New family photos!

These were taken back on August 16th (I’m quite behind on blogging, I know!) before heading to grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary party!

As usual, we are a silly silly family 🙂 I have to say this is our best family photo (minus my dad) to date!

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But I think we can clean up nicely when needed, right?

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Girls in the family

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Sisters! I love this photo 🙂

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Look how big we can make our butts

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We are pretty attractive 😛

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DHAL: July 27, 2014

Had a late start today!

Wasn’t until midday that my sister and I headed out. Today’s plan: Visit Newcastle Island. How? A 10 minute ferry ride that costs only $9 return.

Some sights along our walk to the ferry dock

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Revealed itself during the low tide

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Liked the reflection in the water

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Beautiful day with lots of boats in the water

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Didn’t take long until we got to Newcastle Island!

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A really beautiful island with lots of nice walking trails (approx 8km around the perimeter of the island), areas for picnics and places to swim. Click HERE for more information about the island.

Some photos during our hike!

One of the views off the island

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Christmas colours!

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Jenni’s not so much a big fan of hiking, so got bored a little too quickly

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Hello!

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Crystal tree droppings

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Lots of easy to walk trails

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More water and boats!

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Took a rest by the beach, and a selfie!

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Lots of pretty views

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And lots of people watching 🙂

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You could easily spend the whole day on Newcastle Island, but we had important things to do. Mainly: Buy Nanaimo bars and yummy pastries to eat before the shops closed.

After a few hours, we said farewell and hopped on the ferry back.

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Looking back towards Nanaimo

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From there, we proceeded to Mon Petit Choux Cafe & Bakery to pick up a few goodies for later this evening.

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We then headed back down to the water to enjoy a delicious late lunch/early dinner at Troller’s Fish & Chips. I got halibut and my sister got salmon, it came with fries, coleslaw & tartare sauce. The fish was delightful, such light and crispy batter, went great with the tartare sauce. The fries were good as well, but the coleslaw was so warm! We couldn’t tell if it was because of the temperature, but the coleslaw seemed to have iceberg lettuce in it as well, definitely not as good as it could’ve been.

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We called it an early day after eating and decided to head back to my place. Instead, we decided to watch some of our classic favourite movies: Freaky Friday and White Chicks. Don’t laugh, it was good fun! 😛

Selfie on the way home!

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For dinner (and an early birthday celebration), we had delicious pastries from Mon Petit Choux. Top left is a Marjolaine, originally invented by French chef Fernand Point – combining almond & hazelnut meringue layers with chocolate buttercream. Bottom is an Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse, which lost a bit of its shape in the heat during the walk home but retained all of its deliciousness. And lastly, a berry custard danish – yum! To top all of that off, we also nibbled on a Nanaimo Bar – so rich we couldn’t finish a slice together but certainly yummy!

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A fun weekend hanging out with my sister, a little sad that she will be leaving me tomorrow! 😦

Opening presents!

We have always opened our presents on Christmas night, as opposed to Christmas Eve night or Christmas morning like many of our other friends. Our rationale is that it allows us to collect all our presents in accordance with our get-togethers and we can open all our presents together at the end of the day.

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Family photo in onesies!

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It was really lovely to have Michael be able to join our entire family for the day, and then with us at home while we exchanged and opened gifts. ❤

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Friends and family were more than generous this year, thank you so much! Adults have always given the children ‘lucky red pockets’ so I received one from each of my mom’s 4 siblings.

And now opening presents!

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My mom is the oldest so she gets to open presents first 🙂

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Ou, Pandora beads!

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Hugs!

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Me too, me too!!

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My siblings pitched together to get me a great camera tripod, something I’ve been needing and wanting to buy for years. Additionally, they got me a whole bunch of other gifts! Thanks guys!

Yay,  a charm to add to my Pandora bracelet from my sister. Her note reads: In Celtic culture, ivy is symbolic of growth, renewal, connection, friendship, and opportunity.

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Have you ever tried chocolate flavoured cola? Because let me tell you, it’s pretty horrific. Don’t be fooled by the empty bottle, it’s because the syrupy liquid ended up down the drain!

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Mike and I always watch videos from the YouTube channel called RRCherrypie. We love watching them put together these Japanese mini edible meals and find the sound of mixing powder so soothing against the plastic tray. You will only understand this if you are familiar with the product and the videos, don’t laugh at us! Can’t wait to try this out! And in the realm of Japanese food, I also received some mini green tea and passion fruit KitKats! I would love to one day try all the KitKat flavours available in Japan, but for now, I can cross 2 off my list! They were nice, but I still prefer the chocolate one more.

