In boxes

Hey everybody,
I know it's been a really long time since I posted anything, and that's because we are in the middle of our MOVE, and we haven't had internet connection... except for when I go to Starbucks, where there is free WiFi (that is what I am doing right now actually, enjoying a nice chai tea latte :) )!
I hope Christmas was very merry and bright for all of you, mine certainly was. We didn't go to town with Christmas presents this year, mainly because we are in chaos right now with all the boxes etc, but also because we are surrounded by the biggest present of all (the new appartment)! But we did have a few presents... and a wonderful celebration, which consisted of baking, eating, listening to jazzy Christmas music, playing board games and going to the movies.

This is me in the fabulous new kitchen, holding a tray of Christmas sugar cookies (double YUM):
They weren't vegan, sorry about that. I wanted to try a vegan version from the internet, but like I said, we have no internet... so I had to use the old recipe.

What I did make that was vegan is Granola (TRIPLE yum). I took a picture of it but can't find the cable to my camera... it's somewhere in a box. Ugghh! I'm really getting sick of all this moving business!
Update: Found the USB cable to my camera, I am now able to post pictures! Here they are:

The recipe is from Here it is. If you haven't ever tasted homemade granola, make this. Right now. You won't regret it (in fact, you'll probably eat the whole jar right away it is so yummy!)

On Christmas day we went out for an afternoon movie, Life of Pi. It was, in one word, AMAZING. If you have the chance to go see it, do. It was really worth it. It even held my little brother's attention (and few movies do). I can't wait to start reading the book!

I probably won't be able to post anything for another ten days... So Happy New Year in advance! I wish you the best 2013, and don't forget to eat your veggies! ;)

First World Problems

Yesterday, as I walked in the door, I exclaimed: "I HATE this bag! It is SO impractical!", throwing my bag onto my bed.
And at that second, FIRST WORLD PROBLEM flashed in my mind.
As Ryan Higa so cleverly pointed out in his extremely funny video (see below), we all complain about such stupid things, while at that moment kids in Africa are starving, and kids in India are exploited for child labor (they probably made the stupid bag, as a matter of fact).
Have you been dreaming of a new computer for a while, and been so frustrated when your parents won't buy it for you? Have you had a fit of rage when a web page was taking ages to load?
Have you been ashamed of your shirt with a stain on it?
Or been envious and mad at the fact that your hair is less fabulous than your neighbour's?
I've got three words for you: FIRST WORLD PROBLEM.

Hier, quand je suis rentrée chez moi, je me suis exclamée: "Ce sac est HYPER incommode! Je le déteste!" en jetant mon sac sur mon lit.
Et à ce moment précis, ces mots ont flashé dans ma tête: PROBLÈME DU PREMIER MONDE.
Comme Ryan Higa à si intelligemment souligné dans une vidéo hyper drôle (en bas), on se plaint tous de choses tellement stupides, alors qu'à ce moment précis des enfants en Afrique meurent de faim, et des enfants en Inde sont exploités pour le travail (ils ont probablement fabriqué le sac, en fait.)
Fait-il un moment que vous rêvez d'un nouvel ordinateur, et avez-vous été frustrés quand vos parents refusent de vous l'acheter?
Avez vous déjà été enragés quand une page web à pris des heures à charger?
Avez vous eu honte de votre t-shirt qui à une toute petite tache dessus?
Ou même été envieux du fait que vos cheveux sont moins beaux que ceux de vos voisins?
J'ai quatre mots pour vous: PROBLÈME DU PREMIER MONDE.

When we put things in perspective, we sound like whiny spoiled brats.
Now aren't you happy this isn't your reality?
Quand on met les choses en perspective, on a l'air de gamins gâtés pleurnichards...
N'êtes vous pas contents que ceci n'est pas votre réalité?


Fete des lumieres and a first batch of vegan christmas cookies!

