Life Back in School

Good afternoon! This week has been a good one, and since I’m back in school, busy. Good thing I like school.

Last night, I made applesauce baked oatmeal that I could bring with me to school as a yummy lunch. I like this recipe because it isn’t too sweet, but has great flavour from the applesauce, cinnamon, and vanilla. I ate this today during lecture, topped with Greek yogurt and PB2.

Applesauce Baked Oatmeal

Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • drizzle honey
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 15 prunes, chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease pan – 8 x 10 up to 10 x 10 are perfect sizes.
  3. Mix all ingredients and pour into pan.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes.

Over the weekend, I went to the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, where I had fun reuniting with friends from universities across Ontario. I loved the challenges, mini competitions, jobs fair session, and inspiring talks.

 

With all of the University of Waterloo people!

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(Photo credit: Giordano Ciampini)

Few things from recently:

  1. Cute message from Mom
  2. Incredible sunsets from our home on the 18th floor
  3. Seline’s typical dinner: pan-fried chicken breast with Minute Rice
  4. Yoga poses and skating poses that I think are so beautiful

 

Back to skating! I skated a few times last week, early morning. The sessions start at 7:00 and end at 8:30. Afterwards, I like to have a hot tea latte and do schoolwork while eating a snack. This time, I had pumpkin oat bread with yogurt and almond butter. Here is the recipe.

Healthy Pumpkin Oat Bars with Chocolate Chips

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree from a can
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together all ingredients.
  3. Bake 45 mins.
  4. Serve!

 

I love skating so much, even though my jumps aren’t here any more. It just feels nice to be on the ice.

 

More things from recently:

  1. Seline’s academic schedule for this term
  2. Powerful tweets
  3. University of Waterloo Warriors Recreation app menu
  4. frsh, a vegan restaurant that just opened up at our school’s health building

 

More randy stuff.

 

A great recipe I made some changes to – they turned out firmer than I’d expected, still absolutely delicious when heated up and served with nut butter and/or yogurt. I love this recipe so much, and it doesn’t hurt that you only need ONE bowl.

Chocolate Banana Cake Squares {Vegan}

Serves: 1 9×9 pan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 CUP HONEY
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1/4 CUP WATER
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TSP LIME JUICE
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • HEAPING ¼ tsp salt
  • Sprinkle cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ heaping cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE, 1/2 CUP BUCKWHEAT, 1/4 CUP ALMOND MEAL
  • 1/2 CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS

INGREDIENTS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. LINE 9X9 PAN WITH PARCHMENT PAPER.
  3. BLEND BANANAS WITH WATER AND APPLESAUCE IN A BLENDER. ADD OTHER WET INGREDIENTS AND MIX UNTIL THOROUGHLY COMBINED.
  4. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt just until combined.
  5. MIX IN CHOCOLATE CHIPS.
  6. Pour batter into prepared dish.
  7. Bake for 35-37 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, slice in 16 squares, and serve.

Another day last week, I made a massive batch of vegetable chili. This made a TON of tasty, healthy, hearty chili. I love serving chili with sweet potato (roasted) or rice cooked in chicken broth, and of course, freshly-grated cheddar. Fresh lime juice on top also makes a big difference.

Cindy’s Ultimate Pumpkin Veggie Chili

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 small chopped carrots
  • minced garlic
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 carton mushrooms
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, no salt
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • juice of a lime
  • toppings?
  • SPICES AND HERBS
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil and saute all vegetables with chili powder. Add salt.
  2. Stir in all other ingredients, except lime. Season with remaining spices. Stir in pumpkin.
  3. Boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Stir in lime juice and serve.

Every Wednesday, Seline and I have a sister’s dinner out. This time, we went to Bauer Kitchen. The dessert sweet board was the highlight, including warm chocolate cake with chocolate fondue sauce and chocolate gelato, pear cheesecake, creme brûlée with blueberries, and carrot cake with pistachio sauce. I liked all of it and had no problem eating it all by myself because Seline doesn’t like dessert. 🙂

 

Couple of aerials things! I played around on the hoop for the first time in a very long time yesterday.

