Saturday, January 25, 2014

Product Review: Burt's Bee Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm


Guess who finally finished her first Burt's Bee lip balm?! I ended up going to Target to get a new lip balm but unfortunately they ran out of the peppermint one that I used last time (yellow stick above) so I ended up grabbing the 'Ultra Conditioning' because I can't stand the grapefruit scent.

The ultra conditioning is said to give you at least 4 hours of moisturizing. Whenever a product claims to do a certain thing for a certain amount of time, I tend to look past it. However, the lip balm did do about 4 hours moisturizing (and more sometimes) BUT to be honest, I think Burt's Bee products are all moisturizing.

There is no scent to this lip balm. I mean, it's a undescribable small scent but it's not overwhelming. When you apply it, it's glides super smooth and it leaves a glossy look on your lips.

Sometimes, within two or three hours, once the lip balm is settled and dried on your lips but still moisturizing, it feels funny and eventually I start picking on my lips. I never had that problem with the peppermint lip balm, so perhaps it's the additional moisturising ingredients.

Overall, as soon as this stick is complete, I think I'm going to switch back to the peppermint lip balm. I miss the cooling effect, smell and the matte finishing from the peppermint. The Ultra Conditioning is perhaps tooooo much moisturizing for my lips. This product might be suited for someone with extremely dry skin and/or wants/needs the additional moisturizing.

Without lip balm. Notice the small patches of dry area.

Instantly moisturizes my lips!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The $100/month Challenge

Maple money!
I got terminated at my part time job this afternoon.

I was relieved and happy.

(No need to say, "I'm sorry...")

From the day I started, I was extremely unhappy there and it didn't improve whatsoever. All my punch-ins were late, I called in "sick" more than I've ever had in my entire work history and I pulled more no shows than the employees already working there. I dreaded going to work. It's about time they finally let me go, to be honest.

I'm not a horrible employee. If I say so myself, I'm reliable and hardworking. I had near perfect attendance in my previous job that I've held for a few years. It just, this retail store and it's people and I didn't work out. I think it's for the best. I truly understand what people mean when they tell me find a job I actually enjoy doing.

I'm graduating this year, but in ~214 days, I'll be starting my paid internship. I was talking to my friend, Kenneth and asked for his advice. He told me to focus on school (especially since I'm graduating soon), let my parents pay for my bills for the time being, and start working again when my internship starts. He told me, with the job market today, by the time I find a job that's suitable with my school schedule, I'd only have a few months with that company and that'll be a waste of my time and the company's time to hire and train someone who's not going to even stay for six months.

So, here I am, finding myself "funployed" again! This time, I'm not too worried. In the summer, I went about 6 months without a job and I managed to keep up with my bills (without my parents' help), so if I can fake it for 6 months, I can do it for another 214 days.

However, because I am determined to cut down on my Visa debt, I'm going to be paying more than I usually would on my Visa payments.

As a way to crunch my spending, I'm going to spend a maximum of $100/month! This doesn't include pet stuff and bills. The $100 is my allowance for shopping, eating out, entertainment, etc. And living in Vancouver, $100 doesn't get you far so I'll see how this challenge works out.

I won't refuse any additional money being offered to me for whatever reason. Any leftover from the previous month can be used in the next month. No credit cards or no debits cards, $100 cash only. Unless it's a life-or-death emergency.

That's pretty much it. $100/month to crush my spending while I'm unemployed!

I'll keep you guys updated on how this goes.
PS: Check out a few of my money saving tips here!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snack Attack: 15 minutes kale chips recipe!

One of my new year resolutions is to learn how to cook - yes, it's sad to admit that I'm a 20 years old "adult" that doesn't know how to cook much.

But, better late than never! And what's a perfect way to learn how to cook by starting off with simple dishes?


For all those looking for a healthy snack, I recommend kale chips. They take about 15 minutes (or less!) to make, super affordable and simple! For all those who don't like kale or haven't tried kale, I still recommend kale chips because they're based on you season them! I never had kale before but the chips were amazing. People that said they don't like kale usually enjoys kale chips too!

To start off, you'll need:
- a bunch of kale
- olive oil
- salt
- optional: seasoning of your choice

Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the kale and then rip them into bite-sized pieces; then lay them out to dry.


It's best to make sure the veggies are completely dry. Seasoning may have a hard time sticking to the greens if there's still moisture.
 
Step 2:
Once your kale is dry (I ended up patting out the left over water with a paper towel), throw them into a bowl and mix with olive oil, salt and your choice of seasoning. Adjust amount according to how much kale you have and your taste in seasoning.

Olive oil, salt, black pepper;
Seasoned and everything! I don't have a baking sheet (well... my parents lost it) so I'm using an oven-safe plate!
Step 3:
Put into your oven and let it bake for about 15 minutes or until they're crispy!
*Time depends on the amount of kale on your plate/baking sheet.

Don't mind what's upstairs. I was also cooking my dinner :3
End results:
I put mines in for 20 minutes so a majority of them were burnt :( I didn't use much kale so I should have decreased the time but nonetheless, the ones that weren't burnt were super delicious and crispy! When I finished the plate, I just wanted to make more!
Derpina loves it when I'm making kale chips because that means she gets to eat the left over kale stems.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Liebster Award

Am I a little late to this game? I remember doing the Liebster Award on my ooooooooold blog but I believe the only difference was the fact that we didn’t have to write our own 11 questions.

But, nonetheless, I’m happy to have been nominated by the wonderful Ruth @ Lazy Thoughts (thanks again!)!
liebsterblogaward
The rules:
Link the blog that nominated you for the award
Choose 11 bloggers to nominate who have less than 200 followers
Answer the 11 questions given to you
Let the people you have nominated know that you have done so
You can't nominate the person that nominated you
Create 11 questions for the people to nominate to answer
So, without further do, here’s 11 questions Ruth asked me:

What is the best place you've visited?
My favourite place would probably be Hainan Island, China. I was only there for a few days but it’s literally like the Chinese version of Hawaii. The weather is beautiful (I tanned within 20 minutes!), the ocean is nice, and it was a great place to relax. However, at one point during my relaxation, three men tried to pick me up – too bad I don’t speak Mandarin nor am I interested in Chinese men.DSC01097Can you say throwback?! ^^ July 2011. Look at that background!

