Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

This is our Christmas tree this year.  I know I should get a taller one, but I'm not ready to splurge on one yet.  This little 1' tall Christmas tree will suffice.  Tree and decorations all came from the dollar store and costed about $5 to $7.  B loved it and even helped decorate it.  Although it is a tabletop tree, I had to put it on the floor with the presents: 1. to be traditional, and 2. it just looks funny when all the presents were half the size of the tree.  The good thing about this tree is that I don't have to take it apart. It will just store right into a box and will be ready to be taken out next year.  Yay.

The Chou's Christmas Tree
B got me three Swarovski charms.  I just started collecting them since May 2012.  My favorite out of the three is the Hello Kitty.  However, the most practical one will probably be the owl.  It's blue.  It will match most of my outfits.  I pre-ordered The Game of Thrones Season 2 Blu-ray for B and a big box of Lindor and Ghirardelli chocolates.  I think he was drooling from every orifice in his head.  LOL.

Present(s) from my love
For B's parents, I made them a 12x12 layout framed in a 12x12 display box.  It contained a family photo of us (B and I, B's parents and siblings, and my parents) that was taking during the wedding in Hawaii.

Present for the in-laws
Since both B and I had to work during the holiday season (well, I only showed up to the the office for two half days), we decided to pay for two return bus tickets and bring my parents up for Christmas.  Although it was bitterly cold during most of their stay, I think they still enjoyed it.  Of course, mostly because of me!

I always buy myself a Christmas present every year.  Last year, I got myself the Cricut Expression 2.  Too bad it broke (kinda), but I got another one since it was still under warranty... Anyways, this year this time, I'm going through my boardgames craving.  I finally got Agricola, a game I've been eying since it came out a few years ago, and Legendary, a brand new deck building game with Marvel characters.  I got Legendary mostly because it's Marvel, and that in itself will encourage B to play with me.  He did, and liked it.  B gave Agricola a try and surprisingly, he didn't mind it!  In fact, he even played with me again.  However, he lost the second time and now claims he hates it.

My new boardgames
My dad left Edmonton earlier because he had to work, and so my mom stayed a bit longer.  With dad gone and B working, Boxing Week shopping for the ladies!  I bought new clothes, as I'm in desperate need for some! I got a new bright North Face jacket, since mine lost a lot of the feathers already.  I also got a new king size duvet and sheets for the bed.  New duvet, sheet set, and two duvet cover sets were $20 each. Come on, who can pass on that?  Even mom got some.  She also got a new North Face jacket and new clothes.  

My new North Face jacket
New sheets for the bed.  I think this is the prettiest bed I ever had.
Other than shopping, mom fed us well.  Before I had a tummy, now I have a muffin top... a tummy that hangs over.  Ulgh.  Roshi ate well too.  Mom complained whenever he was given dog food only.  "Give him some rice and chicken!", "Give him a some carrots/apples!"  Roshi followed mom around the house ... A LOT.  Yep, that's Christmas for me.  Great gifts, great spendings, great food, and most of all, great time with the ones I love.  
Although there wasn't much celebration of it around here, I do remember the reason for Christmas is Jesus.  Without His coming to this world, there wouldn't be the great gifts, spendings, food, and time with the ones I love.  And for that, I am truly thankful.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Dinner @ Hardware Grill

It will be our first 'New Year' as husband and wife.  So to celebrate, I, the wife, took B out for some fine dining experience in Edmonton.  Although it's not quite new year's yet, we had plans near downtown today, so it was best to 'celebrate' today.

Since I had an awesome lunch at Hardware Grill a while ago, I decided to take B there and also try the dinner experience.  B often criticizes that we only pay the extra money for the environment setting and not for great food.  This time I believe I proved him wrong.

To start, B ordered a crispy duck leg.  He already took a big bite out of it before I remembered to take a photo of it.  He loved it.  It took him a long time to eat it because he just didn't want to finish the experience.  He shared a bite with me, and yes, it was very good!

I had a soup of yesterday - something with bacon in it (more like that's the only thing I remembered!).  The reason why it's called soup of yesterday is because the soup was made yesterday, and this allows the soup to sit overnight and soak in all the flavours.  It was very flavourful and good.

