the lust listt

the lust listt: October 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cozy Travel Wear

I promised to do a post related to what I purchased at the H&M pre-launch party, but with midterm season weighing down heavily on my back, a meager outfit post will have to suffice (I hope).

Last week, I took my bi-annual trip down to Toronto during my fall reading week in search of a change of environment. I find that traveling every once in awhile refreshes my mind since my day-to-day lifestyle can be very routine. Although Ottawa is rapidly expanding, I find that Toronto never fails to offer new and interesting things to try. With restaurants open till 4 AM, outlet malls and any thing that I can dream up of within a 30 minute walking distance of my living arrangements, I could definitely make a trip down to Toronto and never return.

My constant travels to Toronto have taught me how to dress wisely in order to stylishly maximize comfort. And this becomes much easier when the weather transitions to sweater season. As a passenger of a 5 hour drive, I always ensure that I am able to keep myself warm against the air conditioning, yet cool enough to not sit in a pool of sweat. I love the fact that this sweater has a thick yet loose knit so body heat can escape but I don't get a draft through the stitching. The loose fit also allows me to strategically sit in different and odd positions in the seat of the car, I'm flexible don't blame me.
Although I have a serious passion for sweaters (my recent H&M haul almost completely consisted of sweaters), I hate admitting that winter is coming and that the temperature is dropping. So instead of sporting sweatpants or dark denim, I decided to get one last outfit out of my light washed polka dot jeans. The adorable dots never fail to brighten my mood and erase the realization that my daylight hours are waning.

I also wanted to take my leopard loafers out for one last spin before they're packed away for the season. I love how easy it is for me to slip in and out of these shoes in between curling up in the seat and picking up food at rest-stops. So with this passing week, I bid my loafers adieu and welcome back my combat boots and knee-highs.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

H&M - Bayshore: VIP Pre-Opening Party

Earlier this week, I had the chance to attend the H&M VIP Pre-Opening Party to shop and welcome it's ever store to Ottawa at Bayshore Shopping Centre. Among a list of 600 other fellow invitees, we were given a chance to pre-shop the store before it's official grand opening on the 17th of October. With a whopping floor plan of 23, 000 square feet, the store includes fashion ranges for men, women and children.
Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency 
 Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency

While the event was scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, a line-up quickly queued up at around 6:30 PM. Even though the line up multiplied by the minute, everyone was quickly ushered in and we weren't left waiting for too long. Each guest got a quick chance at a photo-op by the lounging area and then proceeded to enter the every elusive store.

Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency
 Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency

Not only we were greeted with flutes of champagne, but h'or d'oeuvres were served as we browsed the racks upon racks of clothes. And this was not a quiet affair. The electric pop group, Oh Land, provided us with a live performance for a majority of the night and kept us all entertained while we lounged, socialized and shopped. A shopaholic's dream come true!

Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency
 Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency
Because we were graciously provided with a 25% off discount for the night, I couldn't help but pick up a couple pieces for myself. I'm such a sweater addict that out of the ten items I chose, nine turned out to be a knit of some sort. We were also allowed to bring a plus one to the event, so of course I brought along the mister, who is also a loyal H&M fan.

Shopping complete, we lounged around by the couches and socialized with other shoppers and fashionable personalities. We got in a few photos of the festivities and then were handed some great swag bags as we left.

Top and Skirt - H&M | Heels - Zara

What did we end up getting? That will be revealed in the next few days! We're currently out of town, vacationing in Toronto, so I didn't quite get a chance to snap any photos of our purchases, but I can say that I was very satisfied with my loot. I'm even more satisfied to say that I now no longer need to save up to shop in Toronto (even though I'm here as we speak).

Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency
Photo courtesy of ZOI Agency

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Monday, October 14, 2013


A couple years ago I lived alone on campus for a year, and being a lazy student, my meals consisted of pizza; shawarma, burgers, fries, KFC, take-out galore and desserts. Besides spending money on rent and shopping, a large portion of my paycheque went to food. Being a huge foodie didn't help either as I'd love visiting any new restaurants that popped up. To top it off I lived downtown, allowing easy access to everything I previously mentioned. I noticed that I always felt sluggish, tired, lazy, lethargic, unmotivated and the list goes on. In one word, unhealthy. I decided to change my lifestyle for the better this past year by reviewing my diet and health.

Ever since I started going to the gym, my diet has significantly changed. I've removed processed foods, refined sugars, simple carbs and empty calories from my diet.  On on average day, you'll see me ingesting a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, protein and complex carbs. This doesn't mean that I don't allow myself to indulge every once in awhile though. The key is moderation. It's okay to have something sugary every once in awhile as long as you know when to reign in your cravings and not give into them every time.

I have a weakness for macarons and frozen yoghurt, and when I say weakness, I crumble to my knees. So when I heard that a new location opened up on Elgin street, a visit was a must.

Miss Yogurt boasts not only yogurt and macarons, but smoothies as well. I have yet to try the frozen yogurt as I am a loyal Menchies customer but I definitely will go back and give it a spin as they do sell green tea, an all time favorite flavour for me.

