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)

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What’s Up #10 The Final Catch-Up

What's Up

Seeing as you all seemed to enjoy the last post format and I’m a bit tight on time for recording and editing so we’re back to this to last catch up phase. This part of What’s Up runs through the first half of November to the end of last week.

READING

eternal hunger

Its been a really good two weeks of reading especially when all three books were really good. However, my standout pick goes to Eternal Hunger that adds a really lovely setup for a vampire story making it such an elegant and classy read that is always enjoyable. To be honest, all three books were all fairly different genres so it made for a very interesting change of pace. Fantasy, Horror, Romance was all covered this month at different points making it an even more memorable month.

Currently reading: I’m not reading anything right now. But I did start the chinese novel for Rush to the Dead Summer after watching the series in October. I’m also planning on getting some graphic novels as light reading done before the end of the year and/or read some outstanding books that was sent to me for an honest review. Clearing out the backlog is the priority right now.

PLAYING

  • Double Kick Heroes – Early Access Update
  • Tetris Effect – Demo
  • Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight/Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight – Demo
  • 60 Parsecs!
  • Burly Men at Sea

You can find the playthroughs of each of these on the Game Warp channel. I do have to say that out of the fantasticness of Double Kick Heroes and how impressive and even the changes its made since its initial Early Access launch, I have to recommend that especially if you enjoy rhythm games with a shoot ’em up twist. However, I was pretty impressed with Tetris Effect demo as well but that has to do with my having a soft spot for  Tetris as its the first video game that I ever played. Aside from that, the playthrough currently still running on Game Warp is the first run of 60 Parsecs! which is a day by day survival adventure story heavy on narrative and strategy. The review for that one is coming up soon.

Currently playing: A lot of mobile games mostly. I am about to do the new DLC for Hidden Folks, finish up Remember Me and continue working on some more routes to take for Burly Men at Sea. I’ll be checking a demo or two and have a few games that I need to work on. Also prioritizing clearing out backlog, like unwritten reviews.

WATCHING

Alive 2018

  • Anaconda
  • Central Intelligence
  • Mimic (Movies & Tea)
  • Baby Driver
  • The Whistler (short)
  • Altered Skin (BITS, 2018) (review)
  • Moonlight
  • Joe Versus the Volcano (review)
  • Alive (BITS, 2018)

I didn’t realize that I had watched that many movies but I guess it makes sense seeing as Blood in the Snow Festival is coming up (November 22nd) and there’s some coverage. The first review is already up for Altered Skin. With that said, Alive is one that I’ve enjoyed a lot as a horror thriller.  The review will be up very soon. Honorable mentions for this time goes to Moonlight, Mimic and Joe Versus the Volcano although for an fun time, Central Intelligence with The Rock is a pretty sure bet.

Currently watching: BITS 2018 films. Not listing specifics because what fun would that be, right? You can head over to Blood in the Snow festival page to check out the list of films HERE.

BINGING

LOVE O2O

  • The Inn (Season 2) – currently playing
  • Love O2O
  • All Out of Love – currently playing (might have just finished but I haven’t finished it yet)
  • Who’s The Murderer (Season 4) – currently playing
  • An Oriental Odyssey – currently playing

I’ve been still in the Chinese drama phase so watching most Chinese game shows like Who’s the Murderer which is in the Season 4 (but I haven’t seen the previous ones) and plays a little like Clue where you have to investigate and there’s a murderer mixed into the suspects and a detective in different scenarios and stories to find the truth. Or something like reality shows like The Inn which is my happy place every Friday evening after work as that is when the new episode goes live on Youtube. Its a show about a rather famous couple who builds an inn with various young stars as their employees as they set it up and get it running to build up the economy for that area. As for actual TV series, I have currently have on repeat is Love O2O which is finally a series that has captured by heart because it does so many things right not to mention the chemistry is off the charts and the dialogue and characters. Love it all. However, the one that I started afterwards because of one of the supporting actors in Love O2O, Yecheng Zheng is a main lead in a series currently playing called An Oriental Odyssey which I’m having a lot of fun watching also. Its more than halfway released although I’m only at episode 23 or something.

Currently binging: All the above that is currently playing? An Oriental Odyssey is my current obsession as I catch up with the latest episode soon, I hope. I do plan on finishing All Out of Love since I just saw a bunch of posts on Weibo about the finale.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
We are finally up to date! Yay!
Stay tuned next Wednesday for what I’ve been up to this week!

Curious question: Do you prefer this segment in written or video format?

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

Current Status….Work Overload

As I take a literal 3 minutes to put this together so that there is something going up today and to apologize for the delay of more Fantasia reviews going up, I’m literally in work overload. I haven’t stopped working for the last 4 days except to do the essentials and sleep the 5 hours I need to function. Love Fantasia, its just at the busiest time of the year for work also.

