Getting to Know You: Hello Kitty breakfast traditions

It’s been a while since the last Getting to Know You post, so I figured I would share a little something silly about myself. It’s no secret that I love Hello Kitty… but this hasn’t always been the case. As a child, I loathed the colour pink and anything super girly (I was a tom boy late into my high school years) so I never paid much attention to Hello Kitty growing up. It wasn’t until university that I suddenly became obsessed with the bow-wearing kitty. I had everything Hello Kitty that a poor student could afford– notebooks, highlighters, ballpoint pens, HK-themed notepads, a toaster (gifted by my friends), stormtrooper kitty laptop decal, etc!

I think I reached the peek of my Hello Kitty craziness after a trip to the Hello Kitty Cafe in Korea last summer. Ever since that day, breakfast and dessert foods have never been the same. If there is no bow-wearing kitty on my food, it probably doesn’t taste as good as it could (haha, just kidding Mom. Your food is always delicious even if it’s not Hello Kitty branded).

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I’ve posted about the Hello Kitty waffle maker before and have since used it a handful of times. If I ever have visitors staying with me, they’re forced offered a Hello Kitty themed breakfast. My currently specialties are waffles and pancakes… mainly because these are the only two HK appliances/tools I own (the toaster died about 6 months after I got it). Also, if I’m going to be honest, the pancake mix doubles as waffle mix so it’s pretty much the easiest prep to make both of these things. Who can say no to one recipe for two yummy breakfast foods?

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So maybe I’m a wee bit crazy for waking up at 6am on a weekday to make breakfast for my visitors, but at least the food is cute!

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Who’s in for breakfast tomorrow? ;)

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Getting to Know You: 230ft above the ground

A couple weeks ago, I ended up in Vancouver for an impromptu day trip. The point of the trip itself had nothing to do with tourist attractions, but considering that it took almost three hours each way to drive, we tried to make the most of our day. The theme for the trip: Conquering fears.

I’m terrified of heights. I can’t stand near railings or balconies, let alone the railings on the second floor of a mall. Even the stair cases with the “holes” between the steps freak me out (you know, the ones at Urban Outfitters that make me not even want to venture up to the sales racks on the second floor). When I found out that one of the stops on the trip was going to be the Capilano Bridge, I curled up into a ball (aka fetal position) and didn’t want to move.

Capilano Bridge

The Capilano Bridge is a suspension bridge that hangs 230ft above a super rocky-looking river surrounded by gorgeous cliffs and forestry. Sadly, I was too busy trying not to cry while shuffling my way across the bridge to enjoy the view the first time across… (oh yeah, they don’t tell you that you have to cross the bridge TWICE!!)

Capilano Bridge

Capilano Bridge

Once I got over to the other end, my nerves had calmed down a bit and I ventured over to the Treetops Adventure. It’s a compilation of 7 suspension bridges strung across a series of trees about 100ft above a Vancouver rain forest. The scariest part is that none of these viewing platforms connecting the bridges to the trees are secured with nails or bolts. There’s some fancy engineering behind the compression system used to keep all of these in place.

Capilano Bridge

Capilano Bridge

The last part of the visit was the Cliffwalk. The trail here was overlooking the Capilano River, bolted to a granite cliff. The walkway was suuuuuper narrow and freaked me out so bad!!

Capilano Bridge

By the end of the day, I was definitely shaken up. I’m pretty proud of myself for not crying or hyperventilating in public… haha! Two things that usually happen when I freak out really badly. At least I can say I conquered one of my fears! (But I don’t know if I would pay $20 to do it again…)

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Getting to know you: Little Bear

I haven’t done a getting to know you post in forever and now is probably the best time for one. I’ve tweeted about my little bunny a bajillion times over the years I’ve been on Twitter and have been trying to think of a cute way to introduce her on the blog. For months I had all the photos picked out for a post, but the words never came to me until now.

I’ve been looking at photos of my bunny, Little Bear, all morning reminiscing over the past 7.5 years of our lives together and how she made me smile every day.

