Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Buy/Rent/Sell Your Textbooks with Bookmob.ca


Selling textbooks can be a chore. I hate meeting up with people because they're all over the city and my schedule is no longer flexible to meet up in the afternoon or morning. And if I have an available time slot, the buyer is busy.

I don't keep my textbooks. It's a waste of space in my home and an eyesore too. But, being a student, I do want some pocket money back from the books I purchased. Rather than using the traditional Facebook groups and Craigslist to sell them, I decided to use Bookmob to sell my textbooks.

Why? Because they're the highest paying buyback program in Canada, with free shipping, fast payouts and they buy your books instantly! Instead of letting them collect dust in my room, I chose to get some money back from my books!

It took only 4 days for my textbooks to reach (I shipped it out on the 18th but I made my buyback on the 17th). Bookmob pays for your expedited shipping to Ontario via Canada Post; you would need to buy your own packaging but they're less than $5 in a Canada Post office.

Bookmob takes about 2-3 days to process your payment. You can select between Bookmob credit (highest payout; worth it if you use Bookmob to rent/buy textbooks as well), PayPal, or by check. I chose PayPal because it's the fastest with no withdrawal fees as well.

Proof of Bookmob PayPal payout
Within three days of receiving my package, Bookmob sent me my quoted amount of $96.24! While using Bookmob to sell my books, I was able to go about my days completing much more important tasks instead of constantly advertising and traveling the city to sell my books.

Bookmob is not only a buyback service, but you may also choose to buy or rent your textbooks with Bookmob, saving about $500/year!
*Disclaimer: This business review is not sponsored by Bookmob nor is this blog affiliated with Bookmob. All opinions and experiences are my honest opinion and any additional resources required were paid with my money.

Monday, January 26, 2015

5 Things to Consider About WordPress (from a casual blogger'sperspective)

Here's the thing. I can go on and on about the lovely features of WordPress and why you should transfer your blog to self hosted WP but you've probably read 10 million articles gushing about the same features.

Admittedly, I was attracted to self hosted WordPress for the features. I jumped the gun without thinking much of the other things that comes with the WordPress package. I don't regret it. Blogging is a huge passion of mine so I chose to invest in WordPress.

I am a casual blogger. I'm a full time student so blogging isn't my job. I don't earn money off my blog (aside from $0.01 from my Google Adsenses) or ten thousand sample products. I don't speak fluent HTML or CSS - I Google all the codes I need to customize the blog I want. I don't have fancy web designing/graphics skills. And I don't have 10k followers. Blogging is a passion of mine but I do it casually and for myself.

If you classify yourself as a "casual blogger" , here's five things to consider when switching over to self hosted WordPress.

1. The Cost

If your blog isn't aimed at generating an income of some sort, then your hobby for blogging just got slightly more expensive. You can host a WP blog without breaking the bank but compared to free Blogger or just a yearly fee to have a domain name, the cost is something to consider about self hosted WP.

On top of the hosting fees, you should consider the price of WordPress themes. They're much more expensive than a traditional Blogger template. For example, an average Blogger theme from a well known designer can cost about $150 (entire custom design) where as an entire WP theme can run you up about $500! Aside from premium themes, some best or custom plug-ins can cost you some money too.

Back on Blogger, I paid about $10/year. $10 for my domain name and I designed my own Blogger template. Since switching over to WordPress, my expenses have gone up to $60/year plus any additional themes I would buy in the future (which is unlikely).

2. HTML/CSS... and PHP

You've read that WP is extremely customizable and yes, it's true... if you know how to design a blog. I know the basic of HTML and CSS but don't talk to me about PHP. I didn't think it'd be THIS bad but yes, I would say you have to know more than the basics of coding for WP if you want to tweak your theme a bit.

Don't get me wrong. Most themes on WP have a simple customizer feature that allows you to edit basic stuff such as site title, widget placements and logo/banner. But if you want to center your entire menu or adjust the width of your blog, you'll have to go into your theme's files and start tweaking it a bit. It get's confusing when your basic knowledge of HTML is bolding, underlining, etc.

3. Strict Designs

Adding to the ability to speak fluent codes, if you're like me and sort of just want a template for your blog and be able to upload a lovely banner, tweak the colours to match your banner and call it day... well, that'll be tough.

Back on Blogger, I used the Simple Template. I made a new banner every now and then and edit the colours and fonts on my blog to everything looks nice. On WP, very few themes that I came across takes headers. Many of them are aimed towards businesses so they allow you to upload a 150x150 but not your fancy 875x346 banner. If it does, it might look distorted. The best way is to design a header that is based on the recommended pixel sizes that theme suggests. Sometimes it works out but most of the time it's just testing your creativity habits.

