Tag Archives: fyi

maximize those tubes

2 Dec

So simple, yet so useful, IMO. Maybe this is a “duh, it’s so obvious” tip like my shampoo one (haha), so bear with me. It’s the end of the week.


I am a hand lotion fanatic and always have a bottle of lotion on me at all times. Tubes are terrible for getting all that lotion out. I’ll shake it a few times and use a table to try to squeeze more lotion out but sometimes it just doesn’t work. When it gets to that point, I simply cut the tube with scissors and use the lotion at my desk. To “re-cap” just pinch the bottom tube and insert into the top.

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So much inside! This is the same tube that I couldn’t squeeze lotion out of with all my might. I’ve been using this cut-open tube for a week already.

This tip can also be used for chip bags! You know when you get near the bottom of the bag and you have to avoid touching the sides of the bag so you don’t get stuff all over your arm? Just cut the bag down.


grad photo tips: faking smiles, Hogwarts robe, and checkin’ it twice

1 Dec

It’s been four years since I’ve been in a photo studio and this time around it was a lot better. Yesterday, I took my university grad photos at Artona photos in Vancouver. I had a pretty good experience because my photographer was really nice although my friend had just an OK photographer.

I tried looking through my external hard drive for examples of my really awkward high school grad photos but couldn’t find them. I know I deleted them from Facebook though, haha. I remember having these coloured lights on a dark background. It looked really 90s.

Anyways, I wanted to write this post so people have an idea of what to expect or do when getting their photos done.


  1. Wear what you feel comfortable in, however, I do suggest looking dressy at the least. I didn’t wear a dress because it’s cold and didn’t feel like dressing up so I wore a white button down and dress pants. White shirts are suggested for the gown photos anyways so I didn’t need to change again.
  2. It’s your photoshoot so let the photographer know what you like and what you are comfortable doing. Talk to the photographer but don’t be a diva. Be nice and friendly about your opinions and it will work out fine. I have a particular “angle” I like to take photos at (i.e.: showing more of the right side of my face) so I told the photographer and he had me pose this way more often. This is probably why I liked my photos better than my high school ones where I posed the way the photographer wanted me to pose. There are also some weird poses they have you do in the casual shots so I let the photographer know I felt really awkward and didn’t feel natural. In poses where you have to hold the diploma case or scroll, try to relax your hands so it’s not a death grip.
  3. In regards to makeup, I’ve heard that wearing anything with SPF is a bad idea because it reflects light. I took a chance with my mineral (which is also bad, I’ve heard) makeup with SPF in it. I didn’t apply heavily and didn’t have any issues. If you do layer a lot, try a different type or go to Sephora and ask for a sample of a suitable product (tip from a friend).
  4. Practice your smile ahead of time. I had this bad photo experience in second grade where I didn’t like smiling with my teeth showing. It was a class photo and I kinda stared blankly at the camera but inside it felt like I was smiling slightly. Since then, I think I’ve got a fake photo smile down pretty good. If you need some help, Lifehacker wrote an article about the replicating genuine smiles.
  5. Props! I didn’t bring any props and in the “White Room” at Artona there are a bunch of random props like a Hello Kitty stuffy and a huge tricycle bike. You don’t have very much time to choose something so I just let the photographer choose a red chair. After my friend and I finished our photos, my friend noticed in the white room there was a Hogwarts robe hanging on the wall. Wish I had seen that earlier…damnit…so if you’re a HP fan, wear the Hogwarts robe if you get your photos done at Artona!
  6. Hairspray your hair. I forgot to do this and wish I did. I had these bangs that kept on getting in the way. Luckily, the photographer told me to fix it all the time so it worked out but, not all photographers do this. It also helps to take the flyaways and baby hairs.
  7. Double check your clothes before posing. I had my button down tucked into my dress pants and made sure to check that things stayed tucked in. Button downs are notorious for bunching up especially when you raise your arms up so make sure things are where they should be.
  8. If you are bringing a friend, you only get one picture with them! My friend’s boyfriend was getting his picture done and she was only allowed to be in one of his photos in the White Room. So if you plan on taking a photo with your friends, try to request an actual friendship photo otherwise it will be just the one picture.
  9. Similarly, I don’t recommend taking photos with your friends or family during your grad photos. The idea is nice, but ask yourself if you are honestly going to buy those photos with your friends. If you do, then go ahead but if you are not willing to shell out $30 something dollars for the photo then have it done somewhere else.
  10. You get to quickly review your photos after they are taken. You get to choose 4 photos from each room for a total of 16. After each room, you will go to a screen and the photographer will ask you to choose the 4 that you like best. I like seeing the pictures right away so you can correct your smile or hair for the next room. Mine was really nice and let me re-take a pose if it looked funny.
  11. Make sure your nails are cut and clean. Don’t forget about those scroll pictures and with the diploma.

Good luck with your photos!

the hole story: part one

28 Nov

(Not my nose because I don’t want my nose posted all over google images like this one. Source )

This summer I did something relatively spontaneous and anybody who knows me, knows that being spontaneous isn’t my thing. I make calculated decisions on pretty much everything. I can’t even buy conditioner for my hair without looking at reviews  online. I shop at stores that have a good return policy and the words “final sale” make me cringe.

