Wednesday, February 29, 2012

recipe: easy pan-fried salmon and baby bokchoy

Need a quick and easy lunch recipe? Try this.


baby bokchoy
kikkoman soy sauce
salt and pepper
vegetable oil


Season the salmon with salt and pepper. A little bit of cayenne pepper could be added for flavour.
In a medium pan, add vegetable oil and set at medium heat. Add the salmon and cook until golden brown.

In a separate pan, cook the garlic in a little bit of oil. Add the baby bokchoy. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and serve with the salmon.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

wedding trends: white on white weddings

Whoever said white on white weddings are boring clearly are not as imaginative as these brides. Check out these inspiration boards! Love all the ideas and intrinsic details. White on white is so elegant and winter wedding appropriate :)
How about white with a hint of lavender? Like this...

Minerva turns 7

Our friend's recording and production studio is turning 7! If you're looking for something fun to do tonight, come join us at Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst Street and enjoy some local talents and good music. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

my week in instagram

Hi. 8 days no post, huh? Seems weird even for me.

How are you?

If you're not following my fangirl craziness on Twitter (follow at your own risk! don't say I didn't warn you :P), or my newfound Instagram addiction, it does feel like I have been out of the loop for awhile. One thing though, I've finished all the editing. Woohoo! Now off to bookmaking, and new appointments =) Love the fact that we've started offering beautifully crafted lay-flat books. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing our work in print. My secret wish is that I can keep a copy of it all because nothing makes me happier than seeing our hard work come out so nicely. Have you ordered yours yet??

Spent the weekend bonding with my bestfriend. We haven't done that for awhile and I had a great time bonding, baking and laughing over cake and tea. Here's a baby shower cake order I helped her decorate. It's so cool to find a friend who likes the same thing as you do. She inspires me to be better everyday. In between taking care of her new baby and attempting to watch a much loved soap opera, it was a girls' weekend we both needed. Speaking of need, need a custom cake for your next event? Visit =)

Spent Family Day driving around Toronto, eating Korean barbecue and watching a movie with Mr. Pearls. 

....and mostly, busy with instagraming my favourite old photos =)
Hope your week is as interesting as mine! Happy (rainy) Friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sneak Peek: Melanie and Ian

Still working on more editing but isn't Melanie so pretty?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

.....and the winner is!!!

Congratulations, ANOG siblings!! 
Watch out for our email on how to claim your prize!!

Red velvet brownies = Love!

Why give in to commercializing this day when homemade baked goods mean so much more?? =) Here's a really simple and easy Red Velvet Brownie recipe for all of you!

Red Velvet Brownies


1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 oz. liquid red food coloring
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 T. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang so you can lift out the brownies when they're done. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
In a large saucepan over low heat, stir together butter and chocolate until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and food coloring. Sift flour and baking powder over mixture and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched and a tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan on rack.
For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and cover with the frosting. Cut into bite size squares to serve.

 I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter  for the shape and cream cheese frosting on top 

My Instagram collage. Love, love, love!

Monday, February 13, 2012

i love instagram!

I have a new addiction and a brand new love! I'm sure I'm waaay behind since I am not exactly an iPhone user. I do love everything Apple (hence the MacBook Pro, iPad, iTouch, iPod) so I expect it's only a matter of time before I completely switch over. Patiently waiting for the iPhone 5 =) I am in love with this app because it's inspiring me to take a daily photos, and take pictures of interesting things. Of course, some of these are old photos instagramized haha. 

Thanks Mr. Pearls for the early love gift :-)))
Follow me on Instagram: janapearls

Friday, February 10, 2012

just as I am...

I gotta say, I had a slow start this 2012. The funny thing is, I didn't really feel the year starting until just recently and it's already February. I've been going through something personally, and it was hard for me to admit it even to myself. Somehow, I feel that the moment I open up about something negative, people will automatically think I'm having problems with my relationship with Mr. Pearls, which was not the case at all. If anything, the fact that he understood me through all the difficulties was what helped me through it all.

So funny. For the first time in a long time, I had no motivation to try anything new. Maybe the fact that I was also getting less and less sun had something to do with it. Even then Mr. Pearls had been supportive and showed much empathy. Reminded me of a line from JM's song, "would you want me when I'm not myself?". I guess the answer was an unwavering "Yes".

I've spent a great deal of my teens and early twenties with much sadness and self doubt, the uncertainty I was feeling didn't seem so unfamiliar. Unlike my younger self however, I had much hope that no matter how convoluted everything seemed, I knew things will get better. And they did. The window of opportunity was given to me and just like that, I feel hopeful about the future again. There's much to be thankful for if you stopped enough to look around you. I realized most people only ever think about asking for things they want to have without really realizing that maybe they have taken for granted the things they do have. I am guilty of this as well, and now grateful for my new perspective.

