So the lovely challenge here was to send myself to 5 different eating locations around Toronto using the Ritual native app and eat meals that pertained or at least was fitting to have during the Autumn season. Here we go…



1.) The One That Got Away

Order the fried Halibut wrap with a side of salad and a guava pop! This marked the taking of my Ritual virginity. Allow me to attempt to string together a coherent explanation as to why I got this.. When I think of Autumn… I think of sweater weather…and fishing on a boat on a crisp, golden afternoon (not that I’ve ever gone fishing before… LOL.) Which lead me to believe that getting fish and chips would equate to good meal to have in the Autumn. I came pretty close to getting fish and chips but opt. for a fish wrap instead.

The fish tasted good here– would go again. It honestly beats any form of cooked fish from Joey’s, Moxie’s, Grand Electric or Wilbur (I still love your free little salsas, Wilbur!) In a nutshell, my fish wrap resembled how good the lobster and baja fish tacos served at El Catrin in the Distillery tastes.. but that’s just me!

581 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M1

 



2.) The Loving Hut

For those of you who are vegan or vegetarian: this is a must go-to. I ordered the Spicy Tango and orange creamsicle vegan cake. Honestly, I had wished I ordered Pad Thai instead but I decided to be a little too adventurous and grabbed the ‘Spicy Tango,’ despite the server encouraging me that it wasn’t the most popular item on the menu. 😅😅 The entree wasn’t terrible, but I guess now I know that soy bean curls really isn’t my thing.

As for the cake, what I thought I saw was carrot cake which seemed appropriate to have in the middle of Autumn, aside from pumpkin spiced cakes.. was actually an orange creamsicle cake. I found myself eating more of the cake with my white jasmine tea than my soy curls.

140 Spadina Ave A101, Toronto, ON M5V 2L4

 



3.) Balzac’s Coffee Roast Cafe

Nothing beats a nice cup, or should I say bowl?.. Of vanilla latte and a nice almond-nutella croissant. Perfect hit in the spot for early, brisk mornings. No complaints, no regrets, just happily caffeinated and content.

1 Trinity St, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

 



4.) Fusaro’s Italian Kitchen

I mean… the food in the photos don’t just look great, they taste amazing as well. For me, I tend to eat more carbs during the colder days. Could it be, it’s because I’m trying to gather more than I need and then hibernate? Quite possibly… Or just because the taste and idea of Italian food sounds really warm, cozy and inviting to me. I also have my two girlfriends I work with to back me up on this one.

We ordered the Grosso Panini (salami, capicollo, mortadella, provolone, Italian cole slaw, hot giardiniera, house mayo), Pasquale Pizza (freshly crushed tomatoes, fi or di latte, spicy salami, sautéed onions, asiago), Alla Vodka Pasta (penne, bacon, green onions, creamy tomato vodka sauce) and I got myself a vanilla latte as well… because why not?

*Note: I would like to make a point for anyone who happens to make drink orders from Ritual to remember to click on the drink size after selecting the drink on the menu. I made the mistake of not choosing the size after picking the kind of drink I wanted and went ahead to pick the flavour and additions like cream or milk. Because I forgot this part… my drink order ended up processing as a side of milk and vanilla with no actual latte.

My girlfriends and I pretty much inhaled almost everything on each plate. Enough said.

294 Richmond St E, Toronto, ON M5A 4S8

 


5.) King Rustic

The name of this restaurant kind of did it for me. I like to be where the rustic and charming nooks and hidden gems are during the Fall season I suppose. This place was on the way home from work and the menu sounded like they do great Italian dishes too… Surprised yet?

During this time, I actually used the Ritual app to do pick up after a long day of work. Normally, I would call in advance after ordering to request to sit down instead. The packaged food was nothing short in the taste and goodness. I had half the burger and fries the next day and it still tasted great– lots of flavours, and lots of avocado to enjoy. I’ve had my fair share of burgers but this one honestly takes the cake. 

