Product Review: Nice ‘N Easy Root Touch-Up

I recently got invited to participate in the Nice N’ Easy Root Touch-Up campaign from BzzAgent (a Word of mouth marketing agency). I completed the application and chose colour 4G – Dark Golden Brown.

BzzAgent’s familiar tape

My Bzz kit included a full-size product, and $2 off coupons to give away (I still have a few left if you want one :)).

Nice 'N Easy Root Touch-Up Bzz Kit
Nice ‘N Easy Root Touch-Up Bzz Kit

Inside the box, there are a few things: the color creme, activating lotion, plastic mixing bowl, gloves (forgot to include those below), and the application brush.

What's in the Nice 'N Easy Root Touch-Up box
What’s in the Nice ‘N Easy Root Touch-Up box

First I opened the bottles, then I put the gloves on and mixed up the colour. What I later learned from a friend is that you don’t actually need to mix both bottles, you can mix half of each and then use the rest the next time.

The colour is all mixed and ready to go
The colour is all mixed and ready to go

The application was really easy – I started on the stubborn patch of grey I have in front, then worked the rest of my roots to ensure the colour blended seamlessly with my hair.

Before, during and after application
Before, during and after application

Application was really easy, though I always get scared when I see the colour change as it oxidizes! It washed away fairly easily with lukewarm water, and my hair felt nice after.  The colour was a bit darker than I would have liked, but overall it blended nicely with the existing colour in my hair.

I was glad I had a chance to try it, and It’s a great way to keep my colour fresh between hair appointments.  Next time, I’ll use my friend’s suggestion, and only mix half of each bottle so I can extend the life of the product.

Summerlicious 2015, Part 2: Hawthorne Food & Drink

Well, this just keeps getting better!  My first Summerlicious meal was a delicious lunch at Scaddabush, and yesterday I went for my second, lunch at Hawthorne Food & Drink.  Hawthorne is located at 60 Richmond St E, at Church St.  Hawthorne uses local ingredients, which I absolutely love.  Ontario has such amazing produce and meat, and using local ensures the food is as fresh as can be!

Hawthorne has a great and varied Summerlicious lunch menu…it was hard to choose what to have (well, except dessert…that was easy AND the reason I chose it!).

Hawthorne’s Summerlicious Lunch Menu

For my appetizer course, I was thinking of getting the Summer Squash Panzanella, but I decided to go for the Chicken Skin Tacos. This was an inventive dish, and one fo the best things I’ve put in my mouth in a long time! Instead of a tortilla shell, they used crispy chicken skin.  CHICKEN SKIN AS A TORTILLA SHELL.  We all know the best part of roast chicken is the crispy skin…now, imagine that crispy skin filled with some salty braised chicken, tangy carrot kimchi and cool cucumber and radish. Is your mouth watering yet?

Crispy chicken skin tacos, filled with miso braised King Capon chicken, carrot kimchi, cucumber, radish
Crispy chicken skin tacos, filled with miso braised King Capon chicken, carrot kimchi, cucumber, radish

Next, I went for the Piri Piri Chicken. I struggle to make the skin on my chicken crispy but not burnt…they did this to perfection.  The dish came with a chicken thigh and chicken drumstick, topped with a tangy and mildly spicy piri piri sauce.  It was accompanied by a hash made with corn, potato and kale chips. The chicken was juicy and tasty, and the hash was great. The corn was so sweet and was nicely balanced by the piri piri sauce.

Piri piri chicken with charred corn, kale chips, yukon gold potatoes
Piri piri chicken with charred corn, kale chips, yukon gold potatoes

And finally, dessert…the reason I chose this as our next Summerlicious lunch. AGED CHEDDAR ICE CREAM. Mind blown.  What?????? I was sooooo excited to try this and it did not disappoint.  Sweet and salty is my jam. I loved this so much, I want to eat it every day.  The ice cream was a vanilla base with bits of cheddar cheese throughout.  The cheddar was subtle, not overpowering. It was topped with popcorn and had a corn caramel sauce on the side.  Then they sprinkled it with some black pepper for a bit of heat. This dish has everything. There really are no words (well, obviously I had some). So here’s a picture instead.

