Tag Archives: Fun

Weekend Fun

25 Apr

Though the weather didn’t look too promising at first, the weekend ended up being warm and filled with lots of glorious sunshine. The BF took Saturday off from work for school, but his class got canceled at the last minute so we got to enjoy a true long weekend together, our first in a few years. We took advantage of the weather and this time together to take Jelly on some adventures to welcome Spring.

Looking out the window waiting for her adventures to begin.

I guess in our effort to avoid girly pink accessories, we have no one to blame but ourselves for everyone constantly calling her a boy.

On Friday, we took her on her first little hike at a conservation area north of the city.

She was well behaved the entire time and enjoyed lots of new sights, sounds, and of course, smells.

On Saturday, we brought her to a farm market. Here’s a picture of the man and our little dog.

Last night, we made our first visit to an actual outdoor dog park close to our house. This is one of the friends that Jelly made there — he was huge and slobbery, but incredibly friendly and cute.

And here is a moment that I caught on video — it’s such gold that I can’t stop watching it and laughing at the poor girl. She has tripped numerous times, running up and down the halls while carrying her stuffed monkey, getting her own limbs tangled up in those of the toy’s. Evidence of her clumsiness has shown itself lots, but never like this, and I’m so glad that I caught it with my iPhone.

More Greens, Even More Jelly

3 Apr

I’ve been really lax lately on keeping up with the healthy cooking and eating. Chalk it up to being too busy, or paying too much attention to a very active puppy, or just plain laziness, I haven’t been able to cook as much as I want to for us. And shame on me, on a weekly basis, I have been finding myself dumping uncooked food that had gone bad in the fridge.

Jelly is four months old today. It’s a small milestone, but we’ve noticed over the last two weeks that we haven’t had to keep our eye on her every second that she is awake. While she’s a pretty independent puppy who likes to explore and play on her own, she has learned quickly and quite well what the rules of the house are. She knows what she is allowed to chew on (her toys) and what she isn’t allowed to chew on (us, the furniture, shoes) and she knows that upstairs is off-limits unless we take her there. She also has been doing really well with her potty-training. Less supervision for Jelly means that we have some time back for ourselves. And as a result of this, I’m able to have more time in the kitchen.

Fresh veggies are pretty important to me. Without them on a daily basis, I feel pretty gross and heavy. So that’s why it was a big surprise to me when I had to make an effort to reintegrate vegetables into our diets. I suppose with our limited time, it was simply a matter of making what was quickest and most filling — protein. Like Jelly, for a couple of weeks, we had inadvertently switched to a protein-based diet. Shame.

Last weekend, I made a really delicious side of Collard Greens Sautéed with Bacon, inspired by the latest issue of Everyday Food Magazine. Bacon does really make everything better, because The BF even gobbled this up, remarking that he usually finds greens like this too bitter for his taste.

Yesterday I bought a pound and a half of Brussels sprouts, as it’d been a while since we’d had them. I know that lots of people turn their noses up at them,  and if you’re one of those people, I dare you to try preparing them the way that I learned to. I simply toss the trimmed Brussels sprouts in olive oil and salt in a resealable bag, then roast them on a baking tray at 425° for about a half hour, or until they turn dark brown/nearly black. Prepared this way, the bitter taste is completely gone, and instead is a perfect combination of sweet and salty. While roasting, some of the little leaves fall off and these are the best treats of all — once the tray comes out of the oven, being the greedy person that I am, I devour these crispy, perfectly caramelized bits of goodness. The BF, who also used to be a non-believer, now loves Brussels sprouts.

Sundays for us have become routinely Jelly day. Today was an especially busy one planned, as we had an appointment first thing in the morning with the groomer (which gave us a good amount of time to have a nice brunch date, just the two of us), a scheduled puppy play group at an indoor dog park, an impromptu lunch and play date with Jelly’s puppy girlfriends, and finally, her obedience class.

