150214 § 1 Comment
So I ended up ordering a number of things from honestskin back in January and it actually took quite a while for the package to get here. I ordered on the night of January 9th and the package was mailed out on the 15th. When I was finally able to track the package as arrived in Canada, it was February 6th, and it came while I was at work on the 10th. Obviously there’s no way I could pick it up at the post office on a regular work day so I finally got it today. This is the longest I’ve ever had to wait for a package to get here overseas by air mail, and I’m not really sure why it took so long this time. I’ve ordered stuff from Korea before and it never took so long. This took as long as my Asos order for my Olivia Burton watch, which came from the UK.
Aside from the shipping, I had ordered 8 items but one was cancelled because it was out of stock. That was Missha’s green tea makeup remover (buy one get one free) and an email was sent to me stating it was out, and a separate email listing the other 7 items that had been shipped. A refund was processed back to me through paypal, which is fine. It didn’t bother me too much because I wanted everything else, but I think it could be annoying for some people. The packaging itself was fine, with plenty of bubble wrap.
Hera UV Mist Cushion in N23, Tony Moly Crystal Blusher in no.7 Bronzing Brown, Innisfree Gel Liner in no.10 Chic Black, Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder, Innisfree Creammellow Lipstick in no.3 Cream Coral, Belif Mild and Effective Facial Scrub, and The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Sheet in Rice (x5)
I had actually been dawdling on this website checking stuff out for a while but didn’t make a purchase until the Hera UV Mist Cushion went on sale as an early bird special for only $21 USD (includes a refill). Which is crazy cheap, seriously, because regular price is around $55 USD. My favourite foundation/bb cream has been the IOPE air cushion since I first tried it 2 years ago and I had been planning on buying a refill on Honestskin. But then I saw this sale. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this Hera cushion so I nabbed it and made my purchase, along with all the other items. IOPE’s cushion is around $35, to give a comparison to Hera. Both Hera and IOPE are under Amorepacific, but Hera is on the higher end while IOPE is more on the upper middle range. I can’t wait to try the Hera one out!
This is the Innisfree Creammellow lipstick, which is ultra hydrating and so so pretty. There’s a whole range of colours with numbers 3 Cream Coral, 8 Glossy Red, and 9 Blueberry Burgundy being the most popular, I Decided to go for cream coral because with this kind of lipstick, I’m half treating it as a balm where I can apply without a mirror and soft colours are best for that. The lighting in the photo makes it look darker than it is but it’s a very pretty colour in real life.
Also picked up the Innisfree gel liner in black. I swatched it and immediately tried to rub it off. I’m impressed! It didn’t budge at all! There’s a little sharpener at the end to prevent a dull pencil as well.
Last item I wanted to mention is the Belif Mild & Effective Facial Scrub. I’ve heard a bit about this brand before across the web, which focuses on natural ingredients and reminds me more of a western brand than a Korean brand. Its packaging is simplistic and emphasizes on being natural, derma-tested and origins from British formulas for herbal cosmetics since 1860. I really needed a new exfoliator/scrub, because I finished my Vichy one before Christmas and I’m practically empty on my peeling gel from Cosline.
I opened the packaging and took a sniff – it really does smell herbal and natural. The consistency is like a peeling gel. It’s a bit runny, but when you start scrubbing, you feel tiny beads of something moving beneath your fingers. But you don’t have any beads left when you’re done. Take a look at my hand below, which includes swatches of the gel liner, the lipstick, and Tony Moly bronzer. Then after using the scrub. I’m pretty happy with the result of that so far, and hopefully it does good things to my face!
So if you saw in the first photo, there was a stack of samples. I got 11 samples, with a good range from cleansing foam, to masks, to serums.
Overall I’m pretty happy with my order. I’m not really happy with how long the shipping took though. Their old system was to pay shipping based on how many items ordered, so I paid $12 USD. But it looks like now they’ve changed it to free shipping. Though…it looks like because of that, the prices of all their products went up. I think not having the free shipping made it a better deal. I spent around $93 CAD (and that’s even with the shitty USD-CAD translation rate, it was around 0.85 CAD=1 USD when I ordered?) I would’ve liked to discuss the price for everything I bought, but Honestskin is weird in that they only give the combined discount amount for everything when you checkout at the end, and the items’ individual prices in the order emails are at their full price. I faintly remember their prices but not exact prices. The masks were on sale for ~$2 for 5 masks, the Belif scrub was ~$17, Creammellow lipstick ~$12, Liner ~$5, Mineral powder ~$6, and bronzer ~$8. I think?
I’m not sure if I would order from Honestskin again though because of the revamp of their prices and shipping. Their prices pushed up now are about the equivalent (and some pricier) of some ebay sellers I’d brought from before and their free shipping was much quicker. Well, we’ll see!
150214 § Leave a comment
It’s already mid-February – can you even believe it? Where has the past 1.5 months gone? Time is just flying by~ and it’s Valentine’s Day today. Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Even if you’re single right now (as I am), it doesn’t matter. I’m content and happy with myself. I watched a Tyler Oakley video last night and he’s right! If you think you’re alone and by yourself, just look at the mirror. You’ve got you. You’re a whole human being and don’t need anyone to complete you. And if you’ve got someone, that’s great! They should complement you and not what makes you whole, because you’re worth more than that.
