January favourites

Happy 2018!

I feel quite refreshed coming into the New Year – may have something to do with ringing in a fresh start in Cuba. Although, as much as I miss the warm weather and sandy beaches, it’s nice to have a routine again.

It’s also almost surprising how fast January has flown by. This past week, I went on a business trip to a city near the east coast, which I found incredibly charming. The seafood was also incredible, as expected when you are so near the coast.

Here is a list of things that I’ve enjoyed this past month.



Einstein smoothie from Copper Branch: This has become one of my favourite afternoon pick-me-ups in the PATH. Made with berries, coconut, maple syrup, and vanilla almond milk, it’s the perfect smoothie blend of fruity and sweet.

Mocha from Kupfert and Kim: I got the mocha here with soy milk, and it was absolutely divine – not too sweet, while still embodying the rich cocoa taste that I craved.

Peaches and Greens smoothie from IQ: For a lighter version, opt to remove the cashews from the smoothie for a straight fruits + veggies snack.

Cappuccino from Strange Love Coffee: I am so smitten by this small coffee shop on Spadina. When I tasted their cappuccino, my first thought was, “Wow, this is what a cappuccino should taste like.” It’s bold and rich in flavor.



Overnight oats from IQ: This is the perfect breakfast to keep you full for long – a mouthwatering blend of oats, cashew butter, coconut flakes, goji berries, and other goodies.

Shitake Teriyaki from Copper Branch: I got this protein add-on in my Aztec bowl, and it quickly became the star of my meal. It’s flavourful and has a meat-like texture despite being vegan. There’s often a massive line for Copper Branch at lunchtime, so I highly recommend ordering through the Ritual app (download using http://invite.ritual.co/JASMINE8295 for a free $10).

OM Bites: I tried the Matcha Macademia OM bites and was quite impressed. They carry quite a lot of flavor for something so small. Each bite is made with dates, rolled oats, macadamia, almonds, coconut oil, matcha and unsweetened coconut flakes. The bites come in a beautiful paper box – a healthy gift alternative to a box of chocolates.



Cocoon coat from Wilfred: I had to mentally prepare myself before purchasing this jacket (I don’t often make large purchases). This coat is fitted and sleek, and is made primarily of wool and cashmere – making it warm enough for even the Canadian winter.

Dr. Martens: I recently wore my black pair of Dr. Martens on a hike in the rain, and they proved to be quite sturdy and water-resilient. At some points on the hike, I purposely slid through the mud since my boots could take it and it made the hike more fun. I’ve had my pair for about nine years now, and I find the fading leather and creases quite charming.



Blueblood Steakhouse at Casa Loma: This extravagant restaurant in the grand Casa Loma castle is an absolutely unforgettable dining experience. I’m not typically a huge fan of steaks, but my 28 day Canadian centre cut was phenomenal. I was blown away by how tender and juicy every bite was; all the other dishes at this restaurant were also amazing. I highly recommend getting the side gorgonzola mac and cheese, the sweet potato ribbon fries, the kale chips, and the duck fat fries (which are massive). Also leave room for dessert – their baked Alaska (which they flambé in front of the table) was a complete star on its own.

Fiorentina café: Everything is made from scratch at this cozy small restaurant on the Danforth. I came here for brunch and would highly recommend the sour cherry compote pancakes – one thick cake-like pancake doused in syrup. The chili lime breakfast potatoes also carry a unique twist on the classic brunch favourite.

KOST at Bisha Hotel: This gorgeous restaurant on the 44th floor of the posh Bisha hotel was not what I expected it to be. Rather than embodying the typical fine dining scene of an upscale hotel, this restaurant was relaxed, airy, and carried fun bohemian vibes. It is the perfect sunny spot for brunch in the city. I recommend trying the chili potatoes and energy bowl.




December favourites pt. 2

I know, I know; I already wrote a December favourites post. But I’ve encountered quite a number of products and activities that I really enjoyed since that I thought I would mention them in a part two. For Christmas this year, my family went to Horseshoe Valley in Barrie to do some skiing/snowboarding and to enjoy the spa facilities (and use up our remaining RMT benefits for the year.) It’s such a great time to get together with the family despite the cold weather… although I am also quite excited to escape to Cuba for the next few days.

