perfect chocolate chip cookie

I rarely bake cookies nowadays, but when I saw this New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe on a food blog, I knew I just had to try it out. After all, it claims to be the "perfect" chocolate chip cookie, and curiosity got the better of me. 

Most of the ingredients were easy to source, except for the chocolate chips. When I finally did find them at Whole Foods I balked at the $3.99 per 100g price tag. For 1.25 lbs. it would have cost me almost $23. I wasn't ready to fork out that much on a recipe I never tried before, so I got regular bittersweet chocolate chips, which I also found at Whole Foods.

When it comes to following recipes, modifications are standard procedure for me. For example, I almost always cut the sugar by half. But this time I stuck to the instructions pretty faithfully. The only thing I changed were the chocolate chips, and I used cane sugar instead of regular granulated white sugar.

NY times chocolate chip cookie

It's a pretty easy recipe to follow; the only quirk is the 24-36 hour resting period. Apparently it's important for the dough to rest for that long so that it does its magic. Also, when you roll the dough into 3.5 oz. balls, they're obscenely huge. I could only fit four balls into my baking pan. The size of the ball falls somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball. It's ridiculously big, and I worried it would spread out into an ginormous cookie. But to my relief it didn't.

The result? Perfection indeed. It's the best damn chocolate chip cookie I've ever had. It's also the most rich, decadent cookie I've probably ever eaten. But worth every crumb. I found that I couldn't have a whole cookie in one sitting. These are substantially sized.

NY times chocolate chip cookie

The part that I enjoyed the most is the coarse sea salt that's sprinkled on top. It's what makes the cookie. I absolutely love the combination of salty and sweet.

I want to make this recipe again but with the fancy French chocolate chips it calls for. I'm curious to find out if they make the cookies even better.



For weeks and weeks I've been waffling over whether to paint the black accent wall or not in our bedroom. The thing that's been making me hesitate is the possibility of moving out. But we haven't been diligent about actually searching for a new apartment. I didn't want to paint the wall black and then have to re-paint it white shortly thereafter if we were going to move soon. But now it looks like we won't have the opportunity to even start looking for a new apartment until January 2012 at the earliest (it's going to be a busy fall). So I've decided to go ahead and paint the friggin' black accent wall that I've been fantasizing about for months on end.


Now I have to agonize over which black paint to choose. This is the most nerve-wracking part of the whole ordeal.

Also, I'm thinking about painting the living room. The default apartment renter's white looks dingy and depressing. I want a bright white that will reflect light better in the dim living room. I was considering Behr's Ultra Premium White, but I think it's too white. I'm going to check out some Benjamin Moore white paint.

July's been a hectic month because I was taking another class at Emily Carr two nights a week. August is going to be beyond hectic. It's probably going to be craziest month of the year. But I'm determined to finish painting the bedroom. I'm itching to pick up a paintbrush so bad that I'm afraid if I don't give into my compulsion some very bad things are going to happen around here.



While visiting L.A., I think I may have discovered the source of my plant obsession.

My grandfather is a master of growing and nurturing house plants. I couldn't help but admire his collection while visiting. I find it cute that he mixes in fake flowers with his plants.

I remember as a child my grampa was the first person to teach me how to grow a plant from seed. We planted a seed or a bean of some sort in a paper cup, and I was totally amazed when it magically sprouted.

The plant on the left is one of my favourite succulents of all time. It's originally from South Africa.

This little figurine cracked me up. He seems content dangling off the Sansevieria plant. Grampa's Sansevieria plants are absolutely gorgeous, not a trace of rot or blemish. Mine is full of rotting leaves because initially I overwatered it.

Walking around L.A., I couldn't help but notice succulents growing everywhere. I literally stopped in my tracks every time I saw one and had to ooh and aah over it. It's a good thing we were driving most of the time; otherwise, we would have been late to everything because of all my plant ogling.

I saw these beauties in the Sunset Junction area while making my pilgrimage to Mohawk General Store/Amsterdam Modern, a midcentury modern haven, where I drooled over everything I saw. 

