10.28.2012

290. Halloween at the ROM + Pravda

Crystal Head Vodka
Crystal Head Vodka contacted me last week saying they loved the photos I've posted before of their bottle, and wanted to send me a little gift. They sent me these cute little skull shot glasses! Not quite as photogenic as the actual bottle though. I took more photos of them..will post them all next time.

Halloween this year falls on Wednesday next week, so this weekend was when all the parties were. I went to the "All Hallows' Eve" party at the ROM (museum) & also back to back Pravda nights!! Had so much fun..going to split up all my photos into 2 posts as there's wayyyy too many. Here's part 1!

House of Holland super suspenders
Russia naval officer hat House of Holland tights
Here's my "costume" - though I use that term loosely because this is what I normally wear lol (minus the Russian naval officer hat). I got a lot of compliments on it, including one guy who was sent by his girlfriend to ask where I got my entire outfit...

FNL Royal Ontario Museum Halloween
Halloween at the ROM
I went with my sister to this party at the ROM/museum..it was so cool!! There was a lot of food, drinks and music. They pretty much turned it into a club-like atmosphere. Great venue for a Halloween party! & almost everyone was in costume.

Fidel Gastro's
Now for some food pics..these tasted amazing. They're from Fidel Gastro's. We ordered the "Sgt. Slather": BBQ pulled pork, guacamole & crushed tortilla chips - sooooo good.

fries baked potato ROM
Fries & a baked potato stuffed with a myriad of toppings. Loved it as well. Every time I do a blog post with food posts I get so hungry...craving this right now lol.

Curbside Bliss Cupcakes
cupcakes
Then we went to the second level for some cupcakes from Curbside Bliss Cupcakes. I had the cotton candy flavoured one. After that..back down to where all the action was:

Halloween at the ROM
A horse!

Halloween ROM sumo wrestler costume
The sumo wrestler's costume deflated at the end of the night hahah. Probably got a hole in it.

FNL at the ROM Halloween
Pravda Toronto
Pravda Russian vodka bar
After the ROM party, I went with a couple people to Pravda..where else would I go wearing a Russian hat? I used to bring that hat all the time back when I first started Pravda-ing..will have to start again.


Louis Vuitton Vernis Alma Russian naval hat

PS: Part II here

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10.24.2012

289. Paris | my encounter with a Russian Mr. Bean

summer in Paris Hotel Costes
I wish I could rewind time to this night, sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower listening to Hotel Costes..
My Eurotrip was like 5 months ago. Will I ever finish posting these vacation photos? It's like deja vu of my attempt to post all my Asia photos of 2009 hahah. I figured was due for another Paris post.

After years and years of listening to Hotel Costes compilations on repeat, I finally got the chance to visit the real Hotel Costes! This place was near the top of my list of "to-do"s (both on my Paris and life lists) and luckily, I found a friend willing to come with me. He works at the Chanel store, so after he got off work that day I went to meet him at Rue Cambon and we walked over. It's located right near Place Vendome and the Tuileries which is one of my favourite areas (ah totally reminiscing about Paris right now....!!!!)


Hotel Costes patio Paris
Hotel Costes
Hotel Costes drinks menu
These are actually the only photos I took there (I hate being all tourist-y when I'm with someone). We just had drinks on their patio. The only place I've seen where servers wore Hermes belts and CDCs. After Costes, we parted ways and I headed over to the Mothership (aka Champs Elysees LV). I visited this store everyday when I was in Paris, somehow managing to bypass the line-up each time:

Louis Vuitton George V
Louis Vuitton luggage display
Louis Vuitton damier graphite
Louis Vuitton hotstamp luggage tag
Picked up my hot-stamped luggage tag! Great service here - was able to drop it off and pick it back up within the day. In most other cities I'd have to wait a week.

Jardin des Tuileries - spent the most time here. I love how you can see all the way down Champs Elysees..

