Family.

I’m not the closest with my family whether it is with my brother, sister, parents, grandparents, whatever. We’ve just never been close. I think it’s an Asian thing. But when in times of need, I know they are there. It’s something that doesn’t need to be said; it’s something that doesn’t necessarily need to be shown either. They’re just there. That’s what real family is to me.

My grandmother had a stroke this weekend. It was one of the most stressful times I’ve had in a very short amount of time. I had never experienced anything like it before. None of my family members or people close to me have passed away. Even my grandfather that passed away a few years ago didn’t affect me as much as this scare. The thought of death scared me. It’s a legitimate fear, no? This past weekend just reminded me to not take things for granted. To remember to talk to those whom you love, to ask questions, and to share things that mean a lot to you with them. Because before you know it, they may be gone forever.

/lifelessons

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July happenings.

July 24th. Seriously? Where has this summer gone? This month has been especially busy for me, especially for cupcakes. Been MIA a ton but that’s a good thing, right? Some quick recaps (wish I had photos!!! iPhone pictures just do not cut it):

Harrison Hot Springs. Really wish I took pictures here. Took my boyfriend to my house up at Harrison for the first time. It was probably the hottest weekend ever and alas, I was working in the morning. Made it to Harrison by 5:00pm and showed him the actual hot springs — a caged pool, no joke. The Harrison Arts Festival was going on as well so there were tons of vendors along the esplanade. Water was at its highest I have ever seen in all my years there (really really wish I had took a picture of this… it was such a great sight). I sadly did not don my bathing at all because, well, I thought it’d be blazin’ hot the next day. Nope. Rain. Pouring rain. Rained so hard that we left after lunch. Le sigh. Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze it in by the end of the summer.

Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival. After our disappointment, we headed straight to the Caribbean Festival in Maple Ridge. Even though it was chilly and wet, I was surprised at the volumes of people that were there. I seriously wasn’t aware that there was such a huge Black community in the Ridge. Odd. Listened to some reggae, nom’d on goat curry and other Caribbean-influenced eats, and danced the night away. So fun.

Snoop Dogg. I also went and saw Snoop Dogg at the Commodore last Friday. Random? Yes. Dude, tickets are $60 and he is a fucking classic – how could I not?! It was awesome. Besides seeing a whole ton of white trash and half of Surrey there, it was a short but fun concert to go to. Peaceful, even. Everyone was blazin’ and/or drinking while I spent the whole night dancing in my hot pink Snoop Dogg dress completely stick sober (I was sick, really sick). I really am regretting not running to the front when he was picking girls to go party with him after because the girls that were picked were so boring and not even hot. “Snoop, my girlfriend’s hotter than those girls!!” – my boyfriend. Aw.

Whistler. And despite my sickness, I trekked up to Whistler the next day for a quick weekend trip (thanks Aaron!). Went up to check out the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and wow, I haven’t heard them play in 11 years and it was simply breathtaking. Really appreciated the music. So talented. Also hit the club, the hot tub, and Cow’s — Whistler in a nutshell. The rain, yet again, ruined our plans to go horseback riding the next day so again, headed home early. Quick trip did its purpose though! Love Whistler.

And what’s next? Certainly no vacations for me. Studying will commence will begin soon and saving towards the big move is in the works. Definitely looking forward to Sparking Hill Resort in September though. Yes, the gorgeous Swarovski-encrusted resort in wine country. Can’t. Wait.


Onto the next step.

So I’ve blogged and blogged and blogged about this little thing called transition. Although I’ve practically lamented on my future and what to make of my Arts degree, I have taken the next step and as of last week, I am officially enrolled at UBC Sauder School of Business in their Real Estate division. Hooray! My textbook should be arriving any day now and once they do, goodbye life for the next 6 months (goal is to finish it by the end of this year)!

Besides the academic aspect of things, I’m also at the point where my current relationship is flourishing and on a constant positive upstream flow. My boyfriend asked me to move in last week. Groundbreaking, earth-shattering. Yet expected. And, I mean, I am practically in Richmond for half of the week, if not more. I don’t think it would make much of a big difference. And for those who know my home situation, in a nutshell, it is not going very well. Guilty of escapism in other situations, I really am curious to try this out but I don’t want to be running away from my problems at home. But I am ready to learn more about him and more importantly, myself and what my tolerances, habits, and breaking points are in a relationship context — or if there is indeed a distinct difference whether you’re in a relationship or not.

