Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 In Review

"Our tree is EXPLODING with presents!" the little ones exclaimed gleefully after everyone set down their contributions. :)

2012 was a year of big changes and lots of learning for me:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romantic Poverty

Image Source
I heard a song on the radio the other day that absolutely infuriated and disgusted me.  It made me very, very angry.  But I

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Mars Diner

Grand Slam from Mars Diner - OMG SO YUMMY!
After yesterday's post, I've been asked what kinds of food I eat for my cheat meals, so I thought I'd show instead of telling!

I have a bit of a confession to make:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fitness/Weight Loss Q&A

-30 pounds before & after (as of the time of posting I've lost just over 40lbs.)
 Hi guys!

A couple weeks ago I invited you all to ask me any questions that have to do with fitness and weight loss, and here they are!  Before I start, I feel the need to say that I'm neither a professional dietitian nor a personal trainer, but I'm willing to share what worked for me because my approach is very positive, healthy, and effective (if I do say so myself).  I think what I've done can totally work for most people provided they're willing to work hard, and they don't have any health issues that affect their weight.

Most importantly, I want to encourage everyone who wants to make a change in their lifestyle and to let them know that it can be done, because really, if I can do it, anyone can.  Even if you feel like you have a long way to go, the hardest part honestly is the beginning.  Once you have committed to living healthier and you take that first step, the road will get smoother.

Hope you'll find this helpful and feel free to ask me more questions here, via email, Facebook, or Twitter!

Here are your questions:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vote for Me!!!

Please click on this picture and vote for me! :D

Hi guys!  Have just gone on a much-needed break after finishing NaBloPoMo last month (which I'm very proud of!) and then...a host of really tough RL situations have descended upon me.  Regardless, all of you are the bright spot in my life, and I'm still here, I'm still writing, and everything is still on track. :)

I don't know how many of you have been on my YouTube channel, but I've been meaning to relaunch it for a while, just like how I relaunched this blog.  Video is a medium that I absolutely adore and love to play around with, so this is something I'm really excited about!

In fact, I bought my MacBook Pro precisely for all the multimedia tools it comes with, and actually, I'd been procrastinating in producing content for my channel because I was trying to figure out how to use everything, re-learning how to edit, etc.

Lo and behold, came the kick in the butt I needed: Shoppers Drug Mart was holding a video contest for their new makeup line, Essence!  Essence is an affordable makeup line that I've actually had a longtime relationship with - I first started using it when I was an impoverished student living in Nice, and it was one of like, three brands of makeup that I could actually afford.  I was really excited to hear that it was coming to Canada, and of course, I had to take part in the contest!

I had to create a summer look with Essence products exclusively, and film a video tutorial on it.  It was a lot of fun to do, and it really forced me to familiarize myself with iMovie.  The result is at this link; please go have a look and vote for me!!!  I need 25 unique votes to be considered by the judges and by my estimation, I'm getting close.  Please, please vote!!!

I hope you like it, and I can't wait to interact with you guys more via YouTube!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Shiso Tree Café

Shrimp Okonomiyaki Pasta from Shiso Tree Café
Is there any emotional issue in the world that pasta can't fix?  I don't think so.

Broken heart? 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Don't Know How to Play

Image Source
It was back in university when Cute Guy was sitting across from me in an Irish pub

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beating Genetics

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, it probably wouldn't come as a surprise to you that I'm a vain person.  I freely admit it and am unapologetic about it.

But even though appearances are important to me,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Win At Passive Aggression

Image Source
You know you have a Chinese Mama when:
*you could win the gold medal if Being Passive-Aggressive were an Olympic sport

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl who disobeyed her mother.  One day, she died."

"Did you see the news last night?  No?  Well, take a look at these newspaper clippings.  There was a girl your age who was as pretty as you are and got good grades, just like you.  She went out late against her mother's wishes, got drunk and drugged at a party, and ended up getting robbed, shot, raped, mutilated, and eaten.  That's what happens when people don't listen to their moms."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Essie Jazz

This is me wearing Essie Jazz (and being a Chanel whore)
Oh my goodness, you wouldn’t believe what lengths I went to to procure this nail polish. But the effort was quite worth it, don’t you think?

It’s a beautiful,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: La Bamboche

Left: Cassis & Earl Grey Cake  Right: Matcha (Green Tea) & Sesame Cake
I've been known to go bakery-hopping once in a while, and the most number of bakeries I've hit in a go was four.  For a city as large as Toronto, where things are so spread out, it was no easy feat!  Sometimes, I'm on a hunt for something specific -

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Oversharing Daughter

Petite. Both vertically and horizontally. (Is this a pattern?) A total weirdo packaged in a very normal-seeming exterior.