 

And reviewed a couple of old skills, like this one, on the silks.

 

That’s it for today since I’ve got a busy weekend!

Starstruck: 2017 Schulich Leader Scholarship Get-Together

Saturday was SLxON, a special networking event for Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients across Ontario. It took place, like last year, at the MaRS Discovery Centre in downtown Toronto. This year, it was extra-special because the event was Canada-wide.

A post from the 2016 SLxON can be found here!

Here are some photos from the event.

We had a great time, especially during the Instagram challenge.

How does SLxON make you feel? Wish I had thought of the word starstruck. These people amaze me.

SLXCA… with our bodies! The floor was pretty comfortable.

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There were some fantastic speakers and a wonderful presentation by Dr. Julielynn Wong, who was incredibly passionate and inspiring.

Selfie!

❤ ❤ ❤

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More ❤ ❤ ❤ at the post-event, at Prenup Pub where we had snacks and drinks.

Then it was off to Scarborough for a restful night at home!

SLxONTARIO: Connect & Inspire

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”. 😉

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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! 🙂

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It was so amazing to meet everyone!

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[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!

Great Food, Better Company

Have a bunch of things to do before heading out for class, so I’ll share a quickie post while I finish up my yogurt dessert 🙂 I just couldn’t wait to show you guys what I did this weekend!

Friday night was the International Women’s Day Dinner.

I was at Table 16, with some people involved in the Applied Health Sciences.

The venue was quite lovely; it was Fed Hall on campus. They use this place for big events and it is so spacious! I took these hydrangeas home after the event, and they’re now sitting on the kitchen table in a jar of water that I’ve spilled a total of three times in two days.

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Salads for everyone to start. The presentation was really cute! Not quite sure what those yellow cubes were, though. They didn’t taste like mango and the texture was unlike butternut squash. The dressing on my salad was amazing but only one bite had dressing on it. I know, pretty tragic.

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I tried a seedy bun with garlic butter, too.

The main dish came, and I had a chicken thigh stuffed with goat cheese, root vegetables, and potatoes with mushroom gravy.

I sat next to the Dean of the Applied Health Sciences. He was really nice!

Professor Andrey have a great presentation about women’s rights, sustainability, and moving forward.

We enjoyed her lecture while having dessert: chocolate cake with a layer of refreshing mint. I accidentally ate the entire thing 😉

On Saturday, I met up with fellow Schulich Leaders for a great lunch together.

Lucas and Maddy took the bus with me to Famoso Pizzeria in Uptown Waterloo.

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Lucas had the BBQ chicken pizza.

Maddy enjoyed a four-cheese pizza with Caesar salad.

This was Emily’s tomato bisque (with feta, which automatically makes everything delicious) and a Caprisioso pizzetta. I have no idea what I just spelled, but I think that was the name of this guy!

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Nicole had the Margherita with a Caprese salad, which I learned is pronounced “Cuh-pree-zee” instead of “Cap-rezz”. :O

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My pizzetta was topped with crispy proscuitto, brussel sprouts, dates, honey, and walnuts with blue cheese. It was creative and so good! The pistachio pesto, generous chunks of mozzarella, and fresh basil were my favourite parts. I wish there was a bit more balsamic on my Caprese salad, though!

Dessert was a tough debate – gelato or tiramisu? I ended up going for the fig cheesecake gelato, but next time it’ll definitely be the tiramisu or the salted caramel dark chocolate gelato.

I was stuffed after lunch, but we took a short walk to Davids Tea and enjoyed some tea! I tried a black tea that had subtle caramel and coconut flavours. It was absolutely delicious with some 2% milk – thanks, Emily, for the suggestion!

Nicole is our resident tea expert. This girl knows EVERYTHING about tea! We also concluded that tea is weird. It’s like a soup made of leaves and herbs, which you drink plain out of a mug 😉

Lucas, Nicole, Emily, and Maddy are absolutely amazing. Read about them by clicking on the blue links – you won’t regret it and I guarantee you will be stunned by all the things they’ve accomplished! I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to get to spend time with them a couple times a year 🙂

In case you missed my last few posts, check them out here:

That’s it for today! I had a busy morning and now have a couple classes this afternoon. How sweet is it that I don’t start class until 3:30 PM on Monday? Very sweet.

