Monday, September 28, 2009


Tonite, we made lasagna for HonHon cos there are a few items he always request while in Vancouver. Homemade lasagna is always so yummy but so much work!

Vancity Arrival

HonHon finally arrived in Vancity on Sat nite, right before my mom's dinner. Thankfully, the flight was 45 mins early so I didn't have to leave in the middle of dinner to pick him up. For this visit, I did not ask for any Hello Kitty items except for a couple of HK laptop sleeves for my laptop and the netbook. But these are on back order and he will courier them to me once they arrive. Yet, he did not come empty handed, he brought me a couple of HK Avon gifts (free with purchase) cos his secretary purchases items from Avon and she knows that I'm a Hello Kitty fan so she always ends up giving him the gifts. I really do appreciate it cos these items are only available with Avon and in Taiwan, not available in North America (happy to discover a new Hello Kitty store in Aberdeen, lots of great stuff from Japan!). The new HK apron is so cute and perfect for baking! The slicer is cute but not sure if I will use it but it doesn't matter cos I collect HK items :) Thanks Ariel!

Happy Birthday E!


Today is E's birthday but I am not at the office to help celebrate this milestone birthday! I can't wait to hear all about her big day!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Tonite, we celebrated my mom's birthday and she doesn't look a day over 40! We made reservations at Boston Steakhouse in Richmond cos my mom wanted to have steak on her birthday. At first, mom wanted to go to Stone Grill (under the Granville Street bridge) but she knew my brother and I were going to pay for dinner so she decided against it cos she didn't want us to spend that much money. We told her the next time she wants to eat steak, we are going to take her to The Keg instead cos they actually cook the steak for you! Mom, grams, my brother ordered from the stone grill menu (its a set meal that comes with a drink, sides and dessert - fresh mango "from the Philippines" cake) while Kay, HonHon and I choose from the regular menu ordering a fried noodle and Korean ribs hot plate. Before dinner, Kay and I headed over to Richmond first cos we had to pick up the fresh mango birthday cake from Regent bakery (yes that is how good it is!) and since we had some time, we shopped a bit in Aberdeen Centre but more on that later. After the meals, I had asked the waitress to bring the "cakes" which meant the birthday cake as well but she didn't get it and only brought over the 3 slices of mango cake with the stone grill meal. After 5 minutes, another waiter brought over the birthday cake with a candle and mom was pretty shocked by it! I told her, now she's got a whole mango cake to herself (well no not really, I'm pretty sure we are gonna finish it in a day or so!) but there is a lot of mango cake leftover. Once we were all stuffed with cake, mom opened her b'day gift, we had bought her a Kensignton laptop mouse cos hers broke and she couldn't justify paying that amount of money for it cos she got hers at a really great price! I didn't wait for the sale and decided if that mouse would make it easier and happier then it's worth the price. She of course loved it and I told her ENJOY IT. Hahaha, this family are so geeky! After dinner, we all went our separate ways (brother going out to party, mom and grams in their own car) but before we headed home, Kay wanted to stop over to Welltea so she could get a passion fruit slushie with pearls. I'm pretty sure she's gonna have a problem sleeping cos she has already had 2 large glasses of ice HK milk tea! Oh well, she's a teenager, she can handle it. Hopefully, my mom had a great time and she enjoyed herself even tho the dinner wasn't that great!

Before Dinner: Kay and I were at Aberdeen Centre to walk around a bit cos we had a bit of time left before going to the airport to pick up HonHon. We went over to Daiso and I picked up a few items for the house like a mini garbage can for the washroom, a file folder with many pockets for my recipes, and a remote control caddy for all our remotes. We also discovered a new Hello Kitty store on the 3rd floor called Memory Collection, omg, so many cute Hello Kitty items and all from Japan! I have not seen so many cool Hello Kitty items, I ended up buying a eye mask, new chopsticks and a cute Hello Kitty charm for my coin purse and she is tanned!! This is Hello Kitty from Hawaii! So cute! I must go back to the store, we didn't have much time left so I quickly picked a few items but def going back again to buy a cellphone charm, there was just too much to choose from and I couldn't decide on which one to get!!!

