What it’s like being half asian

What are you? what’s your background? what’s your ethnicity? where are you born? These are just a few questions that I get asked on the daily by total strangers. The answer to these questions? I’m a mix kid: half Taiwanese and half caucasian and born in Canada.

Some people often ask me what it’s like being half asian and like everything else, there are definently some pros and cons (but more pros, now).

Cons?

It kinda sucks not quite fitting in – in either culture – it’s like, you are an outsider to both.

For the Taiwanese part of me, whenever I go back, I can only understand about 70% of what people are saying; however, when it comes to just a common conversation I can  understand 100% – but as soon as people start whipping out some fancy lingo my eyes glaze over and people look at me with sad eyes.

As for the caucasian part of me, growing up in school, I had always felt like I didn’t quite fit in. I felt brain washed into a society where white supremacy was everything: and since I was not fully white, I couldn’t be that great.

However, that mind set quickly changed as soon as I hit high school. I went to a high school where about 70% of the students were asian. And there, I felt superior to my white friends who couldn’t understand all the whispers of foreign language in the hallways like I could.

Pros?

It kinda rocks being able to talk secretly with your mom in mandarin: secrets can be kept from my dad and friends. It’s great!

It is also a huge advantage being able to speak another language when it comes to the job market. Ironically enough, I had never really had to use it for customer service – at least not yet – but I’m sure the opportunity will present itself soon enough.

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a high school where the majority of students were asian. My mandarin proved to be a HUGE asset when it came to group projects. Especially, when this one time, I was put into a group where everyone could speak Chinese, and so could I. So although we had to present our project in English, we communicated in mandarin when sharing ideas and planning out our project – it was a really neat experience.

Although I grew up thinking I was somehow not good enough and where I was brainwashed by my own prejudice, NOW, I have never been so thankful for being conceived by a white father and an asian mother. I feel like I am blessed to have a head start into a world where being bilingual has never been more of an asset.

Why Don’t We – The Best Boy Band Out There

Are you sick of listening to the same old playlist over and over again? Need some new workout music? or maybe just a new boy band to obsess over? (sorry, 1D). Then I have the perfect solution for you.

Welcome to my favourite boy band: “Why Don’t We.”

Why Don’t We – or also known as WDW – are a bunch of hella good looking boisss who are between ages 17-20 years old. The band is fairly new and they’ve only been together for a few years.

So who is in the band anyways? Well, man, i’m glad you asked.

Lemme introduce ya to my personal favourite – and possibly my future husband – Daniel Seavey. I first fell in love with this fella when he was a contestant on American Idol. Click here to drool over his IG.

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Daniel Seavey (yes I took this photo, and no it was not zoomed in, I was actually this close)

Anyways, the other member’s names are Jonah Frantzich, Corbyn Besson, Jack Avery and Zach Herron.

My top three favourite songs by them are:

  1. Trust Fund Baby

2. 8 Letters

3. Hooked

Iv’e also had the privilege to see them live in concert about a year ago and almost touched one of their hands and died. No literally, I almost died, their fans are insane. I got trampled and stepped on during the concert and bruised the next day.

If you wanna check ’em out here’s their website http://whydontwemusic.com/home/

What it’s Like to Witness The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, are a spectacular sight to see, but there is a mystery behind capturing that picture perfect moment on your camera.

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All photos belong to my friend who took these for me when my camera broke.

The Aurora Borealis, in real life, isn’t actually full of such vibrant colours that you see on a camera. The Aurora Borealis is actually much softer in colour, like pastel. It looks as if it were coloured milk spread out all throughout the sky: it is so magical.

So how and why does the camera pick up a more vibrant colour?

When attempting to capture this brilliant moment on your camera, there are certain settings that can only pick up this wonder. If you try to use your iPhone (yes, even the iPhone 7) it will not pick up the Northern Lights. All you’ll be left with is a black screen. And yes, even the apps on the App Store that say they will pick it up are wrong.

When shooting on a camera, there are many different settings you can play with, depending on your camera: click here for a detailed instruction.

You can also capture the Aurora Borealis on a GoPro and here are some good starting settings:

  1. Night Lapse Mode
  2. 10-30 second shutter
  3. interval: continuous
  4. 12MP Wide
  5. ISO min: 100
  6. ISO max: 800

Obviously you might have to play around with these settings.

Now to actually see the Northern Lights are a bit more difficult. They only come out late at night, so when I went to go see them in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada; the bus picked us up around 10:30pm and dropped us off at 4am. Since we were with a tour, they brought us to their huge open fields where there was a restaurant, tripod rental, and lots of mini teepees (where we could go in for hot chocolate when it got really cold). No joke, even though it’s summer, it is FREEZING up there. I was dressed for like -15 degree whether and I was still cold.

The Tour package campus was perfect for viewing the Northern Lights because they had lots of levels: lots of mountains which required a bit of a mini hike, and flat ground to suit everyone’s photography needs.

