Huge Christmas and Boxing Day Update (since exams)!

Hey everyone! I've had another crazy few weeks with the end of exams, working and last-minute preparing for the holiday season so I haven't had any time to update my blog. However, I hope that you all were able to enjoy a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones and I hope you all emerged from Boxing Day with great finds and lots of merchandise!

This post will be a massive update of where I've been eating, what I've been doing, and what I've bought since my last post! During the week of my last exam I was working a lot of days (and never having any adequate time to eat) but during the times I do have a moment to stop by and grab food my go-to place is the Artisano Bakery Cafè in the Entertainment District!   I prefer it 10x more than Panera because they have more food selection at great prices and portions and cheap wine and beer! I don't take a picture of my food everytime I eat, but here is my favourite dish: Chicken, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Penne ($13).

I recommend everything on the menu - especially the pizza and pastas! If you ever stop by for breakfast they give hearty portions and the Breakfast Pizza is to-die-for! They have locations around Mississauga as well so go check it out. The Toronto location is built really nicely and serves as a great hang-out and date spot (I used to head there to study).

Artisano Bakery Café on Urbanspoon

I also came home from work that week with Godiva Chocolate Strawberries and vanilla-carrot cupcakes from Longo's in The PATH (Prairie Girl was closed by the time I got off work...) It's really convenient working in that area (some of my days) because I just grab whatever I want to after work and head on back to the boyfriend, isn't he lucky?! The carrot cupcakes tasted so great (I didn't know they were carrot when I bought them) I definitely recommend.

Earl's (Square One location)
I saw my friend Alyssa during the week of exams as our schedules never coincide with each other (she actually had to work in the evening after we had lunch). I wasn't able to get much Christmas shopping done this year because I've been so busy so I got her a little something personalized from Kate Spade and took her out to Earl's in Square One because she's never had their wonderful Clam Chowder soup. We ordered two incredibly girly drinks to start!

Left: Raspberry Mojito ($8.25) | Right: Frozen White Peach Bellini ($7.75) 

I ordered the larger portion of the Clam Chowder Soup ($10) and Alyssa ordered the smaller bowl ($7) along with Fettuccine Alfredo ($13). I've raved about the soup before and I'll rave about it again - it's a great portion at an incredible price with an absolutely wonderful taste. I'm not a fan of their steaks because they are always saltier than I prefer... and the soup is a healthier alternative to some of their other menu options. 


While we were waiting for our food Alyssa gave me my Christmas present - a book bound by hand that she worked on all semester. What started as a school project for her ended up being a wonderful and personal Christmas gift to me. I loved it deeply and I can't even put into words how much I love it. The title is just a phenomenal play on words in my last name and the interior is full of blank white pages for me to fill in and write my own story! Thank you so so soooo much. 


Earls Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon
 
Blowfish (King Street location)
Once exams were done I had a long-awaited dinner with my friend Julie. I never get to see her because she's in Waterloo and I'm constantly switching from Hamilton, Toronto and Mississauga so it was really great to finally have a day to see her in person and completely catch up! I decided to take her to Blowfish and later for drinks at MoRoCo (finally!) because it's one of my favourite sushi places in Toronto and it was time for her to experience it. Excuse the picture quality - the restaurant is dark and I had to edit the brightness using my phone.

After visiting the alternate King location last month I still believe that the newer location on Bay is still better in terms of service. Also, the King location serves sweet potato chips to start (why I do not know) whereas the Bay location still serves Edamame (and a really hearty portion of it as well).

She left all the ordering up to me and I hope I didn't disappoint! She did order the Salmon Sashimi (priced per pair - $7) which arrived first and as always fresh tasting and never too fatty! I ordered (in the order that they arrived):
  • Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice ($17)
  • Mayan Ebi ($13)
  • Lotus Steamed Lobster + Shrimp Dumpling ($8 - priced per pair)
  • Spicy Rock Shrimp (unsure of the price, not the same as it is listed on the website)
  • One-Bite Wagyu Gyoza ($15)

    As always it was a wonderful experience and Blowfish never fails to serve the dishes that you order in the best tasting order possible! I'm forever raving about the Rock Shrimp and I will reinforce it again. Julie is not a fan of shrimp at all, but she really enjoyed the dish! I'm probably going to indulge once again at Blowfish in another month because I believe I owe Stephen a long-awaited tasting of the shrimp again (he loves it too!)