Jelly is an extremely exuberant and friendly puppy, who wants to be the best friend of every human she encounters. However, when it comes to meeting other dogs, she is shy and timid and this is why we have been very actively encouraging her to socialize with new dogs by bringing her to play at the indoor park. She’s getting better and slowly learning to not be afraid. She’ll spend a good amount of time after arriving scoping the dogs and premises out by walking the perimeter, all the while making the acquaintance of every human in the joint usually by sidling up to him or her and plopping herself down at the person’s feet so that he or she will have no choice but to say hi and receive her kisses. Then she will allow dogs to approach her, and after she tentatively sniffs her new friend, will promptly flip onto her back in a perfect sign of submission. She is getting better, and we are at least thankful that she is not an arrogant or aggressive dog.

Shy girl. She’s the one on the left.

When she’s not busy making the acquaintance of all the humans, she spends the most time in a submissive position like this.

Scoping out the room while nestled against a human that is not me, or Daddy.

And of course, more interested in meeting her Daddy than in meeting others her age… or species.

During our visit with Mardy Bum and Molly, who are almost exactly the same age as Jelly and who have been really great at teaching Jelly how to play.

I’ve always wanted one of one of those action/running shots of Jelly in which she looks like she’s floating in air. This iPhone picture is the closest I will come for now.

One thing that she has started to love doing is going out to our front foyer where our big windows are. She will find a good patch of sunlight in which to lie down every afternoon. Last Sunday, The BF was away at school writing an exam and I suppose that she missed him so much that she put her head down on his shoes and took a sweet little nap.

These Days, I…

18 Mar

…am so fatigued that when afternoon arrives, I can barely keep my eyes open and they start to hurt. The contributors to my fatigue are DST and the hilarious little Jelly.

…am not complaining about DST. Though we are leaving in the morning when it’s still dark, we come home and it’s still light out. Prolonged daylight equals increased happiness for me.

…am not complaining about the hilarious little Jelly either. Nearly all of our free time is devoted to the tiny furball and it’s been incredibly exciting and fun to see her personality emerge, learn new things, and grow.

The Breakfast of Champions.

…am happy that everyone has been so eager to meet Jelly. We’ve had a steady stream of visitors since she’s come into our lives. We even had a spontaneous visit from my Aunt and her husband this past weekend, who live 5 hours away in Ottawa. It was all spurred by this photo that I posted on Facebook on Saturday morning, in which Jelly is playing with her new stuffed chocolate donut toy. My Aunt called me in a panic as soon as she saw the photo to tell me that I really shouldn’t be giving chocolate to my dog because it’s poisonous to them. Once we were done laughing over her mistake, she and her husband hopped in their car and came to stay with us for the weekend.

…am slightly mortified that my life has become all about this puppy and that it seems that it’s all I can talk about. I never wanted to become that person. I’m so annoying.

…think about my blog every day and feeling horribly neglectful of it. I started writing a post almost 2 weeks ago and have not been able to get back to it since. And now, though I really shouldn’t be doing this, I’m writing this at work.

…was so tickled to have seen our friend M., (actually one of The BF’s best friends from way back in high school) perform on stage two nights ago to be part of a new reality tv singing competition. It’s kind of like NBC’s The Sing Off, only the premise is of average Canadians forming “workplace glee clubs” that battle it out onstage for the charity of their choice. We went to the taping of their episode, and I was so incredibly proud and happy to see M. as one of the lead vocalists with his workmates, singing and dancing his heart out, that I actually got all teary. (shhhhh. don’t tell anyone. how embarrassing. I hope that wasn’t caught on camera). Also, it was a complete surprise to me that I ended up to be in the same room as Vanilla Ice that night, who is one of the three judges on this show. How is it that he is still around, and dressing the same way as he was in the 90s? The show will be airing in Canada later in the spring and M. will be getting lots of solo camera time. We were sworn to secrecy and had to sign waivers and all, so I can’t say what songs they mashed up, or who ended up winning the competition.

…feel like I’m having a slightly harder time adjusting to this “new” job than I thought. The BF asked me a couple of weeks ago if I was happy and I didn’t know how to answer. I’m mostly settled, but still feel slightly uneasy. My job now involves less stress, and almost zero drama which is completely different from my previous job. I will admit that this may mean that I feel like I am not so invested in my work because I have less at stake here. It’s not a bad thing, really, but after years of having fear, stress and anxiety as my main motivators, this is completely foreign to me: To work without being on the verge of a panic attack every second of my day.

