Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Back to Real Life + Setting Goals for a Healthy, Motivating Lifestyle

Hi everyone,

I know I haven't blogged in quite awhile (*cough cough*, a year alright?!) and I have been itching to blog since the last time I'd posted. I actually have a couple of drafts that I have yet to publish about Japan and others :/ I'll finish writing those up soon.

This post is truly in celebration of getting back into real life... the real adult life. I've graduated from school just a month and a bit ago and I started working literally two days after returning from my exchange from Sydney. The good news is, I'm able to start paying off my hefty student loan balance which already began accruing interest the moment I graduated! Anyway, I'd like to dive into a topic of work perhaps another time.

Now that I'm back from vacation and having fun, I think it's time for me to set some goals for the next 30 days before I begin assessing my progress. I'm actually pretty eager to return to my past healthy and motivated lifestyle (before I went on exchange and gained weight, haha).

One of my past courses I took last year was called "Change Management" where we not only studied change management within businesses, but also within our personal lives. I've always been a huge advocate for personal development and change - I know it's difficult to change yourself or someone else, but I've realized that once I push myself, I had opened up so many opportunities for myself. One thing that had definitely completely changed my life was going to university in Ontario. During the four years studying away from home in another university forced me to be independent, to become mature, tackle on my own challenges and insecurities and allowed me to grow into who I am now. I'm still growing but I'm proud of how far I have come. Anyway, within this course, we had a 30-day personal challenge where we set SMART (smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals in both our personal and professional lives and recorded our journey. At the end of it, we had a reflection paper to submit and the best thing was when everyone was discussing what they'd learned from the whole change journey. Aw, talking about this course brings back so much good memories I want to just sit back and reminisce how young and innocent I was those few months back...

So, my personal goals for the month (not exactly fitting the criteria of SMART, but I'll take on this challenge from here):
1. Workout - run at least twice a week and do home workouts at least six times a day
2. Read - read at least a chapter from a book before sleeping every night

There. I knew I had to at least publish it onto my blog to push myself towards progress.

That's it for today!
What are your thoughts on change and I'd love to hear your personal/professional goals you've set!
Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Do Braces Hurt? Best Time for Braces? | All About Braces

Hi everyone! Today's blog post revolves around braces, aka my previous life, since I just broke free from them today, and will starting my new life with retainers tomorrow! I've been meaning to write up a blog post about braces because I personally had no real idea what I was getting into, so I really hope this could help those interested in it, those who currently have it, or are just simply curious about it. 

I made a video about braces as well! I've always wanted to make videos but never got around to doing it.. so this is my first video on YouTube! ^_^ Please let me know what you think. Obviously, my lighting wasn't the best. T_T" This was shot from my old bedroom back when we lived with our Grandma. Ah, the good times. Anyway, I'd love to hear some constructive feedback if any, or please leave me your thoughts. ;) If I made you smile, hopefully you'd like, comment, and subscribeee! Hehe, shameless plug. I hope to create more videos about clothes, beauty, and lifestyle (positive thoughts and perhaps the university student life^^), so stay tuned!

Anyhoo, if you're more of the reading type of person, or you're sick of my voice, or want further details about braces, here is my lengthy braces post! :D 

Braces essentially help to tighten your teeth and alter them into a position whereby society defines as "perfect" or "straight". It mainly consists of metal brackets (glued onto each tooth) and a wire that connects the brackets together to tighten your teeth. 

braces, metal braces, metal brackets, metal wire, clean teeth, perfect teeth, brace face
Metal Braces | Photo Source
Additional Background Information
Most people today wear their braces as early as their 5th or 6th grade of elementary to high school. I've known people who wore braces ages 30+ and I find that the older you are, the less pain you feel (or perhaps you are simply more pain tolerable). I got my braces on the summer after my first year of university and fast forward two years later, here I am, and I just got them off today! =D (I was pretty much the last of my age to get them...)

Braces costed us around $8,000 Canadian, but with my Mom's insurance, we ended up being billed $6,000. In terms of cost, this orthodontist office allowed interest-free monthly payments, which was obviously great because that didn't mean a huge one-time lump sum payment. 

