Saturday, January 31, 2015

6.260 Riptide

I'm on Season 6 of Gilmore Girls! I read about how the show was abruptly canceled a few years back? I hope the ending isn't terrible... but with most shows that get canceled, usually our imagination has to do a little bit of work to fill in the blank spaces.

We're well into 2015 now with the month of February already on our doorstep. January kind of flew by which is sad because it's my birthday month. But before I can even share any of that, I must share with you my family outing to Ripley's Aquarium back in December!

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It was my sister's present for my mom to bring the whole family here. My sisters have already been here before, but it was the first time for me, my mom, and my brother. **If you plan to go to Ripley's Aquarium and don't want to spoil anything for yourself, please feel free to skip this post because I took a lot of pictures.**

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The entrance seemed a little more geared towards kids- which is understandable given that a lot of families come here with their children, and the fact that a lot of schools plan trips here too.

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This tank was the first group of fish we saw. It was so cool seeing a school of fish grouped together. I kind of felt bad for them though because they were just swimming in one place due to the man-made current. In the ocean they could at least swim far and wide and go somewhere.

There are some really weird looking creatures in the depths of the sea. You got the usuals like king crabs that you sea at the market, but then there are the weird ones like the one at the bottom right picture. I didn't have my dslr with me so the pictures aren't as clear, plus it didn't help that it was dark so I couldn't capture some of the details of these fishes. I do like the fact that they tried to mimic the natural habitat to the individual fishes though, so I'll take the dark lighting over human entertainment any day.

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The octopus was pretty cool. We saw the tentacles and underside pretty well but not much else (the other octopus was hiding behind a rock). The glass has been warped because of the shape so when you try looking in at the octopus, everything just looks contorted.

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Because I was with my family, I wasn't able to take as much time as I'd like to read and learn about everything- which is what makes these places worth going to. I might come back another day to read everything.

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You can't tell from the picture, but this tank was so awesome. It was a HUGE cylinder shaped tank, and it felt like you were in there with them. It was really hard taking pictures of anything because there were so many people.

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I like how colourful these sea urchin were. Everything looks better in person by the way.

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This tank is my favourite. It was so bright, alive, and full of colour! My mom has a fish tank at home and one day when I have my own house, I want one too. I would like mine to mimic the ocean like the tank above.

And then there was the "Dangerous Lagoon" an underwater tunnel where there's a moving walkway for you to stand on to enjoy the view from all over.
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At times you felt like you were swimming with the fishes, sharks, and stingrays! It was really cool.

Whenever I see a lionfish, I'm reminded of that movie, Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo, where the Rob Schneider is house sitting and accidentally breaks the fish tank with the lionfish in it lol.

This seahorse is one of the most amazing creatures I've seen. It has evolved to mimic the seaweed and plant life in its natural habitat. It looked so graceful and fragile.

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I felt absolutely terrible for this shark because it was swimming continuously around in circles in what could be the smallest tank ever for a fish this large.

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Apparently I just missed the stingray swimming up as my mom told me. These looked pretty big.

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The jellyfish looked like they were digital, I swear. Ripley's could draw up a digital version of these jelly fish and I could probably not tell the difference- that's how tv-like it was. The light and colour change these jellyfish do are so fascinating.

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These little jelly fish guys looked real in person at least. Boy, I'm not sure what happened to this picture when I uploaded, but the photo in my folder doesn't look as bad as this. Although, that doesn't take away the fact that when I do look at the quality of these pictures, I really wish I would have thought to bring my dslr with me. Some of these photos are just awful... my apologies.

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The gigantic filter tanks that maintain the water in the fish tanks. Man, it must take a lot of work to keep them clean because cleaning the fish tank at home can be quite the burden... I can't begin to imagine the upkeep it takes to maintain all those delicate fishes.

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I have never seen a shark's egg before. You can see the little ones moving inside the egg. It was really neat.

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And then, we get to the end. Here you could freely touch a stingray if you wanted to. I didn't want to because I didn't want to get my hands wet, but my sister did.

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This little backdrop in front of the giftshop was neat. It'd be better if you didn't see the lines, but at least they tried. The backdrop at the Biodome in Montreal was much more realistic; you'll see when I share my vacation pics. I didn't end up buying anything at the giftshop because I felt like my trip there wasn't as fulfilling as I'd want it to be. You really have to read and learn to make this trip feel worthwhile. Otherwise you'll just stare at fish and feel like that's all you got out of it.