Hope you are all enjoying your holidays! At the bottom is also a short list of the things that I would like to try in the new year (mostly restaurants haha).


Christmas buffet at Horseshoe Resort: This amazing buffet only happens once a year at Horsehoe; it’s $55 per person and well worth the price. There is a massive assortment of seafood such as smoked salmon, mackerel, trout, oysters, and a large variety of hot dishes including carved roast beef, butternut squash ravioli, turkey, and roasted root vegetables. The dessert spread is just as elaborate, featuring housemade sticky toffee pudding, cherries jubilee flambé over vanilla ice cream, crème brulee, and cheesecake. This is definitely a Christmas buffet worth trying. I know for a fact that a dinner spread as decadent as this could not be found for the same price in Toronto.

Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy chocolate fudge brownie: What a time to be alive, my vegan and lactose-intolerant friends – this amazing ice cream is made with almond milk and is nothing short of phenomenal. There is a strong aroma from the almonds, and the pint is loaded with lots and lots of gooey brownie bites. Finally a decadent alternative to the typical sorbet served as the non-dairy option.

Apple tempura from Ichiban Fish House: This is one of my family’s favourite places for sushi in Richmond Hill; we often order a medium sushi boat and side vegetable tempura to share. What’s special about Ichiban’s tempura is the type of vegetables they fry, which includes juicy shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, and even apples.


Horseshoe Resort Spa: I recently got an RMT at this spa and quite enjoyed my experience; the masseuse was well-knowledgeable and used heat pads and a remote reclining chair as part of the experience. Any spa services also include access to the pool, hot tub, and sauna.

Shopping at First Canadian Place (FCP): I never realized until recently how great the shops were in First Canadian Place; there’s a Drake General Store, Indigo, M Boutique, Papyrus, and many, many more. It makes it quite convenient to do some quick gift shopping on the weekdays since FCP is centrally located within the Path. I scored some great last-minute deals at Indigo and the Drake General Store.

Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Tree: I highly enjoyed Yoga Tree’s vinyasa yoga – an active, flowing class that helps improve strength and flexibility. What’s different about this class is that students place their mats in two horizontal lines facing each other rather than towards the mirror, creating a harmonious sense of unity within everyone in attendance.

Things I would like to try in the new year (in no particular order):

  • General Assembly Pizza
  • Assembly Chef’s Hall
  • Byblos
  • Make my own ravioli (with butternut squash stuffing??)
  • Mitzi’s café for brunch
  • Get pasta at that little Italian stand at St. Lawrence Market
  • Buca in King West
  • Try a Pilates class

December favourites

December is by far one of my favourite months in the year. Reflecting back, I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is dealing with change – something that is irrevocably tied with the uncertainty of the future.

Most people tend to dislike change, understandably. It’s uncomfortable. It makes what was once familiar no longer, and our perception of the future ambiguous. But lately, I’ve come to the realization that change can be good. It’s uncomfortable at first because it was nice to have latched onto something for so long that when it’s gone, it creates a sense of emptiness. But in reality, that disappearance or shift isn’t a bad thing. It’s just different. And that notion of something being different initially sets off alarms in our brains, signaling it as negative. But it’s not. Things have just changed, and maybe for the better. It may take a bit of time to get used to, but eventually, it will. And once it does, everything will be even better than it was before.

And sometimes it’s nice to just take a breather and get away for a little. I did a small road trip to Montreal this past weekend ad had a great time exploring this new city, trying new things, and eating different foods.

With that being said and in spirit of the holiday season, these are a few of my favourite things that I’ve come across this month (in Toronto and Montreal)

Drink picks

Notorious G.R.E from IQ: This smoothie tastes as good as it is for your body. It’s made of spinach, kale, cucumber, parsley, celery, lemon juice, chia, coconut water and pineapple. For those who don’t usually like greens in their drinks, the tropical fruits in this mix perfectly balance and hide the more bitter taste of the greens.

