Restaurant: Labothery (Brossard, Canada)

One of the new additions to Quartier Dix30 in the Square Dix30 area in Brossard is a new bubble tea joint called Labothery. The concept is to have a build your own bubble tea concept from base to taste combination to sugar level to the jellies/pearls/tapioca/etc.

Its been a while since the bubble tea concept has been around and to be fair, it hasn’t had a whole lot of gimmick surrounding since the whole foreign thing might already be one. The chewy tapioca and the different jellies and now we even have pearls and such.

Because I’m silly, I forgot to take a picture so here’s a picture from my friend’s Instagram:

Its very much a lab concept there which is pretty nice and a lot of fun to just discuss what to put together and see what works. My friend used the more oriental flavors of kumquat and winter melon which I don’t think would have been as bad if he didn’t mix with other flavor palettes for the pearls and such.

We both took the Ice Tea variety. They also have a milk tea variety which is the powder that you choose and for the other types, you get to choose sugar level but for the iced tea, they say that the sugar level should already be enough. I’m assuming that means that the tea is already sweetened. I’ll discuss that a little later.

Here’s what I ended up choosing to put in my drink.

Labothery Dix30

My iced tea base was green tea with flavors of kumquat and mango. For the pearls, I added in mango pearls and honey pearls. Mine turned out to be pretty good since I kept it fairly basic and didn’t get too experimental. However, my honey pearls did end up adding quite a sweet punch to it, making me think about whether the tea was sweetened already. I’m not quite sure about that. Point is, it did work pretty well. Plus the other choices were decent with tapioca as an obvious choice as well as aloe and all kinds of other pearls and jellies to choose from.

Labothery Dix30

Overall, Labothery is a pretty cool concept. As with anything with a concept and customizable, it tends to increase the price. It was around $6.50 for my drink, I think. I haven’t had bubble tea in a while, mind you, so I’m not sure what the current pricing for it is. The pros and cons of this concept is obviously, that you can be as creative as you’d like to be with the flavor combinations but the cons is that the result will never be certain. However, it is a surprise element and essentially you suffer your own consequences. In my case, it turned out pretty well as for my friend, it was more an acquired taste that he grew to like more halfway through.

Restaurant: Brasserie T! (Brossard, Canada)

Its been a crazy restaurant phase lately. Unexpected to say the very least! Next up is a relatively new restaurant in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard, which is in the south shore of Montreal. Its an outdoor complex with a wide selection of many different types of stores, restaurants and entertainment.

Brasserie T! has its first restaurant in the Quartier des Spectacles area which is right next to Place des Arts in downtown Montreal. I’ve never been to that location before which is something on my to do list however, I had heard that the Brasserie T! at Quartier Dix30 was open and that it was pretty good that I decided to go there to check it out.

While my post here is going to be fairly short with only the little bit that I tried out, you can find the menu on their website HERE.

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30

Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30 is location in the Hotel Alt! in the Square Dix30 area. Its location is pretty nice with underground parking and side lots all around it. The interior decor is classy and nice but still has the casual feeling of a brasserie. The waitress that we got was also very friendly and accommodating. She jot down my allergies and made sure to double check on the questions I had related to make sure that I could have which food with no issues. When we asked about wines, she also made her suggestions but also went to ask the more experienced staff to make sure it was a good selection.

I went with someone who had been to the Brasserie T before and therefore, we were aware to ask for the specials which were not written on the menu. If you do go, that is very important to ask because the special menu is done with the vegetables and meats that they have fresh that week (or whichever duration the special lasts because I’m not sure and didn’t ask). There are usually some entree item and then one or two main meals, I believe.

Main Meal

brasserie t

Crab Roll

If you like seafood, rolls are a really refreshing summer meal. Usually we see these in lobster variety. Its nice that Brasserie T! swapped it up and used crab as the star of their roll. This roll was very refreshing mostly because there was a good amount of crab and a very nice crunchy coleslaw to go with it. It was also done well because it had a good balance of mayonnaise as well.

