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DIY Yarn Storage

Thank you so much for all the love and encouragement you’ve shown us since we announced that our family is growing!  We are truly touched by each and every comment we received through the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we are so excited that we can share these special moments with you!

This blog has not only been a portofolio of my crochet projects, but also a journal documenting things that I love and what I’ve experienced.  In addition to my crochet projects, I’ve also blogged about my love of food and travel, and also topics such as maternity and nursing fashion since becoming a mom.  I created a special tab in the navigation bar called “OTHER" to help document these blog posts and to organize them a bit better so that they don’t simply get lost in the Archive!  To access ALL my previous posts, click the "ARCHIVE" tab where they are organized chronologically by month and year.  

The new “OTHER" tab has the following sections:

  • Food: I’ve blogged about some of my favourite recipes I’ve found on-line (e.g. the Red Velvet Cake pictured above) as well as some of our own recipes!  My Lychee Frozen Yogurt and Layered Fingered Jello seem to be pretty popular :)
  • Travel: We love visiting new places, and it’s been fun sharing our favourite restaurants and sites from destinations all over the world (e.g. the Black Sand Beach in Maui above).
  • Maternity/Nursing/Family: On my journey to becoming a mom, I’ve adapted my style to accommodate my growing pregnant belly and need to nurse a baby (e.g. nursing tank above)!
  • Cosplay & Craft Tutorials: We love making our own costumes and blogging about other crafting projects we’ve worked on (e.g. our DIY Yarn Storage).
  • Reviews: I’ve enjoyed blogging about shops and products that I love (e.g. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks) and hosting giveaways as well!

Check out this “OTHER" tab in my navigation bar to see some previous posts that you may have missed before!

Cupcake Bib/Dishcloth

One day while shopping for yarn at Michaels, I came across this free adorable “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern designed by Twinkie Chan.  Twinkie Chan is the queen of yummy and deliciously cute crochet (check out her site here), and I had seen her mention this project before on her social media.  I excitedly took a copy of the pattern home and began working on it right away with some Bernat cotton yarn that I already had in my stash!

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I was very impressed with this pattern and how this cupcake was designed.  The pink frosting part involves using a magic ring, but rather than working continuously around the circle, you turn your work in order to achieve this semi-circle shape.  The pink edging hanging over the green cake liner adds a pretty and whimsical touch.  My favourite part though was achieving the cabled effect on the green cake liner by working front post half triple crochets (FPhtr) around stitches found in rows below.  I thought this technique was brilliant and I love how it turned out- I’ll have to keep this in mind for future projects!

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The original project includes the pattern for a circular cherry with a loop on the top so that you can easily hang your dishcloth.  I wanted to make this dishcloth convertible into a bib as I wanted to gift it to a newborn baby girl!  Thus, I did not include the loop on the cherry- instead, I crocheted a little stem.

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After following the pattern for the cherry, I did not fasten off.  I did the folllowing:

Ch 6.  Sc 1 in 2nd chain from hook.  Sl st in next 4 chains.  Sl st in next 2 stitches of circle.  Fasten off and leave end to attach cherry to cupcake.

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In order to make this cupcake convertible into a bib, I added these two straps to the back of the pink frosting so that I could run a long neck strap through them:

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To crochet these:

Ch 7.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).  Fasten off and leave ends to attach straps to frosting.

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Next I crocheted the long neck strap consisting of double crochets with a button on the end.  By using double crochets, this made the strap adjustable since the button can fit between any of the stitches!

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To crochet the neck strap:

Chain 70.  Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc).  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew button firmly onto one end.  (My strap measured approximately 17 inches).

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After feeding the neck strap through the pink straps, this is what my cupcake bib looked like!  I thought that the family could use it at first as a bib, and when their baby daughter no longer needed to use a bib, they could remove the neck strap and continue using it as a cute dishcloth in their kitchen!

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Cupcakes are so pretty and whimsical- I’m sure a Cupcake Dischcloth or Bib would be a welcome addition into many homes and kitchens, especially for those with a sweet tooth!

Myla absolutely detests wearing bibs now, but we managed to get her to wear this Cupcake Bib for a split second to capture this photo before she ripped it off, haha!  Isn’t the bib adorable?

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To make your own Cupcake Bib or Dishcloth, check out Twinkie Chan’s free pattern HERE!  Her post also includes a very informative YouTube video in which she shows you how to crochet the entire project as well :)  Have fun, and happy crocheting!

