My favorite city with my favorite food!

Vancouver, BC

IMG_5428

I’ve been lucky to have spent so many past summers in Vancouver and I was extremely lucky this year to have been approved a much needed mini vacation from work. I love this place. I’ve always said that if I had a chance, I would move – even for a little bit. I’m in love with the city lifestyle and not to mention, the great food.

Although I didn’t get to actually do what I came there for (J. Cole concert, I don’t want to talk about it)… I did everything else I wanted to do and visit all the restaurants I wanted to visit!

So, here are my Top THREE favorite places:

1. Finch’s Tea & Coffee House:

IMG_7283

Look how GLORIOUS this sandwich is. From the moment I laid my eyes and mouth on this pear baguette, I’ve constantly craved and yearned for it. It has pears, prosciutto, brie cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar… Which sounds so easy to make at home, and I’ve tried. But it hasn’t come close. The quality of all the ingredients, not to mention their baguette is inimitable. I love this so much, I ordered FIVE that I shared with my boyfriend and best friend. One ended up coming home with me in Calgary.

2. Phnom Penh

This Vietnamese – Cambodian restaurant blew my mind! I’ve always heard such great things about it, but I was never able to try it… until now. We actually had tried the wings at Phnom Penh stall at the Richmond Night Market and then went to the restaurant to have some more. I can’t even describe how good the wings were! They were so flavorful and addicting. Even the Marinated Butter Beef on the right was equally as delicious as well.

3. Miku

Okay so if I can eat somewhere every single day of my life it would be at Miku. I would have also put hearts and exclamation marks all over these pictures if I could. I am in love with Miku and their Aburi sushi. Honestly, they have three types and I would suggest to get all three and go from there. We definitely did order more after the first round. I figured the reason why I love Vancouver so much is because of my love for seafood and Miku does not disappoint – the oysters were amazing and even the fish and chips were the best I’ve ever had. I would definitely, definitely recommend.

So I obviously ate more than this during the trip, but I thought I’d give a run down of my favorites instead of listing 20 places. Please follow my Instagram if you do want to see (@kraftdinny).

Overall, I miss Vancouver already and could never have enough of the city and their food. Every visit, I discover a place that’s new or experience something that I have never done before! Even though I didn’t get to that previously named event….. I did have a lot of fun and enjoyed every bit of it.

Anyways, here are some fun pictures of me and my bf(f)’s…

IMG_7266IMG_5244IMG_5253IMG_5258IMG_5261IMG_5265

/KD ♥

I’m not a relationship person and I am 100% being honest. I’ve been in a few relationships in the past; a couple sort-of-serious, most of them… not so much. Which was fine. I grew to be independent and someone who knew how to be happy on her own. When I wasn’t single, that’s when I learned all the terrible traits about me when I’m in a relationship. Sometimes I am jealous, sometimes I am clingy, sometimes I am just too much. It never ended well – for me.

Much to my surprise, the person who I wasn’t even looking for was so close and I was just waiting for my chance to be swept off my feet. It is so cheesy, but it is so true. My person made me realize that I didn’t need to be jealous, it’s okay to be clingy and that I am never too much. It’s been a hard journey to get to our year, and things may not always be good, and we are still working on it everyday, but I am still so proud of us.

So as this is the first anniversary I’ve ever celebrated in life, ever, I was really excited to reach this milestone. I told Shahn I wanted to do something nice and he did not disappoint… He planned out a perfect date day and I was so impressed.

IMG_6521To start off, I had no idea what was going on the entire day. I got dressed and brought a pair of just-in-case booties if I needed to dress up. We were driving for awhile so I figured we were going out of Calgary. My guess was Banff, but instead we took an exit to Canmore… Turns out Shahn booked us a helicopter tour! Although it was short and sweet, I really enjoyed the thrill of being up there and seeing another perspective of mountains that is so familiar to people who live in our city. That day, I didn’t mind the butterflies so much.

After taking our photos, we headed back to Calgary for dinner. Of course, I wasn’t counting on everything to be planned so I still had to pick where. I’ve always wanted to try Brasserie Kensington for dinner and it turned out to be perfect as it was near our night-time activity.

IMG_6529

The food there was amazing! I asked for a few suggestions from our server and he was more than helpful, we got Chicken Skin as an appetizer and I went off! It reminded me of Filipino street food, perfectly crispy and so bad for you. For my main, I ended up trying the Bromme Lake Duck Breast. The serving looked quite small, but it was actually very filling. Shahn had the Beef Brisket Burger – also amazing. He mentioned it was on his top five (burgers) and I had no doubts when I tried it. I would also recommend the parm fries, but that’s a biased opinion since I love anything with truffle in it. For dessert, we got their feature which was a Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie. It was great but I found it super rich and it was hard for us to finish one serving of it.

