Wednesday, December 16, 2015

7.310 No Snow?

Hey guys!! I left you off with my last post saying that I was picking up my car the next day, which I did end up doing :D I will eventually share you pics of the car but first I want to get this post out of the way because the things I did here were before I picked up the car.

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Christmas is totally not in full swing. I haven't felt a single snowflake all winter and Christmas is next week! It's completely unheard of.

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The only snow I've seen is indoor snow lol. Where's the Christmas spirit? Where's the "it's starting to look a lot like Christmas"?? I know a lot of people are happy that there hasn't been any snow, but I would like a little something so that I can get the whole winter season out of my system. If it doesn't snow, it won't feel like Winter, and by Spring and Summer, I'll really miss it.

They weren't kidding around when they made these ugly Christmas sweaters.

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One day I went out with my mom to Dixie Outlet Mall. I haven't been there in ages. I noticed some of the nicer stores that used to be there aren't anymore. It feels and looks a little bit more run down now.

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We went into the Sears there and man... it really brings me back to my childhood. I'm not trying to sound pretentious or anything, but back when I was younger, my family was really on the low income end of the spectrum. We always shopped at places that looked like this. Lower end malls, lower end/no name brands, bargains and clearance sections etc. Once in a while I come to these kinds of stores and it brings back nostalgic memories. It might sound weird but I feel "at home" at these places, and I never think less of anyone who shops there.

Sometimes you find really strange things at these places though. Can someone explain the miniature wheel chair?? The bee honeycomb cups looked pretty neat, but it'd be weird to drink out of.

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The only store I really like at Dixie Mall is Winners. It's not an outlet Winners though, but because not a lot of people come to this mall, you can often find some really great things here. Take for example the $50 Shiseido Bio Performance cream I found for my mom. It retails for $150 just to let you know. Even at the Shiseido sale it sells for $100. What a steal!

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This Santa cookie jar was HUGE. You can't tell in this picture, but trust me, there was more than enough room in there for cookies and more.

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I found these cute Christmas trees! I was debating on whether or not to get the smaller one or the bigger one.

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I ended up getting the smaller one because I decided that I wanted to place it on my night stand. It's the perfect size! I love the snow on it. It looks so wintry and cozy. If I can't have winter outside, I'll bring it inside haha.

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This is right above my bed. I bought the cranberries and the white branches from Dollarama.

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Shopping for Christmas gifts is pretty much done for me. The only person I have left is my mom... which is the toughest one. Speaking of shopping, the Zara at the Eaton's Centre finally reopened it's newly renovated space. I love Zara too much, seriously.

That day the Mister and I went out to eat at one of our favourite restaurants that we haven't been to in a while. Swiss Chalet :D

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What can we say? It's comfort food at it's best- especially in winter. We got greedy and didn't share dessert this time haha.

"I thought I’d be a much more secure person at this stage in my life. I thought that if I played by the rules, I’d learn to be happy and becoming an adult would somehow reconcile all my issues. I’m realizing now that nobody grows up. Everyone just grows old." -Humans of New York

Friday, December 4, 2015

7.309 Now or Never, New Era Begins

Dear blog readers, tomorrow my life officially changes. I mentioned in my last post that the Mister and I were in the midst of purchasing a car. We searched online for weeks to find the right car for us. We were in the market for a used car because we didn't want to pay full price for the type of car we wanted. A few years ago, I used to be against used cars. I eventually came around once I realized how dramatically the value of a car goes down in just a couple of years. If you think about how fast technology advances and how phones and computers constantly need upgrading, then you can apply the same to a car. In just a few years, a car can look and even feel dated. I remember at my last workplace, the sanitary manager talked about how he was looking into leasing since most people have car payments most of their life anyway. If we can save 10k on a car that's been lightly used, I'll take it.

At first the Mister figured we'd used the car for a couple years and then trade it in. At that point we were looking at cars that had roughly 50,000-70,000 km on it. Truthfully I never wanted a car with high mileage, so I convinced the Mister to get a car that had a much lower number. I found an ad for a car with roughly 14,000km on it. The thought of driving a car with lower mileage made me feel so much better. After some discussion, we both agreed that we would keep the car for at least 5 years for it to be worth to purchase.

