Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Spend Way Too Much Money on Running Gear

Whoever said running is cheap, has clearly never bought running clothes/shoes. When I was in Berlin for the half-marathon, I wanted to buy some souvenir running gear with the half-marathon logo, obviously. The thing is, the sponsor was Adidas, which meant that the running clothes were going to be a little more expensive.... I didn't mind; I rarely ever splurge unless I'm travelling and my mindset is always "when will I ever get the chance to do this again?" when I'm travelling, so I splurged.
Here you can see what I wore during the half-marathon: the green shirt is the event shirt
Undershirt: Running Room // T-shirt: Adidas // Tights: La Senza

Sweater: Adidas // T-shirt: cep // Tights: New Yorker // Socks: Running Room

I had to buy myself an even t-shirt, of course, and I also saw this really great sweater: it's light, warm, has reflective bars and is wet-wicking (with the event logo on top of that), so I thought, I can afford an 80 euro sweater, right? Right. I also bought this really cool graffiti, limited edition running t-shirt at this same expo. Just at the expo, I spent 140 euros on running clothes. That's about 180$.

A few days later, I was out shopping in Leipzig, and I saw these amazing tights and matching sports bra, and once again, I splurged. Another 50 euros on running clothes.
T-shirt: cep // Tights: New Yorker

It may seem crazy to spend this much, but if you remember in December, I spent a lot of money on running clothes, and it is so worth it. These last a really long time and honestly, I never want to take these tights off, they are that comfortable. When you're running long distance, it's all about comfort, but when you can find something funky that's very comfortable, it just makes running so much more fun!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cutting My Own Hair

I recently discovered that I'm actually pretty good at cutting my own hair. It's mostly because I can't afford to go to a hair dresser.... But whatever works, right? Those of you who follow my on Instagram have already seen these, but there's no harm in showing it again!

After that, I decided that if I can do such a good job with a trim, I could cut my own bangs, right? That sounds like solid logic to me. I've never really trusted hair dressers with my bangs, and I used to do it myself anyway, but it's been about 4 or 5 years since I've had straight bangs and I thought "why not? It'll grow back anyway." and well, I was actually quite surprised by the result!

The only thing about having bangs now, is that it's so much more work! My hair being naturally curly/frizzy means that I have to wake up earlier to either straighten my hair or brush it a gazillion times while it dries, but I love it anyway!

Maybe I should change my career to hairdresser....

Friday, April 24, 2015

Homemade Skor Bars

I don't know about you, but I love chocolate! A few years ago, my aunt brought all these homemade desserts to our Christmas family dinner and among these goodies were what she called Skor Bars. They were amazing. I got completely addicted! She even made me a batch as a birthday present one year! Eventually, I decided that I couldn't just wait to have these once a year, so I went online and found the recipe.... Trust me, you'll thank you for this later!
It's such a simple recipe, with only 4 ingredients. Yes, FOUR ingredients! It's just so sugary and fat, but so totally worth it. Seriously.

You'll need:
-24 regular salted crackers
-1 cup butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line a pan (usually about 13x9) with parchment paper and arrange crackers evenly in the pan.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar until melted and smooth. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring constantly until it's smooth and bubbly. Boil for 2 minutes, then pour evenly over crackers.
3. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the caramel mixture and return to oven just long enough for the chocolate to melt, then spread chocolate with a spatula.
5. Put the pan in the refrigerator or freezer until the chocolate is firm (usually about 15 minutes), then cut or break into pieces.
And voila! Now you have these amazing, delicious treats that will get devoured in record time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Final Film Project: PARTY!

At the end of January, I was filming my final film project and I am very excited to tell you that it is finally done!

Editing is the most time-consuming part of the job, but it's also my favourite and least favourite part of making a movie at the same time. I love piecing a project together, but editing also means realizing how much footage you don't have and wish you did. Either way, I definitely enjoy editing. I always get this thrill when I put a scene together and it fits perfectly. Editing a party movie is one of the hardest things to do, since every scene is different. We had to do a "pick up day" which is basically getting the whole gang back together to re-shoot certain scenes. But when we did this, our extras couldn't be there, so there are a lot of places where things don't match up. Personally, I think it's hilarious because these are rookie mistakes and well, might as well laugh it off!

Anyway, enough tech mumbo jumbo.... Here is my final university film project:

Thank you to everyone who helped me on this film! I had such a great time doing this project with all of you. :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Deutschland Part Two: Berlin and Leipzig

Oh Berlin.... My favourite city in the world. It's one of those places that surprises you and no matter where you are, there's something to see or do. I love it. This is the second time I go and this time, I was with my parents, my aunt and my cousins, so we did a lot of sight-seeing and things I have already done and seen, but I didn't mind. It was just good to be back!
We were living right next to the old Jewish area of town, and in it was this sort of back alley with lots of graffiti and an Anne Frank museum, we found the "Before I Die..." wall and I showed the Alexanderplatz clock to my parents.