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After we left Ripley's Aquarium, we went to go eat pho at Pho Mi Asia. I got my usual, Pho Tai Bo Vien. Yum.

"We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets." -Marilyn Monroe

Monday, January 26, 2015

6.259 Gilmore Addiction

It's been almost a month since I've started watching the Gilmore Girls and I'm already on Season 5. Yes people, I'm crazy. That explains why I haven't been watching my usual youtube videos, such as lisalisad1, itsjudyslife, and all the endless beauty channels I'm subscribed to. It is also the reason why I haven't been blogging either. I have eye bags and many hours dedicated to sitting in bed staring at the screen to prove it. Sorry my sweets, but I am officially addicted and need to finish the series to continue on with the life I had before this addiction came about.

Gilmore Girls is fantastic. The show is about a remarkable relationship between a single mother and her daughter, and follows them through their everyday lives, going on to explore many social issues that many people face in the real world. **Spoilers to come. Please feel to free to skip this post if you haven't watched the show and want to watch it.** 

I love how they explore the unique relationship between Lorelai (mother) and Rory (daughter). Lorelai had Rory when she was only 16 and had to overcome a lot of discrimination and hardships to raise such an incredibly smart, bright, and humble young lady. Lorelai doesn't have a good relationship with her parents because they're very conservative and at times unbearable. Despite their differences, Lorelai's parents mean well and want a relationship with Lorelai and their granddaughter Rory. Throughout the show you can see how their relationship evolves, and you have a nice perspective of both sides for a better understanding of the madness behind it all.

The show also focuses heavily on Rory's school life, which I find very inspiring. I wish I was raised to be obsessed about a potential University and had a cork board decked out with paraphernalia of said school. As a student, you're told that you're suppose to go on to college or university, so it was pretty much a given- more of a direction than a specific goal. But to create an actual goal, something to formulate in your head, something to work towards, now that would have inspired me a lot. I also liked how Rory was encouraged to do what she felt was right and go to Yale even though Harvard was the school she's been dreaming of all her life. I liked how the show explored issues relating to sticking to the "books" and expectations. If I could go back, I would have stayed an extra year in high school. I didn't at the time though because I felt it wasn't right in the "books". I was set on the standard four years in high school because I was afraid of how I would look, after all, most people I knew were graduating. Looking back, it was totally silly and I should have done what I felt was right.

Boyfriend related issues were also extensively explored throughout the series. The typical problems were present which included dealing with jealousy, cheating, breakups, extramarital affairs, and pregnancy. But then there were the small things that really stood out to me. When Rory was with Dean, the most perfect boyfriend she could ever ask for, she met Jess who connected with her on a different level due to high compatibilities in the interests and hobbies department. Although a troubled teen, Jess was into the same books and music, and understood all of Rory's pop culture references; Dean, on the other hand, didn't. When Rory eventually leaves Dean for Jess, that's when I realized that having common interests isn't everything. Jess was always unpredictable and unreliable, whereas Dean was always helpful, supportive, and there for Rory when she needed him. I realized that even though Dean and Rory didn't have as much in common, it was the fact that Dean accepted her for who she was and would show care and interest in her hobbies that made him the perfect boyfriend. On a side note, I came across this webpage which talks about how having common interests isn't a means for compatibility.

Oh, and did I mention how Rory is an introvert? I can totally relate. Parties, drinking, clubs, social gatherings... totally not my thing either. I really liked the episode when the headmaster of Chilton, Rory's high school, was concerned about Rory's social skills and ability to have friends. Although she likes to keep to herself, she does socialize on occasion and does have friends back at home that the headmaster does not see in school. The point being is, hey, just because a girl likes to be alone at lunch to eat and read her book doesn't mean that there's something seriously wrong with her. You don't see the whole picture and that was a good lesson in that episode.

Overall the show is amazing. I will miss it when it ends but I look forward to having my life back haha. Until then.

"If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." -Lao Tzu

Friday, January 16, 2015

6.258 December Products

I'm going to be totally honest with you and say that I'm throwing this post together as quickly as I can because I'm not in the blogging mood these days. I have a few things lined up but I'm hooked on watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. During the Holidays my younger sister started on the series and I caught a few episodes when I was hanging around in the living room. The show seemed very interesting and very relatable, so, I took it upon myself to start it from the beginning and I've been hooked ever since. More about the show some other time.