How many languages can you speak?
I speak English fluently, and it’s actually my first language. A lot of people are surprised to learn that I don’t speak Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin and the Enping dialect) nor do I understand it very well. To communicate with my parents, I mix both my dialect (literally, I’m at a toddler level) and English together and worst case, I use Google translate app. I studied Canadian French (yes, there’s a difference between Canadian and France French!) for just about 9 years. I also learned American Sign Language but forgot most of it because I don’t have anyone to practice – I think I might pick it up again.

Do you prefer sweets or chocolate?
Chocolate! Especially milk chocolate. I absolutely hate dark chocolate.

Do you own more pairs of heels or more flats?
I think I have to say heels… technically they’re wedges. Here’s the thing about my relationship with shoes. It’s non-existent. Why? Because I have small feet … size 2 1/2 kids; so you can see my shoes choices are quite limited. The only pair of flats I can get are in either black or silver and they’re the same design! All my wedges were purchased back in China (smaller sizes are popular in China) BUT I’m still require to wear to wear insoles to fit them better. I guess… I save hundreds of dollars by having small feet?… haha.

What's your favourite item of clothing you own?
Don’t laugh… or judge, but it’s either my pink zip up hoodie or grey pullover hoodie. They’re both so cozy and warm, comfortable and fitted too! But, if it’s something more fashionable, I guess you can say it’s black chiffon top with pink rose/floral designs. I love it because it’s lightweight, and easy to pair up. I can dress it up for business, dress it for a nice summer day or dress it up for a night out.

What's currently on your fashion wishlist?
 Nothing fancy – just new leggings. I have two of the best leggings every worn but for some reason they pile so easily and I don’t have the time to run a fabric shaver/lint roller over them everytime I want to wear it. It’s weird because I buy from this company regularly and it’s only their leggings that have piles on them.

What's your favourite high street store?
I don’t shop in name designer stores because… A) no matter how much I try, I can’t find anything that suits me and B) it’s too expensive for me. I can’t justify spending $150-$300 on a top (probably because I’m not a huge fashion person). But I do enjoy shopping at Urban Planet, Garage, H&M, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Charlotte Rosse, Sirens, and Urban Behaviour.

Top 3 films?
Titanic, Matilda and Harry Potter series!

What was your first job?
Cashier at Dairy Queen. You can read all about my horrible experience here.

What was the last book you read?
The last book I’ve read was The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I rated it a 3/5 on Goodreads because it did give me the chills but it moved too slowly. Currently, I’m reading Hitler by Ian Kershaw.

One makeup item you can't live without?
Ugh, I’m having trouble between eyeliner and mascara! I’d probably say mascara though… I don’t even know why!

Thanks, Ruth for the questions! And for any new readers, hope you learned something new about me, haha.
My 11 questions:
  1. If you can be any celebrity you want to be, who would it be and why?
  2. What’s the most embarrassing fashion moment (either a wardrobe malfunction or a fashion no-no) you ever had?
  3. Do you have any piercings aside from your earlobes?
  4. What’s your career goal?
  5. What beauty advice do you wish someone would have told you earlier?
  6. If you got your acceptance letter to Hogwarts, what house would you be and which animal would you bring along?
  7. What was you’re favourite travel destination?
  8. If you could go back time, which goods/services do you wish you could have created?
  9. What’s your top three most hated disliked store and why?
  10. What’s one thing (fashion and/or beauty) do you wish people would stop doing?
  11. What’s an interesting fact about you?
To be honest with you, I’m not going to tag 11 people. I know the rules say to tag 11 and I’d be unfair that I did this award without following the rules but I feel like most people I follow have already done The Liebster Award and/or has more than 200 followers. I also feel like people are getting annoyed with this award.

So, if you like the questions, feel free to do this award! Thanks for reading and hope you understand why I didn’t nominate 11 people!

Have fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Abusive Relationship with my Rapist

*Disclaimer: This entry will be loooooong. It's literally a play-by-play a part of my life that I want to share. There's no humor or pictures, nothing of what you're probably used to seeing on my blog. Names have been changed. I also apologize for any grammar/spelling mistakes.

Remember how I told you guys that as a New Year resolution, I want to be able to finally share my struggles? It gives me a chance to finally voice my story, raise awareness and hopefully inspire someone to get the help they need.

I'm going to be honest with you guys. All of you that is reading this is the one of the first person to know this story - every detail. None of my closest friends and family knows about this and I don't even know if I'm ready to share it with them yet.

For my readers, I want to thank you in advance for reading this entire post. Just reading it alone means enough for me. For those people that know me in real life and has stumbled across this post/blog, I ask that you don't think of me differently and understand why I held onto this secret for so long.

---

I met Nick when I was newly hired at ABC Retail and like any retailers, it's hectic around the holidays leading up to Boxing Day. Although, I met Nick and established him as a senior employee, we actually never talked until late December when the holiday sales has calmed down.

He added me on Facebook and during that time, I was getting a lot of friends requests from my new co-workers. I thought he'd be another one - you know, just being on my Facebook friends list, and occasionally liking my pictures/statuses. He ended up talking to me about work, life and just getting to know each other.

We continued talking on Facebook for a few more days until he finally asked to talk through text messages instead. I agreed. 

Sometime in early January, he asked if I wanted to hang out outside of work. I was out shopping and I thought... well, work is just down the street so, why not? He told me he'll be off in about an hour or so. 

I remember that night clearly... I mean, how can I not? I thought we'd be hanging out at a restaurant of some sort. He told me that he wanted to go home and change out of his uniform. At that time, I thought he was telling the truth so we agreed to make a stop at his apartment - he lived Downtown anyways. 

When we arrived, he told me to make myself at home while he showered and changed. I dropped my shopping bags near the entranced and sat watching TV. It was about US Congress. While he was in the shower, his roommate, Hank came back from work; we quickly introduced ourselves just in time for Nick to come out of the shower. 

Out of nowhere, Nick decided to cancel the hangout and stay at home instead. Hank just bought pizza for all of us too. I was a bit hesitant but I thought, "Nick is a co-worker. Hank seems like a nice guy, besides Hank's heading out soon anyways." so the fact that Nick was a co-worker, I had this trust in him and I knew him for about three months already. Nick was going through the fridge and found vodka. I told him I don't drink anymore and he was pressuring me to just drink a little bit. He poured about 1/4th of vodka and filled the rest with Canada Dry and even then I could still taste the vodka.

