Author: Stacy

Finance, Fun, Family Goals: Part 1

I picked up Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapar today and in the second chapter she tells me to write down realistic goals for the next 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years. So here it goes.

Date: July 5th, 2015

Finance Finance 
Year 1: Get a job in the Engineering field. Be registered for Engineer in Training (EIT).
Year 3: To have worked on an international airport project.
Year 5: Become a Professional Engineer (P.Eng). Be able to start sending money to my family.
Year 7: Pay off Student Loans
Year 10: Become a senior engineer, or a project manager. Help mum pay off mortgage.

Awesome Fun
Year 1: Have membership at a sick gym/personal trainer. Be able to not have to worry about the price of food and drinks when out with friends.
Year 3: $300/month budget on my wardrobe. Moved out into my own condo. Take trips/year. Have my first basic car.
Year 5: Down payment on my first property.
Year 7: Switch basic car for a nicer car.
Year 10: –

FriendsFamFamily
Year 1: Going on dates in the city.
Year 3: Be in a steady relationship.
Year 5: –
Year 7: Consider marriage.
Year 10: Consider having kids.

My list will be updated as I please through out the year, and I will hopefully meet my goals.

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I bought a Financial Self-Help book.

FinanceI’m really bad with money. I have no savings. I don’t budget. I find myself broke every summer when I’m unemployed and at the end of each semester when my OSAP runs dry. I have never looked into changing my habits because I always had my parents to lean back on when I’m broke.

In the past 5 years of living on my own for school, I spent money like I was mediocrely well off. Whenever my debit card was running low, I would pull out my mum’s credit card so it seems like I’m taking a break from my own money. Later when I got my own credit card, if I’m ever running low, I would get my mum to pay it off for me.

It’s so bad that whenever I am out of the house, I look for things to spend money on. It could be as little as an Italian soda from the coffee shop, or a meal I wasn’t planning on getting cause I wasn’t even hungry. I reward myself with ‘splurges’ for when I get a good mark on a test, when I’m having a bad day and need a pick me up, or even just when I haven’t treated myself in a while.

Everyone knows I have bad spending habits, the sad part is that I don’t even know where I’m spending all my money on at the end of the month. It has come to point now, where reality has struck and my mum can’t bail me out of broke ass situation anymore. I need to make my own spending money and save money for next year when I move out. I don’t even have a stable job right now to put a cherry on the top.

I’m starting to panic now, and I’m finally realizing I actually have to figure my shit out. I want to be able to financially support myself when I move out next year, I want to be able to have my own savings, and not be worried about having under $200 in my bank account. I want to be able to fund my own trips, and not have my family pay for it every time.

I want the financial freedom of an Independent Successful Young Woman.

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One Day Fling

While in Hong Kong, it is safe to say that I spend most of my time either eating, in shopping malls enjoying the air conditioning, sight seeing, hiking and Tindering.

MenI was told even before I came to Hong Kong that the Tinder game is great here; full of expats and world travellers, right up my alley. I’ve been chatting with a few guys, most usually drop off the radar, which is expected. A couple of weeks ago I saw this cute Asian guy with a witty profile line, so I messaged him in response to his line. (Note: I’ve always only been into caucasian males, so seeing an Asian male that I found attractive was a big deal.) We started talking, he kept up with my weirdness in conversation and then he asked me out for lunch.

I was definitely cautious about this date, like any date. The night before when we were talking, I saw that on his Tinder page it said he was 2000km away, that’s not a good sign. I asked him about and it was as puzzled as I was, so I just brushed it off as a glitch in the app. Then I asked for his number for communication for the next day, sent him a message, then he replied on Tinder that he got my message but for some reason he couldn’t respond in text. This cause another reason for me to worry. Anxiety started to surface where I thought, ‘What if this guy, who is 2000 km away, is trolling me and is totally going to stand me up as a cruel joke?’ My trust in people got the better of me and I found myself getting ready and heading to go on this date with a stranger.

I got to our meeting place, which was a subway station (public location, duh) he wasn’t there so I started internally freaking out. Ten minutes later, I finally caught sight and made eye contact with a tall, handsome Asian guy and we approached each other. We gave each other a hello hug, then headed out to the dimsum place he was ‘raving’ about.

I learned that he’s a half Filipino/Dutch guy from Amsterdam, and have been in Hong Kong for a year now studying martial arts. He also told me he was leaving in three days time. We did the regular ‘getting to know each other’ chitchat during dimsum, discussing what we thought about Hong Kong, and things that different in our home country. I taught him the game ‘What Are The Odds’ and we pulled pretty stupid stunts drawing attention to us in the restaurant.

