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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I got a gift card from my aunt for Christmas to MAC Cosmetics, and decided it was beyond time to use it. I had gone to my local MAC store for a concealer and eyeliner, but they didn't have the right colour in stock. So, I ordered it online. The online process was pretty standard and easy to navigate, which I appreciate considering how rubbish some companies can be. It didn't take long to ship and came in a big box (which seemed silly for two small items) but I guess it can be reused.

The first product I bought from MAC is the Mineralize Concealer. It's a great product with decent coverage, a creamy consistency, and a nice sheen. I've naturally got dewy skin (yay, youth!), so it looks very natural on me. From what I can tell it lasts all day, at least in cold weather. Maybe I'll do an update if it melts off in the summer. Regardless, I like this a lot. It's not too expensive for the coverage and size of container.

The second product I got was this Superslick Liquid Eyeliner in black. I've been having issues with a really runny liquid eyeliner, so I decided to give this a try. The brush makes application very easy, and creating very thin lines is a breeze. The formula is reasonably thick and highly glossy. It doesn't smear easily but flakes off, which I find much easier to work with. It's somewhat long lasting, as there were signs of wear after having it on all day. This is a pretty decent product, and I am glad I got it.

I like MAC a lot. It's kind of an in-between brand if you want better quality than drugstore but don't want to blow hundreds of dollars at Estee Lauder (or other designer brands). MAC is generally known more for their lipstick and eyeshadows, but their concealer is pretty darn good. I am not entirely certain if it knocks Lancôme from its place on the top, but it might. The brush applicator thing that MAC's concealer has is better than the weird fuzzy tip that Lancôme's has, and I feel like you can get more out of the tube that way.

Just a note:

 Remember that you really can't order foundation or concealer on the internet unless you know your colour already! The chances of ordering the wrong one is very high, and it would suck to have to send it back. Just go to a store or beauty counter if you're trying for that type of thing.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

For those of you who don't know, I've been dating this guy since my Sophomore year of high school. He doesn't really want to get talked about on this blog, so I'm just going to talk about what our relationship means to me today, since it's our third anniversary. 

I want to start out by saying that our relationship isn't perfect. Sometimes we bother each other, and sometimes we don't work out our differences. We've broken up before. But, we're together now because it makes us both happy. I couldn't ask for a better boyfriend, or friend for that matter. 

It's funny to think that we've been dating for three years. The reason I'm in Boston is largely because of him... but it's just not something we ever thought about when we started dating. When we started dating we were so much younger and less mature. At this point we've grown together, and it's amazing. 

On our first date, my boyfriend gave me a stuffed sheep. I had just gotten back from a school trip to Japan, and my boyfriend had just gotten back from New Zealand. I creatively named the sheep "Fluffy" and he's been my cuddle buddy ever since. Here's Fluffy in a silly top hat-- it was a gift from a friend.

Things that are cool about dating the same guy for three years....

Well, we've been dating for 1/6th of my life. 12.5%. That's quite a bit, when you're 18. 

We're really open with each other. We suck at keeping secrets from each other. We understand when things don't work out and companies apparently disappear off the internet, along with their anniversary gift (sorry honey). We are tolerate of each other's quirks but know when to call the other person out for their nonsense. It's fun to be with the other person. 

So honey, if you're reading this, I love you! 

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

I have to confess that my boyfriend and I don't really do Valentine's Day that well. Since his birthday, Valentine's Day and our anniversary fall within a ten day period, Valentine's Day gets played down. That being said, a cheap date is a great date and can be even more fun than a fancy dinner. Anyways, here are five cheap Valentine's Day date ideas for you and your sweetheart!

1) Window Shopping

Yes, this sounds silly. Who on earth wants to just wander around and look at shops? This date is probably better if you've been dating for a while. Window shopping is fun because 1) it's free and 2) it makes for lots of conversation. Window shopping can easily turn into people watching, wandering into a café, or getting lost together and finding your way out. It's a good date, I promise.

2)  Afternoon Café

If you're in a newer relationship or on the young side, going to a café for sweets and tea is much more low key and cheaper than going to an upscale place for dinner. Besides, nothing puts a girl in a better mood than sweets!

