Friday, October 2, 2020

Lots of walking + Lots of food!

September 20, 2020

My mom lives about a 2 hour drive from me.  And I just love it every time she visits.  We always eat amazing food and make an effort to walk/jog around town.

A couple weeks ago, she came to visit me for the day.  At around 11am, we decided to visit Jackson Park for a stroll.  I brought her to the same area that I had previously visited with my housemates, but we also covered a lot more ground.  We even tried to walk through the creek with our bare feet, though we didn't last long because the water was way colder than we expected!

After walking around for an hour, we were more than ready to grab some lunch.  So, we decided to go the the Kettle Drum.  Now, my mom and sister have already been here, but I hadn't.  And I have to say, I really loved the food!  We really went all out for lunch, ordering mussels, pizza, and a steak sandwich with a beet salad.  I would absolutely recommend their PEI mussels, steak sandwich, and beet salad!  I didn't know a beet salad could be so amazing, but it was and I am really eager to buy some beets next time I go grocery shopping :)

Stuffed from lunch, we came back to my house to relax a bit.  We watched one of the most intense Criminal Minds episodes (yes, I cried), napped, then went on a 40 minutes jog down the trail.  Oh, and I also brought my mom to the labyrinth garden and had her try some raw kale lol.

As soon as we finished our jog, it was time for dinner!  We ate at a new Vietnamese restaurant downtown called Hanoi and shared a large $12 bowl of pho.  It's definitely a great place to share a meal with someone!

After dinner, we said our good-byes, and she drove back home.  I really look forward to the next time she visits, which should be sometime in October!!!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Driving 'round town

September 13, 2020

It's the start of my third year at university!

I was supposed to be studying abroad in France for the next 8 months, but with the pandemic worsening throughout the summer, it was canceled.  As devastating as it was when I first got the news, I think I'm in a really good place :)

Suddenly, I had space to add 10 more credits, instead of taking a full year's worth of French credits that don't really count towards my degree requirements.  I could still finish with an Honours in Biology, but I was also doubting if I wanted to continue down the path to vet school or working in a lab.  And there were many reasons for my doubts, that I won't go into depth explaining here.  Long story short, I decided to do a joint major in Biology and Information Systems.  I enjoy programming and the appeal of IT is that there are so many different paths to take and you are constantly learning something new.

So that's a little update on my life, which I have been meaning to do for a long time!  I feel like every week I have something to update you guys on, but I don't always have the time to sit down and write out my thoughts.  I'm currently writing this as I listen to an online lecture...oops!

---

On this day, my housemates and I all went on a spontaneous drive to Kawartha Dairy and Jackson Park.  At the ice cream shop, I got a scoop of moosetracks and a scoop of salted caramel truffle.  I really love getting ice cream from Kawartha Dairy because their flavours are very well balanced (i.e. not too sweet)!  If you're ever near a place that sells Kawartha Dairy I highly recommend going!  It's a local favourite.

Anyways, I'll let you guys for now!  I've got a few more posts I have to write!  Oh and I should probably listen to my lecture ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Mornings under the pouring rain

It's raining this morning, but we didn't turn back as we crossed over the bridge and sat by the river.  You poured us coffee and we sat under the rain - you dipping your feet into the water.  We talked about dreams, memories, singing plants, and Coraline.  The rain was still pouring down as we had our last sips.  Together, we walked back up the path and kept on walking further out.  Out to the labyrinth garden where the Nichol's grow kale, cabbage and tomatoes.  It was a beautiful garden and someday I wish one of my own - one with lemon and lime trees, and with rabbits coming and going.  The raw kale tasted so good - the other plants you tried to eat, I'm not so sure.  And as we made our way back, we stumbled down a another path.  A path with big, white mushrooms and beautiful flowers that we both picked.  The path lead back to the bridge and we headed back home.  Thank you, Dana.  I had a wonderful morning.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Weekend Getaway

 August 27-30

Thursday
Spent a really fun and memorable weekend with my mom and sister.  We checked into the hotel on Thursday afternoon and just hung around in our room for the night.  A dip in the pool, a few episodes of Criminal Minds (ofc) and we were spent.

Friday
Bright and early the next morning, we hit the gym and then made our way to the Beavermead Beach for lunch.  Connected to the beach was the GreenUp Ecology Park which we also toured.

