#OneStar - Collaboration with Converse

True story and captured on my Instagram stories: My CEO Sanjay (not just a random uncle) was complaining to 300 of our clients at our annual user group conference about how he has to pay for Converse and I get it for free (through partnerships with the brand). The PR rep for Converse saw on my IG stories and sent him a code so he could redeem his own pair. It seemed natural then to take a picture, so here we are. Sanjay was way too excited for this.

#Montreal - Top 5 Things to NOT Do in the City

I love visiting Montreal in the summer. The city is always jam-packed with things to do, you get a taste of Europe, and there's many cheap, good eats to choose from. Instead of telling you what TO do in the city, I'm going to tell you the top 5 things NOT to do:

  1. Do NOT go and try finding the Plateau Houses - I was expecting this, but wasn't able to find the exact location, and what I did manage to find was underwhelming. 
  2. Do NOT visit Saint Joseph's Oratory in the afternoon - You will be bombarded with lots of people. Lots.
  3. Do NOT go to Fairmount Bagel if you want sandwiches - If you are craving their smoked salmon, cream cheese bagel, you're SOL. They unfortunately don't offer sandwiches anymore :(, but you can still purchase their bagels in bulk.
  4. Do NOT get Earl Grey sorbet at Kem CoBa - It does not taste anything close to Earl Grey. The blueberry/honey soft-serve was good, but not worth the long line-up.
  5. Do NOT leave the city without going to the following places:
    1. Tommy Cafe - Definitely 'Instagrammable' and they have amazing matcha lattes.
    2. Modavie - You must get the lamb poutine, lamb cavatelli and sirloin. 
    3. Drogheria Fine - Get the gnocchi, and BUY THE SAUCE!
    4. LOV - The best avocado toast I've ever had - and only $6!
#Jumper

Alright I'm having major late '90s to early '00s flashbacks and so I thought I'd list out my top 10 favorite games to play as a child:

  1. Boom Boom Volleyball on miniclip.com - There's a level you can unlock so the women play topless :3 #WhatMoreCouldYouWant
  2. Tomb Raider II on Playstation 1 - Never knew wtf I was doing but the memories are real.
  3. Twisted Metal on Playstation 2 - HOW AWESOME WAS THIS GAME THOUGH!? I sucked at it (even as Sweet Tooth) but HOW AWESOME WAS IT!?
  4. Makeover game on barbie.com - A bit of a guilty pleasure, but I loved playing makeover or any of the fashion games on that website. I even had a PC version where I could design my barbies' clothes and then print them (but it never printed properly).
  5. Space Room game on postopia.com - I don't remember the name of this game, but you could design your own themed room (in space, a cowboy bar etc.).
  6. Neopets - I always went for Kacheek. And Kacheek would always die.
  7. Gunbound - What asian didn't play Gunbound or Maplestory, really?
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega - There's one part where Sonic would run underwater and that was always my favorite part.
  9. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse on Sega - This game was lit af.
  10. Tony Hawk Pro Skater on Playstation 1 - If you never played this game, you don't know what you're missing out on.
#Ballin'InBali Part II - 5 Reasons to Stay at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

With stunning beachfront views neighbouring the resort and state-of-the-art facilities, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua combines French flair with warm Balinese hospitality. I didn't fully enjoy Bali until we landed on this resort, and so I'm going to lay out 5 reasons why this place has me completely obsessed. 

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1. Service

Forget everything you've ever known about good service. If you want to feel like the Queen of England, you stick to Sofitel. We were greeted with a personalized tour of the resort when we arrived and even got our own butler, Nicky. Nicky was extremely down to earth, incredibly generous and had a great sense of humour. He always seemed to know exactly where we were at all times, and even called me in the mornings to ensure I had breakfast. His friend and colleague Bayu, even tried talking to the chef to make my favourite soup and made sure we had a list of things to do in the city. Could not have been more impressed.

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2. Food

Who can say no to an endless array of options for breakfast? There's nothing better than waking up knowing each day you could have something different. The daily buffet even offers a fresh juice bar - you pick any combination of fruits and they'll juice it for you on the spot. There are also a couple options for dinner (both amazing). If you're feeling indecisive, Cucina is a great option as not only does it offer great Italian cuisine, but you can also enjoy steak and seafood. If you're craving asian food, KWEE ZEEN features a Pan Asian menu. I also heard incredible things about their Sunday brunch (even from locals up north), but unfortunately our timing didn't work out :(.

3. Club Millésime 

Club Millésime is an exclusive lounge we took advantage of when we wanted to simply unwind (aka. everyday). It's a lot quieter than the rest of the resort, and offers all day refreshments, over 200 books to choose from, and a tennis court. There's high tea in the afternoon (3-5pm) where you can enjoy tea and coffee, as well as housemade sandwiches and pastries. You can then stay there straight to cocktail hours (5:30-7:30pm) and indulge in an assortment of tapas (their potato soup is phenomenal). Sometimes we even skipped dinner because we filled ourselves up with drinks and tapas.

