6.28.2017

582. Recent Life | "No New Friends"

National Yacht Club Toronto
Yesterday I went to dinner with a friend of mine who told me he recently got the idea to narrow down the number of friends in his life. He was trying to decide whether or not to keep up to 5 or up to 10, but reassured me I made the cut lol. The point of this is to build better quality relationships with who you do have in your life and enable you to focus more on what's important in your life to become successful. I thought about this and I probably have four "close" friends now who I talk to or see on a daily basis. I also have a lot of secondary friends who I talk to or see less often. & then I have countless acquaintances/casual friends I guess. I find that the older I get, the less time I have to meet new people/friends and I don't really care about it as much as I used to. I still like meeting new people though but I wouldn't purposely try to. At this point in my life I am mostly focused on building a successful future for myself and improving my own life which takes up quite a lot of time. It's a bit ironic because this week I actually made plans every day of the week (only my Thursday is still open for now in terms of social activities)...with all "new friends". Well, half new and half casual friends. & here are some photos taken recently:

L Tower Toronto
leftbanked Adidas
Hennessy leftbanked
ROM Toronto
Over the past few weeks I realized I went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) a few times. A couple times I went to their Friday Night Live events and another day my friend and I had lunch in the area and dropped by. I have a membership there this year so I want to try to go more often.

ROM Toronto
ROM Toronto lion
I love the animal exhibit. This lion is so beautiful. My ultimate dream in life is to see the Serengeti Migration and see all these animals in their natural habitat.

ROM Toronto
This reminds me of Age of Empires (my sister and my favourite computer game growing up lol)

FNL ROM
ROM FNL dinosaurs
ROM dinosaurs
Financial District Toronto
Financial District Toronto
1 King West AGM
1 King West AGM
A few weeks ago my building had our annual owners meeting. I rarely come to the meetings because everyone is so much older than me and I feel awkward going alone..I've gone a couple times before just for the food though lol. But this time a friend of mine who also lives in the building was available that night so we went together. I'm really glad we did. The food selection was really nice this time hahah (buffet style) and we also had to vote for a few new members on the Board of Directors. It was also interesting to hear how the hotel is doing (the building is a condo-hotel and the owners collectively own the hotel side as well). So for the vote, my friend and I volunteered as "scrutineers" so in the end we helped to count up all the votes. It was a fun night. It was nice to meet some other owners and the board members as I realized I never met them before.

Mercedes GTS
Sound of Music Toronto
Mirvish theatre
Went to watch the Sound of Music with my family a couple weeks ago

BMW i8 chrome gold
leftbanked dog walking
King Edward Hotel Toronto

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6.25.2017

581. Recent Food | Cooking & Eating Out

baking
Ever since I got my newly renovated kitchen, I've been cooking a lot. I won't say "a lot more" because back then I literally never cooked lol. Cooking is actually pretty fun. There's a lot of recipes I want to try but not enough time...and well, I can only eat so much in a day. I really like baking. I want to get a nice blue (or bright pink) Kitchenaid stand mixer. So far I've been mixing everything by hand and I'm not that good at thick mixtures..or kneading dough. So here are some things I've recently cooked, as well as restaurant meals mixed in. I've had several failed recipes (gnocchi from scratch, apple pie from scratch, etc) that I decided not to take pictures of lol.

shepherds pie
Shepherd's Pie! Half eaten. It was my first time making it and it actually turned out really really good. Probably one of the best shepherd's pies I've ever eaten. I am not just saying that because I made it myself (I can admit most things that I make don't taste that amazing yet since I'm a beginner cook hahah). I want to make it again soon but it takes a lot of time.

nachos
Nachos from Against the Grain

roast chicken and potatoes
Another dinner I cooked - roast chicken thighs with potatoes and peas, cooked in white wine.

pasta florentine
I made WAY too much of this. & I didn't really like it. It was pasta with chicken, spinach and tomatoes. Actually it would have tasted really good if I didn't put so much cream in there because it was way too heavy/filling for me.

garlic shrimp
shrimp scampi
My sister came over one day and we made a shrimp scampi pasta for lunch. It was soooo good. I never used to eat shrimp when I was younger but now I love it, and it's so easy to cook. I've made this a couple times already.

kale salad
Strawberry Kale Salad at Amsterdam BrewHouse. This place is awesome during the summer for drinks at the patio (it's beside the lake) but the food isn't the best. It was a hot day so I wanted to get something light and cold so I went for a salad. They really skimp on the strawberries here lol. It's supposed to be a strawberry kale salad but there was literally only three thin slices of strawberry. So not even a full strawberry. Also three thin slices of apple.

