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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Monday, February 20, 2017

9.349 Being VIP

I forgot to blog about the first time the Mister and I experienced the Cineplex VIP treatment!

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Since our birthdays are so close to each other, we always celebrate them in a 2-in-1 event/weekend. I thought it would be a great idea to finally go see what the Cineplex VIP was all about. We could combine dinner and a movie in one! We used one of the free upgrade coupons my cousin gave us for Christmas and bought the second seat for full price. It's pretty darn expensive so our expectations of the experience were pretty high. To start, we were greeted by the doorman. Holy cow... they have a doorman.

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I wanted us to go see LaLa Land since it won so many Golden Globe Awards. It's a romantic musical comedy-drama film and I thought it'd be more romantic and fitting to watch for our first VIP experience.

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We came there about a half an hour early to see what the "lounge" was about. It was pretty empty but I noticed it was way more packed and busy in the evening when we were leaving the theatre (we had an early show- 3:50pm).

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We were given the menu to view so we know our options before heading into the theatre to order.

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Before heading in, we both visited the washroom. The washrooms were unisex and were really nice. There were probably about 7 washrooms and they were all stand-alone's. The lever for the toilet was even different. It wasn't your normal handle or button, it was embedded into the wall and was a flush button panel of some sort. It looked quite fancy- like something out of a hotel.

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The seats inside were incredible. It felt like I was sitting on a comfy armchair! What was great was how much distance there was between other strangers and you. The seats we were sitting in were in pairs. So the lady was far enough from me that I didn't care what she thought of us (see story below). The seats also came with a small pull out tray to put your food on.

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This was my portion (minus the beer- it was his).

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Closer look at my burger and sweet potato fries (my fave!).

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And this was the Mister's. Obviously, we took this experience more seriously than everyone else. I think we ordered enough food for 3 people haha. But honestly, I don't think it was too bad. We ordered an appetizer: calamari (because you know I just have to try it), our two mains: Chipotle Chicken Club Wrap and Classic Quarter Pound Burger, a pitcher for the Mister and water for me, and lastly dessert: Churros. People around us constantly gave us stares. There was this white couple beside me and another white lady beside the Mister. I could see the lady beside me whispering to her husband when the server came with the food. Hey, don't judge me for taking advantage of their food service while you order popcorn and a couple of drinks.

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The food was SO GOOD. I wasn't expecting much but it tasted like something straight out of an actual restaurant. The churros however were meh. They were a bit overcooked so they were a bit hard. The Mister and I will definitely do VIP again soon. Despite the rudeness from the white people beside us on either side, it was quite an experience. Sorry guys, don't mean to sound racist, but everyone we observed in that theatre were white. There was not a single minority present except us. I guess white people are just more willing to spend. This is not the first place I've noticed this. I noticed this at the ballet and especially when we went to The Shore Club.

It's places and moments like this that make us want to strive to be more successful so that we can have fancy business dinners and events to attend. It may be a weird thought but it would make me feel proud if one day the Mister and I are able to attend functions or frequent these places on our own just because.

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Luckily I was able to take the weekend and spend it with the Mister to celebrate our birthdays. I say "luckily" because I otherwise would have been forced by my company to partake in a Chinese New Year event that took place on the same weekend we would celebrate. I had the argument that had to do the other event (IDS) the next weekend so it would be unfair for them to make me go to two events while other people are not expected to do the same. I did end up helping the day before to set up.

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My nails for Chinese New Year. I tried to do some dripping crystals- definitely needs work.

Dinner at Swiss Chalet with the Mister and his cousin. We also shared a dessert.

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This is me dumping most of my clothes on my bed to sort out which one to keep and which one to toss. I ended up donating 3 bags of clothes and junk from my room. It not only felt good to let go, it felt really good to give someone the chance to make use of things I don't want anymore.

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I already used up one bar, gave one to my mom, and now I'm using the last one. I'm not a fan of bar soaps, but these ones smelled so good and looked so pretty that I couldn't say no.

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I got this Calvin Klein sheet set because it looked pretty and felt nice. In one of Lisa's videos, she also mentioned that her mom liked these CK sheets. I thought it was a no brainer, but I am here to report, don't get them. The fabric is so thin that after a couple times you sleep on it, it looks like it's been used for years. It literally looks like it'll fall apart anytime now. I'm so disappointed in the quality. Not sure if they have different lines, but this one looked pretty good in the packaging when I bought it. Don't waste your money!!

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle