Thursday, July 29, 2010

Forever21 Clothes Haul + How to save your money: Opt-out of the magazine subscription! + PROMO CODE!

Hello everyone! Just wanted to share a recent order I made with F21. This time, I am happy to say that I am more or less satisfied with EVERYTHING I ordered. And this is a good thing because in my past unsatisfactory orders; I have come to discover the complete lack of customer service F21 has! So needless to say, I don't even bother contacting F21 anymore if I have complaints... because they don't reply to me at all, or if they do, their reply is never helpful! ...But I still love shopping there :P

***Another little tidbit about myself... I pretty much always buy stuff on sale, or with a promo code, or if there's some kind of special going on. So basically everything I buy from F21 is either on sale, a Fabulous Find, or from their Daily Specials. Some may call that "cheap-ass"... but I call it "shopping smart" ;)

So anywho, here's what I ordered:

Fab Denim Shorts -- $10.50
Embossed Pocket Denim Shorts (Daily Special) -- $14.24

Fab Plaid Dress -- $9.50

Mineral Royal Tee -- $9.99
(on sale from $19)

Fab Zippered Pocket Skinny Jeans -- $14.50

Fab Ribbed Knit Tank x2 (black & coral) -- $3.50 ea.
Fab Loop Buttoned Pocket Short (black) -- $8.50

Also, I have been receiving so many free magazine subscriptions from online stores I shop at... and it's been driving me nuts! I guess I never read the fine print about automatically getting a free sub with $XX purchase. But no, I do not want to read Teen Vogue or OK or Lucky! Ugh!

So this time, I decided to read the terms and conditions of the subscription offer upon checkout at F21. And I don't know if this is common knowledge and I am the only one behind on it (lol)... but as it turns out, you can opt-out of the magazine subscription and get money back for what the subscription was worth! $10, infact! :D All you have to do is fill out a form and mail it to F21 with a copy of your invoice within 30 days. Easy peasy.

I haven't mailed it out yet but better get it! -_-; But I have faith that they'll come through.
(Or else I'll launch a relentless angry email spree on them!!!)

Oh and don't forget, F21 is having free shipping with promo code STANDOUT on orders of $40+ until this Sunday!

Review: My experience with CSN Stores + Product Overviews

Hello everyone! Here today to share my experience with CSN Stores and review one of their products. I have never shopped with CSN Stores before, so I wanted to have the whole customer experience, first hand!

As I mentioned in the Review Preview post, CSN Stores is made up of OVER 200 STORES and they are one of the top 3 online U.S. retailer of home and office goods. CSN Stores offers furniture, home decor, housewares, home improvement, outdoor, baby & kids, shoes, bags, & luggage, health & fitness, pet, office, and school-related products. They have everything from beds to bakeware; strollers to shoes; handbags to home decor, and more! They even have FREE SHIPPING on just about everything!

The good stuff:
  • User friendly website. Easy to navigate; everything is categorized
  • HUGE selection of products; over 200 different stores to choose from
  • Reasonable prices, hassle free returns, and free shipping on just about everything.
  • Great customer service!!! Very helpful, patient, and willing to go the extra mile.
The low-down:

  • Not everyone is eligible for free shipping :(
My take: since I have never shopped with CSN Stores before, I was eager to find out how they would compete with my other online shopping experiences -- which often times, were negative.

Since I live in Hawaii, I'm constantly subjected to surcharges, higher shipping rates, and no free shipping or other affordable shipping options. I didn't read CSN Stores' fine print until AFTER I had decided what I wanted to buy. So no, I do not qualify for free shipping :( -- But you mainland people do!!!

Aside from the no free shipping, I was having trouble placing my order. I was getting an error telling me that since I was shipping to Hawaii, I needed to choose "only HI shipping options." Uh, I wasn't quite sure what that meant. Ground shipping, Next Day Air, and 3 day shipping prices were ASTRONOMICAL (3 day ended up as like $11K for some reason!! WTF?!) So for whatever reason, 2nd Day Air was the cheapest option. But even when I selected that option, it gave me the same error message and wouldn't let me place my order.

So here is where CSN Stores' great customer service comes in. I've griped here quite a few times about dealing with poor customer service from big-name companies such as Forever 21 (especially!), so I wasn't really expecting anything impressive from CSN Stores. However, I called customer service (toll free) and was quickly connected to a very helpful, patient, and understanding CS Rep. He said he had never encountered such an error and that it probably was a glitch with the particular item I wanted to buy. I could either wait until possibly Monday for their tech team to fix the problem, or he could try to put my order through from his end. Since the item was low stock, I decided to put the order through.