Every year, in Lyon, where I live, there is a four day party in the whole city: La Fête Des Lumières (the party of lights).
All throughout Lyon are made light exhibits (sculptures, movies, animations, projections...) that people can admire for free while roaming the city streets. It is very, very cool, except for one thing: the crowds. Okay, maybe two things: and the weather.
But while fighting the mobs of people and freezing my butt off  I did manage to get a few pictures and vids:

Chaque année, à Lyon, où j'habite, il se déroule une fête durant trois jours dans toute la ville: La fête des lumières. Dans tout Lyon on peut admirer des expositions de lumières (sculptures, films, animations, projections...) gratuitement en se baladant avec ses amis, sa famille. C'est très cool, sauf pour une chose: les foules. D'accord, deux choses: la météo aussi.
Mais en combattant les foules et en me gelant les fesses j'ai quand même réussi à prendre quelques photos et vidéos:
This was like a magical fish tunnel. A tunnel with floaty fish in the ceiling and lights changing colors, all with the sound of the sea. Going through that tunnel was like a weird dream. It was almost surreal. Except for the thousands of other people crammed inside with us.
Ça c'est un tunnel (presque) magique. Un tunnel avec des poissons flottant au plafond, des lumières changeant de couleurs, et un bruit de fond de mer. Passer dans ce tunnel était comme un rêve bizarre, c'était presque irréel... à part pour les milliers d'autres gens
  entassés dans le tunnel avec nous.
And these were fun floaty fish outside of the tunnel.
Et ça c'est des poissons flottants illuminés à l'extérieur du tunnel.
 We headed over to where we are going to live (we are moving in only six days! Oh my god!!!) to see what was going on there. We found this:
On à marché jusqu'où on va habiter (on déménage dans six jours seulement!!! Wouah!) pour voir ce qui se passait là-bas. Voilà ce qu'on à trouvé:

It's the projection of a whale onto water!
C'est une projection de baleine sur l'eau!
Moving onto the cookies, yesterday I baked my first vegan cookies EVER! I decided that I just needed to try a vegan cookie recipe. I found a very appealing chai spice snickerdoodle recipe at post punk kitchen, and they turned out DELICIOUS. I made my family taste them before telling them they were vegan, and everybody exclaimed that they were "soooooo good" and "very very good Carmen" and "THESE ARE THE BEST COOKIES I'VE EVER TASTED" (that was my brother). Yes, indeed, they were fabulous, chewy and cinnamon-y and so perfectly sweet...
I brought them to my friends' house, and everybody there loved them too. I was scared to make vegan cookies, but these turned out great and made me want to keep exploring vegan baking! I don't think that animal products in these would have tasted better! This is the recipe if you are interested. 
Hier, j'ai fait mes premiers cookies végétaliens! J'avais décidé que je devais absolument essayer une recette végétalienne de cookies (c'est à dire sans oeufs, ni beurre, ni lait). J'ai trouvé une recette de cookies très attirante, aux épices de Chai (cannelle, cardamome), et elles étaient DÉLICIEUSES. Je les ai fait goûter à ma famille avant de  leur dire qu'elles étaient végétaliennes, et tous ont dit qu'ils étaient "troooooop bons" et "LES MEILLEURS COOKIES QUE J'AI JAMAIS EU" (mon frère). Oui, ils étaient formidables, moelleux, le dosage parfait de cannelle, et sucrés...
Je les ai amenés chez mon amie, et tous là-bas ont adoré aussi. J'avais peur d'essayer des cookies végétaliens, mais ceux-ci étaient supers, et m'ont donné envie de continuer à essayer des recettes végétaliennes! Je ne crois pas que des produit animaliers auraient eu un meilleur goût.
Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles
Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles


Watch this- another amazing 13 y/o with a project!

My last post was about an awesome 13 year old, and here I am to write about another one! This is Nina, my close friend from school. We have known each other for over a year now, and in that time I have heard her sing lots of times. And trust me, she is an amazing singer.
I am SO jealous of her voice! Just listen to this!

