BOOKS… and a $16 smoothie!?

Recently: lots of helping Seline with her biochemistry, lots of maps, lots of grocery shopping

I’ve been on a reading kick recently. Every weekend, I go to the public library or Chapters/Indigo (sometimes both!), where I spend up to four hours reading and reading. Someone please shoot me an email or comment if you’ve read (or want to read!) one of these books. I need someone to discuss ’em with ASAP!

  • WHEN THEY FADE by Jeyn Roberts (PS she retweeted and commented on my tweet so my life is now complete)
  • HURT by Tabitha Suzuma
  • UNNATURAL DEEDS by Cyn Balog
  • WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO IVY by Kathy Stinson
  • A MOTHER’S RECKONING by Sue Klebold
  • RED RAIN by R.L. Stine
  • BURNING by Danielle Rollins

Also, food is coming. I promise.

Dad got a new backdrop for the fish tank back home in BC, and my doggie Arnie had some fur shaved off so he could have his [fortunately benign] tumour removed.

I’ve been loving lentils recently. The Pulses Canada website has some phenomenal recipes. I want to try chickpea flour soon. Have you tried chickpea flour? What are your thoughts?

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A vegan cafe in my Toronto neighbourhood has this $16 smoothie on their menu. Would you pay $16 for a smoothie? Cassie, I’m looking at you 😉

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Scrambled spinach eggs with cheese and avocado toast are my go-to meal, no matter where in Ontario I am!

Super pink oatmeal (pureed raspberries stirred into the oats) to make a hearty Valentine’s Day treat. Strawberry hearts and chocolate almond butter completed this tasty breakfast.

Gloria Cafe never disappoints. I love their tomato cheese toast and get it every time. That’s an orange-ginger scone at the bottom! Devoured.

Strawberry-topped oats with sweet potato muffin and a drizzle of almond butter. Simple and tasty.

To be honest, it’s dangerous that Tsujiri, a Japanese matcha soft serve store, is directly across the street from where I work. Each sundae is $8 and I had TWO last week because it’s just too convenient to stop by the shop after work. With chiffon cake, crunchy cornflakes, and sweetened red bean, I can’t resist. Consider me a new matcha fan! Rachel from Moments With Rae would be proud. 😛

Almond butter toast, cinnamon, and yogurt with crunchy granola.

On Saturday I went to a rundown shack in the Kensington Market. Called the Latin American Emporium, this little place was full of Spanish-speaking locals.

I enjoyed a freshly-made pupusa with cabbage and a mildly spicy sauce, horchata (rice milk drink blended with sesame, cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa powder) and a fried plantain with creamy cheese. It was my first time trying Salvadorian food, and I LOVED it, despite the plantain being a tad oily. This incredible, filling meal cost less than $5! Have you ever had horchata?

I also went on a SPREE at Delysees, a French bakery, where I bought…

  • Chocolate praline croissant
  • Coconut eclair
  • Pistachio eclair
  • Pistachio croissant
  • Almond chocolate croissant
  • Chocolate hazelnut toffee cake
  • Tiramisu white chocolate cake

Some frozen, others devoured, others chopped up to enjoy throughout the week. It looks like a lot, and it actually was a lot… but a good a lot. You know what I mean?

#neverenoughfrenchdesserts

And yes, I know I overdid it with the pictures.

I headed back to Millie Creamerie the other day for a crepe. This was the Japanese special, which had strawberries, matcha sauce (more matcha!), red bean paste, coconut gelato, all piled into a slightly-sweet, crispy crepe.

Yay for FaceTime. Technology is cool because I like to see Mom and Dad, and Seline, even though they live in another province and we have a 3-hour time difference. They look so cute. My family is the best. 🙂

Seline painted this a few weeks ago. She is so talented! I wish I was as good as her when it comes to art. Can you believe that she freehanded this with oil paints? 

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Applied Health Sciences Fun Run pics! Why didn’t I post these earlier? Good question, Cindy, good question. I have no idea why I just wrote that in third-person.

A meal at Famoso Pizzeria (yup in the Waterloo days) on December 31, a day before I left for Toronto! I miss personal pizzas. When am I gonna find a place in Toronto that does this?

House pics!

Neat graphic of the muscles of the human body! Did you know that there are 680 skeletal muscles in the human body? Nevertheless, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently, e.g. regarding what is defined as different parts of a single muscle or as several muscles. Examples actually range from 640 to 850.

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Guys… is it really already February 24?! Where on EARTH is the time going?