My sister first brought Little Bear home almost 8 years ago after an impromptu trip to the mall on a Saturday morning. She passed by the pet store and spotted a teeny-tiny little bun-bun (as we refer to bunnies) with the floppiest ears and knew she couldn’t leave the mall without her. At the time, we had another bunny at home and my sister was afraid of how the two of them would get along (they ended up being bffs up until the day our older bunny passed away 4 years ago). Little Bear was so tiny when she first joined our family:

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I remember holding her in one hand and thinking how precious she was. As a baby bunny, she always slept on her side or rolled on her back (with all four paws stretched out in the air) and I would ooooh and awwww whenever I caught a glimpse of her taking a nap. I spent so many loads of laundry on hand towels so she could sit on my desk and keep me company as I worked (Gosh, she was such a cutiepie when she slept!). This only lasted for 2 or 3 months until she grew to be too big for the small space beside my stationery box.

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As Little Bear grew older and bigger, we found other ways to hang out. We often watched tv on the weekends together. Rather, I would bring her to the couch with me and sit her on my lap as I watched tv (she was so warm and always fell asleep in my lap). We also hung out in the sun every summer where I’d catch her stretched out on a towel on the front porch, soaking in the rays while leaning on her water bowl.

Being a content stay-at-home-bunny, Little Bear was not a fan of car rides. I used to place her in her litter box and she would sit in my lap bundled in a towel. She seemed to enjoy the lap sitting and staring out the passenger seat window. She also loved to smile for the camera ;)

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Starting in 2009, we started making regular trips to the vet because of an infection that formed in her cheek. The infection caused her left cheek to swell to the size of a cherry tomato and we often had to go to the vet to have the built-up fluid extracted. I remember this one time I started crying at the vet’s office during an extraction because she started whimpering so hard and her tear ducts started filling with water. I have never seen my Little Bear in more pain or be more upset in my life. At one point I told my sister I would never go back to the vet again if the visits made Little Bear cry.

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Two years later and the infection started to spread to her eye. The antibiotics that she had been on for the past year stopped working and the infection was slowly making its way to her brain. She started doing strange things like soaking her paws in her water bowl and resting her chin on the ledge of her (open-top) cage. I didn’t know her strange behaviours were from the brain infection until last night’s emergency visit to the vet.

We were told that her struggles could no longer be overcome and it was her time to go. I watched as my baby of almost 8 years was taken to a back room and came back swaddled in a towel with an IV catheter in her front paw. I felt my heart sink and the waterworks in my tear ducts burst. I can’t even describe how I felt at the time. Numb is the only word that comes to mind.

The last 18 hours have been so difficult. I can’t stop looking at her litter box hoping to see those floppy ears that I love perk up at the sound of footsteps towards her. I miss spending the first five minutes of my day hand-feeding her treats and being tickled by her little tongue as she licked the crumbs from between my fingertips. Most of all, I miss seeing her sweet face and little smile whenever I walk in the door.

This Little Bear was the light of my life and I am so blessed to have shared the (almost) last 8 years of my life with her.

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Getting to know you: The Kitchen

It’s no secret that I love to experiment in the kitchen. For this week’s Getting to know you, I thought it would be funny to tell you how all the cooking craziness started.

When I left for university (or college, whatever you want to call it), I moved away from home. No more home cooked meals, no more pre-stocked fridge, and hello to a tiny student budget! Thanks to my super bland food palette and affinity for chicken breasts over steak, my eating habits have proven to be quite wallet friendly (except for those crazy weeks during exams when I would get take-out every day and run up ridiculous $150 food bills every week. ugh).

Having roommates that also love to cook is definitely motivating for trying new things in the kitchen. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve prepared a chicken pasta salad for myself in the past five years. Something like at least once a week sounds accurate. haha

Aside from the economic advantages of dining in versus getting takeout, I cook a lot for myself due to food allergies (Thanks to Sylvia, you’ll get an extensive list of my food allergies in one of the future Getting to know you posts). So now I’m curious…

How often do you make a home cooked meal? What do you like about dining in versus going out to eat?