Soup of Yesterday - a flavourful bacon soup.
For the mains, B had bacon wrapped elk and beef short ribs and I had sea bass with lobster-truffled potato crepes.  His elk was good (I almost ordered it), but my sea bass and crepes were awesome.  The crepes were filled with chunks (not shreds) of lobster meat.  The filling was also very creamy.  So good.

My sea bass and lobster crepe. 
What made the elk fell short was the incorporated horseradish.  We are just not big fans of horseradish. Wasabi is ok on sushi (well, B doesn't like that neither), but not on meat.  However, B solved the issue by cutting off the side of the elk with the horseradish, and enjoyed the rest of the dinner.  Just look how happy he is!

Happy B with his elk.
To finish off the dinner, we had a lava chocolate cake.  Sounds simple, but it was a fine dining experience   It was not sweet at all but so chocolaty at the same time.  It was paired with caramel popcorn and peanut butter ice cream.  Odd combination, but surprisingly good.  I forgot the photo AGAIN.  Please forgive me, since all I could think about was 'chocolate cake, must eat now'.

I'm glad this place met B's high expectations of fine dining.  I really like this place.  The food is very good.  Of course, it's not going to be a place we can go often (unless we win the next 649 draw), but it will be one of those places we would want to go again when we want to do something special!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Floors

While my new townhouse was still under warranty, my vinyl flooring in the kitchen was bubbling.  The reason was likely because there was moisture trapped in the subfloor when they installed the flooring.  The builder was willing to replace it while I wanted to upgrade it to laminate and willing to pay the difference. However, the whole thing just dragged on and on.  Builder had to contact contractor.  Contractor came out to see me a few times.  I had to choose a flooring and go back to the contractor.  The contractor go back to the builder for pricing.  Overall, there were a lot of back and forths.  Finally a quote came through and it was ridiculous.  Even giving up the builder's warranty credit, and buying the materials and tools and make it a diy project was not as expensive as what the contractor quoted me.

So after a few months of arguments with B (regarding silly things regarding spending money on tools, installation procedures, etc.) and laborious work  (by B, not me!) the floor is done.  Too bad I didn't take better "before" photos.  But here are some comparison photos, using "just moved in" as "before" photos.   They work!

The stairs
The Living Room
The Dining Area
The Kitchen

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Breakfast Sandwich

First things first... I'm on a roll with blogging!!!

Ok, now back to the subject.  I got this recipe idea from  It tastes so good because it's so high in everything bad for you (cholesterol, sodium, fat, etc).  To cut some unhealthy stuff, I used vegetable oil and margarine in place of butter, two slices of ham and cheese per sandwich, and no salt or pepper (why, there's enough salt in the ham).  Making these "kind" of sandwiches (i.e. having a piece of bread in a heated pan) requires patience.  You can't have the heat turn up too high, or else it will burn, and so having it on low heat setting means you need to wait for the egg to cook and not burn the bread.  I have to admit, my first sandwich was a bit on the burnt side.  Good thing B likes his bread toasted.  Well, he pretty much eats anything I cook because then he doesn't have to cook.  Nonetheless, he likes this, I like it.  It's all good, but I definitely need to go on the elliptical (or mall roaming for at least 4 hours, oh darn) after eating this sucker!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chinese Cooking

So after leaving the nest for almost 3.5 years now, I have learned to cook pretty well.  In fact, I quite like it, provided that I have time, such as the weekends.  As you have seen on previous posts, I had successful dishes, as well as complete failures.  However, the dishes I seem to enjoy making happened to be Chinese-style.  Maybe I grew up eating Chinese food or there is just so much variety (besides pasta and sauce).  This post is to celebrate some of my recent Chinese dishes, because I've only been gathering memories and not posting them.  Please put on a bib, as these photos may cause some drooling.  Just kidding!  Sorry, no detail recipes.  Seriously, I just buy whatever is on sale, and season whatever I can find in the house.  However, there is one important thing that all these dishes have in common:  A wok!

