BTS Birthday Event: "JIMIN DAY" for Jimin at ITS TEA

Sunday, October 17, 2021

As planned, I went to a second Jimin birthday cup sleeve event today, this time at ITS TEA! And since no public transportation was involved, Ying was actually able to come with me (albeit on crutches, but still).

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA
(Fresh Lychee & Peach Green Tea and Peach Yakult)

Got a Peach Yakult for myself and a Fresh Lychee & Peach Green Tea for Ying, and received the coolest cup sleeves I've ever seen (they're printed on transparent plastic!). Definitely made up for missing out on the cup sleeves last weekend. Thank you so, so much to Sandy, my favourite BTS event host. It still amazes me that she organizes these events on her own time and money without support from an established fansite. (She said it costs $500 just to have the cup sleeves manufactured and delivered. This doesn't even include the costs for decorations, event posters, and photo prints.) It really made me realize how much these events are labours of love, and how much we take them for granted.

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA — Cup Sleeves

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Cup Sleeve Event at ITS TEA — Poster and Photos

What was really great about this particular event was that the venue is bigger than the usual event cafes we go to, so we were actually allowed to hang out in there. We stayed to chat and catch up with Sandy for over an hour, who I had only been able to talk to very briefly the last two times I saw her (at last week's Jimin event and last month's Namkook event). We were actually there until the end of the event so I helped Sandy clean up the space, and she told me to take whatever decorations I wanted because they'd all be thrown out afterwards. I couldn't just let them go to waste, so I carefully selected my two favourite photos from the wall, as well as the event poster. (I couldn't resist. Jimin is my bias.) 

I just really wanted to thank Sandy for being such a genuinely lovely, thoughtful ARMY, and organizing such an amazing event. Her hard work and effort does not go unnoticed. And, of course, happy belated 26th birthday to our cutie, sexy, lovely, Park Jimin!  

5203 Yonge Street
North York, ON M2N 5P7
(416) 551-9666

Photolog 2021: Day 289 of 365

Saturday, October 16, 2021
Caramelized onion burger with baked cauliflower frites

Since Ying is still out of commission with her broken ankle, our Saturday McDonald's Drive-Thru Tradition is on hiatus for now. So I cooked one of my Hello Fresh kits for tonight's dinner: Caramelized onion burger with garlic aioli and baked cauliflower frites. The burger was, of course, delicious. You can't go wrong with caramelized onions on burgers. This one had the brilliant harmonization of the balsamic vinegar tang in the onions and the savoury creaminess of the garlic aioli. Topped with spinach to give it freshness and bite (and like, half a vegetable serving). 

However, what was really notable was the pairing of the burger with cauliflower frites. Just as I was shocked at the simple brilliance of roasted broccoli, I was DELIGHTED with these crispy cauliflower frites. (Which I shamelessly cooked in the air fryer instead of the oven. They came out perfectly.) Tossing them in garlic aioli and breadcrumbs made them insanely addictive. So I'm gonna have to buy more cauliflower now, too, and interchange them with roasted broccoli to get all my vegetable servings in. Man, that air fryer is looking to be my smartest appliance purchase yet.

Photolog 2021: Day 287 of 365

Thursday, October 14, 2021
Sage and browned butter pork chops with roasted broccoli and citrusy potato salad

Tonight's Hello Fresh dinner kit: Sage and browned butter pork chops with roasted broccoli and citrusy potato salad. Y'all, this was excellent. I am consistently shocked by how juicy and flavourful pork chops can be because the only other pork chops I have ever eaten were made by my mother and she is a terrible cook and they were always dry and bland. (And so tough that you would have to chew it for FOREVER.) But since my first experience with cooking pork chops, I've come to really enjoy them. All of a sudden, those pork ads from when I was a kid ("The other white meat!") made sense. 

Also, it was my first time eating warm potato salad, and it was surprisingly good, maybe even better than cold potato salad. (Which is really saying something because I freaking LOVE cold potato salad.) But the most surprising thing here was the roasted broccoli, which was... a revelation. Why have I never made roasted broccoli before? It literally took 10 minutes to cook in my air fryer and it is DELICIOUS. So basically I will be adding roasted broccoli to every single meal now. This is how I'm going to get all my daily vegetable servings.

BANGTAN BOMB: Meeting with Coldplay + "My Universe (Acoustic)" (Live at the Apollo Theater)



This is, for me, the collaboration of the year. By far.

Unboxing: Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figures

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
So, I pre-ordered the Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" figures back in March and after multiple delays and shipping issues, they finally arrived. SEVEN MONTHS LATER.

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figures

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figures

Obviously, the Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" figures feature the BTS members in their iconic outfits from the "Dynamite" MV, exactly like the TinyTAN "Dynamite" figures. They're available at multiple vendors, but I made my order from Geek & Co. since it's a Canadian company and offers free shipping in Canada. Funko retails them for $11 USD each; I got mine for $14.94 CAD each, which is about the same after conversion. Geek & Co. are no longer selling them, but Canadians can still buy them at or Pop in a Box for around the same price. 

