A breath away’s not far to where you are…

IMG_2801

It’s been 11 days since your beautiful soul left us and the void that is left in my life and the lives of many of those whose lives you’ve touched has brought about immense sadness and pain.  It is difficult to imagine how our lives will be without you in it, so with each step that I take for all the days to come, I will imagine that you are there with me, sharing in the most precious moments of my life, laughing at each and every lame joke that I will ever tell, crying though the sappiest movies, and offering me advice when I am lost. You will always be there, even when you’re not. You will never be too far.

To Where You Are (Josh Groban)

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory’s so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
‘Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Advertisements
Posted in Forever Inspired | Leave a comment

At the end of the day…..

At the end of this post is the link and video that inspired this post.

Without conscious thought, we live out each day stumbling over the little things that seem ever so significant at the moment, and it takes us days, months, or even years to realize that those things hold so little weight to this thing that is happening right now called life.  I am sure that we have all come to this realization at some point in time, but it seems that we forget it far too quickly, maybe even more quickly than we know.  Every now and then, we are inspired to change our lives by reading stories about individuals whose time was foreseeably finite. Stories such as that of Randy Pausch, the professor from Carnegie Mellon who gave a very real “Last Lecture“, and more recently, Zach Sobiech, teach us to re-evaluate what is most important in our lives and what is it that we would like to achieve knowing we would die.  And that is the lesson.  What are the things that will leave me feeling I have lived without regret.  I cannot define this for anyone but myself.

For me, it is this: I will have told everyone I hold dear to my heart that I love them and that they have made my life better for having been in it; that I will leave this world without hate in my heart; that I will have experienced a love so colourful and beautiful, and to have loved someone with all that I am capable of so that they will experience the same; to try my hardest to make sure my parents get to live the life they have worked ever so hard to give me and my brothers; to have shared more laughs and tears of joy with everyone I love than I could ever count; I will live my life according to me, rather than what others expect of me, so that I will have achieved what I want, and not what they want.

At the end of the day, I want to fall asleep knowing that if I were to never wake up again, that I will have no regrets.

Please check out this link and the video below on Zach Sobiech that has once again inspired me to re-evaluate what is important to me.

My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech

Zach, also wrote a song with lyrics that are very moving and uplifting and reassuring. It says a lot about his outlook on his life and I think that it will be one of those songs that I will listen to every now and then when I feel discouraged.

Zach’s Song

Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

When I get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
Maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
We’ll go up, up, up and everything will be just fine

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear

It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you

We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
And sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

A beautiful tribute to Zach Sobiech

Thank you SoulPancake for putting together and sharing this wonderful story with the world.

Posted in Forever Inspired | Leave a comment

Happy 2012 ERRbody!

The clock on my Macbook just hit 3am on Jan 1, 2012.  3 hours in, and I basically just got home from another memorable night with my dearest friends.  IQs didn’t get lowered as badly as other gatherings, but the dip was evident.  And despite my recent adoption of punctuality, tardiness decided to pay me a visit.  A number of things contributed to this slight mishap.  Firstly, my lunch went a little longer than expected, and regretfully so since I lost all 3 games of Monopoly deal.  Secondly I had to make 4 stops to pick up all the ingredients for making tonight’s potluck item, but this was well worth it since it seemed well received.  I still think it needs a bit of work and tweaking so let’s see if I can make it just right!  And lastly, well, I forgot how intense of a workout making zabaglione is!  I DEFINITELY needed a shower after making a 1.5x batch of tiramisu!

So to kick off the new year, I’m not going to give you the tiramisu recipe just yet.  Like I said, it needs tweaking.  And I have to master the craft of making zabaglione!  So you’ll just have to wait a week or two to get that.  Instead, I’m going to give you one of my favorite holiday recipes which I now make every Christmas.  The Maple Pecan Scone was originally a Maple Walnut Scone, but since Pecans and Walnuts have somewhat similar textures and taste, and all I had were pecans, I decided to switch it out, and LIKED IT!

Now, it is only fair that I give credit to the person who’s page I found this recipe, but it was quite a few years ago, so regretfully, I can’t direct you to their page.  If that person ever comes across my page, please let me know who you are!

Ok, let’s get to it shall we?

