New Zealand Photo Journal

The day I found out I was going to New Zealand I was absolutely glowing. The Alberta School of Business has an awesome business case competition program ran by Doug Leong, and though I had been chosen to compete in external case competitions like the Ethics in Action Competition at Dalhousie University and the CPA Board Governance Case Competition, I was always uncertain if I would be chosen to go on an international case competition. It seemed like the people going on these competitions to Spain, The Netherlands, and Hong Kong were leagues ahead of me in terms of their experience and ability in cases. This year, I got to compete on the JDC West Marketing Team, and through a stroke of good fortune and a zillion cases later, finally had enough experience to be chosen to represent the University of Alberta at the Champions’ Trophy Case Competition in Auckland, New Zealand.

We spent one week at this case competition, meeting our wonderful hosts from the University of Auckland (we kept arguing about which school is the real U of A!) and meeting other teams from all over the globe from the U.S., The Netherlands, Denmark Thailand, Australia, and China to name a few. The cases that we got to work on were absolutely incredible and exposed us to parts of New Zealand culture we had no idea about. Most notably, the cases that we got to present on were addressing issues faced by New Zealand Rugby and Air New Zealand.

After the case competition, we flew across the country to Queenstown, then to Wellington, and finally made our way back to Auckland for a final beach day with our new case competition friends from University of Auckland and Copenhagen Business School. We spent most of our time with the case competition in Auckland, and doing tourist-y things the rest of our stay.

Must-dos in Queenstown: Rent a car for this area because there is so much to see outside the city! Milford Sound tour, hike up Roy’s peak, grab a to-go lunch and eat it near the docks while listening to live music.

Check out in Wellington: Flight Coffee Hangar for flights of coffee – that’s right, 3 lattes all in one – you’ll be wired all afternoon. Te Papa museum & don’t miss the Maori altar, it’s the most stunning cultural piece you’ll ever see at a museum.

UAlberta team at the final gala during Champions’ Trophy. We didn’t place in the case competition, but we did win the Ka Pai Cup for team with best spirit!

Revelstoke Photo Journal

Revelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil Skirt Revelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil SkirtRevelstoke via Pink Pencil Skirt Revelstoke via Pink Pencil Skirt

Thank you to the University of Alberta Ski & Snowboard Club and Backside Tours for organizing an amazing trip to Revelstoke. In planning a ski trip over reading week, my friends and I were looking at getting a group of friends and renting out a cabin to ourselves in Banff. When we started looking at prices, we noticed that we could get all the way to BC, explore a new mountain we’ve never explored before, and meet new friends on the ski trip, all for less money and hassle than organizing it ourselves. You know people our age- sometimes they’re flakey-  and with this ski trip we could all sign up ourselves instead of trying to coordinate splitting a huge expensive cabin.
The bus ride over was a blast, and the ski club execs make sure to be as inclusive as possible: everyone ends up hanging out in the hot tub after riding and then partying in the exec’s rooms and heading out to the local pub together. [Side note: the hot tub was pretty dank and opaque. You just try not to think about these things.] The best part is you can go on these ski trips by yourself, with a friend, or with a large group and have an amazing time.Although we went with a group of 12, we also had 40 other friends to hang out with in the hot tub, on the hill, and at River City Pub. Even though I love Sunshine, Revelstoke was an amazing mountain to check out, especially this season with all the snow. It can be difficult to drive all the way down to BC, so going with a tour group definitely made that process a lot simpler.  Cheers to another great ski trip!

Silver Star Photo Journal

Silver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil Skirt Silver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil Skirt Silver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil SkirtSilver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil Skirt Silver Star Mountain Resort via Pink Pencil Skirt

Spent 5 gorgeous days hitting up some mad pow at Silver Star Mountain Resort (not featured in Vogue’s Under The Radar Canadian Ski Destinations, even though it totally should have been). I always believe that how you start the year (and finish it) sets the tone for the rest of the year. So, since I spent the 31st and the 1st going on double black runs that scare me to my bones, I’m dubbing 2016 the year of adventure.

To an adventurous 2016!

So ethical at Dalhousie University

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Representing the University of Alberta at the Scotiabank Ethics in Action Case Competition. We got 3rd place!

