University Cafe, Palo Alto

Header-Uni-CafeMy friend and I are still pretty brand new to Northern California, so we usually get together once a week and go to new-to-us places and explore. Occasionally stopping for lunch, or a nice an easy walk in the park with a quenching iced coffee.

Sitting-at-Uni-Cafe-Palo-AlYesterday while exploring Palo Alto, we stopped into University Cafe. Initially we were going look it up on Yelp to see if it received enough good reviews to pop in and have a bit of lunch.

University-Cafe-cashBut the place was hoppin’ with people during the lunch hour, so we decided for ourselves it must be good.

University-Cafe-cokeI ordered myself a coke, it came out with a mason jar full of ice. Kinda cute.

Friends-at-Uni-CafeThe ambiance of the restaurant was inviting, with the open concept layout. It was easy to get a table, indoors to get away from the heat of the day. We were lead towards the back of the restaurant near the open kitchen, as my friend required a high chair for her little boy.

University-Cafe-menuOur server was really funny, and recommended a few things to us on the menu. I’m a sandwich girl through-and-through, and rarely venture out of that comfort zone, so I went with the University BLT. As for their price point, I would say it’s moderately priced, considering it’s in the heart of the downtown Palo Alto, and the beautiful Stanford University campus. As you can see from the lunch menu we were given, the prices range anywhere from $8-$15 for their food.

University-Cafe-BLTOnce our food came out, I tasted the soup immediately. I love a good hearty tomato soup and this one was excellent. My friend had the same soup, but ordered a Fresh Lump Crap Burger — a crab burger! Something I would have never thought was even a thing. She said it was incredibly filling and so delicious. My sandwich on the other hand, was absolutely massive. I was eager to dig in since I didn’t grab breakfast yesterday. Unfortunately the sandwich was one of my least favourite sandwiches I’ve ever consumed. All the ingredients separately were terrific, but the bread — oh man, the bread was not exciting at all. It’s not that it was stale, it was paper thin, fell apart and crumbled easily and was fluffy all at the same time. Does that make sense?

Eating-the-BLTIt made such a mess, and I’m glad I had my napkin in my lap because it went everywhere. The dijon aioli sauce on the sandwich must’ve been made with a dab of horse radish, because it was spicy, tangy and weird. Not the best choice. I don’t mean to complain, simply stating how it is.

University-CafeI’d go to University Cafe again in a heart beat, due to their service and give the menu another go. My soup was to die for, and the place was pretty happenin’ so I know people enjoy the food there. I know for next time, I won’t order their BLT. ;)

University Cafe
271 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA
94301
(650) 322-5301

Do you have a go-to menu item when you’re out?

For the locals reading, have you been to University Cafe?

Diorskin Star Foundation & Concealer

Dior----StarDiorskin Star Foundation and Concealer, a new launch as of September 14 states itself as a technology breakthrough with a new approach light reflective makeup. This is the first time Dior has infused their foundation with a two-dimensional light. Warm toned pigments in the Star foundation and concealer gives a healthy finish to the skin.

Dior-Star-FoundationEasy to wear, blend and apply — Star is another great product put out by Dior.

Star foundation is weightless and glides easily over your skin. It has a flattering and brightening effect that I like, not to be mistaken with it being dewy as I find it a little more matte than I’m used to wearing. I received this Dior care package in late August while I was home in Newfoundland, so I’ve had a number of weeks to test it out and wear it. To truly show you how it looks, here is a before/after:DiorSkin-Foundation-before-You can see from the photos above it gives a soft matte finish to the skin. I didn’t apply any bronzer, mascara or blush so you can truly get a feel as to how the foundation and concealer looks on it’s own. For a closer look, see below for a before/after with the Diorskin Star concealer.

Many people complain about Dior foundations oxidizing (not so much an orange colour, but more warmth), and while I luckily haven’t had it happen to me, the Diorskin Star doesn’t oxidize on my skin nor does the Dior Hydra Life BB cream.

Dior-Star-Concealer-beforeaIt gives fantastic coverage in a featherweight formula which is easily buildable. I like to stick to one “coat” of foundation. My preferred method on applying this foundation is with BeautyBlender. Dior has one that came out with specifically for this collection, but I already have my own I decided to use that. I’ve used my real techniques foundation brush with it, and it works — it doesn’t look as nice as it could with a sponge.

