NEW BLOG: Macarons and Mischief

To all my blog readers who have followed me for over a year now, I have finally made  new self hosted blog. I have decided to change the name of my blog because I felt like my content no longer reflects the name of my blog, hence I decided to come up with a new one. I will be redirecting http://www.wandsandpliers.wordpress.com to my new blog, Macarons and Mischief, so you won’t get confused.

 So please keep following along @ Macarons and Mischief

Watching the Cripple of Inishmaan and want to meet Daniel Radcliffe? Find out how.

So as many of you blog readers may know, I am a die hard Harry Potter fan. (Sorry for the lack of my regular blogging, but many beauty posts will be coming soon!) And on June 12th, 2013, I made my 12 year dream come true- I got a picture with Daniel Radcliffe.

If there’s any event in my area that is Harry Potter related, I’ll be there. Midnight screening of them movies? Check. Cosplay convention? Check. This month, I had the opportunity to travel to London and I got to visit some filming locations of the Harry Potter movies- including the coveted Warner Brothers Studio Tour at Leavesden- a Harry Potter fan dream. However, my ultimate goal since I was 11 was to meet the one and only Daniel Radcliffe.

Prior to going to London, I already knew he was going to do a play in London, and I knew this was my only shot in meeting him. His play is “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and I highly recommend it, not only to Harry Potter fans, because it shows a lot of depth of what Daniel Radcliffe can do, but it is also an entertaining play. I found the stage door where the stage actors exited. After the play, I had the best five seconds of my life- getting Daniel Radcliffe’s autograph and getting a picture with him. 

So, I pretty much travelled halfway across the world to accomplish one thing I ever wanted to do the most, and it happened. Number 1 item on my bucket list? DONE! Daniel Radcliffe went back inside after ten minutes, and lots of people didn’t get either. I was so worried for disappointment, and I think for any Harry Potter fan, that feeling is terrible. Hence, I am writing this blog post.

For all those fans travelling to see him, here’s my steps on how to meet him. 

1) Find the stage door. The play is held at the Noel Coward Theatre. If you are outside facing the theatre, turn to the left and there is a small alleyway near pubs. Keep walking and when you reach the end of the theatre, turn right and on the right, you will see a door that says STAGE DOOR.

I scouted out this route couple days prior to the play to get ready.

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2) Book it out the theatre as fast as you can after the play, AND WAIT THERE. There is most likely going to be barriers set up, so try to stand close to it as possible so you can hand Daniel Radcliffe the play program, which costed 4 pounds (or whatever for him to sign.) Also, some people are out there before the play ends- I’m not sure if they left the play early, or they just lined up without watching the play. Those people who lined up earlier were carrying Harry Potter related objects, so I think they just waited outside without watching the play.

I sat at seat A27 at the Royal Circle – which is kind of like the front row of the second floor balcony area. It costed 59.50 pounds. Although you’re not 10 feet in front of the stage, the view is excellent, and it is close to the entrance of the theater, so it was easy for me to make a quick getaway right after the play ended.

3) Get a sharpie, cap off, ready for him to scribble his signature.

4) Be patient. The play ended around 9:30, and I rushed to the stage door ASAP, and waited for around 40 minutes for him to come out. There will be a huge crowd.

5) When he comes, STICK YOUR ARM and WAVE ABOUT and hope he will see you. He really does try to address every fan and sign whatever is handed to him, but please respect him!

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6) While he is signing, ask if you can take a quick picture with him- which is what I did. And the golden moment came when he leaned close to me while I was holding my iphone up and I got a selfie. And that was the best 5 seconds ever. I thanked him and he said you’re welcome. Afterwards, there was a lot of jumping coming from me.

7)It was hard for me to wedge out of the crowd since I was sandwiched between people who were a feet taller than me (I’m 5″1 sooooo…) but I realized… if you are holding a sharpie without a cap, PEOPLE GET SCARED..I am not joking.

