February 29, 2016

February | Discover the Internet

1| Jo Totes Camera Bags

Having had to haul around a cumbersome camera bag for 4 weeks in China, then 2 weeks in Italy, and many more times around the city, I was floored when I came upon this site that sells the cutest camera bags. Unfortunately, they're a bit out of my budget, but a girl can appreciate!

2| Design Psychology - The Everygirl

I especially loved this because of how my childhood room has evolved over the past 15 years, reflecting who I am and what I valued at different times in my life. I wish we could have documented my room every time it changed but there are specific moments I still remember.

3| The End of Small Talk

Amazing and extremely touching story, read it, now. This is one of the best articles that I have read.

4| Do You Know You're Smart?

Going to an academic school, I feel quite incompetent at times and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article because I could relate to it. It inspired me to try and apply those three "methods" to my own life, especially to stop subconsciously comparing myself to others.

February 28, 2016

Week 8 | My Happiness Project

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53/365: I started reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which is what inspired me to base this week's photos on things that bring me happiness! I'm actually thinking of continuing this throughout the rest of the month of March as well, a monthly theme!

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54/365: Definitely not one of my best pictures as I had just woken up 5 minutes before I took it. I walked into the bathroom and the moon was just so bright and beautiful, casting a spot of light into the bathroom.

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55/365: I got this pair of earrings in Italy almost 2 years ago and it's one of my favourite pairs just because of the hint of green within them. Thinking about Italy again brings back memories of walking down long stretches of narrow streets, old ruins amongst new buildings, cafes, big green pharmacy signs sticking out like an arm, all making me feel the need to return.

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56/365: Yes, more earrings. BUT, I got a lot of these from my friend this past Christmas, and the box it is on is full of birthday cards I got over the past few years. I feel extremely grateful for the friends that I have, and through recent events, I've realized how comfortable I've gotten, how much I tr

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57/365: I am grateful for this beautiful city of Edmonton that I live in. As much as people say that it is boring (albeit a lot of the things I find fun - cafe hopping - cost money) I keep finding aspects of the city that I really like. Edmonton is a growing city and I am excited to see where it heads (even with the economic downturn)

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58/365: This cinnamon bun is self-explanatory. Go to SugarBowl in Edmonton if you haven't already, they have the best cinnamon buns EVER and they are the size of my hand.

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59/365: Oranges are a happy fruit: the brightness, the freshness, the acidity cutting through, I love it.

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60/365: I've said this before about waking up early, but it has been bringing me a lot of happiness. I'm not exactly sure if it's because I've been getting more sleep, but I feel a lot lighter and less stressed. Even this picture was taken half an hour after I woke up, on a SUNDAY MORNING. 

February 25, 2016

Français pour l'avenir

Bonjour, tout le monde! La semaine passée, je suis allé au Campus Saint-Jean pour le Forum Local d'Edmonton! C'était une expérience vraiment intéressante, et je me suis bien amusée!

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Les cabanaes à sucre! C'était la première fois que je les ai essayés.
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Le balcon qui se trouve à l'arrière du batiment dans lequel le forum se deroulait.
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Ariane Mahryke Lemire!

February 21, 2016

Week 7 | My Room

Although most of my pictures are taken in my room anyways, I thought to feature different parts of my room in a few pictures this week! It has been a busy, but sort of rewarding week in which I got to go on a field trip to Campus Saint-Jean. Field trips are extremely rare in high school, more so at our school because missing a day of class is one of the most stressful events ever. The event we attended was called "Français pour l'avenir" and it was a relaxing and fun day! I'll be doing a blog post on that asap! :)


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46/365: Steel cut oatmeal with homemade cranberry chia jam, bananas, toasted coconut flakes and chia seeds! I love starting mornings with this just to feel energized.

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47/365: I love having calendars and agendas everywhere to organize myself, although I still forget to do things...

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48/365: Normally, I don't really like boxes with all these sayings but I found this one really cute and I use it to keep cards and photos!

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Day 49/365: A bargain found, again, at Winners, for only $1.80. I hardly find anything with my name, or the letter of my name on it that I like so I grabbed this right away. I love it.

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Day 50/365: The outdoor patio of the building we were in at Campus Saint-Jean! It was an extremely entertaining day where we got to explore different "atéliers"

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Day 52/365: I've started sleeping earlier and waking up earlier which allows me to have breakfast in bed on the weekends when I don't have to work! It's a great way to start the day and it makes me feel as if I've done a lot more in the day. 

February 17, 2016

I'm 17


I'm quite sure a majority of youth within the ages of 16 to 18 can definitely relate to this. Going to an academic school for the last few years, I constantly felt as if I'm not doing enough, not trying hard enough in school and in my community. It has only been of recent that I've started to become more comfortable with my own expectations, with creating my own expectations.

