31 December 2016

Buh Bye, 2016!

31 December 2016

Buh Bye, 2016!

Is anyone else in disbelief that today is the last day of 2016? I know I am...

Looking back at the fast-paced year, 2016 was really good to me. I usually hate saying goodbye to the years, and with the end of 2016, it is no different. 2017 can go two ways -- it can be just as great as 2016, or slightly worse. I'm hoping 2016 will be just as great, if not better than 2016. 

2016 has taught me to be optimistic, and see the beauty in all things. Oh, and looking back at the year on my Instagram, I've learnt to take great "insta-worthy" photos with just my phone. It took a year's practice, but I think I finally got the hang of it. Yay!

The first half of the year was devoted to school. And, I finally had a great academic school year with the privilege of graduating (on time) at the top school in Canada! That's an accomplishment in itself, and for that, and I forever grateful to my parents for financially helping me with university. I am also extremely proud of myself for this accomplishment.

The second half of the year was devoted to work. Although I had a part-time job, I was basically (almost) working full-time hours. I learnt to work with different people in different environments and in different situations. I learnt to appreciate money, and I learnt to save my money. The second half most definitely helped me learn the value of money.

In 2016, I also read 20 books!! This might not seem much for some people, but for me, it is! During my time in school, I didn't find the time to read books when it comes to reading textbooks and studying for exams. So finally reaching 20 books made me really miss the love I had as a child when sitting back and imaging myself in a new world. 

I have a positive outlook for 2017. I no doubt want the best for myself for the upcoming year, and I have a lot of changes coming my way. Believe it or not, I have already prepared a few blog posts for January (yay me!), and I have a completely new look I will soon reveal, and I will be starting a new academic and career path. 

So, with that said, I want to say thank you 2016, you've been really good to me. I will forever remember this year.

Cheers, 2016! 

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28 December 2016

My First Purchase With Colourpop (Ultra Matte and Ultra Satin Matte)

28 December 2016

My First Purchase With Colourpop (Ultra Matte and Ultra Satin Matte)

Hey guys! I never got a chance to tell you that I finally decided to get my hands on some Colourpop products! In all honesty though, I've heard MANY comparisons of formula and colours between both Colourpop and Kylie Cosmetics -- the entire thing just made me really want to try it out for myself. 

As you know from previous posts, I have a few colours from Kylie Cosmetics. I fell in love with the  shade Posie K, and worn it everyday since receiving it. So, as you can imagine, my favourite colour eventually became an empty tube, and I just was not willing to drop a lot of money to buy her products online PLUS shipping...

So, I decided to try an alternative. 

COLOURPOP! My main motivation was free international shipping. But, still, I really did hear good things about them!

In my search for the perfect shade, I ordered 4 shades of varying pinks -- Bumble, Dopey, Calypso, and November.

The box packing was cute, and simple. I love it when companies keep it simple and straight to the point. It is easy to determine the the company of the cosmetics brand, and  the colour of the shade.

November // Calyspo // Dopey // Bumble
The actually packing of the ultra mattes and satin matte were really cute. They came in a clear plastic tubes with silver lids and a silver logo labelling their company name "Colourpop" and whether if the tube is ultra matte or satin matte.

November // Calyspo // Dopey // Bumble
It should be noted, however, that although the packaging is cute, the holographic silver logo doesn't last long. In fact, while keeping Bumble in my pocket at work, I noticed fading within a week.

You can actually see this perfectly in the photo above.  Bumble (the one furtherest to the right) is already fading, and is obvious compared to the other packaging.

Bumble // Dopey // Calyspo // November 

When swatching these shades, I actually took a little too much, and therefore did not try as quickly as I wanted. However, these did dry as matte within a couple of minutes, with is actually great. They apply smoothly, and were beautifully pigmented. 

Swatching these shades, however, did reveal Bumble as a peach pink, Dopey as a pink and purple mixed shade, Calypso as the perfect shade of peach, and November as a light pink (a little too light for my skin complexion). 

Like I mentioned, the shades applied on beautifully. I did notice that the colours were a tad different when compared to the swatches on my wrist. And, the shades did photograph differently than they look in person. For instance, November is actually MUCH lighter to me in person than it is found in the photo above.

