Monday, December 12, 2016

Instagram-ers to follow

Instagram is my escape to the world that I don't live in. There are many amazing photographers who showcase their work there. Every time I open the app, surprises awaits me. For this season, there are a few Instagram accounts I followed in a heartbeat:

1. @a.lovely.interior

This account showcases beautiful interior designs of different homes. They use the color white and incorporate other specially chosen furniture to give it a character. The designs are very pleasing to the eye and is definitely a good distraction from the winter blues. 

2. @hilightarchitects

This not only post pictures of the home's interior, but also the building/unique architecture's exterior. Very trendy and modern, sleek designs. Brilliant use of the basic colors (black, white, and grey) and use of one-of-a-kind furniture to produce art.

3. @thedreamstrip

Used up your vacation time? Or waiting to accumulate enough months to claim your time off like me? Here's a dose of vacation while you're on your coffee break, or after a long day's work. The dream strip covers a lot of exotic beaches and resorts. Breathtaking bodies of water, along with warm, sunny, sandy beaches. Almost all the places they have a picture of is a MUST-GO. 

4. @vacations

Maybe you're not exactly the type who likes sandy beaches, and getting roasted in the sun? Not a problem. This Instagram account captures places from sunny beaches to beautiful, snowy mountain tops. You can experience almost every season through the eyes of this instagram-er. 

What's your favorite account to follow?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My makeup go-tos for work

Makeup for work. 

No, this is not a makeup tutorial. But simply showcasing on my go-tos for makeup products. This is for travelling or for work. 

There's always a time when you would need to look fresh and awake. Or other times when you need to ensure your business casual/formal wear matches a presentable face. 

In the recent convention, I have brought the following:
  • Eyeshadow Palette x2 (one has glitter while the other is simply for shading/contouring the eyes)
  • Lipstick x1
  • Mascara x1
  • Eyelash Curler x1
  • Eyeliner x1
  • Concealer x1
  • Perfume Roller x1
Since my tan from the summertime, it is still a struggle trying to find my own shade for the fall/winter season. Hence I don't even have pressed powder to seal the face from the oily T-zone. Some of the things I would have if I had gone all out:
  • Contouring Blush
  • Pore reducer
  • Shine control pressed powder
  • Fake Lashes
Its amazing how much products we can put on our face on any given day. Which part of the face do you focus your makeup on? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Friends Date: 4Cats Art Studio

Main Street has a number of really neat places, little mom and pop shops.

Recently I attended 2 workshops at 4Cats (Main street location). Taking a quick look at their calendar of events, there's at least three workshops happening every week! 

The workshops are decent sized (the ones I've attended had less than 10 people) and ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Tutorials are straightforward and fairly easy to make (if you have crafty hands :)). The instructors are friendly and patient, helping everyone from start to finish. 

Most of their workshops occur in the nighttime on the weekdays and early evening on the weekend. Its ideal for those who work during the day and needs some relaxation time. To attract more locals, they have discounts for bringing friends/family members along! Best of all, there are a number of pubs and restaurants along Main street to visit afterwards for food. 

The first workshop I've attended was the Polymer Clay workshop before Halloween. Polymer clay are very easy to work with in comparison to the normal clay (which needs to be painted and glazed). There are a number of colours to choose from and they don't dry up quickly. Once the creation is done, you would need to heat it up in a simple conventional oven. If parts fall off, a simple fix can be done with quick glue. 

The regular clay requires a bit more speed (to assemble the pieces) in comparison. The reason being they dry quick. So it becomes tough to work with once the moisture disappears. In order for the parts to attach and stick on, there needs to be scratches & little water applied between the 2 connecting parts. It was a fun experience and a fun activity to do with friends. For each of the cups we've made, we initialed under each other's cups to signify we've done the workshop together :)


What is one of the fun things you've done with your friends?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My journey transitioning to the healthcare field

Time flies! I've been at my current job for close to 5 months now. 