I ordered the Manchego Burger (lean ground chuck, fries manchego cheese, chimichurri, aioli, avocado, pico de gallo, garlic mayo, argula and on a bakers bun) that comes with a side of beautifully season sweet potato fries as well as the Raspberry Bliss salad which consists of sautéed mushrooms, red peppers, toasted walnuts, cranberries, goat cheese, crisp raw baby spinach, raspberry vinaigrette… Since there was a little hiccup with the Ritual app: I had originally ordered the ravioli on the menu that happened to be sold out, (during this time frame, I didn’t receive a notification that it was sold out until I got to the restaurant) the staff at King Rustic were kind enough to toss in an amazing butternut squash soup along with my re-order. I’m a huge fan of butternut squash, let alone in soup form where it allows me to drink it like water.

926 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V


To end this review, I would like to conclude that King Rustic’s food really stole my heart in terms of taste and atmosphere (had the opportunity to scope out the place during my wait for my re-order.) I had the food over the span of three days since it was a fairly large amount for me to personally finish– despite the timing, the meals were still pretty awesome. Other than what’s mentioned above in my previous blurbs… food ordering was definitely made easier, quick and efficient through Ritual.

Thanks to Ritual for cutting the line and waiting time– not to mention helping me make walletless transactions. 

 

This is a sponsored post by Ritual Co. (Thanks Sarah!)
All Photography done by yours truly.

OUTFIT DETAILS:

Club Monaco Varsity Sweater (Similar here)
Urban Outfitters Mock-Neck Mini Dress
ASOS Midi Front Split Black Pencil Skirt
Thrifted Gold Tipped Leather Handbag
Zara Heels

Shop similar looks down below!


I guess the post should have been called four ways with the mock-neck dress. Oh wells..

Let me tell you, when I say this outfit can be worn 4 ways with the same items– it’s possible.

I started out wearing a mock-neck mini dress as a top piece that gave me a lot of upper coverage paired with a pencil skirt over for a more business appropriate place. A light varsity sweater to cover up the shoulders and take away from the fitted look, as well as go for the casual-relaxed look. Keeping in tune with this dark ensemble, I tossed on some minimal black heels.

From here and on… my outfit gets a wee bit outside my comfort zone, since I don’t normally like to prance around the public wearing skin tight clothing while baring my arms and legs. Surprisingly, not once did I go into a secluded area to change either. So call me bold..since I really just went for it and simply slipped off my pencil skirt in public. Something youthful and hilarious about doing that. From there I was ready to go out, with my sweater for coverage of course. I saved both the exposed arms and legs for for the rest of the later evening. Good for a busy Friday right? (I actually kept the skirt and sweater on eventually since the night cooled down and on top I went out for some good o’ Bang Bang Ice Cream) 

Versatility is something I really look at in a piece before buying. Can it be worn day and night? Every season? Every year? How about if I were to put it on top of this current item I already have? You get the gist of it. I’m all about finding items to build outfits on. Hope you get smart with buying your clothes too. Good luck!

Photos by: Arnold Lan


Ever worn a dress as a top underneath? Tell me about it below! x


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OUTFIT DETAILS

Club Monaco Elizabina Silk Top 
Urban Outfitters BDG Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Forever21 Pinstriped Open-Front Blazer
White Leather Snake Embossed Crossbody (Similar here) c/o Therese
Yves Saint Laurent Wrap Strap Wide Heels in Icy (Similar here) via The RealReal


As many of you may have noticed I’m usually caught wearing either semi-formal and conservative pieces. If I’m wearing jeans, they’re often form-fitting and don’t look that worn out.

For me— it was quite the challenge to find a decent pair of boyfriend jeans, let alone a pair with what seems to be the right amount of rips and tears. Took me a couple years really. I found myself going through the GAP, J. Crew, even the thrift stores… contemplating if I should make my own pair. But most of which I found at thrift stores were either too large in length or width. I wanted to find a pair that wasn’t so expensive and that would fit nicely on my petite frame.