I do have to mention, that I am impressed with the product itself. Other matte lipsticks that I've worn tend to fade in colour when I drink water, or talk after a couple of hours, especially in the middle areas of my lips. With Colourpop, I find that the pigmentation lasts hours, even when I drink water. In an 8-hour shift at work, I find myself only reapplying once, and that's after eating lunch.

Nevertheless, although my search for the perfect shade of pink was not a success, I was able to find some other shades that I will be wearing on the daily. It's a good change, especially since I was constantly wearing pink. So, it's a good different.

Will I purchase from them? OF COURSE! Not only are their products relatively cheaper, their quality of liquid matte lipsticks is impressive. I already have a tab opened in search for some new colours to add to my collection.

Have you purchased from Colourpop? What are your experiences? 
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14 December 2016

Purchasing a Refurbished MacBook Air

14 December 2016

Purchasing a Refurbished MacBook Air

A couple weeks ago, you may have read a post I wrote talking about accidentally ruining my MacBook Pro. I really don't want to get into the details of my clumsy-ness again, but I will say, I was debating between 3 options: buying a completely new laptop, a used one off someone, or purchasing a refurbished. And, as you can tell by the title of this post, I chose the refurbished route, and got myself a MacBook Air!

I'll be honest, I didn't even know Apple had a refurbished products available for purchase. I mean, I was never the type of shopper to check out deals online growing up. I followed suit with my parents, and just found and compared sales through flyers that came to the house weekly. It was really only until the end of my high school and beginning of university I found myself doing more and more online research and comparisons. And, even then, I still didn't know about refurbished products until after both my sister and I got MacBook Pro's... 

But, since this time around purchasing a new laptop would be coming from my pockets (and not my parent's wallet), I really wanted to sure I got the best possible deal without emptying the bank.

Navigating through the Apple's website was easy enough. Although they didn't have a specific tab linking to the refurbished section, searching "refurbished" was simple enough to get you to that page. And, from there, Apple had a wide selection of items that were available for at least 15% off regular price. 

During the time of my search, Black Friday and Cyber Monday was quickly approaching. So, my research consisted of comparing models of MacBook pros, and learning about the minor details of GB and onboard memory (and more tech mumbo-jumbo) before really committing to purchasing a laptop. Also, everyone told me to wait a bit to see the kind of sales Black Friday weekend would have, just in case. Made sense to me. 

However, as Black Friday/Cyber Monday arrived, I realized they sales were pretty much only consisted of 10% off regular price.... So, I made a decision to go ahead with purchasing a refurbished. Only... by the time I went back to Apple's site, all the Pro's were gone. And, I was left with the 12" MacBooks, and the Airs...

Back to research...

I ended up doing comparison research weighing the pros and cons of all 3 models of MacBooks. After the end of my research, I decided to go with Air. I mean, the main purpose of purchasing a new laptop for school was for school. So, I was really keen on battery life and memory space for documents. Plus, I already had a Pro... If I got another one, it won't feel as new... does that make sense? Plus, the 12" macbook's just didn't make sense to me... only 1 USB port? Really? 

I ended up selecting the Air from March 2015 with 8GB and I forget the other tech details, but pretty much the same details as a new laptop.

The best part was saving 15% off the price of a new laptop, plus free pickup. I mean, they did have the option for free shipping, but my house, and the other house with the same street name but different ending (i.e., I live on Crescent, and they live on Avenue) have been getting our mail mixed. Didn't want the risk of having my package sent to them. 

Oooo, better yet, although they estimated a shipping date/pickup date that was nearly 2 weeks from the day I purchased the Air online, my item was available for pick up within days. So, it was a nice surprise!

I never bought an Apple product from the Apple Store before. In the past, we would buy our products at a local Best Buy because of "deals" plus it was just closer to home. So, I was surprised when an apple employee put my boxed MacBook Air into the cutest string bag with an Apple logo. Never had anything like that before.

Also, from my online research of Apple refurb products, one con many people mentioned was the packaging. They didn't get that thrill of unboxing their apple products. But, to my surprise, mine came with a box and everything that clearly stated MacBook Air with the addition of "Apple Certified Refurbished" right at the bottom.  And unboxing felt just as good when I first unboxed my pro years ago!

When you open the box, you are first shown the laptop itself. Underneath, you have a booklet with information about the product, a plug adapter and charger. And, with that said, everything was in order and nothing was missing. 