Clockwise from top left: Fish and Tomatoes, Bulgogi Beef, Chop Suey Vermicelli
Fish and Tomatoes:
I don't know how to describe it besides fish and tomatoes.  Well, I guess I also had onions in there, but the main ingredients are fish and tomatoes.  The sauce was mostly ketchup and some herbs (I like basil and oregano).  All mixed in a wok.  I guess this dish isn't quite Chinese, but whatever, it's cooked in a wok.

Bulgogi Beef:
Here's a cinch: buy slice beef and a big bottle of bulgogi sauce, put it all together in a wok and add in whatever vegetables you like (as you can see, I like carrots... sliced ones that you can buy to save time).  Ta da, done.

Chop Suey Vermicelli:
I really don't know what to call this, but I love vermicelli.  I seriously could devour this whole plate myself, but I can't be selfish as I now have a husband who needs to eat more than me.  Anyways,  to make the vermicelli easier to cook, it needs to be soaked for a few hours.  While it's soaking, decide what to have in it.  I had eggs, black Chinese mushrooms (those need to be soaked too, or else it will never cook and you'll be eating rocks), and suey choy.  Again, add it all into a wok and add some soy sauce and oyster sauce.
Left to right: Fish Paste stuffed in Tofu Puffs and Hairy Squash, Spicy Mussel Stir Fry
Fish Paste stuffed in Tofu Puffs
TnT had a sale on all these ingredients.  So what else can I do but to put all these three things together.  I remember when my mom used to make these.  I haven't had them for a while.  Yum.  Cut the puffs in half and stuff them with fish paste.  1 tsp will do.  I like to fry them up a little bit in the wok before adding the squash ('shaved' of course).  This gives them a little more... crispiness.  Sauce: soy sauce?

Spicy Mussel Stir Fry:
So I bought this pack of on sale mussels and it was sitting in the freezer for a long time.  It's time to eat it.  I also had a half wrinkling red pepper left.  Why not put them together?!  Yep, I put everything in a wok again and mixed it all together with some green onion.  As for the sauce, it was a mixture of some black bean sauce and Rooster hot sauce and dried chilli peppers.

Tofu Cupcakes
Tofu Cupcakes:
I really don't know what to call this, since I made this dish up on my own with no recipes.  The combination of tofu, fish paste, and a sausage on top does seem like a cupcake, icing and a cherry on top.  Ok, I'm pushing it.  Seriously, I made this one up based on what was on sale and what I had on hand.  Both the tofu and fish paste were on sale at TnT, but the tofu and fish paste together were too bland looking and probably taste wise too.  So why not add the some preserved sausage that's been sitting in my freezer for a while?!  I steamed this dish... in a wok.  It tasted fine the way it was, but I had a spoon with some soy sauce and Rooster hot sauce and it tasted even better after being dunked in it.  However, I will need to find a way to incorporate that without having to take the fish paste off the tofu, dunk it, and put it back on.  Any ideas?

My First Pair of Pumps

Christmas parties are coming up.  With B and my new job, I have enough dresses (to recycle) for Christmas parties (if they still fit).  However, I have no shoes.  Back in the days when I was a "wee" one, wearing a dress meant bare legs with sandals.  Therefore, I own a good number of dress sandals (yep, I have at least two pairs over 10 years old, and are still awesome - one being my prom sandals. I think I just divulged my age...)  Now that I'm older (and couldn't stand the Christmas cold), I'm in need for some pantyhose and a pair of pretty (grown up) dress shoes.
I'm a practical person.  I don't mind spending good money, but it better be well worth it - as in it could be worn many times for different occasions.  But as a girl, I can only be so practical.  I fell in love with Franco Sarto's black leather pumps with 0.5" platform and 4" heel.

