Sunday, 13 December 2015

La Roche Posay Hydraphase UV 30 Review

As someone with dry skin will tell you, a good moisturizer is absolutely essential! For me, that facial moisturizer is the Hydraphase UV from La Roche Posay. It's gentle enough for my sensitive and redness prone skin but moisturizing enough for the Canadian winters. 

What drew me to this facial moisturzier initially was it's PPD rating. Apparently this is the highest PPD rated moisturizer without actually being labelled as an actual "sunscreen". It lists the famous Mexorl SX as one of its active ingredients and boasts an SPF protection of 30. 

The consistency of the moisturizer is very light and milky. The velocity of it is between a light serum and lotion. It always goes on clear and doesn't leave any white patches like other moisturizers with SPF usually do. For those that are scent-sensitive, it does have a strong smell. However, the smell is quite pleasant. It would be a good idea for La Roche Posay to make one that's fragrance-free for those in need. 

The packaging of the Hydraphase UV is super convenient for people on the go. It not only comes in a pump style container, but it also comes with a secure lid. Since it's only 50 ML, it meets airline liquid carry-on restrictions. I've had no trouble carrying this on in a Ziploc bag during my travels to Asia. 

I purchased this from Shopper's Drug Mart for $36 but I believe the price has gone up to $38 now. I try to wait until SDM has 20x the points before stocking up again. With daily use, one bottle lasts me about 4 months. Overall, this is a moisturizer that I always coming back to and would recommend it to those who have sensitive skin and want sun protection.  

~Capital City Girl

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Nuit Blanche 2015

Nuit Blanche will be taking place in Ottawa on September 19, 2015 (tonight!). From 7:19PM until 4:20AM, you will be able to admire the creative works of art throughout the city. 

The first stop I will be making will be Byward Market. Where will you be? And more importantly what will you wear?? What I will be wearing to Nuit Blanche tonight...

- Capital City Girl

Old Navy Pixie Pants - J. Crew Minnie Dupe

I fell in love with the J. Crew Martie pants but couldn't bring myself to buy it for the hefty $89 price tag. So naturally.. I was on the hunt for a good dupe. Lo and behold... that was how I discovered the amazing Old Navy Pixie Pants!!!


- Relatively cheap compared to the J. Crew pants. I purchased my first pair in store for $27 after a 30% discount. My second pair, I purchased online for $16! This was after a 40% off one item promotion Old Navy had online a few weeks ago. That means I can buy FIVE (and a half) pairs of the Old Navy Pixie Pants for the same prices as ONE pair of the J. Crew Minnie or Martie Pants. Even at full price, they are less than half the price of the J. Crew Minnies and Marties. 

- Machine washable for those of us who hate going to the dry cleaners every week

- Super comfy and stretchy. These are my go to pants when I'm having a fat day. 


- They WILL shrink if you put them in the dryer, so line dry only! 

- Super addictive, your other pants may feel jealous of your Pixies for getting so much wear. 

Differences between J. Crew and Old Navy Pixie Pants

- Both the J. Crew Minnie and Martie have a side zipper, while the Old Navy Pixies have a regular zipper with a double hook closure. I personally like Old Navy's zipper more for the comfort factor. 

- The Pixies have belt loops while the Minnie and Martie do not have belt loops.

- The Old Navy pants are machine washable, while the Minnies are dry clean only
- and of course the price!

Other than the differences noted above, the fit, feel and material are identical. Both stores use a 95% cotton and 5% spandex composition for the pants. So naturally, your skin will thank you for the breathable fabric. 

Overall, I would prefer buying the Old Navy Pixie Pants in 5 different colours than to invest in one pair of J. Crew pants. Good job Old Navy, you are slowly reeling me in.

The commercials didn't lie!

~Capital City Girl

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Beauty Review: Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam

I've been a long time fan of Shiseido cleansers now. One of my favourite cleansers is from their Benefiance line.

Although it is marketed towards older women, I find that it works really well on my twenty something skin.

I've been using this cleanser on and off for almost a year now, and this is how much is still left in the tube:

I love that you only need to use a pea size amount each time to get a rich lather. Although I have very dry, sensitive skin, I find that the Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam cleanses my skin without causing irritation.

It is a little pricey for a cleanser, but you definitely get your money's worth.

Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam Ingredients:

Water, Potassium Stearate, PEG-8, Potassium Myristate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Laurate, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sorbitol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauric Acid, PEG-60 Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyethylene, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Talc, Trisodium EDTA, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Ethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Iron Oxides.

Until next time!


Monday, 25 May 2015

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner Recipe

Lately, my skin has been acting up due to the changing of seasons. When my skin gets like this, I like to stick to the basics. One of the most basic toners I use is one made with only 2 ingredients: organic apple cider vinegar and water.


All you need to do for this simple all natural toner is combine apple cider vinegar with spring water in a 1:3 ratio. 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water. If you have sensitive skin, start with a higher water ratio. Make sure you shake the apple cider vinegar well before combining so that the "mother" is mixed well.

The mother at the bottom of the bottle:

I like to use this once a day, after cleansing. I've been using this solution on and off for the last two years and see a difference every time I start using it again.

