In the spirit of Lunar New Year, I have collected a few shots from my very short-lived Taiwan trip at this time last year during their Lantern Festival. Yes, it's been quite a while. Yes, I had to dig them out from my portable drive. Yes, I should probably have posted this earlier. But at the time, there was so much going on that I didn't really think about sitting down to edit or share these here. It's amazing to look back and really appreciate the beauty and magic of the moments you've had the chance to experience.

Short Recap: We first drove to Jiufen from Taipei by cab, where we mistakenly thought the Sky Lantern Festival was taking place.  Jiufen was a breath of fresh air with a hint of stinky tofu (literally). The delicious street food and beautiful scenery were undeniably worth the detour. Fortunately, we eventually made it to Pingxi where the lanterns were actually released. We ended up walking along train tracks surrounded by various shops and street stands where you could find local food and gifts. It was one of those moments where you just didn't care about where you were headed. You would just walk and enjoy the smell emanating from food stands, the view of hundreds of lanterns flying off in the horizon and the lively background noise of both visitors and locals. Finally, the night ended as we stood in the tracks and set our wishes-filled lanterns to the sky.



It's hard to fully grasp the value of a moment until it slowly...



...fades away.



Happy Lunar New Year everyone!


Happy (early) Lunar New Year! Joyeux Nouvel An Chinois! 新年快乐! 

Not gonna lie I had to ask a friend for that last one... Although I was born in China, growing up in Canada has definitely initiated a progressive detachment from my Chinese heritage. However, I have never missed a single Lunar New Year celebration. Symbolism aside, it is mainly a special occasion to feast and reunite with your whole family including those relatives whom you see once a year. Who doesn't love a good reason to stuff your face with delicious food with a side of all your new year resolution regrets? On top of that, you might also be lucky enough to receive a couple of 红包 which are commonly known as red envelopes.

In preparation for the upcoming festivities, since I don't own a single piece of red clothing, I decided to make up for it by accessorizing. I found this beautiful small wristlet in polished pebble leather from Coach at the Premium Outlets Montreal. Best part? It was 50% off! Several stores there will be offering various Lunar New Year promotions from February 16th to 18th. Aside from Coach, there are various other deals including Adidas offering 40-50% off on select shoes and Max Mara handing out red envelopes with surprise discounts if your purchase is over $250 (how cute is that? ). Note that it is an outlet mall but most of the larger brands have a pretty wide selection. There are also 80+ boutiques to choose from including Gucci, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger, Matt & Nat and many more (full list here). So if you celebrate LNY, this is the perfect opportunity to find that outfit to impress all your relatives at the reunion dinner! Maybe your family will be less likely to roast you for still being single this year...

 HAPPY CELEBRATION/ SHOPPING/ FEASTING!

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Malgré le fait que je sois née en Chine, grandir à Montréal a sans aucun doute déclenché un détachement de mon héritage chinois. Toutefois, je n'ai jamais manqué une seule célébration du Nouvel An lunaire. Mis à part la valeur symbolique de cette tradition, c'est surtout une occasion spéciale pour se réunir en famille pour un repas du Nouvel An. Qui n'aime pas une bonne raison de se bourrer la face tout en jetant par la fenêtre toutes vos résolutions du 1er janvier? De plus, c'est aussi le temps de recevoir des 红包 qui sont tout simplement des enveloppes rouges. 

En préparation pour les festivités à venir, puisque je ne porte que rarement du rouge, je me suis dit que ce serait une bonne idée de compenser avec des accessoires. J'ai trouvé cette belle pochette rouge en cuir de Coach au Premium Outlets Montreal réduite à 50%! D'ailleurs, plusieurs magasins là-bas auront des promotions exclusives pour le Nouvel An chinois du 16 au 18 février. Adidas offrira 40-50% de réduction sur l'ensemble du magasin alors que Max Mara donnera des enveloppes rouges avec des rabais surprises sur un achat de 250$ ou plus. Il y a plus de 80 boutiques dans cet outlet mall incluant Gucci, Levis, Tommy Hilfiger, Matt & Nat et plusieurs autres (liste complète ici). Bref, c'est la chance parfaite de trouver la tenue qui impressionnera tous vos proches pour les distraire de tous sujets de conversation que vous préfériez éviter!  


FEATURED PRODUCTS HERE:


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This post is sponsored by Premium Outlets Montreal, all opinions are my own.



Hello 2018. 

