Category Archives: Knitting

Vancouver recap

Vancouver!

My husband and I traveled to Vancouver, BC for his birthday! We had so much fun, and doggies, especially Candy, had a marvelous time themselves at their boarding places.

<Day 1>
Headed for the John Wayne airport by 5am for our 7:30am flight. Got on the plane and then was held up at the gate for 2 hours due to a mechanical problem which turned out to be nothing. Missed our connecting flight by 3 minutes because the SFO gate agent closed the door earlier. Was on Standby for the next flight and luckily got on it.
Arrived in Vancouver. Vancouver Airport was probably the most beautiful airport I have ever seen. There were waterfalls, totem poles, and trees. Took the Canada Line Skytrain to Downtown Vancouver. We stayed at the Sutton Place Hotel on Burrard street but didn’t want to change station so we got off at the City Centre (note: Marty and I kept making fool out of ourselves saying “hey they spelled ____ wrong!”) and just walked over to the hotel via Robson.

The rest of the day was a smooth sailing. The very first thing we did was to get a hot dog at the Japadog stand, which was RIGHT in front of our hotel. Literally, same block. It was amazing. (NOTE: during this trip, I decided to try eating gluten again. I took Pepcid AC religiously to control any kind of stomach symptoms I might get. Other than some bloating issue and exhaustion, I didn’t feel sick! But yes, now I’m fully back on gluten free mode again).

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We found some great restaurants on Robson, walked to the Pacific Centre shopping mall and looked around, took some pictures of the scenery, bought some snacks at London Drugs, then walked over to the west sideof the Robson for some Asian food.

We were originallly looking for Benkei Ramen but I guess it’s gone now because we couldn’t find it. Instead, we found Dinesty Chinese Restaurant, which from the outside reminded us of Din Tai Fung in Taiwan. We weren’t disappointed. Well, I was–because I realized how much fun I have been missing out, having to be on a gluten free diet! :D

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We were pretty exhausted after dinner so we just walked back to the hotel and immediately fell asleep. I for one had an amazing night of sleep, I slept through the night, and woke up aroung 6:30am without the alarm.

 

<Day 2>
We woke up pretty early around 6:30, slowly got ready for a day of fun. We decided to stay at the West Side of the city, and check out Granville Island.

After we got coffee at Cafe Artiggiano, we got some chocolate cake and liquid chocolate at Thierry’s, then we walked on Burrard and Hornby towards the Island, took the Aquabus to the Grandville Island ($5.50 per person for a roundtrip).

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We looked aroundn the Public Market, then slowly walked over to the Kitsilano Beach area which was a beautiful walk! We passed by the Marine Museum, and took so many photos there. It was a relaxing walk and seeing so many dogs around the beach neighborhood made us miss Candy & Bagel. But we knew they were being taken care of–Bagel is loved by everyone at the animal hospital and we know that Candy was having an awesome time at the Bone Adventure because we were watching her on the webcam every few hours. :D

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We walked around the Kits Beach neighborhood, then walked back to the Island. We had lunch at Go Fish. I got 2 cods & chips, while Marty tried their Oyster Poboy. The ordering was pretty quick but the wait for the food was about 30~40 minutes. But it was worth the wait! Totally recommend that place if anyone is going to hang out near the Grandville Island.

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The Island itself was fun too–we looked at so many cool arts and crafts, I even bought some silk rovings from the Silk Weaving Studio.

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We came back to the hotel and got dinner at Sushi Mart and a Belgian waffle at Nero on Robson (Again, this area on Robson had so many good Asian food choices).

Marty fell asleep around 10, but I stayed up until 1AM to work on my lace shawl. Totally failed to finish it on the trip, but will be available soon! :D

<Day 3>:
We woke up again around 7 am. The plan was to check out Chinatown and Gastown, and Yaletown. We took the train to the Science Centre-Main Street station (The Skytrain doesn’t stop there anymore; you have to take Train2Main or something like that). I thought we were gonna walk on Main all the way to Chinatown from there, but Marty just wanted to take pictures of the Pacific Centre Station. So we walked around there for 5 minutes, then took the same train back to Waterfront.