The apple cider vinegar I use is Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You can also try adding a few drops of essential oil or tea tree oil, depending on the type of skin you have.

The final product:

This all natural toner is perfect for all skin types, ages, and seasons.

- Capital City Girl

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sushi 88 Review

As a frequent diner on Somerset street, I've passed by Sushi 88 numerous times but until yesterday, have never tried it.

I was surprised to find that the interior was quite nice. Many of the other restaurants on Somerset seem to focus more on food and less on the decor.

I tried the Chicken Teriyaki lunch special ($10.95). It came with your choice of a miso soup or garden salad. Lunch specials range from $7 to $18. 

I opted for the salad and was pleasantly surprised that the ginger sauce was authentic! I could taste the generous amount of ginger used in the sauce.

My meal was just the right portion size for me. However, my friend found her meal too small for her. She ordered the Sushi Temptation lunch special ($9.25).

The service was prompt as there were not too many other diners. This was surprising as it was noon on a Saturday. There was one waitress and one sushi chef when we were there. Although the service and food quality was good, I don't think I will be visiting Sushi 88 again in the near future. I found that the prices are too high for the portion size you get.

Sushi 88
Address: 690 Somerset St. West
Phone: 613-233-3288

Until next time,

-Capital City Girl

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Great Glebe Garage Sale Tips

Having just come back from my first Great Glebe Garage Sale, I'd thought I'd share my experience and a few tips.

My Experience

Many die hard fans will tell you that going early is a MUST. For me, this required waking up at 6 AM (on a Saturday, no less!) I hopped on the #1 OC Transpo bus which dropped me right off at Bank and Glebe. God forbid we drove down there. All the parking spots were already taken by 7AM!

According to the Weather Network, it was -2 degrees with the wind chill. Although it was chilly, I found that it would've been more enjoyable if I had a wide brimmed hat or baseball cap to shield my eyes from the sun.

At about 9 AM, there was noticeably more people.

After roaming around the Glebe for 2 hours, we came upon an ice cream truck. The best part? Ice cream was free! It was just what we needed for an extra energy boost.

After 3.5 hours of strolling up and down the streets of Glebe, we decided it was about time we called it a day.

My haul:


So here are a few tips from what I learned after my first Great Glebe Garage Sale...

Before the event:

- The night before the big day, make sure you go to bed early because you're going to need all the energy you have to bargain hunt and haggle.
- Wake up EARLY to ensure that you arrive in the Glebe at 7 AM. Although the event doesn't officially start until 8 AM, plenty of houses will be set up and shoppers will already be in action by 7 AM.
- Eat breakfast! There will be plenty of food trucks at the sale, but who wants to eat a polish sausage for breakfast?
-Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.


- Do NOT drive. I repeat, do NOT drive. Even if you're lucky enough to find a parking spot, I wish you luck driving out of the Glebe. You will likely be spending more time watching out for shoppes criss crossing across the streets while driving than you would if you were to take public transportation.
- The # 1, #4,  or #7 will take you right into the Glebe.

What to bring:

- Water bottle - because you WILL get dehydrated from all the walking, regardless of how low the temperature is.
- Backpack - This will keep your hands free and ensure a better shopping experience.
- Cash - An obvious one, but you will be surprised at how long the ATM lineups get. Save some time and bring some bills of lower denominations, and lots of coins! I went to the sale with a coin wallet full of quarters and loonies.
-Small snack - If you're a serious shopper and do not want to waste any time lining up for an overpriced hot dog, pack a granola bar or banana to get you through your journey.

What to wear:

- Comfy shoes - This is a given. You will be walking A LOT and comfortable shoes will make that a breeze.
- Sunglasses and hat - UV is especially harmful for your sensitive morning eyes. After 30 minutes, I was wishing I had a baseball cap and a pair of shades to shield my eyes from the sun.
- Weather appropriate clothes - This is pretty obvious but you will be surprised to how little attention some shoppers will pay to this tip. If it's going to rain, wear a water repellent jacket. If it's going to feel like 35 degrees, wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Simple as that.

And lastly... have FUN! Even if you're not looking for anything in particular, enjoy the live music and being part of such a great community.

Until next time!

-Capital City Girl

Sunday, 3 May 2015

613 Night Market Review

Any foodie in Ottawa will tell you that the 613 Night Market is an event not to miss. I stopped by the event yesterday and got to try out the many options our city has to offer.

First stop was MooShu Icecream. How can anyone say no to ice cream truffles?
 Since it was 3 pieces for $5, I tried the black sesame, moolong tea and goodmorning yuzu. My favourite was definitely the black sesame.
Next stop, Urban Cowboy. They had the longest lineup and there's no surprise why! I was one of the lucky ones to get to try the pulled pork taco before they ran out. The catfish taco was equally tasty. 2 tacos for $5? Yes please!