But yes. Going back on track. I think it doesn’t help that it’s busy season. For the past month or so, I’ve been working between 11-14 hours Monday to Friday (thanks, audit of tax provisions!) and bringing my laptop home to do a couple of hours on Sunday. But it’s a long weekend this week, so it gives a bit of a break. I barely have a social life nowadays haha I get home and basically shower and go to bed. I’ve been so unhealthy as of late because I grab food to go and eat at the office for dinner. I don’t have time to cook lunch either, so my lunch has also been consisting of food court fast food. I had pizza 3 times this week! There was a Canadian Tax Foundation webcast/symposium on BEPS (an international tax issue) and they served pizza there. My lunch the next day was leftover pizza from that. Then lunch the following day was MORE pizza ordered for a lunch & learn. *super healthy!* So on the weekend I try to be healthier and buy groceries to cook some nicer meals. I didn’t even buy groceries last weekend because I had food sitting in my fridge from the prior week. Anyway, I’m going to make pot au feu tonight. Yay for hearty comfort food!
Though, for 2 of the weeks, I brought curry and rice for lunch everyday. I basically made a pot of curry for the entire week on Sunday night so I didn’t have to cook. It’s super easy and I love Japanese style curry.
I also randomly discovered that London Drugs sells Hi-Chew candy and they were on sale! Needless to stay I grabbed all 3 flavours they had there to add to the cranberry one I had sitting at home from HK.
Anyway besides that, I didn’t do that much. I went out to eat maybe once or twice with a friend, and went to see a hockey game. The major league hockey team for the juniors here (WHL aka Western Hockey League) is the Calgary Hitmen. My friend won free tickets so went around 2 weeks back,a game against the Swift Current Broncos who were tragically trampled 7-0 LOL. During 1st intermission there was a 10 minute mini game with the Tim Hortons peewee hockey team the Timbits and it was adorable to watch. They were so lost and falling all over the place.
I actually went to another Hitmen game yesterday night because my friend got tickets again. Her company sponsored yesterday’s game for Chinese New Year purposes and coincidentally, the industry group in Tax at my firm was going to see the game as well. I didn’t even remember until one of my coworkers asked if I was going on Thursday. They weren’t seated too far from where I was either. The Hitmen lost this time to Saskatoon Blades (4-2). It was a good game to watch! Much more interesting than when one team is losing tragically. Though, it was pretty tragic how the Hitmen had so many close shots.
So ya, Chinese New Year is coming this Thursday, so they had some performances on the ice during intermission and fireworks after the game. It basically makes no difference to me because I don’t have family here anyway. I know next week will be hectic. In fact, I know we’re getting the consolidated working papers for one of my audits on Wednesday and sign off is on Friday, so I expect to be working late Wednesday and Friday. I’ll just need to send whatsapp messages to all my relatives in HK and call my parents. I won’t get any red envelopes meh meh hahhaa. My sister is in HK though for the semester, so she’s going to have a blast. Chinese New Year would be my favourite holiday if I lived there. You get a week off school and eat eat eat. You see relatives and family, it’s super festive, there’s so much good food, and many many red envelopes! I remember my cousin got 70 red envelopes…just from work! It’s the year of the sheep this year, which is my zodiac. It’s supposed to be super unlucky for me this year. It’s always unlucky for whichever zodiac every year. I did notice it in particular with my friends who are horses for the last year. Break ups, accidental pregnancies (um…), losing wallets and phones, deaths in the family…though I had a death in the family as well and I was not a horse. I don’t think I’ll be so superstitious about it and just take whatever comes head on. Life goes on regardless.
As for any upcoming plans…well, the (belated) new hire party for Tax is next Friday night. Though I guess since they hired a bunch of new people as well as coops, that’s partially the reason why it’s only now? I’m also seeing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast play next week. That’s as far as my plans go, besides surviving busy season. I’ve tried to talk to one of my friends about vacation this year because he was the one always so keen on a group trip, but I’m pretty limited to going either in July or September due to my CPA modules and busy season. He’s supposed to be plan and rile up the group, but the boy has not been doing anything, so I suspect I’m going to end up not going with him and whomever. I’ll just go with another friend to Europe (preliminary thoughts are Denmark or Iceland or Greece or Germany?) I need something to look forward to! Something at the horizon! I don’t think I’m going to fly back to Montreal any time soon. Maybe next Christmas? I’ll definitely have to keep watch on flights ahead of time though, because it gets ridiculously expensive.
On that note, I’m going to end this post. I’m going to write up another post about a Korean cosmetics haul I made. I think after that it’ll be another while before I post again. So once again, Happy Valentine’s Day! And for anyone that celebrates Chinese New Year:
141229 § Leave a comment
Long time no see! I’m still alive and kicking (and had been fairly busy until recently).
