High Tea, MOVING ACROSS CANADA, and More

I haven’t posted for a long time… I know. It’s because the past couple of weeks have been absolutely hectic, between meeting people, moving back to Ontario, and starting classes again.

TLDR of what I’ve been doing recently:

  1. Constructing Ikea furniture very slowly
  2. Reading
  3. Meeting up with friends, like the time I had high tea with my friend Adele in Kitsilano
  4. Other random stuff?

 

Here are more tidbits of the summer. These things happened after my sister and I came back from Charlottetown, PEI, and shortly after I got my wisdom teeth removed. Some bits of the summer include:

  • going for brunch with family at Café la Foret
  • baked a super creamy, rich New York cheesecake using an Allrecipes recipe
  • plenty of delicious Mom-cooked dinners, including tofu, veggies, and more
  • making iron-on bead magnets with my sister

 

  • delicious cooking from Mom – this time with Korean beef stew, pearl meatballs, and butter chicken with mushrooms
  • walking the dog with Mom
  • baking blueberry almond bread with mom
  • delicious brown sugar waffles with powdered sugar, butter, Nutella, maple syrup
  • stewed eggplant with ground pork on rice
  • lovely soft serve from Soft Peaks, which recently opened near my grandparents’ apartment in Burnaby
  • taro and chicken stew with fried egg and zucchini

 

My grandma found these! I wrote them when I was in the tenth grade, about five years ago. This is when I wrote down everything that I ate, separating them into pages by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). I think it’s funny because I also RANKED all of the things I ate out of 10, then calculated the weekly and monthly averages.

 

Heirloom Vegetarian is a lovely brunch spot in Vancouver. I went with my family, and I enjoyed a great platter of mushroom hash topped with poached egg and tofu. Mom and I shared two dishes – the other one was a grilled cheese with cauliflower soup. Afterwards, Mom, Dad, and I (sans Seline) shared a tray of four ice creams from Rain or Shine. They were Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Malted Chocolate Honeycomb, Peanut Butter.

 

Another afternoon, Seline and I had high tea with our good friend Adele. It was my first time having high tea, and it was such an enjoyable experience. The place was beautiful, the food was divine, and the company was great.

 

I had two large mugs of London Fog, which Seline drizzled with honey. I ate the vegetarian Grande Adventure, and my favourite savoury bite was the cheese sandwich with apple relish, followed by a tiny sandwich filled with curried egg salad.

 

That same evening, we packed up the car and drove to Aunt Mimi’s home. We went to Mimi’s house because she lives closer to the airport, and she was the one giving us a ride to the airport the next day. This time, Dad, Seline, Grandpa, and I ALL went to Waterloo together.

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Our first meal in Waterloo was Famoso Pizzeria. I had my favourite, which had arugula, gorgonzola, dates, honey, brussels sprouts, and proscuitto. On the side, a Caprese salad.

For the first few nights, we stayed at a lovely AirBnB in Kitchener. The highlight was playing a board game called Blokus.

 

Another day, we dined at Red House. Seline had lamb spaghetti, and I thoroughly enjoyed my summery salad and plantains with queso fresco. For dessert, I had the chocolate tart with whipped ricotta and berries. We did an escape room after this dinner – it was called the Vault. Unfortunately, we didn’t escape in time.

 

Around this time, we got to see the new house. The house was already furnished for one person.

 

We went to the MUSEUM in Kitchener one day, and Seline and I played with this interactive virtual dancing thing.

 

 

Fun moments – delicious dinner of baked cheesy tortellini with veggies from Ennio’s, followed by an incredible dark rum and mascarpone bread pudding with ice cream and Nutella sauce.

Plus cleaning and sleeping on the ground. Which are not fun.

More cleaning, more furniture to construct, and a random waffle topped with whipped peanut butter, honey-roasted granola, and peaches.