Anyways, as I struggle to eventually after today’s deadline to wrap up the Bleach review from Fantasia, I have some other stuff in the works when I get home tonight as well. I have something special to do this weekend so I’ll be making sure that things go up here as well, maybe clear out of those TV binges I have sitting around on my to-do list, The only upside of this overload was bringing work home and then actually

In the meantime, enjoy these Game Warp videos, its story driven stuff to think of it as movie time with me 🙂

Lots of fun stuff coming up like What’s Up vlog and such. I still have like 3 Fantasia reviews to get done and one more Fantasia movie to see tomorrow so things are still happening.

Have a great day everyone!

Announcement: Tranquil Dreams is on Facebook!

Hey everyone!

As you may have known from the last WordPress update news or whatever you call it, I can’t connect Facebook to my profile anymore, which wouldn’t matter to most of the people here as only a few of you are on my Facebook which I keep fairly private. However, since I do treat Facebook as a means to mostly share the posts, the only way the posts will share automatically upon posting is if it was a page. Its something that I’ve been planning to do for a while but I envisioned it always more as a step that I’d take when I finally decided it was the right time to buy a domain and really expand the brand. After some thought, despite all the Fantasia Festival craze, I decided to just set it up. Its still somewhat of a rough draft but all the posts including Avenue of Daydreams will go there.

As I get used to managing another Facebook page, I’ll try to share thoughts and stuff over there. Random little things and updates but then most of it is already here. I’ll share trailers and videos and stuff also if that is what you like or maybe events I plan on attending. Who knows, since I do a ton over here, the myriad of topics opens up a lot of possibilities. As frustrating as this was to do last minute (and better today than later) since it starts on August 1st but Fantasia runs until then, I don’t really know when I’ll carve out the time to do it, probably in August at this point. I’ll probably do some Instagram sharing there as well.

If you happen to rely on Facebook to see the posts, then give me a like or follow and the posts still show up on your news feed. If you don’t read this through Facebook, maybe just still do that to show me that you support the blog! And if you happen to have a Facebook page, put it in the comments below. Let’s share some community love so we can all support each other!

Check out the Facebook Page HERE!

Workout Round-up: Week 9 &10

workout roundup

I’m going to be reasonable now and say that from now on, I might be changing this to biweekly. Weekly commitments are a little intense. Even biweekly sometimes gets a little crazy, mostly because as much as I want intense workout schedules, its actually proving to be more stressful than it being a healthy change in my life. So I’m doing mostly workouts on day offs from work. During the week, I tend to do a lot more walking and well, with Fantasia season, its a lot of standing also.

I think right now, I have some great routine set with Zumba and pool workouts. Honestly, I know it sounds crazy but these two things combined actually do quite well plus they put me in a fairly happy place even when I’m dying of fatigue to push a little more.

Week 9

Monday

We opened our pool finally so I’m super happy to get back on a back to back day following off last week’s Sunday pool workout with a little of the same. I did do an extra round here from the day before.

To be fair, I didn’t write it here as workouts but Friday, Saturday and Sunday was Montreal Comiccon. I spent 5 hours on Friday, 6 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday pretty much walking and standing around a lot covering the event with the exception of four 45 minute conferences. Its one of the main reasons why I kind of took it easy during the week to kind of rest up for the intense weekend.

Week 10

Saturday – Zumba & Freestyle Pool Exercises

Pool exercises: Knee Tucks, Shuffle, Breaststroke, In-pool jogging

As I thought back to the past week of recuperation and trying to get a workout in, I doubled down on the Saturday workout with a longer Zumba routine than usual and put in a few more routines that I had to learn so it was harder as it switch things up. After that sweaty cardio session, because we’ve just been stuck back into a heat wave, I went into the pool to cool down but also get some freestyle pool exercises inspired from the pool workout above. I love doing a few rounds of 30 reps for knee tucks and then doing shuffles in between. I did a lot of jogging around the pool and also worked in some swimming with practicing the worst form I have which is breaststroke so I had to focus a lot on the form and getting that slow and steady but effective.

Sunday – Zumba & Pool Workout

Pool Workout (2 rounds)

Another hot day over here in Montreal! I took the time to do a normal set of Zumba workout, this time with a few more familiar routines. I did research a pool workout and this time decided to focus on abs and core. It was a 2 rounds cycle. Because my pool is different from the one here, the crunches were a little harder so I fell for a few more reps and longer times for the other workouts while adding in some knee tucks at 30 reps. I still did some cardio with jogging and again, some more swimming.

Overall, a lot of the same but I was pleased with just getting that bit in.
I did have some walking around here and there to get from one spot to the next for the events, just didn’t bother to write them in.
You should expect that Zumba and Pool workouts (hopefully find more workout options) to be the summer focus.
If the weather cools down a little bit more, I will go back to getting in some jogging time, probably in August.

