My Weekly Adventures: Shopping Hauls Recap

We’re already halfway through December! Its kind of crazy to think there’s only 16 more days and its 2019. I’m pretty happy to see 2018 go away because it seems to have been a tough year for everyone that I’ve talked to. I know on my end that as bad as things are, when I look back, I see that things did turn out to have the best results out of a bad situation, so glass half full, right? Its how I stay positive. I’ll do a year in review in the next weekly adventures. Not sure together or separate post yet. I guess it depends on time and how I want to structure it. Its a lot of housekeeping behind the scenes going on for the blogs and projects right now. However, there were a few little things that went on this past 2 weeks so let’s check it out! If you follow my Instagram, then you might have seen some of this…

Salon des Metiers D’Art de Montreal

smaq 2018 haul

The Salon is back in town and smaller and shorter than previous years. However, I am now a veteran at this place. There are places that I haven’t tried before and some cool ideas but somehow I ended up picking up stuff from the usual and some returning stalls that weren’t there last year (or I missed it? I don’t remember). So let’s take a look at what I picked up:

  • Cidrerie du Minot – Ice Cider
  • Cryo – Ice Cider
  • La Nougaterie – Nougat – Christmas, Lavender, Chocolate, Classic
  • Coach House Shortbread – Sugar Plum, Rose and Almond, Ginger flavors
  • Nutra Fruit – Dark Chocolate covered Cranberries
  • Courtesy of my friend’s honey wine purchase, a gift of Confit of Onions

Most of these are either gifts or things to share for upcoming festivities with family and friends.

Signé Local – Square Dix30

Signe Local Dix30

The husband and I finally went to Signé Local in Quartier Dix30 which is a store full of local artisan products. Its like Salon des Metiers d’arts everyday. I’m really trying to support more local products because I’ve bought some really durable and great stuff so I’ve been wanting to go see this spot since it opened earlier this year. Its nice that we went because I found a few things:

  • Oomph Popcorn Seasoning- Vegan Maple BBQ Flavor
  • Les As Du Fumoir – Smoked Salt
  • U’nhiver – Handmade Winter Hat + Extra Pompom

Ooomph is one that we’ve bought before and its pretty nice. The sales rep there told us that some people actually use the seasoning for other things. It is a pretty good idea. As for the hat, its pretty cool because you can remove the pompom. It has a snap button (is that what you call it?) and the second pompom was an extra $10. Its pretty nice because not only is being able to change the pompom pretty fun but whenever these hats go into wash (which this one needs to be handwashed anyways) its nice to remove the pompom because its what wears out the most.

Grocery Trip to Plattsburgh, USA

Target

TARGET Haul:

  • Winter Oreo
  • Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts
  • Frosted Nerds
  • Quaker Oatmeal Medleys
  • Lacroix: Passionfruit, Cran-raspberry, Tangerine
  • Sierra Mist
  • Candy Cane
  • Larabar: Snickerdoodle, Strawberry Chocolate Chip

Pricechoppers

PRICECHOPPER Haul:

  • Fresh Bagels
  • KIND Granola Bars
  • Popcorn (because it was on sale and we needed it)

Walmart

WALMART Haul:

  • Cape Cod: Wave Reduced Salt, Waffle Cut
  • Crunchy Rice Rollers: Mixed Berry
  • Larabar: Mint Chip Brownie
  • KIND granola bars 12-bar value pack
  • Ritz Bacon

I haven’t gone across the border (a lot, like once earlier this year) for many reasons in the past few years. Mostly it is because of the fact that our exchange rate is absolutely stupid low. After I saw the foreign exchange on my transactions, I kind of regret it again but then it had some cool vegan snacks and whatnot, flavors and such that aren’t sold here. Most of the stuff I bought aren’t sold in Canada or else I would feel that it wasn’t exactly worth it. However, it was a nice trip.

Holiday Marathon Update

We’re two weeks into the holiday marathon. Its been going pretty on track with posts related to Christmas every other day. Its been quite a batch of stuff from books to movies to TV binges. You can find it all updated as the reviews go up on the page HERE.

