Toronto’s Japanese Dollar Store: Oomomo!

Hello everyone,

If you are an OG follower of my blog then you know I love Japan and anything Japanese, so when I found out Ommomo is opening in Toronto, I was thrilled.

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Oomomo is a variety store that sells kitchenware, stationery, storage items, beauty products, and so much more for your home. Now, this is an inspired Japanese dollar store, but the items there are not price for $1. Prices vary from $1 to $12 or more depending on the item. The prices are still very affordable! items they sell are imported from Japan and you will find most items with a Daiso sticker. Daiso is known as a popular 100 yen store!

The location I went to was at Don Mills area, it’s quite nice and there is a big supermarket and restaurants to go to after you’re done your shopping. The store on the outside looks huge, and when you walk inside it is definitely spacious. If you were expecting a tiny store, you were wrong.

It is quite spacious inside and as soon as you walk in you will see the kitchen hardware items: cups, bowls, and plates.

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They also have a great selection of utensils and cooking items.

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To add further, they have many beauty products such as nail art supplies, makeup, face masks, fake eyelashes, and bathroom supplies.

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They have many storage organizers and stationery items. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures of those items but I did try to capture a lot of the merchandise that’s sold there.

Then there are some miscellaneous items that I capture below!

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There are a snack and drinks sections, with lots of yummy goodies.

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That pretty much sums up what you can find at the store and I hope this in-depth post helped those of you who wondered what the interior looks like.

 

 

 

 

Life After High School

Life after (1)

Hello everyone,

Prom season is coming up and that means it is time to say goodbye to your high school days. Some of you had a positive experience, while others may not. High school years hold a different meaning for everyone.

For me, it was a negative time in my life, but it definitely gets better after graduating. Last year I found out my old high school is closing its doors permanently due to low enrolment. So I decided after all these years to go back one last time and reflect back on my years at Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy.

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High school years for me were 2004-2008, and I have to say grade nine was amazing! It was a great start to the school year and I really felt like I was going to soar high and have the best time. Unfortunately, in grade ten that idea and fantasy went downhill. When I immigrated to Canada in 2002 I was still adjusting to the country three years later. In middle school, I used to be bullied by a group of girls who went to my high school. In grade nine things were going well, but suddenly in grade ten, they remembered my existence. That was the start of two years of agony going to school every day wondering if I’ll get bullied today. I went to school in fear, and I was quite timid back then so I didn’t speak up when I was teased. To this day I regret it, but I was a naive 15 years old who didn’t know how to defend herself. There reached a point when I had a breakdown because the verbal insults were intense. I didn’ want to go to school anymore, so in grade ten I had to stop going to school in early May 2005 because I could not function at school anymore.

That summer I had to make a decision whether or not I will be homeschooled or go back to school and finish my high school journey. Fortunately my strong will always push me forward and I made the decision to continue grade 11 in high school. It wasn’t easy to adjust going back to school and it took me a long time, but I did it. I had my prom and graduated in 2008. I moved on, went to university and started over! My university years were the best years of my life and I’m so thankful for them.

Last year, I got the chance to walk these high school hallways one last time and I felt emotional. I kept wondering why, why would I feel emotional about the permanent closure of this school! Then I realized I wasn’t feeling emotional because the school is closing, but I was emotional to see how far I’ve come since then. Looking back at how reserved I used to be and how my voice would tremble when I spoke up, I see my old self-transform into someone who is fierce and a risk taker. Immigration and bullying made me forget who I was, I became shy and introverted. Now I always speak up and I’ve become confident. I walked these hallways looking at old spots where I used to sit with my classmates, my first locker, my favorite class and I am a changed woman now. I ran into old classmates and we caught up on our lives, I saw my ESL teacher from grade nine and they were all pleasantly surprised to see a completely different person stand in front of them.

