My Niagara Weekend! (+ a month worth of little updates)

Hey everyone! First and foremost let me apologize greatly on not being able to update my blog for a little over a month - school and work (working multiple jobs) has completely consumed my life. There are two weeks left of school and then exams are in full force once again so when that time comes I will be away for another short period of time.

I just got back from a fabulous and much needed Niagara weekend. I don't get many days off and when I do I am scrambling to study and and finish school work, this weekend was the first weekend that I did not have work or any immediate school work to finish up so I decided to plan an impromptu, but luxurious trip to go away with Stephen!

I decided to stay at the Sheraton on The Falls - I don't go to Niagara very often, but I needed a nice place to stay in besides the Hilton or the Marriott (mixed reviews in the Niagara region even though they are wonderful hotels) so I picked something new! Sheraton is right beside Clifton Hill in the middle of all the action and has underground walkways to the major hotels as well as casino, perfect! I also picked the Sheraton because of the Christienne Fallsview Spa. I knew that I needed to incorporate the spa in some way this weekend so when I researched spas I discovered the beautiful Christienne Spa as well as the heavenly packages! (but I will talk about this more later in the post!)

Check in is usually at 4 pm but I included in my notes that I wished to check in early, which they happily accompanied. We arrived a little before 11:45 and we were checked in in less than 8 minutes. I had booked a one king, city view room and the view was wonderful, the room was large and clean and the beds were heavenly. Valet parking was chosen ($35 a day) and I was very happy that my room was on the 18th floor (we got separate elevators to access the floor) and because I had an advantage with booking through work and being an SPG Member (Starwood Preferred Guest) we were given more benefits and little luxuries (sort of like being a VIP) - but I won't indulge too much into that you must all experience it for yourselves one day!!

After we settled into our room we went for a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe (located in the UL floor of the Sheraton). The cafe was so cute! Maybe it's because I haven't eaten at the Rainforest Cafe since I was a little kid so I really enjoyed it. All the food portions looked large, but I ordered an Awesome Appetizer ($11.99 ish before taxes) which included spicy mango chicken strips, spinach artichoke dip, quesadillas and island bruschetta. The strips were nice and the dip was pretty good (but nothing like JOEY's of course) however the quesadillas and bruschetta weren't anything special. But hey, it was a fun plate in a fun restaurant so I enjoyed it thoroughly. Stephen ordered a Treetop Burger ($16.99 ish before taxes) which was huge as well as a Mount Daiquiri of Strawberry.  

When we were eating a man came around to certain tables asking if we wanted a complimentary Rainforest Cafe post card with a collage of our pictures. It was super cute, so we agreed to it! When he printed out the postcard he also printed out larger individual versions of our pictures, and you know me, I love memories! I bought two prints for $20 even (I thought that this was priced very well). I don't have the other large print as Stephen has it. Rainforest Cafe is just a fun tourist option if you're feeling very in-the-moment - food is average, but the atmosphere is great!

Rainforest Cafe on Urbanspoon

After we ate we did the usual Clifton Hill fun! We went for glow-in-the-dark mini putting (I lost by one point) and then did the 4D movie! Then we went to one of my favourite must go-to places every time I'm at Niagara - the Fudge Factory! I love the Fudge Factory because it smells like chocolate and candy when I go in. I wasn't in much of the candy mood, but I did buy three skewers of chocolate strawberries ($3.99 for 4 strawberries on one skewer) because I wanted chocolate strawberries at night after relaxing with the boyfriend! It was nice visiting the Fudge Factory off-season because it wasn't crowded and I was able to look around much more than I usually do. I also saw Nanaimo bars.. but I didn't buy any, I will next time though!

Chocolate sweets at the Fudge Factory!

After visiting the Fudge Factory, Stephen wanted a Beaver Tail (and admittedly I did too) so we went to get some! The Beaver Tail booth is only open on Fridays-Sundays and closed Mondays to Thursdays (which we didn't know) - thank goodness we went on a weekend. I had the classic Cinnamon and Sugar and Stephen had the Chocolate Hazelnut. We really shouldn't have gotten Beaver Tails because we were going to eat at the Fallsview Buffet later at night... but sometimes you really can't curb a craving... Both cost $11.75 total!