Soy dark hot chocolate from Marche: The hot chocolate here is made with real blocks of dark cocoa. I get it with soy milk, as it nicely balances the sweet and bitter tones of the cocoa, creating the perfect cup of dark hot chocolate.

Chai latte with soy from Mos Mos: As you may or may not already know from previous posts, I am a big, big fan of Mos Mos in the Path. I recently tried their chai latte with soy milk, and would definitely add it to my list of must-try drinks from this place.

Latté from Strange Love: this is a lovely cozy café near the intersection of King and Spadina. I recently went there to get an almond milk latté and stayed much longer in their seating area than anticipated. It’s a great spot to hideaway from the cold; will be back to try some specialty drinks on their menu.

Food picks:

Artichokes from Buca: I recently went to the Yorkville location, and was overall quite impressed with the food and service of this Italian restaurant. In particular, I loved the crisp artichokes. They were fried to perfection, and carried a sweet taste from the prosciutto san daniele, saba, and parmigiano reggiano. I also strongly recommend the black cod, which was cooked so well it literally melted on my tongue like sweet butter.

Raw espresso cacao bar from Crave: This was the most amazing vegan brownie I’ve ever had. It has a bold, rich flavor from the espresso and cacao with a subtle nutty taste. Definitely makes for a good pick-me-up mid-afternoon!

Gingerbread cupcake from Prairie Girl Cupcakes: This beloved cupcake shop in the Path makes great cupcakes to start with, and their gingerbread holiday version is spectacular. The batter carries just the right amount of spice, and the topping is sweet and rich – paired together, they create the most delightful festive treat.

Good Thins, the beet one: these crispy air-like crackers are crimson in colour, with a strong savoury beet taste. Quite unique to other crackers on the shelves, I’d recommend giving this flavour a try!

Da Geppetto – Casoncelli ai Funghi Porcini: This beautiful new restaurant on Temperence makes some of the most wonderful Italian dishes in Toronto. I highly recommend trying the handmade Casoncelli filled with porcini and ricotta, butter, sage, and topped with parmigiano sauce and black truffle shavings. The pasta itself is cooked al dente and the filling is buttery and rich; make sure to save room for dessert though – the mini Nutella bombes are also delicious.

Montreal eat picks: Schwartz deli meat

Since the 1920’s, Schwartz has been making phenomenal smoked meat in Montreal. Their sandwiches are piled high with layers and layers of delectable deli meat, and the texture of these layers combined with the smoked flavour is absolutely remarkable. The restaurant itself is quite small and reminded me of the famous pizza place in Naples- always bustling and crowded even at two in the afternoon. However busy, making a stop here is a must when visiting Montreal. Their poutine and coleslaw are also amazing and worth a try while you’re here.

St. Viator bagels

One of the oldest places making authentic Montreal style bagels, St. Viator makes all sorts including my favourites, rosemary & salt and all-dressed. I recommend visiting the Mont-Royal location as there is a café seating area serving bagel sandwiches such as smoked meat and BLT. If you do visit, order along with your bagel a Colombian French-pressed coffee, which carries an impressively aromatic tropical citrus taste.

Things to do:

Four seasons spa: Nothing compares to this spa experience, especially in the deadpan of winter when the weather outside is dreadfully freezing. I got the aromatherapy relaxation massage using lavender oil; not only was the aroma heavenly but the massage itself was incredible, perfectly targeting all the tense areas. The facilities are also luxurious, clean, and the service highly attentive.

Second city – The Good the bad & the ugly sweater: I am a big fan of Second City, and their holiday special show was absolutely hilarious. The sketches exaggerate the situations we often find ourselves in during the holiday, yet remain highly relatable. Definitely worth watching for a good laugh! Fun fact: the star of Heartland got cold-called up to the stage as an audience guest during the show that I attended.