Within the first 15 minutes of meeting her she seems just like anyone else…but then we learn that

Sunday, July 22, 2012

$60,000 Husbands

Image Source
I recently learned that some husbands (and wives) can cost $60,000CAD* to acquire.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Oversharing Former Classmate

Image Source
Petite.  Both vertically and horizontally. Was universally disliked in high school, or tolerated at best.  Has a mouth that just doesn't stop...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Asian Girl Problems - Racist Relatives

Screen cap from my iPhone

I was at work earlier this week when all of a sudden, I received the text messages above, from an uncle.  I'm green, of course.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Joe Fresh Orange Crush*

Last week I talked about my failed foray into trying one of the season's hottest colours...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesday/Cupcake Chronicles: Bobbette & Belle

$2.95 each - Top L-R: red velvet, raspberry, mango | Bottom L-R: cookies & cream, chocolate, (and I think) apple spice

The Cupcake Chronicles have become something of a life mission.  I’m still looking for the best cupcake in Toronto, only it’s expanded – I’m also looking for the best cupcake in every city that I visit, if they’re available.

On this edition of the CC, I try the offerings from Bobette & Belle, a pretty well-known bakery down at the Beaches.  A lot of my fellow foodists have been wanting to make the trip down there

Monday, July 16, 2012

What I Ate/Eat to Lose 35lbs.

shrimp, avocado, blueberry, cherry tomato, herb & mixed greens salad w/ Japanese dressing
Since I posted that I've lost 30 pounds (I've actually reached the -35lbs. mark now), I've been getting lots of questions about my fitness and nutrition habits.  Earlier, I posted about my fitness routine, so I thought I'd follow up with a post on what I eat.

And the truth is

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What Leads You to Me

Image Source
I was over at the lovely, brainy, and hilarious Loodie's blog when I saw her most recent post on the search terms that people have used to arrive at her blog, and decided that I would share some of mine because I've seen some doozies in my analytics account!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Version 1 with my signature big hair, red lips, and the same glasses I've worn for 5 years now
The original is one of my favourite pieces of art in the world because it was the first painting that I was able to really "feel" - as cliché is that sounds.  I made this version four years ago when I was living in France, just for fun...little did I know how perfectly this image would capture many moments in my life since then, unfortunately.

Below is a...more realistic version!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Motivation

This idea is courtesy of the lovely Ms. Aquadisiac!

A stroll around my office revealed one day that

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beat Your Child!

Image Source

"You can stop talking now, Granny, because I've already stopped listening," said my co-worker's four year old to her grandmother during a discussion about Never Cry Wolf.  They were noticing that she was starting to fib, and grandma had taken it upon herself to nip the habit in the bud with a fable.  Obviously, it didn't work.

My co-worker relishes telling "cute" stories about his children,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 11: China Glaze Peachy Keen

China Glaze Peachy Keen
One of the it colours for nail polish this year is peach; all tones of orange are in, really, because

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: The One (Part 2: The Food!)

Lobster Spoons
Before you read this, please click here to read my review on the very, erm, colourful ambience of this posh restaurant!

Okay, let’s finally talk about what I was looking forward to most during this outing: the food! (Cue the harps!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Love Letter to All My "Not Skinny" Chinese Sisters

Image Source
I came across this discussion thread in a healthy lifestyle forum, from a young girl.  Normally, I wouldn't really have the patience to reply to posts like this but it hit too close to home, so I answered her.  Since this posting, her identity's been suspicious because "her" new blog has totally different statistics from those detailed in the profile of the writer of this note.  The only thing in common is that both the person who started this thread and the person who writes on that blog are obsessive about their weight and have very unhealthy attitudes about their body image.  Regardless of whether or not it's the same person, if I could just help one person - her or a passerby who reads this - have a healthier and more positive attitude about themselves, I would be really grateful.  Here it is:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 8: Like Me!

Click Me!
I realized belatedly - five days late to be exact - that my blog's 4th birthday/anniversary came and went and I didn't acknowledge it at all!  That's right, my very first post on this blog was published on July 3rd, 2008 - where did the time go? 

Since then I have lived in France for a year, finished my undergrad degree, came home and completed a postgrad program, ran away to Spain for half a year, survived 10 months of working in terrible places, fell in and out of love a few times, lost over 30 pounds, and settled into a good, Big Girl Job that I am proud of.  My, I've been busy!

