It’s been far too long since I wrote my last blog past, and too many times since I’ve regretted writing one. But yes, as it states on my blog life has been harsh. Technically I’m not completely un-employed, I have casual jobs on the side – but nothing that’s going to keep be afloat or see me move out of home just yet haha.
At the moment I’m on the fence, take a huge leap of faith and head overseas and Teach English or find a simple job that pays and allows the means to enjoy hobbies on the side. The more I over think and procrastinate, the more stagnant I feel. Actually, it’s been a few years that I have done this…. few years too long. #almost30
I’ll write a weekly post, and update on how I am doing – this way I can be accountable for my actions 🙂
Last December I was thinking of changing my planner, as I wanted a planner that was compact yet pretty in design. I decided not to go through with getting a passion planner due to the time restrictions, and the weekly times notepad as it was quite large (A4 size). Upon browsing on GMARKET I came upon an online store that sold the planner/stationery brand ARDIUM. After a search on YouTube and minutes of browsing on GMARKET, I decided their 2017 ARDIUM Flowery weekly journal was the one for me (this year haha).
[If link above doesn’t work try searching the brand Ardium on GMarket’s search bar or through the Minishop seller “frombox” on GMarket]
I’ve come across a few stationery stores that have the most beautiful covers, but when it came to content – it was like any other or it was expensive. Generally I deem a journal on the pricey side if it’s going to cost me more than $40+ (inc.shipping).
Each monthly section is beautifully decorated and designed
Unruled lines for the week, so you can write or draw leaving to your imagination
Clear plastic cover to protect the planner
Simplistic design that allows you to utilise all its pages
Great for students, creative planners and those who have flexibility in their schedule
Comes in multiple designs & patterns
Light weight and easily portable to carry in a bag, backpack etc.
Reasonable price (It was around 8-10 AUD dollars but this doesn’t include shipping so for me it cost around $30 AUD in total) You can reduce the price by using Gmarket coupons.
No bookmark ribbon
Not for those who rely on hourly times to schedule e.g. 9am meeting, 9:30 presentation*
Can be small for those who have large handwriting or need more space to write ideas*
Shipping is not included so you might have to pay domestic shipping (store to G-Market Warehouse) + International Shipping. In my case, shipping costs more than the actual item itself 😦
*ARDIUM offers a range of planners from large sizes to professional looking models, so depending on your tastes there’s plenty to choose from.
There are multiple sellers that sell ARDIUM Planners make sure you look at the item weight as international shipping can increase (don’t get ripped off)
I purchased from “frombox” seller who has satisfactory ratings
I like to use the bullet point system to get things done on the Ardium Journal, you don’t necessarily have to have grid line journal/Bullet Journal for that.
You can reduce the total cost by winning coupons on the GMarket Lucky draw or Coupon section, take a browse at the Gmarket store ><
Will I buy this again? Depending on next year’s design I probably would or most likely a different model under the same brand.
Usually when I head to a beauty store, I get super anxious because I know I’m gullible when it comes to buying beauty products. Though I am getting better at saying “no” now since as mentioned previously, I’m on a tight budget.
Last year I was in need of a good body moisturising cream. I was tired of the ones you get at your local supermarket, because sometimes they either made me feeling more dry or made my bacne worse. So having looked online initially I was going to get the Shea butter body cream, I instead got the Body Shop’s Spa of the World – Japanese Camellia Cream in store.
I have this habit of initially declining a shop assistant’s offer when they ask if I need any help, and then asking them for assistance after several moments of indecisiveness. When I ask for assistance I always end up buying the store’s “hottest” products LOL. So essentially I would end up paying more for what I had planned. Most of the time I feel really ripped off, but this time it was perfect. I was looking for a body cream that wasn’t too runny in consistency or too thick in texture, that it would take ages to absorb into the skin.
Really nice light fragrant smell, great for those who don’t like strong scents (You won’t smell like Toilet freshener, I promise haha)
Produced by a reputable global brand
An incredible great moisturiser for the body, you’ll feel like a pampered princess ><
In a convenient large tub
Does not make skin feel greasy, leaves skin feeling incredibly soft and silky
Penetrates into skin fast, and feels hydrating
You can reuse the container e.g. bath salts etc.