Maple Pecan Scone

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 + 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 + 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (may substitute w/ walnuts)
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted cold butter (cut into pieces and chill until you need it)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. maple extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Set oven rack to lower center of oven.  Pre-heat oven to 190°C (375°F).  Toast pecans (walnuts) on baking sheet in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.  Cool.
  2. Dry Ingredients: Whisk sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Toss in chilled butter pieces and coat with flour.  Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in toasted pecans (walnuts).
  3. Wet Ingredients:  Beat egg in a large bowl.  Mix in the half-and-half, maple extract, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended, switching from spoon to your hands as the mixture comes together.  Place dough in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll chilled dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface.  Flatten dough into a 3/4 inch circle.  Cut into 8 wedges.
  6. Bake scones on a parchment lined baking sheet just until firm and the bottoms are lightly browned.  15-20 minutes.  Cool scones for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

So there you have it, my holiday scone recipe!  Just remember, keep the butter, egg, and half-and-half cold until you use it.  This helps the dough maintain a fairly low temperature, and this will be important if you want your scone to turn out light and flaky!

PS: I have pictures of how mine look, but I haven’t had time to download them off my camera yet, so I’ll put those into this post at a later time.  This was supposed to be a very BRIEF update, but it’s already 4:18am!  Time for bed!  Zzzzz

Posted in Things That Go In Your Mouth | Leave a comment

So much to tell, so little energy left!

Today marks the end of the first day of my last 2 wks in S. Korea! (did that confuse you?????) It’s been a blast the last 1.5 wks here! So much has happened! But it’s a little late right now, and I don’t have much energy to really do a full update of the last 10 days, so let’s sum it up! Food’s been great! We’ve missed a few meals here and there, but really it’s because we’ve been eating non-stop around town, wherever we go! So by the time dinner rolls around, we’re not hungry. Loving the street food! FISH WAFFLES! And discovered these walnut cakes that are filled with redbean paste and a piece of walnut! DELICIOUS! As well, there are these rice snacks, like puffed rice (not rice krispy) with a tiny bit of sugar to hold it together! They’re like poor people snacks, but those are usually the best, right? Stick to the basics! We’ve visited some wonderful places and the people here have been very kind and welcoming! We’ve also done a ridiculous amount of shopping, but that was going to be a given anyway!

That’s it for now, I think. Don’t have much energy after having spent the day running around town! It was a beautiful but cold day. 🙂 The weather sure changes drastically around here! Last week we arrived to warm temperatures that made us sweat, and wear very light clothing, even in the evenings. After the thunderstorms on Saturday, it’s dropped at least 10+ degrees! Chilly! Good thing I love Korean Kimchi Hotpot Stews! Can’t wait to have more of it!

Will post more later when I have a quieter day. Goodnight all!

Posted in Away From Home, Just Another Day | Leave a comment

Making Dreams Come True

I think it was in 2002 or 2003 that my fascination with Korea began.  It was my then co-worker who lent me my first K-Drama series, Autumn Love story.  That was succeeded by similarly tragic dramas, such as Winter Sonata.  When I switched jobs in 2004, I became deprived of these ever so addictive heart breaking and tear jerking stories.  A few years later, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Drama Fever!  And it was then, that my  passion for Korea came rushing back in full force!

Fast forward to 2 years later.  Today.  I now sit at Gate D66, awaiting the boarding call for my 3am flight.  Ever since I watched my first K-Drama, it was a dream of mine to visit South Korea.  I had fallen in love with all that South Korea had to offer.  From it’s traditions, to architecture, to culinary delights, to mesmerizing pop stars like Rain (Bi), I was ready to immerse myself into it without hesitation.  But of course, knowing me, I hesitate at just about everything.  Calculated risks are the only risks I take, and only if the calculations are in my favor.

So as I sit here, with the time nearing 1:30am, I slowly wind down, and count the minutes until I can board the first leg of my trip which will take me to Korea.  What awaits me?  Warm days, and chilly nights?  Maybe a little less rain than what Vancouver has been so generously offering?  Varieties of foods, whether it is a hole in the wall, or a cart on the street, or at a restaurant that claims authenticity, but in fact caters to foreigners.  Or maybe the prospect of successfully stalking a K-Pop star?  And let’s not forget about wholesale mall shopping?  I’ve heard great things about those malls, being open until early mornings when one should really be sleeping rather than shopping.

This trip will surely be one for the memories.  And lucky me!  I just bought a new camera.  Now if I could just figure out how to use it properly.  There will surely be many more posts to come, and maybe even a bit of vlogging if I manage to learn how to use iMovie.