To fully customize your blog, you'll have to pay for premium themes or learn to code/design a WP blog.

4. Limited Support

Remember how you can easily Google your question and it'd give fool proof tutorials/CSS codes for Blogger to get your blog the way you want it to look? You can't do that with WP (unless it's with an extremely popular WP theme such as twentytweleve or twentyeleven). Sure you can send an e-mail to your theme's designer but most free themes would not have support. And while there is a chance that someone is asking the same question, there's a high chance that the solution won't work with your theme for many reasons.

There are so many sites that are dedicated to customizing Blogger and tips and tricks for Bloggers. Those sites rarely exist for WP and if they do, sometimes it gets confusing because all themes are different!

5. Viruses and Deleted Sites

Plugins? Super fun! I love checking out the plugins page and see which ones I can download. Same with themes! If I'm not in the mood to make a new header, I can easily transform the blog into a nicely coded site without any graphics (and without doing the work :P). So, if you're not gifted in Photoshop, don't worry - WordPress has SO many beautiful themes that are text based only that gives your blog a different and beautiful look.

That being said, the more you download for your blog, the higher the chances of getting a virus. There's also risks of hackers targeting WordPress blogs. There's a chance of deleting your entire blog with a push of a button. You can easily mess up your blog if you mistakenly delete part of a code. You can corrupt your blog if you accidentally delete a file.

It's scary.

But WordPress is so fun and so amazing! Despite my limitations, I don't regret switching over to WordPress. I'm currently taking coding classes online to help with my blog. I'm learning more about WordPress everyday. The list of features that everyone raves about is definitely worth it even with the tedious backstage work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Two F's: Fat & Fired

What these past few days as brought for me!

On Tuesday I woke up without the desire to go to work. The bakery and I just no longer work. It's mundane and boring. I'm not really developing or improving any skills nor was I challenged. I decided to pull a no show and spent the day relaxing (and brain storming for an excuse to why I didn't show up).

Wednesday, I was talking to my ex and some how we ended up on the topic of working out. I told him I weight about 105lb now and he pretty much said, "You looked better when you were 90lb." and "You're getting fat". Yup, I've never been called fat because I've been naturally skinny all my life but damn. That shit hurts. Especially coming from someone you love. He tries to explain that he's not being mean or anything but it's the truth. This year, one of my resolutions is to be able to donate blood and that requires you to be 110lb. So I started hitting the gym with a personal trainer to reach that weight goal buuuut... now I'm actually feeling a bit self conscious.

Wednesday was also the day of my Canucks interview for a retail position. I don't think it went really well because it was extremely short (he only asked three questions) and he didn't ask for my references list. Granted, it was an open interview and he may have rushed it so fit others into the time slot buuuut... it's a fail. Plus, I'm off on vacation for a month so I doubt that would want to wait for me to come back when there's so many others that can start ASAP.



Which leads us to today...

Just now I found out I got fired for my no show... which I guess you can say it's a good thing. I've been struggling with finding a way to quit the bakery after my vacation and this just takes that stress off. I have nothing against the bakery but it just wasn't my thing. I need interaction with new people and co workers. The bakery was suffocating me in so many ways. I'm not even gluten intolerant!

However, I do appreciate my months while employed at the bakery. I learned so much about gluten free products and gluten itself. I don't know where else I could use that knowledge but at least I'm not too dense about it anymore!

So, cheers for another new adventure!

(and a cup of vanilla latte to "cheer me up").

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beauty


he asked me why i loved him the way i did.

i had a simple answer. beauty.

he was by far the most beautiful man i've known.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2am


Nothing good ever happens after 2am.

Except him.
He was the definition of 2am - the lust, the hunger and the affection she craves at 2am. The memories, the lingering thoughts, the lyrics.

2am.

She sat, her eyes gazing at the man in front of her. In every way possible, he was perfect. The determination in his eyes. The raspiness in his voice from the whiskey. The face of someone she can never forget. The face of someone that wants her as much as she wants him - if not, more.

He let out a breath, the smell of whiskey lingering between the two of them. He leaned in, resting his forehead against hers. Every fiber of him held back his urges to taste her. Only for this moment.

He breathed her in. A scent he deprives himself for thirteen days. A scent that reminded him of love he doesn't deserve.

"You mean the world to me. I wouldn't know what I'd do without you. You are the most important person to me."