3) Indoor Picnic

It's super cold here in Boston, so a real picnic in the park is 100% out unless my boyfriend and I wanted to turn into snow-people. Indoor picnics are fun because you can have hot food, real utensils that you can wash up afterwards quite easily, and you can snuggle up under as many blankets as you want. I'm all for indoor picnics.

4) Cook Yourselves Dinner

Want a steak, but don't want to pay for one made in a restaurant? Great, cook it yourself. You'll save money and potentially go on an epic meal preparation that you'll laugh about for years to come. Since I'm Chinese I'd probably go for dumpling-making, which is not only fun, but delicious.

5) Lazy Movie Day

Movie theatres are crazy on Valentine's Day, and it's a total mystery to me. Why would you go somewhere where you can't talk to your date and the seats hurt your bum? Watch some painfully cheesy movies and be prepared to laugh the day away. Bonus points if you already have the movies, or use Netflix.

So, there's my Valentine's Day suggestions! Maybe I'll make a post for the single ladies who will be browsing blogs on Valentine's Day too... hmm.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

I don't know if you've heard, but Boston is getting a lot of snow these days. Normally here in the Boston area, we get hit pretty hard with 1-2 feet, it melts, and we don't get hit hard again for a while. This year we've had a large snow storm every week. The main issue isn't actually the snow falling-- Boston can handle a few feet. The problem now is that there's no-where to put the snow!

So far this semester we haven't had a full week of school, and since it's a stupidly expensive private school I'm starting to feel gypped.  My parents aren't too thrilled either obviously.

Since there's so much snow, you'd think I'd be a little more productive.

I have been, because I guest posted: check out EricaRosa!
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

 For better or worse, I have a tendency to see things with an extremely realistic point of view. Maybe it's from reading too many history books, but I'm inclined to not be completely cheery when it comes to humanity's actions. If you present me with a glass of water filled up only halfway, however, I would say the glass is half full. I'm not an intentionally negative person. I'm just not particularly positive either. 

People (mostly my mother) tell me to "be more positive" quite a lot. It's hard!

Since I've gone off to university, I've made a conscious effort to be more positive in daily life. For example, yesterday I went to a job interview. I don't have any experience related to the job I interviewed for (though interestingly, blogging is excellent "experience" due to the skills you gain), so I thought getting the job was going to be tough. If I had thought it was impossible due to my inexperience, I might not have done well in my interview. However, I made the choice to believe that the interviewer was going to give me a chance... and she did.

That's all I'm going to comment about regarding the interview, because I don't want blogging about it to risk me getting the job. I will say though that interviews are the best learning experience for young people. They really make you think, reason, and be the most respectable person you can be.

Being positive in a conscious choice I have to make, and it's one I don't mind making.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I'm looking for a part-time job. This is going to sound terrible, but since I haven't found any activities on campus that I absolutely love, I figured it would be best to try and make some money. Besides, I've never actually had a boss (I've always been a freelancer, including here on this blog), and I think it's about time I learn how to report to someone.

I've learned a couple of things about job hunting since I've started the process. Hopefully this information will be helpful to other first time part-time job hunters.

If you're rude to the person who is interviewing you, you're not going to get the job. Saying "please" and "thank you" is dying out, but you must be saying them when you're trying to get hired. Stand up when the interviewer walks into the room, and don't be on your phone at any point during the process.

There is no reason to lie to your future employer. If you don't have experience in something, that's fine! Admit it and say you'd like to learn that. Or explain how your other experiences help you with that skill. For example, I have never taken an order for a party of twelve, but I have dealt with a room full of preschoolers. Both require patience and multitasking skills. 

Make sure you ask your interviewer questions. While they may be looking to see if you are a good fit for them, you need to make sure you want to work for them. Why is this place hiring, anyways?

If you're anyone but yourself in an interview, you'll come across as really fake. Put on your best face, but don't put on an artificial one. This sort of goes along with "be honest", but it's more than that. Don't try to become the person you think the interviewer wants you to be. Be yourself, and if you're the right fit for the job, it will become clear to both of you. 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

If you are a new blogger, you are probably in the midst of learning lots of new things. Here are some super-basics that all bloggers should know when they first get started. As many people (especially new bloggers) use Blogger, I'm going to be demonstrating on this platform. I hope this is helpful!