Diner was spent at Wimpy's Diner and I got to try my first Philly cheesesteak sandwich.  But the real treat was going to Kawartha Dairy to try out their famous ice creams!  We shared generous scoop of Moose Tracks and Blueberry cheesecake.  Moose Tracks was a 3-for-3 win!

Back at the hotel, we watched more Criminal Minds.  But, I also discovered how much I love Forensic Files and How it Happened on HLN.

Beavermead Beach






GreenUp Ecology Park


Wimpy's Diner

Kawartha Dairy

Saturday
Before heading to the gym, we spent the morning at the Farmer's Market.  We got some samosas, pikoras (with an amazing mango chutney), and fresh cherry tomatoes.

Lunch was spent driving down the "Fast Lane" as we liked to call it.  This included a stop at Mucho Burrito and KFC.  We took our goodies and headed up to the Riverview Park, but couldn't escape the downpour that followed suite.

Dinner was back at the hotel - cooking up some spicy noodles and eating leftover KFC.

Farmer's Market


Sunday
The final day :(
My mom and I went for our weekly Sunday morning jog around the beach.
Then, we had to check out of the hotel.  But not before cooking up a mean microwave egg sandwich for breakfast.

After, we strolled around the Otonabee River, then had a late lunch at the Silver Bean Cafe.  They had some incredible baked goods and drinks - notably their cranberry muffin, mocha walnut chocolate chip cookie, and raspberry lemonade.

My dinner was more leftover KFC with a even tastier pho takeaway from Saigon Boys that was waiting in my fridge (which I had for lunch AND dinner the following day).

Otonabee River

Silver Bean Cafe


I hope we have another weekend getaway like this.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

*exhale*

August 17: First time ordering takeaway pizza.

Original Spaghetti House Pizzeria

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

My 200th post!

April 30, 2020 | Toronto

JP12: What do you actually care about?


I've mentioned before how I struggle with expressing my emotions.  Growing up, I never learned a healthy way to communicate my thoughts with others because I was so afraid of being wrong or judged.  Confrontation, y'all, is such a hard skill I'm still trying to learn.  And don't even get me started on opening up to people and not being ashamed to tell my story.  Like when a friend asks 'how's it going'?  Listen, this is like one of the dreaded questions of all social interactions.  And I'm too quick to shut it down with 'nothing much, you?'.

When my friends make an effort to call me up at night, it seriously means the world.  I love to just listen to what's going on in their lives.  If there's ever any problem, I want to be there to listen.  But moreso, lately I've been getting out of my comfort zone and making it a two way exchange by sharing my thoughts and giving my opinions on their issue.  Because I think for me, it's so easy to forget that my friends do want to get to know me.  Like really get to know me and understand me and feel what I'm going through.  And so, when we call and we talk, like really talk, it means the world.  Because, that feeling of comfort and vulnerability is a quality in my friendships that I want to cherish.
Canon M50

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This is a space that we share

April 29, 2020 | Toronto

JP11: What is something you want to see more of in the world?  How can you start creating it?

I want to see more people caring about the Earth and the animals, plants, and insects that share this space with us.  Most people are so engrossed in their own lives that they become so far removed from the bigger picture.  But, the more you push your good intentions on people, the harder they push back.  And I've learned that the most efficient way to see change, is to lead by example.  Show everyone how simple quick sustainable swaps can be.  They're good for the soul and good for the earth.

Then again, some people you just can't change.  It just won't happen.  And I've had to accept that.  I think the key is to not surround yourself with too many people like this.  They will only bring you down.  And I refuse to let people bring their negative energy upon me.
Canon M50

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It's a small thing we do, just the two of us

April 28, 2020 | Toronto

JP10: What is a small joy you can appreciate on the weekend?

It used to be waking up without an alarm.  Letting the light gradually spill into my room and actually enjoying getting out of bed.  That's the best feeling because then I go on to draw back my curtains and make my bed.  If I had school in the morning, the act of doing these small habits were like such a tedious chore.  When I don't feel pressed for time, I really enjoy taking the time to reset my room for the day.

These days my weekends aren't anything different from the rest.  I find that everyday I'm being more productive than I ever was.  I like to start my mornings by going for a run.  I'm not a crazy running fanatic, but I actually do enjoy listening to a book or playlist and jogging around the neighbourhood.  Usually I run by myself, but on weekends my mom comes along with me.  It's like a small thing we do, just the two of us.  And I really appreciate it.  I was hoping to register for a 10k marathon this June, and since that didn't pan out, I've convinced myself to do one by myself next month.
Canon M50

Familiar surroundings, people, and illogical transitions

April 27, 2020 | Toronto

JP9: Where do you think your dreams come from?

