My March Adventures!

Welcome to the March Adventures! March is a big month. Not so much for work (such a rare thing to say over here) in the beginning until the pandemic was announced and things took a flipside and changed the working situation and the general routine.  Not quite the way I expected my husband and I to turn a year older but hey, what can you do, right? On a happier note, as a lot of us have shifted our lives at home, I’m 34 today and celebrating in the beautiful confines of my home, still employed and healthy! In the state of things right now, its important to be grateful and appreciative for the things that we have!

Ultimate 2010s Blogathon Done!

Early March wrapped up the Ultimate 2010s Blogthon that I co-host with Drew’s Movie Reviews as we celebrated with our fantastic guest reviewers their favorite/most significant 2010s movies. You can find all the entries HERE.

Day Off

wp-1583972594308.jpg

I had a day off in early March after a 10.5 days work week to recuperate. The husband also had that day off so we ended up going to do some shopping since I needed to upgrade my skincare routine. You can see the new purchases. I had a birthday discount card so it was alright. We also had a lovely lunch at La Belle et la Boeuf eating some burgers.

Little did we know how things were going downhill after this date outing.

Kavala & Boulangerie Ange

Right before we had all the social distancing orders from the government, I did manage to have a few last hurrahs with friends.

Boulangerie Ange

The first was checking out the new bakery at a new condo district called Boulangerie Ange. We did pick up some bread, croissants and baguette while trying out their breakfast combo. Its pretty good and would definitely be something to check out later on when things get back to normal.

Kavala

We also managed to squeeze in another restaurant hangout with our Battle of Ingredients crew at a Greek tavern called Kavala. I was going to do a post on it but have decided to postpone it as its not like restaurants are currently open (other than takeout and delivery). Either way, it was a delicious place but I’ll talk more about it afterwards. On that note, Battle of Ingredients is, of course, on hold until further notice when things get back to normal.

Work Changes & New Routine

wp-1585199407554.jpg

After a week of nerve-wracking public commute to work with all kinds of preventative measures in the bus and sanitization and home cleaning, my boss figured out a way to let me work from home. Although, above is only immediate needs for the week or so and I do have to pop back into the office every week or so to grab new documents and drop off work done, its been a fairly quick adaptation to working at home although its somewhat changed my routine as I’ve needed to add in time for doing things I’d usually use for reading and walking to work as workout. Still, I can’t complain as I still have a job as we’re considered essential services when the province lockdown came into effect. As of writing this post, I have already gone back to pick up another crateful of documents to work on as we’ve outlined the goals for the next few weeks.

New Routines and Plans 

In lieu of the current state of events, I have already talked about new routines. While I’ve been trying my best to keep up with setting a new routine, mostly with better chore management during the week. I’m slowly finding more time to get in the other projects. You should be seeing more baking related posts (yes, Baking Through Disney should show up after a few little basic baking to get myself back on track to make sure I’m still good with the basics and organization. At the same time, I have an huge amount of backlog of double features and TV binges to write as well as a lot of  book commitments and blog tours to work on over the next little while. Content should be back on track as I know the last 2 weeks or so have been a little all over the place.

At the same time, Elwood and I have been working hard on getting ahead with both Game Warp and Movies and Tea podcast recording so remember to check out our wrap up for Season 3 as we look at Ang Lee and then our After Hours and Shark Week. You can check out Movies and Tea HERE and Game Warp HERE. More podcasts and written reviews/posts will coming up from myself at least as I start finding time to wrap up a few of them. In terms of gaming, I might actually start streaming soon as I kind of made a deal with myself that if I had the ability to work from home and had more time that I’d start doing that..just deciding on the game to stream right now.

Cute Kitty Pic

wp-1585536591657.jpg

That’s it for the March Adventures!

I’m going to assume right now that if things stay the way they are, I will have to be a little more creative with the April Adventures as its less adventures in the going out but more what I’ve been up to at home. I have some buried project ideas and whatnot that I want to find time to do so we will see.

On that note, feel free to share what you have been up to? Have you been confined to your homes as well?

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 #65: The Endless To-Do List

Well…it seems after crazy time comes a lot of not free time but calmer times. I had a debate about whether to post for this Weekly Adventures but I figured I should at least do a short one. I mean, what do I do? Talk to you every time about weeding? You know when things get halted in conversation, the fall back is weather so…let’s do that.

