Spring flowers

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This spring creeped in quite suddenly. It felt like yesterday was snow and blizzards like Narnia and the next day was sunshine and bird-chirping. It might also be that my calendar has somehow kept super busy the past few weeks that I’m almost not noticing other changes in life. This reminds me of a quote I came across the other day: “Life is what happens when you’re busy planning other things”. It completely resonates at this very moment. I’ve been trying to remind myself of this whenever I start to lose myself in work and future planning – and so this cherry blossom photoshoot was a perfect example of my new practice. We were actually location scouting here for an upcoming photoshoot, and decided to turn a work-related chore into a fun adventure: snapped some amazing shots, then explored the neighbourhood (parkdale, toronto) and had some amazing brunch and desserts here. The only sacrifice was sleep: we woke up at 4am to catch the sunrise at High Park, but the whole day was so fulfilling and enjoyable, it was completely worth it =D (photo credit: ericcheng.ca)

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Spring flowers

An update and Ottawa

This year started off quite excitingly (though I make no excuse for my lack of posting…). So here’s quick update =D

|January|

I made the decision to go back to school and accept my MBA offer. It all happened pretty quickly. I studied 2+ months for the gmat, took the test, sent in my supplementary documents, and got accepted all in a 4 months period. It’s going to be a dramatic change of lifestyle — switching from comfortable professional life back to debt-bearing but completely exciting student life. It just feels right, to finally realize your vision, chase after it, and make worthy sacrifices along the way.

|February|

So pre-MBA life starts way before school actually starts. I’ve been busy attending events and meeting future classmates and current students. The Problem Solving Challenge was the first case competition I’ve participated in and spending time on putting my case together was exhilarating. Something about starting with a completely unfamiliar and ambiguous topic and having the freedom to go any direction you want with your ideas just gets my blood flowing! And Yay I moved on to round 2 of the competition.

|March|

This month I experienced what it’s like to have a busy travel schedule: AWESOME. I spent a few days discovering Ottawa (first time there). The city was quiet but I found some seriously hip and delicious food spots. (Don’t mind this post sidetracking with some foodie recommendations…)

Best coffee/bakery shop: Bread and Sons

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Get their Latte!!! Best I’ve ever had. They use 49th Parallel beans from Vancouver, and it seriously leaves an aromatic aftertaste. The buttertarts and croissants were so crispy and heavenly – they sell out fast!

Best truck food: Ad Mare Seafood

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Is this a gourmet lunch or what?! Lobster roll was so fresh and chips so crispy and coleslaw so tangy. It’s a seafood-themed food truck right at the corner of Slater and O’Connor.

Most creative breakfast: The Scone Witch

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It’s a sandwich but made with scones instead of bread… How innovative and totally delicious!! The plain scones were absolutely amazing too, don’t miss the lemon-poppy! Prepare for lineups here, but you won’t be bored as their decor will keep you entertained with little trinklets and hipster accessories (for sale).

On our way back to Toronto, we stopped by an alpaca farm (insert all sorts of feelings of excitement). I’m just realizing how random this sounds…  I’ve always loved alpacas and wanted to see them in flesh for the longest time, this was a dream come true ❤  Words can’t describe how adorable they are in real life — so gentle and very curious too!! I just can’t get over the way the whole pack stick their heads out and slowly come up to strangers. FullSizeRender

The day after my short trip was the Rotman problem solving challenge weekend — two intense and fulfilling days of preparing and presenting our case in a team. It’s a first taste of what business school will be like and I love it. To my complete shock I somehow landed the 5th place overall scholarship! What!? An awesome start to this new journey already.

A day later, I packed up a completely summer-themed luggage for beach vacation in Punta Cana, for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party. What a whirlwind of events, didn’t anticipate this post to turn so long so I shall follow up with a separate sunshine-filled-beach-post! Stay tuned =D

Shameless plug: help yourself to instagram for daily updates 😉

An update and Ottawa

Europe Adventures (Part III) Hallstatt

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I saw a picture of this sight on a TV show, and was instantly drawn in. It had to be on my list of must-go sites. Hallstatt is just two hours away from Salzburg. This little town felt out of this world – the beautiful mountains, lake, and historical structures were a wonderful contrast to the city buzz. This world heritage site has the world’s first known salt mine (which can be toured). We didn’t visit the salt mine due to time limitations, but we easily strolled through this darling town on foot in about 2-3 hours.

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This must be the most breathtaking view to have with lunch. There was a lazy cat strolling by our feet and two swans swimming just below us on the water. It was like falling into a fairytale!

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The hills were decorated with little houses along the lakeside. Of course it was artfully arranged with stone steps and charming little alleyways. One can only imagine waking up to this view every day…(minus all the tourists haha).

See Part II Salzburg here.

Next stop, Viena!

Europe Adventures (Part III) Hallstatt

Breezy weekend getaway – Gravenhurst

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We had a lovely weekend getaway in Gravenhurst as early celebration for my birthday =)
We were pretty much the ONLY tourists here on a monday, feeling exclusive at this serene place.

Found an awesome weather-predicting system: 100% accurate!
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Brightly-coloured little houses fill this charming little town!
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This boat somehow reminds me of the train in the movie “Wild Wild West”, it was vintage and refined (and off-limits to public 😦 )
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Then we drove to Bracebridge, another small town nearby, and ended up at the bottom of a water dam through a hidden path!
I might as well be a monkey – I have a natural tendency to climb tall things. When we came across the bottom of this bridge, I forgot about the dainty white skirt I was wearing and climbed up to sit on this metal bar =D *mission accomplished
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It was getting hot and we wanted a cold beer badly. Finally found the one bar in this town but it was closed on monday T_T
But how amazing is the patio of this bar?? Like a secret garden much??
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No beer in the end… Out of desperation we settled for iced coffee and latte at a homey cafe.
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Outfit of the day was a mix of old and rarely-worn items. Yes, sometimes you gotta look deeper in that closet. You bought those things at some point for a reason, wear them!
A light cardigan on a sunny day helps protect the shoulders from sunburn!

Cardigan: Clubmonaco
Top: Asos
Skirt: Clubmonaco

Breezy weekend getaway – Gravenhurst