Life becomes very different after high school, so if you are having a hard time in high school those hardships won’t last forever. After high school, I had a great time socializing with my peers. We all got along great and had a great rapport, which was something that did not exist for me in high school. People are more mature in university and strive to accomplish certain goals. People in high school are not as mature, so of course, for someone who is more goal driven being in high school look forward to leaving. I made some of my life long friends while I was in university. When I was in high school I didn’t get good grades because I wasn’t motivated to study. In university, I completely changed and I got mostly As and Bs. I was even close to having my final year thesis published in a journal at our university library but I was three marks away from my goal.

After high school, my social life grew tremendously and I got the chance to go out, travel and be a typical 20-something-year-old. Also, there is pressure to have your life figured out quickly and have a chosen career path. I am currently in the process of changing my career field for good, and just because you studied something it is not set in stone you have to do that for the rest of your life. I also started traveling more, started performing again and became more confident.

The intention of this post is to show you high schoolers that life does get better, stay strong and push through because there is so much more to come.

Thank you for reading and look forward to my next post 🙂

 

 

A Look Back at 2009 Music!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another post! In my last post, I talked about turning thirty and saying goodbye to my twenties!

I thought about writing a post about what being thirty feels like so far, but I think it’s best to write this post at the end of the year. To be fair, I’ve been thirty for two months so I need more time to give an accurate commentary.

Today I want to write a fun post and take a look back at 2009 music! At the beginning of the year, there was a ten-year challenge circulating around the Internet where people post a photo of themselves from 2009 vs this year! Well, mine is not a challenge but it got me thinking about music ten years ago and how much the music scene has changed. Furthermore, this is the last year of the 2010s before we say goodbye to another decade and welcome the 2020s.

I was a first year, second-semester student in university in 2009 and I had many favorite songs, too many to share so narrowed it down to twenty songs.

Let’s take a look and enjoy!!!

1. The Fray – You Found Me

I love listening to mellow songs and this one by The Fray is one of my favorites. I wish this band was still around and I hope they make a comeback soon. This song had major 90s vibes for me, this song has so much meaning. It was written by Issac Slade and Joe King and it’s about keeping the hope alive during a time of hardship. That hope deep inside you that is telling you to hold on. Beautiful song!

2. Jay Z feat. Rihanna – Run This Town

I almost forgot about this song, but I was obsessed with it for a long time. This collaboration between Rihanna, Jay Z, and Kanye West was great. I remember thinking how awesome it was for Rihanna to work with Jay Z who discovered her. I am still waiting for Rihanna and Beyonce collaboration.

3. Lady Gaga – Poker Face

Lady Gaga has come very far in her career with winning multiple Grammy Awards and now an Oscar. However, back in 2009, she was known as the artist with a weird fashion sense. We remember when she wore a meat dress to the VMAs. The start of her career was iconic for me, her songs were and they still are very catchy. Her song Poker Face was one of my favorites, I wanted the outfits and I used to perform the choreography in my room. For me, this is an iconic Lady Gaga song and I had the chance to see her perform this song at the 2009 MMVAs in Toronto, Canada.

4. Miley Cyrus – The Climb

I was debating whether or not to pick Miley’s single, Party in the USA as my next choice, but I decided to go with The Climb. This song is very important to me because at the time I was fighting for a dream. A dream to go back to performing but instead, I placed a lot of limitations in my mind for not following through with my desires.  I felt that I wouldn’t succeed, I would cry in my room feeling frustrated that my artistic abilities would go to waste. I listened to this song and it gave me hope, that one day I will climb this mountain and get to the other side. I can proudly say now that I am going to start preparing for my fourth performance showcase in July. I went back to dancing like I’ve wanted to for years! When I listen to this song I think of my 20-year-old self, I wish I could’ve given my old self a hug and tell that girl that she will succeed. To this day I can’t listen to this song without getting emotional and it has a very special place in my heart.

5. Britney Spears – Circus

Britney Spears is one of my biggest musical inspirations from the age of nine and when she made a comeback in 2008 after a tough 2007 I was rejoicing. I was lucky enough to attend her Circus Tour in 2009, but one of my favorite songs from that era was Circus. It felt like the old Britney was back, but more mature and stronger. Her makeup, outfits, and choreography were memorable. I loved the circus concept, it was very unique and I loved seeing her do something with a vintage twist.

