Helping our Northern Neighbours

About a year ago, I learned of a wonderful Facebook group: Helping our Northern Neighbours. It took me a year before I took what I learned from that group into action and sent out a care package out to a family in Northern Canada. I wanted to share my experiences, and hopefully, open you up to the idea of donating a package!

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LA for Christmas! Pt. 1

Hello all,

I do realize it has been a while since my last post, but Christmas came along and I realized I was not at all prepared this season. It was a mad scramble to get passable gifts for my loved ones, and then I also went on a spontaneous trip with the boyfriend to Los Angeles!

We left on boxing day, really early in the morning since we got our tickets for cheap off Expedia. The trip to LA should take about 2.5 hours if we took a direct flight, but instead it took more towards 8 hours since we had layovers and such. We went to Phoenix first, then down to LA. Weird flight route, I know.

The first day was all travelling, so it passed by in a blur of naps in weird locations, and switching between modes of transport. Once we got to LA, we got on a shuttle to take us to Anaheim. We were visiting Disneyland for Christmas!

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We spent one day at California Adventures, and one day at Disneyland. It was really busy in both parks due to schools being let out and everyone wanting to see Disneyland in its Christmas form. But seriously, Sleeping Beauty’s castle was amazing with the Christmas lights.

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It’s funny how we all pay hundreds of dollars to line up for hours on end at Disneyland, yet still leave feeling like we experienced magic. Disneyland was definitely a LOT more busy than California Adventures. At least at Cali Adventures, I felt like I could walk around without constantly bumping into a wall of people!

One thing that I loved most this visit was Cars Land. I had forgotten they had added a new section to Cali Adventures, and when I walked by the road that lead down Radiator Springs I actually cried. I wish I was kidding. It looked so much like the movie that it really was magical. We ended up eating dinner at Flo’s and it was the most satisfying meal of the day!

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Another thing that stood out to me was Dole whip. Here’s the thing: I’ve never heard of a Dole whip. I saw it on instagram, then realized that there were a million pictures of the little mountain of pineapple flavoured soft-serve ice cream. What the heck was this and why is it so popular? I was very hesitant to get it, mostly because it was cold at Disneyland and there was a lineup. There was a lineup for soft serve. I had enough of lineups. But nonetheless, we waited about 30 minutes in line and got our Dole Whipe Float. It tastes much like pineapple flavoured soft serve, except there are little chunks of pineapple. It tasted tart, which I quite liked. It was a very good soft-serve, but I still didn’t get all the hype that surrounded it.

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By the end of the Disneyland visit, we had spent a small fortune on foods at the park, and also severely lacked sleep as we would always leave at the last possible moment, then arrive as early as possible. So worth it!

Next post to be on Los Angeles itself 🙂 (Hopefully, it won’t take 2 months for me to post)

– Karen

My First Award!! What Do I Do!?!?

I logged on to WordPress today and saw that little notifications alert was orange. I pressed on it and saw that Ash nominated me for the Sunshine Award! I am super excited so I am going to do the post now! (Despite being neck deep in assignments and final exam woes–but hey, this is a good distraction). Thank you Ash! I must say– I am probably just as surprised as her when she found out someone nominated her. The first thought that popped into my head was “Wow, someone’s actually reading my blog!!” So thank you for that Ash! 🙂 You brightened up what otherwise was a wet and dreary month, that bogged me down with midterm exams and projects! I would recommend checking her blog out, especially if you want to learn (or if you already do) how to appreciate manga and Japanese culture. She may not be Japanese, but she knows her stuff! 😀

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This award has two parts to it. I first answer ten questions about myself, and then pass the award on and nominate my favourite bloggers! So without further ado, here are my responses!

1. Who is your favourite philosopher?

It would have to be Confucius (unless if I am allowed to choose John Green. Then I choose YA author John Green. Go watch his videos on Youtube, you will see why.) Have you heard the amazing things this guy says? He is not only a philosopher, but he is so encouraging. I also find it amazing that a Chinese scholar’s influence can be found so significantly in Western culture.

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

-Confucius

2. What is your favourite number?

I actually do not have one. Here is a funny story though. When I was young, I thought you had to have a favourite number, and that it would bring you luck as long as you try to incorporate it into as many things of the things you do as possible. I chose the number 3. I would try to line up as the third person in line, take the third box of cereal in the supermarket, and would sleep with three stuffed animals. Glad I did not choose the number 97 or something. I would have suffocated from all the stuffed teddies.

3. What is your favourite animal?

My favourite animal…would have to be dogs. I love how loyal they are to their owners, and I also find a lot of them adorable. I have recently really taken a liking to pit bulls. They are the cutest thing ever. Sadly, I am allergic to most dogs, and I doubt I can persuade my family to allow me to keep a dog in the house.