ROM FNL: I love visiting museums, and the Friday Night Live experience at the ROM takes it to the next level. Drinks and finger foods are available for purchase as guests wander around; the grand hall is also converted to a dance floor. Definitely a fun way to explore and learn (or not) about all the different exhibits! I went while the Christian Dior exhibit was playing, which showcases many of the designer’s stunning pieces.


November favourites

Can’t believe it’s the end of November.

It’s been such a busy time; I feel like everyone is trying to get as much stuff done as possible before the holidays. Then again – I am so excited for the upcoming festive season. I recently went to the Christmas Market in the Distillery District, which was so beautiful – and really getting me into the holiday spirit!


Here are some of my favourites that I’ve come across this month:


Ilia lip crayon: Finally a lipstick that doesn’t dry my lips out – the Ilia lip crayon applies on smoothly and is packed with healing oils of coconut, sesame and cranberry seed. I recommend the 99 balloons shade for a subtle dark red tint.

Lancome makeup remover: I highly recommend this gentle makeup remover, which powerfully wipes away eye makeup, including waterproof types. It leaves my eyes feeling cool and refreshed, with no oily residue, and is ideal for contact lens wearers as well.

Lancome eyebrow pencil: This pencil is known for its “ultra precision” advantage; the automatic twist-up system is easy-to-use and gives a natural yet defined look to the brows.



Haagen Dazs cookie dough dynamo: a classic done right, I highly recommend – especially when served with carrot cake or apple pie.

Kupfert and Kim raw cacao vanilla energy balls: these vegan treats are my absolute favourite mid-day snack or dessert – they’re rich and chocolatey but made with wholesome ingredients.

Mimi & Liloo’s Dark Chocolate Sweet Cinammon: this chocolate bar has immediately become one of my favourites; it’s creamy and pairs the bold taste of dark cacao with delicious hints of cinnamon.



Matcha green tea energy bites: These are delicious for breakfast or for snack, packed full of rich flavor from the matcha and coconut flakes. I also add in 4-5 dates, which I find helpful in making the batter stick together better.



Hot stone RMT at Step up: I was initially scared to try hot stone, but after my first one, I’ve realized that the heat from the hot stones are able to give a much deeper touch of relaxation than most regular RMTs. Highly recommend if you are feeling increased soreness or tension in your muscles.

Tea tree oil: Recently ordered this product form Amazon, and I love it – the scent is soothing and the oil is particularly healing for the skin when mixed with creams, shampoos, or carrier oils.

Tweet Tweet Deodorant: After reading a few articles about the harmful toxins in many deodorants, I’ve switched to one made of all-natural ingredients. I highly recommend the lavender Tweet Tweet deodorant, which is made with natural and organic ingredients (and carries an amazing scent as well).


October favourites

October was a busy month for me, and a month of change. I wrapped up my first case of my first full-time job, and officially graduated from university (woo!)

Here are some of my favourites that I’ve come across this fall month.



  • Jimmy’s Coffee chili dark hot chocolate: This creamy dark hot chocolate has a nice (mild) hint of spice, perfect for the cold weather. Jimmy’s coffee on Portland and King is also quite a cozy spot to tuck away during this rainy season.
  • Rise ginger kombucha: This fizzy drink is a great afternoon pick-me-up, carrying a nice kick from the ginger and a strong sparkle as well.
  • Kupfert and Kim cappuccino with coconut milk (& maple syrup): Coconut milk complements coffee incredibly – and paired together with some maple syrup, makes for one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had.


  • Yoga Tree’s Flow in the six: Most yoga classes play soothing, wordless music in the background (which is nice) but what’s even better is the Flow in the six class at Yoga Tree, where Drake songs are played all throughout class. There’s just something about doing a chaturanga to rap that I find quite satisfying.
  • Yride at YYoga: I tried the spin class at this yoga-focused studio for the first time, and was quite happy with my experience. Picture a more cheerful hippie version of Soul Cycle.