…wish that spring would hurry up and come, and then stay a while. I am tired of wearing a coat and boots, and of making sure that I have gloves with me at all times. I am tired of wearing socks. I am tired of dry, parched skin. I am tired of winter.

…have been battling huge feelings of wanderlust. Since coming back from India in January, I’ve wanted little else than to pack my bags and just go, especially hearing about others traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, the Honduras and Italy just in the last couple of months. And it feels like India is a destination for many other people this year, including my cousin who is leaving in a couple of weeks to see her friend get married there and for Kay, whose blog I just discovered — she just left a couple of days ago and will be living and volunteering in India for a year. How amazing!

…made macaroni and cheese with spinach for dinner last night and have brought it for lunch today. I can’t wait to eat it.

…will get sorted eventually. I swear.

30 Things About Me

10 Feb
Photo by PetitPlat Food Art via flickr.com

I’ve been pretty bad at keeping up with blogging since the new year started. Chalk it up to the lack of interesting things going on in my life since returning from India. Everything just kind of pales in comparison to my experiences there. That, or I have a huge lack of motivation as a result of this frigid, dismal, snowy winter we’ve been having here in Toronto.

A couple of days ago, Courtney did a 30 Things About Me post. I had so much fun reading all the random facts about her that I wanted to soak up some of the fun myself and make my own list. I think you should try doing it too because it’s a fun — and surprisingly easy — thing to do. I’d love to learn more about you all too.

1. When I was about a year old, I was rolling around in my walker while my mom had gone downstairs to do some laundry one morning. She had closed the door behind her, but I somehow managed to open it and then roll down the concrete steps, landing at the bottom on my head. I wasn’t seriously hurt, but ended up with two black eyes after returning from the Emergency Room.

2. My first car that was handed down to me by my parents was an ancient charcoal grey 1983 Chrysler LeBaron that required ten minutes to warm up in the summer and let out a huge, sputtering, farting noise every time I turned the engine off.

3. Except for several goldfish, my brothers and I were never allowed to have pets when we were growing up.

4. Shamefully, I never had a reason to have a passport in my name until I was 25 years old.

5. In my early teen years, my dream job was to be the Editor-in-Chief of BOP! Magazine. I did end up working in magazines as my first ever real job after I graduated, but in the Art Department, not Editorial.

6. When I started University, my major was English. I ended up doing an extra year so that I could graduate with Honors, and with a second major in Mass Communications.

7. From the age of 18 to 25 years old, I dated two Jons in a row, and then three Steves in a row. That’s like a full house in poker.

8. I have not had long hair since high school. I’ve tried many times to grow it out, but it never gets past my chin before I can’t stand it any longer and have to shear it again.

9. Annie was my favorite movie when I was young. I also loved the Wizard of Oz, but not as much, because of the flying monkeys. They scared me.

10. I don’t know how to use chopsticks properly. And yes, I am Chinese.

11. I was teased for my thick, big hair and my full lips when I was 13 – I had not yet grown into these features. Some boys called me Tina Turner for this. I remember, and am scarred for life.

12. I have one tattoo on my back, near my left shoulder blade, of Winnie-the-Pooh.

13. It’s probably just in my head, but when I’m a passenger in the back seat of a car, I have to sit behind the driver. Otherwise, I get car sick.

14. I sleep with a night light because I’m afraid of the dark. I traveled in India with tiny plastic flameless candles so that I would always have light with me. It was probably one of my most practical ideas ever, because I didn’t have to plug anything in and I never had to sleep in the dark.

15. Since returning from India, I have been even more fascinated with Asia. I hope to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia next.

16. I love watching the show Arthur on weekend mornings. It’s an animated children’s show about an 8-year old Aardvark and his daily adventures.

17. I believe that people should not wear pajama pants in public.

18. I bring my lunch to work every day.

19. I rarely drink anything but water. Oh, except when I’m drinking tea. Or wine.

20. In May, I had gotten into a heated disagreement with my then boss. When I told The BF about it afterwards, he also became indignant about the situation and said to me “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” That made me feel better instantly.