 

A couple wonderful meals from Dad and Grandpa’s LAST DAY in Waterloo:

  • L: Timeless London Fog, omelet with roasted cauliflower, black beans, smoked salmon, chipotle lime goat cheese, sweet potato pancake with black beans
  • D: Belmont vegetable crepe with ratatouille filling (eggplant, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash), goat cheese, kale, buckwheat crepe // salted caramel brownie with vanilla creme anglaise, strawberry ice cream, strawberries, gluten-free carrot cake with blueberries, whipped cream, orange glaze

 

Seline and I had a bit more cleaning to do, and we were all done with the apartment. Here it is:

 

We finished cleaning, had an EXCELLENT first day of school (with yummy lunch eaten in the sun), and I celebrated with a giant chocolate chip cookie. I actually got this massive chewy cookie from Proof Kitchen for free as part of my lunch (how sweet is that deal?!), and it was delicious after popping it into the microwave for about 35 secs. Chewy, crisp around the edges, buttery, and exploding with chocolate. Served with a glass of milk.

 

That’s it for today!

A bunch of random things before we end of…

 

Bye!

Unchronological Order

Good morning, everyone! I hope you are all having the loveliest of mornings. This was a meal of garlicky cheddar broiled pita, scrambled tofu with peas, and sautéed zucchini with mushrooms and peppers. Eaten about a month ago, and I’m just posting this now because I’m terribly disorganized.

These treats are from Vincenzo’s (specialty European grocery store in Waterloo), and I can’t wait for my family to try them. I also bought these and took these pics back in May (whaaaat?) and I’m not sure why I’m just sharing them now.

  • caramel milk chocolate
  • Scottish all-butter shortbread
  • white chocolate cranberry shortbread
  • tiramisu cream milk chocolate
  • 99% dark chocolate for my very health-conscious grandfather
  • French pure butter cookies
  • 3 bags of Italian black truffle chips

During a FaceTime session between my mom and I, she decided it would be a good idea to DRAW a picture of me – this is what I got. :O

Another day, my friends and I went to Menchies for frozen yogurt to celebrate after our Physiology final exam.

My Menchies cup was loaded with:

  • taro frozen yogurt
  • Nutella frozen yogurt
  • Oreo frozen yogurt
  • chocolate frozen yogurt
  • cinnamon toast crunch cereal <– my favourite cereal as a kid, next to Corn Puffs and Reese’s. Multigrain Cheerios and Lucky Charms (only the charms, though, let’s be real) were so good, too. Man, I could write a whole post about different cereals. What was your favourite?
  • peanut butter crackle
  • chocolate crackle
  • cheesecake chunks
  • brownie chunks
  • Nanaimo bar
  • yogurt-covered pretzel
  • peanut butter sauce
  • peanut butter cookie dough <– I need more of this in my life
  • Oreo pieces

And 12 hours before the Menchies, we were studying on campus. I am going to miss Athena and Jasmine so much. 😦

Recently, I’ve been living off of Minimalist Baker recipes. I adapted her chocolate breakfast quinoa bowl and have been loving this breakfast with a banana + lots of peanut butter in the morning. It’s so easy to make, and is wonderful meal prep for the days that you feel like having a variation from oatmeal.

I made two batches over the last 1.5 weeks, and will buy another can of coconut milk later today so I can make another 4 servings!

Rich Chocolate Breakfast Quinoa

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 can of coconut milk + enough water to make 2 cups total
  • sea salt
  • 3 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse quinoa well. Drain.
  2. Heat saucepan over medium heat. Add rinsed, drained quinoa. Toast for 3 minutes while stirring rapidly to dry up water.
  3. Add coconut milk and water mixture, a pinch of salt, and stir. Boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. If it stops simmering, increase heat to medium-low. It should be slightly simmering.
  4. When the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, remove from heat and add cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Adjust flavours if needed, adding more water if you prefer a thinner texture.
  6. Eat! Don’t forget to top with chocolate, berries, more milk, or sliced banana. Nut butter is a must for me.
  7. Leftovers keep in the fridge, covered, for 2-3 days.

This morning, I realized that my milk was due to expire soon so I quickly whipped up a giant mug of hot chocolate. This mug was warm, sweet, but not too sweet, comforting, and absolutely delicious despite the hot and sunny weather. I enjoyed it with a chocolate almond croissant that I froze a few months ago. Thank you, past Cindy.

Easiest Hot Chocolate

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION

    • Whisk together the cocoa, maple, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and honey are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
    • If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender or use a milk frother.

