I had coffee today at a local cafe/grocery store. It was good but to be honest nothing life-changing. I was short on time today, so today’s drawing is a little more “rustic”. Yes, the pencil lines are left in intentionally. There is absolutely no other reason. I also didn’t realize how hard it would be to draw ripped up paper – I’m definitely going to practice more in the future!
A small tangent/rant: why does non-dairy milk or lactose free milk always have to cost extra? I understand that it is more expensive for the stores to carry these milk substitutes, but it really sucks for people who can’t have dairy and are forced to pay more. Like myself. I was trying to be more frugal (as much as one can be while getting coffee everyday for a week), so I got my coffee black to-go, and I went home to add my own oat milk 😭
See you tomorrow for more C8H10N4O2 (chemical formula for caffeine molecules) ☕️
My exam is quickly approaching, and the nights of sleep deprivation become more frequent. Today, I decided to grab coffee at our university cafe. Ummm….Oat milk lattes. I really appreciate how the cafe is student-runned. Also, the prices are very affordable, and everything is compostable! In my drawing, I also thought I would start taking more interesting angles or composition of the coffee cups – aka. the cracked lid. No doubt drawing a perfect cylinder cup becomes boring after the first couple of times.
Day 2 of my coffee adventures, I went to America’s most trusty coffee chain – Starbucks! I don’t know what it says about my taste in coffee but I quite enjoy Starbucks espressos. I also didn’t realize a grande americano came with 3 shots of espressos?! Well. Guess who isn’t sleeping or napping for the rest of the day. I also must applaud Starbucks for their enticing reward system – who doesn’t love free coffee? Although, is it really free if we have to spend so much money before we get a free drink 🤔
Senioritis is a true phenomenon, and it has been validated time and time again by countless students, myself included. In fact, it has its own definition on Google: “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.” Well, this is the final week of my final exams of my final classes of my final year of undergrad. Senioritis has plagued my house, indeed. To keep myself more motivated (and to be honest to help with my fatigue and severe sleep deprivation), I am challenging myself to get a different coffee order or to visit a different cafe everyday for the rest of the week. That means 7 cups of joes in 7 days, and I will be documenting them in quick doodles of course.
My first cup of coffee was from Balzacs, an Ontario-based coffee/cafe company. The americano I got was a bit more bitter than I liked it to be. Nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable cup of coffee. I just adored the aesthetic of their cafe and their yellow cups!
Back with another quick doodle. I was inspired by artists on Instagram, most notably my mom! She encouraged me to participate in one challenge about drawing instant ramen. I don’t usually eat ramen, so I went to pick up a pack that was the most (pink and) aesthetically pleasing to draw. The shiny reflections on the packet of ramen – just my jam. It’s one of my favourite things to draw/paint!! (Yes, I am geeking out about reflections on a wrinkly sheet of plastic). Honorable mentions to my favourite Procreate brushes: acrylic, shale, and brush pen.
Happy lunar new year! Hope everyone celebrating it was able to eat some good food and connect with loved ones (hopefully safely!). This year’s new year eve (February 11th) crept up on one of my busiest weeks of this semester so far. I didn’t have any special celebrations, but my house did get some good (authentic) Chinese takeout! Yum, because while I am Chinese, my cooking skills do not reflect well on Chinese dishes. I am also a huge dessert gal. This year I did not get to enjoy any of my favourite Asian desserts, but not a problem – I drew them out, and I will be justifying this by telling myself that I need to cut back on sweets. The dumplings were just extra because they are so fun to draw.
An brief introduction:
Tang yuan are glutinous rice flour balls, usually with a sweet black sesame, red bean, or peanut filling. They are similar to mochi but they are typically served hot in a light, sweet broth.
Sesame balls are once again made with a glutinous rice flour, covered in sesame seeds, and deep fried. The filling I learned to love and adore is red bean. This treat hits a nostalgic spot for me because they were my number one favourite dessert growing up!
And speaking of nostalgia, the eight treasure rice (very loose translation – I apologize to any native Chinese speakers) holds a special spot in my heart. I have fond memories of my grandparents making these for me. My dear, sweet grandma also puts a pretty display of toppings in concentric patterns – so cute!
As you can see, a pretty obvious pattern is emerging here. I love anything made with glutinous rice flour and has a sweet red bean filling – haha!
If you celebrate Chinese new year, I hope you were able to find joy in any way you might have chosen to celebrate – big or small! And if you don’t, I hope if you ever get a chance to try these tasty desserts that YOU DO! That’s all from me for now. Cheers everyone. Happy lunar new year! 🥳
Chinese New Year starts on February 12th this year, and we are celebrating the year of the ox! Whether you are a believer of zodiac signs and all the associated traits and symbolism, or not, we can all appreciate the legacy of this Chinese tradition. (Read more about it here: LINK). To get myself prepared for the holiday spirit (in the safety of my home), I made a quick doodle using Procreate and turned it into a wallpaper for my phone.
This year I also decided to (be basic and) make a vision board. Noted – the term “vision board” is loosely applied given the COVID-19 pandemic in its current rampage. Some of my hopes of 2021 include travelling to Japan, road trips, and simply having the luxury of reading in a cafe. Albeit, I will accept if none of these things manifest if it means maintaining the health and safety of our communities, country, and globe. In that case, I won’t mind changing the “2021” into “2022”!
I have more posts planned to come. In the meantime, how you are planning to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2021? 🤩
Happy new year everyone! 🥳🎉 What do you get during winter break in a house full of hungry and bored university students? Lots and lots of charcuterie & cheese boards. I made this graphic for a close friend of mine for their birthday to honour their unconditional love for charcuterie boards. I wanted to make a quick post to share this fun graphic I made!