The macarons are actually transported from La maison du Macaron, Montreal so it's hard to say what flavors are available on any given day. Starting at $2.50 a piece, the macarons are a little larger than the one's I've seen so far in Ottawa. Although being on the slightly pricier side, the more you buy, the cheaper it gets. I had originally picked up 6 flavors but my hunger failed me and I ate 2  (pistachio and salted caramel) before I could go home and take photos.

The ones that you see here are my reminants of my hunger; strawberry rhubarb, vanilla dipped in chocolate, spicy mango and raspberry.

Why do I love them so much? Who knows, I find the crispy shell that crumbles to reveal a moist interior really intriguing. Also the variety of possibilities for fillings are also always interesting. Between jams, butter cream frosting and marshmallow, I love the explosion of flavor that the filling provides.

Remaining true to my healthy lifestyle, I limited myself to just these six and vowed to not go back for at least a month. The sugar content in these six miniature hambuger-like desserts definitely filled my quota for the next 30 days. Will I ever relinquish my sweet tooth? Probably not, but I definitely know how to enjoy my cravings in moderation.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Eyelash Extensions

Over the past couple of months, I've considered getting eyelash extensions. I've always admired my middle eastern friends who are blessed with long, thick, dark and curly lashes and wished that my Asian lashes weren't so short and limp. I've only held back until now due to the high cost of the application and the constant returns for refills (should I fall in love with the way they look). To add fuel to the fire, the place that I go to to get waxed, Biogenie Aesthetics, recently started to offer eyelash extension trials. The trials allow you to have a couple of lashes installed at a reduced price so that you can give it a test run and see if extensions are the thing for you. So at this point my interest had been seriously piqued. Luckily for myself, a friend placed a request for eyelash models at the beginning of this week in order for a friend of hers to complete her eyelash extension technician program with Liquid Beauty FX. As you can obviously tell due to this post, I jumped on this opportunity. What better a way to determine if I like eyelash extensions than to get them done for free and to help someone else out?

The whole experience started out with a short consultation to determine if I had any allergies to chemicals or if I had ever had extensions before. My eyelash extension technician, Donna, then went on to ask me a series of questions to determine what look I was after:

What kind of makeup do I wear and how much do I wear?
How many layers of mascara do I usually like to use?
Did I want to lengthen my eyelashes or thicken them?
What kind of look was I going after?

I was then shown a series of photos with the four different styles that were offered; Natural, Cat Eye, Kim K and Glamour. Naturally because I don't usually wear makeup and even when I do, it's the bare minimum, I deviated towards the natural look. However in the end I chose to go with the cat eye look as per Donna's suggestions as it would really open up my eyes and make them look more noticeable.

The first step of many was to apply a serum onto my under-eye area to prevent the adhesive tape used to protect my lower eyelashes from sticking to my skin and causing a reaction. This process was very gently done and I didn't feel any tugging on my lower lids whatsoever at all. A primer was then applied to my upper-lid lashes in order to cleanse them of any  body oils and dust that may be present. Donna's trainer then applied a couple of lashes of various lengths on each eye to demonstrate the distribution and division of appropriate lengths to use for each segment of the eye. After a couple of minutes, Donna took over the process and I slowly drifted off to a nap for the duration of the procedure.

I'm usually a pretty heavy sleeper but awaken easily to any disturbances, and didn't once get woke up by Donna's work. That's how painless and relaxing the whole experience was! I was only woken when asked to hold a portable fan over my eyes in order to fully dry the lashes. Once Donna determined my lashes were dry, she made sure to check that none had adhered to the tape on my lower-lids. The tape was then removed and I was given a hand-held mirror to take a look at the final product.

I loved it! I only had half a set put in, which gave me the exact look that I was after; natural, long and with a slight curl. The overall effect looked as if I had quickly curled my eyelashes and swiped on one or two coats of mascara. An effortless beauty look that most girls are after. What's even better is that fact that for at least the next 4 weeks, I won't have to worry about doing anything to my eyes in the morning or night and still look as if I had done something, the perfect solution to any girl in a rush with a hectic lifestyle!

Please note that all photos were taken a week after the process due to lack of good lighting (ie. It's been raining all weekend) and I only had time now to take them. I've lost a couple of lashes from each eye, but no more than 4-5.

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ribtober Fest

If you missed out on the annual Rib Fest that happens on Sparks Street this summer, you had a second chance this weekend. Once again, Sparks Street brought back the same street meat vendors but dubbed as Ribtober Fest (as a pun on October, get it?). I'm not an avid ribs fan, but there's always something there for me, pulled pork. I've never liked having to eat food that involves your fingers and getting sauce all over your face (this includes wings, don't judge) so pulled pork has always been a solid favorite of mine since I tried it for the first time.

