Reviewing: Tony Moly Magic Food Banana

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Okay so I am the LAST person who is in need of a hand cream! I have a massive collection of hand creams, and it’s not even because my hands are THAT dry that I need to have dozens of hand creams on hand, no, it’s because I feel the urge to buy every hand cream that has a nice smell or has cute packaging on the market. Actually, come to think it, my ‘habit’ is not limited to hand creams… I feel the need to buy ANYTHING with a cute package design, and i’m sure if your reading this post, you can relate as well. This habit of mine is especially bad when living in Korea and trying to save money. I mean it’s like a kid in the candy store if that kid is me and the candy store is AS BIG AS AN ENTIRE COUNTRY! I digress…

Anyways, buying these little suckers was completely unintentional for me. I was just walking home one day after my Korean class finished and I decided to take the ‘scenic route’ (aka, the route that allows me to pass by all the makeup stores…) when suddenly, through the large glass window of a Tony Moly shop a yellow thing caught my eye. In fact, I even had to backtrack to see this… anyways, long story short, I saw the cute little banana shaped tubes (of what ever this was- heck I didn’t care, it was about the outer package after all, not the actual product inside) I fell in love, and the rest we can say was history.

Sorry for the ramble guys, I’m in a silly mood today. Let’s just get right into the products hehe. Ok, actually I have 2 products to review today, because I couldn’t just get one. SO I have the Tonly Moly banana sleeping pack and the Tony Moly banana ‘hand milk’.

FIRST lets talk about the hand cream (hand milk).

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Pros:

1. CUTE PACKAGING, duh 😛 I mean it’s pretty small and in a cute squishy banana shaped tube. To get the product out of the tube, you simply squeeze. The lid or cover of the banana is made of hard plastic, so you simply twist or unscrew the top. Then you will see a little narrow nozzle(?) and the product will come out from there. The banana tube itself that holds the product seems to be made out of a slightly different material from the hard plastic lid. This tube is squeezable and has an almost rubber-like finish. The lid is a slightly different color from the tube, it’s a little strange, but not exactly a deal-breaker for me.

Sorry, couldn't resist the eye thing :P

Sorry, couldn’t resist the eye thing 😛

2. SMELL: Has a slight floral scent, maybe slightly rosey with a hint of Jasmine – NAH, it smells like bananas of course 😛 If you have ever drinken? drunkin ? drank? drunk? Um.. if you ever tried banana milk in Korea, it basically smells exactly like that, kind of a creamy banana smell.

This is my favorite thing to drink EVER!

3. Okay so maybe your not fickle like me, and maybe your actually considering this hand cream because of what it does, you know, moisturize your hands. Well, your in luck because it actually does the job pretty well! The consistency is thick and not at all greasy, it sinks into the skin pretty well and the banana smell is not sickly or over-powering.

CONS: I can’t really think of anything to put here. I mean it is what is it. I guess the only thing I can say is that if you are only looking for a decent hand cream to get the job done, you can save your money and just buy a cheaper one that costs less. I don’t remember the exact price I spent at the store, but most of you may be considering to buy it online anyways.

NEXT UP:

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Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack. This needs little introduction, and I will save you the time since I made an unnecessarily long introduction spiel to this post. I will just say that this tube is larger than the hand cream tube. Sorry that I did not include exactly how much product you get in each tube, it’s been awhile since I bought them and I have thrown away the box. However, I just hope you can get a feeling of the size by viewing my photos 🙂2015-05-19-16-31-53_deco

PROS: Everything about this product is almost the same as the hand cream. Same scent, same tube, (except larger) same applicator. This however is meant to be worn before bed as a sleeping pack. The consistency is thick, but not oily or greasy. It sinks down into my skin and my skin just drinks it all up. Keep in mind that I have a normal to dry skin type, so I cannot account for how oily skin users find this product. However, since you just wear it to bed, I don’t see an issue here. When I wake up in the morning, it just leaves my face feeling soft and hydrated. The scent is light so it should not bother you while you try to sleep.

This product is so good for me, that sometimes I will even wear it during the day, under my foundation. I think normal to dry skin users will also find that it just does a great job at hydrating the skin.

