Saturday, March 27, 2010

HK Hit List 2: Beyond Basics

Happy weekend, my friends! Thank you so much for all your well wishes and I'm feeling a lot better than I was a few weeks ago. Thank goodness because I'm flying to Hong Kong next week.

I have a lot of trendy things in my closet, and I think it's about time I stock up on some basics. Well, not totally plain stuff but classics like tees, hoodies and shift dresses, kicked up a notch.

I have lots of tees but I'm looking for more deconstructed ones with slightly different shapes.

Below: Rag and Bone Wide Striped Tee and Three Dots Scoop Neck Tee.
I don't wear much red but the gorgeous back on this classic shift dress might change my mind.

Below: Ports 1961 Shift Dress
This grey hoodie by L.A.M.B mixes it up with a draped back.

As for accessories? I'd keep it nice and small with little grey oxfords and a teeny red bag.

Below: Rag and Bone Oxfords and Rebecca Minkoff Mini Bag.
Check back next week for my third installment of HK Hit List!

Images from

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hump Day Hunks is Back! Chef's Edition

A few of you have been asking for your Hump Day Hunks - I'm so sorry to make you wait! And this week, I must say it's a delicious assortment. It's often said a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and I think that goes for the ladies as well! As suggested by foodie Teresa at Senses and Style, I present to you Hump Day Hunks: Chefs Edition.

Montreal chef Chuck Hughes, star of Food Network's Chuck's Day Off, is just oozing Hump Day hotness. Look at those tats and his confident smile! Yummy.
I must say, I never thought I would have put our next Hunk on this list. From what I remember of him on the show The Main, he was a somewhat chubby guy. When I found out he had slimmed down his physique and toughened up that baby face with some man-whiskers, I changed my mind promptly. Unfortunately, he's recently left the newly opened Corner Suite Bistro, so no chances for you ladies to spot (or stalk) him there.
Erin of Haus of Hybrid hasn't always agreed with me on my Hump Day choices (see what she had to say on my NHL Hunks edition), so this one's for her. Italian stallion David Rocco charms us with his easy going style while cooking up any girl's culinary fantasy.
Our next hottie is a personal favourite - there's just something so wholesomely sexy about David Lieberman. He seems so clean cut, nice, and a bit goofy; makes you wonder if he can get a little dirty (while cooking - what were you thinking?). Admittedly, his food doesn't look the best, but who cares?
Of course, I have to pay homage to the original chef cutie, Jamie. Yes, you've gained a few pounds since you first burst onto the cooking scene with your bashed-up mint and pukka pineapple. But your heroic efforts to make humanity eat more decently and your schoolboy charm still do it for me.

Got some Hunk Day ideas? Tell me about it! The research is the best part.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HK Hit List

Hi friends! Hope you all had a great St. Patrick's Day. I've been MIA lately and it's because I've been quite sick. This past weekend I did little other than sleep. I was very sick only a couple of weeks ago. I never quite got over it so here I go again. I'm starting to get better but I'm still a ways off from getting back to normal.

I really need to get well soon because in about 2 weeks time I'm flying to Hong Kong for a quick holiday. I need to muster up all my energy so I can be a super aunt to my niece and baby nephew, plus do a ton of shopping!

Like my trip last year, I'm putting together my HK Hit List over the next 2 weeks to show you what kind of things I'm on the hunt for.

So first up on the HK Hit list: Mega Platforms

Ever since clogs graced the Chanel runway, I knew they would be a hit. This Elizabeth and James mule-like pair isn't quite the classic clog, but it's close enough for me.

I'm crazy for geometric, Aztec inspired desert prints this summer and this pair of L.A.M.B BirdCage Sandals is right on trend.

Yes I know I'm predictable but can I help it that I love practically every shoe MKA makes? These punchy suede pumps by Elizabeth and James are classy and cheeky - perfect for spring.

All images from

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Secret's Out

Underground dining has taken off all around the world, and I jumped at a chance to experience it for myself when Teresa of Senses and Style asked me to go. Secret dining clubs allegedly started in San Francisco, and they're now commonplace in cities such as Paris, New York, Hong Kong, and Barcelona.

The premise is that a local chef caters a private dinner party, typically 8-12 guests, at a top secret location not to be revealed until 24 hour prior to the event. You really are at the mercy of the chef - there's no guessing what the menu nor the company will be.