Aged chddar ice cream with corn jam, popcorn
Aged chddar ice cream with corn jam, popcorn

The restaurant is small, seats 40 people or so. It has a bar where you can sit and watch the kitchen, too. It’s really nice inside, and the service was great. There were a couple of bigger groups in there (6-8 people) and it got a bit loud…sometimes it was a struggle to hear my friend, but that is my only complaint.

I cannot wait to go back here.

Summerlicious 2015, Part 1: Scaddabush, Yonge and Gerard

Hi!  So, it’s only been about, oh…a year since I last posted.  Yeah. But I’ve decided I really miss blogging. I am in the process of testing out SquareSpace as an alternate to this self-hosted WordPress blog. And I’m going to re-launch sometime before the end of 2015.  In the meantime, however, I’ll keep blogging here.

The last time I blogged was about Summerlicious, so it’s only fitting that my first post in a year is about Summerlicious, too!  Fortunately, a friend and colleague loves eating as much as I do, so we’ve got two Summerlicious lunches booked, and I’m hoping to get at least one dinner in before it’s over. Today, we went to Scaddabush at Yonge and Gerard.  She actually introduced me to it a couple of months ago and it was sooooo good so I was only too happy to go there . The first time, I had one of their amazing stuffed meatballs as my meal (on crostini, since I was too full from bruschetta and sangria to eat more than that!).

For Summerlicious, Scaddabush is offering the $18 lunch and $25 dinner options.

So many delicious offerings!
So many delicious offerings!

It was a hard decision, but I had the panzanella soup, pizza fresca and the chocolate jar cake. They also were featuring a blueberry fresca non-alcoholic drink, and we got those too.

Summerlicious feature non-alcoholic drink, the Blueberry Fresca
Summerlicious feature non-alcoholic drink, the Blueberry Fresca

This drink was fizzy, fruity and fresh, with actual blueberry puree.  It was delicious!

Chilled tomato, cucumber and roasted pepper soup with parmesan crema, balsamic and garlic croutons
Panzanella soup – chilled tomato, cucumber and roasted pepper soup with parmesan crema, balsamic and garlic croutons

One of the appetizer options was the Caprese salad.  That is a standby appetizer for me, and I was all set to get it. But then you know what happens – you keep looking at the menu, and start doubting your decision and changing your mind.  Well, I’m glad I changed my mind – this chilled soup was so flavourful without being too heavy. It was a bit chunky, and the garlic croutons were great – I’m glad I saved them to the end!

Grilled pizza dough, topped with arugula, roasted peppers, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, parmesan aioli and balsamic reduction
Pizza fresca vegetarian – grilled pizza dough, topped with arugula, roasted peppers, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, parmesan aioli and balsamic reduction

This was an easy choice for me – eating pasta or a chicken parmesan sandwich and heading back to work would be too difficult…hello, food coma!  The pizza was light and fresh. The grilled dough was chewy with crunchy parts, and it was very generously topped with arugula, peppers and fresh mozzarella.  The balsamic drizzle gave it a hint of sweetness to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and saltiness of the parmesan cheese. I can’t wait to make a version of this at home this summer.

Chocolate Jar Cake with vanilla whipped cream and chocolate ganache
Chocolate Jar Cake – chocolate ganache, vanilla whipped cream and sponge toffee

My dessert choice also required no thought – I’m a chocolate girl, through and through, and have never been a fan of tiramisu (despite my love of the ingredients separately!). This was one of the better chocolate cakes I’ve had! It was rich and dense, and very chocolatey. The ganache could have been a bit thicker, but was really good as well.  And the vanilla whipped cream? It was so thick, and looked like a small scoop of ice cream, and you could see the vanilla bean throughout. I could eat that by the spoonful!

In addition to the food, the service and atmosphere of Scaddabush are outstanding.  The hostesses and servers seem to genuinely like their jobs and are happy to see you. They’re super friendly, and I like the team service they provide.  The restaurant itself is really nice inside. It’s a bit dark, with lots of wood, candles and wrought iron decor.  It is as good for a date as it is for a dinner with friends.

