Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Zoya Earth Day Nail Polish Exchange

laelene Posted in general blogÔľĆTags: , , , , , ,

Happy Earth Day! I hope you all are a little more mindful of how you can be less wasteful these days. ūüôā

And I’ve spent the day contemplating and struggling over that very issue. See, I came across a really cool offer for a nail polish “exchange” by Zoya. Zoya makes 5-free nail polish (aka they don’t use 5 toxic ingredients that have commonly been in nail polish before people started taking note). They’ve got a ton of designs and colors, which are pretty awesome! For this week, they’re offering to help you swap your old toxin-laden nail polishes with their lovely 5-free nail polishes (excluding the PixieDust collection).

zoya earth day nail polish exchange offer 2013

Here’s the deal: you can pick anywhere from 6-24 bottles of nail polish to get at half off, which would make them $4 apiece. Then you’re supposed to gather up that same number of bottles of non-5-free brands from your collection to mail in to them. They’ll help you dispose of them appropriately. So for something like $35, you can get 6 bottles of Zoya nail polish and send off 6 bottles of your old nail polish. That’s 6x$4+$6.95 shipping+$4 shipping to them. I’m not sure exactly how much it would cost to mail your nail polish since you have to do ground shipping and that might have different rates from “standard” shipping, but my estimate should be close enough.

Now I don’t know about you, but a $4 bottle of nail polish is still kind of expensive. Factor in the shipping costs you’d have to pay and you’re paying around $6 per bottle. While I love the thought of my old, mostly unused polish getting properly disposed of, I’m struggling to decide if this is the best option. In a way, I still feel bad that that polish would get trashed rather than used and enjoyed. But then again, if something’s not good for your health or the environment, should you be enjoying it?

Dilemmas, dilemmas.

collection of nail polishes in shoebox top view

Some of my current collection.

Oh, and let’s not forget the economic aspect too – from that perspective, this is NOT a good deal since you’re not really gaining any new polish yet you end up paying $35! All in the name of “green”(er)? Well, there is a caveat here – you don’t have to return your old polish. That’s right, you are not obligated to send them anything and they will honor the deal! So basically you can look at this as a 50% off sale. In which case you should either get the nail polishes because you want them and this is a good deal (comparatively) or you should not get the nail polishes because you could just use your old ones.

However, I can’t just ignore the moral concern about doing good for the planet and being more responsible. Here is a chance for me to ensure that my nail polish with toxic chemicals is not left to leak into a landfill, but be treated however it’s supposed to be in order to safely dispose of it. Well, as safe as nail polish can get anyway. Unfortunately I don’t know if nail polish will ever be *that* green. So I could just try giving up on using nail polish, but I’m not that noble. I like having fun painting my nails! The best I can do is try to minimize the negative effects of it.

If I knew of a place I could drop off my nail polish to have it properly disposed of, I could go there and donate my “bad” polish. I’m not aware of such a service though and Zoya’s offer is the only way I know how to get that done at this point. So I think I’ve just talked myself into taking the offer. Can $35 buy me less guilt? Maybe for awhile. At the least I want to feel like I did better.

Valentine’s surprise

laelene Posted in photo blogÔľĆTags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m not usually one for fanfare, but I do love a nice surprise now and then. Look at what Panda got me for Valentine’s! ūüôā

seafoam green tous gift bag with pink & red gift tag

What’s this?!

inside of tous valentine's gift bag with red package

Peeking inside…

tous valentine's bag and box with baby panda

Baby Panda checks out the treat.

tous valentine's box open like flower petals

The red box opens up like flower petals to reveal a jewelry box.

round tous jewelry box with elastic band and bell

Cute little round jewelry box topped with a bell!

tous jewelry box opened to reveal bag inside

The next layer is the baggie.

tous jewelry box and pouch

Almost there!

tous bear flower ring

Yay, a cute little ring!

wearing tous bear green & white flower ring on finger

Look carefully and you’ll notice the “petals” are actually the TOUS bear wrapped around a sweet little Murano crystal.

And a Happy New Year

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How quickly the first month of the year went by!  It seems like just last week I was listening to the festivities put on by the neighbors.

happy new year 2013 from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Quiet Christmas

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This year the holiday season hasn’t quite felt real. ¬†Perhaps it’s the lack of Christmas decorations, wrapping and exchanging of presents, or a family vacation. ¬†The sense of festiveness and warmth just hasn’t struck me this time around despite the celebrations I see going on around me. ¬†Instead, I’m spending some quiet, peaceful time with Panda. ¬†It’s nice in its own way, but it’s something to get used to – soon enough, Panda and I will be creating our own little traditions that make this time of year special to us.

For so long now, this was the time of year that my parents and I got together pretty much without fail. ¬†Whether I flew out to China, they came here, or we all went somewhere new, my dad always figured out a nice little vacation for us. ¬†We’ve enjoyed some wonderful breaks as a family and it’s definitely a major reason why this year it doesn’t feel like it’s that season already. ¬†Plus, it’s one of the rare times when I don’t actually “take” a vacation. ¬†My days don’t change much and I’m still doing much of what I was earlier this month. ¬†There is no traditional work or school to get away from, or crazy schedules to pause. ¬†And so this year feels decidedly less exciting.

Of course, there are still some festivities planned that have yet to come, including a trip to Vegas and a day at Knott’s Berry Farm with Panda’s family. ¬†Also, there are some old friends to meet up with while we’re all in town! ¬†While the past week has been quiet and relaxing, this last week of the year will pick up a faster pace. ¬†Before we know it, 2013 will be upon us and I do look forward to what it will bring. ¬†I have plenty of ideas and I’ve got to get motivated to push forward with some. ¬†Might as well join the pack and set some solid resolutions to help push me along.