6. Rihanna – Russian Roulette

When the dramatic event happened between Rihanna and Chris Brown, fans were not sure when she would make a comeback. Well, she did with an edgier look and sound, partly this was because of the anger she felt at the time and hurt. Her song Russian Roulette is a representation of the raw emotions she felt. This was the moment when a new Rihanna was born. To this day this is one of my favorite Rihanna songs, she poured her heart and soul into this track. I remember getting goosebumps while listening to the lyrics and the emotion in her voice.

7. The Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow

Everyone knows this song, and if you don’t then you are too young. I loved this song because of the futuristic visuals and sound. It really felt like we entering a new era of music. I don’t know about you, but I would like The Black Eyed Peas comeback.

8. Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind

At that time I was dreaming of going to NYC so when this song came out I was obsessed because it was an anthem for my favorite city. There is not much to say about this song, I still listen to it whenever I land in NYC. I am very sappy!

9. Sean Kingston – Fire Burning

I simply loved the energy this song gave me, it made me feel very energized and listened to this song a lot while writing assignments. Surprisingly I was able to concentrate!

10. Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis – Just Dance

This was the first time I’ve heard of Lady Gaga and her music, but this song was on repeat all day every day for a very long time. It was groovy and it had that pop music sound I love.

11. Beyonce – Single Ladies

The year the anthem for all single ladies was born! We all know Kanye’s thoughts about Beyonce not winning a VMA that year but in my opinion is that this song iconic. I still jam out to it and I will for sure be playing this song when I toss the bouquet at my wedding one day.

12. Keri Hilson feat. Kanye West & Ne-Yo – Knock You Down

It’s too bad Keri Hilson is not releasing any new music recently, but when she was still around this song was one of my favorites. I love music videos that tell a story, this one music video definitely did.

13. Linkin Park – New Divide

Linkin Park is a band I’ve been listening to since I was 10 years old, this song was one of my favorites. It made me feel inspired.

14. T.I. feat. Rihanna –  Live Your Life

2009 was the year when I started listening to Rihanna regularly, so this song was definitely part of my playlist when I was going to university.

15. One Republic – All The Right Moves

One Republic songs have always moved me, the lead vocalist sings with so much passion and emotion.

16. Beyonce – Halo

I love ballads and this song was my go-to ballad to listen to. I listened to it on my way home after a long day of lectures.

17. Kesha – Tik Tok

The moment Kesha came into the music scene, she was known for using autotune, but there was something interesting about her. She was different and her music was catchy. This is mainly why I liked this song, it was stuck in my head for weeks.

18. A.R. Rahman with The Pussycat Dolls – Jai Ho

Slumdog Millionaire was a big movie, and it is a classic! I love the original version of Jai Ho, but this one had a different vibe. It was more upbeat with a modern twist to the melody.

19. Britney Spears – If You Seek Amy

This Britney song stirred up some controversy because of the underlying message which I will not reveal because of the younger readers. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this song and it was one of the songs I listened to a lot.

20. The Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

This is one of those songs that made you feel so happy and energetic. I believe there was a time when I jammed out to this song after exams were over.

I hope you enjoyed reading and listening to the songs I enjoyed ten years ago! I cannot fathom it’s been so long, 2009 is still very fresh in my mind and it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.

Thank you for reading and I will see you soon!

 

 

Reflecting On My 20s.

Hello everyone,

I am back with another post and in this post, I’ll talk about my 20s, because I am turning 30 tomorrow.

First of all, I can’t believe how fast time flew by I feel like I just turned 20 and within a flash, I am about to enter the third decade of my life. I want to talk in detail about my 20s and reflect back on what they meant for me.

My 20s were amazing, I got to experience everything I didn’t when I was a teenager and that makes me feel like I fulfilled my social goals for my 20s. Just a piece of background information, my teenage years were not easy! My social life was non-existent, I was a newcomer to Canada with my family, I was bullied and I had depression. I know, not fun at all! My 16th birthday was spent in my bed because I had no one to celebrate with besides my family. So in my 20s that all changed and I finally lived the social life I didn’t have when I was a teen.

I turned 20 in 2009 and I just entered the second semester of my undergraduate program at Ryerson University.  Unlike my high school days, my university journey was profound and so positive. I had a good rapport with all of my classmates, we all got along great and I also made some of the long-lasting friendships from university. I wasn’t very committed to my studies in high school but I proved to myself that I was academically very bright. I graduated with 3.8 GPA, and I am still so proud of this accomplishment. I proved to myself I was a smart cookie, I just didn’t apply myself in high school because I was going through hardships and I had zero motivation.

Exactly the year I turned 20 I went and camped out in downtown Toronto to get wristbands for the 2009 MMVAs, similar to the yearly MTV VMAs. Some friends and I grabbed our sleeping bags and literally camped out on the street all night. That’s when I had the opportunity to walk around downtown in the middle of the night and enjoy the nightlife. Finding a 24/7 coffee shop to use the washroom was a challenge though! The next day we were ready to go by 6AM, and it took us until noon to go around to the main building to get the wristbands. That lineup was incredibly long, by the time we were done I was ready to go and then slept for 20 hours (really!). So this was another cool memory from my 20s.

In my 20s I went to a lot of concerts, my first concert to attend was the Britney Spears Circus Tour, with opening act The Pussycat Dolls. A few others I saw were Britney Spears Femme Fatale, One Republic, No Doubt with Paramore, One Ok Rock (I saw them twice), The Game of Thrones concert, Janet Jackson, and Lindsey Stirling. I went to the Circus Du Soleil show in 2014 and that was a cool experience. My friend and I attended Nuit Blanche, a contemporary art festival that runs all night. We stayed up until 2am and then left because it was getting really cold.

I also had a great time building friendships and socializing which did not happen often when I was a teen. I had my first sleepover at 23, I went to fun bars and restaurants with friends. I was a bridesmaid and I had the full wedding experience along with two bridal showers and two bachelorette parties. I was a bridesmaid for a second time at a Korean wedding. I went to my other friend’s Indian wedding and I wore a saree for the first time which was a very cool experience. I also started traveling in 2016 to Vancouver, Whistler, and a road trip to Portland, Seattle, and Cannon Beach. That trip was memorable for me because it was my first time to the States, my first time seeing the ocean and my first time going on a road trip. The following year I traveled to Jasper, Alberta, I went to New York City for the first time ever. Last year I went to New York alone because I wanted to experience traveling solo and it was a  trip to remember. Then a month later I went on a three-day bus trip from Toronto to Calgary with the purpose of seeing more of Canada. My knees hurt by the end of that trip but it was worth it! I stayed at my friend’s house in Calgary and we went to Drumheller, and then to Banff to see the Canadian Rockies.

In my 20s I made the life-changing decision to set aside my Bachelor of Arts Degree and follow my true passion to find a marketing position in the arts and culture industry. Life is too short to do something you don’t love! I also got back to dancing and had three showcases last year, which was a dream come true. I made new and more meaningful friendships and said goodbye to old friends who are no longer meant to stay in my life. Who still means a lot to me but sometimes you have to let people go because it’s the best thing for you. I have strengthened relationships in my life, and I made new friendships. I learned to control my anxiety better and welcome change as a positive thing. I learned to be more private and be more choosy with the people I choose to have in my life. I also got baptized in my 20s, I met some cool celebrities like Stan Lee, Christopher Lloyd, Jason Momoa and more. I met them at Comic-Con and Fan Expo, I also cosplayed which is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teen. I dyed part of my hair blue and I’ve always wanted to do that. I bought my first bike, and it might not seem like a big deal but I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a bike better. I started working out and actually liked to go to the gym, which was not the cased before.

