Thursday, October 24, 2013

5.170 Thanksgiving 2013

Some things as of recent has reminded me of how important it is to stay true to yourself no matter how many opinions say otherwise. A few years ago I was going through a rough time, so rough that I ended up turning to my blog for help. The moral support meant a lot to me and I appreciated everyone's suggestions, but I quickly came to realize that not all suggestions are meant for everyone. In the end I felt like I was trying to be someone I was not. It was a good lesson to learn that I should always stay true to myself. No matter the result, it's better to know you handled the situation on your own terms.

Anyway, I'm a bit late with this post but I did take pictures so here they are. Thanksgiving this year went a lot more smoothly than previous years. My younger sister and I cooked up a storm in the kitchen all day and timed it out perfectly. Timing was never on out side before- we always ended up serving dinner about an hour late lol.

My younger sister made the main course, two chickens instead of turkey, and she also made squash soup and the asparagus. I made the many potato side dishes and dessert.

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First was the baked potato. For years I said I would try making baked potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner but never did until now. For the topping I had several options for people to choose from which included sour cream, chives, green onion, bacon and cheese.

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I also made roasted sweet potatoes- one plain with butter and the other was Japanese sweet potatoes with scallion butter. The Japanese one was so darn good. I will definitely make it again and make a post on it!

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And lastly, I made sweet potato fries. Just covered with olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.

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It was some feast!

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And for dessert, dark chocolate mousse. I'm *planning* on getting back to doing recipe posts again. They take a lot of work and they're very time consuming though which is the reason why I stopped. But I'll definitely give it a shot again. Just don't know when.

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." -Mark Twain

Monday, October 21, 2013

5.169 The Secret Project... Revealed!

Hello hello! It's that time a lot of you have been patiently and eagerly waiting for! My apologies for taking so long. I spent my whole vacation working on it and this week was my first week back to work which is why I didn't have time to write this blog post. So, what is the secret project? I'll spare you the details and get right to the point.

All of my life and more than a decade living at this residence having to share a room with my sister- and at one point both of my sisters... I now have my own room! You guys know how long I've been waiting for my own room right? To some of you this might not be a big deal, and perhaps it's a little pathetic, but it is what it is. I am just thankful to not only have a roof over my head but to also have some more privacy now. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister, but if you have not shared a room before than you might not realize how much of a privilege it is to have your own space and to be able to do things at your own time. As you know, I work evening shifts but my sister has a day job. Our schedules are completely opposite so that when I come home I have to tiptoe around to get ready for bed while she has to tiptoe around to get ready in the morning. Now with separate bedrooms we don't have that problem. And not only that, I now have a place for the Mister and I to hang out when he comes over. It's harder to have a relationship when you share a room. Now I can talk to him on the phone if I wanted to at night and we have a place to hang out when he comes over.

Aside from first world problems, I am really thankful to have some privacy in general. I took a class on Homelessness back in University and I distinctly remember guest speakers coming in and emphasizing how much of a luxury privacy is. When you live on the streets, it's completely public, you don't have privacy... period. Privacy can be taken for granted, but I will never forget it, because for the first time in my life, I can now indulge in some privacy and peace of mind.

Day 1, Sept 29th
A few shots of the dingy room's "before" picture. All of the furniture were outrageously dated and extremely unkept. My sister and I removed most of the old furniture and cleared out the room- with the exception of the bed and glass table.

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A closer shot of the inside of the closet.

Day 2, Sept 30th
The Mister came over to help clean and scrub the walls with a mixture of water and vinegar. After that we repaired the walls by filling in the cracks and holes with drywall compound (there were a lot to fill).

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Then we removed the shelves in the closet. We also went to Home Dept to pick out the wall paint and a curtain rod.

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Day 3, Oct 1st
I prepped the walls to be painted by taping up the trim and removing the outlet covers. I also filled in any remaining cracks and holes that we missed previously in the wall.

Day 4, Oct 2nd
In the morning I removed the baseboard by myself. And started to paint.

Shortly after the Mister came over to help put down the first coat of paint. It's by Behr in the colour "Hummus". We also dismantled and removed the old bed.

