A bunch of good things arrived for me today! Ordered my favourite of the non-limited edition Field Notes, the Cherry Graph 3-pack for the Valentines’ Day special, and it finally arrived! Also picked up a new Knox nib from The Birmingham Pen Company, which I highly recommend for their customer service. The last special thing (which didn’t arrive in the mail, but never mind that) is my box of Ada Lovelace Blackwings, because I’ve been working on drawing more lately, and these are too gorgeous to not use.
After the calendar (all 10 pages and 365 lines of it) comes the daily log! It’s a bit of a visual journal in addition to sort of tracking the things I need to track.
I’ve been drawing a little something in each day, even if it’s just a small silly doodle.
Also making a point of rolling with the messes. I placed a leaky fountain pen bottle on here but ??♀️ I’ll just work around it. I rather like it now, actually!
I’ve been experimenting a little with my new Lomo’Instant Automat Camera and tucking some of the more interesting failures in here. Also practicing my calligraphy! Also evidently some of my doodles worked out better than others, but. I guess that’s what practice is for!
Naturally, the best part of any project is starting a fresh notebook! I was seduced by this lovely A5 hardcover Emerald Green Leuchtturm1917 (I had to double check that spelling twice ?) notebook because I’ve heard fantastic things about the paper, and so far I haven’t been disappointed! I’ve fountain pen’d in seven different inks aggressively all over the pages and messily applied watercolour by way of an aggressively sharp calligraphy flex nib, and there’s been only one little incident (and that was entirely my fault ?) and it’s gorgeous!
The first chunk of pages are given over to my goals, one page each for notes and general thinking through what exactly it is I’m doing. And then! The calendar…
One row for each day of the year, and columns for each of the dailies that I mean to complete each day, and then at the end of the row, room for extra completed goals for each day. Tracking is going to be a huge component of tracking the entire year… and evidently, I’ve already missed a couple dailies on a couple days ??♀️ But that’s how it goes! ??♀️ And I suppose it’s good to start on a realistic note? It’s not really going to get any better from here either, but. Some days points for effort just has to be good enough!
I recently turned 29! ???? And entered my 30th year of life, and all of a sudden I’m depressingly aware that, like every good millenial, I just can’t even adult. Adulting is hard, okay? ?? But I am getting on in years now and it’s time to learn to be grown, right?
So I’ve started a little project for year 30 of my life. Like New Years’ Resolutions, only on my birthday instead of the year’s birthday. Something like that. ?
I came up with 6 categories and a total of 29 goals (partly because 29th birthday, but mostly because I ran out of goals and also decided to at least pretend to be aiming for something realistic ??♀️ ) and I’m going to post updates to attempt to keep on track. If nothing else it’d be nice to have worked consistently on this for a whole year? I can stick to things, sort of? ?
Attempted some meal prep for the week, like a proper adult! Made my mum’s chicken spread, which is a weird-sounding mishmash of chicken, diced cucumber, diced dried fruit (fig, in this case), jam (I’m currently on a jar of strawberry), mayo, fish sauce (or salt, or soy sauce, but I’m south east asian, so FISH SAUCE), and today, for the figs, a splash of balsamic vinegar. I swear it’s delicious though!
The first time I cooked this for someone else, he almost died laughing at my abysmal cooking skills. It’s been a while since then and it’s heaps better now, promise.
Had pizza from Ignite Pizzeria for lunch… My favourite Marinated Mushrooms, which consists of mozzarella, marinated oyster mushrooms, ricotta, parmesan, and a drizzle of truffle oil, and also the fantastic Giuseppe’s Choice, which has fior di latte, soppresata, chunks of crispy bacon, black olives, and lovely caramelized onions.
Pi(e) day! So of course I had pie. From Tartine Bread & Pies because I walked past and saw that every slice of pie was $3.14 for Pi Day and how is one to refuse that siren call?
Went to Tempranillo for a belated birthday dinner! Went for the first time a little while ago, and I think it might be one of my new favourites now. Chef Bill is absolutely brilliant, and every single thing I’ve put in my mouth here has been absolutely brilliant. This time round, we had the Sobrasada, this fantastically spiced pork pate, and the Mule Driver’s Cod, which was this absolutely amazing bright, surprisingly light spread for something that’s essentially made of potato and salt cod. We spread it all over slices of grilled bread and it was so so good, absolutely the best thing I ate all week.
Running errands over lunch and stopped in a hole in the wall Japanese place for a quick bite. Can’t remember where I went, and ordered up a poke bowl that turned out to be a vague attempt to hop onto the local bandwagon. At least the tuna sashimi was pretty fresh, even if it was a little… well. Not exactly what you’d call generously portioned…
march 17 Gyoza Bar has a new brunch menu! Unfortunately we failed at reading basic information and rocked up to Gyoza Bar half an hour before they open. Just for future reference, while they might open at 11.30am on weekdays, weekend opening hours are at 12nn. So… we popped over to Cartems Donuts for a bit of pre-brunch breakfast, and then no one could decide so we wound up splitting a box of half dozen. Irish Coffee, Pistachio, Citrus Glaze, Earl Grey, Vanilla Bean, and London Fog. All delicious, although my personal favourites were the Earl Grey, Vanilla Bean, and the Citrus Glaze.
And then! Finally the main event, brunch! Amongst other things, we had the Okonomiyaki + Chicken Karaage, and the Pulled Pork Bao Benny. The baos at Gyoza Bar are some of the best things they make, although to be far I have to admit that I’ve somehow managed to never eat a single gyoza here? And by the way, the maple miso hollandaise is seriously excellent.
It’s my birthday! Went out to The Ramen Butcher for a birthday dinner with my family. The first things to arrive were the Kani Tsukemen and the Maze Soba, so by the time the ramen flights (black garlic and red hot chili) showed up, I was too busy stuffing my face to take photos ??♀️ The Kani Tsukemen was mindblowing, with an intensely crabby broth that I couldn’t get enough of, so thank goodness for the soup-wari our server brought me when I finished the noodles, so I could chug that crabby goodness properly ?
After that, we went to my absolute favourite ice cream place in Vancouver… Earnest Ice Cream! They had a fantastic tiramisu sundae for their special sundae, and it was special indeed! ??
Today’s office lunch was at Gyoza Bar, so obviously I didn’t have any gyoza at all. ? I’ve had the baos from here before, so today I had the Mini Pulled Beef Rice Bowl, which had a spicy soy glaze and was just the right size for my small lunch stomach. And then… I spotted the Chicken Skin Chicharrón and how could I possibly resist the siren song of fried chicken skin? Thank goodness for my lovely coworkers who helped me finish off that golden mountain of crispy chicken skin ? Ooh and the nicely acidic tomato sweet chili sauce was great for cutting the greasiness too ??
march 9 Sashimi cravings plus a lunchtime errand = Ryuu Japanese Kitchen, which I’ve passed a million times without stopping in. Glad I did today though, because the sashimi (the usual combo of salmon, tuna, hamachi, and mackerel) was fresh and satisfying, and the tsukemono that came with the sashimi, miso soup, and rice was great. I love pickles and now I really want to learn to make proper tsukemono at home, too.
march 10 Had to pop down to Seattle for reasons of family, so we stopped at The Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and for me the absolute best part of every Cheesecake Factory meal has to be the cheesecake! This time, I had the Salted Caramel Cheesecake, and it absolutely lived up to expectations ??