House Warming Party

Tonite, I headed over to Val and Adam's new apartment in downtown for a mini house warming party. Wow, what a really nice place altho a bit on the small side at only 535 sq feet, a rare thing is they have a nice size balcony which can fit up to 4 adults comfortably. I can't imagine how much the rent cost but I bet worth the convenience of being downtown. These past few months, I have been thinking if I were to move, I think I would move into an apartment downtown for the sake of being so close to work and I love the downtown atmosphere at night, so lively, fun and entertaining. But the condos cost way too much and for the price you pay, it's def for the convenience factor not the size. There are many condos being built downtown and they are super tiny, good for a single person or a couple without children. But Kay is growing up quickly becoming a young adult and she is constantly hanging out either in downtown or Richmond so when the day comes when we have to move out of the basement suite, I will seriously consider moving downtown with Kay - I'm sure Kay won't mind. Back to the gathering, Val had picked up some Phnom Penh chicken wings (mmmmm...wings), chili tofu from T&T, fruits, veggie, dips and chips! I had brought over a fresh mango cake from Regent Bakery (famous for the fresh mango cake, mangos from the Philippines!!) and the other friends brought over beer and cheesecake. The mango cake was a huge hit and so worth the drive out to Richmond, the crazy traffic and drivers almost killed me! It was so much fun chillin' out with everyone, talked and discussed world events (not seriously), watched a lot of YouTube videos and lots of goofing around! The twins are so much fun and so goofy esp when they are a bit buzzed! We took a ton of photos but this one is probably my fave, the girls sitting on Shy and in photos after this, it's pretty funny - Rhoda tangled up in Shy's legs, hmmm... you need to have been there to find it hilarious! I had brought over my fave red, a Malbec and wanted to test out my red wine aerator so I ended up drinking about half of bottle of red and could not drive home until I sobered up so Kay had to wait until 3:30am before I could pick her up! She wasn't that impressed and I told her she needs to hurry up and get her driver's license so she can start picking me up on nites like this! Hehehe, reverse psychology my friends, she's now thinking twice about getting her license! Even tho, it was late nite, it was so much fun and by the end of the nite, it was just us 3 girls and it was nice. Thanks Val and Adam for having us over!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Switching Over

I finally upgraded my old blogger (from 2005) template with a new template on Blogger and realized that yes, it's easier to make changes and updates to my blog but all the links on the side bar cannot be edited. (much more user friendly) Now when you click the links, it goes directly to the website instead of opening in a new window!!! That sorta sucks and I don't think I can go back to my old template. But the upgrade has brought in some benefits like adding a photo to my title (if I can find a nice one) and adding web widgets! I have a Fringe widget and can add more if I like :) That's coo...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grouse Grind

55 M
35 people (how many I passed on my way up)

I think this is the last time for us on the Grind this season cos this Thursday, we are going to move Charly out of his condo which means we're skipping this Thursday. Next week, I'm on vacation while HonHon is in town and the only other time we can do it, would be the Tuesday October 6 which we had planned to go but I think if you have stopped doing the Grind for 2 weeks, it will be hard to get back into it. We'll see!


Vancity trip has been postponed again. Now coming in on Saturday night instead of tomorrow night. Also landing on my MOTHER'S birthday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

First Day of Fall

What a lovely start to fall! With sunshine and warm temperatures (it's suppose to be as warm as 24C), it almost doesn't seem like we are in a new season! But I'm not complaining, it's nice to see as much sunshine as we can possibly get cos once the rain falls and the sun sets sooner, it will be cooler and not so bright. One positive thing about fall in Vancouver is the FALL FASHION, I love fall fashion, colours and the SHOES!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Colin!

Today, we celebrated Colin's first birthday, I can't believe he's already one! Time flies by so fast when you have children and everyone is having babies! I finally met Cyrus (Olivia's first child) and he is adorable but then most babies are adorable! It was a nice b'day gathering and it was nice to catch up with everyone. After the celebration, Rhoda and I headed over to Metrotown to do a bit of shopping cos she is in need to buy something, she hasn't bought anything in 3 weeks! We headed over to Aritzia and she found a beautiful boyfriend blazer in a metallic colour which looked really awesome on her and it is much dressier than her other boyfriend blazer. I picked out a Talula black sleeveless dress with pockets and a sweetheart neckline which I did not think I would like cos it looked kinda short on the hanger. Surprisingly, it fit me perfectly and was not at all too short! I really should not have bought anything but I couldn't help it, the dress is so pretty and so me! After shopping thru the mall, we headed over to Superstore cos I needed to pick up some items before dropping Rhoda off at her house. My brother dropped by our place to chill out cos he was in the area and he hadn't seen my mom and grams in a couple of weeks. We stayed in for dinner and I introduced him to the Fringe series, he is now hooked! He is going to go out and purchase the blu ray dvds for the first season. I can only imagine how cool it will look on his TV, the series has some really awesome special effects in the show!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nite out with Dad