Today, I need to get this monthly product post out; and as a reminder, this is the last of its kind. But no worries, I'll still feature products worth mentioning in my other posts. Random posts are more fun to read than these monthly posts anyway- in my humble opinion.

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I love burning a candle when it's cold outside and as I'm sitting in my warm bed all cuddled up in my comfy blanket watching something on Youtube or Netflix. The candles I have been burning are by WoodWick in "Peppermint Cocoa" and "Rose Blossom". "Rose Blossom" is pictured on the right and is suppose to be pink but the colour has faded because it was sitting on my windowsill for quite some time. Both candles burned a little funny in the beginning. The wood wick didn't crackle as loud and didn't burn as bright either. Once the candles burned a third of the way, the wick finally started burning like how it should be. Both candles are very fragrant and, as always, WoodWick candles are lovely and enjoyable to use.

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Itsjudyslife Palette is a great palette to have, but especially great for beginners like me. It has a decent variety of colours to choose from and narrows down the basic colours that complement each other to create a complete eye look.

I love Fresh's Sugar Lip Balms. The one I used most in December was "Ruby". It gave me a beautiful tint of Ruby Red colour on the lips- not too bold- which was perfect for the Holiday season.

I have featured Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner before but I thought I'd mention it again. This eyeliner is amaze-balls. It's precise, doesn't lose it's fine tip overtime, and is pigmented if you do a few strokes over. It's a no-fuss liquid eyeliner and I've even recommended it to my sister whom loves it too. Best bet is to go with "Ultra Black" as "Black" probably won't be as pigmented and I've heard the "Brown" isn't any good.

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Nars Doucer Blush is very pigmented so you need a light hand. It's a beautiful dusty pink on the cheeks so its perfect for winter when you don't want your blush to be so vibrant. It's also very nice to use to create the illusion of a contour without using bronzer to do it.

YSL Blush Volupte in "Passionnee" #6 is a mid warm-toned pink with gold shimmers. The colour is pretty on the cheeks but I do find it a bit powdery. It also doesn't have a good balance between the pigment and shimmer; the shimmer shows more than the colour itself. If I apply more to try to get more colour, the shimmer and colour ratio stays the same, making my cheeks rosy but a bit too shimmery. My favourite blush with gold shimmers is still my discontinued Dior Blush in "Passion Fruit". It has the perfect balance of pigment and shimmer, and it's more pigmented too so I don't have to dig my brush in or reapply. I haven't purchased one of the new Dior blushes because I'm not a fan of the packaging. I'm unsure if I'll buy any other YSL Volupte blushes but for now I'll just keep playing with the one I have.

Need I mention this Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in "Diffused Light" again? Yes, because it's wonderful! Micro-barely-there shimmers, it gives an appearance of an inner glow- which is unlike the shimmer that other highlighters give.

Hopefully I will get back in the swing of things soon! It's always the starting that's hard!

"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem." -Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

6. 257 Xmas '14 + Twenty Fifteen

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Gee, where has the time gone? First and foremost, Happy New Year! Mine was spent quietly at home watching Big Bang Theory, ordering pizza, eating chocolate cake, and having some champagne when midnight struck. The pictures are on the Mister's phone so I'll just have to fetch them and insert them here at a later date.

This is how our Christmas tree looked this Christmas... a little lopsided at the top and not everything is "perfect", but that's what happens when the sun goes down sooner in the evening in winter. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to us that we could have just turned on the light.

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Christmas wasn't that exciting for me this year. Like I said in my other post, I just didn't feel any Christmas cheer when it came to my house. My mom is not into Christmas, she thinks it's a little pointless and well, she's not much of a holiday person anyway. To be honest, she's not really into anything actually, sometimes it feels like she's given up on life. I wish I could get her to see past the bills and stresses, but it's hard when all she sees is the problems.

Anyway, enough of this dreary subject, today I wanted to share my Christmas.
This Christmas, I decided to be in charge of the main dish. Now if you didn't know, I have never made the main dish before. I've always done appetizers, side dishes, or dessert but never the main. I was inspired to do it after seeing Giada's Pot Roast recipe pop up in my Facebook feed. I didn't have access to Porcini mushrooms so I substituted with Portobello mushrooms instead. It still turned out really good... except for the fact that I forgot to tent the roast with foil so the meat did dry out a little.

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My sister made nachos... it didn't go with anything, but she wanted to make it because she felt like it. It was a hit with my family.