Throughout all this I've been a very sporadic blogger, and yet when I resolved to start writing again, a lot of you welcomed me back so graciously.  Part of me was honestly worried that there would be no more interest in this blog because of my inconsistency, but I've been pleasantly shocked, surprised, and delighted by all the hits I've gotten since July 1st!

Thank you so, so much for your continued support and encouragement over the years; all of you give me purpose, which is an incredible feeling and, actually, one of the greatest gifts I've ever gotten from anyone.  Thank you for reading me!!!

Before I start to get maudlin, I'd like to invite you all to my new Facebook page!  After four years, it's about time, right?  I'll be posting photos, updates, maybe even some videos there - and I'd love to interact with you more.  If you have a second right now, please head over and give me a thumbs up!  I'd be thrilled if all three of you that read my blog Like me on my page! ;P

Thank yous and see you tomorrow with a fresh, new article! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 7: My Exercise Routine

Me @ my Superstar Spinning Class!
Those of you who've been keeping up with my Twitter have been asking me about my exercise routine, so I thought I'd share here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 6: Chinese Kid Tales - Shame

Image Source

My stomach was churning in shame and embarrassment all day long. I knew as the work day progressed that I'd have to eventually face up to committing my mistake, and I was not looking forward to it at all. I pride myself on being a responsible, considerate citizen who more or less has her sh!t together; how did I get here?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 5: My Partner, My Boyfriend, My Lover

Image Source
I don’t understand the term “my partner,” particularly in the context of heterosexual relationships. It makes me imagine both “partners” linking arms and skipping around in a folk dance routine. My mind automatically defaults to thinking,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 4: Essie A Cut Above

Over China Glaze For Audrey

On a love/hate ratio, my feelings towards this polish would stand at 60/40.  60 love because,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: The One (Part 1: The Ambience)

Interior of the restaurant
I love pretension.  To be exact, I have a penchant for pretentious places and things but not so much for pretentious people, which admittedly, I can sometimes be.  So of course I was delighted and excited when I learned that one of my work Christmas parties was to be at The One (also known as the One Hazelton to some people), a very posh and expensive restaurant located below the Metropolitan Hotel in Yorkville (a posh and pretentious neighbourhood in downtown Toronto). 

It’s a popular celebrity hangout.  I know someone who was seated beside Gerard Butler on the well-known patio when she was there during the film festival, and I’d read that Bono was just there in September – and of course, as I’ve already established, what’s good enough for Bono is good enough for me. 

But most importantly, I’d heard that the food was amazing.  And of course, that was my primary motivation; I’m always there mainly for the food.  I’d do very much for good food.  If I were to ever write an autobiography, I’d call it “I’m Here for the Food.”  Dead serious.

The One is run by star chef & restaurateur, Mark McEwan, who also runs the gourmet joints, North 44 and Bymark, which another friend has been to and loved.  He's a celebrity on Food Network Canada and he has a big reputation to uphold.  They charge $56 for a steak at The One and $18 for a cocktail.  There must be a reason for all of this, and I was really pumped to experience it all firsthand.

Monday, July 2, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Why I'd Be A Great WAG

I'm still riding the high from Spain's big, history-making win yesterday!

Some of my favourite parts of championship soccer finals actually are not the matches themselves, but the bits preceding and following the game - namely, when the footballers stroll onto the pitch holding the hands of little kids, and afterwards, when the winning team members bring their babies/young relatives onto the field.

If you follow my Twitter, you may recall some of my tweets about how, um, happy I feel when I see footballers with young children.  I squealed internally when the sportscaster commented on how Fernando Torres "had his hands full" walking around with little Nora & Leo on each arm.  I had to suppress a high-pitched awww at the photo Sergio Ramos tweeted of him holding the Euro Cup and hugging his niece, who he described as the world's most beautiful.

Consequently, I was reminded yesterday of my deep-seated desire to be a soccer WAG (Wife And Girlfriend).  I really, really want to.  And I am absolutely certain I would make an excellent one.  So I thought I would list all the reasons why I'd make a great WAG, in case any prospective FHABs (Footballer Husbands and Boyfriends) ever decide to look on the internet for candidates.

This list was created chiefly with Spanish footies in mind, but I wouldn't say no to some notable exceptions, such as Yoann Gourcuff, Robin van Persie, Marco Borriello, Olivier Giroud, or Pablo Osvaldo, for example.

So! My dear, prospective FHABs, this is why I'd make a great WAG (in no particular order):

Sunday, July 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 1: My Promise

I know.  I know!

Completely unacceptable.  I disappear for over half a year, without explaining what was going on and without telling any of you and all of a sudden I just come back out of nowhere expecting us to pick right back up where we left off and be okay with everything?  Not cool.