The three of us (me with OJ, Hank with wine and Nick with vodka) all sat down in front of the TV until Hank announced that he needed to get going. 

When Hank left, things were normal for a few minutes until Nick started laughing. He was red from the vodka and I assumed he was drunk... I mean, he sure acted like it (turns out that Nick is a heavy drinker and can go through like a million drinks before getting drunk or slightly tipsy). Nick was rolling around and giggled. He touched my hands and arm but I brushed it off as a drunk move. He slowly started touching my face and commenting at how warm I was from the little vodka I drank, something along the lines of "Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're so red and warm from that little bit of vodka... and you didn't even finish it!"

One thing led to another, and the next thing I found myself face to face with Nick. He made the first move and when I responded back, he took things rapidly. Somewhere between it all, I realized he was faking the drunkness. After sex, we watched some TV until Hank came back and the three of us went upstairs to the lobby to play some pool. I wasn't sure if the sex Nick and I had was a one time thing or not but I was happy to have him company. That night, I ended up sleeping over because it got too late to transit back home.

The next morning, while he was getting ready to go to work, we talked about what happened. He told me that as soon as I got hired, he wanted to get to know me more and took interest in me. He also told me to not to tell anyone about the sex. He told me that he obviously can't play favourites at work (remember, he's a senior employee) without management having to talk to us. Basically, this was the secret, "illegal" relationship type that you see in movies. 

In the month of January, we went on dates and spent a lot of time together. To be honest, half of that month I spent at his place. 

In February, I remember winning tickets to an advance screening of a popular movie. It was actually showing on Valentine's Day so naturally I wanted to spend that day with Nick. I remember telling him about it and he responded with sure, let's go. I remember getting off school that day and texting him what's happening tonight. He never texted back and when he did, he claimed that he got too caught up at work. 

For some reason, that didn't disappoint for some reason. I ended up throwing the tickets away and spent Valentine's Day alone. In February, we didn't spend that much time together.

In March, Hank got a promotion and moved out of the city and because the two of were splitting rent for their Downtown apartment, Nick wasn't making enough to pay for expensive rent which forced him to move elsewhere. During this month or in mid-late Feb, Nick also decided to buy a car too. On the day he was moving, he asked if I wanted to help out. Seeing as we didn't spend that much time in February, I agreed but he constantly took hours to reply so I wasn't sure what the plan was. By 10ish PM that night, he texted if I wanted to come over. I declined seeing it was too late but he insisted. When I did agree, he changes his mind because he got his friends staying the night.

The next couple of months were a bit blurred in my mind. I remember there were nights when we solely had sex in his car and then he'd drop me home. As in, after work, he'd come pick me up, drive a few blocks down to a park, do the deed and then he'll drop me home again. 

Looking back, I don't think I ever loved him. Studies shows that females tend to release hormones that makes us attracted to the person we have sex with. I think that was the case, because I knew, in the back of my mind, that he's not interested enough to have a relationship. 

By then, I think I was already in too deep.

During these blurred months, I know that we had sex, and only sex. It got to the point where if I do stay the night, after sex, he'll do his own things on the laptop. We stopped going out, we stopped heading to the movies. Whenever we want food, we'll just go through a drive way.

It started to make me feel... a way I can't describe. It's not hurtful but it's not the greatest thing. Perhaps, it's emptiness. The more I agreed to meet up with Nick just for sex, the bigger the hole I'm digging myself into. I felt like I was trapped. When I ignore him or when I refuse to come over, he'll ignore me for days, sometimes week. Eventually, he started calling me a 'bitch' for saying no to him and would slap me or pull on me with a great force and say he's just "kidding".

Of course I'd say no. During sex, he's selfish. As soon as he "finishes" himself off, I'm left there hanging. I get no pleasure out of it. I literally just lay there and he'll still enjoy it. Not to mention the sex is painful sometimes. There are nights when I want to see him but don't want to stay over and he'll refuse to drive me home despite the fact that he promised to do so.

I ended up telling one of my best friends and co-worker, Anthony about Nick. I didn't go into details of him calling me a bitch, keeping me at his place, etc. I told Anthony that I think I like Nick and that we've been sleeping together for a while. Anthony nodded and warned me about Nick's character. Anthony is a good people reader and he has spent some time with Nick before. He told me that Nick's character is a liar, a good deceiver, and manipulative. Anthony said, "Jess, trust me. Nick isn't good for you. He's using you for sex, he doesn't like you. He's deceiving you. He tells you all these things you want to hear and make you feel like he's interested when all he's after is your body."

When Anthony told me the hard truth, you'd think that I would have ended this... fling, with Nick, right? But no. There some thing there that makes me say yes whenever Nick asks to "hang out".

When summer came around, I met someone else. I wasn't attracted to him but he was a new person in my life, a change of some sort. He works with the same company but at a different location so he'd come by at work a lot to drop me off dinner. It got to point where Nick notices him and starts getting jealous. He'd be ten times closer to me at work than he did before whenever my new friend is around.

During this period, it was also Nick's birthday. He didn't tell me any of his plans. I ended up discovering that he left the province and went on road trip through my managers at work. 

Fed up, I decided to head on a two weeks road trip with three other friends. I ended up getting into a fight with one of my friends during the first two days and when I texted Nick, he plainly told me, "I told you not to go with those people." I didn't know if the meant that in a rude way or in a comforting way. 

When summer was over, it was September and back to school. When my new friend told me he wants to be in a relationship, I told him I can't and we never talked since then. Nick was happy. I asked Anthony, if Nick isn't interested in me, why is he so jealous and happy? Anthony told me, "Because you're his item. A man's natural instinct is to keep what's his."

I didn't know how I felt about that.

 My birthday is in October. He didn't come to my dinner. Instead, three days later he texted me, "Happy birthday! Let's meet up for some drinks." Call me naive, but for some reason I thought he meant going to a pub since I'm legal now. But no, he meant to his house. When I refused to drink, he tried to push the drink onto me until I drank up to this imaginary line he told me about. I told him I didn't want to have sex with him that night and that I'll only drink and stay for a little while.