We had our morning coffee at Revolver in Gastown, walked to Sun Yat-Sen Garden, looked around there, walked through Chinatown and randomly walked into the busiest Chinese food cafe called “Newtown” to get some buns, egg tart, and sesame ball. DELISH! I think the food here is better than in LA. Food in LA, even at really good restaurants, food tastes “cheap” compared to food in Vancouver. The LA food tastes like Costco food!!!

Then we walked back to Gastown, stopped at a restaurant called Tuc, and got some beautiful waffles with blueberries and cream cheese. Marty got a Lamb & Egg skillet which he said was great.

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So this is how crazy Vancouver food is. When Marty has good food, he says “it’s not bad,” tilts his head to one side and nods a couple times. During our past 7 years together, Marty only had GREAT food maybe 10 times total. When he has really great food, he would first close his eyes then breathes in deeply as if he just had a heart attack. On this trip, he did that twice. Once at Dinesty, and then again at Tuc. At other places, he still said the food was really good. Never once he has said, “not bad” and nodded twice.DSC05087

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We walked back to the Waterfront Station and decided to walk to Stanley Park. We overestimated our fitness level and underestimated the size of this “PARK” because everything else in Vancouver was so close. We barely made it to the Totem Pole, turned around for “The Girl in Wet Suit” or something, took the pedestrian trail back to the info center. FAIL.

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But on the way back from Stanley Park back to the hotel was a great one. The weather was perfect and the cherry blossom trees were everywhere. This was exactly why we took the trip to Vancouver, and were worried about the bad weather but it was perfect all 2.5 days!

It has been a week since we got back and we’re still talking about how great the food was and how much we wanna visit again (a bit of honesty here, we actually looked into moving there!).

Are you happy?

When I was in my early 20′s, I used to think that life was all about achieving “happiness,” as if happiness was some kind of a THING or a EPIPHANY you get once you reach a certain age or level of wisdom. Like a rainbow.

But the older I get, the less and less I use the word “happiness.” I realized that the word is used wrongly all over the world. HAPPY is not a thing or a piece of wisom or realization. Rather, it’s simply a state of emotion. It’s something you FEEL when you’re in a specific situation.

The realization that I simply cannot be happy ALL the time, was the key to my “happiness.” I think the more accurate term is “content.” It doesn’t sound as glorious as “happiness,” and a lot of times people think being content is less than being happy.

But being content really is the STATE that you want to be in–Constant calmness, sincerity, and satisfaction. When you’re content with your life, you can live a fulfilling, simplistic life, and even when events in your life turns sour for a period of time, it won’t make you depressed or want to end your life. And when good things happen, you’ll be thankful for your good fortune.

To me, being happy just means you’re excited about something. You can’t be excited about something all the time, unless you have psychological issues. Like, when people say “I’m so happy for you” that doesn’t mean that the person achieved a certain level of zen-like wisdom for you. It literally means the person is excited about something you did.

After that realization, I am no longer in search of this abstract idea of happiness. I’m much more in tune with my current situations, focused on solutions rather than running away from situations because I think somehow there has to be other alternatives that can make me happier. Now, I just look for solutions to my problems and deal with it, and think that it could have been worse and that I know how to handle it.

I’m feeling more introspective, with all this raining in socal..

wanabelle100: The Story Behind my online ID

A couple of weeks ago, I found an interview on MarlyBird’s podcast with Sarah Wilson, aka The Sexy Knitter. Sarah is one of the co-moderators I work with on the Designer forum on Ravelry.

Sarah’s interview was heavy on the topic of how she came to be The Sexy Knitter and women’s body issues in general.

As you probably know already, I have a lot to say about women’s sizes in America. (and I know, my opinion is not always the “popular” one.)