She cupped his face and caressed his cheeks. These were the very words she wanted to hear for the past two years. The words that brings her to her knees.

"I want to provide for you." He kissed her forehead. "I know someone else can provide for you. I guarantee you that someone else would provide for you in the future."

He was bruising her heart without even knowing it.

"But right now, in this moment, I want to provide for you. I would protect you with my life, baby girl."

The pieces of her heart hanging by the threads formed by his words.

The moonlight bathed the bedroom. She looked at the man in front of her. Her eyes filled with love and sorrow. This man has never been as naked as he was in this moment.

"Everything will be fine." She finally whispered. She pulled hm closer, kissing him gently on the forehead. He crumbled at her forgiveness; he knew all too well he doesn't deserve her love. In this blissful moment, he never wants to let her go. He held her tightly, resting his head on her chest; listening to the heart that beats for him. Only for him.

230am.

The Problem with 'Half Liking' Someone

You like the next person that comes into your life.



"Half liking" someone is dangerous.

You think you like them, but you're not ready to fully jump into a relationship with him. You accept his habits and interests despite the fact that if someone else had them, you'd be turned off. He makes a great friend, someone you can hold a conversation and trust.

You wonder if he's a rebound. I mean, if you didn't consider him as dating potential, why now?

You get comfortable. You may have even daydreamed what it's like to date him. You get bummed out when he doesn't reply to your texts.

But, it's dangerous.

It's dangerous because the moment someone else walks into your life, you'd easily develop feelings for the new guy. Because "half liking" is like dipping your toes in the water. Yes, there's a potential to jump into the lake once you get the feeling of the water and enjoy it. But, there's also the possibility of jumping into the lake because someone else is in the lake. Not your special friend, just someone else.

Someone that has the passion and spark that your friend doesn't. And probably would never have.

My friend once told me, if there's no spark the moment you meet... there'll be someone else to ignite you.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 2/52: I cried watching a hockey game

I don't like that today marks the end of week 2 of January. If you ask me, I feel like it's still the first week...

+ two more weeks until I give Sukh his 26th birthday gift!

The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk and a pair of Van Canucks vs. Anaheim Ducks tickets
+ I don't know if I loved the game [01/08/15 - Canucks vs. Florida Panthers] or not... because it's Luongo [and we lost]


+ but this tribute happened:


cue water works.

+ of course Canada wins Gold in World Junior Championship

+ my school offers Business of Hockey Executive MBA. I think I know what my Master is going to be...
how canadian is my school, right?!

Friday, January 9, 2015

6 Songs That Describes My Life Right Now

What The Heart Wants - Selena Gomez; "there's a million reasons why I should give you up, but the heart wants what it wants"

You and I - Lady GaGa; "you taste like whiskey when you kiss me, oh
I’d give anything again to be your baby doll"

Stay With Me - Sam Smith; "this ain't love, it's clear to see, but darling, stay with me"

Clean - Taylor Swift; "and by morning gone was any trace of you,
I think I am finally clean"

Remember - Kari Kimmel; "If its all I can take, I'll remember it all"

Wings - Birdy; "I just wanna be by your side, if these wings could fly"

And bonus:

Paranoid - Jonas Brothers; "I take the necessary steps, just might be paranoid"

I found out my friend has been stalking me on Twitter (and I think reading my blog too). I work hard to keep people away from my social media accounts but he always manages to find them. So, now I'm somewhat paranoid, LOL.

But in all honesty, I'm going back and forth between my heart and mind (as you can probably tell from all the songs).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Beauty Product Review: Viviscal (1 Month Update)

Mid last year, I decided to get a pixie cut. It was an impulse decision that I made after finishing an exam.  It was fun for the first few days and then it just got to be hassle. Eventually I grew it out but the way my stylist shaped it, it was growing out into a shapeless bob. I eventually got it stylized again into a proper bob cut and have been growing it out ever since.

While sporting shorter hair, I felt insecure. Yes, I'm going to admit that. A lot would say it take confidence and courage to rock a pixie cut but the hairstyle ruined my confidence a bit. Going to a club feeling sexy? Forget it! Every girl has loooooooong luscious hair that guys would chase! I don't mean to insult anyone with shorter hair but I just feel more "uglier" during this period.

One of my favourite bloggers, Nadine, did a review on Viviscal. She's one of the bloggers I trust when it comes to reviews. So, naturally in desperate need to grow out my hair, I followed her advice and purchased Viviscal off Amazon for a cheaper price.

