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Jen

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Feature: Love Closely

We’re pleased to showcase a Toronto-native brand belonging to our friends at Love Closely! In the recent years, we have been steering our focus away from materialism and shifting towards a minimalistic approach to living (future post on this!). By ridding ourselves of the unnecessary – tangible objects, unfulfilling relationships, etc. – which take up space and weigh us down, we make room in our lives and living spaces to see and focus on the things that truly matter. The distinct logo of Love Closely is a rose, which serves as a reminder to stop and smell the roses. By paying attention to the aspects of life which we tend to overlook when we get caught up in the lives we think we should be living, we forget to indulge in the things that make each of us as individuals feel alive. This connotes different things for different people. For us,…

Changing Your Name In The Digital Age

I changed my name. Truly, madly, and legally. I’m sure that though many in my network were speculating as to why, most were more far removed enough to avoid asking for fear of overstepping. Albeit a decision I mulled over several months, it surely was not something I thought was worth announcing to a thousand people on a social network, yet in a way it was precisely what transpired when I changed my Facebook name. In honesty, it’s more of a slight modification of what already is but regardless, it falls under the umbrella of a legal name  change. Whenever anyone hears of me utter the phrase “that’s my old name” or “I changed my name” – they generally ask why with fervent curiosity and awe. For giggles, I respond that I have gotten married* recently – which is met with either total disbelief (I mean hello, look at me?) or am generously congratulated and…

5 Tips for Tech/Productivity

Credit to Irene for the photo.  1. Set up autocorrect for things you FREQUENTLY type on your phone. I’d rather not type in my email over and over again, multiple times a day and every single day.  I personally set up an arbitrary 3-letter combo “xzx” that corrects to my 23-character long email. 87% increased efficiency.  Results may vary depending on length. SUGGESTIONS: emails, addresses, phone numbers. Note: I recognize that auto-fill is a feature that exists in browser forms but this trick works anywhere you type rather than strictly the internet browser. 2. USE CHROME Extensions Declutter extension – automatically close duplicate tabs. [Link] Earth view from Google Earth – get a glimpse of some beautiful yet obscure corner of the earth every time you open a new tab (CTRL + T) – [Link]    ** personal favourite AdBlock – blocking Facebook, YouTube, etc. ads – [Link] Ads – annoying and sometimes too personal…

HONG KONG: Our First Vlog Followed By An Apology

I would call the following a spoiler alert if it wasn’t the only selling point of the video: A bird shits on Shirley. Sometimes when I’m typing her name I accidentally type “Shitley”, as I’m sure many of you have done. Is this some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy? Is this evidence of The Secret being practiced? Was I careful for what I wished for? Whatever the answer, I’m very glad for it. Of course after 288 views* of our video, we had to take a look at the video statistics before the video’s momentum really took off because big data is the future, or whatever. *288 is measly in YouTube terms and virtually non-existent on the world wide webz but significant for us small fries who had up to this point only posted to our respective Facebook pages, which meant 288 actual(!!) people had watched our video, or at the…

Jerk King

As a resident of The Annex this summer, cheap and delicious food was widely available. If the variety there alone doesn’t strike your fancy, a few steps more West on Bloor Street brings you to Koreatown. Toronto food is exactly why I worked out like mad for three months yet didn’t lose a single pound. I essentially burned off only the excess grease I inhaled this summer, netting me out to a zero. DELICIOUS CARIBBEAN CUISINE, yells the yellow store banner in capitalized red letters. The interior is anything but spectacular. A greasy take-out counter and severely outdated furnishing – but it’s not like you would take your mother here anyhow. Naturally at a place called JERK KING, you order what the restaurant is known for. Jerk Chicken and Rice So so tender and generously seasoned yet not overbearingly so. Perfection in the form of a chicken drumstick. Jamaican Patty…