(P.S. All the food in the photos above were taken on the same night. I had quite the feast making fried noodles, a chili chicken dish [not pictured], and shrimp spring rolls)

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Is there anything you’d like to get to know about me? Feel free to leave suggestions for future topics in the comments.

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Getting to know you: The Basics

I’m always super curious to know what other bloggers do outside of blogging. I guess I’m guilty for this since I don’t talk about what I do too much aside from my wardrobe and kitchen experiments. I thought it would be fun to start another fun column that has been lovingly titled “Getting to know you”.

I wanted to kick this one off with a bit of the activities I do in my spare time. As much as I wish that my life could revolve around nothing but dressing myself on a daily basis and making (and eating) oodles of cookies, I’ve made a promise to myself in 2011 to take better care of myself. After years of being a huge junk food addict, I’m starting to learn that my metabolism just isn’t what it used to be. Curse those Big Macs for being so delicious but artery-blocking at the same time!

In all honesty, I’m not one for physical activities. When given the option, I’ll take an escalator instead of stairs. I’ve had my fair share of short-lived sport affairs starting with gymnastics (until I grew too tall for the uneven bars, hah!), then moving on to a few years of tennis, a season of basketball in high school, and then a couple seasons of badminton. After I moved out and started living on my own, I stopped going to the gym and being interested in physical activities. I just didn’t have the motivation to drag myself out to a gym. Not to mention whenever I moved to a new city, I was too shy to join any local leagues for fear of being the newbie of the group.

This all changed at the end of 2010 when I started playing squash. Buying a racquet was one of the most impulsive decisions I’ve ever made in terms of sport-related purchases. I remember messaging one of my friends and telling him that I was in the market for a workout partner. After agreeing to motivate each other to play squash at least once a week, we headed to the mall on a mission to find the perfect squash racquet. Having never played squash before, we were both quite confused about what to look for. Like said, this was an impulsive decision with not much thought put into it other than, “Squash gives an all-over workout, right? Right! Let’s go get equipment!!”

We both ended up buying the same racquet, which came with safety goggles and a set of double yellow dot balls. Being the noobs that we are, we had no idea that the double yellow dots meant that we would be in for a workout! Turns out these balls have very little bounce and have a slow speed, which forces us to run like crazy. Yes, I’ve since learned my lesson to research a sport before committing to it.

Aside from squash, I joined an intramural dodgeball team. A lot of people poke fun at me for playing dodgeball because they think of the movie Dodgeball and Ben Stiller’s shenanigans in the movie. Sadly, dodgeball is actually the one sport where I’ll get extremely competitive (which ends up being a huge motivator for pushing myself harder and working out more) since I’m one of a handful of females in the league. I was actually the only female on the team last season! I signed up for another season of dodgeball this year and it looks like here are going to be three of us ladies on the team together! YAY!

One last activity that I want to participate more in this year is yoga. I first tried Hatha yoga in January 2010 and found it to be quite challenging to keep up with. Despite being able to touch my toes after two sessions (having never been able to touch my toes since the age of 12, when I quit gymnastics), I wasn’t able to commit enough time to yoga. Life got in the way and I only ended up going to 3 or 4 of the 9 sessions I paid for. I tried Bikram over the summer of 2010 and called it quits after 2 sessions. As great as my body felt after the 90 minute class, I felt like I was going to pass out or puke during the class.

I’ve decided to give yoga another shot in 2011. I joined a yoga club with drop-in classes for various difficulty levels. I’m hoping that the drop-in sessions help with my ever-changing weekly schedule. The reason why the first classes in 2010 didn’t work out is because my schedule kept changing and I couldn’t devote my Thursday nights to yoga after the first couple of classes. I like the idea of being able to drop-in for sessions that work around my schedule.

I hope I’m not being overly ambitious this year. I want to take better care of myself and am trying to keep myself motivated through different mediums of activities.

What do you guys do to stay in shape?

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I thought I would open up this column to you as well. Is there anything you’d like to get to know about me? Feel free to leave suggestions for future topics in the comments. I’ll try my best to make it happen!

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