MUST DO – SURFING IN PORTUGAL

Got a couple of questions after posting about surfing on Instagram so I thought I’d make a post! Granted, I was definitely not the person who discovered this (thank you Alex, Emily W, Emily C, and Callie for the suggestion and Monisha for booking for us!!!) so I’m just here to relay the message so that all humans on earth can enjoy approximately $20CAN (it’s actually 15 euros) worth of 2 hours of surf rentals and lessons!!! (If you know something better and you’re hiding it from the world – I hate you.)

PS. Surfing in Tofino (Canada) is about $100 for the exact same thing so yes, this is a big deal.

HOW AND WHERE TO BOOK

Click here to Cascais Surf School & Camp’s website to see their rates and follow their instructions (in other words simply send them an email and see when they’re available!). I also realized after visiting the page that we got our rates even cheaper because we were students on exchange (#Erasmus LOL) but it’s cheap nonetheless!!

Not to boost their ego but they also have a 5 star rating on tripadvisor so…

WHERE IT IS…

The beach itself is not in Lisbon exactly – you have to train your ass to the beach. I’ve even left a few instructions:

#1 – Get from wherever you are (Airbnb, Hostel, Hotel, the street, the bush, etc) to the station: Cais do Sodré 

tip: I would Uber there because Ubers in Lisbon are dirt cheap especially if you split with people. If not, WALK. It’s a nice scenery (not that I would know with all the Ubers but from what I’ve seen around and heard from other people…) and plus the city is not that big!

#2 – Buy a round-trip train ticket to Carcavelos (unless they’ve changed the destination, but this is where we were told to go)

From there, the beach is about a 5 minute walk!

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

Instructors were absolutely amazing (as you can see from their trip advisor review). They were extremely helpful and they don’t give up on you – EVEN IF YOU’RE GIVING UP ON YOURSELF LOL. They also learn your name within the first 5 minutes and they say it with their cute Portuguese accents (Liiiizaaaa!!!!). Which also means that if you screw up they yell your name in the middle of the ocean #NoLie #ButInACuteAndFunnyWay.

eg. *me trying to hop on my surfboard*
“NOOOO LIZZZAAAAAAA, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF YOU”

It was really fun (how basic can that statement be) – definitely lots of work but so worth it! 1000/1000 would recommend to friend. And non-friends.

post surfing sangria!! ❤
“Gourmet burger” with out the bread and an egg?? #portugesestyle LOL

FAQ (that I made up by myself so who knows)

ISN’T IT COLD?

Yes m’dear. The water is cold especially if you’re not going in the middle of summer in 30 degree weather. But have no fear, wet suits are here!! No lie, these wet suits will keep you so warm that you won’t even notice the coldness of the water.

ISN’T IT TIRING?

Also a yes. The three of us were sore for two days afterwards. One of us was sore all over, one of us was sore upper body, and the other one was sore just in the shoulders (not pointing at who is who ;D). So it really depends on who you are but don’t underestimate the work out that this gives you!

WHAT TO WEAR/BRING

Wear your bathing suit underneath already. Do not think to change into your bathing suit because the minute you get to that parking lot they already have wet suits and surfboards ready for you.

Bring:

  • flip flops
  • towel
  • SUNSCREEN
  • Hair tie (I was originally going to say for girls but with all the man-buns these days who knows)
  • GREAT ATTITUDE 😀 (I sound like a mother)

That’s about it, folks!

Hope y’all have a great time surfing in Portugal like we did!!!!

Love,

Lisa

Milan Fashion Week

Doing exchange in Milan means one thing… MILAN FASHION WEEK!!! *Cue tweens me at JBiebs concert screams*

But seriously, I prepared for this moment ever since I submitted my application for exchange  #EagerBeaver. I even bought my outfit months in advance and just took off the tags yesterday #FashionOlymmpics?. The only thing that didn’t go according to plan was my 6 pack that never showed up #OhWell #MaybeNextYear.

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lugged this cape around for months just to wear for one day #lisalogic

I was traveling in the beginning of fashion week so I wasn’t able to catch Gigi, Aimee Song, and the other bloggers on site (I know, I had one job) but we came right in time for the last day 😀 #thankgod #MyOutfitWouldGoToWaste. Thankfully, Monisha also just got back from traveling and needed to check out MFW as well so we headed over to the Duomo right before class.

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So how did we get in??? #FAQ

Long story short we showed up armed so they pretty much had to let us in.

Just kidding, but the real story’s pretty anticlimactic.