Montreal has had some fantastic weather. Honestly, its been two awesome weekends. I’ve gotten a lot of prep work in the garden done and it still feels like a long way before I’m anywhere near ready to start planting next week. Its gotten me motivated to get back into my own groove and get back into this positive mood that I actually haven’t felt in a little while. I’m having my own mental struggles over a ton of stuff and sometimes, its hard to explain to others how I just enjoy my own little space to do my stuff efficiently and connect with my own thoughts, because some people don’t function that way. A topic for another day to dive into.

The last two weeks was a lot of housekeeping for the blog and my house and my life. I’m trying to get things back on track, find back my own positive thoughts and just think a little about improving. One of the latest things I did was finally update my  About Tranquil Dreams page in the menu which I realized wasn’t updated in 2017. Oops~ You can check that out as well, especially if you are new here and want a snapshot of the versatile amount of topics. You can find it HERE.

Before we begin, the last few Weekly Adventures have been about a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on and segment revival and recaps. I promise you that after this Victoria Day weekend, things absolutely get busier with Montreal events and such.

Gardening 2018 has Begun!

tulips

The first Gardening 2018 post has gone up. Lots of plans and lots of things to accomplish to get to the final goal. The last two weekends (and some weekday evenings) was all about getting ready for our Victoria Day long weekend to get things in ground and in pots. You can find that post here.

To be honest, this week has no update because 75% of my gardening stuff this weekend was making sure the vegetable patch was grass-free, finding new perennials that came out in the sea of grass so that my husband knows to not mow over my plants and a ton of weeding. So much weeding and so much more left to do. The only update are the blooms and no worries, an update is coming very soon! 😉

Avenue of Daydreams – Changing its Look

For some of you who are new here, I used to do a ton of photography and writing when Tranquil Dreams first started. However, that faded in the background. However, in the spirit to channel a more creative outlet rather the reviews and lifestyle stuff I do here, I opened up another blog called Avenue of Daydreams. Its really sporadic content but the previous theme had issues of not being a mostly photography blog so it wasn’t showing up stuff as I wanted so in the last two weeks, I stopped my procrastinating and got around to changing it up. I might change it again but so far, I like it better already.  Its clean and nice. So in case, you want to see a lot of more artsy pictures that I take with my phone and my DSLR and the sporadic writing piece, Fifty or maybe edited Nanowrimo past novel, that is where you will find it all. I might revive the Out of This World Travels segment but just working on the time allocation first.

You can check out (and follow if you enjoy) right here.

Getting Into Shape – Segment Revival

WORKOUT ROUNDUP

I didn’t write about resolutions this year but I wanted to get back into working out so much. Feeling fit and strong and healthy makes me feel good. Working out is painful but also challenging and rewarding. The positive vibes that comes with focusing on getting a workout routine done or pushing to go that extra kilometer in the run is honestly irreplaceable. As I fit working out back into my schedule, things are shifting around a little bit more. You may notice the sporadic posting schedules and that is just a preliminary side effects. Things will settle down once it becomes a part of my routine.

With that said, its the revival of the Weekly Workout Roundups. They go up every Sunday afternoon (or whenever I finish the Sunday workout). You can find the first one from last week HERE.

Overdue Dentist Appointment

Its been at least 3 years since I’ve been to the dentist. To make a long story short, my dentist basically retired 3 years ago and between getting married, his retirement and our procrastination and then red tape of acquiring dental insurance from my husband’s insurance from work, its been way overdue and boy, do I know it? My friend referred me to a new dentist. The technology now is astounding when I first went in for exams and teeth cleaning. I came out of that with 6 cavities, meaning two visits back to the dentist. The first visit was more urgent and done as this post goes up. Definitely a good experience since funnily enough, I’m more nervous of the pain from the anesthesia needle than the actual cavity filling process. Man, am I happy that I have insurance now! The grown-up moments in life, right? One more visit to go and more frequent cleaning sessions to make up for the last few years to hopefully get my teeth and gums healthy again. Yet another stage to taking care of my own well-being.