I emailed the dealership and exchanged emails with a specialist. After obtaining some information and insight into the car history, I saw on their website that they had increased the car's price by $3000. The Mister called and asked him about it. He told him that at the time of viewing, the car was under some sort of promotion. Thankfully the Mister managed to get the specialist to bring down the price to the original price I first saw it listed at.

Then I emailed him again and managed to get him to drop the price down by $2000 (yasss!!!). That same day (Saturday) I got off work at 5 and got a text from the Mister informing me that he was in town. I immediately told him that it was "now or never" to go downtown and see the car before we decide to purchase. It was literally the only time we could do it because he's in and out of town during the week and I work hours that doesn't always coincide with dealership's open hours. So, just in a couple hours we were downtown viewing the car.

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Yes, we went with Audi as our chose of car. Inside there were cars parked everywhere and the ceilings were really high upstairs (no pics unfortunately). We went downstairs to see the car and work with the specialist to finalize the deal.

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The car we were looking at was the 2014 Audi A4. At last, I managed to get the car down another $500 because the back bumper had a few obvious marks and scratches. Fortunately it's the end of the year and they wanted to clear out their older models (this being one of them). I think we got a pretty sweet deal on this car in my opinion. The key is to not look very interested, keep a poker face and don't be afraid to haggle. I don't like to haggle but honestly this was a big purchase so I had to toughen up. In the end, it all worked out.

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We're picking up the car tomorrow late afternoon and we're so excited!!! Our lives are going to change haha. We can go on a short road trip if we wanted, visit Montreal if we wanted, go to the beaches in Summer, go to the zoo, visit the Ontario Science Centre, grocery shop... just so many things that we couldn't do because we had to solely rely on transit. But it's not that we'll stop using transit altogether, buses and the subway can be really convenient at times. It's just that now we can even stay out on New Years Eve and not be afraid that we'll miss our last bus. The glass ceiling has opened my friends, and I cannot wait to just fly :D

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I had today off and tomorrow off. I did a months worth of work clothes laundry and cleaned all my makeup brushes. It's been some time since I had a back-to-back break. Ugh, it feels good! Wish I had the weekends off always. The upside is, I get Dec 24th-27th and Jan 1st off! Dec 31st we close early so we can still carry out whatever plans we have planned, yay! Gosh, it feels great to have some sort of holiday (unlike my last workplace). They gave us the 25th and the 1st off and that was it.

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My company also threw us an early Christmas party last weekend. We went out to eat at Spoonful, a buffet in Brampton. We were allowed to bring one person along and so I brought the Mister :) He finally was able to meet everyone I would sometimes talk to him about haha. They also gave us a Christmas bonus of $200 which will be deposited into our banking accounts on the 24th. I'm wondering what I should buy... hmm. Perhaps a watch?

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Sunrise outside of work.

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Have you guys tried this incredibly delicious After Eight ice cream? It says on the container that it's limited edition and that makes me so sad. It tastes like their mint chocolates, oh goodness, is it ever good! If you love mint chocolate, you'd definitely love this!


And lastly, I wanted to share this insightful video of a man's view of the world after spending most of his life in jail.

"Without darkness, one cannot realize the value of light." -Unknown

Monday, November 23, 2015

7.308 Luxuriously Unpleasant

My coworker will be traveling abroad to get married soon. I joked around with him and asked if he was ready to take on being a husband. I explained to him that women tend to wear the pants in the relationship- especially after marriage. True, no? I mean, how many times have you heard men saying that his wife is the boss or using that common phrase: "happy wife, happy life." More often than not, wives have the last say. My manager refused to believe that this was the case with him. He said that his wife doesn't tell him what to do because he does it before she gets the chance to. But doesn't that just prove my point? She just trained him better than the rest LOL. Obviously it's better to treat each other equally... but sometimes, it just takes one look from the wife to remind the husband who's boss.

My manager then went on to tell me that he always puts his kids first, before his wife. At that point my other coworker, who's also married, chimes in and disagrees with my manager's method of always putting his kids before his wife. He said that you shouldn't just neglect your wife just because you have kids... and I couldn't agree more. The parents are the foundation of the family, the stronger your relationship with your spouse, the stronger your family will be. Without happy parents, how can you create a positive and happy home? It's always disheartening to hear about couples neglecting each other after they get married or after they have a family. It really shouldn't be that way, and it needn't be! Never forget the person you chose to share your life with. It's as simple as that!

