[Stationery Review] ARDIUM 2017 Flowery Weekly Journal – Blooming Camellia

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).

Pros: 

  • 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.

 

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Cons: 

  • 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.

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Tips: 

  • 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.

 

 

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[Beauty Review] Body Shop’s Spa of the world – Japanese Camellia Cream

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.

 

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • It’s on the pricey side, in Australia it’s around $52 AUD. It’s the most I’ve spent on a body cream.
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When it’s so good, there’s hardly any left 😦
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Seriously haha

Tips:

  • 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.

Would I purchase it again? Yes!

Learning Vietnamese with Annie Podcast Review

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.

lvwa
Learn Vietnamese with Annie Official Website

Pros: 

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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

Recommendations: 

  • I’d love to see a  workbook/ textbook being released aside from the podcasts
  • Online e-book/audio store
lvwa-youtube
LVWA YouTube site

Tips: 

  • 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

C. LAB & CO Coffee Scrub Review

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 🙂

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Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

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I used a 1/4 of the scrub, still loads left ^^

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.

 

Learning Vietnamese #1: Vietnamese Pod 101 Intro Review

[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.

Vietnamese Pod Intro
Vietnamese Pod 101’s Homepage

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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).

Improvement: 

  • 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
Vietnamese Pod 3
Note: Review and Dialogue audio files are available to Premium and Premium Plus Users

Vietnamese Pod 2

 

Tips:

  • 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.

 

<a href=’https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/member/go.php?r=50912&amp;i=b3′><img src=’http://www.vietnamesepod101.com/static/images/vietnamesepod101/aff_banner/vietnamese-125×125.gif&#8217; border=’0′ alt=’Learn Vietnamese with VietnamesePod101.com’ /></a>

 

Learning Vietnamese…yes it’s not too late

Learning a language hasn’t been easy for me.

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 🙂

Drama Intro: Age of Youth

AOY

One of the drama’s I’m watching with enthusiasm is Age of Youth [Network JTBC] a Korean drama, that really encapsulates the issues young women face. In the beginning I wasn’t so interested in the drama as it promoted itself as a typical “female college drama”. It was only what I assumed, as I have watched quite a few  dramas where it fizzled out towards the end or spent too much screen time on one character whilst ignoring the rest of the cast members. In AOY all these girls live together in the one share house, owned by a very interesting and refined female elder.

Since the drama is still ongoing I’ll try my best not to reveal major spoilers, and will give a brief introduction to the characters with a little sneak peak ><.

Yoon Eun Jae played by (Park Hye Soo)

She’s the first character that gets introduced (She’s the newbie that moves in), and is extremely shy and introverted. She’s so self conscious about herself, that she tends to over analyse things. Eun Jae is a first year student and we go through her struggles in her interactions with the girls, and in general confronting people.  She brings the innocence and vulnerability within the share house group. Note: Her love story with her Psychology senior is quite cute. 

Can Eun Jae overcome her past trauma? 


Jeong Ye Eun  played by (Han Seung Yeon)

The girl that looks like she came out of a shoujo manga. Ye Eun is quite the girly type of girl in her final years of school studying nutrition. She’s overly devoted to her boyfriend and at times can be seen as quite judgemental. She also brings a sense of vulnerability to the show, in terms of her dependence on her boyfriend and self worth.

Will she continue to be with her boyfriend or not? 


Kang Yi Na played by (Ryu Hwa Young)

The girl that has the attractiveness of a model, and knows how to use it as her weapon. She’s aware that the lifestyle she is in is publicly frowned upon, but she continues to do do. She’s blunt, knows what she wants but she too has a weakness within her.

Can a leopard change their spots? 


Yoon Jin Myeong played by (Han Ye Ri)

Due to financial issues Jin Myeong has had to postpone her studies multiple times & works part-time in order to pay her family’s debt. At first glance you might see her as an emotionless person, but she is someone who truly wants to live a simple happy life. Due to her struggles she feels she is unable to do the things she’s wanted to do.

Note: I love her minor romance style with the chef at her restaurant, she truly deserved some happiness writer 😦 

Will Jin Myeong be able to live the simple life she always wanted?


Song Ji Won played by (Park Eun Bin)

She’s the talker within the share house, and can sometimes be known as the super hyperactive one. It’s quite funny with her in that her main goal is to lose her virginity. You’ll laugh along with her on her countless dates. She ultimately brings the laughs with this show, however I feel that there’s possibly of more backstory to her than meets the eye.

Is there more to Ji Won than meets the eye? Will she find her man? (haha)


Last thoughts: 

Aside from this main introduction most of these girls each have a dark secret they’re holding. I really do hope all the girls find their chance to move on from her insecurities, worries and tragic past. With four episodes left remaining I wonder how their story will unfold, it’s a bit saddening though knowing it’s a 12 episode drama…. but it’s great so no complaints there. 