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — RM

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — Jin

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — Suga

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — J-Hope

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — Jimin

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — V

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figure — Jungkook

Funko POP! BTS "Dynamite" Vinyl Figures

Most vendors are sold out of certain members now so you may have to use multiple retailers to collect all seven. Still, if you missed out on the previous BTS Funko POP! release for "IDOL" in 2019, this is your chance to get your hands on the collaboration now.

BTS V LIVE [Jimin, Jungkook, and J-Hope]: Jimin makes an appearance



Happy birthday, Jiminie! I hope you have a beautiful, stress-free, love-filled day.


(Photo credits: BTS Weverse)

To Bangtan's baby mochi, ARMY's cutie sexy lovely, King of Duality, and my second ultimate bias — happy 26th (27th in Korean age) birthday! Thank you for your unparalleled stage presence; for being the most captivating, elegant, emotive, and fluid dancer in the industry; for your intense work ethic and passion for performance; for your incredible care and love for your members and your fans; for your eternal kindness and humility; for your striking beauty that affects men and women alike; and for having the most angelic voice I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. You are the very embodiment of poetry in motion, and you bring so much passion, grace, and beauty to the world. It's been a pleasure watching you grow into this confident, self-loving, humourous force of nature, and I hope you never lose your love for what you do.

Run BTS!: Episode 155

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jungkook: "Jimin, go home, look in the mirror, grab your right butt, and pull it up. And see if the left butt follows."

I am really going to miss the nonsense and shenanigans. The show is going on a hiatus, likely to give space for BTS In the Soop 2 to air, as well as time for the rehearsals and preparations for the Permission to Dance: On Stage online concert as well as their LA concerts, and then all the end-of-year award shows, possibly even a new single... But it's bittersweet because for four years, Run BTS! has that one thing that I look forward to every week to cheer me up. I'll just have to keep watching re-runs until it comes back, hopefully by early next year. 🤞🏼


Photolog 2021: Day 284 of 365

Monday, October 11, 2021
As per tradition, my mom and I went to Swiss Chalet this evening for Thanksgiving dinner:

Quarter chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Pumpkin pie

Pecan pie

Obviously, we had to get their Thanksgiving special: rotisserie chicken (they only had white meat left, so it basically like turkey anyway) with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and Chalet sauce. (I still don't know what Chalet sauce is and it has somewhat of a polarizing flavour, but I've loved it since I was a kid.) Pumpkin pie and pecan pie to share for dessert. And as with every year, Swiss Chalet has saved us from having to cook Thanksgiving dinner ourselves. (My mom has refused to cook Thanksgiving dinner since her first attempt in 1991. The clean up has traumatized her for life.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! 🍁🦃

Photolog 2021: Day 283 of 365

Sunday, October 10, 2021
Went downtown with Chelsea and Braden this afternoon. I had asked if they wanted to go so I could stop by a BTS Jimin birthday event before walking around, maybe do some shopping, and eat dinner together. We stopped by Bloom Cafe first for the Jimin event, which didn't really work out as planned, but we did get some drinks to tide us over until dinner. (Bloom Cafe makes an excellent iced matcha latte.) We then spent a couple of hours walking around (I did over 14,000 steps today!), perusing random stores and passing through the Eaton Centre. Looking for a good place to eat dinner (a.k.a. my first meal of the day), we found ourselves heading down to King Street. Chelsea had wanted either sushi or tacos for dinner, and as we were waiting at a stop light, we saw a sign for The Haam, a Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant that specializes in — you guessed it — sushi and tacos. It was fate. And they have an open patio! 

Salmon Tataki

"Queen" (Front) and "Ladybug" (Back) Special Rolls

We decided to start with the Salmon Tataki (seared salmon with truffle oil, ponzu, arugula, balsamic, and pico de salsa) and two special rolls: the Queen (seared salmon, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, and garlic mayo) and the Ladybug (seared tuna, avocado, cucumber, kani, honey chipotle, and poblano cream). These were all excellent. The fish was fresh, the textures are harmonious, and the flavour combinations are impeccable. I did prefer the seared char flavour of the Queen more than the smoky tart flavour of the Ladybug, but both of them are absolutely worth ordering again. The Salmon Tataki is especially noteworthy — the truffle oil and ponzu make the flavour of the salmon absolutely sing.

Bulgogi Beef Tacos

For our mains, we got three different types of tacos: the Bulgogi Taco (bulgogi, honey chipotle, guacamole, Chohula, onion, green onion, crema, queso fresco, and cilantro), the Gochujang Barbacoa (gochujang, ancho marinated beef brisket, mozzarella, guacamole, iceberg lettuce, crema, queso fresco, and cilantro), and the Teriyaki Tinga (chicken breast, mozzarella, guacamole, onion, green onion, teriyaki, crema, queso fresco, and cilantro). Okay, firstly, I must note that I normally prefer soft shell tacos, but these ones feature homemade deep-fried crispy shells rather than those prefabricated hard-shell corn tortillas (a.k.a. Taco Bell-style), and these made all the difference in both flavour and fragility of the taco. They are so good, in fact, that they have converted me into a hard-shell taco lover.