He rolled his eyes and called me a "party pooper" but the nonetheless he acknowledge my wishes. This is probably the first time I've not given him consent. All the previous encounters were agreed upon. To change the subject, and probably to get me jealous, he told me where the got the vodka from. Paraphrasing, he said, "This girl, Mai, came over the other day and she brought this vodka. I was so surprised because I didn't think we were going to drink. But the most fucked up thing was that the next day, I woke up naked and she was still here. I asked if we had sex and she said no and then she left."

My heart didn't really drop when I heard that story. I thought it was disgusting because with Nick's lifestyle, he rarely meets new people. So to hear him say he met a Filipino girl named Mai, I assumed it was through his dating site (whenever he was on his laptop and he logged onto his e-mail, a quick glance and I could see notifications from popular meet-up/dating sites. I assumed he stopped using them).

Halfway through the movie we were watching, he started to come onto me. I told him, I'm just not in the mood but he kept on insisting. I tried to shake him off but pretty much any guy is stronger and heavier than me. The next thing I knew, he was taking every clothing off me and literally just shoving himself into me without another word. When all was done, he got up and took a shower.

After my birthday, I tried my best to ignore his texts and his request to hang out. He kept on calling me a bitch and he even lied to me and say let's do _____ but in reality, it would have been to his house. At this point, I got to know his character and lies.

In November, we got some new hires. One of the new hires was a young 18 years old girl named Kate. Kate is gorgeouuuuuuuuus but she was also the cousin of another well respected co-worker so there was no gossip or anything. One day, Kate came into the store to check her schedule and she was dressed in her regular clothes. When Kate left, Nick came up to me and said, "Was that Kate? What did she want?" I told him she wanted to check her schedule. Nick said, "Oh. Kate is sooo hot." I rolled my eyes and told Nick that she's underage, only 18 years old. Nick said the most disgusting thing ever, "Whocares. I guess for her, it's sex before age. HA!" (Kate's attractive and let's just say, for an 18 years old... she's really developed in certain areas). This guy is such a perv!

Fast forward to the Christmas holidays dinner. I was working that Sunday so when my shift ended, I got a ride to the party with my supervisor and another co-worker. Nick had the day off and decided to offer Kate a ride to the party. I was happy because I love hanging out with Kate and because she was a new hire, she almost didn't come because she was too shy. 

At that Christmas dinner, we sat at different tables and I got drunk (don't worry, my managers didn't think less of me (THANK GOD) and they got a good laugh out of it). Along with me and another good co worker, Sam, we were the drunkest two at the party. At ABC Retail, everyone treats me like a little sister because I'm the youngest in the store (before Kate came) and despite Kate being the youngest, everyone is used to treating me like a baby. By the end of the night, my manager said "Okay, let's get Jess home safe and sound. Did you drive?"
Another co worker said "I'm dropping off _____, I can drop Jess off too. They live pretty close to each other."

However, Nick came out of nowhere and said, "No, I'll drop Jess home."
My co worker nodded and left. Nick told me that he's also dropping Kate off too which is on the way home because she lives about 10 minutes away.

When Kate was dropped off, I got moved to the front seat. I was still drunk and felt like throwing up. Nick asked "Where do you want to go?"
In my mind I was getting frustrated, "I'm tired, I want to throw up, I just want to go home."
Nick replied, "My place?"
"No, I just want to go home and sleep."
"Okay."

I know where Kate lives so when I felt like the car ride was taking longer than expected (11pm, no traffic; my eyes were getting heavy), I straightened myself and looked out the window to see us driving by my block.

"Nick, where are you going?! You missed my house."
"We're going to my place. It's getting late and I'm tired too."
"What the fuck, all you had to do was turn right! I'm not in the mood to do anything, I seriously just want to sleep."
 "I'll drop you off tomorrow."

I remember being so angry. This guy was literally kidnapping me. He lied to my manager about getting me home and I felt like I should have gotten a ride from my other co-worker. I missed my bed so much. 

When I got to his place, I literally went straight for the couch and told him I don't want to sleep in the bedroom. He told me to stop being so childish and carried me to the room. I pretended to fall asleep while he was changing.

When he got into the bed, he asked if I was sleeping. I pretended I was but then he started pulling me so I can face him and he tried to wake me up. He was making moves on me; kissing me on my neck and back, and putting his hands were they weren't supposed to be. 

"Stop it, Nick. Leave me alone, I just want to sleep."
"You can sleep after, c'mon."
"No, stop it!"
 He forced himself on me for the second time. This time I was drunk. He knew right away that I'm an easy "target" because I'm drunk. He had no intentions of dropping me off. His only intentions were to have sex with me because I was drunk.

In retrospect, I viewed this at Nick kidnapping me and raping me while I was drunk.

---
January came around with a surprise. There were rumours that I was telling everyone that Nick and I slept together. I was extremely furious because out of everyone, Nick was the other guy in the rumor. I quickly told Anthony what's going on and he said, "What?! Who told you that? Jessica, I never heard any rumours on the sales floor, so I don't know what's going on."

When I found out about the rumour, I also noticed that Nick was extremely pissed off at me. That led me to getting angry because everything we've been through, he chooses to believe someone else over me. We ignored each other for about two months before he finally texted me and asked to talk about what's going on.

He told me that a girl came up to him on break on day and told me that I was telling everyone that we slept together. When I asked who's this girl, Nick wouldn't tell me. He was interested in my version and I told him, "Nick, why the hell would I ever tell anyone about us? I know it would get you in trouble and me in trouble. I've been told there's actually no rumor and if there was a rumor, don't you think headquarters would have dropped by by now?" Nick didn't say anything. To this day, I'm not sure Nick's story is even true. I trust Anthony more.

He apologized and on our way back to the car, he decided to slap my ass and grinned. After two months of ignoring me, I felt pissed off that he thinks he has the right to do that. He didn't drop me home, we went back to his place and you can probably tell what happened; I didn't want to go home with him but I knew that there's no point in arguing. That night I remembered not saying anything. Why bother? If I said yes, he would come onto me. If I said no, he'll force him onto me. I felt like as soon I'm near him, he won't let me go until he gets what he wants.

