My Weekly Adventures: My First 5KM!

Welcome to February! We just passed through Valentine’s Day yesterday which I spent with my mom for dinner and then went to do some errands and wrapped up the night preparing for a podcast recording and writing and gaming. Suffice to say that I didn’t celebrate but then I’m hoping that you did enjoy the ongoing Valentine’s double feature celebrations going on here. Its been a packed first half of February whether its personal stuff to settle or working (yay to overtime) or trying to get everyone to join into Ultimate 2000s Blogathon and much more. Its been a packed 15 days!

Let’s see what went on!

MY FIRST 5KM – MONTREAL SOUTERRAIN

While I did get forced into doing the 5km and it was a painful experience especially afterwards because I hadn’t trained for it. However, I did a pretty awesome time, coming in 10 minutes faster than I initially expected. Time was: 35:21.9 . Not too shabby,right? Anyways, I’ll be getting back to working out soon since I need to fit into dresses for two upcoming weddings in 2019. And I’m sure that after my good time without training, my friend is going to try to get me to do more 5km runs. I’m not opposed to them because it was quite fun but then running inside through the underground and running outside are two different things completely.

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2019 – YEAR OF THE PIG

February 5th was Chinese New Year and we did some nice decorations different from last year and went crazy looking for flowers to decorate. 5 flower shops but at least now, we know where to buy some flowers near-ish to our neighborhood. Yay to discovering new things, right? Its the year of the pig so Piglet and Pua made its appearance onto the shelf outside of my office as piggy decorations. I also picked up some new fake flowers from Michael’s for the tall floor vase to give it some color.

VALENTINE’S MARATHON

Valentine's Marathon

For the first time in all the years that I’ve done the Valentine’s Marathon, this is the first time its extending past the 14th. Because of the theme this year with the Netflix alphabet, I am going to continue through this until the end of February to finish out the alphabet. There are some fun changes due to lack of choices. Anyways, point is, I have a nice little tentative schedule to pair up with the blogathon as they overlap and be able to finish off the Valentine’s Marathon with the entire full alphabet runthrough. I’m pretty excited. I’ve picked a nice variety of subgenres so it still feels very fun.

ULTIMATE 2000s BLOGATHON

Sign up has ended as of last Monday. If you are just seeing this and want to join, you can drop me and email and we can see if we can get it arranged. However, we will be emailing out notices to participants on their posting date. It starts on the coming Monday! Time flies, right? I believe we have over 3 weeks of posts so its going to be a fun time because there are some nice additions this year, some new blogs that haven’t joined in before and then returning ones and some other pieces aside from written reviews. I love seeing our participants getting creative! As usual, I will have a page ready to go on the menu so you can catch up on any posts you missed on either here or Drew’s Movie Reviews.

If you haven’t followed Drew yet, then you definitely should HERE. My blogathon co-host is absolutely fantastic!

MONTREAL SNOWSTORM

We are currently in the aftermath of the snowstorm which means sitting here waiting for the city and boroughs to clear out the snow. The day after the snowstorm in the morning to work was when this photo was snapped. As you can see, not much as been clear and well, walking on the streets is because the sidewalks were pretty much non-existent or just snow-covered ice which is almost more dangerous. The city whether Montreal or suburbs have been doing a pretty slow job in general this year. As I’m writing this post, its raining outside so bye-bye to snow but welcome rain on ice and giant slush puddles at all corners of the street. You know…the fun stuff, right? 😉

However, I can’t complain too much because we are incredibly lucky at our home. I went out to shovel at 11:30pm and the city was clearing their second round of snow and the very nice guy plowing saw me, the crazy lady that shovels in the middle of the night, and decided to move his plow up my driveway and cleared it all including the path. Its the first time its happened to me so I was pretty shocked in a really happy way. Although, when we woke up in the morning, it was so very tall that I had to climb the mountain at the foot of the driveway to head to the bus stop. But we are also super lucky because my neighbor has a snow-blower and he does our driveway when we get storms or lends it to my husband.

Cute Kitty Easter Gnome Pic

**Pictures taken at Winners Homesense at Quartier Dix30**

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

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My Weekly Adventures: Announcement Time!

Hey! A late post going up today! I had to insist on this going up today because I do have an announcement here, which if you are familiar here, you’ll have an idea of what happens in February.