Beavertails on Urbanspoon

After eating our Beaver Tails we relaxed for a bit in our hotel and got ready afterwards to go to the beautiful Fallsview Buffet located on the dining level of out hotel. 

I'm wearing: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag&Bone and YSL pumps

Just some pictures of us~

The Fallsview Grand Buffet is located on the Dining Floor of the Sheraton on the Falls. It is newly renovated and absolutely beautiful - there are stunning views of both falls and we were able to be seated right by them! I've heard that there are usually long waits to even eat at the buffet, but I'm assuming because it was off season, and that we arrived at 5:00 pm we were able to get a wonderful seat. Dinner is $35 per person (cheaper if you have a Player's Card and you present it) and alcoholic beverages vary. For a buffet the price is quite standard. The drinks were really good and refreshing, our water glasses were always full and plates were taken away promptly.

The buffet itself was mediocre - maybe because we were so full from eating other foods (grrr!) but there was definitely lot of variety - soups, extensive salad bar, a cold cuts area, and more. There were enough fruits and strawberries as well as watermelon were very fresh! I was quite satisfied. 

Fallsview Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After dinner we went on an hour-long bowling date at Strike Rock n Bowl (attached to Boston Pizza). It was fun and well worth the sore arm and wrist following in the morning. We grabbed some after-bowling drinks and pizza and head back to our hotel shortly afterwards. 

Luckily, this weekend wasn't so chilly!

At night we had the best sleep, the beds were comfortable and the pillows were perfect - or maybe it's because we were both so tired. I had placed a morning breakfast room service order when we got to the hotel because we had a spa appointment at 9:00 am the next morning (which we had to arrive for by 8:45 latest). I ticked off 7:30 - 7:45 am and it arrived promptly at 7:30 am! 

Stephen was still sleepy at 7:30 am... 

After eating our breakfast we head to the 14th floor to the beautiful Christienne Fallsview Spa. I read mediocre reviews about the spa, but when I checked into the hotel I was told that the spa was under new management and everything had switched over - boy was this correct! The spa overlooks the falls in every possible angle whether you are sitting and waiting, having pedicures or manicures. Unfortunately the spa is a cellphone-free zone (which is also very good in a way!) I did want to take pictures, but it really is something that you have to experience for yourself. What I will say is that all the images of the spa that you see online are the spitting images that you will see in person when you visit.

I purchased the Christienne Couples Retreat package ($300 before taxes) which included a full body massage (head to toe!) with a foot paraffin wax treatment in a beautiful couples room. We changed in separate change rooms which were fully equipped with lockers, a shower and sauna! After changing into our bath robes we signed consent forms and were directed to a refreshment table with cool water infused with fruit or a choice of hot cocoa and fruit. My RMT (Liz - by the way you were wonderful) was very thorough and kneaded away all of my knots - my upper body and shoulders have never felt so relaxed and loose. The massage lasted 55 minutes and it was the best that I ever had - no more Ritz Carlton spa at more than double the price for me!

  The washroom/change rooms!

After our massage we were led into a room that overlooks the falls which included a large hydrotherapy tub. The tub and room is exactly how it looks in all the pictures. I didn't know what time it was, but the sun was shining bright and it was so perfect! We were given around 30 minutes plus in the tub and were brought dessert and two glasses of sparkling cherry water - it was so romantic and relaxing!

I will be back in a few months! This is just one of those experiences where I am just absolutely hooked on. I already want to go back because whatever was in that tub (accompanied by the view) made me so relaxed.

So that concludes my little impromptu Niagara adventure! Hopefully that gives some of you some insight about what to do and where to stay based on the things that I love.

Here are just some other things that I did this past month:

The Keg (Financial District)
Stephen and I indulged in some Keg food near my work place! Besides the Keg Mansion, the location on York and Adelaide is my favourite - it's large and takes limited reservations. 

