22 January 2023

Stationary: January Haul


While visiting my friends in San Jose, we took a trip to the mall and stopped by a stationary store, Maido. Recently my friends have reignited (and reinvented) my love for stationary and journaling, so I've been building up my collection to use for (ideally) daily journaling. I ended up taking critical damage upon entry and went a little crazy buying stationary supplies there. LOL
The store was full of all sorts of things, plushtoys, figurines, you name it.

Here's most of my haul! I had to stop myself from buying more stickers, but I'm really happy with the ones I got.
I hadn't heard about these before, but Zebra midliners are really popular! They're technically highlighters, but they work great for subtle fill-ins on sketches. I initially planned to buy only one or two colors, and then ended up getting all the ones available.. and there's even more!
Washi tape! I'm thinking the next time I'm up in Canada, I'd like to pick up some acrylic display cases from Muji so I can store them properly. Right now they're just kind of everywhere around my room, haha.
This one isn't a purchase, but I really wanted to show it! This is a beautiful present given to me by my dear friend Poi. I was floored when I opened it, because I've been really into Kuretake brush pens and inks lately, and wanted to do more plein air painting and urban sketching again. Now I can! I'm so, so happy. Thank you so much!

Some of these are from November and December. I bought a few stickers and memo notes to (hopefully) help me start healthier habits and lifestyle changes. To be honest, I didn't use my 2022 techo much, but I'm planning on filling it up with sketches still as well as using a 2023 cousin for better journal entries.
These are Iconic 2Way Retro Markers!! They're also great for doodling, highlighting, and decorating, but I mostly got them because they're my favorite color combo. I had to take a photo of them with my keyboard, haha!

My hope is to really make use of the techo Cousin this year, which my friends and I will do a group order for at the end of the month. I'll try to post some snippets of them when I can!

13 December 2022

Vancouver, BC: Fanny Bay Oysters

Finally after three full days of dreary overcast, the sun came out.. Not a cloud in the sky! It was our last day in Canada, and to be honest I was feeling a little under the weather. My throat usually hurts from hotel AC towards the end of a trip, so I chalked it up to that and got ready for the day.
The light on the buildings changed the scenery in such a drastic way, I had to shoot them again.
We had a bit of a fiasco in the afternoon. We'd initially planned to have high tea at the Fairmont Hotel across the street, but it turns out they only host it from Thursdays to Sundays. Gah! And that seemed to be the theme for many other places. We finally found a place in Burnaby, and my initial gut instinct was to call them to make sure they were open, but we ended up not doing that... A 30 minute drive later, and lo and behold it was closed! So we drove back and ended up going straight to Fanny Bay Oysters for a somewhat early dinner.

We opted for walking from the hotel, because it really isn't that far from the Hyatt Regency. I will say that it felt longer because I was hungry, but it was a pretty pleasant stroll somewhat downhill.
I don't usually drink alcohol, but if I can order a White Russian, I will. It's a strong drink for me, but the cold creaminess is unparalleled. Unfortunately for the bartender, I have yet to see the Big Lebowski, so we had a sort of awkward moment when he asked me about a reference from the movie. I'm sorry! I promise I'll watch it!!
Started off with their miso caesar salad. Yum!
Ordered their manila clam chowder, which was incredibly unique (and a little spicy!). They have the recipe for it on their blog, which I thought was really cool. It's heartier than most, and the taste was not like your usual chowder. I'm not sure if it would be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it!
Their scallops, meltingly buttery goodness. The sauce was soooo good!
We were so hungry, we ordered quite a bit. The mussels were super good, too!
My mom also tried their fish tacos. She said they were pretty good but could use more flavor, and unfortunately I couldn't eat them to contest or agree.
And the star of the night, half Fanny Bay oysters (Baynes Sound) and half Virginica oysters (Totten Inlet). I won't pretend to be some connoisseur of raw oysters, since I've only recently been eating them this year at my uncle's encouragement - but my goodness they were amazing! I've been learning a lot about ways to describe oysters (brine, plump, clean, etc) and I will leave that kind of review to the professionals (lol), but I would have to say that I liked the Fanny Bays much more than the Virginicas. The Virginicas were meatier and felt significantly larger, so it took longer to chew. I can understand why people are weary about raw oysters and its textures - I think I much prefer smaller ones so I don't have to think about it too much.
I missed this walking in, but you can see the oysters all laid out to the side of the ramp heading into the restaurant! It reminded me of Pike Place Market.
All in all, I HIGHLY if not EXTREMELY recommend to check out Fanny Bay Oysters if you're in Vancouver and enjoy seafood. This was absolutely the highlight meal of our trip. I'm so glad my family recommended them, it was just as amazing as they said it would be!