CONS: Again, not sure what to put here. The consistency is kind of thick and creamy, so if you like more liquid consistency products on your skin, maybe this isn’t for you. Like I said before though, since it’s meant to be worn before bed, it’s not an issue for me. But if you don’t like a heavy-ish cream on your face during bedtime, maybe you will have a problem with this.

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Both products are great buys for me, and for some reason, I just felt I couldn’t buy one without the other. Both work great and perform the task they are meant to perform. However, if your only buying this product because you want to collect cute looking products and you like this cute design, I would recommend just buying the hand cream, it’s small and cute and you will get compliments on it when you carry it in you purse or backpack 🙂

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Diary: Not-so-brief Life Update

Okay, so last time I updated this blog was a little over a year ago when I was heading off to Korea for my year of teaching. I had the intention to update daily and include reviews, diary posts, and other posts… but it did not happen. I am back home in Canada now, kind of back to where I started. It’s kind of unfortunate that I did not keep updating this blog, but in my defence I never had a laptop during my entire stay, and, I don’t think it would be easy to keep making updates using my mobile phone of tablet. Also during my stay, I was purely living in the moment, I had no time for reflection. It’s kind of sad really, but you will notice that about your life in Korea, if you go there for one year… There is no time for self-reflection, no time for anything. Sadly, one year was just long enough to feel home-sick, but too short to settle and feel a sense of belonging there.

As for me, no matter what I choose to do in my life, there has to be growth. Before I went to Korea, I had so many goals and things I hoped to accomplish in that one year. Sadly, I quickly lost sight of my goals, and looking back I didn’t really accomplish many things in that one year. I would encourage anyone who has a plan to go abroad to teach, or do anything for one or more years, to write down a list of things they hope to accomplish, look at your list often, and don’t loose sight of those things. Don’t get distracted away from bettering yourself. When one goes abroad for a significant amount of time, time doesn’t stop. People back at home still live their lives without you. A lot of things can happen in one year: people die, get sick, get married, have babies, graduate, etc.. So remember: while you are away, time does not stop back at home.

Sorry for being negative, but it’s very easy to waste years of your life away in play. I knew that I could easily stay in Korea longer by re-signing my contract, and just continuing to float by, going with the flow, ignoring my goals and things going on back at home. However, during my time there, I suddenly and unexpectedly got hit really hard by those realizations. I guess you could say I had a quarter-life crisis, although at the time it felt like full on depression. Suddenly I realized that time is precious and is passing by quickly. Beyond teaching ESL in Korea, I had no other backup plan. I kept thinking, how long can I really get by doing this job? It’s not a secure or sustainable future. Then I started to look at my lack of skills and abilities for the ‘real’ job market and felt like I was only wasting my time. Part of the reason for this was because I was not passionate about teaching at all. Those thoughts are just some of the reasons why I decided to come home and get my crap together. While I do plan to go back there in a few months to start another teaching job, (you’ll find out why later) I am also thinking about the long term future.

My time here; in my home and in my boring but peaceful home town will be spent bettering myself, working toward my goals and preparing for my long-term future. Overall would I recommend working abroad for a year? Yes, you will learn a lot about yourself and despite the internal struggle I went through, it was totally worth it.

On a happier and less serious note, I met a wonderful guy in Korea, and we will soon celebrate our 1 year anniversary (not marriage anniversary kkk). I think he was part of the reasons why I took a serious look at my life, so I guess I should be thankful for that. He is the biggest reason why I have decided to go back there and teach again soon. Meeting someone and falling in love was actually one of my goals, so congrats to me on accomplishing that 🙂

Anyways, I plan to work on my blog more, I will definitely make a post summarizing my past year in Korea, and include photos too! I will also talk in detail about the job I had and if I would recommend it to others, the location I was living in, the story of how I met my lovely boyfriend, and also just random things I did and places I went to. Don’t worry, it will be light and airy from here on out 🙂 I hope if I update frequently, and keep doing my product reviews, I will achieve more followers  – and if I get more followers, I will be encouraged to do more with this blog!

