30 November 2013


So I lied, more food photos lay ahead. I did study construction management for the afternoon though, then headed out to the Christmas Market.

It's pretty, no?

Went there mostly for the food:

Free apple cider & mini wheat cereal / cornish pastry from brick st bakery (incredibly delicious, and reminds me of my summer in the UK) / chocolate branch! didn't buy since the line was too long.

Did end up with a bottle of hazelnut oil from crescendo, totally impulse purchase, but it taste exactly like nutella. I'm an easy sell :( The saleslady said to make oatmeal with milk, caocao powder, and a drizzle of this oil, I'm so doing that.
In terms of non-food item, pretty packaging kills. Like these perfumes. Or just general cuteness, like these leather animal ottomans.

Final picture of pretty lights:


k one last food photo before going back to studying.
Free brownie bites courtesy of Ueat's brownie bake-off competition. Naturally they were all delicious. One had bacon bits (good salty taste amidst all the sweetness), one had pinto beans (never thought of incorporating beans, but it creates a velvety soft texture, though at the expense of making the brownie too soft), and one had fudge. So topping my next brownie with skor bits!

It's been a good week of slacking (y). Now back to studying for finals.

28 November 2013

all mine

If I judge my life through these blog posts, I'd be a glutton. But let's continue the theme with this post.

There was a holiday bazaar with local goods at UT today, went to take a look hoping to get a couple cool greeting cards, came back with a box of caramels (and a card too!).

(whee fluid mechanics in the background!)
There were originally 4 in the box, but two were devoured before it registered to take a photo. In total there were: cinnamon with milk chocolate, cayenne pepper with dark chocolate (this one was great, intense kick of pepper in between the sweetness of the caramel), candy cane with white chocolate, and salted dark chocolate. As of now, only one remains. Sigh I love salted caramels (best candies ever).

Also the perfect breakfast is granola with full fat yogurt topped with raspberries and a drizzle of honey. A small bowl of that is surprisingly filling.


Just to break the food monotony, here's a $250k camera that my professor uses to record images of rocks fracturing under dynamic load. Actually, it's not even used most of the time because it's too fast.
It's also transported in a case designed for guns. Though they do use various gun barrels in the lab.

25 November 2013


Two videos for your viewing pleasure:

exhibit A. Patagonia

I want to adopt this philosophy for my belongings, though it's going to be a tough journey.
Side note: there's some pretty ridiculous requests on /r/buyitforlife

exhibit B. Home2O

This is actually so smart (why did I not think of it!). 

24 November 2013

winter 13 revisited

I feel proud that my shopping list is dwindling in size (y).

Revision for winter&fall:
  • Everlane Ryan tee nah it's okay, cut is not perfect. Plus I have more than enough tops.
  • Thick cotton striped tee 3/4 sleeve bought couple of days after making the initial post. LL Bean's sailor shirt went on sale and I got the navy/cream version. Very happy that it's a thicker cotton material.
  • Black loafers, now a cheap pair. still looking "orz
  • Awesome thick wool socks for boots. will obtain once I make it to Costco
  • An actual set of suit items. Blazer, skirt, pants, all matching. Thinking of BR or Club Monaco during boxing day sale. Ugh tried on BR ones, cut was bad. Instead I'll probably just try to match a skirt to my current blazer. But I mean engineering interviews aren't that formal, I can probably do without a suiting set.
  • Conference dress. bought one from H&M, need a topper with it @_@
With these revisions in mind, here is the iterated version of the shopping list:
Gap legging cords / trousers / Uniqlo ocbd / Frye jillian oxfords / Talula shrunken exeter blazer

I debated about getting coloured cords, but then realized how much simpler and streamlined my wardrobe would be if I just stuck to neutral pants. Plus I regret getting my parka in purple, makes colour matching such a pain (does not go well with brown boots).

And one can never have too many blazers.
Thinking if I get the new blazer in black (it'd be the baby twin of my current one), maybe I can just match it to a pair of trousers and let that be the default interview outfit. I prefer skirt suits, but there's been huge debates on FFA about skirt vs pants for engineering interviews. The essence of the debate is really about how to handle the massive gender inequality in the profession, and whether its a better strategy to downplay (pants) or emphasize (skirt) the fact that you're a women.