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Received soooo many sweets like you wouldn’t believe. Including these Purdy ‘s Truffles and Goji Berry bar, also from my sister! Apparently, Purdy’s is a brand well known for its quality of chocolate but is not available outside the West coast, I will enjoy these!

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Caffeinated chocolate bars from my bro. Chocolate and caffeine, what more does a med student need?

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My mommy gave me a lovely fuchsia dress from Tommy Hilfiger, a nice addition to my clinical wardrobe! Also, a super comfy pair of black pants that I actually wore onto the flight home!

Michael gave me a Wilton piping set, something I’ve been wanting for a long time, thanks my dear! He also gave me a camera accessories kit but we decided to return it as it too came with a tripod, which my siblings already covered.

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Teavana teas from my cousins Janet and Kevin, will enjoy trying them and adding them to my tea collection! They also gave me a French Press which I didn’t take a picture of.

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Colette and her husbane Pete are old friends of my mom, look at the gorgeous card we received from them. Not to mention gifts!

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She even gave me gifts! A Burt’s Bees gift set with a lovely travel bag that I’m actually using for my flight bag. It’s cute, small and fits everything I need! Also a bracelet from Twilight Jewelry.

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Michael’s parents gave me a bagful of goodies, including a long and light snake-print scarf that I used repeatedly on the flight home! I think it will be perfect for Brisbane’s mild winter – Thanks Caroline and Greg!

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Every gift I receive, big and small, is valuable and sentimental to me. I hope you don’t mind, but I am not blogging about them to show off but to document these memories so that I may look back and read about it in the future. ^_^

This year’s Christmas was super special to me, in many ways, which perhaps I will elaborate on in a separate post. The time I got to spend with my family and friends, although short was very much treasured, especially because I may not be back in Canada for next Christmas. Thank you everyone for your love, time and generosity!

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope that wherever you were and the company you kept left you with joy and happiness!

Vancouver: Day 01

November, 17, 2013

After a long flight and losing feeling in my butt more than 6 hours before we arrived, we finally met up with my sister in Vancouver! Thanks for picking us up sis!

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For those who don’t know, Jenni moved to Vancouver in August for graduate studies (Master of Occupational Therapy) at UBC – her dream school. Her blog HERE.

She lives in a cute and bright basement apartment with her wonderful housemate, Erin. Little things they had that brightened up the home!

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And look what we had pre-purchased – tickets to the Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars hockey game that night. I am not a fan of hockey, but how can I say no when both Jenni and Mike are such huge fans?

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After dropping off our stuff and seeing my sisters place, we headed out for a walk and a little bit of sight seeing.

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Oh, I haven’t mentioned it was gloomy and rainy. Yes, it was depressing weather. But what could you do?

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We just missed the autumn colours!

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We passed by a cupcake store (Cupcakes by Heather & Lori)… need I say more? The shop was oh-so-cute, as you can see in the photos below.

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The selection of cupcakes was great and I loved their names!

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Loved that they offered both regular and mini sized cupcakes of most of their selection.

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The cakes were tasty! Nice and moist yet light. Unfortunately, although the consistency of the icing was awesome, we found it to be lacking in flavour!

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In the afternoon, we met up with Di Thanh (Aunt Thanh) and her daughter Hayley. Di Thanh is my mom’s cousin on her dad’s side – her dad is my grandpa’s younger brother. My first time meeting her, she’s such a beautiful person, inside and out! She took us to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and for dessert, took us to La Casa Gelato!

This wasn’t an ordinary gelato shop, they have 218 flavours of gelato onsite at all times! You prepay for your ice cream (we all got single scoop cones) and get a chip to trade in once you make up your mind. And you can have as many samples as you want!

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They had all the traditional flavours plus others that were… perhaps less appealing? Haha, interested in trying seaweed, garlic, or curry flavoured ice cream? What about wasabi, vegemite, or porcini mushroom?

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Family photo!

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Soon it was time to head to the hockey game! We met my sister’s friend Alison, who joined us for the game as well.

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With a much better view than anticipated, we enjoyed the game even more. But unfortunately, Vancouver lost 😦 Still a good time though!

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Ended the night with pizza on the way home at Uncle Fatih’s! Yum yum 🙂

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And that’s it for Day 01! 🙂

Another year older…

Thought I should finally blog about my 26th birthday which was last month on July 28 – ah, I’m getting so old!