It’s on the pricey side, in Australia it’s around $52 AUD. It’s the most I’ve spent on a body cream.
Subscribe to the Body Shops website for discounts.
If you want to save on costs and have this lasts longer, reduce it to once-twice a week when you feel like a pamper rather than daily.
Over the past months since last year I mentioned that I was trying my best to learn Vietnamese, and after attempting to learn it at a local school – I still couldn’t get myself to stick with it. I also tried Vietnamese Pod, which is a really good source to learn Vietnamese however it is very limited to the Northern Accent (I’d love to learn the Northern accent in the future though). I’m no longer a premium member with Vietnamese Pod101, but once it offers more Southern Accent lessons I might try it out (and when I want to attempt the Northern Accent).
Okay, so back to the review haha.
I first came across Learning Vietnamese with Annie when I wanted to learn the alphabet. It was just a simple search, and because she was fluent in English and offered a heap of videos I became an eager student. Once I was feeling fairly confident, I went to trial the Podcast and immediately subscribed ><
One of the highlights of LVWA Podcasts is that it doesn’t feel like you’re learning off a robotic audio dialogue, and thanks to our other presenter Jack (who is not Vietnamese) – you feel at ease because he explains the structure and grammar issues really well. Both Annie and Jack work together really well, no wonder I’m still carrying on with Vietnamese.
For learners wanting to learn the Southern Accent e.g Travelling to Ho Chi Minh, Heritage Learners etc.
Cheap Monthly Subscription at $6.99 US dollars p/m ><
Contains a 3 Step Learning Stage Method: Full Lesson, Dialogue & Vocabulary Review
Provides a transcript for you to easily follow the lesson
Each of the above sections are downloadable and it’s unlimited ^^ (If you subscribe)
Both presenters (Annie & Jack) are entertaining, and go through the dialogue with you – line by line.
There are two levels Elementary & Intermediate
You can listen and practice at your own time
Each lesson varies in topic e.g. Going to the Hairdressers
Great for self help learners, and those tight on a budget.
There’s no basic level podcast – that goes through the absolute basics or grammar *However if you head to their you tube page you’ll find enough information to cover that. Link
I’d love to see a workbook/ textbook being released aside from the podcasts
Online e-book/audio store
Go to the YouTube videos to get the basics in order and when you’re confident go through to the 1st lesson Podcast (Elementary) which is free to trial.
They also provide private Skype lessons – price varies on the teacher you prefer
I got this item as a birthday gift last year, and I’ve been using this for over a few months once a week. It’s so funny since my friend saw me staring at this product at the pharmacy for some time. I didn’t end up buying due to being on a really tight budget haha. Thanks girl! 😀
For those out there who are looking for a great body scrub with added moisturising benefits – this one is for you 🙂
Simple attractive packaging appearance
Nice coffee scent
Uses Arabica coffee beans + natural ingredients
Large tub size 330grams (lasts quite a while if you using it once a week)
Leaves skin feeling supple and smooth after [I don’t bother using motion or body cream after since skin is already soft)
Great to use prior to the beach or outdoors
Available online and through most pharmacies in Australia. Free shipping is available in Australia.
Affordable price range
It may be oily rather than moisturising for some people
Coffee scent may be strong for others
On it’s packaging it mentions that it targets cellulite, stretch marks and skin imperfections. That sounds great but to be honest I don’t think it’ll be able to completely rid of those skin imperfections particularly cellulite, in the long term. It does however give your body a nice glow and incredibly soft skin.
At first when I used the scrub I thought it was oily but once you let your skin dry, it’s oh so soft! lol. When you have those days when you think your skin is dry or you’ve noticed there’s cellulite, it’s a life saver. It won’t rid of your cellulite but it gives an impression that it does if that makes sense (like putting on makeup). As your skin is so soft and glowy, you don’t notice your other skin imperfections.
In the past I used to try and make my own coffee scrub with my sister, however the time and effort put into it was a lot more inefficient that I thought. I’m glad I don’t have to waste time, energy and money when I can purchase a tub with high quality ingredients.
Will I restock? Absolutely. It’s the best scrub I’ve used thus far, and it hasn’t left me with any skin problems.