Keep in mind, that we did a 3 day tour package deal, since there’s no designated time that the Aurora Borealis will show. It is a hit or miss deal. The first night, we saw zero Northern Lights; however, on the second night we saw a category 4 Northern Lights (which is actually like, a big deal for Yellowknife). The lights are ranked on a 0-9 scale. Here is a super cool website the check out the Aurora Borealis levels near you!

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How are the Northern Lights formed?

They are formed when tiny charged particles from the sun collide with atoms and molecules in the atmosphere, which results in bursts of lights (dum dum dum dum dummmmmmm) called photons! Wooo science!!! Different colours are formed when different collisions occur: oxygen produces red and green auroras, while nitrogen produces the pink and purple auroras!

The Aurora Borealis is a spectacular sight to see and I recommend everybody to go check it out at least once!

The Best Highlight That Isn’t Even a Highlight

There’s nothing I enjoy more than playing with make up, and recently I’ve discovered the best product to use as a highlight and it isn’t even a highlighter.

 

The other day I was in Lush and was checking out their make up products when one of their employees approached me and started talking about their make up highlighter. I wasn’t really interested in highlight however I saw she had this golden shimmer on her cheekbone and I asked her if she used the Lush highlighter on her face.

Her Response???

NO! she actually used the sunnyside bubble bar. It’s so full of glimmer that she just playfully stroke the bubble bar with her finger and applied it to her face. In awe, I bought one too and now this is what I use for my highlight.

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In the span of 5 hours iv’e received so many compliments on my highlight and each time I giggle and explain that it is actually a bubble bar. The bonus? When you are sick of using it as a highlight, or when the glimmer runs out (if that is at all possible) you can throw it in the bath and relaxxx.

How do I apply this fabulous product? I simply use my finger and dab on my cheekbone and nose, or else use a small make up brush.

It’s so fun to use but beware because you’ll get glimmer everywhere!

DIY: Customized Jean Jacket

Now that school is fast approaching, back to school wardrobe shopping is on every girl’s back to school prep list. With the fall season right around the corner, what’s better than adding a customized jean jacket to your collection?

I bought my jean jacket at Patch (a vintage store in downtown Victoria) and started drawing on it with a sharpie and adding meaningful quotes to it.

Drawing on fabric with a permanent marker may sound tough, not being able to mess up with holding a permanent marker in your hand; but have no fear – it’s a lot easier than it seems.

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My customized jean jacket: an underwater theme

This DIY is something I picked up from my buddy Justin – an amazing artist! He started doodling on his jean jacket with amazing free hand drawings. I was so impressed and it looked so fun, I had to try it myself!

My faith has always been my rock throughout my live, and I wanted a daily reminder that even when things seem impossible, there is always a way through with God. That is why I decided putting one of my favourite bible quotes on the back of my jean jacket.

This DIY is actually very therapeutic for releasing stress, which is why I started doing this during midterm season in University. I started with just two jellyfish drawings on my back, and slowly started adding to it whenever I was feeling overwhelmed, or whenever I had some downtime (although you never really have downtime in university, you have to make time).

Would highly recommend trying this out! you could even do it with a friend and match! lemme know what ya think!

 

Coloured Hairstyles you NEED to Try

Are you sick of boring hair? Feeling like you need a change? Here are three coloured hairstyles that I have done, and why I love them. BTW, all of these hairstyles require bleaching your hair prior to adding colour (unless you are a natural blonde then lucky you)

1. Unicorn Hair

Unicorn hair or aka rainbow hair are multiple pastel colours that are dyed in sections or strands. Some people only put these colours towards their bottom half of their hair, however, I prefer more of a balayage kind of style. You can always do your full head too, if you are brave enough. I loved this hairstyle because I didn’t need to pick only one or two colours, I could have them all! This style looks especially good with a white T-shirt to really bring out these spectrum of colours

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2. Mermaid Hair

Mermaid hair has vivid hues of colour that are unique to the ‘mermaid look.’ Mine were mostly blue with a touch of pink in certain places. I loved this look because I have an unconditional love for the ocean and the colours made me feel like I belonged to the sea.

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3. Fuchsia Ombré Hair

This is my current hair colour, and I’ve got to say I love it! I have more of a blue/purple hue kind of colour at the top of my head and then towards the bottom it’s more of a lighter fuchsia and even pink in some areas of my hair. I love this look for the summer and its individuality of having more of a solid colour contrast opposed to multiple colours in my hair.

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Overall, I think my favourite hairstyle was the mermaid hair. What do you think?

‘Must Haves’ for Living on University Residence

With school fast approaching, there is a tempestuous sense of excitement in the air, along with a fair bit of anxiousness: What do I get for school? What kind of supplies do I need? What should I expect? Well there are a few ‘must have’ items you’ll need if you are living on university residence.

Depending on if you are living in a dormitory style bedroom, or sharing a house (or cluster housing) there are a few differences in things that you’ll need to purchase. However, since I have only lived in a dormitory style bedroom, then that’s what i’ll be focusing on here today. A few beneficial things to get that really made a difference in my first year are the following:

  1. Get a mini fridge

I cannot emphasize enough how important this item is. Some university’s cafeterias are not open 24/7, so having a mini fridge to keep leftovers in, or just keeping some fresh fruit, really helps; especially if you are doing a late night study sesh and need something to munch on to keep you going.