Just when I starting thinking about how the date was going to end and that we would have to part ways, I found out that he was planning on bringing me to a souvenir street cause I said I’ve never been when we were chatting on Tinder. I went with him to buy a poster for his martial arts teacher, and helped him find a place that would frame it (I was the translator cause he didn’t speak a word of Cantonese) It was a mission, but after much getting lost, we did it. During our journey to the framing store, he showed me how to spot street corner hookers, a skill I never really acquired.

For the next little bit we went to tourist locations, found benches and just walked around while chatting about basically everything about our lives. We made our way to Victoria Harbour and was disappointed to find out we got there right in time for the shitty Hong Kong light show. We made fun of tourists as they took pictures of themselves with selfie sticks, and complained how bad the show was. As the show started we began another round of ‘What Are The Odds’ He lost his round and had to shout ‘Penis’ seconds into the show. When it was my turn, he asked ‘What Are The Odds’ that I would kiss him. We started making out.

By now it was 6 hours into our date. I have never spent so much time with someone on a first Tinder date. I really did enjoy his company, I didn’t have to think about the awkward goodbye at the end of the date yet. We talked about how we’re probably never going to see each other again after today, and I was okay with that. It was one of those moments where you’re enjoying the moment then and there, not having to thinking about anything else than after that.

For the next four hours, we just walked around more, held hands (I haven’t had anyone hold my hands in a really long time. It was a small gesture but it felt nice), cuddled, made out and bought beers from Club 7-11.

Once midnight came around, we both headed to catch our last subway trains home, expressed our gratitude for each other’s company, had our last good bye kiss, and then I parted ways with a stranger I met ten hours ago.

Hands down, the best Tinder date I’ve experienced.

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Back on Track

For a while now, I have lost track of aspiration for my future self. I thought I had a pretty good idea; finish school, apply for jobs, hope that I get one, and start off with a minimum wage engineering salary. Anyone with half a brain can come up with this plan, but what was missing was my drive for specific things I want out of my life in the next few years.

TravelI am three weeks into my vacation in Hong Kong now, half way through till I return back to Canada, to my regular life. I have learned so much of myself in this short period time than I have than I have in the last few months. My life felt pretty stale this past school year, and this trip was exactly what I needed to renew myself.

Being in a city where I come in contact with as much travellers as there are locals, it opened my eyes to how easy it is for someone to pick up their lives and go to a completely foreign country to either fulfill their vacation time, or to root themselves there to start a new life as an expat and work. I’m so curious when talking to visible minorities here in Hong Kong about the process of placing themselves in a country where it is so culturally, geographically, and linguistically different. I wonder if I would be able to do as they do, and flourish and be fully as happy as I would in the comfort of my home country. It has also got me thinking about where I would be willing to apply for jobs this upcoming year for after I graduate. I’ve always set my eyes on finding any job I can find in Toronto; my plan was that I want to spend my first year out of school in Toronto with or without an engineering job. I know how naive this plan sounds, wanting to move to such an expensive city with no plan only to fulfill my wannabe Torontonian dream. After a year in there, and if I still can’t find a job in the engineering I would look else where, my only destination choices being Vancouver or Hong Kong. I am finally realizing I am too closed minded by limiting myself to these two destination JUST because I’ve been to them both, enjoyed them and feel that I can easily get adapted. I’m going to be in my early 20’s when I graduate, and this is the prime time to take advantage of my youth and independence to work abroad in a strange city. I never felt I was someone that would be grounded in one location for the rest of my life, I use to have such a desire to travel but somehow that got lost in the stress of the time and money I thought I didn’t have.

BrainsAnother contribution to my newly found drive is seeing and meeting so many young professionals. Every single person wants to be successful while they’re still young. That is the time where one is the most beautiful, energetic, and feels like the world is their oyster. Other than the fact that I realized that I myself is attracted to professionals; someone that has their shit together and is supporting their happy life, I myself want to be that as well. My parents always told me to find a rich and intelligent husband, this comment has never irked me till recently. Why would I want to rely my happiness on my partner’s wealth? I want to be able to provide the same happiness myself. I’m constantly finding people I admire, and by doing so I myself want to acquire attributes of these people in myself. I want so much in my life by the time I reach 30, be it a nice comfortable condo, to being well travelled, being able to hold up my own, or just be able to not have to worry about price tags. Until now, I didn’t realize how hard I’m going to have to work in my last year of my engineering degree starting this Fall and after just to be any where close to my dreams for the next few years. I’m finally at a point in my schooling where I’m on track, where I don’t have to worry about failing and staying back another year (all not without working my butt off this past year) I’m so close that my Convocation and Iron Ring is all I can see right now.

