Saturday, December 28, 2013

Considering getting my first tattoo in a few months... any advice/tips?

I originally didn't plan to blog until next year, but I have the biggest urge to get a tattoo of a simple quote in my inner left bicep (don't worry, this is not on impulse, I've been thinking of getting on for a while and now just worked up the courage to do so) aaaaaaaaaaaaand, I need advice/tips from those who got inked!

Design / /
I'm planning on getting the quote "be at peace, not in pieces." tattooed in either Arabic (تكون في سلام، وليس في قطعة) or Punjabi (ਅਮਨ ਤੇ, ਨਾ ਟੁਕੜੇ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੋਣੀ). Right now, I'm in the process of getting the phrase translated by my friends that are native speakers of the language; I originally found the Arabic quote on Tumblr but seeing all those horror of mistranslation of languages tattooed, I'm making sure it's getting translated by a native speaker instead of trusting the internet/Google translate.

Size / /
Not extremely small. Perhaps, like picture #1 (below) or picture #4 (below) but in a clearer script. So, I guess a medium size?

Tattoo parlor and artist / /
I've already found my ideal place to get tattooed, and I trust the staff at the store because I've gotten pretty much most of my piercings done there. The staff is super friendly, knowledgeable and calm. I'm planning to head down there sometime in January to get a consultation.

Approximate ideal location / /

Experiences & Pain / /
This is my first tattoo so I don't have any experience whatsoever. However, I have multiple piercings (cartilages, ears, nose, tongue and navel) and none of them was painful whatsoever. I don't know my pain tolerance, I've always thought it was low but the fact that I've gotten a lot of piercings without flinching proves otherwise?? I'm not sure. I enjoy getting immunization shots too... so it's safe to say I don't have a fear of needles. I'm a fairly skinny girl but my biceps does have some meat to it, lol.

/ /
Any tips for reducing nerves, pain, or aftercare process? How was your first tattoo experience like?

Also, pleaseeee help me choose between Punjabi or Arabic. The phrase was originally written in Arabic so it looks beautiful, but I love (and everyone knows this) India and the Punjabi culture which is why I'm considering Punjabi. I feel like I'm leaning towards Punjabi more but in terms of the design and look, I feel like Arabic is slightly more beautiful and creative.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! by thesushibox

Happy holidays! Hope you've enjoyed 2013 and many blessings to you and your family for another wonderful year to come!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I got my wisdom teeth surgery done... before all the Christmas feasts

I got my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday. Originally I was supposed to have all four taken out at the same time but my previous dentist told me that the top two is optional - they're fine and most people take it out to get it over with and it's "cleaner" too.

I'm not covered by any dental insurance (PT workers don't get coverage, and my school is a private institute so they don't offer coverage), and my mom works in a family operated restaurant which doesn't offer dental coverage either. So, to be lucky and have my top wisdom teeth perfectly fine, we saved about $1,000.

The pain right now is bearable. It's just really discomforting. My dentist uses a different method to extract the teeth out which is why it's not as painful as many other claims it to be. My cheeks are just swollen, and I can't stop touching them for some reason.

Literally, what I've had last night and for breakfast.

What happened was, everytime I get sedated (this is my second time), instead of waking up groggy and sleepy, I wake up extremely nauseous and eventually throw up. I think it's a bad reaction to the drugs (I mean, I'm completely asleep during the surgery but when I wake up, it's downhill).

So, after the surgery, I slept until my mum came home with a bowl of congee. I didn't eat much because I still felt like throwing up, but I ate enough to somewhat settle my stomach. By this morning, all the drugs were out of my system so I consumed the entire bowl :( man, I feel like a fatty.

Does any of you guys get nauseous after being sedated or know someone? How were your wisdom teeth surgery?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Welcome Derpina!


Welcome Derpina!

Yes, Derpina from 9gag. 

I've never touched a bunny in my life so to hold one for the first time was soooo sweet. I picked her up from Sydney's (the girl I adopted Derpina from) house out in Surrey at around 5PM. As I was walking to my friend's car, Derpina tried to escape from my arms (I nearly panicked!). I think she's growing more accustomed to me since she doesn't try to escape when I walk around the house with her.

Did I mention my mum didn't know I was adopting a bunny? She called me crazy for taking in another pet. My Dad just laughed and is excited to meet Derpina soon. 