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I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do love my tea….particularly Milk Tea!  When we visit Hong Kong-style cafes or bubble tea establishments, one of the drinks I always like to try is their milk tea.  We started making our own milk tea at home and I thought I would blog about it because it tastes soo good!  It’s very creamy and soothing, and it’s a great way to start off the morning with a muffin or scone :)

This milk tea is very simple to whip up if you can find these two boxes of tea: “Lipton Yellow Label Tea" and "3:15 PM Milk Tea”.  Both contain tea bags (not loose tea or powders that dissolve in water), and we purchased them both at Walmart in the Asian aisle.  Using the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” alone gives kind of a watered-down effect, but once you add a bag of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea”, it packs more of a punch and makes it taste like the Milk Tea that you order outside!

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We add two spoonfuls of sugar (of course adjust sweetness to your liking), 1 packet of the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” and 1 packet of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea” to a mug.  Next we add boiling water, let it steep a bit, and then we’re done!

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Time to enjoy a nice hot cup of Milk Tea in the comfort of your own home!

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If you are unable to find the “3:15 PM Milk Tea”, you could always add evaporated or condensed milk to black tea to make your own milk tea from scratch.  And since the weather is warming up, you might want a more refreshing and cold drink- you could try making “Iced Milk Tea" by letting this tea cool down and then adding ice!  Remember to add less water in the beginning though as you want a more concentrated tea to begin with since the ice will dilute it further.  Or, you could put your milk tea in an ice bath like the picture below to prevent it from being diluted.  We thought the presentation of this milk tea was so unique when we tried it three years ago in a cafe in New York City’s Chinatown!

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Enjoy your Milk Tea, and let us know if you give this a try!

I wanted to share about this birthday cake that Ryan and I made for my sister recently!  My sister loves home cooking and my baked goods, so it was our pleasure baking a cake to help her celebrate!  I love trying out new recipes and I turned to one of my favourite baking sites, Bakerella, to see what cake recipes she had.  When I stumbled upon her “Red Velvet Cake”, I knew I had to give it a try since it seemed quick and easy to make!  Indeed it was, and it turned out really well as it was very moist and delicious combined with the cream cheese frosting.  As a last minute touch, we quickly went out to Michaels and bought some pink sugar pearls and icing flowers to decorate the cake and make it look more elegant!  My sister loved how it turned out :)  You can find Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake recipe HERE!  Just adding a few decorations can really transform a cake from plain to pretty!

It’s been a while since I did a food-related post!  We recently discovered the best mango pudding recipe EVER and I had to share it with you all!  It’s from my friend Irene’s blog and it’s her mom’s “secret” recipe.  It tastes better than the mango pudding that you can get from dim sum restaurants and it was a huge hit over the weekend at our church luncheon when I made it!  It’s delicious served with evaporated milk :)  Check out the very easy mango pudding recipe HERE (along with pictures of Irene’s adorable daughters).  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us all, Irene and Auntie Mao!

It’s been a while since I did a food-related post!  We recently discovered the best mango pudding recipe EVER and I had to share it with you all!  It’s from my friend Irene’s blog and it’s her mom’s “secret” recipe.  It tastes better than the mango pudding that you can get from dim sum restaurants and it was a huge hit over the weekend at our church luncheon when I made it!  It’s delicious served with evaporated milk :)  Check out the very easy mango pudding recipe HERE (along with pictures of Irene’s adorable daughters).  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us all, Irene and Auntie Mao!

Maui Highlights 2014

Two years ago we visited Maui and absolutely fell in love with the Hawaiian island and vowed to return!  The amazing scenery, delicious food, laid back atmosphere and friendly people made our first trip very special and memorable.  We decided to return again this year, this time with our little toddler Myla and the rest of my family!

We revisited some of our favourite spots and restaurants but also discovered some new places as well.  Whenever we go on trips, I love doing lots of research to see where to get the best food and what the most popular attractions are!  I thought I would write up a blog post summarizing what we did in case anyone will be traveling or is interested in traveling to Maui!  I always love living vicariously through other people’s travel photos as well ;)

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On our first visit two years ago, we drove up to the Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise.  This meant waking up around 3 AM and starting to drive at 4 AM to make it in time…however, since there is a couple hours time difference between Maui and where we live, this wasn’t actually too bad since we did this the day after we arrived.  Watching the sunrise was absolutely breathtaking and one of the most beautiful sights that I’ve seen.  We revisited the crater on this trip but during the afternoon.  Your view really depends on the weather and it was quite cloudy when we went.  It was neat driving up through the clouds though!  Also be warned that it is quite chilly up there as you are at over 9700 feet elevation- we wore every single layer that we brought!

