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Blog Archive

Stella & Dot {Labour Day Sale + Giveaway}



Happy Labour Day weekend my lovelies!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the long weekend and indulging in some retail therapy. Whether you're escaping the city or simply welcoming September in style, Stella & Dot is having an amazing sale this weekend that I thought you should know about!

So my fellow Canadian friends, this is for you!

Have fun shopping the sale:


Also here's a little treat as well:

Enter to have the chance to win 50% off an item of your choice on any Stella & Dot product!


Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Instagram Lover



I am obsessed with Instagram, I will admit that. It has become my preferred platform for capturing little details of my day to day life. With fun filters and effects, Instagram is its own social network that is filled with constant inspiration.

I just can't get enough of this iPhone app and it's ability to manipulate pictures without Photoshop! We carry these small devices (which we sometimes take for granted) that take amazing pictures and allow you to share a moment in an instant. How fabulous is that?

However with each picture (or multiple shots of the same), carful consideration is taken to settle on the perfect angle, lighting, filter and even after that, a few moments is spent wondering if you've selected the option that looks best. If this sounds like you, don't worry we're in the same boat. On top of this, if you use multiple other apps to achieve your final product, I guess we can call ourselves Instagram addicts.

At the moment, I own an iPhone 4 that I've had since three plus years, so my next step is to upgrade to an iPhone 5. Believe it or not, I will keep a phone for as long as possible until it stops working or if there is a main feature I desperately need changed and in this case better camera quality.

Why use a fancy DLSR camera when your iPhone and an app like Instagram is at your disposable!

FYI My next big purchase is an actual camera as the one I currently own dates back to before university but has been working wonders till now.

Suggestions?


PS My Instagram account is @rosalyngambhir

Happy Friday my lovelies!

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Fresh Bruschetta



The last time my good friend was in town, we went to Jack Astor's as we were both famished and ordered the Roasted Garlic Bruschetta. Let me tell you it was so good that I have been trying to re-produce it at home! It's fresh, simple and a delicious appetizer that can be prepared in minutes.

Jack Astor's Bruschetta
 Roma tomatoes, red onions, roasted garlic and fresh basil, served on fresh-baked Italian bread
Topped with Feta and Parmesan Romano cheese and drizzled with garlic aioli and a balsamic glaze.


Here's my version:

Ingredients: 

6-7 plum tomatoes
1/4 onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
5-6 chopped basil leaves
Sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 French Baguette
Garlic Aoili
1/4 cup feta cheese

Steps:

 Chop up the tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil finely with a sharp knife then toss into a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper (to taste) and mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes and in the mean time, cut 1/4 inch thick slices of baguette and lightly toast in the oven. Once the bread is good and toasted, remove and brush each slice of bread with olive oil. 

Then scoop the bruschetta mixture on the freshly toasted bread, drizzle balsamic glaze and garlic aoili over it. Lastly sprinkle feta cheese on top to your liking.

Alternative: You can also use naan/flat bread instead of a baguette. 
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Morning Links




Forget newspapers, my morning hours consist of reading blogs, online articles and watching videos:

Carly is a great daily blogger that I truly admire.

Blogger and online boutique owner, Mackenzie is all about hot pink and navy blue.

Oh Fred, he has an eye for what looks good.

Gen Y helping other Gen Y through their words.

Source of news, info and resource for the Connected Generation.

Inspire yourself once a day with TED talks.

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston | Spinach Dip



Taste of Kingston is a place where entrepreneurs and individuals with passion share their story. But today is a post about a local Kingstonian who decided to share her recipe for hot spinach dip (my favourite appetizer!) and let me tell you it is simply delicious and very easy to make for a beginner cook!

This is the perfect dish to make for friends or take to a potluck!


Ingredients: 

8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove of garlic minced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup strained steamed spinach
1 cup of grated cheese
Pinch of salt
Black pepper

Steps:

Preheat oven to 375ºF

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with electric mixer and whip in mayonnaise slowly. Combine onions along with garlic and mix with a spatula. Add nutmeg and chilli powder, salt and pepper to taste. Then strain spinach after steaming and add to above mixture followed by adding 1/2 cup of cheese.

Pour spinach mixture into a baking dish of your desire and top with the remainder of the cheese.

Final Step:

Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese in crispy.
Let cool for a few minutes.

Don't forget the pumpernickel bread as that is the most important part of this recipe! 

