Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Today's weather was absolutely....... white. I woke up to a nice snowstorm that buried the entire town under a thick layer of snow, left cars stuck at every corner and pedestrians walking with their legs completely lost under the snow. The good thing about me working on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day is that I got today off. I was one of the lucky few who could've spent the whole without setting foot outside. But of course, leave it up to me to feel the need to go take pictures outside. "I'll get some crazy shots! It's only snow, how bad can it be?!"

To be honest, it wasn't cold. I was well prepared - had my earmuffs, wore a hoodie under my parka, made sure to wear my scarf and gloves to keep me warm. It was more the wind and the 30 cm of snow in my backyard that made it difficult. I felt I was in the North Pole, ready to walk into Santa Claus at any moment. I don't regret going out, I had fun! I just wished the conditions were a tad bit better for me to get better photos.


Chocolate Season

A month without posts, you know what that means... I just survived final exams! I made it out alive, so it's a good thing! However, this means I work crazy hours at work because it's the holidays - don't you just love working in retail! This is when I cannot be any happier at the fact I have Deloitte waiting for me to start next fall!

My plans for catching up with sleep is absolutely failing. There has been maybe one night since the start of my vacation where I actually slept in. Sad, isn't it. Despite me really wanting to sleep, I seem to always choose going out with friends and live my social life at its fullest while I still can before school starts again.Who needs sleep when you have friends, right? I know you all think I'm crazy agree with me.

As exhausted as I was from serving last minute Christmas shoppers all day, I met up with my friend S for some girl time. Juliette & Chocolat recently opened at Dix30 and we chatted over some delicious dark, semi-sweet hot chocolate and caramel fleur de sel chocolate mousse - fancy isn't it? I didn't feel much of the holiday spirit until I stood in front of the newly opened J&C, where beautiful light ornaments where installed along with a gorgeous, gorgeous Christmas tree lit up, in the middle of the square. Of course, at that very moment, there was some light snow floating in the air, slowly falling to the ground. Beau-ti-ful, I tell you. Beau-ti-ful. At the end of the night, I felt that I suffered from several diabetes attacks due to the high amount of sugar I consumed. But every now then, it's always fun to indulge, especially when you're with a friend.


Mon Shu Girl

Karl Lagerfeld x Shu Uemura is honestly one of the most exciting collaborations everrrr!! For this holiday season, Shu Uemura teamed up with Karl Lagerfeld, legendary designer, to release a large collection of make up, skin care, brushes and lashes, with colors and package designs selected and created by Karl himself!

Shu Uemura has always been one of my favorite cosmetic brands. My obsession with Shu began when I first got my hands on their Fiber Xtension mascara, which very sadly, no longer exists. Best masacara I've ever used. I seriously don't know why it's discontinued. Now, I am a huge fan of the cleansing oils and of course of the indispensable eyelash curler. I use both of these two items daily and will keep using them! The eyelash curler just fits my almond shaped eyes perfectly, unlike a few other brands with which I always struggled to curl my lashes. The brand's philosophy, innovation , quality (the colors are always beaaauuutiful) and packaging are the reasons why I love love it so much. Plus, the fact that it's a Japanese is definitely a plus for my inner Japanese girl. Did you know Karl Lagerfeld uses the pressed shadows the sketch his designs? When I said the colors are beautiful, I really mean it. Even Uncle Karl agrees!

Now that I've explained why Shu Uemura is so amazing, let me tell why I think this collab is amazing too..... Well, it's very simple. Uncle Karl = amazing. Shu Uemura= amazing. KL + SU = amazing + amazing = AMAZING. Logical, no?

Honestly, I am obviously over doing it, but I really do think it's a great collection. The palettes are quite nice and the packaging is really cute. The icon, Mon Shu Girl, is the merger of the Japanese cute anime and Uncle Karl's coolness.  I haven't had the chance to stop by the SU counter at Holt Renfrew, but I will be doing it very soon. I am thinking of purchasing the lipstick in Parisienne Pink...

Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura

Parisienne Pink (first from left)
Pictures from Beautezine



Can you guess what this post is about? I think I made it pretty evident through the title. But yes, Skyfall! How excited are you? I am bloody excited! Part of the reason why I am so obsessed with the British is because of James Bond (and because of Harry Potter & David Beckham). But seriously, James Bond is the real definition of swag. There is just no one as cool as him.

Ever since the trailer first came out, I've been a good girl, patiently waiting for the movie to come out. However, after hearing Adele sing the movie's theme song, it's getting harder to contain my excitement! The song, simply title 'Skyfall' is a ballad, which Adele sings beautifully with just enough melodrama. Her strong vocals and her British roots really make her the perfect singer for Skyfall. Adele and James Bond - what a brilliant combination! The song has been on repeat for a while on my playlist now and I'm sure I will still be listening to it for quite some time, just like most of Adele's songs. Funny how most things I like are British...


Oreo Wednesday

What do you do on your day off? You make deep fried Oreos stuffed with bananas, obviously. The video came up on my Twitter feed recently and I decided to give it a try since it was a super simple recipe. It was a nice to finally spend a day doing anything but school related work. Lies - I did write a few emails for JMAS, but that's just my workaholic side.

I took some pictures, which means I took take out my D5100! I missed it so much! Honestly I should've taken this day off to go shoot given it was a beaaaauuutiful day. But whatever, these heart-attack-in-a-bite were totally worth it. Of course, leave it up to me to forget to take pictures of the final product because I was too busy stuffing my face. I'll have to admit, I wasn't sure how these fried banana Oreos would turn out. Especially with the stares my sister was giving me. She did end up liking them, so I win. Maybe next time I will make them with Fudgee-Os instead of Oreos. Deep fried choco-banana deliciousness? Hell yeah.

Temporary Freedom

Midterms are over, yes!

My plan right now is literally to spend a day doing absolutely nothing. Although I recently saw on Youtube, a deep fried Oreos stuff with bananas recipe and I think I am going to try it. At first, the name of the recipe totally turned me off, but on second thought, it seems pretty interested. So, I'm going to give it a try and we shall see! It feels great to be free again, even if it's only temporary. Final exams will here soon enough.

On another note, it's official - I have signed with Deloitte! As of October 2013, I will be working as a Staff Accountant at the Montreal office. I couldn't be happier with my decision. For the longest time, I always aimed to get recruited at Ernst & Young, but after this past recruitment season, I have come to realize that Deloitte is much better for me. I can't wait to start!


The Offers

For the past few years, my goal was to graduate from university with a job waiting for me. After all the efforts I've put into my studies, I was ecstatic when I received job offers from PwC and Deloitte - I couldn't believe I had actually received two offers from the two biggest accounting firms in the world! It's been weeks since the verbal offers have been made and yet I still can't believe the great opportunities that are available to me. I am so glad that my efforts didn't go to waste and that hardworking students are rewarded.

Written offers were sent out today and I happily received both of mine by email. I won't say which firm I have chosen just yet - I will once I hand in my signed offer! All I can say for now is that this is definitely one of the many milestones of my life. If you asked me in early September if I was excited to graduate, the answer would have been "no". Now, I can't wait to finish my undergraduate studies and to start life as a working woman! This is definitely something I look forward to. But the biggest question is, what should I do with my $2,000 signing bonus?


Life in Three Paragraphs

It's that time of the year again! Recruitment season is coming to an end and midterms are fast approaching. In other words, it's time for the "hey-let's-procrastinate-and-write-a new-post-on-the-blog-I've-neglected" posts!

Last time I wrote, I was on the other side of the world, all the way in China, enjoying life without access to Facebook. Fast forward to September, another school year,  another CPA, CA recruitment season. It was basically two weeks of running around attending firm tours and meeting firm representatives while going to school. Thank god JMAS has Sabizzle, who devoted herself to coordinate everything! Thank you, Sabizzle! Thank you, thank you, thank youuuuu! Following the networking, it was time for interviews. That translates into anxiously waiting for interview invitations and dying of stress while waiting for offers to come your way...