Above: 1st course of Thai Seared Beef salad, piled on top of a corn fritter and garnished with mint and cilantro

Below: Trio of scallops - with watercress, as a ceviche, and with miso.
When hubby and I arrived at the address, I must say I was a bit anxious. In an age where technology often trumps mystery, it was very refreshing to go in blindfolds. Too often we check out Urban Spoon before we hit up a new restaurant. And hasn't Google streetview to an extent killed the beauty of a surprise? The idea of not knowing, and ultimately giving up control, added to the allure of secret dining.
Below: Slow cooked lamb shanks with lentil pilaf and honeyed carrots.

Overall, I enjoyed the food and the intimate atmosphere (you are after all, at the chef's home). I would say the food was well prepared; it was quite tasty.

Below: Seared duck breast with bok choi
Below: Port soaked berry bread pudding - most heavenly!
I would say if one was traveling to a great culinary capital, oh say, like Paris, it would be very worthwhile to source out a secret spot. It's a great way to eat like a local, and well, eat amongst them too.

If you're interested in underground dining, there's a very comprehensive list of clubs for cities around the world at Salt Shaker.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Boulangerie à Paris

This could be me.
Six months from now.
I'll be packing my bags and heading on a jet plane a couple of times over the next few months. First up, Hong Kong in April to see my family and newborn nephew. When the summer hits, I am going to Europe!! I've never been to Paris and it'll be a dream come true to finally go.

Pack in between a surf weekend to Tofino and I've got plenty to look forward to.

If you've got any Paris tips and suggestions, please share!

Boyfriend Jacket, Ruffle Blouse and Vest, all from Hong Kong
Slim Pants, rolled up, 212
Hubby's watch, Seiko with army nato band
Belt, mom's old stuff
Horse with Horseshoe Bag, Chloe
Navy Pumps, Marc by Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Won't You Let Your Red Heart Show

So it's all over. In just over two weeks, the world came and saw the best of what Vancouver and Canada has to offer. It's strange being back to the usual schedule of things, without the constant buzz on the streets just outside my office. No more random high fives, stranger hugs, and serendipitous choruses of the national anthem on public transit. The Olympics are over.

Over the past 2 weeks, I've thought a lot about what it means to be Canadian. What does being Canadian mean to someone like me, a first-generation immigrant who has lived in 3 countries? As much as I've loved growing up here, I have conflicting feelings about this place. In some sense, I'm as Canadian as you can get - I am a hockey nut, I love the outdoors, and god do I love poutine. I grew up playing roller hockey with my friends, freezing our butts off in soccer shorts until the sun went down. On the other hand, I have roots in another culture, language and place. I love bitching about Canadian taxation, the bureaucracy, and unions. It's easy sometimes for me to pick Canada apart, just because I've lived and traveled to so many places. I know first-hand the struggle for those new to a foreign land, and I understand how hard one has to battle for every inch when you have no connections, friends, or history behind you.

Last week, I headed to Chinatown to visit my childhood doctor. Chinatown is not a place I frequent usually. It's a bit on the seedy side, although in recent months hipsters have been arriving in droves as new lounges and trendy eateries open. After the doctor visit, I went for soup noodles in the Cambodian restaurant next door (Phnom Penh, a favourite of Anthony Bourdain's). It was a family ritual when we first arrived. Whenever someone was sick, we would go in tow to the doctor's office, and thereafter, to Phnom Penh. We might complain about the "cold" Canadian weather, or argue over whether to get char siu or roast duck for dinner after.
The ability to recreate some semblance of our former lives was a way of coping with our new ones. The memories of life as a new Canadian flooded back to me.

And there, in that never ending bowl of comfort, I understood what it all meant. I realized my Canadian experience is very much a part of me. My experience as an immigrant is also uniquely Canadian. We are a country mostly made up of immigrants, and every family other than the First Nations People, can trace their roots to ancestors that first arrived here from another shore. I hold a high value on hard work and perseverance, and these same values are those that helped our Canadian athletes achieve a record high 14 gold medals at the Games. When Joannie Rochette went out there and skated her heart out for her mother, I could relate. I know how important family bonds are when you are put through the hardest of times, and sometimes, that is all you really have.

So as much as I like to search for greener pastures, Canada will always have a place in my heart. As my home even. What the Games have reminded me is to appreciate how lucky I am to have this Canadian experience. To live in this beautiful city. To know so many wonderful fellow Canadians whom I call my friends. And for that, I will proudly let my red heart show.