So this is my experience…

After the play I ran for my life to the stage door. There were around 10-15 people waiting, so I thought I was luck as the guards were putting up barriers and I was right by the barrier, although it was a bit far from the stage door. However, we were told that we had to move to the middle..and I was like omg… because I ended up behind three guys who were probably 5″11- 6 feet tall and I was probably near invisible if Daniel Radcliffe came out of the door right then.

However, this was a life-or-death moment for me and once I want something, I will fight for it.

The moment he stepped out, my body was in FIGHT OR FLIGHT mode, and I found a little hole between two of the guys and stuck my arm out. I was wearing a super bright yellow jacket (not sure if that worked in my favour,) but I saw Daniel taking my play program and my sharpie and was signing it. I didn’t know what happened all of a sudden, but I managed to squeeze myself between these two huge men and thanked Daniel Radcliffe (thank goodness I didn’t cry) and I asked if he could take a picture with me, while I held my phone up. It is vital to be quick and multi task since it is extremely crowded. He leaned in to me and I *snapped* a picture and I almost died of happiness.

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Horrible picture of me, but my expression says it all.

Right after, it was getting so crazy, I had to get out before I get ran over, so I tried to escape the crowd by crouching underneath people’s armpits. However, people are very very unwilling to move. I am tiny so force was useless. However, an uncapped sharpie pen, is quite threatening, because people like their clothes. Some people started to sort of move around me and I eventually near-crawled my way out and ran to my friends, and screaming my head off. He also went back inside after ten minutes, and I felt so lucky to be able to get an autograph and a selfie with the guy I’ve been pasting on my walls since I was 11 years old.

M y friend stood outside the crowd and got this awesome shot of me getting a picture with him.

My friend stood outside the crowd and got this awesome shot of me getting a picture with him.

Click youtube clip- since I recorded the scene after I got my picture:

Needless to say, I am extremely happy and proud of myself. Honestly, I had that 1% of thinking that he may not take a picture with me or may not see me. I think I’ve been blabbering about how much I love Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe since I was a kid and people either

a)thought I was crazy/creepy/obsessed
b)completely agreed with me

Most people went with Option A and I don’t blame them. As I am in my young adulthood stage, most people may have grown out of that Harry Potter phase, but for me, nope. Deep down, I wonder if people thought I was being very, very unrealistically hopeful and that I will probably never take a picture with him or meet him or whatever. This may seem kind of childish/immature to be so happy over something like this, but I’ve been having this Harry Potter passion fueling inside me over a decade, and I think as long as you go with what you believe in, things will come your way.

Just like Emma Watson’s acceptance speech for the Trailblazer award at the MTV Movie awards, she said ” If you truly put your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.” And for once, an amazing thing happened to me, because I really did believe one day I will be able to meet the boy who played my favourite character of all time. I hope all you Harry Potter fans will fulfill your Harry Potter dreams too. :’)

So, thank you Daniel Radcliffe, for those five seconds of your precious time. 

London Bound: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the Sanderson Hotel

Hello fellow blog readers! Sorry for the lack of update, as I have been having the best time in London for the past week and a half. I have visited the sets of Harry Potter, eaten macarons from Laduree, and met the Harry Potter man himself- Daniel Radcliffe. I wish I could spend all my time in London, sadly I will be returning to reality next week. I also bought lots of makeup and I can’t wait to share my reviews with all of you. Today, I had my first British afternoon tea experience at the Sanderson Hotel.

The high tea/afternoon tea is called the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party- and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something unique and fun!  I made reservations for three via email two weeks ago for a party of two. The cost is 35 pounds per person + 15% service fee, which adds up to around $64 CAD. This is one of the most expensive meals I ever had, but most high teas in London are expensive, and I wanted to splurge on one afternoon tea.

Our seating began at 12:30 and we arrived a bit early and were seated. The utensils that were placed infront of us were cute and fit the Alice in Wonderland theme. Our server also brought us napkins that were wrapped with a piece of paper that had a riddle on it.

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In the middle was a music box filled of sugar cubes and an old-school looking book which contained the menu inside.

