Reship Review

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I wanted to quickly review a mail forwarding service, called Reship that I used for the first time not too long ago. Reship is a service that you can use to ship items internationally to avoid high shipping costs, or you can use Reship to shop online at stores that don’t generally offer shipping to your country.

I was recently looking at a beautiful Tory Burch tote online, that retailed for $295.00 before taxes and shipping. I wanted to see what the final cost of it would be if I shipped it to Canada, more specifically, Winnipeg. So I signed up to receive the Tory Burch E-newsletters, and added the tote to my cart, and went through all of the prompts and filled out my personal information. When I got to the last step before actually paying, my total ended up being $372.00!!! That’s over $70.00 in just fees, taxes and shipping… Whereas, standard shipping from Tory Burch to anywhere in the United States is $4.00. This is what made me want to start shopping around for a reliable mail forwarding service. After looking online for a bit I finally decided on Reship. I decided that for my first order through Reship, I was going to place an order for something fairly cheap, and was only going to spend an amount of money, that I was willing to lose if, for some reason Reship lost my package, or it ended up being a weird scam. So I signed up.

There was a flat rate fee of $5.00 just for signing up. No big deal. After the sign up process, you’re given a U.S. Mailing Address, and you’re prompted to fill out your profile, which includes the address to which Reship should ship your items once they receive them, and the credit card to which they can charge their fee per package. On September 13th, 2014, I ordered a bracelet from a website called Max & Chloe for, $35.00. The Max & Chloe website charged me $4.95 to ship my bracelet to my Reship address in Portland, Oregon. Once Reship received my package on September 19th, they notified my by email. I logged onto my Reship account and by clicking on the “Outgoing Orders” tab, I was able to see that Reship had in fact received my bracelet! So, the next step was to start the shipping process to my home address. To ship this one package, Reship charged me a flat fee of $5.00 for handling the parcel, next, I had to pay for actual shipping from Reship to my home address, and for this they gave me the following six options:

  • USPS – USPS First Class International (Estimated up to 90 Days) – $11.75 (I picked this one because it’s obviously the cheapest)
  • USPS – USPS Priority International (Estimated 7 – 10 Business Days) – $30.96
  • DHL – DHL Express Worldwide (Estimated 2 – 5 Business Days) – $26.83
  • UPS – UPS Standard Standard (Estimated 7 – 10 Business Days) – $25.66
  • FEDEX – FedEx International Economy (Estimated 5 – 7 Days) – $45.78
  • FEDEX – FedEx International Priority (Estimated 2 – 5 Business Days) – $52.37

The intention behind me using a mail forwarding service was to save money, so I obviously went with the cheapest shipping option for $11.75. I received my bracelet in the mail today, October 8th, 2014, which makes for a total of 25 days (weekends and all) of waiting. I spent $21.70 in total on shipping for this one bracelet. Today I actually checked the Max & Chloe website just to see what they would charge for shipping straight to Canada, and it was $22.00 and some change… LOL. Sorry I had to laugh at myself because I thought I was saving so much money. Evidently not. Also, when I logged onto my Reship account to verify that they had received my bracelet, before shipping it, the website had me note the monetary value of the package, so naturally I put $35.00, so I’m thinking that Reship may charge you shipping and or fees based on what you’re shipping, and how much it costs. Who knows? I’m not about the ship a different items of different weight and value just to find out. All in all, the entire order went well, I just felt like I waited a long time to get my bracelet. I did contact Reship once through email to ask a question and they got back to me within 24 hours, so their response time was great.

Anyone ever use a mail forwarding service? Any suggestions on another company I could use for next time?

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Minnesota & North Dakota

It’s been a long time since I last blogged, and a long time since I was actually on this road trip, so I’m writing this entry purely from memory, ticket stubs and poorly taken photos from my iPhone! I went on this road trip with my mom, boyfriend, mom’s best friend, and mom’s best friends 9 year old son.

Johnny did all the driving… What a trooper. We were initially supposed to rent a van, but it was going to cost us almost $1000.00 so we took my brothers pickup truck instead. We left on the morning of July 26th, 2014 and started our four hour drive towards Fargo, North Dakota. There, we stopped at West Acres Mall, and had lunch. I had Taco John’s for the first time which was like any other Mexican, fast food place. Surprise, surprise. After lunch we drove another three-ish hours to Albertville, Minnesota to shop at the Albertville Premium Outlets. I’m almost positive that I only bought a black tulip skirt, and a white cotton and lace cardigan from a store called Pebble Boutique. We shopped until the outlet was closed and then drove just under an hour to our hotel, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Northwood Inn & Suites. This hotel was cheap to stay in, but everything about the hotel was less than great. We would ask for clean towels or extra toilet paper and a lot of the time, the hotel staff would say that they didn’t have any or that they were “running low” so it always seemed like a huge issue asking for things. Also, the hotel says they provide “complimentary breakfast” but it’s really only pre-packaged, over sugared, danishes, coffee, tea, and juice. Our sheets were only changed once, during our five night stay with them, and they never vacuumed the carpet. One of the only plus sides of staying at this hotel, was that we were less than five minutes from the Mall Of America.