So WISE has the potential to be great, though the current activities of the club is more focused on making industry connections rather than specifically targeting the issues faced by women. I also would much rather hold smaller, more intimate events, but our sponsors really push for attracting bigger crowds. Anyways off topic.

This post has a lot of silhouette inspiration.


It snowed today and was very cold.
(later edit: woke up the next morning and was -14 with windchill, seriously?)

Good to see old friends again, and meet the various loo people I have been hearing about :)


This is an adequate description of when it's hard to fall asleep:

22 November 2013


Savories crepes are good for any meal.
 At crepe-it-up, suggested by Dave's cousin as cheap and good. Indeed it was. White rose tea / tres amigos / the hot chick.

Soup is also the best dish for a cold winter's day.
At college Q, slightly pricy, but the chef there is really friendly.

20 November 2013


Wednesdays are the pit of the week ._.

18 November 2013


This is the pen I will buy as a graduation present to myself (titanium one would be too heavy I think, otherwise totally that one).

For now, I really have enough pens e_e" But I am going through my Pilot Juice/Uni Signo's super fast (thanks all the assignments, thanks)...maaaaaaybe...

17 November 2013

you say

In other news, Dave made cake, yay!

16 November 2013


I'm planning on visiting New York over reading week. Excited!

There's an overwhelming amount of food places to decide between. Was combing through Serious Eats NY until I realized I should postpone this until after the last APS301 quiz (it's an interesting course, ought to make a post about it).

So until then.

15 November 2013


Attempt #2 at the pear cake, except this time it's an apple cake.

Much better with apple imo. Would be even better if there was a layer of berry compote underneath the apple, and served with barely whipped cream.

Overall this will be a staple cake since it's so quick to make (swap browned butter with plain melted butter sped things up a lot). Not too much sugar & butter either, much less than that of a cookie. Been actually having it as breakfast, which is a good way to ensure a good start to your day :D


Today was also a good day because I got a new highscore without any gems in Blitz (y).
No this is not what I do all lecture (actually).

14 November 2013


David Robertson: Creative constraint from PopTech on Vimeo.

It's quite true that my fondest memory of playing with my Lego airplanes set (why did I even buy the airplanes set? I don't particularly like airplanes) is making up adventures for my planes to partake in. And also making a random plane, and challenging myself to make the most awesome fuel station out of the remaining blocks (why fuel station? No clue).

13 November 2013


Why is it that it takes a much greater amount of good moments to make a good day compared to the amount of bad moments it takes to make a bad day? 

It'd be nice if it was the other way around

11 November 2013


Listening to this yesterday induced a huge wave of nostalgia.
It's weird, I don't feel old enough to reminisce about childhood, but definitely old enough that I can dreamily refer to that period of time as childhood. It was the only time when you weren't preoccupied with the future and past, but instead just enjoyed each passing moment. So hard to do that now.

池塘边的榕树上  知了在声声地叫着夏天
操场边的秋千上  只有蝴蝶儿停在上面
黑板上老师的粉笔  还在拼命唧唧喳喳写个不停
等待着下课  等待着放学  等待游戏的童年

福利社里面什么都有  就是口袋里没有半毛钱
诸葛四郎和魔鬼党  到底谁抢到那支宝剑
隔壁班的那个女孩  怎么还没经过我的窗前
嘴里的零食  手里的漫画  心里初恋的童年

总是要等到睡觉前  才知道功课只做了一点点
总是要等到考试以后  才知道该念的书还没有念
一寸光阴一寸金  老师说过寸金难买寸光阴
一天又一天 一年又一年  迷迷糊糊的童年

没有人知道为什么  太阳总下到山的那一边
没有人能够告诉我  山里面有没有住着神仙
多少的日子里总是  一个人面对着天空发呆
就这么好奇  就这么幻想  这么孤单的童年

阳光下蜻蜓飞过来  一片片绿油油的稻田
水彩蜡笔和万花筒  画不出天边那一条彩虹
什么时候才能象高年级的同学  有张成熟与长大的脸
盼望着假期  盼望着明天  盼望着长大的童年
OH一天又一天 一年又一年  盼望着长大的童年

And now that I'm so close to the "grown-up" that I wished to be, I'm actually missing the childhood years. The glass is always greener is a different time haha. 

10 November 2013


Been using the oven a lot lately, mostly because a) butter finally went on sale and b) lettuce never appealed to me as the main vegetable in a salad, so instead I bake vegetables.