Finally, after all that chaos, here we are in October... I know what you're thinking; did I end up finding a job? I sure did! My hard work finally paid off and I walked out with not one, but two job offers from two major accounting firms! All there's left to do is to actually choose which offer I am going to accept. Although I pretty much have an idea which firm I will choose.... ;) I shall keep it a secret for now, but I will hear from me soon enough - I pinky swear to you.


"Give Me One Day & I'll Give You a Thousand Years"

Here I am, sitting in my hotel room in Hangzhou, exhausted from the day. This morning, after  brief visit to the Bund and Nanjing street in Shanghai, we traveled to Hangzhou, an old Chinese capital years and years ago. What I like the most about this city is it's importance in the history of China (also beacause and it's clean and beautiful). We mainly visited Xi Hu (West Lake) and it's bloody gooooorgeoussss. The landscape is mind blowing with the green mountains over the lake. It's literally like the Chinese paintings! The place has also temples and gardens, so it's really nice place to walk around. However, the temperature is incredibly high and the amount of visitors is just too much. I know China is a crowded place, but you don't really know what "China is crowded" means until you've actually stepped foot on Chinese soil and see the sea (more like ocean) of people. Worst part of it all, Chinese people aren't always the most well mannered people. The amount of times someone walked into me, (despite having enough space to walk by without shoving themselves onto me) without apologies is impossible to count. People shout, push, pull, cut lines and do all sorts of things that most people would probably condemn in the West. But, despite all of this, I am really enjoying my time in China. There's so much culture and the scenery is to die for.

We ended our day with a cabaret show at the Song Dynasty Town (it's a bit like a Song Dynasty themed amusement park). The Romance of the song Dynasty was crraaaaaazy! The show is based on Hangzhou's history and mythology. The show consisted of singing, dancing and acrobatics. I thought it would be a cheesy show, but it really wasn't. It's totally exceeded my expectations. I found out afterwards that this show is actually one of the top three famous cabaret shows in the world (the other two are shows in Paris and Las Vegas). It's such a shame they only show in Hangzhou. I think it's just as good as a Cirque du Soleil show.


Up In The Air

There are so many reason why a person can hate flying. You're confined to a seat for a long time (in my case, it's a 15 fifteen hour flight from Toronto to Shanghai), a non stop engine sound in the background, the smell of recycled oxygen or you could be simply scared shitless because of all the terrorist attacks that have occurred in the past. The list could go on and on. But me, I LOVE flying. I love being in the plane.I love plane food, I love the smell of the plane and I love sitting there, in that seat, looking out the window and be in the clouds. It's amazing to be up in the air and see the small, tiny houses and cars down there. Some of the urban planning designs are really great!

While landing in Toronto, I got the see the city's cityscape with the CN Tower in the background. This is one of the reasons I love flying. You get the see views that you'll never otherwise be able to see! I wish I had take a picture. But, I just couldn't stop starring and by the time it clicked in my head that I need to capture this view, the plane was already turning around, getting ready to land. I've flown quite a few times in my life and I always make the same amateur mistake. I always get distracted by the amazing sight that I completely forget to immortalize it. Usually, this is when I'd end my post saying that I won't make the same mistake again, but I know I will, so I won't.


See You Soon, China

This is it. I leave in less than 24 hours! I am slowly getting more and more excited. Being Asian, I am often asked if I have ever visited China. The sad answer is no. Although, in my defense, I was born in Taiwan... so it's normal that I've never been to the Mainland, especially when I moved to Canada when I was five. That being said, I still haven't finished packing! I am usually not this last minute, but I been busy lately. Plus, after my exam yesterday, I needed some time to relax, so I went to La Fontana with a few of my closest friends for drinks and dessert. It was so great to sit down with them and talk about the most random things!