I was coming close to the end of my contract with FortisBC at the time. Due to the changes in HR policies and uncertainties with the company, I decided it was time to leave. The job alone requires me to work day/night shifts with harsh times. At least once a month I'd be working from Midnight till 8 in the morning, fighting sleep around 5AM. It was one of the most brutal shifts I've experienced. I was ready to go back to regular day shifts. Though I will miss my coworkers dearly, as they brought light in my shifts and made the long shifts bearable

I came across a job posting at the regulatory body. It guaranteed a regular work schedule with health benefits. It was a definite plus as my job at the time has no benefits. One of the things the job requirement didn't indicate was work experience. I was confident that my skills and abilities would be good for the position. So I went ahead to submit my resume & cover letter.

Had a phone interview with the third party HR lady, which went horribly wrong in my opinion (even after preparation). It wouldn't do any good to callback and explain so I remedied the situation by writing a thank you letter along with correcting my mistake. To my surprise, the lady had shortlisted me for an in-person interview! The room booked wasn't available when we met up, so we decided to do it at a coffee shop instead. She spent a considerate amount of time observing my character over analyzing the quality of my responses. She strongly pitched myself to the college and I scored my second interview, right before my shift! I was very focused for my interview and went smoother than I anticipated. Surprisingly, I find myself in many ways similar with my current supervisor. It was surreal, landing in a job you wake up & motivated to going everyday, working with people who have full confidence in your capabilities. I am grateful for where I am in my career now, and looking forward to accomplishing more as the days go by!

Hard work, dedication and commitment does pays off.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Annual Chiropractic Convention

This year's annual chiropractic convention was in Delta Burnaby Hotel on November 3-6, 2016.

As my first year working at an event, I am equally nervous and excited! In the past I was only involved in running events on a volunteer basis. The special thing we did this year was going paperless. We are asking each attendee to install the app. This app includes schedules, speaker(s) information, a fun factor of learning the app for a chance to win a hotel stay!

Each staff were to stay at the hotel over the span of 4 days, to serve as advisors for support.

I had the privilege in getting to know the crowd and experience to see it from more corporate side. It was equally challenging despite organizing it from a budget greater than $0. The resources play a large factor in ensuring the event ran smoothly.

We had very engaging attendees, and others who are very interested to learn about the technology. A number of positive reviews stemmed in providing a more environmentally friendly approach and good set of data for better planning next year.


Monday, November 14, 2016

How heart aches really feel like... for the 2nd time

Recently the feeling of heart aches become more and more prominent. That’s the feeling of life, a sea of emotions drowning you before you know it.
Mr. A and I have known each other for some time. In the recent years we became closer friends (as oppose to the “hi” friends, as I’d call them). We both share a number of different relationships. He is a really kind, considerate man. A man with a wealth of knowledge that only one can dream of. With an appealing intellect and personality, he knows where his attraction lies.
Personally, there’s a few (probably a lot more than this) which we have diverging views on. But our life experiences differ which explains the discrepancy between our thoughts. We have been slowly going into a diverging path due to our differences in views. I personally wants to get out of the “ideal version” of him. To remove myself from the unrealistic, ideal world that we could be living in. We are two very different people, from different worlds which would not meet in the course of our lifetime. We grew up differently, with some similarities in raised with a kind heart. We would pour ourselves to help those in need simply because that’s how humanity should be. Not asking for anything in return, but to spread the love around by helping others in need.
A lot of the times I admire his courage. The ability to stand up for what’s right. A man of his horoscope is very attractive in that sense.

Two months later...

Its a moment of realization, time to slap myself to wake up. Over the course of the time we've created memories throughout, I've seen how unimportant I was to him. Living in the wonderful digital era, we often see ourselves portraying as a different person on social media. I, quite frankly, use this to evaluate myself in other people's lives. In this situation, I didn't leave a single hint of mark because my presence was removed from his pictures of memories on facebook. He only chose pictures which I wasn't in to post. 

There was even a friend's post that questioned him going on the adventure alone. Yet an outing with a female mutual friend which he bought tickets for, he was proudly displaying it on facebook. She had the stereotypical model appearance (blonde hair, blue eyes, athletic body). 

I felt really sad. But I have to move on. 

It was time to break ties. It wasn't worth it to stay and waste my time.

Monday November 14 will be the day.  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Learning to appreciate life: simple ritual

A recent INC article by Jessica Stillman really stood out to me.