Of course, it may seem as if things are going astronomically fast for us considering the short amount of time we’ve been together. Met, clicked, traveled, and possibly moving in within an 8 month period? It’s like the fast forward button. But moving with a capital M seems like the next logical thing to do. And the argument would be, “What’s the rush?” and my answer to that would be, “Why not?”. Again, he’s a different life stage and is probably ready to settle down in the next few years. Me? Well, I’m still exploring, constantly learning about myself, and have an expiry date on all my goals in the next two to three years.

This is a new avenue I am excited and willing to explore. And if it doesn’t work out, or the relationship doesn’t work out, it’s probably best that I know these things now before things get in too deep. If anything, I could always move back home…right?


Am I asking for too much?

I’m a romantic. I live each day with my heart on my sleeve and see through rose-coloured glasses on a daily basis. What can I say? I live for romance. And perhaps it is early in the relationship but I asked for more romance. Gone are the days of trying different restaurants and exploring. Gone is the excitement. I hate to say it but, I’m a little bored. Now, I make him dinner, we walk the dog, and sleep. We’re very comfortable with eachother. It’s now become a routine. Is the honeymoon season over already?

I know he’s busy. We both work a lot running our own businesses, in addition to my full-time job, working out, and maintaining a decent social life. But I miss the romance. Don’t get me wrong — I very much love him, but I just spendingquality time with him. Seems like we’re just spending time together. It’s not a big deal — just a minor bump in the road.

But is this irrational of me? Am I asking for too much?


My two cents on diets, shakes, and weight loss.

First of all, I am not a fitness expert, nutritionist, or dietition. Second of all…there is no second of all. Read and please enjoy. Agree to disagree.

So, I’m sure you have all heard about this “Body by Vi” product. This is apparently the newest and hottest multilevel marketing (who remembers Monavie?) product. It promises weight loss on a 90-day challenge. And what is the challenge, you may ask? Two shakes (I believe it’s a soy-based protein powder) — one for breakfast, one for lunch — and a light dinner. The whole point of this new shake is to decrease the amount of calories your body is taking in and minimize what you consume; generally, it’s just lowering your overall caloric intake to lose weight. Uh, the last time I checked, this wasn’t rocket science. Isn’t this just pure common sense?

Another fad that I heard about (and also a New York Times Bestseller) was “The Four Hour Body” where the author, Tim Ferris, an award-winning novelist, strictly dictates what you are to eat, meal-by-meal. This diet completely cuts out carbohydrates and encourages consuming large amounts of calories and is very protein (read: meat)-focused. Sounds familiar? Atkins diet ringing a bell anyone?

I don’t know… Maybe I’m being a hater or maybe I’m just being overly self-conscious about my own body because of everybody’s statuses and updates on Facebook or maybe because I’m almost 10lbs heavier than my peak three years ago, but I really think all these diets are just very silly. I saw another update today on Instagram with a very sad looking piece of chicken and sliced tomatoes and thought, “Gosh, do these peoples’ diets have to suffer so much?”.  It just seems that these diets are “quick fixes” or just shortcuts to actually getting in shape, toning up, and losing weight. Because yes, that’s great and all to be relying on smoothies to shrink down a few inches, but how about I check on you in about six months and see if that weight is still being kept off. That is my real concern, that these “diets” are not adequate enough to keep the weight off.

I am an advocate for people who are losing weight and sculpting their bodies in a “traditional” sense. I’m talking about eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and getting enough sleep. My current philosophy on this topic would be to work out often, stay hydrated and satiated, rest, and most importantly, know what you are putting in your body. I am really focused into putting whole foods into my diet. Monday to Friday, on the most part, am vegetarian. I rely on whole grains, legumes, and vegetables and generally avoid gluten, red meat, and if I can, cow milk products. I think the most important part of weight loss and losing inches is largely dedicated to one’s diet aka what food you are consuming and digesting.

Despite my bitterness, I want to say good luck to everyone on their journey to “healthiness”. Who knows, maybe that Body by Vi crap does work for some people and perhaps I am just challenging you to prove me wrong. Either or, I still think it’s a hilarious load of junk. Please stop sending me invites.

Thoughts?