As any proper tourist in Berlin, we visited Checkpoint Charlie, I went to a Trabi museum and checked out an Easter market. We also visited the Holocaust memorial and the Brandenburg Gate and found lots of street art.

Then of course, we ran the half-marathon.

After the half, my parents headed home and I made my way to Leipzig. When I was in Thailand, I met a German guy, Basti and we became good friends, so I thought I would go visit him! I did some couchsurfing there as well and my host was great! We spent a lot of time together, walking around beautiful Leipzig or enjoying the nightlife. After the craziness of Berlin, I loved how relax my time was. It felt like being home and spending time with friends.

When can I go back?? :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Deutschland Part 1: Munich

Two weeks in Germany went by in a flash. I had such an amazing time there and I miss it already! I decided to divide my posts into two: Munich and Berlin/Leipzig, simply because I did too many things to have it all in one post, but I didn't do many touristy things in Leipzig, so I can fit it in with Berlin, where the biggest thing was the half-marathon. My trip started in Munich, but also ended in Munich, so I have a lot to say about this city, which I also fell in love with. (If you know me, you know that no matter where I am in Germany, I will love it).

I landed in Munich around supper time, and by the time I met my couchsurfer and settled in, it was already too late to really do any sight-seeing, which was perfectly fine with me, since I was completely exhausted. But the next few days were packed with things to do! My first day, I spent at Dachau concentration camp memorial. That was especially intense. I walked through by myself with my audio guide and listened to personal accounts of prisoners and soldiers who liberated it. I walked through a prison that the prisoners themselves built, I stood in a gas chamber and saw the crematorium ovens. Even three weeks later, it still makes my heart sink.

Later on, I went out with my couchsurfer and explored Munich. It's such a lovely city with beautiful old buildings and so much colour!

The next day, I headed to Neuschwanstein Castle. It was a two-hour train ride to a little town called Fuessen, then a 20-minute bus ride to another town called Hohenschwangau, where the castles are located. From there, I visited Hohenschwangau Castle, and after a 20-minute uphill trek, the Neuschwanstein Castle.

I headed to Berlin the next day, and a week later, I was back in Munich. It was a lot more relax when I came back; I visited Nymphenburg Palace, watched the surfers at the English Garden, and visited Bavaria Film Stadt, which is the biggest film studios in Europe, which was a film student, was extremely cool!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Berliner Halbmarathon

I did it! On March 29th, 2015, I ran the Berliner Halbmarathon and I have to say, this is one of the coolest things I have ever done! I can't explain what it was like to run among 30,000 people through my favourite city in the world.

For big marathons, they host "expos," which are basically like a big convention where you go pick up your bib number and race kit, where you can buy your shirt and also where tons of sports equipment stores and brands, like Adidas (the event sponsor), come and sell their gear. (I definitely spent way too much money that day...). This expo was held in the old airport in Berlin called Templehof. Instead of tearing it down, they kept it and transformed it into a public space/convention centre. All the signs are still there, so it's a really interesting place to hang out in.

The morning of the half-marathon, my mom and I got ready and headed out. It was easy to find our way to the event area, since there were people in tights and bright running gear everywhere! The entire street was closed for the event: there were TONS of moving trucks where we could store our clothes, there was even a beer vendor and pretzel stands near the start line.

At the starting area, my mom and I were in Startblock F, the last one. Usually the runners in A are the ones trying to break records, and the slower in the back. Since we weren't trying to break the speed of light, we registered for the back. The craziest part is that after the first gunshot, it took is 45 minutes to reach the actual start line. It takes time to get that many people through the start line, but I definitely did not think it would take that long!

Finally, we started. I lost my mom right away and continued on ahead with a smile on my face the entire time. There's even a picture of me somewhere on the internet (which I can't afford to buy) of me looking up at a building mid-stride. That was the entire race; running, weaving in and out of this traffic of people and sight-seeing. A lot of runners, like myself, would take pictures as we ran!

In the end, I had to walk most of the last 5 or 6 kilometres, because my legs were just so exhausted. Granted, I had been walking more than ever because I was being a tourist for the week before, so I had every excuse to be exhausted. I finished the race with the craziest sprint I've ever done: I felt like I was flying, and crossed the finish line! I got my medal, a banana and a beer (non-alcoholic, but still a beer) at the finish line, which I thought was hilarious.

My time was 2 hours 19 minutes and 25 seconds, which is 11 minutes better than my goal, so I am really proud of myself! It makes me want to run a million more half-marathons. I am so thankful for this amazing experience!

I wanna do it again!
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