Unboxing: Apple iPad 10.2"

Friday, August 12, 2022
After contemplating for months, I finally bit the bullet and bought myself an iPad.

Apple iPad 10.2"

Apple iPad 10.2"

Mind you, not the new fancy ones. I didn't want to spend more than $500 on a tablet, so I bought the 9th generation iPad in silver. Realistically, I already have a 2020 MacBook Pro and an iPhone 13 Pro Max, so I didn't really need an iPad. But, you know, I just wanted to be able to stream BTS videos and K-dramas in bed or at the dining table and wanted something bigger than my phone. I mean, yes, my MacBook is technically portable but there are so many wires connected to it that I treat it more like a desktop computer and it is super tedious to remove all those wires just to have it in the kitchen for, like, an hour...

Apple iPad 10.2"

Apple iPad 10.2"

Apple iPad 10.2" Cases

Anyway, I tried finding some BTS or BT21 cases for this iPad to no avail, so I went on Amazon and found these two cases that are cute and affordable. But you know I will make up for it with BTS wallpapers.

Friday Five: X³

This week's Friday Five:

  1. One lump or two? Er, neither. I use Splenda in my coffee and usually drink tea black.

  2. What was in the last box you received in the mail? My new iPad!

  3. In those places where you prepare your own soft drink, how much ice do you put in the cup? About halfway.

  4. How do you have your workspace decorated? There's a little plastic unicorn figure that my old co-worker left by one of my monitors. And I have a container of Lotte Xylitol x BTS gum that my old co-worker got me by my keyboard. And that's it. I don't really like to decorate my space because so many people walk through my office.

  5. What's your favourite dice-driven game? Clue! It's my favourite board game in general.

Dining Out: Americano Pizza, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Zeppole from Scaddabush

Thursday, August 11, 2022
Amanda and I took Viv out for a belated birthday dinner at Scaddabush this evening. We decided to share an Americano pizza as a starter (it has Ezzo pepperoni which is very similar to the curved pepperoni you'd find on New York pizza; basically, it's fucking delicious); I ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara as my main (which was excellent — it comes with a runny egg which makes it even richer and creamier), and then we decided on the zeppole for dessert (which, according to Amanda, are not authentic at all, but they had a really nice soft, fluffy texture inside, a crisp exterior, and were surprisingly not too sweet). Basically, the food was delicious and totally satisfactory.

Americano Pizza

Spaghetti Carbonara


However, the service was fucking god awful

First, it took our server at least 10 minutes to come back to our table to take our orders. Second, our server knocked over the spoon of powdered parmesan all over Amanda's lap, didn't apologize, and just said, "Whoops, that happens all the time." (Which brings up two points: why the fuck are they putting powdered parmesan on spoons? And why are they continuing to put powdered parmesan on spoons when spilling it "happens all the time"?!) Third, our server asked if we wanted garlic bread with our pastas, so we agreed without knowing that it costs extra. This annoys the fuck out of me. A customer should not have to ask if anything costs extra, and definitely shouldn't have to fucking find out only when we get our bills. BE FUCKING TRANSPARENT, MOTHERFUCKERS. If we're willing to shell out $20 for pizza and $25 for pasta, you don't have to fucking scam us with fucking garlic bread. And considering the average price of their dishes, the garlic bread should be free, anyway. Even restaurants that are cheaper offer free bread baskets. If a burger joint can clearly list which toppings are free and which ones cost extra, your fucking chain restaurant can plainly list the cost of garlic bread.

Fourth, our server flat-out forgot about us as she didn't come back for at least another 20 minutes. We had to flag another server to ask for a water refill and yet another server for forks to eat our desserts. (HOW DO YOU SERVE FOOD AND FORGET TO GIVE UTENSILS?) When she finally came back to our table, she said, "Sorry, I was busy with other tables."

Well, at least she said sorry.

I won't be going back any time soon. Yes, Scaddabush improved the quality of their food, but I was so fucking displeased with the service tonight that I kinda just wanna boycott them. Which, come to think of it, might've been the reason I didn't go there for years, even before the pandemic... Anyway, conclusion: get takeout. 

155 York Boulevard
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3B4
(905) 709-4280

Cooking at Home: Beef and Pepper Enchiladas

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Beef and pepper enchiladas

I missed Taco Tuesday yesterday so I made up for it with tonight's Mexican dinner: Beef and pepper enchiladas. I added an extra bell pepper to be healthier and I decided to try baking them in the air fryer instead of the oven (I hate turning on the oven) so they turned out a little crispier (and more deformed) than I intended, but THEY WERE STILL DELICIOUS, OKAY?