Derpina in her cage. Here's a funny story: when Sydney said Derpina comes with a large cage, for some reason I thought it wasn't going to be THAAAAT big. But it turns out to be one of those big 3 ft bunny cages.... boy, I was in for a surprised. And to think that I was planning to take public transit to pick up this bunny! Thank goodness for my friend to help pick her up [he ended up being about half an hour late for work too].
Body shot of Derpina. I fell in love with her colours. Can you believe she's this big already at only 4 months?!

I'm super happy to have Derpina in my life. She's so adorable and I can't stop watching her, LOL. I have a lot to learn now but nonetheless, extremely thrilled and grateful to have stumbled upon her. It turned out that Sydney never had a chance to bond with the bunny so Derpina has no recollection of any previous owners, technically. 

Right now, I'm just eager to littler train Derpina and buy a few more toys for her. And hopefully switch her bedding from the shavings to blankets :) 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Any of you guys a bunny owner?

Isn't she adorable?! This little bunny is only 4 months old and is a lionhead mix breed. I don't know her name but her owner Sydney is allowing me to adopt her for $40 (which includes her cage and all that!).

I've always wanted a bunny and finally... FINALLY, I get to own one. I'm extremely happy I got it at such a low price with everything included because when I checked out local pet stores, the rabbit is $100 AND the cage (with no accessories) is already $100. If I were to adopt from a breeder, the bunny would be $30-40 but the cage and its accessories will still rack me over $100.

I'm meeting Sydney tomorrow and picking her up tomorrow so I'll let you guys know how my day is with her. I haven't gotten a name figured out yet (I joked about naming my bunny Derpina) so anyone got any suggestions?

Also, any tips from any current bunny owners? My best friend raised bunnies all her life but I'm still open to other tips too!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Product Review: Nivea Sheer Comfort Deodorant

Two of Nivea's deodorants: (L) 24hrs Sheer comfort and (R) 24hrs Invisible For B&W
How often do you see product reviews on deodorants? I feel like many people are shy about deodorants, and I mean, it's usually linked to body odor so I can understand but... it's like a daily necessity to put on (even in the winter!).

Anyways, today I'm reviewing Nivea's deodorants. When it comes to a few products like shampoo, deodorants, body wash, etc. I don't have a favourite brand so I tend to try something new whenever I get the chance to. The reason I picked up Nivea's deodorants was because 1) I'm familiar with Nivea skincare products and 2) being cheap, my drugstore had a buy one, get one free promo for Nivea deodorants so I thought... why not try it? I save $4-5 in the long run!

Well... much to my dismay, the sheer comfort was a big disappointment. I hated it within the first few days of using it.

Aside from it being the "wet deodorant" (as in, it's wet when you apply it and you have to wait for it to dry), it was FAR from 24 hours coverage AND it did not smell pleasant whatsoever.

It's my mistake for not reading the bottom to see if the deodorant was wet or dry. However, the 24 hours coverage that Nivea promised is a lie. For example, when I put it on before leaving the house for school, by the time I got home, I can smell my body odor, and this is a total of... six hours (including commute time). And it's not like I'm exercising for a marathon so to be able to smell my odor within 6 hours already, is just shitty quality. There are days when I will apply deodorant and not do anything but stay at home and within a few hours, there's already a smell.

I tried many different coverage levels like 1-2 layers to 4-5 layers to see if it'll make a difference for the smell, but it's still the same result. And trust me, it's not my body; I've used Dove and Lady Speed Stick which last me a full 24 hours, with no BO scent. Nivea, however, didn't last me 24 hours AND it had an awful smell of the deodorant's scent (spring fresh) mixed with body odor. It soaked through my clothes which also left a horrible smell. Compared to Dove, Dove left a smell but it left a nice flower-y scent.

Like I said, the scent of the deodorant is pleasant (the generic spring/flower scents) but it mixes up with body odor REALLY easily which is really disgusting.

The quality of the deodorant is so-so. Although it's a wet deodorant (I'm not a fan of it), I felt like Nivea's deodorants are much "wetter" than the usual ones. It left white marks around my armpit area that I need to wipe off before throwing my clothes on. Quality of coverage and scent is horrible as explained above.