Thank you for listening

Stephaniexox

Diary: Something tells me that today is going to be the longest day of my life…

So I had a bit of a rude awakening this morning when I woke up. My morning routine started as usual, me rolling around in bed for about a half hour not wanting to actually wake up, saying a morning prayer (I really needed it today), taking my ‘One-a-day’ gummy vitamins which are conveniently next to my bed and then, once my brain is fully alert and my eyes well-adjusted to the sunlight shining in through my window, I checked my email. I was already expecting an email from the manager of my school in Korea answering a few of my questions that I had sent her 2 days ago. However there were 3 emails from her and the one that immediately caught my eye was the one whose subject line read: “It is urgent (From YBM ECC) Your flight schedule is changed!!!” And as you would expect from reading that, my original flight, which was scheduled for March 21st, is now changed for March 20th at 5:30am! So basically, I have to be ready to go to the airport tonight! And while it may not seem like a big deal to most people, for me, someone who leaves EVERYTHING to the last minute and likes to procrastinate, this is extremely unsettling news. I have been forced into PANIC-MODE!

So basically, my anxiety level is through the roof, and I feel like i’m not mentally prepared for this long journey. It’s seriously going to take every bit of good out of me. Honestly, I don’t even have time to be writing this, why am I writing this?? Seriously! I have no time to be sitting around. Here’s whats going on in my head right now: I know I am going to end up forgetting something, I know that tonight I’m going to be crying my heart out as I leave my family behind for a year, I know I am going to be overtired from not sleeping on the plane, I know I’ll be stressed out running from flight to flight (Deer Lake -> Toronto -> Vancouver -> Tokyo -> Incheon) and also, I know I’ll be so nervous about the crazy week (of orientation) I’m going to have once I actually arrive in Korea. Just thinking about all of this makes me want to run and hide under my bed until it’s all over. I mean, I love travelling, airports don’t bother me, airplanes for the most part don’t bother me, unlike most people, I enjoy plane food, and I’m totally cool and experienced with travelling alone… but for some reason, right here, right now, all of this stuff seems overwhelming and impossible.

My life here at home as of late has been me lazing around all day and eating whatever I want whenever I want and hanging out with my family. My stress level is non-existent. So being exposed to all of this at once is going to be really hard on me since I’m not used to it but I’m sure I’ll make it.

As far as whats left to do: Finish packing, shower, visit my Nan (who is 92 years old ㅠㅠ) give her the cookies I made her and have a cup of tea with her, briefly meet up with one of my friends, buy some last minute things at the drugstore, charge up all of my things, and get my Dad to finish fixing my glasses. I think that’s all. I hope that’s all!

I’m not sure when I’ll update this again, maybe when I arrive in Korea. Wish me luck on my travels, I’ll seriously need it!

Stephanie xox

Diary: Please leave me alone

I’m sure we have all experienced the torturous feeling of trying to get over someone who has hurt you.For me, it seems that ever since I lost all my weight in 2011, I find myself doing that more than not. Before I get into this I wan’t to apologize to anyone who may be reading my blog posts lately. It seems that I am always writing about boys. Well I guess it is true, but your going to have to get used to it because being a single girl in her early twenties, It’s inevitable to have some ‘love issues.’ It may be pathetic to have my mood constantly affected by boys, but it’s empowering to write about it here in the open instead of suffering in silence. So here is my story about love and loss. It’s one of many stories that I can share on the subject as it seems to be a re-occurring theme in my life. However, this particular situation is one that is currently plaguing me.

I have been on and off with this guy since December 2012. When I first met him though, I never in a million years thought we would ever be anything other than friends; but then as it so often happens, one thing led to another and then “BAM” things just got complicated. Actually, he was staying at my home with my family and I during Christmas. I felt bad because he was a billion miles away from his home in Korea and had no place to stay (beside his dorm room). Because I didn’t want my good friend to be alone during the holidays, I offered for him to stay with us. At that time my heart belonged to another guy I had met in Korea during the summer, who had just moved to Vancouver. I had my money saved and I was planning to buy a ticket to visit him on boxing day (December 26), but as usual, things changed and I had ended up having to cancel. However, I was somewhat glad because that meant my friend could stay at my house with me and my family longer. One night we were watching a movie on the couch in my room, as we did every night during his stay. But this night something was different. Usually, I would leave my room (where he was staying) early-ish to go to bed (in the living room). I did this for different reasons: 1. because I was afraid that something could happen and I didn’t want to encourage it especially since he wasn’t my type AND I already loved someone else, and 2. I have already been down that road before, my room late at night + an attractive guy + a movie… we all know where this is going, been there done that. However, this particular night I did not leave early like I was supposed too… we ended up watching more than one movie and it was getting later and later, my parents were already downstairs asleep. The movie I chose this time was not the usual ‘safe’ movie that we would watch, it was the movie ‘The Ugly Truth”. The sexual tension in the air was building and was thicker than fog.

