Tuesday, September 12, 2017

First Wedding Dress Shopping Experience in Everly Fine Bridal, Vancouver

Hi girlies!

I'm so excited to be writing my first wedding related blog post! Since I'm getting married next year, I needed to go dress shopping. My situation is especially tricky as I am planning a wedding overseas in Hong Kong. And I finally figured out what seems to be the best way to approach my dress situation - which is to rent in Hong Kong so that I won't need to bring my dress that will for sure take up the entire luggage! And even though I will be renting in Hong Kong, I still want the whole dress shopping experience in Canada as well as I want to try on a few different styles so I know what would work better on my body. When my sister came to visit, we hit up Everly Fine Bridal in Vancouver.

Everly Fine Bridal
3341 West Broadway 
Vancouver, BC
V6R 2B1

It's a super cute store - not too big and overwhelming, but still very spacious and cozy. It's the perfect store to start my wedding dress shopping experience! It is recommended that you make an appointment with them before visiting the store. They usually do one appointment at a time. Laura was super sweet and gave me suggestions along the way. Everly Fine Bridal doesn't have too much selection and the majority of the selection is trendier pieces with a lot of lace and sequins - definitely more on the romantic side. I tried on about six dresses. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything that I fell in love with, but all in all it was a super fun experience trying on the different styles. 

The appointment lasted for about 40 minutes. Laura emailed me a thank you note with details and prices of the ones I was interested in. I highly recommend to check out this store!

I hope to do more wedding related posts soon - hope some of you will enjoy it!

Much love. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vancouver Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Hi girlies!

I previously mentioned that my sister came for a quick visit last weekend. One of the activities that we did was to visit the Vancouver Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. This is not to be mixed up with the highly popular Capilano Suspension Bridge. Both of these spots are located in North Vancouver. I've never been to the Capilano one but I can speak to some facts about it since I've wanted to visit a few times but I could never justify it in my head. Here are some of the reasons why:

1) Cost
The Capilano Suspension Bridge costs about CAD45 per adult (there are discounts if you're a student, adult, or a kid - for more information, please visit their website). The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is free!

2) Time
The Capilano website states that you need to spend 2 to 3 hours there, plus transportation time. Since my sister was only here for a limited amount of time, we decided to opt for something that's less time consuming. We spent about 40 minutes at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge including crossing the bridge, a short hike to the natural pool, and another short hike on the wooden stairwell up the hill and back down, crossing the bridge at the end again, and of course adequate photo time. If you plan to swimming at the natural pool, you can definitely spend more time there but remember to wear your swim suit underneath and it would be a good idea to bring a towel.

3) Transportation
You can drive to the Capilano Suspension Bridge yourself, but they do offer free shuttles from various locations in downtown. The shuttles run regularly and quite frequently. This transportation arrangement would be beneficial to you if you are staying in downtown and don't have a car. For me, since I live quite far from downtown, it would actually be more troublesome for me to drive to and park in downtown to take the shuttle. What I did to get to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge was to drive there (about 30 minutes from downtown) and there was free parking there. Getting a parking spot shouldn't be too hard if you are a little patient. I find that turnover is quite fast as the hike is quite short and there aren't any restaurants and entertainment nearby that people would want to spend an extended amount of time there.

I highly recommend visiting this spot to get a quick taste of the Vancouver nature. As you can see, the natural pool is gorgeous but a bit crowded. There were a lot of signs warning people not to cliff jump as a lot of accidents had happened there in previous years.

Much love.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer Review

Hi girlies!

Today I would like to share one of the most important makeup product in my collection - the concealer. I've been a big fan of the Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer. I believe this is my second tube and honestly, this stuff lasts me a really long time - you can see that with the worn out packaging with all the words rubbed off, and I feel like I still have many uses left. 

It's perfect for concealing redness around my nose and covering pimples. Oftentimes, I just use this with a bit of BB or CC cream and I can go out the door. The consistency is smooth and thick enough to cover my problem areas. For covering pimples, I usually just dot this on the needed area and use my finger to tap it a few times and blend it into the skin. For concealing redness around my nose, I would apply a small amount and blend it out with my fingers. I love that this product does not emphasize lines and pores around that area at all! Now I don't have particularly dark eye circles so I never used this product for that purpose so I can't speak from that perspective.

The staying power is moderate if I refrain from touching my face and picking at my pimples (which I definitely should stop doing). If I catch myself doing that, usually I would need to retouch, but the packaging is lightweight and travel friendly enough that I don't mind taking this with me to go out. Actually, this is usually the only make up product I take out with me other than the occasional lip product.