Most of my time during the past months had been occupied by work and mod 1 of CPA PEP. I’m happy to say that I passed the mod 1 exam! I was so nervous at work that day because results came out at 2PM. I actually had a meeting at 2PM and one of my coworkers knew I was waiting for my results. So he said to check them first before coming. And yay I passed! I had taken a full week off to study (the firm gave 2 days, so I took the remaining 3 with vacation and a floater day), just as a precaution since I didn’t know what to expect. I totally didn’t need it…I feel like what I studied didn’t contribute much to the actual exam. Anyway, that’s done and all, so one down, 3 more modules to go.
I’m on Christmas holiday right now because the firm is closed from December 24th to January 4th. I took my volunteering day on a Sunday mid December so I had a day in lieu, and just used it for December 23rd. I didn’t fly home…because it’s expensive…(why is Canada so expensive to travel within??? ugh) I tried to persuade my parents to come but the flights were jampacked. Oh well. My sister flew back to HK on boxing day, following my footsteps of an exchange semester at CUHK, so she has been enjoying herself besides the jetlag.
Meanwhile I haven’t done much. It has been nice to relax and do nothing though. Actually, ever since mod 1 ended it has been much nicer. We had a simulation case and a practice case to submit each week, and I did optional revisions for my cases too so that took up at least 15 hours on top of work. I usually spent my entire Sunday working on cases, along with evenings after work. So it sort of sucked. It’s busy season coming up so we didn’t/banned from registering from mod 2. One of my coworkers had to go through SIX approvers to register during busy season. She doesn’t have a choice though since she’s getting married in June and thus will be on her honeymoon. She can’t take a mod then. I dread going back to work so much because I already know I have to work 3 weekends in January and likely at least another in February. Those audit of tax provisions are the worst…and I’m on some big clients with super tight turnaround times. Aka we get the information on a Friday evening and need everything done within 7 days. And with this stuff, after me, it has to be reviewed by a senior, a manager, a senior manager, and signed off by the partner…it’s going to be a tough first busy season as well, because 4 seniors/associates are going on secondment to NYC (GAH so jealous!) and 4 tax people left the firm in November. Two of them being “new hires” who went to KPMG. It’s kind of discouraging to be honest…
Enough about work! Don’t want to think about work now…
Now I’m just going to ramble about things that happened during the past few months as a record I can look back on. I have way more photos than this but they’re on my phone…and iCloud is just not working for me ugh.
Switch to iPhone 5S: As I mentioned previously, my beloved Samsung Note 3 died and yes, it took me this long to decide to just get an iPhone with my firm’s plan for $80. After two months of use, my verdict? I foresee myself going back to an android LOL. It took me a little while to get used to the iPhone (like the task manager is double click instead of hold like my Note 3, no back button, etc) but what still bugs me is the tiny screen. God it’s too small. Ya I know the iPhone 6 and 6 plus is bigger, but lol still doesn’t beat the Note 3. There’s a lot of restrictions with Apple products as well (wtf no sd card!!! and haaaave to use itunes to import/export). Yaaaaa I’m not a big fan but anything is better than the backup phone I was using.
New jacket from Forever 21: I thought I’d mention this because I tried the jacket at the store in Chinook and then regretted not buying it after. It’s a navy parka with fluffy lining and a white fake fur hood (fur is detachable). Then I stalked the website for my size for a week until it miraculously appeared with a sale going on. That’s all. LOL.
Module 1 CPA PEP exam: As I mentioned, I had my exam and took a week off work to study. Totally didn’t need to but I would’ve beaten myself up over it if I ended up needing it. Better safe than sorry! I’ll probably just take on additional day on top of the 2 days the firm gives from now on. Anyway, the multiple choice were quiet tough and I although I felt unsure for the case when I wrote it, turns out it was ok. I did better on the case than the multiple choice. There was also an issue with PwC laptops because of the USB encryption policy on our firm laptops. I was like “nope fuck this” and switched to my backup personal laptop instead. I’m so glad I listened to my ex-coworkers (lol the two who left the firm) to bring a backup. Enough of those horror stories about the securexam program failing and laptops dying! My facilitator had been really great though; I’m super thankful for that. She was so helpful in all her revisions of my cases, and I hope my next facilitator is just as good.
Lights’ concert: Lights came to Calgary the day before my birthday and ugh I just had to go! She was amazing and perfect and just wonderful! My friend had to leave around 9 because she had an exam the next day but it was no big deal. Once the show starts nobody even cares that you’re alone. I had such an awesome time and the concert ended around 10:30. I accidentally missed my bus and the next one didn’t come until 30 minutes later, but thank god the venue is literally a max 10 minute walk from my place. I can’t post videos here so instagram it is HERE and HERE.