---
During his one month vacation, I told myself, no more. This is a new year, so I desperately need to get out of circle I'm in. I don't deserve to be treated this way. I made a commitment to myself. During the month he was away, I noticed my period didn't come. I thought it was just hormonal changes but the second month, it didn't come either.

I went to get a pregnancy test and to my horror, it was Nick's. The only time we had sex was that night we asked to talk about the rumor. I got another test done at a youth clinic to double check. The nurse told me I was borderline to being able to get an abortion. If I waitedt another week, it'd be over the maximum weeks for abortions. I didn't even thought I was pregnant for that long (the only symptoms I had was slightly bigger boobs, sore back, tiredness, change of appetite and motion sickness on transit). I didn't even have morning sickness! 

I called Nick and told him it's urgent. We met up at Starbucks and I told him I'm pregnant with his child. He had the nerves to ask, "Are you sure its mine?" I told him I want an abortion because mentally and physically I can't handle it and I'm not ready to have a baby yet; I could tell he was a bit disappointed with my choice. When I told him I already made an appointment for Tuesday 9am, Nick told me he has work but he'd visit me after work.

I ended up going to the hospital with my best friend. That Tuesday,  he didn't come by to "see how I was doing." He texted me two days later asking how I am. What a douche. 

---

After the abortion, I cut back my shifts so I don't need to see Nick anymore. In April, I ended up meeting someone amazing. I handed my two weeks notice in May and left the company. Sometime in the summer, he texted me "hey." I ignored it.

---
You'd think that after I left the company, Nick wouldn't be a problem anymore. Well... 

In the last few months of 2013, the manager of ABC Retail left and the store threw him a goodbye party. I declined the invite. A close friend of mines that still works at ABC Retail told me that Nick got extremely drunk, totally wasted and told people that him and I hooked up a few times. 

I was so surprised because after all this time, I've finally moved on but Nick is still living in the past. I was furious too because I didn't want people knowing about the relationship I had with Nick.

On December 15th, he added me on Instagram and BBM (he deleted me off his Facebook). I don't know why but given that we haven't talked, I replied to his BBM. He was super friendly at first until warning signs came up when I noticed the way he was texting me.

He was really warm and friendly, a side that I didn't see before. I thought we can actually be friends. He started liking a lot of my Instagram photos. One night, he asked me to come out and catch up... at 12am. I said no but he said, "I'm in your neighbourhood. C'mon." I stuck to my instincts and said no. He said, "Okay, next time." Was he really in my neighbourhood? I don't know. In the past, he would say "I'm on my way" to make me feel like I have no choice since he's already coming. 

The next few days he asked to hang out again at 12am. I told him no, I'm tired, my bed is warm. He replied with "My car is warm :P" and I knew he implied sex in his car.

It got the point where if I don't reply in 1-2 minutes, he'll start spamming me and telling me I'm a bad texter. If I don't reply at all, he'll force the conversation by sending "???", "hello?", etc. I was getting super fed up with how he's pushing me to text him back. He also knows I'm seeing someone but that didn't stop him from trying to get me to sleep with him. Disgusting.

On Jan 1st, 2014, he asked again to catch up. I told him, I'm out doing grocery shopping (which is true!) but he said "I'm off at 6pm, you'll be home by then." 

I told him, no. He called me party pooper. I texted him, "Why meet in person? Texting in fine."
He replied "K."

To this day, he hasn't liked a single Instagram photo OR messages me. I laughed because I knew his intentions straight off the bat and when I said there's not a chance to "meet up and catch up", he drops me off instantly. How pathetic is that?

Nick is a child. He thinks he a ladies man but he's nothing but a pathetic loser. He deleted me off Facebook and ignored me for weeks because he got offended when I jokingly said "I don't like your face." ... um, excuse me, you called me a bitch, slut, and whore for months! When we hang out, he'll be messaging other girls from dating websites to meet up. One night, he showed me a picture of this girl. They were flirting through IM and I was reading their convo. The next day, he called in sick for work. The following day after that was a store meeting - he came in with a big hicky on his neck and claimed he got hit by the ball in cricket. When Anthony heard that excuse, he laughed because if that was really the case, Nick would've been in the hospital. He's a pathological liar with no control.

---
It's hard to admit that you've gone through an abusive relationship with a rapist. It's hard to admit that you've been raped. It feels wrong. It feels like it's your fault. I feel like I could have done something more. But I didn't.

Has it changed me? Of course it did. It takes me longer to put trust in men (whether he's a potential date or just being friends). In the back of my mind, I assume that men is just after one thing and that's sex. When I met that special someone back in April, he put everything at ease. The first time we had sex together, and the first time having sex since Nick, he took it slow and even stopped when I started panicking. I have flashbacks that makes me sick to my stomach. I have nightmares about the rapes. My stomach drops in the most negative way whenever I see his name or pictures on anywhere. I hate hearing about him from my co-workers that I've kept in contact with. I use to be comfortable with hugs, shoulders touching me in crowded areas, etc. but now I choose to keep my distance away from people. People recognize that I don't enjoy my personal bubble being invaded; they know I don't enjoy it when their hands touch my shoulders (in a non sexual way). It made me self conscious about my body (he forced me to maintain my body up to his standards and he constantly made fun about how small my boobs were).

Looking back, he used me for sex. I only classified the two incidents as rape but when I look back, probably 90% of the sex we had was him forcing himself on me. The 10% of consensual encounters was during the first few months that we met and perhaps a few throughout our "relationship". Everything after or between those consensual encounters was actually nonconsensual; I didn't want to have sex with him.. But can I still call it rape? Wasn't it my fault that I was stupid enough to fall for his lame lies and assume we were really going to watch a movie or hang out? Is it my fault that I didn't speak up? I mean, either way, yes or no wouldn't stop him - he'll force his way no matter what. 

It took me a while to realize I shouldn't blame myself to those incidents. It's Nick's fault for taking advantage of my trust and my state of mind. I was young and he was 5/6 years my senior - he should have known better. If you ever think there's no way out, there's always a way out. You won't feel alone if you leave. You won't feel unwanted if you leave. When I finally chose to leave Nick for good, a whole new world opened up. I met new people, I experienced new things, I became more self aware and self confident. There's much more new opportunities out there once you choose to leave the circle.