See you guys soon!

Schulich Leaders Dinner

Hey everyone! How was your week? So glad it’s finally Friday 🙂

I had a fantastic Friday which started with buying an approved faculty calculator for chemistry, then hiking across campus for a Pilates class. After my first Pilates class, which I really enjoyed, I had lunch followed by two classes: chemistry and sociology. I made a couple new friends in chemistry (five, actually!) and we’re planning to be the Front Row Gang from now on. After Soc 101, I headed all the way across campus again for a Cirque Yoga class. Normally, there are 25-30 people MAXIMUM for yoga classes – today, there were FIFTY people lined up to participate. The teacher had to do some improvisation, and we ended up doing partner yoga. I did some pretty embarrassing things with my new friend before hurrying off to today’s special event: The Schulich Leaders Meet-Up! It was pretty awesome… you’ll see in a bit.


 

Do you have any plans for the weekend?

I have a couple ideas for the weekend, myself. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cram them all into just two days, but there are definitely some things that I want to do:

  • YogaFit Sweat class at Goodlife: hot yoga is a TON of fun (and hard work!), and it’s actually 10 degrees hotter in Waterloo than Coquitlam. Interesting!
  • Heated vinyasa class
  • Visit The Shops in Uptown Waterloo
  • Go to the Uptown Market
  • Princess Cafe again?
  • Try Power Yoga at the Columbia Ice Fields Fitness Centre by campus
  • Visit the St. Jacobs Farmers Market
  • Cook something with peanut sauce (coconut milk is ready to use in the fridge!)
  • Make a gourmet grilled cheese with multigrain bread, brie cheese, sliced apple, leftover rotisserie chicken

Anyways, we had dinner at East Side Mario’s, an Italian chain restaurant close to campus. It was about a ten-minute walk for me. East Side Mario’s is located in a big plaza with many other restaurants and cafes, including another Williams Fresh Cafe.

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The place is decorated with all sorts of paintings and lots of different chandeliers. It reminded me of a dark Olive Garden, or a modern Old Spaghetti Factory. What do you think?

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Soup, salad, and garlic bread are all-you-can-eat. The two salad options are Caesar and Garden, but I opted for soup. Today, there were three soup options: Minestrone, Roasted Garlic and Tomato, and Italian Wedding. I chose the tomato soup. It was creamy and had an excellent tomato flavour, but was not acidic or sour at all. The presentation could’ve been prettier, but the waiters were obviously busy. Some freshly-grated parmesan cheese would’ve been a nice touch. I finished all my soup and want to recreate it!

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When our food came, we took a group shot! You can meet all of this year’s Schulich Leaders by clicking on THIS LINK. It was great to meet all my new friends: Lucas, Emily, Nicole Pitre, Chloe, Nicole Shum, Madeline, and Aaron. We had an awesome time talking about Hamlet, astronomy, air miles, fencing, curling, buying used video games, and sketchy places to avoid in Waterloo.

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Onto the eats! I enjoyed a “shockingly massive” bowl of cheese cappelletti. I was originally thinking about the goat cheese pasta with bell peppers and pesto, but this one is an East Side Mario’s favourite, and one of their most popular choices. I had to give it a try!

I was expecting something like this incredibly rich, cheesy, and buttery ravioli gratin from Le Bosquet in Paris, where I spent most of August. This was a little different, however, with a rose sauce, less cream, no breadcrumbs, and “thicker”, chewier pasta. I had about half of this and wish there were some veggies involved. Maybe I’ll get the salad next time. 🙂

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Exciting news! My article, “5 Tips for a Smooth Senior Year from a National Scholar“, was posted on Young Scholar, an organization dedicated to helping high-schoolers apply to university. Feel free click on THIS LINK to see it, and if you’re a high-school student in Ontario, APPLY FOR IT! 🙂

That’s it for today! Have an awesome weekend, and stay tuned for a big Breakfasts post, as well as some things I’ve learned by living alone and starting university!