Dining Out: Korean BBQ at Nakwon

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Went for an impromptu Korean BBQ dinner at Nakwon this evening with my co-worker, Carmen. Nakwon serves all sorts of Korean classic dishes as well as all-you-can-eat BBQ, which is not that common with actual Korean-owned restaurants (most AYCE restaurants are Chinese-owned here), but it does mean a couple things: a) the food is authentically Korean, but b) it's quantity over quality here. That having been said, they offer 4 different BBQ combos at different price points that feature slightly varying items. Ours included:

An assortment of banchan and lettuce leaves for wraps

Pork belly, pork butt, marinated chicken, and spicy pork (not pictured)

Pork belly, pork butt, marinated chicken, and spicy pork (not pictured)

Seafood pajeon, tteokbokki, steamed and fried mandu, and donkatsu

Gamjatang and sundubu-jjigae (not pictured)

Grilled mackerel 

Aside from the grilled mackerel, every item is all-you-can-eat. And you get a bottle of Yakult for dessert, too. I've been to Nakwon many times for regular Korean food, but this is the first time I've had BBQ there, and I gotta say, I think it's entirely worth $30.99 per person. 

3225 Highway 7, Unit 3
Markham, ON L3R 3P3
(905) 604-2471

Cooking at Home: Pork Souvlaki-Inspired Burgers with Lemon Potatoes

Monday, August 8, 2022
Pork souvlaki-inspired burgers with lemon potatoes

Okay, I've been taking a little hiatus from Hello Fresh, but I'm back on the train now. Tonight's dinner: Pork souvlaki-inspired burgers with lemon potatoes. I think I would've maybe paired them with a different bun than brioche, but otherwise, this was delightfully delicious and different enough from regular beef burgers to keep it interesting. The feta mayo is amazing with the meat and the bright lemony potatoes, too. Just what I needed on a dreary, gloomy, stormy Monday.

Cooking at Home: Creamy Mushroom Udon Pasta

Saturday, August 6, 2022
Creamy mushroom udon pasta

After last night's street food feast, I decided to stay home and cook this evening. I've been craving Tiffy Cook's Creamy Mushroom Udon, so I bought some frozen udon and four types of mushrooms (king oyster, baby king oyster, white beech, and enoki) when I went at T&T, but there were so many mushrooms that I only used half of them and still ended up with four servings so I guess I'll be eating this for the next few days. No regrets, though — this is still one of the easiest and most delicious "pasta" dishes I've ever made.

BTS VLOG: Jungkook — Camping Vlog


Jungkook, eating a giant tornado potato: "Mmmm!"
[Jungkook continues eating]
Jungkook, eating dakgangjeong: "I shouldn't be eating..."
[Jungkook continues eating]
Jungkook, eating sotteok: "Mmmm!"
[Jungkook continues eating]
Jungkook, opening sweet potato sticks: "I'm so full..."
[Jungkook continues eating]

[Buying food at the supermarket]
Jungkook: "I don't eat that much these days..."
[Caption: Liar, liar, pants on fire]

[Cooking meat on the hot plate]
Jungkook: "Grill the meat on the edges and when the oil gathers in the centre, we can fry some mugeunji. It's gonna be awesome!"
[Making satisfied sounds while cooking]
Jungkook, picking up a spray can of butter: "There's this, too! Butter's a good idea. I like butter."
[Making more satisfied sounds while cooking]
Jungkook: "This looks great!"
[After eating constantly for god knows how long]
Jungkook: "This is really good. Nice! This is nice!"
[Eating more]
Jungkook: "I am really enjoying this."
[Eating more]
Jungkook: "This is so nice. Nice, nice, nice."
[Eating even more]
Jungkook: "So nice!" *starts clapping*
[Eating even more]
[Caption: Stop eating]
Jungkook, making satisfied sounds: "It's so good!"
Manager, laughing: "Wow, you're really enjoying this."
Jungkook: "When I eat good food, I keep saying it's good. My dad said I was always like that."
[After eating for a million years]
Jungkook, making satisfied sounds: "NICE! It's so good! It's so good... Let's let this settle... and then eat ramyeon and samgyeopsal. We have a packet of kimchi left..."

