Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Summer Vibes

Image source: We Heart It

I'm pretty sure this will be the most riveting summer yet with all the experiences to look forward to. The city is packed with things to do, but I'm also glad to be doing some travelling overseas as well.

Whitewater Rafting: Feeding my water-creature side by paddling away as I'm being tossed and tumbled and splashed by the currents. 

Stampede: Taking my sister out to her first experience at Stampede and just feeling the energy and heart of the city during this famous event.

Spa Day: Tea and facials with my best friends are perfect ways to relax and catch up. We haven't been altogether since the holidays!

Wedding Wrap-Ups: Creating custom dresses for this wedding season, on top of a full-time job, has been both challenging and rewarding. But I'm glad I've had more opportunities to build my portfolio this year.

Hawaii: A dream, for years, now coming true. And who better to go to Honolulu with other than my beloved cousin? Our first trip together! 

xo Ann

Friday, 24 June 2016


Rhetorical Question of the Day: What's a better way to catch up on a rainy day than with a bowl of noodle soup?

Meet Noduru Ramen Bar, one of the newest restaurants to hit the ramen scene in Edmonton. Located right on Whyte Ave, they are easily accessible for a slurp of scrumptious cravings. Their interior reminds me of a Japanese tapas bar. Displaying a hand painted wall of a samurai strutting Nike kicks gives off a contemporary vibe while still integrating the traditional Japanese decor.

Nudoru has a small, but authentic menu of handcrafted items from their buns to their signature noodles. Even though they have created some unique combinations ($14-$16) for you to choose from, we opted to make our own bowls for only $13. Despite the simpler menu, don't be deceived as these bowls are huge and super filling, especially if you finish all the broth.

Sarah's bowl: pork belly, black fungus, fried shallots, and soft boiled egg in a spicy miso broth
Steph's bowl: pork shoulder, sweet corn, bamboo shoots, and nori in a shoyu broth


- If you're craving a bit of a kick try the the spicy miso broth  
- If you're into something more savory go for the shoyu broth
- Sarah can't imagine ramen without a soft boiled egg, and recommends the fried shallots for a lovely crunch to add texture
- Steph recommends the sweet corn and bamboo to sweetly compliment the salty soup
- The meat portions are surprisingly larger than what we've seen at other places
- We recommend ramen lovers and well all foodies to give Nudoru a try!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Summer Vibes

Summer officially arrived yesterday, but I've been loving the longer evenings and weekends since May. In the past two summers, I've worked seasonally as a wedding planner assistant, so it will be different having more free weekends to enjoy. Below are my top five summer vibes I'm looking forward to.

Summer Classics: From Taste of Edmonton to Heritage Days, I've been going to these events since I was a child and love going to them on repeat.

New Love: Patios. Sitting in the sun. Drink in hand. The equation is symbol, yet delightful.

Summer Babe: I'm a summer baby, and though being born late August usually signifies the end of the holidays, I will be heading to Iceland to celebrate my quarter of a century birthday! Super stoked for their renown long hours of sunshine and a new adventure ahead!

Transitional Months: To me, summer is also a time for making changes and thinking ahead to what my future plans are. The longer days gives me hope and a positive outlook for the days ahead.

La Blog: Time went by in a blink of an eye and it's our one year! Excited to see how our blog will unfold its next chapter!

xo Sarah

Friday, 17 June 2016

Summer Essentials

It's all about them summer essentials in this post. From sunnies to hats, fresh lip colours to flaunting that skin kissed glow, check out our accessory inspired mood boards to see how we style our looks in the heat of summer.


In compiling this mood board, I realize that I really like accessorizing with the family of reds: glossy strawberry tints, rose gold studs, and pink floral accents on my fedora. With the higher temperatures, I tend to have a warmer and pink skin tone so I tend to go lighter on make up colours while layering on the suncreen BB cream- a must to have that naturel visage and protection from the sun. Accessories are kept loose and lightweight which is beneficial when the weather makes you sweat. It's a bonus because it almost feels like you're wearing nothing next to your skin. Also, scrunchies and hair ties come in handy when your long hair sticks to you... thankfully I chopped mine this time around!

From left clockwise: Aviators + sunglasses case, Scrunchie, Fedora, Tiered necklace, Faceshop HD+ BB Cream, Kate Spade bangle, Vaseline rose lips, Revlon Pretty in Papaya (it's scented!) nail polish, LaSenza Strawberry Crush lipgloss, and a partial collection of my studs.


With such busy lives, I would say it's an essential to make time for yourself - such as heading out to a lush park with a compact colouring book in tow. The bucket bag works great for transporting supplies and all the other fixings for a relaxing sunny day. And even with your watch, should you lose track of time, at least the scarf will keep the evening's chill at bay.

From left clockwise: Harriet bucket bag, Kate Spade; Scarf, Coach; Flowers Coloring Book, Vive le Color!; Turquoise earrings; Genevieve watch, Bertha


There's something about summer that makes me feel like it's no longer acceptable to spend my days watching hours and hours of Youtube - it's prime time to be out soaking up the sun, either out exploring with friends or sitting in the sun getting lost in the world of The Selection.

From left clockwise: Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette, Quay Australia Kosha, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Mini Mac by Rebecca Minkoff, Lancome Juicy Shaker in Berry in Love, Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder

xo Meraki Connexion

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Tuesday Thoughts: Summer Vibes

Woah! We are nearly half way through June. With the sun shining and everyone feeling the positive vibes, this month we are sharing with you our top 5 list of what we cannot go without this summer.