Today, I spent the day with my family, both parents (separate times), brother and daughter. I spent the afternoon with my mom and helped her with her errands. We went into Chinatown to pick up a box (60 little boxes) of shrimp chips for Auntie Cece. This would be the second time we went into this warehouse to buy shrimp chips for her (in one week!), the warehouse guy is really nice and assisted with putting the box into the trunk. After the warehouse, we headed over to a cafe to have a tea and snack, we also stopped in the Dollar Store to pick up some dollar items (I needed a birthday card). Once we were done with our errands, I headed home to pick up Kay cos I promised I would drive her to Super-Bored on West 4th so she could pick up a Doraemon t-shirt by WrongWroks (a local designer) and I could not help but pick up this limited edition Hello Kitty shirt by StayReal (Tawianese designers, Ashin & NO2GOOD), they have some really cool shirts like this bunny shirt. Kay actually went in for a Sponge Bob t-shirt but we didn't really like it, it was way too yellow and she tried on a Doraemon black/white mini polka dots t-shirt but didn't like the way it felt (I didn't like the way it looked). I choose the above t-shirt for her cos I thought it looked way cuter than the other two she picked and she ended up purchasing this one. She can thank her dad for it, he sent her school clothes money and this is one of the items she used her money for. The girls in the boutique were really helpful and altho the store front was small, they had all the sizes in the back plus the manager threw in a couple of Hello Kitty soft key chains cos she found out what a HK addict I was! Once we were done, we headed off to Richmond to see my dad as we won't see him until 2011 cos there is an emergency in Hong Kong. Our uncle died suddenly from blood loss caused by a major stroke. I'm saddened as I have not seen this uncle in many many years and my father is losing his brothers, one by one. My dad is not in the best shape to be traveling or taking care of his other younger brother who has had 2 mini strokes and is confined in a wheelchair. But my father is insisting he needs to stay in HK longer (considers not coming back until my other uncle passes) even tho my father has his own health issues. I understand that he needs to be with his family and he is the eldest brother but it still worries me. Who's going to look after him? We (minus the lady and her son) headed over to Green Lemongrass restaurant on Westminster for some dinner and to discuss what needs to be taken care of while my father is away. The viet food here is pretty good and the menu has a variety of options, a nice, clean and friendly environment. After dinner, we headed over to London Drugs cos my dad needed to pick up a mouth mask for his plane ride to HK, being cautious of the H1N1. He will be on the plane for 12 hours and with the air being circulated for that long without any fresh air, it is a bit worrisome. While in LD, I bumped into Cho and Susanna whom I haven't seen since Jes & B's wedding in August and even then, I really didn't get to catch up with them much. We chatted for a bit and as always, said let's get together, arrange a lunch or dinner with everyone. It's funny how we all say that but in reality it is so hard to get together cos everyone is so busy. It was nice seeing them and they are good peeps. After LD, we headed back over to dad's place to help him pack and spent a little more time with him. He seemed really drained and emotional about this trip and I think my uncle's death has taken quite a toll on him. He and his brother were very close, probably the closest ones in all the siblings. Before Kay and I headed home, we stopped at Well Tea to pick up BBT cos I really wanted to try it and Kay really deserved it. She and my brother both canceled their plans to spend my dad's last nite in Vancouver. I hope my dad will be alright, I feel like one of us (either myself or my brother) should go with him on this trip.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Zojirushi Mini Breadmaker

I just ordered a Zojirushi bread maker from eBay! I have been eyeing this product for some time and trying to find the best price online. I finally found a great price on eBay, I love buying items off eBay almost always less expensive than purchasing it at a store! I can't wait to get this item, this machine is so awesome that not only does it make mini loaves of bread but it can make jam and pasta! It is a bit expensive for a bread machine but it's got some great reviews and it will pay itself off in a short time since we do enjoy eating bread, buns and pasta! Mmmm....fresh bread, I am so excited and can't wait!

Now I'm watching for the best price on a Zojirushi rice cooker.

