forever21 coupon, 21% off april 28, 2013 only

ONE DAY ONLY !  Sunday April 28 !  Enjoy !
I didn't look at the date and thought it was today (Apr. 17) and went to pick up a few things !  Only to discover that the coupon is effective tomorrow :-(  I went ahead and paid full price on 2 items anyway, because I'm afraid my size might be sold out come Sunday !!!
disclaimer:  *Employees of Forever 21 and their friends and family receive 21% off regular priced merchandise (before taxes are applied) on april 28, 2013 only. No minimum purchase required. Maximum purchase of $360 CAD (before taxes are applied) qualifies for the discount. Valid in-store only. Not valid online. Offer cannot be combined with any other coupons, discounts, offers, or promotions. Offer cannot be used for gift card purchases, returns, and sale items. Valid in all Forever 21 stores in Canada. Employee 10-day return and exchange policy applies to all items purchased by an Employee with this promotion. Standard Store Return Policy applies to all other customers' purchases. Offer may be redeemed by printing out this coupon, presenting the coupon on your mobile device, or presenting an Employee badge before commencement of the transaction. Forever 21 reserves the right to modify or cancel this promotion at any time without notice. See store for details.         

Link to coupon:
What I brought today:
I am not sure if I'm too "old" for tulle and especially tiered :-S  but the sea foam color is simply just too beautiful not to covet :-)  I might save it for my daughters :)  or not :P

PRELOVED FURNITURE: Local vintage and restored furniture shops

By happenstance, I discovered a host of niffty local shops.  These are vintage or home businesses that sells home decor accessories and upcycled/repurposed/ restored furniture.   Each piece is unique and one of a kind.  Some of the shops also offer custom made furniture from reclaimed wood.

Lately, rustic and industrial design are taking cover of all home design magazines .  I really like what I'm seeing.  My only wish is to have a room to call my own, to decorate it with all these beautiful treasures.  Each room in my house is spoken for and all of our furnitures are still somewhat new.  My kids did put a scratch here, a dent there, but they're not bad enough.  I need to speed it up :-)  I hope in a year or 2 we can refurnish our home with new pieces of furniture.  While waiting for that "plan" to come into fruition, I pass time by browsing these and other restorative sites; to feast my eyes upon pretty things, and to daydream :-) imagining the house, the room, the space where the furniture will live in.  Yes, my other favourite pass time is browsing, for character houses :-)  I will write a post on that later !

Below are some local sites worthy of a stop by, check out, and buy from:

4 the love of wood : vancouver

attic treasures : vancouver

chimney hill : south surrey

hand painted furniture : maple ridge

j&s reclaimed wood : vancouver

the heights : vancouver

the rustic collection : chilliwack

urban treasures :  new westminster

white wave vintage : surrey

today's highlight:  The sun was out since 6am and the weather is warm, not hot.  Kaila and I planted our vegetable garden.  We planted peas, green beans, and spinach. 

HOMEMADE : Recipes for natural easy home made cleaners

Since as long as I can remember, I'm a clean freak ! I hate the feeling of people's germs in our house (it's one of my neurosis :) so all of our furnitures are either wood or leather for easy cleaning. I try to 'deep' clean my house at least once a week. I don't want harmful chemicals in my house since I have a baby and a dog who both like to lick everything in sight and are spending a lot of time on the floor. So I went and googled around for non toxic and green cleaning ideas. Below is a list of recipes I found and used in our home:

All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1/2 tsp washing soda
- A dab of liquid soap
- 2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

If you're out of washing soda, use 2 1/2 tsp of borax, instead.

Creamy Soft Scrubber
Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.

Add 1 tsp of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise, just make as much as you need at a time.

Window Cleaner
- 1/4-1/2 tsp liquid detergent
- 3 tbs vinegar
- 2 cups water
- spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Oven Cleaner
- 1 cup or more baking soda
- water
- A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface it totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top, then let the mixture set overnight.
You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn't work for you it is probably because you didn't use enough baking soda and/or water.

Natural Drain Declogger
Pour about 1/2 of a cup of baking soda down the drain
Then pour about 1/4 cup of white vinegar or vinegar concentrate down the drain (foaming action will form to help clear the pipe)
Let stand at least 20 minutes and rinse with hot water.

* I also use this mixture (cut down portion in half) with some salt to clean and deordorize my kitchen sinks !

Mold Killer
- 2 teaspoons tea tree oil
- 2 cups water
- Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

*Vinegar is also a natural mold/bacteria/mildew/germs killer. I use it to disinfect baby K's toys and our kitchen. You can also add 1 cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle to remove odors.

breaking up is hard to do

If I was to personify it, Sean would be the name I'd pick.  Sean and I broke up last week.  It was due time for me to move on from our decade long relationship. 