Lounging outside before the rain
While I am super psyched about my trip, I am also a bit nervous. The ending leg of my vacation is a three day stay in....... TOKYO, JAPAN! And, trust me, I can't wait! But, due to the fact that I took Japanese this summer, my dad is expecting me to put in practice everything I have learned. Can you feel the pressure? Because I sure do. What if I unintentionally offend someone? What if I am not polite enough? It's so easy to be impolite when speaking in Japanese because there are so many forms of politeness. I guess I will have brush up on my Japanese on the plane.


また後で (mata ato de) : See You Later

My Japanese class finally came to an end. I wrote the final exam this past Thursday, after spending the entire night cramming all kinds of grammar rules and vocab. Let's just say it was a long, long, long, long night. After the exam, we all went for lunch at Sakura, where we surprised our teacher and TA with flowers and thank you cards.It was actually a super sad moment. We literally spent everyday together for the past two months and a half. Oi sensei was so kind and patient with us, it was unbelievable. She always walked into class with a huge smile, while all of us sat in there with our tired and annoyed faces - I actually feel guilty now. Soyama sensei, our beloved TA will be so dearly missed. Every afternoon we've spent in class with her was always filled with laughter and funny stories. So many times I wanted to skip class on a sunny afternoon, but I was never able to do it because of her. The thought of missing her class always made me feel so bad, so I never skipped. Although, very often I would just sit there half asleep, not listening - I am honestly a really bad student aren't I? I am super grateful to have gotten two such great instructors.

I am also grateful for the amazing classmates I had. They are kind and funny. Everyone got along amazingly and we all became friends, which was totally unexpected to me.  I was never the type of person who didn't get along with classmates, but we befriended each other so quickly and often hung out after class.They made learning Japanese that much more enjoyable. I grew quite close with a few of them and I am so glad to have them as friends. On Thursday night, JP invited us over to his apartment for a "graduation" party. It was a bittersweet moment because while we celebrated the end of the class, it also reminded us that what had brought all together in the first place is leaving all of us. If I was intoxicated when I left, I think I would've cried. We all promised stay in touch with each other. But you know how it is - it's always easier said than done.


一 期一会 (ichi go ichi e)

Recently, my classmates and I went to the Montreal Japanese Canadian Cultural Center for a Japanese tea ceremony demonstration. I didn't have much knowledge about tea ceremonies, so I was looking forward to it. Although I wasn't actively participating in the ceremony (I was merely an observant on the side, as there were only two spots available for students to join), being part of a ceremony is much harder than it seems. As guest, you are sitting on your legs during the entire time and not allowed to move around or shift positions. I am not going to lie, there were moments during the demonstration where I was falling. All you do is watch the tea master prepare tea according to the Way of Tea!  On the other hand, as a host, you are required to serve tea following a sequence of precise movements. A complete formal ritual can last up to four hours!

An important part the tea ceremony is the concept of 一 期一会 (ichi go ichi e), which literally means "one moment, one meeting". It pretty much translates into that each moment is unique, and must be lived to the fullest and treated with the utmost sincerity. This saying goes hand in hand with tea ceremonies as the objective of the latter is to clear your hear of all distractions and really focus on the present moment.  

During the demonstration, matcha was served. Even if only two of my classmates got to participate in the ceremony, the rest of us still got to drink some matcha. I've always heard that matcha served in the rituals were always quite bitter, and hence why a sweet is always offered to the guest before they drink the tea. Likewise, I was offered some azuki mochi right before receiving my bowl of matcha. To my big surprise, there was only a tiny bit of tea in the bowl, and the matcha wasn't bitter at all! It was delicious! If given the opportunity again, I'd love to be part of the ceremony. Who knows, maybe I'll get an invitation from a tea master when I go to Japan next month!