I’ve been frequently shopping at Urban Outfitters and saw that they carried a whole bunch of jeans, including boyfriend jeans and distressed ones as well. To own a wear of boyfriend jeans— I guess sacrifices have to made in terms of the unflattering fit around the rear aka no bum look… also known as border-line mom jeans. Right? But here I am today, finally a proud owner of a pair of distressed boyfriend jeans from UO.

On to how I wore out mine…

To maintain out my ultra femme and clean style, I paired my DBJ (distressed boyfriend jeans) with a flowy, white silk top from Club Monaco (in love with the lace up collar) and nude wide heel sandals that have wrap-around straps from Yves Saint Laurent via The RealReal for ONLY $115 which were retail for about $700. New in a box, with tags and dust bag. (SCORE!) I’m a huge fan of wide heels for good support and distant walks. My girlfriend and talented photographer, Therese also allowed me to borrow her adorable snake skin embossed cross body which she got from Asia to continue the light look I got going on. To tie the look altogether and contrast the light palette outfit, I wore my pinstripe navy blazer for a hint of dapper chic.

x

We all have different body shapes, so finding the right pieces to compliment and enhance our bodies is important. There’s no rush in fitting in the latest trends. I felt the same pressure when Zara and GAP started releasing a whole bunch of boyfriend jeans for a hefty $60-80 about one or two years ago. But I was able to hold back for a while and wait until I found a decent pair that as equally flattering and comfortable to wear. x

Speaking of The RealReal… I’d highly suggest anyone who’s interested in finding cost-friendly designer goods to go there. It’s an online consignment platform for all luxurious goods, from handbags, shoes, coats to works of art. Some things are second hand, vintage or even brand new. First timers even get an additional $25 off their first purchase!

Visit the link here!

Photos (Film and Digital) by: Artiese Studios


I want to give a shoutout and huge congratulations to my best buddy and talented photographer Arnold Lan for winning the Jubilee Project Fellowship in L.A and the Dreamjob Photojounalist competition to Norway. You have such a bright future ahead you. Way to go bestie! xo


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OUTFIT DETAILS:

GAP Gingham Navy and White Button-Down Shirt
American Eagle Denim Chambray Button-down Shirt
Zara Aztec Skirt (See similar here)
Zara Aztec Ankle Strap Wide Heels
J Crew Wild Flower Necklace

See below for similar options!


Twenty-three and still counting. I’m just floored to say that out loud while coming to terms that I’m twenty-three now. But then again, what’s the difference? We’re all growing older every day in all sorts of ways (lol I just rhymed that)… physically, mentally and in the grand scheme of things..our overall experience as well!

Anywhooo, glad to know that those around me and I are still alive and kicking. I still got my plenty of youthful years ahead of me before I build this so-called life of mine and a huge empire that generates enough capital to survive this life, and contribute to this economy and people’s lives. I’m not selling myself in the best kind of way am I? But this is reality in a nutshell and ‘you only live once’ so you might as well make use of that and do all of your favourite things before you regret it!

On the brighter side—  2015 is looking good, more that enough days to take risks, indulge in even more amazing and new foods, the weather is warming up and I got a few big things to look forward to that I won’t spill out just yet…just in case you know…I don’t jinx anything.

I’ve got these crazy mixed feelings while I’m reflecting and writing this post. Feels like just a year floated by but it also feels like the year flew by extremely quick— now I’m busting out these intense emotions towards things that seemed so small to me before but now I feel like I want to reach out and hold them close to me. Family, good friends, old talents, even my mom’s cooking taste even so much better than before… (could also be because she’s just such an awesome home cook… home cooked meals > restaurants.) Ready for some warm cheesiness? I’m pretty much really blessed to have all the things and relationships that I have and are about to receive too. Can’t stress enough how much one can forget to appreciate the little things while working mindlessly throughout their week.

Now is definitely a great time to think less about myself in terms of birthday festivities but to celebrate the people who brought you into this world, the people who continue to constantly raise you and the people who shape you into be the best person ever. In addition to that, I’d like to make note to say thanks to each and every one of you. (Including the haters too! Hehe)

Time to not take myself seriously but also really seriously..

