If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

moonyblogoct16_11| Crop top: Talula | Jeans: Citizens of Humanity | Cardigan: Babaton | Shoes: Chanel |
| Bag: Kate Spade |

So this post is ridiculously overdue. As you can tell by the crop top and the cardigan (instead of the parka I’ve been living in recently) these photos were taken way back in mid October. This semester just ruined me for everything outside of school, the past two months were some of the toughest I’ve endured in recent years, both academically and emotionally.

Looking at these photos now, it occurs to me how insane it is how much people can change in such short measures of time. My hairs isn’t the same, it’s longer and in a weird transitional phase to silver. My wardrobe consists of more practical articles these days, I’ve traded in my crop tops and purses for sweaters and a backpack. And on a less superficial level, I’m different now. I’m not the person in these photos, I’ve experienced setbacks and grief, I’ve had to push myself further than I ever have before, and I’ve come out the other end not entirely unscathed, but intact. It’s never easy for me to talk about my feelings or express my affection for others out loud, it’s one of my deepest flaws as a person. I internalize my feelings but I’m not very good at compartmentalizing them, and sometimes when it gets to be too much, it comes bubbling over the surface and affects the people I care about poorly. I’m working on it, really.

Even though I have trouble saying it out loud sometimes, I am grateful for everybody in my life. I’m thankful for the friends who have been there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, who have been understanding enough to give me space when I’ve needed to process, who have given me their unwavering support at a time when I’ve needed it most. I look at this photo set now and I’m a little envious of the person in them, she’s blissfully unaware of the hard times to come, but for the most part I just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The past two months have been trying, to say the least, and some of it will get worse before it gets better, but it’s also shown me all that I have to be appreciative of. So to my friends and family: if I never get around to saying this out loud to you because I’m emotionally stunted and let’s face it, super awkward, I want you to know that I appreciate everything all of you have done in being there for me (and I love you but feel really weird saying that out loud so let’s not ever bring this up ever, okay?)

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

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These rich gooey cookies are absolutely perfect on a blustery fall day such as today. I know that browning the butter can seem like a lot of work but trust me, they add a depth to the cookies that will be can’t be beat. They’re absolutely perfect with a glass of milk or hot cup of earl grey, and a big cozy sweater and some Netflix.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles (filled with caramel)

1/2 cup brown butter*
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Extra sugar + spices, for coating the cookies

Optional: unwrapped soft caramels

Mix the butter and sugars until the sugar has melted into the butter, then add the vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to one day.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out two tablespoons of cookie dough and pop an unwrapped caramel in there if you want, then roll in the sugar and spice mixture before baking for 15 minutes.

*If you’ve never browned butter before, it’s super easy. You just melt the butter and keep it over low-med heat until it starts to smell nutty and the little fat bits turn brown.

Summer in October

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Dress: Oak + Fort (similar here)| Shoes: BCFootwear (similar here) | Cardigan: Community | Barrettes: Ban.do

The weather in Vancouver has been weird lately. Like, 18 degrees in October weird. I don’t want to complain because I know come December I’ll be wishing for this weather again, but it doesn’t feel quite right to indulge in pumpkin treats when you’re in shorts and a t-shirt. 

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Varsity Blues

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Cardigan: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar here) | Dress:  Wilfred | Shoes: Converse Fancy Ox | Bag: Kate Spade (similar here)

Lately I’ve been seriously thinking about my future, I’m almost finished school so it’s about time for me to consider what I really want to do with my life. My BBA is in Human Resources, and while I enjoy helping people (and Human Resources would be a great field for that), a little part of me knows I would never be happy stuck in an office filing paper work.

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It’s All in the Details

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Top: Talula | Skirt: Yesstyle | Flats: J.Crew (Similar Here) | Earrings: Bauble Bar

It’s been a while since my last post, two months to be exact! I want to say that life just got super crazy (which it did, I mean you guys my hair is purple now. If that isn’t a quarter life crisis I don’t know what is.) but really, I just got lazy. At first it was finals, and then I just wanted to enjoy the two weeks of summer without school, and then school started again, and THEN I realized I was just making excuses to put off the guilt about neglecting my blog.