After dinner, his last surprise was Paint Night! It was something we’ve always wanted to go to but never had the chance. Finally, we got to show each other our skills or lack thereof in my part. I could see how it gets pretty frustrating but it was also really fun! Shahn’s was really good and in the end we decided to exchange paintings as a remembrance of our one year.

IMG_6544

An unexpected day turned out to be a perfect date day, and I was also so happy that Shahn finally planned something! Our date was a great celebration of our growth as a couple, and I look really forward to our future and many more adventures together!

KD

I apologize for not having posted in awhile, but life went from hectic to chill as can be so I’ve really just been enjoying it… and to update ya’ll with my super interesting and not boring at all life (I wish), here’s what’s new with me.

  1. First things first, I’m done the semester:
    Which means I’m done being a full time student and attending night classes forever. Although I technically still have one more class to finish for my undergrad this summer, I’m considering myself finished. I’m so happy to have completed 5 years worth of papers, group projects, presentations and tests. Finally!
  2. Year end banquet hosted by the MSS:
    To celebrate the last and also the busiest semester of my University career, I also want to highlight something I am proud of being a part of. Last Saturday, the first annual year end banquet finally took place after a whole semester of planning and needless to say it was a success. Not only did we reach our triple digit goal for ticket sales, but we surpassed it selling over 160 tickets! I’m so very proud with the MSS team because they worked so hard on the event. Although I wasn’t able to help out as much as I wanted to during the semester, it is something that I was glad to have joined and help out with because seeing it all come together was a pleasure.
  3. I found a job!:
    I’m extremely sad that leaving the food industry means leaving behind my all bacon diet but I’m also excited to be moving on! Most of all, it means leaving behind my worries about paying full price for my prescription medicine and other related grown up things. Although it’s not something completely related to my field of study, it’s with the industry of my dreams! Hint, hint: it’s going to feed the little travel bug of mine. So as cliche as it sounds, I just gotta keep working hard to see where this new chapter takes me!

    IMG_6490

    Last day with my Bro’Kin Fam for Ariane’s Bday!

    Aside from that, I’ve been keeping my promises to myself. I’ve started working out and taking it easy aka watching TV. I have yet to start cooking, but the TV I’ve been watching has consisted of a lot of Master Chef. It kinda counts, right? There’s also a ton of things I’m looking forward to coming up, so hopefully I can be back on track with my blog as well!

KD

Things to do in Bangkok!

Hands down, one of my favorite countries that I visited on my exchange semester was Thailand.  But sadly, I really only got to visit two places in this amazing country due to time and budget constraints, which is why I promised myself I will go back to Thailand one day and hopefully do more.

The first place I visited in Thailand was, of course, Bangkok.

A back story of how we even ended up in Bangkok: we were 20 minutes minutes away from being unable to board on the plane on our way to Malaysia. Something I learned in my exchange about my host country, their time-orientation is very different compared to Canada’s: you’re always waiting. Since they failed to provide us official documentation that we were going to be attending school there in time, we needed to prove that we were eventually going to leave the country. Our solution: buy another one way ticket to the first country we could think of. 

I hear from a lot of people that has visited Bangkok that they hated it; they say it’s too touristy and crowded. It was, but I loved it. It also had a such a fun and lively vibe, filled with very friendly people and amazing food.

I didn’t stay in Bangkok too long, so I won’t be able to provide a list of my favorite places. But thanks to my Camera Roll and a handy travel journal I chose to keep during my travels, I have a pretty accurate list of places I got to visit and some suggestions. Although, I really should thank my then-roommate as she was the one who planned most of this trip.

We ended up staying in Sukhumvit 4 at a newer hotel called Alt Hotel Nana, which was actually a really nice hotel for only $35 CAD/ night. It was clean and quiet, the downside was that it was a bit of a walk to get to the main street and the main street also consisted of the “Biggest Adult Playground in the World.” More on this later. Another great thing about Thailand was that there were plenty of available means of transportation; the trains were easy enough to take, uber was really cheap for longer distances and there’s the famous tuk-tuk for short distances!