Cocoa powder, guys. Apparently every recipe I made this week involves that good stuff. Since I didn’t have any coconut oil, I resorted to this recipe which is entirely free of added fats. The verdict? Not my favourite. I thought it had an odd bread-y texture, which was off-putting for brownies. I wouldn’t make this again. 😦

Fat-Free Vegan Brownies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour (I used spelt)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp flax meal plus 6 tbsp water, whisked together

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Sift all the dry ingredients, including the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In another bowl mix together the maple syrup, water, flaxmeal mixture, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well mixed.
  3. Add the flour-cocoa mixture to this in 3 batches, mixing after each addition using a ladle or spatula. The batter will be thick.
  4. Prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment. Leave an overhang on each side of the pan so you can easily lift the brownies. Pour the batter in and spread evenly.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool thoroughly. Lift out the brownies using the foil overhang as handles, and cut into squares. Enjoy!

And that’s it for today! I hope y’all have the best rest of the week, and I cannot wait to share some exciting stuff with you. Seriously exciting.

Stay on your toes!

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It’s Finals Week…

The last two weeks looked like this, and we aren’t finished yet, so behold a very short post 🙂

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Back home in BC, Seline has been loving the bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast combo. I can’t wait to replicate this when I get home, too!

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The school’s free fitness schedule is up, and I can’t wait to start attending classes once my exams are over.

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Cherries are in season! This made a lovely snack. Yogurt is on the bottom, and there are also coconut chips and granola in the mix.

 

Yesterday was the last day of Biomechanics and Sociology, so we took a group photo with our professor (missing some, though). 😦

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I had a really good almond croissant from the Tempered Room frozen for a few months since Toronto, and I finally heated it up in the microwave for a great breakfast.

 

So glad that my Biomechanics course is over. I took two in the last year, and needless to say, I am so done with rigid link modelling.

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Yesterday, I enjoyed a sandwich and soup at Princess Cafe. The sandwich consisted of salty proscuitto, salty pesto-mayo, roasted sweet corn, harvarti cheese, and spinach. Garlicky beet soup was consumed.

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My friends and I in the sun before an exam last week. We play frisbee to get our energy levels up!

 

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I will be moving to Scarborough in September for my next co-op job at Centennial College, where I’ll be tutoring. My new home is a 17-minute walk from the skating rink!

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Sweet potato peanut stew with spinach and crushed peanuts on top.

 

My last English essay was also written! Celebrate!

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This year, I am an Atlantic hurricane!

I’m going to miss my messy, messy room in Waterloo that I lived in for two years.

Off to study now! Today I am looking at my physiology notes.

What I Do in a Day

Good morning! Here’s what a typical day in the life of me looks like:

6:30-6:45: wake up, wash my face and brush my teeth, boil water

6:45-7:00: wash dishes from yesterday’s lunch, make the bed, wipe counters and make a cup of tea (English breakfast, most of the time, with a scoop of honey and milk)

7:00-7:30: drink tea while studying

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Will my desk ever be neat?!

7:30-8:30: cook and decorate oatmeal (or eggs/pancakes/other breakfasts!), then eat oatmeal while reading the news, checking social media, and possibly creating a new blog post

8:30-9:00: wash dishes, prepare tomorrow’s backpack, brush my teeth, change clothes and brush hair, then clean my room quickly

9:00-9:30: walk to school, or take the bus if it is cold/rainy

9:30-11:30: lab time! I have a lab for human physiology, where we measure variables like heart rate, blood pressure, and maximal oxygen consumption. We always have lengthy lab write-ups for this course – my last report was 12 pages!

11:30-3:00: classes, including Statistics, Physiology, Biomechanics, Sociology of Physical Activity, English, and French. Not all in the same day, fortunately! I have my lunch in class, and always bring snacks to enjoy. Sometimes, I have to leave class early or show up late, because of mandatory co-op interviews at my school’s career centre.

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Lunch is asparagus-broccoli stir-fry on top of quinoa, with avocado and an oven-baked “falafel pancake”

3:15-4:15: volunteer at the university’s Well-Fit program, which is similar to personal training for patients undergoing cancer treatment. I teach exercises and spot participants as they perform various strengthening and stretching exercises.

4:15-5:30: study with friends at the Starbucks in my school’s health building, where most of my classes are. Sometimes, I study on my own.

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5:30-6:30: French tutorial, where we watch videos and practice conversations

6:30-7:00: study a little, check social media for the 400th time, and microwave my packaged dinner. Eat and be lazy.