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I was very excited to visit the “Maui Swap Meet" which occurs every Saturday morning from 7 AM to 1 PM!  I was delighted to see tons of vendors when we pulled up to the market- however, we ended up getting rained out as vendors started packing up within an hour when we arrived as their products were getting soaked.  I was sad that we did not get to see everything, but we also found a tiny little craft market beside a McDonald’s that we visited that had plenty of jewelry and dresses for a very affordable price.  Myla enjoyed walking around and shopping for herself as you can see in the picture above!

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Whenever I am on vacation, I love collecting bracelets to add to my collection!  I adore these two peach colour bracelets I got- I think the mini tassels and “love” are so cute!  I also really like the bracelet that I bought by "Indies Attic" (my only buy from the Maui Swap Meet) and it’s special because it’s made from recycled paper!  Also, a portion of their proceeds goes to help children in Uganda, and their tagline is "People Before Profit”!  What an amazing company :)

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We also decided to visit the “Maui Ocean Center" because Myla LOVES animals!  It was smaller than we expected but we enjoyed the exhibits and we found the talks by the naturalists working there particularly interesting and educational.  Myla was totally unfazed by the sharks and enjoyed watching them swim around!

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After visiting the Maui Ocean Center, we dropped into the nearby “Hula Cookies” for their famous ice cream sandwiches!  You get to choose which ice cream flavour and which cookies you would like (you can even choose different flavour cookies for each side).  The cookies were so gooey and soft- it was the perfect afternoon snack and we wished we had gone again!

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Our all-time favourite snack/dessert in Maui is from “Ululani’s Shave Ice”!  They have the BEST shave ice as it is pillowy soft and their flavours/syrups are amazing.  My favourite combination is the “Haleakala" as it is made of coconut and leche topped with sweetened condensed milk and cream.  I always add mochi on the top too!  I could not wait to eat this again as I had been missing it from two years ago….we went almost every single day to get shave ice and made good use of their stamp card!

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Some other treats we discovered on this trip were the delicious mochi from “Maui Specialty Chocolates”.  The mochi itself is so soft and chewy and their flavours such as “Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate" and "Dark Chocolate Truffle" are delicious.  I am a big mochi fan so I was very excited to try them and I was not disappointed!  Another popular Hawaiian delicacy is "Spam Musubi" (spam and sushi rice wrapped in seaweed).  It can be found in many little shops and stores (we got ours mostly from the ABC Stores) and it makes a tasty little snack!  I also found a great recipe for it here and I can’t wait to make it at home :)

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Here is a family picture of us outside a popular restaurant called “Mama’s Fish House”!  The ambiance and location are amazing as it gives you the quintessential Hawaiian experience.  The service was wonderful and the fish was fresh although the entrees are pricey!

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We spent some time walking around a hippie surfer town called Paia.  There were some quaint shops and a delicious lunch spot called “Paia Fish Market" which has our favourite seafood pasta.  We also lay on the beach and watched the surfers brave the waves and also got to see some really cute sea turtles!

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Myla really enjoyed playing in the sand with her shovel and sand toys.  Here she is with her Uncle Corey, digging right into the soft sand of Makena Beach!

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Another popular area with many oceanfront stores is Lahaina, which used to be a whaling town (one of these times we’d like to go on a whale watching tour)!  Two years ago we went to a highly rated and very popular magic show called “Warren & Annabelle’s" and got to see Warren himself perform his sleight-of-hand magic and comedy.  We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it!  We did not go this time but the rest of my family went and thoroughly enjoyed it (you need to be over 21 to attend because of the liquor laws).

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We also found a delightful restaurant called “Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop" that is famous for their sandwiches and pies!  Here you can see Myla picking out exactly which pie she wanted to try :)  We really liked their "Macnut Chocolate Praline Pie" for dessert as it was divine!

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We visited the “Iao Valley State Park" and soaked in the beautiful views with their very short, easy hike.  For us, it was a warm up for the long hike to come shortly after!