Next was the green curry from the Green Papaya:
The original churro from Mr. Churros. Just the right amount of sweetness and crispyness.. heavenly.
 And to finish off the night, the greek yogurt cheese cake. So delicious, I could've eaten five.
Although the 613 night market did not have as many vendors as I had hoped for, the food quality did not disappoint. I can't wait for the next event!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Sparks Street Poutine Fest Review

I went to the Poutine fest on Sparks street during the second day. I made sure to go in the afternoon to avoid the lunch rush.
The best decision I made all day was choosing the Lobster Bacon Poutine from Golden Fries. It had a generous amount of lobster and the portion sizewas just big enough to leave you feeling satisfied. I originally wanted to try Le Smokin BBQ but didn't think it would be a good idea to have too much meat.
The prices were not too bad. It was $15, including tax for the Lobster Bacon poutine. I also tried the Sweet Potato Poutine from the Double Decker Diner ($12). The sweetness of the sweet potato didn't go too well with the cheese and sauce.

Until next time,

Capital City Girl 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Poutine Fest on Sparks

The Poutine Fest will be happening again this weekend on Sparks street. I can't wait to try out all the different types of poutines. The first vendor I will be lining up for will be Le Smokin BBQ. Apparently they were so popular, they sold out during the first night last year. 

When: April 24-26, 2015
Where: Sparks Street, from Bank to Elgin
Hours: 11am-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 11am-6pm on Sunday

See you there!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Capital Eats: El Camino Review

I'm not going to lie. Prior to eating at El Camino, the closest thing I had to Mexican food was Taco Bell. And I am proud to say that I am never going back to fake Mexican food.

El Camino already had a long lineup outside the restaurant before they opened for dinner on a Thursday. I recommend going at least 15 minutes before they open for dinner to ensure a table.

I tried the Japanese Eggplant Taco ($4.5) and the Ox Tongue Taco ($6). Yum. Both had a hint of spiciness to it. When my food arrived, I thought I would have to order more, but it was just enough for me.

I had a bite of my friend's Wild Salmon Tostada ($14). It was super refreshing.

The menu:

The details:
El Camino
380 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M9

- CapitalCityGirl

Friday, 27 March 2015

RBC Bluesfest

The RBC Bluesfest will be happening from July 8-19 this year at Lebreton Flats. Were you able to snag your tickets during the presale? If not, regular ticket sales will start on March 30 at NOON.

These are the artists performing this year:

I'm counting down the days already! Who are you looking forward to seeing?

Baroness Chocolate Bar Review

I had the chance to try out the Aiyaaaa! chocolate bar from Baroness Chocolate. As a Capital City Girl, I was happy to learn that Baroness Chocolate is not only Canadian, but they are also produced in Ottawa. Baroness Chocolates is the company that makes the famous gold wrapped chocolate bar. 
The Aiyaaaa is a dark milk chocolate with almonds, sea salt and butterscotch. It's made with organic fair trade ingredients. Guilt free chocolate, what more can you ask for?
Although the picture of the chocolate on the wrapper shows a chocolate bar with nuts and sea salt on top of the bar, these ingredients are actually enveloped by the chocolate. 
The chocolate bar itself is divided into rows that you can break apart, but I had a hard time breaking the pieces cleanly and ended up just biting into the whole bar instead (classy, right?). The chocolate bar had just the right enough amount of snap to it and the mix of milk and dark chocolate was just perfect.

Overall, the Baroness Aiyaaaa! chocolate bar is a high quality chocolate bar that is ranked pretty high in my books right now.

I recommend trying it out! 

Until next time,

~Capital City Girl

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Scandinave Spa Review

While on a trip to Mont Tremblant, I visited the Scandinave Spa. It was located about 10 minutes away from the Mont Tremblant resort.

They provide each guest with 2 thick white towels. Robes are available for rental or you can bring your own. Don't forget to bring a pair of flipflops! Each guest is provided with their own secure locker to store their personal belongings.

The women's locker room:

It is recommended to start with a hot bath for 15 minutes, followed by a 10 second dip in a cold bath, then a 15 minute rest in the warm rooms.

They are super strict with the zero talking rule. So it may not be good for big groups. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any photos of the baths due to the no cell phone rule.

On my way out, I spotted not just one deer, but two! Look how close I got to the deers.

Scandinave Spa - Mont Tremblant
Address: 4280 Montée Ryan
Telephone: 819-425-5524

Overall, this was a great experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that needs to destress!

Until next time,

- CapitalCityGirl

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Simple 3 Ingredient Chia Pudding Recipe

I'm sure you've all heard about the health benefits that chia seeds have. I've been trying to find more way to incorporate chia seeds in my diet. 

One of the easiest ways I found was to make chia seed pudding. I have this in the morning as a snack and it keeps me feeling full until lunch. 

This would be a great breakfast for those who are always in a rush. Simply prepare it the night before to save time in the morning. 


- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 3/4 cup of milk or milk substitute ( I like to use almond milk)
- honey or sweetener to taste
- ground black sesame seeds (optional)


1. Stir chia seeds in milk or milk substitute. 

 2. Let stand for about 15 minutes (I like to put it in the refrigerator).  Make sure to mix it really well.

3. Add honey and black sesame seeds to your liking.

4. Enjoy!

♥ Capital City Girl