. Sunday, April 15, 2018 .
Hey, what's up, hello! 

It's your girl, Jennie, back again with another eclectic fashion post. The theme for this post is spring outfits, but as per usual, spring wouldn't be spring without an occasional nor'easter or, well like, four.  

I've created five outfits in total keeping in mind that spring (like fall) is one of the most confusing times of the year. It's warm, rainy, or chilly and often a mixture of all three. These outfits are casual, unisex, and there's usually some wiggle room to switch out an item or two to suit your own style!

Disclaimer: I will not be linking the actual brand of the clothes mentioned because Polyvore oftentimes includes pictures of clothes of items that have already sold out or are not available in the US. Once again these outfits are meant to be inspirational, not official. Fashion is more about what you can do with what you have rather than what you can get, so hit up your local thrift store - it's environmentally friendly and relatively cheaper! 

1. cropped denim jacket 
2. cropped hoodie
3. black jeans 
4. black boots
5. cropped tank top

I know the oversized denim jacket look will forever be in style, but I am recently digging this trend with a cropped denim jacket. I think it's a fresh take on the usual denim jacket trend and I have linked other alternatives. Of course, this doesn't mean your denim jacket has to be frayed at the bottom; you can have your jacket fitted as well. Another hack if you want to try out this trend without investing in a whole new article of clothing is to hit up your local thrift store or search for a denim jacket that you're sure you won't miss and go for the cut! I think this trend is super cute for the spring and I think this outfit is great for going out as well!

1. hoodie 
2. polo
3. black straight leg jeans 
4. white slip-ons

My go-to outfit if you see in real life, especially on days when I'm running late for class (in actuality, this is something I would wear even when I know for sure I wasn't going to be late). This outfit is super unisex, which leaves some wiggle room to switch out certain clothes. 
1. denim jacket 
2. white shirt 
3. blue wash straight leg jeans 
4. red crossbody bag
5. white shoes

I saw someone execute the Canadian tuxedo when I was out once and it really made me think about how certain fashion "no-no's" can be executed beautifully depending on the cut and fit of all your items. I put together this outfit in mind for those who want to try denim on denim. I kept the jacket denim to make it easy to create two different outfits in one. The white shirt and shoes keep it very casual and summer-y. I added a pop of color to cut up the monotony of blue and white. You might as well wear this on the Fourth of July while you're at it.
1. black cargo pants 
2. orange beanie 
3. black puffer
4. white shoes
5. pastel blue sweater 

Workwear is now super trendy for some reason. I think everyone has an inner desire to dress like a carpenter, especially with Carhartt Work-In-Progress and Dickie's Girls hitting the mainstream market - and becoming popular. I added some color with the orange beanie and pastel blue sweater. This outfit is more designed for the colder spring days which was why I added the puffer. 

1. checked blazer 
2. fair isle sweater 
3. blue mom jeans 
4. converse
5. ankle socks

This look is super inspired by Season 2 of Stranger Things. Throwback to the 80's and the popularity of the trends from the era. I threw in a fair isle sweater because the pattern can be worn casually or formally with a button up. As always I'm more of a casual than formal girl which was why I added jeans and Converse. A blazer with a really casual pattern is a great way to add more pattern or texture to an outfit as well.

Hope you enjoyed this spring fashion inspo post!

. Monday, April 9, 2018 .


When studying a language, having a plethora of examples is an extremely useful tool for seeing how the word is used.

I have used both Tangorin and Tatoeba in the past when looking for example sentences for new JLPT vocab! I thought it would be fun to compare them, so here we are!

I wanted to make a comparison post with some pros and con's for each one because I feel they have a few similarities.

Let's get started!


Tangorin



So this is the launch page when you click the website! It's pretty simple, and the tags are pretty self-explanatory.  The color scheme is pretty much orange, black, white and grey.


I decided to search the word '教育'. Here we can see not only a definition but also a breakdown of the Kanji. This is using the general tab, which encompasses all of the other tabs into one large search.


Since I use this site to help me find examples for new vocab, I just clicked the 'Examples' tab right after using the 'General' tab and a few examples popped up. This is only half of what was offered, so needless to say Tangorin offers a lot of natural sounding and pretty commonly used phrases.

The cool thing about this site is that if you click the grey plus button at the end of each example, you can save these to your account on the site. Then you can easily access your favorite examples and use them to study!

Another feature is that they sort of have additional translations available if English isn't your native language. However, this seems pretty limited.