He had to do some major workarounds to get me the correct shipping price and allow the order to go through -- So although I did not get the 2 Day Air shipping, I got the same low price; except with ground shipping.

The Rep was very understanding and willing to take the extra steps to fulfill my order. Was on the phone for nearly 20 minutes and didn't feel rushed, pressured, or hassled the entire time. He assured me that they would get the shipping issue resolved as soon as possible.
My order was all set and ready to go, and this is what I was going to get:

Kathy Van Zeeland Crown Princess Nappa Belt Shopper in Platinum...because it has been on my wishlist for awhile.
However, here's the sad, sad, SAD part... several days later, I got an email stating that my order had been cancelled because apparently, the bag had been discontinued by the manufacturer and CSN Stores hadn't updated their stock -- Also probably what had caused my previous ordering issues. Not gonna lie, I actually wanted to cry, since I've been having THE WORST luck with online shopping lately. And most of you know that I'm a bag-whore... so it was pretty devestating for me :( So anyway, I had to scrap that idea and make a new order.

...Which I guess was a "good" thing because I decided to choose more things that I could make better use of and were a better value for the price. But that was STILL not the end of my ordering problems. I was still having trouble putting my new order through. So Jess of the CSN Promo Team offered to put my order through for me, so I wouldn't have to deal with any more shipping and ordering hassles myself. She put my order through the very next day AND upgraded my shipping with no extra charge, so my order came within a few days. Case in point why I am so satisfied with their customer service -- they truly do go the extra mile for you.

I got my order in two shipments through UPS. Everything was packed up securely and nothing was damaged or missing when I received it.
So here's what I ended up getting:

Post it note tabs and mechanical pencils for the upcoming school semester, Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner with SPF 15, and a bottle of Greenworks spray cleaner (not pictured... gave it to my mom).

Will do a review on the Aveeno lip balm in a bit. So far, so good... except for the taste. But other than that, it is buttery smooth and uber moisturizing!
And two Goodhope bags in gold and black.

I'm a sucker for quilted fabric!
Was planning to add some deco-touches to these bags... ribbons, bows?
Not sure what I'm gonna do yet.

I did not anticipate these bags to be so HUGE though. I am tiny (5'0") so I kind of look funny when I carry around a huge bag. I guess it's a good thing though because I can carry my laptop around now :P

The lining is a faux Burberry-esque print. Cute deviation from the norm, solid color interior. Very roomy with one zip pocket on the inside that can fit pens pencils, phone, etc... a lot of stuff. The top zips up as well. The entire bag is very sturdy and feels well made. I can fit my dog in here! The straps feel strong as well and are a good length.

The only thing with these bags is that THEY SMELL!!!! Really bad. They have a very strong chemically manufactured scent. Not pleasant at all. So I'm airing them out at the moment and hoping the smell goes away before school starts :(

In the end, I am glad that I chose to do a review instead of a giveaway because I was able to go through the entire customer experience for myself. Even though I encountered several issues with ordering, I still would consider my experience with CSN Stores a positive one. I discovered that:
  • Their free shipping does not apply to everyone
  • Sometimes they have glitches with shipping costs
  • Sometimes they have out-of-stock items
  • Their customer service is fantastic
  • They will do their best to make your shopping experience a pleasant one
Disclaimer: CSN Stores sponsored this purchase. I was not paid by nor am I affiliated with this company.
This review is based upon my honest experience with CSN Stores and my honest opinion about their products.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy got a haircut :]

She actually looks like a girl now, lol.

8 Questions Tag!

Hey everyone! I was tagged by the lovely Karen from Allure of CF Beauty to do this 8 questions tag! Definitely stop by her blog. You can learn a lot from her about how you can do your part to buy cruelty-free beauty products!

Here's her 8 questions:

1) What are the three things that mean most to you in life?
Family, Friends, and my furbabies!