IMG_1483

IMG_1484

The boat ride to the Temples

On our first day, we decided to check out the famous temples in Bangkok. Since we didn’t book anything in advance, we took the train and found someone who was advertising the temple tours. We ended up taking a boat ride to where the temples are and ended up visiting the Reclining Buddha and Thonburi Klong. Both were so beautiful and you can literally spend hours going through them, exploring, and taking photos. There were other temples that we didn’t get to visit, I believe the Marble Temple was under construction so we decided to skip that one. We tried to go to the Grand Palace, which is apparently amazing to see, but we walked to the entrance and turned back around. It was insanely crowded.

As you can see, the view was gorgeous and my photography skills don’t do them justice.

That night, we also got to check out Kao San Road! Yes, it was super touristy and crowded but it was also really cool to see. During the day, the road was filled with vendors and at night it turn’s into Bangkok’s most popular night life. The road is super live with music playing and tons of people walking around. We ended up meeting with people my roommate knew from home and they showed us a what a proper bucket party looked like on Kao San Road. AKA drinking alcohol in buckets and then dancing the night away right on the streets.

Of course, if you wanted to get away from the busy streets, there’s an alley you can take from Kao San which leads you to a famous street food! I believe it was called Chakrabongse Road.

The next day we checked out Khlong Lat Mayom to see what the floating market looked like in Bangkok! I’m not sure if it was just this one in particular, but there weren’t too many vendors that were in boats. Rather, there were stalls just like a regular market. Again, it could have just been that certain day, the certain market, or Google just deceived us completely. Either way, it was super sweet to see and we were told not a lot of foreigners went that one in particular. Probably one of the reasons why it was difficult for us to even figure out if we were at the right place in the first place haha.

IMG_1557Probably one of the highlights of this trip was when we went to Siam Paragon Mall to see a movie! I know that’s such a touristy thing to do, but it was insane. There were probably 3-4 malls connected to each other with varying levels of fanciness and they were huge! Going to see a movie in Thailand was one of our must-do’s and we were so glad we did it. The movie ticket that we got came with a 15 minute massage, a glass of wine, a couple of snacks, and reclining chairs in a 12 person movie theater. It was crazy and so worth it for the experience.

Did you know that Thailand’s national anthem is even played in the movie theater? They play it right before the trailers start so you can’t get too comfortable in your seat.

If you’ve ever heard of infamous Thailand Ping Pong Show’s, we also got to witness that (what I meant when I’ll speak on the subject of Adult Playground’s a little more). If you know what it is and you’re thinking why on earth did we want to see that, we HAD too. We we’re in Thailand! We had to experience EVERYTHING! The only thing I have to say about them is that it was actually quite interesting and instead of thinking about how gross? not sexy at all? they are, we were left wondering how on earth did they do what they just did. It was also not as unsafe as we thought to go see one, but obviously be cautious and remember you can bargain! To avoid being scammed, we researched how much we should be paying before asking a random guy on the streets of Sukhumvit where we can see one.

Another crazy awesome thing about Thailand is the shopping! I’ve already talked about Kao San Road and the crazy malls, but what left me stunned is the weekend market called Chatuchak. It was the best shopping I got to do in all of Asia and this is coming from someone who’s from the Philippines. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to markets and if you have any idea of what I’m talking about… it was Greenhills and Divisoria x 10. Chatuchak had 8000 stalls to be exact and you can literally find anything there. I was in cheap quality clothing heaven, it was amazing. My roommate and I felt the same way when we got there and if you mean business like us, we decided to split up for efficiency.

I remember the final thing we got to do in Bangkok was go see a Muay Thai fight. They’re really big in Thailand, so it was one of the things we had actually planned on doing. It was also super cheap to get tickets and actually a lot of fun! They separate foreigners and locals on different sides of the stadium and we were lucky enough to get a close enough view of the latter. The event went on for a few hours, with locals betting and cheering on their favorites. It was super exciting to see!

IMG_1578

IMG_1524

A view from a Tuk Tuk ride

So that was Bangkok. I was only able to spend very few days there but as you can see, we tried to experience as much as we can. I’m sure there are so many more things to do, but I’d like to think we crossed out a ton from our list. Bangkok is such a lively city and one that you have to keep an open mind about.

KD

National Puppy Day!

