Thursday, September 21, 2017

Forget what you've heard about brazilian waxes - an honest bikini waxing experience

Do you cringe when people mention bikini waxes? The thought of all that pain as the esthetician rips the hair out of one of your most sensative area?

That was me several years ago... hell, that was me up until a few months ago! I thought that any type of bikini waxing would hurt beyond belief... I remember one of my professors telling me she tried it once and never again because the pain she felt was bad as giving birth as she described it. Yup...

A few months ago, I thought - why not try it? I thought, if I could survive getting tattooed, maybe a wax isn't too bad? I mean, it beats trimming it every few days so I guess you can say my laziness got the best of me.

Next thing I knew, I was on Yelp looking at all the highly rated waxing salons and decided to book my first one with Ann-Marie at Frilly Lilly.

Painless is one of my most favourite words, and everyone who went to Frilly Lilly basically called their waxing experience painless. 


However painful you thought waxing was - it's actually only half as bad.

Yes, it's bad in some spots, but it's true that the more you go, the quicker and painless it'll get.

It's honestly wasn't too bad. If I had to give it a rating, it'll be a 3 or 4 out 10. When she put the first strip of wax on and took it off shortly, it didn't hurt a bit. I honestly had to confirm with her if she started already or not.

Of course, as she worked her way in, it got a bit more sensative and a bit more painful, especially the patch of hair above your lady bit and closer to the lips. But it's not as bad as how society made it out to be. Comparing it to giving birth? I mean, I haven't given birth yet but I wouldn't go as far as comparing it to child birth. Is it one of the most painful experiences you'll ever experience? No. I cried when I got my ears pierced! That was the most painful memory I've had thus far.

I believe the stigma of painful waxing stems from those who used soft wax (?) - basically, the wax that needs to be taken off with a strip of cloth or something. Hard wax is when the wax hardens up shortly after placing it on your skin. I was told the hard wax hurts less because it's actually tugging at the hairs rather than on your skin. It stung more when she waxed the peach fuzz on my inner thighs and my happy trail.

Oddly enough, the butt? Painless. Virtually painless. I promise.


The first time, it took about 30-35 minutes because she took her time explaining the procedures and giving me post-wax tips. My regular 5 weeks out sessions generally takes about 20-30 minutes, and of course, getting faster and faster each time.

If you're like to me, scared of what society has been saying about bikini waxes - ignore them. It honestly wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how bearable the entire procedure was!

If you're really considering booking an appointment, here's some tips that I found helpful during my first few times:
  • Do your research. I spent a lot of time on Yelp glancing at reviews before I felt comfortable booking an appointment with Frilly Lilly. It seems silly to read reviews about a salon, but given that you're stripping half naked and letting someone see, view and cause you physical pain... I'll like to choose a place that's highly raved about. 
  • Take two painkillers. They help managed my pain a bit and calmed me down... I  guess I viewed painkillers as another layer of protection from the actual pain - if that makes sense.
  • It's okay to fork out a few $$$. Frilly Lilly was expensive... after tips, my waxing came out to be about $70 or so. I decided to continue going to Filly Lilly for a few more sessions before switching to another salon that offered hard waxing for only $52. 
  • Choose hard wax salons. Hard wax is the key to a painless bikini wax! 
  • Wear a lightweight t-shirt or dry-fit. You're going to sweat because of it's a bit painful. So wear something that won't show your sweat stains when you leave the salon. 
  • Do it for yourself. Groom for yourself - not because some man told you to. 
If you're a local, check out Frilly Lilly at 1076 Hamilton Street in Yaletown!

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Day at the PNE



The Fair at the PNE is an annual fair that is opened during the last few weeks of August and September. It's also tied to Playland, Vancouver's amusement park that opens a few months earlier than The Fair.

(Fun fact: while writing this entry, I found a trivia fact about Playland. It's the oldest amusement park in Canada.... oldest!)