On our first full day in Minneapolis, Johnny and I went to watch our first MLB game! We watched the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox! We got two amazing seats for just over $120.00. Johnny and I wanted the full American, baseball experience so we bought beer, other drinks, and all the kiosk food that we could eat. I also got a “meal in a cup” which is a caesar, plus your choice of either a mini burger or bratwurst! Also, any time I’ve ordered a caesar while in the United States, they always give me a beer! Which I guess is supposed to complement the caesar somehow, which is amazing, because it’s like getting a free drink. In Winnipeg, if you order a caesar, you only get a caesar, and you might get a good stick of celery, if you’re lucky.

The next day, we went to the Minnesota Zoo, which took us a total of five hours to get through. Lots of walking, bathroom breaks, and stops for ice cream and snacks. I also RODE A CAMEL! It was $6.00 for a ride that lasted two minutes tops, but it was so fun! The zoo in general was beautiful and had so many different things to see and do. One of my favourite parts was the butterfly garden. After walking all day at the zoo, we went to the mall and had dinner at the Cadillac Ranch. I ordered a steak, and these fries called “loaded fries” that I can’t stop thinking about. They were perfectly cooked, and had bacon, cheese and green onions on them.

On the day of July 29th, Johnny took me to see the “Barbie –  The Dreamhouse Experience” exhibit that was happening at the mall. It was extremely exciting, and extremely pink. I was the only girl in the exhibit that was over the age twelve, that was not accompanying someone under the age of twelve. And Johnny, being the best boyfriend ever, was the only boy in the exhibit who wasn’t there with his younger sister or daughter. Barbie’s house was everything I expected and more. That girl has it made. We shopped after seeing Barbie’s house and then went to the “Beatles Exhibit“. Unlike the Barbie exhibit, we weren’t allowed to take very many pictures, because of all the rare photos and items that were featured in the exhibit. One of the coolest things they had was the actual jacket worn by Ringo Starr, in the Abbey Road photo. Not like a replica, or the same jacket, it was the one that Ringo Starr wore… it touched his flesh, and they had it in a glass case at this exhibit. There were a lot of authentic audio clips that were of news reporters on scene of The Beatles arriving in a city to do a concert, or of The Beatles doing interviews. The exhibit also had a lot of rare, up close photos of the band, taken by their manager, who was also a professional photographer. After the exhibit, we ate at a restaurant called Crave. Their menu was huge and featured everything from burgers to sushi. It’s a bit pricier, but beyond worth it. The restaurant is dimly lit, and has a really intimate vibe. The food is presented so beautifully, and you can actually taste the quality and time put into their meals.

Our last night in Minneapolis, Johnny and I ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp for the first time. The food and service were amazing. We got a free Bubba Gump Shrimp cocktail mixer because we spent a certain amount, or because we got two alcoholic beverages, I can’t remember. The mixer was a cute touch, and a nice souvenir.

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– E

Gone Girl

“…I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl…”

 

Right now, I’m reading Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. The passage above is one of my favourites in all of what I’ve read so far. Such an amazing book. The writing, and the characters are brilliant. I definitely wanted to get a jump on finishing the book before the movie comes out!

 

More lifestyle change/eating plan stuff

I feel like I haven’t blogged in a really long time, but it’s only been 6 days.

So after I finished the first cycle of the 17 Day Diet, I decided that I would go on and blog about the second cycle immediately after. That didn’t happen. From the moment I finished cycle 1, up until about this past Saturday, I’ve been indulging like it’s going out of style. Granted, I did try to eat as healthy as possible the past week, every single time someone has presented me with some sort of dessert, or something deep fried, I gladly accepted. Yesterday I had a breakthrough and realized that I didn’t want to undo all my hard work during cycle 1 of the 17 Day Diet, so I should probably stop stuffing my face with crap, and just eat healthy and workout. So yesterday, that is what I did. I started with day 1 of the second cycle, and I just thought I would let everyone know that I’m only going to blog about my journey through the second cycle every couple of days. And again, to keep peoples interest I will be posting ‘after’ pictures at the end of cycle 2! Yayyy!

Anyways, blogging every couple of days will leave me more time to blog about more interesting things… Like clothes, and makeup, and nails!

– E

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 17

DAY 17 DONE!

So, as promised, I’m posting my ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots today! But first, here’s my review for yesterday, which was day 17/the last day of the first cycle.