  • Hello 123: This new vegan bar, which recently opened on Queen St W, is created by the same people behind Kupfert and Kim – and it’s absolutely amazing. I had the charred cabbage and ceasar, which was seared to perfection alongside some sunflower seed croutons. The cocktails here are also super strong.
  • Impact Kitchen Mineral bowl: The power bowls here are locally sourced and come in a variety of different flavours. My “Mineral bowl” had kimchi, soft-boiled eggs, kale, sesame tossed kelp noodles, and radish. This is a great spot to get a healthy lunch on the east side of Toronto.
  • Planta restaurant: I loved everything about this restaurant from the beautiful decor to the amazing food and the friendly service. I got the Moroccan salad and iced coffee with coconut milk, and they were both absolutely delicious. I can definitely see myself coming back to try some of their other dishes.
  • Taco farm tortilla chips: I tried these for the first time from the Kitchener Farmer market (although Taco farm has its own brick-and-mortar location in Waterloo too), and their tortilla chips were absolutely amazing. It’s made with only three ingredients (oil, corn flour, and salt), yet has a great taste and crunch.
  • Nadege champagne macaron: A small macaron jam-packed with the fragrant taste of champagne – basically your favourite celebration drink in the form of a tiny dessert.


  • H20 Float: I’ve heard so many things about hydro float therapy (good and bad) that it was about time that I tried it out for myself. Essentially, you float in a pool of super salty water (either in a closed pod or open-concept tub), where your body floats effortlessly to release any tension, pain, or anxiety. I did the 1-hour session and my body felt surprisingly relieved and my skin extraordinarily soft afterwards. It was also so relaxing that I fell asleep halfway through my float. I loved my whole experience and the facility (super clean, professional); I would recommend others to try this at least once.
  • Step up massage: This massage center is no-frills and quite low-key (located next to a Burrito Boys on Adelaide) but delivered a great RMT. The service was professional, and the oils and hot towels used throughout the session provided a great experience that I would recommend to others looking for a massage place downtown.

September Favourites

September’s been a relatively busy month. I’ve started work and have since flown twice to Chicago for training sessions. I’ve also been drinking more coffee (getting back in that work routine) so there are a few caffeine drinks part of this month’s picks. I also went to the Stratford Festival one weekend, which was a great small-town getaway, and below you’ll find a gem of a restaurant recommended.

On the whole, here are a bunch of great little products and places I’ve come across this month.



  • Balzac’s Iced Americano: The Americano at Balzac’s is bold and crisp – just the way I like it (I despise watered down coffee beverages). This café also provides free of charge soy, almond, or coconut milk to add in beverages.
  • MOS MOS: This tiny coffee front inside the Toronto Path is always bustling – don’t be frightened by the long lines though, they tend to move very quickly. I usually go for the regular coffee with one milk and one sugar, a combination that almost tastes of a HK style milk coffee. I’ve recently also tried the chai matcha latte with soy milk, which is absolutely phenomenal.



  • Frank + Oak Women Jeans: I went to the Frank + Oak warehouse sale and got two pairs of jeans: a black pair, fitted at the top and flared at the bottom, and another pair that is white and fitted. I love the jean material, thick and sturdy. Each pair retails for $90 but the price dropped to $30 for this sale event.
  • Topshop Cigarette Cropped Dress Pants: I find it difficult to find work pants that aren’t baggy or boxy in shape, so I was quite happy to find the cigarette style ones at Topshop. These pants are high-waisted, tight at the waist and well-fitted. I bought a pair in black and navy blue, $45 each.



  • Bijou Crostini, Escargot, Weth Mushrooms, 63 Degree Egg, Smoked Cheese at BijouThis beautiful restaurant in Stratford served one of the best dishes I’ve ever had – a textural delight of escargot, creamy poached egg, and silky cheese; all-paired with a thick, crisp crostini. All the flavours worked incredibly well together.
  • Hungry Hippo Coconut Crisps: This snack is so flavourful, crisp, and relatively healthy. I got these coconut crisps at the annual Veg Fest in Toronto, but they’re also available at many grocery stores.
  • IKEA Veggie Meatballs: These veggie balls contain only natural ingredients, including corn, peas, and carrots, which you can actually see as whole pieces inside the balls. They’re flavourful and filling, and make for a healthy substitute to regular meatballs.



