Vancity Eats (Part 6)

I write up food blog posts three times a year: after the first term of school, after the second term of school, and after the summer.

Term two of school recently ended so here is part six! You can view part five here. That post has all the links to the earlier Vancity Eats posts. Once again, these are some of the foods I’ve eaten with my crew.

Okay, enough chit-chat LOL. Time to make some of you guys hungry. >:)

January 2018 

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A’s birthday party at Basil Pasta Bar with A, C, G, J, J and V

J’s birthday party at La Pentola with A, A, J, J, K and S. Thanks again J for treating us.

Hot pot at Boiling Point with G and J | Matcha latte at Ki Tea House Cafe with A, G, and J

February 2018 

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Noodles at MYST with A and G

April 2018 

J’s birthday party at Fondway Cafe with A, C, G and J | & ice cream at Soft Peaks | Pad thai at Fresh Bowl with G

Nature Republic & Innisfree – Product Reviews

This is part two (and final part) of my Korean skin care product reviews. Part one was on The Face Shop, a makeup and skin care brand. This post will be on Nature Republic and Innisfree. These three brands are popular, and are endorsed by celebrities in Korea.

You can read part one on The Face Shop HERE.

Nature Republic

1. Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Tissue makeup remover

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Recommend. The packaging is great because it does a good job at sealing the remaining wipes. Note of caution: After you remove makeup, your face does sting, but if you apply moisturizer afterwards, it’s fine.

2. Shea Butter Steam Cream

60% recommend. I like it on my face but I would not use it on my hands. My hands feel even more dry afterwards. I like it though because the scent is very faint. It does not smell like shea butter at all. I actually have a super sensitive nose so strong perfumes and strong smelling foods actually make my nose and eyes really, really irritated.

3. Forest Breeze perfume

Recommend. This has a really unique scent. I’ve never smelled any other perfume or mist like this. It really kind of does smell like a forest, which I like because one, I like things that are different and two, I like the forest!

Innisfree

1. Jeju Sparkling Mineral Mist

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I LOVE THIS. I don’t know why but I love spraying my face with this. It says that there’s some sparkling thermal water from the Jeju island in Korea in this product, and it helps to moisturize and brighten your face. Recommend!

2. Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Recommend! It’s a clay mask that has volcanic rocks from Jeju island. Hm I don’t know much about the science behind skincare benefits from Jeju island materials. It is a good face mask though.

3. Real Quinoa Mask

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I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS!!! It smells awful. I can’t put this on my face…

The Face Shop – 11 Product Reviews

It’s no secret that I love Korean skin care and makeup products. I will be reviewing products I’ve owned from the following companies: The Face Shop, Nature Republic and Innisfree. Purchases usually come with samples, but I will not be reviewing samples because there’s too little product to give a complete opinion. My thoughts will be kept short – either I recommend it or not, and a couple of sentences to explain my rationale.

Because this will be a long post, I will split the posts into two posts. This is the first of two posts on Korean skin care and makeup products.

The Face Shop 

1 Assorted face masks

Recommend! They’re very wet and they have a refreshing, clean scent.

2. Mild Papaya Peeling

This peels off your dead skin. I recommend this because it feels good to get rid of the dead skin and makes your skin more smooth afterwards.

3. Herb Day Lip & Eye Remover

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I am kind of iffy about recommending this. It works very well, but it is VERY oily. 75% recommend.

4. Assorted nail polishes

Recommend! The nail polishes are cheap (around $3) and they dry really fast. I also own The Face Shop’s nail polishes in blue, purple and clear glitter.

5. Trendy Nails nail polish remover

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I find that this works best with The Face Shop nail polishes. It’s average when removing other brands of nail polishes. It’s cheap though ($2) so I would buy this again. Recommend.

6. All Over Perfume Mist (Secret Bloom)

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I used to use this a lot but not so much anymore. I mostly use a perfume from Nature Republic now. I think it smells nice so I recommend!

7. Style My Eyebrow Pencil

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I recommend this. I like the colours they come in because they are very natural. I’ve also used the one I have in dark brown as a pencil eyeliner. I don’t really do that anymore, but it was something I did in the past.

8. Party All Night Long eyeshadow

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I don’t recommend this because it only comes in one colour. I think that if you’re going to buy eyeshadow, you should buy a palette with at least three colours.

9. Styling Eyeliner

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I don’t recommend this. One, it does not dry as fast as some other eyeliners. Two, it feels awkward to hold. Three, the experience is just not very good in general.