Metal vs. Plastics 
I chose the metal ones as #1, they're cheaper, and #2, they are supposedly more effective than plastic ones. I received feedback on my video and someone suggested me making a comparison with my sister's plastic braces, so here are some of her selfies from the past with her braces on. They're especially less noticeable when afar: 

Orthodontist Office
I feel like choosing an appropriate orthodontist office should also be a fairly important stage that should not be overlooked. Whilst it was probably a better decision for me to have got my braces done at an office in London, Ontario (where I was mainly based for university education), I ended up traveling back home (Edmonton, Alberta) and having it done at an orthodontist location nearby my house. My sister had her braces done here and I knew many people who had experienced great results through the orthodontist office, Signature Orthodontics. 

Although I initially didn't put much thought into choosing an orthodontist office, throughout my braces journey, I felt glad I chose them. Number one, it was convenient, and perfect, especially since there were a number of early morning appointments (i.e., as early as 7am), and you definitely want to ensure you're arriving on time. If you miss your appointment, who knows how long you'll have to wait before you're treated- an hour or a couple of weeks for re-scheduling? 

Besides convenience, you may want to consider the flexibility and payment options of the orthodontist office. Signature Orthodontics was very flexible with me. Since I was going to school in another province, they made plans to schedule me in ahead of time, and did their best with working around my complicated schedule (I only flew back home to Edmonton twice a year during the holidays). They also offered a payment plan that worked well for us.

Reputation and customer service may be another thing you'd like to consider. The Signature team was both warm, friendly, inviting and very knowledgeable about what they were doing. I knew I could always trust them whenever something happened. Furthermore, I loved how they had a patients' reward program, where we could earn points to redeem for gift cards. A certain number of points would be earned for brushing your teeth at the brushing station prior to the appointment, arriving on-time for your appointment, having a positive attitude throughout the appointment, etc. It's also a great business operation strategy for trying to ensure patients arrive on-time so that it will not affect time conflicts for the next patient. 

Choosing the right orthodontist office is really important and my decision criteria would mainly include convenience, reputation, and customer service. 

Frequently Asked Questions 
Timeline & Age
For most of my friends who wore it when they were at a younger age, I noticed they tended to wear braces for a longer period of time (3-4 years), compared to an older age of 15+ (~2 years). However, this could also be attributed to their more complex treatment if they had a more complex situation? 

My braces treatment took me two years and two months while I know a family friend who probably had decently straight teeth to begin with, and only took around 1-1.5 years. She was around 30 years old when she had her treatment and did a great job with her treatment routine. 

Obviously, this might not be true, but a pro to wearing braces when you're later in the age is that you're more inclined to follow your routine and pay attention to the "rules" (aka avoiding hard and acidic food/drinks, etc.)


According to my orthodontist's office, braces should not affect your speech at all (not biased at all... sarcasm intended). I mean, I can definitely still speak (watch the video yourself :P), but ever since wearing braces, I found it took a slight more effort to speak by opening my mouth wider. I also found it difficult to articulate certain words. Needless to say, braces do in fact affect speech. This annoyed me a bit since I'm a business student, we have class presentations, class participation, and clear speech is essential. I believe I simply dealt with it by opening my mouth wider to ensure words are spoken clearly, and I practiced speech with braces. 
Contrary to popular belief that it is extremely painful when you first have your braces inserted into your mouth, this is actually one of the least stressful moments before the next however number of years with your braces on (okay, that sounded a little too dramatic).

Pain Point#1: Tightening feeling of the wires and the brackets
This is especially painful (uncomfortable with that tightening feeling of teeth) but also exciting because you know you're on your way to nice-looking teeth! After a few months, you'll adjust to it... however, the regular orthodontist check-ups (one around every 8 weeks) will usually have it tightened, and be prepared for some more pain! :P PAIN IS TEMPORARY! YOUR PERFECT TEETH WILL BE FOREVER~! 
Solution: There is no real direct solution to this. I simply worked throughout the summer full-time and since I was focused with work, I didn't notice the pain at all! It only started hurting once I got home since I was bored and had nothing better to do :/ My point is, volunteer or go work to be pre-occupied and you will not realize the pain at all!