To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday (insane that Canada is that young, eh?), visitors pay only $1.50 to enter the park if they're wearing red and/or have a maple leaf. Dan wore his only red t-shirt and I have a maple leaf tattoo.

After years of not attending, coming back to The Fair and Playland brought back a lot of memories, mostly from my youth. The rides, the foods, the venues - all reminded me of my childhood days when my Dad would bring my brother and I to Playland and we'll just hit all the rides while my Dad waited patiently or lined up in other rides for us.

We decided that we only wanted to check out a few rides, mainly the classic wooden rollercoaster and a few other casual rides. We opted not to buy the general pass for all the rides because we weren't in the mood for majority of the rides, and to my disappointment, Playland decided to get rid a lot of rides so the amusement park downsized quite a lot.

Just about to ride the wooden rollercoaster, the oldest rollercoaster in Canada!
 
The last time I was on the rollercoaster was when I was a kid with my brother. The steepest drop nearly flung me out of the seat and I was gripping on for my life. It was enjoyable, nonetheless, but it really scared me to the point where I was cool to skip the ride for the next few times. That day was the first time I rode on the rollercoaster since my childhood. 

The drop was just a reminder of my childhood fear. I was gipping on the bar like my life depending on it - I flew off the seat but wasn't as high off the seat as when I was a kid. Dan was acting cool and taunting me but eventually took his arm off me and gripped the bar as well. 

Aside from the wooden rollercoaster, we also rode the Musical Express (which is my favourite ride), and some kiddie swing ride.

Dan trying to win me a stuffed animal :P
During our time at the Fair, we also checked out the market place where I got the comfiest leggings a woman can ever wear... more on that later, though. 

We caught the SuperDogs show and the RCMP Musical Ride. I didn't take much footage of it, and I sort of wish I did so I can share it with you guys... but, basically, SuperDogs was the cutest thing ever - just a show of talented dogs doing obstacle courses. There was this one dog that eventually called it quits and just stole one of the wooden sticks and ran off stage from the owner. 

The RCMP Musical Ride was a performance by the RCMP on their horses. They'll perform amazing choreography while riding their horses. 



There was also a farm in The Fair as well and we caught a selfie with the cutest goat! They had a pig race going on around the time we stopped by as well. This farmer trained a pig to act and perform like a dog - playing fetch, kisses, and calling it by its name... very cool to see!


So, happy Monday and have a great week! I miss the fun of Playland and The Fair already (although, my wallet wasn't too keen on that day)...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Story of Us


This is a very cliche title, and I hate it. So, you and me both have to suffer through this cringe-worthy title post until one of us comes up with a better title.

I think it's with safe measures to introduce someone special in my life without me having to become a 33 years old newlywed next week (read Sam). Trust me, after that blew up, I'm playing it on the safe side before I announce anything.

This is Dan and he's my boyfriend. He's a few years older than me and is a personal trainer (yuuuuus)... For those who have followed me/us on Instagram or see us on Facebook but don't know how we came about, well... it's story time.

Ready? Got a cuppa in hand? (<--- that means cup of tea in British slang).

As everyone knows, I used to work at a gym. In the late summer of 2016, I left that job in pursuit of a recruiting assistant position to kickstart my career. Shortly after I left, my manager decided to hire a few more staffs and Dan was one of them.

I remember the first time I saw Dan when I stopped by the gym a few days after starting my new job - I saw him for a few seconds and was immediately curious about him; however, I saw him as I was exiting the gym so I didn't stick around to inquire or anything. During this time, I was also casually seeing Sam (oh boy, are you guys in for a treat when I talk about Sam). On a few of our dates, Sam and I would go biking on the seawall and I still got free bike rentals from the gym, despite not working there anymore. One evening, we took the bikes out past 8pm (the closing time for the bike shop) so I had to go into the gym to ask for the keys to the shop next door.