Then my other sister made the veggie side and crispy potatoes.

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And then there was Caramel Flan. Oh boy, was this ever good. She even went all fancy on us too with the presentation.

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And that was it for Christmas dinner. It was small but it was just enough for all of us. There were less leftovers which was great because our fridge is always too full.

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Then we waited until midnight of the 24th to open the presents!

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My elder sister got me this. A meme box, geared with Asian products- with some items missing that she thought wouldn't be much use to me, and a Kate Spade wallet. The apple container in the box is actually by Tony Moly, and it's a face moisturizer that I think will be interesting to use.

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My younger sister got me these. She knows that I like Grace Cole hand soaps (lol), knows I love the Hudson Bay too much, and of course she gets me a mug with an antler as a handle! She seriously knows me too well.

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My mom got me these fuzzy Old Navy socks which I love to wear because they're comfy and it gets cold in my house.

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And my brother? He got me this awesome Lord of the Rings poster! And it's not just any ordinary poster, it's made of some special foil material or something. I'm going to have to get a frame for it so that it doesn't get ruined. It's magnificent.

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Then the Mister. He got me a Kate Spade bag. He still felt so bad because last year, I had mentioned he bought me something online but it didn't come in yet so he went out and bought me other things in the meantime. Well, it turned out that he had ordered a Coach bag for me online... but, when it came in the mail, he realized it was a fraudulent one. That's why I never shared that gift at a later date because there was none haha. No, but seriously, he brought the bag to show me and it looked so cheap and just plain awful. Apparently it looked nothing like the bag he wanted to get me.

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But, he made up for it this year. It's a lovely bag, I really like the shape of it, and I love the interior. I think he did a fine job. I don't own a grey bag so it'll be new and different.

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He also got me chocolate! He knows exactly which kinds I like.

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I've never tried the Terry's Orange Chocolate segments before, but they are seriously good. My favourite is the exploding candy then the crispy puffed rice one.

This New Year, I've decided to make some resolutions. I know, me? New Year resolutions? I can't say losing weight would be one of them, as I know that may not realistically happen this year, but I did want to mention it. Here is my realistic list of resolutions this year:

1. Blog more often about random daily happenings. I feel like I lost touch with blogging about the randomness and everyday things in my life. My blog posts are always themed and it's always "events", outings, or show-and-tell. I leave out the little things so I'll try to bring those back.
2. I'm going to stop the monthly product posts because to be honest they're boring to write and to read. I have one last one to write for December but that's it. Instead, if there's a product I really like I'll just mention it right into my other posts- it'll go along with blogging about the little things.

3. Blog about whatever I feel like and whatever I do regardless of how it makes me look. Yes, I eat a lot of junk food. I do. And sometimes I don't even bother blogging about it because it makes me a look like a pig (which I am).
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Exhibit A: poutine from New York Fries. The Mister and I shared this when we went to the mall one day. It was really good. I think it was called the Supreme Poutine or something.

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And Exhibit B: comfort food at Swiss Chalet, one of our favourite places to eat that I've mentioned a billion times before; because let's face it, it's winter and comfort food is the best thing you can eat. Blogging about the same things is something I can look back on one day and remember how obsessed we were with those things. We tend to go through phases of liking a certain restaurant or food, and then we eventually find something else and move on. I would like to remember that, so it'd be helpful if I blogged about them.

4. I'm going to have more faith and confidence in myself. I admit, I am a big self-doubter. I always have this voice in the back of my mind telling me that I can't do it or that everything is impossible. I need to have a more open mind and just believe in myself.
5. Stop spending on useless crap. Okay, so I think I may have crossed some sort of line when I bought that porcelain bird plate. My sister said that she can picture my future house with all of these white porcelain plates and statues... which got me thinking of an old lady's house with tons of knick knacks, especially those porcelain stuff. She and the Mister have also commented about how I like to collect a lot of whatever I like, such as: lipsticks, perfumes, candles, chocolates... and they're totally right! I think I have a sickness. A collector's sickness. Hoarders? I don't know, but it's something, and I want it to stop.
6. Shop my closet. I have so many things that I haven't even worn or only once or twice, it's sick! I like to stick to the same old pieces that have worked for me because I find it hard to branch out. Well too bad sister! Because this year I'm going to dig deep into my closet and wear things that I bought that are meant to be worn!

Anyway that's all I can think of for now.

"The trouble is, you think you have time." -Buddha