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.


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!


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.


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! 😀


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.”


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.


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.

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!

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 🙂

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.

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!

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!


Tis the season to be jolly!: Part 2 (Legit Christmas dinner)

So my friends decided that we needed to have a ‘legit’ Christmas dinner as we have not had one throughout the years. Yesterday was when it happened! To begin, my part in the preparations were really small, so many thanks to those who went a day early to prepare! And thank you Edna for letting us do it at your house! Everything was delicious and overall and it was really fun!

Neil carving the turkey 🙂

Legit dinner right there

The main part of the dinner consisted of all the regular Christmas food: Turkey, peas, corn, mashed potatoes…you know, traditional Christmas stuff. I do not think I have had such a ‘legit’ Christmas dinner for either a very long time, or never at all! Being asian, Christmas dinner always consisted of somehow incorporating rice or some other asian touch to the dinner! 😛 After dinner came dessert– and this is where I wished I saved more room in my stomach. There was three times as much desserts as there were for the main course! Butter tarts, pumpkin tarts, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake, apple pie..the list goes on! But I was so full by the time dessert was out that I could only sample a bit of the overall selection!


After dinner we all headed out the the living room to watch Christmas movies and play some games. We had a gingerbread making contest! It was super fun and to make it more challenging, we had a 20 minute time limit. We were also only allowed to use one hand per person. Of course, these were pre-made gingerbread and we just had to assemble and decorate it. Connie and I reunited and David and William joined us. Although we did not win, it was still fun to build a gingerbread house (well, train really)! I haven’t built one in ages! I think the last time I did was almost six years ago!

You know I got serious when I tie up my hair and am not sitting down, being my usual lazy self.

Our gingerbread train!

After gingerbread house making, a majority of us decided to watch SAW. I could never stand gory films so I volunteered to leave the living room. 😛 Josh and I went to Edna’s room and we played our Game of Thrones card game. Eventually we heard our friends screaming and exclaiming as they watched people die on screen…and then some other friends started to trickle into the room as well. Yeah, talk about having a Christmasy atmosphere. Josh and I decided to block out the scary sounds and reactions and we turned up Christmas music on Josh’s MacBook. Safe and sound in Edna’s room ❤

It felt like the party ended too soon, but by the time we left, it was around 2:30 at night! I was not at all tired…until I got back home and the fatigue kicked in. It was awesome to get to see everyone again. After university started, it felt like all I was doing was no-lifing school! But, it finally felt like the old times when I could just go out whenever I wanted without having to worry about an upcoming midterm or project! In other words, it felt wonderful! Hope everyone else’s winter holiday is going swell as well! 🙂

Until my next post,


Tis the season to be jolly!: Part 1 (And I am! :))

The 20th of December marked my last day of final exams! I am free!! And survived my first university finals/term one!

Right after my exams, I met up with Carmen! We went downtown to eat lunch at Hon’s…

Us and our noodles ❤

And then we walked around downtown. We wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes 2 so we continued shopping around until 4-ish. However, Carmen suddenly came up with a great idea: to hunt down a takoyaki food cart! Apparently the cart can be found at Howe and West Pender and we rushed there. At first we were slightly disappointed because it seemed like there was no cart…but then when we turned the corner, there it was!

This takoyaki food cart is the cutest thing ever! It was called Osa Tako Hero Takoyaki! The menu featured their food in a game-like theme. First you chose your ‘heroes’ a.k.a how many takoyaki you want. Then you can choose power-ups to upgrade your heroes’ abilities, a.k.a what sauce/toppings you want on your takoyaki! I was really hesitant to try the maple syrup one, but Carmen wanted to. In the end, the guy making the takoyakis allowed us to have a bit of each topping! 🙂 Surprisingly, the maple ones did not taste sweet!

Hero scroll! Choose how many heroes you want :3 And then their abilities on the side!

Carmen at the stall ^^

Our ten heroes with mixed abilities! Ahaha sorry for the blur!

Waiting for the takoyakis took pretty long and since our movie starts at 4:45, it seemed like we were going to be late. We had to walk bad to Scotiabank theatre and then buy our tickets! We were running towards Scotiabank, but then we saw a bus, so we jumped on. We go to the theatre with minutes to spare and bought our tickets. That’s when Carmen and I realized that it was Tuesday and the tickets were half price!!!! AHHH lucky us! ^.^ And we basically got into our seats just in time as well!

