago! Although I come fairly often in the winter for skiing and snowboarding (at Mont Tremblant) it truly is a different experience being here in the summer. I mean, one of the differences was the fact that this time I was pressured into driving for a portion of the 6 hours ( I guess that wasn't an option way back then) !

So what did I do for the weekend? Well we didn't do anything extremely exciting, there was no big event that we were there to attend, instead we kind of just soaked up a bit of the culture. It was really nice!


We arrived late afternoon, but thankfully in the summer there is sunlight until approximately 9pm. My dad kind of took the ropes and planned the itinerary (roughly) and did most of the driving, which was fortunately for me and my terrible sense of direction!

 We kind of wandered our way over to a local stretch of town and made our way to the "Best Bagel Store in Town" - St- Viateur. I mean, I just forgot their named and typed in "Best Montreal Bagel" and Voila, their name appeared! You see them rolling the bagels and everything, including them tossing in dozens upon dozens of bagels into the oven.

St- Viateur
A worker rolling out the bagels, and boy do they do it fast.
We got an 'everything' type bagel and a sesame bagel (which was fresh and still toasty). They were indeed, very yummy! I might not be much of a bagel expert, but I think the texture was different than the regular ones here in Toronto just like the Hotel concierge had pointed out.
After that, we walked around until it was dark, and instead of grabbing our dinner we tried a bit of everything here and there (it's kind of our thing). What we do is walk around into cafes, bakeries, or anything that is quick and easy, and try out one or two dishes between three peopl.  We found this little "Hipster" cafe, and divied up a quesadilla and a coffee.

Next we found this amazing "Award-winning" Burger place, and for $5 which is pretty much what you pay at McDonalds or at Five Guys we got a gourmet burger with hand made patties! Just like Five Guys it came with an assortment of toppings.
I know that this is blurry and I feel awful but given the choice between this and nothing I feel like this still gives you a sense of what it looks like!
                                         


It was so cute. 

 We also caught a local bakery that was about to close for the day, where we took off bites from a chocolate brioche. With chocolate, I don't judge, usually I like them all no matter the quality. But with this brioche, I could actually taste the richness in the little chunks of chocolate embedded inside and with only a few bites it was still more than enough! When I asked the worker what it was, he tried to explain that it was somewhere in between a cake-like texture and bread.

Those are only a few of the things we had that night, we actually had so many little things that I can't even remember them all right now! But this was just a quick and dirty update, enjoy and check back for Part 2 :)

Holy, was I suprised to see this many raccoons while I was on Mount Royal. I've never seen so many of them together, and where I'm from people are super scared of them because of rabies and whatnot. But here, people were out right feeding them!