Stay Cafeteria

How shameful to have been a temporary resident of Toronto for 4 months yet post nothing. In an alternate universe, I’d lie and say that life/relationships/work got in the way but everyone knows that this blog is my life. ~ LIFE ~ The word cafeteria doesn’t exactly beg for your attention. Rather, it evokes perhaps cringe-worthy thoughts of bland food splattered onto decades-old plastic lunch trays in long, mechanical lines like you’re the newest cast member on Orange Is The New Black or something. Definitely not this cute little place in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown by the name of STAY CAFETERIA. Homemade Dumplings  7 $ Though nothing spectacular, these soft in-house wrapped jiaozi’s are everything you would hope for in a dumpling. Not too shabby. Traditional Beef (Rice) Noodles – 9 $ The veggie-meat-noodle ratio was just perfect and the fragrant broth absolutely killed it.  If you are a rice lover, noodle…

Melting Pot

If you like dipping your food into something hawt before it enters your mouth either to cook it with a savoury broth or coat it with something sweet enough to induce diabetes, read on.  Now, I’ve never had a true fondue experience other than a childhood filled lovingly with fondue chinoise (Chinese fondue = hot pot). I’ve always had an itch to hit up that popular CAPSTONE place in Vancouver but I kept putting it off and off and before I knew it, I had settled down on the other side of the country. It kinda goes without saying, but we opted for the “4-course experience” which consisted of cheese fondue + starter salad + savoury entree fondue + chocolate dessert fondue because having to decide on only one fondue would be like choosing between children and I ain’t about that life. I’m in equal opportunity non-foodie. —— Artisan Trio Blue cheese,…

Continental Treat Fine Bistro

Number two on my Edmonton hit list was this quaint little place on Whyte Avenue for lunch called CONTINENTAL TREAT FINE BISTRO. Advertised as a “taste of Europe,” this family-owned business boasts two generations of collaboration and pride. Or at least that’s what the front page of the website says. As a self-proclaimed baguette connoisseur, I appreciate bread. I really, really do in all shapes and forms but this starter was essentially just slices of generic bread. Who really knows though? It probably was a cherished home-grown recipe passed down from thirteen and a half generations all across Europe before making its way to Edmonton but I mean if you had me blindfolded like in a Febreze commercials to give you my unadulterated opinion… They say to not judge a book by its cover so perhaps more fitting in this instance, I should not judge a highly-rated restaurant on Urbanspoon…

Cheesecake Cafe

was not in culinary heaven in Edmonton. Admittedly, my sample size was extremely modest in size so this isn’t a sweeping statement but rather, me low key (publicly) throwing shade at my host for choosing such places. I would classify myself as an easy eater since I’d be down to eat anything anytime with very little complaints because food is rarely that bad. Perhaps the food bloggeuse role I bestowed upon myself has gone straight to my head. You’ve changed, Jen. In any event, the induction of my Albertan food baby took place at CHEESECAKE CAFE, an Alberta exclusive. Go to CHEESECAKE CAFE for the cheesecake and nothing else unless you have an appetite for disappointment. Happy hour cocktails and half-priced appetizers are acceptable if you’re hungry and desperate but definitely skip the overpriced sub-par food. The entrees of salmon maple chilli salmon and champagne chicken were so awful that my mind…

KAZU

Anyone who has ever looked up restaurants in the Montreal vicinity surely has come across the name KAZU. Impeccably rated, frequently talked about, and always the longest of lines outside the tiny twenty-five seater of a restaurant on Rue Ste-Catherines near Concordia. If there’s one constant in this ever changing world, it is that there will always, always be a line-up outside of KAZU, which likely has you wondering if the hype is justified. The short answer is yes. The long answer is yessssssss. The general tendency is to think that the end all and be all of Japanese food is sushi. Let KAZU change your mind about that. With Assistant Taster, AT in town, it went without saying that we would come here. However, there was some hesitation when I said we would go for Japanese food and rightfully so, at that. Unbeknownst to me before moving away from the…