Basically we walked to the entrance and there were guards up at the front. We saw one girl walk up to security and said, “my name should be on that list” – which it was, and she got inside. I felt pretty discouraged but another group of girls looked like they were talking to the guards and he didn’t pull out any type of list, so we decided to give it a try. We simply asked, “can we head inside?” He looks at his partner, and turned to us and said yes. Once we got to entrance #2, Monisha and I kept saying to each other, “act cool, act cool… gotta pretend like we belong”. Later, a woman approached us and asked if we were press, bloggers, students, or whatever (okay she didn’t say whatever but she might as well have because who are we to be there?). We answered “students abroad” but she heard “from a blog” so she encouragingly led us to our seats. I mean technically this is going on a blog… 😉

Moral of the story: Lie??? or accidentally lie???

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We were able to catch the last show of the entire week – Daizy Shely’s Fall/Winter 2017-2018 collection.

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I wanted to vlog my entire experience but I didn’t gather enough clips so here’s a gif I learned how to make just for this blog post LOL:

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and this one:

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The last walk

The entire show is exactly the way you dreamed it would be: The venue was grand with classic European architecture. There’s also classical music in the background before the show commences with photographers and press everywhere, especially towards the end of the catwalk:

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The show itself was not very long but there was a lot to take in. There were a lot of details on each of the outfits so it was almost overwhelming as my first time trying to take in everything: the venue, the models, the music, etc. What was almost as amazing to watch was the audience. The entire audience was extremely dressed up, sunglasses in their faces, clutches in hand, and speaking a bunch of different languages.

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When the show was over, everyone took the opportunity to take pictures in the venue. INCLUDING US OF COURSE 😀

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Angle #1

We were really lucky and found someone that took photos for us in all different kinds of angles. This is the type of people we need to surround ourselves with :’) #MakesMeTear #Grateful

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Angle #2. This guy rocks.

Maybe next time we’ll get an invite and not have to accidentally lie our way through??? LOL #OneCanDream

PS. For people thinking of sneaking in: make sure you dress the part, you never know what’s going to happen! They’re also more inclined to let you in if you look like you’re part of it!

Love,
Lisa

El Catrin

Ever since my Gusto 101 post advertising my services as a professional third wheeler, I’ve been busy handling all these requests #DramaQueenHour. In all seriousness, nobody has contacted me (I know, I don’t get it either) BUT… my new roommate Rachel’s boyfriend was recently visiting from San Diego (welcome to Canada, Gordon!!!) so we decided to visit El Catrin.

a little intro to EL CATRIN

  • It’s a Mexican restaurant (duh)
  • It’s located in the Distillery District
  • Extremely stylish/trendy (look below at pictures)
  • It has an amazing patio 🙂
  • Awarded as the Best Mexican restaurant by Dine TO in 2014 (okay but real talk, what happened in 2015 and 2016… LOL jk it was really good)
  • After I typed that sentence I realized they won many awards so I’m just gonna copy and paste them here
El Catrin
take note of the “best first date restaurant”, gentlemen!!!!

 

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thought I’d post the hours here…
El Catrin
You can grab a drink while you’re waiting in line!
El Catrin
Can we just all take a moment of silence to admire this beauty please? This is like a tumblr girl’s dream

 

El Catrin

El Catrin

DISTILLERY DISTRICT

Like I said above (if you’ve been reading… if not I’ll say it again #payattentionpeople), the restaurant is also located within the beautiful Distillery District so we got to walk around and check out some boutiques.

El Catrin

Since the Distillery District is also a tourist attraction and we had a tourist amongst us (*cough* Gordon*) (just kidding none of us are from TO), we decided to take some touristy pictures.

El Catrin
just casually waiting for these humans to realize that we’re trying to take a photo here like hell-o-uh #touristproblems
El Catrin
helen and I are finally alone to take the couple pictures we needed

And of course since I’m such a good third wheeler, I had to take some cute pictures for the couple of the day:

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sooooo cuteeeee. These two lovebirds met in Germany!!! How cute is that?!??!?! #goals. Also they have a food instagram so go follow them: @raygoreats

FOOD & DRINKS

El Catrin
can’t remember what this was called but I think it was just a watermelon margarita??? #whoknows this was pretty good but not my favourite drink
El Catrin
Left to right: Original Mojito (MY FAVOURITE OUT OF ALL OF OUR DRINKS), Casamigos (we all thought that this was a bit salty for our liking… but could’ve just been the one that we got), water (also very good, highly recommend it!)
El Catrin
yummy yum yum.

El Catrin

These are their fish tacos that were made amazingly! However, according to Gordon, they’re not “authentic tortillas” because apparently they make it way better in the states since it’s corn-based. Anyway, moral of the story is if you live close in or close to Mexico these might not be that great for you but if you do not understand Tacos as well as Gordon then these are quite fantastic #runonsentences .