I’m going to go into too much detail right now about my body… So every month when my period comes, I get INSANE cramps. They’re so bad that I break out into cold sweats, I feel like I’m going to throw up, and sometimes the pain is so bad that I feel like I’m going to pass out. It only started getting this bad when I was 17… I’m currently 22 years old. I just suffered for years thinking that I could tough it out, or pray that the next month would be better. I finally went to the doctor two months ago and was prescribed Tylenol 3’s, Buscopan, and Naproxen. The Tylenol 3’s help with the nausea and headaches and just general pain. The Buscopan is to slow the rhythmic contractions in the stomach area, and it reduces muscle spasms. The Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory drug that is helping to reduce the inflammation in my uterus… obviously. These three in conjunction have worked wonderfully. I got my period yesterday and only took one of each of the pills and they lasted all day. Today I took one of each again and I’m feeling good. The relevance of all this TMI is that I’m not supposed to take these pills on an empty stomach, and when I’m on my period, certain foods just turn me off completely, even foods that I normally love. So I just wanted to explain why my eating pattern, and food choices for yesterday were so weird. So onto less gross things…

Yesterday I woke up, had green tea, ate carrots and tzatziki sauce, and microwave popcorn. I thought about eating poached eggs, but the thought of eating eggs made my stomach churn. I took my pills for the first time yesterday and was in a panic about whether or not they would work. Within an hour, I felt like I was having a normal period for the first time in 6 years. So far, so good (:

I didn’t feel like I could eat lunch, so I didn’t.

I didn’t workout because the pills just made me feel tired. My body was relaxed and I just wanted to be cozy in bed. So, that’s what I did. I stayed in bed and started watching Bates Motel (which I’m now OBSESSED with) until I had to get ready for work. I eventually got up and showered and went to work. For dinner at work I had a small, completely plain, piece of baked fish. I also ate frozen mangoes, strawberries, and peach yogurt. That seemed to be enough to satisfy me. At 9:30PM, I finished work and was starving, so my boyfriend took me to Subway to get a chicken breast salad. It was a variety of vegetables, chicken breast, pepper, and oregano. I never get cheese or sauce/dressing on my Subway salads. So I ate my salad, had a tiny bite of a cookie and had a couple of sips of my boyfriends iced tea. When I got home I had a bite of a pork chop filet. So that concluded my eating for the final day of the first cycle. Not horrible, but not exactly perfect.

I’ve decided to continue on with the second cycle of the 17 Day Diet! Yay! You all get to read more posts about my lack of will power when it comes to Chinese food and cookies! Thanks for following me on the first 17 days of this eating plan, and thanks for not being JUDGEY!

Finally, as promised… here are my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. Don’t be too hard on me!

BEFORE - The morning of my first day on The 17 Day Diet, cycle 1.

BEFORE – The morning of my first day on The 17 Day Diet, cycle 1.

Screen shot 2014-03-28 at 11.56.46 AM

AFTER – The morning after the final day of The 17 Day Diet, Cycle 1.

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 15

Uh Oh! Two days left!

It’s safe to say that I had more bad days than good following this eating plan, but I’m not upset. I’ve just come to realize that any type of lifestyle change is going to have it’s bad/horrible days, and there are gonna be some days where you just get it completely right. Last night, after blogging, I was Googling ’17 Day Diet’ reviews, and I was completely enlightened by some of the stuff I had read from other people who had done, or are still doing the 17 Day Diet. So many people raved that by the end of the fourth cycle, they were practically eating whatever they wanted (with a few limitations, according to the book) and were STILL losing weight or maintaining their weight, happily. I read that one person had lost a full 17 pounds doing the first cycle of the book. Another person who had done the four cycles, was down almost 50 pounds, and was looking to re-start the diet to lose a bit more!

To recap my day, for breakfast, I ate two poached eggs, carrot sticks with a bit of tzatziki sauce, and yogurt with strawberries and chia seeds.

Worked out for 20 minutes on the Bowflex, ate cauliflower rice, baked chicken and baked fish for lunch.

For dinner, I had a lot of chicken stir fry, and some sauteed beef (<– beef isn’t allowed in the first cycle. Whoops).

My eating was pretty simple today. I didn’t really snack in between meals because I didn’t feel the need to. Of course I’ve got two nearly perfect days in a row, near the end of the first cycle. Here’s to the next two days! WISH ME LUCK! I’m going to need it!

– E

Where is Spring?!

$39.00 before taxes

 

I bought these booties thinking that Spring was around the corner… We still have tons of snow, it’s still freezing out and we’re coming up on the end of March. Someday soon, hopefully. It would be really nice to show these new babies off! They’re roomy, and despite being a couple of inches, they’re comfy and they’re faux leather and have a studding around the ankle dip!

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 10

A WEEK LEFT!

Today was AMAZING! I ate good all day and I exercised!!! WOOHOO!!! So I literally have seven days left and I’m determined to make the last seven days really count.