21. I feel incredibly guilty about this now, but when I was in grade school, I would often throw away the “dessert” that my mom packed in my lunches. It was usually something like a Wagon Wheel, a Joe Louis or a Swiss Roll cake, for none of which I ever developed a taste. I suppose my juvenile mind thought it would be better if I threw them away rather than bring them home and hurt my mom’s feelings to know that I didn’t like them.

22. I have to cover my eyes whenever I see marionettes.

23. Drinking merlot makes my feet hot. And then it makes me pass out.

24. As I type this, I’m wearing a Snuggie. My youngest brother and his girlfriend got it for me for Christmas. The year before that, they bought me a Magic Bullet.

25. I don’t like taking baths. Ewwww.

26. I keep my old cell phone on my bedside table so that I can use it as my alarm in the mornings.

27. My alarm is set for 6:03 am because it feels way better than 6:00 am.

28. I don’t like air conditioning. I prefer to sleep with the windows open in the summer, even if it is suffocatingly hot and humid.

29. My parallel parking skills are superb.

30. I can hardly get through watching a movie without crying. It doesn’t matter what genre it is. Things that get to me especially are babies being born and adult men crying. I cried while watching Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. Yup, true story.

It’s in the Bag – Blog Crawl

22 Jan

Oh dear. This fun blog crawl that I signed up for on Ashley’s A Hasty Life Blog has been on my mind all month, knowing that my scheduled post date was coming up. Somehow, it got stuck in my mind that my big day was the 22nd. I’ve just realized that in fact I was supposed to post on the 21st – yesterday!

Ever since I’ve come back I’ve been horrendously disorganized….and confused. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been so bad at keeping up with my blog, and all of my favorite blogs on my reader and with commenting and whatnot.

Its in the bag blog crawl

Sorry Ashley for being a day late on this.

Yesterday, Kalanicut showed her bag and its contents off in her fun little post. Love her Michael Kors bag, don’t you?

And so, here is a look into my bag whether you like it or not.

This bag is a little over-the-shoulder number that I picked up in India from a store called Hi Design, which is a luxury leather goods store based there. The leather is soft and awesome, and the price was a little too good to be true compared to what we could get in North America, so I had to pick it up. We also got a messenger bag for The BF that day, because it was also really, really dirt cheap. And oh yeah, also because I have a thing for guys who wear messenger bags, which is probably the real reason I forced him to buy it. Oooops, I digress. Here’s what happens to be in my bag this morning:

Wallet: White vegan leather from Matt by Matt & Nat

Wristlet: by Coach, which holds all of my extra cards and miscellaneous items that don’t get used every day and don’t fit in my wallet.

Moleskine Planner: Though I am constantly on my iPhone, I don’t think I could ever or would ever stop planning my life on paper with pen.

iPhone Charger: I took this to work yesterday so I could plug my nearly-dead phone in to charge.



Pill Box: To keep me organized and to help me remember to take my anti-malaria medication. I’ve got 4 more to go until I’m done – this was a daily antibiotic that I was required to start taking the day before I arrived in India, and to continue for up to 2 weeks upon my return. By the way, I read yesterday that George Clooney is recovering from malaria himself after a trip to Africa. is this true?

Key Card: To get past the front door at work before 9am and after 5pm, when it is automatically locked.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm, Eye Drops for Contact Lens wearers, Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel, Sephora Lip Gloss.

Pen: Always having to carry one around makes me feel so grown-up.

Reusable Cloth Bag: This folds and wraps up into a strawberry. How cute is that?

Business Card Holder

iPod nano: Obviously from a couple of generations ago. Oh well. I gave my Touch to The BF when I got my iPhone 4 in November.

TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) Subway Transfer: Local public transit is something I avoid as much as possible if my destination is somewhere to which I can easily walk. Though last night, I had to meet The BF at his work, which required my riding the subway. Dirty.

iPhone: My iPhone 4 is missing from this picture. Because of my current camera situation, this was the only device with which I could take the above photos.