Answers to: Rukia, Kia, Kiara, Kiwi
Age: 5 human years | Breed: Mini Poodle
Loves: Car rides, walks, snow/ice, blankets and staring out open windows
Hates: Fetch, hair dryers, vacuums and being disturbed while eating/ sleeping
Truly the most obedient and smartest poodle I know. Girl would never run out an open door and knows all her tricks (except fetch) from “spin” all the way to “roll over.”  Able to go off leash, wipe her paws after going outside, and gets offended when you call her “poop butt.” She thinks she’s a guard dog, but could be easily cuddled… only when she feels like it though. Likes to have her alone time before bed and hides under furniture until everyone’s asleep. Acts like she’s annoyed but is the first one to instigate play fights with her sister and ALWAYS lets her win. Also known for her diva attitude.

Answers to: Killie, Killa, Killa K, Kil, Killua
Age: 9 human months old | Breed: Yorkie X Shitzu Mix
Loves: Flip flops, hair ties, plants, my laundry basket and her bff Kia
Hates: Heights, socializing, car rides and going to the groomers
The smallest dog with the biggest personality. Has never stopped wagging her tail and hands down the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet. Will be running at the door to greet you no matter what time of day you come home and will roll over automatically if she sees your hand moving towards her. Causes a mess and chews up every flip flop she can find CONSTANTLY, but makes everyone happy as heck. Loves her bestfriend Kia, follows her around literally everywhere and was born solely to annoy her. Has an endless supply of energy when she’s awake but won’t even move if you’re shaking her when she’s sleepy.

Happy National Puppy Day to all dog owners out there! No matter how old our dogs get, they’re still little baby pups to all of us. There’s really no describing how much joy and company these two bring to my family, and also to eachother (Kia hasn’t gotten sick once since she met Killie!). And quite honestly, waking up to these two little rascals scratching at my door has always been the worst/ best thing in the morning

IMG_5320IMG_6147

KD

My Penang

This time last year, I would have already spent exactly 1 out of 5 months in Penang, Malaysia. It’s crazy how short that amount of time seems compared to how big of a part it’s played in my life. Every time it’s mentioned at work, my manager interrupts to say I went because I was “finding myself.” I went for a exchange semester, but I really did learn so much. I got to travel and live in a different country by myself! Something not a ton of people would be able to say they’ve done at my age… or ever.

I’ve always been so proud of myself for taking that opportunity, and I’ve always regretted not starting this blog sooner so that I can share my experiences and knowledge.. Hence, I decided to do a few blog posts here and there of anything related to my travels where I visited a total of 9 countries.

First destination: Penang, Malaysia!

IMG_2117

AKA my home base and it was a good one. The reason I wanted to do an exchange was because for me, it was a reason to travel… and I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t in it for academics. Penang was great because it was close to everything! I had so many means of travel available to me; plane, bus, boat, and even train. It was super cheap to travel, for example it cost me $30 to Singapore by plane and $50 to go to Thailand by doing a combination of flying and taking a boat.

Penang is also known as having one of the best street food in the world (I think they’re ranked #2 after Thailand). It’s not hard to see why once you get there, too. They have what they described as “asian food courts” which is also known as Hawker Centers. This is where you go for cheap but good food. I swear, everything cost under $5 there. Sometimes I would spend $10-$15 and get 5 different meals when I wanted to treat myself lmao! You can really get away with only getting one or two dishes though, depending on the proportions of what you get.

It was also very multicultural (another reason why they’re Hawker Centers were so great), there were so many different languages and religions everywhere and it was nice to be able to learn all about them. Penang is also a mix of tradition and modern and when I got home sick, it wasn’t too difficult to go out and sit in a cafe to feel somewhat home (they were very popular).

Here’s some of my favorites in Penang: 

Means of transportation: Uber (extremely cheap but safety is a concern)
Must do: Georgetown Street Art (rent a bike and go on a scavenger hunt)
Must try food: Roti Pisang (Roti w/ bananas, condensed milk, curry sauce)
Must see: Kek Lok Si Temple (so different in the morning vs at night)
Random fun activity: Upside Down Museum
Hawker Center: Super Tanker (cheap(er) food), Red Garden (more exp but better proportions)
Place to drink: Antarabangsa Enterprise (casual drinking and cheap beer)
Breakfast Spot: Sechawan ‘n’ Such (the best bennies… ever!)
Cafe: Black Kettle (good food and good wifi)
Mall: Queensbay Mall

There were so many things to do and places to eat in Penang, so the list of my favorites is really just a peek of all the places I went and enjoyed. There’s also a lot of touristy things on that list, but I do genuinely enjoy a balance of checking out tourist vs local spots! Of course there were so many other things (like people!) that made it such a great trip, but all I can say was that Penang was such a great opportunity to experience and somewhere I miss being everyday.

KD