Sock Dreams

(photos courtesy of Sock Dreams)
I wear a lot of skirts and dresses, I love them and I also enjoy wearing them during the cold fall and winter months in Vancouver. So, I am a huge fan of tights esp pretty tights (don't really like wearing nylons) and Sock Dreams sells the prettiest and funkiest looking tights on the web! Plus they have an awesome collection of SOCKS. I bought the above items online and charged it to my never ending credit card debt but these are worth being in debt for! I am so excited and can't wait to try these tights on with my pretty skirts and dresses! Sooooo looking forward to the fall/winter season!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fringe Season Premiere

Wow, what a great start to the season! Fringe is def. my fave show, surpasses CSI and I wonder how it's doing against CSI on Thursday night 9pm slot! I am looking forward to this season and how the story will be told between the 3 main characters. I am a bit sad to see Charlie Francis (played by Kirk Acevedo) die in the premiere (well dead but alive as a shapeshifter) cos I really like his presence in the show! This season is going to be much darker and creepier than the first I'm sure!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Skytrain System Down

OMG, the skytrain was down during rush hour!!! Luckily or unluckily, Kay was also downtown cos she came down for a japadog so we met up at the corner of Burrard and Georgia to decide how to get home. I have no clue how to bus it home from downtown and I need to map out a route for emergencies like this. Kay had a few options on how to get home and we decided to take the Canada line since I have not been on it yet. It's def much roomier, faster and quieter than the old line but still not a subway! Unluckily for us, it started to rain very hard while we were in downtown and we were getting soaked! It took us an hour to get home, not at all impressed and I was going to run and do my strength training but I was too tired from the trek home. After we got home, I said DANG it, we should have stayed downtown to do a bit of browsing or shopping cos I bet the train was working by the time we got home! Instead of taking a very long route home, we could have relaxed a bit before fighting the crowd. Oh well. Next time, I will def stay downtown and wait it out.....

Water Bottles

I have been eyeing these glass water bottles for months and finally, I decided I needed to buy one for the office cos I was tired of drinking out of my ceramic mug. Chapters sells both sizes and I wanted to buy both but settled for the small bottle for my desk. I decided to google these glass bottles to see who made them and found out these were from Crate and Barrel in the US (Toronto just opened the very first Canadian C&B). At Chapters, the little one sells for $15 and I think the larger one is $25, such a bargain! Never have to use a plastic water bottle again plus I don't like drinking water from a stainless steel bottle either but didn't think I had a choice (water tastes better from a glass). With google, I found another company that makes very pretty glass water bottles, a company called Love Bottle, I am def going to pick up one from them as well (if they ship to Canada) and you can customize your glass bottle, how neat is that??!!??

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grouse Grind

52 mins

This week, I started a new workout routine which includes strength training after my running days (usually Mon/Wed/Fri). I decided I needed to build more muscle cos I feel like I'm plateauing with my weight / inch loss. I am not really seeing any more results and I figure I might be burning up muscle while I'm doing all my intensive cardio. If I build more muscle and don't overdo the cardio, I am hoping this new routine will tone and shape me up nicely. I remember last winter/spring, I had started swimming and that workout really toned my body and I really enjoy the new muscles :) I plan on taking up swimming again once the Grouse Grind is over (probably first week of October). Plus if I build more muscle, this will boost up my metabolism which is great cos then I can sneak a couple of cupcakes in my diet every month! =) Hoping to see results in the next two weeks, will keep it posted!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I love homemade scones, they are so much tastier than store or bakery bought scones! These are super flaky and yummy! Plus very easy to make and bake =)

4 cups flour (I usually use 2 cups of unbleached white and 2 cups of whole wheat)
5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup butter, room temperature (the more butter you use, the flakier the scones, I usually use 3/4 cups tho)
Enough cold milk to bind (I use organic soy milk but have done the recipe with 2% and buttermilk, usually takes approx 1 cup of milk to bind)

Mix dry ingredients.
Cut in butter until pea-sized.
Add enough milk to form into a ball.
Roughly form balls into the size of your palm and drop onto greased sheets.

Bake in 350 degree oven until done (about 15 minutes). Best eaten warm with butter and jam. Add grated cheese for Cheese Scones.

You can also use the above recipe for cinnamon buns.

Take above recipe and roll batter into rectangular square on floured counter top. Cover with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (raisins and nuts if desired). Roll into a log. Use thread to cut through log and place swirl side up on greased pan. Cook in 350 degrees oven until done (approx 15 minutes). Once cooled, add icing sugar or cream cheese.