4. Pools

It's easy to get lost in this resort as it's fairly large, but with that comes multiple pools to relax at! The main pool area is frequented a lot by families, but has an in-water bar on the shallow end, and extends to a deep pool for swimmers. Our favourite area to chill at was the Beach Club by Sofitel - It also has its own bar in the water, is less crowded (normally only a few couples there), and you can get lunch directly there at the Toya Bar & Grill.

5. Vibes

From our gorgeous room, the view and our cozy ass bed to the beach and our traditional Balinese massage at SoSPA, we wished our 3 nights at Sofitel was 3 weeks instead. It was the last leg of our trip, but the most relaxing 4 days spent of our entire time in Bali. I wanted to visit the nearby Nusa islands (Lembongan, Penida and Ceningan), but it was so easy to unwind at the resort that we decided to stay put.

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Definitely plan to head back should we hit Bali again, but I highly recommend it to y'all if you're in the Nusa Dua area!

#Ballin'InBali Part I - 10 Things to Check Off while in Ubud

Y'all want to know how to Ubud in 4 days or less? Keep on reading for a guide of where to stuff your face at, stay, and visit (first-timer edition).

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1. Stay @ Komaneka at Monkey Forest

Located in the heart of Ubud, the Komaneka at Monkey Forest is an oasis in the midst of the city's hustle and bustle. Given there are no official cabs in Ubud, the proximity of the resort to the city's core gives easy access to the many shops, restaurants, temples, museums and galleries on Monkey Forest Road (including the actual Monkey Forest). However, the moment you step onto the resort you're transported into a tranquil oasis, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and an abundance of exotic plants. This also means an abundance of mosquitos, so ensure you DEET yourself unless you want to be eaten alive (I couldn't be helped, they loved my foreign blood).

What sets Komaneka apart from other resorts I stayed at is the truly attentive staff and service. I felt welcome the moment I came, and even hours after I left. The staff went out of their way to assist us with planning our trip; suggesting local eats, offering to book tours for us, and ensuring we were always hydrated and looked after. At one point during dinner, a few staff were playing with one couple's kids, while the parents were eating (which I thought was adorable). Even though we stayed for only one night, the staff really made it all that much more memorable.

2. Go to Campuhan Ridge Walk for Sunrise

I didn't manage to wake up in time, but apparently sunrise is when Campuhan looks its best (and the least crowded). It's only a 15 walk from Komaneka and offers incredible views of Ubud's surrounding vegetation.

3. Make a Day Trip to Hanging Gardens of Ubud

For those that can't afford a night stay there like me, opt for a day guest pass. There are different packages available, but you can get pool access, afternoon tea, lunch and a massage (worth). Many of the resorts in Ubud offer free shuttle service, so make sure you take advantage of them!

4. Check Out Kanto Lampo Waterfall

There are many tourists here, so ensure to arrive early! There's a small entrance fee to access the waterfall, but the local guides are super nice! They'll help you down to the waterfall and even provide pose suggestions if you're stuck.

5. Then Visit Tibumana Waterfall

This waterfall is close to Kanto Lampo, but way less touristy! Locals tend to frequent this area, but I had the falls all to myself. It was quite tranquil here.

6. Hike Up Mount Batur

I unfortunately didn't get a chance to do this, so I settled for the view of the mountain instead. Locals suggest hiking up Mount Batur for sunrise, and it's an intense 2-3 hour hike but I hear the views are hella worth it.

7. Check Out Tegalalang Rice Terrace

You can't visit Ubud without seeing the Tegalalang Rice Terrace. Our local driver mentioned the fields look better in August/Fall (when I went they were recently harvested). There is an entrance fee to get in, but our driver took us to a different viewpoint where we didn't have to pay #winning.

8. Try Crispy Duck and Succulent Pig

Bebek Bengil - It was so good I forgot to take pictures. Ubud is known for its crispy duck, and this restaurant did the duck justice. Don't mind the bad reviews, mine is the only one that matters. 

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku - The menu is small (2 items), but there's a reason it's a local favourite. My mouth waters thinking about the Nasi Campur Chicken, and it's also close to the Ubud swings (below).

Babi Guling Ibu Oka - You need to try the succulent pig here. It is phenomenal and you will not be disappointed. It's also frequented by locals, and for good reason!

If you're looking for some less local and more 'instagrammable' options, try the two places below:

9. Swing over the Ayung River

Get panoramic views of the river, a mini waterfall, rice fields and Mount Agung! I believe there are two locations for this swing: One at Zen Hideaway and another at this nearby location (of which I'm not sure of as our driver just took us here). There is an entrance fee of $25, but this was the most thrilling swing ride of my life!