Effectiveness: Perfect for concealing redness around my nose and covering pimples.
Texture: Smooth but thick enough to cover problem areas.
Packaging: Lightweight and travel friendly.
Price: Reasonable for how long this product lasted me. A little goes a long way.
Repurchase? Already did as this is my second tube.

Much love.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Easy Vancouver Hike - Deep Cove Quarry Rock Hike

Hi girlies!

I'm making an effort to explore more places in Vancouver since my move earlier this year. During this Labour Day long weekend, I've made my way to the highly popular hike in North Vancouver - the Deep Cove Quarry Rock hike! I first learned about this hike through my colleagues (I've realized that most Vancouverites are very active and love the outdoor). And a few weeks ago I saw on Instagram that my friend and her wife who was heavily pregnant did this hike. I thought if a pregnant lady can do it, I should be able to do it too! Now I'm not super active personally but I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone from time to time for amazing views and to better my health.

We arrived at the Deep Cove area at around 10:30am on Labour Day Monday. It was already very packed. It took us about 20 minutes to get a parking spot. As the main parking area was full and most street parking spots that didn't require a permit were occupied, we found a overflow parking area near Myrtle Park which still had a handful of parking spots left. It was a bit of a walk to the start of the hike (about 15 minutes) but it wasn't too bad. You also get to pass through the main strip of restaurants and ice cream stores as well as a short path near the beach. 

There are quite a bit of stairs at the start of the hike. A website stated that it takes about 1.5 hours to finish the hike. It took us about 1 hour 45 minutes. We only went up to the viewpoint at Quarry Rock and made our way back down so we didn't finish the entire hike, and made several stops for water breaks both for us and the dog. Oh, it was very dog friendly with many doggies passing by along the way. This hike tired our dog so much that he just lied on the floor for the rest of the day.

When we were finished at around 1pm, all the restaurants with patio (for the dog) were mostly packed so we decided to just grab an ice cream and headed home for lunch. Next time, we'll be sure to try to grab a bite there!
Much love.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Review

Hi girlies!

I would like to share my review on the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado today. I was first introduced to this product when I received a Kiehl's gift box during Secret Santa one year. A full sized product of this eye treatment was included in that gift box. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to purchase one earlier this year when I ran out of eye creams and this is now my second pot. I actually bought this online with my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate in which I did a blogpost here if you're interested.

The texture is very creamy - it is definitely on the thick side, but I don't find it to be too heavy. Because of the heavier texture, I only use this product for nighttime and I feel like it keeps my eye area adequately hydrated throughout the night so that it doesn't feel dry in the morning. For daytime, I use my Boots Cucumber Whitening Eye Gel Review which I find a whole lot lighter in terms of texture and the lasting power isn't as strong. I did a review on the Boots Cucumber Whitening Eye Gel here on this blogpost.

 I paid about USD61 for 15ml of product. It's on the pricier side but overall, I think it's reasonable as a little of product does go a long way. There's a slight hint of scent that I enjoy. 

Effectiveness: Keeps my eye area hydrated throughout the night (I only use this as a night eye cream).
Texture: Creamy but not too heavy.
Packaging: In a jar. You have to dip your fingers into it. lightweight.
Price: Reasonable, but on the pricier side.
Repurchase? Already did as this is my second jar. I would like to explore other options but am willing to go back to this if I don't find other eye creams that I like as much as this.

Much love.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery jelly Water base Whitening SPF30 PA++ Review

Hi girlies!

I can't believe that the summer is coming to an end! Mother Nature has provided us with gorgeous weather this Labour Day long weekend and I couldn't be happier especially because my sister was in town for a couple of days. We did a variety of different activities yesterday which included a short hike. And surprisingly, I'm going on another hike tomorrow! (I'm not usually this outdoorsy)

Today I'm sharing a review of one of the best sunscreens I've ever used - the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery jelly Water base Whitening SPA30 PA++. I actually didn't purchase this product. My finace's aunt left this at his place last year so I've been using it. Surprisingly, this product is so good! I usually use it on my body as I prefer using a thicker longer lasting sunscreen with more SPF and PA on my face. Unlike other sunscreens that generally have a sticky residue and have a strong scent after application, this product provides a light and refreshing feeling. The scent is extremely light with a hint of fruitiness. I don't believe this is water resistant so if you're doing water sports, you may want to look into a longer lasting alternative. 

