Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Travel Tuesday . MUJI to GO . First Impressions

MUJI to GO is a line of travel products designed with the following characteristics in mind: compact, functional, and comfortable. I am drawn to MUJI products due to their simplicity and functionality and the MUJI to GO line is no exception. I was recently invited to the MUJI head office to learn about the MUJI to GO line and was provided with a set of products to try. I will be featuring a few of these items in a "pack with me" video in the fall. In the meantime, here are my first impressions.

The 33L Valise Hard Carry Travel Suitcase comes in 4 colours: black, red, navy, and beige. I chose beige because it is really stunning in real life - the suitcase has a lovely sheen that makes the beige look almost like a beautiful brushed metal. We received the 33L carry on size to try and I am really excited to test it out on my next trip. I've wheeled the luggage around already as I walked home from the MUJI head office with it in tow and the wheels are very smooth. I'm a little concerned that the luggage does not expand (I always come home with more than I leave with), but we often pack a lightweight collapsible duffle bag in case of extreme shopping so I will be sure to bring that with us. :)

A couple of the features that I found most interesting about MUJI's line of luggage include (1) the ability to lock the wheels to prevent your luggage from moving around when you want it to remain stationary and (2) the built-in locking mechanism for the zipper tabs. I don't usually lock my luggage so the jury's still out on whether I will use the latter feature but I found it to be quite innovative.

I love being organized so I'm not sure why I've never used packing cubes. I was going to purchase some a little while ago so I was thrilled when MUJI surprised us by including a couple of packing cubes in our selection of goodies. We received the medium double layer case and the large case.

This eye mask is the only item I've tried thus far. It's a very soft cotton mask that fits me perfectly - it is not too loose and not too tight. I often sleep with a mask as there is quite a lot of light at night in downtown Toronto and we don't have blackout blinds/curtains. I like that this mask comes with a pouch so you can keep it relatively clean when you travel.

As some of you may know, I've been working through my beauty products and I'm starting to run very low on samples (yippee!). I used to "depot" my full size products into reuseable containers, but when I started my beauty box obsession, I amassed a plethora of travel size samples so I decluttered all my reuseable bottles as they were taking up space and not being used. Now that I'm transitioning back to using full size products, I have a feeling this MUJI travel set is going to come in very handy! I love the little round stackable containers - at the MUJI head office, they were used to store hair ties, and I plan to do the same. Also, I have a fascination with clear makeup bags so I'm excited to add this one to my collection.

These are the only 2 items I'm not sure I'll get a lot of use out of. One is a lint roller; however, I generally prefer lint brushes that use little stiff fibers to remove hair/lint/fur/dust, rather than a roll of sticky tape that needs to be refilled. The second item is a purse hanger, which I've seen used before and I do like the concept, but I've never found a need for it in my own personal experience. Interestingly enough, Alinea used a purse hanger for my super heavy Alexander Wang Rocco and DSLR combo, which almost gave me a heart attack, but surprisingly, it held. Back on topic: I will try using both, and if they don't suit my lifestyle, I will pass them on.

Last but certainly not least, I am very excited about this neck cushion! I like that it comes apart so you can mold it into different shapes and use it for your neck, head, or back. I also LOVE that the outer layer zips off so you can wash it. I've had multiple neck pillows in the pass and I always end up donating them because I don't like not being able to thoroughly wash them. This is the perfect solution and I can't wait to use it in the fall on my next trip.

In case you are interested, here is the vlog with some footage of the MUJI head office and the above MUJI to GO products.

Have you tried any products from the MUJI to GO line? If so, please let me know your thoughts!

Not sponsored. Thank you to MUJI for providing these products for review purposes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Travel Tuesday . Perouges & Annecy . September 2013

1. Bridge detail in Lyon (M)
2. Lyon scene (M)
3. Shadows on bridge in Lyon (M)
4. Church in Perouges (M)
5. Sun through stained glass on floor of church (M)
6. Flowers (H)
7. Painting by Laurent Vernier (M)
8. Painting by Laurent Vernier (H)
9. Painting by Laurent Vernier (F)
10. Galette shop in Perouges (H)
11. Galette shop in Perouges (H)
12. Shadows in Perouges (H)
13. Church in Annecy (M)
14. Church in Annecy (M)
15. Church detail x 2 (H)
16. Friend and me in Annecy (M)
17. Hubs and me in Annecy (M)
18. Scene in Annecy x 2 (M)
19. Shop detail (H)
20. Itineraire obligatoire (M)
21. Boats x 2 (M)
22. Pont des Amours (M)
23. Canals x 2 (M)
24. Canal at dusk (M)
25. Street in Annecy (H)
26. Swans (M)

Note: the letter in parentheses = source of the image (M = my camera, H = hubby's camera, F = friend's camera).

Monday, July 4, 2016

Delysées Summer Rendezvous Event

Delysées is a quaint French bakery located at 780 King Street West. My husband and I are long-time patrons, having made our first visit back in December 2013 (as featured in this vlog, then later in this vlog and in this vlog)... so you can imagine how delighted I was to be invited to the Delysées Summer Rendezvous event. The event featured the launch of a new collection of miniature éclairs, tarts, cakes, and cheesecakes. Delysées partnered with the Grange of Prince Edward winery and Sloane Fine Tea Merchants, so we were also treated to sparkling wine infused macarons, a lovely sparkling wine & hibiscus scented tea cocktail, and a refreshingly light red wine (Select Gamay Noir).

Note: all photographs in this post are courtesy of Juliette Capdevielle.

My friend and I studying the menu! In my head (or perhaps it was out loud), I was saying, "I want to try this one. And this one. And this one."

Fred Naggar is the very kind and gracious owner of Delysées. We chatted with him for a little while, and he was so humble and appreciative of his customers and employees. He mentioned the use of magnifying glasses in the kitchen for the delicate work involved in crafting the miniature pastries and we were in awe. I can't even fathom the hard work that went into creating all the treats for this event.

Of course, we sampled a multitude of miniature pastries. Dessert in place of dinner, what could be better? I am happy to report that the miniature pastries taste as good as they look. My favourites were the "Grange of Prince Edward" Special Edition Macaron (infused with sparkling wine!), Sweet Caramel Mini Choux, "Intense" Madagascar Vanilla Mini Choux, Blackberry Cheesecake, and Milk Chocolate Praline Mini Eclair. I wish I had the appetite to sample them all!

Macarons as far as the eye can see... this is what heaven must look like.

The mini choux were both cute and delicious. The gold leaf was such an elegant touch!

Normally I am not a big fan of cheesecake but I tried the mini blackberry cheesecake anyway (twist my rubber arm)... and it was light, fresh, and delicious.

A beautiful selection of mini tarts.

Looking back, I wish I had sampled the "Sloane" Raspberry Cream Mini Eclair. I suppose that means I will have to visit Delysées again very soon as I would also like to purchase some more macarons, as well as some mini sandwiches and gelato macarons!

My friend and I had an amazing time and we felt very spoiled by all the goodies. Thank you to Delysées for an incredible event and to Juliette Capdevielle for the beautiful photographs.

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