Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Crazy weekend of 164 cookies

This weekend was extremely busy, extremely stressful. However, it was most definitely an interesting and unique experience. For my entrepreneurship class, students were given three days to plan and four hours to execute a fundraiser for an organization called Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which provides inner-city kids with the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills.

First my group of five identified two opportunities: game day and midterms week. Since USC games are extremely popular and many alumni return to campus to enjoy home games, we recognized that if we were to sell a service or product during that time, we would be able to have a large audience to target. The second opportunity was midterms week. Everyone is stressed, and stress induces food cravings. A simple way to fundraise would be to target those stress cravings.

Our first approach was to sell raffle tickets during tailgates. However, after 30minutes of selling the tickets, we realized that there was too much competition from other teams. Moreover, our prizes had a very specific target audience, and this target was too difficult to find. People wanted to focus on the football game and not have their attention taking away by students offering tickets for autographs.

In order to avoid the competition and overcome our narrow target consumers, we decided to switch to selling cookies at night when students were stressed out preparing for their midterms. Because we would go around knocking from door-to-door, we provided the benefit of convenience and craving-satisfaction.

Basically made 10 plates of cookies. How crazy!
By realizing that the first idea was unlikely to succeed, we were able to change a venture, find a new target consumer, and raise a profit of $146 in 3.5 hours. However, because we had to bake over 160 cookies, we were limited in selling time. By the time we finish baking the cookies, we had only 1.5-2 hours to sell before 11pm. Any later than 11pm, people start going to sleep. As a result, we split the remaining 3.5 hours into two nights, Saturday and Sunday.

Sadly, our group teamwork wasn’t too great. While there was no fighting or arguments, the work fell heavily on me and another girl. It ended up that we made all the cookies and sold approximately 110 cookies while the other three people in the group sold a total of around 50 cookies. In fact, two teammates were gone for the weekend, and Sunday night—Monday was the deadline--one had to work till 11pm, another was stuck outside California and didn’t contact the group at all, and the last sold cookies for an hour before commuting back home.

In the end, I learned the importance of communication among group members and the need for a group committed to the same goals.  Additionally, I learned that it’s important not to get stuck trying to think of a “great idea,” especially when an easy source of revenue was already available—selling cookies to stressed out students.  During the process, I saw that pitching played an important aspect in successful sales: long pitches are less likely to succeed. People want to know what you have to offer without listening to a 30 second pitch. Tell the customer what you have to offer and how they benefit. 

This was definitely one crazy weekend of 164 cookies. So much baking, so much stress, but ultimately many lessons learned.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Discovering the skin care industry + mini haul

School has gotten extremely busy recently...particularly for my entrepreneurship class. There's a constant barrage of assignments and projects. The big ones are:
  1. interviewing 3 "strangers" in a chosen industry (mine is skin care)
  2. fundraise over $200 in 4 hrs for a particular nonprofit group (given 2 days to prep)
I just completed the first assignment (the interviews) today. I went with my sister to a nearby high-end mall, using Lyft and Uber, since we don't have cars. We just went around the mall, looking for different skin care brands and talking to managers. Some of the brands we interviewed were LUSH, Benefit, Origins, Estee lauder, and Skin Food.

At first, I was super intimidated and afraid that each interview would go badly. However, they all went pretty smoothly, and all the managers were super sweet and easy to talk to. I learned so much from the skin care industry and skin care trends--particularly from the retail end. It was definitely a great learning experience! I know for sure I would never have done something like this if not for the class--the class is really pushing me out of my comfort zone, but it's definitely helping me become a better speaker and communicator. 

Anyways, because I had the opportunity to check out lots of different skin care brands at the mall, I ended up purchasing lots of products from Skin Food and LUSH...good and fun experience, but bad for my wallet >___< 

Skin Food
Wildberry Milk Cleansing Cream ($9.40)
Black Sugar Mask samples (x5)
Avocado Rich Toner sample
Green Tea Mask ($2.00)
Potiron Au Lait Essence Mask ($3.50)

BB Seaweed Mask ($6.95)
Full of Grace Serum ($14.95)

LUSH packaging - isn't this cute? So artsy!

The other project will happen tomorrow. Some people in my group have contacts with some semi-famous individuals. We're hoping to raffle off autographs and a small, $20 Chick-fil-a gift card at our school's home football game. Once again, I'm pretty worried about how this will turn out. But hopefully lots of people will be interested not just in buying and winning raffles but also in donating towards a good cause. 