I absolutely love ordering Cosmopolitans but recently I've had some bad luck with some restaurants putting in way too much alcohol than they should. I love how they plopped a giant ice cube to dilute the taste because it made it so much more enjoyable! To start we ordered a Calamari to share ($11). I found it to be a little bland.... so it probably won't be my choice of appetizer the next time I come back to The Keg. For mains I ordered the Atlantic Lobster ($42) and Stephen ordered the New York Steak ($32). Both were really good, much better than The Keg that I am usually used to - a very nice surprise.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Red Lobster (Mississauga)
We also enjoyed a late-late Valentine's Day dinner at Red Lobster - just in time for Lobsterfest!

Left: Dueling Lobster Tails | Right: Lobster Lover's Dream 

I love Lobsterfest because it's perfect every single time! I'm not sure when it ends, but definitely check it out as soon as possible if you've never been.

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon

I also made some more splurges this past month.... But now that these splurges have been made and my mini vacation has begun and ended I will (hopefully) slow down on other purchases for the next few months. My Love Moschino Saffiano tote came in less than a week after I had ordered it and it was better than I could have imagined it.

The leather itself is very durable and the print is beautiful and unique! I use it as my school bag and work bag when I have more to carry and the leathers can hold up a lot of weight! I get a ton of compliments on it every day so it's definitely a statement bag.

I also took the plunge and added another Love piece to my slow-growing collection! There is definitely an obsession when it comes to buying anything Love related... especially with price increases happening 2 times a year, but I promise (hopefully) that I will stop temporarily - maybe for good! I also don't own many bags because I really believe in using all that you own to it's maximum potential (which many of you know I do) my Kate Spade and Love Moschino are the bags I carry almost everyday and they're holding up great!

Alright, I think I'll keep my post to this for now because I'm getting sleepy and I have work very very early in the morning. I'll be back soon after school is finished as well as exams! Hopefully by then the cold weather will have cleared up and the flats and heels can finally be brought out... Good luck on exams everyone!

The Largest Update (it's been almost four weeks, sorry!)

Since my last post I've been even busier with school and work (taking third year courses ended up being more overwhelming than I though). My schedule has been work, school, shopping and eating and repeat x100 times over. Hopefully you guys won't mind the gigantic catch-up post, here we go~

A few weeks ago I caught up with a long-time, but haven't seen her in an equally long time friend, Nori! Looking back, I can't believe we didn't take any pictures together... I completely regret it. I haven't seen her for about five years and it was just a wonderful night of catching up and drinking a lot of sangria and good food at JOEY. If you're reading this, I will see you soon after I drag myself through the rest of school this term!

JOEY Eaton Centre on Urbanspoon

Dunk n Dip
I also finally had time to check out one of Mississaua's newest and most recently talked about dessert places: Dunk n Dip. They're located on a street near Lakeshore (Port Credit) in a little boutique like cafe (it's very easy to miss it when you turn on the street) there's parking available at nighttime in front of it so it's super convenient! The prices are cheap - similar to Demetres, cheaper than Spin and what enticed me to go was always the dessert pictures that everyone kept on posting! I went with Stephen and one of our other friends.

What I wore: Aritzia Bustier ($30) | Iris and Ink Cashmere Cardigan ($150) 

There are no prices available (there website is a mess and no prices are available...I also did not get a chance to take a picture of the menu). I ordered Fruit on a Stick (left) which is exactly what it sounds like! You get an assortment of fruit drizzled with your choice of their signature milk, dark, or white chocolate (there is a fourth but not sure). Our friend Mike decided to get a Waffle on a Stick. To be honest.... there's nothing that appetized me about it... very plain. Stephen got Belgian Waffles (with fruit and your choice of ice cream flavor). We all chose to get our choices drizzled with milk chocolate. After ordering they bring you little individual cups with marshmallows inside. Marshmallows to dunk in dip are given out so often... a bit too often I get sick of the taste and looking at the marshmallow. 

*just a note: the first bottle of water that is shared between everyone in the table is free. Afterwards there is a $1 charge for extra water (?! what?!) 

Left: Waffle on a Stick | Right: Belgian Waffles with Ice Cream + Fruit 

Anyways our menu choices came super quickly! The food was decent and the fruit was fresh but I found their chocolate to be incredibly dull. I love heaps of fruit though, so I'll probably be back! 