It’s so easy to get into a rut with bad habits, for me it’s a constant struggle. Am I falling behind on school work? On this blog? Have I been to the gym at least two times this week? Am I logging my meals on MFP? Why haven’t I finished that book I’ve been meaning to read for two weeks? Have I been neglecting my friends lately? Am I spending enough time with my family? It’s so easy to fall into a shame spiral and feel guilty because you aren’t doing enough. But really, who’s to say what’s enough? Can a person realistically do well in school, blog consistently, work out four days a week, eat clean and healthy, read extracurricular book recommendations, spend quality with friends and family AND stay sane? I think you would have to be super human to pull that off. It’s about balance. Maybe this week I’ll only get to the gym once, or maybe I’ll buy lunch at school one day instead of making it, maybe I won’t see my friends, or I won’t be able to post. But that’s okay, I’ll get to it next week. Or the week after that. As long as I get to it, the little things can fall by the wayside and wait a little bit.

Sometimes I need to stop a take a breath and remember that it’s okay to let one of the little things slide and take some time to regroup. Maybe this week I’ll go really crazy and read a book I actually want to read.

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Photos by the lovely Kaoverii Marapon

Down the Rabbit Hole

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It has been so incredibly hot in Vancouver the past few days, which is all kinds of amazing. I was born in Hong Kong and spent the first six years of my life there, the city is great culturally, but climate wise? It’s a subtropical location: it’s super humid and summer days are regularly in the high 30’s. So I have completely embraced the Vancouver heat, because it is just lovely compared to the sweltering weather in Hong Kong.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m not susceptible to the heat. Dressing appropriately in the summertime is definitely higher up on my list of priorities than dressing appropriately in the winter. Who wants to end up all sticky and gross as soon as they leave the house? These joggers from Community are the perfect summer pants, they are so breezy and comfortable. I love it when pants are put together for real life but feel like sweatpants. I mean, seriously is there anything better? Pure love.

Speaking of love, I am obsessed with this scrunchie I got from Front and Company. I mean first of all, it’s a scrunchie. I haven’t owned a scrunchie since 1998, and right now I’m not sure why that is. I think we should bring back the days when we had a scrunchie in our hair and three on our wrists, doubling as bracelets. Then again, if we’re going there we should also bring back bonnebelle flipglosses (so cool because they looked like lighters, right?!) and haphazardly smearing grape scented glitter all over our faces because that was the look. (Well, nobody said it was a good look.) Second of all, the little wire bow on it is too cute. They kind of look like little bunny ears which the sanrio-superfan in me adores. Full disclosure you guys, I have a hoodie from this HK company called Bros Products and it is one big kawaii mess. It’s almost cape like it structure with letterman jacket influences, covered in polka dots on the back with this pink cartoon sheep rabbit baby (?) on the front and the hood has bunny ears. So yeah, I look fully crazy when I wear it outside. So I guess my point is that this cutesie scrunchie is a good balance, it’s bunny ears but it’s not nearly as crazy as some of my other clothes. (I also own a tabby cat onesie with a tail. Why am I public admitting to owning these things? Stahp.)

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Photos c/o Kaoverii Marapon

Photos c/o Kaoverii Marapon

Top: Wilfred | Joggers: Community | Flats: Bloch | Sunglasses: ZeroUV | Scrunchie : Front and Company

Cardamom Panna Cotta

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Seriously you guys, this panna cotta is a dream. It’s luxurious and soft and bursting with flavour, and surprisingly light and healthy. Plus, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret: it’s dead easy. People are always so impressed when you whip out a panna cotta at the end of a meal because it seems so decadent but honestly? It takes maybe ten minutes to throw together. It’s the perfect make ahead for dinner parties or even just breakfast if you’re feeling as indulgent as I did today! (What? I finished a 15 page paper last night, I deserve to celebrate!)