Dan was standing at the front desk, studying from a textbook when I came in and asked for the keys. He was focused on his book but it was the first time I got a glimpse of him and boy, my curiousity from the first time I saw him just kicked into full gear. Now, you're probably thinking, Claire, you're seeing Sam... wth? and yes, while I was seeing Sam and he was great and cute, I was still accepting a few things that typically turns me off from a guy. I think the fact that I was never fully 100% attracted to Sam made me eye Dan when I technically shouldn't have. At this point, I think I also texted a few a girls to ask who the new guy was.

Sam and I were no longer a 'thing' shortly after in mid-September... and while it did bruised me a bit, I got over it within a week. September, I also finished my undergrad as well and my parents decided it'd be a fun trip to head over to China for a month.

Let's fast forward through October 2016 where I was overseas for a month.


After my trip in November, I realized - I'm jobless, broke, and need money to pay bills asap. My recruiter gig didn't work out for me because it was commission-based and really boring. The gym was the only resort left that would allow me to get a job asap. After a bit of debating, I sucked up my ego and went down the gym to ask the new manager about getting my job back. Luckily, he was looking to hire and he knew of me.

When I walked out of that meeting with the new manager, I instantly texted Madison and Kat and asked about Dan - mainly if they knew he was single or not. And, to make sure he wasn't talking to another girl.

Their response? "Dan's the most single guy on this earth that I know".

Score!

Now, when I see someone I really like and want to get to know, I'm not shy or afraid to make conversation. I really had my eyes out for Dan so during the first two weeks of working at the gym again, I talked to Dan. We made conversation and we got to know each other. I was literally having a school girl crush on him, and I haven't felt this way about someone in ages - we're talking about full on blushing and butterflies in your stomach.


We flirted a bit throughout work as well. And, yes, I like to meet people at work because hell, where else would I meet potential dates? At one point, it was Laura's birthday party and he said he would come after the UFC fight. He stopped by briefly for a moment to see everyone and wish Laura a happy birthday before leaving. I was upset, not going to lie because I was looking forward to seeing him there. When I asked him about that night later, he said his best friend was drunk AF, and he felt ditching the two of them. Fair enough, I supposed.

On Remembrance Day, I asked Dan out to the Christmas Market. I remember this day because I was working a bank holiday. He came in for a workout around noon-ish and all I could remember was smiling like an idiot and blushing when he came in. I casually asked him to the Christmas Market which was two weeks away and he agreed. A few moments after that, I realized... well, shit... I gotta wait two weeks to go on this date with him.

Sometime mid next week, I found followed Dan into the staff room - I was getting off work and he was having another food break. I have a sushi tattoo on my inner arm and when I took off my uniform jacket, he got a glimpse of it and we eventually talked about our mutual love for sushi.

He asked me if I wanted to go grab some lunch this weekend with him. Umm... why not?! We made plans but at that time, his phone was broken so he technically didn't have a working phone so we never exchanged numbers. He said, "I'll add you on Facebook.... I'll just find you through Kat's friends list or something."

So, I waited. And waited. And waited. It was at night time when he sent the friend request and I honestly couldn't stop smiling over that little notification that popped up... it's so silly, isn't it? I texted the girls and Kat said, "It's literally just a friend request...", but it felt like an exchange of numbers seeing as it's his way of communicating.

A day before Saturday, and then a few hours before meeting up, I was extremely nervous. I thought he would bail out, or took this lunch thing as a friends only because... who goes on lunch dates? Friends do. Not romantic partners. The girls reassured me that Dan is a nice guy and someone that follows through with plans and wouldn't bail or stand me up. They also told me that Dan likes me and it's definitely not a friends thing.

#OOTD for date.
Our first date was over brunch at Trattoria because the sushi spot was closed for lunch (lame). Everyone at work knew about our date. He asked to hang out some more throughout the week until the weekend rolled around, aka the weekend of the Christmas Market, our original first date.

That weekend, he was working so I stopped by the gym around the time when he'd be off. The Christmas Market was help upstairs so it was fine. When I came by, he was surprised. It turns out, he wasn't aware we were going to the market... I mean, he knew we were at some point but he didn't know it was this weekend. But, he dropped all his plans and agreed to come out with me.

