21 January 2014

Cooking Adventures: Dessert Sided

Today I learnt how to make caramel! ..I didn't know that making it was the easy part, cleaning it was the hardest part -__-"
The reason I made caramel was to recreate one of my all time favourite snacks - caramel popcorn! For the popcorn I just used the instant microwave ones, then topped it off with the homemade caramel ^^



On a sidenote, I've been catching up to AKBingo episodes recently and watching one of them really made me want to try making omurice!



Takamina is hilarious in this one, especially at 05:05 and 05:29 xD
I didn't think Yukirin would be a bad cook but watching this show gives me so hope, they're probably as noob as I am =P

New Friends!!

Omgsh something exciting happened today hahaha
But before I talk about it..
So unfortunately yesterday I had to go back to uni earlier than everyone else because I enrolled in chem bridging course (..AGAIN) and so I was nervous about the whole friend making and what not, and then it hit me that I'd probably one of the extreme few, or if anything, probably the one and only 2nd year student amidst all the 1st year students .___. Well anyway it was quite a refreshing feeling when I entered into my first lecture: first day back at uni, that feeling I was getting from all the freshmen surrounding me, all excited to explore unsw but confused of the whole system xD ahhh it made me feel so old but that feeling of my absolute first day at uni came back to me for a while so it was kinda nice to experience it again xD
While I was sitting down in the lecture, I scanned the room for potential friends and realised like 90% of the class wasn't asian :O bridging chem is soooo different from normal chem, normal chem is like 90% asians LOL well anyway I did spot a few friendly looking people but they all had their friends already so I probably thought it was best to go it alone for the entire course.
After the lecture was the tutorial straight away and I got the awesome tutor! There's 3 tutors in total, one of them was my tutor for the last time I did bridging course, another one was my tutor for normal chem, and the last (awesome) one was the lead demonstrator in my lab last time I did bridging. I'm embarrassed because I think I'm a familar face to all of them and dumb enough to repeat a bridging course ^^" Well anyway I like my tutor because she has a super friendly approach when teaching, she looks so happy all the time, she must love chem haha xD
Anyway there were two asians in my class, one guy and one girl, but being the socially awkward shy person that I am, I knew I probably would never be able to befriend them unless I made the first move/initiative to intro myself to one of them :S And of course, that would be like.. never.. I never take initiative @__@ So I kinda faced the fact I'd probs be loner (but thats cool, cause I go it alone LOL... jks)
So that was all yesterday, TODAY I just finished my tute about an hour ago, and as I left the class, this person taps me from behind.. and its that asian guy!! He was with these two other guys so I felt intimidated by what he was gonna say, but he randomly asks me if we met before! o___o He told me that I looked like one of his friends, so thats why he asked me. But yeah, of course I didn't know him, so after his realisation, he just intro-ed himself and we talked all the way till the entrance of the main walkway (we walked from Law Bld). He asked what I was doing and what not and when I told him I was doing Jap he suddenly tries to start a Jap conversation with me, to much fail hahaha rephrasing what he said, "Ni hon go......... okay lets just talk in english lol" hahah but yeah turns out he did Jap extension in high school! I could probs learn from him! hahah anyway he later intro-ed me to one of the guys that happened to be indo, and he was fresh from indo and just came to aus this year, yet I was surprised his english was pretty good :O and the other guy, I didn't manage to get his name, but we had to go diff ways already, so I just thought to save it for next time.

But yeah! omgsh I can't believe I managed to make friends on the second day! Loner no moreeeee xD

03 January 2014

2014 Wishes [Photo Blog]

Firstly a belated Happy New Year everyone! ^___^

This is my first post in a looooong time (considering how eventful December was), but also my first post for 2014! Sorry I haven't been posting lately, been a bit.. -ahem- busy.. (by busy I mean being a lazy potato at home gaming all day, or poking suctions and lights and what-not in people's mouths..) ..but anyhow I'm back momentarily for now! And I dunno where to start, but let's start with resolutions!

It's stupid for deceivingly simple and easy it seems to achieve, but my goal for this year is to learn how to cook and to also take more conscious care of my outer appearance/health throughout the year.

Part of the reason for the cooking is because we recently (well a month and a bit ago) got a new stove! Finally right?! The most awesome part is that we finally have a functional oven! :) It's so cool, the waiting time for pre-heating the stove is reduced like double time, and because of the oven, everything just cooks so much more evenly ^^
Here's a before and after:

Wow I endured this thing for 19 years..

Awww yeahhh

I already started working towards this cooking goal and took a few pics! :)
So this first one was quite nice and I tried recreating this one:
(this is surprisingly really good)

And this is how it came out:
(The sauce was super hard to re-create and in the end I had to resort to my mum's help, and even then it didn't taste at all like the original - but still tasted nice!)

And just this week I tried making eggs benedict. Didn't have the English muffin and Canadian bacon so I just made do with what I had.

Expectation:

Reality:

I tried making the signature eggs benedict sauce this time around, since I was following an online tutorial and it seemed easy enough (egg yolks, lemon juice and butter - how hard could it be?).. When it was done, I took a spoonful and attempted to artistically spread it on the egg, before realising I should taste the sauce first... It ended up tasting literally like someone threw up in the bowl I made it in =__= I lost my appetite completely but painstakingly scraped the sauce off the egg (thankful that I didn't put too much sauce on), and already barely alive, finished my breakfast that day..