South Burlington, Vermont – Day Trip

Hello Vermont (for a day). Recently, I learned about something called Cookie Butter that is sold at Trader Joe’s. To my knowledge, we don’t have Trader Joe’s in Canada and my friend told me about his trip to South Burlington, which happens to be where the nearest Trader Joe’s to us is, so I tagged along for a quick trip across the border to the US. We went to three places and well, I’ll tell you all about it in this afternoon’s post (because this one seems to be getting a little too lengthy).

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day kind of was a bust for us. My in-laws were supposed to drop by to celebrate but only my father in law made it since my mother in law wasn’t feel too good so wanted to rest. We understood that. However, we still got some family time as my husband helped his dad get his car ready for the season. We had gotten groceries to get a little barbecue going. Honestly, we only barbecue when we have ample time put out since as my husband puts it, “we don’t have a proper BBQ”. Either way, we had three people so we made 6 foil packets. 3 foil packets included sausages, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic and Portobello mushrooms) and the other ones were garlic butter sliced potatoes. We got our sausages at Charcuterie Frick. They were two different flavors, so we used one of each. The first was Quebecoise, which is ham and maple syrup and possibly one of my faves from this place. The second was my husband’s choice and it was basil chicken with sundried tomatoes. Both were really delicious and the foil packets, which was a little oversized were pretty decent. We enjoyed the lovely weekend together and that is what matters. We did give our father in law a basket of flowers and Mother’s Day card to take back with him.

Cute Kitty Pic

cat

That’s it for these adventures!
A lot of segment revivals and updates and housekeeping in general!
Its been really busy with little things and adding healthy habits into my life.
Hopefully in a few weeks, it will be a part of my routine. We will see, won’t we?

What have you been up to?

My Weekly Adventures #51

My Weekly Adventures

Hello everyone!! Welcome to the next Weekly  Adventures! This will be a slightly shorter one with less fluff or serious stuff mostly because tomorrow is going to be the October marathon announcement or kick-off or whatever! It was why I slightly hesitated to do a Weekly Adventures however, why not, right? Overall, it was a pretty chill half a month. The first week of it didn’t really have anything in particular however the last weekend to this one has been a little more eventful.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Oasis Montreal 2017

In celebration of the Canada 150 and the Montreal 375, this year’s Montreal marathon took place over two days instead of just the Sunday. Obviously, I only was a part of it because of my friend who usually needs me to help with drop off and moving the car downtown where the race ended. This year was pretty cool as because of the event closing a wider area, I ended up having to change where I parked which came with its problems such as discovering where the boundaries were and figuring out where to get some tea in the new area. I work in Montreal however I don’t venture quite as much in the area near the LaFontaine Park surroundings so wasn’t quite so familiar however, I did end up finding some breakfast near the Berri-UQAM metro at the bus station and for the first year, ended up watching the race in the middle of the course. It was pretty nice with a live band and water stations and everything. Anyways, it also happened to be the hottest weekend of the summer, hitting the 40s Celsius in humidity and the full marathon was cancelled. However, the weather really took a turn around and I think because of the heat, everyone wanted to just mentally find that extra gear to get to the finish a lot of faster. Still, the event was cool as usual.

Baking Date

Last Friday night, I hung out with my baking and travelling friend. Its always nice to hang out with friends after a long time and we had decided to the weekend before due to her acquisition of many apples because this is the apple picking season. The original plan was to make apple pie however due to time running late and whatnot, we ended up making these little apple galette and I learned what pate brisee was and that was super cool. I’ve always wanted to make them and never did but they turned out to be pretty simple. Plus, its always fun to hang out with this friend. Hopefully, I’ll get my finances in order and we’ll be able to head on another foodie adventure to Toronto soon.

Battle of Ingredients Gathering

This month’s Battle of Ingredients will go live at some point next week. However, we had our gathering for it. We decided to do an early fall BBQ event. The weather’s definitely dropped since the last month and that weekend before with the  40+ Celsius temperature. We’ve been in the single digits the last few days so its been a sudden hit of cooler weather. Either way, this is coming up and we had a little Moon Festival twist since that’s also next week. Look out for that if you’ve been following it! 🙂

Moon Festival Early Celebration

Moon Festival is officially next week however, we got together earlier for an early celebration as my husband has work during dinner time on the day of. However, I will still have one more dinner with my mom on the day of. Its always nice to get together for dinner.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • HALLOWEEN MARATHON!!!