Mon dernier article parlait d'une fille de treize ans super cool, et aujourd'hui je vais en parler d'une autre! Je vous présente Nina, mon amie très proche. On se connaît du collège, et ça fait plus d'un an que je l'entends chanter. Et croyez moi, elle est incroyable!
Je suis tellement jalouse de sa voix! Écoutez moi ça!

I find it so cool that teens like us have so many ways to express ourselves, through singing, writing... and the web facilitates it!
Every Saturday Nina will be posting a new video, so subscribe to her YouTube channel to stay tuned! :)

Je trouve que c'est vraiment trop bien que les ados comme nous ayons tellement de façons de nous exprimer, en chantant, en écrivant... et internet facilite tout ça!
Chaque samedi Nina mettra une nouvelle vidéo sur sa chaîne YouTube, alors inscrivez-y vous pour toutes les voir! :)

Interview #1: With Eileen Li, of ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

Encore une fois, je m'excuse au lecteurs français, car l'article d'aujourd'hui n'est pas traduit de l'anglais. C'est trop de travail, vous voyez, c'est un interview, et c'est très long, à chaque fois que je traduis mes articles je prends le double du temps.
 I'm sorry I took five days to write another post everyone, shame on me! Oh well. Today I'm super-duper excited because...Guess what? I'm starting a series of interviews! Introducing Eileen, my first interviewee, a totally awesome-crazy-cool blogger! I first got interested in her because she is 13, like me! And there aren't a lot of young bloggers out there - I mean this young. She is an avid reader, another point in common between us, and she posts book reviews on her blog.
Name: Eileen Li
Age: 13
Blog: ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** (If you Google it, it comes up! I’m so excited about this because it’s not everyday one of your creations is the top forum on the Google page! Then again, you usually don’t have a totally long title that’s a pain to spell out constantly.)

Why did you start blogging?

Simply enough, because The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (my favorite series of all time) totally got me and I freaked out over them like insanely. This was also the period of time where I discovered I wanted to actually do something about my singing career (I want to be a singer when I grow up), so instead of opening a YouTube channel like the next sane guy over there, I opened up a blog. That blog later got accidentally deleted (don’t ask; this is a story for another time) and I started up a new one and I think it’s gone pretty well!

Describe yourself in three words.

Singer, insane, Asian (Because I am actually the stereotypical Asian.)

Where are you from? What language/languages do you speak?

I am from the great country of The United States! But my parents are both 100% Chinese, so technically I am an ABC—American Born Chinese. So I’m like 100% Chinese appearance-wise, but the personality is all American baby! And I speak English—who doesn’t? This language is ridiculously easy people. I also am learning to fluently speak Chinese. Dude. You can’t even fake your way through this language! If you don’t know a character, you don’t know it and can’t PRETEND to know it. Any of you know what this is: 我的名子是我不要告诉你因为我不知道你是 ? No I didn’t think so!
But, can you pretend you know what this is:
Hola me llama no está diciendo a tú porque no te conozco.
You trust your eye for the above words, and you attempt to read them. I don’t know if I got the sentence right, but I’m sure if you can read, you can get close to how you’re supposed to pronounce that. BUT, if you’re reading Chinese or some other characters, it is virtually impossible to guess what those words are unless you have training in that specific language. I also take Spanish as a language requirement in my school. However, I focus more on Chinese because contrary to what you may think, I suck at Chinese. I should probably be doing my Chinese homework now, in fact. But nope. I’m on the computer being the wonderful human being I am.

What are your hobbies?

I sing, like, ALL the time! I have a YouTube channel, and I cover songs on there ( and I’m always practicing songs for there and just jamming to random songs. My parents always tell me to shut up, but it’s a total passion and I really can’t stop doing it. Seriously. I want to be a singer when I grow up, thus the constant singing. I also love writing songs and playing the piano! I’m self-teaching myself Für Elise by Beethoven, and I have half the song down, except the thirty-second notes, which aren’t that fast, it’s just a relative sight-reading issue.