We have another 10 days to go and a few other things in my plans. Hopefully you’ll stick around and keep checking out what I’ve dug up from Netflix and my Kindle and such.

Housekeeping/Planning Ahead/Catching Up

December also brings on a bunch of housekeeping. You will see that most of my indexes are being updated and should be all ready by the time we hit the new year. They are all currently updated to the end of November (if I remember correctly). As for planning ahead, I’ve talked about a few things here and there between this and the What’s Up posts so I’m debating a few structural things but unsure about how committed I will be to a fixed schedule because that is usually when things fall apart. Considering that sort of thing and figuring out how to fit everything I want to keep and maybe what I’m not so dedicated to anymore because I added a good few new segments last year and revived a few as well. Suffice to say, taking everything into consideration, I also have a lot of catching up and backlog. I’m fairly confident that by the end of the year all the movie backlog will be done because its all double features that I’ve already paired off. And books is all done except for one which I can’t figure out how to do for the past few months and ended up rereading at least 2 times. The main thing is TV series and the fact that I’m debating something really ambitiously stupid or doing something more sensible but something I had wanted to do for the past few years but never figured out how to structure it around what’s here. A lot of thinking going on but 2019 overview will talk about all of that and we’ll even go back and talk about some of the achievements this year in 2018 in the next weekly adventures to wrap up the year (if not in a separate post).

I’m sorry to keep talking about this if I’ve talked about it before. To be honest, I don’t remember much sometimes and this adventures post has felt slightly empty so I just wanted to use this space to share some vague thoughts.

Cute Kitty Pics

**I realized that I forgot to post a cute kitty pic in the last weekly adventures so here’s two this time to make up for it! My cat is enjoying the fireplace and basement hangout time a lot to say the least. **

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to? Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

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Music Obsessions – December 2018

Music Obsessions

A bit of a change this December. While I usually have this month’s Music Obsessions completely dedicated to holiday music but I decided to do a separate post for it closer to Christmas since I have some other stuff I’ve been listening to. So here we are!

Like a Boss – KURA

We’re back to some more hardcore music than the last two months. KURA’s latest track is absolutely catchy and I’m loving it so much.

謝霆鋒 Nicholas Tse – 青空 Clear Sky

I’ve been a fan of Nicholas Tse’s since a long time. While he hasn’t been doing much in the past few years, its nice to see that the past year or so, he has been getting back to his roots and making some really meaningful stuff. This song gives tribute to Hong Kong. Its absolutely fantastic.

Pin Zhou 周品 – Angels & Demons 天使與惡魔

All Out of Love has ended as this post goes up. A little near the end was when we started looking back at another plot line and that is when this song showed up. I honestly think its a great song on how its performed and the lyrics and just everything about it.

一笑傾城 – Love O2O Main Theme

Netflix just picked up Love O2O, which is a 2016 Chinese TV series which I binged in the most epic way. Its fun and awesome and sweet and just all the best adjectives I have of it. With that said, the soundtrack is also fantastic. This one is awesome and is sung by a few of the supporting actors and its so fun and matches the TV series tone so much.

Tangled Love – Theway Zhang [An Oriental Odyssey Opening Theme]

Hands down my obsession for the second half of November in terms of TV series. I usually avoid TV series set in ancient China unless it has some historical drama value because those ones done by China is really good and mostly accurate, except for a few dramatization. However, this one is based on a fantasy novel. As you all know by now, my TV series are chosen based on some kind of link of the previous TV series that I watched so I started to watch this because its main lead (who I never thought was the main lead since his parts are fairly sparse) Yecheng Zheng that I liked in Love O2O as a supporting role is here. Its pretty lighthearted and quirky for the most part.

This wraps up this month’s Music Obsessions!
Before we hit 2019, look out for the music obsessions special for Christmas Music soon-ish!

My Weekly Adventures: Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

November has come to an end. That was a quick and really busy month. Suffice to say, some projects and goals and that endless to-do list had its ups and downs. Its just how it is. The first part is accepting and being okay with it all. Not to mention, everything in general was kind of overwhelming so mentally, not in such a great spot. Its probably telling me something but I’m not going to discuss that because there are a lot of things on my mind right now as 2018 heads into its last month and I’m thinking a lot about 2019.