Since English was not his first language, he kept asking me what certain words used in the movie meant, words I felt uncomfortable explaining to him. I could feel it so strongly – the tension and I could tell he was feeling it too. I knew very well why I wasn’t leaving and going to bed as I usually would around this time. I also knew why I chose to watch this kind of movie with very sexual undertones. Because to me he just seemed too innocent. It was probably only because he wasn’t using his native language with me and he didn’t know enough English to show me other sides of himself but I think I was doing this because I felt that it was  risqué to try and provoke him to see if a wild side existed. Well it did. The first thing he did was grab my hand during our conversation after the movie. I could feel what was coming next and I kind of froze. I wasn’t really sure how to react as I really didn’t expect him to like me in that way, in fact that is why I was being so bold, because I didn’t think it was possible. Then, in mid conversation he started kissing me… and I’m not going to go into any more details from that night or any of the nights that followed. But lets just say this kind of thing happened a lot. That Christmas was so special, I felt like I had a boyfriend because we would hold hands in public, have cute pet names for each other and other cute things exclusive to couples. However, after Christmas, he went back to living in his dorm at his University (which is 8 hours away) but we would talk on the phone every night for hours and we both made an effort to visit each others town whenever we had the chance. I went to stay with him for about a week during New Years, and he came back to stay with my during our break in February. It was his first time driving to my house. The last time he took a 10 hour bus ride but this time he decided to drive. He was so nervous because he never drove that long of a distance before. He didn’t know how his car would hold up and he was fairly new to Canada so he was unfamiliar with the roads. However, I decided to meet him half way and we drove back together, it was so sweet, and I felt so special that he went through all that trouble just to see me. At that time I was living on campus of my Uni instead of with my parents. Since it was our break, my roommates all left and went back to their home towns to see their families, so it was just me and him there. It felt like we were a married couple. I would cook for him, we would go grocery shopping together and we would watch tv together every night before we would fall asleep. It was so cute.

However, he made sure to come up with every excuse in the book as to why we could never become more than that. And by ‘that’ I actually don’t even understand what ‘that’ was… But still somehow managed to string me along by filling my mind with hope. He had me right where he wanted me.

All I knew was that I was falling in love with him fast and I quickly forgot all about the ‘Vancouver guy’. At that time though, I didn’t understand that to him it was more of a game: Korean guy comes to Canada for the first time and eventually meets a hopelessly romantic white girl who is open-minded toward Asian guys. After months of being lonely, the desperation starts to build more and more inside of him. Me being the easy target, seemed like a good place to fulfill that growing need inside of him. Sure he is a good person, a great person actually but I remember he told me that the main reason why we couldn’t be together was because I had my path all laid out for me, I knew what I wanted to do and that was to go to Korea to teach, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted and he didn’t want his uncertainty to get in the way of my dreams. Seems selfless right? Well if that is the case why does he now have a girlfriend who is a Chinese exchange still living here in Canada, while he is now living back in Korea? What about me? He didn’t even officially end whatever it was that we had, he just cut me off randomly and I didn’t even get any closure. I had to find out about his girlfriend the hard way during one of our conversations and the news cut through my heart like a knife. I guess he figured since we were nothing all along, it would be a clean break. He got all the benefits of a relationship while with me but didn’t have to face any of the consequences because ‘technically’ we were nothing.

I just can’t help but ask myself, what is wrong with me? Why did he choose her instead? Why did he use me over and over and drop me suddenly for her when he knew I was in love with him? Why did he make me believe that he felt the same way but was just being sincere and selfless and that’s why we couldn’t be together?

I know he values our friendship, I’m just not so sure that I’m ready to be his friend because I still have feelings that I’m trying to make disappear. I also know he thinks highly of me and only wants the best for me but why did he toy with me over and over and not even once consider my feelings?