I’ve been so nervous about finishing school and the uncertainty of my career that I’ve been putting off really thinking about where I want to be when I’m all done. I feel as though I was too passive, where I’m just going to accept whatever life was going to pass down to me. This trip so far has been a positive impact on me, and I’m interested to see what else will come up by the end of my trip.

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2014 in a Nutshell

With 2014 wrapping up, here is a summary of highlights/lowlights of this year.

BeautyAfter over a year of trying to figure out how to do my eyebrows; ranging from cheap shadows to inadequate brow pencils,  I finally took the plunge and got the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. This happened in the summer and it’s safe to say brow game has changed forever. It took a good month or two to master the brow technique, but I did it.

I started to blowout my hair when ever I style it, and no longer straighten my hair. I have been straightening and abusing my hair for the last 9 years, and I finally realized that I have to take care of it. Yes I’m still applying heat to my hair, but it’s not to the extent of when I’m using a straightener. Blowdrying my hair with a round brush has resulted in smoother, softer hair, which is something I’ve been loving.

Speaking of hair, I went an ombre blonde. And yes, I have been having more fun since.

MenThis was the year of Tinder dates. All the dates I’ve been on this year, was from Tinder. All the guys I’ve been involved with this year, was from Tinder. I went on a rock climbing date with a guy, and I might have crushed his balls while being a bad top rope partner. I also went on a dog walking date with a guy because he said he had a dog. I was more interested in his dogs. I went on 2 dates with this guy that I thought was cute, but never went past making out; he was a good kisser. Between the months of March-September, I was involved with this grade A horn dog. It wasn’t till now looking back that I realized he was an asshole. I suspect that I let me neediness of men’s attention cloud my judgement of the guy, it also clouded my nose to his B.O. That latter point is embarrassing to admit. Towards the end of hanging with him, this guy had the atrocity to talk about his girl he is seeing, was on his phone the whole time we were hanging out (we were at the mall), and then tried to get lucky with me later on. Sorry, but I have a little more self respect than that.

FinanceI had my first independent job that required me to be on my own ass to get stuff done. As mentioned in my previous post, this was the first time I had to work by myself, five days a week. It also allowed me to have a pretty sick summer with the cashflow, and the opportunity to travel. Though I don’t see myself doing it again, it was a great experience.

After my summer job ended, I realized that I have gotten used to the life style of making and spending money. So I started looking for a part time job for during the school year and landed myself a hosting job at Moxie’s. I have always wanted a job at a well known chain. I’ve also been wanting to get a job where I get to have work friends; something where my previous job was limited to. I’m 3 months into the job, and I’ve been really enjoying it. Not super demanding in comparison to my school work, and it’s a fun atmosphere. The only thing I had issues getting used to was having to wear heels to work. It doesn’t hurt me as much anymore. I kind of see it as a blessing in disguise, as it’s training my feet to be able to comfortably wear heels.

BrawnThis was the year I turned my fitness up a notch. I started lifting heavier and hitting personal records like squatting 140lbs, 10 shy from my own weight. I’m slowly seeing my body change. Thought it may not be exactly how I want it to be, I still have a lot to work on in terms of my eating habits and lifestyle.

And with that, here’s an abrupt conclusion and a reminder at how bad of a writer I am.

Till next time,

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My first Chinese Wedding

This past Saturday, I attended a Chinese wedding of a family friend’s. I have never been to an Asian wedding before let alone a regular wedding. My mother couldn’t attend, so it was me and my brother who went to show face for my mum’s friend.

We were nervous of what to expect when we arrived. There was about 80 or so people, 90% of the people attended were Asian; friends and family of the bride’s side. The rest were of the groom’s white side of the family. When we first sat down at our table, there were 3 old ladies at our table. We chatted a bit about how we both know the bride, and then one of the lady’s daughter arrived with her fiancee. They were younger, in their late 20s/early 30s. To our surprise, the fiancee was from me and my brother’s home town. This ice breaker made socializing between the table a lot smoother.

There was a MC for the wedding. He was able to translate everything he said from English to Cantonese to Mandarin. He was a young, stylish Asian guy. Oh and his name was Tyrone. Me, my brother, and our newly made hometown friend chuckled to ourselves when we heard his name. After he welcomed us to the event, he brought our attention to the dramatic entrance to the main wedding party as they entered the dining hall to their table.

Food was served at 7:30PM, and our first course was Siu Yuk.

Siu Yuk: Roasted whole pig with flashing hearts as eyes.

I have not had Siu Yuk in years since I left home to go to school. The student life style just doesn’t have time and money for food like this. The skin was so crispy and the meat was perfectly tender, an amazing course to start off the night.