Blood in the Snow Festival (BITS 2018)

BITS 2018

First time tackling remote coverage is definitely a pretty good experience. Unlike physically being at the festival, remote coverage is all about time management and working with embargos and getting things done in a timely fashion because there is nothing pushing physically to be done and its all more superficial. Blog technicalities aside, its also the first time working on Blood in the Snow Festival and it had a lot of interesting and intriguing movies to offer. Nothing that was disappointing but some were average and some were amazing. It had different genres and covered Canadian films which I love to dive into. Its only a few days long which is a much lighter festival but its a pity to not be on the spot to see all the industry panels and everything they have to offer. The variety of content alone makes it an interesting one to be present in person for.

With that said, all the movies have been reviewed:

With that said, a festival page under movies for Blood in the Snow Festival has been created now so you can find all the reviews HERE.

Black Friday

Black Friday was pretty calm this year. I didn’t go out with a huge intention of spending a lot so I found some deals that I thought were worth it to fill some of the needs and stuff. A few purchases were surprises but nothing that broke the piggy bank too much.

You can see the haul post HERE.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas is in full effect at our house. I only showed the new little bits of our place and the Christmas tree. I might have a little Christmas decorations thing in December but then its not a big change anyways.

NaNoWriMo

The week after I decided to do NaNoWriMo, things pretty much went downhill. After BITS 2018 came onto my radar and work got hectic and whatnot, that was it. I never expected to finish it in the first place but I had to put it aside if I wanted to at least have some normal sleeping schedule. Either way, I might actually work on that during the year afterwards. I have some nice ideas for my fanfic. I’ve never written one and sponataneity wasn’t really working. Either way, not feeling too bad about it. Something had to be give and this was the choice I had to make.

Next year though, I do want to get back to it and get some planning done beforehand.

Announcement: Christmas/Holiday Marathon

We head into December tomorrow. Like the last few years, I’m going to be doing a little holidays and Christmas marathon of sorts. I’m going to see if I can find some holiday themed books to end the year while probably go through some films on Netflix. Its slim pickings and mostly Hallmark type films but I’ll make do with what I can. This will be the official announcement for the marathon.

Some titles  considered right now:

  • The Princess Switch
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • Bad Santa
  • The Night Before
  • A Christmas Prince 2 (I saw that its supposed to be released in December)
  • Nailed It! Holiday (also coming out in December)
  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • El Camino Christmas

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to?

Black Friday Haul

Its kind of tradition now to share some of my hauls. To be honest, this year I went into Black Friday with only one specific thing in my mind and it was to get necessities. Of course, what I think and what I end up doing is completely different but I’d like to think that I kept to my budget fairly well. Its been a tough year but we’re working through stuff. Consider this my annual retail therapy as early this year, I cut that part of my lifestyle out. Its been an uphill climb but I’ve been pretty good about it.

Either way, enough about my mini reality check! Let’s check out what I managed to pick up.

Dynamite – Pants

Dynamite

Let’s get priorities out of the way first. I kid you not that I haven’t bought new pants for at least 3 to 4 years. I have proof on this blog because I talked about buying my previous pants and leggings in another haul, possibly Black Friday also. I also happen to not have a ton of pants so I honestly have been needing to get new pants so here we are, Dynamite Clothing is my go-to place for work clothes mostly and they had a 40% sale and free shipping online so I bought 2 pairs of the same design but different colors.

Zulily – Clothes and Accessories

Zulily

In the same desperate situation for myself is getting some new clothes suitable for work. I bought 2 shirts (suitable for winter) for myself, 1 zip-up hoodie for my husband and a new pair of mittens. For those unfamiliar with Zulily, there is never ever free shipping because of whatever rules and such. I’m not sure if its a Canada thing and the duties that has to be paid. Either way, free shipping was available for any orders over $49 which is easily achievable on Zulily so yay, free shipping and handling. The order is taking a while to get there so I have nothing to show for those purchases.

