Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Budget for my little trip to Seattle

So, my husband and I are going to Seattle this weekend. But we're not spending time together there because my husband is going to PAX (in short, it's one of the most famous game conferences), and for me, it's gonna be exploring Seattle and a shopping weekend. I love shopping in the States as I can get most of the stuff cheaper than Canada (obviously it excites me a lot). But I need to take a moment and think about how much I can actually spend in Seattle. Unfortunately, I had an unexpected expense the other day, so now I have much less budget than I was planning. In other words, I am broke (sigh).

Here's my budget: $120 (not including food)

I know it is not a lot of money, but I think it's kind of interesting to see if I can stay on my budget (which I really have to), and how many items that are worth money I can purchase. I'm hoping to get some makeup and clothing pieces for upcoming Fall.

By the way, I've just realized the fact that I usually don't set the EXACT budget whenever I go shopping, so this is going to be my first attempt to achieve this strict (?) goal.

Anyway, it's time for bed. See you world!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reflection on Yesterday (about going for a drink)

I missed my blog post yesterday because I went out for drinks with my coworkers and I ended up staying way longer than I planned. It's always nice to get to know people who I work with and it was fun, but it costs a lot to have drinks in Canada. In Japan, generally, most pubs (we call them "Izakaya") have a system called "All You Can Drink" which is literally exactly that. You can drink whatever you want from a menu for a certain time (usually 1.5-3 hours), and the cost ranges from $10 to $25. So, even if you don't drink that much, you can earn your pay! Here, you cannot just drink as much as you want because the bill is gonna be crazy, so you need to always keep that in mind unless you are well-off. Although I'm not a crazy drinker or anything, sometimes thinking about the cost for drinks turns me off.

I don't know if I should be sad about the fact that as I get older, just getting drunk is not fun for me anymore. Back then, when I was younger, it was super enjoyable to have a lot of drinks. Now all I want is to chill out having at most one beer with my husband or friends and talk about fun stuff. It's interesting how things have changed as you become more thoughtful. But I'm sure it is definitely pleasant to my liver and my wallet.

I don't know what the point of this blog post is, but what I want to say is that drinking alcohol is not something I want to include too much of in my life routine. I needed to write this down just to make sure when I am asked to go for drinks next time, I'll be able to say "No." (Um, I still might go, but I can have much less drinks and leave much earlier).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Smells Like Fall

Fall is coming down to Vancouver. We've been having okay weather lately which means "no rain!", and it's clear skies today. Yet I can definitely "smell" Fall by the mild wind and the atmosphere. To me, there is a certain "scent" for each season, like Summer has a mixed scent of fresh greens and dirt, and Winter has crisp and deep nostalgic air. Today, it smelled like old leaves on the ground and burnt wood. The upcoming signs of  Fall always makes me sentimental and nostalgic.

Since the weather is getting chilly even when the sun comes out, I picked up a crop top jumper from Topshop and a long skirt from Loft 82. These are perfect to start my fall outfits because they keep me warm and cozy but don't make me sweat. As matter of fact, it's still officially Summer, so I let my feet enjoy wearing sandals as well. Also, I put a bit of spice in my outfit by adding big nerdy glasses.

I was amazed how quickly August flew by. It feels like it was July three days ago. I guess I need to go out and get as much sunshine as possible before the sun gets pushed out of the way by rain.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Library Day

Vancouver Central Public Library is one of my favorite spots in Vancouver. I love how it is well designed, as it resembles the Colosseum. It has open spaces and desks that you can work at privately, and I think it's really cool. It was even used in some films like The Sixth Day as a research center (I'm not sure what I can call it) which was eventually blown up. If you pay enough attention, I'm sure you'll see this library on the screen.

In order to force me to study, it's quite effective to change my atmosphere and surroundings from my room where I can find a lot of temptations, including a TV and a comfortable couch. In that sense, it really works for me to be in the library since it gives me energy and somehow gravitates me toward full concentration. I also like the atmosphere of being surrounded by tons of piles of books and of the distinctive smell of old books.