23rd birthday: So yes, I turned 23 and grabbed dinner with my friend after work. I got a book from her, and also my sister sent me some adorable rilakkuma stuff. Another one of my friends mailed me a book from Montreal <3 so much love. The thing about moving away is really discovering who your friends are. There are people that you will bother to make an effort for (and vice versa) and others that don’t. And that’s how you know.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Um so ya this was really the first year I actually bothered to spend on BF and CM. It has become such a big thing even outside of the U.S., which is sorta crazy. It was huge in the U.K. this year and I feel like it’s bigger here than in Montreal. Sales are bigger, at least. I’d like to mention that I currently really want to get a bag from Kate Spade and this sparked it all. Note I haven’t gotten it yet because even with the sales, shipping and customs (and now the super low Canadian dollar) makes it not worth it. What I did get though, was a Herschel Supply Co. Little America backpack for my sister (just shipped it directly to Montreal) for $57. That’s pretty awesome. I went out shopping after work with my friend at Chinook but just ended up buying a few things. I got Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer from Sephora (no sale, I just had been planning to get it and I was out), and 5 olive masks and a burgundy lipstick from The Face Shop. That was around $10 because everything was 40% off. Online, I ended up getting a pair of nude heels from Aldo for $35 and…on cyber monday…a new watch from Olivia Burton. Navy and rose gold. I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted this watch! At least a year! I jumped at the chance when I saw Asos was having their cyber monday sales…snagged this baby for $90. It’s vintage inspired and so classy. It took a while to get shipped to me but I guess I didn’t expect much for free shipping from Asos from the U.K.
Firm holiday party: so many people I didn’t know because so many audit people! I also made the horrifying mistake of congratulating my coworker’s fiance on passing the UFE (but he didn’t…) because I had thought they wouldn’t come if he failed. Good food and entertainment though. We had some circus performances and the dance floor opened later in the night. Left around 1:30am. On another note, the 31st floor had a decorating competition and wow did they go all out!
Friend’s work Christmas party: she works in industry, so the ages of most people there were significant more dispersed and older. It was still fun. We left around 12:30?
The Nutcracker by the Alberta Ballet: this was quite enjoyable! Saw this on Christmas eve (er…afternoon) and we got cheap tickets ($29!) for first balcony. I’d wanted to see the ballet for a while. I’m not sure why I never ended up going to see Les Grand Ballet Canadiens back in Montreal. Apparently they had Marie Antoinette, and Air Canada is the sponsor so they gave flight discount codes to everyone. Admittedly, I enjoyed the first half more because that’s where most of the story was. Some people were so dressed up, and some people were dressed regular. I dressed pretty casual to be honest. It kind of irked me though that a group of people suddenly showed up after intermission next to us…on regular chairs. Not the attached theatre chairs, but chairs that were brought in from somewhere. One woman even took her shoes off. That was so disrespectful and ridiculous to me.
Boxing Day: I literally went out because of two primary reasons, because I was at Chinook just 2 days earlier for Christmas shopping. 1) I realized I had a $50 visa gift card to use up before the end of the year and 2) I needed to get my free Starbucks birthday drink that I kept forgetting to redeem every time I went to Starbucks and it was expiring the next day. I read on the news that Black Friday sales have exceeded Boxing Day sales, but I’m not surprised. Boxing Day sales have been sorta crappy for years now, and when I go shopping for clothes and see a gigantic mess and long lines, I don’t really feel enthusiastic to shop. It was like that when I went to Zara and Forever 21. Nope. My friend got a badminton set at SportChek for $40 (awesome deal) and I got myself YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in 02 Rose Frivole with my gift card. I actually had intended to get a Rouge Volupte lipstick but the Sephora was just lacking in so many of the colours, and even the colour I wanted was out of stock. Sad face. Another day I guess. If I feel generous to spend $40 on a lipstick LOL. AKA not anytime soon. Anyway since shopping at Zara at Chinook was out of the question, I bought a pair of jeans and work trousers online for around $59. And it’s on it’s way!
As for plans for the remaining few days of 2014, I’m going skating tomorrow before the rink near my house closes for competitions. New Years’ Eve my friend suggested we go for the countdown at Olympic Plaza, but part of me wants to just buy a bunch of alcohol at home, watch movies, countdown and drink with my friend at my place and she can just sleep over. We shall see!
And a final word and end to this very long ass post…
2014 has really flown by. It’s crazy that there are only a couple of days left until it’s 2015. Just a few months ago, I was in Montreal. Half a year ago, I was still working at my old company and sort of wishing it was my last day of work already. Then I moved from the east coast to the west coast. Less than half a year ago, my grandma passed away and I had a tough summer. I know my mom definitely had a really rough summer. My friend got married in February and gave birth 3 months ago for god sakes. This year has definitely been packed full of events and surprises. A lot of bad stuff happened, but a lot of good came out of it too.
I’m terrible at keeping all my new years’ resolutions, and you’d think I would’ve given up on making any now as a result. One of my friends told me she keeps her resolutions. I told her she must be one of those rare people who manage to. Then she said it’s because she never makes resolutions that are hard to achieve or unrealistic. Her resolution this year was to try something new every month, and she has managed to do it. Because of this, she discovered new things and met people she wouldn’t have otherwise. Yes, so maybe her recent relationship didn’t go so well, but she learned something from it and the reasons she met this person was because she tried something new. I think one of the problems with me is that I prefer when things are stable, predictable, and safe. I get afraid and refrain from stuff that I feel may be discomforting. I wonder how I even made this huge decision to move across the country on my own. And maybe that’s just it. I can make unpredictable decisions that could go great or go oh-so-wrong. I just choose not to. So I’ll set that as my resolution for 2015. Just one resolution. To step outside my comfort zone and do things that I may not necessarily feel comfortable about. Because who knows? I could be just afraid and think I won’t be comfortable, when in reality, something great will arise from it all.
