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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blessings in Disguise





Since clearly I am not focused on studying, I am going to blog ^.^

Sorry it's been a really long while since I blogged.

I guess this blog is sort of a quarterly reflection of what's been happening so far during the year. So far this year, although it's only April, has been some of the hardest times I've experienced. Maybe it seems that way because it's still fresh in my mind, but for sure I have had my share of struggles and hardships. But through all that's happened, I am glad that I have a strong support system who I can turn to always, at all hours of the day <3 So I'm going to summarize what I've learned so far this year.

**NOTE: This is going to be a long one. So be prepared :p**

1. Never ever give up. It may seems tough now, but I promise that there will be one day when you look back and wonder why you thought it was so hard.
I think I'm already starting to feel this way. There were moments during the past four months when I would be so stressed and high strung that any little thing can trigger such an explosive reaction. If I did that to you, I'm really sorry.. I couldn't help it at the time. But of course as always, hindsight is 20/20. Things may seem hard at the time because all you see is the road ending, but trust me, it's just a bend :)

2. Everything happens for a reason. So don't take anything for granted.
I am a believer that God has a divine plan for each and everyone of us. But we always have a choice as to whether we want to follow it or not. So as life goes on, there will be moments when we have to make critical decisions which either take us closer to the plan or further. Sometimes these decisions don't seem that important at the moment, but even these little things we choose to act on can have a big impact on our lives. It's like the domino effect. One little piece can bring down the entire structure. So never take anything for granted because you never know what will come out of it.

3. Let go and let God.
Sometimes, we have to remember that no matter how capable we are, we are still humans and our abilities are limited. I've been trying hard this year to stop worrying so much about things because negative thoughts are like cancer. You think of one little thing and suddenly it spreads out of control. Keeping bad thoughts in your head is actually bad for your health. It affects your mood, your performance, and before you know it, it will take over your life. So sometimes, it's better to "don't worry be happy" and just do your best. Trust in God to provide you with what you need in your life.

4. Treat others the way you want to be treated
So by some unforeseen set of events, some people have entered my life quite unpredictably. I don't really know how to say this without sounding like I'm bragging, so I'll just say it plainly. I helped a friend of a friend  of a friend (so basically a stranger) with some stuff. At first it seemed like a small non-committal thing, but I felt compelled to do more. So suddenly I found myself so invested in this person without realizing. I wasn't expecting anything back of course, I genuinely just wanted to offer my help. Well in the end of it all, I feel quite proud of myself for doing it and she turned out to be a blessing for me as well. Not only have I gained a new friend, but also a new found appreciation for people in general.

5. Follow your heart. But don't forget your brain.
All of us have dreams and aspirations of what we want to achieve/acquire/be. It's important that we are passionate about these things because this is the drive that will help push you along your journey until you reach your goal. But sometimes our hearts' desires lead us to do foolish things because we are so blinded by the prize that we neglect to see the dangers around us. So that's why, it's important to evaluate our dreams sometimes. The most important question that I think will help you put things in perspective is "why". Why do you want to do this? What is the main reason behind it all? Remember to be honest when you ask yourselves this. It'll help to put things into perspective and let you see your actions more clearly.

6. Know what you want.
Last but not least (I know, 6 is a weird number to end a list, but this one is something I feel resonates the most with me, especially at this stage of my life), it's important that you set goals in your life. Someone very dear to me told me that it's important for us to know what we want to achieve in the end of it all. This goal will be the main purpose that backs our actions. It will give you direction in your life, and although some of the things we'll have to do won't be pleasant, if we keep this goal in sight then we will end up where we want to be. Sometimes when we don't know what to do, we tend to go for what we like to do.  He made the point that if we do that without a specific goal in mind, we'll enjoy what we do but we'll just be going in circles and that in the end we'll never get anywhere. So that's why it's important to take some time to ourselves and reflect on what we want to do in life. Thanks <3 for the advice

So why I titled this blog "Blessings in Disguise" ? Because I feel that through the struggles we all go through, the things we complain about, the things we hate, there is always a silver lining in the cloud. There is always something good to be taken out of any situation if we take the time to think about it. So I hope that through this blog you can all go back and notice all the hidden blessings in your lives <3




Monday, March 12, 2012

Renewed Determination

So as you know I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to work and live in HK. I've been looking for jobs there (to no avail) and today, I decided to research a bit a bout living costs there, more specifically housing costs. Everything was REALLY expensive, and given that I have virtually no job experience, my expected salary would be about $15,000 HKD (that's already being generous). But then I came across this apartment in Ma On Shan, which is east of Kowloon, and it really made me excited again about this dream!!!

Costs $10,000 HKD, and has 2 bedrooms, so I will need a roommate :)

Here are some pictures of the place:





Looks quite cozy right?? :) :) Anyway, this motivates me to look harder for jobs!!!! 


加油!




Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Playlist (Part 2)

Hello!
This is a continuation of one of my past posts, you can click here to view it. 

November 24, 2011


November 30, 2011


This sounds a little immature. 
Should be taken with a grain of salt.
 But mostly true.