Okay, this is the first entry I'm writing where I actually fell asleep before getting around to writing it. Usually, I'm up 'till 1 am writing these, but it still counts as being the same day (right?).  Last night, I was on an unexpected Skype call with Dana and Adelheid and then I had to finish some other unrelated writing.  When all was said and done it was 3 am and so I guess that's my excuse...

My dreams have always been a mix of familiar surroundings, people, and illogical transitions.  They're on the verge of being so quintessentially normal that I don't stop to think how bizarre they are until after I wake up.  Bridge to Terabithia.  That's what they kind of remind me of.

I find that I only dream when I fall into a deep and long slumber.  And this has got my thinking... Would I care if I never had another dream?  I can never recall what I dreamt unless I think about them the minute I wake up.  Then again, the ones that I do make for really funny stories.  I still remember certain dreams I had from over ten years ago.  That's crazy.  I don't think I consciously told myself to remember them.  So, what am I going to remember about now?  Yesterday, I was watching the mail lady cross the street to my house and thinking: it's probably just junk mail.  I rarely get mail.  Then, later that evening, I went to go get the mail and to my surprise I had two letters in my name.  My first tax refund.  Pretty cool, I think lol.
A photo from two years ago that I never posted...

Monday, April 27, 2020

Hey, I've come a long way. But, there's still a long road ahead.

April 26, 2020 | Toronto

JP8: What would your kid version think of you now?  Have you stayed the same?

Truth be told, I don't believe I've achieved any of the success my younger me wished for.  There's no designer closet and millionaire mansion.  Then again, I didn't value the things I value now.  I don't think kid me would be wowed at the things I've achieved.  But what I do know is that I'm better off where I am now.

Everyday I try to do something that would make myself proud.  I don't really care about what a kid thinks about me.  It's a bit immature to care, right?  I just want to live a simple, sustainable, and ethical life.  I want to continue to work on projects that mean a lot to me.  And if anything's stayed the same it's that I'm still quite introverted and a socially awkward.

Boy was this the hardest prompt to answer by far.  I just kept overthinking my answer and my words were all over the place.  I'm just going to end it nice and short.
Canon M50

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Everyday begins with a new list

April 25, 2020 | Toronto

JP7: What do you think you'll miss about now?

I wake up when it feels right
Time to check up on my plants
I've been growing a lot of different plants lately
Time for a jog around the neighbourhood
It's the first thing I check off my list
Everyday begins with a new list
As I jog, I listen to my audiobook
Currently, I'm listening to this really long French book: La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas
I'm not quite sure what's going on with the characters because I get easily distracted by all the people, dogs, and houses I pass
The book should be done by tomorrow
And yes, I'm still going to rate it on Goodreads like the phoney person I am
Dumas wrote another book didn't he?
haha
I'll chose an easier, English written book to listen to next time
Back from by jog
It's time for lunch
How are my plants doing
Did they sprout any new roots from this morning?
If anything, I'm getting a bit antsy and impatient because I want to pot them already.
Time to do some writing
My days have been filled with a lot of writing
I actually think I'm getting better
Maybe
There's always enough time to learn something that I've been meaning to
I filed my taxes, took some photos, did some more writing
Thank god for this awesome playlist I curated
This has got to be the first time I've ever had a well-rounded list of songs
Would you look at the time
'night

Song of the Day: Fantasy (Remix) by Mariah Carey ft. O.D.B
Canon M50, Mejuri 14k Gold Hoops

Friday, April 24, 2020

I haven't looked back

April 24, 2020 | Toronto

JP6: What will you be proud of?

For me, one of the scariest things in life is to be financially dependent.  I never want to be stuck in a situation where I want to leave someone, but can't because I don't think I could afford to.  I've seen it first hand.

It's going on two years since I really started to take my personal finances seriously.  I began by tracking my expenses and budgeting.  Then, just last year, I opened up my first investment account and haven't looked back.  Writing this, I already feel a sense of pride because not many people my age can say they are as well educated when it comes to their finances.

A couple weeks ago, I sat down a filed four years worth of taxes with the help of my mom.  Today, I guided my friend on how to file hers.  And it felt great being able to pass on the knowledge.  Understanding how to grow your networth is so empowering.  Being aware enough to only spend money on things that bring you joy and fulfilment is freeing.  Even though other things in life don't seem as certain or straight forward, this is one area of my life that reassures me - I'm doing something right.