141011 § Leave a comment
The past 3 weeks have been interesting enough. 3 Mondays ago I started (finally!) at PwC and it has been fantastic so far. The last two weeks for training, and this week I had my official start. Since I’m in the CATO program, I’ll be rotating within the tax line of service and probably do a short audit rotation some time in my 2nd or 3rd year. I started in international tax services and I’ll be rotating to the industry group around May. Everyone has been super nice. The number of new tax hires is only 7 though (compared to audit…which hired 40+) and actually only 3 of us are *new*. 2 of them have been in the coop program and are just transitioning to permanent, and another has actually been here for over 2 years. He was in tax for 1.5 yrs, then switched to audit (hated it) and came back to tax. And another girl did a 12 month coop here, went back to finish her masters in tax and do the UFE, then came back to work.
I finally got my desk today and it’s in a pretty good spot! There were people who hadn’t moved yet for their rotation so we didn’t move in until today. But I’m next to a window, which is awesome (and usually doesn’t happen with new associates). Yay for ITS’ fishbowl office! I had been sharing with another ITS coworker new hire in one of the empty offices all week. That was nice too; it was an office next to the tax managing partner’s.
Training for the past 2 weeks were sort of…dry and bland. So many e-learns that bore you to death. But there was the annual tax retreat offsite at a golf and horseriding club last Tuesday and that was a lot of fun. It consisted of: eating, speakers, eating, teambuilding games, gambling with fake money, drinking, and attempting to bid with the fake money for prizes the partners donated. Chris Kong, the national PwC tax leader and partner flew in from Toronto too, and that was cool. He sat at my table for breakfast and our group chatted. My coworker (the one with her MTax) said she had met Chris Kong 4 times before and this was her 5th time meeting him. He still said “nice to meet you” LOL. He must meet a billion people so I guess that’s to be expected. But it was funny because one of the partners told Chris that I was from Montreal, so he started asking me about where I lived. Turns out in the 70s as a kid he had lived in Montreal. Crazy small world! That same partner, by the way, later told me he had lived in Burnaby as well when he used to live in BC (like me!) That was this past Tuesday when all of us new tax hires had a loooong lunch with 5 partners and one of the senior managers. Best thing is that we can count the time to our timesheets! It was practically 3 hours long at this Italian restaurant called Centini. Firm sponsored too so yay for free (expensive) lunch!
I’ve been fairly busy with work (not hectic yet since Q3 ended, not busy season yet) and balancing CPA PEP module 1. Cases every week are so much fun. Can you catch the sarcasm. I don’t think I mentioned it before but during my 2 day CPA workshop, I met another girl who came from Montreal. She’s working at an oil and gas and we’ve become pretty good friends over the past few weeks. We’ve been meeting up every week to run over our cases before Friday submissions. then grab dinner. It’s already the end of week 3, which feels crazy fast because after week 8…it’s mod 1 exam time! *shudders* Got an email today from L&D of PwC for our mock mod 1 exam at the beginning of November. Don’t even want to think about it ><
Besides work, it’s Thanksgiving long weekend! So sad though. Even though my family never celebrates Thanksgiving it’s still a little sad to be alone for Thanksgiving. Especially since my Montreal friend actually flew back this morning to spend a 10 day vacation with her family. My long weekend plans consist of eating, cleaning, doing week 4’s CPA cases, and probably watching a ton of movies. I’m going to buy myself a roasted chicken at the grocery store tomorrow hahaha. I told my friend who moved to Toronto for grad school, and he went “LOLOLOLOL my roommate and I are doing that. Because we can’t afford a turkey”. Sad sad lives.
Food during my first week back consisted of meals with my landlord (friend’s cousin’s friend) because I didn’t know other people LOL. He’s nice but can be sort of weird too, to be honest. I actually went to a lot of other restaurants during the past 3 weeks but I have an absolutely shitty phone right now (see below photo quality and you will understand) so I haven’t taken any photos at all. This backup phone I have also sometimes decides that I need more than one copy of my texts so it proceeds to receive 2 copies of every text I receive. SERIOUSLY. I really need to change my number and get on the PwC corporate plan but I can’t decide which phone to get. Because all the phones have to be tested for security to have firm emails and calendar, they only have iPhones and Blackberries…they’re supposed to come out with an android (according to my work buddy) but who knows when? How long can I live on this shitty phone? I think I might actually end up getting an iPhone 5s 16gb for $80. But uggggh I miss having a big screen and stupid iPhones don’t have external memory (SO STUPID OMG what am I gonna do with 16gb I hate all the Apple restrictions)…they added iPhone 6 and 6+ last week but apparently the 6+ bends? And it’s expensive…I seriously have terrible decision making skills.
