Monday 1 July 2019

Chocolate cake & the garden

I've come to the conclusion that few things bring the kind of joy that chocolate cake and a full garden can. My brother is growing all sorts of veggies from seed this summer - zucchinis, tomatoes, snap peas (pictured above), blueberries, and carrots! We picked the first of the snap peas yesterday and they were the juiciest, crispest, freshest peas I've ever had. Here are a few short quotes about the glories of nature that resonate with me:

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." Marie Curie  

Much love, 


Saturday 6 April 2019

Dear Self

Dear Self,

You awoke this morning to find
A note, a card, a greeting
Not in pencil or pen or type,
But in word, in life, in meaning
You stretched out your arms 
Opened morning eyes 
You put feet on the ground, and listened 

Your year has carried weight and substance 
In people, in time, in joy
Your heart was open, and your mind, too 
Taking moments of softness to flow with gusts 
Of talk, ample work, and yet, 

Because you listened 
You heard the cry of a tired mind, and answered:
Find plenty and give, to the chapped, cracked and shattered 
Find peace, and it will be yours
Find joy, and share it

Much love, Vivi

Saturday 5 January 2019

The Goodness of Homemade

I looked in my draft blog posts folder this afternoon and was very surprised - I have 51 draft blog posts! 51! Many of these I didn't think were finished and weren't "good enough" to post. But as I flipped through so many of them, it saddened me that I have these memories stored away as drafts. Many of them contain precious images and words that reflect a specific season of life, and I wish I had posted them at the time I wrote them. In light of this, one of my goals for 2019 is to actually post what I write! I don't want these images and words to become forgotten, and the drafts folder is often pushed aside (for me, at least!) like a second recycling bin. So, without further ado, these are some memories from winter break 2018/2019 wrapped up in images. 

In 2018 I discovered a love for cooking (I know, not just baking anymore!) which has brought a lot of joy to the family. ;) I've mostly whipped up soups, stews, and curries, primarily because I find them the easiest meals for a beginner. The crock-pot and I have been best friends. This year I want to bring even more flavours to life, and more bread! Yes, the more bread the better. Almost nothing beats a freshly baked bread ring... My favourite is a herbed bread ring with basil, parsley, and rosemary (pictured above!) 

Looking forward to sharing more on this little space in 2019! Get ready for much food & joyous eating! :) 

Much love,


Thursday 19 July 2018

Fabulous Food & Flowers

The heat of summer has set in. With longer days and veggie markets selling tempting herbs and fresh ingredients, I have found myself wanting (on an almost daily basis...) to create something mouth-wateringly delicious. Some of my recipe choices have been healthy (chili, spiced Indian spinach with paneer, veggie soups), but alas, most of the healthy recipes have gone un-photographed. So, I present to you a collection of the not-so-healthy goods that have satisfied the taste buds of many human beings (myself included). But of course, a post without flowers would hardly be appropriate, so enjoy the vibrant blooms that have helped make our new house a home!

First up, a strawberry custard tart that I made for a close friend's bridal shower. My friend loves to make mini strawberry custard tarts, so I decided to make an intense version for us to devour. :) 
Much to my (and my mom's) absolute joy, the veggie market located a quick one minute walk away sells the most amazing selection of fresh flowers. AND at a reasonable price. This has been fantastic, but also makes it challenging to not purchase a new flower every day when I walk past! The lilies above are from our back garden, and the gerbera daises are from said veggie shop.
A cup of coffee on the deck as the morning light sets in. I love this. Simplicity and serenity in one. 
For my 23rd birthday my brother made this incredible black forest trifle. Wow, just looking at it makes me drool! 
A quiet moment in the house. Mom had just finished arranging her latest flower purchase, Dad enjoyed music on his phone, and my brother cozied up on the couch studying (sneak peek on the far right - haha!)
One of my favourite things to bake is granola. This particular recipe is laden with seeds (pumpkin seeds, especially!), all kinds of nuts, and a healthy handful of coconut. Air fresheners are one option, but the aroma of freshly baked granola is hard to beat!
Yay - a healthy recipe caught on camera! For dinner a few nights ago I made a creamy zucchini soup and a herb bread ring. Although the dinner was a hit, the almost 30 degree weather made iced drinks necessary! 
You know those treats at coffee shops you always ooh and ahh at through the glass window and never purchase? Well, cinnamon streusel coffee cake is that for me. So! I decided to whip up a full tray of the stuff. The recipe turned out so well, with a light and fluffy vanilla cake wonderfully complemented by a light cinnamon crunch.  
A house starts to feel like a home when the flowers are happy. How I love hydrangeas! If any of the aforementioned recipes make your mouth water, leave a comment below and I'd be happy to share the recipe. Happy summer time, friends! I hope your days are filled with color, joy, and a mixture of health & decadence. 

Much love, Vivi 

Thursday 19 April 2018


As of yesterday, I am free of exams! Which means that I will never again write an exam as a biology undergraduate student. Five years ago that statement seemed so very, very far away, and today, it is already one day old. What I love most about April is that (once exams are over) my camera and I become best friends again. The long winter is over, and magnolia buds, glorious springtime blossoms, and rays of golden warmth make themselves known again. What a beautiful time it is!

Much love, Vivi   

Friday 9 February 2018

Symphony of Colour

The past month has been a whirlwind of activity. I realized the other day just *how* busy things have been, which surprised me because I've been very calm and have been in a self-proclaimed "non-stressful" season. I don't think I realized how challenging preparing for a medical school interview would be. Although I loved the discussions and brain workouts that came with every practice session, I can't deny the challenge that accompanied actively practicing critical thinking, art interpretation, and analyzing ethical and social issues. It certainly opened up my eyes to relevant issues that I hadn't previously given much thought. I did a lot of reading and investigating, and sought out friends, family, and professors who I knew had more knowledge than me. What a learning curve! But I must say, what a fantastic learning curve! 

I'd like to call this past season of life a Symphony of Colour, not entirely in the literal sense, but mostly in the figurative way. I've had shades of thought fill my mind, tones and highlights of reflection, and new combinations of ideas invigorate creativity. It has been quite exciting.

Now, I must wait until May (yes, MAY!) to hear the results of my interview. Applying to medical school has been no small feat, but it has been an incredible journey of growth. Here's to a new season, a new journey, and graduating in June! 

Much love, Vivi

Sunday 31 December 2017

Christmas Time, Oh Christmas Time!

Things I've loved this Christmas season: 
  • Baking a double layer pecan cake to kick off the Christmas treats (which included a large amount of cookies eaten so quickly that no camera could capture them...)
  • Crocheting my very first blanket! 
  • A fresh snowfall right in time for Christmas
  • Exploring classic Christmas treats with marzipan fruit creations. Apples, oranges, plums, grapes, pears, and bananas!  
  • A family Christmas dinner with a plethora of vegetables and creative dishes
This Christmas time has been a very peaceful and rejuvenating season, filled with excellent food and time spent with loved ones. I have begun reading an annotated version of Emma by Jane Austen, and oh my, the eloquent sentences and 19th century humor is fantastic. I officially start the final semester of my undergrad degree this Tuesday, so I'm indulging in all of the leisure reading I can fit in before textbooks take over... :) 

Much love, Vivi