 In terms of price, I believe this is a drugstore product and should be under USD25 for 90ml depending on where you are purchasing it. I highly recommend this product! Since I'll be visiting Hong Kong next month, I'm hoping to be able to stock up some from SaSa.

Effectiveness: Seems to do the job although I prefer using higher SPA and PA for my face!
Texture: Lightweight. Dries quickly. No sticky residue.
Packaging: Light. Good for traveling.
Price: Reasonable.
Repurchase? Yes! Will be stocking up during my Hong Kong trip next month!

Much love.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Berry Picking U-Pick at Emma Lea Farms, Vancouver Summer Kids-Friendly Activity

Hi girlies!

A colleague of mine introduced me to Emma Lee Farms for berry picking and I went twice this summer! The first time I picked some strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. The second time I mainly picked blueberries. I find the experience calming. And I get a big batch of fruits after. I also find it especially great when I need to host a dinner party or potluck. Prices are also a lot better than groceries stores.

My suggestion is to go there early on a Saturday. I believe they open at 8am. For the both times that I went, I arrived at around 8:40am. It gets quite crowded at around 10:30am with an inflow of families and kids. Unlike other U-Pick farms that I've heard, Emma Lea Farms doesn't require you to pick a minimum amount nor do they charge an entrance fee.

With the berries, I would make a super simple and refreshing salad that is perfect for the summer. If you're interested, I blogged about the recipe here

Unfortunately, the 2017 U-Pick Berry Season has ended, but it seems like pumpkin picking season will open from Oct 1 to Oct 31. If you want more information, here's Emma Lea Farms website!

Much love.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips Review

Hi girlies!

Today I will share my experience in trying out the Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. I bought this from Anthropology in 2014. At that time, I was visiting my family in Toronto in around October. The dry Canadian weather had made my lips extremely dry, bloody even on some days. During a shopping trip at Yorkdale Mall with my mom, I discovered this product and was intrigued. I bought it for around CAD12. 
After some research online, the wording on the packaging has been updated a bit - now including "for dry skin, luscious lips, & glossy bits!"  I guess this is to clarify that tis product is a multi-purpose balm. This contains 15ml of product. Even though the amount is so small, a little does go a long way as you only need a tiny bit since the product is so thick. When you first apply this on your lips, it feels super smooth and amazing. However, it doesn't last for long and it doesn't seem to fix the dry lips problem. It seems like the product just sits on top of your lips giving you a short-term fix.

Effectiveness: Short-term fix, and doesn't last for long.
Texture: Very thick. Slightly sticky.
Packaging: Cute and good quality.
Price: A tad bit expensive for 15ml, but a little goes a long way.
Repurchase? Probably not since I have found my holy grail lip product - the Laneige lip sleeping mask. I did a review here if you're interested.

Much love.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Innisfree It's real squeeze strawberry face sheet mask review

Hi girlies! 

I've been slacking in the face mask department lately. I used to be really diligent with it and do it several times a week. During the past few days, my skin has been acting up a bit. Last night I had some spare time so I decided to put on a face mask and have a chill day. 

My favourite Innisfree masks include rose, bamboo and cucumber. I realized I've run out of all of those ones so I'm trying this strawberry. Apparently it has brightening effects. Some brightening face masks give off a tingling uncomfortable feeling especially when your skin is feeling sensitive. However, this Innisfree strawberry mask doesn't have that effect. While the mask is on my face, it gives off a cooling and calming sensation. The sheet itself is always stick really close to the face. The amount of essence is also adequate, not too much and not too little. After usage, my skin felt moisturized. 

I picked up this batch of face masks when I was in Korea earlier this year. I mainly purchased two brands - Innisfree and Mediheal. These two are my favourite since they're really value for money.

If you're interested in picking up this mask, Innisfree has its own online store. You can check it out here.

Much love.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Theatre in White Rock, Vancouver Summer Must-Do Activity

Hi girlies! I stumbled upon a groupon deal for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at a pop-up drive-in movie theatre that's super close to where I live. Now I'm a huge fan of drive-in movie dates as I always find them super special and different. Possibly it's because you can bring your own food and snacks with you. Or perhaps there are tons of other people lounging around in their own lawn chairs and blankets. The whole experience feels so laid back and comfortable. 

The online details showed that the gate would open at 7pm and the movie would start after 8:30pm after dusk. We started making our way after the fiance got home and showered and we picked up our sushi platter from our favourite sushi joint. We got there at around 8pm and it was already quite packed. We ended up getting a spot close to the back end which was a little disappointing as the inflatable screen wasn't as large as we'd hoped. The movie started at around 9pm as that's why the sky usually gets dark around the summer time here. Since it was a weeknight after a long day of work, I was super tired and even fell asleep during several parts of the movie unfortunately.

