Finals ➳ Furniture ➳ Fries ➳ French

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. The last week or so was quite hectic – last Friday was the last day of my final exams. We wrote the exam in the physical activities complex, which is currently being demolished to make way for a brand-new athletic facility.

DGTaC4EV0AI11-7.jpg-large

After the exams, I started taking photos of furniture to sell. The hardest part was clearing all of my things from the drawers and figuring out whether I wanted to sell, store, or take them home.

I also had to remove some of my beloved photographs and collages from the wall, unfortunately tearing out some paint. At least now I will have a souvenir to take home? I guess this is why I paid deposit. 😦

Things were packed, sold, and stored.

I also had to take these lovely cards from the wall and take pictures of them before I threw them away. I love these cards and wish I could keep them forever.

The room was a disaster once the furniture was moved out of the way. Look at all of the dust and hair! It was highly satisfying to sweep it all up with my dollar store Swiffer. Many trips to the dumpster were also made.

On Friday, all of my furniture was cleaned and a very kind man, his wife, and his brother-in-law came to take the furniture away. They are furnishing an unfurnished house in Waterloo and actually needed all the furniture. Moving was so much easier with some extra hands. Fourth floor, no stairs – no problem!

From left to right:

  1. New high score? Seline would not be proud. Her current score is over 1200!
  2. I posted on Twitter about my moving sale items, which were cross-posted initially on Kijiji. Princess Cafe responded to my tweet. I am going to miss them, too 😥
  3. Can you believe the small dots in this picture are all grey? This one still shakes me. Seeing is believing… until it’s not.
  4. Theatre Arcturus was founded by my new aerial coach, Lindsay. She retweeted me! That made my day.

I saw a hilarious series of finger twisting tricks online and wanted to give it a try. I could only do this easy one, but some of the others were mind-blowing. It would be neat to have double-jointed fingers and be able to freak everyone out.

IMG_9616

So, with all my furniture moved out, including my nice mattress, I’m left with five nights and a whole lot of floor. The first night was pretty uncomfortable and I woke up a few times throughout the night, but last night I felt alright. It was mostly my tailbone that didn’t like being pressed into the ground.

Lunch yesterday was lovely. Went to Timeless Cafe and Bakery with four friends: Christina, Victor, Daniel, and Danielle. I had the open-faced trout melt with parmesan and artichoke soup. Both were amazing, especially the creamy heap of trout salad and sharp cheddar on homemade seed bread. For dessert, we savoured some brown butter cherry loaf, raspberry and white chocolate scone, coconut and chocolate macaron, and a great salted hazelnut chocolate brownie.

Breakfast this morning was scrumptious. I made banana bread a while ago, using Greek yogurt and no honey/maple syrup because I ran out. The bread was a little dry, and not very sweet, so I Frenched it up with 1/2 mashed banana and a whisked egg, then fried it up in butter before topping it all with coconut chips, granola, chopped prunes, peanut butter, and blobs of yogurt. This is my new favourite breakfast!

My walk to a cafe was was wonderful this morning. I’m writing this now in the comfort of Balzac’s, which smells like roasted coffee beans and fresh muffins. I just had the best London Fog tea latte 🙂

This breakfast was so good that I actually had it two days in a row! Have you ever made French toast out of an “untraditional” loaf – like zucchini bread or carrot cake?

Dinner last night had all my favourites. Broccoli and peas sautéed with couscous, sweet potato fries (cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon + S/P make the best seasoning) and garlic aioli, plus garlic-butter salmon.

I could eat this every day! In fact, I will make it again for dinner tonight 🙂

A few days ago, scrambled tofu made an appearance with zucchini, peas, and mushrooms. The poached egg on top turned out very well – I boiled water, turned it down to a simmer, then carefully cracked an egg into swirling water. Then, I removed the pot from the heat, covered it for exactly 4 minutes, and voila, runny poached eggs. Also, that isn’t some plain ‘ol pita – it’s fried up with cheddar inside to make a pseudo grilled cheese!

That’s it for today, and I better get studying. My French final exam is on Tuesday evening and there is a lot of culture and vocabulary that I’ve yet to look at.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Toronto’s Best Ice Cream?

