no churning, shaking or kicking

 

*squeal*

Homemade ice cream! :D

I once wanted to get one of those ice cream balls that one throws and kicks around for a while and out comes a tub of ice cream (well, one has to put cream and sugar and salt into it first). 

And then one day my friend Annie pointed me to this recipe on Kevin and Amanda. It involves condensed milk (one of my favourite things!) and without the use of an ice cream machine! (thanks Annie!)

Whipping up 2 cups of whipping cream (ah, sorry, messy kitchen :S)…

Dissolving 2 tablespoons of matcha powder with a bit of hot water (I’d use more next time, the green tea flavour is a bit too faint)…

Mixing the dissolved matcha with one can of condensed milk…

Folding whipped cream into matcha/condensed milk mixture…

And mixing it all up :D (see? the green tea was rather pale)

Freeze overnight — makes an ice cream tub full! :D

It’s quite a bit richer and sweeter than regular ice cream, so I’d say it’s best eaten in small servings, but it’s quite delicious! 

Since the recipe makes a full tub it would be fun to divide up the base recipe and mix with different flavours!

Wonder how I could make lavender flavour with the lavender tea I have… 

 

Have a sweet weekend!

 

 

 

party flowers

The hallways in our apartment buildings are pretty dark and grim. There was a new neighbour who moved into the apartment across the hall and she hung a small flower wreath on her door, and it made such a difference! So, inspired by my neighbour, I decided to make a small flower wreath for our door too! I took the idea from the floral party hats on Oh Happy Day.

Ta-da! 

 

A close up of the tissue paper flowers. If you look carefully you’ll see the half-ripped neighbourhood watch sticker I was attempting to cover with the flowers.

 

And I actually did make floral party hats. We were going to a wedding shower for a friend this week — so exciting! I love weddings. 

 

The one with the bit of tulle is for the bride-to-be — here she is! :D

 

And us party-goers :D

 

Cakes at the party! They were as pretty as they were delicious.

 

And when we got home I continued partying with a friend who came over to make a collage thank-you card for a prof (art-making parties are the best kind of parties!), and she so kindly brought over some macarons!

 

Feeling totally spoiled!  And the card we made was so totally awesome!

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday! 

 

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Eye bombing! How awesome is that? 

 

Cuddly cuddly cuddly. From the always awesome Purl Bee.

 

Very neat way of braiding the neckline of a t-shirt, by Her New Leaf.

 

Sunny day friends :D Pattern from Happiness is Scrappy.

 

Cutest mouse pattern I’ve seen. Especially love the stripy one! By Kate Godfrey on Ravelry.

 

Pattern for both the cork gnomes and the toadstool, by Annaboo’s House.

 

Like a field of cherry blossom petals! Afghan square by Julie Yeager on Ravelry.

 

Life size knitted bees by Hannah Haworth. Pattern for sale! 40% of proceed goes to a bee conservation trust!

 

Cherry blossoms made with coffee filters! From one of my favourite blogs, Aunt Peaches.

 

Teddy bear toast — isn’t he the cutest? Spotted on Mini-eco.

 

Have a great start to the week!

 

 

 

 

signs of spring

It felt like the temperature went from just above freezing to 25°C overnight in the past week. It was so warm today it felt like July.

Part of me thinks that it’s rather unnerving. It is, after all, only the third week of March. But another part of me is thoroughly enjoying the warmth of the sun, the bright blue sky and the plant life coming out of hibernation.

 

Yes, I took quite a few pictures of the cherry blossom buds :D They’re just outside of the building where I have all of my classes this semester, and it’s looking like I might see them bloom before the semester ends.

I’m noticing that I’m appreciating nature more and more as I grow older. Not quite sure why that is. But seeing the pink cherry blossoms just filled my heart with indescribable joy. 

I hope your day is filled with joy as well.

 

 

 

playlist shuffle

 

 

Have never done this quiz when everyone was doing it a couple of years ago, because I didn’t have a playlist. I don’t listen to music much on my own, but I do enjoy listening to Mike’s music when he has it on.

Lately I have been looking for instrumental music to play when I’m writing papers. I realized that music helps with writing sometimes. So Mike gave me a bunch of songs in his collection. So I thought, I can finally do the playlist shuffle quiz! :D

(and the picture is one of my favourite album covers by Sleeping at Last — jellyfish!)

 

How? 
1. Grab your music player
2. Put your entire library into the playlist and turn on shuffle.
3. Use the song titles that pop up every time you hit the next track button as answers for each of the questions below, in order.

How does the world see me?
The only moment we were alone — Explosions in the sky 
huh? 

Will I have a happy life?
Umbrella beach — Owl city 
sounds pretty cheerful. 

What do my friends really think of me?
Unobstructed views — Death cab for cutie
I am a pretty open book… 

How can I make myself happy?
Bird stealing bread — Iron & wine 
beats pig stealing eggs! 

What should I do with my life?
All this to say — Sleeping at last 
now I just have to figure out what to say… 

Will I ever have children?
You can do better than me — Death cab for cutie
haha, yes. 