I felt weird to get into study mode yet it was nice after having neglected self-improvement for quite a long time. So, thank you Vancouver library! I think I'll take a long bath with my favorite candle and reward myself tonight.

Random Wish List vol.2

Random Wish List vol.2

Well, today was a usual boring day as I just stayed home, cleaned and watched YouTube videos despite having a day off. I wanted to do something like reading or possibly going to the library, but I've been suffering from a continuous headache caused by empyema after having recovered from the actual cold. So, that turned me off to do anything such as going outside.

For me, making a wish list is probably one of the best ways to make my sick day less horrible and unhappy. I have a long makeup wish list, but I think the stuff I put into my "Random Wish List vol.2" is my most-wanted "high-end" products. Especially, I am so interested in the Marc Jacobs little eye shadow set. In fact, I even checked the product at a local Sephora and I fell in love with the beautiful packaging. I've heard it's highly pigmented and long-lasting as well. Anyway, I cannot buy all of the stuff from my wish list at the same time (they are pretty expensive to me), but I don't mind the process of saving up for my future-loving beauty products.

Making a wish list is something that I never be able to stop, because it satisfies my desire toward shopping (at least temporarily) and I can also organize my thoughts.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Earrings Earrings Earrings...

Once I got my ears pierced about three years ago, I've been possessed to collect earrings. It's just because they could be such an awesome compliment to my outfits even if I don't dress nicely. I have quite a lot of items in my collection, so I wanted to share some of them with you. By the way, I don't particularly look for earrings to put into my collection, yet if I have a fateful encounter with some great ones, there can be no one to stop me from buying them.

My favorite ones so far are dangling piggy earrings (the second picture above). They are actually divided into three parts which are head and two body parts so that when they swing, they look even prettier. I'm pretty sure that they are so flattering because I've gotten a lot of compliments on streets or whenever I go out with them. I got kitty version of these earrings as well (they are freaking cute too). Half of my collection is from Japan, and the other half is from Canada. My sister keeps sending me earrings too since she knows my exact taste, such as the gold circle earrings in the third picture. They are super simple, but very stylish, so I love them so much.

In Canada, I usually buy earrings at LOFT 82, Front and Company, the flea market (handmade), and Forever 21. Especially everyone knows that Forever 21 is so great that their stuff is inexpensive, like their price range is from $1.80 ~ (my turquoise color earrings were C$1.80!) .

Now that I have a huge collection of earrings, I need to find a nice little home for them. I've been looking for a storage case for a while, but so far, I haven't found a perfect one. Meanwhile, I'll probably keep purchasing some more earrings whenever I fall head over heels.

Random Wish List vol.1

Random Wish List vol.1

Random Wish List vol.1 by flaminky featuring free people tops

It might sound weird, but in my opinion, the less money you have, the more you feel like spending money. I mean, this at least applies to my friends and myself. So, I thought it would be a better idea to just put things that I might possibly purchase in the future together to calm myself down to be a smart shopper.

These are just clothes, shoes and a bag that I "randomly" picked up from random websites. The Summer is nearly ending, and the Fall fashion is starting to come out which excites me a lot. Also, after spending a lot of time at work, browsing online shopping websites makes me feel a bit better. 

Well, today was a long day for me, so I should probably go get some rest! 

Good night world and see you tomorrow!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three Reasons Why I Love Star Trek

Today, I will confess that I've been into the original Star Trek series for quite a few months. I've watched up to the fifth episode into the second season. This is completely from my husband's influence, and I wasn't interested at first, but I ended up being absorbed into the show. Here's the three main reasons why I am hooked.

1. Engaging characters
All the characters in Star Trek are unique and their individuality is quite awesome. I like the mix of nationalities as well. For instance, Spock-the first officer-has no emotions because he is half human and half Vulcan (I think the sound Vulcan is so cool). Since he doesn't understand what emotion is like, other characters tease Spock in the show. By the way, I actually have a Spock T-shirt that says "The many expressions of Spock" with a bunch of pictures of his face which are all exactly the same. Also he has special abilities to read animals' emotions and he can knock people out by just touching their necks. Of course I have to mention Captain James T Kirk. His wooden delivery of lines (specifically when he gets mad or emotional) is amusing, I mean it's funny. The fact that he always falls in love with a beautiful good-looking woman (and almost every woman gets a sort of blurry effect to look more luscious) is also the classic scene of this show.