Peters’ Drive-In is apparently a must-go if you’re a Calgarian. I had one of their milkshakes and WOW it was really good. You can choose one, two, or three flavours to mix. I had a lime and pina colada. The milkshakes are super thick. Apparently their fries and burgers are amazing too, but I have yet to try. Another day!
219 16 Ave NE
Calgary, AB T2E 1J9
I tried a Japanese restaurant called Red Ember. We went mainly for the tempura fried green tea ice cream, which was quite good. The other food was decent, but a bit pricey for it to be honest. Calgary is hard when it comes to good food though, in my opinion. A lot harder than Montreal; Montreal is a bigger city after all, and has more of a food culture. So I guess for that, this place is pretty good. I was crazy full from the items below. Plus if you pay cash, you get 10% off your bill. Total bill was around $70. They gave us free salmon tempura as well, which was nice of them.
Red Ember Japanese Cuisine
609 14 St NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2A1
I was craving ramen, so I tried a ramen place that’s just off Kensington Ave called Menyatai. It’s actually opened by Koreans and was around $13 for a bowl. This is pricier for Montreal ramen standards. But I think there aren’t many ramen places in Calgary in general so…the ramen was decent but I’ve definitely had better (of course in Hong Kong, and Montreal isn’t bad in the ramen scene either). But it’s actually quite well-rated on Urbanspoon and got pretty packed since the restaurant is on the small side. I guess when you compare what you have in Calgary, choices are more limited. We had the gyoza as well. Overpriced for those in my opinion…
Menyatai Japanese Ramen
24 12 St NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1Y3
And now, completely unrelated to food, I finally received my small cosmetics package from rubyruby76 (ebay) last week! It took quite a while to get shipped here…but I’m happy with what I received! This ebay seller doesn’t give out samples though, which sucks. I got the Missha The First Treatment Essence (~$32 USD) and Mamonde Volume Better Glossy Lipstick in 09 In the Rose (~$14 USD). The essence is comparable to SKII and considerably cheaper. I’ve been quite liking it so far, but it has only been about a week so I can’t say anything more. The lipstick is really nice though! Hydrating and nice colour payoff that is easily buildable. But there’s another store, beautynetkorea.net that released a giftbox for the Missha essence and it is a seriously much better than deal than getting this essence alone. I’ve had a bunch of things I wanted to get on that site for a while but at the time I wanted to get the essence, it was cheaper on rubyruby76 *shoots self*. I won’t be ordering anything for a while though because I really should spend less money. That was my August spending on myself. September I spent quite a bit since I was in Montreal. And October. I saw this coat in F21 while I was shopping with my friend at the Chinook Centre. Tried it and loved it! Used self-control and didn’t buy it even though it was pretty cheap (~$78). But then I regretted it and checked online for it. F21 did a buy $75 get $15 off thing but they only had the coat in L. I checked a billion times for M. Nope. THEN on Monday or Tuesday they decided to restock and have a pre-Thanksgiving sale! The sizes were all in and it was $62. So I jumped at it and bought it. SO MUCH FOR SELF CONTROL. Too bad F21 sends by Purolator though ugh. It came to my apartment at 10am while I was at work. I have to take the bus there after work on Tuesday. If only it was just Canada Post. Then I could literally walk over since I have a post office right next door.
140918 § Leave a comment
#suwueveryday is a joke I have with my friend Chris. We joke about one another being alcoholic. He started frequenting the place even more after he started working 5 minutes away HAHA but actually, he now has to look for a new place to go now that he has moved to Toronto for grad school. So what is SuWu?
Suwu is a trendy resto-bar in the Plateau that I have frequented multiple times after my first visit last Winter with my friend Zoe. It’s right on St-Laurent, where a ton of bars and restaurants are. Last Friday I met up with friends there to just hangout and talk before I flew back to Calgary. They have a good 5 à 7, which is basically Montreal’s happy hour. All the beers and cocktails are half off at Suwu, and they brew their own blond beer (also named Suwu). Regular price is $5 for half a pint…during 5 à 7 it’s 5 for a pint! And that is including the taxes, everyone. It’s a pretty decent beer, though if you prefer a stronger taste, you probably won’t be ordering the Suwu. It’s a cheap way to get tipsy or even drunk though. As for the cocktails, I’ve tried 3 of them; Wu-Tang, Big Booty Ho and Thug Passion. Best cocktail is Wu-Tang in my opinion. Note that all the names are sort of “gangsta” because some of the music they play is old school hiphop and rock.
I love the atmosphere there as well; some might call it sort of hipster even. The people are cool and the vibe is awesome. It gets super busy as the night progresses; packed with people with the waiters/waitresses sometimes mixing up orders (they come by twice with the same order of beers we already received). But they’re always really nice. Actually for our waitress that night, it was her first day on the job and she was very friendly. Very pretty too. It was hilarious because at one point, some guy was leaving and suddenly stopped her and said “I love you”. Without missing a beat she said “thanks, nice to meet you” and walked off. We were dying of laughter. Poor guy. But really? Using “I love you” as a pickup line?