So be patient, and keep your eyes peeled for more postings!  I can’t wait to share my dream with you!

Posted in Away From Home, Why I Smile Each Day | Leave a comment

Sorry, it’s been a while…..

Sorry, it’s been a while since my last post.  Been too busy with activities…… or too lazy to post.  Anyway, a million things have happened since my last post.

First off, CONGRATULATIONS TO LILLIAN AND ISAAC!  They got married July 9th and it’s been a month + 1 days for the happily married couple!  Time flies when you’ve been on a 3 week honeymoon!  Oh!  That and it flies when you’re having fun too.  :p

Secondly, I have not seen my grandmother in about a month now too….this is F-ing BS!  But let’s not dwell on the negative.

Let’s see, what else.  I’ve been able to spend more time with some friends that I’ve neglected for a while, and got a chance to enjoy some lovely home bbq, getting lost down in Coal Harbour, dirty jokes (when do we not have these?????), and a plentiful visit to the Farmer’s “Marjet” (<– stupid auto-correct didn’t auto-correct).  And what did all this amount to?  One liners that will forever be remembered, late nights, and an overall decline in IQ of those present.  These were good times.  And the topic of how much Karsina loves his cherng always seems to come up in his absence.

The highlight of the past 35 days has got to be the ISA concert I went to in Seattle!  It was here that I met 2 die-hard WongFu Fans!  It was such a treat to have spent the day with Sami and Marissa for Rirry and I.  The wait at the border became a bit much, and my tardiness certainly never fails, but all in all, the trip was amazing beyond imagination!  How could it have gone wrong?  VIP passes for Rirry and I, and Sami and Marissa had Backstage Passes!  This meant a Meet and Greet with the performers of the show, and autographs!  I mean, we did have a couple of hiccups during our drive, hiccups which nearly ended our lives, but we returned home safe and sound, totally exhausted, and completely wired from the excitement of that evening.

Did I mention that we were basically lining up starting at 3:30pm?  And I actually had to walk all the way from SAFECO Field to Pike & 5th (that’s a 60 min walk to and from) just to find a drug store that did instant prints so I could get them signed?  Yes, CORE!  Keep reading and you’ll see what I got signed!

*side note: I just realized it’s 12:51am and I’m supposed to be at work by 8am tomorrow…..ack!*

So most of you probably don’t know what or who the ISA is.  ISA stands for International Secret Agents.  Check them out at http://isatv.com.  Anyway, the group was founded by the ever so popular Wong Fu Productions (known for their video shorts such as: Yellow Fever) and Far East Movement (who quickly rose to world wide recognition with tracks such as Rocketeer and Like a G6).  They showcase mostly YouTube personalities, and lucky for us, they chose to kick off their 2011 tour in Seattle at the Showbox Sodo!  So who did they bring with them this time?  Let’s go through the list in order of appearance:

Hosts: Ryan Higa (AKA Niga Higa.  And Rirry ❤ Ryan), Kevin Wu (AKA Kev Jumba), and Cathy Nguyen: If you don’t know who they are, they’re a pretty fun bunch and you’ll always see them appear in each others’  videos or in the videos of Wong Fu Productions.

New Heights: They’re an up and coming band from and based in Seattle.  They did a 3 song set, which was brief, but they’re actually pretty good!  And they even had Clara C come on to sing a song with them!  HOW COOL IS THAT!

Victor Kim: Oh how I love thee.  🙂  I’ve been admiring Victor for a while, and the more I learn about him, the more impressed I am!  Not only is he a great dancer, having won Season 3 of America’s Best Dance Crew with his gang Quest Crew, but he also has a great singing voice, and he’s one of the sweetest and warmest people I’ve ever met!  Yes, that’s right, MET!  And what made the meeting so amazing was that he took the time to sign this picture for me and said that he thought it was pretty awesome what I did!  Notice the crown above his signature?  ❤  Love that he took the time to add in that extra bit!  I must give credit to Sami because she was the one who dragged us to make a dash for the back of the venue and ended up being one of the first 50 people in line for the Meet and Greet, which meant the Performers were not yet exhausted from signing hundreds of items and had the energy to smile and converse with us!  Here’s the picture:

i.aM.mE Crew: This group was this year’s winner of America’s Best Dance Crew!  And they are completely deserving of this title!  And Chachi, what a beautiful and talented girl she was.  She’s such a sweetheart!

