#FantasiaFest, Friends, Date Night and Fun Times! :)

Wow, this week went by really fast!

This week wasn’t exactly eventful but it did mark a few things happening and so much to be grateful about. I’m really enjoying this busy weekends and not so busy weekdays.  Its nice to finally regain some form of balance in my life and any sign of negative and I just dodge it and bounce right back to being happy and positive 🙂

Next step: getting back to my working out more regularly 😉 Maybe I should do my workout posts again.  What do you think?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets see what things I have to be happy about this week 🙂

1) FANTASIA FESTIVAL!!

Fantasia Festival has started and as I write this, I’m back from the third movie.  I’m happy because I managed to get tickets for all the movies I wanted to see except one (other than the ones I had to skip because of scheduling problems).  Things always work out in  the end and you’ll see why.  If you missed my post on the movies I bought tickets for, you can check it out HERE!

There is one movie not on the list.  After Joseph @ The Cinema Monster dropped me a comment after seeing my lineup, he told me about two movies.  One I couldn’t put into my schedule but I looked into The Harvest with Michael Shannon and decided to add that one in.  Here is the trailer on the Fantasia Festival page:

http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/fr/films-et-horaire/80/the-harvest

A funny moment for you: I actually didn’t watch the trailer before getting the tickets and just read the plot.  Lets say, I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty creeped out…  I’ll tough it out though! It does look quite good 🙂

Final tally is now 11 movies and 14 tickets! 🙂 One more movie than I expected because I just couldn’t let go of That Demon Within.  Nick Cheung has really grown as an actor and anything that he’s in cannot be bad so I just couldn’t resist, what else can I say, right? I still remember him when he first started taking up stupid roles in ridiculous movies that I didn’t laugh at.  He’s really changed and does more sophisticated roles and its works out a lot better (at least I think so).

I have a good space between each group of movies so expect the reviews for Open Windows, I Origins and Cybernatural and tonight’s in the next few days 🙂

2) LEMON VERBENA & its flowers

Lemon Verbena

I may or may not have talked about before in my many gardening posts but my lemon verbena had little bug issues and thats why its now living outside for the summer.  It bloomed some cute littler flowers in the middle of the week when I went for a miniature gardening maintenance run 🙂 Bug issues are completely gone and the leaves are perfect.  These little victories (and some that will follow) makes me slowly grow more and more interested in this gardening business.

3) BIKE RIDE TO OLD MONTREAL WITH FRIENDS

Old Montreal

Old Montreal from the Concord Bridge

Montreal

Downtown Montreal from Concord Bridge

Saturday was a busy day and it all started at 9:30am in the morning when me and two friends started getting ready for our Old Montreal bike ride.  I do one of these every year at least once.  Its a really nice ride with amazing scenery that reminds me of why Montreal is actually a beautiful city when you put all the stupidity aside.  This year, I had company, making it so much more fun 🙂

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

And we even got to enjoy some of those pretty famous and extremely tasty lobster rolls!

4) ATTENDING A WEDDING FOR A LONG-TIME FRIEND (that I haven’t seen in a long time)

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Weddings are a super happy event. I haven’t seen this friend in ages and being at her wedding (and the bachelorette party last weekend) makes me really honored that she thought about me enough to invite me to the happiest moment of her life. She was a beauty and a princess all  night in the most elegant manner.  The wedding was beautiful and it was so much fun.  I saw a few people and reconnected with them, and even hit the dance floor all in good fun! The restaurant even had a window and terrasse facing the fireworks.