 

 

 

I’m a HSP??!!!

Yes, I have finally find out what I have been looking for. Over the years I’ve always wanted to figure myself out – it sounds funny, but being able to say yes it’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be weird and outside of the box.

For quite some time I was literally playing on the fence between which personality  type I was – I was always having trouble figuring out whether I was an INFJ, INFP or ISFJ. I became too irritated and concerned on finding the perfect label for myself. Even when going through the forums I still wasn’t so sure which one I was. Not until someone mentioned HSP. HSP stands for Highly Sensitive Person. I’m already getting an image of some non-hsp’s laughing at this or pretty much dismissing this as a “Stop labelling yourself” lol.

The traits that really stood off for me were:

  • Intolerance to caffeine: Although I love the taste of Coffee and Tea, I can’t drink too much of it. If I have any caffeine-related drinks past 1pm I would be completely awake until the next day. Having strong caffeine beverages in general turn me into a zombie haha.
  • Highly conscientious: Yes to that.
  • Avoidance of Violent/gory films/news: I like action, but once it gets to the point of non-stop chopping/slicing it’s too much. I depise horror, so that’s definitely a genre I can’t watch. It’s also been a few years since I’ve watched the news, I found I was turning more pessimistic and drained out from the world when watching it.
  • Love of music, art, fine tastes & sounds: I can talk about this all day (giggles)
  • Other people’s moods affect me:  Definitely, I remember a case where I had a friend who was incredibly down. Although I was eager to assist her, her energy drained everything out of me. It became too much, and my other friends noticed I was  mentally drained & unhappy as well.
  • Aware of subtleties in my environment, uncomfortable with loud noises: I remember often waiting outside of the auditorium prior to starting exams. It would be so terribly loud, and overwhelming seeing students chatter on about the exam. I would often be seen outside eating my sandwich and listening to music through earphones 😛

I could go on and on, but I think I should stop for now hehe.

There’s a lot of interesting test, quizzes and information on HSPs – that I could identify with. I’m glad I do because now I am able to have that extra support network, aside from family members and friends. I’m completely new to my realisation of being an HSP and look forward to meeting those that have similar traits ^^

What traits do you relate to? Do you have a HSP within your circle?

 

Un-Procrastinate This! #2

I wanted to give an update on what I’ve been using now, to get me started on being productive. Lately I honestly haven’t been using the Passion Planner as I would love to. I found it difficult to write down exactly what I was aiming to do , especially when there’s a  time constraint (6am to 10:30pm). I’m generally a late sleeper so a lot of space is not used.

I’m a great fan of the Passion Planner’s concept however became a little disappointed on the layout afterwards over time.

I came across a weekly time planner online, and it helps out a lot. At first I was online looking for the bullet journal, but found the actual journal on the pricey side and it was also sold out 😦

Revised Journal-ing Routine:

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  • Use of the ” The Weekly times” Weekly Planner
  • Use the “Bullet Journal” concept on the Weekly Planner

Passion Planner

  • Keep a spreadsheet of the Passion Planner’s “Passion Plan” * Free to download
  • Keep a monthly calendar for special upcoming events.

I’m sad that I’m not using the Passion Planner as much, however the free downloads are just amazing. I wish there was some way to combine the Passion Planner & Bullet Journal together. 

 

Skincare Review: Mamonde Total Solution Cream

Unfortunately I’m not a 10-step skincare user, my laziness and the fact that I’m always on a budget are the cause for that haha. However it doesn’t stop you from managing your skincare routine. One of the most important skincare routine items is the moisturiser – most moisturisers these days can be used during the day/night. When it comes to skincare items I would splurge on the moisturiser, then cleanser etc.

My favourite moisturiser at the moment is the Mamonde Total Solution Cream which I bought from W Cosmetics in Brisbane. The Mamonde brand is well known, and you will often see Korean actress Park Shin Hye endorse it.

Mamonde TSC

Pros:

  • Easy to use & comes in pump-action form
  • Sweet floral scent
  • Doesn’t leave my skin burning or irritated
  • Has a level indicator to tell you how much is left
  • Moisturising enough for winter (Australian winter btw lol)
  • A great night cream
  • It pumps out a little pea size amount so it’ll last for quite some time

 

Mamonde TSC2

Cons: 

  • You’ll need to let in soak into your skin, so it can be quite sticky.
  • If you have oily skin, I wouldn’t use it during the day.
  • Not as expensive as high end brands, but still quite pricey

 

Mamonde TSC3
Sorry >< love the b& w effect!!

Tips: 

  • Use it as a night cream – my skin feels so soft in the morning.
  • 2-3 pumps should be enough to cover the face