Here's the kicker: before entering the market, he pulled me aside. He said something along the lines of "I like you, but I don't want anything serious. I want to see you exclusively but just nothing serious."

Let me tell you - my disappointment was through the roof at that moment. I put on a smile and nodded but it left me disappointed. You know how many times I've heard that from someone that I liked? It sucks. It sucks even more when you really wanted to date this guy.

I mean, we still had a great time at the market. He was the first one of us to ask to take a selfie (on the carousel)... which also got me extremely confused seeing as you normally don't want to take a picture after telling the girl you don't want anything serious...

First picture together at the Christmas Market.
Girls talk. We do. I talked to the girls at work about the incident and the unison response was, "...what? That makes no sense... How can he ask to see your exclusively without it being serious?"

That sentence boggled me for the longest time. Colleagues that worked with him longer than I have told me that it's probably a miscommunication mixed with emotions and awkwardness. One of them even suggested I don't waste any time with him anymore because he just wasn't serious.

(When asked about this later, he agreed that it was a miscommunication).

In December, I met his best friends and they're a great bunch of people. I don't think I've ever clicked with any of my previous exes' friends like this. At times, I still feel like I'm an outsider but for the most part, they've accepted me into their group and I'm so blessed and fortunate to call these people friends as well.

We moved in together in March 2017 when his roommate left abruptly. It was good timing as well because at that point of my life, I was looking to move out but didn't want to live with a complete stranger and none of my friends were moving out either.

I eventually came to meet his brother and father as well. He met my mum too.

We then signed a lease together in May 2017.

And now, we're due to celebrate our one year anniversary in November 2017!

tldr: Dan and I met at work and started dating in November 2016. We moved in together in March 2017. Signed our first lease together in May 2017. Going to celebrate our one year anniversary in November 2017.

Ladies, if you see someone you like - don't ever hesitate to make the first move!

Monday, August 21, 2017

My trip to Boston, Massachusetts

 

Remember when I went to Boston? Yeah, I nearly forgot because it felt like ages ago... meaning this blog post has been looooooooong overdue.

Boston, Massachusetts has always been on my travel bucket list... actually, cross that out. Literally. Salem, Massachusetts was the place I've always wanted to go as a kid, after watching a segment on witch hunting on Mystery Hunters (y'all remember that show on YTV?).

I remember coming back from my New Zealand trip wanting to travel more. The next thing I knew, I was looking into the East Coast and airline tickets while at work. I eventually settled on Boston because the airline tickets were so affordable and within budget.

That day, I took a Greyhound bus down to Seattle to catch my flight from Sea-Tac. Usually when I travel to a State, I prefer to go down to Seattle and catch a domestic flight, rather than fly internationally because of cost. However, if the cost of saving isn't significant, I'd skip out on the hassle of catching a bus down there.

Let me tell you about this - I forgot about the length of the journey AND the time difference. I ended up spending an entire day travelling via bus and planes. I did save a couple of hundred dollars but it was brutal... I remember how miserable and cranky I felt, and so, so tired.

That feeling of luckiness and blissfulness of having no one sitting beside you on the flight.
I think I eventually landed in Boston (after an hour or so layover in New Jersey) in the early mornings of 10ish. I checked in at HI Boston Hostel and all I wanted to do was take a nap because I was so tired from all that traveling. But, the idea of a new city gave me energy to quickly settle in and hit the town. If anyone's looking at Boston, I really recommend HI Boston Hostel for accommodation - the place was clean, modern, friendly staff and so conveniently located to Downtown, shops and transit.

Chinatown was first as it was the neighbourhood adjacent to the hostel. Something about Chinatowns is always a place to visit for me when I travel because it holds a lot of cultural history (and cheap foods).


I eventually wandered off towards to the downtown of Boston. I can't say I was very impressed by it - by the looks of what I remembered, it looked like any other downtown with high buildings and men in suits.