My birthday was very uneventful. I stayed at home all day and lounged on the couch, which was really just what I needed! 😀

For dinner, Mike made yummy chicken Kiev with potatoes and vegetables and chocolate cupcakes! I didn’t plan an event or do anything with friends, but perhaps next year!

Wasn’t expecting anything, but I even got presents…

Really cute wrapping from Mike, he was very impressed at his handiwork. Even the bow was handmade 😛

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Mike added 3 charms to my Pandora bracelet: Suitcase + Aeroplane, both representing each other’s travel buddy, the travels we’ve done together so far, and the places we’ll see together in the future. He also gifted me the Medical charm, also known as the Caduceus charm. Yes, we are both aware that the Rod of Asclepius (and not the Caduceus symbol) is the proper symbol of medicine!

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My sister sent me a package from Ottawa that contained a dinosaur card in an envelope that roared (sounding very much like my brother) when you opened it.

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Inside the card were my presents! Awesome gift certificates, you should take a look!

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In addition, I also received a bunch of Reese peanut butter cups! Delicious and not easily available, or cheap, in Australia.

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Unfortunately, they were all squished and looked like this!

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My brother ordered me a set of ceramic knives – nice! I’ve always wanted a few of these, and now I have some! He even gave me the “never sharpen ceramic knives” speech 😛 Yes bro, of course I know that already! 😉

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Thanks family!

And as a bonus, some gifts from Kristen! Cute heart-shaped silicone cupcake liners and a paper set with little decorations! Also a lovely brown skinny belt with a gold feather buckle and a turquoise clutch/wallet. Thank you my dear!

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Oh, did I mention my family back home had a party on my behalf? Thanks guys! Although I think you used my birthday as an excuse to eat cake 😛 Just kidding! Thanks for remembering me and including me in the family!

Here are some pictures from the “party”:

Me with my cake!

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With mum and the siblings

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And Di Nam (mum’s sister)

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And altogether!

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Siblings and Janet

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Cutting my cake

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Even get to eat cake!

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Bonus:

My siblings, their pets, and cousin Janet

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We’re having a baaaall!

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26 years old… gosh time is going by too quickly! I wonder what this year will hold? 🙂

Congratulations Little Sister!

Big congratulations to my little sister, Jenni, for being accepted into grad school!

She applied to the Master of Occupational Therapy program at 5 schools in Canada and was accepted to every one… so proud!

Come September, she will be a Thunderbird at her first choice school – University of British Columbia!

And of course, Mike and I will now be stopping over in Vancouver to visit her on the way back home this year 😛

What I’m most excited about, is after years of nagging her to have a blog of her own, and not including her humorous blog (Ain’t Nobody Got Time For This) with our cousin Janet, she finally has one! Please visit Thunderbird Time to follow her adventures in becoming an OT student and eventually an OT!

Our mom is probably already sad that our family home will soon be further dwindling down, from an original 5 to 2 – but hopefully this blog will help keep her connected to everyone back home 🙂

FADU: Rugby Union and Park Playing

Gosh, I’m nearly a month behind… how embarrassing. I now have to base my memories on pictures we’ve taken, thank goodness I have those!

July 14, 2012

Checked out our first Rubgy Union game – St George Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs! And we won! Dinner? Chicken tacos and drinks – yum.

July 15, 2012

Hit the Windsor Park close to home with Tan and Christine for lunch and some fun in the sun! Too windy for badminton but soccer certainly had us panting for air! Such a gorgeous day! In other news, my brothers toe nails are blue courtesy of my mom and sister.

Dinner at home: Gnocchi with garlic bread and eggplant tempura – mmm!

Photo #152: Personalised Gifts

July 30, 2012

Sharing a few of the personalised gifts received from my sister – 25th birthday presents! Had so many laughs that night – big thanks to my family and Michael for all the wonderful presents not included in this picture! ❤

 

Photo #80: Happy Birthday Jenni!

May 18, 2012

My sister, Jenni, turns 21 today! Woo hoo! Full-fledged adult!

This is my birthday card to you:

You will receive your present when you’re in Australia visiting me! 🙂

(I believe this qualifies as a “Photo of the Day” because I took most if not all these ‘gorgeous’ pictures of my sister)

I love my siblings…!

All the little things they do and say that just make me smile and happy I have them.

Yes… I have been missing my family! 😦

My brother’s note in my Farewell-to-Australia card
(Yes, my sister and I really do call him ‘Brother’)

My sister’s birthday greeting this year that came with a chocolate bouquet
(I really did cry… and they were not tears of joy. They will never let me forget that)