David Choi: This guy is one of the most talented musicians I have ever encountered.  He basically writes the music and lyrics to all of his songs, AND he produces each one of them for his album.  His voice is soothing to listen to, and actually, it was his music that helped me through a really stressful time I went through earlier this year.  My favorite song of his, and one of my all time favorite songs ever, is his song “By My Side” which I have decided would be the song used in my wedding video (just gotta find the male lead in this wedding video of mine….. and in my life too :p).  Lucky me, I got to meet him TWICE this year!  The first time was when he had a show in Vancouver, this was back in April this year.  Lucky me, I got to take a picture with him after the show during his Meet and Greet session!  So when the opportunity presented for me to meet him once again, I took it and had him sign our photo.  Here it is!

Wong Fu Productions [Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, & Philip Wang]: So they’re not really performers….. but they definitely have something to show!  They’re well known for their videos which became viral even before YouTube came along.  They’ve worked with some pretty big names, such as FreddieW, Harry Shum Jr., and their pals FM!  And even though each of them are very unique in their own style of filming, when combined, they make one hell of a team!  I’ve been following them for YEARS!  Lucky for us who went to this ISA show, we got first glance at their newest short called “The Screen Test“.  And as if that wasn’t enough, Phil even did a live performance of “Dance To This Song” with KevJumba and David Choi!  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised!

Far East Movement [AKA FM]: They, were the headliner of the show.  And they totally deserved and owned it!  Maybe it was because I was right up at the front, but FM seriously puts on a good show!  And the level of energy they bring out to the stage with them is INSANE!  Seriously.  I really do mean INSANE!  Prohgress actually stood up on something at the front of the stage, and let himself fall backwards into a crowd dominated by LGs.  And I swear people had their cameras into his back trying to hold him up!  Kev Nish said that Prohgress loves doing stuff like that, so a camera or two pounded into his back are simply inconsequential.

So that was the show’s lineup.  I’d post more pictures but I didn’t really know how to use my camera so my pictures turned out terrible.  I have sufficient photos to keep that night fresh in my mind.  🙂  That and Sami took some awesome videos and pictures.  I sure hope they do a Vancouver show in the next year.  That would be amazing!

Alright, it’s now just after 2:30am.  I REALLY need to get some sleep in…..

Posted in Away From Home, Just Another Day, Moments, Things That Make Me Go "WTF?" (and sometimes followed by the thought of smacking them upside the head.....), When I'm Not Eating At Home, Why I Smile Each Day | Leave a comment

An Epiphany…..maybe?

This song is one of my all time favorite songs.  I’ve listened to 張惠妹’s version, the original version, a million times.  But it wasn’t until I had fully listened to JJ Lin’s version of it tonight that I had realized something.  I often wonder about why it is that I have such difficulty getting comfortable with someone.  Being able to get close to them.  To open myself up to them.  And finally, it hit me.  This song, this instance, I realized that it was because I feared envisioning a future with them.  Without expectation, there can be no disappointment.  And for that very reason, I have continued my pursuit for happiness with such detrimental reservations.

So does realizing this help anything?  Possibly, but unlikely in the immediate future.  Scars like this take time to heal.  It requires my willingness, and the patience and persistence of someone special to fix what was once damaged.

Posted in Just Another Day | 1 Comment

Species of the Ignorant Kind….

We all know at least one, two, three, or maybe even more than what can be counted by both hands and feet combined, of these people.  People who simply cannot see past their own ignorance, deeming themselves so high and mighty and knowledgeable that no other suggestions or ideas, despite it being proven to be better and more effective, could be better.

How can one overcome such ignorance?  For them, yes, ignorance is bliss, but how about those of us who are not that lacking?  How are we to deal with such difficult individuals?  The benefits of the alternative have been clearly illustrated and proven, and yet they still insist upon their own ways.  I find it nearly…..impossible.  Maybe I’m just not finding the right way to communicate.  Mind you, in my situation, I simply do not have the “right” to be blunt with my words, and even if I did, my bluntness may not be effective in communicating to someone who is so averse to suggestions of others.

Any suggestions?

PS: If you’re wondering how this post fits into the last part of “Things That Make Me Go “WTF?” (and sometimes followed by the though of smacking them upside the head…..)”, it just does.  I’d rather leave out the details…..

Posted in Things That Make Me Go "WTF?" (and sometimes followed by the thought of smacking them upside the head.....) | Leave a comment

#1 – Remember to always bring all of your ingredients to room temperature, unless otherwise indicated.