Dunk'n Dip on Urbanspoon

Other food cravings around that time were Earls and Moxie's Square One. I absolutely love Earl's, and have grown to love it even more when JOEY is just too far and I'm craving spinach dip or soup or a great bellini. In terms of Moxie's... I think it sucks now. I love dips and this was the first time I ordered their Goat Cheese Dip and I didn't enjoy it. Also the bread given was so squishy and soft... what was I possibly supposed to scoop up with soggy bread?

Left: Moxie's Goat Cheese Dip | Right: Earl's Spinach Dip

One of my purchases I made over the past few weeks was another Alexander McQueen scarf, but twill size! I'm absolutely in love with it and the grey colour. It's 100% silk and very lightweight. 

I also splurged (actually not really) on a new pair of booties from Nine West! They were originally $200 but I snagged them for a little over $50 because they had a huge sale. I was lucky in grabbing the only and last pair of size 5s available. They're 130mm and... a bit deadly to walk in, but I just have to break them in and I'll be able to walk in them like all my other once-deadly heels. 

It was also Stephen's birthday last week! I pre-ordered tons of macarons, chocolates, and a cake because he loves macarons and what place is better than Butter (in Ontario)? For the past two weeks you were able to pre-order special edition heart macarons and for the first time ever, chocolates! Tomorrow is the last day, but only for pick ups and in-store purchases so go go go!

The heart macarons (6 in a box) are $23.00 tax included and features some of their signature flavors. There was also a lemon that was included that was perfectly tangy! I wish they made a lemon macaron to purchase. The chocolates come 8 in a box and are $22.00 tax included. The colours of the heart are supposed to tell you what flavour the chocolate is, but it was a huge guessing game for me. I enjoyed some flavours (matcha, lemon, coffee, vanilla, chocolate) but some flavours I couldn't figure out or tasted too strong. As cute as the chocolates were, I definitely won't be giving their chocolates another try (sorry Butter!). And as always, another 20 box of macarons with all the flavours we love! 

For Stephen's cake I ordered a medium sized Terre et Neige (it looks bigger than the picture). Butter has the ONLY green tea cake that I can't ever get enough of - chocolate and green tea mousse! As always it tasted wonderful. For those who want to order a cake from butter it MUST be pre-ordered and paid for beforehand - you can contact them through their order email order@butteravenue.com. 
Some of their cakes are seasonal though! But the regulars are always available to be ordered.

Butter Avenue on Urbanspoon

For dinner I took him to indulge at Blowfish on Bay! He wanted to eat sushi for his birthday (even though I wanted to take him to a steakhouse. We ordered the regulars as Blowfish is always filling.

A sushi-themed birthday card seemed appropriate~
We ordered: Shrimp, scallop and lobster spring rolls, Spicy rock shrimp, One-bite wagyu beef dumplings, Lobster dumplings, Miso-Seared black cod, Tuna on crispy rice. We also ordered the mayan ebi, but it isn't included in the picture.
A lot of people have been giving Blowfish a lot of criticism lately. I'll guarantee you that if you order what I usually order (and come with a full wallet) it'll be all worth it. The food comes out in a timely matter, you're never rushed (as long as you reserve in the correct seating) and is always perfect.

After another almost week, I've caught up to today! I've been having an increasingly stressful week with midterms galore and essays due. I also haven't been feeling well health wise and had a huge allergic reaction two days ago (cause still unknown) that I'm still recovering from. However none of that stops me from going to work, school and getting some shopping done! I purchased a little more than I should have today... But I'm stressed and that's the only way I feel better. 

I purchased an Armani sweater today... it's comfortable, heavy, but most importantly warm. I'm a little worried about how white it is (I'm really going to have to keep it clean) but I love how it fits on me. I also last minute purchased a new Moschino Saffiano Tote an hour ago! There are three things that I love about this tote: 
  1. The beautiful print
  2. The saffiano leather 
  3. It's Moschino!! 
 It should be arriving in about a week (we have a long weekend this week... grr) but when it does arrive I'll do a big and exciting reveal. Anyways, that's about it for now! I hope you all have a great Valentine's Day tomorrow (i'll be working and spending way too much money on myself to feel better about this day... I hate Valentine's Day). Have a great week! 

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