Sunday, March 12, 2017

9.352 Family Time! Out On the Slopes + Out to Eat

sometext
This winter I went skiing with my family. I haven't skied since I was 12.

sometext
The day started with breakfast at McDonald's. I don't even remember the last time I had McDonald's breakfast with my family. I heard McDonald's now has all day breakfast, which is nice because now I can eat their hash browns any time I want.

sometext
The day was perfect for skiing. It wasn't too cold, there wasn't much of a breeze either, and there was a light sprinkling snow occasionally throughout the day.

sometext
sometext
The ski boots remind me of rollerblades. I remember back in 7th grade on our ski trip, we had to tell the workers our weight so they could give us the right skis to ski with. I remember feeling so bad and embarrassed telling them my weight, it made me feel so self-conscious. This time we didn't even have to tell them our weight, they just gave us the skis.

sometext
sometext
I remembered some things about how to ski, but I definitely had to re-learn finding my balance all over again. I fell so many times, so much that I felt like I was the only one wiping out so badly.

sometext
The bunny hill lifts they had at this place were ones that you stand on. I honestly didn't like it. I'd rather have something that I can hold onto. There were times where I would start sliding back a little, and with nothing to hold onto, there was nothing I could do but to brace myself for the worse. At one point there was a pile up of people because someone was slipping down pushing the person behind them onto the next and so forth. After that incident, I always took one ski off when I got on.

sometext
sometext
sometext
Skiing got fun as the day went on and I finally found my balance.

sometext
sometext
sometext
Then we all got hungry and went inside to eat.

I had a fun time with my family. The only part I hated was that there was this a**hole that worked there who had an attitude problem. And unlucky for me, he was there when I somehow managed to get my ski stuck in the lift conveyer belt while trying to get off, causing some major pile up. I fell in the process but the only thing he said to me was, "See? That's why you get off at spot (earlier area) if you don't have both skis on!" If he was like that only at that point, I'd understand, but this guy was an a** all day. I should have blew up in his face. F*cking ruined my experience.

sometext
Anyway, my sisters and I went to Winterlicious again this year.

sometext
sometext
My sister and I were planning to meet my other sister downtown. We went early so that we can shop a bit but we literally came into a mall situation where everyone was being evacuated.

sometext
We decided to try out the Drake Hotel this time. At first I didn't think it was literally a restaurant of a hotel. I thought it was just a name... but it was literally a hotel.

sometext
sometext
The hotel was quite small and to our disappointment, the dining/bar where the restaurant would normally be was closed off for a wedding party.

sometext
sometext
sometext
sometext
So instead, we were seated in the Drake Cafe. It didn't have the same ambience as an actual restaurant would have obviously, but it was still quite cozy.

sometext
For starters, I chose the Butternut Squash Soup. It tasted so good!

sometext
My sister chose the veggie maki.

sometext
sometext
Then for our main, we all chose the Ontario Bavette Steak. It was very savoury and delicious. Very good steak.

sometext
For dessert, I chose the Panna Cotta. It was interesting, very different as I've never had this before.

Service was okay. A bit slow but I can't really give a fair review since there was a wedding going on and that probably took a lot of the staff's attention.

Overall: Ambience B-, Food A-, Service B+, Price B.

"No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won't make you cry." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, February 25, 2017

9.351 Favourite Youtubers - Tier 1

Today I thought I'd do something different than blog about my life. I feel it's been a long time since I've just chatted with you guys. The cold weather has eased up as of late, in place of some chilly nights and rain. I've been keeping up with my exercise by hitting the gym about 3x a week. I feel better overall and feel good that I've built up some running endurance. My problem mainly lies in my eating habits on the weekends and when I go home after the gym or work. My willpower really isn't that strong.

These days I've been feeling kind of meh. Perhaps it's the lack of sun we get in winter taking it's toll, or maybe it's because I haven't been going out on the weekends since it's too cold out. Whenever I feel down or unlike myself, I turn to my favourite youtubers of all time. Long time readers would probably know exactly who those 3 youtubers are, as I've mentioned them before in my blog posts.