A pretty pair of shoes deserves some photo editing.  LOL.
Yes, they are gorgeous.  For the last few years, I've only purchased "good for feet" shoes - Merrell, Keen, etc.  It's been a while since I bought a pair of "kill my feet in 2 minutes" shoes.  Beauty over comfort.  It's definitely a girl's thing.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Malibu Experience

So my car finally got into the shop to get the hail damage on my car repaired.  Since I also included a "car rental" allowance on my insurance policy, I got a car rental while my little Subaru is in the shop.  I was given two options: Enterprise or Discount.  I didn't really care, so they chose Discount for me. I should have made my own choice, and choose Enterprise.  This Discount seriously has the worse customer service.  It had a pickup service, and the driver didn't say hi, didn't say bye.  He was this kid who just had the look of "I hate this job."  Then the lady at the pick up desk was so zoned out.  Then I got the car, and the TPM said a tire was low in air.  The 'garage' guy came out and said, "I filled the tires and probably the gauge is not working.  You'll be fine."  Uh ok?  A rental car place giving a car to a customer that might have a flat tire and/or broke tire gauge.  Great.
So what car did I get?  An automatic black Chevy Malibu:
It was nice to drive an automatic again.  No jerking, and you just... park.  I do have to admit, when I first picked up the car, I felt like I needed to shift gears.  As for the car, the Malibu, it sucks.  It's heavy.  It doesn't handle.  The shocks suck; I felt every bump on the Henday.  Gas efficiency is bad; I used half a tank in 4 days.  Flex fuel my ass.
Based on this experience, I learned two things:
1. Chevy Malibu will not be on my "Potential Car" list.
2. Don't rent from the Discount on the west end of Edmonton.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Henday Bitchin'

I meant to blog about this earlier, but have been procrastinating and putting it off.

As some may know, the Anthony Henday is the outer ring road in Edmonton.  It is a very convenient way to travel around Edmonton.  The original design of it had tons of lights and stops (which was retarded), but after last year, overpasses had been constructed and most of the lights and stops had been taken away.  Now the Henday is usually pretty free flowing.

Last year exactly this same time of year, my exit off the Henday was completed.  I posted my bitching of how retarded it was.  This year, I have to bitch about repaving it.

The road is brand new - one year old and for the last two to three months, my turn off had been suffering significant slow downs and line ups because there is repaving going on.  Can we say WTF?!  I can't imagine repaving is required after 1 year.  Maybe I'm just dumb, and don't know the exact details of the road construction and maintenance schedule.  Let's just hope they'll get it done right this time.  I expect a 25 year service life on this.

The signs say the work will be done by mid October.  So for two more weeks, I will have to endure more line ups and more slow downs.  Sigh.  Oh well, at least I get to practice my stop and go in my standard.  Positive thinking.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Standard Driver

It's been a while since I last posted.  During this time period, we have lost one member in the Unit #83 household, but was quickly replaced by two new "members": a Scion FRS and a Subaru Impreza.

For my new job, having a vehicle is a must.  Therefore, our single car family became a double car family again (sigh... more expenses).  B bought a new asphalt gray Scion FRS, which has a manual transmission.  I'm of course is off limits, and his excuse was "you can't drive a standard, but if you can, you can drive it".

I love my Mini.  Technically, it was the first car I bought and own (well, the Golf was my first car that I drove full time... under a lease in my parents' name).  However, after Luigi's warranty period was over, it was problem after problem: the manifold intake required replacement, the passenger door won't unlock manually (even more weird), the engine shook after starting, and emergency brake light was on when the brake was off.  Just this year alone, I already spent $2000 on fixing the manifold issue.  The others remained unsolved.

So finally I decided to get a new car too: a cherry red Subaru Impreza.  

To be able to drive B's car, I also got a manual transmission.  About 10 years ago, I did take a 3 hour lesson on how to drive a standard.  It was an awful experience because the car was so old.  However, the benefit I got from that 3 hour lesson was that I did learn the 'skills' and retained 80% of it.  Hence, the driving experience for the last month or two was tolerable.  However, worried of stalling and rolling backwards, I put a "New Standard Driver" sign up, just to warn drivers to stay away.  It worked.  Yeah, I got some laughs from other drivers, but in general, many people have stayed away from me.  I should keep this sign up just to avoid being rear ended, but B thinks it's ugly and removed it.  