10. Milky Moisture Lip Tint

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People usually use this to create the gradient lip look. I love the colours but I don’t really recommend this. It makes your lips VERY dry afterwards. Always apply lip balm before use, and carry a giant water bottle with you (if you have access to a water source, that’s fine too).

11. Eyeliner brush

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Recommend. I haven’t tried other brushes by The Face Shop but I’m sure they are equally good.


Thanks for reading. See you in the next post!

New Cosplay! Kiki’s Delivery Service

You may be familiar with Studio Ghibli’s film, Kiki’s Delivery Service! I cosplayed as Kiki. Special thanks to A and G for taking my photos.

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I like the background.

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Pose pose pose

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I’ve always wanted to take a cos photo of my shadow.

I hope you guys like these! I do have a photo of my Seven cosplay from Mystic Messenger but I’ll do a blog post after I have more photos. I’m thinking of doing Seven again with his beloved honey butter chips. ^^

Korean Dramas I Loved

Korean dramas are really good quality because they have a high budget, especially since they’re super popular in Korea and throughout the world. The actors and actresses are always attractive too.

I do have some problems with them because most of the time, they are very dramatic. Sometimes the drama seems too unrealistic and I feel like I need to take a break from watching them. I also don’t like how so many dramas follow the same storyline: Rich, attractive boy falls for poor, average-looking girl. Now that you know a bit about my tastes, here are Korean dramas I loved!

Thanks Neko Nyan for giving me the idea for this post. These aren’t in any order.

1. Lie to Me (2011)

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Okay, this one follows the rich boy, not rich girl trope but Ki-joon (the CEO) is so sweet! I hate Boys Over Flowers because I think that falling in love with a rich guy who bullied you is problematic. It’s different here. In order to impress her friends, Ah-jung (the female lead) lies and tells her friends that she is married to Ki-Joon. Her lie spreads like wildfire and everyone in the country finds out about it through the media and news outlets. I love how he agrees to pretend to be married to her HAHAHA! I definitely think this drama deserves to be more popular.

2. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010)

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I don’t have strong opinions about the male lead but I love the female lead, Mi-ho. She is so kind-hearted, funny, and naturally gorgeous. She will defend herself if she has to. Mi-ho is a gumiho, which is a nine-tail fox. She is found by the main lead, Dae-woong, and tries to live life as a human. Dae-woong does treat her well and it’s a good love story. The soundtrack is beautiful – I love this song the most.

3. Cunning Single Lady (2014)

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I enjoyed this drama a lot more than I anticipated! It’s binge-worthy and the female lead is so beautiful. The main couple were married in the past but got a divorce because Jung-woo, the male lead, was too poor. Years later, Jung-woo is the CEO of a huge company. Ae-ra starts working at the company for revenge.

Okay, you probably think Ae-ra is a horrible person. She’s actually a really good person! I don’t want to spoil anything so you’ll just have to trust me. I love romance dramas with sweet male protagonists. Even though Jung-woo thinks that Ae-ra is trying to get close to him for his wealth, he’s still so kind to her. T_T

4. 38 Task Force (2016)

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I LOVE dramas that involve con-artists or deceiving people. In this show, a tax collector sees injustice because he works for a government agency but the people who are not paying their taxes are very rich and get away with it. The tax collector, Baek Sung-il, teams up with the con-artist, Yang Jeong-do. Yang Jeong-do gets a team of people and together they scam the rich people. It’s super interesting and when it came out, I checked every week if the new episode was out because I was so excited to watch it.

5. Liar Game (2014)

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I blogged about this drama before in my “10 Live-Action Manga Adaptations I Enjoyed” post. You can read that here.

In Liar Game, the goal is to deceive the other players. If you win, you will get a lot of money but if you lose, the money lost becomes your debt. Da-jung is tricked into joining the game. She’s very naive, and gets former con-artist and former psychology professor, Ha Woo-jin, to help her. Ha Woo-jin is brilliant.

This drama is based on a manga but they made a lot of changes to it. I usually don’t like it when shows deviate from the source material but these changes were refreshing and pleasant to watch. They made the Liar Game into a reality TV show and so the game is watched by a lot of people. They also changed the games, which was nice because I didn’t know the outcome of the games. The two main protagonists are similar to their manga counterparts but the other characters are very different. I didn’t have complaints about that. It’s a really good remake. The Japanese drama, Liar Game, is more true to the manga but this drama is worth watching.