So the night that I helped out with the Christmas party my workplace was hosting for their clients, I ended up working a 14 hour shift. It was my first time serving food and it was kind of interesting being on the other side (since I'm always the patron at restaurants). Along with serving appetizers, I cleared people's plates and I helped out with wiping and drying cutlery and plates.
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The party wasn't a huge success because a lot of people didn't show (about 100 showed, 300 had rsvp'd). So there was a TON of food left over. I have never seen that much leftover party food in my life. I wish I had thought of taking a picture of the food spread at the end but I was so tired by that time. We each got to take a truckload of food home and even then they still had so much food left over. The above picture is some of the leftovers the next day.

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Tim Horton's French Vanilla. I haven't had this in so long. One of my managers recently had a baby boy so he bought all of us something from Tim Hortons to celebrate.

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Our two "outting" meals in October. We hadn't eaten at the A&W restaurant on Richmond St in so long. Their root beer is life. I also took the Mister to eat empanadas for the first time. He loved it! We each got a Braised Beef Short Rib and Curry Coconut Chicken empanada. This time I got churros and omgg, the churros tasted even better than the ones I ate at CNE (Poncho's Bakery). Only thing was that the caramel was solid from being cold. Still, it was nom nom nom!

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This was eaten this month. The McDonald's by my house. The Mister suggested I try the new Mighty Angus burger, so I did. Oh man, best decision ever. I was going to get my usual McChicken burger but I'm so glad I tried the Angus. It honestly didn't even taste like a McDonald's burger. The beef was so tender and juicy and the caramelized onion reminded me of the burgers I would make at home.

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We tried to watch a movie one time but the show times didn't align with our schedule. It's harder now to go out because our day off is on a Sunday. Everything closes earlier on Sundays and bus and subway service is shortened and slower.

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So, we finally popped into Lavish & Squalor, a store that I was very intrigued by and have been wanting to check out. Their name is very interesting because it's like an oxymoron of luxury/rich and unpleasant/dirty.

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The place kind of reminds me of that store in Montreal called Magasin General. But whereas that store was more whimsical, Lavish and Squalor is more edgier. I loved the atmosphere of the place. It felt very rustic and raw.

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They had the plaid blanket scarves everyone and their mother has. I thought these were originally by Zara? But I see these scarves literally everywhere- especially the beige with green and red plaid stripes. I have the Zara Red Tartan Plaid scarf that I bought overpriced on ebay. No regrets though because I love how warm it keeps me.

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Looking for gifts for your man related to grooming his beard? Look no further.

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I really liked the gold rock pendant in the middle.

Surprisingly I didn't pick anything up, but maybe some other time. They had a few things I would love to look at again. This would be a great place to visit if you want to get a unique gift for someone.

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I saw these cute bee plates at HomeSense. I didn't get one because I have enough plates as it is.

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These were taken back in October when the nights were still warm. Now it's getting a lot colder these nights. Winter has definitely made it clear that she's finally here.

p.s. The Mister and I are in the midst of buying a car (dun dun dun!!). We've been searching and searching for a couple of weeks and I think we've finally found one we really like. Tomorrow we'll know for sure after the Mister has a chance to talk to the guy about our options. I'll update you guys on it later (by then I might even have the car already!). Let's hope for the best.

"A snob is anybody who takes a small part of you and uses that to come to a complete vision of who you are." -Alain de Botton

Friday, November 13, 2015

7.307 Sephora VIB Rouge 20% Off Sale + Black Galaxy

You guys know the drill by now. Every year Sephora has two major sales, one in Spring and one in Fall. I've been pretty good this year with not buying so much cosmetics as compared to last year. Last year I achieved VIB Rouge status because I dropped a ton of money on YSL lipsticks among other beauty treasures. Fellow beauty addicts, do you feel me? But this year I managed to keep away from Sephora since I focused on using up the products I already had.

