When I have the time, I try to make cards for my friends and family. There’s nothing better than a personalized birthday card. It was recently my grandmother’s 95th birthday and I decided to make her a card.

bday_grandma_card bday_grandma_card_back












This was a fairly simple card that didn’t take very long to make. I would say to invest maybe 30 minutes on this project.



I used my colour block wheel for stamping, four different stamps, a paper cutter, embossing powder, cardstock and purple stick-on gems.

I love embossing. It creates a really cool texture when you’re stamping. It looks especially good when you’re using a large stamp like the bird one I used. I personally like to use white embossing powder because I happen to have a large number of ink (colour block wheel). Buying a bunch of embossing powders really adds up and this way, you bring the costs down.

The flower punch that I have is another great tool. There are many different paper punches you can purchase – there’s basically one in every shape – but I like this one because as you can see, not only does it punch out a flower pattern, it also punches out smaller flower shapes that I utilized in the design of my card. I would check out T.J. Maxx or Amazon (if you’re in the states), or HomeSense (if you’re in Canada) and search for some discounted paper punches to save some money. They’re ridiculously overpriced at retail value and you’re likely to find a couple in one of these stores half off.

I glued the flower pattern on the bottom and finished the look off with circular gem stickers. Easy peasy.

That’s a birthday card made in 30 minutes or less.

Have fun and try making your own card one day. My grandmother appreciated and loved the thought I put into her card. Nothing really beats a homemade card.

Since I’ve been a “housewife” in NYC I’ve been cooking a lot more mostly to cure my boredom and to try new things since I have the free time. My friend recently showed me a picture of his green eggs and ham sans the ham and I was intrigued so I decided to try my own version.

(edit: my friend wanted me to show his version of eggs so that you can all make a comparison for yourselves)


So those are my friend’s eggs.

My green eggs and ham

I think I got the green down right. I decided to blend a handful of spring mix with 2 eggs. Then as the eggs were cooking I put in pieces of turkey bacon into the mix. I think it turned out quite successfully. The reason I prefer my eggs over my friend’s egg mixture was A) I put in ham, B) I didn’t completely blend in the greens. There are still bits and pieces left so it doesn’t feel like I’m eating something artificial and it adds a bit of texture to otherwise whipped, processed eggs.

Since I’ve relocated to New York I’ve been pondering the idea of extra work, after all, I’m here in the big city where many shows and movies are filmed everyday. So, the question is: Is it worth it to try to be hired as an extra?

I’m sure some of you will say it’s not a bad gig – you get paid for standing around mostly and it’s heck of a lot better than not working at all. However, I’m weighing the cost and benefit of doing so.

It’s not as easy as I thought to be an extra. It’s not a matter of just showing up. There’s a bit of a process. First thing is you’ve got to register with an acting agency. Then you have to take pictures. I’m not sure instagram photos will cut it so you might have to go find a photographer to get some portrait shots which costs money. Then you have to keep track of casting calls with the agency. On top of everything, some of the sites I’ve read about being cast as an extra does not necessarily lead to an acting career so why bother with all this work? Trying to be cast as an extra seems to take about as much work as applying for real full-time jobs so I have come to the conclusion to just stick to jobs that I can build a career with instead of this supposedly fun job to do in my free time because it seems like it’ll take it more than my free time.

My friend also pointed out that oftentimes I might have already been cast as an “extra” living in the city just by walking around the city. So if I’m just in this to say that I’ve done it, the likelihood is yes, I probably have.

I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately.

More specifically, what makes a successful food show. I happen to watch a lot of food-focused TV shows and I’ve come to favour specific types of shows.

Obviously there is a difference between Food Network Canada and Food Network US – mostly the chefs (more chefs from the region the network is located) but there has certainly been an increase in niches. For example, Kid in a Candystore. This is a new show (new in Canada, it’s on season 2 in the US) is hosted by one of the contestants in Next Food Network Star (I don’t remember if he won or not, but I don’t think it matters). But I found this show interesting because it seems almost like a spin-off of Unwrapped – a show I’ve always keep up with. But I question, what then is different about this show? Well, good thing I enjoy watching Adam Gertler.

And then there’s Outrageous Food. I think I’d rather watch Travel Channel’s Man v. Food instead of this show. It’s just a big guy (how typical) shouting and exclaiming over crazy large portions of food. Granted, I like this sort of thing but there’s only so much astonishment I can take. At least in Man V. Food he’s trying to accomplish something (breaking outrageous food challenges that often leave you feeling glad you didn’t eat before watching). Unfortunately I don’t like Tom Pizzica very much-he’s probably perfectly lovely but I get a bad reaction watching him on TV.

I think the most successful thing that the Food Network has done are their challenge shows. No other network can complete. There’s Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off and NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant but really, there’s not much out there. FN has an army of shows: Chopped, The Next Food Network Star, Cupcake Wars, Chefs vs City, Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef, Restaurant Impossible, Bobby Flay’s Throwdown…need I go on?

The only thing that I think FN needs improvement on is on spontaneous occurrences. The produce and ingredients are always so perfect. I’d really like it if the contestants have to deal with problems every day people have like spoiled produce or dirty produce that extends beyond them not cleaning their shrimp properly (seen that on Chopped once or twice). That would add a bit of surprise to their otherwise carefully controlled challenges. That’s one of the reasons I prefer to watch the Ultimate Food challenge special shows that FN airs.