New year, new resolutions? I have never been a fan of new year resolutions just because everyone knows the gym will be empty by January 2nd. However, the start of a new year is a great time to look back and forward to set realistic long-term goals instead of short-term resolutions that won't last. First off, I think it's a great idea to write down a list of things you have achieved throughout the year. Time flies and you often overlook the accumulation of everything you have done and what you have learned from your experiences. It also drives you to reach even further in various aspects of your life. If I had to share that list for 2017 on top of my head right now, it would be something like:

- went on a four-month exchange in Hong Kong (where these photos were taken!) and met some amazing people with whom I traveled to Taipei, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Singapore, Bali, Gili Islands, Kuala Lumpur, Macau and Seoul (RECAP VIDEO HERE)

- went back to China after living in Canada for more than 17 years, visited my hometown (Fuzhou) as well as Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen

- honoured to have met successful and inspiring people through blogging and worked with some brands I would never have imagined would reach out to me (thank you Fann from Hotel Jen by Shangri-La Resorts for letting me stay and making this post possible!)

- bought my first noob DSLR (Canon T6i) that I've been telling myself I needed to get for so long... lol someone teach me please

- landed my first internship and full time position at an accounting firm and met some amazing friends there

For all those reasons, 2017 was probably one of my best years so far and I'm incredibly grateful for it. Now onto looking forward and setting goals. I believe in goals that are clear and concise instead of something like make more money, exercise more, procrastinate less, meet more people etc. Ask yourself:

What, how, why?

Set yourself goals that you can slowly and progressively achieve. Many people focus too much on the end goal instead of the process to getting there and what you can learn from it. For example, if you want to go to the gym more often, what exactly do you want to achieve from it? Are you trying to lose x amount of weight or simply to not be dead tired going up the stairs to work? How will you achieve that considering your work/school schedule? Why will it benefit your lifestyle? Another example, if you have a dream job in mind, don't be disappointed if it doesn't come easy because it's not always realistic. Don't take for granted everything you can learn towards achieving it, let it be having to settle for a more low-key job at first or something not as related. I believe nothing you go through is a waste and you can definitely gain transferrable skills here and there if you put your mind to it. Absorb as much information as you can and then reach further. Find a realistic plan for your goals and adapt it along the way instead of diving head first into them.

On my part, here are a couple of things I look forward to in 2018 and hope to achieve:

- continue creating content for this blog and improve my editing/ photography. stay organic because engagement comes and goes but authenticity stays. you attract the kind of people that you are! 

- maybe expand IG/ blog to other platforms. Youtube channel???

- keep improving my programming knowledge, spend more time coding on the side and learning after graduation

- get in CPA school, pass my CFE exam and decide if I want to pursue further education (probably won't be in 2018 hah)

- graduate (lol)

- travel to the places still on my bucket list (on top of my head and realistically): Chicago, LA, Thailand, Japan, Vancouver and probably go back to China/HK hopefully

- spend more time with my family while I'm still in Montreal

- be a more positive person in general

- buy more experiences (concerts!!) over material things 

What are your goals?

Regardless of your plans, life is unexpected. Life is exciting. And just like that, 2018 will be full of surprises so buckle up and ride along.
 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 
May it be filled with love, food and laughter <3

Photos taken by Parklynn and Irwin Chan in collaboration with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts featuring Hotel Jen Hong Kong


Let's be honest, most of us buying chocolate advent calendars end up eating the entire thing the same day we bought it. I mean... who has that sort of self-control to wait anyways. Sounds familiar? Yup, should've just went to IGA and bought a chocolate bar instead.

But who says they only have to contain chocolate? In fact, there are several brands starting to offer advent calendars customized to their products and Sephora definitely did not skip the trend this year. I was lucky enough to try their 24 days Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar packed with various makeup, beauty, bath and random accessories.

Obviously, I think the key to not being disappointed in advent calendars is not to expect too much from each slot. Just like how you probably know the chocolate in them are usually lower quality, I knew the products in this one would be closer to sample size than full size. If you're looking for specific products or generally dislike surprises (why would you smh..) then I don't think advent calendars are made for you. But otherwise, who doesn't get excitement from opening a gift every single day, no matter how small or irrelevant it is? If you want to know everything in this one, scroll down for the full list. Overall, I would say most of the products were meant more for testing purposes and mainly for fun. It's a great gift if you wanted to introduce a brand to someone or just to give something way more exciting and original than a gift card.

Additionally, as part of their winter holidays collection, Sephora also introduced a few palettes are UNDER $20. Not only is their packaging adorable, but for that price, there's a very generous amount of product in each palette. I have yet to try any of them, but I'm already in love with the colours. They will be gone soon as they're all limited edition so what you waiting for?



Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you all the very best holidays xoxo

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The calendar includes:
Sleeping Mask in Lotus
Creamy Body Wash Capsule in Cotton Flower, Lagoon, Peony
Fizzing Cube in Cotton Flower
Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes
Fingertip Eyeliner in 01 Smart Black
Eye Pencil Liner to go in N09 Intense Black
Removable Eyeshadow Pan in N298 Tiramisu
Universal Brow Freeze in 01 Clear
Blush in N05 Sweet On You
Lip Pencil to go in N03 Classic Red
Cream Lip Stain Lipstick in 01 Always Red
Nail Polish in L43 It-Girl
Instant Nail Polish Wipes
Ribbon hair tie
Pocket mirror
Ribbon
Post-it stickers
Badges
Nail file

SHOP THIS SEASON'S BEST-SELLERS





The reason why I love Montreal so much is how its slow pace allows you to explore and appreciate the city. Even after living here for over 17 years, I still discover new interesting spots around the city every week. From murals to new restaurants or cafes, Montreal is laid-back yet ever-changing. While living in the same place for so many years, it's easy to fall victim to the same routine and risk taking for granted everything that the city has to offer. My advice: take a day every week (most likely on a weekend for most) where you cross out that routine to-do list and give yourself the freedom to explore or try something new in the city. Perhaps it could be finally trying that brunch spot you saved on your Instagram or just walking by the colourful houses near le Plateau Mont-Royal. In my opinion, part of living a good life is stepping out of your daily routine to discover or learn something new about your surroundings.


I'd love to know what good living means to you. Share what a good life is to you with the hashtag #MadeForGoodLiving and tag @FrankAndOak for a chance to get featured on their Instagram. Feel free to click into the tag if you're also interested in seeing what others have written too!

Have a great end of the week and best of luck on finals to anyone else in my shoes!

Pants from Frank and Oak



WEARING
ARITZIA Sweater 
FRANK AND OAK Burgundy Trousers (SHOP HERE)
ZARA Grey Coat
ALDO SHOES Ankle boots
MEJURI Necklace

GET THE LOOK



Photos by Dany


I'm of course referring to the pattern and not the song. Not gonna lie, I was unsure if it was spelled gingham or gangnam ... I blame PSY lol. One thing for sure, this checkered gingham pattern is definitely a timeless trend especially for the fall. I found this cute summery top online from Popcherry, they're one of Australia's largest online retail stores and their prices are honestly very good for the clothes you get. I also ordered three other things from them and they were all true to size. One of the pieces had a completely different texture from what I expected (it was rather flimsy). However, same goes for every other online retailer, it's important to pay attention to the photos and description to know what kind of material to expect. A great thing about Popcherry is that each item listing actually a pretty accurate "Details" section. It usually provides information on whether the fabric is sturdy or flimsy which I totally didn't pay attention to at the time. Online purchases can always be a miss-or-hit but you can definitely avoid many misses if you set your expectations in the right direction by being well informed. By the way, wouldn't it be great if one day there was a way to see how every outfit from online shops actually fit on you using virtual reality? C'mon technology! Anyways overall, I was satisfied with my experience with them and would recommend it (note that delivery to Canada usually takes a little less than 2 weeks since it's shipped from Australia).

I also recently added this corduroy jacket from The Cords Co to my fall staples. It definitely adds some texture to this outfit so I don't entirely look like a black blob. I think it's a great idea to play around with textures when you're only wearing one or two solid colours to make every piece stand out. To be completely honest, this is probably the only corduroy piece I own but I'm absolutely in love with it. I was never a fan of corduroy to begin with because I feel like it usually looks slightly too washed off and easy to stain. However, there's something about the material for this one that makes it look lustrous while also keeping that vintage vibe that we associate to corduroy. It may be slowly growing on me... hmmm.

Finally, if you know me well or have been reading my blog, you probably know I usually don't wear much jewelry. If I do wear some, it's 99% of the time very minimal and subtle. This is why I picked this small wishbone necklace from an online store called Thea Winston. It was actually recently launched by a friend of mine (hi Sean). There are still a limited selection of items available but I highly recommend you stay tuned for what's to come! If you're interested in any of the pieces and are in Montreal, feel free to message me and I can probably arrange something with him to save you the shipping. You could also save 10% off your entire purchase (use "PING10" at checkout) if order directly before Dec 2nd.

ALSO, I've partnered up with Daniel Wellington from now throughout holidays season so you guys can still get 15% off until end 2017! 
New code is "PINGGYU15" at checkout. 




WEARING
POPCHERRY Gingham top
THE CORDS CO Corduroy Vest
THEA WINSTON Wishbone Necklace (SHOP HERE)
ALDO SHOES Ankle boots
ZARA Jeans
DANIEL WELLINGTON Watch (get 15% with "PINGGYU15" at check out)

GET THE LOOK



Photos by Dany

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