6. Money’s Warfare (2007)

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In this drama, Na-ra becomes homeless after a series of unfortunate events. These events happen early on. Na-ra picks himself up and becomes a loan shark. His job is to collect debt from poor people, but he uses unconventional methods. There are some really funny scenes. Na-ra is awesome.

Top 4 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Song Arrangements

Some of these are from the Chinese TV show, 天籁之战 The Next. Hua Chenyu was a contestant in Season 2 (2016). Each contestant has to arrange a song in only 24 hours and their opponent chooses the song for them. These are my favourite arrangements.

 

1. 我的滑板鞋2016 (My Skateboard Shoes 2016)

This is from The Next. This is Hua Hua’s most watched video on YouTube. The reason is probably because the original is… uh-

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Original

That’s a big difference, right? Hua Hua kept the lyrics the same but changed everything else. He doesn’t sleep when he arranges songs because he is committed to his work. This arrangement is the song that introduced me to Hua Hua!

 

2. 齐天大圣 (Journey to the West 1986 opening)

This is from The Next. Hua Hua’s opponent chose the Journey to the West opening and it’s an old song from 1986. There are actually no lyrics so Hua Hua changed the song completely with rap.

Journey to the West (also known as Monkey King or Monkey) dates back to 1592! It inspired Dragonball and a lot of other early anime titles. I think Hua Hua’s version is a great way to get younger audiences interested in these older stories.

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Original

 

3. 爸,我回來了 (Dad, I’m Home)

This is from the Next and I chose this video with English subtitles (instead of the original channel) because Hua Hua takes the song and tells a story with it. Jay Chou raps and sings in the original, but Hua Hua does something different here. It’s extremely emotional. Hua Hua’s relationship with his father is good, but this is the song that his opponent chose for him.

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Original

 

4. 双节棍 (Nunchucks)

This is from Singer 2018 and I blogged about this song before. The original singer is Jay Chou but I like Hua Hua’s version better. He adds Chinese opera and makes a lot of changes to the song.

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Original


I chose these arrangements because they are very different from the original songs. I love all of Hua Hua’s arrangements and if you compare his versions with the originals, I’m sure you will agree that he is talented at everything he does. 24 hours is a very short time to arrange a song! Don’t you agree?

Catherine – HIGHLY Recommend this Game!

Don’t let the cover fool you, hahaha! I would say that the M rating is because of some blood, not so much because of nudity. I played this game in front of my parents. No big deal.

When the cutscenes are put together, it is exactly like an anime movie. They have all the cutscenes on YouTube in a couple of long videos so if you don’t plan on playing the game, I really encourage you to watch them!

The cutscenes/story of the game mean a lot to me. Vincent, the main character, is placed into a complicated life situation and he needs to resolve his problems. Whenever I am in a very low mood, I watch the cutscenes and I feel better afterwards. Why? One, my problems are not as bad as his. Two, he is a relatable and normal guy (and in the game, you are playing him). Vincent definitely has flaws, but he’s very likeable because he feels real. Three, he gets out of the mess. Every time I watch the cutscenes and play the game, I learn something about myself and about life.

I love how Vincent gets together with his friend group all the time after work. They meet at the regular bar and it’s a normal part of his day. In the bar you can order drinks, send text messages, play at the arcade, watch the news and talk to the other customers.

Now to the actual gameplay. You have to climb blocks. Sounds simple, right? Each night gets harder and you will be chased by something. My favourite monster was probably the giant baby with a chainsaw. That’s where the blood comes in! Initially, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy climbing blocks but it is actually a lot of fun!!! You have to constantly think of strategies while climbing.

It is challenging but you learn that in order to survive, you must continuously adapt to the situation. I think this is very important in real life too. A lot of the time, things don’t go our way but what we do have control over is our reaction to the situation. Plus, being chased by a monster that wants to kill you is quite thrilling. 😀

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Completing a stage (especially if you win a Gold Prize) is IMMENSELY satisfying. I feel more happy about completing a stage than acing an exam LOL. Every time I complete a stage, I feel more confident about overcoming my own life situation and this will sound corny but completing a stage in the game is like practice for real life…

The soundtrack is AMAZING. Lamb Game between ♂ and ♀ is my favourite, but I love all the songs.

I’ve been in a happy mood for a long time now but if I am in a bad mood, I know that this game is there for me. I finished this game in about two weeks and I’ll play it on a harder level of difficulty next time! As you can see, I can’t stop raving about this game so yeah, play it. Or at least watch the cutscenes and enjoy the music. 😉

华晨宇 Hua Chenyu, the Anime Fan!