IMG_20141205_144356Viviscal is a highly praised product for hair growth and hair supplement for other people. All the reviews I've read about were positive. Viviscal claims you'll need to use the product at least 6 months before seeing a significant change. For me, I'm not looking to use this until my hair reaches my back, just use it enough that I start feeling confidence again (perhaps when it hits my shoulders?). So, I purchased 2 packs of 3 month supplements, which equals to 6 months worth of Viviscal pills.

Each box contains 60 pills and you eat two per a day. I eat one in the morning and one at night. It's a small pill has a taste of seafood which makes sense since the pills contain oyster meat and shark cartilage... yeah.... It'd slide down your throat instantly without much taste. You'll only taste it if you let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.

IMG_20141219_150101Viviscal also sent me their shampoo and conditioner after a miscommunication (can you say great customer service?!). Nadine uses their hair care supplies but personally I don't see how shampoos can help promote the growth of hair. Needless to say, I'm still using their shampoo and conditioner (but won't be buying them in the future). It's all natural so they both have a strong smell of what you'll smell in Saje Natural Wellness stores.

So, verdict?

Take a look!

[caption id="attachment_913" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Viviscal-Review-1-month Umm.. yeah... ignore my face. #lazylounging[/caption]

As you can see, it's not a big growth but it has grown a lot compared to if I never started. Prior to taking Viviscal, my hair was in shaped bob. Now, it's at the stage where hair is growing out and they don't know what to do with themselves.

I can pull my hair into a tiny ponytail but I hate it when people do that. So, I lost the bob shape because my hair grew out but it's safe (and satisfying) to know that Viviscal is worth the money! At this rate, I think by the time I finish my 6 months worth of pills, I'd been content with my hair length!

Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Successful Methods of Saving Money in 2015


Nearly a year late but I have found 5 ways that works for me when it comes to financial habits. I wish I took my finances much more serious (I acknowledged my spending but never really commit to changing anything) earlier on but better late than never!

Just in time for the new year, here's 5 working methods of saving money that could work for you!

1) Unsubscribe from e-mails
Everytime I told myself I was going to save, I got emails from my favourite stores telling me there's a sale or there's free shipping... those two marketing schemes gets me the most, especially free shipping. I can't believe I've never thought about it before, but just after Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I unsubscribed to all promotional emails from my favourite stores (and if these stores have loyalty rewards notifications, eg. Chapters, it won't affect those notification emails). Unsubscribing from these stores was the best thing ever and best thing is that I'm not drawn into the whole Boxing Day Week sales... I seriously don't know what's for sale for Boxing Day! I also tell cashiers not to sign me up for their promotional emails and I request stores not to send any advertisements.

2) Develop automatic monthly saving transfers
I may have mentioned this before but seriously, go into your bank and ask them to turn on this feature! I have three savings accounts: 1) regular savings account that's connected to my debit card, 2) Tax Free savings account that isn't linked to my debit card but I can still access it through online banking and 3) Mutual Funds that I cannot touch WHATSOEVER. I legit need to make an appointment with a financial adviser to access those money which is better if I ever act on an impulse to drain those funds out. Since I don't touch my Mutual Funds, I put $50/month, and $20.50/month in my tax free savings, and $1/debit card transaction to my regular savings account. I'm thinking of increasing the monthly deposits once I get a better job!

3) Develop a reward program for yourself
This is something new to me but it's a classic. Basically, you write a list of things you want but you only buy them if you've succeeded in achieving one of your goals. For me, my goals are mostly educational, such as, maintaining at least a 3.00GPA, or finish all my exams with 80% or more, and once that's crossed off my list, I'd reward myself with a mini shopping spree (of $50... remember, budgeting!) or treat myself to a fancy dinner. Yes, I may be losing out on a lot of events or clothing items but at the same time it allows me to be motivated towards my goals while saving at the same time.

4) Have budgets
I feel like this is the hardest thing to achieve. Instead of planning out budgets (that always fails through), I downloaded Mint and they set up all the budgets for me. Right now, a few budgets includes $100 clothing, $50 restaurants and $10 coffee shops. I think they might analyze your recent spending history to come up with these budgets but I'm not entirely sure. You can customize each budget to increase or decrease the limit and Mint sends notification that you've reached your limit or if you're overspending. Mint also keeps tracking of how much you spend on a month and if you're spending more than you're making. Best part, it keeps all your banking info in one app so you're not constantly logging into several banks to view your statements!