Pain Point #2: Metal brackets/wires poking at your gum
Unfortunately, this happens from time to time, and don't be surprised if you wake up to injured or punctured gums. Bleeding may also occur occasionally. Supposedly, the orthodontist should be cutting the wires to an appropriate length to ensure it isn't sticking out to your gums. After each tightening braces appointment, the clinical assistant serving me would usually ask me to move my tongue around and check if I can feel any signs of uncomfortable pokes from the wires. 
Solution: Use wax (a sticky solution that resembles chewing gum) as a temporary solution and place it on the poking area so that the bracket or wire will no longer be causing you pain! 

1. Food: Especially in the beginning of the treatment (first few weeks to a couple of months), you definitely can't eat hard foods- even if you tried, I doubt you could successfully chew through. I mainly made myself fruit smoothies (by the way, apples, unless cut up and sliced, are a big no-no, even after wearing braces for a few months!) and had rice porridge and noodles. Soft foods are the key! After the first few months of adapting, you should be able to eat basically anything. With braces on, you're recommend against apples, acidic drinks like pop (could deteriorate the metal), gum (could stick to the metals and you'd be in a sticky situation... #sorrynotsorry), and basically any extremely hard food that could break your metals. My orthodontist office offered free bracket replacements for the first two or three broken brackets, but they charge after the 2nd or 3rd. 

2. Cleaning

You should be brushing your teeth after each meal of the day- it should be three times a day, after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When brushing your teeth, it's not much of a big difference from normal teeth brushing, except that you may spend an extra minute brushing the braces itself. You should be brushing above, on, and under the braces! 
Flossing should be done every night. I find flossing annoying because you have to insert the floss under each wire in order to floss between the teeth. I recommend using Super Floss as they making flossing braces very easy! I take around 5 minutes with flossing, and trust me- brushing definitely does not get all the food out of the teeth. Flossing is a life-saver, and you'd be surprised how much food you remove! 

My Typical Routine

1: Top Layer- Brush above the braces, on the braces, and below the braces (circular motion)
2: Bottom Teeth- Brush above the braces, on the braces, and below the braces (circular motion)
3: Brush behind the teeth! Make sure you get the edges as well!
4. Proxabrush- Sometimes I'll use this after brushing, especially in the mornings or afternoons when I'm not flossing, to get rid of any food stuck in between the wires or brackets
5. Flossing (every night, after brushing)- floss between your teeth (pictured below)!
braces, flossing, flossing braces, white teeth, brace face, metal braces, plastic braces
Photo Source
Now, sometimes food could get stuck in your braces. Make sure you carry a proxabrush (pictured below) as it's so useful for removing food stuck in between the brackets or wires! 
proxabrush, cleaning routine, brushing braces, braces, brush braces, clean braces, using proxabrush
A proxabrush in action| Source
Elastics are used to help alter positioning of your bite (e.g., positioning of top layer of teeth and bottom). Your orthodontist will specify where the placements of your elastics should be (i.e., 2nd tooth's metal bracket with the 3rd back tooth's metal bracket with a specific rubber band thickness). You may have to wear this in the morning or at night only, or both during the day and night. Make sure you remove the elastics when eating and wear new ones when finished cleaning your teeth!

Because of the new routines you should be adapting to above, I feel like summer is a great time to be getting braces because it's a great time to transition and adapt before school begins (when stress from academics, clubs/extracurriculars, and relationships stir)! 

Before and After Photos Did I get my $8k and 2 years of time's worth? Photos tell a thousand words, soo, without further ado, I present to you some before and after photos!

I'm on the very right! My teeth were slightly crooked back then (pic taken in 2014)!

(excuse my sudden enlarged texts and expressive self ^^")VOILA, COME WITNESS MY LIFE-CHANGING MOMENT~ where I fit in with society's ideology of "straight, perfect teeth"... ? 

Hurrah for pimples. 

Within just a few days and weeks of wearing braces, you could dramatically see the difference the tightening creates on your teeth! I'm currently still getting used to my brace-less teeth, but I do feel more confident and happy about my teeth! *Update* Retainers remind me of braces all over again, though haha! 