Sherlock Holmes 2 was very good in my opinion. Filled with wit and humour, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s amazing screen chemistry will never cease to amaze me. Oh, and why must I fall in love with Robert every. single. time. I. see. him. in. a. movie?

So, thank you Carmen for the perfect after-exams day! And LOL to us falling asleep at random times of the day because we were both lacking sleep! I missed you Carmacorn and I am so glad we got to catch up!

Oh and here are my nails for Christmas! 

I wonder what else is in store this winter holiday…


So close I can almost taste it! Gimmie the Gingerbread!

I am all for early signs of Christmas. The stores are decorated, along with the malls, and then there’s the houses too. The cinemas are brining out new Christmas movies and schools choirs are learning their Christmas carols (this I know cause I hear my sister practicing random Christmas jingles around the house).

I know, a lot of people are like “IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS YET!”

But I really don’t mind. 🙂 I’ve always loved the fact that there are so many signs reminding you that Christmas is right around the corner! I think it is the one holiday I really look forward to, because everyone is in such good spirits.

I remember when I was young, my parents and I would walk around malls, and I always knew when Christmas was coming. The decorations are SO pretty! And then there’s also the random guy dressed up as Santa Clause in malls, and that’s fun too. And his elves sprinkled around the mall. Okay, yeah, people dressing up as Santa Clause and elves scare me a little…actually people dressed up as characters scare me. Except for the Disney Princesses at Disneyland!

Every year at Metrotown ❤

I really do not mind the early discounts from shops. I remember working at Stitches around Christmastime and happily helping old ladies choose presents for their granddaughters. It always amused me when they would look at me and proclaim I am shaped like their granddaughter, and promptly usher me to try on a certain jacket/sweater/shirt. It seemed like that they have been looking forward to shopping for their grandkids for the whole year! You should see all the time and effort they put into choosing the perfect gift!

Then there is also the people who rush in, grabbing last minute presents or just wanting to check ‘present buying’ off their list of things to do. And that is fine too. :3 I have often waited so long pondering what to get who I end up becoming one of those frantic gift shoppers.

But as a backtrack, after taking all these business courses, the festive mall environment has dimmed a bit for me. The early decorations are not put up because everyone is excited for Christmas, like myself. Boosting Christmas sales being the main objective here, the stores start their promoting extra early! Ahh, the loss of childhood innocence just keeps getting to me.

However, I want this to be a happy post, so back to the land of sugarplums and happiness! I am seeing loads of Christmas themed food! Here’s some Lindt chocolate that I bought after suffering from mild depression after my Economics Final. The white chocolate ones have tiny snowmen on them!!

Lindt Chocolate Balls :3

I still have yet to have a gingerbread cookie this year! I think out of everyone around me, I am the only one who actually likes gingerbread baked goods. All the more for me!

Then we got a package from our aunt in Hong Kong in the mail! She sent us a bunch of scarves that my sister, mom and I quickly claimed! Yay for overseas relatives!


Bath and Body Works Candles!

So moving on to harmless weekend shopping? Firstly, this I have been meaning to do for quite a while, I bought Christmas candles from Bath & Body Works! I haveBath and Body Works Candles!wanted to buy their Evergreen candle for a long time, but I did not think I would be able to finish using their 3-wick candles. So I was at Richmond Center the other day when I saw that their smaller candles were buy one get on free!! Christmas savings 🙂

I grabbed a Cranberry Woods for the second one because the tangy, fresh smell of cranberries wakes me up.I also bought earmuffs. Okay, I guess I do not really need earmuffs, but I do live in Vancouver and it gets cold out. Very cold, for those of you who do not know.

And of course, my first picture beside a Christmas tree this year!


At Richmond Center Mall!

I have my mom’s gift ready and just need to wrap it. I am not going to mention what it is here in case she reads this… I still have no idea what to get my Dad—a dilemma that occurs every year. My sister is also a tough one this because her birthday is always before Christmas, so I have already racked my brains for her and got her things I know she would have wanted… AND! I also have my secret Santa gift to consider, and since I drew a guy, it is going to make everything just that much harder. I never know what to get guys, whether it is for their birthday or Christmas. This paragraph shouts Corporate Santa everywhere. *cough*

But for now, as I go back to studying for my finals exams, let the 24 hour Christmas radio stations accompany me in my task…

 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!…