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Design Crush {Mackenzie Horan}



The lovely Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling gave Glitter Guide an inside sneak peek at her small (300 square feet) yet very chic New York living space. Filled with stylish pieces, Mackenzie's personal style is truly portrayed within her studio apartment.

From blogger to online boutique owner (which she operates through her apartment), this gal is sure making herself visible and with good intentions. Her creative mind enabled her to mold a basic layout of her place. Sticking to the necessities but staying within the same colour scheme (navy blue with slight hot pink accents) throughout her apartment and relying on white as a backdrop was executed perfectly. Mirrors were also a great choice as we all know they make a room bigger and this one was a vintage find by her mum!

What can we learn from Mackenzie?

When styling a small space, learn to embrace what you have. Only bring items that will accentuate your space (throw pillows, vases, books, mirrors) but also will be functional and keep the remainder neutral.

Happy home styling!



Isn't she just the most fabulous red head you've seen? Oh and the dog, adorbs!



How perfect does she pair the J.Crew scallop dress with Kate Spade wedges?! 


Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Weekend Snapshot



This past weekend was relaxing yet quite fun as one of my good friend's came to visit. From a great catch up session over peanut butter cheesecake to a live concert of The Trews to a serene day out on the water, it made me realize that the city of Kingston is simply fabulous as there is always something to do. With the great weather and my love of the water meant only one thing, a morning of homemade eggs benedict to energize us and kayaking followed by a trip to Wolfe Island for lunch (and dessert of course) along with a Sunday recovery.

A few snapshots of my weekend out and about:

{On the water}

Love these sunglasses, they've seen so many lovely things.

{Gazing}

These loafers have been my trusty companion almost daily this summer.

{On the ferry}

{Wolfe Island Ferry Dock}

Upon hearing that the main restaurant on the island was being revamped, I just had to go see the changes for myself. The menu has been spruced up, now offering fabulous dishes such as mussels in a creamy wine sauce to stuffed chicken. Oh la la..

{The Island Grill}

After trying the Arancine (stuffed rice balls) at Olivea last week, I thought I'd try them again! 

{Crispy Fried Risotto Croquette}

How was your weekend? Do share! I'd love to hear!

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston | Olivea Restaurant


Stev George and Deanna Harrington are truly not part of a statistic as their restaurant Olivea, pronounced O-li-vay-a, is the definition of an Italian eatery serving up a variety of Mediterranean style dishes with a loving relationship. From a staff of 30, who rely on this establishment as a livelihood, this place that reminds me of Little Italy back in Montreal has outdone itself for having its doors open since 2008. 

Passion for food comes out in people at different times in their lives but for Stev, it was in his family's kitchen when he was a wee lad along side his mum. Her influence and his early entrepreneurship tendencies is what may have sparked the success he and his lovely wife have had in the food industry from Casa Bella (Gananoque), Bella Bistro (Uptown Kingston) to now Olivea in downtown Kingston. Can you say perfect location? Olivea is located right next to Market Square perfect for a drink on the patio in the summer or people watching in the winter while people skate around the rink.
  
{Window Display}

Graduate of the Stratford Chefs School (along with Deanna), Stev's culinary experiences includes that of working at the Sooke Harbour House on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, B.C, Chez Piggy and Pan Chancho along with a few trips to Italy, Stev has acquired the skills of working harmoniously with Deanna to offer the best of the best to their clients. From behind the scenes to management, Stev states the qualities he envisions in a worthy entrepreneur are that of creativity, able to face challenges and use what you learn as a template to continue to strive. Ultimately, this person is him. It takes courage, passion and more than a love of food to open a restaurant but also not be scared of failure, as success comes from making mistakes.

The move to Kingston was for the sake of their children as balance between work and family is important to Stev and Deanna. The stars and planets aligned with the opening of Olivea and it's been five years of true success.

Olivea shows you that two people willing to give it their all and support one another are bound to flourish. 

{Local Flavours}

Olivea's menu is seasonal hence changes are expected year round as Stev is a true believer of supporting local businesses to offer the best possible quality food and taking advantage of what is readily available around him in terms of local meats, fish, vegetables and fruits. Creating a sense of partnership and connecting with others in the community is a priority for Stev. Obtaining the freshest ingredients daily allows for the menu to be diverse and forces creativity.