Braces as an Adult

Yes, it' a little awkward and embarrassing at times. Especially since I'm in business school, we have networking events, and boy, do I feel like a child when speaking to these professionals. The typical networking conversation goes a little like:

Lights, camera, ack-shun! 

Professional: "Hi, nice to meet you" *offers handshake*
Me: *shines the extremely shiny metal braces to make an impression* Hire me! ;D 

Alright, I exaggerated a little there, but you get the point. 

However, don't feel the least bit embarrassed! I find it more attractive when people with braces continue to talk with confidence and let their personality shine rather than simply avoid speaking at all. You do you, and your perfect teeth will come in time ;)
I learned to appreciate and treasure my braces phase because it'll be a cute time to look back on. Who wouldn't like feeling young again, right??

Anyway, there's my personal experience and take on braces!  

Thank you for joining me on Braces 101, and I hope you found this helpful, interesting, or amusing. ^_^ I'd appreciate it if you'd watch my YouTube video, give it a "thumb's up" and maybe subscribe if you want to make my day? ;) 


Saturday, 29 July 2017

A Comfy & Casual Kpop-Inspired Outfit

Hi hi everyone! 

'Tis the weekend, and you know what that means.. more time for blogging! 
With every weekend that goes by, there's one less week of summer and another week edging closer to school. :( I'm excited for the upcoming year, but I just can't believe how quick time is dissolving. I still have a lot of things I want to accomplish this summer, and it's so hard to get things done, heh. I've recently bought myself a bullet journal to keep myself more productive and motivated in accomplishing these summer goals, and I'll let you guys know how it goes in the next few weeks! 

Today's outfit was kpop-inspired- it reminds me of those kpop girl group dances, you know? (Speaking of which, one of my favourite ones my friends and I have tried dancing was Mr. Chu by Apink.) :) It features a light cropped, baseball-tee styled tee shirt paired with these light blue denim shorts. Very comfy and suitable for dancing. I also wore a gold ring on my thumb and these hooped earrings I bought the other day from H&M since I can't seem to find pairs of my old earrings anymore (they were either rusted and/or the other partner was lost), which adds a touch of class to the rest of the cute, casual look. The sandals are great for the summer, but obviously it'd be near impossible to dance with them, hahah.

Please don't mind my excessive posing. ^^" My neighbours were outside barbecuing and I bet they were silently judging me (but that's fine, hehe, I don't mind being labelled as crazy and weird by others, haha.. I'm used to it. My siblings can testify to that.)  

This moment was captured half a second after dropping my sunnies.

I spy a stroller and a playground 8D 

Such a shame whenever the camera doesn't focus and it captures a decent but blurry pic :(
Cut me some slack though, because I'm using a self-timer !! ^^" 

One of my summer to-do's include a DIY project that I will be releasing later on! :) 
I will be spending loads of time with my bullet journal within the next few days and I can't wait because I have a good feeling it'll keep me motivated throughout the next school year ^^"
By the way, thank you all for your lovely comments! I'm so happy that people are reading my blog and I don't look like I'm just that bored with life that I'm taking selfies of my outfits to throw into the already messy and crowded online world out there. I'm also really excited to read my fellow blogger friends' blogs, which I know I haven't been getting around to yet, but soon!!! Just you wait ;) 

What are some of your summer to-do's, and how do you keep motivated in achieving them?
Have any of you tried bullet journaling? If so, how do you organize your to-do's, goals, etc.?

Let's all do our best and not let the heat bring us down!


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Kawaii & Colourful Pom Pom Shorts / / Back to Youthful Times

Ever since university, and especially entering business school, I noticed a drastic change in my style of clothing. More black, grey, dark-scale monotone clothing.. white blouses. Outfits were often a semi-casual blouse with jeans, or along the lines of something like that. University was a mix of trying to dress more maturely and business-like (especially for presentations and networking sessions) and comfy clothing (especially for those early 8am classes post late bar/club social nights and our 48-hour group reports). I felt especially un-stylish (if that is a word.. no it's not, but that's alright since this is my little world of blogging) and I don't want to remember what I've worn *insert laughing tears emoji face*

Honestly, it was definitely a memorable, crazy year packed with so much homework and class work with classmates (prepping for classes and trying to score a good class contribution mark 3 classes a day), summer job hunting, networking, Frog Thursdays (free entry into a bar every Thursday, but of course I attended only a handful throughout the entire year), and some occasional semi-formal nights of celebrations. It went by so quickly and I can't describe how, but I definitely feel transformed thus far, becoming more mature, open-minded, and a little crazy, hahah. 