The meals are overpriced though so I don’t recommend going there to eat. They have fries with rosemary and salt with ketchup and mayo as dip, which are $5 but they’re sooo good! Everytime I’ve ordered them they arrive piping hot and crispy. Seriously good. The poutine is not too bad either. Other than that I don’t think I’ve ever ordered one of their meals. I remember a friend did during one visit and it was undersized for the price. I’ve heard they do brunch but I’ve never been so nooo idea how that’s like.
All these photos were taken using my friend Lena’s camera! Actually a lot more photos were taken but as the evening goes on, the lights get dimmer and…ya…flash doesn’t look great and we looked high haha!
3581 St Laurent
Montreal, QC H2X2T6
140911 § Leave a comment
Today I met up with two friends to try out a newly opened Asian fusion restaurant that opened on Rue Crescent. But before that, I headed to The Face Shop with one of my friends to go makeup shopping…for my sister. My younger sister doesn’t have much makeup and during the past while, I’ve had to drag myself out of bed at 7am to do her makeup for internship recruitment. Not fun. I’ve been using mostly my makeup because the few items she own don’t work too well. There’s a Buy 1 get 2nd item for 50% off makeup sale so…ya. Spent $53 CAD with taxes on 7 items. Had to get her a new makeup remover too because her old one was basically running out.
Anyway, the funny thing is that my friend and I went to look at jackets at Zara after. We’re about to leave when I feel someone tap on my shoulder. A Chinese guy and a girl stand there and the guy speaks to me in Mandarin. He has an accent and I can’t understand him, so he switches to English and asks to be friends. LOL. He asks if I have wechat and I said no. Which is true…ever since my Note 3 died I’ve basically been depending on FB messenger, whatsapp and texts. Never bothered to re-download wechat. Then he asked for my facebook or number, some way to contact. I explained to him I don’t live in Montreal. He seemed surprise and asked “you don’t live in Montreal?” I told him I moved away; I was just back for a visit. He seemed to hesitate for a second and asked again to be friends. So…I gave my email address for facebook to his friend. He didn’t have data and neither do I. He wasn’t particularly good-looking or good in English to be honest…so max is we’ll talk a bit. I gave it because I do commend him for having the guts to ask. My friend couldn’t stop laughing her ass off afterward. She understood his Mandarin and decided not to pull her phone out LOL.
Last thing before meeting a 3rd friend for dinner; the Chapters on Rue St Catherine is closing, so they’ve been holding a big sale on all their books and stuff on the ground floor. My friend and I ended up buying a book each for a really good deal. I picked up The Watchers by Jon Steele for…$2.61 CAD with taxes. It was on sale for $5.99 and Chapters ended up giving another 50% off that! I was surprised. My friend’s book was even cheaper, for less than $2!
Ok so that wraps up most of my interesting events of the day. Onto the food! We actually tried to go to Kyozon last Wednesday but it was only open to a Desjardins event, so we decided to come again. It’s a Japanese/Asian fusion resto-bar that officially opened on Tuesday. They actually have the first proper kaiten in Montreal (a belt with dishes of different prices, and you pick and choose what to eat). But we didn’t decide to sit at the kaiten; we just sat at a table. The waiter was super friendly and nice. He was funny and offered recommendations. The restaurant is primarily focused on sharing food. There are small plates, which are basically tapas/appetizers, and bigger plates for sharing. We ended up ordering the below. Photos stolen from my friend because I no longer have a good phone and thus no good camera either (sobs).
Korean beef flank steak with kimchi: this was quite good. They make their own kimchi so it was admittedly…westernized. It wasn’t really spicy. But the beef was delicious! I believe this was $17.
Sakana: this is a sashimi plate of 18 for $25. It’s quite fresh. I quite enjoyed this and the price is not bad for 18 pieces.
Hamachi nigiri (yellowtailed tuna): You have a choice of either 2 nigiri or 3 sashimi slices for the same price (I believe $5.50?). We chose the nigiri. There was actually hamachi in the sakana plate too but my friend is a big fan of this fish, so we got this.
Jungle thai curry with seasoned vegetables: I…admittedly regret getting this. This was $12 and the rice comes separately. We got 2 bowls of white rice and they cost $3 each. It was overly sweet and the vegetables were so-so. Maybe we should’ve tried the seafood green curry instead.
We still had room to eat more after, so we ordered three small plates; each choosing one. One was the crab and chicken siu mai with chili jam (basically dimsum), the second was popcorn shrimp with sriracha cream, and the last was tiger prawn tempura.
The siu mai was definitely not worth $6. It was really meh. Especially if you’re Cantonese and you eat dimsum often…not recommended.
The popcorn shrimp was $8 and quite tasty. I enjoyed this one. The seaweed sprinkled on top was quite nice. The sriracha cream was soso.
The tiger prawn tempura was $7 for 3 big ones. This was pretty good as well.
The service was excellent overall. They constantly checked up to make sure everything was ok and were always refilling our glasses of water. The meal ended up around $33 CAD after taxes (before tips), which was cheaper than I actually expected. With tips, my final bill came to $38. It was too bad they were missing some foods though. We wanted to try the fondant with green tea ice cream but nope. None.
