Thursday, 30 July 2020

Edgy, Quirky and Offbeat: Why I am Obsessed with The Umbrella Academy a Netflix Original

I am obsessed with The Umbrella Academy and the anticipation for season 2 to drop is killing me. Thankfully we are only a couple hours out because this Netflix Original is back July 31, 2020. At first glance, the Umbrella Academy seems like another comic book superhero adaptation, but The Umbrella Academy could not be further from it. When I first came across this show, I grossly underestimated it and for that, I apologize to all the fans. 

The Umbrella Academy is complex, intelligent, dramatic; yet quirky, edgy, upbeat and completely unique. If I had to sum up the storyline, it would be: 7 gifted children that are adopted by an eccentric billionaire who trains them to become a "child superhero league," but they eventually drift apart, only to reunite under the same roof at their father's funeral which is also they find out they are humanity's only hope of stopping the apocalypse. 

I know I know, superheroes and apocalypse, but I assure you this is nothing like the Marvel or DC shows. The Umbrella Academy is completely different and marches to the beat of its own drum - I really wanted to use this saying, but it is true! 

This is the point where I stop being vague and insert my official disclaimer that there are SPOILERS ahead. 

Friday, 24 July 2020

Exploring Urban Gardening in Vancouver

Vancouver plays host to numerous farmers' markets which are lush with locally grown produce. It is amazing to have access to fresh locally grown produce and this year I wanted to try growing some of my own vegetables. Spring and Summer are generally warm and sunny in Vancouver making it optimal for gardening. We did have a couple of rough weeks of cold rainy days, but aside from them that, my garden has been thriving! 

I went with a diverse mix of vegetables for my garden. I opted for mostly little starter plants from Gardenworks and Home Depot because there is a higher success rate. I did plant some seeds, but it was a bit of a hit or miss for me. 

The vegetables I went with are:

Friday, 17 July 2020

Beta 5 Dessert Jars featuring my two favourite fruits, strawberries and mangos

In a bid to practice social distancing measures, I have tried to remain at home and leave only when it is essential. After weeks going on months of being stuck at home, my craving for sweets has exponentially increased. I guess with not much else to do at home, my mind just fixates on desserts. 

I have been trying my best to remain healthy and avoid sugary treats, but when I saw Beta 5's Dessert Jars menu for June 26 & 27th, I immediately caved and ordered the four-pack, which comes with two of each flavour. For the weekend I ordered, I received: 

Mango Milk Tea-Ramisu 
Milk tea custard/ brown sugar boba/ diced mangos/ Hong Kong-style milk tea-soaked sponge cake/ mango curd/ condensed milk Chantilly/ brown sugar streusel 

Strawberry Shortcake
Vanilla custard/ strawberry jelly/ macerated strawberries/ mojito-soaked baba sponge/ lime curd/ vanilla Chantilly/ vanilla shortbread cookies 

Friday, 3 July 2020

CANADA Day 2020 was super weird


Can you believe it, Canada Day just happened; yet it does not feel like it. I guess without the parades, outdoor festivities, Canada Place concerts, fireworks and park/beach barbeques, July 1st just seemed like another normal day of the year. 

Canada Day is my favourite statutory holiday and is the only stat day I refuse to work. For me, Canada Day is a full day of fun. I head downtown early and wander the streets and seawall bouncing from one celebration to the next. There are so many fun and exciting things to do! If you ask me to name my one favourite thing about Canada Day, I would most likely prattle off an entire list because how can I just pick one.

Where do I even start, wandering the length of the seawall from the Westin Bay Shore to Canada Place. Checking out the flagship Roots store on Robson Street because they usually have fun Canada-themed decorations. I usually skip the parade because I do not like big crowds, but am willing to brave them for the fireworks. I usually drop in on a friend's barbeque and walk around barefoot in the green grass at the park near Yaletown. And how can I forget the Granville Island Ferries. I feel like Canada is the one time of year I take them. I generally take it from Yaletown to Granville Island and after some exploring, I return to Yaletown on the ferry boats. The ferries are definitely a favourite on Canada Day because the lines are massive.

My Roots Blazon T-Shirt has almost become my official uniform for Canada Day including the days leading up. In fact, are you even Canadian if you do not wear Roots or any other Made In Canada clothing? What I love about the Blazon T-shirt, aside from it being Made in Canada, is that despite the numerous washes over several years, the red colour is as vibrant as ever and has not bled into the white. Plus the cotton is super thick and feels soft against my skin. There are other pieces in their Made in Canada collection, some of which I have included below, but I think the Blazon T-shirt is my favourite. I am not the only one who pulls out this iconic t-shirt for Canada Day, @itsjosheats too loves it! 

Also, I am not sponsored or in any way affiliated with Roots. I just happen to be obsessed with their Made In Canada collection. 


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Cherry Clafoutis with fresh cherries from my Cherry Tree

In our front yard - well our neighbour's yard - is a little cherry tree currently filled to the brim with shiny red juicy cherries! Now I am not about to sit back and watch all those perfectly good cherries ripen over and go to waste, so after the sun had set, I made quick like a stealthy ninja and picked my fill of cherries. I just like living on the edge, but full disclosure, my neighbour does not care and often encourages us to help ourselves to the cherries. 

I am not sure where I first heard of cherry clafoutis, but for some odd reason, I connect cherry clafoutis with the iconic French female cook - Julia Childs. Supposedly she was a massive fan of cherry clafoutis, but this classic french dessert can be made with a number of other stone fruits. 

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Vancouver Mural Festival 2020 Spreads the Message of Unity and Physical Distancing

Artist: Benjamin T. Stone
I finally had a chance to head by Robson Street to check out all the murals for Vancouver Mural Fest 2020. Glad that I did because the next morning, crews had started dismantling the storefront covers in preparation for the reopening. In my opinion, Vancouver is lifting its social distancing measures in a haste. Vancouverites have already been the mockery of Canada for flaunting their freedom by flocking in troves to beaches and parks. With only warmer and nicer days ahead, I can only imagine the crowds that will be forming along Robson Street. I digress. 

I must say, the 2020 murals are by far my favourite. I love the colour choices and the collective message of strength and unity. This is why I am extremely bummed that these murals are not going to be permanent fixtures in Vancouver. I feel like a lot of the murals from years prior are too "graffiti" in style for me or strongly connected to Native American Art which I also do not relate with. This year's pieces we can all relate to and understand! 

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Celebrate Mother's Day From a Distance with these Last Minute Vancouver Gifts

Mum's do a lot for us and they deserve to be celebrated and a single day in the year does not sum up how much they mean to us. Given the current state of the world and the restrictions in place in my own hometown - Vancouver, we need to celebrate our amazing mothers from a distance. I am lucky enough to live at home with my mum, so I will be spending Sunday, May 10th, annoying my mum with all my love hahaha. 

Most gifts are completely off the table because boutiques, malls and shops, for the most part, are closed. I tried to look for Vancouver-based local gifts for mother's day. This is also a great way to support local businesses and makers. The best places to look for a gift for your mum would be at local grocer-cafes, florists and patisseries.