Cineplex – $1 Movie Rentals

  • Ready Player One
  • John Wick: Chapter 2

I have completely stopped buying movies unless I know that I’ll rewatch it at some point. With that said, my main source of films are now Netflix or $1 rentals. The $1 rental choices on Cineplex vary quite a bit but with a little bit of patience, just like this Black Friday deals, I managed to rent  two films I’ve wanted to see this year. Pretty excited about that. I’ve heard good things about both of these films so they will have to be watched before the end of the year.

Michael’s – Christmas Decorations and Frames

The original plan for Michael’s was to just get the frames. It was buy one, get one free, which works well. Not quite last year’s Boxing Day sale but we had an art that we bought from this year’s Montreal Comiccon that we wanted to frame for Christmas so I bought two. Michael’s is my death especially when they have the 60% off sale. Either way, I tried to reel in my crazy and bought these new decorations for the tree and floral. The picture doesn’t do justice to the fake poinsettia decoration because it is just gorgeous.

David’s Tea – Tea

sticky rice oolong

David’s Tea

  • Sticky Rice Oolong

I love a lot of green teas. Dragonwell is possibly absolute favorite one. However, the year before I found Sticky Rice Oolong at David’s Tea, just before it was taken off because I never found it again. This tea is divine. I mean, it is divine and that probably has to do with the fact that I love sticky rice. So when I saw that they had it as online exclusive and there was the cyber monday sale, I was in. Even if it wasn’t originally intended and I have more than enough tea at home to get through. Let’s just hope it wasn’t fake hope and it turns out they don’t have stock. I’m having that fear as I wait for it to arrive.

Games

  • The Room: Old Sins (Google Play)
  • She Remembered Caterpillars (Steam)
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm – DLC Episode (Steam)

The original plan was to not get any games but some of the games or DLC episode was one that I hadn’t seen on such a discount ever so I decided to pick it up. It honestly cost like $10 all three together so I’m pretty happy with these purchases. Plus, a dive back into Life is Strange: Before the Storm to round out that playthrough and The Room is incredibly overdue.

 

My Weekly Adventures: The Wrong Side of the Fence…

Following the last Weekly Adventures, I was on the fence about something. And well..seeing as its the title of this Weekly Adventures, suffice to say I made a decision on it. If you didn’t see the last post, don’t worry, you will know soon enough when we get there. These two weeks was a lot of eating… that’s all I got honestly. Something crazy happened at work that stressed me out so very much but really gave me the kick in the pants to motivate myself to get back into the groove of things. Find back some of the focus that I’ve seem to be missing.

MTL a Table 2018: Nom Nom Cantine

This year’s MTL a Table in place of the November Battle of Ingredients is at Nom Nom Cantine. We had a pretty good time there, eating delicious food with great company.

You can check out the post HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2018

The wrong side of the fence is refering to this. Which can only mean one thing…that I decided to start NaNoWriMo this year. I started on Day 7 and the late start and my recent cold has impacted a lot of progress. To be honest, with all the projects right now, I don’t plan to finish but I have an idea that I kept wanting to write about so I just couldn’t resist. Of course, I wasn’t going to do this madness by myself so my awesome podcast co-host graciously joined me in working on his own thing.

My progress leaves a lot to be desired right now so I’m going to try to push myself over the next half of the month to really catch up. Next Weekly Adventures, I’ll share the final result.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Like last year, as an end of season marathon thank you for all my early mornings and such, my friend took me out for a fancy dinner at the Casino de Montreal at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. This restaurant definitely is expensive and fine cuisine but the one place that never disappoints me because of how well they adapt to making everyone feel important especially when it comes to my lactose intolerance and having French cuisine.

You can see the full recap of this restaurant experience HERE.

MEGA MTL

This past weekend marks one of the last gaming festivals that I will be going to (since there was also the summit earlier this week which I don’t go to because its on weekdays). MEGA MTL was morphed from the Montreal Independent Games Festival which used to be free and held at Dawson College. Now, it occupies the Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal and it always shows off a lot of indie games to try out and showcase. Its a lot of games to write about so currently the post is still in the works for That Moment In but should be up soon.

My game of the festival is hands-down a game that has already been released called 39 Days to Mars, which is a coop puzzle adventure game developed by It’s Anecdotal.