DESSERT

BRASSERIE T QUARTIER DIX30

For dessert, they have a pretty nice selection. However, as usual, there wasn’t anything else that I could have so I chose to have a sorbet. You could choose to have one or two scoops. Their flavor also changes to what they have available. The one that we got was for strawberry sorbet. I’ve never had strawberry sorbet (usually its more raspberry and such) so its a really nice one to try out.

OVERALL, Brasserie T Quartier Dix30 is pretty nice. The ambiance is nice. The interior decor is very elegant. The service was also really good and knowledgeable. The food was pretty decent as well. I’d be interested to go back and try out some of the stuff on their normal menu as well as see what else they come up for specials as the season as warmer and the produce changes.

Signé Local: Vitrine du Fait au Québec Haul & Recap

signe local

From the last weekend of November till December 17th held on weekends at the Quartier Dix30 shopping area was this fair that featured different local products in rotation over the weeks. It was a good place to see a lot of Quebec products that I have never seen before in the Salon des Metiers d’arts which is very cool. However, this one was not free. It had an entry fee of $5 which bought a pass for every week of the fair. Before we move forward, I feel that I need to address this. While I did pay for the pass, I did also feel a little surprised to have to pay an entry fee. While I can get why they would need to charge it, it also seems a turnoff to charge for a fair that you’d go in and have to spend more money on buying whatever interests you. Most of the local products are good quality which means they are priced higher than what you’d get at big box stores. With that said, its solely based on principle, it has nothing to do with the price because $5 for 5 weekends is not expensive. It really depends on how much you value seeing local products and treating it as more of an expo where you get to learn, see and taste the local products.

With that said, the experience was pretty good. We only caught the last 3 weekends but there was a lot of cool products to learn about. Even if we couldn’t get everything (limited resources and such), I’ll share what we did buy and also some stores that I will keep an eye out for and maybe see if I can order stuff online later on (if its available).

Haul

Signe local

The first weekend ended up with 2 different purchases.

The first was Oomph which is a 100% natural popcorn seasoning. There are some allergen free option with this company which is very awesome. We ended up buying a Maple BBQ flavor and the Apple Pie flavor (which I’m seriously looking forward to baking with). We’ve been addicted to the Maple BBQ popcorn seasoning and its just a whole new world of amazing flavors.

The second purchase was at La Pincée. There have a variety of seasoning for vegetables and different kinds of meats including curry mixes and mild, herb, spicy, etc. This one is sold at some supermarkets from what they told us. We chose the Plumée seasoning which is good for poultry which is a huge part of what we eat since we love cooking chicken and turkey a lot.

Signe Local

The week after that, I picked up this scarf sort of thing from Léonce. I hesitated a little because it was like $45 dollars however, I really love this type of scarf that encircles your neck like how I like eternity scarf (but those seem to be out of style this year). This one is supposed to be incredibly warm and feel really comfortable. While I do have a scarf right now, the fabric on it is soft but also irritates my skin. I’m hoping this one will be much better. From what I’ve tried so far, it does the job. They have super cute mittens too which I’m hoping to purchase after my current mittens aren’t good anymore. But then, I love my current mitts so I hope they’ll keep up their effectiveness.

In the final weekend, we ended up picking up from two stalls as well.

Signe Local

The first was at La Lichée which had caramel spreads. My husband loved it so much that he really insisted on getting the caramel fleur de sel type. I couldn’t taste it since it has lactose however I’m sure that he’ll make good use out of it.

signe local

The final thing we got was at Chocolaterie Mathilde Fays. My husband bought the Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Bar and I went for the 70% Dark Chocolate bar and the Dark Chocolate Ball. The dark chocolate is lactose free so I’m extremely  happy about that. They had a lot of really good variety along with some nice smaller packaging with some fancier designed bite-sized pieces as well.