But you already know what I'm going to tell you, right?  My life was going through a lot of upheavals and changes and I was settling into my new job and life was completely overwhelming me and I was doing a shit job of managing my time on top of everything else - not making excuses, but this was the deal.

Will go into more detail on everything that's been happening and am fervently hoping that you'll hang around, because I have SO MUCH to tell you!  Now that things have kind of settled down (as much as they will, anyway) and I've established something of a routine, I'm ready to reincorporate this very important thing back into my life and I'm ready to start anew.  It's never too late to start again, right?  And I'm a firm believer that it's okay to start fresh more than once if you need to, as long as you gather your resolve to finally do it right.

To demonstrate my commitment, I've decided to post every single day of July, 2012 - hold an independent NaBloPoMo, if you will.  I will do this!  I will keep my promise, but I invite all of you to keep me accountable.  Send me angry emails and tweets if I miss a day - I won't, but I'm putting it all out there and I want you to know that I understand and accept the consequences if I fail.  Which I won't! :)

Hope you all had a Happy Canada Day, Happy Pride, and of course, ¡Viva Españaaaa!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

30 Things I Learned in 2011

Happy New Year!!!

I seem to have to do this a lot but I really do apologize for disappearing for long stretches of time.  One of my foremost goals in 2012 is to stabilize my life enough and to be disciplined enough to post regularly again.  I really miss writing, but my life's been a whirlwind of job changes and new jobs in the past few months.  Don't get  me wrong; I am super happy to be where I am right now because for the first 10 months of 2011 I wasn't in a good situation professionally, which made me rather unhappy.  But now I'm really glad to say that I'm in a much better place work-wise, so I'm hoping to be able to build the rest of my life around that schedule now, including a ton of extracurrics.  Some things never change. ;)

That said, if you're here reading this I'm so grateful to have you as a reader and I'm very happy that you've stood by me all this time!  And I thought I'd share with you a tag going on YouTube right now: 30 Things I Learned in 2011.  They are:

1.) I can make the unequivocally right decision and still regret it afterwards.
2.) My mom was right about not letting me do retail when I was in high school.
3.) It was not a good year for dictators.
4.) I have lots to be thankful for.
5.) But I still have lots to work towards.
6.) Giving blood is awesome! It’s a great way of giving back to the community especially if you’re at a point in your life when you don’t have much to spare financially. Plus it gets a lot less scary after the first time. But trust your gut about who’s sticking you.
7.) I should never be afraid to say no, because I will only screw myself over if I agree to things I never wanted to do.
8.) I can survive on a lot less than I’m used to having.
9.) But having more money to spend won’t necessarily mean that I will be more satisfied with my life.
10.) Many of us have a very wasteful lifestyle in North America.
11.) Boys are only as good as their basic instincts.
12.) Cheap people are odious creatures. (But cheap ≠ poor; by cheap I mean those who try to acquire things they cannot afford by wrangling deals out of people.  They are awful and despicable.)
13.) Education makes a difference on a very fundamental level.
14.) Agent B can get ahead in life. (More on this later. ;P)
15.) I’m going to be a really strict mother.
16.) I feel a disconnection with many people my age because a lot of them are doing things I feel unready and/or unprepared to do, such as getting married, having kids and buying property. (At 24??? Really?!)
17.) One of the biggest problems in the world is that anybody can have kids, but many people shouldn’t. Most kids are born because people want to fulfill themselves or because they were not careful. And a lot of the aforementioned do not know how to raise children.
18.) Infertility seems to be an increasingly common problem in first world countries, and I wonder if this is the way nature is phasing humans out the way many other species were, perhaps to fix the overpopulation problem.
19.) I seem to have bad luck with landlords; I should just save up and buy instead of renting ever again.
20.) “No just means it’s going to take a little longer.”
21.) It’s really important to persevere, even (or especially) when things seem hopeless. You never know how things will turn out.
22.) I always thought that I was pretty up front, but apparently I am big on bottling things up until I explode.
23.) And when I explode, I go nuclear.
24.) I used to take my free time for granted.
25.) It’s important to listen to your gut and know when to get yourself out of a situation – and then you have to aggressively find a way out. It’s a key way of progressing and moving onto better places.
26.) There’s a lot to be said for keeping my head down and just working hard.
27.) Foreign as the concept is, I should rely less on the opinions of people I love/trust. There are many of them and I’ll get pulled in a million different directions.
28.) Being a grown-up actually isn't so bad.
29.) Dermatological skincare works way better for me than luxury brand stuff.
30.) Comedy truly is my entertainment genre of choice and I don't need to feel embarrassed about that. :P