Well I guess the only thing I learn that day was how to poach an egg for the first time lol.. I must admit, it was fun creating a whirlpool effect before letting the egg fall into the boiling water and  watch it swirl around, folding onto itself xD Man.. I sound like such a noob cook, excited that I cooked an egg.. (but I AM a noob anyway so don't judge) hahaha

Anyway thats about it for cooking so far, with an oven I can finally use, I am hoping to maybe make simple desserts soon! :D



Onto appearance/health care, three of the things I really want to focus on, is my teeth, face skin and posture.

Teeth is (not surpringly) heavily influenced by working at a dentist. I mean you see people who have absolutely beautiful teeth, and its reflected by their diet and consistent oral hygiene.. then you also see the opposite: people with teeth missing, decaying roots, unpleasant-looking silver amalgam fillings. Being at a dentist really and truly has helped me appreciate how my teeth are, and what I can do to prevent further damage in the future. I've always been self-conscious that my teeth are quite stained, and that the front top teeth are not nice curved rectangles like others naturally have, but I realise from patients that my problems are so minor compared to others. Not only that, I've always taken my teeth for granted and I never hold back in eating whatever I want to eat (soft drinks, sugary stuff etc) just because my teeth didn't have holes or anything. But yeah now I realise if I do eat those stuff, I might not see the results/consequences now, but it's only gonna speed up problems in the future.. Sorry this all sounds so deep btw xD But yeah, it's gonna be hard getting rid of sugary stuff altogether, and I'm still gonna continue eating it anyway, but I'm gonna try restrict myself from snacking on them all the time at home :)

Last but not least is skin :)
Okay.. this one is a bit perfectionist, but I've been heavily influenced by korean stars with naturally flawless skin (suzy and seohyun in particular), but also seeing people with nice skin generally, in public, so I went extensively internet searching for regimes/tips. Usually I'm really lazy and don't put much effort into skincare (if any, at all) because I already appreciate what I have, and also what I don't have (bad acne scars, big pores etc.) but a lot of times I do wonder how much nicer my skin would be if I did put some effort xD One thing I just recently realised is how sun damaged my skin is, I look at the cheek skin that hides protected under my hair and then I realised that it is so different to the cheek area that is the most exposed to the sun - it is darker, already has early age spots, and even my nose already has fine wrinkles ): You might not be able to tell but if you keep following the white arrow up higher, all the skin on the left looks okay, along the white arrow itself, is where you see a transition in skin difference and all the skin on the right is result from sun damage:



For the past few years, I was as careless with my skin as I was with my teeth, and never put on sun screen on my face because it didn't feel nice on my face, and on days waiting at bus stops, I would always never hesitate to go into the sunny spot because it felt nice and warm, plus I wanted to darken a little (a bit concerned that people always thought I looked sick and pale). But now I realise the skin problems I have now is all because of how careless I am -.-" So with that in mind I'm deciding to work on my uneven skin tone and sun damage for this year, and I'm hoping to at least reverse a bit of the damage :D
Some changes I made to my daily regime:
Reading this article has inspired me to incorporate shower water face massages into my skincare regime:
http://www.allkpop.com/article/2013/11/suzy-reveals-how-she-maintains-her-perfect-skin-and-figure#axzz2pKGVjxny
And then reading korean regimes in general has inspired to start using bb cream and face masks more.
Reading the importance of sunscreen in like nearly every face skin care tip article, has made face sunscreen super important in my routine now.
So yeah thats it for that :D

And lastly, posture ~
This is probably the worst actually, it's so obvious that I'm having back problems already at this age :/ My posture is absolutely terrible, this one time I had a camp with my church and the senior lead pastor of my church flew all the way from Indonesia to preach and give a message, and during one of our breaks, he commented on my bad posture: if it comes from a lead pastor, you know it really is bad lol o___o One of my uni friends even told me that they can spot me from a difference just from my posture when I walk :/ I have to take the blame for this one, I carried such a heavy backpack in high school and even now at uni I still carry quite a lot, at home, I slouch nearly all the time when I sit around at home.. etc. etc. in other words, it was so obvious that I would have this problem xD The ache is pretty bad though, I always have to stretch my back every half an hr or so for relief, and lying on my back is now the best feeling/relief ever. If you go to bed just to comfort your back, you know you've got back problems lol
This is more of a late 2013 goal that I've been working on, but I've just been putting more effort into keeping my back straight whenever I'm conscious I'm slouching. I have tried wearing those back supports but it doesn't seem to pull my shoulders back much + they're really uncomfortable because they're pressed pretty hard into your underarms..
Hmm I don't really know what else to do at the moment, I'm dying to see a chiropractor right now just so I know just how bad my back is and focus on specific stuff aimed to improve it, but holding back at the moment because I don't know what is a good chiropractor to visit for the first time, and also because I need to save up before I can go. But yeah, my goal is that first step for now!

Sorry this was a really long post, and a really boring one too, but I hope by writing these goals down it'll be a motivation to work on them this year ^^ How about you guys? What's your 2014 resolutions/goals? :)