Anyways, next month I will be moving to South Korea, where he is living now. The last time I saw him we were doing things couples do, I wonder what will happen this time. It seems as though he can’t wait for me to go there because he keeps asking me all the time when is the exact day I will be going there because he want’s to see me. He even offered me to stay at his house with his family for a couple weeks. I don’t feel comfortable talking to him though and I feel so mad that he can just talk to me so easily as though nothing at all happened between us. I want to avoid him and ignore him so I never write him first, but he always seems to write me a message and I feel that I can’t NOT talk to him. It’s so hard – I want to get over him, I want to punish him for using me, I want to hate him and I want to move on to not feel the pain anymore. But he just wont leave me alone!

Stephanie xox

Diary: E2 Visa application and why the forces of nature are against me

From the moment I received my degree certificate from my convocation, I began the process of gathering my documents for my E-2 Visa so that I can teach English in South Korea. That was about 4 months ago and I am still trying to get everything together in time for the start date (March 1) of the job I have applied for. The job I applied to is at a widely known private franchise called ‘YBM ecc’. I chose YBM not because I have read many good reviews about it, because I really haven’t. In fact if you are searching online for a “Good Hagwon” (private school) the results will turn up slim to none. That is because people like to share their bad experiences on the internet and rant – much like what I am about to do in this post. Sadly, the internet is a medium for complainers to come online and -for a lack of a better term, “piss and moan” about all their problems and bad experiences. Am I saying that there is no weight to their complaints? No of course not, but when you read these reviews take them with a grain of salt, and keep in mind that half of the problem is probably the posters attitude. That’s why despite the complaints made online about YBM and every other hagwon out there, I have decided to go ahead and apply because I know that YBM will at least honor the contract by paying me on time and I also wont have to worry about them going bankrupt and me losing my job randomly. Other complaints to me are not important because first of all I know the reason why I am going to Korea and that is to teach children English, not to party or to take advantage of all the benefits my job will provide, but to take my job seriously and teach. Although I have no prior teaching experience I am confident that I will have a good attitude, act professional and take my job seriously. Even if, heaven forbid, I have to go to work on a scatter Saturday or stay a little later than scheduled.

I took this in 2011 during my Korea trip, at that time I didn’t even know what YBM was, I just used this as a reference point so I would know where I was.

I took this pic of YBM again when I visited Korea in 2012, I was still oblivious that YBM was a school, I thought it was a bank. I just used this pic again as a reference point.

I took this pic of YBM again when I visited Korea in 2012, I was still oblivious that YBM was a school, I thought it was a bank. I just used this pic again as a reference point. See? It’s fate haha.

The YBM website is very organized and they clearly tell you all the steps of the application process. I will copy and paste the entire process for you:

  1. Send the following documents to the YBM Head Office Attn: Danny Kim (HR Manager) eccmain@ybmsisa.co.kr
    • Your resume with contact email and phone number
    • Digital Photo (Does not have to be formal) Please use .jpg format
    • State the month you are looking to depart from
    • State any cities or specific locations you want to apply for
  2. YBM head office will contact you after your application has been reviewed. Sponsorship for the teaching visa will require these documents:
    • Nationwide background check issued by your gov’t with the apostille certification affixed
    • Photocopy of your Bachelors/Masters degree with apostille certification affixed*
    • Passport with at least a year or more of validation left
    • 5 passport size color photos
    • * Canadians must get these 2 documents notarized at the Korean Consulate nearest to them.
  3. A phone interview will be set up once you have (all/most of) your documents in order.
  4. When one of our company-owned schools and you mutually agree upon a position, an official contract with the specific school and salary will be sent to you by email directly from the YBM Head office. View our sample contract also posted on this website.
  5. To confirm and accept the official contract, the applicant would send the required documents directly to the school by FedEx, UPS, DHL or drop them off in person.
    For those who live too far to take your documents in, you will have to mail it in using secure express mail.
  6. Once we have your documents we will apply for the E2 visa with the Korean Immigration Office.
  7. Once the E2 visa issuance/confirmation # is given out by the Korean Immigration Office it will be emailed to you.
  8. You will then submit your passport, E2 visa application form, application fee, photo and transcript to the Korean Consulate.
  9. The final E-2 application process will be completed with the Korean Consulate.
  10. After receiving the E-2 visa stamp in your passport please inform your school.