09 December 2022

Vancouver, BC: Christmas Trip !!

It's finally the day we head up to Vancouver for a one-week Christmas trip! We've been planning for a couple of weeks, and while I've been nervous about traveling outside of work, I was really looking forward to visiting Vancouver again.

I woke up around 8:30AM, all packing finished the night before, and made a simple breakfast (bacon and eggs with hot dogs). Our usual bacon lately has been too salty, so we tried a new brand that was low sodium and I’m liking it so much more. Didn’t feel up to drinking coffee, so I just drank water instead. I think I own too many caffeinated teas, so once I finish up most of them I’ll start filling the cabinet back up with non-caffeinated replacements. My mom had a work call so I fell asleep on the couch for about an hour. We checked our mail, dropped off books at the library, filled up our gas, then realized we forgot our walking sticks!! Finally hit the road 2 hours over schedule but there was no traffic and no line at the border. What great luck!
Even though it's December, the autumn leaves are still such a crisp dark yellow and orange.
There were lots of people walking around, though the wind was pretty chilly — I regretted leaving my coat immediately. For me, it's impossible to visit Vancouver without stopping by Pepper Lunch, so that was our first destination this afternoon!
We passed by some cute cafes and patisseries on our way over.
It was surreal being back here again after several years! The lights were decorated with Christmas paper crafts.
Had a large beef with egg, and tried their meal set for the first time! The green tea and miso were perfect after a chilly walk. 
Yum yum yum!! I missed this soooo much!
On our walk back to the car we got cakes and mochi at the patisserie! We got the cloud cake, strawberry shortcake, a strawberry mochi and a mango mochi, but I forgot to take pics before we ate them all lol. 
Unfortunately, we ended up getting a parking ticket because we parked in a spot/street that required a permit q_q Always double-check in a new city!!!
Headed to our hotel at the Hyatt Regency! Wow, it was huge! And the Financial District is SO fancy. I actually recognized the area from a previous trip thanks to the church across the street. The lobby was full of Christmas spirit, and there was a gingerbread contest that lined up the walls you could vote in. After checking into our room and eating the cakes, I ended up taking a nap for a few hours. 
The view at night was lovely.

Even after waking up at 8PM, there were so many restaurants open late! It's so different from what I'm used to. We picked Kosoo for dinner and headed over. There was a line, but the wait wasn’t bad at all, and we got seated fairly quickly. 
Ordered the kimchi fried rice, half size honey butter and gangjeong fried chicken. The kimchi banchan had a sweetness to it that I don’t think I’ve had before - it was really good!!
There was a looooot of food. We had to have our water refilled pretty shortly after receiving our food because it was spicy. LOL!

I saw a place called Dank Mart and later learned from a friend that it has a lot of unique and exotic snacks and drinks. Hopefully we can check it out before we leave. Walked back to the hotel and planned for the next day.

21 November 2022

 The past week I've been in a daze of sleeping, pain, and a heartbeat so slow I wondered if it would stop altogether. I got my wisdom teeth taken out on the 15th, so my schedule has been something like this, give or take a few hours:

8AM: eat breakfast, take 1 amoxycillin, 1 ibuprofen, 2 dexamethasone

8:30-1PM: sleep

1PM: Eat lunch, take 1 amoxycillin, 1 ibuprofen

1:-4PM: sleep

5-6PM: Eat dinner, take 1 amoxycilin, 1 ibuprofen, 1 metformin

9PM: take 1 SSRI, 1 OCP, drink chamomile tea

11PM: sleep

Sometimes it's like this:

4AM: wake up in tears, scarf down whatever I can manage to eat carefully, take 1 ibuprofen, pass out again

I didn't expect the medication to make me so tired, and I'm not sure what is contributing to it, but my bpm has been decreasing every day, too. Usually my fitbit says 75-78bpm, and lately it's been 66-70bpm, getting lower and lower. When I sleep it's gone as low as 54bpm. And even worse my vision has gotten so blurry that I can barely see anything. When I'm on my phone I feel normal, I can read things clearly close to my face, but an arm's length away I can't even see my mother's face. I don't know why it's happening, and it feels like no one is taking me seriously. I hope it goes away soon. I hope things get better.