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April 14, 2014
by zuuchini
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Pho Thanh Nam Quan: Seen by locals only

Mr.Butter brought me to this hidden pho restaurant. Unless you buy your groceries inside this mall, which has a Metro, a fruit store, a SAQ and other small boutiques. If you’re not around the area, there is no way you would stumble across this Vietnamese restaurant.

So, here’s a review for the locals who are curious about this place!

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I had the rare beef and tender tendons. Not very rare was it? It came completely cooked. But, the tender tendons were delicious. The quantity of the meat and tendons were just enough, neither generous nor stingy.

The soup was flavourful. It tasted much richer than the other pho place around the corner, Fusion Asiatique Sante. It could be the MSG difference, but my throat did not react badly after the dinner.

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Mr.Butter had grilled chicken with rice and imperial rolls. He enjoyed it quite a bit. The imperial rolls were fried impeccably, which is such a rare occurrence in most pho restaurants.

Pho Thann Nam Quan is not spectacular. But great value for your bucks. It’s a solid pho restaurant that may fix your pho cravings.

Pho Thanh Nam Quan on Urbanspoon
 

Zuuchini 

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April 7, 2014
by zuuchini
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Money tip #4: Make your own lunch

Making your own lunch is an easy way to save money.

In general, my lunch costs about 3-5$, while buying a lunch would easily cost 10$.

10$ – 5$ = 5$ of saving for every lunch that I make.

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But there are always excuses. The classic one: I don’t have time. This is not an acceptable reason because I can name the following reasons why making your own lunch can bring many benefits:

- Become creative. Learn new ways to enjoy food by buying foreign food every week. Experiment new ways to cook and mixing up different ingredients together.

- Become a good cook. You can show off your skill at work. Your colleagues will always be interested in what you are eating.

- Become healthy. You monitor how much butter or oil to put. You can control the quantity and type of ingredients to use. You can make healthier lunch than the ones offered by the restaurant. Basically, you know exactly what is in your lunch.

- Amazing hobby. You can spend quality time with your friends or your partner while cooking. Build leadership or simply teamwork. Plus, it’s always a winner to start up a conversation. Who doesn’t like food?

And lastly, become self-efficient.

Have fun cooking!

Zuuchini

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April 3, 2014
by zuuchini
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Tequila Taco: Crazy good Sopa Azteca

Ever since Mr.Butter noticed Tequila Taco at the intersection of Sherbrooke and St-Laurent, whenever I passed by, I always wanted to check it out. Why not with such a cute name?

And we finally did!

Once sat down, I was felt I was transported back to my recent trip to the south! The music really set the atmosphere. Mr.Butter was enjoying the playlist. He loves bachata!

I played safe and ordered whatever had the “House Special” tag because I really didn’t want any disappointment, not when everything was going so well right in the beginning.

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House made tortilla chips were served and they were addictive! One of the best one I’ve tasted so far. I wished we could have more!

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I’m so glad that this picture came out so beautifully! I want the audience to understand how DELICIOUS this sopa azteca was! It has been a while that I admired a dish this much, especially when this is a soup! The soup was filled with cheese, tortilla, coriander and avocado goodness! To put avocado in a soup never crossed my mind! I should really try to do that at home, it really helps the soup to taste creamy. It was like a tomato soup but 20 times better. If I come again, it would be for this amazing soup and I would order the full size version!

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Mr.Butter had Tacos de Asada, which were soft taco shells with tender beef…NOT. The beef was not tender; it was probably overcooked. Not something I would want another bite.

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As for my main course, I had Tacos Baja California. It was funny. I felt like I was eating Chinese food wrapped in a taco. Mr.Butter couldn’t agree more! It has to be the mix of stir fried shrimps, bell peppers and onion. Needless to say, I wasn’t satisfied. It didn’t taste bad, but just not what I was looking for.

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Before leaving, free shots were served! Sweetly good!

Their tacos were a letdown but Sopa Azteca is already convincing me to return there again!
Tequila Taco House on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

March 31, 2014
by zuuchini
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Clinique Take the day off

I have found a great cleanser and make up remover product to replace my Shu Uemura cleansing oil.