I experienced no problems with the start up. It was quick an simple. And, transferring some information and documents from my Pro to the Air was just as simple. I thought a lot of work for be needed, but the company really thought of everything. 

I immediately saw the difference in weight between both the Pro and the Air. The Air is noticeably lighter and thinner. The frame on the Air around the screen was silver as opposed to black found on the Pro. The battery life on my Air is notably long lasting (up to 12 hours) than my Pro... but, then again, I've had my Pro for a while. I also find the Air MUCH faster, which I'm really happy about. Other than that, everything else was the same. 

The keyboard is exactly the same, which I love! I'm not a fan of the new keyboard look you find on the 12" MacBook. So, it was nice to be able to use some of the keyboard covers I previously bought and used for my Pro on the Air.

Overall, it has been week since setting up and using my Air! And, I am absolutely in love with it. I even purchased a hot-pink laptop cover with matching keyboard cover just to give some life. Like I said, I haven't experienced any problems with it, which I'm really happy about. But, even if I do, I am not worried whatsoever because I got Apple warranty for free for a year! 
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12 December 2016

101 Things in 1001 Days

12 December 2016

101 Things in 1001 Days

I first saw this challenge by Mackenzie long before I started my blogging journey. So, this has definitely been a long time coming. And, right now, it feels like the perfect time to start this. 

My life is quickly changing around me, and I feel as if I am not catching up fast enough. I recently turned 22 years old last month, and next month I will be starting my first day of nursing school. A lot of changes are happening, and I couldn't be anymore excited. So, I thought in order to keep my motivation and goals in check, I am finally taking part in this challenge. 

Some things are stuff I've always wanted to achieve, and other are everyday things I really want to accomplish. 

101 Things in 1001 Days
Start Date: November 19, 2016
End Date: August 17, 2019 

Completed 9/101 as of Dec. 12, 2016

- In progress
- Completed in 2016 

1. Finish this list before November 19 (11.16)
2. Publish this post before 2017 (12.16)

3. Get my RPN licence 
4. Make it on honour roll 
5. (re)Learn CPR
6. Order a personal copy of my university transcript
7. Purchase textbooks before start of classes (12.16)
8. Get a new laptop before classes start (12.16)

Family/ Friends/ Social 
9. Send a package of things to my cousins in the Philippines
10. Have a spa day with mom
11. Re-connect with an old friend
12. Go to a work party/dinner/something they host (11.16)
13. Plan and host a surprise party 

Health/ Fitness/ Wellness
14. Wake up everyday for 6:30am for 1 weeks (and not go back to sleep)
15. Not press the snooze button for 1 week
16. Drink green tea before bed for one month
17. Sleep before 12:00am for 1 week
18. NO coffee for one month 
19. NO pop/soda for a month (including mixing in drinks...)
20. NO alcohol for a month
21. Be the D.D. for the night
22. Do Yoga for 30 days  with Adriene
23. Be able to do 50 pushups without breaks
24. Drink 8-ounces of water a day for a week
25. Complete the 30-day squat challenge
26. Run in a marathon

27. Get lash extensions
28. Wear earrings (in each pierced hold) for a whole week
29. Wear red lipstick for 1 week
30. Try getting my eyebrows threaded 
31. Remember to take my vitamins for a week
32. Leave the house without makeup on for one month (11.16 - 12.16)

33. Blog everyday for a month
34. (re)Create my "All About Me" page 
35. Record a vlog 
36. Finish writing all saved drafts and PUBLISH them 
37. Blog about completing 10 items on this list [2/10 - #46 Christmas on Ice, #86 I Got Braces...]

38. Get credit card #1 to zero
39. Get credit card #2 to zero
40. Put at least 20% of each pay check into savings for a month 
41. Pay school tuition before first day of classes (12.16)
42. Bring lunch to work for a whole month (no buying, including coffee)
43. Put $5 in both savings accounts for each completed goal

Something New/ For Fun
44. Go to a karaoke event/bar
45. Go apple picking
46. Attend an ice show (11.16)
47. Go to a drive-in theatre 
48. Go to an NBA game
49. Go go-karting
50. Get a puppy
51. Make a cheesecake
52. Drink wine in a bathtub
53. Try 5 new coffee shops that are not mainstream [1/5 - Supercoffee  (11.16)]
54. Go on a party bus
55. Try 5 new restaurants I've never ate at [1/5 - Moxie's  (11.16)]
56. Go on a spontaneous road trip
57. Go to a gun range
58. Go to a wine tasting
59. Go to a bubble soccer event
60. Learn to tie a tie