Next was a cute deep friend shrimp stuffed crab claw.

Deep fried shrimp stuffed crab claw

This was then followed with a Scallop and Sea cucumber with Snow Peas.

Seafood with Snowpeas

At first I was thought the sea cucumber was actually squid because it was followed up and all, but the texture was much softer and more delicate. I loved it and then someone told me it was actually sea cucumber. I avoided the snow peas, I never liked them growing up, I’m not about to start liking them now.

Shit got real once the Shark Fin Soup arrived.

Shark Fin Soup

I have not had shark fin soup in years. I know it’s more of a delicacy dish but I would give it a 6/10. None the less, it was great to say I had shark fin soup last weekend.

To keep with the underwaterj/delicacy trend, the next dish was Abalon, mushroom and Veggies.

Abalon, Mushroom, and Choy Sum

At this point was starting to get full, especially since I have been going for seconds on some of the previous dishes.

Roasted duck was next on the menu.

Roasted duck

Next was some delicious fish I didn’t know the name of.

Miscellaneous fish

Also, as you can see by the hand in the picture, we had a waiter that brought new dishes for everyone for each course and would load each plate for us every time. I felt like royalty.

We’re nearing the end now. But no dinner is complete without some lobster.

Lobster

Finally to tie us down for the rest of the night, they brought us some rice and noodles; for those of us that are still hungry.

Rice & Noodles

The rest of the night besides food was great. We got to hear speeches from parents of both sides of the family. It was so beautiful seeing them so happy to see their lovely children finding someone to love and be with forever. I almost cried of course. Lots of toasting and clapping followed.

The MC made the night very interesting. He got the bride and groom to do lots of fun activities that allowed us to capture some pretty cute pictures. Got games happening with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Eventually ‘Single ladies’ came on where they asked all the single ladies to stand up and head to the floor. First thought was that I felt embarrassed that my whole table was making me go up. This was a small wedding, and there was about 12 of us. Half of the girls up there was under 20. I was also slightly uncomfortable going up by myself not knowing anyone. Later I started having small talk with the girl beside me, of whom I think is around 16 since she still had a full mouth of braces. Great I’m at the same relationship level as a teenager. After putting all this petty thoughts a side, I got into the groove of things and smiled for photos. I did not get the bouquet. Funny thing was it seemed like a lot of the girls didn’t really want it either. When the bouquet first landed, the original girl kinda volleyed it over to the next girl’s hands. I don’t think I wanted to catch it, I am no wear close to settling down seeing as how my current loveless life is going.

The MC signed out around 10PM and then it was a free for all to take pictures with the happy couple and their family. Me and my brother eventually pushed our way through to get a photo, one last one for our mother.

After the picture, me and my brother decided to leave and head to downtown Toronto and galivant for a few hours.

Upon arrival, we saw several groups of people in banana costumes converging and wandering off. Great start to my night. I love how even at 11:30PM the city is buzzing and can still keep my entertained. We went from Dundas Square to a FanExpo party happening at the Fairmont to the bottom of the CN Tower.

Processed with Moldi

We finally made it back to where we were staying at around 1:30AM, called it a great night, and went to bed.

 

Honey Blonde Balayage

BeautyI’ve been feeling super ordinary and boring lately, and today I gave myself some much needed hair make over just in time for the new school year.

After discovering hair stylist, Guy Tang, last year I have been obsessed with his work. I have been secretly obsessed with getting a blonde balayage for my hair, but have always been financially stuck to actually get it. This past may, I went around to different hair salons to get consultations of getting what I want and everyone told me that I can’t get that light. I eventually settled down to get a subtle ombre, but I was never as satisfied as I could have been.

I got suggested by a friend to see a hair stylist who herself was asian and she has beautiful blonde hair. She knew exactly what I wanted and as an added bonus, she was in love with Guy Tang as much as I am. I booked the appointment right away, and I went in today for my 4 hour long appointment. 

Before & After

I wanted to see how light my hair was going to go but still keep the natural colour of my roots. My hair stylist did a great job and got my hair down several levels with bleach. She was able to keep a nice gradation of the blonde to my roots. I didn’t know how damaged my hair was, and how much of I fix up I needed until I saw the picture above. My layers have gotten so ‘rachet’.

My hair definitely looks lighter in person and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen to the colour over time. Depending on how I like my colour, I might want to go even lighter in a few months 😀

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The Next Mister

MenFor the past 3 months, I have made a pact to myself to swear off random, slutty guys that come my way, in hopes of eventually finding someone I like.

