A year in review: 2016

December 26, 2016

This year has been full of adventures and visitors! I was incredibly lucky that I got to visit Asia twice this year. I don't even know how it all happened but it just all worked out. 

And I had friends who came to visit me as well which was amazing because one of them was a friend who I haven't seen in years.

In February, I went to Japan and Taiwan but I got sick. It was horrible but I survived it thanks to my friends and A. Japan was amazing and of course I tried to eat everything. Taiwan was rough because that's where I got really sick. Didn't see much of the city because of it. 

This summer was intense! I had a lot of visitors. One of them was Julian from Germany. We hosted a bbq at my house, we went to Niagara Falls, and I went camping at Arrowhead with A. Read about it here

The second part of summer was spent camping again at Pinery Provincial Park. I went to a few beer festivals in the city and ate way too much bbq. I attended the Feast of St. Lawrence Market dinner. 

Keiko came to visit from Japan for a week and we spent a lot of time together eating! 

And my very good friends got married in Cambridge. You can read about it all here

Finally, this past fall, I went to visit Hong Kong. It was so much fun because we have friends who live there who showed us around. I also took a day trip to Macau and Lamma Island.

I also went back to the Philippines. This time visiting Bohol and Cebu! I had the best time!!! 

Wishing you all a Happiest New Year!! All the best for 2017!!! 

8 Things about Food & Me

December 22, 2016 Toronto, ON, Canada

Thank you Christienne for the tag. She knows me well already! I do love food so here goes my 8 Things about Food and Me.

Q: What is your favorite cuisine? & How often do you eat it?

I have lots since I always have a rotation of cravings. I try not to eat the same type of cuisine all the time. I love mixing it up! 

But if I can pick a couple, I would say Japanese and Vietnamese.  I've been trying to control my sushi intake lately so when I go out to eat Japanese food, I try to order other items. I never get sick of eating Japanese food. There's always something new to try.

And Vietnamese food because my boyfriend loves it and we have pho at least once a week. Although lately, I'm more obsessed with ordering vermicelli bowls.

Q: Home cooking or Dining out?

Definitely home cooking. I love going to the grocery store (my happy place) and picking out fresh ingredients and cooking at home. I especially love doing this on weekends when I have more free time to cook more complicated and time consuming dishes. A is a good cook so I usually help him in the kitchen but when it comes to seafood and other Asian dishes, I cook it myself. 

Q: Do you have any family recipes?

No, my family doesn't have any guarded recipes :( I think one of my sister's is compiling her own though. She's a very good cook! 

Q: What is your favourite restaurant?

Mine are scattered all over the world and most of the time, I don't know the names anymore. For me what stands out more are the dishes, not necessarily the restaurant. I barely go to restaurants because of the decor or ambiance. I'm only there for food ;)

Q: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

Bulls penis! I kid you not...my friend actually ordered it at Kenka bar in NYC. He passed it around for us to sample too. It was gross. 

Q: Coffee or Tea?

Tea all the way! I love all kinds of tea...ginger, chamomile, green tea, oolong tea. You name it! 

Q: Name one food you really dislike?


Q: What's dream food experience?

Well, I would love to go to San Sebastian and do a tapas crawl!! or have all my favourite dishes in one room so I can stuff myself silly (without gaining weight of course).

Please feel free to answer the questions above so I can read your answers too. 

Christmas Market 2016

December 19, 2016 The Distillery District, Toronto, ON M5A, Canada

I never pass up the opportunity to visit the Distillery District Christmas Market. It's a tradition now with A to visit every year. We usually go during the week to avoid the crowds and the entrance fee (haha!). 

It was freezing cold this time and I actually almost cancelled our date but changed my mind after having tacos for dinner!

It's always fun to walk around and find installations where you can take photos because it changes every year. I love the light up words they have dotted around the whole Distillery District.

And I love popping in and out of shops to look for gifts as well. Some of the shops go all out in decorations.

But everyone's favourite is always the giant tree outside! It's the best!

And I'm so glad I went because it powered up my Christmas spirit. Now, I'm very excited about Christmas and I can't wait to spend it with family and friends. 

Travel Ailments: Advice

December 13, 2016 Toronto, ON, Canada

My immune system must be very low because I've been sick numerous times this year. It's always a variation (and sometimes a combination) of colds/sore throat/cough and worst of all the flu! It really sucks but I have some advice on how to combat (because obviously my prevention needs work, any advice?) sickness. I have not succeeded in avoiding, I thought I did, then bam sore throat!

In no particular order..

Ginger - When I start to feel my throat getting scratchy, I buy ginger in bulk at the supermarket. I hoard it with lemons. I have ginger tea but I feel the fresh ginger is more effective. I peel the ginger and mash it a little to release the liquid. I put in a pot with sliced lemons and slowly boil them together. You can either drink the tea with a bit of honey or leave it plain. I usually leave it plain.

Lozenges - I love the one's from Japan that my friend Keiko buys for me. But cepacol (extra strength) and ricola also works for me.

Vicks - I use vick's to rub in my chest when I have a cough but also when I have congestion. To alleviate my congestion, I boil water and pour it over a washing basket (plastic tub) with a scoop of Vicks.  Then, I take a big towel (big enough to cover your head and the tub) and stand above the washing basket with the towel over my head. Make sure it's completely covered because you have to trap the steam so it will clear out your nose/congestion.

Neocitran - I usually take this at night so I don't get drowsy. And I only take half. It's enough to make me sleep and relive me from congestion/coughing/and runny nose until I wake up the next day. 

Citrus - I'm obsessed with calamansi lately ever since my trip back to the Philippines. I usually drink hot water with it. And right now, I stocked up on clementines as well to get more vitamin C. 

Vitamins - I keep forgetting to get new one's since I ran out this year. Finally made it to the store to buy Vitamin C and D for winter.

Sleep - you have to try to get plenty of rest. I know you have jobs but after that, try to sleep more than your usual hours to help your body through this sickness.

Hope this helps you (even a little). Let me know if you have any additional tips/advice :)

Also, please check out Paperless Post's (RED) holiday collection.  Each purchase from holiday collection supports (RED)'s fight for a world without AIDS and offers a great chance to send a last-minute holiday or Christmas card.

**Please note that I'm not a Doctor. If you have any problems, please consult your Physician.

What I Ate: Satou

December 7, 2016 Tokyo, Japan

Finally getting around to posting more from my trip to Japan this past February. I know it's long overdue!

I hope you are having a great December so far. I am quite busy at work at the moment so if I don't post too often you know what I'm up to ;)

Procida Part IV

December 2, 2016 Procida, 80079 Procida, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

After having our lunch, A and I strolled around some more to walk off all the seafood we ate. We went to the other side of the island to explore some more. We found another spot to see another perspective of the island. We got to see the ex-prison building that we explored before lunch. 

We also found orange trees on one of the streets that we explored. Too bad they weren't ready for picking yet. I may or may not have stolen one if it was ripe ;)

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