I will update you all to let you know how this fundraiser went~

What types non-profit groups or charities would you guys love to work with?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fun Harajuku fashion trends

Asian fashion is one of the most unique and diverse out there~ I just got carried away looking at the different styles found in Harajuku. I definitely fell in love the lilac and blue hair trend--I hope that I can pull it off someday~

All photos are found from TokyoFashion.com

What type of unique hair color trends are you into? I like the blues, the lilacs, and the shocking pinks~ :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My skin care routine 2014

Hello everyone! I finally decided to a "routine" post. I want to share with you all some of the products I use to take care of my skin. So, these are mini-reviews of FOUR products~

Proactiv (left three bottles); ObligĂ© milk cleanser (right)

Left 3: Proactiv
I'm sure lots of you heard of Proactiv before. It's mainly known as a product line for those suffering from acne. Although my acne isn't severe, I still wanted to try it, because there was a $14 deal that came with a trial size cleanser, toner, treatment, moisturizer, and a proactiv deep cleansing brush. I thought it might be worth the money to try. My little bit of facial acne wasn't going away, so I wanted to purchase a product targeting acne anyways.

I actually received this product a couple weeks before I left for China (middle of August). I've been using the set relatively regularly--at least once a day, at night. Proactiv doesn't make my acne magically disappear, but it does help make it a little less severe and red. 

One point to mention: I really like the cleanser (step 1), because it has tiny exfoliating beads, which helps remove dead skin cells and makes my skin feels very clean~ Nevertheless, don't try to rub the beads too harshly against your skin...it hurts >__<

Another point: I wouldn't use Proactiv after exercising. My face gets very sensitive and red after moderate to heavy exercise, so the beads in the Proactiv cleanser really irritates my skin. That why I have two cleansers!

Right: Obligé
This cleanser is really nice and gentle and it smells amazing. I think the milk cleanser has improved and brightened my complexion quite a bit~ This cleanser originally is quite pricey ($20 for 4 fl. oz. bottle), but I actually found it at Marshalls for $7! BINGO~ I was really drawn to this product not only because of the elegant packaging, but also because its 100% vegan, with organic essential oils, and no sulfates, phthalates, and parabens!

Like I mentioned above, I usually use this cleanser when I shower after exercising. My skin is super sensitive at that time, and this cleanser works really nicely for that. The only downside is that when I use physical sunscreens, the cleanser doesn't remove the sunscreen well. That's why I tend to use Proactiv for a deeper cleanse.

Left: EO unscented lotion
This is absolutely my favorite lotion so far. It can be used for face, body, and hands. Moreover, it's natural and (partially) made from organic ingredients. The lotion has no parabens, polysorbates, or EDTA! It's super refreshing when applied, and it's non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and moisturizing~~

PLUS, this lotion was only $10 for 32oz! It's such a good deal T____T Makes me cry with happiness...

Right: Blue Lizard suncreen
This is the sunscreen I was talking about during summer. Sorry I was so late in posting a review about it. I really do like this sunscreen, because it's not very oily and doesn't make my skin look very oily either. The only potential downside is that it makes my skin a little whiter (though I don't mind :)). At least I know that harmful chemicals (from typical sunscreens) aren't breaking down in my skin.

Thanks for reading though my mini-reviews guys~ Hope they weren't too long and hope you guys learned something too!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mini-haul: online thrifting with ThredUp

When I say "thrifting," what do you think? For me, thrifting is something that happens at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. It's where you find hidden jewels. However, until recently, I never really thought of thrifting as something that can also occur online. I guess e-commerce expanded to cover all types of industries.

Last week I ordered some pieces from ThredUp. I did a review of the company last April as well. I'd have to say, I just love this shop! There's some heavily discounted pieces, and all the pieces I've ordered have been amazing quality! Using ThredUp is really like going thrifting, because there's so many options to look through. Some of the items won't appeal to you, but some will! Like typical thrifting, it's quite exciting~

My package arrived smoothly yesterday! Hooray!

This is the typical package that ThredUp sends out. Aren't the polkadots adorable?
Also, the clothes are always surrounded with gift paper.
Gap blouse: the quality of this blouse is so awesome. I love the polka-dots, too :)

Banana Republic Top: the quality was superb as well! I love the patterns and the colors, and LOOK!
This blouse was completely new :)

Do you like thrifting? Is it work the time invested? I totally love thrifting :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cream puffs at Beard Papa

I've been super stressed recently--bombarded with essays, homework, and quizzes. But it's also been a huge blessing as well; I realize just how many people in my life are willing to support and love me. Sometimes it takes going through hardships to see what you normally just gloss over.