  • Lavender Oil Applicator: I stayed at the Westin hotel in Chicago, which provided in every room a small oil applicator scented with lavender. Its gentle scent is soothing, and it’s quite nice to apply some on the wrists or temples when trying to relax or before sleeping.
  • Samsonite Spinner Suitcase: The inside of this suitcase has straps to secure clothing and interior pockets to hold smaller items, helping users stay organized throughout their travels. The wheels also move any direction, allowing users to wheel their suitcase beside them in tighter corridors.

August Favourites

My birthday is in August, making it my favourite month by default. I also find that the long weekend in August is also a good time for my family to get together for trips. This year, we went to the Tobermory and Collingwood (Blue Mountain) area to do some hiking, picnic lunches, and boat riding. Here are my favourite products that I’ve encountered throughout this month:



  • Carrot Rewards App: Linked to a user’s Aeroplan, Petro-Points, More Rewards, or Cineplex’s Scene, the Carrot Rewards App allows a user to complete surveys about health and fitness for reward points. This app has recently been subsidized by the Canadian government in hopes of promoting better nutrition and fitness among Canadians. Use the code jasmineh5166 to redeem bonus points when you sign-up!
  • Ritual: With a large number of restaurants on the app, Ritual allows users to conveniently order food for pick-up. Every order collects points, which can be used to redeem discounts or special offers. Use this link in your mobile browser to get $10 off your first order.



  • Kiehl’s Mango Lip Balm: My lips became severely chapped after hiking in the sun during the August long weekend. After a day’s use of the Kiehl’s lip balm, I could see significant improvements in repairing the damage of my skin. This product is more expensive than regular lip balms ($12), so I would only strongly recommend it if your lips are severely chapped.



  • Fitness Leggings by FableticsThe material of these leggings is comfortable, breathable, and most importantly, opaque. Some leggings on this site also have outside pockets to store your phone/iPod, which is ideal for jogging. New members of Fabletics also receive special discounts, including workout leggings for 2 for $24.  I’ve searched around and trust me, getting two pairs of such high quality for less than $25 is an amazing deal. 



  • AYCE Sushi at KaKa: I love All-You-Can-Eat (AYCE) sushi dinners every once in a while. My visit to KaKa this month was actually my first AYCE this year, and it was incredible. The restaurant has an impressive range of items, as well as specialties including torched sushi, pressed sushi, spring egg soup, and takoyaki balls. I absolutely love the taste of torched fish, so having an AYCE experience with it was amazing.
  • Black Sesame Ice Cream at Kekou Gelato: I’ve tasted quite a number of black sesame ice creams before, but the one at this gelato shop was impressively creamy and rich in flavour. Kekou also has many other interesting flavours, such as Vietnamese Ice Coffee, Oolong Tea, and Whiskey Green Tea.
  • Cornish Hen at Peoples Eatery: This unassuming restaurant in Chinatown Toronto always seems to be buzzing with people, and for good reason. I finally tried eating here this month with some friends and loved it; everything from the atmosphere to the food was amazing. I would highly recommend trying the Cornish Hen, General Tso Tofu, and HDB (sashimi salad). I shared these three dishes among four friends, and it left us all completely full.

July Favourites

I like the month of July – smack in the middle of the summer, when you know you still have one more month afterwards before reality strikes again in September. This month, I’ve been busy studying for my GMAT, catching up with friends and family, and traveling to LA for two weeks. Here are my favourites that I came across in July:



  • Black romper from Oak and FortI am in love with anything that looks like a dress but actually hides a pair of shorts (and bonus points if there are pockets too.) I found this black romper during Oak and Fort’s Summer sale, where it was discounted by 40%. It’s a breezy piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
  • Long beige-rose dress from Oak and FortI also got this piece (photo above) during Oak and Fort’s sale period; my favourite part of the dress is the small slit on the left side. The slit allows for extra leg movement, but isn’t excessively high that you would have to worry about accidentally revealing too much.