I'm a loyal Camp 31 fan, but this time my friends and I wanted to try a different Ribber. Honestly, we had only just finished a gym workout about 20 minutes before hand, so the closet stall with the shortest line up was what sold us. Enter: Billy Bones. Now I'm extremely used to the sweet, peppery tang of Camp 31, and that's not to say that Billy Bones was bad, just different. It had more of a smokey taste to it. The same kind you get from a backyard grill when you accidentally burn your burgers. What was great about Billy Bones was that the napkin stands had huge pumps of their signature BBQ sauce just in case you felt that your order needed a little bit of extra juice. I'm not a huge fan of salt, so I didn't go for that option, but for those who like to be able to add more juice to their plate, I definitely thought that this was an ingenious idea!

I ended up ordering a pulled pork sandwich - as always, and got tempted into the delicious food that was cooking on the grill. My order resulted in some chicken as well. Can I say that I'm a convert to Billy Bones? Definitely not, once a Camp 31 fan, always a Camp 31 fan. But I did enjoy branching out and trying the flavors that other Ribbers had to offer.

Did you guys get to try Rib Fest or Ribtober Fest? Let me know if you have any favorite Ribbers that I should try, I'm always open to suggestions!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

October LustListt

Can you believe that it's October already? I've barely gotten back into the studious mode and the leaves are already falling. As it is very apparent, I'm all about boots for the fall. I also love jewel tones, which I loved that Hunter Boots has introduced to their rain boots in a color blocking scheme this season. And as the days get colder, I love to keep myself warm with a nice cup of tea. Oddly enough, my boyfriend and I stumbled across these mugs at Chapters whilst roaming the store last week. The funny part is how on the ball these mugs are to us. While he drinks his coffees straight black, I absolutely love my green teas! Even better is the fact that he usually prefers black for accessories while I prefer white. Could this set of mugs be any more perfect? Yes it could, if you wanted to be even more chic, the set comes with a French script as well. Is it bad that I want to own both the English and French set? After all, I do live in a bilingual city, might as well live this lifestyle even at home.

  1. Double Wrap Logo Leather Bracelet - Tory Burch | $95.00
  2. Mariel Heel Fringe Booties - Sam Edelman | $195.00
  3. Silver Slim Runway Watch - Michael Kors | $160.00
  4. She Loves Green Tea Mug & He Likes Black Coffee Mug - Chapters | $10.00 each
  5. Tiffany Beads Earrings - Tiffany's | $140.00
  6. 5050 - Stuart Weitzman | $660.00
  7. Crazy Rich Asians - Chapters | $29.95 (On sale for $19.76)
  8. Hunter Boots Original Colorblock Rain Boots - Hunter Boots | $150.00
  9. The Boyfriend Jeans - Current/Elliott | $206.00

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Key Lime Cupcakes

I had a pot luck to attend this afternoon and had no idea what to bring. Surprise, surprise I decided to flounce in with a batch of two dozen cupcakes. I'm not going to lie, I did go with one of those pre-made cake batter boxes that anyone can pick up at their grocery store (I was in a crunch for time and couldn't run around picking up all of the proper ingredients), but I did not get the frosting to go with it. Instead I opted to make my own butter cream frosting and flavour everything lime.

*I purchased 4 limes for all the lime zest and lime juice *
Duncan Hynes Classic White Cake Mix
3 Large Eggwhites
1 and 1/3 Cups of Water
1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of Lime Zest
1 Tablespoon of Lime Juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and fit two dozen cupcake liners into muffin trays.
  2. Finely grate the lime to get enough lime zest and then squeeze the limes into a bowl for the juice.
  3. Blend the cake mix with the eggwhites, water, and vegetable oil together until smooth, then add in the lime zest and then add the lime zest and juice.
  4. Blend once again until everything is mixed in evenly.
  5. Pour the mix into the cupcake liners so that each one is filled to about 2/3 of the way.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  7. Poke a toothpick randomly through some cupcakes to determine if they are completely baked.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing or else the icing will melt.

1 Cup of Salted Butter
4 Cups of Icing Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Brown Vanilla Extract
3 Tablespoons of 18% Table Cream
1 Tablespoon of Lime Zest
2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice

  1. Beat the butter until it has a whipped consistency and is smooth.
  2. Slowly mix in the icing sugar one cup at a time until everything is mixed evenly.
  3. Add in the Vanilla extract and mix again.
  4. Add in the table cream (the more cream you use, the smoother the icing, the less you use, the stiffer the icing) and beat until smooth.
  5. Add in the lime zest and juice and beat until smooth.
  6. Once the cupcakes are smooth, pipe the icing to cover the tops of each cake.
  7. Sprinkle a little bit of lime zest atop each cupcake for a final touch.

Voila! How easy was that? Now if you want to get "more" creative, you can always use any original batter that you may have and just add in the lime zest and juice to flavour. I had originally wanted to add a slice of lime and twist it to the top of each cupcake but decided in the long run that it would be overkill. So now I have a little plate full of sliced limes sitting in my fridge that I think I'll just add to my water tomorrow morning.

This simple and delicious recipe yielded approximately 39 cupcakes, although you can change it to more or less depending on the sizes of the cupcake liners that you choose. I hope you enjoyed the recipe and let me know if you end up trying it out!

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