Dior-Foundation-ConcealerWhile the finish isn’t my go-to dewy look, I can see many people enjoying it. I like it on my skin, it gives off a flawless look without trying too hard, yet you can still see your skin easily, underneath. It’s not heavy or cakey, but more radiant and fresh. Add to the fact Dior Star foundation has SPF 30 mixed in with it, you’re set.

Dior-Star-ConcealerDiorskin Star concealer is perfectly packaged with a sponge tip applicator to get the perfect amount on your under eye area. It too, has an illuminating effect and again, promises that those darker under eye circles will be neutralized instantaneously. Dior claims that if you use these products on the regular, you’ll notice signs of darkness, redness and discolouration to fade away.

Diorskin-Star-ConcealerI prefer applying the under eye concealer after I’ve hydrated it with one of my two favourite eye creams then blend in with my ring finger to disperse evenly. A trick I have is to apply your concealer not only under your eyes, but bring it down on your cheek, closest to your nose, in a triangle shape so it brightens your face even more than before.

Dior-StarDiorskin Star foundation comes in a wide range with 14 different shades and retails for $50 CDN. Diorskin Star concealer is $36 CDN and is available in 5 shades. Both Diorskin Star concealer and foundation are available now at Dior counters nationwide.

Have you tried this foundation yet? What are your thoughts?

What foundation do you currently use?

Disclaimer, I received all Dior products from the PR company for review, all opinions are my own.

Men’s Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 Review

Mizuno-HeaderA while back, my husband received a pair of Mizuno Prophecy 3‘s to review on my blog. Trying them out was immediately put to the back burner as he got them in the midst of us moving to another country in the middle of winter. He commented that since they were so expensive he didn’t want to ruin them and wear them out during that blasted Canadian winter with all the ice, slush and dirt. I could see where he’s coming from, they’re pretty expensive in comparison to a regular running shoe: $210. Add that into the equation of him wanting to cycle through a few half-worn out pairs of running shoes that he had in rotation before he dug these ones out of the box.

I started to get overwhelmed by him wearing them, and not providing me with blog related feedback other than they were comfortable, and his favourite shoe as of to date. And I’m not writing that to sell you on the product, he truly gets excited when he puts them on, saying they’re his fanciest running shoes he’s ever worn. Needless to say, the shoe has gotten a lot of wears over the course of 2014, he loved the Prophecy so much he bought a second pair.Mizuno-Wave-Prophecy-3

Mizuno-Wave-Prophecy-3-fron

Wave-Prophecy-3-MizunoI finally rallied him up and asked him to sit down and give me some ideas on how to articulate a post about the best shoes he’s ever had.

I wanted his spin on the blog, so he wrote down his thoughts on what he wanted to say, below. I certainly can’t review them, the shoe’s weren’t on my feet, right? Although the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3‘s aren’t worn by me, I feel like I can still contribute a few paragraphs on the piece. I’ve had so much time to read up on this sneaker and I feel as if I know it like the back of my hand. Although The Guy is not a heel striker I’ve read that the Wave Prophecy 3 shoe is good for heel strikers, due to its engineering.

To give you a bit of a background, The Guy / Mr. Spiffykerms / My husband (the man of many nick names) is a 5x Ironman Triathlete who trains all year round, and runs sub 3 hour marathons, knows a little more than I do about running. The Guy illustrates how these shoes are efficient on his runs and one of his favourite pairs of shoes to wear. He has owned many different pairs and brands of running shoes and is an experienced runner with little complaint about his running form. He has a number of running shoes that he rotates through, and a newest edition to his ever growing collection is the Wave Propehcy 3′s.