Sorry for the late post today!
I’ve been plagued with migraines all weekend, so not as productive.
Thats it for this adventures!

Halloween marathon starts next week with little bits of random non-Halloween posts
The announcement post tomorrow will cover everything from whats the franchise I’ll be working on and such!
What have you been up to?

What’s Up Thursday #4

I’m WAY overdue for the post but I figured I haven’t done What’s Up Wednesday, and its Thursday now. I feel like mid-week is where my slump happens as things slip away from me. Regardless, I guess more to talk about than the last one. I’ve been doing a lot of gaming so less of everything else. However, gaming is a world of discovery and while they frequent Twitch more, a shoutout to SplatPanda who has taken up a lot of my time as I watch their fun streams on games that I doubt I could play for many reasons. However, they are a great companion to writing. Not all is lost 😉

Anyways, moving along with whats been going on behind the scenes or in the works.

Binging

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3

unbreakable kimmy schmidt

I’m a huge fan of the show and I always binge it when it releases during the first two weeks. I can’t say I qualify as binging right now but I am just wrapping up everything else so that I can watch it without worrying about anything and just having fun. Plus, I have a few TV binge posts in the works that I would like to wrap up before starting (or finishing) something new.

Reading

After reading some books sent to me for reviews, which I still have at least two, I am back to clearing up some overdue Kindle reading from books bought back in 2014/2015.

Right now its Talespins which I just started a few pages. It seems fun to read. Probably going to take some time to sit down and read it in a few days. Same issue with book reviews as for TV binges is that I never try to have too much backlog and I believe there’s still one book that needs to be reviewed to be up to date. Its a new strategy on my part to try and minimize any backlog because what becomes backlog usually stays there. A good example are books that I started this year that are just sitting in my Currently Reading on Goodreads and I just haven’t been in the mood to go back to them.

PLAYING!!!

Currently in recording phase

Trying to complete an expedition

Story mode with my husband

Achievements Run

Told you that I’m gaming a lot, right? Let’s break it down 😉

Little Nightmares was our featured game of May and also a strong contender in my game of the year. There’s some super great news about new DLC material coming out in the next few months. I love the game so much that I went back to do an achievement run, which I’m currently still doing. The goal is to unlock the secret achievements along with breaking some stuff and hugging some things. It won’t mean anything unless you’ve played it. If you haven’t watched out episode, you can check it out HERE.

Rise of Balloons however is a game that we had a fantastic chat with the devs last year when this game was first released on mobile. I have already completed and reviewed it last year but the devs told me recently when they told me about the PC release that they added new contents and expanded the game. So I’m a few levels in and its still lots of fun and I have seen some new levels and some more details. We’ll have a review discussion mini episode over on Game Warp soon.

Just to make sure that I’m covering all the genres at the same time, we recently went on fun expeditions on Renowned Explorers. While this isn’t my usual go-to game because it requires my brain too much as a turn-based strategy game. However, once I start this up, it usually pulls on my determination to win. Although I did just decide in yesterday’s session to change my team and start over because they just weren’t strong enough as a group to beat that battle and I knew that even if I swapped the strategy, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Finally, I’ve been having a crazy desire to play fighting games which is super weird, because I’m horrible at them. Apparently, I’m not all that bad and since I recently picked up Mortal Kombat XL on discount, my husband and I are working through the story mode. Its incredibly brutal but man, its a nice change in pace.

On top of that, I’ve been tracking and streaming on release date the Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, which just had the episode 2 release.
Maybe you’d like to watch it 🙂

That’s it for this What’s Up segment!
Don’t you sometimes wish that you could be split yourself up and be at different places at the same time? Haha!

What have you been up to?

What’s Up…Wednesday

I’m sure someone has thought about this title before for a Wednesday segment. However, its not going to be a fixed segment unless you all love it! I’m just really exhausted from work and can’t seem to find the energy to wrap up a TV Binge post that I’m working on so wanted to do something quick and fun. There will be a reblog later today for the Ultimate 90’s blogathon’s next review by a lovely lady blogger. You can head over to Drew’s Movie Reviews to read it sooner.

What’s up with everyone? What have you been watching, reading, binging, loving, listening and playing?