Cardamom Panna Cotta

makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole milk, separated into 3 half cups.
3 cardamoms, pods opened
2 tsp gelatin
3 tbsp sugar

Instructions:
1. Throw 1/2 cup of whole milk and cardamom (pods, seeds, and all) into a small saucepan and heat gently to infuse. When the milk is fragrant and almost simmering, strain out the cardamom seeds and pods.
2. Sprinkle gelatin over another 1/2 cup of milk to soften (5-10 mins)
3. Add gelatin milk to the saucepan with the sugar and heat until gelatin and sugar has dissolved. Do not allow to boil, this will break down the gelatin and your panna cotta won’t set!
4. Remove from heat and add remaining milk, stir to combine.
5. Pour into glasses or bowls, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. Before serving, top with fruit of choice! I went with dragonfruit and blueberries but apricots, pears, plums, and peaches would also be lovely. A sprinkling of crushed pistachios for texture would be tasty too, really anything that won’t overpower the cardamom would be great.

Note: This isn’t a panna cotta you can unmold, it’s far too soft due to the lack of fat and will fall apart. If you wish to serve it that way, use half whole milk and half cream. 

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Top Banana in the Shock Department


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Photos by Kaoverii Marapon

Dress: Wilfred | Earrings: Love Coco| Shoes: Sam Edelman

Was there ever a film character as iconic as Holly Golightly? Today’s post is a tribute to the original manic pixie dream girl herself, as if it hasn’t been done to death enough lately. (I’m looking at you Gwyneth Paltrow!)

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may also have noticed that this dress is sort of a repeat! I’ve worn it in green here before. It’s such a lovely dress though, so easy to throw on and just look put together and polished. Plus it’s silk so it’s perfectly breezy in the swampy heat we’ve been experiencing in Vancouver and it’s also trapeze shaped, which means I can eat and eat and eat and not worry about a thing. It really is the perfect dress, and it’s on sale right now! There aren’t many left so if you’ve been eyeing it, I’d scoot on over to the Aritzia website quickly!

My one teensy qualm is that it wrinkles heinously as you can tell. It had been stuffed into a bag after a styling project and I kind of thought I would just photoshop out the wrinkles instead of ironing it…and then there were too many. Oops. But then again, I’m pretty sure Holly Golightly wasn’t the type to bother with trivial household chores anyway, right?

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Coming Home

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These photos are almost a month old, and I’ve been totally MIA from this blog for even longer! Life has just been crazy lately, with midterms, papers followed by case studies followed by group projects, work, and most exciting: a wedding! One of my close friends got married over the past weekend and the weeks leading up to it has been just consumed by excitement and peppered with little tasks. Packing for our week long trip to Whidbey Island, making decorations for the ceremony, and other little things here and there.

I’ll be sharing a post in the next couple of days with more details about our mini-getaway, but for now: my Canada Day outfit! (This is almost too embarrassing to post, July 1st feels like it was years ago now) Canada Day in Steveston is a Big Deal. For most of us, it’s more exciting than Christmas! There’s the big salmon festival with a parade and a salmon barbecue, and you can always find somebody you know in the sea of red and white, or better yet: make a new friend with a stranger. Having spent most of my life in Steveston, I had no idea that the rest of Vancouver does not share the intense patriotic spirit until I brought several friends down to Steveston this year. If you’ve never experienced a Canada Day in Steveston, you guys are missing out. There are parties galore. There are keggers on almost every street corner and nobody cares if you just wander into their house to start drinking. Well, some people might care, but in my experience thus far, everybody is just happy to see another maple leaf tattoo covered face.

So I guess what I’m trying to say in this post is that next Canada Day, you should find your most patriotic outfit and come meet me in my neighbourhood for a beer or five.

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Photos by the lovely Kaoverii Marapon

Photos by the lovely Kaoverii Marapon

Dress: Nasty Gal (Similar) | Shoes: Converse All Star Dainty Ox (Similar) | Sunglasses: Forever21

 

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