Now that we’re done with our haul, lets take a look at some places that we really liked and have their card in case we save up some money and get a chance to pick up something from their stores online:

Signe local

  • Lecavalier Petrone – Confections Gourmandes: These are some fancy looking chocolates. I like it for the unique look and I’m sure that they would taste great. Luckily, looking at their locations, they seem to have a location nearby to this show so maybe we’ll go check it out. It would be a nice gift to give.
  • ChaliThis is an interesting piece of jewelry which acts as a durable clasp that can be moved from one sort of jewelry to the next whether as a closing an earring or bracelet. Its a really neat idea that stemmed out of a need from the designer.
  • MB Alpha Wear: Its pretty hard to find clothes particularly for men. This place designs men’s apparel and adds a touch of wilderness design to mix it up. It caught my eye right away at the show. Why do men get all the nice looking clothes?  I’ve always wondered that. But then, what would stop me from getting one of the sweaters for myself, right?
  • Pression: This is a cute little backpack shop with some really beautiful colors and designs. It also has this little hook at the top to hang your keys for those people like myself who spend 5 minutes digging out keys when I get home. Not so fun when its like -30C.
  • Les CocoNuts: Coconut oil based products all the way. I think one of them that caught my eye the most is their chapstick which you actually refill. A pretty nifty idea as most of you who use coconut oil knows that they have a melting point and then solidify making it pretty easy to see how they could be used as a refillable sort of item. Very intrigued and they have a store accessible to myself so I’m looking to check it out sometime soon.

Thats it for the recap of this event!
Anything catch your eye from the haul or the honorable mention?

Janvier A La Carte Dix30: Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Thanks so much to my awesome friend Starry Traveler who told me about this event and rounded up her family for a hangout and discovering food.  They are still one of the best foodie events companions.

We’ve been to MTL a Table two times together and now we’re venturing to check out this new event at Quartier Dix30.  There was about 10 restaurants to choose from in this complex.  Its a pretty scattered district.

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Houston is right at the intersection of the busy area so you can’t miss it. I love bar and grill restaurants.  Houston does have a pretty classy atmosphere and the decor is mostly smooth unless you are facing the red tinted transparent panels which my husband was, and he thought it was a pretty aggressive choice of color and decor.

The four of us managed to cover the menu pretty much and try the three menus at each of their prices.  Starters and desserts are the same for each meal so I’ll only put the price tag next to the main dish so you can get an idea.

Drinks

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Bloody Caesar & Raspberry Mojito

Peach Sangria

Peach Sangria

Starter: Soup of the Day
(no one took the salad)

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Main Dish

8oz. Filet Mignon Burger, with foie gras mayonnaise and fries ($20)

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Tartare Trio ($30)
4oz Tuna with Wafu Sauce, 4oz Salmon with citrus sauce, 4oz filet mignon dijon sauce with fries and salad

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Surf ‘N Turf ($40)
5oz filet mignon, 3 shrimps and brie cheese, served with mashed potatoes, vegetables and red wine sauce

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Dessert

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Profiterole stuffed with Ice Cream

Houston Avenue Bar & Grill

Wild Berry Crumble
(alternative from the regular menu due to lactose-intolerance)

Overall…it isn’t the first time that I’ve been to Houston and its well-ranged diverse menu options for this event was what intrigued me.  Houston makes some rather decent drinks, depending on the choice. The Raspberry Mojito is pretty good and I believe my husband liked the Bloody Caesar (but then he usually does). Another thing that made this meal really great was the fact that on some really great timing, the soup of the day was beef and vegetables and not some creamy soup.  It was really good.  There was some spice in there that I couldn’t figure out but gave it such a delightful taste. Plus, soup on a cold day is so much more enjoyable. As for the main course, I had the burger and it was good.  I’m not a burger fan but the filet mignon was really great and the one worry was that the foie gras mayonnaise would be too much and it wasn’t. My husband had the Surf ‘N Turf and he really liked it.  The brie cheese worked well with the filet mignon and the shrimps were done really good.

Going on to the desserts, they were able to accommodate my allergies and let me choose from two lactose-free options and I decided on the Wild Berries Crumble. I have to say that it was a little on the sweet side and it was probably because of the maple syrup drizzled over it. Apparently, the profiteroles with the ice cream instead of whipped cream was a really nice twist and everyone seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

Houston is a good place to eat.  Its never exactly my first choice but on events like this, trying these new dishes really gave it a nice little twist and an opportunity to give something more unique a try.  It was a decent experience!