Had a week of baked butternut squash and carrots with broccoli crunch slaw, turned out well so trying a week of focaccia with baked zucchini (not much relation I know).

It's off to a good start as the zucchini is delicious, thanks to the generous helping of garlic. I ought to have a bottle of garlic infused olive oil on hand, I'm a firm believer that it makes any baked vegetable delicious (like those Kale chips from way back).

On the butter-y side, I'm 4/3 cups through 4 cups. So far it's mostly been these chocolate chip cookies.

To be honest, I've had enough for now. Yes they're so so delicious straight out of the oven, but the keyword here is straight out of the oven. Once they begin to cool, the cookies become very hard. It's impossible to eat any the next day without microwaving them wrapped in a damp paper towel. Thus, to maximize the delicious-ness, I end up eating at least 5 of them right after, which lead to the inevitable feeling of ughhhh.

I tried refrigerating the dough, to decent success. The dough, already very dry to begin with, becomes difficult to work with after sitting in the fridge. It does warm up in your hands, so you can squeeze them into little balls.

Taking a break from cookies, tried making a pear cake.

First thing I would change, layer the chocolate under the pear. Otherwise it's all good. This is more labour intensive than most cakes, as the eggs need a good whipping, butter needs browning, and pears need to be chopped (this took forever). Is the result worth it, mmm I guess. It's not overwhelmingly delicious, but the cake does have a good texture. Going to retry next time substituting apple for the pear, and forgoing the chocolate.

09 November 2013

sweet shrimp

My list of approved sushi places in Toronto has increased to two. In addition to ND sushi, now there's Solo Sushi Bekkan.

Went there with mom after a brief shopping date, shared a Sushi King Set:
Yummm. Spicy salmon roll at the back, and the tuna nigiri was especially delicious. Definitely going to reorder next time. Their sashimi also looked amazing (the table next to ours had seared white tuna). It is more expensive than most sushi shops (this was $18), but worth it imo. Also a very tiny place, it's likely that you'll have trouble finding a seat.

More on shopping, was sad to find that the Club Monaco coat I had my eyes on totally did not fit me. Also that they stopped carrying the trench coat in stores. Oh wells, to be honest I don't need a new coat.

Banana Republic suits also don't fit me, the blazer has extra fabric around the chest area, pants were horrible and only the skirt was alright. Finding a suit is going to be harder than I thought, maybe I don't need a suit either ah ha...

However, Artizia and H&M stuff do fit me well. Tried on the Ellis pants (damn that looked good AND is comfy, if only it was ~30 cheaper!) and a wool coat (also looked so good, except I really dislike the leather buttons and the green isn't what I'm looking for). Overhead the manager of the store really pressuring the salesperson helping me to make a sale, which I found weird. They were going to full thousand miles, bringing me additional styles, a flurry of compliments etc. Never encountered such pressure before. My theory is because I tried on an expensive item (which also looked good, really like the quilted detailing on the sleeves). 

Moving on, instead I bought a black sheath dress at H&M. My first "grown-up" dress hehe. Now I have something to wear at the WISE conference! (Side note, skirt suits look so so so much better than pant suits 99% of the time). Also found a pair of slim dress pants, though unfortunately they were out of my size. That could have been the alternative to the aforementioned Ellis pants, sob.


Forgot to post this before, but Yummy Korean BBQ has really awesome rice cakes (bottom pic):
The egg battered zucchini is great as well, makes me miss pool party & bbq at April's house.

07 November 2013


Now that I finally caught up to the end of 40 Days of Dating.
(spoilers below)


Not that the additional spacing helped since screen resolutions are so high now. Anyways.

I actually didn't know if they were going to stay together or break up throughout the 40 days. It's very difficult to articulate why I was so on the fence. On one hand, their struggles suggest that it will lead to a successful resolution, kind of how a hero faces trials and is rewarded at the end. On the other hand, their problems were pretty fundamental and it's a hard determine whether it's worth trying to resolve.
But then again I guess every relationship is like that. There's parts you like, and parts that you don't.

Was surprised at the speed in which things turned for the worse though. It's scary to think that on the surface, everything can seem to be converging at a solution, whereas a tiny perturbation can destroy it. It's always some little thing that otherwise would be insignificant.