So far, my favorite character is "Scotty" because he is SO loyal to the captain, especially when it comes to an emergency situation. I don't know why, but I love the way he talks as well.

2. Fighting scenes
This might be the primary reason for me to always go back to this show. I can describe that all the fighting scenes are hilarious!! The characters usually use phasers which is like a laser gun, but when they punch and kick, it is so funny. I feel like I'm watching a slow moving scene or something as they move soooo slow. Almost all of the time, I even think I'm watching a comedy show. It is worth watching. Especially episode 18 from the first season ("Arena") is the BEST.

3. Lots of quotable lines
"Beam me up Scotty," "I'm a doctor not a ...," "Live long and prosper," etc... These are frequently-used-phrases in the show. Every episode is different and unique, but there are always the usual phrases that everyone knows if you a fan. The more you watch the show, the more you get affection toward it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Life Savers for a Cold

My husband has been sick for the past five days and I guess I myself got a cold as well. I woke up with a severe sore throat as I knew would happen soon or later, as when my husband gets a cold, 95% of the time I follow him and catch a cold-this is our typical style. Yet, other than drugstore medicine, I have a few primary life savers to help relieve my sore throat. 

1. Fisherman's Friend

This is just  a cough drop, but this stuff is awesome! It does work for my sore throat although it does not heal my cold. They come up with tons of different flavors including mint, lemon, and cherry. We picked up "mint", "sugar free citrus", and "extra strong" flavor. My favorite of all time is mint which clears up my swollen throat.

2. Thick syrup

This is my all time favorite. I've used this for my entire life so far whenever I get a sore throat. This is a thick disinfecting type of syrup for a throat, so basically you just spray this thing directly into your throat. It's super easy to use because of the long nozzle (you can't miss the right spot). After putting this syrup to your throat, you can definitely feel tingling which I am obsessed with, yet some people dislike this feeling and texture. Anyway, despite the fact that this syrup is not meant to be a potential throat-cure medicine, it helps you feel better.

3. Domino's pizza

I'm kidding, but tonight, we decided to treat our poor sick selves by ordering a large BBQ chicken pizza. Actually we are not pizza lovers (especially my husband), but sometimes we have a crazy craving for it and the time was tonight. We literally dug into the pizza. I thought the BBQ sauce was a bit too much, but overall, I was happy with this one.

By the way, I have one thing that makes me wonder, that is, whenever my husband catches a cold, he still takes a shower. I mean, I, as a Japanese, do not take a bath or shower because I was told from my mom when I was a kid as "taking a shower when you have a cold makes the thing worse." I don't know this is a cultural thing, but my husband told me taking a shower clears up your cold and refreshes you.

Anyway, time for a bed! Good night world!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Future Online Shopping Spots to Be

There are so many creative and inspiring companies on the Internet which are not necessarily well known. I like small companies who strive to create the things which make people happy and exhilarated. Shopping online is one of those things that gives you an exciting anticipation and a thrill, like even the moment you are waiting for products to arrive is a joy. I think people like me always go back to online shopping because not only do they like the online company itself, but they are hooked on this kind of indescribable feeling. Of course when you get the actual products, even if it is not to your liking. 

Anyway, I have quite a few websites that I've been keeping my eye on to try out. Like I mentioned before, I am an impulsive shopper, so I thought it might be a good idea to always sleep on whether or not I should purchase products from these websites. 

1. Popbasic

This is the only website I've purchased a collection from so far. Each month, they have a different micro collection including both basic and trendy items. They make a short movie that features every piece they release and I enjoy watching it every time as it is always chic and stylish. Popbasic is not a subscription, so there are no strings attached and they do free-shipping worldwide as well!! I got their "Salut Collection" which has a stripy top, a gold chain necklace, and a leather clutch bag (I seriously adore all of them).  Their collection is limited each month, so you have to be a quick shopper if you don't wanna miss it.