[Cooking meat on the hot plate again]
Jungkook: "I love samgyeopsal."
[Cooking for a while]
Jungkook, looking pleased: "Do you hear the sizzle? That sizzling sound? You know it's gonna be amazing! How can this not be good?! Gaaaah, this looks so good!"

[Next morning]
Jungkook, looking at himself in the camera viewer: "My face is swollen! Of course it is, I ate so much yesterday..."
[A few minutes later]
Jungkook, asking the crew: "What are we eating?"

[After making and drinking delicious coffee]
Jungkook, suddenly: "Is he here?! Let's go!"
[A moment later]
Jungkook, biting into a sandwich: "Mmm! Mmmmm! I love this!"
[After eating for a while]
Jungkook: "Oh, I'm full..."
[Jungkook looks at an assortment of buns, opens one, and continues to eat]

So really, Jungkook and I are basically the same person. 

Anyway, I'm hungry now so it's time for lunch.

Dining Out: Asian Street Foods at Night It Up! Night Market

Went to check out Night It Up! this evening with my co-worker, Carmen, and her cousin, Jenny. If you've never been before, Night It Up! is a three-day outdoor Asian street food festival where dozens of vendors from around the city sell a variety of food and drink in stalls, and you practice the art of eating and walking. We'd been talking about it all week since we haven't been to an Asian night market in so long (for me, it's been over a decade). Over the course of two hours, we had:

Grilled lamb skewers from Zao Men Kan

Stinky tofu from Zhanan Stinky Tofu

Taiwanese spicy fried chicken cutlet from Top Fried Chicken

Pork and chicken skewers from Lert Thai Skewer

Homemade Wuhan sui mai

BBQ pork skewers from Juicy Meat Skewers

Chashu Japadog from Japas

Deep-fried mochi balls (black sesame, mango, and red bean) from One Dog Toronto

Fresh passion fruit lime tea with coconut jelly from TasteT House

Strawberry milk mochi kakigōri from Japas

We probably had room for one more dessert, but then it got insanely busy and the line-ups were getting way too ridiculous, so we decided that that was our cue to leave. Still, we had a pretty good variety of Asian street food tonight. Despite having to immediately shower and put your clothing in the washing machine the moment you get home, it was still worth checking out this year. If you're in the downtown Markham area and want to make a visit, Night It Up! is open until Sunday night.

Night It Up! Night Market
179 Enterprise Boulevard
East Parking Lot
Markham, ON L6G 1B3

Friday Five: WHMS

Friday, August 5, 2022
This week's Friday Five:

  1. What's the farthest you've ever driven in one trip? I've driven from here to Boston, so about 900 km. Although the driving for that trip was split between me and my ex-boyfriend, so I'm not sure if that counts. If we're talking about driving the entire trip by myself, I'd say from here to Montreal, which is about 550 km.

  2. What are you very particular about when ordering in a restaurant? No cilantro. 

  3. Which of your friendships goes back the furthest? The one with my friend Katherine, who I met in Grade 7 so it's been 24 years. We're not super close anymore, but she's my real estate lawyer now.

  4. How do you feel about romantic comedy films, and what's your favourite? I love them if they're not too cheesy or cliché. My favourite of all time is Amélie, which is also just one of my favourite films of all time. The romance is so subtle, and quirky, and just... lovely.

  5. How did you spend last new year's eve, and how would you like to spend the next? At home, by myself. I made lobster grilled cheese and played The Sims 4 all night and actually forgot about the countdown. I don't drink, I don't party, and I don't really like people, so that's really how I'd like to spend the next one. Maybe a different meal, but same basic plan.

Benny Blanco, BTS & Snoop Dogg — "Bad Decisions" Official MV


LMAO I CAN'T WITH THIS VIDEO, IT IS SO ACCURATE THAT I FEEL PERSONALLY ATTACKED. I know that the insane amount of BTS decor is their way of actually incorporating BTS into the MV since they couldn't be there in person, but the absolute adoration and complete mockery of ARMY in this fucking kills me. 😂😅

Anyway, new song to add to every single playlist ever if you want to BOP ALL DAY LONG. This track is going to be in my head for at least a month.

BANGTAN CHOREOGRAPHY: J-Hope — "Hope World" Dance Practice (Lollapalooza 2022 ver.) and BTS — "Dynamite (Tropical Remix)" Dance Practice (Lollapalooza 2022 J-Hope ver.)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Huge shout out to The Lab for supporting J-Hope's first solo concert! They always look like they're having so much fun, and that joy is so infectious.