Tuileries fountain
Musee D'Orsay
Eiffel Tower
drinking with a Russian
I met more random acquaintances everyday in Paris than I could count..most of them were actually quite memorable including this one. As usual, I was sitting by the Eiffel Tower minding my own business...when this guy comes up to sit next to me. We sat there side by side, without saying a word to each other for about half an hour.
He was slightly intoxicated, drinking a bottle of Diabräu 1516. Suddenly he pulls another out from his bag and silently offers me one..sticking it right in front of my face. He did not speak A WORD OF ENGLISH. I think he spoke some French but he was Russian. As I didn't know any Russian and my French is horrible, we had the hardest time communicating.
Somehow we ended up "talking" for over an hour. I've never experienced this before, where neither of us knew each other's language and all we were able to do were use hand gestures and keep speaking in our own language with the hope that the other person would somehow understand. It was such a funny conversation though..I just remember we laughed a lot..or maybe that was thanks to the beer. He rambled on in Russian while I told him all about myself & my trip in English. From our hour long conversation, all I learned was his name (which I totally forgot now) and that he's from Russia. How did I manage to stay there for so long? He was so amusing. If you want to visualize...he looked like a Russian Mr. Bean.
After each bottle of beer, I increasingly grew more and more frustrated with our attempts to communicate. I stood up and just said "I need to go!" and walked away as he kept yelling at me to come back.

More stories of random encounters to come soon....


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10.22.2012

288. Autumn

Ontario Cheltenham Badlands
I'm missing the summer terribly, and not happy with the increasingly colder weather..but one thing I love about Autumn is taking a small roadtrip to see the colourful leaves. Last weekend, I went with my dad & sister (pic above taken by her) for a nice drive to take some nature shots. The photo above is the Cheltenham Badlands.
Unfortunately it kept raining on & off throughout the day, and it was cloudy so my photos didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I love going on nature roadtrips; it's great to get away from the city once in awhile as I live right in the middle of it..

brunch toast sausages eggs homefries
brunch pancakes french toast eggs
First we stopped for brunch/my favourite meal of the day at a cute little restaurant called Flips. It wasn't quite as in-the-middle-of-nowhere as we wanted (we love remote family restaurants), but the food here was delicious and portions were huge. Easily one of the best brunches I've ever had.

country roads
Autumn leaves
Fall leaves
nature walk
Fall Foliage
salmon river
deer head
Montana's apple cobbler
I need to go on more country drives! I would do it a lot more often if I had a car..or a drivers license. As much as I love the city I also LOVE rural areas. The more remote and small-town the better.


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10.18.2012

287. Courvoisier Collective: Culinary Masterpieces

Courvoisier Punch cocktail
Courvoisier Collective 2012
I was kindly invited to Courvoisier Collective's Culinary Masterpieces event last night, held at Maison Mercer. It was a fun evening with delicious Courvoisier cocktails and gourmet food! Six finalist chefs were selected to have their recipes featured for tastings at the event along with three chef judges (Jean-Pierre Challet from Ici Bistro, Ben Heaton of The Grove and Michael Kirkwood of Turf Lounge). One of the best dinners I've had in awhile lol. Usually I'm not so adventurous with food but I was excited to try everything there last night. In the span of two hours I had: beef, lobster, pork, duck, rabbit..all paired with a nice glass of Courvoisier. Each dish was beautifully presented, though unfortunately most of my photos came out too dark. Club lighting = not ideal for detailed food photos.

Courvoisier Collective sensory station
Duck Breast with Duxelle Ravioli
One of the winning dishes: Duck Breast with Duxelle Ravioli by Steve Cylka

Red Miso Beef Ribs with Mushroom Cognac Sauce
Red Miso Beef Ribs with Mushroom Cognac Sauce by Don Chow

liver pâté
Liver Pâté by Ben Heaton

roast rabbit Michael Kirkwood
Roast Saddle of Rabbit with Golden Beets by Michael Kirkwood

Glazed Chop with Forest Mushroom Quinoa
Glazed Chop with Forest Mushroom Quinoa by Erica Guidi

Lobster corn chowder
The other winning dish (possibly my favourite): Lobster Corn Chowder by Doug Burke

Jean Pierre Challet lobster dish
preparing the "drunken lobster with pickled rhubarb and potatoes"

Courvoisier
Kary Osmond Courvoisier
Kary Osmond announcing the winners

Maison Mercer
Maison Mercer Courvoisier
Courvoisier Collective Culinary Masterpieces 2012

I picked up a few of my favourite recipes..does anyone want to attempt to cook one for me?!

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