Life’s pretty routine when it comes to the beginning of the year. January is a crazy month in general so I don’t have as much time to do a lot of stuff outside of work and home. I also have some personal stuff that’s been lingering in the background that I have to settle (well…follow-up at this point). Either way, enough of this serious stuff but not a whole lot to talk about in this weekly adventures.

Snow Storm

Winter took a while to get here but it finally did. We got a snow day of maybe 20cm or something. I don’t remember anymore but then it turned around a few days after with some lovely ice rain and such turn it into a slippery ice rink and then massive puddles because the city didn’t get the snow cleared fast enough.

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

So, we’ve been attacking everyone with announcements and reminders but I’d like to share for anyone who is interested to share their fave 2000s film in a form of review (or some other format that we can discuss). You can find all the details HERE.

Yokato Yokabai

As I mention the snow storm above, the crazy people in us decided to go get ramen as per our last year’s journey with my good friend. This adventure took us to another ramen place which we’re having debates whether we like it between than the other place. I think this place is better because I like the sides. Of course, this also sparked my first time pushing a car because it got stuck. Luckily, my husband and I had a passerby that hopped in to help us both push which was the extra strength that we needed to get out. All around a memorable day, I’d say.

Montreal DemoNight 2019

A few nights ago was Montreal DemoNight 2019. I was swamped with work and overtiming like a crazy person but luckily they did stream it so I was still able to watch it. There are quite a few games that look incredibly interesting. I don’t have much to talk about right now but I’ll leave it for the recap. I’m usually more efficient but the recap will be out some time over the weekend over on the Game Warp blog.

Announcement: Valentine’s Marathon

Valentine's Marathon

And we’re here again. Valentine’s Marathon starts tomorrow! This time I’m going to be a bit more ambitious and do a little Netflix Alphabet Valentine’s Marathon in the form of double features. I couldn’t think about a feature franchise (since I didn’t finish last year’s) and I wanted to get through my neverending Netflix list so this seems like a super awesome idea. If things go well, I’ll get double features everyday from Feb 1st to 14 but lets be realistic that it won’t happen whether its not being about to catch up with watching movies that fast or writing up fast enough while having other stuff going on on the blog since I won’t just do movies, of course. So we’ll see how things go.

As this post goes up, I’ve already watched A-D films so hey, who knows, right? 😉

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

That’s all for this Weekly Adventures!
Hopefully next time, there will be more to talk about!

A Busy Day For Podcasts!

Last minute changes and something I should do more frequently is do a round-up of podcasts release!

Holiday hiatus is finally over and we’re getting back into the action of things on all projects and last week and specifically today, we just released three podcast episodes. Why not share it with all of you.

Let’s go project to project and at the same time, divert you all to their respective blogs so you can follow it if you are interested and haven’t already.

GAME WARP PODCAST

Game Warp Podcast kicked off the year pretty much in style.  This month, we had quite a few shows go up already. After ending the year with our Top 10 Games Reviewed in 2018 and our Year in Review 2018 (for gaming, of course), we started the year in a great way by doing a review for a new free Steam game called What Never Was which is only about an hour long so, the show itself is only 10 minutes long to avoid spoilers.

Fast forward back to today where we release our latest feature piece. Last year, we did our Top Anticipated Games as a written post, we’ve decided to change it to podcast format and combined it with the look forward to 2019 that we usually do. In today’s episode, we take turns to discuss our Top 15 Anticipated Games of 2019.

If you like gaming and haven’t followed us yet, you can find us over at our blog HERE.

MOVIES & TEA

Its been over a month since our last podcast for the second season. A lot of reasons for this but we finally did get around to recording and editing and it finally was released today. The next movie in our second season Guillermo Del Toro journey is The Devil’s Backbone, his third directed feature film. Its a movie that I’ve personally heard a lot of great things and have been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, I have ticked off my list and I’ll be getting the written review up there soon.

However, today is about the podcast and we had our first guest on Movies and Tea join us and that’s Greg from The Debatable Podcast/Action A Go Go. You can listen to it below.

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You can also find our podcast on a ton of avenues including Podomatic, etc. If you haven’t followed us over at Movies and Tea, head over there via HERE.