Watching & Binging

Cardinal

Cardinal (TV Series)

Chef's Table (Season 3)

Chef’s Table (Season 3)

Riverdale

Riverdale

I’m not exactly binging any of these mostly because Riverdale and Cardinal are both going on right now and only updated weekly. Cardinal is a six part mini series (or eight, I can’t remember) so its about to end soon and we’re one part behind. Like it a lot! Riverdale was something I didn’t know was going on. I had thought it was a Netflix Originals which it isn’t so I need to wait for it to be updated weekly and I know myself that eventually I’ll fall behind, no matter how much I like it. Riverdale’s first 1.5 episode was really not doing it for me but in the second half of the second episode, I do say that I like it a lot more now. The twist on these Archie comics characters is very awesome. And well, I love Chef’s Table so I didn’t want to wait to watch the new season.

Watching/Binging Next: Ultimate Beastmaster

Did you see this trailer? Its starting this Friday and I’m excited!

Reading

What Maisie Knew The Good Marriage

Not my original intention to read two books at the same time but I just happened to remember that I had bought A Good Marriage on a good deal and it was on my phone the day I forgot my Kindle so started it. So far, I’m enjoying it. It also breaks the order of how I originally wanted to experience Stephen King’s novels. We’ll get back on track and pretend we didn’t skip ahead. What Maisie Knew feels heavy and no, I haven’t watched the movie but will.

Reading next:
The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

adventures of alice in wonderland

I’ve started this one over two years ago. Its time to finish it and put it away.

Playing

lazors

Mobile game

robots-in-the-wild

Early Access Steam

PS4

Playstation 4

In between games right now after a blitz run of Game Warp’s February featured game so just playing some puzzle games. I do have some unfinished games or game in progress but here’s what I’m playing in the background. The Early Access Steam one is a recent start this weekend and only a little over a week old in Early Access.

Playing next: Child of Light/Three-Fourth’s Home/World of Goo, etc
& March’s featured game for Game Warp: Batman – The Telltale Series

And finally, listening or more somehow stuck in my head…

That’s it for what I’ve been doing. Behind the scenes things like this seem a little silly to do to me. However, they are fun!
If you do like it, maybe I’ll make it into a segment.

Hope you enjoyed it!
What are you doing behind the scenes? TV, Music, Books, Movie franchises, Video games?

2016 Wrap-Up!

Its the last day of 2016 and man, I’m starting to feel slightly pampered from previous years and the year-end reports that WordPress used to produce for the blogs. Are you missing that? Doesn’t it just give a sense of love and awesome? Still, 2016 has been cool. While my stats did drop from the previous year in general, I’ve also opened up my horizon to new projects and been working on some creative additions in the background. To say that 2017 might be a little change in direction could be good. After almost 6 years of blogging (in a little over 2 weeks), I think its time to change things up just a little bit.

Today is all about looking back at 2016! We’ll talk about 2017 tomorrow! 🙂

To start with a few stats, 2016 had 61,286 views and we’re now at 2,119 followers! You all are fantastic! Thank you for joining me here!

On top of that, we reach some nice milestones for the blog like…

  • Total recipes: 146
  • Total book reviews: 138
  • Total movie reviews: 619

This year’s top five viewed posts here was actually not published in 2016 at all but previous years:

  • Book Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (which grabs top spot everyday)
  • Arthur and the Invisibles Trilogy
  • Lie with me
  • Fantasia Fest 2015: Anguish
  • Book Review: The Starry Starry Night

Its funny to look at this list because a lot of these are from the earlier days of blogging and the quality is just so bad compared to now, which is much better. I’ve been meaning to reread and rewrite The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes review, just because its so incredibly cringe-worthy to read now.

As for 2016 posts, the top 5 are:

  • Announcement: Ultimate 80s Blogathon
  • Netflix A-Z: xXx (2002)
  • Netflix A-Z: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 &2 (2013)
  • The VVitch (2016)
  • Netflix A-Z: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

There may probably be a new blogathon in 2017 seeing the success of 2016, but more when its all decided! I’m also glad that Kiss of the Damned made it as top viewed because my binge watching of Gilmore Girls is making me love Jess aka Milo Ventimiglia and he is in that little indie film.

2016 Recaps

2016 was a year of highs and lows for blogging. The good part of that I learned how to be organize and work a little ahead of time and at least have the material ready for writing beforehand. It only took five years but I got there! I’m liking the whole system.