Since coming back home for the summer, I've been meeting up with friends, working for an assisted living facility, and just returning to the blogging world. 

Summer '17 has got me back into the imaginary world (where I practically lived in before university)- full of kpop, asian dramas and TV shows, blogging and just enjoying my youth again. There's just been enough stress with full-time job recruiting and adulting from my business school that I think we should all take a deep breath and look at the big picture. We'll all be working for the rest of our lives, so why not also take the time to enjoy this moment? Same goes with dressing up maturely and all that. Therefore, I present to you this outfit, featuring these colourful pom pom chiffon shorts, bought by my sister, during our online shopping craze back in those years (aka, this is no longer hip, but hey, I've got a thing for those no-longer-trendy pieces ;))! I've matched them with this black bralette top from Yesstyle, and this knit cardi. 

This outfit reminds me of those instagram clothing celebrities who'd often post cute comfy outfits starring a cute tank top, cardigan, and some shorts (back in 2013, when I started blogging)! Of course I needed a twist to it and added this navy blue bow headband and rubber sandals. 

Too hot and warm outside? Trying to avoid a tan? Wrap this cardigan around your shoulders for another effortlessly cute look! P.S. Please excuse the grass... I'll get it cut soon. :P

/ / OUTFIT / / 
Black bralette top: Yesstyle
Cardigan: I'll double check soon! 
Colourful Pom Pom Shorts: eBay
Shoes: Little Burgundy Shoes

Of course, I'm still a lover of chic business-like outfits. I have a couple of nice outfits perfect for signing those business deals (haha, I wish), but I think it's important for us to relax and take the time to dress youthful because we still have the rest of our lives to dress grown-up for work! ;)

Do you have any of those "youthful" or "crazier" type of clothing pieces in your closet right now? What is it?? :P When do you pull those out? 
What types of clothing pieces do you usually wear for school or work? :) 


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

eZn ((Shaking)) Pudding Hair Color Korean Dye Product: Orange #6.4 Review

People would dye for my hair. punintended

For the longest time, I've been taught/raised that dyeing my hair wasn't the best idea and that it could cause cancer. Although my family weren't the traditional asian type of strict families, they would simply suggest us what to do and what to avoid (which actually makes it harder for me to rebel imo :P). For example, they'd suggest us not to date until after high school (my brother broke this rule and eh, what do you know, WWIII didn't break out ~). 

But growing up, being a fan of kpop, korean dramas, watching animes (where characters have crazy hair colours), and seeing friends and classmates changing hair colours simply kept me thinking and wondering how would dyed hair look on me? Have you dyed your hair before and what colour(s)? If you haven't, what colours would you dye it? 

I'm pretty sure you all know what this post will be focusing on by this point :P, so I digress and without furtherado, I've decided to write up a review on the "Shaking" Pudding Hair Color Dye in Coral Orange :") 
I've decided not to dye my roots as I don't want to go all crazy and out since I will be entering my fourth year of university/college in September and this will be the crucial full-time job recruitment time-frame. Not to say that workplaces are against freedom of expression through hair-dyeing, but I think I should keep it safe for now. :) Originally, I wanted to dye my hair purple (from the middle section, blending it to the ends), but I couldn't find any hair dye products for it at T&T Supermarket (an Asian supermarket within Canada). 

For those interested in this product or the hair-dyeing process, read on! If not, I'd still love to hear your thoughts on your previous hair dyeing experiences or your opinion on it! What colours are you thinking? :) 

Product Packaging

As you can see, they offer seven different colours, and this appears to be more of a nourishing type of hair-dye which is awesome because it's less harmful to the hair. It's made in Korea and is ammonia-free (less harmful!! Yes!). What I think is interesting about it is that it becomes a pudding, making this hair dyeing experience interesting and a little fun, teehee. :") 
The three major content within the Hair Color Product- the hair dye product, the Self Coloring Kit and instructions
#1: Instructions- provided in both Korean and English! 