I had two poached eggs, spinach, and yogurt with chia seeds and blueberries for breakfast. For lunch I ate mixed vegetables, cauliflower rice and chicken. I also ate an apple and some yougurt. I was out tonight for dinner, but I still managed to eat well. I had mixed vegetables with salmon and chicken and green tea! I was mildly tempted to get dessert but that passed when I just took two seconds to think about how I have to take a ‘before’ shot of my body 7 days from today. I feel like my posts are getting shorter and shorter each day, but I guess it’s because the less shitty I eat, there’s less for me to talk about. Funny how that works. I’m glad today went well. Last night after blogging, I was up late just looking at pictures of fit women on the internet and on Instagram. That always kind of helps me realize that other people are working hard to maintain their weight and fitness levels, and that I’m no different. If I want it, I’m the only person who can do it.

Anyways, I’m really distracted by how much Spring cleaning I need to do. The list includes a cosmetic purge, clothing purge, shoe purge, handbag/tote/clutch purge, and an unhealthy attitude purge. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see how well I can do. I’m actually aiming to workout for 30 minutes tomorrow. We’ll see if I follow through. Thanks for the continued support! WISH ME LUCK!

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 8

Nine days left people!

I’m actually embarrassed to blog about today. It was a joke. I actually should just lie and say today was perfect.

To be completely honest, I started the day out great. I had my tea before breakfast, ate poached eggs and vegetables. I worked out for 20 minutes and did some inner thigh workout that I found on the internet, which was useless. For lunch I had this chilli that was like super healthy. It was made with real tomatoes for the sauce, ground chicken and finely chopped vegetables, and I had more of my cauliflower rice from yesterday. So far so good, right? Wrong. Fast forward to supper time. Right before supper, my lovely father came to pick me up so we could get the car that he bought for me, and I guess that was a celebratory moment, because we went out to eat. Ten points for anyone who can guess the kind of cuisine I had for supper… Just kidding, everyone knows about my chinese food addiction. Like, I’m Filipino and I just can’t quit the noodles and rice. It’s a real problem. I tried really hard to limit my portion of noodles. Ate mostly vegetables and the meat. I guess one up side would be that we went to a quality Chinese restaurant in the city, where the food is amazing and it’s all cooked fresh and with no MSG. Regardless, I still ate the damn noodles. I also ate three fortune cookies… None of which had fortunes that said I would lose weight, so I’m obviously doing something wrong, hahah! So that was my fabulous day. Not so great, but I did try. I’ve had better days and I have had worse, so I’m chalking this one up to the excitement of getting my new car. Tomorrow should be good, unless everyone at work, for some reason, decides to tempt me with Chinese food. Fingers crossed that they don’t. You all know how I feel about that particular cuisine.

The 17 Day Diet Review – Day 7

A WEEK DOWNNNN! 10 days to go! Here’s my review for day 7/March 17th, 2014

My day went extremely well (minus one bubble tea)! I had a healthy breakfast with lots of protein and tea and water. I worked out for 20 minutes on the Bowflex, had a shower, had a chicken stir fry for lunch with my boyfriend, and then did two hours of shopping, which to me, is basically two hours of cardio.

Tonight for supper I made myself CAULIFLOWER RICE! For the amazing recipe, visit Stephanie Eusebi’s blog! So anyways, I made this rice just how Stephanie suggested, except I didn’t have any turmeric, so I used cumin instead. Let me just say, as an asian person, I love rice. It’s a staple and I’m used to the idea of having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, I like my rice white, nice and starchy and carby. This cauliflower rice is amazing, it has the consistency and texture of rice, and it’s white, it really did trick me tonight. Adding the cumin made it taste like basmati rice, I just about died and went to heaven. I ate this rice with a baked chicken breast, and it was extremely filling. This is the best rice dupe ever, I still don’t believe it’s cauliflower. Anyways, THANKS A BUNCH STEPHANIE EUSEBI!

After supper my boyfriend started talking about bubble tea… Evidently, we left the house to get some. I had a green tea/almond bubble tea with half the bubbles. UGHHH! I went to Value Village to walk around with my bubble tea. I ended up trying on 30 million different items (that was a chore) and walked out with a dress, and a beautiful floral scarf, which are both in the wash right now! So that was my day. It was perfect minus the bubble tea. Close enough. Here are some pictures of things that make me happy:

 

This is my lovely 'E' mug that I like to drink my tea out of every single morning. Notice that I'm also in bed. Best combination, I swear.

This is my lovely ‘E’ mug that I like to drink my tea out of every single morning. Notice that I’m also in bed. Best combination, I swear.

This is Cooper. He's the cutest thing I own. I wake up to him every morning, and then we drink tea in bed together.

This is Cooper. He’s the cutest thing I own. I wake up to him every morning, and then we drink tea in bed together.