I thought with B here and with him picking out and buying a new car will end my bad luck with new cars.  WRONG!  Here's a brief history of my new cars:

2003 Golf
  • Before leaving the dealership, it got a rock chip in the windshield; however, it was the dealership's fault and so it was replaced.
  • About the second day it was on the road, I got hit and it got a 'scar' above one of the back wheels       
2008 Mini
  • Either it was the first or second day on the road, I got a rock chip in the windshield.
Although it doesn't seem too bad, it is bad for brand new cars!  So what's wrong with the Impreza?  Here it is:
  • Before leaving the dealership, the battery was dead.  They boosted it and the car was ok.
  • Less than two weeks old on the road, mother nature decided to send down hail from hell.  The Impreza got a lot of dents on the hood, the roof, and some on the door(s).  I claimed insurance and still waiting for an appraisal.
  • Approximately one month old on the road, I got a rock chip.  
Sigh.  I don't think I can get away with the rock chip.  It's frickin' summer and I still got a rock chip.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Little "Friend"

Last Thursday, I needed the car to run some errands during the day, and therefore, I had to wake up early in the morning to drive B to work.  Just when he got into the basement to go to the garage, he gasped, "I think I just saw a mouse!"  What?!  Not again?  To confirm, he peeked behind the laundry machine, and lo and behold, there was a mouse.  It then scurried away and hid under the machine.

Since my last mouse incident, I've been occasionally checking the floors for mouse poop (it's something I will have to do until the farm field across my place gets congested with houses).  I swear I haven't seen any for a while, and for sure none in the last few weeks.  So I'm pretty confident this new 'friend' just came in.

So after I picked B up from work, we went to buy some more traps.  B believed that since he is a 'rat' (chinese zodiac), he could also think like a mouse.  So I bestowed the mousetrapping responsibilities to him.  He thought he would trap something, while I thought the mouse might just leave, since I caught nothing the last time.  Well, guess what?  Before he went to work the next morning, he found this:

Poor little one, what mouse could withstand that big wad of peanut butter? 
Of course, B didn't pick it up and throw it out immediately.  He had to leave it there so that I can have a good look at it.  I, of course, stayed away from the basement all day until B got home from work.  Mind you, I'm not really scared of pet mice, since I had one before, but I can't say I'm fond of dead wild ones.  So before we left for Calgary for the long weekend, I went to the basement with B so that he could pick up the dead mouse to show me.  The poor girl (I inspected her) had already stiffened up after laying there dead for more than half the day.  I'm glad we caught her so quickly, and I also hope she didn't have any babies during her short stay here.   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Kitchen Toy

This past weekend I got myself a new kitchen toy: a food processor.  I never believed in these things.  The main reason was cost: why am I paying so much for a machine to chop my food, when I could just use a knife?  Also, there were other inexpensive solutions too:

Before, I tried to make chopping easier by buying (as in getting B to get me) a Slap Chop.  It was ok, but to clean tiny pieces of minced garlic/ginger was a little tedious.  You also have to be very careful that you don't cut yourself when scrapping the tiny bits off the zig-zag blade.  Washing a knife was much easier.  Also, your to-be-chopped food is limited to softer items (I had a hard time chopping potatoes). It does its job, but it had its limit.  This past year, it stayed in its little box most of its days.

To shred cheese, I have a cheese grater.  It seemed like a great idea at the time when we bought it at Superstore: buying cheese blocks to shred was much cheaper than buying a bag of shredded cheese.  However, after our first grating, washing that damn thing was pretty tedious.  We have avoided a lot of shredded cheese recipes.  The grater also sits inside our drawer for most of its days now.

I was reading some food and recipe blogs this weekend, and this one blogger said that her cooking life was made easier because her food processor did most of the laborious work, which included chopping, dicing, mincing, shredding, mixing, and etc.  Just by this, I was somewhat brainwashed and went to look for one.  There are a lot of food processors out there, but I wanted one that did more than just chop and grind.  And ta da: I found my little onyx black "KitchenAid 7-cup Food Processor with ExactSlice System".

I had two Bay gift certificates: one with $50, and one with a remaining of $6.  When I got to the Bay, it was not on sale.  Oh boo.  However, the nearest Home Outfitters is only a few blocks away, and oh yeah, it was $50 off (33% off).  After ringing in my gift certificates, I only had to pay another $48.  Nice job!