Pros:


  • Easy to read, nice layout
  • Multiple language options
  • Ability to save examples
  • Simplistic but effective search options

Cons:


  • Not all examples have other language translations up and ready

Tatoeba


So Tatoeba is a little bit different in the way that the examples are crowdsourced from the user base. These users can take examples from basically anywhere, and I noticed some exact copies from Tangorin.

Another thing about Tatoeba is that you don't even need to use it for Japanese, it can be used for anyone who's learning a foreign language and would like to just search for something in that language.


This is the top half of the launch page. I decided to use the same word '教育' and search without applying any language filters, just to see what results the site provides me.


I got these results, which means the system picked up these two Kanji as Chinese. I can't read Chinese but I can understand the French sentence, which basically said that education is important. So it looks like we have the meaning down, but the language is incorrect.


So once I set the language to Japanese I got a correct search, accompanied by some other language translations. Something interesting I want to point out here is that this sentence came from a user who submitted it. However, this is the exact same sentence that was displayed on Tangorin.


Scrolling down a bit, this sentence is clearly also from Tangorin. It even uses the exact same name: Tom. 

My issue with this site is that, though translations and submissions need to be approved, I don't really trust user provided example sentences. 
Another thing is that, if you look at the side, the users can self-identify as a native speaker. I'm not so trusting that all the people that 'self-identify' are actually natives.

However, I will say that this site is miles ahead of Tangorin regarding other language translations. If you don't speak English and want to use Tangorin, your examples are a lot more limited.

When you click on the 'i' next to an example, you are taken to this page. This is where you can see who added, liked or commented on this example. Also, I think it's really cool that some of the translations have audio!

Pros:

  • Can be used with virtually any language
  • Multi-language translation
  • Seems like a fun and active community
  • Possible audio that can come along with the examples

Cons:

  • The site seems a little messy 
  • Not sure about crowdsourced example reliability
All in all, I think if I was learning a language other than Japanese I might take a trip to Tatoeba, but for now, I really like Tangorin! Luckily, I speak English natively and don't need to use the other language functions. For those who don't, I really recommend trying out Tatoeba and seeing how you like it.

I hope this post was helpful!

. Wednesday, March 28, 2018 .

I had the pleasure of receiving a wonderful gift from my boyfriend Vincent for our two year anniversary, a bottle of my favorite perfume: Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. This is the Eay De Parfum Intense spray. I received a sample of this perfume a few months ago when Vincent got me a lovely red lipstick by Chanel. He chose this sample, along with a sample of their mascara. I quickly became obsessed with the scent and tried to conserve the tiny sample I'd received. I mentioned, while video chatting with Vincent one night, that I loved the smell of it. 

To my dismay, he told me the sticker price for 3.4 fl oz, to which I quickly said 'Never mind!'. 

My love for the perfume stayed in his mind, and he gave me this box days after our anniversary had passed. The shipping was slower than he'd expected, so it became an after anniversary surprise.



In the package came this little card. I think it's a very cute touch to add this little note. The actual packaging it came in looked very unassuming. It was wrapped in grey plastic and the sender's address was just a bunch of numbers. I think they did this to make the package look inconspicuous when being sent, which is a smart idea. 

Other than looking pretty, this card has no purpose. I think I'll save it for my friend Amanda to paste in her journal.


This is the box opened up! The paper inside the box is sealed with a Chanel 'wax seal', which sadly is not an actual wax seal but a thin sticker. I was a bit disappointed it wasn't an actual wax seal, considering how high-end Chanel is. Included in the box was my perfume, another mascara sample and a sample of Chanel No.5. Vincent selected these samples himself!


Here is the perfume and the box! The perfume is a lovely rose gold shade. I have the 1.7 oz bottle, which retails at around $110. 

Chanel describes this scent as: 'An extreme, luminous and deep concentration of Patchouli infuses COCO MADEMOISELLE EAU DE PARFUM INTENSE with a voluptuous dimension. The warm, soft and feminine Amber accord — an intoxicating blend of Tonka Bean and Vanilla from Madagascar — wraps the scent in sensuality.'


I have to agree! This scent comes off as very youthful, with a hint of nostalgia. 

When I was younger, an aunt of my purchased Princess by Vera Wang as one of my birthday gifts. I used the entire bottle in under a year because I was so obsessed with how flirty it smelled. I get a bit of nostalgia when I smell Coco Mademoiselle because they both share strong notes of mandarin and vanilla. 

Coco Mademoiselle gives the essence of the fun, flirty young woman on the run. It feels like a perfume I should wear while walking down the streets of new york in a flowing white top and cigarette pants. This is the perfume for the modern girl whos discovering her style day by day. 