We have our individual takes on each of the films we’ve done podcasts on and some other random features that matches with the director that we’re highlighting that season. 🙂

That’s it for this Podcast recap!
Things get back to normal programming soon!
I just wanted to give some love to my other projects today. 🙂

My Weekly Adventures: The 8th Blogiversary

my weekly adventures

This weekly adventures is a tad later than usual…because of the big event that Tranquil Dreams is 8!!

disney birthday

It all fits perfectly because I didn’t have much that happened other than working on some personal matters that I don’t prefer to share here. On top of that, its a whole lot of overtime at work and you all don’t want to hear about that just as much as I don’t want to talk about it, I’d presume. Then there’s the obvious issue of being sick which I had mentioned briefly on a What’s Up. So all in all, not a ton of fun activities in the last two weeks.

 

Normally, I have the habit of an annual vlog to celebrate the blogiversary but let’s just say that the plans fell through because I forgot I had to film and ran out of time. I have to say that it might be for the better. Before we move onto the more Weekly Adventures bit, let me write a little on celebrating the blogiversary today.

disney birthday 2

For one, its a massive thank you to everyone who has stopped by here, liked a post and the other bloggers and podcasters that I’ve worked with. Its pretty fantastic to think that I’ve been doing this for eight years and that now its part of my daily life and the content has grown and changed as well. Its also been a journey where I’ve learned a lot not only in finding my writing style and simply writing better but also the fact that without here, I wouldn’t have learned video editing and audio editing and learned how to be a part of podcast co-host and co-host a blogathon as well. At the same time, I never thought that I’d get the opportunity to cover festivals and review screeners and all that fun stuff. All in all, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone whether you drop by today or later on or before this post existed.

This past week was a nice little work up to this because I had one announcement and one little decision in the making which is the only Weekly Adventures worthy parts…

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon Announcement

Featured Image -- 28238

In case you missed it, Drew and I announced out Ultimate 2000s Blogathon on Monday. Sign up and submissions are open for 3 weeks. We are looking forward to it all. Its the 4th year that we are doing what we have called the Ultimate Decades Blogathon this time of year and the 2000s has such great movies that we are looking forward to what picks show up.

If you missed the announcement, you can find it HERE.

To Come: Videos, Vlogs, Discussions and more

Ever since I stopped doing What’s Up videos, I’ve been pondering this video business for a while. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about this even during that phase. Doing every other week seems to be hard to keep up with mostly because it just falls out of routine and seems a bit redundant. So I decided to do a monthly What’s Up roundup sort of thing. At least thats the idea for now. The goal is to eventually get something much more entertaining like discussions or compare and contrasts on movies and adaptations or their remakes or reboots or sequels. Something that I like to talk about preferably so it can really be anything. I might do audio and just do clips in the background more than myself showing up in the videos.

I still have some decisions to make but I think its a nice way to liven up the Youtube channel a little and do some extracurricular video editing practice. I did think about doing like a podcast style as well or maybe just doing an audio version as well.

All in all…

We’re 8 after all! I’m looking forward to changing things around and a part of me wants to go back to where it all started with a bigger focus on food and baking which I honestly miss a lot. I miss the days that I watched a lot of Chinese and Taiwanese TV series and Hong Kong movies and I guess its the years that its been here that I’m not as afraid to take those risks so I’ll slowly get that going as well. Its been on my mind for a few years now and I never figured out how to integrate it so I’m going to just go for it once I find the right structure and angle.

That’s it for this special Weekly Adventures!
Thanks to everyone for being a part of this journey!
Being here for 8 years means that I’ve seen many bloggers come and go.
As for myself, I see myself going further a little longer 🙂

Overview of 2018 & What’s Happening in 2019!

Welcome to the annual overview post. I didn’t get a chance to get to it yesterday so I’m doing a quick one with the look forward to 2019. We could do two posts but I’m honestly not really in the mood to overload anyone with these posts. Its more of a reminder of what I’ve achieved in 2018 and new or adjusted plans to work with for 2019!

OVERVIEW OF 2018

2018 was a rough year in general. I had some PC issues in the beginning of the year which caused a whole lot of crazy as I had to get another PC built which put a lot of stuff behind. We had some other personal issues that caused a lot of worries and issues. However, 2018 is over now and as I look back, there were some really nice achievements and that is what matters. I started Tranquil Dreams to focus on the positives in the first place so that is what we’re going to do right now.

How about some stats to start? I haven’t done those in a while, it feels like at least.

Total Posts in 2018: 374 posts
Total Views: 69,450
Top 5 Countries: USA, India, Canada, UK & Hong Kong SAR
Top 5 posts published in 2018

And then for some achievements:

  • Goodreads Challenge – 30 Books
  • Fantasia Festival coverage of 20 films
  • Festival du Nouveau Cinema coverage of 9 films
  • Blood in the Snow Festival – remote coverage of 8 films
  • Montreal Comiccon coverage for Game Warp Podcast
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon co-hosted with Drew’s Movie Reviews
  • Started up and co-host Movies and Tea Podcast with Elwood
  • Set Up the Facebook page for Tranquil Dreams
  • What’s Up segment on Youtube
  • Set Up a Weibo social media account

What to Expect in 2019!

2019 is here! A lot was done last year when I look back so I’m hoping to keep up and polish some social media skills and hopefully promote the blog a little better. Its all about working on the content right now. A lot of my issues this past year when I look back is procrastination and that sprouted from lack of organization or following through with tentative schedules and just not having the motivation from all the garbage that life threw at me. Then I added on a few segments as well (probably should of mentioned in the above section).

Resolutions: Less Procrastination (because none would be impossible) & Better Organization

BOOKS

  • Goodreads Challenge: 40 Books (might increase to 50 depending on what happens)
  • More focus on Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Getting back to reading Classics
  • Other TBR books that I own, outstanding book requests and blog tours

MOVIES & TV

  • What stays the same: Most movies and TV from Netflix and rentals and Web series on Youtube as well as film festival coverages
  • Adding in focus on Chinese language Asian movies and TV series (could be China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Singapore)

FOOD & DINING

  • Battle of Ingredients, Goodfood recap, Food Festivals and Restaurants
  • Baking Through Disney revival (whether its Disney reviews and conceptualizing baking projects)

WEEKLY/MONTHLY SEGMENTS

  • Music Obsessions (first weekend of each month)
  • Wine Recap (10th of each month)
  • Weekly Adventures (15th and 30/31 of each month)
  • What’s Up (everyday Wednesday – possibly back to video format)
  • Sunday Lists (biweekly to monthly frequency)

The main shift this year is the focus on Chinese language Movies, TV and possibly books since I’ve been meaning to get back to some Chinese reading. I’ve felt like a part of what started off a lot of my interests in the first place so when I moved into blogging and gave up a lot of it, its been always something that I’ve been trying to get back to. Its a risky move because no one really reads those posts but this space is about my interests and I do want to share those interests with you especially since a lot of it is now moved to more modern platforms like Netflix and Youtube having access.

Other than that, after some thought, I’m also heading back to more food-oriented content. It might be a slow start but I have changed my approach on the Baking Through Disney project and will start on reviewing Disney films while figuring out how to approach the design for baking. That way the project doesn’t get held up and ends up falling apart again.

As for What’s Up, as I’ve mentioned before, will end up going back to a video and written format. Both formats are fun to do so depending on time, I will work on trying to have both of them  paired up.

Its kind of long but quite a bit of the same going on!
A lot of the repeat for those new to the blog to see where you can navigate.

My Weekly Adventures: Holiday Celebrations

weekly adventures

The last Weekly Adventures of this year everyone!

It is going to be a really happy one full of holiday celebrations and food and family. Its hard to imagine that its New Year’s Eve and I’m sure not a ton of you are sitting around looking at blogs but still, I’m keeping to my normal routine to share this. I have something to get done hopefully today as well if New Year’s Eve cleaning and dinner party prep doesn’t take up too much of my time.

Winter Solstice Festival

Dinner

Winter Solstice Festival was celebrated a day later so it was just the day before our Christmas Eve gathering meaning that we had a few days of lots of eating. This festival is more of a Chinese celebration between family. My mom made some turkey and as usual made more food than the amount of people since she also invited one of her friends as well. It was delicious and fun. My husband was occupied with watching NFL football match while I chatted with my mom and her friend. It was really nice.

Christmas Eve Family Gathering

Our annual Christmas Eve gathering was at my in-laws this year. The whole taking turns to celebrate is a pretty nice. Everyone showed up as well as some close family friends and their loved ones. Its always a fun time to see everyone and just have a good laugh, eat lots of food and do some gift exchange. The adults are usually just simple little things so we actually brought a bunch of stuff that I had bought from the haul in the previous weekly adventures and did a little pick your prize style so everyone got to just close their eyes and put their hands in the big christmas bag and see what they got. It saves me the trouble from figuring who wants what and they have a little surprise element. I just hope that everyone liked their little sweets.