Montreal, QC H3G 2B6
We were itching for dessert so we headed to Juliette et Chocolat for the umpteenth time. I had myself le banana split, and my friends had profiteroles (basically cream puffs…but with ice cream) and fondant au chocolat with vanilla ice cream. The profiteroles ended up a mess HAHA my friend was too full and couldn’t finish. Each one was a different flavour (hazelnut, chocolate, and vanilla). She cleared out the hazelnut one but was begging us to finish the other two for her. We were too full to help! She said: never again! My banana split was $7.75 before tax and tips. My friends’ desserts were around $7.95 or something like that.
JULIETTE ET CHOCOLAT (there’s multiple locations throughout Montreal)
1626 St-Catherine O.
Montreal, QC H3H 1L7
140909 § Leave a comment
1) Etude House’s Kissful Tint Choux in PK001
I picked this up while in Hong Kong and I’ve been loving it since. it’s a very pretty deep pink that feels moisturizing on the lips. It was pretty cheap too; $35 HKD (~$5 CAD). I’ve seen this on beautynetkorea for around $6 USD as well. This is actually perfect for creating a gradient lip. This comes in 3 other colours that are tinted toward a red, light pink, and tangerine colour.
2) IOPE’s Air Cushion Sunblock EX-cover in C23
This was pretty much the only foundation/bb cream I used while in HK. I brought two other bb creams but didn’t end up using them because I liked using this cushion pact so much. It gives a gorgeous dewy finish that makes my skin look flawless and glowing. I received compliments when I went to the bank in HK. It has SPF 50 as well. I bought this when I was still in Montreal for $20 and bought a second pact while in HK for $280 HKD (~$40 CAD). It comes with a refill. I would’ve just bought a refill, but HK doesn’t have an official IOPE retailer. This cushion comes 2 shades (21 and 23, 23 being slightly darker) and has 3 finishes (natural, cover, and shimmer). Even though 23 is darker, it actually suits my skintone well and I’m quite pale. So I stuck to repurchasing 23. I’m not sure about shimmer, but I read that cover offers slightly more coverage than natural. Still, cover still provides a natural look as if you don’t have much makeup on. I haven’t seen any of the sites I usually shop on with it, but I know sokoglam is selling this (with the refill) for $45 USD.
3) POND’S Anti-Spot Intensive Whitening Serum and Perfect Results Multi Benefit Illuminating Cream
It’s more like I rediscovered these products after many years. I used to use these but somehow I just started using and trying out other products. My skin had a bit of a fiasco 2 or 3 weeks ago when I flew back to Calgary. I tried these masks that turned out to be fake (oh, me…oh, HK…) and obviously…my skin didn’t agree with it. My nose area got extremely dry and I had a bit of a red dry patch and rash along the right side of my face, near my nose and mouth area. My skin is generally pretty good so that was…not fun. None of my usual moisturizers seemed to be enough (I barely needed anything while in HK because it’s sooooo humid there). I ended up going to Sephora and picking up Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. But I only used it for five days before flying back to Montreal so I can’t say much, and since I wasn’t checking any luggage I decided not to bring it since it’s still a “gel” over 100ml. So after I came back to Montreal for a visit, I started using the serum again before bed, and also started using POND’S Perfect Results Multi Benefit Illuminating Cream. And wow…the cream was exactly the moisturizing my skin needed to improve again. Maybe it was also a combination of enough time having passed and being in a less dry environment again. Calgary is pretty dry. Either way, I cleared out the remainder I had of this. Cry…I considered buying another jar when I was in HK…why didn’t I??? The serum is a nice addition before bed. It smells really good and leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and supple. It’s quite good as a primer before makeup as well to smooth out your skin as a canvas. The thing is, POND’S is so freaking cheap in HK. The whitening serum is around $110 HKD (~$15.70 CAD) and I saw the cream at the Teacher’s Union Store for only $29 HKD (~$4.14 CAD) !!!
5) It’s Okay, That’s Love
This is currently my favourite drama on air. I can’t explain it but there’s just something about it that really draws me in. It’s not the most realistic drama, but it touches on the subject of mental illness (something that Korea seems to be quite taboo on) in a way that makes you really feel heart-wrenched. It’s overall light hearted and witty, with touches of snarkiness from each of the characters, but as you delve into the backgrounds of each person, you discover something a little dark about everyone. I admittedly starting watching because I knew Do Kyungsoo was making his drama acting debut (and I love him) but I really fell for Gong Hyo Jin and Jo In Sung’s characters. Their relationship feels so real and believable, and you slowly fall in love with their progression and how much they love one another. The supporting cast of Sung Dong Il (as Dr. Jo) and Lee Kwang Soo (as Soo Kwang) are very enjoyable as well. Needless to say, the acting is phenomenal and Kyungsoo has made an impressive debut. He didn’t have too many scenes in the beginning to make his mark, but last episode gave me shivers.
5) Twin Forks’ “Cross My Mind”
Surprise! This song is often used as a soundtrack of It’s Okay, That’s Love. It’s catchy and fits perfectly with this drama. It makes you think of freedom, travel, and good company. The youtube page is filled with people who watch the drama haha.