61. Unsubscribe from all unwanted email lists
62. Unsubscribe from FB likes
63. Read 20 books I've never read
64. Read a book for 30 minutes before bed for 1 week
65. Re-organize my iTunes playlist
66. Reorganize my desk
67. Learn to play poker
68. Learn to crochet
69. Start practicing the piano ago
70. (re)Learn to play a piece on the piano
71. (re)Watch all of Grey's Anatomy
72. (re)Watch all of Gossip Girl (because it is Gossip Girl...)
73. Watch every season (on Netflix) of 3 shows I've never watched [1/3 - The Crown (11.16)]
74. Watch 26 movies I've never watched before (alphabet style) [6/26]
  • A - A Most Wanted Man (2014) (12.16)
  • B - Basic Instinct (1992)  (11.16)
  • C - 
  • D -
  • E - Eagle Eye (2008) (12.16)
  • F - Fundamentals of Caring (2016)  (11.16)
  • G -
  • H -
  • I -
  • J -
  • K -
  • L -
  • M - Mr. Right (2015) (11.16)
  • N -
  • O -
  • P -
  • Q -
  • R -
  • S -
  • T - Triple 9 (2015) (11.16)
  • U -
  • V -
  • W -
  • X -
  • Y -
  • Z -
75. Buy a vegan purse/wallet (and use it)
76. Buy an everyday watch
77. Buy a backpack
78. Buy new everyday shoes
79. Invest in a weekender

80. Learn to drive manual
81. Get new glasses
82. Use coconut oil in my hair at least once a week for a month
83. Create a list of things that made me smile for that day (for 1 month)
85. Embrace my braces
86. Cut my hair "short"
87. Be his New Year's kiss
88. Become a morning person
89. Find the beauty in winter
90. Go to church every Sunday for 1 month 
91. No cursing for a day
92. No cursing for a week
93. Eat at least half a pickle without gagging
94. Give up something for Lent
95. Write in my journal for 5 minutes everyday for a month 
96. Stop biting my nails for 21 days
97. Say "Yes" to something I normally wouldn't

For Others
98. Buy a stranger a coffee/tea
99. Go through my cloths, and donate the one's I don't need/wear
100. Donate to charity or non-profit organization every month [2/33 - Heart and Stroke Foundation (11.16), Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (12.16)]

101. Inspire someone to create their own goals (any takers?)

P.S. I clearly accomplish a few of my goals from the time of starting this challenge to actually posting it. But, I will be providing updates here and there. So stay in tune for that!

Are you currently completing this challenge? Do we share some of the same goals?

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07 December 2016

I Got Braces...

07 December 2016

I Got Braces...

Do I really need an introduction here? I mean, the title of the post really says it all... But, maybe I should back track a little and tell you guys how I came to the decision to finally getting braces.

Oh, in case you were wondering, as of tomorrow, it has been a week since I got these full-set of bad-boys on. And, I still haven't embraced my new look....

I mean, I really could have used the snapchat dog filter here to make myself look a little cuter... But, I need to learn to love myself with braces. Without a filter. Can't hide behind those in real life.

Why did you get braces?
Let me answer the number 1 question I've been asked... "Why?" Well, simply put, I have a terrible overbite. But, it's actually not that simple. Although some overbites are quite normal, I have what dentists call an "overjet". It's a bit worse than an overbite... To the point where my overjet can actually continue to grow outwards in years to come, and who knows how far it will go...

It's funny, I didn't ask to see the orthodontist because of my overbite. I mean, I went to talk about options for getting my top teeth straighten. They weren't badly crocked or anything, I just felt that my front teeth were starting to look a bit over crowded. But, it was a good thing I made a visit. Not only was I made aware about my overjet, they also explained to me that my overjet is the reason why I've been noticing my top set of teeth getting worse every year.

So, instead of having the options I originally googled, like getting Invisalign, I was left with a completely different and unexpected option... 

Why not clear braces or Invisalign?
This is actually another question I've been asked a lot. As much as I wanted a less obvious option, it was just not the practical option. Receiving Invisalign would have been great option IF I didn't need to shift the top set of teeth back in order to reverse the overjet.