2) If you could pick to use only one kind of beauty product to use, would it be (1) cheeks products, (2) lip products, (3) eye products? I'll be nice and not include skin products ;)
I'll have to say eye products; if eyebrow pencil counts as "eye" products? Most of you know I cannot live without eyebrow pencil because I have no eyebrows without it lol XD

3) Are you more influenced by money or more by personal interest and happiness when it comes to your career/future career?
Definitely personal interest and happiness because I know that what I want to do does not make a lot of money unless you really make it big :(

4) What are your top three favorite food dishes?
Homemade soup, ice cream, hmm... french fries! Can you believe after 19 years, I am FINALLY sick of pizza?! I always thought I'd be able to eat pizza for days and days... but I am actually really sick of pizza... it kind of grosses me out now :O

5) What do you fear most?
The things I don't know and can't control. "People fear what they don't understand and hate what they can't conquer."

6) What are your hobbies or interests (besides blogging)?
Graphic and web design, photography, decoden, online/in-store shopping, listening to music, looking at / creating art, playing with Happy and Muffin, spending time w/ friends and family.

7) What is one of your childhood dreams and has it come true?
One of my childhood dreams (dream job) was to become a paleantologist or archaeologist. Seriously. Like REALLY seriously. But of course, neither came true... now I realize I don't think I'm cut out to do that kind of work :P

8) Do you like to wear accessories, and if yes what kinds?
Yes, I'm a necklace fiend!

Thanks for the tag Karen! I tag:
And here's my 8 questions:
  1. What's your favorite makeup brand, and why?
  2. Do you collect a certain type of beauty product (blush, lipgloss, eyeliner, etc.)?
  3. Do you have any makeup-related pet peeves?
  4. What's one piece of advice you'd like to give to all girls?
  5. Who's your favorite band or artist, and why?
  6. What's your clothing/fashion style?
  7. What's the priciest beauty product you've ever bought? Was it worth it?
  8. What's an occupation you would NEVER consider doing, and why?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tech time! MacBook Pro & iPod Touch :]

Hey everyone! Just wanted to drop in today to do a post on my two latest technology loves:

I had been wanting a laptop of my own for awhile now, and I was starting to need one for school. And awesomely, this special offer for a free (with rebate) iTouch with the purchase of any Mac computer came up! :D So I finally decided to take the plunge into the wonderful world of Apple. I'm actually more of a PC person but I've been getting so fed up with our home computer (UGH, VISTA SHOULD DIE!!!) lately, and I work on Macs at school; so it wasn't a difficult transition.

I decided on the 15" MacBook Pro (and 8BG iTouch -- so the Mister HAD to go out and get an iPhone just to 1up me. Jerk -_-;). It will also come very much in handy since I'm pursuing the field of Digital Media Arts -- graphic design, web design, video editing, etc.

I am so grateful for scholarships :)

So maybe I'll finally start working on getting some videos up? Who knows ;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Completed Decoden Project: Kawaii Hime iTouch case! + The Who, What, Where, & How-to's of Decoden ♥

Hey everyone! Here today to share my latest completed decoden project, an iTouch case!

This project took me approximately 5 hours (of course, I took lots of breaks in between :P) and cost me roughly $60. Deco'd cases for iPhone, Nintendo DS, and other items seem to have really been rising in popularity lately, and I can see why they cost upwards of $90. It takes A LOT of time, materials, and patience to fully deco one of these cases. But it is really fun and rewarding!

This post is for anyone who is interested in doing their own deco projects, buying deco materials, or a buying a pre-deco'd case.

What is decoden?

Deco-Den [デコ電] — which literally means, DECOration DENwa / phone that is encrusted in Swarovski, rhinestones, glitter, seals and paint. Deco-den doesn't only include phones, it can be how you decorate your keys, makeup sets, camera, etc. (source)

Who created decoden?

"Japanese ‘Hime-Den’ [姫電] comes from Hime meaning “Princess” and Den for Denwa or phone. Hime-Den refers to girlly keitais who have money — average and total monthly cellphone bill for a regular Hime-Den is about 60,000 yen per month or $530 USD and time to decorate their phone! (source)" -- don't quote me on that... but that's what I found through google :P ...Nowadays, decoden is popular with a wider audience... anyone who likes kawaii/hime/gyaru style!

Where to buy decoden materials?

I would HIGHLY recommend Sophie and Toffee as your first stop. They are based in Singapore and all prices are in SGD, so in USD; it is SO much cheaper! Their prices are already extremely low compared to many US distributors (who I honestly feel overcharge for their products) and shipping is only SGD$4... roughly $2.90 USD. They have a HUGE selection... a decoden lover's paradise ;)

The other two main places that I personally buy from are Yukiumi and Strapya. Yukiumi has a nice selection of deco materials but they are on the pricey side. Strapya is based in Japan and they also have a huge selection but the prices really vary. Shipping is also kind of pricey but it is rather quick.

