Sep 6, 2014

Jack of all trades, master of none



It takes me an hour to commute to work from home on the train; and during that time I bring my laptop with me and work on a couple of things: whether its working on extra-curriculars, listening to podcasts or music, or taking a course.

I've started with this simple 10 day online course that is to help jump start habits. The three habits I chose to work on were:
  1. Cooking healthy homemade meals daily. 
  2. Keeping my home organized.
  3. Exercising daily. 
I know I could have chosen more worthy goals to try (e.g. "become a better person" or "volunteer more time to charitable causes"), but to be honest, these really simple everyday tasks are habits I really do struggle to find time to do consistently. I felt like if I can focus on getting these down, I could focus on bigger and better things. 

I realized the three goals I outlined were actually a bigger problem of managing my time.  I often feel I'm flying by the seat of my pants and getting to cooking healthy, keeping my place clean and exercising daily become impossible as well as juggling all the activities and side projects I take on. It's too much, and after some reflection following a burnout earlier this year, I decided that enough was enough.

A couple of mindsets holding me back:

"Being a 'yes' person": I said "yes" to a lot of things because I was afraid of missing out. Missing out on social opportunities, missing out on new experiences. Another thing is also the guilt associated with saying "no" to people. I know I certainly get peer pressured into a lot of things: taking up an activity, staying out late, changing my schedule to accommodate others. And yeah, it sucks to say 'no' to people, I hate the idea of disappointing people that are close or important to me. However, doing this more often is perhaps one of the best things I've done. And the people I've said "no" to on occasion; they've stuck around :)

Jack of all trades, master of none - High performers generally choose one or two things to focus on, and do so with deep focus. If I ever wanted to get good at anything, I can't do that while juggling 4 or 5 other activities.


Aug 31, 2014

Fan Expo: Day 4 of 4

The last day of FanExpo was relatively low key. We waited in line to meet Jessica Nigri, a really famous cosplayer but because of flight changes she had to cancel her event. However we had a chance to go to a panel with Ian Somerhalder. 

From Mortal Kombat: they had no pupils!

Fan Expo: Day 3 of 4

Saturday is the biggest day at Fan Expo Canada; we got to see plenty of impressive cosplays, including this huge line of Storm Troopers that walked through.

Fan Expo: Cosplay as Mario & Luigi

I've never done a "group" cosplay before, so being able to cosplay with my good friend Stephen was so much fun! We coordinated colours and hats and off we were to Fan Expo Canada



Whats great about Mario and Luigi is that its so universally recognized. Small children would often point at us, and say "Look mom and dad Mario and Luigi!". The parents would ask for us to take pics with the kids. We were more than happy to do it. 

Aug 29, 2014

Fan Expo: Day 2 of 4

Today was day 2 of Fan Expo. It was my fault for not booking the day off work ahead of time; so I was only able to catch the tail end. My friend Stephen got to meet Veronica Taylor, who has done the voice acting for Ash Ketchum.

Reprising my role as Lara Croft: Guardian of Light. We titled this, "Lara waits for the train".

Aug 28, 2014

Fan Expo: Day 1 of 4

Fan Expo is taking place in Toronto and covers vendors, events, panels for five genres including comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming. A great perk? The cosplay! I rushed over after work to line up and get my tickets. 

I had the opportunity to take pics of quite a few cosplayers that I got to take pics of. Apparently Saturday (Day 3) will be a big day. 


Here are my other photos:

Aug 18, 2014

T25 reflection 2 weeks in: My biggest workout obstacle

T25 at the end of 25 minutes

Before T25

It was p90x - I really enjoyed the results I had with p90x, although I personally found it difficult to keep up with because the workouts were often too long and I didn't have as much motivation. Within the two weeks that I had kept up with the 90 day program I saw the biggest transformations: better energy, I lost inches off my waist line, toned out everywhere and I felt athletic - keeping up with the "strong guys" during team sports exercises like beach volleyball. It was liberating and empowering.


Aug 17, 2014

Attempt #1: Vanilla French Macarons

So we attempted the notoriously difficult French Macarons. What I quickly learned is that this recipe has to be followed precisely. You can't overwhip it (or else you'll end up with hollow biscuits!), overcook it. and have too much of one ingredient. This actually took two batches to get just right.

French Macarons - Vanilla Flavored

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 and 2/3 cups confectioner's sugar (sifted, or food processed)
  • 1 cup almond flour (sifted, or food processed)

Directions

  1. Beat egg whites until they are stiff and form stiff peaks (to the point where if you turn the bowl upside down they don't move)
  2. Gradually beat in white sugar. 
  3. In a separate bowl for dry ingredients: sift icing sugar and almond flour. Whisk together. 
  4. Do not use an electric mixer/beater for the next step. Fold your dry ingredients into the egg mixture in 30 strokes - don't do it more than this. 
  5. Pipe your macaroons on parchment paper to about 35 mm. You can google "macaron" templates".
  6. Preheat oven to 285 degrees Fahrenheit (140 degrees C). Let it stand for 25 minutes. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.

Vanilla Macaron Filling

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese (half a whole package, room temperature).
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 cup of icing sugar

Directions

  1. Beat butter, cream cheese and salt together until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add icing sugar beating until smooth.