Simple and rustic is how Stev would describe his style of food and just how it should be in an authentic Italian restaurant! Pop in for a quick bowl of pasta or enjoy a selection of antipasti and make it a unique food experience taking an adventure and trying out smaller meal portions. You won't regret it!

Let's explore what Olivea has to offer:
 
{Fresh Bread}

Olivea makes their own fresh spaghetti, linguine and taglialette all in house!

{Fresh Pasta}

Have you ever seen so many colored tomatoes at once? 

{Heirloom Tomatoes} 

The Kingston Olive Oil Company is one of few businesses/organizations that Olivea supports locally. Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar and Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil was served initially with bread. 

The Balsamic Vinegar was full of flavour and I quite enjoyed the richness of the fig. Not surprised that the owners of Olivea choose this, it is quite pleasant and I would have combined it with cheese. The Olive Oil on the other hand, was delicate and mild in taste.

{Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil}

The bread served was still warm to the touch and airy, just how I like it.

{Fresh Bread}

I have tasted a version of this 'stuffed rice ball' recipe before and this is by far the most well done. The cheese was gooey, the risotto held nicely together and together it was crunchy, creamy and cheesy. The tomato dipping sauce was refreshing as well.

Arancine

Fried risotto croquettes stuffed with Fontina and mushrooms.

{Arancine}

Usually when it comes to seafood, I never think of the word fried but this dish was different. The batter was light, airy and didn't overwhelm or mask the taste of what it covered. The seafood was nicely cooked and the crispness of each bite got even better with double dipping in the tartar sauce. The creamy mixture was a tad sweet with a great combination of bold flavours that paired well with the fried seafood. And who knew, apparently capers are a regular add on to this type of sauce. I learn something new everyday.

Fritti Misti Di Mare
Crisp fried scallops, wild Baja prawns, mussels and calamari with lemon caper mayo.

{Fritti Misti Di Mare}

The antipasti board was an item I knew I had to get. Normally the first course of an Italian meal, this was a must as it is always interesting to see what the owners/chefs like to pair together and serve. As for cured meats, the board offered summer sausage, chorizo and Italian prosciutto combined with Ontario artisan cheese along with olives, artichoke hearts, cloves of garlic etc. The one item that was displeasing was the Gorgonzola blue cheese. When it comes to solid form, I have a hard time pleasing my palette unless it is a cream sauce. Bizarre I know, but I am always willing to try an item of food before passing away and making a heist decision based on past experiences. Overall, the meats and cheeses fused well with one another.

Mezzo E Mezzo
A mixture of Seed to Sausage artisan cured meats and Ontario cheeses.

{Mezzo E Mezzo}

Oh the pastas at Olivea... they are simple yet delicious. Offered in portion sizes of small (4oz) and large (8oz), this gives you more variety in ordering other dishes from the menu. Simplicity is what Olivea offers as do true Italians since pasta is generally sometime served as a first course. I have had the pleasure of celebrating two birthdays here and Pasta is always my dish of choice, hopefully the tradition continues!

Seafood Linguine
Wild Baja prawns, scallops, mussels, clams and calamari in a spicy tomato sauce with olives and capers.


Olivea is known for their daily/weekly specials and are worth the try as new fresh components are always being added.


Garganelli
Roasted garlic and rosemary cream sauce and crispy chicken leg.


At first I was going to order my usual /favourite dessert creme brûlée but I was craving fresh fruits as earlier I was roaming about the farmers market across the street. This was the perfect way to end my lunch and day!

If you have a sweet tooth and would like to treat yourself to some Italian desserts, Olivea is the place to come to!

Creamy Panna Cotta
Vanilla pudding served with fresh seasonal berries and fig vincotto.

{Panna Cotta}

Next dish to try: Potato gnocci with beef cheek ragu and truffle oil.

Be sure to stop by 39 Brock Street for a great tasting meal and have fun people watching!

Open daily from 11h30am to 4h30pm for lunch and 5-10pm for dinner.

Look out for more Taste of Kingston posts every Friday!

Enjoy!

Keep up with RG {Twitter} - {Facebook} - {Pinterest}

Olivea Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Smirnoff | Sorbet Light



Introducing Smirnoff Sorbet Light, Smirnoff has launched two new sorbet inspired flavoured vodka, Raspberry Pomegranate and Mango Passion Fruit, that are sure to keep you from thinking about your figure but rather how good it taste. Inspired by the sweet, icy and light taste of sorbet, they are infused with natural flavours that are plant derived. With a lower caloric content (50 calories per 1 oz!), heightened flavouring and new cooling technology (fancy!), Smirnoff Sorbet Light is smoother and lighter tasting, and oh the perfect addition to a girls' get together.