(And yes, they really just re-made the entire "Dynamite" choregraphy.)

J-Hope at Lollapalooza 2022: Full Performance

Wednesday, August 3, 2022


I already wrote about his performance here, but basically: I AM RE-WATCHING THE SHIT OUT OF THIS.

Snack Haul: August 2022 Edition

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
So while I was doing some grocery shopping at T&T yesterday, I may have gotten even more snacks since I was already on a snack high (e.g. I'm PMS-ing). I know I was talking shit about subscription boxes that only offered junk food, but that's only because I couldn't pick my own junk food and therefore was left with junk food that was quite literally junk. That having been said, my (stellar) choices this month are:

Japanese Mini KitKat Bars in Peach and Melon

Pocky in Choco Banana and Mango + Sakura Yuzu Oreo Cookies 

HBAF Honey Butter Almonds and HHC Corn Chips

T&T was having a huge sale on Japanese KitKats, so each bag ended up being $3.99 (!!!) instead of $10+, which is definitely the cheapest I've ever seen them. Frankly, it would've been churlish not to get any. And the Honey Butter Almonds were on sale for $7.99 instead of $14! You know, picking my own junk food is incredibly satisfying, but getting my own junk food on sale is a whole different kind of joy. 

Sakuraco Japanese Snack Box: August 2022 — Okinawa Retreat

Monday, August 1, 2022
In 2019, I was planning a trip to Japan and Korea for April 2020, but obviously my plans were put to a screeching halt because of COVID. So for the last two years, I've just been watching a lot of Japanese vloggers and getting intense wanderlust. More recently, I came upon several videos that were sponsored by a snack subscription box program called Sakuraco and I got intrigued. I used to subscribe to a different snack box program called Japan Crate, which was pretty fun and cute, but all of the snacks were pure junk food — candy, chips, chocolate — and I stopped subscribing after a year because I found myself giving away a lot of it, especially the ones that were aimed for children, like plastic swords filled with gum balls and candy DIY kits. So when I saw one vlogger's video featuring Sakuraco, a premium snack subscription box that was targeted for more mature tastes and featured snacks and teas from different regions of Japan, I decided to check it out. 

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Japanese Snack Box

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Japanese Snack Box

Sakuraco isn't cheap. I decided to do a 6-month subscription to start, and each box ends up being about $60 CAD after shipping costs. (I want to note that they do use DHL to ship, but there are no extra taxes or duties upon arrival.) But each box has 20 items, including a tea, traditional sweets, seasonal treats, baked goods, and one home item, all centred around one specific region in Japan. I thought it would be interesting to try some more authentic, regionally-focused snacks from Japan that I wouldn't be able to find here in Canada.

I only subscribed last week so I got my August box on Friday, which means this particular box isn't available anymore (on the 1st of every month, they start shipping out the next month's box, so as of today, Sakuraco is sending out their September box), but I thought I'd still post about it to share what kinds of treats you get in this program. August's theme was "Okinawa Retreat," focusing on Japan's most southern region, Okinawa.

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" greeting postcard featuring "The Sacred Spring at Jōgaku" by Katsushika Hokusai

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Snack Guide

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Snack Guide

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Snack Guide

Sakuraco "Okinawa Retreat" Snack Guide

This box comes with a beautiful postcard featuring the artwork, "The Sacred Spring at Jōgaku" from Ryūkyū Hakkei (Eight Views of Ryūkyū) by Katsushika Hokusai. On the back is a message from the founder of Sakuraco about why she chose to feature that particular region of Japan for the month. Every box also contains a "snack guide," which includes an introduction and a brief history of the featured region, and information on the region's signature tea and foods. Of course, the guide also showcases every single item included in the box, with detailed descriptions and allergy warnings. Included in Sakuraco's "Okinawa Retreat" box are:

Left to right: Okinawa Shikuwasa Jelly, Shikuwasa Manju, and Okinawa Sanpin-cha x 2

  • Okinawa Shikuwasa Jelly by Marukiyo (Okinawa) — "Shikuwasa, sometimes called Okinawa limes, are famous for their health benefits. Working together with Marukiyo, we've created this refreshingly sour jelly made with shikuwasa grown in Ogimi Village, the capital of longevity."
  • Shikuwasa Manju by Marukiyo (Okinawa) — "When shikuwasa are left to fully ripen, their skin turns from deep green to a golden yellow and their tanginess increases. These fruits are called kugani, literally gold. Kugani grown in Ogimi Village are wrapped in rich dough for this manju, perfectly balancing sour and sweet while leaving you refreshed."
  • Okinawa Sanpin-cha by Higa Seicha (Okinawa) — "A blend of Chinese and Japanese tea leaves and jasmine flowers has been Okinawa's tea of choice for centuries. Incredibly refreshing both hot or iced, its low caffeine content makes it the perfect tea for any time of day."