Alright, that’s my spew on Food shows.

Original via kk+

Commuters of the Vancouver area are probably as frustrated or at least astonished by Translink as I am. I’ve been taking the skytrain, more specifically the Canada Line, quite frequently lately. The past two days have been extremely frustrating. I lined up to take the skytrain from the Richmond-Brighouse stop (the first one) today early because I figured with transit, you never know, so there I was lining up with the rest of the commuters waiting for the next train. My transit-spidy-sense was already acting up. The Translink workers (who by the way tried their best to calm everyone down and provide information, accompanied by the supporting officers) were unsure when the next train would actually arrive. There was a lot of shouting. And the main speaker system to the control panel wasn’t clear so we got a garbled up announcement from Translink informing us yet again that they are sorry for the delay and that a train will arrive shortly. They also informed us that more information would come once the train arrived.

I didn’t bother to wait that long.

After almost half an hour of waiting (we were initially told our wait time was approximately 15 minutes, while if the trains were functioning it would usually come every 3 to 7 minutes) I decided to take them up on their counteroffer – shuttle bus and/or the 403 Brighouse Stn bus. Soon after I finally managed down the steps and tried (and failed) to get on the shuttle bus, the train came (of course it did). What disappointed me most about this experience was that the Translink employees who were the ones telling us about the buses. didn’t let the rest of us know that the train was here and that we still had a chance to get on. It would have been nice to know that the train had arrived since most of us were waiting upstairs to board the train in the first place and only came back down because they weren’t sure when the train would come. Instead, they just stood there. Thanks Translink.

Eventually I boarded a bus. The trains were working fine from Bridgeport to Waterfront. I overheard a police officer say that there was possibly a problem with the tracks. Or maybe the used the same “problem train,” as the Province called it, yesterday. Hopefully the commuters waiting now were also as lucky as the ones yesterday that received a regular flow of trains after 9am. I guess I’ll find out later today when I take the train again.

Learning fail

I recently noticed these packages at my local grocery store. If don’t need to be a keen chef-wannabe to recognize the logo. The Joy of Cooking brand is a popular cookbook for cooking beginners (I am a proud owner of one of their publications myself and have thoroughly enjoyed browsing the numerous recipes the brand provides) with nine different versions. So I was very surprised to see this product hit the shelves, or, well frozen section to be more precise. What good would it do to simply provide the meal from the Joy of Cooking? No one is learning a thing about cooking at all (defrosting and reheating is not a skill, especially since it can all be done with a push of a button on the microwave). What really made me sad about the whole thing is that it shows us how lazy we’ve become that we can no longer cook what is supposed to be simple and easy.

And there goes 75 years of teaching.

This find has strengthened my resolve to cook more and experiment more with my own cooking though and rely less on convenient foods such as these (I will admit I do have frozen foods myself but not of this brand.) and I haven’t touched it since I bought it months ago.

Anyone else feel the same way as me?

This was a question raised by one of my friends. Most people answered with a creative job like a DJ or bartender. The other popular answer was working retail at a store they really wanted a large discount at.

I think I’ve already had my ideal side job. It was the job that I had during my undergrad – Chan Centre usher-bartender. It was a fun job. I love working in a theatre, meeting new people, sometimes talking to the performers and really fun and interesting co-workers. It’s an all-around great time and I got to choose my hours which would range from once a week to five times a week.

I decided to dig up some other side job possibilities.

#1 Pottery maker
I have this urge that I haven’t fulfilled yet – making ceramics! How great would it be to go and just make some bowls or dishes after a long day of work to get your creative juices going? I think it could be a very therapeutic thing to do.

#2 Video game tester
This is another side job that I would welcome. I have a bit of a gamer in me  so that’s why this side job would appeal to me.  Actually, just being a Blizzard game tester would probably be an awesome job. I find their games to be very well done.

#3 Photographer’s assistant
Why not a photographer you ask? Well, I kind of consider that to be a full-time job. I think being an assistant would be a job that can be done on flexible hours. There’s some grunt work to be done here but I think I would enjoy the process and I think I would be able to learn a lot from the photographer about their creative point of view and how different shots can be executed.

#4 Restaurant reviewer
I may be skewed in my thinking that this could be a side job but I really wish it was. If I was a freelance reviewer this might be a side job possibility. I love food and I would be very content having an extra job where I get to enjoy chefs’ creations and also fuel my own culinary creativity in my own kitchen. Plus, I’d save a lot of money on dinner.

#5 Food blogger
This one isn’t much of a stretch and I could probably do this now if I wanted to. All I’d have to do is start a blog. The problem is how much time I would actually put into this side job. If I thought of it as a side job I think I would probably only update it once or twice a week because there’s no one really pushing me to write on it. I’ve actually tried something like this before with some of my friends. It was a blog that reviewed bubbletea places. Unfortunately it never took off because I was the only one who ended up writing anything, though I took my friends’ comments when we were studying the places.

So, there you have it. My other ideas of side jobs that I think I would personally enjoy and maybe you guys too. What do you guys think? Any other good ideas?