For your information, I'm subscribed to over 150 channels. I know it's a lot, but most of those channels I watch only once in a blue moon if a video catches my eye. Truthfully, there's only about a handful that I consistently watch. In this post, I share with you my top 3 favourite youtube channels.

itsjudyslife


One of the vlogs that I truly enjoyed watching. I miss when it was just Judy and Benji!

My OG readers, you guys don't even need an introduction, you already know who Judy is. I have been following Judy on her beauty channel, itsjudytime since 2008/09. I remember coming across her channel because I had searched up hair tutorials. Judy has major skills when it comes to hair styling and I was in awe. Her makeup was also very bold and different too. I still remember watching her videos with Benji in the background. I wasn't an avid subscriber though as her makeup looks were not my cup of tea and I've never had much luck with styling my hair. I stuck around though because I enjoyed her humble down-to-earth personality and her loving interactions with Benji.

It wasn't until she started to vlog short clips on her itsjudytime channel, that I started to follow Judy a bit more closely. A this point I could really see how humble and relatable both Judy and Benji were. When Vlogtober came around, I was so happy when Judy was on board to vlog everyday for that month. I was hooked- and so was everyone else. She and Benji were so entertaining that no one wanted Vlogtober to end. Luckily she held on and decided to continue vlogging and started her vlogging channel, itsjudyslife! It's funny, I distinctively remember Benji being a bit against it at first, I mean who would want a camera in their face everyday, but I think he came to realize how great it was to have footage to look back on. Benji also has a pretty decent channel of his own, BenjiManTV. He shares his love of food, green juice and recipes along with cooking tips. It's because of Benji and Judy that I want to get a Breville juicer, Blendtec blender, and through luck got the Zojirushi rice cooker as an engagement gift from a former coworker (she didn't even know I wanted one). Judy is someone I can see myself in, as we have a lot of similarities in personality and what we like.

I will be honest though, I preferred the vlogs more before their children were born. It's not that I don't love their girls, it's just that at this time in my life, it was more relatable for me. It's all about the kids now, and although they are fun to watch at times, watching and hearing kids scream all the time is not what I'm about right now haha. I miss seeing more of the interactions between Judy and Benji. When her audience was smaller, she would leave in more of the "real" stuff. We were able to hear more of their real thoughts, the small conflicts they would have with one another, and what they would do to resolve it. They were real and more intimate with us viewers. Benji would even go around in his underwear (TMI) but they did what they would do as if they were at home- which they were! Once in a while I get to indulge in that again when they go on a trip without the kids. Those are the vlogs I love best. Firstly, I love their travel vlogs and secondly it's great to see Judy and Benji focus on one another again. Judy and Benji's relationship and marriage is #goals. I really admire how respectful, patient, and honest they are towards each other. I have learned quite a bit from them.

LisaLisaD1


One of Lisa's older videos from 2012. This is one of my all-time favourite videos where she shares her personal story about the struggles of marriage, divorce and what it means to finding the "one".

My second favourite youtuber is LisaLisaD1. I have been following Lisa since 2010 I think. I believe I came across her channel by search up makeup collection videos. There's a lot of channels I'm subscribed to by that method. It wasn't until 2011 that I started to really watch Lisa religiously. I remember I got hooked on her videos after my big breakup with my ex (really OG readers, you already know!!). It was her Friday videos and her happy personality and cheerful smile that helped me go through that hard time. I could always count on Lisa's videos to put a smile on my face. She's very genuine and down-to-earth kind of person- someone you would like to have as a friend and enjoy talking to.

Her videos are much more different than your average beauty/fashion channel. Currently she's in her 40s and has a Southern accent which is very unique in my case because I mainly follow girls in my age group. But there was something different about Lisa that drew me to her. I think it has to do with her positive attitude and outlook on life. I also think I'm more drawn to channels that seem like they're talking to us viewers over coffee than being more formal and making the video some big production. I really enjoy watching Lisa and feeling like we're "chatting" over some coffee or tea.

