Restaurant Review: Garlics of London… A Gem in the City

IMG_1719

I had the pleasure of having lunch in this beautiful restaurant.  Despite the seasonal construction on the way to my reservation, the location is central and easy to find.  In addition to the beautiful modern European decor the customer service was impeccable!  The server explained that all the ingredients in every dish is made from locally grown vegetables, meat and honey; the pasta is made the evening before to provide the freshest meals.  True to her word, from appetizers to dessert and even my mimosa, everything tasted fresh and flavourful.  I personally recommend the Bacon Wrapped Bocconcini for a starter, you won’t be disappointed! 

Located in the heart of London, I highly recommend visiting Garlic’s of London

Twitter: Garlic’s of London   Facebook:  Garlic’s of London

Advertisements

My thoughts, my Influenster

I joined Influenster in August of 2012 and I have been a huge fan since.  It is a site ( http://www.influenster.com ) where you can share product reviews and information.  By giving reviews and rating products, I am able to make informed decisions when I try and purchase new products.

My favourite VoxBox was the Mystery Brand hair product review.  I tried the sample sized products that were sent to me then a few weeks later the product was revealed as the Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser line.  I was sent full product sizes of the Shampoo, Conditioner, Deep Conditionr and the Split-End serum.  I continue to use this hair care line to this date.  This along with trying Sally Hansen’s nail polishes throughout the couple years has been such a fun and interesting experience.

Hair Cair Products
Hair Cair Products

Damage Eraser by Garnier Fructis

Since 2012, there have been several changes, from the expansion into Canada, website updating and now the most recent InfluensterApp for my iPhone.  During the updates, I had run into a glitch in my account, the people at Influenster were quick to respond and to fix the problem.  A great company overall.

Thank you, Influenster for giving consumers a voice!

SS

New shows, products and outlook for the future

IMG_6039

 

After revamping our radio show (Talk Loud Radio) I’ve been keeping myself busy and loving every minute of it!  It takes a lot of background work to make things come together, so it’s nice to see the product of my hard work.  It’s true, what they say, when it’s something you love it’s the best kind of work.

Halloween weekend has come and gone but there are still remnants of candy wrappers and Halloween movies playing all day.  I threw a Halloween party for my kids and my nephews (as this is our favourite time of year) calling it The Carnage and they loved it.  We played Metallica all night which scared some of our trick or treaters lol.  My MardiGras Madness costume and the faces of classic Halloween slasher movie characters surrounding my table, there were last minute preparations that I needed to do for the table decorations to the food to getting the candy.

IMG_6005I was given this mask from my mother a few years ago and they were part of my decorations in my dressing room.  Being so busy trying to get my kids costumes together meant that I had to make due with what I had.  The best part was that I live by a fabulously huge thrift store which always has the best costumes and accessories even at last minute.  I purchased 6 strands of mardi gras beaded necklaces for less than $5 in total, the feathered boa and a nice maxi dress which had all the bright colours I was looking for.  I dusted on some black eyeshadow around my eyes to make the mask look a little more spooky.  My total cost for my costume was under $20…and the dress, well I love it and will probably use it around the house and next summer.

IMG_5975I saw the above idea online and I knew I had to recreate it.  I purchased the table cloth for $5 at the thrift store and bought a few tubes of fake blood, dripping and spreading it around to give the effect of a slashed victim.  Finding old men’s pants and shirts was perfect for creating my carcass.  I wanted as many finger foods as possible to make my Carnage theme come to life.  I got the tins from Dollarama (1 pack of 3 for $1) and filled them with chicken wings (chopped bones), large Costco sized hot dogs (intestines) a couple of racks of pork ribs (human ribs), white rice (maggots) and a bowl of caesar salad (regurgitated greens, not shown).  I set the oven at 450 degrees and let the meat cook covered in foil and in my homemade sauces.  During the last 5-10 mins of cooking time, I set my oven to broil and charred the meat.  The results were just awesome!

IMG_5995I had Jason from Friday the 13th, a serial killer, an escaped Asylum patient, Mike Myers from Halloween, Magenta from Rocky Horror Picture Show,  a pirate and Steve from the game Minecraft, complete with their weapons, at my table ready for my Carnage feast.  Thanks to Dollarama, I didn’t have to wash any plates or utensils as we went plastic! lol  My feast and all the activities had the kids hyper but they were finally all asleep by 11pm.

Since my nephews and a few of my son’s friends slept over, I carried my theme on for breakfast.

IMG_6023For the older kids who woke up a little later I prepared my table this way

IMG_6025Costco was my best friend for all the food I offered.

For lunch we had leftover chicken wings and ribs which helped fill the kids bellies and I believe it helped prevent a lot of stomach aches from all the candy the kids were sneaking.