This is an important one when making cakes and cookies!  It is always a good idea to make sure your eggs and butter and other cold ingredients are at room temperature when you begin because this will optimize the amount of air incorporated into your mixture, and allow for even mixing of the ingredients!  Most of the time, you’re asked to cream butter and sugar together, and when your butter is cold and firm, it’s not going to coat the sugar crystals the way it should.  It may actually crush the sugar crystals, which have a somewhat star shape, crucial in catching air!

The only time this rule doesn’t apply is when you’re making pastries, like scones, croissants, tart shells, puff pastry.

Posted in Trick For Treats! | Leave a comment

Lush & Green…..

No, I’m not talking about a newly laid out lawn.  I mean, come on!  That doesn’t belong in the “Things That Go In Your Mouth” category…..or does it?

Either way, this post ISN’T about getting a new lawn put in.  So what else can be described with the two words, “Lush” and “Green”?  CUPCAKES!  Yes,  I’ve been known to do a bit of baking in my little circle of friends, if you don’t already know.  And I’ve even got a few weddings and birthdays under my “belt”!  But with life being so busy, I haven’t had the opportunity to bake anything since I began this blog.  That is, not until this past weekend.

The occasion was my best friend’s Bridal Shower.  We shall refer to her as “Jodie”.  Jodie is a vegetarian.  Well, she’s actually a pescetarian, but well on her way to being a vegetarian.  Anyway, with that said, I had to steer away from my classic mousse frosting due to the gelatin I put into it (yes, gelatin is made from animal, Wiki it!).  So what to make?  Well, I’ve been familiar with green tea flavour from eating green tea ice cream, but it was only within the last 6-7 months that I’ve really discovered MATCHA!  Thanks to a cup of delicious Soy Green Tea Latte from Starbucks made from soy milk and matcha powder, I have grown to love the matcha flavour!  So to combine two things that I enjoy, I decided to bake cupcakes with matcha!

I love to look for perfect recipes, and by perfect, I mean fit to my own personal taste and standard.  Everyone’s different so I wouldn’t say it’s perfect for everyone.  In my search, I stumbled upon a post by Kid Diva on her blog page, Sugar Bar.  I usually do my searches for recipes by images, and then look over the recipe to see if I think I like it.  And this post of hers convinced me that the recipe she had was going to fit the bill.

So what happened?  Here are the pictures!

Lush & Green    Lush & Green    Lush & Green

So there you have it!  These cupcakes turned out really well!  The cakes were lush and flavourful!  It was nowhere nearly as fluffy as my signature chocolate cake, but sometimes, you just want to have that indulgent kind of chocolate cake, that’s dense, and moist, and lush!  I’m telling you, this is that cake!  And the tiny bit of instant coffee that the recipe called for really helped to enhance the cocoa flavour!  I was a bit disappointed with the cream cheese frosting though.  I had a lot of people tell me the frosting was really good, especially suited to the blander Asian palate, but I personally thought it was a bit lacking.  It was just not……what I was expecting.  I was hoping it would turn out more fluffy, and sweet, while maintaining it’s creaminess.  It was definitely creamy, but I think I would add more icing sugar next time to make it more, frosting-y.  None-the-less, it even please someone as picky as my mom!  I love my mom for being so bluntly honest when it comes to the quality of my creations!  So if she approves, it must be pretty decent.

So for those of you who’d like to give this luscious cake a try, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Cake Ingredients: (yields 24-30 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 cup butter (room temperature, leave out at room temp 1 hour before using)
  • 1 1/2 cup caster sugar (aka Berry Sugar)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature, leave out at room temp 1 hour before using)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (sift this after you measure it to break apart clumps)
  • 2 tbs coffee granules (I used instant coffee. Instant espresso is also ok to use)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%.  The higher the fat content = more dense/heavy/lush)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Cake Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Beat butter till soft, smooth, creamy and pale. Add sugar and beat till creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and coffee granules together.
  4. In a small bowl or pouring jug, mix the vanilla and milk together.
  5. To combine the ingredients, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients into batter, mix well.  Then add half of the liquid, beat well.  Alternate till you end with the dry ingredients.
  6. Line muffin tray with liners. Fill each cup 2/3 full.
  7. Reduce oven heat to 175°C (350°F).
  8. Bake 25-30 min.
  9. Let cool completely before icing.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!

Posted in Things That Go In Your Mouth | Tagged , , | 2 Comments