    Blowfish on Urbanspoon

    MoRoCo Chocolat
    After we ate at Blowfish we head to MoRoCo for some drinks and dessert! It was my first time in a very long time having drinks there and I had forgotten how incredibly strong the alcohol content was
    (or maybe it only hit me really hard because I had gone months without a real amounts of proper sleep).

    She ordered the S'more Love ($14) and the A Hot Mess ($14) to drink which is a glass of strawberry liquer and goodness! I ordered the White Pear Cosmopolitan ($11). I found out that the drinks and dessert only orders still come with the 18.5% gratuity that is included (you can't escape it)!

    MoRoCo on Urbanspoon

    Julie gave me a wonderful sweater from Aritzia - the Kokomio Mulberry Sweater (pictured on the left). I believe it has been cleared out after the boxing day sale at the Square One location, but I think it should still be available on the Aritzia website! It's tight-fitting so keep that in mind. However I usually wear a a xs in Aritzia and she got me a xxs - which fits just right for me. I really love the grey colour and Stephen really loves the sweater on me it really hugs to your body. A great purchase that is incredibly comfy and can be worn for all occasions.

    Left: Kokomio Mulberry Sweater with Rag&Bone Jeans

    I recently ordered a few stickers and postcard off of a website created by one of my friends from high school: Michelle! She's an incredibly talented artist in graphics and animations and I hope you all check her out and support her: http://michysoong.storenvy.com/

    It arrived in less than a week and the packaging itself was so adorable! It may have been really easy for her to draw on it, but the attention to detail really made my smile and the illustrations brightened up my evening when I came home and saw the package! My favourite was the Animal Crossing print, so cute! Thanks so much for being so talented!

    360 Restaurant (Christmas Eve)
    This year Stephen and I spent Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day together! I made reservations for 360 in the beginning of November when Open Table released their list of restaurants open Christmas Eve. It was a good idea that I reserved a month in advance because when we want the restaurant was packed! Who knew hoards of people still wanted to go fine dining during Christmas Eve?

    I actually got my hair done and dyed red (again, and finally) two days before Christmas eve! I decided to wear the Babaton dress that I purchased a few weeks prior (I really love how it looks on me) and paired it with my Minkoff Mini M.A.C bag. I was going to wear my black Nine West heels but decided against it because I was unsure if I would be able to survive the wintery salted streets of Toronto in 120 mm heels. I opted for booties instead afterwards even though we drove there~


    Our reservation was for 6:00 pm and we arrived about 15-20 minutes beforehand to get through security check as well as get up the tower! Since it was Christmas Eve and the restaurant was fully booked, we couldn't  be late or else we would lose the reservation.

    I asked for a window seat when I made the reservation and I was honestly really surprised to see that they honoured that request (because the restaurant was packed at a level that I've never seen it before!) It was a wonderful view of the city and I hope Stephen really enjoyed dining in the CN Tower. The meal started off with bread (but not enough butter). I also didn't order anything to drink because December was a month of too much wine and alcohol...

    I ordered the Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon and PEI Mussels ($36) to start. I had the Salmon before and although I really wanted to switch the order it was just so good the first time that I wanted to have it another time. Stephen ordered the 16oz Alberta AAA Peppered Striploin Steak ($58). The food took a little longer than what we were used to to arrive... but in all honesty we really have been graced with great times when it comes to the arrival of food. After our food arrived we devoured every last bite - even Stephen and his enormous 16oz steak...  

    Left: 16oz Steak ($58) | Right: Atlantic Salmon w. Mussels ($36)


    I was incredibly stuffed after my meal (I had more bread to start) so we only ordered their classic dessert to share: the Dark Chocolate Tower with Dried Fruits ($14). I don't really remember why I didn't order this dessert the first time I came here... The tower was great - the dark chocolate wasn't bitter at all. However the dessert itself wasn't anything to rave about... If I ever come back I'll probably try the Spiced Chocolate Peppermint Cake because it sounds different than the usual dessert.
    360° Revolving on Urbanspoon

    During our meal they decided to print us our picture! Before going up to the restaurant you stand in front of a green screen and a picture is taken of you and whoever you are dining with. You have the option of purchasing the picture after the meal, but because it was Christmas Eve the store probably wasn't going to be open all night where you choose to get the picture developed. I think they assumed that because it was Christmas Eve everyone was going to purchase their picture (and we did!) it was really cute and a great keepsake. The picture costs $25 for a large printed version and two miniature ones. 

    Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

    Stephen surprised me with a Master Grade Gundamn for Christmas! I was not expecting it at all... he kept on teasing me with the huge box but the constant mentions that it wasn't anything designer related. I never thought he would gift me a Gundamn, but it was a wonderful surprise! 


    I finally finished building it after two days! I broke a few nails and stabbed a finger but it was completely worth the final outcome and I will be adding it to my collection (which is slowly growing). I plan on going to Anime North again this year (after a two year hiatus) to buy more and to build more. I absolutely love the detail in a Master Grade build and definitely enjoyed building it.


    Boxing Day
    After spending Christmas dinner together, we woke up incredibly early to brave the stores for Boxing Day shopping at 7:30 am! Excuse my no-eyeliner look and crappy phone quality in dim places~


    I didn't really have a game plan for Boxing Day. I wanted to stop by at Holts in Sherway but I had a feeling that it would be madness and I definitely wasn't going to stop by the Bloor location. I divided my shopping over the course of two days~ I started with Aritzia at 8am, there wasn't that many people shopping yet. The whole store was 20-50% off but there was no real consistency in the discounts... I picked up a black Talula Dress and two separate Talula tank tops. I didn't take a picture of everything I bought/that I tried on, sorry!


    In the picture on the left I'm actually wearing my newly purchased Guess jeans~ I really love the Talula dress I bought. When paired with a metallic waist belt, it'll look really great! I also purchased a pair of black jeans from American Eagle that day as well but their sizes just do not fit me correctly so I returned them today and purchased two different pairs from Guess instead.

    My outfit today: Theory Sweater, Talula Sleevless Top and Rag&Bone Jeans

    Stephen also purchased a new board at Sport Chek and I bought him new snowpants (snowpants are expensive.... more so than I would have thought).


    Wasabi Grand Buffet (Mississauga location)
    We ate at Wasabi in the evening before heading out and watching American Hustle with friends! It's been a year since I've been to a buffet and Mandarin just isn't appetizing to me anymore because the food selections are always the same.. I ate more than I expected to eat!


    They had LOBSTER that day. It tasted wonderful! I also had a lot of sashimi and calamari. I had forgotten how good the food at Wasabi was. The desserts were mediocre, I had a lot of fruit and watermelon (surprisingly sweet!) but the mango pudding was really pretty and flavourful.

    Just a note: Wasabi now charges $1 for every piece of sushi/sashimi left on your plate. They also charge 50 cents per rice piece left from sushi/sashimi as well! So make sure to control your portions and take the amount that you're going to eat!   
    I don't come to Wasabi often (max... 4 times in my entire life) but it's still nice to check it out once a year and just go for a feast. It isn't a fine dining establishment and yes, there are times where the food is spotty and you could probably buy everything already made at a supermarket but it's better than Mandarin. And on holidays/special occasions, you might get lucky and be graced with wonderful lobster and heaps of hot and cold crab legs!

    Wasabi Japanese Buffet on Urbanspoon

    Phew. Okay my massive update is now complete! Now on to deciding exactly what I'm doing for my New Years as well as planning my 2014 year. I'll be keeping you all updated in the following few days with a huge round-up of whatever it is I'll be deciding to talk about. Expect a few personal posts (time-permitting). Once again, I hope you all had a wonderful holidays and (for some) enjoyed a few days off!

    2 Comments

    1. Hi! I was planning to get the kokomio sweater as well, but can't decide between an xxs and xs. I usually wear an xs on tna jackets and shirts, would you recommend an xxs or xs? Thanks!

      Julie

      ReplyDelete
    2. Hey Julie!
      If you normally fit xs then definitely buy an xs :)

      ReplyDelete

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