In the past, I have had my slutty phase. I didn’t care about my reputation, or self value as long as it satisfied my current thirst. It’s safe to say that I let myself put out without much thought because I know people around me that does it so casually too. It got to a point where it got too casual, and I had to take a step back and re-evaluate how happy I was in the long run in terms of looking at my past.

Like many other girls, I enjoy male attention and company. Up until first year university, I wasn’t able to take guys flirting with me seriously because I would think they’re joking or making fun of me. After that I got a better grasp at the potential I had with my overall personality and my looks. Even after the growing I have done, I am still having troubles. I respond to guys being interested in me, even though I know they’re only interested in the physical stuff. It’s just nice to have the attention, and I wasn’t able to distinguish lust from actual general interest in me. There’s also a difference between only telling each other things and actually having discussions to better know each other. If telling each other about what happened that day is the only topic of conversation that we have, we have a problem. I also came to realize during my series of sexcapades, men that don’t care about me are selfish lovers. I don’t feel comfortable communicating and usually get the shitty end of the stick. (Sorry for the TMI)

When I realized I wasn’t being satisfied emotionally and sexually, I decided that next mister I get intimate with will be someone I actually like. I’m not looking to marry said guy, but something more than shallow chats would be nice.

I would really like this to be upheld, but sometimes I do get jealous seeing my friends getting involved with guys, knowing that I could too if I wanted to. What if I don’t find someone nice for the next year? But I guess this would give me an opportunity to actually try to get to know people. So much internal and sexual frustration but I’ll live.

Sorry for such a personal post. I just wanted to document this for whenever I have doubts, so I can come back to have a gander and to refresh my memory.

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Dream Catcher

FinanceIt may seem like my blog is turning into an art blog, but I promise it’ll die down soon. My inspirational moments come in bursts and then disappears for months at a time. I was trying out a new technique to see how it would turn out. I was curious how it would turn out to layer an object above pastel splashes of paint. 

Dream Catcher – Acrylic & ink on Wood

I’m satisfied with the finished result, but this was definitely not my favourite piece. I uploaded the painting and it was sold to a friend of mine within 15 minutes. Not bad if I do say so myself. 

Today my boss also asked if I wanted to donate a painting to his wife’s charity event, I gladly accepted seeing as it would push me to create more art. Stay tuned for more art…

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Confessions of a Chocolate Girl

FinanceThis summer like last, I am working as a sales representative for a local chocolate company. The only difference with this year, was that not only am I attending potential client sales meetings, I am also delivering, collecting money, reorder follow ups, social media public relations, and anything miscellaneous task that my boss asks of me. 

It’s not a bad gig, it’s just being one of the few employees, and basically being the face of the company with our clients, it get stressful in the fact that my boss expects so much from me. I have definitely my skills in this job where even I am surprised at how much I have grown as an employee. 

Last year, I was partnered up with another girl to do sales. She was a recent communications graduate who was definitely more skilled in the communications department than I was. Also, because she was older, she took charge of our sales meetings more than I did, at times I felt as though I was her assistant. We got paid the same, so I didn’t mind. We were also selling an idea, there was no packaging on our products yet, and we were just getting people to agree to pick up our product when production starts with no strings attached. I returned to school in September, so I had to leave the job at the end of Summer.

I got offered the job again at the start of Summer this year. Being away from the company, where it has now started production and delivery, my boss got their current sales rep to train me. She got offered another job so she was training me to replace her. Watch her at our sales meeting was very educational, but at the same time intimidating. She graduated with Marketing, so she knew what she was doing. Shortly after she left, I did struggle. The apparently difference of this year was that I will be working alone. It was fun working with a partner, the day goes by so much faster with a friend. A problem that came up was that most of the obvious stores that would carry our products we have already targeted, I had to be creative with finding new stores. Soon saturation became apparent so I had to cross the Quebec border to do my sales there. Second problem is that I’m not French. I stopped taking French after grade 10. I’m not completely horrible, I pick up languages pretty easily, but it’s still annoying that my boss expects me to have the same success as I would in Ontario. 

Things started to look up as I was finally meeting my boss’ expectation and then he decided to sent me to Toronto to train a new sales rep that he hired. The week after, he sent me to Montreal to do the same thing. Going into the city was pretty fun, it’s was especially cool when people ask me what I’m doing in the city, and I tell them it’s for work. How baller is that? 

It’s safe to say that in a matter of 3 months, I was able to grow so much in my job. I love that get to create fun relationships with my clients. They seem to really like me and get excited when ever they see me (It’s probably because I have chocolates with me) I’m not going to be a sales rep forever, but it’s good to have had this experience to really tune up on my communication skills in a social setting, and to effectively work by myself to get stuff done. 

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