10 things I learned while studying abroad

cars traffic

  1. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
  2. You change a lot and maybe only realize it after you’ve left.
  3. When learning a different language, it is best to speak it as much as possible without fear of sounding silly or wrong.
  4. You see the (big) world in an entirely different way and feel you have a place in it more than ever.
  5. You have to face some of your greatest insecurities because you’ll be the most vulnerable being farthest away from what you’re familiar with.
  6. Everyone is human and complex and so are you.
  7. You’re stronger than you think.
  8. Being open-minded, patient, independent and brave are very valuable characteristics to adopt.
  9. Reflection and introspection will come naturally.
  10. Even though it was only a few months, it’ll be so impactful that you’ll think about it years and years after.

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green plant therapy

green plant

It’s odd how watering some plants can give so much comfort to every day life. Especially when it’s a tough day or things seem a bit gray. I read once that farmers are the happiest people on earth because they are surrounded by nature all the time. And maybe because they are actively cultivating and nurturing something they can see grow every day. It’s not data entry, spreadsheets or nameless numbered clients. Farmers can actually pick tomatoes from their garden and make a delicious meal that day. That’s what I want someday. My own garden. Yeah, that sounds nice.

hungry

Stir fried udon noodles
Broccoli, fried tofu, shrimp fish balls, udon noodles and bok choy

I made this when I craved udon noodles, but wasn’t feeling the soup broth kind. I figured, how much more work is it to stir fry? It wasn’t really at all. It was one of the tastiest things I made. I am sometimes taken aback how much effort a dish takes and the return is not even close satiating my taste buds. This, however, was certainly worth the effort.

the songbird

tree shadow

this morning I woke up
with a little songbird
singing the sweetest melodies
perched outside on a tree branch
he sang about his hopes and dreams;
a peace on earth
calms all our wildest hearts
and unforgiving souls.
observer of nature,
he knows no boundaries
of what is impossible.

nice surprise

white flowerswhite flowers 1

It was a nice surprise. I had just come back from watering the other flowers when I noticed these little ones pop up after a day. I saw the bulbs a day ago and they were completely closed and then suddenly, overnight, they decided to bloom! These weren’t even planted by me. The little birds or the wind must of gathered the seeds and moved them wherever because these came at a surprise to begin with. Does anyone know what these are called? You’ll see that some mint are also peeking out as well.

Food product review: Mong Lee Shang Coconut Milk Drink

This post is not sponsored in any way.

Mong Lee Shang coconut milk1

For dietary reasons, my mom wanted to drink more coconut milk for her health. She came upon this at an Asian grocery store we often go to. I hadn’t tried it until earlier this year and now I wonder why I waited so long.

It’s delicious! It’s sweet and obviously coconut-y, but not overbearingly so with either taste. It is wonderful chilled and shaken. For me, it’s like a dessert in itself. The can has two sides and I happen to have taken this photograph of the side with the Chinese characters for the brand name. I just double-checked and it is in fact Mong Lee Shang. I’m not too familiar with the brand (or that I’m aware of), but I would recommend this for sure.

some home cookin’ X

Ah! It’s crazy I haven’t posted a home cookin’ post since December 2017. I’m super behind and haven’t been taking as many photographs. I’ve recently gotten back into the game though, so hopefully you can see the new dishes I’ve cooked by 2021…haha. There have been so many times in my life in which I’ve turned to cooking and baking as a way to get creative, but also to relax. I have some new dishes I tried this year, so I’m excited to show you all. Hope you enjoy!

This Vietnamese pancake is called bánh xèo. My version was pretty simple. Perhaps I’ll try this one again, but with more filling. I used shrimp, red peppers and green onions this time. I actually have enough photographs to make a DIY on this, so that may be a future post!

banh xeo

banh xeo 1

This is just a simple BLT–bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I think the bread slices are from a larger Italian loaf and the cheese is Colby.

BLT

This was a dish of leftovers of sorts. On the plate: roasted chicken, sauteed bok choy and skillet potatoes. I love potatoes so much!

bok choy potatoes roasted chicken

Just a simple spaghetti with meat sauce. This spaghetti is whole grain and the meat is ground beef. It was super easy and delicious. I was too lazy to make meatballs from scratch, so this was an easy alternative.

spaghetti and meat sauce

This is fried rice. I make this often, so I’m not sure if this is with kimchi, but looking at the color, I think it is. I had mixed in whatever I had in the fridge which were eggs, corn, pees, carrots and kimchi. The spicy kimchi definitely adds a kick!

fried rice