My posts about Hua Hua are getting views so I figured that many people around the world are interested in learning more about him.

This is one of my favourite videos of him because he is talking about anime in these scenes. There are English subtitles. ^^ His favourite anime is One Piece. MY FAVOURITE ANIME IS ONE PIECE-

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Some of the other anime he likes are Assassination Classroom, Tokyo Ghoul, Naruto, Dragonball, One Punch Man, Attack on Titan, Gintama, and Pokemon. His favourite character in Naruto is Orochimaru. He has a lot of figurines at home and really likes Kaneki. He also has a Chopper plush, Chopper hat, Kaneki’s mask, Dragonball pouch and other things!

When asked if he would rather be King of the Pirates or hokage, he answered King of the Pirates. He explains in the video that pirates have more freedom, while the hokage has responsibilities of taking care of the village. This reminded me of Luffy’s quote when he was talking about being a pirate versus being a hero.

Hero? No! We’re pirates! I love heroes, but I don’t wanna be one! Do you know what heroes are? Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it, but heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!”

– Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)

Related posts:

Superstar Spotlight: Hua Chenyu

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 – 华晨宇 Hua Chenyu Reactions

Singer 2018 is an incredibly popular show in China. It is always ranked in first or second place on TV in China and it’s watched worldwide. It is a singing competition and the competitors are well-established, famous singers. Obviously I am rooting for Hua Hua (as you can tell by the title and nature of this post). A competitor you may be familiar with is Jessie J from the UK.

I blogged about Hua Chenyu (everyone calls him Hua Hua). You can read it here. I wrote that post in 2017. He gained a lot of fans because of Singer 2018. ^^ He is my number one favourite singer for multiple reasons. I talked about that in that blog post. Hua Hua is truly so talented. These are his performances in each episode, starting from episode 4 (he did not sing in the first three episodes). The show is not done airing and Hua Hua has reached the finals. ^^

Episode 4 – 齐天 Qi Tian

  • This is Hua Hua’s song, not a cover. It’s the theme song for the film, 悟空传 Wu Kong (Remember I wanted to read a novel called Monkey? Wu Kong is the name of that monkey)
  • He won first place
  • He’s amazing at holding long notes
  • He raps in the middle
  • After I watched this video a few weeks ago, I wore all black clothes and pink eyeshadow that day LOL

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Episode 5 – 孩子 Child

  • The original singer of the song is 西樓
  • He’s wearing white clothes and sings at a slower pace. It contrasts from the previous episode
  • This is not one of my favourite performances of his

Episode 6 – 双节棍 Nunchucks

  • The original singer is one of my favourite singers, 周杰伦 Jay Chou
  • Hua Hua made huge changes to the song. I actually prefer this a lot more than the original (I didn’t like Jay Chou’s Nunchucks)
  • It’s rap heavy
  • Hua Hua incorporated Chinese opera – This made the performance one of my favourites from this season 
  • Hua Hua’s stage presence is phenomenal. When he is not performing, he is a little shy and introverted (but so adorable). When he is performing, he is full of confidence. It’s a big change. I love how dynamic he is
  • He came in first place

Episode 7 – 我管你 I Don’t Care

 

  • This is one of Hua Hua’s songs. Everyone in the audience knows this, which is why he invites them to join him in some parts
  • It’s one of my favourite songs of his because of the lyrics. It’s about being true to yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and not giving a f*k about others’ opinions. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I value being true to myself, even if it means being a little different. If I cared so much about fitting in, then I would not be wearing fruit hair ties or cosplaying as male characters. ^^

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  • Back to Hua Hua – It’s clear that he stands by his own lyrics
  • He placed in first place

Episode 8 – 易燃易爆炸 Super Explosive

  • He is dressed in black because the lyric composer suddenly passed away. He was going to sing a different song but changed it to this at the last minute. It’s his way of mourning her death

Episode 9 – 山海 Mountain and Sea

  • The original is by 草東沒有派對 No Party For Cao Dong
  • The lyrics are quite deep and sad
  • He ranked in fifth place, but I think the performance was wonderful. Up to now, he has always placed in the top three