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One of the most memorable things we did from two years ago was “The Road to Hana”.  The Road to Hana is a long, narrow and winding road that takes you through the rain forests of Maui.  Along the way, there are many breath-taking views of the coast, forests and waterfalls.  Ryan and I were hesitant and worried about what it would be like with a toddler but overall it went well and I am so thankful that we were traveling with the rest of my family on this trip as they could entertain her!  We stopped off at “Nahiku" which offers the most stunning views of the coast!

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We also stopped off at the “Black Sand Beach”- the sand is actually made of small, smooth lava pebbles!

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On our last full day in Maui we did the hike that we were most looking forward to out of the whole trip: the “Pipiwai Trail”!  It is an amazing 4 mile hike (2 miles there, 2 miles back) that takes you through some stunning scenery.  I was worried what this hike would be like with a toddler too- I strapped Myla to me in a baby carrier and she was asleep for most of the first half.  It was exhausting and grueling for me though as going uphill seemed so much more difficult with the extra weight I was carrying.  I actually seriously doubted whether I would make it and was contemplating turning back….  

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However, I kept pushing myself and just went slowly, taking frequent water breaks.  I am so glad we persevered as we did not want to miss out on the beautiful sights!  Two years ago we took one of my favourite travel photos sitting atop a gorgeous banyan tree that can be found along the hike.  It was neat seeing it again, and this time I got to take pics with our little (sleeping) Myla too!  

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For those of you wondering, we use the Ergo baby carrier and we love it!  It is very comfortable to use as it has a lot of padding and cushioning with multiple carry positions available (front, back and hip).  We were very glad we used our Ergo on these hikes!

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Myla woke up just as we were entering the beautiful bamboo forest!  This is one of my favourite parts of the hike as it is calmly serene as you can hear the bamboo hitting against each other as the wind blows.  Myla wanted to walk a bit too so we took her out of the carrier and let her walk along the wooden planks!  She got many friendly smiles from fellow travelers who were surprised to see such a young hiker make it that far :)

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At the end of the Pipiwai Trail you are rewarded with this amazing site: the stunning 400 feet Waimoku Falls!  It is breathtaking when you first see it and it makes the whole hike worthwhile.  We took a little snack break here and soaked in the scenery before embarking on the journey back!

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We decided to stay a couple nights in Hana so that we could take our time and not have to rush back to the other side of the island.  We stayed at the “Hana Kai Maui" which is the most beautiful place that we’ve ever stayed in.  I was completely taken aback when I first walked into their flagship unit (the "Ka’ahumanu") as I had never before stayed in a suite with such stunning views and panoramic windows.  You could hear the waves lapping onto the beach since we were so close to the ocean and it was amazing being able to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the waves.  

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The views from our balconies were spectacular!  

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We were so sad to leave this place and drive back to the airport.  Maui is such a beautiful, family-friendly island with so many things to discover!  We had a great family vacation and we cannot wait to return in the future- we hope you enjoyed seeing our photos and what we did!  I will do a quick summary below in case anyone is planning a visit :)

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Hotel accommodations: 

  • Aston Maui Hill (Kihei): great location, spacious unit with fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, perfect for families
  • Hana Kai Maui (Hana): amazing views, great location; pricey though (anything decent in Hana is quite pricey, but it’s more worth it if you’re staying with a large family)

Attractions:

  • Haleakala Crater: beautiful at sunrise (very cold with extreme winds so be prepared)
  • Maui Ocean Center: great exhibits and talks by naturalists; shark tank and underwater tunnel
  • Iao Valley State Park: easy, short hike with beautiful views
  • Maui Swap Meet: open every Saturday morning 7 AM - 1 PM with many vendors and handcrafted godos
  • Warren & Annabelle’s Magic: great sleight-of-hand magic and comedy show
  • Road to Hana (Nahiku, Black Sand Beach, Venus Pool, Seven Sacred Pools, Pipiwai Trail leading to Waimoku Falls)

Food:

  • Ululuani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice: soft, fluffy ice with incredible syrups and flavours
  • Hula Cookies: make your own ice cream sandwiches
  • Maui Specialty Chocolates: delicious peanut butter milk chocolate and dark chocolate truffle mochi
  • Spam Musubi: tasty Hawaiian delicacy that can be found in many shops
  • Mama’s Fish House: wonderful Hawaiian ambiance, great service, fresh fish but pricey entrees
  • Sansei Restaurant: great panko-crusted ahi tuna rolls, shrimp dynamite; get 25% off bill if you arrive before 6 PM at Kihei location
  • Koiso: deliciously fresh sushi; only sits 14 people so you need to make a reservation; the omakase offers a great variety
  • Kihei Cafe: great breakfast place 
  • Paia Fish Market: the best seafood pasta and delicious fish and chips
  • 808 Deli: great sandwiches and potato mac salad
  • Da Kitchen: Hawaiian-style home cooking with very big dishes; Kalbi ribs and shredded pork were delicious
  • McDonald’s: don’t laugh!  They have special local deluxe breakfasts consisting of Portuguese sausages, spam, eggs and rice!  They also have taro pies which are very unique!
  • Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop: sweet and savoury pies; macnut chocolate praline pie was awesome
  • Thai Food by Pranee (Hana): amazingly delicious Thai food with very good prices (limited opening hours so check ahead); a great place to eat after the long Pipiwai Trail Hike (there are very limited food options in Hana)

Maui Revealed" is a wonderful guidebook for the island as it details many stops along the "Road to Hana" and gives very useful information in a humorous tone!  You can pick this book up at a great price at the Costco in Maui (also a great place to stock up on snacks, groceries, water gear and ahi tuna!).

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Please let me know if you’ve been to Maui and if you have any recommendations for us during our next trip there!  I love sharing experiences and swapping stories!  Mahalo and Aloha :)

It’s the first Friday of the month, aka BYATWF (“Bring Your Amigurumi to Work Friday”)!  Myla and I had a teddy bear picnic with a special friend :)  This brown teddy was one of the first amigurumi that I made using Ana Paula Rimoli’s pattern (I blogged about him HERE) !  Care to join us?  The food is delicious ;P

It’s the first Friday of the month, aka BYATWF (“Bring Your Amigurumi to Work Friday”)!  Myla and I had a teddy bear picnic with a special friend :)  This brown teddy was one of the first amigurumi that I made using Ana Paula Rimoli’s pattern (I blogged about him HERE) !  Care to join us?  The food is delicious ;P


Over the weekend we made this “Coconut Milk Tapioca Dessert" for our family!  Growing up, this was one of my favourite Chinese desserts, and I’d always get so excited whenever one of the Chinese restaurants we went to served it at the end of our meal :)  I was ecstatic when I found a great recipe for it on Wantanmien's youtube channel HERE.  It tastes so good, and the addition of watermelon, mango and honeydew makes it very refreshing and perfect for the summer!  I followed her recipe pretty closely, but I omitted the salt (I tried it with the salt before, and we didn’t quite like it), and instead of using white sugar we used yellow rock sugar (which is common in many Chinese desserts).  I multiplied the recipe by 6 to make enough for 7 people.
When I first found Wantanmien's youtube channel, I became obsessed with all her videos as she clearly explains how to make many of my favourite Chinese dishes and desserts with incredible precision (e.g. Hong Kong pineapple buns, mango pudding, sticky rice).  If you haven't seen her channel before, check it out HERE.  Her videos are in Cantonese, but if you click the “CC” button you can see the English subtitles, and you can see the ingredients in English in the description box as well.  I’ve tried a few of her recipes, and they’ve all turned out great!  Can’t wait to try more :D 

Over the weekend we made this “Coconut Milk Tapioca Dessert" for our family!  Growing up, this was one of my favourite Chinese desserts, and I’d always get so excited whenever one of the Chinese restaurants we went to served it at the end of our meal :)  I was ecstatic when I found a great recipe for it on Wantanmien's youtube channel HERE.  It tastes so good, and the addition of watermelon, mango and honeydew makes it very refreshing and perfect for the summer!  I followed her recipe pretty closely, but I omitted the salt (I tried it with the salt before, and we didn’t quite like it), and instead of using white sugar we used yellow rock sugar (which is common in many Chinese desserts).  I multiplied the recipe by 6 to make enough for 7 people.

When I first found Wantanmien's youtube channel, I became obsessed with all her videos as she clearly explains how to make many of my favourite Chinese dishes and desserts with incredible precision (e.g. Hong Kong pineapple buns, mango pudding, sticky rice).  If you haven't seen her channel before, check it out HERE.  Her videos are in Cantonese, but if you click the “CC” button you can see the English subtitles, and you can see the ingredients in English in the description box as well.  I’ve tried a few of her recipes, and they’ve all turned out great!  Can’t wait to try more :D 

Granny Stripe Headband & Vancouver Visit

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We went to Vancouver for a couple days last week and I made these “Granny Stripe Headbands" as gifts!  Aren’t they pretty, especially with the layered flowers as embellishments?  Working on these granny stripes reminded me of the "Granny Square Blanket" that I had so much fun making for Myla last summer :)  You can find the free pattern for the headband HERE on “Tangled Happy”.  I absolutely adore this free flower pattern HERE, and it’s a great way to dress up a hat or headband!