I got a wonderful fortune cookie that says: “Your work interests can capture the highest status or prestige.” ¬†Yes, please! ¬†It’s time to make that happen in 2013!


laelene Posted in general blogÔľĆTags: , ,

Well, we made it past the “end of the world” today. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†While it does seem that the world is getting crazier, what with intense weather patterns and increased violence, I certainly don’t think we’re anywhere near the end of it. ¬†In fact, I’d like to think that we’re in a slough right now, getting overwhelmed by the pace of change. ¬†It’ll take us time as we continue to adjust to things like how to truly connect interpersonally in the digital age, how to conserve and reuse resources efficiently enough to not run out of them, and the like.

Oh, and don’t forget today was the winter solstice! ¬†As the shortest day of the year and the traditional “official” start to the winter months, it’s supposed to be a day where you feast. ¬†After all, you’ve got to get your body prepared to weather the long, cold days ahead! ¬†I certainly enjoyed a large dinner tonight. ¬†I’m looking forward to enjoying the final days of the year, including a trip to Vegas and Knott’s Berry Farm with Panda’s family, a nice quiet birthday dinner with Panda, and a peaceful New Year’s Eve with the cats as we ring in 2013. ¬†May it be filled with victories, joy, empowerment, and enrichment.

A day of remembrance

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I can hardly believe it’s been 11 years. I remember how painful it was the first few years, since I had to move away to California not long after the attacks. ¬†I left behind all my friends in New York, though my heart was still out there. ¬†The first two years, I completely decked out in every patriotic thing I had – a Cat in the Hat felt hat, a t-shirt with stars and stripes, even flip flops with the American flag. ¬†Oh, and don’t forget the various pins I had in red, white, and blue (some shaped like flags, some like stars). ¬†I proudly walked around my West Coast high school, never forgetting my old East Coast life.

Over the years, I felt more and more like a Californian and my connection to New York faded slowly. ¬†I think it was about the 6th anniversary that I no longer felt the extreme sadness that I had in years before. ¬†Instead it had evolved to a certain type of solemnness. ¬†And while that day is still burned in my memory (the shock on my math teacher’s face as the principal told her what happened and the time it took for us students to fully grasp what it all meant), a lot of healing has occurred in the time since. ¬†Now I can look back without bursting into tears… though don’t get me wrong, I still feel them welling up.

We are still seeing the consequences of what those terrorists did and hopefully we can finally stop this war and find some peace again.  In the mean time, we should all find some time in our lives to honor all those who sacrificed, especially on this day each year.  Memories may fade and feelings may dull, but let us never forget the lessons of yesteryear.

Patriotic parade

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For the Fourth of July, the streets of D.C. were filled with cop and military vehicles.

military parade from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Symbols in the sky

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circle with line drawn through made by plane in sky

We kept seeing these all Memorial Day weekend - there was a second line drawn later crossing the first one.

Back to work

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All too soon the holiday weekend is over and Panda and I are back to our lives so distanced from each other. ¬†It was a nice long weekend though, and a welcome break from the hubbub of the daily grind. ¬†Today we got to spend the day at the LA Zoo, exploring the various habitats and enjoying the beautiful day. ¬†Tomorrow morning he’s off on a plane back to the East Coast and I’ll be in the office not long after. ¬†It’s been a great 10 days having him around and I look forward to the next time he’s in town.

If only we had more 3-day weekends! ¬†This one has been gloriously long and we got so much done it’s hard to believe it’s only been a few days and not an entire week. ¬†I can’t wait for the next one in just over a month. ¬†Hopefully I can fly out to see him again at that time and enjoy some more time out east with him. ¬†I like the idea of us traveling back and forth to see each other while we’re living and working so far apart. ¬†Hey, when you’re young, traveling is a fun perk! ¬†I plan on taking advantage of it while I can. ¬†Maybe even do a mini vacation to another city while we’re at it.

But for now, tomorrow is the start of a new work week and we have two new interns joining us, so that’ll be cool. ¬†I always love a little bit of change and since I hear both are girls, that really helps the male to female ratio in the office. ¬†We haven’t had that many women in the office since I’ve been around! ¬†I’m looking forward to it.

Long weekends

laelene Posted in general blogÔľĆTags: , , ,

It’s amazing how quiet things are in the office the day leading up to a long weekend. ¬†People are so eager to finish the day early that not much gets done, which sort of perpetuates the whole situation. ¬†After all, why stick around when you’ve finished up your work for the week? ¬†And so it goes, usually with no more than a half day’s worth of work accomplished before everyone packs up and heads out. ¬†Unfortunately for me, I do my weekly reports on Fridays and they always take up quite a bit of time. ¬†Many a time I’ve been the last one left on a Friday night and today I was determined to not let that happen again.

Thankfully, I didn’t have too much work to do besides the report, which takes about 3-4 hours to compile. ¬†It didn’t help that our CTO brought in a Justin Bieber DVD to play, which was at once annoying and distracting. ¬†I can only handle so much tween screaming before getting a major headache! ¬†I was relieved when that was finally over and I was nearing the end of my report. ¬†It was almost 4 PM and there was light at the end of the tunnel!

Ah, American holidays. ¬†It’s so rewarding to get a long weekend to recoup after months of the daily grind. ¬†I’ve hardly even gotten to rest on the weekends since there’s just so much to do. ¬†Hopefully I can catch up on some rest this weekend, what with no GMAT class or events to attend. ¬†Still, Panda’s in town so I want to do some things with him and of course we want to try to meet up with some friends before he jets off again. ¬†I’m glad we have the extra time!

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