2. mane message

This is a company who sells hand-made hair ties with a variety of colors and patterns. I've never owned this kind of hair tie as I've never been interested in them, but there is something appealing about their products. I don't know why, but it's just because of the way the products are presented or because its patterns and colors are so tempting.

3. Urban Revisions

This is a hand-made accessory company who has ridiculously pretty rings, earrings, necklaces and scarves. I think the candy-syrup looking rings are so cute! I love how they put different pastel colors together.\

4.Golden Tote

This is another collection type of shopping website where you can choose one item (I think one article of clothing), and based on your personal style, the company picks other items including clothes and accessories to make a "tote bag" just for you. There are two price ranges- $45 (for 2-3 items worth up to $200) and $145 (for 6-7 items worth up to $600). I'm a bit skeptical about this kind of shopping style since you don't know what you will get until you open the box. But the more I read its reviews, the more I want to try it out. So we'll see. Sometime, I might give it a try!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weekend Outfit and Ice Cream

I felt like it's time for my cat dress to be shown off today. It's not that I had a party or special occasion, but I just wanted to make myself feel better after a tiring work day. So wearing the dress, I went for "an ice cream date" with my husband. I got my favorite Dairy Queen's dipped cone (Love the crunchy chocolate part) . I think its small size is a perfect size as a snack, and I can stay away from overeating, otherwise I could eat ice cream forever.

It was a bit chilly in the evening and the cat dress doesn't have sleeves, so I put on a white cardigan which I picked up at H&M. As I posted about the dress two weeks ago, this is one of the most comfy dresses I've ever owned. Besides, despite its huge intimidating cat face print, it is flattering for everyone! I selected big white earrings from Forever 21 just to make my style more chic, yet I didn't want look like I'm trying too hard, so I just kept it to one accessory.

Fall is just around the corner, which means I should save up some money and go for shopping soon :) I actually have a little trip to Seattle,WA, so that will be my shopping time!!

Chillin Out Day

Today was another gloomy muggy day, so I decided to stay away from the humidity and read the whole day at home (until going to work). I don't usually buy a fashion magazine every month, but once in a while, I do, and in fact, I bought the issue of Glamour-Hollywood this month.

I love reading a "how to..." article in a magazine, like "How to read a man-text" because most of the time, it is fun. Even if the article itself doesn't apply for myself, I can enjoy experiencing through a sort of a different world.

I also like just browsing pictures of clothes, shoes, and bags.... Those give me some inspirations although there's no way for me to afford them because of the fact that they are ridiculously expensive.

Anyway, today was okay, but "Okay day" is better than having a bad day. I hope the sun will come out and give me some energy tomorrow.

Good night world! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Contemplation Thursday: Looking Back on the Day

Today was my day off from work and I didn't have any plans, so I was lying on the couch watching Youtube videos the whole day. I like having no plans and doing whatever I feel like on that day, but it does suck when I just end up doing nothing. Looking back on the day, I ask myself "How did I spend my day today?"

This question leads me to another one: "How have I been spending the two whole years since I came to Canada?" The first year and half was totally hectic for me as I committed myself to getting my grade 12 equivalent. For some reason, I got the chance to get into an advanced English class and decided to take that opportunity on a whim, but that class (which is a one-year-program) was hell, like having tons of homework every day, and constant presentations... it was totally beyond my capacity. My mind was occupied with doing school stuff every single day, like going to the library every weekend and spending the whole day there.

Now that I've finished school, I realized that I've been slacking off "studying" and "trying" hard for the past six months... not that I don't have any future goals or anything which I do actually, but I need to feel like "I'm indeed doing something for my future goal," and I have to see myself making progress.

After a few hours of self-reflection, I decided to take the TOEFL exam! I'm pretty sure that studying for TOEFL will add a little bit of spice to my life and I won't feel like I am wasting my time anymore. Hopefully, I will take the exam in December. I haven't set my goal score yet, but I will soon.

I think I just wrote on and on about things that were on my mind today, which I really didn't want to happen, but I just couldn't avoid it. It's a "Contemplation Thursday," so I think it's okay.