Though I’m a day late on this, it was super fun to participate in this blog crawl. I wish I had another blog to point to, but I’m the last in my group. However, you can check out A Hasty Life for all the links to everyone who took part in the crawl. Indulge your nosy impulses and take a peek in all those bags!

Fill in the Blank Friday – Shopping

26 Nov

It’s going to be a busy upcoming couple of weeks for me. Not only are we leaving on our trip to India in a week and a half (squeeeee!), but The BF and I are having our 2nd Annual Holiday Party tomorrow night. We’ve spent the last week running around organizing and preparing for this, and stocking up a little on our wine supply. It’s going to be loads of fun, I hope, hosting a small crowd of people in our tiny little house. He’s setting up the DJ room again. The only thing I’m slightly gutted about is that I don’t have a Christmas tree up this year. This was a decision that we had to make because we’ll be away for so long and it didn’t make sense to spend the money and time putting the tree up when we were going to leave it to dry out in our living room over Christmas.

I haven’t done a Fill in the Blanks in a couple of weeks now, so this was an especially fun way to start my day. If you want to play along, just visit Lauren’s blog to link up.

Happy Friday!

1. Black Friday is an American phenomenon that I have yet to experience first hand. Living in Canada, the closest thing we have to is Boxing Day, which is the day after Christmas and is a national holiday too. The stores have sales and deals on this day too, but I’m pretty sure the discounts aren’t as deep as what you find on Black Friday. I live just over an hour away from the U.S. border, and I know that droves of Canadians have gone down to the states this morning to do some serious shopping.

2. Christmas shopping this year will include gifts for my parents, brothers and their significant others. The BF and I will be spending the better part of December (including Christmas) in India this year so I will be missing the last minute shopping rush this year.

3. Holiday shopping makes me really anxious and weary. I hate crowds. I hate mall parking lots. I am not an aggressive shovey person and being amongst all aggressive shovey people in stores makes me CRAZY!

4. This year my Christmas list will include gift cards from Forever XXI, H&M, Sephora, Crate & Barell, West Elm. The entire LOST series DVD set and Glee Season 1. Or cash. Cash is always good.

5. Bargain hunter, or full price shopper? Bargains. All the way.

6. The best and worst things about shopping is Best: finding something for someone you know he or she will love. Worst: See # 3.

7. Online shopper or in-person shopper? I can only buy things online that I don’t need to try on or feel. Books and electronics are things that I can easily shop for online. Though I’m often tempted by sales, I’m really wary of buying shoes and clothes online because I feel like I need to try things on first. And like Lauren, I am a tactile person and I need to touch and feel things between my fingers. Depending on the day, it’s either very endearing or annoying to The BF when we are shopping together because it seems to be a bit of a compulsion that I have to touch the first thing I set my eyes my eyes on in a store.

Happiness is Packages in Your Mailbox

23 Nov

I met the lovely Elisse of für elisse through a book swap we signed up for earlier this year. We’ve gotten to know each other over the last several months through our blogs, occasional emails, and now that we’ve both recently acquired shiny new iPhones, through the instant messaging service What’s App. Elisse has been a wonderful friend to me even though we’ve never met in person. She is really good at reaching out to just say hi and to stay connected. She’s also really good at making people feel special!

Imagine my happiness when I learned that I was to expect a little care package in my mailbox. Yes, it was supposed to be a surprise which Elisse had to spoil due to a small mix up in the mailing address (poor girl). Surprise or not, opening your mailbox to discover a package addressed especially for you is one of those joys that we don’t get to experience often enough these days. Elisse, the thoughtful and generous person that she is, wanted to bring this joy to quite a few of her friends far and wide and I was lucky enough to be included in this list of hers.

Look at the happiness that came to my mailbox late last week!

The envelope was packed with artfully wrapped goodies.

I exercised an extreme amount of patience in waiting until after dinner to unwrap my little gifts!
  1. Two hand-written cards for me – one from the original post date, and the second from after!
  2. A little desk calendar adorned with an adorable little doggy.
  3. A reusable cloth shopping bag. So handy to carry around in my purse for those spontaneous shopping errands.
  4. Two packing check lists, which I suspect will be a lifesaver for when we have to pack for our trip to India in 2 weeks. I’m going to let The BF have the second one so that neither of us leave anything essential behind.
  5. A package of Geisha Plum green tea from David’s Tea. What an excellent choice Elisse! This was one of my favorites from the Fall Line – I’d already gotten one refill on my tin of this and was running very low again. How did you know?!