She is one of the authors I absolutely love reading about. Almost each topic she writes about resonates with me. This one is no different. The article talks about the struggles that as individuals like ourselves experience each day. We all know there's something happening in someone else's life that we know nothing about.

During the rough bumps, we ourselves have the power to overcome them. Sometimes it involves making physical changes, but mostly a simple change in our mindset will be enough.

She references a TEDx talk about a speaker who has gone through almost every worst situation possible, back to back. (I encourage you to have a read- link to article below) Normally a person would not be able to go through them without pain/suicidal thoughts. But the brave soul came through using a simple ritual.


Everyday soon after you wake up & right before you go to bed, take a few minutes to complete these sentences:

  • Today I am grateful for...
  • Today I helped someone by...
  • Something that made me happy today...
  • Today I learned...
  • Tomorrow I will...

(If you cannot complete all, its alright. You can always build on completing one more each day)

I hope to do this on my instagram starting Monday. Time to do some brainstorming!

Check out the article here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

TEDxGastownWomen Event

October/November has been a few busy weeks for me!

2016 marks the 2nd year at organizing (volunteer) at TEDxGastownWomen event! There has been so many changes since we've started last year. 

Some of my personal changes include:
  • transitioning from taking care of social media & sponsorship to volunteers & registration
  • less hands-on at getting the ball rolling due to my car accident at the beginning of the year
  • more focused on recovery, shifts in schedule towards physiotherapy, volleyball, and other exercises
  • introduced Joann/Emma to the team with her expertise in social media/marketing management
A few event changes include:
  • a few folks from the organizing team last year has passed on 
  • new members have joined the team
  • arrangement of responsibilities have changed slightly as well
  • larger venue to accommodate more attendees

The event was a success! We had over 300 attendees, and have integrated live-stream this year. Which opens doors for more folks who didn't get tickets but want to take part. Large engagement via different social media channels. We couldn't have done it without a strong team of keeners, making it happen!

Photos to the TEDxGastownWomen event can be found HERE

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Halloween Makeup 2016 Edition

I had always been curious how the crazy, horrific makeup will look on me. So I decided to take a shot this year! Had my eyes on the Halloween makeup: Skull look:

Went to Shoppers Drug Mart and bought a cream makeup (white). For the shadows, I used an old eyeshadow palette from NYX, and an old L'oreal Eyeliner in carbon black.


The makeup took around 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to complete. The most difficult part isn't filling in the areas. To make it look realistic, the time was spent on shading and making sure the colors don't mix on the face. 

One thing I found after recreating the look is.... no drinking/eating. And most of all, don't sweat!

What types of makeup tutorials are you looking into trying out?

Friday, September 9, 2016

First Summer weekend in Whistler 2016

I was hesitant, but said yes anyways.

This is the second time stepping out of my comfort zone since my camping trip. It was a last minute call from a volleyball friend of mine who needed an extra player for the TFC tournament.

And so I went...

Didn't play to my full potential due to the back injuries. We got eliminated soon after round robin. Which was great because the rain started to downpour. As it was a grass tournament, the field was extremely slippery and dangerous.

It was a fun weekend, met a few new folks. One whose birth month and day was exactly the same as mine. Rarely do they happen, but seems like I've met over 5 friends who share the exact same birthdate in the volleyball community!

On the morning of, we decided to go with the good old tradition of visiting the watershed grill in Squamish. It has a very nice hipster vibe overseeing the large flowing river. Every once in a while there will be people paddling canoes or attempting to do river rafting.

Friday, September 2, 2016

My week-long camping trip (June)

The last couple of months has been a breakthrough for me. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and went exploring quite a bit since I quite my previous job. Mainly because my back wasn’t feeling well with lengthy sitting and the work environment I was in.

Call center is a place for developing phone skills and experience working digitally in a big organization. They shouldn’t be the end of many people’s career, but more for growth and development. I’ve learned a lot servicing different types of customers. For the organization I worked in, there was no selling required. We only provided the services on an as-needed basis.

I quit my job early June. Best decision I’ve made.

So I went exploring with my travel buddy, who happens to be off on the same week. We drove to the interior and went on a week-long camping trip. June wasn’t the best month with the ongoing gloomy, wet weather.