#2: Content within the Self-Coloring Kit! Wear the gloves, plastic cape, and ear protection before beginning! 

#3: Content within the Hair Dye box: two different solutions within bottles

Pour the two solutions into the mixing bottle! 
Ensure you close the lid firmly (when you hear the CLICK sound, you're good to go and shake to mix the solutions)!
Mixing! Ensure you shake the bottle horizontally, left to right, instead of vertically. 

The instructions read not to shake too fast or vigilantly.. oops, hahah.

 After Mixing... HERE IS THE PUDDING! 
Voila! Notice the thickness of the solution, making it easy to apply to the hair..
 Take time to apply the pudding onto your hair, then allow time for the formula to settle within your hair. I basically applied the product all over my hair, except for areas near the roots since I wanted the colour to run mainly from the middle to the ends of the hair. 

Wait for...

  • 20 minutes if you want grey coverage
  • 30 minutes if you want the fancy/bleached colour

Of course, I wanted the fancy orange colour- so 30 minutes it was for me! 
Time to sit back, relax, enjoy the sun, listen to some kpop and head onto the blog~ 

I then followed the instructions to rinse my hair until the water running no longer has any color. Then, apply an appropriate amount (I had a medium-sized blob) of the Angel Ring Hair treatment to your hair and allow it to rest within your hair for 3 minutes before washing it off. The purpose of the Angel Ring Hair Treatment is to nourish your hair and also prevent further colour from washing off. You're supposed to apply it once a week. 

I did some research online and supposedly this hair dye is supposed to last for three weeks, so I'd say this packet of Angel Ring Hair Treatment definitely has enough formula to last the three weeks! 

One thing that I should've probably done was bleach my hair before using this product. Since my hair is black, the colour obviously didn't penetrate that well and it's actually pretty hard to tell I dyed it unless under the sun. Here are some pics of the after results!! :) 

It's somewhat noticeable with the sun behind me! 

Rating Time 
Price: 3.5/5
This is fairly inexpensive ($18 Canadian, bought from TNT, an Asian supermarket) compared to other Asian brands like Palty (ranging from $30-$40, depending on where you shop), but compared to other brands like L'Oreal where you could find at Shoppers Drug Mart/a local drug store, it's quite a hefty price.

Packaging: 5/5
I found the packaging to be very appealing and super cute. :") The idea of a pudding was also quite cute, and I guess I did have fun shaking the bottle, hehe. I also liked how they provided all the products (i.e., plastic cape, gloves, etc.) and organized them very well. 

Instructions: 5/5
Very easy-to-follow, and although this was from Korea, they provided both Korean and English instructions! There were pictures to follow along and a very simple, clear, step-by-step process outlined. They provided a pretty accurate length of time for the dyeing process, and had tips illustrated throughout the instructions. 

Results: 3/5
Obviously, this didn't turn out very orange or noticeable. I guess this is partly due on my fault for not bleaching my hair, knowing it'd be difficult to penetrate through black hair. I wanted to avoid the bleaching so it wouldn't be extremely acidic and harmful to my hair... but I suppose bleaching is inevitable. The dye should last around three weeks *pout* but I'd say it's decent for the price. They also provide the Angel Ring Treatment that nourishes your hair and prevents accelerated fading of hair colour from washing. If I'd bleached it, I'd probably give it a 3.5 to 4, considering it should last a little before a month. As for the smell, I personally didn't think it smelled very toxic- rather, a little like nail polish remover. My Mom, on the other hand, kept complaining about how bad it smelled. Make sure you turn the vent on (in the washroom) and open the windows! I believe the odour only lingered for a couple of hours. 

Overall, I would definitely give it another go with another colour (interested in pink or the blonde) but only if I bleached my hair first!

What do you think about the process of this hair-dyeing experience? Was it any similar to your previous ones if you've dyed your hair before?
If you haven't dyed your hair before, why not, and what colour would you dye it if given the chance? :") 


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