Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seducing the Demon

I've decided to spend the day reading Erica Jong's book, Seducing the Demon (interspersed with logging onto my favorite blogs and watching Apprentice UK). I love these lazy days. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Home again

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. I had so many good intentions of documenting my way through Winnipeg (pictured above, circa 1953) which is where I've been for the past week but unfortunately, I found myself in bed for most of the trip. (If you can believe, there were even days that I didn't log onto my computer! The horrors!) Fortunately, I was still able to squeeze in some quality time with family and a few good friends.

One of those visits was with a wonderful friend I had spent many (many) days with in my past. It was so great to see her again. I wanted to tell her how much I missed spending time with her and how I wished that we lived in the same city so we could hang around every so often like we used to but didn't want it to get all weird and uncomfortable. Of all the friends I've ever had, she's the one I connected the most with - a special connection that I've yet to recreate with another. We could spend hours laughing on the phone or sitting in the car chatting away or just sipping drinks in a smokey pool hall. It didn't seem to matter as long as we were there together. I'm just glad that we were able to catch up with one another on this trip and laugh like old times. I hope we'll have more opportunities like that in the future.

I also managed to visit a couple of amazing vintage shops (Ruby Slipper and Vintage Glory) that had been recommended to me and found some really lovely antique compacts - the kind that you might see on Mad Men. I plan to photograph and share them here (some day). As well, my sister took me to one of my all-time favorite restaurants (Mondragon) where H & I shared a delicious vegan burrito, some African peanut soup, a pupusa and a slice of scrumptious sweet potato cheesecake with date icing. On the side, I enjoyed a tasty yerba matte latte. Mmm.

Of course, it was nice to be back home enjoying my Mom's cooking and visiting with my lop-eared bunny, Yoyo. I also had fun digging out some old love letters and pictures that had me in stitches. H loved spending time with her grandparents who tried to spoil her silly and was able to play with some old friends in the neighborhood. On Saturday, we had a little party to celebrate my sister's and cousin's birthdays and nibbled on all sorts of goodies from sushi to Indian dishes to crab legs. Needless to say, my clothes are now a wee bit snug (as if they weren't already!).

Sadly, I wasn't able to see everyone I wished to but hopefully, we'll still have the chance to catch up some time soon...

Hope you've been having a nice week. Take care and talk soon. xo

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy face

I'm done the preparation for the group presentation tomorrow, as well as the paper which is due on Wednesday. What a great feeling! Now, I just have to get through the presentation itself and an upcoming final paper which is due next Monday. My goal is to complete the paper before the end of this week (Wednesday, if I'm lucky).

Tuesday afternoon marks the beginning of a break from classes for almost two weeks (less a day). I can't wait!


I have a group presentation tomorrow and a paper due on Wednesday so my plan was to devote this afternoon to nothing but these two items. Of course, all I want to do is daydream and read my favorite blogs and look at photographs.

My latest obsession at the moment is 'food styling' which I find fascinating and can't stop googling about. I love the idea of 'staging' food so that it looks appealing and scrumptious on film and video yet it may be completely inedible. The whole art of it personifies the food to me as these stylists share secrets about primping and dressing up their subjects - whether it be a gorgeous cupcake or a beautiful salad or even a handsome cut of meat.

I love finding out about different professions and I especially love how the internet allows me to take a peek into these differnt worlds. My favorite blogs are the ones in which the individual has found a way to transcend their vocation into a way of life that is most satisfying and inspiring but not all consuming. The passion that these individuals share often fuels me to think about what it is I love most and brainstorm about ways to incorporate this into my daily life. (It's also a great outlet to live vicariously through others.) On a more superficial level, I like to think that I'm adding to my career and work counselling arsenal as I expose myself to these different occupations and the diversity of individuals invested in them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I want to go here

There's a house about an hour outside of L.A. off Route 5 North that's known as the Polaroid House. It's basically an abandoned and dilapidated house filled with Polaroids that people have left behind.

You can find more amazing shots, as well as get the contact name for directions through the following flickr pool.

{Photo credits: G.E.T. and Brewsband}

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Transitions can be fun

I started another new class in my program called Transitions. The instructor is really wonderful - he's so approachable and keeps the class engaged at all times. The class is so much fun and as always, there's a lot of self-reflection and experiential learning that occurs which will help us be more empathetic as counsellors.