Samia & I enjoying some Sencha after the ceremony


When I say Sake, You Say Bomb

Rainbow bomb
Saturday night,  Lynn and I had dinner at Deville before heading to Imadake for drinks, where things got quite interesting. I started off the evening with a glass of plum wine, waiting for the others to arrive. Then suddenly, this cute guy from the table next to us gave us half his bottle of plum wine!  Totally unexpected, but definitely appreciated! Too bad he was with two other girls. Next thing you know, a bachelor party walks in. The Asian groom-to-be was dressed as a women with a "Cheap Asian Whore" sign. For a low price of $1, we got to spank him with a leather belt. He walked around Imadake, asking to be spanked and ended up chilling at a our table for a bit. He was crazy, but so were we. The more the merrier, right? Of course, who goes to an izakaya without having sake bombs? Definitely not us. And so we ordered rainbow bombs which ended up splashing over my brand new BCBG silk shirt. I had not had a crazy night like this in a long time. Met some cool people and had tons of fun (except the next morning when I saw my shirt stained like no tomorrow). The cheap Asian whore definitely made our night unforgettable. 



On Friday, my class and I went on another field trip. We went to the Samurai exhibition at Pointe-a-Calliere, Montreal's history and archaeology museum. The exhibition was small, but filled with interesting pieces. They had everything from armors, to blades, katana swords and various accessories.  But very unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take any pictures. So, I ended up only snapping only a few shots at the entrance with my classmates.

Despite the small size of the exhibition (the entire collection was displayed in one room), we still had a guide who walked us around the items and explained the origins of samurais. I was never really familiar with the samurai culture, so it was great to have him around.



Current Obsessions

As usual, when an exam approaches I find all sorts of things to do instead of actually studying. Most of the time, I just browse the web. Tonight, the Internet brought my to Colette's website where I discovered Aimée.Aimer's 18K yellow gold rings with various precious stone options.The jewelry line is to die for with  all the feminine touches like bows and pearls. If I had money to spend at this very moment, I'd definitely would be buy those gorgeous rings. Another obsession of mine right now is Celine. I've always been the flashy girl who likes to stand out and who refuses to blend into the crowd. But I've come to appreciate the simplicity, minimalism and the uber high chic factor the fashion house offers. Maybe it's because I am starting to get old... But honestly, everything Celine just comes together so beautifully to the point that no one can screw up an outfit.

Aimée.Aimer 18K yellow gold rings

Pictures from Colette


Sangria & Gelato

Despite my material intensive Japanese class, I still spend much of my time hanging out with my friends - or wasting my time doing randoms things- when I probably should be busy studying Japanese grammar. But with the nice weather (especially lately with the hot temperatures), it's really hard to stay in when you can be in the sun, getting that much needed vitamin D. My point being, life is too short to be sitting at a desk all day/night long. Which is why I met up with my best friends my high school recently and we caught up over sangria and gelato at one of my favorite summer spots, La Fontana in Dix30. The three of us used to be inseparable in high school, but unfortunately we all went our separate ways upon graduation. However, we still make sure we meet up when we can to see what's everyone up too and reminisce about the five years we spent together. It's cool and strange in some way, to see how far I've come and how much my life changed over the years.

Helene, myself & Julien

Fun fact:
Julien & I dated in secondary 3 and  in sec. 5 and yes we remained friends!


日本庭園 (nihon teien): Japanese Garden

A few weeks back, as part of my Japanese summer course, we spent a lovely afternoon at the Montreal Botanical Garden walking around the Japanese Garden followed by a spontaneous stop at the Chinese Garden.

At the Japanese garden, we had a guide who walked us through the Tea Garden as well as the Zen Garden. Of course, the teacher had requested the tour guide to speak to us in Japanese. The guide did explain some parts using English, because obviously, not many of us understood half of what she said. For the parts that I did understand, which weren't many, there are many styles and many principles to follow when it comes to traditional Japanese gardening. Walking through the Tea Garden was amazing. All the elements made is so peaceful and relaxing. Plus, the symbolism behind all the different parts make it that much more interesting.

After the Japanese Garden, we still had some time left, so we walked over to the Chinese Garden. It was pretty and all, but I personally found the Japanese Garden to be more intriguing. Maybe because we had a guided tour, which really helped me understand the meaning behind the gardens' landscaping.