My favorite chamomile tea and a coffee candle for writing my post

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Sweet Tooth and Vegetables

As I decided last night, I decorated the sponge cake with some fruits which I bought at the farmers' market. I only had peaches, apples and blueberries... I really wish I had some more fruits, like strawberries so that I could add more color to my cake, but well, I think it still looks good. I like putting apple slices with other fruits because they are a great addition to effortlessly make my cake a bit fancier.

Since I am a sucker for sweets and cannot get away from them, I cooked today's supper with healthier ingredients in a healthier way. Again, the veges I used today were all from the farmers' market. They are so fresh that I don't need to put any dressing on them (I can enjoy the natural flavor). But I was sure those veges were not able to fill up our stomachs (especially my husband's), so I added some chicken breasts and mushrooms cooked with balsamic vinegar and a bit of soy sauce. We pretty much got full after eating the whole plate and of course a piece of cake as well.

Everything home-made is great because you can manage the amount of seasonings or anything and you KNOW what you are actually eating. Sometimes (or constantly), I cannot beat my laziness, but there is nothing better than cooking by myself in terms of "how I choose healthy options."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baking and Gaming at Midnight

So tonight, all the sudden at midnight, I was in this weird impulsive baking mood and baked a caramel banana bread. I know I just told myself in the previous post that I would eat healthy, yet of course I ended up making the most sugary stuff and ate it at the worst time of day. Sometimes, I get this "I gotta make something" feeling which I just cannot resist (and it's mostly at the worst times). Anyway, it turned out to be the best banana bread I've ever made although it caved in right in the middle (actually a big hole...), my husband and I were digging into the banana bread. Oh, I didn't take a picture, but I also baked a sponge cake. I'm thinking of decorating the cake with whipping cream and some fruits tomorrow. Can't wait!

Whenever my husband and I are not tired enough to go to bed, we play Mario Kart on Nintendo DS. We love playing against each other and sometimes we don't even know when to stop. It's been becoming our evening tradition. By the way, my favorite character to play is definitely Yoshi and the vacuum is my favorite kart. I would say my husband is super good at playing any games... more precisely, he is a nerd, but I constantly beat him, so I guess I am good at this game. *high five*

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Little Excursion

Today, I did an excursion to a farmers' market to pick up some local fresh vegetables and fruits. I would like to address that I am a big fan of any kinds of market places, like.... I could even spend hours just looking around (well, it depends how big the market is, but yes), especially a farmers' market... I love those vibrant colored veges and fruits that are nicely but messily organized in huge buckets and tables.

Also, one of the most exciting parts of visiting a farmers' market is that you get to see "interesting" colored or shaped veges that you have no idea how to cook. I'm not brave enough to buy any of them as of yet, but someday when my cooking skills improve, I will try.

Today's little trip to the farmers' market made me think that I should stop munching on chocolate and eat more fruits and veges instead, as a snack! Once someone said that "what you eat makes your body," and it's correct. I should totally add "Eat healthy" to "my little list of resolutions." In order to achieve that, I need to dedicate myself to polishing my cooking skills first... I have a long way to go I guess.

Weekend Outfit & Brunch

I slept in on purpose today even after being woken up by thunder in the early morning. It's no doubt that everyone loves the feeling of "happening to wake up in the morning but still being able to go back to bed" until your body is fully satisfied. I usually like sleeping in and I do it all the time on weekends, yet today was not the right day as I felt waaaaay tired after sleeping in over 10 hours. I know the fact that a long-hour-sleep makes you more tired than a less-hour-sleep. I felt like doing nothing but going back to bed again.

But I didn't want spend a whole sunny Sunday in my bed (yes, it turned out to be a super sunny day), so I went to grab some food to my favorite brunch restaurant with my favorite white top and Juicy Couture clutch bag (and of course my husband). I got Eggs Benedict which I always do when I go to brunch and a small chocolate milk (my husband got a fluffy omelet with some toast).

We were kind of not-quite-awake at the moment, but this brunch made us a bit energized. I *probably* will not sleep in next weekend because I'd rather enjoy the sunshine and the summer! But... we'll see how it goes...