From Vancouver to Hope, and we took Highway 3 and made stops along Princeton, Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton, Summerland, Kelowna & back.

Along the way, we camped at Manning Park, went through the wine tasting route on Osoyoos/Oliver. The rain decided to make its appearance so we stayed at coast hotel in Osoyoos. The hotel had an amazing beach access and a huge water slide in their swimming pool. The wet weather continued to follow us to Summerland. I managed to persuade my partner in crime to camp in the pouring rain. A good thing was there’s many spots to choose from! We had to use our creativity in securing the tarp to avoid our tent from getting rained out.

After one night, we left the wonderful campground and went on our way to Penticton. We went on the same weekend as the bridges tournament. Thus most hotels were booked along the water. Without the spectacular water view, we decided to stay at the Ramada. Surprisingly the cost of a hotel room with 2 king beds was cheaper than one with only 1 king bed. Very spacious with an elegant bathroom. If only their pool/hot tub wasn’t outdoors, it would’ve been perfect. One thing about the Ramada was that their breakfast buffet didn’t’ include BEVERAGES. That was a huge turnoff for me. Did they expect people to stay hydrated with food?!?! It was a ridiculous idea to separate the 2, in my opinion.

Then we drove to Kelowna with our flip flops soaked in water from the downpour. My buddy was officially all rained out. We decided to head home. Along the way, we stopped by a few campsites and the Kentucky-alley campground stood out the most.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Name Change: Its an Asian thing. Step 1

Back when I was young... I came to Canada knowing little English. In my hometown, we used a Chinese name. English name had a pretentious significance. It usually meant the person was well educated or knowledgeable about the language.

After meeting the principal, they said all students has to have an English name. So my mom thought of a name. On the spot. It wasn't on any of my legal documents, only used as a spoken nickname.

20 years later, I decided to add it back to the legal documents. The discrepancy with some documents having an English & others with the Chinese pronunciation brought confusion to many. Here's what I had to go through to have all documents revised:

Step 1: Initial Application

Notary Public to certify citizenship card: $50.40
Submitting the application to Vital Statistics: $137
Commissionaries to have fingerprint services & criminal record check: $77.50

Total: $264.90

My name change certificate has arrived.

The next step: Amending all documentation.

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Happenings: My first car accident. Ever.

Unforgettable January 2016, especially on the 20th. 

It was a dark, Wednesday night during rush hour when it happened. A green van coming at high speed (80KM+) past an intersection where I was about to make a left turn. It came out of nowhere and crashed right on my passenger side. He didn't slam on the brakes and came right at me. My car flipped and dragged all the way from the intersection to the street I was turning into, before coming to a complete stop. 

It was the most terrifying moment of my life. A bone fracture in my neck and I could've been dead.

I was panting and soon wanting to fall asleep from exhaustion. A number of passerbys keep talking to me. The ambulance & fire truck came. They had to cut open the windshield to rescue me. 

Mr. C.T. (police) didn't ask much about my point of view while I was in the ambulance & left. Spoke with the other vehicle (which happened to be a class 5 driver, older than I). He concludes that based on the environment evidence, I was at fault. Gave me a ticket and left. Whether it was partially based on biased judgement, I won't comment on it. The truth is neither I have the time or money to bring this to court & question his professionalism in the situation. A fact: I was the younger one involved & still a N (for 6+ years). 

What it looked like at the impound.
A week or two after the accident I went to the impound to pick up belongings. 3 of the 4 car doors were smashed to the point that I needed a wrench to open them. The only spot left the way I got in on Wednesday night was the driver's seat. Looks like a guardian angel shielded me from further injuries/damages I could've had. It was a miracle. Hopefully it was the good karma that kept me away from death. 

Whiplash and concussion are the aftermath of the car accident. I have been going to the physio regularly to get treated. Deep tissue problems in the shoulders/back, and slightly rotated parts of the spine/neck. PTSD- will likely hold me back from driving for a few months (at least). 

Slow down, its not a race. Drivers please be cautious when driving on the road.

Most times I have to take into account other driver's reckless driving. In this case, I was in no position to remedy the situation before it became too late. A car can turn into a weapon and take someone's life with just a push on the acceleration.