Tea Garden

Tea Garden

Zen Garden

Japanese Garden

Chinese Garden

Chinese Garden


My Poor Bloggie Take 2

A gazillion years later, I am finally back on my blog. This poor little baby has been abandoned so, so many times!

It's not officially summer yet, but I my head it already is. Although Mother Nature hasn't provided Montreal with much sunshine lately, the temperature is definitely slowly rising, which is good and bad at the same time. It's a good thing because I hate being cold, but bad thing because going to class requires me to walk up this huugeee hill. So, by the time I get to class, I am sweating all the water in my body out! Speaking of class, yes, I am taking summer classes again. But this time around, it's actually a fun class as I am taking First Level Japanese! I've been wanting to learn Japanese for a while, so I am super excited about this class. The course started 2 weeks ago, and I have learned so much already! I am hoping that there will be a trip to Japan at the end of this summer. I am going to need to practice whatever I learned, right?


My Poor Bloggie

Clearly, I have been neglecting my poor little in recent weeks! Since my last post, I have been kept quite busy. Between school, extracurriculars, work, birthday party and midterm, the blog just went to the back of my head. Story of my life.... oh I also forgot there was also Spring break, but I actually kept myself busy by taking on extra shifts.

But now that exams are over and I have a week or two before I start prepping for finals, I will be posting more!


Some Winter Fun

Winter, winter, winter. What a dull season - you agree? Thankfully, I've attended some cool events lately that kept me busy! If not, I'd be thinking about how great my life was last winter, roaming around Europe like a free bird.

First, JMAS Winter Cocktail..... I worked hard to plan it, and it turned out good. Good food, great people, wonderful evening. Unfortunately, I haven't received the pictures from the photographer yet, so can't post any. Let me tell you thought, that at the end of the night, I was dead! It was so hard trying not to fall asleep on the metro. 

The very next evening, it was the CASA Winter Retreat! What started off as a slow evening, turned into a business-school-students-become-pro-lap-dancers night! I guess the open bar allowed all of us to let loose. I, however, was a lady and laughed my heart out as people shaked their booty.... on others' lap (and I also snapped TONS of pictures. Sneaky me). I was exhausted, but having so much fun at the same time. You know that feeling where your super tired and want to go to sleep, but at the same time refuse to leave? Yeah, that's how I was feeling.



Pin, Pin, Pin, Pintrest!

I realize I haven't  written very much lately.... and I blame Pintrest for making me obsessed with pinning and repinning pins! It's all I ever do now! (that and reading Texts From Bennett - it's super hilarious, check it out!) Other than spending much time on those two websites, I have also been busy planning this huge networking cocktail for JMAS. But what about school work...?  Did someone say school work? What school work.... oh yeah... school... we'll talk about that later...

But going back to Pintrest, it's essentially is a website on which you create boards and you "pin" what your inspirations, what you like, pretty much all your intrests (pin your interest... Pintrest... get it?). Obviously, just like everything else on the Internet, you get to see what others pin and others see what you pin! You can follow each other, like each others' pins and repin on your own board what other have pinned. That's a lot of bloody pins and pinning! But it's seriously a lot of fun and entirely addictive. Don't tell me I didn't warn you!

If you're curious, you can go see my boards and pins on my Pintrest profile! Follow me while you're at it!


So Yesterday

I can't believe it's already over. Seems like yesterday, I just wrote my last final and the holidays were just starting. Today was the beginning of the Winter 2012 semester and my first day back at university. The past two weeks have been more tiring than when I'm at school. Between work, work, work, work, seeing friends and spending quality time with the family, I somehow find myself having less time for myself and to sleep. On my very last day of vacation, I realized how little time I spent at home, even if staying in, doing nothing was among one of the things I really wanted to do during my vacation. Funny how every time get the time to do things I've been wanting to do, I always end up doing something else... Maybe that should be one of my new year's resolution: stick to my plans...?