Game Warp Podcast was the second achievement. Starting that up over at That Moment In with my awesome cohost, Elwood Jones from Fromt he Depths of DVD Hell. Funny how one thing leads to the next and how the blogosphere and Twittersphere brings out all sorts of cool friends and projects. Game Warp Podcast is something of a dream that I’m only starting to believe is happening. Its a first step into something that I had been thinking about it and I promise that more announcements regarding gaming and whatnot that is in the brainstorming stages will be revealed. But Game Warp Podcast is one of my main focuses right now and it has really made me grow and revive a lot of the love.

We never made any formal announcements, at least I never did but That Moment In Podcast is not longer a thing. It hasn’t been for a few months. It was extremely fun while it lasted. However, if you have dropped by That Moment In lately, I have dropped by with David for short movie discussions/reviews paired up with his written review. There has only been two so far but its been fun. Check it out if you have time. Here’s one if you’d like to give it a listen for Korean thriller, The Wailing.

Unfinished Projects

As with every year, there is always things that just don’t end up getting a spot or just simply get procrastinated. One of those projects is the Classics. I took a break from reading classics last year and really just read The Little Prince and didn’t even end up wrapping up the Jane Austen from 2015 which I was just missing Northanger Abbey. I do plan on picking that up in 2017 as I have some nice books lined up sitting in my Kindle longing for me to read it.

Netflix A-Z is currently in the progress of wrapping up its current round focused on indie genre films for the most part. We’re at T. So we’ll wrap that up in early 2017. And I’ll probably restructure it a little as I will for the movie reviews section.

Other than that, Baking Through Disney started out in the year pretty well until I got stuck on Fantasia and what to bake. I’m not giving up on the project though. I’ll be setting solid goals for 2017 that I’ll talk about soon.

Overall…

2016 was a bit of a mixed bag from my motivation to wanting to change where it was going to just in general everything. I did have a great time being more organized and podcasting more and learning new things. I think that is the main thing for me that I’ve learned over the course of 2016, blogging is the opportunity to explore new things and learn new skills. I love making videos and editing and all the work that goes with it. I’m embracing a different side of approaching it and also heading out to events and unboxing and really trying out new things. Events will become a much more frequent thing here. I’m starting to jump into what I want tomorrow’s post to be for the 2017 look ahead.

What I do want to say other than the stats and endless babble going on is…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ALL THE BEST IN 2017!
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND READING THIS AND JOINING ME ON THIS WONDERFUL BLOGGING JOURNEY!

My Weekly Adventures #34: Fun and Busy December!

Ladies and Gents! All of you lovely awesome readers! Its the last My Weekly Adventures of 2016! Can you believe it? In a little more than two weeks, we’ll be in 2017! OMG, panic time!  Just kidding 😉

It isn’t too far from the truth to be honest. The last two weeks of December means a lot but we’ll talk about that in the final portion of this one. Now, let’s take a look at what happened in the first half of December before looking at what is upcoming in the plans before we hit 2017! Its kind of a mad dash as you will see!

Let’s go!

Christmas Activities

wp-1481773077372.jpg

The only thing that has really happened in the last two weeks is really this little event for Christmas in downtown and checking out Luminotherapie. It was a ton of friends to go downtown with my friends and hang out. There was a ton of beautiful and adorable decorations, street food, local vendors and lots of lights everywhere. There were dancing in the street events and just lots of fun times. Here’s the little event recap!

The next day, we headed to the annual Montreal Crafts Show and I shared my haul HERE.

Kickstarter Rewards Received

wp-1481772752068.jpg

I back a lot of Kickstarter projects when I can afford it. Currently, there’s a good few in development so I’m taking a little break. Especially when some of them thats been sitting there since 2012 or so and the updates haven’t been incredibly encouraging, so I’m kind of rethinking my strategy. I never want too many to be sitting there because its kind of like the concept of investment and rate of return. That is the one semester finance student talking to me. Still, I do have changing opinions on Kickstarter but I do still love the indie scene too much to not support it when I see something that looks like it has great potential. Obviously, when these past weeks reaped two Kickstarter rewards being fulfilled, I was thrilled! I still have to sit down and watch them but stuck in a little rush of crazy that I’ll talk about soon. I had complete faith in these ones.