Raspberry Pomegranate
Strong red berry notes, ripe red raspberry up front, balanced with darker berry and pomegranate notes in the background. Cool, refreshing finish and mild tartness.

Mango Passion Fruit 
Subtly sweet, fleshy/juicy mango notes up front, followed by perfumey passion fruit and ripe juicy orange notes in the background. Cool, refreshing finish with lowest tartness of the two liquids.



How fabulous is this nail polish colour?


Try these delicious low-calorie drink recipes for a fun morning with friends:

 Berry Cosmo
1.5 oz Raspberry Pomegranate Smirnoff Sorbet Light
2 oz Cranberry Juice
Squeeze of Lime

Also great with pink lemonade and ginger ale!

Tropical Martini
1.5 oz Mango Passion Fruit Smirnoff Sorbet Light
1.5 oz Coconut Water
1 oz Pineapple Juice

Preparation: Shake ingredients with ice, and strain into a martini glass (or in a mason jar!).



Mix Smirnoff Sorbet Light with any summer cocktail and it'll make the perfect brunch beverage, forget mimosas! Combine this with a menu of croissants, french toast with fresh fruits along with various meats and cheese. To top it off, have some macarons, why not! French pastries are a must as a girl must indulge once in a while.


Martini glass or mason jar? Decisions, decisions...


Got to keep those pearly whites in good condition, so straws are a must!

How cute are these?


Last but not least, no brunch is complete without the perfect outfit and this calls for sorbet colours!


If you haven't tried Smirnoff Sorbet Light, what are you waiting for?

Please enjoy responsibly!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Shine On {College Prepster}



I truly cannot express how much Carly Heitlinger of The College Prepster has empowered and inspired me to push myself forward when I was in my last year of university. Knowing someone else was going through the same struggles and expectations was a breath of fresh air. Her blog was the first I discovered and it is now the first thing I read every morning, it is engrained into my routine. 

Her image has changed, transitioning from college student to full-time busy bee working at Levo League but she still carries that prep in her style. Carly's demeanour seems so sweet yet she portrays the image of a strong woman of knowledge and has true passion for what she does. 

Blogging as TCP allowed Carly to share her voice and story (daily might I add) with countless other girls since 2008. Her drive and uniqueness have led her to the city that never sleeps, i.e. New York with ambition and big plans for the future.

Here's a glimpse of her style and be sure to have a sneak peek at her lovely blog:





Look out for more Shine On blog posts!

Have a suggestion on who should be featured, then leave a comment!

Enjoy!

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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Taste of Kingston | Dianne's Fishbar



Are you a seafood lover? Because I most certainly am and the opening of Dianne's Fishbar downtown Kingston just made the most logical sense to celebrate a birthday. Located steps from the waterfront, this new local establishment serves up some fresh sustainable seafood delights. Described as a ''Down East' seafood shack meets Baja Mexico', Dianne's Fishbar is a great addition to the City of Kingston.


Choices from both land and sea, the menu is well rounded offering a variety of appetizers, main dishes and desserts. The majority of the seafood is 'ocean wise' meaning that "the item is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come." The concept is actually very fascinating as it educates and empowers consumers about issues surrounding sustainable seafood. So in lamest terms, you are paying more money for a product that is caught and maintained properly rather than overfished and may be depleted with the next few decades. I am glad Dianne's Fish Bar is onboard with this notion and is informing the public.

Situated on the corner of Ontario St and Clarence St within the downtown business improvement area, location is key for the success of this restaurant. So when I decided to pop in on a Tuesday evening right after work hours (beating the rush of a dinner crowd that was expected), I was seated on their outside terrace promptly as reservations were made. My birthday companion was quite excited and rather famished, so we decided to order an array of dishes from two appetizers, a pound of calms, chowder, oysters and not to mention a pitcher of sangria along with a complimentary bread basket which were all outstanding.

While the server was sweet and attentive, her comments on how she'd be surprise if we finished our meals or we wouldn't have enough room on our table for the food we ordered was unnecessary. As a server you want to keep your customers happy and ultimately leave with a good tip. Then again our food came out at a timely manner as we had to actually request what should be given to us first and when we were ready for our next orders. 