Yesterday, we learned another tool to use with our clients - the timeline exercise - which I really enjoyed doing because it allowed me to see where I've been, my accomplishments (both good and bad) and where I'd like to work towards. It was interesting to hear how other students reacted to this exercise. Some people found it to be a very emotional experience as they reflected back on their lives while others were met it with some resistance as they didn't feel the need to rehash things that they'd already laid to rest. We could write as little or as much as we wanted and use as much creativity as we pleased to create them so it was a nice change of pace to be able to put pen to paper.

The instructor gave us insight as to when the exercise might be appropriate for clients (for e.g. once an ACEC assessment has been performed but not during Common Assessment), in what settings (group vs. individual) and how we could use this tool to generate more information with our clients (such as discovering patterns and reviewing why certain items were milestones).

Today, we worked in groups and did presentations in the afternoon on a theory we're learning. There's a larger presentation due on Monday plus two individual papers to complete. I'm looking forward to doing the papers. This is one of my favorite parts of the program and has always been - even during my University days.

Tomorrow evening, I'm attending an event featuring alumni from the program I'm in who'll be sharing information about the career counselling field and where they fit into it. Should be interesting!

Hope you're having a nice week. It's a short one. I like that. I like that a lot. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is how I feel...

I woke up this morning with a bugger of a head cold and an annoying headache. It was inevitable, really, since J & H have had their turn with it. Luckily, I had the whole day to rest and drink o.j.

Maybe it was all that wonderful fresh air yesterday coupled with the scent of wax that did me in. I took S to an encaustic workshop in Kensington Market in the afternoon. We both agreed that it was much harder than it looked but was still a nice introduction to the art. (To be honest, I felt a bit deflated after taking the workshop as I looked at the goopy mess known as my collage.)

Afterwards, there was another introduction, this time to Fresh which went really well but who can resist the seduction of delicious food, potent fruit smoothies and luscious cake and cookies? (Certainly not I.)

Oh gosh...I can't believe I almost forgot the introduction to yet, another favorite restaurant, El Trompo, for their amazing guacamole and tacos. (I told you our weekend would involve a lot of eating.)

As for Easter morning, despite feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton, I was able to partake in the fun of watching H search for goodies the Easter Bunny left behind. I love watching her eyes light up as she discovers the goofy hiding spots.

Happy Easter

Friday, April 10, 2009

The meatballs arrive today

We're on our way to the airport to pick up my sister who'll be spending the weekend with us. Apparently, my Mom has packed us a box filled with goodies including the infamous vegan meatballs she brought from her last visit. (Mmm.)

To kick things off, I thought we would take S for lunch at one of our new favorite restaurants, Everest Indian Cuisine. Tomorrow, I'm taking her to an encaustic painting workshop in Kensington Market. I'm not sure what else we'll do this weekend but it'll probably involve eating, exploring the city and enjoying the nice, sunny weather.

Wishing you a wonderful day. xo

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Last minute cramming

I have a test this morning and then it's party time. Okay, not exactly...more like analyzing a classmate's Strong Interest Inventory but still, stats will be over today and THEN, it'll be time to celebrate. (Woo woo.)

Wishing you luck with whatever you're doing today. Talk soon. xo

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy National Empanada Day!

(Who knew?)

I found some information about today's holiday on Months of Edible Celebrations. The post is a year old but as relevant today as it was 12 months ago. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Onions make me happy

I made some onion bread this evening. The recipe called for two separate periods for the dough to rise but mine stayed a lumpy mass. I was sure it would be a disaster but I was pleasantly surprised. I think I'll slice a couple of pieces for J & I to enjoy while we watch the latest episode of Breaking Bad.

[I also made more banana coconut muffins since the batch from Sunday didn't even make it to the next day.] :)

Fur coats and bikini bottoms

It's funny how quickly I've forgotten about living in Winnipeg and enduring those minus thirty-something (even forty-something) degree temperatures with the windchill. Then again, I'm one of those people who starts wearing layers under their clothing as soon as the mercury dips a few degrees. (I need to be warm at all times, really.) Imagine the irony when I asked a friend in Winnipeg if he thought the weather would be warmer and if the snow would be gone by the end of the month since I was planning a trip home. (As if his answers would really stop me from going to see my family and friends.) Still, despite all of the exposure and experience to the less-than-kind prairie temperatures, I can safely say that it is freezing here today in Toronto.