Restaurant: Jack Saloon at Quartier Dix30, Brossard, Quebec – Take 2!

Its rare we go to the same restaurants two weeks in a row.  Its rare we go out two weeks in a row while I’m talking about that. But, this week is my birthday weekend and my best friend and her boyfriend had asked to meet up for a dinner double date to celebrate together. After having a rather hard time deciding where to go, my boyfriend suggested a second visit to Jack Saloon’s, especially since we couldn’t try out the burgers last time because of the Groupon deal, this time we could give it a shot 🙂

Let’s look at what this time’s foodie adventures brought for us!

We decided to live on the wild side and my best friend suggested a round of shots on her so I suggested that these shots called Revolver looked the best with a mix of Jack Daniel’s and Apricot brandy.

Jack Saloon Dix30

Shots: Revolver

I personally love apricot brandy so these shots were really good.  Maybe not such a great idea to do a shot on an empty stomach but we all were laughing and joking around, especially since the guys each took a pint of beer which was on special at $5 and us girls took a Smirnoff Ice.

Dinner came relatively soon after.  The deal was on 4 selected burgers.  While the others took those choices, I broke out of the pack and had a massive craving for a pulled pork sandwich and those scrumptious onion rings from the week before. They were calling out to me…

Jack Saloon Dix30

Pulled Pork Sandwich with sides of onion rings

Our sides out swapped so we did the change ourselves afterwards.  You aren’t seeing things, those are actually fries 😉

The pulled pork sandwich was really delicious.  It was cooked right to perfection and it was perfectly spiced and whatever sauce they had on there was mouthwatering.  If you can believe it, this time the onion rings were even better.

Maybe being with good company makes things even better than they already are 🙂

Jack Saloon Dix30

Jack Saloon Cheeseburger with a side of trio fries

The two guys took the Jack Saloon Cheeseburger.  This is my boyfriend’s “plate”.  He has a soft spot for fries so he tries out these amalgamation of fries (I think that’s the word they used in the menu) for combining three sorts of fries: sweet potato, normal and something else that I can’t remember.

From his reaction and lack of talking, I think he was enjoying his burger 😉

Jack Saloon Dix30

Australian-Mediterranean Burger

Next, my best friend chose the Australian-Mediterranean Burger at least I think that’s the name of the burger.  It was like a mountain of veggies full of beets, lettuce, tomato and a double patty hidden under all this.  It took her a while to get through it but she seemed to enjoy it as well.

Jack Saloon is definitely a worthy place for a second visit.  The music is something that I’m not sure I mentioned but some quality stuff there.  There’s a lot of throwback music style and I love that! Its a nice place to hang out with friends and get some decent drinks.  My boyfriend said the beer he had was to his taste although it might be a little light for beer connoisseurs (which he isn’t).

On that note, great company, delicious food, an awesome shot and Smirnoff Ice made this birthday celebration a fun fun event.  Like I said in my vlog, I can’t think of a better way to turn 29.  2015 has really been treating me extra well! 🙂

What do you think? Do you like beer and burgers? What sort do you prefer?

 

Restaurant: Jack Saloon at Quartier Dix 30, Brossard, Quebec!

Its been a good few months that I’ve posted anything on going out to restaurants.

A few months ago, I found a pretty good deal on Groupon for Jack Saloon in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard.  Its been a place I’ve been wanting to go check out with my boyfriend.

Situated down the main strip of Quarter Dix30, Jack Saloon has a great location where there’s accessible underground parking.  When you first enter Jack Saloon, the one thing you will not miss is its beautiful decor creating a very stylish ambiance.

Jack Saloon Dix30

We went for a 5pm reservation and outside was still bright but the copper counters of the bar situated in the middle and the racing and older style pictures dangling above it match the vibe they want to give.  The walls are lined with animal skulls and there are some classic lamp shades to match the lights decorating different corners.

We started off the evening with some cocktails.