The couple themselves was just the symbol of love.  It was also an honor to be there to witness two people completely in love with each other, go through all that they’ve gone through and finally get to this step in their life.  I was so deeply moved by the event itself 🙂

5) COMPLETING THE FIRST FLOOR

Office done with new lights also :)

Office done with new lights also 🙂

Suffice to say that I talk a lot about my new house, but I think it comes with being a homeowner.  I’m almost all moved in except for a few things but I figured that as we get things in room by room, we’re getting every step closer.  The first floor is all done! We bought some new ceiling lights last week for the office (brighter than the previous owner’s) and with the natural light and everything, the office is looking lovely.  Next weekend will be spending time arranging how all the furniture goes while my boyfriend will take care of the painting in the main floor and basement.  The main floor will be the hard part as its a bit more colors and more tricky.  Progress, my friends! That makes me happy 🙂

6) SUCCESS WITH THE SELF-WATERING SYSTEM

raspberry plant

Raspberry is happily hydrated

Raspberry plants are like overly demanding and easily dehydrated babies. It wasn’t happy with one wine bottle full of water so I added another one. Then it still guzzles the water in exactly the same speed. At least, my baby here is blooming some flowers at the top and maybe it’ll be a champ and grow me some raspberries 😉

vegetable garden

Miracle squash/zucchini growth

My mom says these are yellow zucchini so I’ll take her word for it. This baby went through a lot.  Its grew from a snapped stem repaired by green tape. And then I put in a self-watering system about 10 days ago and unlike my raspberry up there with a tantrum, I came back to a sudden growth of this zucchini right there.  Its telling me I love you. And I love it back because its has so many coming out.  I just hope it doesn’t get tangled in its own growing vegetables.  I guess when that time comes, it means it time for harvesting! YUM! 🙂

7) THE STAR OF MY GARDEN: PURSLANE!

Purslane

Purslane in full bloom

Coming home yesterday to tend the garden, the happiest sight is to see everything going well and then my Purslane is looking very beautiful with its little pink and orange flowers brightening up my deck! 🙂

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do with these purslane because apparently it is a herb or edible plant.  I’m interested to know what use I can do with this.  I’m taking it easy though.

8) LITTLE VISITORS IN MY GARDEN!

bumblebees

Bumblebees hard at work!

I haven’t put my work into my front yard.  But thats starting soon.  However, the previous owner’s left these rather bland looking flowers from afar but along with the fluffy fern things and my flowers and whatnot in the backyard, its attracting a lot of bees. I took a neverending weeding break to try to capture them hard at work.  This is the best picture I’ve taken in a while 🙂

9) DATE NIGHT WITH MY BOYFRIEND

Montreal

Evening sky in Montreal

My boyfriend and I work opposite schedules so we don’t see each other very often and we don’t spend too much quality time either.  With the Fantasia Festival, its my way to just not sit at home and stare at my walls and just go out and have fun.  Although I saw two movies by myself already, I was happy that my boyfriend agreed to see 3 of them with me.  The first one starting at 9:30pm on Sunday.  We drove out and was welcomed by lovely weather and a beautiful evening sky as we drove over the bridge.  Romantic, eh? And made our way to see Cybernatural.  He is my best movie viewing buddy because he always automatically discusses the movie with me afterwards. Its fantastic to ponder on it in my head by myself or even talk out loud to the walls or my cat but its also nice to have an answer some times.

Joking aside, we really needed a date night! He gets a break next weekend and the week after, he’s back on double duty for being my movie date 😉

10) FANTASIA LUCK!

I love Fantasia Festival ever since I went last time.  This time, my biggest worry was to not choose the right movies.  I mean, I only chose one that sold out and it didn’t even sell out on the screening I’m going to.  Either way, I remained confident with my choices. I honestly have to say that, although there was some small issues, overall, I enjoyed all of them.  3 for 3 sounds like a good track record and it has be all hyped up. Last night’s was the first one where it was hosted by people related to the film.  Director Leo Gabriadze and I actually think the other man was the executive producer Adam Sidman.  There, they also had their supposedly first live Skype Q&A session.  The first to join was the writer Nelson Greaves and producer Timur Bekmambetov.  After 10 minutes or so, they even brought 3 cast members (which is pretty much half of the lot).  First was the two girls, Shelley Hennig and Courtney Halverson and later, Moses Jacob Storm joined in after he resolved his technical issues.  Its a pretty ingenious idea and matches how technology has really changed how certain things are done.  I’ll talk more about it when I review them.