Cute Kitty Pic

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures recap!
A quick and easy one this time. We had a few busy weekends so probably the next one will be even more quiet.

Music Obsessions – November 2018

music obsessions

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions!

This past month has been quite a new adventure as I strive to get out of a writing rut as well as get out of this black hole that Meteor Garden created in my life. The good news is that I’ve moved on to various Chinese series and the bad news is that they have somewhat invaded my life while everything else was going on. They all had their own desired effect from helping me let out my frustration because the show was so freaking frustrating to watch falling on the tropes that get me annoyed despite liking the characters. Or falling into the cute and sweet high school life series and so on.

123 I Love You

Nothing like a cute song to kick things off, right? 123 I Love You has some very adorable lyrics and the tune is really upbeat. Its kind of like the song to sing at some romantic event like a wedding or something. Very cute karaoke style as well. I heard it from a game show segment on Happy Camp and seeked it out.

It’s a Dream – Hu Yi Tian
(A Love So Beautiful – Ending Theme)

Right after Meteor Garden, I went to seek out another TV series and found that Shen Yue debuted in A Love So Beautiful which is a short little TV series which is really cute but has some incredibly touching moments. I’ll have a TV binge on that one soon since I’ve watched it like 2 more times afterwards. The opening theme is also really good but somehow I like the ending theme a little more The lyrics connect with me a little more.

Not a Damn Thing Changed – Lukas Graham

Lukas Graham’s music truly soars when he sings about something very personal to him/them since it is a band. This song actually was released about the time that I learned about my grandmother’s death (or a little before but I don’t remember exactly) and it touched me quite a bit. Its a powerful tune and lyrics.

Chasing the Light – Yoyo Sham

Suffice to say that A Love So Beautiful moved into watching the debut series for the guy in that one and it landed on Rush to the Dead Summer and while Hu Yi Tian isn’t the main guy and is a cameo/supporting character,  this one is also one that I liked a lot for various reasons and I’m currently rewatching. This song is a great one that I’m currently still very addicted to and actually trying to learn how to sing it correctly. Its been a while that I’ve had some more current music that makes me want to get it right. It is a pretty awesome feeling to get back in touch with my singing. Rush to the Dead Summer also has a great soundtrack but this one is the one that tugs my heartstrings the most.

A Person Like Me – Xuedong Chen
(cover on Transboundary Singer Season 3)

There is a whole connection going on here but the main star of Rush to the Dead Summer, Chen Xuedong is currently someone I’m the most interested in following his career so I went back to this summer’s Transboundary Singer Season 3 because I also heard him sing and loved it on Happy Camp and decided to follow that. His music choice and his voice is fantastic. One of my faves because of his range. This was the song he sang at Happy Camp but this is the Transboundary Singer performance. I love everything about this from his style change to the way he sings it.

Fairy Town Plus – An Gang

One of the performances of Chen Xuedong on Transboundary Singer was a cover of this song. Because I liked his rendition so much, I decided to seek out the original and this is a twist on an original called Fairy Town. This one takes on a different style but the lyrics here really are awesome. I’d translate it but its a 5 minute song so would take a long time and I’m a bit lazy. One of my favorite lyrics that kind of relate to how I feel sometimes about this whole blogging and podcast business is translated into this:

他們問我堅持了這麼久是為了什麼 ?
我說我沒有堅持因為喜歡所以快樂
很多人一輩子忙忙碌碌不會懂得:
有個被嘲笑的夢想萬一有天實現了呢?

They asked me why I persevered for so long,?
I said that I didn’t persevere but because I like it that’s why I’m happy,
A lot of people are busy all their lives  and don’t understand:
What if a laughable dream one day will come true?

Not a perfect translation but I hope you get what I mean. Anyways, there is a lot of cool stuff in here as it takes fairy tales and mixes in reality and dreams. Its pretty awesome. The original song is also really great and the lyrics are different and not in this rap style.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
Very Chinese music heavy but still, its the phase I’m in.
Hopefully you find something that you like. Some of these videos have English translations in their videos so that’s a plus. 