NOPE, I am changing my answer. I love direwolves from Game of Thrones. They are huge, which will probably scare me in real life, but does not take away from the fact that I love them. The few direwolves that the reader encounters in the books show that they are very loyal to their owners. They also look pretty badass. I guess I liked regular wolves before I was introduced to direwolves, but once I found out about these larger and stronger wolves, I became a bit obsessed.

So that would account for my favourite type of animal. But I must say that if I had to pick one particular animal, it would have to be my late hamster. She was the only pet I have ever had (if you do not count the poor insects I trapped in plastic containers when I was young, foolishly claiming that they were my pets), and it is starting to look like she will be the last. This is mostly because my heart broke when she passed away. The worst part was not her actual death, but the days leading up to it. I cannot deal with loss, so I probably should stay away from pets.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?

My Twitter is fairly easy to find. I use the same username as my WordPress account: Kalyrical. I am not comfortable with sharing my Facebook, so this is all you guys get. 😛

5. What is your favourite time of day?

My favourite time of day is when the sun starts setting, and the world is right between being bathed in darkness and flooded with light. It feels like I am watching the world restart itself. Of course, this only rings true when we can actually see the sun in Vancouver. Otherwise, the whole day just feels like a lump of cloudy and grey sadness, and you really cannot differentiate between different times of the day.

6. What is your favourite holiday?

Definitely Christmas. Sure, my family may not be Christian or Catholic, but I see it as more than a religious holiday. The atmosphere around Christmas time is amazing. I wish it was like that everyday. People are packed in malls, and everything is decorated beautifully. Families come together and everyone has a reason to catch up. There are also presents. Yes, presents are nice.

7. What is your favourite physical activity?

I like cycling. I hate that feeling you get when you get off your bike and start wondering why everything is moving past you so slowly, and then you have to adjust to the fact that you are no longer on a speedy bike. I like feeling the wind on my face as I race by the world on a warm summer’s day.

But other than cycling, I hate physical activity. I cannot run for more than a block or two before I start wheezing. Of course, that is probably due to my lack of regular physical activity, but still.

8. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Either chocolate milk or Coca Cola (not Pepsi). I love chocolate milk–usually accompanied with a good novel. Of course, I like its hot counterpart equally, so depending on whether its hot or cold outside, I would either drink hot chocolate or chocolate milk.

Coca Cola is my go to drink when I am not sure what I want. Not Coke Zero. Or diet Coke. Or Coke light. And definitely not Pepsi. I like my regular Coca Cola thank you very much.

9. What is your favourite flower?

Classic red roses. I think that the world has reached perfection in flowers when it created the rose. All roses look nice, but I really love those deep red velvety petals on a classic red rose. I am pretty sure the roses I am referring to has a name, but I am not sure what they are actually called. You know which kind I am talking about. The ones that the guy always gets the girl when he tries to win her heart in movies?

10. What is your passion?

I have struggled in finding my passion for quite some time. I have always thought it would magically appear to me, and I would just know. Then came the first year of university when I had to start making decisions on what I wanted to do with my life. I started panicking because I did not know what my passion was, and had no idea which road I wanted to take on my academic journey. I believe I have found my passion in creative writing. I love writing fiction– always have, always will. I just did not think it would be an appropriate career choice. It seems so ambiguous and lacking in security to declare “I am going to be a writer.” I started taking Creative Writing courses this year at UBC and will be doing my minor in it.

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Now for the second part of my duties, I will now nominate several other blogs I want to pass this award on to! These are in no particular order.

1. http://nhanfiction.com
He frequently makes posts on one of my addictions: League of Legends. He also posts interesting pictures of quotes and bits of wisdom, most of which are motivating and just wonderful to see on your reader! Check him out!

2. http://nosajnawk.wordpress.com
I love the way he writes. It can be pretty sarcastic, but he hits the message home. This is a journal blog, and he explores topics that you can probably relate to, but was never brave enough to put it down in words. I say follow him, because he has interesting things to say 🙂

3. http://quieterelephant.wordpress.com
You never know what you’ll find on his blog. Some days, he may touch on serious topics, but a lot of the times he’s got some lighthearted reads that are pretty informative and fun to read! A lot of his posts also spark my imagination and gives me a boost of creativity.

4. http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com
He takes so really great pictures, and along with them, he will add a line or two of thoughts that we can take away. He is also super nice. Frequently, he reblogs interesting posts on other blogs, so he also provides a great hub for you to discover other bloggers!

5. http://itsthecookiemonster.wordpress.com
This girl is my real life friend, and her blog is filled with all these amazing pictures of baked goods that you can never have. But still, I would definitely recommend going to her page and drool all over your keyboard. Then you can attempt to recreate her cakes/cupcakes/cookies, fail miserably and cry.

I hope you guys accept the nomination! I found the questions fun to answer, and hopefully you guys will too!

-Karen