I guess living in L.A. for 20 years nurtured a fondness for succulents and cacti. Not only do I appreciate their beauty but also their toughness. They seem to thrive in harsh conditions. I suppose surrounding myself with these plants is a reminder of where I come from.



The weekend trip to Los Angeles was fantastic. The 405 freeway closure turned out to be totally overhyped and didn't affect our trip negatively at all. And you couldn't have asked for better weather.

The Dude and I were down there for my cousin's wedding. Got to see some relatives I haven't seen in a while and even ran into a childhood friend whom I haven't seen in almost 20 years.

Of course, no trip to L.A is complete without visiting my favourite eateries. I got a chance to go to one of my favourite Mexican food joints, Loteria Grill.

For breakfast one day I took the Dude to Clifton's Cafeteria, one of the weirdest places to eat in L.A. The food isn't bad, but the decor is something else.

There wasn't good indoor lighting so I don't have more photos unfortunately. Anyway, it's best to experience Clifton's in real person than via pictures. It cracks me up that they place desserts at the beginning and end of the cafeteria line. It's a smart strategy I suppose. People love dessert.

Other food highlights were donuts (L.A. has the BEST donuts ever) and the best non-dairy ice cream from Scoops. I cannot leave L.A. without having at least one of each.

On the last day, we hung out with my best friend and her family. We walked down to the local farmer's market.

The selection was awesome, and I wish the farmer's markets in Vancouver were as big as the ones in L.A.

If only our trip to L.A. could have been longer. It's such a fun place to visit.



I added a new product line to the shop this week. They're party streamers made out of felt circles. Aren't they so festive?

They're fantastic for hanging on a wall or across a table. And they're not exclusively for parties. I think they're quite lovely to hang across the wall behind the bed. 

Ever since I became aware of the existence of felt fabric way back when, it's been one of my favourite craft materials. I love the huge range of colours they come in and their soft, fuzzy texture. 

You can see more photos and get the details in the LAX TO YVR shop.

Looking forward to my trip to SoCal this weekend to attend my cousin's wedding! I'll report about my time in L.A. early next week.


You know I can't go too long without painting something in our apartment. So recently I did a mini entryway makeover by re-painting our DIY shoe rack. The entryway was one of the first spaces I got in order when we moved in. But now that I have a better idea of our home decor theme, it was time to break out the paintbrush and give the ol' shoe rack a much needed makeover.

Before & After:

I'm obsessed these days with black accents. I want almost everything to be sexy black.

Next paint project: I really need to finish painting our bedroom.


Last month when I went out to estate sales I kept finding antlers. I've been wanting to add deer antlers to our home decor for a long time so I was very excited to find them. But the Dude doesn't like having animal remnants lying around so I can't go too crazy. Though I'd love to have a pair of longhorns mounted on the wall, I think for the sake of our marriage it's best if I let that one go. I like the way antlers remind me of the great outdoors. And to boot, they are visually interesting.

I recently listed a pair of small antlers in my vintage shop. I'll be listing bigger antlers soon.


Last Thursday I completed a 6-week drawing course at Emily Carr. It was the first drawing class I ever took, and boy did it ever put me out of my comfort zone. I really suck at drawing, and guess what? I don't enjoy doing things I suck at. So this class was like squirming in a dentist chair the whole time. Nevertheless I learned a lot, and my drawing skills have improved a bit.

Before I took the class, if you had asked me to sketch a human figure, I would have produced something by drawing sticks. Now I can actually sketch a somewhat realistic looking person, but only if he's nude (I don't know yet how to draw on clothes). While I was putting together my portfolio to present in the last class, I was like, "Did I really draw that?"

I attempted to draw a person sitting on the chair above and failed miserably. It quickly became apparent that not only are people difficult in life, they are even more difficult to draw.

Taking this drawing course really pushed me to use my imagination and made me realize that I really need to exercise that part of my brain.

You can see my drawing portfolio here.