During my walk around downtown, I did come across this public fountain with animal heads as statues.






My walk led me towards Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall and my god, if I were to live in Boston, I'd be coming down here on a regular basis. It was so vibrant, filled with shops and delicious foods, and entertainment.

A lot of these shops were independent mom & pop shops which means that anyone looking to grab a souvenir for someone, check the stores out at this marketplace. It's a bit pricier than chain souvenir shops but the uniqueness and quality of it is worth it.




Inside Quincy Market.
Just before heading off onto the Freedom Trial, I remember sitting by the docks of Boston and glazing over the East Coast. It was a cloudy day but it was one of the most beautiful things ever... just vast amount of ocean surrounded by old brick buildings.

I never thought much about the East Coast but this oceanview changed my opinion.

 


The Freedom Trail is essentially a self-guided tour of the city. As a history buff, I loved seeing original and historical buildings and learning about the Revolution. A volunteer gave me a map of the Freedom Trail but I think I eventually went off course because it was leading me into a part of town I didn't fancy attending and a lot of people were saying the "important" stops on the Trail was central to downtown.








I also ended up in the Boston Common which was a pretty park... nothing spectacular, though. But, I'd admit - this is much more entertaining than Central Park in NYC.





Boston Common was across the street from the main shopping street and, um... let me just tell you my joy of seeing Primark in Boston. I follow a lot of UK bloggers and they're always raving about Primark this and that, and even some Irish friends were telling me how great Primark was. I finally got to see the store for myself (the Hello Boston! picture at the beginning of this post was taken at Primark) and absolutely loved it.

Think Forever 21 but about 30-50% cheaper, messier and more chaotic. I don't think I've ever seen clothes that cheap on a regular basis. However, as tempted as it was to purchase as much clothes as my luggage can fit, I only grabbed a few things as most of the items weren't my style.

This ain't Primark but Payless was right next door and couldn't resist checking what they had in store.
And, of course, the sole reason why I happened to show up at Boston was to visit Salem, Massachusetts.

I didn't drive to Salem; instead, I took one of their trains and it took about half an hour or so? I can't remember but I did remember it was quite quick.


Salem's info center.
I honestly felt like I wanted to cry when I got off the train and saw Salem. You guys have no idea how long I've dreamt about visiting Salem and seeing history with my own eyes. While I was making my way into town, I couldn't help be feel so blessed and lucky to be able to afford an opportunity to chase one of my childhood dreams.

Salem was everything I ever imagined and more. It was a nice little town with a bit of magic to it. It was historical, rich, and tainted with horror. It was like, being transported back into time for a brief moment. It's amazing how a town like Salem was a mere train ride away from Boston.

One of the gravestones in the Memorial Park.

Jonathan Corwin's house - the only standing structure with direct links to the Salem Witch Trials.


A Bewitched statue - never saw the movie, though. Very cute!


 



There were a lot of witch museums, all with its own unique aspects. My best recommendation is just use judgement on which one to visit because ultimately, they're all about the same.

While in Salem, I also went to visit Nathaniel Hawthorne's birthplace. It was such an unique experience and highly recommended to anyone in the area - even if you're not a Hawthorne fan.



A feather pen used by Hawthorne... insane, isn't it?!

'murica.







Just standing the backyard of Nathaniel Hawthorne's home, no biggie... jks. The birth house was relocated to this location. I believe his original house was just a block away from the museum, though.
Alas, my trip to Boston was coming to an end (in case you haven't figured it out yet, I spent a few days here :P). On my last day, I went to visit Harvard and MIT before catching the bus to New York.



It's honestly like a castle....


So, watch out for my next post on NYC! Boston has been a great experience and I would definitely come back here in a heartbeat. There were a few things I haven't gotten to experience yet but looking forward to this beautiful coastal city again.

I did also thought about moving out to Boston but overheard a few people complaining about the housing prices - curious, I did a quick search, and Boston is rated about the highest in America?

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you ever been to Boston or not and what you think about the place!
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