Also check out their website for more information (here), I took a browse and saw that they have a new version with coconut in stock >< I can’t wait to try the coconut version but until then I still have loads left of the coffee scrub.
[Update 26/02/17: I’m no longer a paid subscriber for Vietnamese Pod 101, though occasionally I do browse by to see if there’s any new updates]
One of the issues I found it earlier to learn Vietnamese was finding the resources to learn it. There were Vietnamese schools around my area however most were for students who was in primary or high school years.I actually attended some of the classes, but found it difficult to learn as they were already ahead of me in level so it was harder to keep up.
After some looking around I came across this language learning website called Vietnamese Pod 101 – It’s a great site to learn Vietnamese when you want to go through a learning path. There are four forms of membership: Free, Basic, Premium and Premium Plus. The higher the membership, the more incentives you get. I’ve personally gone from Free to Basic and have now just started on Premium Membership.
You can pick which type of membership you prefer and are given enough time to figure out which one you like
You have the ability to cancel or upgrade anytime you want. If you’re not satisfied the 60 day trial refund applies.
Has quite a large database of learning materials available to you, the more you upgrade the larger the benefits
Regularly emails you special price deals for changing membership level
Audio files are clear and are downloadable for future reference
Easy access to a range of resources
Inexpensive compared to learning at language centres & Rosetta Stone software.
It’s great if you’re wanting to learn the Northern Accent
Continually updates new podcasts to learn
Staff regularly reply to questions in the comment section, and explain answers thoroughly.
A lot of great resources are available to you only if you are a Premium or Premium Plus subscriber
Doesn’t have a great resource on the Southern Accent
The conversations between the two speakers are robotic like an audio lesson (It’s great for those who want a more serious approach to learning, however you may lose enthusiasm for learning).
Casual conversation learning approach – will keep learners more motivated as well as well as entertained
Special video files on Vietnamese pronunciation and reading
Provide Southern accent lessons as an alternative for those wanting to learn Southern instead
Integrate Learning exchange with other users to practice Vietnamese
Provide ebook -textbooks for future learning especially in the areas of writing & reading comprehension.
More Badges and fun rewards for completing lessons
In order to get the best deal ( via their emails) you have to commit to paying upfront. These are 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month and 24 months.
e.g If you pick 24 months – you’ll need to pay one large sum that will last you for the 2 years. Watch out for their special deals through email subscription and you can get 20% – 50% off. I would choose the 24 months if I was fully committed to learning Vietnamese.
Upgrade to premium and you’ll enjoy unlocking their special features e.g. Review & dialogue audio files, review activities, flashcards etc.
I personally am on the monthly premium plan, and will definitely consider going further depending on how I go in the next month or so.
If you’re a traveller, learning either Northern or Southern doesn’t matter as much people will still be able to understand you. Although for me as a heritage learner learning the Southern is more beneficial to me, though I’m finding it fascinating understanding the northern language.
I remember learning Italian back in primary only to forget absolutely everything I’ve learnt, that also includes German and Chinese in high school. I also attempted to learn Japanese in my first year of University and that didn’t last either haha.
All those chances to learn a language, yet I just couldn’t remember. Why? It was due to my motivation in learning those languages. It was from the shallow opinion that it will improve my resume or that it was cool…. or that i was forced to do it as part of the school curriculum.
One of the biggest motivations for learning Vietnamese as I previously mentioned before is being able to talk to my parents, especially my mother (who doesn’t know much English). Having found out some time ago that my Grandmother passed away, I’ve realised how much time is precious. When I mean that time is precious, I remember making so many promises with my grandmother only to leave them unfinished. I thought she was going to live much longer, but she passed away just like that. So, with all the time I have left I’d like to use it to become closer and understand my mother before it’s too late.
Going back to topic, holding a large special motivation is key to be able to keep going through with a language without dropping out.
Motivations for learning Vietnamese:
Being able to communicate with my parents (not just the small talk)
Accepting and taking interest in my cultural background
To travel to Vietnam again but this time being able to talk with the locals
The ability to understand Vietnamese music and films
I’m also very interested in learning the Korean Language, however I’m the type of person that finds it best to learn things one at a time. In my next blog post I’ll show you the resources I’ve been using whilst learning a language 🙂