Moving to

I finally pulled the trigger and registered my own domain: After a few days of poking around the self-hosted wordpress site, I decided to stay with the current theme and layout, so you won’t feel too much of a difference. Please update your RSS feed, and come to the new site for a visit!

What Kind of Lifestyle Do You Want?

I came across this blog Go Curry Cracker recently, it’s about a couple sharing their early retirement story. By early retirement, I mean really early, in their 30s. Their story is inspiring, and makes me to rethink about my lifestyle. I guess their lifestyle may not be suitable for everyone, but certainly is much more interesting than most of us.

I took a closer look at how they did it:

1. Maximize your income
– I guess I am not really maximizing it yet. I know that I would’ve found a better paid job in the market now, but the current job’s 20 minutes commute beat them all.
Ways to make additional money: going to evaluate these possibilities.

2. Live well below your means
– The top three categories of expenses are on housing, transportation, and food. Go Curry Cracker couple saved a tons of money by living in a small rental apartment, biking everywhere, and cooking their own meal.
– I checked there’s no small apartment for rent around my workplace. It’s Canada, with 5 month of winter, probably I won’t be able to bike everywhere. Out of these three categories, I guess I am only doing the cooking part.

The rest of the plan is to invest the difference and wait patiently. Not sure if I can ever achieve what they achieved, but hey, it’s always good to have a goal!

An End to Home Decoration?

Ever since I bought my own place, I started this never-ending process of decorating it. Without much confidence, I decided to take an interior decoration part time course at local college two years ago. It was a 12 week non-credit course for personal interest only, meaning you cannot really go for professional career with this course alone. Anyways, the course was very helpful. It gave me a big picture of the overall process, and then a brief summary for each design concept/component.

Since then, I repainted some of my rooms, and added a few decoration items. However, buying home decoration items have been slow and painful for me.
Buying used: I am not the type of person who shops on kijiji a lot. I have this uneasy feeling that I am obligated to buy once I visit the seller, unless it’s something trivial, ie: garden planters.
Buying new online: I also have problem buying them online. I would definitely prefer seeing the item in person before buying it to avoid any kind of disappointment. Last summer, I bought this abstract wall art from, when I received the item, somehow it just didn’t give me that same feeling as when I saw it on my monitor, but it’s not too bad.
Buying new in-store: I have this feeling that if I go out to shop for a specific decoration item, 98% of the time will come home empty handed. Some of the best items I bought happened to be during a shopping trip with completely different goal. The fact that I don’t do a lot of window shopping just reduces that probability by a further 90%.

One’s home only has limited walls to hang arts, or limited space to decorate. I always wonder, what if I find a new item that I love for this wall? what do I do with the old piece? store them in basement or sell them online? ahhh….

Art Journaling – Second Try

Two years ago, I tried this online workshop called Draw Happy, simply because of its tagline: If you’ve ever said “I can’t draw!”, it’s time to join the Draw Happy revolution…It didn’t go very well. After I went through the workshop videos, I gave up art journaling, simply because I just wasn’t trained or raised doing things like that, aka, lack of creativity training.

Before I came to Canada at the age of 16, my childhood was just endless homework, tests, practice exams, official exams; arts/music lessons were cancelled for exam preparations; ok, occasionally had some degree of relaxation and fun. However, compare to the school life of Chinese children nowadays, I consider mine wasn’t that bad already. In my memory, I’ve never had an art lesson where the teacher said, use your imagination, and draw anything you want, or use any color you want. Never.

During the New Year, Jane’s workshop Supplies Me! was having a sale. I decided to give it a second try. Well, did I really want to give art journaling a second try? or was it just too hard to pass the sale? Maybe it was a little bit both! On the weekend, I got a few art supplies from Curry’s; I am hoping in the next few month, I will not be afraid of doodling anymore.