My Daily Series – First YouTube Vlog is live!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been such a busy bee but I’m happy to be back! It’s so fitting to share my first vlog here with a Wednesday wisdom quote. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time now and although there was a lot for me to personally overcome, I’m happy that I pushed myself to take that step! Self-doubt or listening to other people’s doubts about you really kills more dreams than failure ever will. I’m so lucky to have a great support system, all my family, friends and loved ones are always so supportive. For me, it’s really the self-doubt. Growing up I was super introverted and it was only in my university years when I started to come out of my shy shell. After I graduated, I moved away to live in Seoul and that was one of the best experiences of my life because it pushed me to be comfortable with myself and the next thing you know, I’m now 90% extrovert and 10% introvert! Still, when I thought about making a vlog, there was something that held me back. A year into the pandemic and I finally decided to get over those fears and make time to put together my first vlog. It’s now live on Youtube!

I never doubted that it would take a lot of work, but it took A LOT of work. I loved every bit of it and it was so much fun to make. You know that I’m a very creative person so this is another creative outlet for me, especially during the pandemic. In this vlog, I give a sneak peek of the first home (I’ll do a condo tour soon!) me and my fiancĂ© bought together, food adventures (you know I love my food) as well as ways I have been taking care of myself during these busy times.

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Quote by Suzy Kassem.

Here it is! Take a look and show me some love by leaving a comment to let me know what you think, give it a thumbs up and subscribe. Can’t wait to create the second one. If there’s anything that you want to see more of, let me know. Thank you so much for your support and for checking out my first vlog!

My Blanc Canvas

AeroPress Coffee Maker

Taking a selfie with my cup of coffee made from the AeroPress Coffee Maker.

Hey everyone, 

Hope you had a great Easter long weekend!

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks moving into our new condo and after this weekend I finally feel rested. It’s been exhausting but so exciting. Can’t wait to show you the first home we bought together and do a little home tour. 

Coming out from a restful weekend, it’s nice to start the week with some good coffee. My sister and I both love using our AeroPress coffee maker, it’s simple and quick. The AeroPress is not only easy to use, is also so compact and you can take it anywhere with you, even if you’re traveling. I’ve been testing it out over the last few months and wanted to show you how I use my mine. Check out my new YouTube video and make sure to like and subscribe!

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At-Home Cooking: Instant Pot Hong Kong Borscht Soup

Hi everyone,

Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. I’ve always loved to cook (because I love to eat even more!) and over the pandemic I have been cooking a lot with the extra time at home. One of my goals for 2021 is to share some of my favourite recipes on my blog. We love using our Instant Pot appliances to cook up different meals and recipes so why not start with our favourite Instant Pot Hong Kong Borscht Soup. The original recipe is by Pressurecookrecipes.com and I’ve modified it to our liking. I’ve listed the ingredients for this recipe as well as the things I used to prep and cook this meal. Scroll all the way to the bottom if you prefer to watch my YouTube video instead!

Ingredients

1.5 – 2 pounds beef back ribs
2 large onions – sliced
3 – 5 yellow or red potatoes – chunks
4 – 6 tomatoes (2 roma + 2 – 4 avalantino) – diced
2 – 4 medium carrots – chunks
4 celery stalks – chunks
4 – 6 garlic cloves – crushed
3 bay leaves
4 cups unsalted chicken / beef / veggie stock
4 full teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 – 2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons corn starch
Salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste

What I used
Listing out the things I used to prep and cook this meal.

6 qt Instant Pot
Knife – use a good quality one to make the chopping easier
Peeler
Meat Tenderizer – or anything that can smash the garlic cloves
Cutting board
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons/Teaspoons
Spatula, tongs and ladle for cooking

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My leather jacket search is now over

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve been staying safe and healthy.
Did you pick up any goodies during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I’ve been on a hunt for a classic leather jacket that can earn my loyalty for quite some time now. I wanted a timeless style that’s simple, something that’s not too cropped, with a bit of a relaxed fit but not too baggy and doesn’t have too much hardware.

Finally, the search is over, I found the perfect leather jacket!

When the Black Friday sales started, I checked out AllSaints and to my surprise, I came across the Elva jacket and it looked like it had all of the things that I’ve been looking for. I was excited but didn’t want to get too overjoyed because I wasn’t sure what size I would be and whether I’d be happy with the fit. So I was cautiously optimistic.

When I tried it on for the first time, it feel super luxe and was instantly in love! It’s such a beautiful jacket and the fit was exactly what I’ve been looking for, a bit loose without looking too frumpy/oversized.