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Above is my "empty" Dior powder foundation compact. I was determined to use the last bits that came off the pan, but after a couple of tries, it got all over the place so I gave up on that. Still, I was so pleased that I finally finished it! Using up products will be easier for me now since I can apply makeup everyday to work.

I will be losing my VIB Rouge status at the end of this year, but I have achieved VIB status until the end of next year. I checked my online order history and discovered that the last Sephora order I placed was back in June (when I had a promotional code for reaching VIB status), and the order I made before that was for the VIB sale back in April. I must say, I'm pretty darn proud of myself. I continue to look forward to digging into my collection and rediscovering lost treasures. But with that being said, as a beauty enthusiast, I still enjoy discovering new treasures which is why I took advantage of the 20% discount Sephora offers only once a year.

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This time it was all about Burberry (with the exception of a blush from Marc Jacobs). I was so excited the day I found out Sephora started to carry Burberry. Burberry cosmetics is so hard to reach at times that I never had many opportunities to look at their products and buy them. My first Burberry product were two eyeshadows that were gifted to me by my sisters for my 21st birthday (my gosh that sounds so long ago *cries*). I still have them and they still work like new.

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I knew for sure that I was going to get "Earthy Blush" #7,  which will be great for contour as well as a natural blush, and "Cameo" #2, a beautiful natural muted pink- something right up my alley. I also ordered the "Tangerine" #6 but they sent me "Blossom" #5 which I already have so I sent it back. It sucks because I really wanted to try the "Tangerine" blush. Funny enough, the day I bought "Blossom" at the Burberry store, I was debating between "Blossom" and "Tangerine". I finally settled on "Tangerine" but for some reason when the sales lady came I said that I wanted "Blossom". I didn't realize the mix up until after I left the store hahaha. I swear it's like "Tangerine" isn't meant to be for me.

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For eyeshadows, I got "Pale Barley" #102 and "Mulberry" #204. These shadows are pretty popular, especially "Pale Barley". I haven't tried them yet, but swatched they look beautiful!

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From left to right: "Pale Barley" #102, "Mulberry" #204, "Earthy" #7 and "Cameo" #2.

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Then I got a Burberry Kisses Lipstick in "Rose Blush" #89 and Burberry Lip Velvet in "Nude Rose" #405. I tried these in store before the sale and both feel great on the lips.

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Swatch of "Nude Rose" Lip Velvet on the left, and "Rose Blush" Kisses Lipstick on the right. I love love love "Nude Rose". It's from the lip velvet line and is the most perfect matte lipstick formulation. I love the look of matte lipsticks but hate how dry they make my lips, but this lipstick has a velvety feel which makes it very comfortable to wear! The colour is gorgeous, it's right on the mark of my-lips-but-better colour. "Rose Blush" is a pinkish brown lipstick from Burberry's Kisses line of lipsticks. These lipsticks have a satin finish to them and they feel great on the lips too.

I am officially in love with Burberry lipsticks. I was tempted to pick up "Oxblood" from the Lip Velvet but perhaps some other time. I wish I delved into these Burberry lipsticks sooner because I've been missing out!! I haven't been this excited about a lippie since I discovered YSL lipsticks! (This discovery might kick-start a bad thing... my wallet, eek!).

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The last item I got is this Marc Jacob Shameless Bold Blush in "Obsessed" #204. It's described as a warm pink but it looks a little more peach in the pan to me.

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These were my nails in October. I was Halloween-nail ready. This was Essie's Luxe Effects "As Gold As It Gets" over a Rimmel "Black Satin". I call this combo Black Galaxy because it looks almost like granite.

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The less of "As Gold As It Gets" you apply, the more your nails look like real granite.

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Orange-Glazed Chicken Drumsticks. This is the recipe that Judy and Benji praised from Blue Apron. I actually thought it tasted a bit bland. It's a good base recipe but I would definitely tweak it the next time I make it again.

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And Benji's chocolate chip cookies! I also tweaked his recipe because his version was way too sweet for me (and that's saying something because I have a major sweet tooth).

Oh and wish me good luck tomorrow. I have to work a 13 hour shift because my workplace needs us employees to work after hours because they're throwing a party for their clients. I'm going to be so tired by the end... I hope I can survive lol.

"I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." -Unknown