In conclusion, my 20s were everything I hoped they would be and I am so thankful for all the memories. I am sad to say goodbye to this decade and to my youth, but I know my 30s are going to be flirty and thriving (13 going on 30 reference here :] ). My 30s will bring me the job I’ve always wanted, marriage and children, so cheers to a brand new decade of my life.

The next time I write a post will be as a 30-year-old, confident, accomplished and happy adult. Thank you so much for reading and see you soon!

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Me at Lake Louise last July 2018! My 30s are going to be a wonderful journey 🙂

 

 

My Top 10 Favorite Kpop Songs of 2018

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another blog post!

Today I will be sharing with my favorite Kpop songs of 2018, and let me tell you there were a lot. In the past, I made my choices based on how many sales were made, how well the song did on the charts, and how many awards it won. However, this year it will more of an unbiased choice and my picks will be based on my personal preference. At the end of my post, I will include 6 honorable mentions because let’s face it, listing ten songs is not enough.

I hope you enjoy the songs as much as I did!

  1. Fake Love – BTS

This is my favorite song of 2018 when it came out it was on replay for months! The song was released when I was in New York, and it was my go-to song when I was walking around the city. It’s no brainer that this song is very impressive, everything from the cinematography, to the emotion and choreography.

Furthermore, my team and I performed this dance at our studio’s showcase that took place in November. If you are wondering who I am in the video, I have quite a few center parts but the longest one is Suga’s part.

2. La Ta Ta – (G) – Idle.

The debut of (G)-Idle was something every Kpop fan talked about, and it was great to finally see Soyeon a former Produce 101 contestant make her debut. This is was a strong debut, it did not feel or look like a rookie group was debuting. Soyeon the leader of the group wrote the song and helped to produce it. That’s quite impressive, especially for a rookie group. This is the next girl crush group and I love their songs so far.

I also have another dance video to share with you that me and my team filmed at our dance studio.

3.  Ddu -Du Ddu-du – Blackpink

It was a year since Blackpink released a comeback ever since As if it’s your last so when Ddu -Du Ddu was released I was absolutely thrilled. In the beginning, I didn’t like the song but after I listened to it for a while I was absolutely obsessed. I tend to dislike YG songs in the beginning, and after a while, I warm up to them. This song is amazing, edgy and portrays their overall concept and vibe as a group very well. This was an excellent comeback.

4. EXID – Lady

I love this 90s inspired track by EXID, it was refreshing and it added something new to my playlist. EXID songs are always so catchy!

5. BAAM – Momoland

I love this hyper energy Momoland always has and whenever this song starts playing it makes me want to get up and start shuffling like they do at the beginning of the video. Even though there are some similarities to their single Bboom, Bboom, I still love the song and I think it is great.

6. Idol – BTS

What a shocker another BTS song on my list, but I have to stay true to what I’ve loved this year. BTS really shined this year, they are even nominated for a Grammy and I am so incredibly proud. Idol has a different vibe from Fake Love but it still delivers the message of loving yourself and not caring what people say about you.

7. Thanks – Seventeen

I had to include this song because the moment I heard it I was obsessed. I am not sure why people don’t talk about Seventeen more, they are so talented and have awesome personalities. Nevertheless, I love the song because of the emotion it makes me feel. It’s interesting how Seventeen can switch up their concepts from funny to more serious ones. They do both so well. I can’t wait to see what they’ll release in 2019!

8. Heroine – Sunmi

Ever since Gushina came out, fans were eagerly anticipating Sunmi’s return and she did not disappoint. Each song she has released this year is so catchy and iconic!

9. Lo Siento – Super Junior ft. Leslie Grace

Kpop and Latin music mashup? Say what? Yes, you heard it right and I had no idea I needed this in my life. This is such a groovy and fun song to dance to and it is nice to see the boys try something new. I hope to hear more mashups like this one in the future.