Anyways, pop me a message below about BOOKS! Tell me – do you like to read? What is your favourite recent read? I’m always craving a good book, and psychological thrillers are my favourite. I’m all about the paranormal-romance-suspense-mystery fusion (bonus points if it’s got a powerful heroine à la Katniss Everdeen!).

i ❤ walkie-talkies

Check out all the great food that Mom’s been making back in BC! Rice casserole, steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and green beans, lemon poppyseed loaves, peanut butter cookies, and more. I miss Mom’s cooking! She always put so much time and thought into these meals, while I throw everything into a pot, cover it with cheese, and hope it’s good.

Saturday, Oct. 1 was the annual Reunion at my school, an event that you might know as Homecoming. I helped to coordinate the Applied Health Sciences Fun Run this year, and we had to be at school at 6:45 AM. It was rainy in the morning, but thankfully by the time runners started filing in, the rain had ceased.

I think the coolest part of the day was getting to wear walkie-talkies! I LOVE walkie-talkies. My sister and I used to play with them all the time, hiding in different closets in the house and phoning each other. Do you like walkie-talkies? Do you have any fun memories of them?

Here are some of the highlights! I was responsible for social media and got to post all of these photos onto the University of Waterloo’s Applied Health Sciences Twitter and Instagram pages. It was actually my first time using Instagram, so I was pretty terrible at it and needed a lot of help finding the “upload” button.

After the runners had food, left, and everything was cleaned up, we took lots of photos at the photo booth. I think we took 10 sets of 4 photos each! Do you like photo booths?

The reception afterwards was catered by Seven Shores Cafe. The food looked amazing and I was lucky to take a couple summer rolls home.

We had to swap our bright yellow Reunion t-shirts for formal attire for the Dean’s reception. We listened to a lot of speeches and took some photos in the new Applied Health Sciences building. This wall is designed to look like a cluster of CELLS! Isn’t that creative?! A cell wall!

In the meantime, I’ve been planning the next couple of years of my academic calendar. My goal is to attain minors in psychology and nutrition, in addition to my kinesiology degree. I’m also hoping to study abroad one semester! I’ve been working with my academic adviser to coordinate all of my courses.

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On a totally different note, I’m now addicted to looking at photos of seals and baby polar bears. Aren’t these cubs adorable? I spammed my dad with photos of them.

Speaking of Dad, he is now in Taiwan! He’s going with Grandpa to visit Grandpa’s siblings and do some financial things. This was Dad’s first meal in Taiwan, and he especially likes the red chewy sugared soybean curds “dou gan”. Have you ever tried Taiwanese food?

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Here are some of the pretty lame meals that I made. Steamed broccoli, baked cayenne salmon with baked sweet potato “chips”, and a breakfast that consisted of toast, broccoli-cheddar omelet, and yogurt with muffin and granola. What have you been eating recently?

That’s it for today, because it’s a busy week ahead with midterms, quizzes, and the ongoing job search…

… any plans for Thanksgiving? 😀

Have a FANTASTIC week, everyone!

AHS Fun Run, New Hobby, SHOES ❀

Saturday, October 3rd was the University of Waterloo’s 30th annual AHS Fun Run!

Here is how I looked pre-race, without a drippy nose, red cheeks, and three puffy jackets on. I love the freebie T-shirt I got – it looks like an ordinary tee, but the material is super absorbent. Like something you’d find at Underarmour or Lululemon. Awesome! Plus it was free. Awesome x2.

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AHS stands for Applied Health Science, and I am an Applied Health Science student in the Kinesiology program. 🙂 The Fun Run is the longest-standing tradition at Reunion, and helps fundraise for Teens in Motion. Over $2,000 were raised in last year’s run, and I am sure we surpassed that number this year.

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There were so, so many volunteers and a ton of food provided by William’s Fresh Cafe. Plates and plates of fruit filled the AHS lounge where I sometimes sit down to study look at Buzzed. I kind of wanted a muffin.

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There were singers, too! There was so much energy and entertainment as everyone prepared for the race.

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Outside, the ‘Warrior’ mascot took photos with everyone. I spent some of the race with my new friends on the right, Sukrita and Kate.

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Some volunteers and a Conestoga college graduate/fitness leader led the warm up, where we did aerobic exercises to songs like ‘Bad Blood’. It was really chilly outside, and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about jumping around in a field with everyone, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. My heart was pumping at the end and I was ready for the run!

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Heather Moyse, a two-time Olympic gold medallist at Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, was there as our Grand Marshall! She gave us a motivational speech at the very beginning and I was surprised to hear that she graduated from the University of Waterloo as a kinesiology student like me! WOO!