With Halloween being finished, I found myself needing some “me” time.  I booked an appointment at the MAC store in the shopping mall to get a makeover.  For those that aren’t aware, if you purchase at least $50 worth of product from MAC your makeover is complimentary.  My makeup artist had over 5 years experience and it was nice to talk “shop” with her about the different products I loved and used.  I asked her for a dramatic purple evening look with false lashes that would also be photo friendly.  She delivered the look fantastically!  I plan to hire her again for upcoming projects too.  Here’s what she came up with:

IMG_6066

 

I purchased the lashes (#36), the eyeshadow palette she used and the lipgloss which were, luckily, part of the newly released Keepsake Collection they had launched towards the end of October.  The several purple shades really made my eyes look stunning and I was more than impressed.  The packaging of this collection is so gorgeous.  It has that old world feel with a pendant piece on the top of the packaging it also doubles up as a decoration for my makeup table.

IMG_6046

 

I went out for a sushi dinner with one of my best friends and we had a great time catching up, then we jetted home so I could do an evening radio show with Princess Stepford.

This was my favourite weekend of the year, full of fun and laughter and ending with some “me” time.  It’s now Sunday afternoon and it’s a lazy one.  The house is cleaned and recovered from the Carnage feast, laundry is in the washer and the kids are getting their school backpacks together.  I will most likely be trying different looks with my new makeup and just relax.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you all.

Much love to you!

SS

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Review: Sushi Fanatics… truly FANTASTIC

As a foodie, I am always looking to try different food and restaurants.  While out doing errands with my friend, she remembered seeing a new sushi restaurant close to our destination… the mall.   😉

IMG_4141

 

Above was our view from our beautiful round booth, we adored the decor from the chic colours to the classy chandeliers.  Our server brought us their all-you-can-eat lunch menu/order sheet which made ordering easy and fast.  We ordered some familiar things off their menu as well as some sushi rolls we were familiar with.  We were more than impressed with what we received.

IMG_4149 IMG_4147 IMG_4146 IMG_4145

 

For me, presentation is always key and they did not disappoint.  I would have to say, the highlight of my meal was the Bacon wrapped asparagus.  It looked fairly simply, but WOW!  The flavour was outstanding, the bacon had a smokey taste and with a touch of red balsamic vinegar… I was completely blown away!

IMG_4148

 

The staff was courteous and professional and the food was nothing short of gourmet!  In speaking with one of the owners, I had a chance to get a feel for the care and forward thinking he had shared with his brother and where they saw their restaurant going.  They took great strides to listen to their customer dynamic and how to keep them coming back for more.  The restaurant is both adult and family friendly.

Now, typically my friend and I love to document our excursions via selfies and such, it was nice to know that the staff did not make us feel uncomfortable and seemed to be proud of their establishment.  That’s an extra bonus for me!

Overall, I believe I have finally found my go-to spot for affordable gourmet quality food.  I was encouraged to come back for their dinner menu which I definitely will!

 

IMG_4164

Please check out their site for directions, hours, specials and their fabulous menu:

http://www.sushifanatics.com/index.html

I can’t wait to go back for their dinner!

Happy Nomming!

SS

Restaurant Review: Marienbad Restaurant & Chaucer’s Pub

After an extremely busy day, I decided to indulge in one of my city’s most well-known and respected restaurants.  The last time I had been to this restaurant was over 10 years ago, so I think I was more than due.  I arrived just after a little rain drizzle and the outdoor patio tables were so inviting.  There are two entrances to this restaurant; there is the Chaucer’s Pub side (which serves the same menu) and there is the Marienbad Restaurant side both have an old world European ambiance.  The restaurant and pub is located in the heart of downtown and is known to get very busy during the evenings and weekends before and during bar hours.

Marienbad Pub

I chose the Marienbad Restaurant side for some peace and quiet after an extremely busy day.  I was relieved to be welcomed with some 5 star service that is so rare and seems to be fading away these days.  My server was pleasant, helpful and courteous; he didn’t bother me with so many questions throughout my meal, which seems to be the norm with most of the newer restaurants I’ve been to lately.  Clearing plates and bringing drinks on a timely basis… my kind of service!

Marienbad decor

 

Above is some of the beautiful decor I adore so much…

 

Doorway to the Attrium

 

Above is the calm before the dinner rush and shows the doorway to the enclosed atrium dining room.

I started with an Irish coffee which was elegantly served with a raw sugar stick… it was so yum! For appetizers I went with the Calamari and the Antipasto Di Casa…and WOW!  The calamari was crisp and I could taste the quality of its preparation, the antipasto contained fresh fruit, high grade goat cheese, as well as excellent cuts of meat and alfalfa sprouts.