Lisa has quite the caring, loving and nurturing personality. She goes to great lengths to try to avoid offending people- which in this day in age is hard as everyone seems to be offended by everything. Honestly, these people should get off their high horses and put a band-aid on it or something, because the real world is big, and if you're going to get offended by every little thing, you might as well not step outside your house. Not really sure why people take it upon themselves to think that everything is about them. Anyway, getting back on track, Lisa always tries to make her videos a "happy place" (quoted by her) for her and her subscribers. For all these years, I've been able to live vicariously through her Friday hauls and have been introduced to brands, such as Dean Davidson, that I otherwise would have never known about. Lisa is the reason why I know about major fashion labels such as Manolo Blahnik, Valentino, DVF, and what got me started on getting nicer clothes and finding my own style. I love her hauls because she buys more luxury brand beauty products and offers fashion inspiration. She also started doing some vlogs after taking inspiration from HRH Collection. I thoroughly enjoy her vlogs but wish she could do them more often. I could not imagine youtube without her.

HRH Collection


This is not one of her typical vlogs, but it is one of my all-time favourite chatty videos of hers. Here she finally comes clean about why she never publicly announced her engagement and marriage to Nick, and also addresses the haters.

Alex is a true character. I first learned about Alex through multiple youtube channels that mentioned her jewelry line, HRH Collection. The only person I can really think of right now is Lisa whom occasionally mentions her in her videos. Curious about who was behind HRH Collection, I went to her channel and found a bubbly girl in front of the camera. She seemed like a typical L.A. blonde, you might say... and a bit on the ditzy side. She was nice but not someone I felt compelled to watch. Although she seemed ditzy, you can really tell how intelligent she was when it came to her jewelry line. She's very passionate about it. The way she talks about her jewelry makes you want to buy it (which I did).

In 2015, I started to consistently follow Alex after Lisa mentioned her vlogs. When I first watched her vlogs, she sort of put me off because of how negative she was. All she did was complain and focus on the negative. I was curious as to why Lisa, of all people, would follow such a negative person. I went back to Alex's first videos and discovered what I would consider, night and day. In the beginning, Alex was way more bubbly and ditzy. But as she continued to vlog, she started to evolve into the complete opposite of what she used to be. Apparently she has said that it was her finally showing her true colours.

It was hard to swallow and see her be consumed by her negativity. But when she wasn't focusing on the negative, I could see that she had a genuine personality beneath her hard shell. I think this is the reason why I continued to watch. Plus her vlogs are seriously so entertaining to watch. After some time, I started to understand and was able to relate with Alex and her rants. Most of her thoughts are what we are thinking but are too afraid to say out loud. I guess you can say we've been conditioned to do only what is socially acceptable. Alex is truly a love her or hate her kind of girl. I think you have to summon your inner-rant-self to be able to accept Alex's personality. She was more negative when she was single but now happier since marrying Nick and buying their house together. Her realness and bold no-filter character is the reason why so many people love her. She doesn't put on this cookie cutter youtuber personality and pretend life is perfect. In some ways, I can really relate to Alex. She doesn't have friends (just like me) for the same reason as me: we expect too much of people and that eventually they do something to make us upset which makes holding onto that friendship hard. She likes to vegetate at home (like me) and has only Ming (her dog) and her husband Nick that she hangs out with. I think you readers know, I pretty much only hang out with my family and fiance haha. I'm a loner like Alex #lonersunite! Although I don't entirely agree with every reaction she has, I do have high respect towards her sharing her true authentic self in the public eye. It takes a lot of "balls" to do that.

So that concludes my top 2 youtubers of all time. If I was allowed to only watch these 3 youtube channels, I would still be pretty content. I will share the next tier in another post some time. Hope you found someone you like too!

"Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?" - Danielle LaPorte

Thursday, February 23, 2017

9.350 Working Downtown

Sometimes I think about how great it would be to work in downtown Toronto. I think back to my University days and remember how exciting it was to be downtown almost everyday. But then I also remember the cons: commuting, traffic, and crowds. A lot of my time was spent sitting in transit.

sometext
I should be careful what I wish for because I got a piece of that excitement last month. The company I work for participated in the Toronto Interior Design Show. For 4 days I had to commute to the Metro Convention Centre. Since it was inconvenient for me to get there and back, I opted to stay at my sister's place in Toronto. This cut my commute time significantly and made those 4 days of my life more bearable.

sometext
More bearable, you ask? Yes, it was torture. Being a part of that show was a big thorn on my side. I won't get into much detail, but I will say this, the few of us who had to go were ill-prepared. We had no formal training and we were expected to stand for the whole duration of the show. Our feet were dead by the end of each day, and the only hope that we grasped to was the countdown of each passing day.

sometext
sometext
Thank goodness my sister offered her place for me to crash in. At least I was able to look forward to her company and the exciting meals we were going to eat for dinner (she always gets to enjoy takeouts and cook delicious meals). It was literally the light at the end of the tunnel for me. The weather in Toronto for all 3 days were overcast and gloomy.

sometext
Every morning I was able to experience how crazy Union Station is. The place was swarming with people like ants in an anthill.

sometext
The first day, Thursday, was a half day for us. The event started in the evening from 7pm-11pm. We were expected to be there at 5pm to tidy up our booth. It was opening night, a party if you will, and was only open to the people in the industry. Lights were dimmed, music was blasting, drinks were in hand, and everybody was wearing super fancy clothes and having a great time- everyone but us. While other vendors were walking around visiting other booths, we were expected to stand in our booths for the whole 3 hours. Not once in any of those 3 days was I able to wander around and see the other booths (and you guys know how much I love interior design). This show was supposed to be fun, but alas, it was anything but.

sometext
Although Thursday was a short day, it felt like it lasted an eternity. There were questions my colleagues and I were asked that we didn't know the answers to. I felt so little, and it certainly didn't help that everyone looked like Miranda in Devil Wears Prada. It was by-far the worst day I've ever worked in my life (and that's including all of the days I worked in the produce factory).

sometext
Friday, was another day of torture albeit more manageable than the evening before. We had a lot of questions that day, most we were unprepared for, but we did the best we could. You have no idea how great it felt when the first full-working day was finally over. We were all exhausted.

sometext
The above picture was what my boss bought us for lunch.

sometext
sometext
sometext
sometext
I was only able to capture pictures of some of the booths around us since they were along the path to the washroom and back. I wish I was an attendee instead of a vendor.

sometext
That night, my sister ordered Mexican food, Playa Cabana Hacienda, through UberEATS.

sometext
Firstly, what a cool service. They deliver straight to your door (since she lives in a condo, they come up to your floor and right to your door). Tip is not mandatory which is great because there's no awkwardness and it's probably already included in the food prices anyway!

sometext
The food was amazing. We ordered Guaca Fresca and Chips, Braised Short Rib Taco (Trio), and Pollo Tinga Suizas. My favourite was the tacos!! The shells were crispy and the filling was so savoury!!

Saturday was more relaxed as it was open to the public and by then we knew most of the answers to the questions they would ask us. The general public asks more broader questions anyway, so it wasn't as technical as the ones the people from the industry were asking.

sometext
Our lunch for Saturday. Luckily my manager gave me the choice to attend the show on Sunday or not (since he needed me to work on Monday). Obviously I chose not to go.

sometext
Saturday evening was the night my sister and I were supposed to go out to eat at a restaurant. I was so dead from Saturday that we decided to dine in again, this time with McDonald's. If you're wondering why on earth we would choose that, it's because I would always see her eat McD's on Snapchat and I would always be jealous haha. This time I was able to join in on the fun.

sometext
Earlier that evening, I had dropped by the convenience store and bought a chocolate mousse cake to celebrate the end of that retched show. It was the biggest relief of my life.

sometext
If there was anything positive I were to take away from that show, it was that I finally knew that I wanted to be a part of something bigger. I want to one day be in a position where I had some sort of significance. For those people with their fancy clothes and drinks in hand, they were valued members of the architect/designer world. I too want to be someone in some world.

"You must be willing to do something you have never done before to get to where you have never been before." -Thomas Jefferson