Decoden materials can also be found on Etsy for various prices from various sellers.

Where to buy pre-made cases (iPhone)?

For the Do-It-Yourselfers:

Here's the breakdown of where I bought my deco supplies and how much it cost me to deco my iTouch case:


2nd Gen iTouch Case -- $3.99, free shipping

If you want it PINK, don't buy this case. It is "hot pink" but is actually a bright fluorescent neon-orange "pink" and looks nothing like in the picture. I was resent a CLEAR case -- a better choice because you can paint the inside whatever color you want. I used OPI's Oh So Glam nail polish for a light pearl pink.


Silver Crown (metal) 1 pc. -- $3.95

Pearls/Gems Combo A -- $14.95

This combo is worth it. You get so many different pieces. All you need for a quick deco project. And you will have LOTS left over. I would go with white because you can easily paint it whatever color you want.

~$3 shipping
TOTAL -- $21.95


Cellphone decoration/nail art glue w/ picker -- $6.00

This glue is VERY VERY VERY sticky and VERY messy. The picker is cute but doesn't work that well. I got glue all over my hands and it pretty much sticks to everything and stays there for a really long time. Not even washing took it off right away. But it works really well and bonds everything to the case securely. The tube looks really tiny but I still have more than half a tube left after deco-ing the entire case.

Franche 8mm Width Jewel Charm Part (Korilakkuma) -- $3.50
Franche Famous Character Parts for Strap/Bracelet 6mm Width Korilakkuma -- $3.50

These are actually for phone straps, but they have a flat bottom surface so you can easily glue them down. Most of you know I have an obsession with Korilakkuma so of course, I had to include him somewhere ;)

~$7.50 shipping
TOTAL -- $17.50


Japanese Craft Supplies Cabochon - Lolita Ribbon(I got pink)
SGD S$0.60 each
Measures 19mm

Stunning Crystal Faux Pearl Heart Cabochon
SGD S$2.10 each
Measures 22mm

High Quality Clear Crystal Silver Chain - Half yard 2.5mm
SGD S$7.00
Rhinestones measures 2.5mm

Round Clear Faceted Rhinestone Set - 200pcs 2.5mm
SGD S$2.60
Measures 2.5mm

Clear Acrylic Faceted Rhinestones Set - 200pcs 4mm
SGD S$3.70
Measures 4mm

Unique Flower Cabochon (I got one white & one pink)
SGD S$0.80 each
Measures 15mm

SGD$4 shipping

TOTAL -- $15.93 (USD)


Decoden How-to & Tips

  • It's cheaper (and funner and feels more rewarding) to decoden your items yourself!
  • If you want to use something less messy than glue but something that's still strong, try an adhesive sheet or adhesive dot sheet.
  • Pre deco'd sticker sheetsare great for quick decoden projects! -- I used one to deco my cellphone.
  • Search around to find the cheapest prices for materials or cases. Some places are really overpriced.
  • Ebay is the best place to buy cheap cases and most sellers have free, fast shipping and excellent customer service.
  • Tweezers are REALLY helpful :)
  • A full decoden project can take several hours... patience pays off ;)

EOTD: More Random Colors -- Teal, Light Aqua, Purple, Gold, & Burnt Sienna?!

Hey everyone! Here today to share an EOTD I did the other day, with some random colors:

Gold below the brow, teal & light aqua on the lid, purple above the crease, and "burnt sienna" above the teal. Do you guys remember the Burnt Sienna Crayola Crayon?! That's what the eyeshadow shade I used instantly reminded me of -- I could never forget the name of that crayon because it was just so "different" LOL!

Semi-inspired by my current gradient-fade nails:

What I used:

(Sephora Collector's Edition Palette)

Entire look done using only the MAC 239 & a Kirkland blending brush.

More pics of the look:

What else I used:

  • Physician's Formula Brow pencil in Dark Brown
  • DHC Eyebrow Perfect Powder in Brown
  • NYX Jar Concealer in Beige as a base
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Zero to tightline
  • Wet N Wild Mega Eyes Creme Eyeliner in Black to line lashline
  • L'Oreal Lineur Intense in Black Mica to line lashline