Clinique Take the day off

 

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This cleansing balm is a much cheaper alternative to my beloved Shu Uemura cleansing oil and it is just as effective!

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It has a waxy texture that melts onto your skin once it rubs against your face’s heat. And gently massage face and it will quickly dissolve all the make up. I haven’t experienced any break up from this product. I love how gentle it is. It doesn’t strip moisture from my face; it actually leaves my skin very smooth!

This is a must try cleanser!

Zuuchini

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March 26, 2014
by zuuchini
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Terrasse Lafayette: Great to hold a group dinner

To celebrate a birthday, Terrasse Lafayette was the chosen venue. The choice couldn’t be more perfect. The day before, it snowed heavily and Montreal was busy picking up snow from the streets causing disallowed parking everywhere. Majority of the group was late, and not just 15 or 30 minutes late, but an average of an hour late. The staff was so empathetic and the service was not comprised at all.

The menu of Terrasse Lafayette should satisfy most appetite and the price is reasonable, about the price point of most big franchise family restaurant such as Baton Rouge, Casa Grecque, Au Vieux Duluth… A great restaurant to go when you have a bigger group to attend to and do not want to those usual and typical restaurants found every corner.

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Lovely lentil soup. But Mr.Butter found it a bit salty. That can be fixed easily by eating it with bread.

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Fresh salad, came with the main dish.

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Cobb salad as main meal. Generous portion. I wish the grilled chicken was served warm… Overall, a solid salad.

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“Better than average but nothing special” words of Mr.Butter. As for me, I loved those potatoes!

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This mix of carrot and cheesecake was just spectacular! It’s my 2 favorite cakes merged into 1! This cake was meant for me! And it was so moist too! Not one fault to be found. Oh there is one, it makes me fat!

Terrasse Lafayette on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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March 24, 2014
by zuuchini
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Shu Uemura Face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation review

I have received tons and tons of sample for Shu Uemura Face Architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation. One sample of 1 ml. can last more than a week for me! The fact that I had so many samples of this foundation helped me to decide if it’s a must have foundation.

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This is a medium to full coverage foundation. Matching exactly my skin tone (medium light sand), I only need to use a tiny pea size amount to cover my whole face. Once, I accidentally put too much and it still felt very light weight. However, it became very obvious that I had foundation on because the application was very streaky. The brush strokes were easily seen and it seemed a bit hard to blend out. And when I blended a bit too much, it became slightly cakey. On the other hand when I put a tiny bit, it has a light powder and illuminating effect.

After a whole day of work, the foundation did not look nice on me at all. It became blotchy and the dry patches were even more obvious. A plus side would be that it never broke me out.

I find this foundation hard to work with although the coverage is superior. I’m more into no-brainer ones that I don’t need to worry during the day if the foundation still look presentable.

Clearly, this foundation isn’t for me.

Zuuchini

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March 20, 2014
by zuuchini
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Dic Ann’s: Their signature way of making burgers

Made in Montreal 60 years ago. That’s Dic Ann’s I’m talking about! I never heard much about Dic Ann’s and became even less curious when I know what Dic Ann’s serves. Burgers. That’s something for Mr.Butter to be curious about.

It’s not just an ordinary burger. It’s a burger served on a flattened bun and spiced it up with their signature sauce. And it looks something like this:

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You see the bottom? The sauce was overflowing and the bottom bun was swimming in it. That’s exactly what I hated about the burger. The bun became soggy very quickly. Other than this complaint, the mild spicy sauce helped boosting the taste. Overall, the burger was good but standard.

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And of course, poutine! The look of the cheese gave it right away. It wasn’t cheese curd, which is a big no no for poutine! How can a poutine be a poutine without cheese curd? And the cheese started to all lump together so it was difficult to grab some cheese without taking the whole lump with it. Despite all the cheese issues, the fries were great! It was a reminiscent of McDonald’s which are my favorites. And of course, their signature sauce made it quite addictive. The boost of spiciness really helps!

Dic Ann’s is a perfect new way to enjoy burgers if a normal fluffy bun is getting too boring. I wouldn’t say it’s a must try, but it wouldn’t hurt just for curiosity!