Thank you Elisse, for all of these useful and thoughtfully put together treasures.

Sweet Blogger Friends

22 Nov

Check it out! Today, I’m being featured on Reni’s blog, MySo-Called Life, for her What Are You Thankful For Series, which is a series she created so that guest bloggers could share their thoughts and memories around Thanksgiving. I was privileged to be included, and from what I’ve been reading in the series so far, I’m in really great company. Reni is a blogger whom I met while I was doing the 30-Day Blogging Challenge. I’ve been really ticked to discover, through our keeping up with each other’s blogs, that we have a lot in common – it’s a little bit scary because I’ve thought once or twice that we could even be the same person.

Check her out, and my answers too, on her blog today. She is a gem – you’ll see!

There’s a lot that I’ve got to update. Thanks to all for your encouraging and great comments on my iPhone photos. This toy is a handy tool that I can not live without. While it’s a big sucker of time, it’s become pretty crucial in my day to day life!

One thing that I will also be getting to soon is showing off the little care package I got last week from another friend I met through blogging – the sweet, thoughtful and creative Elisse of Fur Elisse! Bear with me as I attempt to carve out some time for this.

Fill in the Blank Friday – BOO!

30 Oct

Well, there you have it. My week off between jobs is over, and surprisingly, I had no time to blog at all. Not that I had a super productive and busy week – it just felt very full. We spent Sunday and Monday shopping in Buffalo, and the rest of the week was spent mostly bumming around visiting malls and costume shopping. Best of all, I got to spend Thursday and Friday with 2 of my favorite girls and their tiny little baby girls.

It’s time again for Fill in the Blank Friday, one day late. If you want to play along – and this is a fun Halloween-themed one – hop over onto Lauren’s blog.

1.   My Halloween plans this year will include dressing up and going to a party that’s being thrown by some of The BF’s friends, hopefully carving some pumpkins and celebrating his birthday. He’s a Halloween baby!

2.  My most memorable Halloween costume was when I was 5 and my brother was 3 – my Mom had sewn us costumes that year. He was Superman and I was Batgirl. My Mom did a great job and she made us look so very adorable if I may say so myself.

3.  For Halloween this year I’m going to be…I won’t say yet, but I will say that it was an exercise once again of visiting thrift shops and a little bit of hand-made simple craftiness to put our costumes together.

4.  I’ve always wanted to dress up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz with a small group of friends to complete her entourage.

5.  Halloween free association! Mini chocolates, fun, birthday, parties, pumpkin carving, orange, roasted pumpkin seeds.

6.  The worst thing about Halloween is that it’s at the end of October and it’s typically cold out here and requires a coat or a jacket to be worn over costumes.

7.  The best thing about Halloween is dressing up! It’s the one day out of the year that you can be completely outrageous in your clothes, makeup and hair, be crazy creative and let loose and have fun. Plus for me, because it’s The BF’s birthday, we have an extra special reason to go out while coercing asking our friends to come out in costume with us.

The Happy Camper is Back

6 Sep

Image by ktpupp via flickr.com

We’ve just returned from a long, happy weekend of camping at Inverhuron Provincial Park, somewhere along the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario. The weather was less than ideal, but we made the most of it by sleeping in, hanging out by the campfire, and riding our mountain bikes on that one day that we had blue skies and sun. We’re feeling relaxed and well-rested. In fact, I just finished wistfully telling The BF that I love sleeping outdoors, and wish that I could do it every night.

Tomorrow is the first day of school for almost all students, and I feel like I’m sharing those bittersweet feelings with them, marking the end of summer holidays. I suppose it’s somewhat appropriate for me then, that it will be the first day of my 30-Day Blogging Challenge. I’m going to try my hardest to keep up, and I’m going to try even harder to be interesting enough!

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