I wouldn't recommend purchasing Nivea Sheer Comfort Deodorant. I was so put off by the poor quality of it, I haven't tried the B&W one. It's a disappointment considering I enjoy the Nivea products. We all know what a deodorant is supposed do, but this particular product does the OPPOSITE.

Save your money and go with another brand.

The one I'm currently using. THE BEST I've used ever!
I personally prefer Dove and Lady Speek Stick (both dry sticks). What about you?
*Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. The opinions written above is based on my own experiences provided by my own money. I am no way affiliated with the company in any way.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Business Review: VCC Salon Services [aka I’ve gone blue!]

For those who don’t want to read about my experience with VCC Salon Services, long story short, I dyed my hair blue a few days ago!

I’ve always wanted to dye my hair blue but whenever I get the opportunity to, the stylist I will go to will either A) not have blue, B) talk me out of blue and most likely, C) doing it all wrong and having “blue” show up in sunlight (like seriously, why bother dying my hair if Vancouver rains more than it shines?).

So, after being inspired by Demi Lovato’s blue hair, I decided to finally cut my hair and dye my entire head blue.

CTV News did an article about high-end pampering for a low cost and that’s when I found out about VCC Salon and Spa Services. I figured, these people are training to be professionals and there is supervision in the salon, so what do I have to lose?

I quickly booked an appointment with the Advanced Class because when I described what I wanted to do with my hair, the receptionist told me to book it with the Advanced Class to ensure I get a more skilled person for my new look.

The downtown campus where their services is located at is easily accessible by transit (bonus points!) and upon arrival, I was in awe by how beautiful the salon was. Extremely bright and modern – I heard they spent a fortune redesigning it. I was also greeted by very friendly staff instantly.

However, keep in mind that VCC expects you to pay upfront first. I was taken back by it because I thought… well, what happens if the stylist can’t give me what I want but the receptionist told me that I’m in good hands with the advance class that’s graduating in seven weeks. So, payment was made up front.

I was guided to my chair by my stylist, Song, a middle-aged Vietnamese woman. I had trouble listening and communicating with her because English wasn’t her first language. I was a bit disappointed because I wanted someone that I could easily communicated with so I can tell her what look I was aiming for.

Song nicely placed my jacket and bag away and quickly asked me what I wanted. After we consulted, she led me to the washing station and shampoo/condition my hair. I literally fell asleep because it felt like a nice massage.

After the washing station, she asked again how much I wanted to cut off and I told again the length I wanted. She nodded and started to get to work. Let’s just say… an hour later she was still cutting my hair (all I asked for was to cut up to my shoulders and layer it). For the first half of my head, it took her more than half an hour. Her hands were shaking and she was taking her time. When she finally finished the half, she sped through the other half like it was nothing. The supervisor stopped by and told Song that she’s cutting wrong and to redo a bit of my hair to fix it. In other words, after an hour+ cut, Song had to fix it up which took about 20-30 minutes. I did appreciate the fix up but it only caused me to have shorter than expected hair AND it ate up more time.

(Did I mentioned that I got in at 9:30AM and needed to be somewhere else by 3PM?)

After the cut, Song blew-dry my hair and I finally got to see the final cut. I ended up loving it despite it being shorter than expected. It worked out.

When I told her I wanted to colour my entire head blue, she went into a panic and called her supervisor over. The two of them told me that the blue is going to be super bright (I was aiming for a deep blue) and recommended me to just do the ends OR do an ombre and have purple on top and blue at the bottom. I liked the ombre so I agreed to deep purple and blue.

Halfway through the bleaching process, the supervisor (Gary) came to check up on Song. He then also checked out the receipt and apparently I didn’t pay for the service I wanted. Gary told me that if I wanted the purple, I needed to pay another $40. I decided no – if I need to pay another $40, I’d rather have my entire head blue and not half purple. I told them it’s okay, just dye the ends blue then.

Click to enlarge. VCC Salon updated price list.

After about an hour long process of bleaching and washing it off, Song finally started the actual colouring process.

A lot of her classmates stopped by and looked in awe. Gary said the colour is turning out wonderfully. Again, after sometime, Gary checked my receipt again and told me that I DO need to pay another $40 for the foils and bleaching process.