Gochujang Barbacoa Tacos

My personal favourite was the Gochujang Barbacoa — the flavours of all the components just worked so beautifully together, with the gloriousness of the ultra-tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket. This was truly the perfect fusion food for me. The Bulgogi came in second — it was delicious, but pickled radish or kimchi would've really elevated the flavour of the beef. The only disappointment of the meal was the Teriyaki Tinga. It had many of the same components of the other two — mozzarella, guac, crema, queso fresco — but the chicken was really lacking. It was bland and didn't have any discernible teriyaki flavour, and the texture of the meat was almost soupy. Like, it was literally leaking out broth. These just stuck out like a sore thumb in a meal with so many amazing choices.

Teriyaki Tinga Chicken Tacos

The prices for the rolls and tataki are pretty standard when compared to Japanese restaurants offering similar fare, but the tacos do get on the pricier side at $5.40 per piece. After tax and tip, our bill came out to about $60 per person — not exorbitant, but definitely not cheap, especially considering none of us had any alcohol. Still, this is the average price for casual dining in downtown Toronto, and overall, it was a truly excellent, enjoyable meal and absolutely deserves a return visit. This is all to say that it made our trip downtown today entirely worth it, even if I didn't get a Jimin cup sleeve.

The Haam
342 Adelaide St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 1R7
(416) 977-7258

BTS Birthday Event: "JIMIN DAY" for Jimin at Bloom Cafe


I had originally planned to go to this BTS Jimin birthday event at Bloom Cafe with Ying, but obviously she can't go anywhere because of her broken ankle, so I made plans with Chelsea and Braden to go downtown instead. They're not ARMY, so I figured we'd head down around 4:00PM, quickly stop by Bloom Cafe for the event to get some drinks and the Jimin cup sleeves, and then be on our merry way. But after we got to Bloom Cafe and ordered our drinks, they had told us that they had run out of cup sleeves about 15 minutes prior to us getting there. (Apparently there was a 1.5 hour wait just to get into the cafe earlier in the day, so I'm glad I missed that.)

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Event at Bloom Cafe

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Event at Bloom Cafe

BTS Jimin "JIMIN DAY" Birthday Event at Bloom Cafe

Luckily, the host of the event, Sandy, as well as some of her fellow organizers, recognized me and know that I always go to their BTS events, so she told me that she will be hosting another Jimin event next weekend in North York (which is way closer to where I live — no need to take the subway!) and that she'd save cup sleeves for me. It was rather disappointing because I stopped by specifically for the Jimin cup sleeve event, but I'm glad I have a chance to celebrate Jimin's birthday next weekend, too. Plus, she said that the cup sleeves for next week's event are actually cuter, so I'm not too mad about it. 

Bloom Cafe
596 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z3
(416) 792-0419

Unboxing: BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021

Saturday, October 9, 2021
(Warning: This post is long and photo-heavy.)

It's that time of year — my BTS Global Official Fanclub Membership renewal! Since last year, there are two types of ARMY memberships to choose from. The original membership costs $22 USD, and the Merch Pack membership (which includes four merchandise packages a year) costs $150 USD. Both of these are sold through Weverse Shop. Regardless of which one you choose, they both come with the same perks: exclusive membership content (photos, videos, etc.), exclusive merchandise, early access to merchandise collections, and exclusive concert presale codes, among other things. Either membership also gives you access to the ARMY Membership Kit, which costs $13 USD (plus shipping). You can, of course, get the membership without getting the kit, but I don't know why anyone would skip on it, as it's one of the few physical products released that is membership-exclusive.
BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — Membership Card

This year's ARMY Membership Kit theme is "office life." (Ironic, since so many people still aren't allowed to go back into office. Me included.) It comes packaged in a dark royal blue box, which also has your membership card attached to it. Inside, you'll find a diagonal-cut box which comes apart into two file racks (the blue rack features the BTS logo and the white rack features the ARMY logo). Inside the rack set are the rest of the kit contents. This year's kit includes the obligatory "user guide" (basically a sheet written by a member — this year is Suga — that describes the contents of the kit), a set of member ID photos, a set of member photocards, a sheet of keyboard stickers, a to-do memo pad, a poster, and of course, the main feature, the ARMY.ZIP photobook. 

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — File Rack Set

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — User Guide / ID Photo Envelope

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — Member ID Photos

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — Member Photocards

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — Keyboard Stickers

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — To-Do Memo Pad

Inside the ARMY.ZIP photobook/magazine, you'll find several different photoshoots featuring the "office life" theme, as well as the members' self-written "resumes," self-drawn illustrations of each member's office desk with self-written to-do lists, hand-written "thank you e-mails" from each member, and behind-the-scenes photos.

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Cover

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — RM / Kim Namjoon

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Jin / Kim Seokjin

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Suga / Min Yoongi

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — J-Hope / Jung Hoseok

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Jimin / Park Jimin

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — V / Kim Taehyung

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Jungkook / Jeon Jungkook

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Group Photos

BTS Global Official Fanclub ARMY Membership Kit 2021 — ARMY.ZIP — Poster

All I gotta say is, if BTS were my co-workers, I would never get any work done, but I would also have the best attendance record.