Episode 10 – 假行僧 Fake Monk

  • This performance is absolutely HAUNTING! It’s one of my favourites 
  • He does a crazy/creepy laugh and I love it!
  • We get to see how versatile he is as a singer. For example, he can sing really high-pitched and we see that here
  • It is a little different, but that makes him unique, special, and it makes him stand out. I understand that some people are not able to get used to this sort of performance

Episode 11 – 平凡之路 Ordinary Path

  • The original is sung by Lion
  • He re-arranged the song. When he arranges music, he does not eat or sleep for two days. It is concerning, but Hua Hua says that he feels joy in doing this. This shows how dedicated he is to his work, and how important music is to him. It’s no wonder that he never fails to deliver amazing performances

Episode 12 – 我 I Am What I Am

  • The original is by 张国荣 Leslie Cheung
  • This is one of my favourite performances of his
  • He came in first place
  • I love the lyrics. “I am what I am… I like who I am…” – This is a theme in so many of Hua Hua’s songs. Common themes he sings about are enjoying loneliness, being true to yourself, and liking yourself. My values line up with his values very well
  • The first thing I noticed was his clothing choice. It looks like he is wearing a bathrobe but I think this choice of fashion goes well with the song’s meaning about being yourself and liking who you are
  • After watching the performance, it is clear that he has experienced a lot of pain. Hua Hua opens up to us through his music. In his childhood, he spent a lot of time alone because his father was always working. Music was what he turned to, similar to what anime did for me
  • It’s a very emotional song. He is almost in tears and the audience is in tears. I almost cried too LOL
  • I almost cried because I was lonely when I was a kid too. I didn’t fit in with the other children at school but I never tried to change myself. At a young age I valued being true to myself. It’s not that I didn’t want friends – I wanted friends who would accept me for who I was. To add onto this – just knowing that he felt pain and loneliness is very sad for me because he is my favourite singer

Final thoughts: The song choices were very deliberately chosen. I know that a lot of non-Chinese listeners like his vocals, but I think it would be great if you could also read English translations of the song lyrics. Then the gaps in understanding will be filled and we can fully appreciate everything he does.

I hope he wins the competition! ^^

What’s in a Scene? Crimson Hero

This two-page spread is from chapter 1 of the manga, Crimson Hero. I wrote this some time ago in 20 minutes (timed).

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This manga, Crimson Hero, is a shojo manga targeted primarily to teenage girls. The look of the panel is tense. Nobara is engaged in an argument with her traditional mother so there are tension and societal pressures that Nobara is feeling. This is shown by Nobara’s upset facial expressions in panels 5 and 8, and the use of spiky speech bubbles to emphasize the dangerous and toxic mood.

Panel 9 has a black background and white speech bubbles. This contrasts with the rest of the page because this is the only one that looks like it. There are no characters or background details. This emphasizes the tense mood of the story and also how Nobara is feeling. She is making a decision that is not trivial by any means – this decision of moving out to pursue volleyball will affect her high school years. The black background conveys a sense of determination in Nobara, that she has made up her mind and will stick to her decision.

Nobara’s upset facial expressions in panels 5 and 8 starkly contrast with her mother’s uninterested, stoic face. Her mother’s face in panels 3, 6, and 7 show that she is the no-nonsense, strict kind of person who does not seem concerned about her daughter’s goals, desires, dreams and wishes. This has implications on the story because the character differences bring out conflict, creating a dramatic effect on the reader.

The speech bubbles show a difference in character when we look at Nobara’s speech bubbles in comparison to her mother’s. In panels 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, Nobara’s speech bubbles are not perfectly round. This mirrors her internal feelings of frustration at her mother for not being allowed to pursue her desire to play volleyball at school. Her mother’s speech bubbles, on the other hand, are perfectly round. This shows that she is calm during this argument, despite Nobara’s checks flushing red in anger.

Her mother’s “cold” personality is shown through her dialogue, facial expressions and speech bubble size. This also shows us a bit about the traditional norms of societal expectations in the traditional house. Nobara is clearly not ready to inherit it at this point. This scene relates to the overall plot because it is the first, or one of the first conflicts Nobara faces. Her mother’s different views about volleyball creates an obstacle for Nobara and she is forced to make a decision. The visual choice in this scene show a lot of contrasts between Nobara and her mother. The images, speech bubble design, facial expressions, dialogue and other aspects compliment one another. The panels in this scene escalate to panel 9, the plain black background. It effectively conveys a tense atmosphere and we as the readers sympathize with Nobara instead of her mother. These visual aspects do this for us. These aspects portray Nobara’s resistance against her mother and against tradition.