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Here is a closer look at most of the tools we used (minus the paint brushes and roller and pan- they were being cleaned).

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Day 5, Oct 3rd
I finished painting the 2nd "final" coat... until half way I ran out of paint. I got my mom to run to Home Depot to get another can. I gave her the swatch card with all the information they can scan in to get the right colour... but they screwed up I guess and gave me a lighter custom colour instead of the "Hummus" colour I had (of course something like this would happen to me...). You can see where the paint differs just above the windows. I continued painting though hoping that maybe the paint didn't oxidize yet and planned to wait to see if it would change overnight.

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Day 6, Oct 4th
It didn't. Home Depot really botched up- or whoever was working the paint area that day. It was too much of a hassle to go back and complain so I decided to keep the wall with the "Hummus" colour as my accent wall (the wall shown on the left). If the new colour was bad I would have went back and b*tched and complained lol, but it wasn't. So basically the Mister came over to help repaint the final coat of the new colour on the other 3 walls. Talk about a pain in the butt. We also removed the rest of the wood pieces that help up the shelves in the closet.


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Day 7, Oct 5th
After the paint job was completed, my mom decided to replace the flooring with new hardwood floors. My uncle came over to remove the old flooring and in the evening his friend (who was hired to do the flooring) came over to help and then started to put down some of the new flooring.

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Day 8, Oct 6th
The next day they did the bulk of installing the new hardwood floor and finished it late evening.

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This orchid I bought from Costco was my room-warming gift to myself. I wanted it to be the first thing I put in the room.

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Day 9, Oct 7th
Moving was a process. It's hard trying to figure out where things should go especially since I didn't have a bed yet or other furniture to put my things in. I did however know where I wanted my bookshelf at least. The Mister helped move most of my things over.

Day 10 Oct 8th
I prepped the walls in my closet to be painted. It was upon closer inspection and laying some white paint on the walls that I noticed the previous wall colour was some sort of weird off white with some sort of pink hue to it. It was no wonder the lighting in there looked so terrible. It wasn't the bulb's fault, it was the paint!

Day 11-12 Oct 9,10th
Beautiful white at last. I painted a coat on each day. You can see the difference in lighting in these pictures compared to the before pictures.

And that, my friends, is the end of this post. I hope it won't be too long for my next post where I show you progress pictures of my room coming together. Until then!

"Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy." -Cynthia Nelms

Thursday, October 10, 2013

5.168 Square One's Shanghai 360

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The Mister and I recently visited Square One to shop and to check out their newly opened food court called "Food Central". Their food court isn't as impressive as the Eaton's Centre- it's not as big and there weren't that many new food stands to choose from. It's more like Yorkdale's newly renovated food court. It's a much better upgrade from what it used to be but it's not over-the-top impressive like Eaton's.

As appetizing as some of the other food stands were, the Mister and I decided on Shanghai 360 since their food looked quite appetizing (plus they gave out a free drink coupon). They had a pretty good selection of food and I liked how you could choose anything with the combos without there being some sort of extra charge (like what Manchu Wok does). The food was quite tasty and it was better than Manchu Wok in my opinion. The left photo is mine and the right is the Mister's.

And of course while we were at Square One, I found myself wandering into the beauty section of Walmart and Target whilst dragging the Mister along (he's always a good sport though hehe).
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And this was the resulting purchase. I wanted more of the Super Lustrous Lipglosses and found them on sale at Walmart for just under $5! I was so excited and got 3 colours. I also picked up a couple Hask Macadamia hair oils (I love this stuff guys; one of them is for the Mister's sister), a few Wet 'n' Wild Megalast lipsticks that I heard good things about, and a couple of top coat sparkly nail polishes. But because I wanted more colours of the Revlon lipglosses, I headed into Target and picked up two more which were unfortunately not on sale. But the most amazing thing I found, that I've been waiting and wishing for to be in stock, were the Sonia Kashuk brushes!! I know I said I would do a review on these brushes but I only own two and have been trying to get ahold of a few more before I can actually do that post. When I get the chance to try these products out more, I'll try to do some reviews.