Friends Holiday Gathering

I forgot to take a picture of the food at this gathering. However, this is part of what I brought. I also brought dessert, pumpkin cookies. (recipe HERE). My meal though was finally putting the many goodfood boxes to use and added my own little twist from something I had learned from those recipes in their one pan recipe. This had squash, brussel sprouts, nantes carrots and chicken thighs and some garlic. Lots of fun with my girl friends and their other halves. This year did make our gatherings less frequent than previous years so we have agreed to try and make things happen more frequently in 2019.

Game Warp Podcast – Year in Review 2018 (plus new audio format)

Gatherings and family is a big deal but in between all that, I did manage to get our big year end episode for Game Warp edited. These episodes are usually mammoth tasks so I did procrastinate a little and pulled two evenings of working hard and got this one done. Hopefully you have time to check it out and enjoy. On better news, Year in Review 2018 is also available audio on Himalaya FM now. I can’t figure out how to embed the player but you can find it HERE. I’m still exploring this Himalaya thing so hopefully things will get better.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

This wraps up the last 2018 Weekly Adventures!
Hopefully I’ll be back with an overview of 2018, if not, I’ll talk about 2019 plans tomorrow.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVE CELEBRATIONS!
(and Happy New Year if you already have past midnight)

Boxing Day Haul 2018!

Lets start off right away that we are trying hard to keep our spending in check so this might not be the most exciting segment. This year’s boxing day sales started earlier than boxing day which is a tad odd but then at the same time, the deals weren’t exactly spectacular either so a lot of these were made after some thought. I have a certain measure for say games and movies as to what price tag I am willing to pay and how worth it it is to pick up.

With that said, boxing day is kind of a pre-boxing day and boxing day haul to pad things out a little. 😉

Pre-boxing day sale

unravel 2

Playstation store

  • Fe
  • Unravel 2

Fanatical

  • Sonic Mania

Adidas (50% off deal)

Adidas shoes

All my gaming stuff was bought pre-boxing day sale mostly because Playstation and Fanatical both have these weeks and deal days set before the holidays and I ended up landing on these three games. All of them are games that I’ve wanted to play and it is in a price range that I’m pretty happy with.

Other than that, I got a new bookshelf from IKEA, the LAVIA for $24.99CAD. I’ve been trying to reorganize my books since right now they are running out of space and all over the place. I can’t say my new system is any more organized but I kind of like how it looks. It rounds out the look of my den. I’ll talk about that more once its less than a mess as the book organizing is still in progress as this goes live.

Boxing Day

instant pot

Amazon

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean (ebook)
  • Instant Pot 6qt 9 in 1 (waiting for shipment)

I’m not sure if Always and Forever, Lara Jean was a huge discount but I’ve been looking forward to reading the third book in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series, especially since the Netflix sequel got confirmed, I’m even more excited to finish up these books.

boxing day haul

Walmart

  • Kong: Skull Island

Best Buy

  • Pitch Perfect 3

I wasn’t planning on buying any movies but these two had pretty good deals, especially for Blu-Ray. Plus, I really liked Kong Skull Island so looking forward to watching that again, while I haven’t seen Pitch Perfect 3 but I have the other 2 so why not, right?

Michaels frames

Michaels

  • 4 Frames (Buy 1 Get 1 Free Deal)

I always look out for this deal at Michael’s, especially this year since we wanted to get all the artwork framed that we had bought earlier this year. I’ll do an update or something once we get that all figured out.

IKEA lamp

Finally, we wrapped up Boxing Day at IKEA which was surprisingly not so busy. At least in the evening when I went. I ended up picking up a lamp since the one in our den was broken a few months ago. Its a little dimmer than the other one we had but it still does the job. I mean, this was $10 so what more could I ask for, right?

That’s it for this pre- Boxing Day and Boxing Day haul.
Its turned out to be a good few things to recap but still, it didn’t break the piggy bank too much so I’m fairly happy with how it went.
I still maintain that this year’s deals both Boxing Day and Black Friday weren’t particularly impressive but maybe its because I’ve become pickier on pricing and what I buy, which isn’t a bad thing.