Monday, December 28, 2015

Reflecting on 2015

Hard to believe 2015 is ending in less than week...

I remember entering 2015 feeling energized, motivated, and inspired. And I want to carry those three feelings throughout 2016 as well.

2015 has been a tremendous year. I've lost a few friends, but I've gained so many more friends that might even last a lifetime. I've struggled with my school but I've had more ups than downs. I stressed out and snapped at so many people at work but I've never been with a workplace that saw potential in me before. I almost fell in love to have it crushed but I'm okay with that. I've proven people wrong. I've proven myself to so many people. I tried new things and been to new places.

2015 has been an amazing year because I took charge. I want to make myself a better person. I want to experience more of life. I want to change things around. Unlike previous years, I didn't just sit down and waited for opportunities to come my way. I made opportunities.


I remember a Chinese fortune teller elling me that 2016 and 2017 will be great years for me. Do I believe in fortune telling? Ehh... probably not. But I know 2016 is the year I finish my last course of my undergrad; it's also the year I'm traveling solo overseas for the first time. I know 2017 is the year I attend my commencement ceremony and potentially move to New Zealand (or any other place for that matter).

2015 taught me so much about myself and about my life. It molded me to be a better person, a much stronger and independent person. A wiser person, if I may add.

I have no regrets with 2015. For the first time, I'm happy to admit that this was a fantastic year. One of the best years of my life.

I'm excited for 2016. I'm welcoming it with open arms.

If I can make 2015 amazing, imagine what I can do in 2016! I'm feel so much more motivated, inspired, and confident as well.


I really hope you look forward to a new year as much as I will.

I'm signing out until sometime next January, so, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


See you guys in the new year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

6 Things to Consider Purchasing off Ebay or Aliexpress


I'd happily admit that I'm a frugal person.

And there's nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I think it's smart to be frugal... I mean, why waste money when we don't have to, right?

One of my biggest secret in indulging while living frugally is online shopping.

Yup, online shopping. AKA what every financial blog tells you to stay away from!

But, online shopping is not the worst thing ever. In fact, I save more on online shopping than clipping coupons or waiting for sales at my local store. If you're smart with online shopping, online shopping isn't a debt sentence.

For example, my "make-up of the night" look for my birthday was about $5, my bikini trimmer was $5 less than in store, aaaand, by biggest investment this year, Lexington, my new mirrorless camera was $270 cheaper online than in store!

When it comes to cheap online shopping, I only stick to two sites: eBay and Aliexpress. Right now, Aliexpress is my favourite.

So, what should you consider purchasing online rather than in stores?

Beauty and beauty accessories.

Especially if you're not a make-up guru and can't be bothered with make-up, consider purchasing your stuff from budget lines such as E.L.F. or buy them online. I can get an eyeshadow palette for $2-3 (good quality) compared to spending $7+ in store! Especially if you're looking for specific colours, online shopping is the way to go! Because I don't know much about make up, my brushes are shipped overseas, costing me $1!

Accessories

It baffles me that people continue to buy jewelry from Forever 21 and H&M. Sure, they're relatively affordable at $4-7 per piece but what if I told you, 95% of my jewelry cost me only $1? $2.25 at the most? And yes, after all that wearing, it still survives. I've also purchased cute scarves and hats as well.

Bags

If you're not big on designer bags, purchase them online. They may be no name brand or a foreign brand but they're top notch quality for only $20 or less! The best part is, most of these bags are fairly unique so it's likely not many people in your city will be seen having one.

Clothes

Yup, it's possible to do online shopping for affordable clothes! I've purchased a few pieces of clothing for $10 or less for school and work. I've yet to run into any problems with them. A few stitches may be poorly done but you can just cut off excess thread. Similarly to the bags, I love how nobody else has them! Consider coats, active wear and bras!

Electronics & accessories

This is a toughy. I've purchased a few electronics online and gotten lucky. I mean, I did save almost $300 on my camera just from buying online! I would consider other customers' reviews before buying online mainly because electronics are bit more "iffy" than the other products. I've only had one minor issue with a portable speaker I got online for $15, but I didn't really needed the bluetooth. My favourite one is getting a Class 10 32gb memory card for my camera for only $10.

Also, if you love switching up your phone cases - buy them online. $1-3 is better than $25 at the stores!

Household decor

I have yet to purchase any household decor because I'm still living with my parents but from what I've seen, cute, unique and adorable pillows for only $3-5?! I would totally save them for when I have my own place.
* * *

While many items are cheap, be realistic about shipping and time of arrival. I usually filter my searches to list free shipping products only. If I really want an item, then I'd be willing to pay for shipping if the item is still cheaper than in-stores. Also, if the time takes longer to deliver, I might consider picking an item online. For eBay and Aliexpress, because all of the items come from China, it takes about 2-3 weeks for it to arrive to Canada. Some places, like Europe, can take only a week or so.

Also, PayPal and Aliexpress have free protection programs to protect consumers against untrustworthy businesses. On the rare occasion my item would arrive defective or not what I ordered, a quick email to the seller and I got my refund back. With Aliexpress, the $15 coat I ordered from a seller turned out to be fraud and surprisingly, Aliexpress was the one who found the seller to be suspicious, put a hold on my order until the seller could prove they were legit, and after 3 days, Aliexpress emailed me telling me they're issuing a refund because the seller was a fraud.

I have yet to get "scammed" via online shopping because I stick to eBay/Paypal and Aliexpress.

Let me know what you enjoy buying online than in stores! Hope you enjoy Aliexpress as much as I do! :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Blogosphere, meet Lexington

 
My Olympus E-M10 arrived in the mail yesterday! Breaking from my traditional Harry Potter names for my previous DSLRs, I'm naming this little baby, Lexington, Lexi for short. I'm choosing to break the Harry Potter naming tradition because I feel like it's a new chapter of photography for me and it's a mirrorless camera rather than a DSLR aaaand yes, I'm no longer a Canon user :(

For those who don't know, I used to be very into photography. As stated, I had a Canon Rebel DSLR until it got stolen one night. Between working part time and paying bills, it took me almost a year to save up for a new camera but unfortunately by then, I lost all interest in photography.

Since a few months ago, I've been looking into starting a new hobby. Nothing interested me aside from photography and it kept nagging me in the back of my mind.

Also recently, I caught the travel bug. All I want to do is just travel.

So, I chose to invest in another camera again, this time the mirrorless Olympus camera. I hope to redevelop and improve my photography skills. In addition, I want to take photography much more serious that before because when I'm traveling, I hope photography can lead me to some little side income.

All in all, I'm getting back into photography but much more dedicated to it ever before! I don't want to be a professional photographer - but just a hobbyist that can earn a few bucks here and there. I'm super excited to share what I'll be shooting soon! In aligning with 2016 goals for my blog, I think I might even start vlogging ;) but that's a whole different thing.

Until then, welcome Lexington and drop by my Flickr page (which is filled with old photographs a few years back). Looks like I won't be shopping for anything else for a while....


DSLR quality for half the size!



 

I did some serious comparison and read a lot of reviews before settling on this model. If you have any questions, let me know!