Disclaimer: the 4 of us only got one taco each because 30 minutes before getting here, we decided to have a “food pre” (who does that #us) so we pretty much all ate an entrée before getting here.

El Catrin
I’ve made it a tradition to take pictures of the name of the restaurant because why not #YOLO
El Catrin
These are actually heated!! #funfact

more couple pictures…

El Catrin
voted as the #1 couple by me and helen (that’s helen.. #veryobjectivevoting)

El Catrin

SUGGESTIONS FOR YOU…

If you’re thinking of visiting El Catrin yourself, here’s a few recommendations!

1. ORDER THE ORIGINAL MOJITO 

This restaurant actually makes it PERFECTLY

2. MAKE A RESERVATION OR GO AT A TIME WHEN IT IS NOT BUSY

We went around 3:30pm-4pm so there was barely a line. When we walked out at around 6 the line was extremely long and it was outside! Make sure you make a reservation or you might be in line for awhile when you could have been doing something better with your life like watching Netflix (don’t say I didn’t warn ya)

3. MAKE TIME TO EXPLORE THE DISTILLERY DISTRICT

If you’re planning on making the trip to El Catrin, make sure you also make time to see the cool boutiques and other shops around there. We needed to head back shortly after the restaurant but there was actually so much to explore!

Hope this blog post was helpful and you visit this place soon!

Love,
Lisa

(and Helen & Rachel & Gordon)

 

Pâques à Montréal // Easter in Montreal

 

HELLO, WORLD!!!

Wow, it’s been awhile (THANKS, IVEY and your busy @$$ schedule). Who thought I abandoned this site?

yeah, same.

Anyway, I finally got the chance to escape this wannabe-England-City (#London) to the beautiful city of Montréal. For the record, I did not know that Montreal has amazing food. Not just your everyday amazing. Like the type of amazing food that makes you dream about it days after (not like I do that or anything…)

DAY 1 // FRIDAY

As luck would have it, my bus to Montreal broke down and also my Uber driver cancelled on me #BadLuckLisa (this is pretty much the theme to most of my days) so after the longest ride of my entire life and probably everybody’s lives #DramaQueenHour, I finally arrived in Montreal at 2am. But I soon forgot about all this the minute I saw Karen and she took me to one of the best restaurants – EVER (and this is coming from someone who eats out a lot).

Ladies and gents, I would like to introduce to you Olive & gourmando, also known as the restaurant that I’ve been dreaming about everyday since.

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okay I kid you not the sandwich literally melted in my mouth I can’t even think about it right now omg I can’t even

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The Cubain 12.95 Pancetta, roasted pork, raw milk gruyère, and our delicious lime, cilantro, chipotle, and pickle mayonnaise. (I copied that from the menu not because I memorized it even though I wouldn’t be surprised if I did) & soup of the day (quinoa & chicken)

Since there was a line up, we explored around Old Montreal. This is where I wish I had longer legs because why the heck does everyone walk so freaking fast?! *Cough* KAREN *cough*.

“I look like a tourist”
“you ARE a tourist”
“oh yeah”

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#HUMANS getting in the way of my picture omg #IHateEveryone

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Loving these!!! Too bad they’re for men

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LOL if you look closely at this picture, you can see a couple in the bottom right hand corner and I took this in the exact moment when this car drove by really fast and the boyfriend was all like “HELL NAH” and he moved to the side of the road to protect his girlfriend. Meanwhile, me and Karen just stood holding each other #singleAF.
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“Celine Dion got married here”

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During our walk we stumbled upon this cupcake store where we were pretty much forced into the store and then forced to buy stuff to eat. #DQH

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I’m so happy I don’t live in Montreal because I think I would weigh about 3400679834729348792138697835720398402 pounds by now.

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After all that eating, we went home to get ready for dinner – aka we napped. For dinner, Karen took me to Deville Dinebar.

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If I had one wish in the world I would ask for a bigger stomach and a bigger wallet so I could order everything on the menu. Since I was only born with one stomach (like wtf man), we settled with ordering 3 things to share.

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“Miami Fish Bowl”

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“Bad Girl Pasta”

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“Disco Poutine”
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After eating, exploring, eating, shopping, eating again, we were planning on going to Velvet for their Friday event but decided that the Grandma Lyfe was the better life so we stayed in ;).

Shoutout to all my fellow grandmas out there.

