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Summer Fun

I can’t believe it’s the end of August already!  I’ve always loved the summer, from all the wonderful festivals and the long hours of daylight to traveling abroad (in our case, to Tokyo at the beginning of June!).  It’s been a great summer, and I’m thankful I’ve been able to enjoy the summer months in my pregnancy with enough energy.  I thought I’d share some of our adventures with you through these photos!

It’s been a tradition ever since I was young to visit the exhibition whenever it came into town (known as Klondike Days or Capital Ex for us).  Indulging in carnie food is a must, so we ended up trying “The Colossal Onion” (a delicious deep fried onion that looks like a blooming flower!), freshly cut and fried chips, cotton candy, a caramel milk chocolate apple (this has always been one of my favourite treats), and a corn dog.  Don’t worry…we shared all this food among five people!  This would’ve been wayyy too much for just the two of us!

One of the most beloved festivals here is called the ”Heritage Festival" in which 62 pavillions representing over 85 cultures from all over the world are featured to showcase Canada’s multiculturalism.  Each pavillion makes their own specialty dishes and crafts and demonstrates different performances.  This festival always happens during the first weekend of August, and it is always very hot since it takes places in an open park with little cover and shade!  We braved the heat and tried some delicious food items.  One of our favourite items was the "Mango’s Loco" from Guatemala, which is a mango on a stick rolled in lime juice and spices.  Everyone was carrying these, and they were so juicy and ripe!  You can try making your own with this recipe here!

It’s also been fun trying different recipes this summer too!  Last month I blogged about our lychee frozen yogurt recipe.  I decided to try making a pineapple sorbet as all you need to do is puree pineapple, add sugar, churn it and then freeze it!  Sorbets, gelatos, ice creams and frozen yogurts are perfect for summertime :)  We’ve also been eating a lot of fresh fruit, and I had to use up some blueberries before they went bad, so I found this absolutely amazing recipe here for blueberry muffins (they are aptly titled “To Die For Blueberry Muffins”!). The streusel topping is so delicious, and the muffin itself is very moist- I highly recommend checking this recipe out!

One summer day I had a baking date with my foodie friend Lillian who blogs over at “Beyond Umami”.  We made madeleines, which are small French sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape.  It was my first time making them, but Lillian brought all the necessary supplies and gave me baking tips along the way.  Check out my piping skills and the beautiful finished products :)

I love love love Chinese desserts, from sweet tapioca soups and tong yuens to lian gao.  Whenever we go to Chinese bakeries, I always search for “boot jai goh's”, which are chewy Chinese pudding cakes with a delicious almond flavour.  I've been trying to make some of these desserts at home, and I found a recipe for boot jai goh that I really like!  You can find it here.  I’ve been experimenting with different recipes, but this one is the best so far.  Apparently if you’ve followed the recipe correctly, a “belly-button” in the little cake should form…thankfully they appeared in mine!  Don’t they look yummy and nicely-shaped?  I substituted yellow rock sugar instead of typical white sugar which gave them a more authentic taste!  

I’m so glad I got to finally host another give-away this summer too!  It’s always fun with the level of participation and hearing from people all over the world.  Two of these prizes went to the US and one went to Australia!

Another exciting thing that happened this summer was the purchase of our sewing machine!  Home ec was never offered at my school, so learning how to thread the machine and sew was a daunting task for me!  I’m so thankful for sewing blogs, tutorials and youtube videos that made everything a whole lot easier.  There were mishaps along the way, but it was fun trying out all these different stitches.  Our first major project were the curtains for our nursery!  I will show you the results once our nursery is finished, but I’m pretty proud of how the curtains turned out!  I’m such a newbie at sewing and I can’t wait to try more projects!  Do any of you pro sewers have any tips or ideas for good beginner projects?

We went to some fabric stories to look for patterns for our nursery, and look at this awesome sale on buttons we found- 2 bags for $1!  I picked up these green and fuscia pink buttons to use on baby hats and future projects :)

At a friend’s birthday tea party this summer, everyone made their own fascinators!  There were shoulder pads (for the base), flowers, lace, ribbon, tulle and plenty of materials available, and I thought it was such a great idea.  Everyone’s fascinators looked so unique and beautiful, and group photos were cute with these lovely pieces adorning everyone’s hair!  Here is the one I made!  It just so happened this lace matched perfectly with my crocheted top :)

I love Broadway musicals, and I was disappointed when we were unable to get tickets to see Mary Poppins the last time we were in New York.  I was very excited when I heard they were touring across Canada and making a stop here!  The magical effects and tap dancing were wonderful, and I loved the choreography and performance of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!

Ryan is a big anime fan, and we’ve been watching plenty of anime shows and movies since getting married.  One of the events we were greatly looking forward to attending this summer was the “Animethon”, and we went with my brother (another big anime fan)!  I love seeing all the cosplaying and although we didn’t cosplay (I’m sure one day we will!), I wore my Hello Kitty glasses from Tokyo and ”Nerdy but Cute” Hello Kitty shirt!  We watched some anime, browsed Artist Alley (so many talented anime artists!), watched the cosplay contest and some of a Smash Bros tournament and shopped around the Vendor Hall.  While in the Vendor Hall, I got to try out the “Necomimi”, a set of battery-powered cat ears that supposedly react to brainwaves, making the ears wiggle.  It was fun trying them out, but I couldn’t control them very well…plus they were a hefty price!

Trying to get into the spirit of all things cute and kawaii, this is the bag I carried around the Animethon: my popsicle/ice cream/dessert bag adorned with some Totoro keychains I got from the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, buttons courtesy of Oborocharms and my cotton candy amigurumi teddy from last year’s giveaway.  I also picked up this absolutely adorable pink dumpling from the Vendor Hall of Animethon- wouldn’t this make a cute amigurumi?  I’ll have to keep this in mind for a future project…   

The other purchase I made were these kawaii buttons!  Food looks so much cuter when they have faces :D  I thought these all would make great ideas for future amigurumi too!  Animethon was lots of fun, and one day we hope to go to Comic-Con in San Diego….it is definitely on our must-do list!!!

Thanks for joining me as I recounted my highlights of the summer!  It’s a great way for me to journal and chronicle what we did over these past few months.  I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant now, so our due date is fast approaching!  We had our prenatal classes during the last weekend of August, and they were very informative as they taught us everything from breathing and relaxation exercises to swaddling and bathing baby.  September is absolutely going to fly by (we will be having a baby shower too- so excited for that!) and then October will be right around the corner.  I am very thankful for all of you who have been reading my blog and expressing your support and encouragement throughout the months!  I hope you had a great summer too, and let’s look forward to the fall with new adventures ahead!

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