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
(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?

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Makin’ friends at MAKE UP FOR EVER

Tuesday morning I made my way over to Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. After being there a handful of times since moving to NorCal, I knew this would be the mall I’d probably frequent more often than the others around my area. This mall reminds me of something you’d see in Toronto’s Yorkville area. It was up scale on one end of the mall, and the other end had regular mall stores like J.Crew, Sephora, Nordstrom, and an amazing free standing MAKE UP FOR EVER store.

Since I’ve been working with the Canadian team the past few years, I was e-introduced from my Canadian contacts to the American side of things. A consultation was made for me and I headed into the store to talk a bit more, and meet my new buddies, face-to-face.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-selfieSo that’s what I did! Talk about a sweat-fest. I get intimidated easily, and then resort to being introverted and shy. I was a little nervous going in, but I did it and it wasn’t awkward, or frightening in the least. I had so much fun.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-chairI plunked my toosh down into one of these chairs and little did I realize, we had such a blast playing with make-up and learning a few new beauty tips, I was there for over two hours! I guess that’s what happens when you put a few gals interested in make up together in a room.

Make-up-used-on-meJust because I work with certain brands, doesn’t mean that I love everything they have to offer. I like to be transparent and tell you (or anyone for that matter) what I think. When I went for my consultation with Tobey, we talked about doing a complete makeup look. I notified her that I wasn’t a fan of the Mat Velvet+, or the HD foundation that everyone seems to use and love. Both are too matte looking on my already dry face, and offer full coverage which I don’t need, nor strive for. I knew the consistency of MAKE UP FOR EVER’s face and body was very water based, and had a medium coverage. Troy Jensen, told me to try that when he came to Sephora at the Toronto Eaton Centre last fall. My local Sephora in Kitchener-Waterloo didn’t carry it, so I never really got the chance to try it out.

Tobey used it on my face and I loved it immediately. You know how some foundations you really need blush, or bronzer to give your skin some depth, otherwise you’d look all flat? This foundation didn’t. Needless to say, we didn’t stop there.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-HD-blushNext up was the new HD blush. I picked out this colour because I knew already I had the universal colour in shade 410 Coral to play with when I got home. I don’t remember the name of this shade, but I can find out if anyone is interested!

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-lookThe final look (left) was definitely a lot more make up than I was used to wearing, especially with lip liner. I’m not entirely sure I’d wear a liner because quite honestly it just takes up too much time and you need to be precise. I didn’t love the look of the liner but it was sure fun to play with the make up for a while! On the right, I’m still wearing everything but the lip products. Tobey also filled in my eyebrows which I LOVED. Emphasis needed. They looked fuller, and very natural. Can you even tell they’re done? I can’t. The Guy couldn’t either. He did make one comment though which confused me. “I don’t like those hooks”. Uh. What? I had no idea what he was talking about — at first I thought he meant my eyebrows, but he was talking about the winged eyeliner. Ha ha!


Face and Body Foundation, MAKE UP FOR EVER
(for under eye) HD Concealer, MAKE UP FOR EVER
(for face) Full Cover Concealer, MAKE UP FOR EVER

Pro finish , MAKE UP FOR EVER

HD pressed powder, MAKE UP FOR EVER

Mascara, Buxom
Aqua Creamliner, MAKE UP FOR EVER


Aqua Lip Liner, MAKE UP FOR EVER

At the moment I’m rotating and sometimes using three foundations in the run of a day: Estée Lauder Double Wear, Dior Hydra Life BB cream and DiorSkin Nude BB Cream. I’ll be adding this as my fourth in rotation (or mixing in with them all) in my make up routine.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-goody-bagI headed home with this amazing generous goody bag that the NYC head office sent down to me. Whoa! I’ve been playing with it all the last couple of days.

I can’t wait to head back there in April. They’re launching an eyebrow bar inside the MAKE UP FOR EVER store. While I do have nicely shaped brows, they could definitely use a little help to thicken them up and open my eyes a bit. MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-valley-fair

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-lash-barI don’t recall if this is the only lash bar in the USA at a MAKE UP FOR EVER boutique, or if there’s just a handful. Either way, I’m stoked that it’s at a location not terribly far from where I am. I haven’t tried my take at applying false eyelashes before. I’m a little intimidated by them because I know I’ll put them on sideways. But I did have fun playing with the wands, and seeing what ones looked fun, or just easy-to-wear natural.

MAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-fun-stuff make-up-stationsMAKE-UP-FOR-EVER-Valley-Fair-Mall

If you’re ever in the Santa Clara area, visit the MAKE UP FOR EVER boutique in Valley Fair Mall.

Tobey-and-NancyAsk for Tobey. She definitely knows what she’s doing.

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Well hello from sunny California

Wow, it’s been close to a month since I last checked into the good ol spiffykerms blog.

We are now in NorCal and arrived last Monday. I’m currently at the local starbucks because we don’t have internet set up at home yet. I feel like a real blogger now, blogging at some local coffee shop….in California no less. Ha!

The whole blogging on an iPad is very finicky, and taking a lot longer than it should.

Luckily I have a friend here already that I met in 2011 at BlogHer’11 but I’ve known her online over ten years. She’s less than 5km away, and she has been a god send. I’d link Jessica’s website but that’s getting too technical. Her blog is over at

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