To be absolutely honest, I’m just feeling so lucky! Luck isn’t normally on my side often but I make the best of what I can. It is now and I’m enjoying every moment of it!

Things are going great, my friends! I’ve been having a blast this summer!

sunbeams

Before I leave, here’s a lovely quote I found and here’s the article you might want to check out for 15 Quotes about Life from Children’s Books!

Happy Monday, my awesome friends!

Bridesmaids & Weddings!

I’ve been talking about being a bridesmaids at my friend’s wedding for the past month over abundantly.  I was extremely honored to have the opportunity to be a bridesmaids for her.  Its hard to come by friends after we get out of high school or college and we met at my old workplace and we’ve all kept in touch since then.  Its been a an amazing 5 years of friendship and honestly sometimes, these girls (the bride and the other bridesmaids) know more about my life than even my best friends.  Its something remarkable in my mind and I confide in them so I was extremely happy to just be part of this and help out as best I could.

Just a note that the bride has specifically asked me and everyone else taking pictures to not blog/facebook about the wedding pictures with guests and herself and the groom so other than myself, I am off limits to everyone else.

One of the many game props

One of the many game props

We did the whole planning of the games between me and the other “sisters” (aka bridesmaids) and helped arrange it as it came for the groom and his groomsmen when they arrived to pick up the bride.  It started with the red envelope bargain and then we hoped into some funny games for not compensating us enough.  He had to prove that he was worthy with his love, his strength, courage, dancing skills, design, etc.  Time definitely flew by. Of course, we tried to keep it all on schedule,which it was luckily with little switching around.

Our corsage

Our corsage

After picking up the bride, we had to all move to the groom’s family to do their tea ceremony first.  Its Chinese tradition to do the tea ceremony and its the right way to do it at both the bride’s and groom’s family’s house.  It made for some commuting but it was well worth the experience.

Red envelope from the bride's family to the couple for blessings

Red envelope from the bride’s family to the couple for blessings

For lunch at noon, the bride’s mom and her friends arranged a HUGE potluck for everyone and it was amazing.  There was one dish that almost burned my tongue and it was so spicy I just couldn’t handle it even being in my mouth and I gulped down probably half a bottle of water afterwards.  Everything else was super delicious. 🙂

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My lunch plate

We also managed to sit and chat for a bit before the bouquet toss and heading over to the couple’s house for the actual ceremony with the celebrant and to wrap up some decorations before the actual ceremony.

Flowers

Flowers

Outside decorations

Outside decorations

Party favor

Party favor

Helping to fix up the bride's hair before the ceremony

Helping to fix up the bride’s hair before the ceremony

The bride's bouquet

The bride’s bouquet

After the ceremony, we had time for some photo shooting and for the bride to change into her evening dress.  Then, we were off to dinner at Gibby’s, a restaurant in Old Montreal.  At Gibby’s, we managed to split the money we got from the red envelope bargain.

Canadian dollars and...5 cents Canadian Tire Money and yes, 10000 Won (Korean dollars)

Canadian dollars and…5 cents Canadian Tire Money and yes, 10000 Won (Korean dollars)

We had personalized wedding menus which was mega cool!

Menu

Menu

Now, I know you all are excited as to what I ordered and its a huge meal that I felt like I was bursting out of my dress at the end of the night!

Appetizer: Smoked Salmon

Appetizer: Smoked Salmon

Lemon Sherbet

Lemon Sherbet

 

Petit Filet Mignon (9oz) with Baked Potato

Petit Filet Mignon (9oz) with Baked Potato

Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake

 

Dessert: Sherbet Trio (Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry)

Dessert: Sherbet Trio (Raspberry, Strawberry, Blueberry)

Green Tea to end the meal and help digest!

Green Tea to end the meal and help digest!

That was my friend’s wedding night! But before I let you go, maybe you’d like to see how satisfied I am with the turnout of me as a bridesmaids in a wonderful lilac dress 🙂

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I’m rather pleased with it but still, its a good motivator now for working even harder 🙂

The wedding went great and it was a fantastic day!!! I wish my friend and her husband all the best in their future life and lots and lots of happiness!