It took me a while to decide on what to order as every plate description made my mouth water.  I decided on the Chicken Paprikash…

Chicken Paprikash

 

The Chicken Paprikash contained boneless chicken served on top of a portion of haluska or small noodle dumplings and covered with a lovely paprika sauce.  It is nothing I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating and I’m glad I picked this hearty dish.  The chicken melted in my mouth and the dumpling noodles tasted light, yet filling.  I thought it was a perfect summer dish for an early evening dinner.

Now, on to the dessert…

With an order of a steaming hot cappuccino made from their classic looking machine…

Specialty Coffee maker

 

I decided to try the Strawberry Palatschinka…

Strawberry PalatschinkaYES!  This tasted just as good as it looks!  It contains vanilla ice cream wrapped in a perfectly made crepe with strawberries and whipped cream on the sides.  My tastebuds were definitely jumping with joy for this dessert!  The strawberries had just enough tang to cut through the delicious sweetness.  The presentation alone made me smile from ear to ear.

Now the great thing was, my friend wanted a dessert with mint and they accommodated the request by adding peppermint schnapps and chocolate ice cream.  The server in turn asked me to name the new dessert, so if you ever decide to go, try the “Fresh Mint Creme Palatschinka” 😉

Overall, this is indeed the classic restaurant it always was.  The service superb and the food was breathtaking.

This restaurant also is a hub for many special events as well as Murder Mystery Dinner Theatres.  I hope you all have the pleasure of visiting this treasure of my city.  You won’t be disappointed!

For their various menus and further information visit their website:  www.marienbad.ca

Happy 5 star nomming! 🙂

SS

 

Local Fancy, but Flat.

I had to get so much done today but I managed to sneak in some food at a local pub I used to go to in my younger years.  It was completely renovated with the ambiance of a fine wine type restaurant, which I was completely underdressed for.    However, I was welcomed very professionally and seated right away.

I ordered the Coconut Shrimp as an appetizer… and wow!  The presentation was as yummy as it looks!  I’m not a huge fan of spicy sauces, but I tasted a bit of it and it wasn’t too spicy hot, but still too spicy for me haha.

IMG_0005

 

For the main course, I ordered the Chef’s Special Red Snapper on Grilled Lemons and Tomatoes with Rice and Black Beans.  This was a huge disappointment.  It’s my preference to have my main course on one plate so when they brought out these two dishes by two different servers… I was confused….one brought out this hot wood and iron plate.  I felt like I was getting served from an iron frying pan.  The next server brought out a bowl of white rice and black beans.  Yes, I was confused.  Like, why the great presentation?  I was waiting for a band or something to pop out of nowhere.  When I inspected the tomato dish it looked really good, but the fish was burned to the bottom of this “frying pan” platter, so of course the fish was dry and tasteless, basically it was dry fish on salsa.  I tasted a fork full of the rice which, you guessed it, it tasted like plain white rice and black beans.  I was completely underwhelmed.  Completely.

 

IMG_0006

 

On that note, the overall presentation was great but, damn…it seemed like such a waste.  I finished my iced tea and asked for the bill not even looking at the dessert menu.  It was a very confusing experience, but an experience nonetheless.  I probably won’t be coming back to this place anytime soon, but maybe I’ll give them another shot in a few more months.

Until the next restaurant…happy nom noms! 🙂

OMG Milk & OMG Peanut…and Netflix

This whole week I’ve been doing research and this weekend has come and gone. The kids’ lunches are ready for the last week before Easter. I went to the nearby Dollarama and picked up some Easter decorations and set it up before the kids came home…and they LOVED it! I had to sneak a picture before they ate all the MiniEggs…

Easter 2014

…like I thought, they devoured them haha

I couldn’t find construction paper at Dollarama so I stopped at Shoppers Drug Mart and found a couple things I needed for some of my projects. I will have to buy some gel pens as my boys “have no idea where they are”. The pen case was exactly where I left them, but zero pens..sigh.

Smiley Stickers

IMG_9873

Supplies

My biggest “score” however, were the OMG candy clusters I found. I was watching The Dragons’ Den on Netflix and I learned that these chocolate treats were made by the same creators of Clodhoppers. Of course, I wanted to try them.

OMG's Candy

Uhmm all I can say is YUMMMMM! These chocolates have graham cracker bits mixed in with almonds (Milk in red packaging) and the same mixture but with peanuts (Peanut in yellow packaging). If you are a chocolate lover like I am you will love these. The chocolate is so creamy and although the bag looks small, they are quite filling. The Peanut version seemed to have peanut butter mixed into the chocolate with whole peanut chunks. Great snack food!

I took my dog for a late night walk to burn off the delicious treats, now I’m off to curl up in my comfy bed and watch some Netflix. I will let you all know what I watched tomorrow.

Much love! 😉