cinnamon apple slices
Preparing my apple slices for an apple cake. The apple slices were tossed in lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. I ate a few slices just like that and they were so delicious! Here was the final product:

apple cake
In terms of cakes, so far I've made carrot cake, apple cake and banana bread/cake. Banana is my favourite. I've baked each of those cakes a few times each already so I've kind of "perfected" the recipes by now. The banana one is a bit annoying to make because you always have to wait until the bananas are super ripe. So you always need to plan ahead on when you can make it.

apple pie King Edward Hotel
The most delicious apple pie at King Edward Hotel! I love how the pie crust was in the shape of an apple. I wonder how they made it like that. Now that I'm all into cooking, whenever I eat out and like something I always want to try to make it myself. This was what inspired me to make my own apple pies (which I failed at).

Epic Toronto apple tart
& Royal York Hotel's version of apple pie..

Pearl Diver burger
Also now that I've been cooking, whenever I eat out at restaurants I try to order things I cannot/wouldn't want to cook myself. This was a dinner at Pearl Diver where I got a burger and a side of garlic shrimp. When the shrimp came I immediately thought..I shouldn't have ordered it since I could've just made it at home lol. They were good though. But I actually thought the ones I made with the shrimp scampi tasted better..

Pizzeria Libretto calamari arancini
& finally this was a dinner one night with my family at Pizzeria Libretto (again!). As appetizers we got calamari as usual, and arancini balls which didn't taste as good as I had hoped they would. But they are one of my favourite places for calamari in the city.

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6.20.2017

580. Last Weekend

Gusto 101
Here is a very quick post from last weekend. I always say this but I'm going to try very hard from now on to make more frequent updates. I am so behind on my blog (about a month behind on my recent life posts and months and months behind on the vacation posts lol)..ahh. I probably make it sound like a chore but I actually enjoy blogging regularly because I can read back in the future. I just need to organize my time better and be more consistent with my posts.

So I wanted to post about my weekend because I had a lot of fun, and it was the night I introduced three of my closest friends to each other for the first time ever. This is something I never do/never done before. I usually see all my friends separately and never introduce them to each other unless we had all met at the same time. I have a few reasons for this but it's something I wouldn't do unless I knew for sure they would get along of course (which was true in this case). First I went with two of them to Gusto 101 for dinner. It was SO GOOD. I love their Regina Margherita pizza! We are definitely going to go back..the open industrial style in there also made it the perfect summer spot.

Gusto 101 Pizza
Gusto 101 Toronto

Then near the end of dinner one of my friends I hadn't seen in like 5 years texted me to meet up (he now lives out of town and was in Toronto for a night)...so I invited him out with us. We ended up walking to the harbourfront then sat at Amsterdam Brewhouse for some drinks and shots. It's our favourite patio by the harbour now - especially on the 2nd floor. We ended up patio-hopping until 2:30am and I took more polar bear shots, aperol spritz and sangrias than I should've hahah.

I can't wait for the rest of this summer. But our summer here in Toronto won't last for much longer unfortunately. Partly due to the fact that we don't get many hot days in a year...but also, my friends and I are all taking separate vacations this summer back to back/at different times so we would only have a few more weeks of summer together! But I am super excited for my vacation..

Sangria

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6.12.2017

579. Hong Kong | Big Buddha

Big Buddha
The Big Buddha in Hong Kong is a typical tourist attraction. Most of my family members who have lived in Hong Kong all their lives have never visited because they see it as just for tourists. & on my numerous trips to Hong Kong in the past..we also never went here. But this time it was on my list of places to see. So on one of our final days in Hong Kong, we went. I remember it being an insanely hot and humid day, but it was nice and sunny and I had a wonderful time.

leftbanked Big Buddha
The best photos are the ones when you don't know it's being taken. My mom took this shot of me which I didn't know until later. I really love it.

Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha cow ox
There were a lot of cows roaming around the area.

Big Buddha Hong Kong
stairs to Big Buddha
Big Buddha Hong Kong leftbanked
Starting the long climb up. It looks like I have short hair here lol.

Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
So it was actually really hot that day. At the top there was a little shop selling popsicles and pretty much everyone went to buy one immediately when they got to the top. I did as well of course.

Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Then we went off in search of the "Wisdom Path":

Wisdom Path Hong Kong
Wisdom Path Hong Kong
Wisdom Path Hong Kong
Wisdom Path Hong Kong
Wisdom Path Hong Kong
Big Buddha Hong Kong
Big Buddha cows
Hong Kong sunset
Hong Kong sunset

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