5) Check your credit cards
I recently chose to downgrade my limit to $500. Not only would that decrease my spending, but it'd also maintain my credit score and even boost my credit score. I can easily max out my credit cards and sometimes take a while to pay it back. With only a $500 limit, paying that back is nothing and I can watch what I choose to spend my credit on. Also, consider getting cards that are beneficial to you. For instant, I stop using my TD Cash Back Visa when I realize it doesn't do much for me. I instead switched to Scotiabank Visa for the free movies tickets - so yes, I spend money but at the same time I save a lot on movie tickets because I essentially get them for free and I'm a huge movie goer. My cousin opted for a TD travel rewards Visa because she loves to travel. Consider branching out to another bank if they offer a suitable credit card for you.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Goodbye Blogger...

And hello WordPress!

After brutally cutting up my first ever Visa (you'd be missed dearly...)Snapchat-4362934738068805032I decided to treat myself to switching over to self hosted WordPress. I loved Blogger, don't get me wrong but since reading Nadine's and several other's experiences about switching over to WordPress, I felt like being self hosted was calling my name!

I stayed up til 4AM last night (and even then still not finish with everything) migrating over to WP. Okay, so it didn't take ALL day to complete the process but I had to configure all these widgets and plug ins and for the longest time I thought my site was down but it turned out to be my browser acting up... so, nonetheless, it took me about a day to complete the process.

If you are more savy than I am, I'll promise you it wouldn't take that long.

One of my goals in the blogging world is to increase followers and rediscover my love for blogging. WordPress is extremely fun to play with, still getting used to some things but nonetheless, a reward for me. I took the step to cutting up my Visa to save money and to reward myself, I chose to purchase a hosting package from NameCheap. Being the cheapass that I am, it's the cheapest hosting package I could find (for the amount of free space and bandwidth).

So, farewell Blogger, I will never forget you, and hello WordPress (again....)!

I'll be making changes from time to time this week so excuse the mess!

PS: WordPress was where I first met Kendel <33333

Friday, January 2, 2015

Goals for 2015


How is everyone recovering from their NYE/NYD parties?

2014 has been an alright year. I've managed to cross a few things off but not as much as I want it to. It was a year of highs and lows and just a year of "going through another day". This year around, I'm determined to make 2015 better for me. Selfish? Yes.

I don't know what else to say about 2015 except that I'm excited for a new year. I'm challenging myself, finding myself, improving myself, and overall, one giant step closer to my dreams and goals.

I normally don't keep my New Year resolution because in the end, I forget them all. This year around, I've created a lovely Microsoft document with a list of goals broken down in different sections.

A few of my goals for this soon-to-be amazing year are...
Blogging Goals

  • Migrate over to self-hosted WordPress (perhaps with a new URL as well...)

  • Host 5 guests post... this is extremely nervewracking for me!

  • Increase my BlogLovin' followers to the 200-300 range


Academic Goals

  • Boost my GPA

  • Pass at least 5 exams with 80% or higher

  • Visit my university


Reading Goals

  • Read 60 books this year

  • Finish an audiobook


Personal Goals

  • Donate blood

  • Put more effort into my current friends and new friendships

  • Procrastinate less and be more productive of my time

  • Travel solo (to a new city???)


I'll be adding more throughout the year but that's just a few things on my Word document right now.

Also, because I'm also aiming to save majority of my money this year, I'm introducing the rewards system into my life. For those who don't know what a reward system is, you basically reward yourself when you accomplish a big goal. Rewards can range from anything between your favourite meal to the expensive $5k Canon DSLR you've been eying.

A few of my rewards for this year are:

  • New tattoo

  • NameCheap web hosting (with a new domain???)

  • Deep tissue massage

  • Seattle/Bellingham shopping spree


The rewards list is a bit small because I don't know what I really want yet... I have all I could want. I would be adding more to it if I come across something.

So, if you're aiming to make 2015 your amazing year as well, I wish you the very best of luck in accomplishing that. It's okay to fail on a certain goal, I know I will never be able to cross everything off my list but real matter is that you tried, and you took a leap.

There will always be 2016 ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015, I Welcome You With Open Arms

I downloaded this stupid magazine app (InstaMag) for your photos and nonetheless, I am addicted...

A lot of us will say a new year is sort of like a new start. I won't do any of that "new year, new me" bullshit. 2015, simply put in terms, will be a challenging year. I want to challenge myself. I want to motivate myself. I want to improve myself. I want to become closer to my goals. 2015, hopefully would be a year of new experiences :)

2015 will be another great year. It will be a successful year.





Happy New Year!