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The server brought over four teas for us to smell and decide which to drink. I had the Mint Chocolate, while my friends had a Strawberry and Cream tea and an Apple Pie tea. They loved their teas as it smelt like candy.

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After much anticipation, our three tiered platters finally came! There was triple of everything and there was definitely more than enough food.

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Clotted cream, strawberry preserve, herb butter

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The top tier contained homemade Strawberry and Cream marshmallows and Carrot meringue in bean sprouts. I was full by the time I could enjoy the top tier. The marshmallow mushrooms were extremely cute but they were a bit dry. The middle tier of desserts were amazing though.

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The middle tier was full of sweets. It had a melting mango cheesecake, green tea mousse in a dark chocolate cup, and a Victorian sponge cake. The melting mango cheesecake was the perfect name for it- the cheesecake was so rich and creamy it melted instantly. But even better, was the liquid mango syrup that came pouring out in the middle of the cake. Those colourful stripes surrounding the cheesecake is edible…and it is white chocolate.

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The Victorian sponge cake was adorable, it was miniscule and had a clock decoration on top of it. I believe that this cake is something only found in UK (?) because I never had one anywhere else and I am addicted to them! There are layers of cream and sponge and jam inside this, and in one bite you can taste the different flavours! It wasn’t too sweet either. I wish I could ship some back home. 😦

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Lastly, the green tea mousse was also delicious. It had a rich matcha flavour and also had those pop rock candies inside. It was fun to eat!

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On the bottom layer was the savouries- and this is the tier I started digging in first. There were an assortment of sandwiches, which you can see on the menu here. Out of the four types of sandwiches, my favourite was the Smoked Cumbrian ham with wholegrain mustard on sun-dried tomato bread. 

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There was also a mini quiche, two scones (one was ginger and the other was spinach? not too sure!) There were also “Drink Me” potions and we were told to not shake them so we can taste the flavours. We were told there were three flavours in this thick and creamy drink. I could taste lemon at the bottom and banana at the top. I’m not sure what the third flavour was and honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I drank. But it tasted sweet and delicious.

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I also really liked the washroom (lol) of the hotel. It was clean and neat. There are individual cubicles that has the sink inside. For the most of London, I’ve been wearing windbreakers and converse shoes since I’ve been doing a lot of walking. I wanted to dress a bit more formal for high tea. I wore a coral coloured blazer from Dynamite + a high low polka dot shirt from Forever 21 + jeans from Forever 21 + scarf from J Crew + mouse flats from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

 

 

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Although a lot pricier compared to Vancouver, the high tea here is worth the experience, especially if you like cutesy and theme-d things. I wish I had more time (and money!) to try more afternoon teas at various restaurants around London.

I hope you guys are enjoying June! I will update my adventures again soon! 🙂

CoverGirl Clean Glow Blusher in Peaches + What Should I Buy in London?

First things…I finally got a haircut! I pretty much look the same, but now I hope my hair doesn’t fall over my face when taking pictures! I was shopping at Walmart and came across a stand of CoverGirl Clean Glow Blushers. There were various colours such as “Roses,” and “spices,” and I settled with “Peaches (110).” The packaging is simple- just a plastic palm size case. The lid is fairly sturdy. It would’ve been great if there was a mirror, but for $7.96 for 12g of product. I wouldn’t expect too much fanciness, the point here is the product.

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The blush is said to be a lightweight, blendable matte colour. There are three colours in the palette that can contour cheekbones- Peaches has a peachy-bronzer, a peach colour in the middle, and a lighter peach colour that can be used as a highlighter. I tried taking pictures in different lighting so you can gauge the colours. It is hard to take a swatch because these colours are very lightweight and not that pigmented.

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The blusher is indeed lightweight, so much that I did have to use more product than usual with my other blushes, but it doesn’t feel cakey. However, if you pack on too much, it does cling on to dry patches of skin, so be sure to moisturize and prep before wearing the blush. This blush would be fantastic for oilier skin since it has a matte finish.