Time to snuggle up and turn on the fireplace. If my Mom lived here, I might even see if she still had the fur coat and hat she used to wear when I was a child (raccoon, no less...this could be where my fears originated from). Of course, I'm kidding about ever wearing the ensemble. I always thought it was such a ridiculous look (so Linda Evans in Dynasty) but remember the days when everyone wore fur? The horrors.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Did yesterday really happen? I could have sworn that I was walking outside enjoying the sunshine and the mild temperatures. Why, I think I even broke a sweat. (Seriously.) It really felt like Spring but now it's snowing outside. Yes, snowing. (Sigh)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easy like Sunday morning

This morning, we went for another delicious brunch at Sadie's Diner with my lovely s.i.l., followed by some browsing through vintage shops. It was nice to be able to share in the excitement of her upcoming trip which will involve welcoming a new little member to our family ♥, visiting two countries and seeing fountains. :)

There were so many people out enjoying the beautiful, sunny day and mild weather. It felt good to get some Vitamin D and walk off the Huevos Rancheros and chocolate cupcake I had. We even passed a store giving out free hot crossed buns. I love these kind of days.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cozy inside

Baking banana coconut muffins with the little person, sipping double chai spice tea, letting J sleep in and catching up on my favorite blogs...this is what my Saturday morning has looked like, thus far. It's kind of a gloomy day out - overcast and windy - but I can still see the grass starting to green as I peek through the window, all cozy and warm inside.

I have two papers due and a test on Monday so it'll be a busy weekend, school-wise. I'm sure I'll be posting intermittently as I try to get these things done.

Hope you have a lovely Saturday. Talk soon. xo

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hansel & Gretel (Korean-style)

We got out of class early today so I thought I would treat myself to an afternoon of movies. I wasn't sure what to watch but was intrigued by the poster for Lim Pil-seong's interpretation of Hansel & Gretel. (Coincidentally, I have a small collection of H&G vintage books and also love the story.)

Wow, what an amazing film! The aesthetic was very much Amelie meets Pan's Labyrinth mixed in with the Exorcist (and maybe, Poltergeist). The color palette, sound design and cinematography were absolutely rich. I fell in love with the production design which was incredible and all I could think about was how exciting it must have been to be part of it all. Ryu Seong-hee (of Old Boy, Bittersweet Life, The Host and Memories of Murder fame) was in charge of set design.

In a nutshell, the story is about a young man who gets into a car accident, stumbles into the dense woods in his groggy haze and collapses. A young girl discovers him and leads him to her mysterious house deep in the forest where he's greeted by her family. From there, the story unfolds. As with the original fairy tale, the story is grim but the film takes it several steps further as it crosses boundaries which are often unexpected.

It was a pleasant surprise for me and the two other movie-goers in the theatre, who also really enjoyed it (we debriefed after the movie - lovely strangers). Sadly, I don't think it'll last very long in the theatre but if you get the chance, I do recommend it. Here's the trailer (in Korean):

[I also went to see I Love You, Man which happened to be starting the minute I stepped out of H&G. Okay, so maybe I snuck in but anyway, I won't lie - it made me lol, as they say. I could have stayed in the theatre all day and night watching movies. Tonight, J has a horror for us to see after we put the little one to bed.]

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Playing in the sun

It was a beautiful day in Toronto - the sun was shining and it was quite warm. (Supposedly, the temperature got up to 15 degrees!) At lunch, a group of us decided to go for a walk and make the most of our little break.

Downtown Toronto has many lovely nooks and parks to enjoy, not to mention beautiful churches and buildings peppered throughout. It was nice to get some fresh air, chat with classmates and explore the city.

In the afternoon, we learned more about the Strong Interest Inventory and did group presentations on the Basic Interest Scales. My group did little skits to demonstrate the interest clusters. We felt goofy but I think it went okay.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You will pay for this Michael Kors

I didn't have school today so I scheduled some appointments and set out bright and early in the morning. I thought it would be a perfect day to christen a new pair of shoes I had been saving for spring but in hindsight, I realize I was being horribly optimistic, especially considering all of the walking I had planned for myself (as if experience hadn't taught me a thing about breaking in new shoes slowly). After about an hour of running around, I found myself staggering into different shops, desperately looking for bandages to ease the pain.

On a happier note, I got a very lovely surprise this afternoon - FLOWERS! My neighbor stopped by to update me on her decision from yesterday and bestowed me with a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips. (How thoughtful!) She was so grateful for our exchange yesterday and I for the one we had today. :)