If you know someone or you're going through an abusive relationship, get help. Tell someone you trust. Although I didn't tell any of my best friends and I didn't tell Anthony that Nick was abusive, I did tell Anthony about our encounters and he took the effort to make sure I wouldn't get stuck in Nick's circles of lies and abuse. In a way, I went through this entire process alone. I didn't speak to anyone about this until now. Tackling it on your own is difficult but I'm an independent person so I felt more comfort being by myself than telling people or seeking professional help. However, if you can't handle it on your own, seek help. I realize that nobody in the right set of mind will judge your story. I realize that rape is a growing society concern and everyone wants to help somehow. Get help and leave the hell-hole.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday's Five Store Cards Worth Signing Up For

I have a bunch of store cards, most of them loyalty cards but they do add up to save a few dollars and sometimes even a free grocery trip.

A lot of people aren't a fan of loyalty cards because they take up so much room in your wallet, AND not to mention it's just annoying when the cashier pesters you to sign up. I've been guilty of signing up for cards and never using them just to get the cashier to shut up. Especially at stores I know I don't visit regularly.

However, from my experiences of collecting loyalty cards, I'll share with you my top 5 store cards that are worth the time to register and continue using.

 Safeway Club Card
My favourite place to shop for groceries is actually Superstore because the prices are cheaper but given that Safeway more convenient for me, I tend to stop by Safeway a lot. Safeway prices aren't cheap (from comparison to Superstore) so I signed up for the Safeway Club card and used it instantly. Many of their items on sale are usually eligible for card holders so spending 5 minutes at the customer service desk filling out a form can you save a few bucks here and there everytime you shop at Safeway. The most I saved is usually in their meat department; $20 regular price but only $8 for card members.

 Target RED Card (Debit)
When I found out that Target was coming to Canada, I signed up for their Target RED debit card before the closest store was even under construction. It connects directly to your bank account so their sign up process might take a bit longer than the usual 5 minutes forms. However, once everything is done, you save 5% on their low prices already! 5% doesn't seem much but it adds up eventually. It got to the point where if I know I'm going to Target, I won't buy anything from my local drugstore just so I can save an extra 5% on my goods. Not to mention their clearance items are priced ridiculously low!
 
 Best Buy Reward Zone
If you're a big electronics fan, I highly recommend enrolling in the Best Buy points program. I've saved $10-20 on my electronics just by presenting this card whenever I'm in Best Buy. And it can be for anything from a $3 headphones to a $1,000 TV. I don't shop at Best Buy as much I did before but their points accumulate overtime so you can easily get a $5-$10 certificate overtime from little purchases/visits. Also, you get exclusive members only sales/events.

 PetSmart PetPerks
If you're an animal lover like me, you know how expensive maintaining a pet can be. I love shopping at PetSmart because their prices are low, but their sales are great! Some of the sale price are only eligible for PetPerk card holders but signing up is extremely easy. I own a senior Maltipoo and a baby bunny so being able to save few dollars on pet food/bedding helps a lot!

President's Choice MasterCard
As soon as I turned legal, I signed up for President's Choice MasterCard and lucky me, I got approved. When I look at credit cards, I look at ones that gives me the greatest benefits and lowest interest rate. My Visa is from my local bank and gives me a cashback everytime I use; my MasterCard is from President's Choice which collections "PC Points" which can transfer towards your grocery bill. The best part is that you can still collect points everywhere! I've gotten a lot of free food just from using my MasterCard. My mum gets points faster because the PC MC is her #1 choice of credit card so she uses it EVERYWHERE, and her purchases are bigger than mines. Process to signing up for a PC MasterCard is like any credit card - takes a few weeks and requires a bit more info (eg. credit checks).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge - Skincare Routine

Let me start off by saying that I don't have a set skincare routine and this blog post is probably learning towards a review-type entry. Don't expect to get any tips or health benefits from my skincare because... I don't even know anything about skincare :(

I'm lucky enough to be blessed with extremely soft skin. I don't want to sound like I'm bragging but everyone that's ever felt my hands/skin always ask what moisturize do I use and when I say none, they go into a frenzy because they can't believe how soft my skin is. 

I have no explanation for that. I remember I kept myself (and hands) extremely warm and sheltered from the winds. I drink a lot of water. Those two are the only contributing factors I can come up with to why my skin feels soft.

My "Out of the Shower" skincare is when I'm on the go, or moisturizing throughout the day.. basically, when I'm not in the shower. It includes this:

DIY oil blotting sheets (read my tutorial here!) and local drugstore Vitamin E cream. My t-szone gets oily from time to time so having a bunch of oil blotting sheets help. I chose the vitamin E cream because it's non sticky, dries fast, lasting, moisturizing and non-scented.

My mum used to be an Herbalife representative so we have a bunch of Herbalife products laying around the house. The only time I use this soothing gel is when my skin is irritated by something. It usually helps reduce the redness and itchiness. Also, because it dries up in seconds, it's the only product I use when the skin surrounding my lips (or my lips itself) is extremely irritated or dry.

My "In the shower" routine... which is used... during my shower time, haha. It includes:
I use Freeman Facial Exfoliating Scrub in Pink Grapefruit. It does wonders! Not only does it spread across your face with only a little blob, the smell is soooo good! After scrubbing it in the shower, I can feel my skin tighten up and feeling fresh and smoother. 

I'm an occasional make-up wearer, so by the end of the night, I use Neutogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser which also removes make-up. I think I might look into another one because I just hate how it doesn't lather up as much as I want it to.

Also, not pictured but I do use coconut oil for moisturizing and for my haircare. I haven't used it enough to see improvements but I've heard more pros than cons!

My friend is a beauty advisor at my local drugstore so I'm planning to drop by and get her opinion on skincare products. I'm looking into a new facial cleanser and toner! Any recommendations?

PS: Sorry this post contains no vital information, haha. I don't take care of my skin too much, but all I can say is moisturize and keep hydrated!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Walking Discount Machine


You: Hey, (enter your friend's name), how are you doing? I was wondering if you can do me a favour?
Friend: Yeah, sure, what is it?
You: I was wondering if you can get use your discount on this item for me?