Dessert at Juliette et Chocolat!!

Its been tax season so I’ve been trapped with calculating my own taxes and working on my mom’s. Did I mention that I hate taxes? Personal income taxes are the hate of my life.

ANYWHO, we are not here to listen to me rant about that, but rather, I’m here to show you the highlight of my weekend: TIME WITH THE GIRLS! I know I just hung out with the girls a few weeks ago in Burlington but did I tell you, one of them is getting married soon? And we are going to be her “bridesmaids”.  Its a smaller party for family and close friends type of thing, which is pretty nice.  We all had a nice dinner and discussed what colour dresses to wear for us girls. That also means…DRESS SHOPPING!!

After that, I went off to have dessert to discuss the details of picking up the bride at a dessert place called Juliette et Chocolat.

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I’m not sure if its just Chinese people who do it, but picking up the bride entails prolonging the groom from doing this and playing games and challenges then getting money from him.  The point is that we don’t want to just give away the bride because she’s valuable to us, we want to keep her with us as long as possible.  Well, until its ready.  So we sat together to discuss the challenging games (and usually sexual or humiliating/embarassing).  Its what goes down for these things.  I haven’t been the wedding party for anyone other than Chinese parties so I’m not sure if thats the case for others as well.  Let’s just say, I’m excited to be a part of this 😉 And no, you don’t want to know what games we chose…

Just a little light on what we did there over these delicious desserts.

Cheesecake Brownie

Cheesecake Brownie

Banana, ice cream and Chocolate Crepe

Banana, ice cream and Chocolate Crepe

I don't know what this is called....but it was sweet

I don’t know what this is called….but it was sweet

Raspberry and Mango Sorbet

Raspberry and Mango Sorbet

The sorbet was absolutely delicious.  Suffice to say, we didn’t really discuss the desserts much…because we were preoccupied.

This was my highlight of the weekend! And it was an awesome one at that…after a really bad Friday to end off the week.

What was yours? Anything happened that lifted your mood? Something big or maybe some little event?

Oh right, one more thing..I’ll be baking something this afternoon, I promise a new baking post! 🙂

A Word A Week Challenge: Food

This week’s A Word A Week Challenge by Sue from A Word In Your Ear is FOOD!  Join in if you’re interested, all the details are on her blog.

I take pictures of food all the time.  I just love eating and trying new things. This year, I already went to 3 weddings.  For me, thats a big deal.  Usually, I might go to one a year and sometimes simply none.  Its alright, I don’t mind.  The one aspect of going to weddings is that they always seem to have different food to match the style of the venue and the tastes of the bride and groom.

THE FIRST WEDDING: I was my mom’s plus one pretty much for one of her really good friend’s son’s wedding.  I know him too just not a whole lot.  It was at a more Italian owned venue in Montreal East.  We had a cocktail reception type of thing full of appetizers and it was a buffet, then they had Chinese food catered there.

THE SECOND WEDDING: This one is for one of my friend’s.  It was a wonderful wedding in July, on the same weekend is the International Dragonboat Festival so I was going crazy running to do one race then running back home to change and drive 1.5 hours to his wedding in Bécancour, Quebec.  I attended the wedding ceremony at a Catholic Church then we all moved on to the dinner reception at a sugar shack.  The meal had a soup appetizer then was chicken with salad and mashed potatoes followed by a cupcakes.  It was really fun although I had to leave early to get back home to prepare for day 2 of race day.

THE THIRD WEDDING: I was also my mom’s plus one but I used to actually be okay friends with the bride when we went to Chinese School together.  This one was held at a hotel in Downtown Montreal Holiday Inn.  The venue was really pretty with shades of pink lights on the wall.  It had catered Chinese food as well.  I actually didn’t manage to take a lot of pictures of the food, only the Chinese appetizers on my plate.  The little gift that they gave was a box of customized M&M’s with their names on it.  Cute stuff, right?

Now for all of you, did you go to any weddings this year? Was the reception good? Did anyone else have a busy year for weddings?