Anyways, the last Saturday, I went with some friends--for the first time in my four years in LA--to Beard Papa. If you don't know what that is, it's a bakery that specializes in CREAM PUFFS. Don't mistakenly think that these are your normal, average sized cream puffs. They're the size of your fist, and you can fill them up with a variety of flavors.

I ordered Vanilla and Very Berry. Sadly, because I've always heard awesome things about Beard Papa, my expectations were quite high. Vanilla was a little too creamy for me, and the filling didn't really actually taste like vanilla. However, the Very Berry ones were quite delish~~ I hoping to try green tea next time!


and...an awkward selfie

Friday, September 12, 2014

A goal to improve

Hi everyone! I've decided to take an initiative to improve my blog. I really want to be able to reach out to more readers and share my life experiences--whether that be school, shopping, eating, or skin care products. Also, I'd love to meet more awesome people :)

These are my goals for the semester (regarding this blog):

  • post 2x/week
  • improve my blogging/writing skills
  • invest more in fashion posts
  • research and present different skin care tips
  • hopefully post a video (to finally put that video camera to use >__<)
  • try to find a focus of my blog (not jumping all over the place)

Please take a moment to answer the following questions. I really appreciate any input you give! <3

  1. What are some things you like about my blog? 
  2. What are some things you'd change? 
  3. What are some topics you'd like to see more of?
  4. Is my blog too unfocused/messy? If so, what topics would you like me to focus on?

Thank you! I love all my readers. Hope you all have been doing well~

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The busy but enjoyable student life

Hello everyone~ Sorry for being so inactive. Recently I've been quite busy with school, but it's also been a blast. This is the first semester I'm not taking any science courses. Nevertheless, I love all my classes so far--I might go as far to claim that these are my favorite classes! I'm taking classes on entrepreneurship, microeconomics, public speaking, upper division business writing, and psychology statistics. It's a wide variety, but somehow many of these classes also relate to each other. That just makes everything more interesting though!

One thing I've noticed from taking these courses are that science professors (at least in my experience) aren't very involved in their student's growth and learning process. For the majority of the science courses I've taken, it's always been three professors teaching--that makes it very hard to get to know any one professor. Furthermore, science classes aren't very interactive, but that might just be the nature of this major. The professors in my current courses are super into interacting with the students, and it makes me want to be more involved as well! This year is probably the first year I've been raising my hand to answer questions or to participate in discussions and to actually sort of enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Karuna Clarifying Mask

This is the continuation of the Karuna sample mask reviews! Check out the review on Karuna's Brightening mask!

Here's the product details from the website!
SKIN TYPE: Oily, Combination, Problem, Hormonal Skin

MISSION: Calming & Clarity 

- Shiso Leaf, a natural anti-bacterial, helps minimize breakouts
- Ginger, a natural antiseptic, helps control bacteria
- Honey soothes skin and provides oil-free hydration

DELIVERY: Made from biodegradable wood pulp natural cloth that retains 50% more moisture than synthetic material, Karuna sheet masks force pores to fully absorb nourishing ingredients that help create instant results—much more than a serum would alone. 

PRICE: $28 for 4 masks
Like I mentioned for the previous review, since this is a sample of the clarifying mask, the packaging isn't very spectacular. It's very plain in this case.

Once again, the mask it wrapped around a plastic structure to help users unfold the mask more easily. Luckily, this time, the mask didn't come ripped and also didn't rip when trying to unfold it!

Although this mask is meant for all skin types, I wouldn't suggest it for those with sensitive skin. Once again, this masked caused a burning sensation. It wasn't as strong as the Brightening mask, but nevertheless, I took off the mask and washed off the serum.

I can't say that the mask was effect for oily/combination skin or that it helped with my acne problems, because I had to wash the serum off. 

HOWEVER, one pro about this mask is that it smells so wonderful! Unlike the brightening mask, which smells like chemicals, this one is very relaxing and natural in smell~

Overall rating:     
I will no longer try out other masks from Karuna. 

*Disclaimer: many people who use Karuna masks really like them and think that the masks work very well. However, for me, because my skin is sensitive to the ingredients used, I will no longer use them. However, if your skin isn't sensitive like mine, please don't let this review discourage you from trying the brand!