What is your worst nightmare?

My worst nightmare (life-wise) is probably not getting to do something I would’ve loved because I didn’t take the chance when it was offered to me on my silver platter. For example, if somebody gives you a chance to accomplish your life-long dream—say, singing—and you don’t take it because you’re scared, that’s your fault. I don’t want that to happen to me, no matter what happens.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would go to Los Angeles (or Nashville) or England! So many record labels are based in Los Angeles and Nashville, and it would be a dream to go there and see if I could get someone to sign me to their label. England because I have so many friends there and I just love British accents, they amuse me way more than they should!

If you could wave a magic wand and grant one wish to make the world a better place, what would it be?

I would want everyone to get a fair chance at life. I don’t think that just because some people’s parents are poor that they shouldn’t not be able to do things that they could do if they had more money, like go to dance camp, or something. And, if everyone started off with a fair chance at life, you could make your own choices on what you want to do without many restrictions. Well, obviously you can’t do something if you don’t have the ability or talent, but I would just love if everybody could pursue one thing and have it based solely on their talent and their capability, not the amount of money they have or who their parents are.

If you were to transform into an animal right this second, what would it be, and why?

I’d turn into a bunny! Does anybody know the Chinese zodiac? If you don’t, simply put, the Chinese zodiac is basically giving you an animal sign for the year that you were born. It repeats every twelve years I think, and I was born in the Year of the Rabbit. I always loved bunnies as well, so there you go. Although I hate carrots. Don’t know how that would work...

Who is the biggest inspiration to you?

I think it’s definitely Taylor Swift! Her music and her personality just inspire me all the time and I really want to be at least half as successful and talented as she is when I grow older and hopefully become a singer! That would be my number-one dream, no doubt, to be able to inspire someone the way that she inspires me one day.

Who is your favorite author?

Can you give me a Julie Kagawa?!?! I love that woman to pieces! Seriously, I have screenshots of almost everything she ever said to me, no. Joke. Her Iron Fey series got me to start blogging and start the chain of events to me creating my YouTube channel and if I ever become a successful singer, I’m dedicating her (and Taylor Swift of course!). They both did so much to help me discover who I am.

What's on your bedside table?

Okay, the full rundown of my bedside table:
My bedside table is more of a cubby, and I have clothes and old Chinese DVDs piled up on the two open cubbies. The counter space on top has my reading lamp, a book, two pads of sticky notes to tape onto my wall, a few pens, lip balm, receipts, bookmarks, my iPod charger, deodorant, and hair ties. No books, guys! I’m OCD about putting books back onto the shelf as soon as I’ve read them, so they’re nowhere near my bedside table, except for that one book. It’s a library book I never brought downstairs.

What is on your Christmas list?

I don’t usually ask for a lot, but this year I want a few fairly expensive things (and some things that are just pure wishes to the world)
1. A guitar
2. A professional recording microphone
3. Taylor Swift concert tickets
4. For everyone to be okay after Hurricane Sandy, even though it already happened. I was in the storm, I lost power for 10 days, and it was brutal. But I cannot imagine what it must be like for the people who lost every piece of their house, all their furniture, every memory they ever had in that house, and even the people who lost their friends and family members. Personally, I just want everybody to end up okay. Even if that may be wishful thinking, I think that we all just need to stop for a second and say, “I really hope you’re doing okay today” to someone who was directly in Hurricane Sandy. Totally sappy, but I have a temporary classmate whose house was destroyed, and I feel so, so bad for him.

What song is stuck in your head at this moment?

JUST ONE?!?! That is brutal, my friend. I’m covering The A-Team by Ed Sheeran very soon so I guess that would be the one since I’m trying to learn all the lyrics. But other than that, pretty much every song I’ve ever recently heard and liked is running through my head on repeat.

Thank you Eileen, to have taken the time to answer these questions! You're fabulosa (hey, how do you say that in chinese?) ;)