How is it MAY already?

Let’s talk food!

I tried Venezuelan food, from El Arepazo in the Kensington Market, for the first time and loved these arepas stuffed with fried plantains, queso, black beans, avocado, and fresh tomato. Next time, I will add hot sauce!

The London Fog tea latte from Moonbean Cafe in Kensington Market is the #1 tea latte I’ve ever had, hands down. I’m drooling for this mug right now.

Sunset on Sterling road, the magical little street that takes me to Cirque-ability where I practice aerials.

Mmmmm, desserts! I bought these from Thobors. This was:

  • almond paste tart with peach slices
  • chocolate hazelnut mousse cake that tasted like ferrero rocher in a cake form

I went to Pomegranate Restaurant to try Iranian food for my first time on Friday night. This was their famous fish, which involved boneless chicken breast in a stew made of crushed walnuts and pomegranate syrup. I’ve never had anything like this before, and loved it. Though, I wish I had more of the yellow saffron rice.

Dessert was this saffron ice cream, which, sadly, tasted like frozen rose shampoo.

I had the BEST Indian dinner at Banjara! Cassie – look! I had Indian food! This was delicious and featured:

  • vegetable pakora (fried)
  • yellow lentil dahl
  • palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) –> my #1 favourite Indian dish of all time
  • aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry)
  • rice pudding with cardamom, carrots, and cinnamon
  • curry basmati rice

All this… for around $13?!

For dessert, I went crazy for this caramelized peanut butter cookie with two scoops of ice cream: totarn (ube, or purple yam) and one scoop of cinnamon toast. Cinnamon toast ice cream? Purple yam ice cream? If you’ve never had them, you need to try. And also, this peanut butter cookie was mind-blowingly delicious. One of my dessert highlights of my Toronto life.

Life back home in BC… oh, and I finally got new shoes! My toes were starting to peep out of my old ones. These black shoes were on discount from Nordstrom, and are ridiculously comfortable.

A breakfast to remember: banana oats in a cashew butter jar, yogurt, blackberries, and a slice of oat banana bread. YUM!

For the last two/three weeks in Toronto, the only things in my fridge were cheddar cheese and vegetables – and the one thing in my pantry was quinoa. With that, I made vegetable quinoa casseroles about 3-4 times during my last month in Toronto, but I never grow sick of it. This square featured wilted spinach, little carrots and corn, peas, quinoa, and creamy, sharp cheddar.

One bucket list item checked off – I finally went to Maha’s, an Egpytian restaurant, for brunch! It was a Sunday afternoon, so I should have expected a long wait. Ended up waiting from 1:00 to 2:30 before getting into the restaurant, which only seats 24 people. This plate features some Egyptian balady bread, Turkish cheese, a spinach falafel, sliced hard-boiled egg, and creamy beans. The little cup on the right was full of spices and raw cucumber, peppers, and tomato. It was a superb meal that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wouldn’t wait 1.5 hours for it again.

I followed up that meal with some desserts. Two, to be exact…

  • one chestnut mousse cake with walnut sponge, wrapped in milk chocolate
  • one earl grey tea latte
  • one pistachio and chocolate croissant

After the Egyptian brunch, and the desserts, AND the mug of tea, it was hard to walk because I was so full!

 

Now that summer is on the horizon, I can’t wait to make tasty salads like this one. I have pesto – I just need to buy some arugula, peppers, penne, and cheese/tofu!

5-Ingredient-Pasta-Salad-Recipe-5

I will miss Toronto’s massive selection of restaurants.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 9.02.43 AM

But I am glad to be back in school!

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 9.10.28 AM

Have a delicious week, friends 🙂

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-5-19-46-pm

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?

img_1467

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!

SLxONTARIO: Connect & Inspire

14322763_1104010036357258_5120434725302686817_n.jpg

Yesterday was the first-ever SLxOntario, a well-organized event in Toronto for all of Ontario’s Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients.

From the University of Waterloo, the eight other Schulich Leaders and I ZipCar-ed to downtown Toronto, where we admired the beautiful old buildings and lovely greenery. We arrived at the MaRS Discovery Centre first.