The Unkindness of Ravens is by Lawrie Brewster who I had backed his previous project, Lord of Tears which I reviewed HERE. Lord of Tears is an odd little movie but I like it a lot for the atmosphere it creates. I wish there were more people talking about it. Next one is Kiss Me Kill Me, and it is one that I had seen the screener when it premiered a little earlier this year. I didn’t review it as it wasn’t officially released and now we have the DVD version so that’s awesome! I’ll be reviewing it soon once I watch it again. I remember enjoying it quite a bit.

Hopefully, in the next year, more projects will be wrapping up and sending off their rewards. I have quite a bit of confidence for a good bit of them. Knock on wood that I didn’t jinx it.

Holiday Marathon & Christmas

img_2414

Its 10 days till Christmas!! And I’m so behind! Its rare that Christmas hasn’t been full-fledged over here. Deal is that I’m torn on what to review anymore. The selection is very minimal and its starting to be the feel-good Hallmark movies which aren’t exactly great to review because its fun but really nothing to overly talk about. Perhaps I’ll take the shorter review route. However, there has been scatters of things from Christmas events like the ones above to Christmas themed short stories and I’m starting to have a few Christmas movies as well. Crazy that Avenue of Daydreams is way ahead of the game and already having snapshots like the one above. Perhaps you’d like go head over and check out creative-but-currently-only-photography space. I actually a lot of Christmas photography coming up. If you like that sort of thing, check it out HERE and maybe give it a follow (I’m sorry for the shameless self-promotion).

With that said, I do have a few more movies to review for Christmas and maybe a list post if I can fit it in. I probably will have one or two recipes since I’m responsible for dessert at the Christmas party with family. Aside from that, well, the usual Christmas decor post is coming up once I finish up decorating the tree. Everything else but the tree and the stair railing is decorated.

Netflix A-Z

netflix

I addressed the whole Netflix A-Z thing already in a previous review. It has taken a while to resume after October and NaNoWriMo. Its all my fault, of course. No excuses. However, the idea of Netflix A-Z dabbling into 2017 makes me feel some sort of uneasiness. Maybe it just feels so much like its dragging on and I like to keep these series self-contained as its not a longer project, like Baking Through Disney (which I’ll address again in the New Year). So, I did announce it on Twitter, kind of, but I’m going to make a solid effort with an already drafted tentative schedule to get it all wrapped up by the end of the year. Its a little crazy seeing as I just finished K selection and its 15 more movies to reach the end. I’ll make the best effort. Plus, I’m working on a side thing that I want to be able to review everything I watch within the same year so it tracks what I’ve seen better.

Point is, it might get busy if I can keep up with all the reviews along with extra stuff. Hope you will enjoy it!

On the other hand, the reason to wrap it up is also that I’m probably not going to keep this segment or do movies in that A-Z order but not make it into a segment, just a personal way to choose what to watch next.

Kitty Cute Pic

wp-1481823918324.png

*last minute post means pics are in another computer so limited edition pikachu for all you Pokemon Go players is all I got 😉

What have you been up to? 

My Weekly Adventures: The Big 3-0 (Recap & Announcement)!

I’m 30 today! Honestly, that’s all I have to say about that!

Back to our normal recap, its my birthday so I figured, I’d have an announcement sort of thing at the bottom.  Deal is that, this was supposed to be like a big thing but I didn’t manage to get everything decided and figured out.  More details at the bottom with a little message.

Lets start with some recap!

Toronto Comicon & Ripley’s Aquarium

Toronto Comicon

Call it a blogathon celebration or whatever, I ended up meeting up with Drew (Drew’s Movie Reviews) to check out Toronto Comicon and Ripley’s Aquarium.  You can find those posts HERE and HERE! It was a ton of fun.  Now I’m on a comicon high so I already have Ottawa Comicon set and I’m debating on Montreal Comicon, but that is in July so the guests are exactly set yet.

Aside from that, I’m pretty hyped up about finding more cool events to go to.

Baking Frenzy & Baking Through Disney

Pinocchio Cupcakes

I got back to baking this past two weeks and had two recipes go live! One was for the delicious Hong Kong style Egg Tarts (recipe HERE) and then the second was the Baking Through Disney Cupcakes for Pinocchio (recipe HERE). I have to say that I’m geared up to get back on track with this stuff.  The only deal is to organize time so that I am motivated.  With winter leaving us and spring bringing in a little warmer weather and some more sunlight between the spring showers, I’m already working on some ideas for Fantasia.  The review for that should go up soon.  I’m trying to stay on track to do one movie and one recipe every month.  Its a pretty challenging goal but one I plan on managing to do this year.