The case consisted of a 10-day prepared case that we worked on before going to Halifax, and a 3-hour case at Dalhousie University. The 3-hour case is intense: they locked our 4-person team in a room and we had 3 hours to read the case, come up with a solution, and make a PowerPoint. Shortly after we prepared the case, we were live in front of the judges presenting on a solution made up just a couple hours before. As this was an ethics competition, the solution was even more difficult because it had to be solid from an ethical perspective as well as making good business sense. Balancing the moral and monetary stakes in the solution made this one of the most challenging and rewarding cases I’ve ever done.

Although there was a huge academic component, there were also two wonderful dinners and an after-party where our team got to meet other undergrad and MBA teams from all across the country. After the case competition, our team decided to extend our stay in Halifax for three more days. From Alberta it’s an expensive flight that we wouldn’t be making any time soon, so it was totally worth it to stay the extra days.

We spent our time renting a car and visiting Peggy’s Cove (the most photographed lighthouse in the world!), taking a ferry to Dartmouth (another city just across the waterway), and walking around downtown Halifax. Coming from Alberta the buildings in Halifax were just incredible. The oldest buildings in Edmonton are pushing 100, so it was neat to see the architectural style of the 200+ year-old buildings.

Speaking of history, we took a tour of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery. Let me tell you, this is no ordinary brewery tour. Right before we started the tour, Derek was a bit skeptical and said “once you’ve seen one brewery tour, you’ve seen them all”. In this instance, boy was he proven wrong. The brewery tour turned out to be more like an interactive play, with all the tour guides in historical costumes guiding you through Keith’s brewery. The guides even performed a beautiful song, told us an anecdote, and taught us an old-fashioned card game. I was a bit grumpy about paying $20 for a brewery tour, but it was totally worth it. We all loved the tour so much that we drank nothing but Keith’s the rest of the trip!

But my favourite thing about Halifax is the nightlife. With 5 universities in Halifax alone, the bars stay open til 4am (compared to 2am here, which feels like a race against the clock!), and they are busy every night of the week. Our extended trip was from Sunday-Tuesday and we went out to bustling bars all three days of what I thought would be the slow part of the week. In fact, our flight was at 6am on Wednesday, so we ended up not paying for a hotel room that night and staying out all night and catching a taxi to the airport at 4am. Now that’s what I call smart travelling.
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THE HAUL

Blazer: Suzy Shier // Top: Workhall // Skirt: Zara // Shoes: Ralph Lauren

How to Charcuterie

How to make a charcuterie board

 

Charcuterie! What is charcuterie you ask? Only the most delightful way to enjoy an evening, that’s all. But really, it’s the classy way to say a meat and cheese platter. Although the title may have lead one astray, charcuterie is not a verb. Sorry, it should have said “how to put together a charcuterie”. But c’mon. “How to Charcuterie” sounds so much better.

Charcuterie boards/ antipasto platters have become a really popular appetizer at restaurants, with places like Cavern and Cured specializing in the art of the meat and cheese platter. While it’s a great thing to get for a night out, I couldn’t help but notice how simple it is to put together yourself for a gathering or a night in.  Last night I had some friends over for wine and charcuterie before heading to Nuit Blanche (more updates on Nuit to come).

Here is the art of charcuterie, in a few basic principles.

How to make a charcuterie board

The charcuterie starter kit

The shopping trip. In this city, the Italian Centre is the best place to go for charcuterie supplies. They have incredible deli counter service and a wide range of high quality meats. This is your one stop shop for charcuterie in Edmonton, and the best part is they are happy to let you sample their meats and cheeses. In other cities, I recommend seeking out a European grocerer, or a regular supermarket will do just fine as well.

The golden rule of charcuterie: minimalism

Do not overwhelm the palate with gorges of various meats and cheeses. Do not overcrowd the platter. This is not the ’90s. We’re not filling a platter with a thick layer of ham and turkey and cheddar cheese anymore. Ideally, none of the elements should be touching one another. Separate those meats and cheeses! Do not over-serve the platter either. If you are concerned it will not be enough for your guests, you can always restock the platter later.

The golden number for a charcuterie: 3 meats. 3 cheeses. 2 miscellaneous. 1 bread.

With that in mind, the meats I picked up were: prosciutto, hot capicollo, and salami al prosciutto. You don’t want all sausages or all prosciutto-like meats. Go for three meats that give a wide variety of texture and flavour experiences. That being said, I like to stick to all ham products instead of mixing the meats.