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Our 2020 Halloween Party

Hey Everyone,

Hope you’ve been staying safe and healthy during this pandemic. Halloween is always such a fun time of the year and although this year was very different we made sure we went the extra mile to have fun with it. We usually don’t put up the decorations at the beginning of the month but thought why not start the celebrations earlier this year. We’ve both been spending so much time at home working and socially distancing so it was nice to enjoy the decor throughout the month.

When the pandemic hit, we started planning more elaborate date nights that turned into monthly parties. It’s quite a bit of planning so we would alternate months to give time for planning and execution. The fiancĂ© had October which worked out perfectly because it’s also my birthday month. He did such an amazing job planning out all of the details of the party, everything from food, drinks, decor, lighting and even our costumes. 

Most of the decor were from Dollarama and they really transformed the space. Out of them all, I especially love the wall bats and spiders. They were such a great price and came with so many in a pack! The Philips Hue lights (Philips Hue Go Bluetooth & A19 Smart Bluetooth LED Light Bulb) gave such a cool shadow effect. Those lights are so great when setting the tone and mood of the space and can be changed to any colour. Once we turned it to the purply tone it instantly gave a spooky vibe. We live in a 1 + den condo and we did quite a lot to the place as you can tell. We try to utilize the wall space, light fixtures, our bar cart and the doors.

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3 Ways to Style: Satin Slip Dress

I’ve always loved the look of a simple satin slip dress but it has taken me a while to find the right one. A lot of them are pretty but they’re not versatile enough. I really liked this A&F Satin Slip Dress when I came across it. The shape of the neckline is flattering with a slit on the side. The satin material is also great quality that’s double layered. I bought both the black pattern as well as the light coral in size small regular. I think I could have done the petite but it was sold out and I wasn’t sure whether the slit would be higher than it already is in the regular. My torso is long so I thought for this style, the regular would work best. Also, something to note is that there’s no zipper so I’d take that into consideration when buying the dress although I’m mostly a size small at A&F. It’s currently on sale from $99 to $45 + 25% off (was 15% off but now it’s an even better deal!). Such a great price for the quality that you’re getting. I styled this dress in 3 different ways to show how versatile it is.

Work Attire

Jacket  |  Aritzia Wilfred Chevalier Blazer in xsmall – super versatile, I have it in 3 colours.

Bag  |  ai Toronto Seoul Worker bag in Grey – check out my review of the bag!

Shoes  |  Aldo Faredien Sneakers – gives you both height and comfort for the long days at work.

Comfy Chic

Top  |  Zara Oversized Sweater

Shoes  | Abercrombie & Fitch Double Strap Faux Leather Sandals in Light Brown – the straps have a really soft touch and they feel very secure.

Bag | JW Pei Envelope Crossbody bag in Black – check out my review of the bag.

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Vegan Leather Work Bag

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Right before COVID19 hit, my work bag started to tear on the base. It’s a large tote with thin leather straps that I could throw over my shoulders. Even though it was strong and sturdy, I’ve always had a bad habit of overpack my bags. The heaviness started to wear out the bag. I’ve had it for quite some time now so I was due for a new one!

What I was looking for was something that is versatile, simple, and stylish that didn’t look like a “work” bag, lightweight with different ways you can carry the bag. Even though I’m currently working from home in our state of self-isolation and don’t need to get a work bag yet, but thought I’d started the hunt. To my surprise, I quickly found one that I really liked. 

ai was started by a mom with her 3 daughters. It’s based in Toronto and all products are handmade in Seoul, South Korea. I also have 2 sisters and the 3 of us all love fashion. One of my sisters and I lived in Seoul for a bit after we graduated from fashion school at Ryerson. We had such an amazing time there and made so many great memories. In a way, I feel very connected with the brand. I also love supporting local businesses so I was happy when I discovered ai Toronto Seoul.

Selfie with my new ai Toronto Seoul Worker bag.

First of all, I love that this bag is vegan leather and it’s PETA-approved. The colour and texture of the bag are beautiful. It’s super versatile and can be worn in 3 different ways with the 2 detachable straps that come with the bag.

3 different ways to wear the ai Toronto Seoul Worker bag.

ai Toronto Seoul  | Worker Bag in Grey ($165)

Take a closer look at the bag in the video below. Hope you’re staying safe & healthy. Thank you for reading!

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Vacation Looks: Excellence Oyster Bay, Jamaica

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I’m an over-packer when it comes to traveling but I’m one just of those people who like to have options for outfits because I dress according to my mood. Are you like me too when it comes to travel packing? Here’s a look into what I packed for my trip to the Excellence Oyster resort in Jamaica. I’ve never been to an all-inclusive resort prior and we had the best experience there. 