Next time I go back, I’m going to go for dinner to try their house-made mozzarella and burrata!

 

Summerlicious 2014, Part 3: P.F. Chang’s, Shops at Don Mills

For my third and final Summerlicious meal, I went to P.F. Chang’s at the Shops at Don Mills. I had been there once before, and really enjoyed it, so lol though I like to try new places, I wasn’t disappointed with the choice. It’s hard agreeing on a restaurant between 6 girls including one that’s 8 months pregnant!

The menu had great choices, something for everyone. And the best part is (and what makes them stand out) is that the Summerlicious offerings are all a part of the regular menu, so if you find something you love, you can get it again.

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To start, I went with the Buddha sticks. They were a fresh take on classic onion rings, and they were really good. The dipping sauce had some heat, but it all worked well. And the portion was huge! It was the same size as if you would order it off the menu. It could easily be shared with 3 or 4 people.

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For my entrée, I chose the red chilli shrimp. I was thinking of the sesame chicken because I tried it when I was there my first time and it’s so good, but I’m glad I went with the shrimp. The dish was spicy, but flavourful (as opposed to the spice for the sake of spice kind of heat). There were lots of chillies throughout, and a very generous serving of shrimp. The noodles were cooked perfectly, chewy and firm. I also tried the tofu that one of my friends got and it was really good as well. And again, a huge portion.

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To end, my preggo friend and I shared the Peanut Butter and Jam cake, and the chocolate cake. The PB&J cake was really good, light and fluffy…great way to end the meal. The chocolate cake was dense and fudgy, but after everything we had already eaten, I was pretty full so the PB&J won out for me (and I’m a chocolate lover!).

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We had such a great meal. The service was excellent, the food was hot and fresh and the best part? We all took leftovers home!

And with that, Summerlicious comes to a close for me. But you still have until the 20th to check it out!

Summerlicious 2014, Part 2: Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill, Bayview Village Mall

My second Summerlicious meal was this past Friday night at Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill at Bayview Village. Now, we had originally planned to go to Origin North – as I’ve said before, I like using Summerlicious as an opportunity to try new restaurants. And I’ve always wanted to try Origin North (I may have a slight crush on owner/MasterChef Canada Judge Claudio Aprile).

Unfortunately, they changed their menu after our reservations were already stem replacing the amazing sounding steak with a burger. I love a burger as much as the next girl, but when you have your heart set on a steak? A burger isn’t going to cut it. Apparently it was due to a supplier issue they knew of a couple of weeks before Summerlicious, and Origin North had asked the Summerlicious organizers to change the menu, which they didn’t I time. Anyway, it was O&B’s gain (and ours), and we were not at all disappointed!

The menu ($15 lunch, $25 dinner) had a really great variety to choose from:

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In addition to the Summerlicious food options, they had a featured drink menu. Fortunately they were sampling both. The first was the Passion Kiwi Sour (amaretto, Galliano, passion fruit kiwi lime, maraschino cherries.) It was a bit strong tasting for me, with a spicy, almost gingery kick. The other was the Sicilian Summer (gin, Campari, ginger, orange and grapefruit.) it was refreshing, and a good choice. I forgot to take the picture until after I had already started drinking it…oops!

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To start, I decided to try something new and different – the chilled melon soup. It was divine. I don’t know how else to describe it! It was sweet, and refreshing. It was topped with bottarga (cured, salted fish roe), olive oil and balsamic. The bottarga was a welcome salty, crunch addition.

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For the entree, I was torn between the veal and the sea bream. In the end, I went with the sea bream…excellent choice. The fish was cooked really well, although I wish the skin was crispy. The farrota primavera (faro with vegetables in tomato sauce) was a great accompaniment. I did get to try the chicken, as my sister got that…the polenta was amazing!

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For dessert, I chose the cheese plate. My sister chose the chocolate lava cake. We were surprised when all three desserts arrived, the third comliments of Chef Steven Kwon. All three were really good – I’m glad we didn’t miss out on any! In the end, my dessert own hands down…I’m pretty sure cheese always does!

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We had a really great meal with excellent service. I can’t wait to go back!

My thoughts on where I go, what I do and what I buy

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