10. Starry Night – Mamamoo 

What an awesome year Mamamoo had and I am so proud of their success in 2018. This song has a mellow vibe and I love the scenic shots in the music video. I am definitely going to continue cheering them on in 2019!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

What 2018 Meant to Me!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another post! Today I will review my year and tell you how I felt about 2018.

As a new year approaches, I like to look back on the year and see how different it was from the previous one. The previous year was very challenging, painful and draining! Due to that reason I was very apprehensive to welcome 2018, I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t have the energy for another bad year.

The start of 2018 was slow, there wasn’t too much happening until I saw there was a new dance course offered in my studio. I decided to join because I wanted to continue dancing and I have a passion for dance. Then February came along, and it was time for my 29th birthday and celebrating my final year in my 20s. I went to a fun ping pong bar with some friends and I had a great time. I also filmed my second dance video for my studio’s YouTube channel. March was an eventful month, I cosplayed for the first time at Comic-Con, I got baptized, and went to my friend’s new house. April was a very quiet month, I mostly spend time with friends and started the weekly classes that prepared me for my first performance showcase that took place in June. It wasn’t my first time on stage, but it’s been a while since I performed, so this was the first time in 15 years.

May was awesome, I went to New York City by myself to see if I could manage traveling solo and you know what, I did awesomely. It wasn’t that hard to navigate through NYC, it was so eventful and fun. Then when I came back I  went on a super fun Spring picnic with my coworkers. I also went to my high school’s open house because my high school shut down permanently. In June, I finally had my first performance showcase which was held at my studio. It was amazing and everything I hoped it would be. The studio was successful selling tickets and we got a bigger performance venue for the next showcase. In July, I went on a three-day bus ride across Western Canada with Greyhound from Toronto to Calgary. I won’t go in a lot of detail about it now, but I think I’ll write a separate post about my experience. I had a blast in Calgary and while I was there I went to Banff and Drumheller. Magnificent views and incredible adventures were seen and had on this trip. In addition, I enrolled in my next video class at my dance studio and that was a ton of fun. Unlike the last three months, August was quiet and I simply hung out with friends and family. I modeled for a nature theme photo shoot, I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the first time and I  also filmed my second dance video at my studio!

The Fall months were amazing and very eventful. September arrived and that’s when I started my next class for my second showcase that took place in November. These classes were weekly, but to add to that I also had weekly rehearsal for a small charity performance at the University of Toronto. It was a different experience and I really enjoyed it. I also volunteered for the third year in a row for the Toronto Internation Film Festival and it was the best year. I was at the busiest venue and I loved it because it kept me busy. We also got a major discount at the concession stands, and I ate an endless amount of poutine. I also attended the Nuit Blanche Art exhibit with my friend that was very enjoyable. October was a simple month, I hung out with friends, I attended some photography events and I attended the Game of Thrones concert. In November, I had my second showcase performance and I am absolutely thrilled I have committed to dance. I don’t intend to stop any time soon, and I would like to enhance my skills further. The rest of the month was quiet and I spend time with friends going out for some fun outings.

Here it is the final month, December, this month was magical and eventful. I had a great time being with friend and family. I went to the Christmas Market, The Happy Place (which I’ll talk about in another post), and hung out with my friend who is visiting from Australia and more.

So that’s basically what my year has been like, of course, I didn’t include some details that I decided to keep to myself because I am working on some things. That’s all I’ll say. This year was the first year I have learned how to properly take care of myself. I learned the power of letting go what not meant for me and who is not meant to be in my life anymore. I have learned how to practice positive thinking, and being happier. I felt for a while that change is coming as if I was entering a new phase, but for some reason, I was resisting it. I am glad I am no longer resisting this change because thanks to this change I am evolving.

Each year will have good and bad moments, and life will throw everything it can at you. At moments you will feel defeated and broken, but it’s those challenges that bring you to the next level. I am ready to welcome 2019, let’s greet it with a smile and wish for a wholesome year.

Thank you for reading and I will see you again with another post very soon!