Apr 30, 2014

Peruvian Charity Dinner: Cooking Ceviche & Quinoa

I was recently invited to an event on Facebook for an evening of Peruvian cooking class and salsa lesson. It was for a charitable cause in support of an education project in remote community of Cuzco-Peru.  I learned about Peruvian food and culture, plus enjoyed a little bit of dancing before packing things up at 8 pm. 

We learned how to make Ceviche and properly cook Quinoa (see below).


The main dish of the night was Ceviche, a famous South American costal fish dish. The dish features raw fish, in this instance we used sashimi grade Tuna, copious amounts of citrus juices (lime) and spice with aji/chili peppers. We also had onions, salt and coriander. - Wk.

This dish is actually prepared without using heat it has to be prepared carefully. However, the use of the citric juices which are acidic actually denature some of the proteins in the raw fish, which helps minimize risk of food poisoning. 

Depending on where you go there are different variations of Ceviche, we tried the Peruvian version. In Ecuador the dish is made with a tomato sauce base. In Chile, they marinate in lime and grapefruit juices and use halibut fillets instead. - Wk

Apr 28, 2014

Dinner at Madhur's (part two)

Photos edited in Adobe Lightroom. Pictures taken with Canon EOS SL1. 

Costume-Con 32: My Cosplay as Lara Croft

My Cosplay:

Just to be clear, I have never cosplayed before. Halloween costumes were store bought and usually meant to be fun and generic. I was adamant on doing a character from a show or game that I least watched/played and not some character that I had "heard of". So that was important for me. 

For my first ever con, I wanted to ensure that there was some sort of "put it together myself" component involved. So I thrifted/purchased most of the individual details of the costume (which was not elaborate and not expensive) and it was actually a lot of fun showing up my thrown together costume. It was much more gratifying than purchasing something ready-made in a "usual" halloween store. 

Apr 27, 2014

Costume-Con 32 Day 2: More photographs

Day 2:

Some con-photography tricks I learned as a result of taking pictures on the first day: 
  • Give Directions: On the way to Costume-Con 32, day 2 Nancy gave me some good advice regarding taking hallway pictures - specifically on not being afraid to give people direction! The result? My pictures were MUCH better. I didn't have a dead-pan look in most of my photos.
  • Be aware of whats in the background: I also noticed the pictures I had taken on day one - there were a lot of people in the background, garbage bins, chairs, etc. Using a blank wall was more effective
  • Individual vs. Group Photos: Asking for individual photos rather than group photos of unrelated costumes didn't really make for good pictures - things were out of context and not as... effective. 
  • Good portrait lens: I wish I brought a lens that would have better bokeh/blurred background so that I wouldn't have to do so much  post-processing editing.

Costume-Con 32 Day 1: Photographing the Costumes

Day 1:

Here are the photographs from Costume-Con 32, which was held in Toronto this year. This was my very first costume/cosplay convention and it was an amazing experience! I've seen examples of cosplay online, and even created a dedicated Pinterest board for some of my favourite ones I've come across.

Hatsune Miku

Apr 22, 2014

Blog Quiz: Photoset Challenge

Putting this together actually took a ridiculous amount of time, not only do I have to think of the answers but find and edit photos. It was a fun process, and made me nostalgic for some of the things I used to do, and hopeful for things I'd like to do eventually.

ʘ 4 tv shows you enjoy that were made in the last 5 years

Probably the only two I watch consistently are Community and Game of Thrones. Since moving to a place with no cable the number of tv shows I watch has dropped substantially. 

Apr 21, 2014

Cosplay Inspiration: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

I have been having a really difficult time coming up with a costume for an upcoming convention that I agreed to part of. I've never cosplayed before. I had originally decided on a Mulan costume, but grabbing the components and the requirement for sewing seemed a bit intimidating for my first cosplay. 

Inspiration: Lara Croft and the Guarding of Light

I remember playing a co-op game with Lara Croft (for PC) with her trusty sidekick Totec. I played Lara Croft of course, but I realized that cosplaying her is relatively easy. It does not require sewing or anything too technical!

Lara Croft Cosplays from Around the Net

So I browsed Google and I found some really good versions of Lara Croft - Guardian of Light:


I used the picture on the left as reference for finding the different pieces.

My Costume so far

I will likely be wearing my camera bag, since I have to be carying that around anyway. I don't have formal gun holsters, but thats okay; and I'll be wearing brown boots - which I know isn't true to the actual outfit, but thats okay I can't spend a fortune on everything. 

