THREE DOGS IN MY LIFE!!!

Today, I got ridiculously happy when my boyfriend told me that he’d have two dogs sleeping over. He also has a dog, so there would be THREE dogs in my life today.

I knew I had to go get dog treats for them somewhere. I happened to recall a dog bakery along Main, so I headed there right after work. This place was Three Dog Bakery — WHICH NOW I REALIZE IS SO PERFECT. Because there’s three dogs at our place today. Only now do I realize this. Sigh.

IMG_1076I ended up getting a bunch of goodies. I got three rawhide braids for them (beef flavoured), three donuts, and an extra cookie for my boyfriend’s dog because I heard he was getting a little jealous from all the attention that now went to the two other dogs. I couldn’t have little Rascal feeling left out. The guy who worked there was really nice and also gave us a little baggie of their oven baked treats as a sample 🙂

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I cannot believe I wasn’t buying this for myself. There’s no chocolate here, just carob. They look so good!

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LOOK AT THEM ENJOYING THEIR TREAT (I didn’t get a picture of them eating the donuts because I was too excited watching them). I have no idea if the treats were any good, but they pretty much gobbled it up. Like the guy at the store’s response of “basically all of them” when I asked which of the treats were fan favourites, I think dogs will eat anything.

Anyway, a little later on, we took them for a walk so they could do their business. Ollie (the brown & black dog) was quite a handful, but she was my responsibility because Tommy (the jet black one) would be too strong if he bolted after something, so my boyfriend took his leash. My boyfriend’s mom took Rascal…and I didn’t want to compete with her because Rascal would get hurt if she walked somedog else.

SIT

SIT!

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I need more dogs in my life.

– Karen

Moving adventures– yeah, it was pretty touching.

Hey all!

So my family and I recently moved into a new house. And that’s when I realized something: moving is an awesome family bonding experience.

My dad insists on doing the move ourselves instead of hiring movers. I was alright with the plan until I realized that “ourselves” meant him and I, because really, my sister can barely lift her own backpack and my mom is the kind that would want to help, but is usually told to sit down two minutes later.

We started off in the afternoon, and went into the night. And by night, I mean 5:00 AM. My dad and I would load and unload the rented U-haul truck, and then my mom and sister were assigned to cleaning up the house itself. There was a lot of “HEY! OPEN THE DOOR! THIS IS REALLY REALLY HEAVY.” and other frustrated complaints. But then you get to around 2 in the morning, and you’re ridiculously grateful when your sister or mom grabs a heavy box from you to lend a hand. And then the family sits down for food at 3AM, consisting of a bag of bacon, microwaved corn and spring onion pancakes. I haven’t seen my parents eat bacon in years, so watching my dad gobble up a bowl was eye opening.

Now, my family isn’t the closest of families. I mean, yeah, we eat together, we watch TV together sometimes, but when it comes to getting out of the house and actually doing something together, that’s rare. And the move forced us to physically work with one another, and it was sort of beautiful to see. We really were pushed to our limits, and ached for days afterwards. But we did it.

A portion of the living room turned into a storage area

A portion of the living room turned into a temporary storage area.

It’s been a little more than a month since we’ve moved, but there’s been a lot of improvising. I’m taking the basement, which needs a complete renovation, and my parents told me to take their room for now. Which means they moved their bed to the living room. It’s actually amazing having a bed in the living room, and more often than not, I end up watching TV on the bed instead of the couches.

Since I’ll be getting the basement mostly to myself, I also get to decide on how I want to decorate my living room! I’m thinking of making it into a woman cave, but I’m still trying to get ideas on how I want it to look. But I get a blank canvas to work with and I can’t wait!

So if you’re looking for a good bonding experience, I’d suggest moving. But then again, it could have gone the other way and ended in disaster. So maybe everyone should stick to laser tagging.

– Karen

Japan was as hot as heck.

Once upon a time, I said I’d document my Japan trip. But during the trip, it was just days and days of not getting enough sleep due to us having joined a tour. That required us to wake up early each morning (despite sleeping late each night), so that we would have enough time for the activities they had lined up for us.

So I guess here’s the whole trip blurted out in one blog post! I’ll try to keep it short!

Firstly, it was really really really hot during our visit to Japan. When we went to the hot springs, it was 40 degrees Celsius in our part of the country. If you’re going to Japan anytime soon, don’t worry—it’s not always like that. We just happened to visit while a typhoon was passing by, so the air was very stagnant. Anyway, the Japanese have air conditioning, but the national law limits the maximum at which they can set their air con to 27.5 degrees. Which sounds like a typical summer day in Vancouver. What annoyed me most was that it wasn’t as if they didn’t have the proper technology, it’s just that they couldn’t turn the air condition any lower. But I guess Japan is a very environmentally friendly country. As tourist, we also had a hard time sorting our garbage into the appropriate garbage bins as they sorted their trash quite precisely. Props to them for being so advanced in their thinking…kinda sucks for us because we weren’t used to it!

I obviously didn’t read the pamphlet outlining our tour very well, because I wasn’t aware that we were going to a traditional hot springs until the day before leaving for Japan. And by traditional, they basically mean everyone’s in their birthday suits when soaking in the springs. Of course, they separated the males and females, but it was very awkward. And it didn’t help that this one random lady decided to sit in the changing rooms as you stripped down. Anyway, my mom and I chose to go down to the springs at around 11pm since it is less likely to be crowded at that time. Smart move on our part because we only had to see three other naked ladies.