It wasn't an over night decision.  It was something I've been giving a lot of thought on, for a while now.  Priorities in my life has changed.  Timing was right so I did what I did.  Still it was hard to move on because a bulk of my life was invested with Sean.  There were infamous summer camps (it always rained) and autumn church conferences.  There were sleepless nights stargazing by the lake, the amazing city race, the countless visits to Kelly O'Bryans, the many nights wandering on the beach, the basketball games in the pool at the Rec Ctr. followed by a meal at McD, the dangerous and painful game of U, tackle football, volleyball, capture the flag and many silly games we made up.  Who can forget disco & limbo dancing at A&V's trailer?  We've watched kids grow up and friends get married.  Without Sean, I don't know what will become of me.  I was cared for and accepted, it sure feels like an extension of my family.  And the best of it all, it was through Sean that I met my life partner C. 

Breaking up is never easy but sometimes necessary.  If people are growing in different directions, and after different goals, its best to let each other go.  Staying together can sometimes stunt ones personal growth.  I am glad God brought Sean and I together to achieve His plans and now has a new purpose, a new calling for each of us.  It's life, people come and people go, and life goes on.  I really like how a friend of mine put it, "For some, God calls them to venture out to break new ground. For some, God calls them to stick around to care and to cultivate for new growth.  Despite the pain of the break up, God can certainly restore, and more importantly, He will bring in new people to fill in fragments of the split".  I know the beginning stage will be hard for both of us to adjust.  But trust in that God is faithful and if we allow Him to lead us, we will blossom and our life will be fruitful.  God has a plan for each of us and His plan is always good.  I surely will reminisce all the good times and will tell my children of them.  It was a great chapter and I can't wait to see what's next.


How to curl your hair without curling iron

So I've been asked about my wavy hairs one, two, hundreds of times now !  From friends, to collegues, to the sales ladies at the mall, to strangers on the street !  people even stopped me while crossing on the cross walk to ask "what type of curling iron do you use ?" or the ever famous "Is your hair real ?".   I'm glad to report I finally have time to do a post on this !

I was born with dry, unruly, coarse hair.  It requires a meeting with the hair straightener or curling iron every morning to make it look presentable for the day.  After a while, I noticed the heat from the hair styling tools are killing my hair (no duh right ?).  My hair lost its shine, it was dry and brittle.  I realized I have to stop using the curling iron before it gets worse !  I started to switch to hair rollers, then those bendable wave rods. They worked, but was time consuming and uncomfortable.  I can't wear them out in public and can't sleep with them on.  I then decided to braid my hair before I go to sleep.  After a night of rest, the braids gave my hair some waves but it's not the soft wave like what a curling iron can do. 

I was about to give up on it all then I remembered that whenever I put my hair in a bun, when I undo it, my hair takes on some nice wave.  I decided to play around with the hair elastic then scrunchies.  And after a few trials and errors, I came up with a technique to help me curl my hair without the use of a curling iron or rod !!!  Whooo hooo !  I now have hair with soft curly waves without the damaging heat.  It's takes me 5-7 min. to do my hair before I go to sleep and when I wake up, I literally have beautiful waves after removing the scrunchies.  Not to mention crazy hair volume  !!!  I now pretty much just get up & go !  I've added at least 1 hr back into my sleep :)

As a mother of 2 rambunctious kids, this hair-bun-curl has saved me from looking more frumpy than I already am !  Yes, I'm a black-tight & over-size-shirt kind of mama !  Frumpy but super happy :-)

Any who, I've been doing this bun-wave thing way over 10 years now and have similar result everytime so hopefully you will get same or better hair result !!! 

How to curl your hair without curling iron ?  What you will need:

- fabric hair scrunchies
- medium-long hair :-)

It's important to have a FABRIC hair scruchies.  Avoid the shiny/satiny fabric.  You want a sturdy, coarse fabric hair scruchies because it grips your hair best.  You can pick one up from the $ dollar store or any department store.  If you can't find one, cut out a piece out of the leg of an old pair of stocking or an old sock (the stretchy part).  About 3 or 4 inches in height.  Mine is homemade (made with suede like fabric) because, well, my hair is really thick ! 

Disclaimer: The result will vary from person to person. Factors effect the result are hair type (thick, thin, coarse, soft), hair scrunchies, and hair length. 

****please bear in mind that this is simply a tip I'm sharing you !  I'm not a pro. so I can't do a time lapse video showing me putting hair in bun, sleep, and removing it !!!  And I've received all your suggestions for better quality photos and videos.  I'm not ignoring them, just don't have the time nor desire to do it.   I have a life too  :)  It's a pretty easy & straight forward tip.  If you still need help, yes please feel free to contact me !!  Thanks & good luck :-)

1.  Wash and completely dry your hair !  If your hair is the hard-to-take-shape type of hair, 
only dry your hair like 80%, leave it a little damp.
My hair is quite long.  Hair type is thick and coarse.

2.  Pull hair all up in a semi-tight HIGH pony tail with hair scrunchies.  Adjust to make sure the hair bun sits on the highest point of your head, but not too far back that you can't lie to sleep uncomfortably.  This is to prevent kink in the waves.