Even though it was not the best experience, I still had fun. You also can't beat the super good deal that I scored on at $10 for the car entry. I highly recommend checking out groupon for deals like this!

Much love. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Review

Hi girlies! Back to scheduled programming on my daily routine items. Today's post is about my face cleanser - the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Until other skincare products I've talked about recently, this is not a holy grail item. I bought this out of convenience from Walmart since I recall really liking their cream and somewhat liking this a long time ago. The price is very reasonable at around CAD10 for 500ml. 

This cleanser is way too mild and gentle for me especially after a full day of being out and about. I simply don't get that squeaky clean feeling after using it. I even can go as far as saying that I've been seeing my chin break out a little because it's not been the cleanest. I believe it may be more appropriate to treat this as a morning cleanser and choose something that would be stronger for night time usage. Because this is not what I need as a cleanser, I am not in the market for a good cleansing oil. If any of you have any good recommendations, please let me know!

Effectiveness: Too gentle for my liking. It may be a good choice for mornings, but I prefer something that would give me that squeaky clean feeling especially after a full day of being out and about.
Packaging: Large bottle.
Price: Very reasonable at about CAD10 for 500ml
Repurchase? Probably not.

Much love.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Banana Republic Haul

Hi girlies! Just sneaking in a little haul in the middle of all the review posts that I've been doing. The fiance is at work today on a Sunday so I decided to head out to some outlet stores near by. I literally am 10 minutes walk away from these shops! Most of the time I try to steer away, but I figured it might be a good idea to add some transitional pieces to my work wardrobe since the weather is expected to be cooler soon.

I picked up two pieces from Banana Republic - a pair of white stretchy pants in 4P and a lace skirt in 2.

I find that the pants in 4P from Banana Republic normally fits me pretty well. Whenever I see them at the clearance, I would take all of them to the changing room with me. This time, I found 3 pairs but ended up just picking up this white number since the other pair of white pants I own is a pair of distressed denim which I can't wear to work. The fit and the length are also lovely. It hits about 2 inches above my ankle so it's definitely more suitable for autumn than winter. My wardrobe currently lacks pants because I'm used to wearing skirts and dresses in the hot humid weather in Hong Kong. I'm sure when the cooler weather rolls around, I'll make a lot of use out of these. Oh I haven't mentioned prices yet - these were discounted from CAD 89.99 to 39.99. Not a bad deal at all!

The lace skirt wasn't from the clearance section but Banana Republic was having a 40% off all skirts sales. When I passed by this little number, I couldn't resist not taking it to the change room with me. I purposely picked a regular size instead of a petite because as I age, I now prefer skirts that are a tad bit longer. I normally wear a 4, but I had to size down to a 2 as this skirt fits really big. I love the fit and the delicate lace details. The black lining inside goes down to about 1 or 2 inches above the knee so my knees would peak through in the lace at the bottom. It's very pretty. This skirt was 40% off from CAD 89.99 so about $54.

Unfortunately I'm not able to find these items on the Banana Republic website for you all. I suspect this is because the store that I went is an outlet store so the styles might not be available anymore. Anyway hope y'all are enjoying the weekend :)

Much love.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Manufaktura Face Elixir Nourishing Cream with Thermal Salt and Rose Oil Review

Hi girlies! To continue my blogging trend of daily routine products, I will talk about the Manufaktura Face Elixir today. During my trip to Europe in May this year, one of the stops was Prague, Czech Republic. I only stayed there for about two days, but its food and beauty are engrained within me. I saw the Manufaktura shops around town quite a few times, but I never bothered walking in. Since I had time to kill and Czech money to left to spend, I stopped by the store at the airport and I picked up several things including the Manufactura Face Elixir. 

I've been using this product as a day cream for a few months now. The word "elixir" always reminds me of serums. However, this product is nowhere like a serum. It is a legit moisturizing cream. A thick one that is. Even though it's thick, it's not too heavy. I've actually been really enjoying pairing this with my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate since it wasn't moisturizing enough for me. If you're interested, I did a review on the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate here in this blogpost. I do feel that this product helps with firming up my skin as well as giving the skin a better complexion as it has a slight pink tint to it.

The price point is very reasonable at 259 czk which is around CAD 15. You can 15ml of products, and I really only need a tiny bit each time I apply. This product has a floral scent. The website claims that it is wild rose. It may remind you of an old lady scent if this is not your cup of tea. Personally I don't mind it too much.