With that said, biweekly recaps is the new structure so I’ll see you with an update in 2 weeks! 🙂

Gardening #4: Signs of Harvest

Its taken a month to get the next gardening update in but here we are!

The main reason is that I haven’t done much gardening and there really hasn’t been much to update on. Most of my blooms from spring lasted quite a little while and now that summer is here, the garden is flourishing especially with the crazy amount of rain we got before the last few days of extreme heat.

Without further ado, lots to talk about. Let’s check it out!

Water Garden

Water Lilies

Compared to the 4 leaves it had when I first got it, this lovely water garden (aka. my one water lily) has a ton of leaves and two flower buds. Of course, one of them is blooming. I was so happy to see that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and taking good care of it. Its so nice to see during the day when I wake up and look outside that its thriving.

Front Garden

On one side of the garden, my Dianthus actually is blooming finally. It took long enough. I probably am thinking of moving it and replacing it with a row of hostas or something because this spot just lacks so much sun and along with bad soil that is still taking time to be better, its just making this grow so slow. My neighbors’ hostas were blooming at least a week before mine and they look like a few times bigger. However, I’m still trying to figure out what my big reno work for the front yard is so I’m hesitant to just move a plant and then have to move it again the year after.

 flowers

Another reason to redo the front is that my flower patch is starting to look really overgrown. I think its just that, in terms of flowers. I have flowers that open in spring, summer and fall which works great but then its so dense around. I just need to sit down and figure out what I want to keep. However, looking at all the flowers right now, I’m really happy. Obviously there is the Crimson Star as always but I do kind of want to move it now since its just out of control big.

Then we have these two. The roses were planted last year in this spot and I was worried that it wouldn’t make it but its small and cute but still managed to get 3 flowers bloomed. I’m so happy to see the touch of red. At the same time, the newcomer this year is this furry little plant and its also starting to bloom. I don’t think this is in the right spot but once I open up my side garden when its not suffocating weather for the bee/butterfly garden, this will go right in there.

Backyard

Raspberry Patch

Not a whole lot of change with these two except for just growth. Yeah, look at the raspberries. Apparently trimming it makes it grow even more out of control. Sad part is that we never got around to the strawberries but we fed a lot of happy bunnies. I’m not too mad about it. I’ve just accepted that its a reality. We are thinking of putting in some fences around it but its not going to make a difference.

Along the Patio

As for this little patch, I just opened up this year. Its actually looking alright. Everything is growing a little slow and I think it has to do with the soil quality. Nothing has died yet and I can see the little Cone Flower at the end still growing strong. Its not as big as the one in the back and nowhere near it, but once it adapts to its move, it should do much better next year (provided it survives).

Container Garden

We are lucky that we got a ton of lettuces this year because after the first harvest, we lost two already from the cucumber pot. However, everything else, particularly the kale is thriving. I have some lettuce coming back. My new non-lazy watering strategy is making everything grow beautifully. The cucumbers are looking fantastic. Actually they have a lot of flowers and some cucumbers forming so fingers crossed that we’ll get some harvest soon-ish, but not going to count my chickens before they hatch. We literally have kale feasts now. Its just way too big and we can’t eat it fast enough. The biggest success is that the bell peppers experiment turned out the the container one is doing much better. The picture is dark but if you squint really hard, you’ll see that there are two bell peppers growing. At the same time, this mosquito repellent garden is looking the best in the last few years. I’m really happy with it.

Vegetable Garden

In terms of the vegetable garden, I once again forgot a before and after picture. I just spent Canada Day weekend getting rid of all the horrible oxalis grass covering the entire area. Its one of the reasons I think that the cucumbers are looking yellow and sad. We did go to the Dollarama to pick up a sprinkler hose which is a great addition, except you might want to consider getting it somewhere a little better and more durable. Ours already broke twice so its already having a lot of duct tape fixes. What I can I expect with a $3 product? However, it lets me walk away to water the container garden while it just takes care of the watering for me. Zucchinis are the only one in this plot that has some growing. I’m hoping that it’ll all work out. Everything else is just moving along, except my herbs on the side. The lavender needs to probably be moved but my mint is out of control.

Overall & What to look forward to…

There been a ton of growth here. While there are some losses, its actually doing really well this year. I added in a watering system to the kale and cucumber container because it was just draining too much. Actually the watering systems work really well, especially the past few days when its been record high temperatures of 44 degrees Celsius or something. I do warn that the next update will be in August as we are coming up to Montreal Comiccon and Fantasia Film Festival. It might put a little stop in some stuff depending on the situation. However, I always have my first week of vacation coming up so hopefully we will have some more projects. I have a few goals. Maybe finally opening up my plot but we need something else to happen first which is in the works.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How is your gardens looking? Any harvest?