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Messages with my sister…

7:00-7:30: take the bus for 7 minutes to the mall bus terminal, then walk for around 20 minutes from the terminal to Brass Butterflies, a pole and aerial studio that I am a member of.

7:30-8:30: Mixed Aerials class! I love this class because there are so many different apparatuses (hoop, trapeze, silks, hammock), and people of all levels. I practice the hoop or the silks, and I feel exhausted after the conditioning.

8:30-9:30: Flight & Flexy class! We stretch and do various exercises for strength and stability.

9:30-10:00: walk for 20ish minutes back to the bus terminal in the mall, then take the bus back home.

10:00-10:30: shower, throw on my pyjamas, make hot chocolate, unpack my backpack, get ready to study

10:30-11:45: study, do assignments/quizzes, or write lab report

11:45-12:00: brush my teeth, quickly prepare tomorrow’s backpack, and sleep!

6.5 hours of glorious sleep, and repeat!

Life.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 1.08.40 PM.pngDo you like poetry? Quick promo, friends! Did y’all know that my crazy, studious, funny, awesome 17 year-old sister writes a blog, too? Hers is called Purely Poetic, and she writes all about mythical lands, strange sensations, and weird-but-wonderful worlds. Seline has a way with words, and is quite talented when it comes to writing creatively. Paired with some incredible aesthetics, I think you will love her writing. Take a look by clicking on this link, which will open up in another tab.

On another note, Mother’s Day was last weekend, and I was more than happy to wish a special day to my one and only mom. ❤ She is such a resilient, compassionate, caring person.

I had oatmeal this morning with an overripe banana, cocoa powder, tons of sunflower butter, and granola with hemp hearts to top.

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Yesterday night’s dinner was fresh pasta from the market, cooked with a pumpkin sauce and market asparagus with frozen peas. Parmesan on top!

The same sauce paired gloriously with fresh gnocchi. I love gnocchi. In fact, I think it is my #1 favourite pasta. What’s yours?

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For lunch yesterday, I met up with some friends to enjoy a meal at Cafe Pyrus. Every semester, the Schulich Leaders Foundation sponsors a get-together, and this time one of my friends recommended this vegan cafe in downtown Kitchener. I savoured every sip of my vanilla steamer, and loved the Angry Vegan sandwich: a panini with Daiya, caramelized onion, spinach, tomato, and a great garlicky aioli. Broccoli soup of the day was tasty, too.

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I wish I was back in Toronto so I could see this aerials showcase, starring my friends. 😥 They all look so beautiful in this shot.

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Eggs, broccoli, cheese, yogurt, fruit, granola – what better breakfast can you ask for?

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Loved this dinner that I enjoyed two nights in a row: baked herb salmon, broccoli, and a side of schoolwork.

I went to Freshii last weekend for this deluxe salad, which was loaded with brown rice (it was essentially a grain bowl), beets, carrots, corn, mushrooms, beans, aged cheddar and feta cheese, crispy wonton strips, spinach, and a spicy yogurt sauce. Loved this!

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Pancakes are another love, of course: this tasted awesome smeared with peanut butter and sunflower butter.

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A tasty lunch featured eggs and frozen almond croissant from Thobors.

Met with my friends at The Works, where I had a big turkey burger with great toppings! I love arugula on my burgers.

Meal prep, which involved a mediocre quinoa pesto chickpea salad and subpar cucumbers.

Chocolate baked oatmeal always exceeds my expectations. This tasted incredible with yogurt and granola… plus peanut butter. Always, peanut butter.

Baked sweet potato, beans and corn, cheddar, avocado, salsa. I need to buy more sweet potatoes this week. They are so versatile.

These are Seline’s drawings. Her artwork never fails to impress me. She did these spontaneously, somehow… with just a pencil and an old notebook!

Her oil paintings are equally wonderful. The waterfall painting is one of my favourites that she’s done. I cannot believe that she is self-taught, and has only been painting for two years.