Photos by: Arnold Lan


I thought I would throw on something super easy, comfy and but extremely playful (taking advantage of the few days that were gorgeous and warm of course). I’m mixing up three busy prints but within the same monochromatic palette making them appear as if they were blending together and breaking them up the difference with a denim shirt, which I’m sure many of us have in our closet. This outfit has the illusion of a casual dress, but it’s really not! I didn’t want to take away from the fun combination of the prints, so I put on a clear and jewel statement necklace which added a bit of bling but also elevated the outfit a bit more since the Gingham shirt and the denim chambray button down on the top portion of the outfit are made of two very casual shirts that are often worn out a lot. I also decided to continue the awesome aztec print from my skirt and paired it with some wide heels with the similar print. For petite women who decide to wear pencil or midi skirts, I strongly suggest wearing thin-ankle strap heels. These heels are the most flattery as they expose the majority of your feet, therefore creating the illusion of elongated legs! Now… who doesn’t want long legs? I doo! 😀


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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Ann Taylor Crepe Colourblock Topper Coat
J. Crew Men’s Stripe Dress Shirt (similar here)
J. Crew Colourblock Cotton Wool Blazer
Banana Republic Sloan Fit Five Pocket Pants
ASOS Gold Arrow necklace (similar here)
Zara Black Pointed Toe Heels (similar here and here)
Danier Leather Black Handbag (similar here)


Ever felt the slightest bit of envy when you’re introduced to one of your new friend’s long time best crew? I’m talking about those who are in their late 20s, 30s, or even 50s and have been the best of buddies as a group since practically grade 2 and counting. Friendships that have grown longer than my own age— now that’s something amazing.

Living in the big city like Toronto, I found myself growing apart from those who I truly wanted to keep in touch with. Despite the ‘No excuse’ cliche which still holds tremendous amounts of truth, I still find myself struggling to try to find ways to rekindle or keep connected. I figured— friendships formulate from two sides. My side and your side. Seems easy right? Both sides should be understanding, accepting and should show some sort of amount of investing effort.

A couple days ago I met up with my one girlfriends who held the status of being my oldest best friend— the thing was I only saw her bi-annually and that did not share the same group of friends. We only lived 50 minutes away from one another as well. Could you say it’s our busy lives? ‘No Excuse.’ I only realized the severe lack of getting together until we met at the same restaurant which we visited from last summer. (Cafe Nervosa on Yorkville Ave) We both share the same love for eating a lot of carbs as a way to catch up… #loveitalianfood.

With all this being said I decided to make new goals to revamp my friendship and family skills:

1.) Make a list of people you haven’t kept touch with but would like to. New or old.

2.) Make a list of the cutest cafes, brunch or dining spots you wish to explore and hold your festive reunion at. Either in your city or theirs. Maybe just pick up a box of donuts and coffee?

If they happen to reciprocate, great. They are probably the kind where you can easily speak to and pick up where you left off. No change in feelings, but just pure excitement. If not, harsh but true— it’s time to move on. No harm in trying right?

3.) Get it together and toss them a text, call or Facebook message. Ask for their availability. 

You can gather from here whether or not it’s worth a shot to keep your friendship going or growing. Being almost 23 years old, I have already found myself weeding out people from my life—something I never found myself doing since I used to want to be everyone’s friend. But eventually you learn you keep the ones who care about you, your health, your sanity, your work, and who’s supportive of your wishes. 

**PS. I dedicate this post to my hometown girls.**

Photos by: Arnold Lan

No matter how far apart your friends or family might be, there are always ways to stay connected. Still count the brief yet great moments you share. That being said, I’m blessed to have the many strong friendships I have today and only want have them further grow and deepen them.

x

Apologies for the MIA. As it was my dad’s birthday this past week and wrap up in projects.
Happy belated Birthday to my dad. x


What are some cute ideas or ways you spend with your old pals?
I’d love to hear. Share them below! If you like for me to share more food posts with details.

Let me know! And PS. Have a good long weekend! xx


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