So how does it fare?  Not bad.  So far, we only sliced some mushrooms and shredded cheese for our homemade pizza.  And yes, the cheese shredding was great and the cleaning was not bad at all.  I'll be using it again tonight to make another project (a surprise I'll post later).  We'll see how well it shreds other items!  More food processing to come!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Edmonton Floods

Lately, there has been A LOT of rain and thunderstorms. A lot of basement floods had resulted from all the flood.  However, mine was not.  I guess my building's sump pumps were working well!  I live approximately one block away from a park, which consisted one of the few stormwater ponds in the community (I call them mosquito baby heavens).  The water in the pond had risen so much that the bridge, pathways, and vegetation were all underwater.  I took some photos, but too bad, some of the water had receded.  However, they still show the effects of the water in the park.

The stormwater pond.  Looks normal, eh?  Look closely (see below).

The last time I sat here, my feet were dry!

Some of the water had receded, but sections of the the pathway was still cover by water.  Look at the vegetation on the left, it's all brown and mucky from being underwater.
Thunderstorms and heavy rain are still happening.  Edmonton just had one last night and today.  However, I don't mind it too much.  It keeps the house cool.  I'm surprised my little Roshi is not afraid of the loud booms.  He just looks blankly or sleeps right through them.  My brave little guy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shanghai 456

Another person I know who also enjoy eating at holes in the wall is A, a coworker of mine.  She was the one who first took me to Shanghai 456 for lunch.  This place is a little cafeteria that is located inside an airport hangar.  The place was pretty good, and so I took B to it and let him have a try.

Shanghai 456 - Building 18, 49 Airport Road in Edmonton
When you eat Shanghainese food, you have to order Xiao Long Bao (小龍包).  However, typical places that claim they make these well make them not so well.  They are usually very dry. Shanghai 456 makes them the way they should be made: a doughy pocket enclosing the meat AND the juice. Yum.  
小龍包 - there were six or seven, but I forgot to take the photo before eating them
Can you see the juice inside?
Another good dish that they had was the dumplings.  They also had juice inside.  Since I didn't want to order the same thing I had for my first lunch here, we ordered some noodles and this beef flank and tendon dish.  They were pretty good as well.  B was pretty happy and would like to go again.  However, we'll let the grease settle for a bit before coming back.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Won Jung Gak

One thing I love to do is search out local "hole in the wall" restaurants. They typically have the homemade tasty and usually, delicious food. This past weekend, I was a little tired of our neighborhood cuisine, and decided to look for another hole in the wall in Edmonton: Won Jung Gak.

I came upon this place by looking for restaurants in Edmonton and also searching "Edmonton hole in the wall", and funny, restaurant listings do come up! There were quite a number of good reviews for this place and a good warning about its MSG usage!

Anyways, this place truly defines "hole in the wall". It is hidden among blocks of semi run-down concrete blocked, light industrial buildings on the south end of the city. B was like, "Are you sure there will be a restaurant here?" because all we saw were closed car and machine shops. However, the little building came into view, and it could not be missed since it's the only building in the area with Korean and Chinese characters on it!

Won Jung Gak, a little Korean restaurant at 9655 62 Avenue 
Too bad we were not too hungry that day. So we just ordered something 'light'. I read good things about their noodles topped with black bean sauce, and their spicy soup noodles. What was great was that they had a "double bowl" serving both. It's a typical Asian noodle soup bowl, but with a divider in the middle. The brain of this restaurant is genius!

This bowl is genius!
The noodles were GLORIOUS. I just love chewy (彈牙) noodles. The black bean sauce topping was interestingly good. It's nothing like the Lee Kum Kee jar of black bean sauce in my fridge. I can't quite describe it.  It's not very salty, but just flavorful in its own way.  And damn, the spicy soup was spicy. For certain, I was chomping down mouthful of MSG. Usually when I intake MSG, I have this stingy feeling in my mouth, but here, it could also be mistaken by that spicy soup. B also ordered a noodle soup, but in a beef broth. It was pretty good, but bland compared to my dish. However, that's because my dish was on the flavorful (MSG filled) side!

