5.16.2017

576. Suzhou | Din Tai Fung & Eslite Bookstore

Suzhou
I am way overdue for a new blog post, especially one from my Asia trip last year!! I am determined to finish the rest of the posts within the next 2 months before my next trip. I also really miss Asia and travelling in general, so until I'm able to go away again...it's nice to look back on my photos and reminisce.

During our days in Shanghai, it rained a LOT (we were at the tail end of a couple typhoons). On the rainiest day, we decided to do something indoors. My uncle brought my mom and I to Suzhou, which is a city beside Shanghai. I think we drove for about an hour. We were mainly going to visit Eslite Bookstore, which is more like a huge lifestyle department store than an actual bookstore. There were many floors and only one floor sold books actually. I really loved it there and wanted to buy so many things! Their products were all very unique and well designed. There were a lot of home products I wanted to get but everything was too big for me to carry home so I didn't get anything.

Eslite Suzhou staircase
Eslite bookstore
Eslite
Eslite Suzhou
Eslite
Eslite
Eslite staircase
Karl Lagerfeld doll
Karl Lagerfeld Eslite
Din Tai Fung
For lunch, we ate at the famous Din Tai Fung which is known for having the best "xiao long bao" (see pic below). I don't really like xiao long bao in general actually, so I preferred the other side dishes we ordered which were all very delicious. However if you do like xiao long bao...you would love these as they are really good!

Din Tai Fung xiao long bao
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung
I love this drink! There's barley and some other things in there..whenever I visit Asia/Hong Kong especially, I order this at literally every restaurant we go!

Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung dessert
Dessert dumplings..yum!!

Din Tai Fung kitchen
Peeking into their kitchen

Florian caffe
I couldn't believe there was a Caffe Florian in Suzhou! The original one is in Venice (opened in 1720, aka the oldest cafe in the world) which I've never been to but I would always go to the one in London inside Harrods.

desserts
Suzhou
red Tesla X

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5.04.2017

575. Recent Life | Financial District Explosions

Toronto Financial District boravsbora
A few days ago, at a building right across the street from where I live, there were a series of hydro vault explosions. That day I had contractors over working on my place and it was very rainy out, so I stayed inside for most of the day (luckily). I didn't even hear about the explosions until over an hour later when people started texting to check in on me. So I decided to go out for a walk around to check out the situation. A couple of the streets/blocks around my building were closed off.

I was just observing and taking photos of the scene and then I had this amazing photo taken of me!! lol. I didn't know it was being taken. Then the guy came up to me and was like "check out this really cool shot I took of you"..so we started talking and when he told me his Instagram username, I immediately recognized him (bora.vs.bora - go follow him!)..since I follow a lot of city photographers and he is one of the best from Toronto. It was so cool to have met one of them. Instagrammers/Youtubers are like celebrities to me hahaha.

Looking through my photos later I realized he is also in one of my shots (though mine is horrible quality and obviously not as good as the one he took of me):

King Street Toronto explosions
In this photo you can also see my building (it's the glass one that's kind of oval shape at the top). The smoke was literally right at my front door.

King Street Toronto explosions
Toronto explosions
King Street Toronto
This whole section of the street was closed off which is pretty crazy because that was right at rush hour, at one of the busiest intersections of the city. All the streetcars down the street had stopped, all in a line. It felt like we were frozen in time. I didn't go outside the "closed off" area but I could just imagine it must've been extremely hectic and congested on all the other streets because of this incident.

So an interesting thing I noticed: There was a bunch of us standing at the middle of the street, observing and taking photos of the scene. It was very obvious all the streets there had been shut down for cars. Yet as people walked by and arrived at the intersection, they still stopped and waited for the light to cross the road. I guess it is their natural instinct to do so, because the only ones who just walked freely onto the middle of the street didn't do so at the light/crossing. It's only when people walk and arrive at the light, they feel the need to stop and wait for it to tell them it's safe to go.

They worked on this all through the night and most of the following day. Now everything is back to normal. Here are some more photos from the rest of my week:

Toronto Financial District
leftbanked outfit
We had like a half day of summer last week, when it was warm enough weather for a few hours to wear a dress!

chia pudding
I almost forgot to mention - my renovations are finallyyyyyyy done now!! Well, the construction part is done but I still have to finish buying some more furniture. I will post some photos of my place in a future post. But now that my kitchen is done, I'm so excited to start cooking!! Here is some breakfast I made the other day. They are chia puddings with chia seeds, flax seeds, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon (for the blueberries one), cacao powder (for the strawberries one), topped with some coconut chips. Really good and fun to make. I'm excited to start cooking with my oven. I have a couple recipes lined up and will also be getting a cooking lesson from a chef (from a restaurant we always go to heheh)

Stellasport leggings
Stellasport Outfit leftbanked
library bar royal york hotel
Last weekend my friend & I went to our usual Library Bar..& it turned out to be such a fun night. We were lucky we got a good crowd that night because everyone was so into the music and (drunkenly) singing, dancing, & requesting my favourite songs lol. The musician ended up staying over an hour longer than he was supposed to because everyone kept wanting him to stay and play more. My favourites that night were: Wonderwall (obviously), So Happy Together and Sweet Caroline. I definitely spammed my Snapchat/Instastory that night.

harbourfront Toronto
Toronto harbourfront
Sweet Jesus
My friend brought me to this little ice cream shop called Sweet Jesus which I never even knew existed before!! There was a long line up that day and apparently it's always busy there, thanks to their cool instagram-able ice cream. I got this birthday cake one which even came with a lit candle.

leftbanked outfit
leftbanked

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4.24.2017

574. Recent Life & Renovations | Part 8

leftbanked renovations kitchen
My whole renovations project is finally nearing completion!! Well all the construction work is nearly done but I still have to finish purchasing a bunch of furniture and set up one more corner of my place (the corner where all my stuff is currently sitting in bags and boxes). I'm sooooo happy with how the kitchen turned out. In the photo above is how it currently looks at the moment. There are going to be cabinet doors above the fridge as well, but they will put those in sometime this week (hopefully).