And when I say MINI fridge, I do NOT mean buying the smallest size a fridge can come in. I made that mistake first year, and all I could fit in it was some ice cubes and a few apples, and ended up getting a new one that was much bigger. Please do yourself a favour and buy one that has a mini freezer on top (for ice cream of course) and a sizeable fridge space in the bottom. Keep in mind the fridge size restrictions for your university.

I believe mine was roundly 3.2 cubic feet, and I got mine from London Drugs. Below is a picture of my fridge.

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2. Get a Kettle

Being able to make coffee, tea, or ramen noodles are not even a want anymore at university, it’s a necessity. Make sure you invest in an automatic shut off kettle so you don’t accidentally burn down your residence building.

3. Get a Water Filter

I am not sure if tap water is drinkable at your university, but mine was. However, it was still heavily chlorinated so water filters are your best friend; but make sure you get one that’s small enough to fit in your mini fridge, or else you are stuck with gross room temperature water.

Finally, don’t forget to purchase some things to also help make your room, yours. The more it feels like your room, than it’s more likely you’ll do better at living away from home. You may be surprised, but it really does make a difference.

Tequila Cures Sore Throats?

Have you ever heard of Tequila curing sore throats?? Me neither, until I met someone who told me it does wonders.

The night before my FIRST final exam at university, I came down with an excruciating sore throat which left me incapable of focusing on studying for my English final. The night before, one of my friends told me that if you took shots of tequila that it would cure your sore throat. After hearing this, it sounded too good to be true; however, after surfing the web, I found that there are some stories claiming that Tequila really does have this function (click here to read about one of these stories). I figured I had nothing to lose, and decided to give it a shot! (no pun intended).

A few of my friends had come over to study together and I explained to them my plan of taking Tequila shots to cure my sore throat. They howled in laughter at me and thought I was insane and doing something really stupid (which i probably was).

I ran to my room and took a shot of tequila and waited…nothing happened. My throat was still sore. I then figured, well, it most likely was not going to work on the first shot, so I took another one. A few minutes passed and my throat still didn’t feel any better.

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“THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM,” or so I thought. After my third shot of Tequila, lemme tell ya, the only thing I was feeling was feeling a little buzzed in my head. I couldn’t even tell if the pain in my throat was still there. Nonetheless, I figured one more shot wasn’t going to hurt my throat. So yep, I had four shots the night before my English final and ended up doing zero studying.

The next day, I woke up OVERJOYED with happiness. The pain in my throat was gone and I had never felt fresher. I went into my exam, and OH MAN, the Tequila must have had some other magical properties because I finished that course with an A.

 

How To Keep Long Distance Friendships

Moving away from your BFF’s can be one of the hardest things in the world. Not being able to walk over to their house or meet up for coffee is like waking up without any hair on your head: traumatizing and agonizing. Well, at least that’s what it was like for me. I moved to a completely different island without my partners in crime by my side and I was absolutely devastated.

About one year ago, I left my childhood friends whom I’ve known for practically my whole life, and moved to a completely new place with barely any friends. My parents warned me that because I was moving so far away, that my friendships with my best friends would most likely fall apart; however, I refused to believe that.

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My first week away from my best friends was definitely the hardest: I cried everyday, for hours a day, until, one of my best friends came to visit me for the weekend. She came and  brought me lots of housewarming gifts to remind me of her and slowly she started to piece my life back together for me. Ever since she came to visit, she promised me that our friendship could never be broken, and this is how we have stayed close even with the distance:

  1. Visit each other

Yes, it is hard to see each other when you are going to school full-time and your best friends are working a few jobs at a time, however, if you really want to see someone, you’ll find the time. My best friends came to visit me at my university a few times throughout the school year because I couldn’t make it out. But during the summer season, I went to visit them whenever I could too! We took turns taking the ferry over and enduring hours of horrid public transport, but it was all worth it – even if that meant only seeing their faces for a few hours.

2. FaceTime and phone calls are your friend

FaceTime and phone calls are the best things invented. My best friend would call me at least once a week to keep me updated with her life, even if that means just ranting about a bad day she had at work.

3. If you can’t FaceTime, TEXT!

Texting is sooooo easy, especially in this day and age. If your schedules don’t line up, then simply send a text to see how your best friend is doing. It makes your best friends feel needed and appreciated while it provides a piece of mind to yourself, knowing that they are still there for you, regardless of the distance.

If you aren’t a technology person, then here are a few cute ideas that you could do also!

  • Write “Open when letters” to give to your best friend (Pinterest has some great examples). I made these for one of my best friends when she went to school abroad for a year and she loved it.
  • send each other snail mail: It’s old fashion and takes longer, but totally worth it!
  • send each other post cards! cute way to document where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.

If you have any more ideas on how to keep long distance friendships or have any stories of how you’ve kept them, then feel free to leave me a comment!

 

 

 

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