Joshua Jackson on The Hour with Geroge Strombo

Love them both! Great interview!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apricot & Pecan Flapjack

2/3 cup butter, diced
2/3 cup brown sugar, light
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups of rolled oats (I use quick oats)
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped

Variations: Walnuts can be substitute with pecans altho the nutty flavour won't be so intense and you can use any type of dried fruits in place of apricots but I think this combo is really super yummy!

1. Preheat oven 325F. Butter, sugar and maple syrup in pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in oats, nuts and apricots until well combined.
2. Spread evenly in 7inch square baking pan (lightly greased or lined with parchment paper), score the mixture into 10 bars. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden.
3. Remove from the oven and cut through the scored lines. Leave until completely cold before removing from the tin.

A real energy booster at any time of the day! Great for kids and adults alike!

Happy Birthday Jordan!

Wow, I can't believe Jordan turned 4 (actually his real birthday was a couple weeks ago) and it seems like yesterday that I went to his 2nd birthday party! Gosh, how time flies esp when you have children, Kay will be turning 16 next year and that to me is still so unreal! Rhoda and I headed over there together cos it made sense to take one car into Langley. Surprisingly we made it to their place without having to call Travis for directions! It was a smaller gathering this year and it was really nice to see everyone. Grace, Colin and Isabella were there and those two are so big! Isabella is holding mini conversations and it's so cool. I remember when Kay used to talk like that, gosh how time flies. Jordan, Tristan and Travis's niece are also growing up so fast and getting so big plus those kids are just so adorable. After the party, we headed over to Superstore on Lougheed cos I needed to pick up a few items. Brentwood was our next stop to enjoy some air conditioning cos it was soooo hot today! We also picked up an iced drink from Starbucks to help cool us down. We stayed a bit before heading home, Rhoda had dinner plans and I needed to get home to watch the complete first season of Fringe cos season premiere is this Thursday! I love this show!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Phnom Penh, True Confections & OWFS Fall 2009

Tonite, we (Jas, Charly & Rosa) headed over to Phnom Penh for dinner. Jas and I had originally planned on making dinner but decided it was a long (altho in reality it's a short week cos of the stat on Monday) work week and it's Friday night which means it's dinner out nite. Plus I was much too tired from the work week to cook dinner for 4 people and I was craving those chicken wings. Phnom Penh was super busy of course and we waited about 15 minutes for a table but it was well worth the wait cos those chicken wings are the best and as always, so delicious! After dinner, we decided to head over to True Confections on Broadway and Alma for dessert cos we didn't get a chance to talk about our trip to the Okanagan during dinner, it was much too loud in the restaurant. During dessert, we accomplished quite an itinerary for the trip in October, we are getting really excited about it! I cannot wait to head over to the Okanagan Wine Festival and do the wine tastings! We discussed and arranged our itinerary, well Rosa and I did while Jas and Charly chatted, both of them wanted to "wing" it but Rosa and I agreed, we need to set up a flexible itinerary for each day. Of course I can be quite an psycho organized freak and I had a draft itinerary set up in excel (thank you microsoft office templates!) with tabs and all. I received some great feedback from everyone and will finalize the itinerary next week. Also, a great excuse to get together again and enjoy some yummy food and wine :) We will also need to make decisions on which tours and events to book as it's getting close to the dates. Hopefully, we will get to do all that we want and booking 2 weeks in advance will not be cause any problems. So EXCITED.

Also, I finally finished Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane and ohmygosh, I am so excited about the movie now!! I can't wait for the release, it will def be a really interesting movie esp since the ending of this novel was NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. Dennis Lehane is an excellent novelist and I am def looking forward in picking up a few more of his novels!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fresh BC Clams!

Mmm....yummy fresh BC clams for dinner tonite! My brother brought over a huge bucket of clams from the island, his BFF came back from their honeymoon and brought back tons of clams for everyone to share!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Oooh yums! At lunch, Jana and I shared a Tiramisu cupcake by Cupcakes. Vanilla coffee marble cake with cream cheese frosting lightly dusted with cocoa powder and topped with a mocha bean. I really enjoyed the cream cheese frosting, it seemed lighter than the Koo Koo (altho I loooove the Koo Koo cupcake) and the vanilla coffee marble cake is very moist and scrumptious. I think Jana and I will have to do this again next week, we both agreed that having one cupcake is too much but a mini is not enough but sharing half of one is just enough! Next week, PB & J or Candy Apple, mmmm....cupcakes!