Montreal recap!

Wow, it’s almost been a month since I went to Montreal! How time flies. Here are a few eyegasms for y’all from my trip:

First evening in Montreal, obviously on a terasse. Yes, terasse, not patio. I never wore makeup after this.
Juan and me in Montreal

Instead spending loads on a hotel, I tried out airBnB instead. Rented an apartment and had the luxury (yes, it’s a luxury) of having some homecooked meals on our trip. Okay, it was only breakfast but still.
Breakfast

Stopped by McGill. Pretty sure everybody has this same picture. Beautiful campus.
McGill

Visited some relatives. How cute are my niece and nephew? Oh, I guess my cousin’s are good-looking too. Runs in the family.
My niece and cousin
My cousin-in-law and nephew

Did some major shopping. Seriously. Who the hell buys earmuffs and Hunter boots in June? A true Vancouverite does. (Those are NOT my Ugg boots. Y’all know how I feel about Uggs. Let’s not get started.).
Shopping

Had a mandatory pit stop at the very top of Mont Royal. Aw.
Mont Royal

Met up with more family. Over dinner. In Old Montreal. Nom.
Juan, me, Colin, and Melissa

Even though we came at a shitty time (I always do that — this time, we just missed F1 and came right before all the jazz festivals), we still managed to check out some street festivals.
St Laurent street festival

Did some clubbing. Bottle service, VIP, the usual.
Muzique

Also got to see my very first Cirque du Soleil! This was Amaluna, the newest one. Beautiful performance.
Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

Of course, no trip to Montreal is complete without smoked meat, poutine, and Quebecois beer. Decided to hit three birds with one stone. Bad idea. Don’t go to Montreal Poutine (total tourist trap) in Old Montreal. Missed Schwartz and La Banquise this time around…next time!
Smoked meat poutine at Montreal Poutine

Because I heart museums and such, we checked out the Montreal Science Centre. And to my horror, they had a Star Wars exhibit on (I hate the Star Wars series with a passion). And to my greatest horror, I came out of the exhibit actually interested in wanting to watch the whole series! Ha! Can you believe that? The inner nerd in me tends to pop out at random times.
Star Wars exhibit at Montreal Science Centre

…and the best for last, the food. Definitely gained about 2 lbs while I was in Montreal. Foie gras, crepes, beaver tails, maple everything… hells yes.
Rabbit crepe at Jardin Nelson
Seared foie gras atop ginger bread and red wine jus at Holder
Chilled foie gras with caramelized pears at Holder
Beef tartare at Holder
Bouef bourgignon at Holder
Pate chinois at Holder
Calamari
Greek
Rib steak
Dumplings at Xing Hua
Beaver tails

[1] Rabbit crepe [2] Seared foie gras atop ginger bread and red wine jus [3] Chilled foie gras with caramalized pears [4] Beef tartare [5] Bouef bourgignon [6] Pate chinois [7] Calamari, not onion rings [8] Grilled octopus [9] Greek rib steak [10] XLB-style dumplings [11] Beaver tails

Juan and I
All in all, great vacation. So nice to getaway even for just a little bit. It was also my very first trip with my boyfriend and I am so glad to say he’s an easy traveler! Phew. Dodged a bullet. So, since Montreal is over and done with, I guess the next big trip would be Asia in October for my birthday. Crossing my fingers!


Come visit me at The Biltmore this weekend!

I love shallow, shameless plugs but this one is of a definite worthy cause!
Local-E Bazaar
This Saturday, July 7th, I will be at The Biltmore (2755 Prince Edward) participating in an event called, the local-E Bazaar. This one-day event will highlight many of Vancouver’s talented indie designers and gems and will be featuring a variety of handmade leather goods, jewelry, t-shirts, bathing suits and more! And what will I be doing there? Well, my company, Dolce Delights, will be providing some deliciously indulgent cupcakes — vegan, gluten-free, and full-fat options will be available. I chose to participate in this event because I think it is very important we, small business owners, support eachother and get the community involved as much as possible. We will be there all day from 11:00am-4:00pm and there will even be a full bar in swing (sorry kiddies)! What’s that? Cupcakes, booze, and shopping? What more could a girl possibly ask for? So, if you haven’t gotten a chance to try my cupcakes yet (and by now, you really have no excuse), we hope to see you there!