I really enjoy the intensity of this perfume. It may come off as a bit heavy for some but I love to have a signature scent waft into the room with me as I step in. I'm hoping this perfume can become my next signature scent, so I've been wearing it every day. I spritz a small amount of my left wrist and a small amount of the base of my neck. 

A lot of reviews I read said they think this perfume is long lasting, and Vincent agrees! While I've become a bit used to the scent as the days go on, Vincent says he's been 'smelling it for days'. For me, this is a huge plus because this means other people smell it as well! I don't think there's anything wrong with a powerful smell, as long as it's a good one!

I hope you enjoyed my little review, and I encourage you to get a sample size of Coco Mademoiselle if you can!

. Sunday, March 25, 2018 .
I've been into How To posts lately, so I wanted to share some tips about something I struggled heavily within the past -- staying positive.



I find myself always promising myself in the beginning of every year that I want to be more positive, however as the months pass by, I usually forget my goals and let stress take me over. Through a series of trial and error I've learned what works and what doesn't, so here are some tips as to how to revolutionize your way of thinking RIGHT NOW to create the optimal environment to clear out negativity and reach your goals!


. Wednesday, March 21, 2018 .

Yesterday, March 20th, was my two year anniversary with my boyfriend, Vincent. I decided to write this little post as a final 'Happy anniversary!' and to document what I did yesterday. I tried to do that whole '1 photo every hour' challenge, but because of the overcast weather in Albany, most of my photos didn't turn out too great. I hope you enjoy this short post!

My morning started out as usual! I teach a few classes online every morning, usually from 8:00 to 11 am, and then I head out to my first class.                                           

My instructor doesn't hold class every other week, so that meant I had no obligations other than the work I wanted to do. I decided to head to campus and visit the library, which I haven't done since freshman year. I had an assignment from one of my classes that required me to do some library research with a series of 12 Chinese dictionaries, so this was the best time for me to visit. It took me about an hour, but I managed to get everything done and my homework completed. It was oddly relaxing for me to just sit in the library and work. Right when I finished my work, Vincent got out of class around this time, so we met up!






We decided to eat in the Campus Center, which is a collection of restaurants in a lounge area at my school. I had a falafel rice bowl that I devoured (forgot to eat breakfast after teaching!) and Vincent had a sandwich.


We started talking about where we should go for our anniversary dinner, and he suggested we get sushi. I haven't had sushi since I'd gotten back from Japan, so I jumped at the chance to eat some. In downtown Albany there's a place called Kuma Ani which has an all you can eat sushi deal for 21.99 a person. We promised each other we would go, then loaded up the car to head home.


I bring a yellow mini backpack to school since all I usually bring is a planner, my pens, an iPad (seen in the photo on the left!) and a charger. If you'd like to see a 'What's in my Bag' type video, let me know!

At 5 we headed out to Kuma Ani, following Google maps down a long road that took us on a tour of Albany real estate. In a stroke of luck, we found a parking space right outside the restaurant, so we just walked right in.

The restaurant uses a paper and pencil at each table to record how much sushi you want. If you order enough, you can get a sushi boat, which is a platter shaped like a boat that's covered in sushi.


I've never ordered enough sushi to get a boat, but I hope I'll get there one day! In this photo, you can see Vincent filling out the form. The place was fairly empty, which was nice because we could talk in low voices.

There's this strange calm before the storm type silence that overtakes us sometimes before and during our meals, and this time was no different. Once the sushi was in front of me, the time for talking was over. I just sat there and ate in silence for 25 minutes straight, while Vincent did the same.

We're the couple that lowkey eavesdrops on conversations around us, so we listened to two college girls talk about how they were going to Warped Tour.

This is probably one of my favorite photos I took yesterday!



After stuffing ourselves silly, we headed back home only to get ready to go back out again. We were invited to watch 'The Greatest Showman' at a friends dorm, and since I thought that movie was great, I wanted to share it with Vincent. It ended up being a date night of sorts with two other couples!

I was playing the songs on repeat forever, so I was really excited that he said he'd see the movie. Overall, he enjoyed it, but we discussed the plotholes thoroughly in the car.




In the end, our anniversary was a nice day. We spent time together and had a nice dinner, just the two of us. The time we spend together is always some of the best time of the day.

I've been so blessed to have Vincent in my life for the past two years, and I hope there are many more years to come. Sometimes in the everyday shuffle of things we can forget what's really important. I know stress and responsibilities can overwhelm me at times, but having someone patient to fall back on when I need support is something that's helped me become a better person all around.

I like to think that I've affected him positively as well and that we boost each other up. That's one of the best things about being best friends with your SO!

So, for the last time, Happy 2 year anniversary!