The word “Charcuterie” stems from 15th century France (according to various blogs and Wikipedia) where a specific guild was responsible for the production of salted and dried meats – referred to as “charcuterie”. On the other hand, cheese boards are enjoyed by the French and British. The French often have a cheese board before dessert, while the British prefer cheese after dessert. It appears that charcuterie boards emerged between WWI and WWII as a dish enjoyed by the upper class (source). Nowadays, charcuterie cheese boards have been popularized and often include all kinds of ingredients, some perhaps unorthodox. I’ll bet the elite class enjoying charcuterie boards during the interwar periods won’t have predicted seeing vegan cheese and vegan meat on such a platter. The beauty of charcuterie boards is that you can make your own, tailored to your taste. Furthermore, the meticulous process of assembling your board is ultimately rewarding if you achieve an aesthetic product. Thus, if you are ever bored during the holidays, try making a charcuterie board!
The new year is around the corner, and I assume most of us are anticipating it’s beginning with greater hope and optimism. A reflection of 2020, for me, entails a bittersweet recollection. Whilst this year did not go according to plans, nor did I expect such turn of events, I think I made the best of the situation, along with my family and friends. In fact, some of my favourite memories might come from this past year.
To recap my year, I spent a lot of time with my mom and dad going on hikes and supporting local restuarants/cafes by ordering takeout. We truly had some amazing food memories this past year. One of my fondest memory is having outdoors picnics after ordering seafood pizzas from Steveston Pizza Co. (any of their Castle pies are delicious!). Other honourable food moments include doughnuts from Mello, poke bowls from Pokerrito, and biscuit brunches from Chewie’s Chicken & Biscuit. I also loved taking strolls around Vancouver (while adhering to regulations and when it is allowed) and discovering new things about the city I grew up in. My mom and I frequented Mount Pleasant to discover all the hidden gems from the Vancouver Mural Festival. Another huge part of my 2020 was volunteering at a rabbit shelter. With the insidious presence of COVID, I could not continue to volunteer at the hospital or with community members. Diverging my time to the rabbit shelter in lieu of my pre-COVID commitments (which have been halted by the pandemic) has helped my mental health immensely. Over time working at the shelter, I also rediscovered my pure and utter love for bunnies. Perhaps because I see many similarities between myself and these friendly, reserved fluff balls.
I wanted to comment on the challenges that the pandemic has imposed upon our relationships with friends, family, and other people we love. 2020 has truly tested our abilities to maintaining long-distance relationships. I am beyond lucky to have such supportive friends and people who continuously show their love through countless hours spent over Zoom meetings, phone calls, and other creative and safe sources of communication. (One highlight being sent flowers 🥰). These people have made my 2020 brighter and brought me so much joy, and I am forever grateful ❤️
I am incredibly thankful for the safety and health of my friends and family. If I ever need motivation to get through another day, week, or month of quarantine, I think about these people, as well as the people in my community. If you ever need the same motivation, think about the people you care about the most. I encourage everyone to stay home as much as possible and to adhere to your local regulations (for the Ontario peeps, here is the provincial lockdown guidelines and restrictions). We are all in this together! And together we can make 2021 a better, brighter year ✨
Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! ‘Tis the season to light holiday candles, drink hot cocoa, and watch terrible Christmas movies on Netflix. 2020 has changed everyone’s life and what we determined to be “normal”. I wanted to document how we managed to regain some of this “normal” throughout this holiday season (while staying safe). I am so grateful for the wonderful people around me, who have inspired and motivated me to bring holiday cheer to others around me.
We sent out holiday postcards to community members! One of the clubs I am involved in volunteers and advocates for a local support group. In times of COVID, this support group has not been able to gather for the last year. I designed this postcard, which my club mailed out to all the members of this local group in hopes of bringing folks some holiday cheer! What makes this postcard extra sentimental is that it is a depiction of our local city hall (though not a super accurate one I’ll have to admit – I tried my best, haha!).
Making holiday cards! During COVID, many of us have to rely on the post office to mail gifts to family and friends. Mailing out parcels can be extremely slow and costly. If you are on a budget but you still want to let your friends and family know that you are thinking of them this year, you can always mail them a handmade card! There is something so special about receiving a card that has been meticulously crafted and tailored just for that someone special 🥰
Our core bubble made a holiday feast! As long as you uphold your local COVID precautions and rules, there’s nothing that holds you back from still enjoying all of the delicious foods associated with Christmas and the holiday season. My personal favourites have to be vegetarian stuffing and mashed potatoes 🤤 You can still feast, even if it’s just within your immediate household. If you wanted to share your feast with others outside of your core bubble, you can always coordinate with them to drop off/exchange dishes at a safe location and safe distance. Afterwards, you can enjoy the meal together over ZOOM, Facetime, or other modes of virtual communication.
As an university student, I am ecstatic for this winter break. I can finally celebrate and rejoice in the wonderful things in life – big or small. For me, the small things include my morning coffees, painting my nails, and reading a good book before bed (I’m currently reading “When Breath Becomes Air”- very good so far!). The big things are finishing my second last semester of undergrad and applications to graduate schools! I am privileged to enjoy and experience all these things. And I have immense gratitude and appreciation for others in our community who make this holiday possible for the rest of us (e.g. store employees, frontline workers, etc.). I hope you can also rejoice and appreciate all the big and small things in life. ‘Tis the season to be grateful and to spread the jolly spirit! Happy holidays everyone ~ 🎄🎁☕️