Swim & Cover-Ups

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Zaful Crochet Beach Cover-Up (one size, currently half off!) – I love this crochet cover-up, it’s so versatile to throw over a bikini or you can tuck it into high waisted shorts or a skirt. I’m 5’3 and even for me, it’s quite short when you wear it as a dress so I just mainly used it as a cover-up around the beach or pool areas.

Zaful Striped Smocked Bandeau Bikini Set (size S) – This smocked bandeau is so comfortable when lounging around or even worn under your outfits going from the poolside to a restaurant for lunch. It was a teeny bit loose for me so I didn’t wear it in the ocean, just in case, the waves were too strong (haha). If you’re looking for a patterned one, they have a cute sunflower style in black and yellow.

Zaful Tiny Floral Low Waisted Knot Bikini Set (size S) – This bikini has a lot more support compared to the bandeau and is great for swimming around in the pool or when I was by the beach. The ties come undone so it can be tightened. I could have done an XS if it came in a smaller size but this still fit comfortably. Not into the flower pattern? They have a lot of different colours in a solid style.

Aerie Swimwear (size S, currently 50% off) – I love Aerie swimwear, they’re such great quality and always have amazing sales. The rust coloured bikini with fringe ties has underwire cups that give it structure, providing a lot of support. This Lightly Lined Underwire bikini top is similar and a great one to add to your swimwear collection. I also brought the below red one-piece swimsuit. It has a Baywatch vibe to it! Aerie right now has 2 cute red ones with a strappy back detailing, one that’s a solid and the other with a pretty jacquard pattern. I always like bringing a one-piece swimsuit for the activities that involve a lot of movement.

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Printed Sarong – I got this turquoise & pink Paisley sarong when I went to Bali a few years ago along one of the beaches in Seminyak. I love bringing a square scarf/sarong because it’s easy to tie it around your waist or throw it over your shoulders whenever you need a little extra coverage. It’s both stylish and practical.

Mismatched Bikini – Sometimes I like to mix my solid and patterned bikinis for a different look. This H&M Balconette bikini top is so comfortable and the straps can be removed when you want to go with a bandeau style so you don’t get those tan lines. They have a lot of cute new colours. I would pair the yellow one with this H&M Flounce-Trimmed bikini bottom. So cute!

Canvas Beach Bag – H&M has some really great bags. This canvas bag was easy for me to take around to the beach and pool areas as it fits quite a lot. with a wide base As much as I love straw totes for a beach vacation, they’re not as easy to pack so I prefer something that can be flattened and folded up. I love these options from H&M right now, this woven cotton Tasseled Shopper is super cute or this Oversized Canvas Shopper for a more chic look.

Flowy Fringe Jacket – I got this H&M fringe jacket a few years ago and it’s light, flowy, and easy to pack without wrinkles. It’s perfect for the hot weather as the sheer polyester material keeps you cool. Here’s a similar one, H&M Jacket with Fringe in Black.

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Oversized White Dress Shirt: I love supporting Canadian brands and local businesses. This Frank and Oak white dress shirt is so versatile. I purposely got a medium so that it would have a loose, oversized fit. The shirt is made of 100% cotton so it’s breathable and has this crisp, slightly wrinkling look which gives it a relaxed feel.

Linen Embroidered Wrap Top: Linen and embroidery just have such a resort wear look. I always like throwing in one of these when packing. This wrap is also easy to go from the pool to a restaurant when thrown over a bikini. Love this one from Zara

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Travel: Excellence Oyster Bay, Jamaica

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Back in April 2019, my then-boyfriend and I decided to go on an all-inclusive vacation together. We both have never been to one before so we were excited that we could experience it together for the first time. We looked at a lot of different places and resorts but in the end, decided on the Excellence Oyster Bay because we wanted a luxury boutique-style resort, that is adults-only where the drinking water is safe with amazing food.  I’m such a huge foodie so the food is super important. This resort was only opened for shy of a year so everything was very new and the aesthetics were elegant contemporary. We couldn’t stop raving about it when we came back! 

Gadget

Good thing the resort was chilled and calm enough for me to run around filming with my DJI Osmo Mobile 2. I got it for my birthday before the trip so I made sure to bring it to break it in! It’s available on Amazon.ca.

Arrival

The flight was quick from Toronto and once we landed, we grabbed a rum punch and hopped on a shuttle to the resort. It was only about a 30-minute ride so we were the first drop-off. The drive into the resort was so beautiful and we were stunned when we saw the resort. It’s on its own peninsula so it felt quiet and private. The moment we got off the shuttle, the staff took our bags and greeted us with cool hand towels and champagne. I must say that the staff was one of the highlights of our stay, they were so friendly and provided top-notch service. Once we got our room keys, we got driven to our room.