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I thought I would have more chances to wear the nail polishes I bought... but because of my secret project, I was only able to wear one nail polish so far. It is Sally Hansen's "Casting Call".

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The formula is richer and a bit thicker than the average polish. The application can be a tad streaky if you don't take care. It's a really beautiful colour, great for Spring and Summer.

Also during my two week break, I finally went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked. It turns out I need glasses (not surprising). I took a look at a few frames at the office which were mainly Dior but didn't buy any since they totalled to $500 with everything included. I'll only wear glasses when I need it, so for that price point it's not even worth it- hello Clearly Contacts! Trying on the glasses did give me a good idea about what frames fit my face the best though.

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Breakfast at one of our favourite eats- Eggspectation =)

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Late night snack/dinner at McDonald's by my house LOL. I had a coupon so it was a good deal.

The next post will be the secret reveal of the project I've been working on. Stay tuned!

"Three things you can't recover in life: the word after it's said, the moment after it's missed, and the time after it's gone." -Unknown

5.167 Hudson and Chapters

I swear I'm not trying to enable anyone to shop... but these are purchases that I've made in the last couple of months, and like I said, I'm trying to tie up any loose ends. I'll try to make it quick!

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Yes, if you didn't know by now, I'm obsessed with The Bay. I fell in love with their HBC section.

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One day it was raining so I thought it was the perfect time to get the umbrella I've been eyeing. This was $40 I believe. It's so nice and I've been wanting a full umbrella for a while! It really make me feel secure especially when I see storm clouds a brewing. It's roomy enough to fit both me and the Mister under it.

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Another time I went to the mall with my mom I decided to spend the $15 savings card I got from signing up with their HBC credit card on their decor cushion I have had my eyes on for so long.

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The same day I was getting the cushion they were having a sale on their towels for $30 a piece. I wasn't interested at first but then couldn't help but feel like I was missing out on some good deal after seeing, not one, but two different pairs of people come to analyze and pick out the best towels for themselves- all this in the span of 5 minutes. I saw one pair (two guys) go to the cash with four towels... and the other ladies were getting two. After seeing them throw the frayed towels aside I crossed my fingers and hoped that there was at least still one good one left. Luckily, there was.

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Found these really great storage boxes at Winners.

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One day I got all my stuff come in at once...

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This green tea matcha I got on sale at Well.ca. Because I'm such a freak I bought the whisk and spoon (they came together) too. The matcha tastes really good. Better than another I used to have. The only thing is it's made in China... which scares me to be honest.

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At the time Chapters Indigo was having a sale (15% off everything) so of course being the maniac I was I got on that. Most were for Christmas gifts (yes I'm doing it super early) except this soup bowl that I got for myself.

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Another visit I picked up this really great agenda ($15) and a really cute little notebook for $5 that I found in clearance.

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The agenda has golden edge paper which is really beautiful. But the thing I like about it most is the small size (pocket agenda!), perfect to carry around in my bag. And I like how they have a monthly calendar and lots of space for the weekly pages. Plus they have world maps and other neat features. You can see it all for yourself here. It couldn't be more perfect for me~ 2014 here I come!

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This pillow, called the Chinchilla pillow, I got for 40% off during one of their special sales. It feels so soft.

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I bought this print because it's so inspirational for me. No matter what you go through, life will go on whether you're ready or not. So you can either sit there do nothing and have life go on, or, you can pick yourself up and move on. It was (and still is) on sale for $12.50 for the 8x10. I had planned to buy a frame for it but the Mister already did that for me =) I really love how it looks too. Inspirational and artistic!

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I got this package in the mail along with my other Chapter orders and figured it was something else I ordered.

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But when I opened it, I found this. I had this on my wishlist but didn't remember ordering it. I was so confused and even went as far as checking my account to see if there was some sort of mistake. Minutes later I realized it must have been my sweetie chipmunk who had sent it to me! If one day we shall marry, Paris will happen.

"True strength is keeping everything together when everyone expects you to fall apart." -Unknown