The blush does bring a soft flush to cheeks, as if you went running. The pigmentation is very light, so I use my brush to pack on the product densely.I like to swirl the bronze and the peach colours for the cheekbones, and then use the highlighter (light peach) colour alone.

I wore it for around 6 hours, and I still have a slight peach, bronze glow by the end of the day. This palette would be great for carrying around since it’s great for touch ups on the cheekbones throughout the day. Given the sheerness of the blush, it would show up better on fairer skin. It’s too bad that we can’t really swatch these in stores before purchasing.

If anyone has tried the other colours along the line, I’d love to hear what you think!

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And… I’m off to London tomorrow! Do you have any suggestions on what kind of products I should buy there? 😀

Very tempted to splurge on a Burberry makeup product….and perhaps some Butter London nailpolishes..>_<  

EAT! Vancouver 2013

For the first time, I went to EAT! Vancouver, a food + cooking festival with 100’s of vendors located at BC Place Stadium. If you’re a true foodie, then this is the place to be. If you’re an alcoholic, this is also a place to be- as there is a huge selection of alcohol (beer, wine..etc) to sample from at a reasonable price. Admission was $14 online or $16 at the door. Some vendors gave samples out, and you can buy food tickets ($10 for 20 tickets) for some food to try. Unfortunately, I got a throat infection the weekend EAT! was taking place, so my appetite wasn’t as ready as it normally was, but I had a fair share of food to try out- I apologize for my lackluster photos. 😦

The first vendor I stopped at was Kitchening & Co. by Carly Wintschel for macarons! They’re seriously one of my favourites in Vancouver (and I have written an article about them on Vancity Buzz!) I dragged all my friends there and they were super impressed with the macarons, and it was also their first time trying macarons too! A macaron costed $2, or the equivalent of 4 food tickets.

The new macaron that I haven’t tried was the Black Sesame with Lime Mascarpone macaron- which was absolutely delicious and a great combination of sweet and sourness.

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Black Sesame and Lime Mascarpone

A starter macaron I told my friends to try was the Salted Caramel- simply one of the best and a best seller.

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Salted Caramel

My friend saw a stand of fish and sashimi so we went to visit that as well. I’m not a fan of raw fish, to be honest, but the box of giant fish was pretty awesome. I forgot the name of the vendor unfortunately. He ordered a tuna tataki for 4 tickets or equivalent of $2 – which was an extremely good deal given the giant slices and freshness of it. When I met up with my other friend, he was convinced to get some sashimi as well.

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Tuna Tataki

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There were other samples I had of tea, cola, olive oil…but my favourite of the day was the ice cream from Coconut Bliss. It’s coconut milk based ice cream, so it is soy free and dairy free, but taste just as wonderful as ice cream! Extremely creamy and full of flavour, it is no question why the lineup for these samples were so long! I had a strawberry ice cream sample and here my friend is holding a mint ice cream sample. Also love the eco-friendly paper spoons for this!

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There were lots of interesting foods to buy at EAT! Vancouver- such as these super cute designer cookies or tea leaves! I didn’t manage to take as many pictures as I wasn’t feeling well that day. 😦

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One of my purchases included Coconoma chocolate from La Chocolaterie. I have done a review on this Japanese hand made chocolate store before here. These handmade chocolates are simply one of the best I tried- they’re unique and full of melty blissfulness. I bought 2 cups of chocolate for $10- Green Tea and Yuzu.

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Green Tea

I haven’t tried the yuzu before and I highly recommend it if you love citrus fruits- there’s chunks of yuzu in it and it tastes great with dark chocolate!

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Yuzu

Although I was only at the venue for 4 hours, I felt like I only accomplished of half of what I wanted to do/eat/take pictures of but I was still tired from eating! The place is huge and is a haven for people who simply love to eat. I was full off drinking samples of tea and eating bread with olive oil already.

Come hungry, very hungry. This place is guaranteed to fill you. Bring friends to share everything you eat!