So February feels like the start of my new year. I've even managed to change something else I didn't do last year through the encouragement of Mr. Pearls ---get a gym membership. I know!? Sounds too crazy for someone who hasn't really done any serious working out in her life. I can't deny how much I love to eat, as evidenced by my many food posts and I know even with my love and hate relationship with food, age will slowly catch up to me. So this is definitely a step in the right direction. I've agreed to pay biweekly so hopefully I won't end up wasting it. I have gone once last week so yey me! Although, I must admit, I'm a little nervous about sharing this information with anyone because I don't want to be judged in the coming weeks regarding progress. As much as possible, I want to do it on my own phase and timeline. I just want to be more active than I was before so hopefully it won't be too bad. The idea of a physical assessment though, creeps me out a little bit. I feel like I'm gonna be tested on a subject I have never studied. If they force a personal trainer on me, I might not be able to say no. Yikes! We'll see :) I think more than anything, I'm scared to find out what my real body fat content really is. Probably more than I should have. Haha! Oh well, the main thing is, I am hopeful and motivated and that I have a Mr. Pearls who loves me just as I am, with extra pounds or not.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

DIY: Crayola Hearts

Looking for a cool V-day project for your kids? Try this! Crayola hearts!

cupid's creme brulee

Haven't had a food post in a while. Haven't really cooked anything new or interesting either, but that doesn't prevent me from checking out other food bloggers who have amazing recipes and things to share. Hostess with the Mostess have the most amazing V-day recipes and decor ideas. This heart-topped creme brulee caught my eye. Visit the site now for the recipe and DIY!
image from the No copyright infringement intended

Following the recipe and DIY, I made my own version. I didn't have a heart-shaped silicon mold which would have made it cuter. Just to show you how easy this recipe is, I made four of these in less than an hour. Try it now! Enjoy =)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Celebrity Bloggers: Laureen Uy

 Laureen Uy has impeccable taste in clothes, shoes and accessories and her uber stylish blog is definitely making a name in the blogosphere nowadays. She posts pictures of amazing fashion finds, plenty of fashion advice and also have amazing giveaways. Check her out now!

images from Laureen Uy's blog. No Copyright infringement intended

Friday, February 03, 2012

strings of memories

True confession: Fact. I did a bit of songwriting as a teen. At fifteen, I fell in love with my sister's guitar. We just connected in ways I cannot explain. Three years later, when I was old enough to apply for credit, it was my very first big ticket item. I had some very poignant moments with my guitar (which I called John, don't ask :P) --- more meaningful than any relationship I had had at that time. I can't say I was very good, but I taught myself how to play out of passion. My calloused fingers, pages and pages of words I had intended to use in songs, and my overworked guitar were proof.

I told myself it didn't matter that I was never very good at it and the only thing that mattered was that it was a form of self-expression. It was a way to pour out my most intimate feelings and emotions. I think the reason we've spent so much time together was because unlike a real person who could be harsh and judgmental, John sat with me through it all -- good or bad, happy or sad. I was very insecure and protective about my songs. I protected it much like a diary, with no witnesses but my tape recorder.

As the era of social networking marched in, I got involved with a creative group of people who were very much interested in getting their voice (and talents) heard. I was very hesitant at first in sharing with the world my most intimate thoughts and feelings. I resisted their invitations at first as I needed first to convince myself that it was okay for me to share what I had written in privacy. When I was finally able put myself out there, wore my heart on a sleeve so to speak, I was overwhelmed by the reception (and I can't deny being patronized sometimes, because for me, it still wasn't good enough). Don't get me wrong, it was a great experience. In fact, knowing I will somehow share them with someone made me want to play the guitar better, write better.

I met an amazing group of talented people whose passion for music and the arts were comparable to mine. This amazing group of people were the same ones that led me to Mr. Pearls. The long nights, that time of coffee houses and acoustic sets were a significant part of my life. (If you're ever interested in looking them up, check out MStudio)

A good friend had told me that one of my songs was played at the end of a TV production aimed for a local television show. It's a multicultural network so I don't actually expect you to find it in circulation and I never saw it myself, so I can't really vouch for it. It sounds promising in retrospect, although I was told that no credits were written or given to me. It saddens me because I know my song was not the greatest hit or what have you, but I don't understand how anyone can just use it without even asking for permission, or giving me a little bit of credit. Truth be told, I didn't even want to have that song released because first of all, I wrote that song in my teens, when I was on the verge of my first heartbreak. I had one foot out the door, and undecided about the outcome of what turned out to be a disastrous relationship. I didn't like the final edit because it wasn't how I had written it originally. A refrain was added which in my opinion didn't really go with how I wanted the song to be. But anyway, after all that it's out there and apparently being used without my knowledge. No, I'm not gonna tell you the title of the song, because it is out there and I'd be embarrassed to have to explain my mindset when it was written. Part of me is relieved because the song being used without credit to me will not automatically link it back to me, but at the same time, I hold on to this song just like a treasured memory I preferred to have kept in the pages of my diary.

This reminded me of The Meantime Girl article I wrote that became a popular forwarded message without my knowledge. I still think about it from time to time because it is a memory that meant a great deal to me and is now just being randomly passed around without care. Oh well. I guess a lesson in giving credit when credit is due is wayyy overdue. 

Thanks August Empress for the cool background!