I had to work very hard to feel ok with my size (note that I used “ok” as oppoased to “accept” or “good”).

Sarah’s interview gave me the courage to share my story on why my online alias has always been “wanabelle100,” and how it came to be.

About 10 years ago, I was away from home for college. I have always been very conscious about my size and dieting, thanks to starting ballet at a very young age. My first weightloss diet was when I was 7 because my dance teacher said that I was too big for my age. I grew up thinking that I was fat, and that I had to constantly diet, unless I hit that certain number on the scale. I was good in school, but the best compliment for me was my relatives commenting on how much weight I lost.

So when I was in college, I felt like I had the control over my dieting. And I went crazy with it.

For 2.5 years that I was in college, I constantly starved myself and tried numerous diet pills. I joined the largest pro-Ana websites at the time (now defunct) and needed a completely new online identity to hide behind. I couldn’t chance my family and friends find out about what I was doing.

So I came up with wanabelle100 = wanna be belle (pretty) 100. The number 100 represented 100% and 100 lbs, which to me at the time was the perfect number for me. This concept of becoming “perfect” was important to me. I felt really good working towards a goal, and felt almost superior that I was managing to do this while people around me “failed.”

I think those 2.5 years were the PEAK of my dangerous dieting. When I graduated and moved back home, I couldn’t do that much anymore because 1) my mom cooked for me and 2) I hit the rock bottom and was really sick. I slowly began to think that maybe there was something wrong with my way of thinking about my body and that I wanted to change. I finally felt that maybe I didn’t have the complete control over my dieting… Instead, the dieting took control over ME.

The journey wasn’t easy. Changing my way of thinking was that hardest and the longest part of the journey. Several times in the past 10 years, I have gone back to my old dangerous habits, and each time regretted it and each time got harder.

And why did I keep my alias? I’m not sure… I think a part of me has always thought that the wanabelle100 side of me was the superior side–someone who is in complete control and disciplined. Another part of me missed the old days when I felt like I was in control. The rest of me wanted to keep reminding myself of my past. There are still many pro-Ana websites and I’m still involved. I’m happy to say that I haven’t gone back to my dangerous habits in the past 2 years. It is a constant battle, and every “clean” year is an accomplishment.

But I feel that this year, my last year as a 20-something, is a good time to put an end to my past, and move onto the new chapter of my life. It has been a life-changing 10 years, I have learned a lot, but I also don’t want to dwell on my past too long and get stuck.

I am slowly making changes to my online identities. For example, I have changed my blog’s name to JDKnitter few years ago. Few weeks ago, I changed my Ravelry ID from wanabelle100 to JeanChungDesigns. My twitter handle is still wanabelle100 but I’m moving on to my new business venture, Candy+Bagel and created a new handle @candybagel on Twitter, and @candyandbagel on Instagram.

I’m making amends and becoming more and more comfortable forgiving my past and letting go of my anger and shame.

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Candy + Bagel is now live!

Candy + Bagel is now live!

02/17/2014

After months of planning, Candy + Bagel is now live! 

I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, or whether this was a good idea, but I just know that if I don’t do this now, I’ll regret it forever!

When I turned 29 last November, my resolution was to thoroughly enjoy my last year as a 20-something.

One of the things I wanted to do in my 20s was to own my own business, and share my passion with other people who have been so supportive. 

Handknitting/hand spinning may seem antiquated and almost insane in the 21st century, but like all good things in life, I believe thoughtfully-made clothes and accessories never go out of fashion. If you have ever tried on clothes someone else made by hand, just for you, you know that special feeling. Like you have been wrapped into a warm hug. 

That’s the feeling I want to capture in everything I make for Candy & Bagel shop. That love I feel when I hold Candy and Bagel in my arms, and the warmth and pride I feel when I put on my handmade clothing. I hope my customers will share that special feeling with me.

None of the Candy & Bagel products is made with materials made in China. Fibers are finest materials from Peru, Uruguay,Turkey and USA.