Jack Saloon Dix30

Bloody Caesar a la Course

Jack Saloon Dix30

Mojito a la Mangue (Mango Mojito)

My boyfriend took the Bloody Caesar.  Its his thing.  He orders that everything.  Jack Saloon’s adds a little spicy twist to it with a few extra ingredients.  My boyfriend said that it tasted pretty good but the taste was definitely stronger than normal. I had the Mango Mojito.  I’ve turned into quite a mojito lover and I adore mango so this combination worked for me.  I can’t say I’m extremely wowed by it but it was quite delicious 🙂 Mango is a tricky fruit for cocktails in general, I believe (or maybe I’m just a little picky).

Moving along, Sundays at Jack Saloon’s meant that there was $10 on selected burgers which we could not take because it would render our Groupon useless and we’d have to use it another time.  We ended up both picking something else on the menu and I took the half rack of ribs while my boyfriend took a full rack with a side of onion rings.

Jack Saloon Dix30

Half Rack of BBQ Ribs

Jack Saloon Dix30

Accompaniment: Onion Rings

Jack Saloon Dix30

Closer look at onion rings: Its drenched in Honey!!!

I love ribs, oh do I love them? The choice for me was relatively easy, although I equally love pulled pork sandwiches as well.  There’s a ton of stuff to try here.  It sucks that I’m lactose intolerant or I’d have tried the Chicken ‘n Waffles which they also have here.  Anyways, we both had the ribs and the very nice waiter told us that because its done on the smokehouse at the actual restaurant, its going to be drier than the normal ribs that we have elsewhere.  We both were cool with that.

The ribs were spiced differently from other places and honestly, it may look dry but the taste was really awesome.  I’m glad I took the half rack because I don’t deal too well with spices (completely my own digestive issues) and this was just enough to satisfy my appetite and still be happy.

The onion rings were the star here.  I didn’t realize it was drenched in honey until I took my first bite.  The onions were cut large and usually I don’t like that but with the honey and the delicious crust, it just melted in my mouth.  It was so awesome and heavenly! 🙂 I took the second picture so that you could see the honey while the first one is the portion size of the accompaniment.

Jack Saloon’s is a pretty cool place to go.  The prices are a little higher than average and they may not have a huge selection on their 2 page menu but every choice is unique and original and they add their own little flair to it.  The ambiance and decor is extremely stylish and comfortable and well, the food was satisfying and delicious.  Oh, and the service was also very good.  We had a friendly waiter and that makes the experience every bit more pleasant.

Not an Accident…

Its the long weekend so I figured that I’d do my personal post a bit later since I did give you something similar on Friday 🙂 If you missed that, you could go check it out HERE! Okay, okay, you got me.  I just didn’t sit down and write my personal post, but its because I have so many things I want to talk about and just not sure how to approach it.  Let’s give it shot now, shall we?

This week has really been all about embracing fully the idea of this:

It may come as a shock to you but I’m a really shy person and rarely do I open up to people easily.  This Tuesday, when I was sitting and waiting forever for my mom’s very late Toronto bus to arrive, I met a stranger named Alex and had a pretty decent chat.  Funny enough, we were talking about our jobs and whatnot. The only thing I now know of this person is this video that he told me to check out.

Thats what you do with strangers, right? You don’t start exchanging phone numbers because we didn’t.  Well, I told him about my blog and he said he’d check it out.  Its all about promoting ourselves but hey, Tranquil Dreams has made me very proud, what can I say? So as pointless that meeting a stranger is, we did talk about passions and that made me look at things a little different so definitely not an accident and very purposeful, no matter how short.  I probably need a few more of these types of friends in my life to inspire positive vibes.

So to say, this leads me to do a pretty daring thing on my part.  As its a confirmed deal now, I will be going to Toronto soon and I know a few of you live there.  I had a ton of fun meeting Jonathan in Maine, so I was wondering if any of you would like to meet up.  Just a suggestion and probably would be cool 🙂 Although time-wise will be a bit tricky as after 4 hours of waiting to get in the ticket reservations for TIFF 2013, I finally bought tickets to see both of the movies I wanted to:

Rigor Mortis

Rigor Mortis

The Wind Rises (MIYAZAKI!)