As of right now, I am between step 3 and 4. I have already had my phone interview* on December 23 with Danny (YBM HR manager) – *not so much of an interview as it is him selling you the school – and now I am currently waiting on the very last document needed before he can send me a contract: The notarized RCMP background check (If you didn’t know by now, I’m Canadian). This is where my frustration ensues.

First of all, as I said before in my introduction in the “home” section, I live on an isolated island, in an isolated town which is pretty much in the forest. Therefore, resources are very limited. I have to drive an hour away to get any of the documents I need for my application. And, the nearest Korean consulate to me is in another province, therefore, I have to send everything away and wait days and days before I ever hear from them. I first applied for my police check back in October, the same day I received my diploma. The first step was to pick up an application at the police station and fill it out. Then, before moving further, I was told I needed to get a Provincial court check. The nearest court was an hour away so I had to wait until a day when my parents and I had no work. After I drove to get my court check, I gave the court check and application form to my mom and got her to drop off after work (this police station is not in my town, but in the same town my mom works in 15 minutes away from me). Then, when she brought it back they told her: “Oh, we have new forms to fill out now, the one she filled out is wrong so get her to fill this one out instead.” That was kind of annoying but no big deal. This form though needed detailed information about about my employer and job. However, at this point I had not even applied for a job as I was told it was a good idea to start gathering your documents before applying for a job. Therefore, I held onto that form for a little while before handing it to the police station for processing. My plan was to wait until I completed my 120 hour TEFL certificate and had all of my other documents like my notarized degree and transcripts before applying. The end of November was when that happened. I applied to YBM and filled out all the required information on the police check form. However, at this point, Danny was telling me I should get the fingerprint version of the RCMP check. So, I went to the police station the next day and passed in my completed form and got my fingerprints rolled on paper. I asked them how long do they think it would take and they said about 1 week. Three weeks later, I got a call from them to pick it up. Written across it said: “this is not a certified RCMP check as fingerprints are required.” I was very confused about this since I had my fingerprints taken. I then found out that it was a Vulnerable sector check (not at all what I needed) and I was required to send in my fingerprints myself to Ottawa in order to get them processed. This, I was told, would take up to 2 months. By the way, we are now up to late December. My job offer remember starts on March 1. However, I found online that if you get your fingerprints taken electronically, it only takes 3 days to process (in Canada time, this means at least 1 week). Therefore I called and got an appointment asap (a week later) at the nearest police station that has the technology (1 hour away). Anyways, I got the results back on Jan. 9th and on the 10th after work I sent them to the Korean consulate to get it notarized (however, the 10th was on a Friday and mail don’t go out in my town on the weekend so technically Monday is when it sent). I thought it would only take a week until it got back to me because that’s how long it took them to notarize my degree so I was anxiously waiting today for the mail to arrive. However, instead of mail from the Korean consulate, I received a phone call from them telling me that they were going to process my docs today. This means I probably wont get them back in the mail until Thursday at the earliest.

That is why I am so frustrated now 😦  time is ticking! If I want to start my job on March 1 Danny said I will have to be there at least a week before the start date to go to orientation! February only has 28 days so I am freaking out right now! I can’t afford any more mix ups because even if things go 100% smoothly, I will still be pressed for time. As you can see by the application steps, there are still many more steps to go and a lot of them require me to mail out my documents which take a long time!

Anyways, my next step is to upload a pic of my notarized RCMP check to Danny as soon as I get it so he can see I have all my documents and send me a contract. Then, I have to sign it and send it to Korea along with all my other gathered documents. Then, after they receive my docs, they will begin to apply for my E2 visa through the immigration office (I read online that this takes about 5-10 days hopefully in my case it will be 5!) Then they will email my my visa # and I will fill out a visa form and send it as well as my passport, passport sized color photo and transcript to the Korean consulate so they can stamp my passport and send it back to me. Then I will tell my employer and they will book my flight whoooo. I just hope I can make it on time for my job start date, wish me luck!

Stephanie xox

P.S: Feel free to ask me any question you may have regarding this. Or, share your frustrating experiences with me so I will feel better 😛