So why I decided to get a nose piercing after thinking about it for just a few days is beyond me. Even though I despise needles, I somehow convinced myself that getting a piercing wouldn’t be that bad and it would hurt for just a few seconds and would have something pretty for years to come. I looked for a reputable piercing shop online (of course) and chose one in Downtown Vancouver. I talked to my friend about it and convinced her to come with me. She decided she might as well get something pierced too, so she decided to get her rook done.

As we made our way to the piercing shop, I was beginning to have second thoughts. What if I don’t like it? I’m scared that I’m going to get the dreaded bump (more on that later). It’s gonna hurt. Once we got there, I looked around at the nose studs and the shop guy showed me the ones I would be pierced with. I held it up to my nose and decided “Mmm, it looks kinda cute. It’s sparkly. Okay, I’ll do it.”

Now I don’t remember who got their piercing first but I have a feeling it was me cause I wanted to get it over with first. The piercer used a pen to mark my nose to determine where to place it. She asked my opinion and it looked good to me. I figured she knew better than me. So she had me lie down on the medical chair (like the one’s in doctors offices) and rubbed some antibacterial lotion on my nose. She did some other things that I couldn’t see and then came towards me with a needle that looked about 3-4 inches long. Pretty sure my eyes bulged a bit and I definitely thought to myself “ohh myyyy goddd.” I shut my eyes while she was about to pierce. She counted down to 3 and I felt this sharp pain go from the outside of my nostril and out of my nose. The needle was in my nose while she took the stud and inserted it into the top of the hollow needle to bring it into my nose. There was a slight pain when she inserted the stud in and then it was all done. It took about 10 seconds from start to finish. I sat up and felt a bit woozy. I looked in the mirror and it looked good. She gave me one of those gross chalky lollipops in case I was about to faint and needed sugar.

My friend got her rook done and it looked painful but she said it wasn’t that bad. The piercer told us how to clean our piercings and we paid at the front desk.

Fifteen minutes later, we both walked out of the store with fresh piercings and feelin’ just a bit spontaneous.


My thoughts on pre-piercing and the actual piercing:

  • Do your research before getting anything pierced. Know what you are getting yourself into! Piercings can get infected if you don’t clean it properly so if you are not willing to do the cleaning, I would re-think the piercing. There is quite a bit of cleaning that goes along with getting your nose pierced and I was afraid of getting “the bump” so I cleaned pretty religiously (but I got it anyways because I accidentally rubbed my piercing…). My whole cleaning routine would take about 15 minutes a day.
  • Be aware of the side effects of the piercing. Nose piercings get “the bump” quite easily and some people get it worse than others. Most people cited their problems to accidentally rubbing or snagging it on a towel. Some people said they never cleaned theirs and that’s why they got the bump. When I refer to other people, I mean people on online forums, haha.
  • It’s rather expensive. My nose piercing cost about $75. Also factor in the cost of cleaning ingredients ( you will need sea salt (~$4) and may need tea tree oil (~$10), vitamin E oil (~$10), polysporin (~$6) and new future jewelry ($5+).
  • Talk to your employer or consider your career if it is a facial piercing (if appropriate, I don’t know where you work so maybe it’s ok). I think ear piercings are fine for the workplace, but depending on where you work, your piercing might be an issue. I spoke to my employer before getting mine and she was fine with it. My actress cousin told me about a co-star who got her nose pierced before shooting a movie and she had to take it out before it was fully healed because of her role. Needless to say, it grew in and she probably wasted $75 on it.
  • Plan ahead for healing time. My nose piercing was projected to take about 3 months to heal. During this time, I couldn’t change the jewelry and had to clean everyday. Someone else told me it should really be 6 months. I didn’t think it would take this long to heal and got my piercing a month before I went to Europe for 2.5 weeks. Cleaning your nose piercing in a hostel bathroom is not the most ideal situation…
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the piercing pain as a 5. Try taking an aspirin or other pain reliever an hour before you get your piercing. I took one so maybe that’s why it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.
  • Prepare for friends to not notice or notice and not say anything. I imagined everyone I saw would say “Oh my god! You got your nose pierced! [Insert nice or fake nice comment].” A surprising number of people didn’t say anything. Maybe they abide by Thumper’s rule of “If you can’t say anything nice – don’t say anything at all.” Or perhaps they noticed but didn’t remember if you’ve always had it and didn’t want to say anything and admit they didn’t remember what you looked like before. I had a friend tell me this is what he though when he first saw me. So if you’re reading this and you have a friend who got something pierced, but don’t remember if it’s new – comment on it anyways. We like it.

I wrote this post to help others thinking of getting their nose (or anything really) pierced. I’ll be writing about other aspects of my piercing (cleaning), dealing with the bump, finding jewelry, etc. as I did a lot of googling after I got my nose pierced so figured I could be one the posts that gets googled now that I’ve gone through the process.

quit stumbling around at night

14 Nov

How many times have you gotten up at night to go to the bathroom and then on your way back, you are plunged into total darkness and end up stubbing your toe on something or walking into the doorway? It used to happen to me quite frequently.

I forgot how I came across this again. I think it was from googling how to clear a headache using pressure points. I’m pretty sure it didn’t work but, this tip on the same site did.


Once your eyes are accustomed to the dark, keep one eye open and one eye closed when you go into a lighted room (e.g. bathroom). When you leave the lighted room, open both eyes and you’ll be able to see where you are going. Neat, eh?