Everyone, absolutely everyone (any level or age – seriously, there was a 16-month old in the race) is welcome. Some people are there to win the 5K race, and others are there to take their time walking the 2.5K. I signed up for the 2.5K and had a great time jogging around Ring Road. Initially, I planned to alternate between walking and jogging, but I didn’t even need to walk – with the chilly wind and 1 degree weather, I wanted to keep moving! I was so proud of myself. 🙂

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I felt such a rush after crossing the finish line, with all the volunteers cheering and encouraging us to finish strong. It was such a thrill! The only downsides of my run were a runny nose and shoelaces that came untied… twice. Oh – and the time a leaf blew into my mouth. I think I swallowed it. :O Nutrients?

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The run was also awesome because I met up with a new friend, a Health Studies co-op student who works at UWaterloo’s Health Services (hi, Kate!). She ran the 5K with an injured foot and has a half-marathon coming up. So proud of her! We had an awesome time talking about her co-op experiences, food, and “aww-ing” over the babies.

Lunch was provided after the race: a wrap, two cookies, a veggie cup with ranch dip, and a muffin. I didn’t actually eat this (gave it to a new friend) – you’ll see what I actually ate for lunch in a future post 😉

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This Waterloo piggy bank was a freebie that volunteers were handing out at the run. He’s taking a dive off my printer platform here. 🙂 Isn’t it cute? I love little pig stuff.

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On another note, I have a new hobby guys! Check these out. I joined a club called Crafts4Charity, where leader Karen Lau taught everyone to make these adorable key charms out of polymer clay.

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The incredibly talented Karen taught herself how to work with polymer clay, and made these beauties herself. Don’t they look store-bought?

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I made a star and a lollipop and enjoyed the session so much that I asked for a polymer clay starter set for my 18th birthday. Making little crafts is quite therapeutic, and in a similar way to hot yoga – it helps de-stress and is very rewarding. 🙂 The star below was the one I made! Covered in little bits of dust because I forgot to wipe down the table (and my hands) with baby wipes.

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SO. MUCH. FUN. Have you worked with polymer clay before? Next month we’ll be making these crystal-beaded animals. They’re so cute! I’m really excited. 🙂

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I know this is completely unrelated, but…

Recently, I also bought a pair of Hunter rainboots! We had KILLER rain the other day. It was worse than any rain I’ve ever seen in BC (or Paris, or Montreal, or Taiwan for that matter) and was an absolute downpour. Since I had a choice between flip flops, ballet flats, and runners, I had to wear my Nikes and hope for the best. Let’s just say my feet were sloshing in water during my two-hour lecture, and I had to wring out my socks afterwards. Totally regretted not wearing the flip flops.

Needless to say, I bought these rainboots the next day.

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And… I absolutely LOVE them! Okay, I haven’t worn them yet (other than trying them on in the store) – but they are comfortable and make me feel sophisticated. Plus, the socks are awesome since I love anything knitted and grey, not to mention how fleecy and blanketlike they are inside. Totally worth the near-$200 for these. I will absolutely be wearing this pair for the next four or five years.

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Another thing – I told my mom via FaceTime about a strange dream I had (which involved a falling apartment and Uptown Waterloo…?) and the next morning, I woke up to this. Isn’t my mom the cutest? She’s my ‘cuty’.

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I’ve been good with meal planning recently – here I cut up yellow squash, zucchini, scallions, and mushrooms, have cooked quinoa ready to toss into soups and curries and salads, and steamed broccoli that can be used for a quick and easy side dish. 🙂

Seline has still been practicing aerial silks weekly, and I think she’s improved massively! Check out her rolling splits here. She is becoming quite a good climber! I really miss silks and wish there was a circus school in Waterloo. Wouldn’t that be the perfect way to de-stress?

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I believe that is all I have to share with you guys today! It’s Sunday morning and I just enjoyed a big plate of apple pancakes. Sunday is usually my stay-at-home and clean up/get ready for the week day, and I have quite a few things to do:

  • Make pancake mix
  • Hot yoga
  • Chemistry homework
  • Kinesiology (Neuroscience) quiz… uh oh, didn’t do so well on the last one so I’m not looking forward to this 😦
  • Swiffer
  • Take out garbage
  • Laundry, wash towels, wash bedsheets
  • Make chocolate “pudding”
  • Make pumpkin loaf

Awesome. We’ll see how many of these actually get done! Have a fabulous week, everyone!