1. Adding pictures to your blog. 

Everyone should know how to add pictures to their blog. Pictures tell a story!

Find the "picture" icon on the Blogger  tool bar thing.  It's in between "Link" and the video icon. I circled it here in red for you.

You'll get to this screen. If the image is on your computer (mine is), click on the  grey "choose files" button in the upper left hand corner. 

Locate your image and select it. Click "open" in the bottom left hand corner. 

The photo will load in until it shows up in your picture box. Make sure the photo is highlighted in blue, and hit the "add selected" box in the left hand corner. 


2. Hyperlinking

It surprises me constantly that people do not know how to hyperlink. Hyperlinking is pretty easy, and it makes blog posts look much prettier. No one wants to see a massive URL clogging up blog space. 

On your little Blogger tool bar thing, click on "Link". It's circled above, but its next to the highlight and the picture icon. 

A box like this will pop up. Fill in "text to display" with what you'd like your hyperlink to me. In the second box, put the URL of the link of interest. 

It will look somewhat like this. Also, look: hyperlinks are cool!  That link goes to my post on putting Instagram photos into your blog posts, which is a little complicated for a super-basics post. Feel free to check out that post though. 

3. How to schedule your posts

Scheduling your posts is a really cool feature that I didn't take full advantage of for quite possibly a good six months into blogging. Once you know how to schedule your posts, you can plan ahead for days when you know you'll be too busy to write. Alternatively, you can set posts to go up at a certain time of day (mine almost always go up in the morning). 

This funny list of options is hanging out on the right hand side of your Blogger work space. See how below "Labels' there is "Schedule"? Click on "Schedule". 

By default, it's set to "Automatic". Switch it over to "Set date and time".

This little calendar will pop up. Click on the date that you want your post to go up, and set a time in the little time box. By default it will show your current date and time... so make sure to change it. Hit "done". Once you do that, when you hit "publish", it will actually save and go up automatically. 

I hope these tips were helpful! These are quite basic Blogger features that may not be 100% common sense, or at least take a bit of time to get used to. You'll get the hang of this blogging thing eventually, I promise!

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Monday, February 2, 2015

After #USBloggerChat on Thursday night last week, a blogger asked me how I got my Instagram image into my blog post. I frantically tried to explain over tweet (which isn't that effective), and decided to write this post. Though she's got it sorted out now, I'm going to post this for anyone else trying to figure it out. It's pretty easy, wait and see!

First, go to your Instagram online. Your URL is 

... mine is natalie.mei

Next, pick a picture you want to put on your blog. I'm going to use this one from the time I made Hokkaido creme cupcakes. They were delicious, by the way. 

Now, see on the right hand side on the screen there's this big white box? If you get comments on your Instagram posts, they'd be there. On the very bottom there is a box with 3 dots in it. Click on it, and "Report Inappropriate" and "Embed" pop up. Don't report your own image. Do, however, click "Embed". 

Once you click "Embed" the screen goes dark and there's a box that pops up. There's lots of text stuff (that's magical HTML, for those of us who don't know what it means). Highlight it ALL and copy it. 

Now, come back to your Blogger work space thing. In the upper corner under your blog name, there's a two-part box. One side says "Compose" and the other side says "HTML". Click on "HTML" to switch over. Now, paste all that HTML stuff that you copied from Instagram into the box. It will look like this. You can paste it anywhere in your post, but make sure you don't mess with anything else. 

Switch back over to the "Compose" side of things on Blogger, and the image will be a giant grey box. I have no idea how to change the size of the image... but hey, at least your Instagram image is there, right? There's also no default "follow" feature, but your URL will be on the top left corner of your image so that's good enough. 

A photo posted by Natalie (@natalie.mei) on

And there's my image ^^

Should I do other little blogging tutorials? It's interesting to see what people know/don't know. I hope this was helpful and let me know which of my Instagram photos is YOUR favourite!
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