As for prices, I couldn't complain. You pay more for freshness and not so much quantity. The food items ordered were tasty and definitely worth the wait because good food takes time as the menu advertises. This place wants to be known for their sustainable seafood, so you should know that it is not the prime place for fried fish dishes. Dianne's Fishbar is wise in their decision to not make fish n' chips or land items such as steaks and hamburgers their feature items as their competition Pilot House and The Keg respectively are down the road truly specializes in those items.

After reading reviews online, I was shocked as to what many people were saying. Dianne's Fish Bar is sister to Chien Noir, Atomica and Harper's Burger, three well-respected restaurants in Kingston with their own unique foods. Hence it has a certain reputation and standards to live up to, which I think were met perfectly. As an establishment that just opened up, it is still learning and adjusting.

I would return to Dianne's Fish Bar and my next item to order: Seafood Poutine!

Some of the lovely dishes ordered:

{Sea Inspired Glass}

The Rosé Sangria consisted of amaretto, strawberry juice and fresh berries. The combination of these flavours did not suit my palette. It was a tad on the stronger side with an overwhelming taste. Being the drink of the summer, the pitcher was a let down, as you would expect it to be refreshing and light, not leave you a bit tipsy. And I make this comment as I have had sangria oh so many times and not felt like the way I did. In addition, a bit too much of ice was added resulting in watering it down.

However, they were creative in their choice of liqueur and I guess I was not fond of the amaretto which tends to be sweet and almond flavoured because as a person who is allergic to tree nuts such as almonds, I would not be all too familiar with the taste. 

{Rosé Sangria}

The complimentary buns were unlike any type I've had before as they had a salted pretzel taste and consistency to them which was quite enjoyable. They were also moist and still warm, making the butter melt and infuse into the buns.

{Buns}

Our first order was a sample of the three authentic hand-made Mexican style corn tortillas i.e. fish tacos. They consisted of Baja Fish, Florida Shrimp Pibil and Roasted Cauliflower. Each taco was equally tasty but the Baja Fish just had the perfect combination of flavours to it making it the winner.

Baja Fish
beer battered Alaskan pacific cod, pickled red cabbage, radish, avocado crema

Florida Shrimp Pibil
pasilla chile, pineapple mojo, pico di gallo

Roasted Cauliflower
cilantro pesto, arbol salsa, toasted pepitas, mint

{Tacos}

The Ceviche trio was next: Vallarta, Wild BC 'Sidestripe' Shrimp Aguachole and BC Albacore Tuna 'Poke'. Surprisingly I couldn't stop having the asian inspired sesame seed ceviche along with the Vallarta which was just stimulating in taste combined with the tortilla chips.

Vallarta
market fish, avocado, red onion, cucumber, green olives, chile, clamato lemon

Wild BC 'Sidestripe' Shrimp Aguachole
grapefruit, cucumber, jalepeno, cilantro, mint

BC Albacore Tuna 'Poke'
soya, sesame, ginger, lime, scallion

{Ceviches}

I am a big oyster lover and it just made sense to order a variety of Cascumpec P.E.I and Kusshi B.C.. 
Can you say yum?

{Fresh Oysters}

I don't know what it is but PEI oysters are simply my favourite. I had PEI's finest when I went to Garde Manger in Montreal over Christmas and it's simply hard to beat. 

{PEI Oysters}

I prefer mussels over clams but you only live once so I went ahead and agreed with my partner to share a pound of PEI Littleneck Clams in a old bay broth, lemon-garlic butter and topped with parsley. Let's just say I may just stick to my usual.

{Clams}

Now let's talk about the 'soup', it was quite good even though it was not a traditional thick and creamy chowder. It was filled with flavour though and the bacon added a little something something to it. Definitely ordering the large next time!

Dianne's Down East Fish Chowder
NB haddock, potatoes, bacon and cream

{Fish Chowder}

Hours: Open daily from 11h30am for lunch and dinner.

Be sure to stop by 195 Ontario Street and not to be in hurry because once again good food takes times!

Look out for more Taste of Kingston posts every Friday!

Enjoy!

Keep up with RG {Twitter} - {Facebook} - {Pinterest}

Dianne's Fish Bar on Urbanspoon
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n543/Rosalyn_Gambhir/Rosalyn_1.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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