Dic Ann's on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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March 17, 2014
by zuuchini
0 comments

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream Review

L’Occitane shea butter hand cream has been a savior for many hands this winter!

It was so precious that many were using it behind me! I was using it so sparingly because the price tag isn’t that friendly. But being so effective, it’s almost justifiable to buy a tube per winter just to give my hands a break from the harsh winter.

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Typical shea butter cream, the hand cream could feel a bit oily at first. But when my hands are so dry, it doesn’t mind any kind of remedy.

The hand cream comes in many scent too. There’s bound to be one that please you! Sensitive to scent? No problem, the original one has no smell!

Go to L’Occitane and give your hands a treat!

Zuuchini

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March 11, 2014
by zuuchini
0 comments

Chatime: It’s not just a bubble tea.

I’m probably one of the last asian in Montreal to know about Chatime. I was only aware when a friend of mine posted a picture of these delicious bubble tea on facebook declaring how irresistible they are!

So what’s so special about Chatime? ( I only knew about these following information when I visited the place). It is originally from Taiwan and it has several stores already around the world. The bubble tea claims to be made out of real tea leaves. And you get to cuztomize your drink, such as the quantity of sugar. For more information, just visit their website.

So now that I’m finished with the blah blah, let’s get to the real juice! euh – bubble tea.

Just look at this colorful display!

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How could I not get all giddy? The combination is not the typical bubble tea either!

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So in the end, Mr.Butter and I tried the Matcha red bean milk tea and the roasted milk tea with herbal jelly. I love both equally! Mr.Butter preferred the Matcha red bean milk tea. I would say that the Matcha milk tea is very similar to Starbucks’ green tea frapuccino!

I didn’t know at first that I could adjust the sugar amount nor that I could choose to have ice or not. I simply order everything regular. I didn’t want to the ruin the original experience! Next time, I’ll make sure to reduce the sugar a bit; although it wasn’t overly sweet, I find a bit less sweet would have been better for my health and would be just as good!

To be honest, I had this since saturday, I was craving for a second one right after I finished it. I was craving the following day, and the one after…and even now. It is this addictive. I’m so glad that it’s not that accessible to me.

If you haven’t tried Chatime bubble tea yet, I would highly recommend to do so now! And, I don’t think I could go back to regular bubble tea from other place now. It’s just different…

Chatime on Urbanspoon

Zuuchini

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March 4, 2014
by zuuchini
1 Comment

Money tip #3: Guaranteed saving from income tax season

Many tax preparers will hate me for saying this. Stop paying someone else to do your tax returns; learn to do it yourself! That can be a few hundred dollars you’re saving! Imagine all the following years that you wouldn’t need to pay for it to be done!

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Don’t say it’s too complicated. Fine, I give it to you that it’s only complicated if you hold a bunch of stocks and you’re buying and selling a lot in a year. If you work oversea. If you hold a foreign property and do all sorts of weird transaction. But if you only have employment income, tuition expense, and a few investment that gives interest income and dividends income, it is not complicated. And it should take less than a hour to complete it.

Isn’t that easy to say when I’m an accountant? No, I started doing my taxes when I was in cegep, way before I decided to go into accountancy. And I learned it all by myself. It’s very simple. Simply enter the numbers in the same box number on the tax receipt.

Even better now, there are all sorts of materials online that actually teach you what can be deductible and what are taxable. Consult the government site. There are so many resources in it as well.

If you’re student, start now! There are some tax software that are actually free of use for students!

What if you miss out on some tax credit and some expense that is actually deductible? Truth to be told, even if you have a tax preparer to do it, they will miss those credits as well if you don’t tell them your situation. So, if you don’t provide them information and not knowing this information is needed to get those credits, your tax preparer wouldn’t even consider these points while preparing your tax return. You’ll only get the full on service if you actually have an appointment and go through you tax situation, instead of just filing your tax return. It is a big difference.

Instead of watching TV, surfing on the net, you will be using your free time to save money! Not only that, you will be enriching your knowledge in taxes. Now, that’s a free investment. No need to pay for school to learn all of that!

So start tackling your income tax return!

Zuuchini