Their last post reminds me a lot of how Honey and Clover ends. The whole idea of a relationship that didn't work out still being a valuable experience, and brings you hope about what the future holds.
Tim says in his entry:
In mythology, once an adventure is over and the reward has been secured, the hero or heroine usually leaves the “special world” to go back to the world where he or she first began. The final test for the hero is to realize what they’re bringing back to the old world, literally or metaphorically. They have lived to tell their story, and to inform society. That gives me a lot of solace. While I do feel heartbroken right now, I feel a tremendous amount of hope for my future.
Okay too much H&C feels coming up.

05 November 2013

chili oil

The good eats continue today at 巴山蜀水 (previously featured here). Got the dumplings and tofu again cause they are that good.

 Rice cakes with twice cooked meat (回锅肉年糕)

 Housemade tofu with mushroom and greens

Dumpling with chili oil (钟水饺)
These dumplings, the closest I'll get to the ones down my aunt's house in China. Those dumplings, best I've ever had, the fucking best.

04 November 2013


The completion of solids midterm deserve a good lunch in celebration.

First stop, Caplansky's Deli, Grace recommended this ages ago and I finally made the trek over.

Smoked meat sandwich and Knish. The Knish is amazing, totally getting this again, It has the perfect amount of salt. The meat in the sandwich is very tender as well.

Some pie at Wanda's (first visited on Kensington date) afterwards:

Sour cherry pie, mmm. One day, I will buy a 10" pie, and eat the whole thing myself without feeling any guilt (y).

03 November 2013


I am glad to report that I have made several lifestyle changes for the better. This is surprising to me since the stereotype seem to be that when you live along (or with friends), all healthy habits goes to hell. But alas, I'm managed to:
  • stop being a night-owl and wake up at ~9 on weekends. Weekend mornings are a blissful time my friends. 
  • hate cleaning less. There's still progress to be made on this front. 
My sleeping schedule is pretty consist throughout the entire week too, I'm generally able to asleep by 1 on weekdays! It's really nice to not feel sleepy at night and in the mornings, though certain lecture rooms still just put me to sleep.

Also stopped waking up at the latest possible time in the mornings. Gone is the pressure to rush through breakfast, instead I can actually make something nice and leisurely decide on what to wear. Aka no more grumpy mornings! I do get less sleep, so trying to make that up by sleeping earlier, which is hard to do since roommates are all night-owls. It's like there's a 3 hour timezone difference between us durr.

Related to having a more leisurely pace, I've also been trying to limit the amount of studying hours per day and leaving some time to do whatever. The whatever usually ends up being browsing some corner of the internet (likely to be reddit), but that's perfectly fine. I'm tempted to call this "wasted time" since it's not "productive", but it's not wasted since it makes me less stressed and happier. It's weird, and sad, that I need to schedule in free time, whereas it should be mostly free time with scheduled in work.

On the other hand, improvements in cleaning habit is motivated by fear of dirty pillowcase causing acne. I doubt the validity of this fear, but can't hurt to clean beddings more often. I've also learned to appreciate a shiny countertop, it's just so...shiny! Progress can still be made on wiping floors and dusting though.

Overall, I'm challenging myself to take better care of my possessions/living environment. This is a prerequisite that I've set before I'll allow myself to buy nice things. Nice things such as:
sources: throw / blanket / vase / mug / jars

A sidenote, I'd move to Brooklyn just cause they have the coolest boutiques. And yes online window shopping is a superb stress reliever for constant studying.

Really can't wait until I have my own place *u*

01 November 2013


Had a chill lecture so I went through camera roll. Here's some food pics that I never posted.

 Cookie and cream cupcake from Wafflian. Surprised at the bad reviews, this was a pretty good cupcake. A tad sweet (though my tolerance is pretty low), but good texture and good cake to frosting ratio.

 Spinach and ham quiche from Helena's Magical Kitchen, aka the place that I pilgrim to for shepherd's pie. Their quiches are equally yummy (flaky crust so good), the portion above is just the right size to fill me up.

 Oyako don, comfort food at it's finest. The pickles really compliment the dish well. This particular one is from a newly opened Japanese restaurant near Yonge&Wellesley.

Banh Mi Boys lunch with mom, we were a tad greedy. From front to back, grilled pork banh mi, pulled pork banh mi, and fried chicken bao. Pulled pork tasted the best out of the meat options, though everything was good. Particularly love the slightly pickled carrots with the cilantro.


Bonus content: just discovered random pumpkins tucked away in various places on campus.