Mount Fuji was okay. I mean, it looked like any other mountain.

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But public transit on the other hand…

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Now that’s something to marvel at. It seemed as if there was no limit as to how many people they could squeeze into the subway. Reminded me of that Youtube video showing people in Japan getting squished into trains—they even had professional train squishers. The different railway lines were also very difficult to get a grasp on. If you don’t believe me, just try Googling Tokyo’s subway map.

One of the things I looked forward to most on this trip was Tokyo Disneyland! Despite the heat, we still spent the whole day running around the park, trying to get on as many rides as possible. Many of the queues were okay in length, ranging from around 25-45 minutes per ride. We would go on all the rides with short queues, and then decide if we really wanted to wait for the longer ones. The Monster Inc. Ride and Go Seek ride took an hour and a half to queue for, but that was the last ride we went on, and was the only ride that took us more than an hour to get into. We also go Fast Passes for several rides along the day.

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It was Tokyo Disneyland’s 30th anniversary while we were visiting, so Cinderella’s castle was decorated accordingly! I must say that the night parade—Dreamlights—was very beautiful! They turned off many of the lights in the park (or at least the lights in the streets where the parade would pass through), and the floats looked amazing!

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During my stay, I ate lots of great food! We had sashimi (I fell in love with shrimp sashimi! The huge ones that is.), abalone, premium beef, and FRUITS! They were amazing. Japanese peaches are heaven itself. You actually have to use a bowl when eating their peaches because it’s super juicy. Our tour guide told us that Japanese people remove the skin of the peach first (it’s actually really easy because the peaches are quite soft) before eating them. I just ate them whole.

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Since we lived in downtown Tokyo, I couldn’t ignore the bright, dazzling arcades that lined the streets. I spent a lot of coins on those games where you try to clamp a plush doll or toys. I was trying to get this fat cat for ages, and then gave up after spending a few hundred yen. But then this one guy comes along and gets it on the first try. I was very disappointed, and decided to just throw in my last 100 yen and randomly clamp at the new cat they put in, and for some strange reason, I manage to get a hold of it! Trouble is, if I bring it back with me to Canada, it can make for quite an annoying luggage.

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I’m missing quite a few bits and pieces in this post, but sitting here, these are the highlights that I remembered most. I had a lot of fun, but was exhausted. The heat didn’t help. On the last day of the trip, I actually said “I can’t wait to go back to Hong Kong to cool off.” That was a line I never thought anyone would say.

I’m currently working between Hong Kong and China. It’s tiring travelling back and forth, and I’m learning lots! Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a post soon about my adventures in Hong Kong!

Until next time!

– Karen

I really wish it snowed during Christmas instead..

So if you are a Vancouverite, you have probably recently had to trudge through the snow like me. I wish it snowed back in December! I wonder if I have actually ever had a white Christmas…for all I know, I may have, but was to young to remember!

When I was younger, I loved the snow! And since coming back to Canada, I have not really seen snow that lasted for what was probably more than one day. For the past two years Vancouver was not high on the snow factor. I heard that the year before I came back, there was a huge snowstorm…kind of wish I was there to see it! But at the same time, the chilling winds that I am experience now is quite enough for me to retract that. It actually makes my eyes tear up from the cold when I walk between classes…it also does not help that my classes are a kilometre away from each other. I am truly amazed when I hitch my morning car rides from my dad and see bikers biking on the highway-like road towards UBC. *applause* Seriously!

So while I was going home yesterday, I was rushing to get back into the warm confines of my room and was walking pretty fast once I got off the bus. However, I saw something in the snow that made me smile: doggie paw prints! I actually gave a chuckle…so then I decided to take out my phone and take a picture of it. It really must have had some effect on me because I took off my mittens and let my hands endure the cold! I really wanted to capture the tracks. So I kept my eyes peeled at I walked the rest of the way home. Then I saw some bird tracks! These were adorable because there were little drag marks! I had no idea why that was so, but my mom told me it was cause the birds were short and their bellies dragged on the grounds as they walked through the snow. I do not know whether I should believe her or not because she tends to make up stuff to sound smart.

Paw prints everywhere 🙂 So cute!

Bird tracks with little drag marks!

I caught other interesting photos on my iPhone the rest of the way and at one point I found some fresh, untouched snow. I couldn’t resist so I left my own prints in the snow and took a picture of that too. Yeah, I know it is horrible to mess up the unmarked snow, especially when it was not yours to walk all over…but I was jealous of birds and dogs preserving their prints in the now! =P Then I came across another patch of clean snow so I wrote my name in it. Big mistake though because my fingers were cold to begin with. Digging them into the snow did not help. My fingers were so cold and went by the time I was done that my iPhone could not sense my fingers on the screen. =.=

My boot prints 🙂

Bad idea...

But anyway, I think it was a nice experience and when I finally got home, it got me thinking. I realized that although at times it may seem like things suck, but there is always something there to lift your mood–as long as you look for it and let it! So get out there and keep looking! Or if you have already found it, then relish in it! 🙂

-Karen

 

 

 

 

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!

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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!

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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!… 

-Karen