  • Coffee Tomo: Tomo serves the best pretzels in Los Angeles (try the sweet potato & cheese one) and has a great seating area for studying or catching up with a friend.
  • Cafecito Organico: Not only does this coffee shop in Silverlake serve an amazing almond milk cold brew, but it also has a gorgeous backyard patio ideal for studying, chatting, or just hanging out.



  • Dark Chocolate Almond Milk by Silk: This is the perfect way to fulfill your chocolate cravings while meeting your daily calcium needs. It’s rich and nutty, but not too sweet since it’s made with dark chocolate.
  • Caramel Cookie Crunch by Talenti Gelato e SorbettoSold in small tubs at local grocery stores, this gelato is so heavenly – layered with smooth caramel and morsels of cookie bits. I finished a whole tub in one day (with a bit of help).
  • Mint Mojito Iced Coffee at Philz: I wasn’t too sold on the idea of mint leaves in my iced coffee when I first heard about this famous Philz drink, but it turned out to be absolutely delicious. The mint leaves added a refreshing twist to my usual morning beverage, and weren’t overpowering in any way.



  • Cinespia: I highly recommend this event for anyone in LA during the summer. Cinespia is an outdoor movie screening inside the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (yes, a cemetery). People bring their picnic blankets, a bottle of wine, popcorn, and other snacks to enjoy a chill night out. Get here early to reserve a good spot!
  • Dodgers Game: I didn’t think I would like watching baseball, but it turned out to be a lot more fun that I thought it would be. For ten more dollars than a regular ticket, you can snag a seat in the Coca Cola Pavillion that has all-you-can-eat nachos, hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn, and peanuts!



  • Camel Hydration Packs: This is essentially a backpack with a built-in hydration system, as it can hold large amounts of water in a reservoir (made of light plastic material) with a built-in-hose to allow the wearer to drink hands-free. I wore one when I was biking from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach, and it was great at allowing me easily drink water without stopping since I’m not the best at biking hands-free. My pack also held up to 2L of water so it helped ensure that I stay hydrated all-day!

June Favourites

June was a bittersweet month. Although I was sad about it being my last month of traveling in Europe, part of me was also excited to be going home. After spending almost half a year abroad, I found myself really learning to appreciate my home back in Canada, especially the small things.


Here are some of my favourite products that I came across during my last month of traveling in June:


  • A Man Called Ove: I’ve never read a book as heartwarming yet comically written as A Man Called Ove. The main character is so sarcastic yet unforgiveably charming While the book probably made me cry about five times, it is still one of my favourites and I would highly, highly recommend it for a great read.
  • The Widow: I could not put this book down; it was a thrilling read that had me gripped with terror and adrenaline as I learned more and more with every page the secrets and thoughts that ran through the mind of the dead murderer’s wife.


  • Kiko Milano’s Eyebrow Marker: This was my first eyebrow liner ever, and I love it. It’s easy to apply and stays on the entire day.
  • Coconut Oil: After spending a lot of time outdoors in the heat in Greece, both my mum’s and my skin became very dry from prolonged sun exposure. Coconut oil is a natural remedy available in many grocery stores that heals and moisturizes dry skin. Using natural products such as coconut oil also reduce the risk of exposing your skin to any artificial or harsh chemicals.


  • Theobroma Chocolate (60% Dark Chocolate with Raspberry): I normally don’t like raspberry chocolate, but the dark bar made by Theobroma neatly tucks in morsels of dried raspberry (rather than your typical jam flavoring), giving the chocolate a refreshing and fruity textural burst.
  • Terra Carpo’s Sesame Candied Peanuts (Athens): This small coffee shop tucked away on the busy streets of Athens was filled with people when we went in to take a look. In addition to hot and cold beverages, this shop also sell snacks by weight, including different nuts and dried fruits. Their sesame candied peanuts are absolutely amazing (and insanely addictive).