And, clear braces? With this option, the clear brackets stain easily. And, who am I kidding...  I love my coffee, and all the different spices in my food... I know for a fact there would be no way I could even last a day without eating anything that's stains...

But, in all honesty, the real reason I got the full on metal braces is to reduce my overjet as best as the dentists see fit. And, they suggested elastics. So, I will do what I'm told to get the smile I want.

But I guess beauty is pain.

You good though?
I'm doing a bit better. There was absolutely no pain when it came down to having the braces individually placed on my teeth. I only really started to feel them when the wire was placed in. I don't know if it was possible, but I felt discomfort from shifting (I'm assuming) right away. More so on the top set of my teeth than bottom. Which makes sense...

I really miss eating hard meats, and chewing gum. I think my brain and stomach is doing this to me on purpose because the moment I left the dental office was when I started craving a burger, or basically anything meat, and all things I couldn't eat at that very moment. It was hard. It still is actually.

They placed these blue bumps on my bottom molars to keep my jaw open in order to avoid me from biting off my braces. THESE BLUE GUYS ARE THE REASON WHY I CAN'T CHEW. And, it sucks. I really cannot wait until they take them off and I could start eating normally again... As for now, I've been eating a lot of soups and soft foods... at least I'm able to eat.

Overall, I won't lie I'm still feeling a bit self-conscious when it comes to my looks. As weird as it sounds, I don't know how to act normal with braces on. I mean, whenever I talk to anyone I feel  as if they are constantly staring at my teeth, and I have this automatic urge to use my hands to cover my mouth.

But, it's not that bad. My fellow braces survivors have come to my rescue. They've not only been so positive and encouraging with me to just talk normally, they've given me a lot of tips based on their years of experience with braces. It's kind of funny actually. It's like people with (or had) braces have their own little community where they embrace each other with confidence and acceptance. It's quite nice.

My next appointment is in 10 9 weeks... Yes, I am counting down the days. So, until then, I'm trying to figure out how to smile with the braces, and what angles look best.

But, this is mainly it for now. Although, I am thinking of making my braces journey a series... we'll see how it goes.

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05 December 2016

December Goals

05 December 2016

December Goals

Seriously, how is it December already??? I swear, it was like November didn't even happen... But, after revisiting a few of my goals from last month, I clearly killed it! Take a look for yourself. 

November Goals Revisited:
  1. READ 3 BOOKS. Oh, yes I did. I read Girl Up by Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates, and One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern. 
  2. Beginners Yoga. I mean, I did a few yoga videos from youtube every chance I had... So, I was kinda successful...
  3. Re-watch Gilmore Girls. OH YEA. I re-watched every episode, and with perfect timing. I was able to finish the previous seasons before starting the new Girlmore Girls: A Year in the Life episodes.
  4. Plan something low-key. This goal was related to planning something small, yet fun for my 22nd birthday. And, I did just that.
  5. Save. Oh yeahhhhh. I did this to! Not only did I save up for my tuition, I also saved enough for a new laptop! I put the order in, and it should be available for pickup at the Apple store very soon ;) And, if you were wondering, I did decide to go with a refurbished macbook air!
  6. Start Christmas Shopping. Believe it or not, the only people I have left to buy gifts for are for my parents. And, that's only because my sister and I are putting money together to buy them a gift each this year.... but, it's so hard figuring out what they want or need.... 
This Month's Goals:

1. Work as many hours as I can. I mean, I really have no other choice. I start school next month, and that means working less... which, unfortunately means less money coming in. So, I think it is just smarter for me to get the hours I can now, especially since December is one of the busiest months of the year, and save a lot of my paycheck for the next couple of months. Just so I have my phone bill and other bills covered without the stress.

2. Start preparing for school. There's a lot I have to do:
- Pay the rest of my tuition before first day of classes (so interest isn't added)
- Create my schedule for semester 1 (and figure out new availability for work)
- Buy my textbooks 
- Buy a backpack (I did the whole use a purse for uni, and I think I'm going to stick to a backpack this time around)

3. Enjoy the last month of 2016. It's the most wonderful time of the year. As much as stressful as this month can be, I really do want to enjoy the month as much as I can. I even want to take more pictures this month, just of everything and anything I'm enjoying.

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