Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013, it's been a slice

as i sit back and reflect on this past year, this quote by douglas adams comes to mind:
"i may have not gone where i intended to go, but i think i have ended up where i needed to be."

so, thank you 2013 for all the amazing experiences and opportunities that came my way.
let's do this.
happy new year to all!
be safe out there tonight!


Sunday, 29 December 2013

winter wonderland

you know that old saying "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade"?
well, mother nature gave us this ice storm, so my sisters (minus chellie) and i decided to take full advantage and have a little photoshoot. 

here are some of the shots i loved:

hope you're all having an amazing weekend!


ps. happy anniversary to my amazing parents!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

merry christmas :)

just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very merry christmas!
christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays - the music, the food, the gifts, spending time with family...i love it all.

the first thing we did this morning was open presents. 
later on in the evening, we sat down for an amazing dinner cooked by my beautiful madre.
the menu this year consisted of turkey (which was roasted in coke...what?!) stuffed with cornbread and ham, corn casserole, roasted potatoes, rice, pasta salad and italian cake for dessert. 
my sister also made a traditional german mulled wine called glühwein and it was delicious.

all in all, it was another amazing christmas spent with the ones i love the most.
although missing was my cousin, sherley, who is soaking up the sun right now.

i hope you're all having an amazing holiday season.
and to all my torontonians who are still without power - keep warm!

merry christmas to all and to all, a good night.

some christmas snapshots to share:

some of the homemade christmas cards i made this year

pps. i discovered what could very well be my new favorite christmas song.
i present to you "xmas time" by jim jones, lol.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

yeezy taught me

"there are two types of people in the world - haters and dreamers.
the only difference is one thing - haters forgot about their dreams. 
or better yet, haters gave up on their dreams."

on monday night, i attended the very last show of kanye west's yeezus tour and it was hands down the best concert of my life.
the concert was originally supposed to pass through the air canada centre on november 12 & 13th.
but somewhere along the tour, a bus crashed and the 60-foot screen that kanye deemed crucial to the show was broken.
as a result, our toronto dates were rescheduled to december 22nd & 23rd.

at first i was like, this guy is so dramatic - just come on stage with a mic and rap, screw the screen.
but after witnessing the magic that was yeezus, i take back all my words - the screen was essential.
this was also the first concert i attended that started promptly with opening act, kendrick lamar, kicking off the show.
hell, when i took my cousin to see the jonas brothers in the summer, those fools arrived over an hour late.

kanye's set was a solid 2.5 hours.
according to setlist.fm, he performed 27 songs including through the wire which remains my favorite kanye song to date.

towards the end of the show, he said something to the effect of "because this is my last show of the tour and i'm in toronto, i have to do this for y'all" and proceeded to rap his verse off drake's forever for the first time ever live.
and then this happened...
toronto's own drake came out and performed forever WITH kanye and a tear nearly fell from my eye.
i tried twice in vain to see drake in concert this year - OVO fest in august (shoutout to ticketmaster for selling my ticket without my knowledge) and then 'would you like a tour' in october (shoutout to my school for scheduling two exams the next morning).
he also performed "all me" and then went on his merry way. 
christmas came early, guys. 

kanye then performed all of the lights (cue the pyrotechnics) which transitioned flawlessly into good life.
he then performed bound 2 and had the crowd sing the hook along with his cousin, tony williams.
kanye thanked the crowd, shook some hands and proceeded off stage.
and then, much like at the club, the lights came up and the party was over. 

all in all, an amazing night spent with my bff, avery and my boys, yeezy and drizzy.
and for all you non-kanye fans, i'm happy to report that he promised that we would "turn all the way down" in 2014 and that you would get nothing but positivity from him in the new year...

any other kanye fans out here?

Monday, 23 December 2013

ice age

over the weekend, toronto experienced an ice storm that basically paralyzed the city.
broken trees, downed power lines and subsequent power outages...it was madness.
luckily, power was restored to my house earlier this morning but there are still thousands around the city that are still without it.

it's pretty easy to get caught up in the materialism that comes along with christmas - i literally spent the entire day saturday at the mall running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
perhaps this storm was sent as a way to slow us all down and remind us what's really important...

one thing i do know for sure - i'll take a snowstorm over an ice storm any day of the week.

happy (almost) christmas eve!

Friday, 20 December 2013

christmas dinner - work edition

last night i attended another work christmas event.
my boss was kind enough to treat all the managers to a delicious dinner at this cute little french restaurant called the rushton.
we dined on an amazing three course meal selected from a menu that was created just for our little group.
i chose the caesar salad, steak frites and a tarte tatin - vanilla ice creme for dessert.
my dinner date, jennifer

once again, a great night with great people doing what i love most - eating!


ps. only 5 more days 'til christmas and i have yet to purchase a gift.
just. the. worst.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

christmas party - work edition

on tuesday night, i went out to this quaint italian restaurant with my work colleagues for our christmas party.
we were served an amazing 8 course meal - some plates more so than others...
this antipasto plate was a little much for palette...

after dinner there was a raffle followed by a little karaoke sesh - even my boss got in on the action, haha.
i work in the medical field, so it was nice to see everyone dressed in something other than scrubs.
all in all, it was a great night with great people.

i was having too much fun and forgot to take any pictures.
luckily for me, my friends alicia and racquel were on the ball and captured this gem:
**please excuse my sister jennifer's outfit - she literally had just stepped off the plane.
shout out to pepperdine law, lol.

hope you're all having a wonderful christmas season!