^^ Have you ever had that conversation with a friend? I'm sure you have at one point. But your "friend" happens to be your BEST FRIEND so he/she isn't too bothered with sharing their employee perks with you.

However, if that "friend" happens to be an acquaintance from high school, you know, the guy that was in the same Bio class asking, that's a different question.

I use to work for Best Buy and during my years at Best Buy, the amount of people asking me for discount was surprising.

For example, I used to work at Forever 21 and only about 1 or 2 people have asked me. When I got hired at Best Buy, I suddenly became the most popular girl.

I am more than happy to help my best friends' and my family to get a discount from work. But, the longer I worked there, the more frustrated I got with the amount of Facebook messages I'd get from people that never even talked to me in high school.

This is a typical message exchange between a high school classmate and I:

High School classmate: Hey. Can you get me a discount from Best Buy?
Me: Umm, depends. What is it?
HS: An (enter electronic device).

The only reason why I ask which item because I'm curious. Other than that, straight off the bat I wouldn't get them a discount. They don't ask how I'm doing, or what's new. They don't even say please or thank you!

Why?

Because they're not my friends. We have no relationship whatsoever so I feel used. Why should I jeopardize my employee perks for some person I went to high school with? I know that it's good to have a network of people but when it does more harm to me (Best Buy monitors your employee discount purchases) than good, then I refuse to do it. I mean, I don't ask my acquaintances for their employee discounts - it's just rude.

It just frustrates me that people can use me like a discount machine! People have the nerves to ask a stranger for a discounted Beats Headphones and then never talk to me again.

I'm not saying that you should befriend someone just for perks but I'm saying, be respectful of people's discounts. If he/she isn't your friend and you guys never talked before, don't ask for something out of the blue. 

If he/she is willing to give you a discount, congrats! That's great BUT keep in mind that they'll forever remember you as the person who leeched off them. Or at least, that's what I think of the people that used me in the past. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Product Review: Thermos + Threadless Water Bottle

Do not let this cute design throw you off about this water bottle!

I don't know much about household brands but I've seen Thermos to recognize it's a reputable brand. Thermos teamed up with Threadless to produce cute water bottles with many different great designs. 

I originally purchased this because it's a (big) 24oz/.71 litres and I needed a stainless steel waterbottle, AND it was on sale for $8. I mean, $8 for a cute bottle or $8 for a plain coloured plastic bottle? Plus, I don't enjoy plastic stuff that much.

At first, I loved it. The cap has a push button and the lid pops right up for easy and fast accessible drinking. It doesn't retain warmth, so if you're a coffee/tea drinker, don't expect this to keep the heat. It cooled down my boiling hot water within 20 minutes with the cap tightly sealed.

However, the disappointing part has occurred and ruined my school notebook twice already.

The biggest downfall to this product is the fact that it leaks easily despite the cap being screwed tightly on and the cap sealed.

On the first occasion, I noticed my school notebook was soaking wet. I thought it was funny because it wasn't raining... and even then, the rain doesn't get into my bag. So I looked into it and found my water bottle weighting less than it did before. It turned out, my water bottle leaked its entire contents into my bag. The cap was screwed on tightly and it wasn't opened. I thought, maybe something pressed open the cap but nope, everything was sealed. It messed up my entire notebook that I ended up needing to borrow someone else's Strategic Management notes and buying a new notebook..

The second time it happened, I felt my jeans getting wet all of a sudden. I looked into it and once again, my water bottle, tightly sealed was somehow leaking.

It baffles me so much. I assume perhaps the lid isn't closed properly but it is. When I pull the bottle out and I turn it upside down to see if it's leaking, no water drips out. I understand all bottles leak, but when you can't pinpoint HOW it's leaking... it's a big frustration!

I love this water bottle but I think it's time to switch to a different bottle if it always mysteriously leaks. I'll sacrifice a cute bottle for my stupid school notes >.<"

Quality: 3.5
Price: 2/5 ($15.99 reg; $7.99 sale)
Would I recommend it?: Yes, but keep it on an outer pocket of your bag/backpack
Overall rating: 4/5

Brand: Thermos with partnership with Threadless
Company website: Here
Where to buy: London Drugs

Monday, January 13, 2014

Online Dating

First of all, let's start by saying I'm not in an online relationship or considering online dating. I'm interested in what people think about online dating. This topic came to me when I was watching Border Security and this American woman had an online relationship with a man in Calgary and was flying there to meet for the first time.

It's drawn to me that finding a relationship via online dating sites has been growing and growing on a daily basis that it's common to hear couples say they found each other on (insert dating site). Statistics shows that 1 out of 5 marriages were found on the internet.

The only person I've ever known to tried a dating site was one of my high school friends. She invited him to a birthday party and when I asked how the two of them met, my friend let out an embarrassed giggle and said "We met on Plenty of Fish!" I nodded my head, slightly shocked but nonetheless, not judgemental. She later went on about why she tried online dating (she got out of a long term relationship with her high school romance) and how she finds it's fun and comforting. The two didn't last very long and I don't know if she's still using POF. A close friend of mines signed up for a dating site but closed her profile instantly when she got uncomfortable with the amount of men messaging her.

Now, I'm going to come out and say that I'm not the luckiest person in the dating department. I have my fair struggles of finding a boyfriend (when I'm looking) but I've never considered an online dating profile. 

I know it's extremely common now and no longer a taboo, but I find it extremely uncomfortable to list myself on a social network for dating. I feel like I'm selling myself. My biggest fear is having someone I know (regardless of how long we've known each other) see my listed profile. Or even have a creepy (God forbid a murder) encounter with the man.. you know, those horrifying date stories that appears on CSI.

But, congratulations on those that found love on the internet. Especially those that's found a marriage! I think they're brave to ignore all possibilities and list themselves up on a dating site. I think they're happy too.

Right now, I may not consider a dating site, but who knows. I could end up focussing too much time on my career that later down the road, I do need to sign up for a dating site.

If the day comes, I'll let you guys know :P

Any of you ever tried a dating site? Or know someone that did?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Product Review: Rimmel London's Lasting Finish Lipstick in #170 Alarm and #010 Dizzy

I'm a big fan of Rimmel London. To be honest, I was a bit biased when I first started using their product line because back in 8th grade, I was IN LOVE with London so you can guess that I went straight to Rimmel London when I first purchased my make-up.