What have you been listening to lately?

My Weekly Adventures: When Work Takes Over…Again & The Game Plan (for the rest of 2018)

Welcome to the next weekly adventures. Maybe I should call this non-adventures? I’m not sure much happened other than myself sitting around watching TV, cleaning or going nuts over work, work and more work at the office and at home or multitasking a lot. So, let me think back about what to talk about  and whether something interesting happened over the last two weeks and hopefully this post won’t be a complete disaster….

Battle of Ingredients

Battle of Ingredients is back on track now. We also went back to our indoors non-BBQ format. This time we had the star of the show that Phoebe took care of with our friend’s winter melon. As for myself, I went the normal route and did something much more simple trying out a new spice for the chicken dish and then made some fall appropriate dessert. This time, we went into a true collab format and Phoebe tested out her recipe-writing skills.

You can head over and check out the post HERE.

Movies and Tea – Season 2: Guillermo Del Toro

Season 2 for Movies and Tea has officially started. I know that I just posted this yesterday as part of the Halloween Marathon. I have been so proud of this project that I just can’t help to share it in case anyone missed it yesterday. This season, we’re checking out Guillermo Del Toro’s films. For myself, Del Toro got on my radar after Pan’s Labyrinth but how were his films before that one? That is my journey in this Movies and Tea season. Of course, we kick off with his debut directorial feature, Cronos.

As a final shoutout, we are looking for guests this season. Drop me an email at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com with which of Del Toro’s films you want to talk about and we’ll see if we can work something out.

Halloween Marathon 2018

Halloween Marathon

Halloween Marathon 2018 is done and over with. A lot of films I had planned didn’t happen but still, I still managed to get a few things watched and some new series as well. I’m actually quite pleased with how it turned out especially since there was a mix of reviews and not just movies. Its how I would prefer to do this. If you missed any of it, the Halloween marathon page is updated. You can find it HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2018 – Best of Luck to Participants

As a participant of NaNoWriMo, I always take some time to encourage all of you participating in the month-long grind to get a first draft of a novel written for a grand total of 50,000 words. While I do have an idea that I want to write about, I have decided to not write one. I’m still on the fence so who knows, maybe I’ll still jump in later on. I mean, I have pulled off a homerun week of 30,000 one year so its still possible. However, my plan is to edit a novel that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. Not for publishing, just so that I can get one of these done completely. I know I say it every year but I’ll figure out some way to stuff it into my overloaded schedule as it is. Either way, for you courageous challengers, best of luck! Just remember, that you can do it. Stay on track and remember that editing is the after process. Just keep on writing and 50,000 words will come to you or even more. 🙂

What’s Coming Up – Game Plan

2018 hasn’t exactly gone the way I had anticipated. As some of you have seen, I’ve kind of slowed down operations overall on all the projects this past month (if not the past few months). Reason being that I just wasn’t motivated and it felt like so much other personal life things were weighing down on me that I was just exhausted. In fact, if you look at all the stuff I’ve watched versus how many of those still need to be written, its endless. In terms of movies, I’m relatively on track especially since I do a lot of double features but TV binges are just way behind so much that I’ve started rewatching some of the series in order to do the binge post.

With that said, the new year is in two months. December usually goes out to holiday films. I probably will need some twist to it unless I watch a lot of Hallmark movies. It really depends what Netflix has to offer so I’ll talk about it later. November has that added task mentioned above to edit one of my past novels from NaNoWriMo. I have probably 4 or 5 written. With that said, 2019 means not only that the blogiversary is coming up in mid January but also what changes to be made come the new year. Its been on my mind for a while now since I can’t do everything and keep up with my two other podcasts. Something has to give and its where its getting me in a little bit of an unsure phase of whether its because I just lacked motivation this year that things fell behind or if I had better time management that it would have worked out with the current system.

Anyways, not much of a game plan but the goal is to get a lot of those TV binges and Double Features movie reviews out over the next two months to try to catch up. I’m getting back a lot of the writing motivation so hopefully all the projects will be up and running now. Movies and Tea already is in Season 2 as mentioned before so that is already a positive start!

Cute Kitty Pic

cat