  • Bershka Palazzo pants: These high-waisted pants are soft and flowy, so they’re great even during the summertime. I wore them when I was in Morocco, where females are highly encouraged to wear long pants, and the roominess of the pants ensured that I stayed cool despite the heat. I got the black pair, and they’re versatile in the way that they are able to match with many different tops.

May Favourites

I can’t believe it’s May already, meaning that it’s my last semester of exchange (and undergrad!!) My last exam is on the 30th and while I can’t wait for exams to be over, part of me is also sad that it’s ending – just as I’m finding the hidden gems around Boccconi University too.


On a brighter note, I’ve come across some pretty cool products and places this past month, and thought I’d share my favourite here:


  • Microfiber towels: Described as “ultra compact, super absorbent, and fast-drying,” these towels are ideal for traveling and take up minimal space in your backpack.
  • Ultralight sleeping bag liner: This sleeping bag is super light and thin. It’s not meant to provide warmth; rather, it acts as a clean liner so that you feel comfortable sleeping in any bed (no matter what your hostel may be rated).


  • Kiehl’s creamy eye treatment with avocado: Since exchange, I’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors; and I’ve realized that my skin (especially the eye area) can be quite sensitive towards the springtime weather changes. The area around my eyes began to get slightly itchy, red, and puffy as the weather got warmer in Italy. I went to Kiehl’s to get this cream, and could immediately see a difference after my first use. This product is creamy and moisturizing, and it contains vitamin A, avocado oil and fatty acids. I would definitely recommend it if you’ve been experiencing adverse skin changes towards the spring transition.
  • Lush’s honey lip scrub: Again, if you are experiencing drier than normal skin due to the spring time weather changes, this lip scrub is the way to go. It’s filled with hints of peppermint oil, which cools and freshens, as well as sweet wild orange oil, which provides a nice citrus taste. The best part is that it’s edible so you can happily lick the scrub off (or wipe it off, whichever you prefer).


  • Tiger (Flying Tiger Copenhagen): This is the place to go to pick up almost anything you may need on a daily basis (coffee mugs, notepads, washing bag, etc.) Prices are fairly low, ranging from one to three euros for most items. They also sell delicious snacks – try their Dutch stroopwafels and chocolate milk.
  • Bershka: This store is the perfect place to get some spring/summer attire at affordable prices, especially when compared to other European stores around the Duomo area in Milan. I would describe the style to be a more mature version of Forever 21, or a younger version of H&M.


  • Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano: This novel was a mandatory reading for one of my courses at school; I wasn’t particularly excited to read it at first (although comparatively more excited to read this one than the two other compulsory readings of actual textbooks), but I was quickly engrossed in the lessons inspired by the individual story of three of the world’s most successful businessmen. I would recommend it if you are interested in entrepreneurship, the technology space, or simply in learning more about the people and story behind some of the greatest products that we use on a daily basis. The narration isn’t technical but focused more on the actual story.


  • Ravioli di Zucca e Ricotta: I found this at my local supermarket and it’s incredible. I recommend it if you have a sweet tooth, since the pumpkin filling is sweet but contrasts well with its savory dough encasement. This ravioli doesn’t even require any sauce; it’s so good, I just top it with some sea salt to enhance the sweetness of the pumpkin filling. This is my socially acceptable way to practically have dessert for dinner.
  • Ricotta Spread: In Italy, the cheese aisle (yes, an entire block at the supermarket dedicated to cheese) is filled with an almost alarmingly large amount of different dairy products that I didn’t even know existed before. I recently purchased a tub of ricotta, softened to the point of being easily spreadable on toast, and it’s amazing – fluffy, soft, and mild in taste. It’s also super cheap – about 180 grams for 0.89 euros.
  • Venchi Gelato: I’ve heard really good things about this part-chocolate-part-gelato store, and I waited for the day I had to write two exams to treat myself as a celebratory reward. I got the waffle cone rimmed with hazelnut chocolate and candied hazelnut bits, a scoop of Brutto & Buenos (milk chocolate with chopped hazelnuts) as well as a scoop of cuor di cacao (75% extra-dark chocolate). The combination was unbelievable.