Yay for cookies! Make this recipe, friends. I adopted the recipe slightly from Oh She Glows, and it is brilliant. And vegan. 😉 I made it with some arm power and a handheld whisk. You don’t need an electric beater for this. You won’t regret it – I baked ’em up and all ten were gone in 4-5 days. I was the only one eating them.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 large cookies

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (see note)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups oat flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg (coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla). Beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
  3. Now, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, as you go down the ingredient list (baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, oat flour). If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon (or two) of non-dairy milk and beat the mixture again. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking, but not super sticky.
  4. Beat the chocolate into the batter or simply stir by hand.
  5. Shape balls of dough (about the size of a golf ball or 2 heaping tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your hand to form a disc (it should be 1/2-inch thick or so). Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes until the cookies are spread out nicely.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 7 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.

One more recipe! This one was a killer dessert that satisfied every cakey craving.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MICROWAVE MUG CAKE
 Serves: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon butter extract (optional)**
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  1. Spray a microwavable mug with cooking spray and then mix together oat flour, baking powder, salt, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and butter extract (if using). The batter should be somewhat thick, but not dry. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of almond milk as needed for consistency. Stir in mini chocolate chips and sprinkle a few over the top, if desired.
  2. Microwave on high for about 1 minute and 25 seconds. Take out of the microwave and if desired transfer to a plate. Enjoy!

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

Case Competition, Croissants, and the Christmas Market!

Cloudy skies started my weekend on Friday afternoon. I got a ride with Mr. Shiliang, who drove me to downtown Toronto for my first ever case competition!

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Friday night wasn’t exactly work-productive. Instead, I got to meet lots of new friends, team members, and even new UWaterloo friends! We chatted about school and life while munching on tasty nachos, sweet potato fries with cumin aioli, and some great spring rolls. This was at The Office Pub on John Street.

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On Friday night, I stayed at one of my team members’ house. Michèle and her boyfriend, Daniel, live in Roncesville, a subdivision of Toronto. We had croissants from Nadège Patisserie on Saturday morning, along with some of Daniel’s incredibly creamy eggs. What a good way to start the day!

We attended workshops, spoke with mentors, and got to work on our own presentation. This is what we came up with to deal with the problem of how we can reduce smoking in Indonesian children by 50% in two years.

Lunches were catered and involved a variety of vegetarian options – yay! I haven’t had broccoli in such a long time.

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On the Sunday, we got dressed up for our competition – everyone looked amazing in blazers, dress pants, suits, ties, and dresses. I have to say, though, that by the end of the day, my skin on my toes were a little tender from all the walking – and for wearing heeled booties for 13+ hours. Worth it!

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Here are some tidbits of our presentation:

We didn’t end up going to the finals, but I was proud of how we did. There were 16 groups, and just 4 made it to the final round. More slides here!

I was pleasantly surprised to meet some new Applied Health Sciences friends at the case competition – Mayank takes the best selfies and Chelsea knows the ins-and-outs of Toronto’s most exciting places.

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Local artists decorate the subway walls, which we thought was neat!

Buildings like this are a novel sight for me. Nothing like this in the Kitchener-Waterloo area for sure. We even spotted the Trump tower and I learned some interesting things about politics. As if 2016 didn’t have enough plot twists!

Adrian caught up with us, and then we went to the Toronto Christmas Market. Admission was  $6.00 but there was so much to see, do, and eat. We started with hot chocolate, AKA ‘drinking chocolate’. It was essentially melted chocolate diluted with a teeny bit of milk and reminded me of hot chocolate at Angelina’s in Paris. In other words, absolutely amazing. Super rich, decadent, but as Adrian pointed out, every sip just got better and better!

Good call, Chelsea 🙂

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When we finally gave Mayank a break from taking all of our selfies, we asked some nice strangers to snap pics. Not sure why I’m still holding that hot chocolate cup! Apparently I can’t part with my melted chocolate.

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We tried to get the big Christmas tree in the centre square…

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we tried.

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We even got red foam noses, which were cute! The shops were super elaborate, with amazing handmade (read: expensive) goods. What an amazing experience.

The GO bus brought us back to Waterloo by around 7:00, and from Laurier, it was an easy walk home. Mom sent me a bunch of pictures of the new zucchini bread that she made.

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Then I was off to shower and sleep!

PB toast and a mushy pear. Ew. This is why I stick to oats on the daily!

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And a cheese-less pasta recipe using nutritional yeast. Once I tweak the recipe, it’ll be posted!

Happy Monday, everyone!