December
December was a whirlwind of activities
Last days of school
Christmas shopping to do
Many goodbyes were said
Many "lasts" were done
Trips had to be arranged

Start at 1:52


:'( 
I refuse to think that this is the last time I see you
It's not goodbye, but see you again
Thank you for the great memories you've given me
For all the support for the past 4 months
I miss you and I love you all
One day we'll be together again :)

January 6, 2011


Being back home was a strange feeling
Everything felt so foreign, so alien
This doesn't really feel like home anymore
Being in the "new" old environment 
was sometimes hard to get used to
The hardest hurdle to get over 
was probably having to continue without you
But I know you're still here for me
Even though we're half a world apart

1-11




Please ignore the messy background!!>.<

February 11, 2012
a 1st



February 14, 2012







But eventually I realize, 
After many, many signs
And many, many dreams









And we all live happily ever after.

The End <3 







Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ask me anything and I shall answer :)

Alright, so I feel a bit bored and gloomy lately because of the weather and school.
So I've decided to do an open forum thing where you can all ask me any questions you want (as yourself or anonymously) and I will try my best to answer them.
Doesn't matter what it's about.
Can be about you, me, or anything at all.
Use the comment box below to post your questions.

I look forward to your questions :)




Enjoy some nice music while you think of what to ask :)


Friday, March 2, 2012

Snow Day

I don't usually like winter and cold weather, especially when it snows because then the roads get all icy and slippery which makes commuting a hassle, but sometimes, you can't help but appreciate the beauty of it all. I took some pictures on my way to school. The windows of my car were a bit icy so sorry for the blurriness!


***


***


***

This one was taken at the Schulich building entrance

I love how the snow is stuck to all the branches making them all white. Pretty isn't it? :)

Last but not least, a friend of mine who is one of the best photographers I know, Andrew Pantja, took this picture.


I think this completely captures all romantic notions that you can have of winter <3 




Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Playlist (Part 1)

For this blog I want to try something a little different
Instead of writing I want to tell a story through music
I hope you like it :)


August 28, 2011.



And I arrived...
 (LOL)


Anyways, so time passed, and sometimes...


But then,
 



Life's hard sometimes. Sometimes, this is what I think


But then, we can always:

And

and

and also
(^I want to learn this dance!!^)

But especially, this is what we did

Until one day



To be continued...

Friday, February 24, 2012

白果腐竹薏米糖

I had this dessert when I was in Hong Kong, and I miss it a lot here in Canada.
I guess you probably can find it in any Chinese restaurant, but I haven't had the time to look for a good one so I decided to make it myself :)

It's very simple actually, and it only takes a few ingredients.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of pearl barley (you can put more if you like)
1/2 cup of ginkgo nuts (shelled and pitted)
several sheets of dried bean curd skin
Rock sugar (to taste)
1.5 - 2 litres of water
1 litre of sweetened soy milk
2-3 pandan leaves


Fried bean curd skin, pearl barley, and ginkgo nuts (these ones are still in its shell, but you can buy them de-shelled in the  refrigerated tofu section in most Chinese supermarkets)

Instructions:

1. Break fried bean curd skin into smaller pieces, maybe about 1"x1", or depending on how you like it in the soup. Soak it in warm water for at least half hour. This ensures that the bean curd skin will be soft and smooth when you put it in the soup.

2. Put 1.5 litres of water in the pot and bring to a boil. Then add the barley, ginkgo nuts, and pandan leaves and boil for about 30-45 minutes or until the barley is almost cooked.

3. By this time the water will be reduced, so add the soy milk into it. You may not need more or less of the soy milk; it depends on the soup:contents ratio that you like. I like it to have more soup so I add more. Add the rock sugar as well at this stage to taste. Since the soy milk you used will most likely be sweetened already,  add the sugar little by little so it's not too sweet.

4. Drain the bean curd skin; add to soup. Boil for another 15 minutes until the flavours are mixed or until the bean curd is completely soft. Some people like it in little broken pieces in their soup, and if this the case for you, the bean curd skin can be added earlier to cook further. I like mine in larger pieces, so I add it later.

Serve warm or cold! Enjoy :)


Serve warm or cold :)


Benefits of drinking this soup:
  • Ginkgo nuts are low in fat and cholesterol and a good source of protein, soy and barley are also said to help decrease and lower your cholesterol levels
  • Ginkgo nuts are a good source of complex carbohydrates (good energy source)
  • Has a lot of good vitamins and nutrients ( read this article for more information)
  • Improves memory and attention span
  • Good for your skin! 
  • Good source of fiber (from the barley)
To make this soup even healthier, you can substitute the regular sweetened soy milk with light, fortified soy milk. This is also sweetened but is fortified with calcium and vitamins. Do NOT use soy milk that is vanilla flavoured. For best results, use an Asian type of soy milk. For some reason, I think the smell is a bit different than Western soy milk, but that may just be my opinion


BUT!

Don't eat too much of the ginkgo nuts. Some people maximum serving per day is 5 nuts, and others say 10. But the main point here is to take it in moderation. Too much of these nuts can give you nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, dizziness, and restlessness among other things.

Other than that, this is a really easy, yummy soup to have both during summer and winter months.

Comment me on how your soups turn out or whether you have suggestions on things you can add to the soup :)

Enjoy!