Top (left to right): Sata Andagi Brown Sugar Donuts and Okinawa Brown Sugar Kuzumochi
Bottom (left to right): Tannafakuru Brown Sugar Cookies and Okinawa Brown Sugar Bread

  • Sata Andagi Brown Sugar Donuts by Nanpudo (Okinawa) — "This traditional dessert for auspicious occasions is an Okinawa favourite. Sata means sugar and andagi stands for deep-fried."
  • Okinawa Brown Sugar Kuzumochi by Morihaku Confectionery (Gifu) — "This kuzumochi is packed full of rich Okinawa brown sugar perfect for stress relief."
  • Tannafakuru Brown Sugar Cookies by Marukiyo (Okinawa) — "This soft cookie is named after its creator, Tannafa, and the Okinawan word for black, kuru. Rich in Okinawa brown sugar, we recommend it alongside a cup of tea for a moment of peace."
  • Okinawa Brown Sugar Bread by Tokyo Bread (Toyama) — "The rich characteristic taste of Okinawa brown sugar meets fluffy and moist dough."

Left to right: Okinawa Cinnamon Cookie, Walnut Cookies, Blueberry Tarts, and Snow Salt Milk Chinsuko

  • Okinawa Cinnamon Cookie by Marukiyo (Okinawa) — "[Ogimi] Village is home to many cinnamon trees well over 100 years old. Usually, cinnamon is made from the bark, but in Ogimi, the leaves are used instead as they also possess a high amount of flavour and aroma, protecting the valuable trees."
  • Walnut Cookies by Hidano (Nagano) — "These crispy cookies combine fresh walnuts with moist dough, perfectly balancing earthy taste and sweetness."
  • Blueberry Tarts by Ito Confectionery (Ibaraki) — "Moist cheesecake dough meets sweet and sour blueberry jam in this mini tart."
  • Snow Salt Milk Chinsuko by Nanpudo (Okinawa) — "Japan's favourite sweet Okinawa souvenir, chinsuko cookies, have been around for centuries and were once reserved for royalty. By combining mineral rich snow salt from Miyako Island with creamy milk, this version perfectly balances salty and sweet."

Left to right: Brown Sugar Karinto, Chili Shrimp Arare, Sakura Kanten, and Ichimatsu Chopstocks

  • Brown Sugar Karinto by Yamada Confectionery (Aichi) — "Karinto is one of Japan's oldest brown sugar sweets. Honey is added to the sugar, achieving just the right amount of sweet crunchiness."
  • Chili Shrimp Arare by Marihaku Confectionery (Gifu) — "Made with spicy chili oil from Okinawa, this rich shrimp arare is perfect for a hot summer."
  • Surprise Snack: Sakura Kanten by Izumi Bussan (Tokyo) — "This kanten jelly has a mild cherry blossom fragrance and pairs perfectly with a cup of tea."
  • Ichimatsu Chopsticks by Tanaka Hashiten (Fukui) — "The checkerboard pattern is known as ichimatsu in Japanese, its unbroken and endlessness signifies prosperity."

I haven't tried all the snacks from this box yet (it's only been 3 days since I received it and I have to maintain some sort of self-control), but so far, I've thoroughly enjoyed the Brown Sugar Karinto (I had to force myself to put this back in my cupboard after eating like, 10 of them, because I would've eaten the entire bag in one sitting and as I am diabetic, that would've been REALLY BAD), the Sata Andagi Brown Sugar Donut, and the Snow Salt Milk Chinsuko. The donut was especially delicious with the Okinawa Sanpin-cha, which is a beautifully fragrant jasmine blend tea. Oh, and the home item of the month was a pair of (dishwasher-safe!) Ichimatsu chopsticks. Worked out well because I just broke an old pair.

I'm super impressed with the quality, quantity, and variety of this box. The snacks are unique and nothing like I've ever seen here, and definitely for a more matured taste. I find the curation of this set to be far more thoughtful and deliberate than most other snack boxes; this whole program is really built around enjoying regional snacks with regional teas rather than just random Japanese junk foods. And that's exactly what I'm looking for.