However, despite my biased love for London, I enjoy their products because they fit my budget and their quality is super nice (according to my standards).


Today, I'm reviewing Rimmel's Lasting Finish Lipsticks in both shades of #170 Alarm and #010 Dizzy. I originally got these two lipsticks because of the price and I was in need of a lipstick.


Overall //
The colours of these two lipsticks are bold. I can't find another way to describe the colours but bold. They glide easily on your lips and as Rimmel describes it, it is long lasting. If I don't eat anything, it can last for hours. That being said, Lasting Finish lipsticks transfers to utensils/napkins easily (and your significant other, haha). However, if your lips have a tendency to be dry, I would stray away from the lighter colours, such as this shade of pink (#10 Dizzy) because you can easily see the little dry bits of your lips. The darker colours, even this shade of red (#170 Alarm) "hides" the bits of your dry lips. 

Once applied, they dry up instantly (well, it's not like it's wet when you first apply it), and for some reason, I find myself pressing my lips together when I'm alone. They're dry but they're STILL SMOOTH! I also loooove the fact that it doesn't transfer onto my teeth whenever I'm talking. I've seen bad pictures of victims with lipstick-stained teeth and to this day, these lipsticks still hasn't transferred to my teeth. Even when I accidentally bite on my lips.

Packaging is nothing special. The cap pops up easily for fast application but not easy enough to ruin your bag(s).

When wiped off, the darker colours fade a bit lighter and the lighter colours is practically off your lips.

Who would I recommend these lipsticks too?
Someone that's looking for a good quality lipstick on a budget. It's long lasting, so you wouldn't need to spend a few extra funds to get the lipstick that's advertised as a long lasting wear. If you're easily embarrassed about the stains being left on your Starbucks cup, I wouldn't recommend it and invest in a non-stain lipstick/lip stain. 

Also, when purchasing keep in mind about the shade. I've noticed they're bolder/brighter when applied on.

Wearing Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in #170 Alarm. The shade of red is quite bold and I love it.

 
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in #10 Dizzy. It's a brighter shade when applied. With lighter colours, the chance of having your bits of dry skin on your lips is much more visible than the darker colours.

Rating: 4/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Price: 5/5
*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.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday’s Five Dream Travel Destinations

I love travelling, even if it’s to another nearby city. But given my limited free time as a fulltime student and of course, the whole money issue, I know I won’t be travelling to anywhere far for a while (sad face!).

But, hopefully in the near future, I get to cross out one of my dream destinations and before I die, I hope to travel as much as I can.

Here are my top to-visit places:

Amritsar, Punjab, India

Farewell_India

I love India and the Indian culture. There’s something about their language, dances, cooking, and culture that drew me into India. Especially the wide ranges of colours. In Canada, it’s nearly impossible to find a man wearing pink on a casual day, unless it’s to raise awareness. In India, colours hold no social labels.

United Kingdom
 uk

Growing up, I was considered an ‘Anglophile’ and even considered studying in Manchester if my parents allowed me to. As a kid, I also dreamt of moving to England when I grew older (who knows, maybe that dream can come true). Aside from England, I would love to see Scotland too!

Germany 

Germany_bLOG

I’m a big WWII fanatic so touring Germany would be a paradise. To visit all the Holocaust museums and experience history first hand will be amazing.

Montreal, Canada

montreal-canada

Some say I’ll be wasting one of my “dream destinations” to visit Montreal but I haven’t seen much of Canada yet (shame on me!) and if given the opportunity, I’d choose Montreal over any city in Canada to visit. I fell in love with Montreal in 8th grade and to this day, it still holds a place in my heart. 

California State, USA

laskyline2

I wanted to say LA but in reality, I want to tour all of California! There’s something about that state that makes me even want to move down there. It’s not the celebrity factor, it’s more of the cultural factor that draws me to California… and the sunshine! It’s a nearby state so I can see this happening in a close nearby future.

Have any of you lucky readers got to travel to one of my favourite places? Let me know your experience(s)!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

You don't look like the type of person to read!


aka you just told me that I look too stupid to read.

Reading has always been a big part of my life. In my elementary years, from grade 1-3, I was always pulled out of class for about 20-30 minutes to read with another teacher. At the time, I didn't know why I was pulled out of class but I wasn't embarrassed. I guess my teachers thought I was struggling with reading.

Looking back, I think I need to thank those teachers that helped me out with reading (whether I had a reading problem or not) because without those teachers looking after my best interest, I probably wouldn't be reading as much as I do now. Reading, for me, is one of my favourite hobbies.

I love reading because it brings me to a whole new place. It educates me and relaxes me. By the end of a really good book, I sometimes feel like I ended an adventure. And let's not forget the process of reading a book - I get so emotional from a character's death or even a "wtf" moment. I'm literally in my own world when I read.

Sometimes when I meet new people, and they ask about my hobbies, I'll list reading as one of them and most of them will nod but you have those few people that say... "Wow, I didn't think you were the type to read books!"

And in my mind, I'm just like... "What the @#%&@!@$, you #%@%^&^%$#@! Did you just said I look to stupid to read?!"

Because, let's be real, most people associate reading with nerds/geek. Because I don't look "nerdy" enough, I don't look like I read much.

Ugh, news flash, I love to read. I read everything from biographies, to cheesy high school romance books. I love reading about history (seriously, don't argue with me about World War II, The Holocaust and/or Hitler), cultural studies, biographies, non fictions (especially crimes!), and post-apocalyptic books.

Last year, I took Goodread's challenge of reading 32 books in a year but I ended up reading 40 instead (click here for list of the 40 books I've read). For 2014, I'm trying to finish 50 books for the year!

Don't judge me when I say I read books. Reading is for everyone and you don't need to "look" a certain way to be a bookworm. It just pisses me off when people imply that I look too stupid to read.

No, stranger, you look stupid for judging me!

Are you a bookworm? Let's be friends on Goodreads :D 
If you love reading but haven't signed up for Goodreads, I really recommend it! Not only do you get to keep track of all the books you've read, it also recommends books based on what you've read, your interests, and your ratings. You also get to meet other bookworms and see their recommendations/current reads. High recommended site!