At that point, I got extremely pissed off. Not only have I been sitting in this chair for most of the entire day, missing my 3PM meet up, now I’ve been told TWICE that I need to cough up more money?! I explained to Song that it’s not what the receptionist told me. I told the receptionist exactly what I wanted and I paid the price she told me before we started. Song, with poor English, tried her best to apologize and get me to pay the extra $40.

By 4:35PM (remember, I’ve been here since 9:30AM), I was FINALLY out of the door after fixing up my bangs AND paying the $40.

Bottom line?

  • Be sure to have one of the stylist to check the price over when you’re at the receptionist.
  • Make sure you have the ENTIRE day free. I did not anticipated spending my entire day sitting in a salon chair for a task that would have taken about three hours max.
  • Have a stylist you can easily communicate with. I REALLY wanted to dye my entire head blue (and the final result of the dye was the shade I wanted!) and she messed up my bangs.

I understand that VCC Salon is a student run operation BUT if you’re training to be a professional AND you’re graduating in 7 weeks… it shouldn’t be this hard.

I also acknowledge the fact that if I went somewhere else, I would have easily went up $200+ and I shouldn’t be complaining about the price at VCC but it was ridiculous to be asking for more money when you expect me to pay up front.

Customer Service: 4/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Cost: 5/5 (compared to professional salons)
Would I come back? Yes
Would I recommend this place? Yes

Business Name: VCC Salon & Spa
Address: 250 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC
Phone: 604-443-8332
Website: Here

*Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. The opinions written above is based on my own experiences provided by my own money. I am no way affiliated with the company in any way.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

For the first time, I went to the movies... alone!

Last month was the start of a living nightmare for me. To this day I am still not in the right mind frame to go about life like I used to. A lot of personal things has happened to the point where I feel like I just want to give up. That's why I've been absent for weeks on pretty much every social media account. Just a few days ago, I started using Instagram and two days ago, just reactivated my Facebook.

Anyways, to get myself feeling better (hopefully), I went to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire today. On Tuesday is half off movie tickets and if you're a Scene member (loyalty program), you save 10% on the already low Tuesday prices.

The only difference was, I went alone.

For a long time, I've never had the guts to go to a movie theatre alone. I thought of it as a social activity (when in reality, it's not really...) and I just felt like people would judge me. I mean, I'm not going to lie, a few times I've seen solo movie goers, I sort of felt pity for them. 

I know about only one person that goes to movies alone when he can't find anyone to go with. My brother goes to movies alone and when I first found out he did that, I felt this... jealousy towards him. My own brother is brave enough to go the movies alone and I'm sitting at home, fearing people would judge me.

I started Googling online and stumbled on Reddit and discovered that a lot of people go to the movies alone (even ones in relationships!) and said it's just like any other movie experience. They listed pros and a few tips of going alone but I slowly started to realize that going to the movies alone isn't a bad or weird thing.

Last night, I worked up the courage and decided to watch Catching Fire alone. Given my current mental state, I wasn't in the mood to see any of my friends AND most of them has already seen it when it was released.

Today, I picked out the earliest show time (12:25PM) and to my surprise, there were more solo movie watchers than there were of pairs. I didn't feel alone. I thought that, well... it is 12PM, most of these people want to avoid the evening show times (Tuesdays are PACKED since tickets are 50% off). For me, I chose the 12PM showtime because I know not many people are going to be there AND I wasn't going to see anyone I know. I feel sort of like... a little wimp because my brother has the guts to go to an open night movie release and I chose the earliest time to avoid the crowd. 

However, I thought, at least I got the guts to watched it alone. I didn't feel awkward or embarrassed as I thought I would be. I enjoyed the movie, even laughed at a few scenes. The best part is probably having two empty seats beside me to put my bag and jacket on.

Would I ever watch a movie during rush hours? Possibly. I only went this early because I can. On any other Tuesdays, I'll be at work or school during lunch time.

But, I would go to the movies alone if I wanted to catch something. This first time experience was great for me in many ways - I got some more alone time, I felt like I was treating myself, and I finally got to see Catching Fire! There are many more movies I'm itching to catch soon and the best part is that I finally worked up the courage to see them alone.

Do you go the movies alone? If not, do you plan to anytime soon? What's your thoughts on solo movie goers?