TheGuyRunsTake it away, Mr Spiffykerms:

Where to start…  I am not completely new to the Mizuno “Wave” shoes, having worn (and loved) a pair of Wave Creation 8s a few years ago.  I feel like the Prophecy 3s are a lot like those old shoes, except lighter, sleeker, and better looking (the uppers are made of single piece of smooth mesh fabric).  Lately, as many runners have, I got caught up in the minimalist running shoe craze and Sauncony Kinvaras have been my workhorse shoes for a while.  I also really liked my Brooks Pure Flows as well.  Both of these have reduced heel to toe drop — unlike the Mizuno’s.  I don’t know what the heel to toe drop is for the Prophecy’s, but it’s big.  To my surprise, however, I had no difficulty adjusting back to this shoe.  Miles felt great right from the start.  I would describe the Prophecy’s as having a well cushioned but firm ride.  I think the full length plastic plate is responsible for that, and it does a great job of covering up any pebbles or surface textures you may be running on.  But despite the firmness, they never feel harsh and still stay responsive.  They are not like some over cushioned shoes that feel dead, soaking up all your energy with every step.  And that firmness comes with other benefits as well.  These shoes have never hurt my feet from day one.  I found them fantastic for rejuvenating tired or sore feet.  As a result, I have used these shoes exclusively for all of my long runs this year and continue to do so.  I still cycle them with my other shoes, though, and haven’t had a problem moving to/from the larger heel toe drop.

The shoes fit a little big, so I half sized down and they are perfect.  They have a large-ish toe box (which I like) and a smooth and well ventilated interior that doesn’t hug your feet too tightly.  One potential draw back of the Wave plate and those big gaps is that I feel rocks could pretty easily get caught up inside there.  For that reason, I haven’t used these for any significant trail running.  That said, when I have, I haven’t actually had a problem either so maybe they would perform just fine.

All and all, these are excellent training shoes.  I think they are a tad heavy for racing for me, but if my feet were aching or I was having any sort of plantar fasciitis issues, I would seriously consider them even for that as they definitely don’t feel slow.  Keep up the good work, Mizuno!Run

Classic and colourful Ame & Lulu bags

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Ame & Lulu. I received product samples to facilitate my review.

AmeLulu-HeaderPacking light for a weekend trip can be troublesome. It’s not that I want to have two options per outfit, I simply want to wear something different every day.

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-ToteClearly that’s not always convenient and luckily my friend Jessica (who took these pictures of me) has helped me with her Travel Light blog posts. I’ve been forever bugging her with texts and in person conversations about if this or that is suitable to bring along on a 2 day trip.

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-Tote-2I feel the need to be prepared when I leave the house, whether it be for a few hours to run errands, go climbing, hanging out with friends, or a weekend getaway.

AmeLulu-Key-PouchAlways. Always bring feminine products. I’m a terrible tracker of that, so I never known when it’s about to arrive. I’m sure that’s something you’ve always wanted to know about me. The key pouch (all items I received are in the Willow design) holds my drivers ID, cash, and tampons. I mean, really; so easy to carry around discreetly. Unless you take out your cash in a hurry and your tampon falls out in front of your cash register. Not that it’s happened before, or I know how embarrassing that would be.

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-Tote-Outfit details:
H&M tank, Aviator sunglasses (similar), GAP sports bra,
H&M Jeans, Ame & Lulu Easy Tote,
J Crew Anya Ballet Flats, Gold bar necklace (similar)

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-Tote-3As much as I reiterate this on my blog, The Guy and I are an active duo and are always on the go. For the most part when we go somewhere together it doesn’t matter who’s backpacks and suitcases we use, but now that I have claimed my stylish Ame & Lulu easy tote as my own, though I’m pretty sure The Guy is cool with it. I can see myself carting this around with us to more weekend getaways, trips, or using it as an every day casual, laid back gym bag.

Ame-&-Lulu-Essentials-InsertA few weekend trips in, and I think I can classify myself as a light packer. Minus the cosmetic bag. That will always be filled to the brim. As I’m getting older, the more stuff I want to bring with me. I’m a heavy cosmetics bag packer, and I will never get over it. Nor do I want to. I want to look pretty. Luckily the Essentials Insert stores everything I need, minus a few things such as a toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant. That stuff can be thrown in on its own. Might as well, ain’t no one stoppin’ me.

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-Tote-hangAme & Lulu has so many stylish and colourful designed totes on their website. Perfect for anyone with an active on-the-go lifestyle.

Ame-&-Lulu-Easy-Tote-1A one time 25% off coupon is available for Ame & Lulu customers using the code: love25