3.  Part the pony tail into 2 equal parts

4.  Hold onto the mid part of right half of the parted pony tail with 1 hand, while the other hand grab hold on the hair scrunchies at the base of it, and stretch out to expand it
Then take the hair your're holding, tuck it under the hair scrunchies & pull up and out.  You now have one roll of hair wrapped in the hair scrunchies.  Working your way towards the front of the head, repeat this again until you wrap all your hair in the hair scrunchies.

5.  Do the same to the other half, the left half, of the pony tail.  When done, the finished result should look like a round bun. 

After wrapping all my hair into the hair scrunchies, I would then to go sleep
:-D  The bun is high up so when I lay down on the pillow, it sits above my head ! my head isn't laying on the bun !  This allow me to sleep comfortably !!!  My hair needs at least 3 hours in the bun to take on a soft wavy look.  The longer I leave it the wavier it gets.

After a night of sleep:

6.  Start with one side, take out each hair loop from the scrunchies, starting from the front and work your way back.

7.  When both side of the "bun" is taken out, then remove the hair scrunchies
After removing the hair scrunchies, comb through hair with fingers

Back picture of my hair, it looks better in life ! This iphone pic. doesn't do it justice at all :(

Ta da !!!  Wish I have time to do my hair properly and put on some make up to give you a better "AFTER" picture :)  but with a newborn & a toddler, time is a commodity! this will suffice for now!

My hair will stay like this all day, maybe just a bit relaxed by night time.   I don't use any hair product as I don't like them.   If you tried this and didn't work, don't give up !!!  try using a different hair scrunchies or leave your hair a little damp or put on some mousse before wrapping it around the hair scrunchies.  If your hair doesn't hold shape well, you might want to spray on some hairspray after to make the wave lasts.  Once you find what works for you, it will be really easy. 

Good luck !!!

Update:  since many of you told me to do a video because step 4 is confusing !  here it is:

If you have any question or feedback, please email me ! 

lip service

lip service :  an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction

I once know a guy who can pretty much talk any girl into liking him.  His personality is alright, ok look wise, doesn't have a lot going on, but boy oh boy, he can talk the hottest girl into going out on a date with him.  I'm often amaze at his ability and wonder what the others see in him.

I'm never a girl who buy into what people say to me.  I'm cautious when it comes to words, especially pretty words !  And what that friend of mine has is a huge vocabulary of words that can melt many girl's hearts.  He never has to do anything to gain their favour, he's just really all talk and it works pretty much most of the time !  It is very easy to take in sweet words (especially for many of us women, because we're hopelessly romantic), and believe they are true and meaningful.  With the right look, the right touch, paired with the right words, they have the ability to make a girl feels pretty, wanted, cared for and desired. 

Sincerity:  the virtue of one who speaks and acts truly about his/her own feelings, thoughts, and desires.

Here's how I see it, other than in the beginner boy/girl relationship, in our every day life, we all have done it > say what we don't mean to get what we want, to get others to agree with us, to get others to like us.  Being nice is way easier than being honest.  Being honest takes effort and sincerity.  And let's face it, sincerity is a rarity nowaday.  Pretentious people are a dime a dozen !  But being kind and nice doesn't mean you have to sugar coated your words before they leave your lips.  An honest suggestion or advice paired with heartfelt sincerity goes a long way.  It's much more appreciated !  at least by me anyways.

Proverbs 12:19 has this "Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment".  This quote talks about truth withstand times and lies are temporary dressed as "truth", and will be soon be unveiled as what it is.  It also talks about one's reputation too.  Can we be counted on to share our honest thoughts and opinions ?  are our words cheap and false or are they thoughtful, filled with love and encouragement ?  As a follower of Christ, I desire to be someone that is wise with words.  I pray God will continue to shape into a person that brings glory to Him.  I am guilty of occaisionally play down my true conviction, and at times, too honest, that my words are hard to digest.  But those who know me, know my heart harbor no ill intentions.  

There's a woman I once know, who would shower me with compliments whenever we crossed path.  Even on days I look so crappy and I know it, yet she still find ways to compliment my look.  I noticed though, that her eyes aren't agreeing with her lips.  Perhaps that's the reason why we never got pass more than "aquaintance".  I never taken any of her comments to heart because, 1, it's careless, recycled compliments :-(  and 2, it's so misleading !!!  To tell anyone anything far from the truth is detrimental to the person receiving it, in my opinion.

So, how do you shift through the knocked off to find the genuine ?  The best way to know if someone is worth your time and frienship is to pay attention to their action.  Because actions are good indicators of who the person truly is.  They are motivated by what the person is convinced is true in their heart.  How they think of you is shown through their action.  Sure someone can fake it too but rarely can they keep it up.  Like a verse, "a lying tongue lasts only a moment".  Their true face will always ALWAYS come out into light - if you care to pay attention.