Dinner and Karaoke with my Best Friend

On Good Friday, I met up with my best friend who has been incredibly busy so I haven’t seen her a lot.  While I was waiting for her, I went to Pharmaprix/Shopper’s Drug Mart and found Kombucha there! I’ve seen it on TV before, I think it was on Dragon’s Den and I’ve been wanting to try it so I grabbed the Rosehip and Hibiscus one.  It was absolutely a delight.

Kombucha

After meeting up with my best friend, we went out to grab a little something to eat.  I took an appetizer as I wasn’t too hungry and she took a club sandwich that was a lot bigger than she expected it to be.

Reuben's

Reuben's

We headed off to some long overdue karaoke for 2 hours afterwards and headed home.  I did do some recordings of it but decided to not because the moment I upload it to Youtube in a video, its going to have some copyright issue so I rather not have to deal with that 😉 We sang some Chinese songs and a few English ones.

Here was two that I’m not so good at but I have a lot of fun singing. This is possibly one of my fave Karen Mok songs and well, Jordan Chan’s song is ridiculous but I used to like rapping although my voice is not anywhere near as tough as it should be so it sounds pretty unconvincing but it has a nice tune/beat.

Potluck and Game Night with Friends

wp-1459102578033.jpg

The past weekend, we had a nice gathering with friends.  We made some ribs and those cupcakes up there.  Everyone made delicious food from salmon to roasted veggies to chicken to salads and chicken wings.   It was a great time talking and laughing.  Then we sat down to learn how to play Pandemic together.

wp-1459102708866.jpg

We played a total of two games.  The first game took us an hour to set up and work through the rules and get an idea of what was going on.  The second game went much smoother and we defeated the pandemic although we were at 6 outbreaks and incredibly close to losing again. Teamwork and strategizing, that helped us out quite a bit. 😉

ANNOUNCEMENT & THANK YOUS!

people

I’m writing this pretty much around midnight jumping into March 31st.  I had debated to just give myself a day off from the blog but turning 30 is a big deal to many people.  I’m not so affected by it.  I still feel pretty young at heart and a lot of my achievements and self-satisfaction comes from doing the blog so I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way than with all of you lovely people who drop by today, yesterday, from the beginning of this blog, even in the future.  Nothing means more for my birthday than saying my thank you to all of you! I take all my opportunities to tell you all how much I appreciate all of you.  I’ve made a ton of blogging buddies here and its just been an amazing experience that I would never trade for anything.  With that said, I’ve been thinking of getting rid of the wordpress.com and owning a domain.  As much as I love Tranquil Dreams, I do want to get out of the “klling” thing because thats hard for anyone to find this place.

The big announcement is that I’m working on a new name and a new banner and moving over to a new domain.  Its a plan in progress.  The hardest part is deciding on a name but I think I might have something that works now.  I’m still getting some feedback from friends.  Once that is decided, I’m heading straight to put together that banner and deciding the next step of where to go from there.  I’m excited for this change and I hope that you all will have fun with it as well.  I’ll have another more formal announcement when things are about to wrap up with possibly a launch date.  I’ll make sure that everything is going to shift as smoothly as possible for everyone.  Decisions, decisions, decisions: thats where I’m at right now.  I’m sorry that its not done yet but I promise its a work in progress.  The hardest part is that Tranquil Dreams is so versatile and finding something that fits it all in and has a nice ring to it.  Work in progress! We’ll get there! I’m getting a lot of help from friends and my husband.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! THINKING OF WHAT TRANQUIL DREAMS HAS ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS MAKES TURNING 30 FUELED WITH ENERGY! 🙂

And to wrap things up…

Cute Kitty Time!

wp-1459101118487.jpg

Upcoming:

  • Netflix A-Z: N-?? (taking this segment a little easier as I catch up with a few movies in preparation for some upcoming movies and work on some backlogged content)
  • Disney Project: Fantasia Review
  • A few book reviews

Have an awesome day!! 🙂