The things I owned before hand were the pants from Aritzia and the brown boots. There are still a few pieces I need to add, but its coming together slowly!

The convention is fast approaching! I am kind of nervous. A friend has agreed to take "cosplay shots" beforehand close to the waterfront with good lighting. I am nervous as I don't actually know how to pose properly for something like this. Hopefully I can pull off an intimidating "serious" look when taking photos.

Either way, I'm glad I decided to get involved. Its been such an interesting experience and a lot more fun crafting my costume (and I use that term loosely) than buying one from the costume as I usually do for Halloween. 

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Apr 20, 2014

Jane's Sunday Bridal Shower

My cousin Matt is getting married soon at a destination wedding in Jamaica this year. His fiance Jane's sister held a bridal shower at the family's penthouse downtown condominium with beautiful views. 

Apr 19, 2014

Sushi à la carte: Japango

Japango is a small sushi restaurant in the downtown core by Yonge and Dundas Square in Toronto. I had never heard of this place before, and it is literally tiny - with only a few tables to spare it gets busy very quickly. A true hidden gem for sushi lovers in Toronto!

My experience with sushi has always been All You Can Eat (AYCE). Like any buffet I go to, I go in with the mindset that I have to eat my money's worth (as much as possible). I usually leave feeling sick to my stomach. I realize I bring that upon myself, but I don't think thats what eating experiences should be like.

A changing eating experience: My recent eating stints have always had two themes: good food, good company. Swapping stories, experiences and sharing laughs. Today's trip to Japango was no exception. I went with two good friends from my salsa classes, Reza and Felix, and we were looking for a "sushi" place to eat before they headed out to the Toronto Salsa Congress at the Sheraton hotel.

As soon as I sat down, I had a look at the menu and decided to go with something familiar that I always enjoy eating: salmon sashimi. I decided today that I wanted to try something on the menu that I never had before: their signature roll.

Japango "signature" roll is salmon and scallop role, with red tobiko, tuna, spicy mayonnaise, and terryaki sauce.
The scallop was lightly torched and provided an interesting texture for the scallop!

Apr 18, 2014

Building up Resilience


"It is not possible to change anything until you understand the substance you wish to change.” 
― Jeanette Winterson

My last few meet-ups with good friends has been enlightening on a few fronts. I love having deep conversations and there were a lot of interesting topics that came up. Specifically, a friend had taken up training for a marathon in the past year. He mentioned that although physical conditioning required persistent practice, it was the mental limitations that he found difficult to overcome (which usually occurred after 15 km).

Apr 17, 2014

Salsa Advanced Performance Winter 2014

I've finally got around to blogging about my experience with Salsa Advanced. I was also part of the Bachata Performance Team and a KPOP dance group

This term I was with instructor Martin, and this was the second semester I took a class with him. He focused on a lot of skills, fundamentals and technique so that we had a good foundation moving forward with learning choreography. Considering how I was dancing before, I've been able to clean up my footwork and incorporate a lot more styling. 

Apr 12, 2014

Toronto Travel: Bloor Street, UofT and Kensington Market

Sunday I didn't have anything in particular planned except for Brunch with a good friend. She prepared homemade pancakes, bacon, eggs and i had this delicious lemon tea. 

I honestly felt like passing out after that meal, and was seriously contemplating it. Instead I decided to go with the original plan of walking to Kensington Market. Toronto is a city thats a bit hard to appreciate when its winter (or any city to me for that matter). It was a pretty decent day that started out sunny initially and was certainly "light jacket weather". 

Apr 8, 2014

Bachata Performance Team Winter 2014

I joined the University of Toronto Dance Club's Bachata Performance Team for the winter term of 2014. It was taught by JP, a regular instructor and talented competitive dancer. We were partnered up with the person closest in height to us.

Social Dancing versus a Performance Team: I was really looking forward to joining a performance team particularly because I really want to be able to refine a lot of things I have been learning. I find in most classes I learn a lot of basic moves and how to follow. However, with a performance team the atmosphere is more serious, and you are drilling the same moves over and over again to attempt to get it to the standard of the choreographer. 

Performances: We performed at University of Toronto's Heart House Festival of Dance on March 28, 2014 and then at the End of Term Party on April 5, 2014. 

KPop Performance Group

I've never been particularly good at hip hop, much less korean pop choreography. This was my first time joining with the goal of performing at University of Toronto's Festival of Dance to showcase what we had learn. With three months as the goal and biweekly practices, we met up at a yoga studio to learn new steps and refine our moves.