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Room

We got the Junior Suite and were so blown away. It felt luxurious the moment we walked in. It’s such a spacious room with a king-size bed separated by this semi-private room divider from the lounge area. The furniture and style of the room had a contemporary tropical flare. The bar was fully stocked and there’s an espresso coffee machine too! Once we got in we unpacked right away. It was nice to have a walk-in closet. There was definitely no shortage of space in the room. I’m a bit of an over-packer because I like having outfit options during my trips. I go through my vacation looks in this separate post if you want to see how much I packed!

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The bathroom is spacious as well too. It’s so very comfortably designed with lots of counter space. And of course, there’s a rainfall shower. It doesn’t feel like a resort unless there’s one, right?

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There’s an in-room jacuzzi where you can have privacy or a beautiful view and the terrace is fully furnished for us to lounge around. The view from our room was so beautiful, we could hang out on the terrace all day.

Food

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The resort has a cafe, multiple bars, lounges, and a variety of cuisines including local flavours. A lot of people liked hanging by the bar area beside the lobby because it has a nice ambiance and is just a comfortable space. We enjoyed the food so much and didn’t have to make reservations. There was never a lineup to any of the restaurants. Everything was delicious and fresh. We didn’t get a chance to try all of the restaurants but we can save those for next time.

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Breakfast is definitely my favourite meal of the day. With the 24-hour room service, we would order breakfast about 45 minutes before we get out of bed. This was nice because then we would take our time and enjoy the room with the morning view of the beach. I like that the rooms have a service box so we can place all of our dishes there to keep the room clean. If we’re not ordering breakfast in, we’d be at The Kitchen having their breakfast buffet. There was so much selection and everything was fresh and delicious. Omelets are my favourite so I was always at the omelet bar. Once we filled our plates, we would sit outside to catch the ocean breeze while we’re eating. It’s such a beautiful space with a stunning view, we loved hanging out there.

Beach/Pool

We went in April so the weather was beautiful. Closer to the trip, my weather app actually said it would rain every day but once we got there, it only rained for maybe 15 minutes one of the evenings. It also wasn’t too hot which was actually perfect for us. We got there during the week and thought that the calm and quiet was because of that but even once the weekend hit, it still wasn’t too crowded. I really liked that about this resort. There were always loungers or daybeds available around the beach and pool so we never had to wake up early to hold one for the day.

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When we weren’t lounging around in the main pool, we would be up at the rooftop pool. It had such a nice view and felt relaxing as you were surrounded by the ocean.

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The beach was so beautiful, white sand with clear water. There was a bit of seaweed on the beach but you can tell that it was very well-kept and there’s always a staff there maintaining it. For us, we can’t spend too much time directly under the sun because we’ll both burn like crazy so we would spend a lot of time hanging out by the pool too to get some shade. It’s great that the pool area is directly beside the beach so we still got a beach view. There’s a swim-up bar in the pool as well as the sky bar on the rooftop to get your drinks. Easy access to my piña coladas!

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Skincare Empties: “Routine” Deodorant

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I want to share one of my favourite morning routines with you! A few years ago I decided I was ready for natural deodorant and begun my hunt. I’ve tried a few different brands since and none of them felt like the right one until a couple of years ago I came across routine. Natural Goods while I was shopping at Goodness Me with my fiancĂ©. The sales associate there was raving about this brand and was super helpful and informative. She gave us a couple of samples and the moment we tried it, we both loved it. We were skeptical at first about the cream formula instead of a stick but it’s so effective and once you use it a few times, you get used to applying it. 

A finished jar of Routine deodorant

It doesn’t look like very much in the jar but it lasts me about 6-8 months and for the fiancĂ©, it lasts him about 3-5 months. He uses more than me but in general, you don’t need very much of it. I know the investment of spending $30 on a deodorant sounds steep of money but it lasts for so long and there aren’t any harmful ingredients.

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My choice: routine “Like a Boss” – a very clean scent with geranium & rosemary

The fiancĂ© choice: routine “The Curator” – eucalyptus & coco, baking soda free that’s good for sensitive skin

There’s something for everyone! It’s safe for kids, those who are gluten-free and there are options for those who are pregnant/breastfeeding and/or vegan. I love that you can directly order it from their site and there’s free shipping. There are so many retailers across Canada that carry them, here is a list of all the ones in Ontario. They even now have a refill program with some retailers across Canada. See if any of these stores are close to you! I’m going to give this a try when life gets back to normal and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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We love supporting Canadian brands that have locally made products. They also don’t test on animals. These things are super important to both of us! 

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear all about it if you end up giving this a try. Hope you have a great week.

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