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? 🤩
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 ✨
Inspired by my Montreal bagel. Sometimes the greatest joy I find in drawing my favourite foods. It was also interesting working with the oil painting tools in Procreate. I ended up cheating by using markers but the oil paints allowed me to add more texture to the graphic 😍
It is probably like my 5th time watching Friends, and it never gets old. Is it a coincidence that I happened to watch this episode shortly after I drew a jar of pesto sauce? I think not. And if you are wondering why I was drawing a jar of pesto, I am proof that in art you can literally be inspired by anything.
This is the only appropriate way to compliment someone’s pesto dish from now on. “It was good-o.” 👩🍳
La La Land came out in 2016 and I just discovered it this year. Just a bit late to the game…I decided to watch it while waiting for a flight home for the summer. What a sight that must have been. I am pretty sure I cried at one point too. Ever since watching the movie, I have non-stop been listening to movie soundtrack. I have not been this obsessed with a movie soundtrack since I discovered High School Musical when I was 7 or 8.
Justin Hurwitz is such a brilliant composer. The score for City of Stars is actually quite simple but even so, the melody is BEAUTIFUL. Epilogue is another favourite of mine from the soundtrack. I highly recommend giving the album a listen if you watched the movie already, and if you haven’t watched the movie yet..What are you waiting for?! ⭐️🌙⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️