To fully explain the reasons behind the confusion and frustration of the past few years would involve telling my entire life story, which in all honesty, I don't want to do. However, I think it suffices to say that I grew up in a society and culture that set out high expectations for me. Both my parents being immigrants from China, many people expected, and still expect my brother and I to excel at school, get a good job, marry a good husband or wife, and have kids.

Growing up, I loved receiving compliments from aunts and uncles about how good of a daughter I was, about how smart I was, about how successful I would be, and soon I started taking these compliments as people's expectations for me to be a good daughter, to be a good wife, to be a successful woman married to a husband, all very traditional. Without realizing it, their expectations became my own.

I go to school with intelligent people: students who are involved in clubs and councils, presidents or chairs of clubs and councils, people who excel in sciences, writing, art, and some who are so driven that they constantly think they are better than everyone else, which drives me to further live up to all these expectations that others had set out for me, and expectations that I had set out for myself. 

It has taken a while to finally become comfortable with who I am: a 17 year old girl who may or may not want to get married, live in a comfortable house and have children, a girl who enjoys playing piano but does not want to pursue it as a career, a girl who may not be "pursuing her dreams" but does not know what those dreams are, taking business as a means to still live up to those expectations to find a viable career, but at the same time finding a certain excitement in the field too, a girl who is finally deciding what is best for herself, whether they are for or against what people expect from me.

February 14, 2016

Week 6 | Lunar New Year

Although I had originally set out to try and take a picture involving Chinese New Year this week, it was a bit harder than I thought simply because my parents were busy working, and therefore, there wasn't a lot of "festivities" around the house! Also, many people do say Chinese New Year, but it's actually Lunar New Year as any culture that follows the Lunar calendar celebrates this day.

In China, they actually get around 2 weeks off from work and school to participate in all the celebrations as the Spring Festival is 15 days of celebration. The 7th day, for example, is "Everyone's Birthday" and there are even specific foods that can be made for each day. It's all quite superstitious in a way.


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39/365: Trying to show off a shirt I bought at La Vie Lente a few weeks ago.
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40/365: Ever since I was a kid, I remember getting red envelopes (yes, this one is pink) for Chinese New Years and then saving the money until I had enough to buy something that I wanted. Relatives also give these out during birthdays and Christmas simply because they "don't know what to buy for you"
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41/365: We went out for dinner this day but I didn't bring my camera because of REASONS. Anyway, I came home from school early so I decided to make a variation of a Thai salad bowl for my mom and I.
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42/365: Vietnamese Salad Rolls made by my aunt!
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43/365: My mom cooking up a storm as usual, check out my Flickr to see the food she made that night!
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44/365: A sweet card I received from Dickinsfield Amity House after volunteering with them for their annual Christmas Eve Breakfast.
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45/365: A carnation that my school handed out to students for our Touch Of Class.

February 07, 2016

Week 5 | Mornings

Back to the usual grind of waking up at 6AM for school, then still waking up early on the weekends because of work and also because my body is just used to waking up early. There's just an extremely magical feeling associated with the mornings, where you're the only one awake, sitting, listening, being, and watching the city wake up as more cars line the street, as the sound of horns grow louder, as the construction begins, as people begin to file into work, and you're just there, observing.

I've always been a morning person but as high school wore on, I began waking up later (so around 9 or 10 which is probably early for some people). Recently, as you may or may not have noticed, I've started waking up earlier and taking some time to relax. Of course, I can't do that on days where I already wake up at 6 unless I want to be dragging myself around the whole day. BUT, today,  I woke up around 7:30, went downstairs, made a cup of coffee, then climbed back into bed to type this up and catch up on other blogs.

I'm really enjoying taking pictures every day because it challenges me to actually compose my shots rather than taking pictures on the go. I'm going to try creating themes for myself, or finding certain themes to follow each week. For the next week, as it is Chinese New Years tomorrow, my theme will be to capture this energy of Chinese New Years!

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32/365: I've gotten into the habit of waking up earlier and it's actually extremely relaxing to take a walk around the lake and take pictures as the sun rises.
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35/365: Homemade pho by my mom! :)
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36/365: The book I am currently reading..
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37/365: Thai Chicken Salad Bowl! :)
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38/365: Enjoying a good cup of coffee first thing Sunday morning.

February 01, 2016

365 Photography: Weeks 3 - 4

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19/365: Dinner by mom

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21/365: The new spin studio that opened up on Whyte Avenue

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24/365: Breakfast!

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25/365: Loads and loads of studying going on...

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26/365: The sunrise by my house.

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28/365: Woke up especially early today just because I'm used to waking up early for school and was able to get this lovely shot of the city.
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29/365: A morning well spent at Transcend Coffee in the Garneau area.

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31/365: If you have never tried plain honey on toast, it is delicious.