I will be so proud of myself the day I become financially independent and generating enough passive income to essentially 'retire' early.

Song of the Day: Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
Canon M50

Thursday, April 23, 2020

I keep my circle small

April 23, 2020 | Toronto

JP5: What do you know now you really need?

Aw shiiiiit, here we go...

As much as I enjoy being alone and doing my own thing, having a close relationship with someone is super important, but also a huge insecurity of mine.  Looking back, I've gone through many friendships, but I always fantasize about having lifelong friends.  How can you not want a friendship where it's just you and the other person and you know you're each other's bestfriend?  It's like the perfect setup for amazing adventures and lifelong memories.  So, I think the fact that I have actually lost touch with many people has left me feeling quite insecure about my relationships with people and how I approach meeting new people.

I've experienced going to different schools and seeing my best friends make new friends.  But, what made me realize just how insecure I am was just after I left high school.  Even during my graduation ceremony, I remember looking around at all these 'friends' I knew I would never see again.  I had spent four years talking to these people in class and sitting with them at lunch, but they all had their own groups.  I was just bouncing from one group to the next, never feeling totally accepted.  If I wanted to hang out with anyone outside of class, I had to be the one to reach out and make plans.  Otherwise, they'd make their own.

A similar thing happened last year, where I realized a lot of people I was hanging out with didn't want to be friends with me as much as I wanted to be friends with them.  I still haven't quite figured out how to stop feeling so insecure about all this.  I keep my circle small, but it never seems small enough.

And you know what else I really need?  It's to love myself more.  I'm constantly overthinking and never giving myself the chance to just say what's on my mind.  It's like I don't even know who I am and what I stand for.

I have one friend, Dana, who was also my roommate.  I've always admired her individuality, passion and assertiveness when it comes to her values.  And I can't thank her enough for cracking my hard shell, and getting me to open up about my life and to be more expressive.  Getting to live with her for the school year was truly a blessing and if I go on this is just going to end up being a love letter to her lol.

But also, this daily journaling thing has been a great at forcing me to reflect and understand myself more.

Dear blog,

Thank you for being the one place I feel safe enough to say these things.  Whether it's the lack of readership (lol) or just a familiar place (going on 6 years wooo), thank you thank you thank you.

Song of the Day: Dilemme by Lous and The Yakuza
Canon M50

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Why do plans have to keep changing?

April 22, 2020 | Toronto

JP4: Did you think you'd be here?

It's hard feeling like I'm stuck in this in-between stage, where nothing I planned has completely worked out.  Maybe it's just me being 20 years old and barely an adult, but the problem is I spend too much time planing and re-planing my life every time my life don't go accordingly.  I'm stuck back at home and with no job.  I've just been working on small personal projects everyday.  But by the end of the day it's like nothing I did really added up to anything.  I need to stop thinking so negatively.

Like, earlier today, I was working on altering a blouse to make it more fitted.  And after hours of repining and resewing these pesky darts, I still could not get the shirt to sit properly.  Once the sun started to go down, I began to feel really defeated, as though I had wasted an entire day to end up with nothing (I trashed the shirt).  Then again, I later on had more success at altering a pair of blue pants.  So was my day completely wasted?  I guess not.  But I could have done more.  And why do plans have to keep changing?!

I really hope tomorrow's journal prompt gets me in a more positive head space...

Canon M50
My friends graciously got a me gift card to Mejuri for my 20th because I'd been going on about how I really wanted to curate a classy, everyday jewelry collection with quality pieces.  I was really tempted to buy these croissant earrings from Mejuri, but instead opted to go for their simple "In Between" 14k hoops.  I couldn't be happier with that decision and I'm itching to buy another pair for my second piercings!

Sometimes these thoughts become too overwhelming

April 21, 2020 | Toronto

JP3: What's something you learned this week?

There are so many things about my life that I want to change and when I start listing them off in my head, the thoughts become too overwhelming.  I can write lists all day and it's like every day there is something else I need to do.  So, I guess I learned that having lots of time isn't everything.  I need to not be scared to focus on one thing.  There will also be something else you want to do.  But for now, focus on learning a new skill, and learning it well.

Yesterday, I said I would go on a walk and take photos the next day.  Today, I spent 45 minutes outside, just walking around my neighbourhood and smiling because it felt so calming.  I need to get out more.

Today's song is: I love me by Demi Lovato
Canon M50