I’ve traveled to Vancouver many times throughout the years as I have family who live there.  This, however, was Myla’s first trip and I was a bit nervous…  She did very well on the flight though!

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I thought I would share about some of the delicious food we ate in Vancouver!  Ryan and I always LOVE stopping by the food court at Aberdeen Centre in Richmond for some of our favourite dishes, so we went as soon as we arrived.  The crispy chicken wings are incredibly flavourful and piping hot as they make them fresh each time- we saw many tables enjoying this dish.  The Hainanese Chicken is so moist, tender and delicious with the special rice.  We always get these two dishes whenever we visit this food court!

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We love shaved ice, and I am so happy we decided to try out “Frappé Bliss (also in the Aberdeen Centre food court) that specializes in Taiwanese shaved ice!  The first time we went we customized our own dessert with milk shaved ice, coconut milk, condensed milk, and rice balls.  This was sooo good and it was my favourite dessert of the whole trip!  We went back towards the end of our trip and ordered “The Garden of Eden”, consisting of mango shaved ice, mango ice cream, strawberries, kiwi and mango.  This shaved ice is especially delicious because the ice itself is flavoured (without adding extra syrup or flavouring) and so finely shaved that it is very light and fluffy!

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We always stop by Daiso when we visit Aberdeen Centre as well.  I stocked up on cute packaging as I love giving away crocheted goodies in these adorable bags :)

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That night our friends took us to “Sushi California" for some well-priced, delicious sushi!  Look at how thick those slices of sashimi are!  Vancouver never disappoints with its variety and freshness of sushi!

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The next day we went for afternoon tea at the “Truffles Café" in the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.  I looove going for high tea as it’s always such an elegant affair.  The sandwiches were delicious and the view was lovely- I imagine this place would be very popular in the Spring and the Summer when the flowers and trees are all in bloom!

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In the evening we went to “Sura" for some delicious Korean dishes!  This was some of the best Korean food I’ve ever had, and the decor inside was beautiful.  The chab-che and grilled beef were sooo yummy…

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For lunch the following day our friends took us to a little French place called “Salade de Fruits”.  It reminded me soo much of the French restaurants we visited in Paris last year!  The waiters, waitresses and much of their clientele were all speaking French, so we knew this place was very authentic!  I had their mussels and fries and they were very tasty.  As you can see, there were generous portions as well!

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After lunch we took a stroll towards Granville Island.  Vancouver is known to be quite rainy, but we are very thankful that it was sunny and clear for most of our stay!  

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We enjoyed this beautiful view with our strollers :)

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We ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant called “Sandbar" on Granville Island, and it was situated under the Granville Bridge!  I had the most delicious ahi tuna that I’ve ever tasted, but I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately…Myla started crying so we had to eat quickly!

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The next day we visited “Bella Gelateria" for their world-famous gelato!  I had the salted caramel gelato.  I wore this beautiful cape sweater that I bought the first day we arrived in Aberdeen Centre- I really love its beautiful pattern and design!  It also pairs very nicely with my Momzelle nursing tank that I blogged about here!

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For our last meal before we headed to the airport, our friends took us to “La Brasserie" for oysters!  They were so fresh and tasty….I knew I wanted to eat oysters on this trip, and this definitely hit the spot!  The Brasserie Burger that I ordered was also very good :)

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Here are some other shots that Ryan took of beautiful Vancouver…

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Vancouver Convention Centre

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Granville Bridge (Ryan calls this photo “Daddy Long Legs" ;P)

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Seagulls on Granville Island

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Waterfront SkyTrain Station

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We are so thankful to our good friends in Vancouver who brought us to all these wonderful food spots!  They are big foodies and are always in the know of new restaurants popping up in their diverse city.  Our friends have babies as well, so most of these restaurants were stroller and baby-friendly (“Salade de Fruits" and "La Brasserie" were the only ones that didn’t fit our strollers since they were smaller establishments).  We had a great little trip to Vancouver full of good food and wonderful company :)  Vancouverites, have you been to any of these places?  What are your favourite food spots?

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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