As for cheeses: a goat brie, piave vecchio, and Swiss raclette. Brie is a classic in charcuterie because its softness makes it great to spread on crackers. Piave Vecchio is seriously one of the best cheeses I’ve ever tried, and it’s super unique due to its crumbly texture. When choosing your cheeses, I recommend opting for a variety of stronger and milder cheeses to create a flavour balance.

To tie everything together, it’s great to have some crackers. I picked up Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crips in the salty date & almond flavour. These chips are exquisite tasting and provide a great contrast to the other colours on the board.

And finally, you need a couple things that aren’t meat and cheese to complement the platter. For this platter, it was concord grapes and Sammarelli olives. Other options include, but are not limited to: strawberries, mushrooms, sauces or dips, nuts, dried fruit, and pickles.

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My baby

It’s all about the aesthetic

When arranging the platter, do not think logically. Let your artistic juices flow. While everything on the board will taste amazing, half the enjoyment is the visual stimulation that the platter create. With that in mind, the placement need not be what is most sensible. The meats need not all be together, unless that is what is best for the aesthetic. Is it inconvenient that I placed the crackers in the middle of the board instead of on a separate plate? Probably. But that’s where the crackers belonged. The canvas (or cutting board) was calling to them. Did basil really belong on this platter? Not really, no one ate it. But the platter was calling for some colour infusion.

Another common charcuterie mistake is cubing the cheese. Your guests are not infants, and it really ruins the look of the platter when all the cheese is pre-cut. Serve the cheese in blocks, perhaps with a few pieces pre-cut, and a strategically placed knife will do the trick.

And lastly, enjoy. Charcuterie is nothing without the great conversation and intimate atmosphere it creates. Let your taste buds soak in your beautiful masterpiece.

 

 

 

Wednesday @ WCFW

Western Canada Fashion Week Western Canada Fashion WeekTop: New Classics. Bottom: Suka. Back of one of my favourite hair/outfit combos of the show.

Western Canada Fashion Week – Wednesday September 23rd featuring New Classics, Suka and LUXX Ready to Wear.

What I saw @ …

New Classics – sweater crop tops, minimal crop tops, matron dress, wide legs, slick hair tucked into collars

Suka – kissed-by-the-ocean hair, leather, fabric-blocks, sheerness

LUXX – twins, yellow, draping, colour-blocks, Aboriginal themes, music: A Tribe Called Red

 

loose dress via Pink Pencil Skirt loose dress via Pink Pencil SkirtFolks, it’s Pink Pencil Skirt’s first fashion show ever, and here’s to many more! Casual look for a Wednesday night show.

THE HAUL

Dress: Zara. Shoes: Tom’s. Bag: Foreign.

this week in photos

LeMarchand Mansion by Pink Pencil SkirtMorning scene via Pink Pencil Skirt bun and halter top via Pink Pencil Skirt bun and halter top via Pink Pencil Skir

Thanks to the team at Every Wear Edmonton for the feature in the Edmonton Journal. It was a great day to be published as it was the launch day of the Edmonton Journal redesign/rebrand. The new website is lookin’ slick and is easy to navigate.

Later this week I put my hair up in a bun. Good ol’ Slowklap was claiming that people who don’t have enough hair or the skill to make a bun themselves don’t deserve to have buns. But I use bun shapers all the time, I said. We settled that it was OK if the bun shaper is small and not obnoxious. I can live with that.

Also wanted to send some archi-love to LeMarchand Mansion, in my opinion one of the most under appreciated buildings in the city. It’s a great place to begin a walk as it upwardly borders the river valley and Victoria Golf Course. There are a few old gems interspersed around the city, and this one is worth a bit of a detour.

 

enjoy

St Albert Enjoy Centreflower arrangement @ St Albert Enjoy CentreSt Albert Enjoy Centre, Glasshouse BistroGlasshouse Bistro, Enjoy Centrefossil sunglasses, enjoy centre

Who knew there were so many cool places to go just outside Edmonton? The Enjoy Centre is my latest find, located right in St. Albert. After hitting the St. Albert Farmers Market, we stopped by to see this massive structure- it’s part event venue, garden centre, grocery store, greenhouse, spa, and cafe. Don’t miss the Glasshouse Bistro & Cafe, which features expansive views, tons of natural lighting, and a wide variety of seating: anywhere from funky leather couches to crisp tables to upholstered booths. Definitely going to come back to Enjoy later this year for some sunshine therapy and to stroll around through all the beautiful plants.