If you're interested in picking one up, I believe you can do that on their official site here. If you're ever visiting Prague, I think this is a brilliant little souvenirs for friends and families! I actually bought some little lip balms for that purpose.

Effectiveness: This is a good moisturizing cream that helps with firming up my skin as well as giving the skin a better complexion.
Texture: Thick but not too heavy.
Packaging: Comes with a pump. Lightweight and compact packaging is a plus.
Price: Very reasonable at about CAD15
Repurchase? Yes if it is easily accessible to me

Before I end this post, I will share some more pictures from my trip to Prague. Hope you guys will enjoy :)

Much love.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Review

Hi girlies! A holy grail product that I've been using religiously for the past year or so is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. I first bought it in Korea in 2016. I believe it was a new product at that time. During a shopping trip, I picked it up since it was quite reasonably priced at around HKD1xx. I always have dry lips especially in the winter so I figured why not give it a try! To add to that, Laneige has always been one of my favourite brands and a well trusted one for my skin type.

The product came with a little applicator that is super cute and pink, but I have managed to lose it in the past few months :( so now I use my fingers to apply the product. It makes my fingers a bit sticky after, but I really can't complain for losing things.

The texture is super smooth and the scent is lovely. It's not sticky at all. However, if you apply too much (which you can easily do if you use the applicator), it would feel a bit oily for bit before the product gets absorbed into the skin. 

During Christmas last year, as I was running low on my favourite serum, I bought a Christmas set from Laneige that came with the little lip sleeping mask in travel size. Isn't it super cute? The container is made of a lighter material so it's really perfect for traveling. 

I just found out that there are now different flavours that come in different coloured containers! How cute are these! I want to try them all!

Effectiveness: A lot of moisture packed into this little jar for your dry lips! This product has earned its holy grail status in my heart in terms of lip products!
Texture: Smooth. Not sticky. Can be oily if you apply too much.
Packaging: Cute, generally lightweight. The applicator is a nice touch.
Price: Very reasonable.
Repurchase? Yes!

Much love.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Furla Stacy Bucket Bag Review

Hi girlies! Let's talk about bags! The Furla Stacy Bucket Bag has been one of my favourites for the past two years. Not only is it easy to pair with outfits, lightweight, fits a ton, the price point is also unbeatable. I bought this at Lafayette in Paris two years ago when I was visiting my friend after a road trip down in Bordeaux. At that time, I recall that the bucket bag trend was super popular. But up till this day, I still use it loads despite the trend has died down a bit. 

I believe this style is considered a classic at Furla as it's still available season after season although the colours offered in each season may be different. The one I have is a beige colour. I remember having a real hard time picking a colour since there were so many! A little disclaimer is that my version is from 2015 and Furla may have improved the design since then. I have not been to the store lately to assess the differences so I can't speak for newer versions.

I personally don't like bucket bags that have a circle bottom since it makes the bag look wider, and in turn, would make me look wider. This Furla one has a rectangular bottom which gives it a slimmer shape which I enjoy!

The interior is made of calfskin. When it was new, the feeling was extremely luxurious. However, after a couple of years, there has been major wear and tear as you may be able to see from the close-up picture. I don't use this bag as a daily bag, but it's definitely a go-to option during weekends or for casual dinners. It's very disappointing that the texture has become very rough especially towards the top where there is a lot of contact with items going in and out of the bag.

The overall shape of the bag held up pretty well I would say. Of course, it's not in perfect condition as when I first purchased it. And I don't tend to baby it too much. Given the situation, I think it's still quite acceptable.

The exterior is in textured leather which I personally love. I feel like it makes the bag a little more interesting and the textured leather makes it more durable being less prone to scratches. After two years, I'd say the exterior is still in great condition. I know Furla offers smooth leather finishes as well for this bag.

The bag also came with removable zipper pouch that I forgot the photograph. It's so practical that I was using it as a wallet for over a year when I was in Hong Kong. It was perfect for my lifestyle at that time where I needed a small pouch that was just big enough to store my cards, phone, office pass and some cash all in one, that I could just take with me during lunch without bringing my entire bag. 

I think this bag is great value for money and I highly recommend it! Since the calfskin interior requires more delicate care, you may want to consider if that would work for your lifestyle.

Here are some colours options that are available on Furla's site currently:

Moonstone in smooth leather / Kaki in smooth leather / Black Onyx in textured leather

Much love.