Emma (physics and astronomy), Mackenzie (biomedical engineering), me (kinesiology!) and Maddy (biomedical sciences). It took us a while to find parking spot #65 in a massive parking “circle” with random parking spot numbers, but we made it just in time.

img_1655

The food was prepared and networking was taking place! I liked the salad, sandwiches, and wraps. There were also great cookies from Phipps Bakery and two Basque-style cheesecakes courtesy of Bar Raval. Everyone raved about the cheesecake and I wish I had photos of it for you!

Everything had been beautifully designed.

The event was emceed by Ben, Joan, and Flora, who were not only naturally gifted speakers, but also came extremely well-prepared.

14390762_1101804983206679_5861193703749379219_n

There were a number of other speakers who took the stage, each of them detailing on an initiative or leadership experience they’d had. Here are some of the incredible Schulich Leaders who stepped up to perform a 3-5 minute talk.

Emma Mogus talked about how she co-founded Books with No Bounds, an international organization that provides books to indigenous children. She now ships books all around the world – and developed a tongue-operated computer mouse that gives ALS patients the opportunity to control a computer.

Sherry Wong, who is now also the face of the Schulich Leader’s Twitter page, organized Young Scholar, a website, seminar, and scholarship that gives high school students the ins-and-outs of university scholarship applications. Oh yeah, and we had brunch together once! She also has a lifestyle Youtube channel called A Brush of Beauty.

Sabrina Cruz, a Youtuber, spoke about using her love of art to design business cards for charity. Her videos are hilarious and thought-provoking, and was a brilliant speaker.

Jordan Banks, the CEO of Facebook Canada and former managing director of eBay Canada, was also here to give us a motivational speech about planning for the future.

img_1658

We had a networking session afterwards, where everyone moved to a specific table based on our STEM (science/tech/engineering/math) disciplines. I was assigned to Table 8, for Behavioural Sciences, where I spoke to a couple students in Psychology and Linguistics. We decided that Table 8 was essentially “the homeless Science”. 😉

14322425_1101805129873331_8417948789991191772_n

Afterwards, I got to meet some amazing Schulich Leaders. This is Joan Romero, who not only played a major role in organizing this event, but is also one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever met. Joan is now finishing up his last year of Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and is applying to start medical school next September. I’m glad I got some pics with him because I have a feeling everyone will know his name and face in 40, 30, or even 20 years when he plays a key role in cancer research.

Lots of selfies were taken! Here I am with Sabrina and Kyne Santos, who is actually studying Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. If you want to be completely blown away by serious makeup skills, check out his channel OnlineKyne. It always amazes me how much high-schoolers can do with a little time management and a lot of passion.

Reunited with SHERRY! Who wore the coolest heeled boots ever.

We later migrated to Hart House, where there were lots more drinks and nice food – appetizers like spanakopita, cheese and crackers, the best freaking crab cakes I’ve ever eaten, pound cake, sushi rolls, and chicken quesadilla bites. This is Alex, who I chatted with about cooking, fourth-year life, and orientation week.

Maddy! Last year, we went to Niagara Falls and a bird world together, saw Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver when she came to visit, and watched Finding Dory together (well, I fell asleep during the last part). Now we live just across the street from each other! 🙂

img_1686

It was so amazing to meet everyone!

img_1719

[Most] of the SLs from the University of Waterloo in these pics! Can’t wait to expand our network in the next couple of years.

Then, it was already 7:00 and time to head back to Waterloo. We split up, hopped into the ZipCars, and drove back home – chatting the whole time about everything from cars to co-op to cadavers. It was neat to get to know people from provinces all across Canada. In this car, we’ve got two BCers, a Newfoundlander, and someone from PEI and Alberta. It’s crazy how many differences you can find in just one country… like the fact that in PEI and Alberta, you don’t need a license plate in the front of your car! What?!

I came home feeling like I’d just met countless celebrities and was so overwhelmed by the amazing-ness of all these inspiring people. By the time I got back into my room, my desk was a mess and I had assignments to do… but instead I went to bed!

Massive thank you to Julia Won, a new friend from the University of Toronto, for some of her photos! She was much more diligent about taking pics than I was. 🙂 Thanks Julia!