Some how the last two summers have been more than epic, and well let's face it that can't last forever. Which is why this year I will be making the most of my time in Edmonton. With that in mind, I'm looking forward to taking on new adventures and fun times with friends!

Books, books, books. - I've finally gotten over my emotional attachment to my previous story's fictional characters and have dived into my endless stack of reads for this summer. Nothing more satisfying that getting lost in a book while sitting out in the sun with an iced tea.

K Days - A classic summer event. Rides, concerts, and fried food, what else can you ask for?

80 Flavours - I've driven past this ice cream stand too many times without stopping to try it out. This summer I am determined to go at least once!

Sand on Whyte - Similar to the Ice on Whyte event that occurs in the winter, this summer I look forward to finding sand sculptures, as I plan on getting out of the house more and explore the city.

Meraki Connexion Anniversary - Wahoo 1 year! Can't wait to celebrate :)
xo Steph

Friday, 10 June 2016

Prepare for Arm Sweat

It was a brilliant yet scorching Sunday afternoon for a day at the Lilac Festival, a vast community market along the popular 4th Street. “Prepare for arm sweat,” was how my cousin described the popularity of this event, and indeed the streets were packed with bodies, strollers, and dogs. Like any bustling outdoor market there were booths for food, body products, home d├ęcor, and trinkets, but the energy was palpable and it was a place where you were likely to run into people you haven’t seen in a while (whether or not you were actually delighted to see them).

Restaurants along the street were bustling with festivalgoers entering for the AC and more food, and our pick was Anju, a Korean tapas restaurant. I had my eye on this place basically since I moved here, and the unanimous winner was “The Manimal” burger. Petite they may be, but those double-patty sliders were intensely flavoured and super juicy!

Our digestive walk took us to tents full of pretty necklaces and terrariums. To mitigate the heat, we helped ourselves to lemonade and Fiasco gelato with “Fig Cheesecake” winning our hearts. 

I dabbled into a little competitive game of Mega Jenga with my boo - my cousin and her boo watching on the sides. None of us anticipated the audience the game drew! That match went on for a quite some time, and I was feeling of the nerves of having so many pairs of eyes just watching and mumbling to each other about what they thought the next move should be. We did get applause when the tower finally toppled, and I'm pretty sure he graciously let me win.

Come evening the festival was winding down, but for us it was time to indulge some more - this time with an array of Japanese dishes at the recently opened Ke Charcoal Grill & Sushi. And yes, we were able to pick a winner here as well. I’m not normally into “Special Scallop”, but this one just knocked us off our feet. The scallops were so fresh that you could really feel the buttery texture and taste the delicate sweetness. Pretty sure some of us died and went to heaven that evening.

The Lilac Festival was more than just a local market. It was a place where you could really feel the energy of the community, and pet the many dogs just sauntering through the streets. The jovial atmosphere prompted us to try new foods in near-reckless abandon, and it was just a truly fantastic way to enjoy each other’s company.

xo Ann

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Miss Independent

I guess Ne-Yo loves me now. 

About 7 months have elapsed since my big move to the bigger city. Having to move and live independently really forces you to grow up quickly. I went in kicking and screaming - terrified of being alone - but I came out a more self-assured person than the girl who hopped on that Greyhound bus to start her first shift. 

Fears had to be relinquished, and a huge part of my dependency on others was due to my crippling fear of driving. Although the transit system here is a more improved version of that in Edmonton, it can still take a long time to commute to places. When I did get a car, I was scared of having to deal with aggressive drivers. I was scared of driving on the highway to visit my family back home. But drivers here I'd say are more assertive than aggressive, and you just have to learn to be assertive yourself. As for solo highway driving isn't so bad so long as you have snacks, loud music for car karaoke, and the occasional face-slapping to stay alert. I feel like I still don't live far away enough given that I generally travel back and forth on a bi-monthly basis. 

Then there was the issue with emotional dependency. That severely disintegrated my relationship, which is why I no longer believe in the concept of the “other half” and placing the burden on someone to be the reason for your happiness. Although it took me months to reconcile with myself, I enjoy operating on my own schedule and treating myself without having to feel guilty. I’ve become a little braver, a little more daring, and better able to handle rejection.

It has also been an opportunity for me to dedicate more of my time in the things that interest me such as snapping style shots and sewing up a storm. I can define myself by my interests and passions rather than something like a relationship status. (I won’t deny I obsessed over that for some time.) Not to mention I’ve been blessed to have a growing list of couture clients, so I can continue to build my portfolio!

Although it’s kind of crummy at the start, but I think living independently is an important component in one's tumultuous life journey. If there’s anyone to prove it’s yourself. I learned that I was more capable than I gave myself credit for, and I was able to reconcile with the things that haunted me for years. I am proud of what I've been able to accomplish over these past several months, and I'm grateful for the blessings I received from others.

xo Ann

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Meraki Monthly: June

Summer is basically upon us, which means a lot of festival and other awesome activities to bask in the sunshine. Hello, breezy clothes and refreshing beverages! Here's what to look forward to this month:

Tuesday Thoughts - What we're looking forward to this summer
Miss Independent - Reflections on the growth and changes of living independently
Lilac Festival - Kicking off summer community experiences with a popular festival
Summer Accessorizing - Finishing touches to amp up your outfits
Picnic Attire - Vibrant looks suited for an outdoor nosh in the grass

YEG Events
June 3-12: NextFest
June 18: What the Truck?!
Muttart Conservatory Exhibit - Kaleidoscope of Colour

YYC Events
June 2-12: Funny Fest
June 3-4: As Heard on TV
June 3-24: Calgary Night Market
June 23-25: Ignite! Festival for Emerging Artists

xo Meraki Connexion