What is some good advice?
Armellodie — Gonzales
it’s open to interpretation. 

How will I be remembered?
Natural anthem — Postal service
better than unnatural anthem, I guess. 

What is my signature dancing song?
The tourist — Gonzales
I love being a tourist! :D 

What do I think my current theme song is?
Long division — Death cab for cutie
challenging. never been good at mental math.

What song will play at my funeral?
Someday you will be loved — Death cab for cutie 
I thought I’m already being loved… 

 

That was kind of fun…

Have a happy Wednesday!

 

 

delicious delicious delicious

 

March is an extremely busy month, with courses coming to an end at the same time and presentations/papers due at the same time. (has the school administration thought this through?) 

Anyway, it means that I have to make a conscious effort to make and eat good delicious food so that I don’t end up having ramen noodles three times a day (even though ramen noodles are awesome). 

My friend and I went to the Dumpling House in Chinatown after school one day — must go back! Check out the lattice pattern on the fried dumplings (above). Also ordered spinach dumplings for the disease fighting benefits of leafy greens.

 

Made curry beef — with coconut milk! So proud of myself. Actually quite easy. Just wasn’t sure whether coconut milk would curdle like regular milk. I don’t think it did.

 

Then with the leftover curry sauce Mike made curry fish ball! It’s a kind of Hong Kong street food :D

 

And last week Mike made the perfect fish congee.

 

I’m off to making myself some lunch :D 

Hope you’re enjoying this early spring weather!

 

 

 

trilobite at work!

Mike took one of the trilobites to work.

He took some nice picture of it. Better than the ones I took of them and you can see that the orange trilobite is made of a sparkly yarn :D

Here the trilobite is helping Mike pick out colours for a tote bag design. Trilobite chose the red it’s sitting on. Mike agrees.

 

It was a good day at work :D

Hope today was a good day for you, too!

 

 

the kindness of a stranger

 

Today was a really bad day.

It’s not really about one thing in particular. It could be an accumulation of different things. Either way, I just felt so profoundly sad for no particular reason, so much so that I had to leave in the middle of a class and broke down in the bathroom sobbing.

So, as I locked myself in a stall sobbing, I heard someone else entered the next stall. I continued to sob.

Then, I felt that I was ready to leave and as I was leaving, a voice came out from the next stall:

Whatever it is, it’s going to be okay. Be strong.”

I thanked the voice, feeling ever, ever so grateful, and started sobbing again.

 

I then found a potted plant to sit next to in the hallway and let its branches fall over my one arm, breathing in deeply its scent of dirt and basil (but I don’t think it was a basil, it was too big to be a basil), waiting for the class to end so I could get my backpack.

The woman came out from the bathroom, “give me a hug,” she said, “you’re going to be okay.” I don’t know who she is, she didn’t ask for my name and I didn’t ask for hers. 

A young woman from my class whom I’ve hardly spoken with came out of the classroom to microwave her lunch. She asked if I were okay and if I wanted her to sit with me. I said it was up to her.

She sat down and said, “we’ll sit in silence.”

And we did, as I sobbed intermittently.

She didn’t ask me why I couldn’t stop crying. And even if she did I wouldn’t know how to answer her. It was just one of those days.

 

One of those days where I didn’t want to be alone but I don’t really want to be talking with people about why I’m sad.

One of those days where I like to sit with plants, hug trees, because they don’t judge.

And that, to me, is kindness.

The two women today gave me great gifts of kindness. They didn’t ask what I crying about to judge whether I was deserving of their kind words and gestures. They just offered it to me without even knowing me.

These are the moments that I will store up in my memory to keep me going on days like today. 

 

A great quote I saw the other day:

Look at the sea. What does it care about offenses?
— James Joyce

 

I was speaking with a very wise woman about Niagara Falls. I told her that the falls is certainly full of energy, but the water that flows over the table rock just before it falls, I could stare at it all day because to me, it feels like kindness.

What is it about the water that reminds you of kindness?” she asked, smiling.

I couldn’t quite think of the reasons then. I could only think of the way it caresses the rocks and gently sways the underwater plants at the bottom. But I think I’ve figured it out today.

Because it doesn’t judge.

 

Lately Mike and I have started going swimming at the pool in our building. I can’t swim, but I like the feeling of being surrounded by water. Feels like I’m being hugged. And the muffled sound one hears underwater, it makes me think that maybe that’s what it sounds like inside the womb. (An idea I probably got from watching TV shows, and it makes sense, doesn’t it?)

 

And so, the women who offered kindness to me, a stranger, today showed me that it is possible to be compassionate and nonjudgmental without having to be a plant, a tree, or the sea. They showed me how to show kindness as a human being to someone who really needed it.

 

And I think of you, my friends whom I’ve never met in person but visit me regularly or once in a while or for the first time, being interested and reading what I have to say, even leaving messages that are so encouraging and kind and make my day over and over again — I’m so very grateful for you.