The Wind Rises (MIYAZAKI!)

That means I’ll be in town September 13-15th 🙂 Now you know the details.  If you’d like to meet up, drop me an email or leave me a comment and I can contact you :).  I’m a really nice person, I assure you of that! I think its a cool idea but if you don’t, thats alright 🙂 I respect that too!

Now thats out of the way, lets get back to some stuff I’ve seen that I’d like to share.  Yesterday, I went out with my friend for brunch then went for a walk around Quartier Dix30, a suburban shopping/entertainment district and in the newly developed area, we the drums performance.

Performance at Square Dix30 area

Performance at Square Dix30 area

And its been crazy hot and humid these past few days, so my flowers are all out and about along with lots of bees, wasps and ladybugs 🙂

Field of flowers

Field of flowers

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Hello Ladybug 🙂

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Bumblebee! Work hard collecting that pollen!

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My garden is still blooming and its so happy to see it 🙂

My mom came home from Toronto earlier this week with some moon cakes.  Midautumn festival is just around the corner and she got some Teochew style Moon cakes which was definitely a new taste and was pretty good 🙂

Teochew style Moon cake

Teochew style Moon cake

This is getting a bit long but with events this past week both mentioned and not, I have found some quotes in Pinterest that really wrap up what I think about:

So very true! 🙂

Thats the kind of friend I’d like to be!

Man, do my dreams scare me! I’m on the right track then 🙂

Finally, if only I could do these things and maybe you might want to try it out too.

I have to work #5 and #6 and maybe #4, hmm, and #3!

Still have some work to do to stress less but I totally buy every point, just easier to talk about it than doing it.

Oh right, there is an extension of one more week of movie recommendations to make it a solid 4 weeks.  So remember to check back if you were following that 😉 I’m working on a few already and have a few more movies that I hopefully will get to! And I think its been successful that I’d do it again.  What do you think?

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Yesterday was probably the best day so far of 2013!

Saturday was a gorgeous day! It was beautiful and sunny! A lot of things were done and it was absolutely fun! I decided to document my day FROM ABOVE!

I started off an early day to pick up my friend and go out to get some shopping done!

First of all though, he took me out to treat me for my belated breakfast at Ben and Florentine’s!

The Big Ben!

The Big Ben!

The Big Ben was my choice! I hesitated because it usually is too much for me! It was 2 eggs with ham, bacon and sausages with their fried potates and applesauce 🙂 There’s always 2 slices of toast on the side! I ended eating most of it by myself.  Where did I get that appetite?

After that went off to do some shopping and run errands.  After I dropped him off at home, I went back to do some more girly shopping like for clothes and more gender neutral like books. I went to Quartier Dix30 shopping complex to enjoy some of the sun.  They had some cute floral decorations to give a nice projection on the sidewalks.

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After time flew by, I went back home and while I was getting ready and searching up my workout for the day, I had a little visitor who didn’t want me to leave her in the house alone, even though I was just in the backyard.

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Of course, once I finished playing with her, I went off to the backyard to do my workout 🙂 It was super kickass.  My first full workout outside a bit spiced up to what I wanted to do.  The sun was blazing on me and I could wear my tank top and new shorts (that I bought that morning at Mountain Equipment Co-op).

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After the workout, I went back in to make my first ever Protein Powder drink that I just received the week of! You’ll see me talk about that in the weekly workout update.  I mixed it with some apple juice since I ran out of almond milk..haha! Tasted delicious!

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As I stood by the counter drinking my protein shake, I watched my cat looking outside…

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The first tulip blooming inside…

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Its then my phone rang and its my best friend coming to stay over for the night and telling me she would arrive at the subway stop soon:) So I went off to grab my car and went off to get her.  Afterwards, we sat down and had a great night eating and she chose to watch this movie! Review will be coming up!

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The night ended with a lot of sangria, games of Time Crisis 4 and a lot of chatting and laughs! We even watched a bit of TV series while we both studied our respective subjects before heading to bed!

Saturday was perfect even when looking from above 😉

This is my response to Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above!