DAY 2 // SATURDAY

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We started the morning by walking to Suwu for breakfast where we pretty much had the worst customer service known to mankind even though the food was pretty good #WhatAShame #BadLuckLisa. Basically the server ignored us most of the time… we literally had to ask for everything. Here are a few examples:

“Hi, can we get two menus please?”
“hi, can we get some water?”
“hi, do you mind putting toilet paper in the washroom?”
“hi, can we get um, you know, cutlery for our food?”
“hi, can you freaking come visit this table more often since there’s like 10 of you working, two of you making out (I can’t even.. I don’t even .. what), and there’s only really 3 tables????????? THANKS.” #SassySaturdays

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Smoked Salmon Bagel!

Oh yeah, I also had to ask for ketchup but I mean I had to ask for cutlery so this is not really a surprise.

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After breakfast, Karen showed me the 1861 boutique that I’ve always wanted to visit. Personally, I liked their sister/daughter store better, la petite garçonne because it was more for everyday wear. I was a bit too excited so I forgot to take pictures but here are a couple I stole from the internet for you to see what it looks like on the inside:

They even have the Kendall&Kylie collection as well as Matt & Nat (for those who care LOL). The store was pretty small and since it was the long weekend, the entire female population was there that day so there was a huge line for the fitting rooms (btw they called it “cabin” #CUTE #frenchpeople). In fact, the line was so long that we literally left the store, went to 3 other stores, came back and the line didn’t move. So we went for coffee:

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We also stopped by to take pictures because they had a couple of cool art pieces on the walls. Karen and I wanted to take a picture together but didn’t have anyone to take it for us… 😦 BUT THANKFULLY.. IN THAT MOMENT, we saw an Instagram boyfriend/husband with his Instagram girlfriend taking pictures so we knew in the bottom of our hearts that we found the right photographer. I walked up to the girl and before I even opened my mouth she was like, “YEAH I’ll take it” #InstagramGirls #SheKnows.

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That was pretty much the gist of my weekend! I hope you all had an amazing Easter! ❤

Love,
Lisa (& Karen!)

PS. special shoutout to my girl Shirin who speaks 5 languages (okay chill girl) for coming up with the title cause my French sucks (Sorry, M. Fouquette… )

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Those Purple Trees

Left the night markets in Taiwan just to check out the night market in Richmond #MakesNoSense. I don’t know about you but the only reason why I go to the night market is so I can pig out and eat dim sum at night. Can someone explain to me why dim sum is only served in the morning?! I have work. Or school. So there’s really no time for me to ever go to dim sum (except Monday…) #DefeatingMyOwnPurpose.

Richmond Night Market
Taiwan’s Night Market

Anyway, if you guys are new to Vancouver (the night market in particular), here’s a big tip from a big pig. Go at 11:30 (or wait til 11:30) when all the food goes on sale so you can eat more (and you can bargain, too!) #YouKnowYoureAPigWhen. But really. They’ve made all this food and they can’t leave it overnight so they start selling those same curry fish balls for half price ($2 to be exact as opposed to $4).

THIS. IS. HEAVENLY. TRY IT NOW. #IRememberedToBringMyMemoryCardThisTime
THIS. IS. HEAVENLY. TRY IT NOW. #IRememberedToBringMyMemoryCardThisTime

If you remember, in my last post I promised myself that I would get my full license by the end of this summer so… that meant it was my turn to drive the girls instead of Lucy driving us #OhNo #EveryoneRun #JK #ImSuchAGoodDriver #Kinda #JudgeForYourself.

Reunited and it feels alright. #JK #FeltPrettyGoodIWouldSay
Reunited and it feels alright. #JK #FeltPrettyGoodIWouldSay

*Note:: Shoutout to Tiffney who got her braces off!! What a beaut. We’re all off braces now!! HOORAAAYY (actually I never got braces but… HOOORAAAY ANYWAY #ThatRhymed)

In addition to going out that night, I met up with one of my favourite couples, VAY (Victor + Shay) [I’m just gonna call them that because I have every right to combine their names because I’m not only their biggest fan but their biggest third wheel I think… I’m even in a group chat with just them 2 #WhatDoesThatTellYou]

Allow me to introduce... VAY :) <3
Allow me to introduce… VAY 🙂 ❤
And now... a complimentary third wheel is now included with the VAY near you!!! :):):) #Hi #ThatsMe
And now… a complimentary third wheel is now included with the VAY near you!!! :):):) #Hi #ThatsMe

According to Victor, with a positive attitude you can achieve anything. So thanks to Victor, I got a date on Monday with this dude right here:

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eww… cooties. #JK #BestFran #NotDate #EW #ICantEvenMoment #DontForgetMyFlowers

I’ll let you know how the date goes but considering he farted in front of me today, I would say we jumped the honeymoon stage and went straight to the tolerance stage. #ImNotEvenKidding #HeFarted #AndItStank.

Anywhoooooo, that’s it for this week. Talk y’all soon.

Love,
Lisa