Would I come back again? Oh yeah, and on an empty stomach to taste other Korean dishes - bulgogi, my favorite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Weekend Cooking

Weekends are the time to make big meals so that there will be leftovers for most of the remaining week.  The more leftovers, the less cooking I will have to do during the week.  I cooked plenty this past weekend.  This is what I made:

The green dish contained cod and tomatoes. Unfortunately the cod fillets were frozen so it tasted quite fishy.

The round dish with handles has my favorite: fun-see (clear vermicelli).  Love this stuff.

The last dish is B's favorite, stir fried beef in bulgogi sauce.

New Toy!

B's original birthday present for me was dancing lessons, which I think is very romantic since that is how we met. However, at that time (April) he might have forgotten that spending time with me outside the home equals spending time away from his computer, and away from Diablo 3 (I hate that game). Since I wanted a tablet, it's his way to keep me busy while he's playing. It's a pretty sweet toy, but I still think I want his attention more.

Asus Transformer Pad TF300 with keyboard dock

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's June already?!

Wow, it has been four months since I'd last posted, and so much had happened!  Even the layout of Blogger changed!!!  I guess I did had time to post something, but I got lazy.

So in April, I hit the big 3-0.  Do I feel 30?  No.  Do I look 30?  I got my ID checked not too long ago.  So guess not!  Although I'm nothing like 30, being at that number does scare me a bit.  Me being older also means my parents are getting older as well.  The biggest fear in my life is not my own death, but my parents'. Since I'm the only child, their passing means I will be the only one left.  To me, that is very scary.

However, since May 2, I got married.  However, to me, a husband is not the same as parents.  Husbands can come and go (although I shun upon that idea), but parents are blood.  With them physically gone, it's like a part of me will go missing.

But let's forget that depressing topic and back to my wedding!  We had a small little wedding ceremony and dinner in beautiful Hawaii.  I love Hawaii.  It's one of those places I could always go to.  After the wedding, B and I ditched our friends and family (kind of, they also left pretty much soon after the whole wedding was over) and hopped on a cruise and sail around the islands.  Because of this cruise, I will HAVE TO return to Hawaii to see it some more. Did I mention I love Hawaii?!

After being back to Alberta, we had a dinner reception in Calgary to celebrate some more.  Our friends did an awesome job MC-ing the reception.  From the feedbacks I got, everyone had a great time.  My "little" photobooth set up was also a hit.  Great photos!

Just last week, I had my first trip to Grande Prairie.  If I was an engineer in the O&G sector, Grande Prairie would likely be a town I would go often.  Since I'm not, it was my first.  Surprisingly, I didn't mind it.  However, their best sushi restaurant was the worse I ever tasted.  Sad.

And now June is here.  Nothing big planned, but I might have another trip to Compeer, Alberta.  I didn't even know this place existed.  It's going to be a long drive and long day.  Oh well, that's work!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ikea Hack

During my break at work, I discovered the Ikea Hackers website, and OMG, I was in love! I love and hate Ikea products. I love the cost (well, about 80% of the time), but I hate the look. When you see an Ikea product, it screams "IKEA". After discovering this website, I realize I can definitely use my creativity and construction skills to make some useful pieces.

So B moved in two weeks ago (that's the newest thing that happened since the last blog entry), and he needed a computer desk. My office area is limited because it needs to hold my n-thousand dollars worth of crafting supplies.

This was taken last year when I newly moved in.
100" x 105" = Limited office space

Since his desk only needs to hold his computer stuff, and maybe a pencil, I placed his workspace in the closet. Ikea hack time! We walked around Ikea and found this:

I don't think that triangular brace can hold up the computer monitor very well, and I don't think the hinge is a good idea. The table was a little small for the closet too. Time to put on my thinking cap!

B had an Ikea bed, but that poor thing retired. It broke a few limbs after his numerous moves. However, I told him to keep the bed slats for wood scraps for my potential Ikea hack projects (note the plural). They sure came in handy with this hack.

With six slats, I formed two side ledges for the table to sit on. I wanted a third one at the 'back' for more stability, but B wanted to skip it because 1. he's lazy, 2. the gap is good for his cables.

After a few trips to the hardware store for proper tools, and a night of me supervising and B constructing, the table is done. My first Ikea hack is born. Not bad at all.

Closet door removed. Slat ledgers anchored. Table connected. Computer plugged in.