I really love my gold faucet. & apron sink. & range. & all the cabinet and drawer door handles. & counter tops. & the backsplash! Basically I am in love with the entire kitchen lol. But mostly the faucet and sink. It wasn't easy but I'm so happy I eventually managed to find them both and I'm so glad that I ended up getting the gold faucet. It was quite expensive and I spent some time thinking about whether or not it would be worth it...but in the end I decided to just get it because it was what I wanted from the beginning, and I knew I would've probably regretted it if I didn't go for the gold.

This whole renovations project has been/is so much fun for me. I kind of want to be an interior designer now...the best part is seeing everything come together in the end. But I don't know if I would enjoy designing places for other people as much, because then I would end up wanting to live there myself hahah. Maybe someday my dream of having my own boutique hotel will come true, so I can design each room in a different way.

The past few weeks have been so busy for me. I need to find time now to finish the rest of my furniture shopping..then I will post more photos of my place fully completed!

Leftbanked kitchen
The part around the sink is not done yet (obviously) and there is some tape around my range which I have to find a way to clean off. Something I realized I should've done was take pictures of the "before" because it was extremely different! Before my kitchen was just like a half kitchen. & it didn't look nice at all so I never took pictures of it lol. Same with my washroom. But from now on you'll probably be seeing my newly renovated ones a lot.

leftbanked renovations
I bought some new towels yesterday. I love the colour scheme of my place..it definitely matches with all my stuff as well. All blue (navy and light blue), grey, gold, and white marble.

My washroom I decided before to do a different look from the kitchen - the cabinets are dark brown. Here you can see in the photo below that the faucet is a very dark brown. Originally I wanted a gold faucet here as well but I couldn't find a nice one, so I went with this instead then had the matching set for the shower. My washroom is going to be more traditional/old style and opposite from the modern style of the rest of my place. I have some ideas on how to decorate it, just hope I'll be able to find all the pieces I'm thinking of getting. I've posted some photos of the washroom before but will post more once I finish furnishing it.

leftbanked renovations
leftbanked renovations backsplash
20170410_163832
When it was still in progress....

Now time for some other random photos taken from the past couple weeks:

Toronto CN Tower
Pizzeria Libretto University Street
Dinner with my mom and sister at Pizzeria Libretto

Pizzeria Libretto calamari
I love the calamari here!

Pizzeria Libretto Toronto
We first ordered the margherita pizza and salami pizza. The margherita was really good. I would definitely order this again next time. The salami we didn't like (actually only my mom and sister tasted it..I was too into the margherita one to even try that one hahha) and they said it was very salty. So we ended up switching it for an eggplant one. I don't like eggplant but my mom and sister really loved that one.

Pizzeria Libretto desserts
For dessert we had the Torta Caprese and a chocolate fudge ice cream. We found them way too sweet and filling. I was excited to get the Torta Caprese since I had it for the first time when I visited Capri (exactly a year ago this week actually) and really loved it. But this one I didn't really like =\

leftbanked Hennessy
Jurassic Park Toronto
I guess when the Raptors are playing, this is called "Jurassic Park". I don't follow basketball actually but I hope our team does well this season. I like hockey though but unfortunately tonight, we got eliminated :( I realized in the recent couple of years, all our major sports teams (hockey, basketball and baseball) seem to have gotten a LOT more fans. I like the atmosphere in the city during sports seasons.

Cider House Toronto
Cider House - a bar in Roncesvalles owned by a friend of a friend of mine. We went there once night a few weeks ago..quite a far distance from places I usually go. I loved their schnitzel!

EPIC Fairmont Royal York Toronto
If you've been following me for awhile then you will know how often I go to the Library Bar in the Fairmont Royal York (like 3-4 times a week?! lol) Recently we started going to their main restaurant called EPIC instead because we fell in love with their chicken sandwich. I'm not really a sandwich type of person actually but this sandwich is so good I could literally have it every day. As you can see, all four of us ordered it that time lol. It really is that delicious!

We also know the chef now. He gave us this free cheesecake one day:

EPIC Fairmont Royal York
Kinton Ramen
At Kinton Ramen

Toronto Bay and King
Maman Toronto
This is Maman, a French style bakery/cafe that's also another one of my favourite places! This place is located literally a 5 minute walk from me yet I've only come for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I love the interior decor and their food is really good.

Maman Toronto cakes
Maman Toronto
My friend and I came with our laptops to work for a few hours one day. I really love their vegetable lasagna. It might not look that good in the photo but it's amazing.

Hokkaido Santouka
Hokkaido Santouka desserts
Hokkaido Santouka...another new favourite place!

Toronto Harbourfront
I've been walking my dog to the harbourfront more these days because the weather is finally getting warmer!

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