Monday, 16 December 2013

fab 5 - christmas songs

with just nine days left til christmas, i decided to share my top 5 all-time favorite christmas songs in a new series i'd like to call "fab 5".

seriously, if any of these songs come on just know that it's about to go down.

*an honorable mention must go to "carol of the bells" - my most favorite instrumental christmas carol of all-time.
david foster/trans-siberian orchestra/destiny's child/pentatonix - doesn't matter who's covering it, know that i am humming along.

what are some of your favorite christmas songs/carols?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

christmas gift guides

now that i'm all done with dreaded finals, i can now focus my attention on finding the perfect gift for my loved ones. 
this will be my family's second year doing the whole secret santa for the adults/gifts for the children.
we've yet to draw names, so i don't know exactly who my secret santa is just yet but to help me narrow down some gift ideas, i created a couple gift guides :)

7. monogram mugs ; 8. knit infinity scarf

1. art of shaving kit; 2. knit cardigan sweater; 3. portable battery charger
4. concert/sport tickets; 5. wool scarf ; 6. patterned socks
7. black wrist watch

and just in case my potential secret santa stumbles upon this blog post...

what are some of the items you'd like to get or are excited to get for your loved ones this christmas?


Monday, 9 December 2013

i've finally joined bloglovin'

^^ click here to follow me :)
i mean, if you want...no pressure.

does this make me an official blogger now?


Thursday, 5 December 2013

4 6 6 6 4

"no one is born hating another person because of the colour 
of his skin, or his background, or his religion.
people must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they 
can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the 
human heart than its opposite." 

rest in paradise, mr. mandela.
(1918 - 2013)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

finals week :|

me either, leo.
me either.

pray for me.


Sunday, 1 December 2013

let the festivities begin :)

december: |di-ˈsem-bər,| - n.
a month of lights, snow and feasts;
time to make amends and tie loose ends;
finish off what you started and hope your wishes come true

happy december, y'all.


ps. i can finally sing this song aloud again *wipes away a single tear*

cold december night - michael bublé

Saturday, 30 November 2013

i risked my life for a sweater (black friday)

a tad dramatic but let me explain *kevin hart voice*

i try my best to avoid any stores that are having major sales as:
a) i hate line-ups
b) the smalls are always the first to go anyways
c) i fear being trampled

however, seeing how friday was "black friday" and i was already in the downtown core, i decided to give it a go.
now, "black friday" is a fairly new concept to canadians - our day to go buck-wild at shopping centers is boxing day (december 26th).
but in an attempt to keep us on this side of the border, merchants in canada have started to have "black friday" sales like their american counterparts.

after class, i headed to the mall and immediately left after seeing the crowd of people.
i opted to visit a department store called the bay located across from the mall instead.
and that is where i scored what is now my new favorite sweater:

(grainiest photo ever)
sweater - hbc; tank & jeans - forever 21; boots - aldo

standard mirror selfie

i also clearly discovered the mirrorgram app on my iphone.
speaking of iphones, this happened:

my craving self just had to get a quesadilla on my way home.
as soon as it fell, i knew it was a wrap.
i was so mad, i didn't even order my quesadilla.
first world problem.

did any of you guys venture out on black friday?


Friday, 29 November 2013

it's a LOVE HAITI relationship.

"what you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
build anyway."
*warning- this post is quite image heavy...

around this time last year, i had the pleasure of going to fonds-parisen, haiti.

 panoramic photo i took while on the roof of our hotel in fonds-parisien.

now, this was in no way my first visit to la pearle des antilles - both of my parents were born there and many a family vacations were spent in haiti.

my sisters and i at 'kaliko beach club' 

what made this particular trip so special was the fact that we went down there on a mission - to build a church and an orphanage.
our first day in haiti (my dad is in the yellow shirt - 'sup JL)

although we found out very quickly that erecting two buildings in two weeks time was a rather ambitious feat. 
but through a lot of team work and prayer, we were able to build the church building from the ground up.

church sign which is now hanging on the new church building :)

the building they used to worship at was deemed unsafe after the 2010 earthquake.
they would meet under this makeshift "building" instead.

trying to figure out where would be best to build both the church and the orphanage.

completed foundation.

we had many locals come and help us lay the cement.
team work makes the dream work.

our littlest helpers :)

after much confusion, we got first section of the building erected!

by the time we finished getting the building up in it's entirety, it was pitch black out.

but that didn't stop the preacher from testing out the new building.
impromptu church service.

i left before the church was completely finished.
but it looks something like this :)

myself and the other ladies would spend the day sorting through the donated items.
we had a party later on in the week with food and gifts :)

another little helper :)

earlier this week, a group of 15 more brethren (including my lovely parents) traveled back to haiti to work on the orphanage.
i'm sad that i'm not able to attend this time due to my exam schedule but i wish them all the best down there.
i can't wait to see the photos of the finished orphanage!


ps. some random photos of the children i would have brought back with me were it not illegal...
looooved me some lobens.

"everyone smiles in the same language."

pps. we found one soccer ball in the box of donations.
i couldn't believe how much joy something as simple as a soccer ball could bring to these children.
after they finished their homework, these two boys would come and play soccer with me.
you're looking at the future haitian national soccer team, y'all.