10. But Just Know...

As with any dream, things are not always what they seem. Ubud is a great city to experience Balinese art, culture and its history. However, know that you will:

  1. Run into locals selling you anything and everything (including wooden dicks in many shapes and sizes) - I did not complain.
  2. Smell of burning incense (Ubud is predominately Hindu and almost everyday there's some sort of celebration)

  3. Encounter insects you never thought you'd see (like spiders the size of your fists)

  4. Need to hire a local driver (if you want to do many excursions in one day)

  5. Tune out the number of locals offering to give you a cab ride (as Ubud doesn't officially have cab service)

Other than that, you'll have a phenomenal time and will be so immersed in Balinese culture you'll even start speaking like them.

#DenimOnDenim - Collaboration with Converse

I don't know if y'all already know this story, but back in grade 2 I wandered over to the 'senior' area and accidentally got hit in the face with an apple. Yes, some boy in grade 6 was throwing apples and it luckily hit me right in the moneymaker. My nose started bleeding and the vice principal made the boy apologize to me. Ever since then, I've been scared of being hit in the face by all kinds of flying objects, especially balls.

Converse Chuck II Lux Leather Low Top // Oak + Fork Denim Jacket H089 // Topshop Moto Ashley Boyfriend Shorts // Urban Outfitters Tee (Old) // Forever 21 Oversized Round Sunglasses

HERE'S A CODE FOR A FREE CONVERSE SHOE: CONVERSECANADA-0Y9IFZ7M-NOW-INTERNETTING

  • 100% off discount on 1 pair of regular price footwear on converse.ca
  • Promo code will not be applicable if cart contains more than 1 item
  • Promo code is one time use only

Let me know in the comments if you were the lucky winner!

#Seventies

My first day of Kindergarten I was paired up with a classmate named Lina to show me around. However, there was this one girl named Eliza (way prettier) I was eyeing to be my friend and I wanted her to be my buddy instead. When recess started, I ditched Lina and ran towards Eliza. We became friends and I was brought into her crew (the "popular" bunch). We would sing Spice Girls on top of a bench every recess and would play "The Damsel in Distress" in the playground as the boys would come rescue us (I know, talk about stereotypes). One day, my "friends" decided they didn't want to be my friend anymore. I started crying, they felt bad, and eventually we drifted and I found real friends. 

Fast forward 21 years later, I'm still superficial af and bullying is still very much a real issue.

Hot Miami Styles Ribbed Turtleneck Bodysuit (Similar here) // Oak + Fort Jean G019 // H&M Leather Belt // F as in Frank Thrifted Sunglasses (Similar here and here) // Rebecca Minkoff Mules from Nordstrom Rack Sale (Similar here, here, here and here)

Photo Creds: Alistair D'Cruz & Karuna Israni (@whatweworeblog)

#Vibes

So I woke up one day some time ago with this symmetrical red grid like pattern on both my butt cheeks. It didn't hurt nor was it itchy, and I had no idea how I got it. And if you're wondering how I found out, no I don't wear pants when I'm home. Like any rational millennial, I googled 'red grid like patterns' and came across this website. Like you are, I was shocked (and amazed) to find out the same exact pattern had been experienced by multiple people worldwide, even dating back to the '60s. Curious to find out more, I emailed the author of the website who sent me a long email asking me to fill out a questionnaire detailing the mark so we could figure out if it was from the same phenomenon. I got cold feet at that point, so nothing ever came of that and the mark eventually faded. And that was how I was marked by an alien. The end.

Aritzia Wilfred Lalemant Pant // Topman Denim Shirt (Similar) //

Photo Creds: Cynthia Nguyen @cynthyeah

#CanadianTuxedo

Can I date 2001 Justin Timberlake in this outfit though? Or better yet have a threesome with him and Brit? Can I be Ryan Gosling's costar in the sequel to Drive? Can I join the cast of That 70's Show? All questions that run through my mind when I'm repping the Canadian tux.

#CoolTones - Collaboration with Frank And Oak

Frank And Oak recently launched their Style Plan - A monthly subscription providing personalized recommendations on their latest collections, ongoing discounts and free shipping. It's basically made for the lazy shopper (like me). Receive $30 off your first month by using this link: http://www.frankandoak.com/invite/simplyteee :)!

Review: 5 Looks with Smashbox' Be Legendary Liquid Lip

I'm usually not a fan of high shine finishes for lipsticks because they feel sticky, but Smashbox' Be Legendary Liquid Lip makes my lips feel soft and plump. The formula is highly saturated and the vinyl-like finish creates fuller lips, as if I just got botox injections. It's not my everyday choice due to lipstick getting everywhere (while eating, drinking, putting on clothes etc.), but that's to be expected with any shiny or satin finish lipstick!

I decided to create 5 different wearable looks that were inspired by Smashbox Lip Editor-In-Chief Vlada Haggerty (@vladamua).

Swatches

Left to right: Iced Out/Space Case, Bad B/Petal Metal, Girl Please/Brains 'N' Bronze, Pink Drank/Mauve Squad, Bad Apple/Moscow Muled, Brick Trick/Foiled Brat

Left to right: Iced Out/Space Case, Bad B/Petal Metal, Girl Please/Brains 'N' Bronze, Pink Drank/Mauve Squad, Bad Apple/Moscow Muled, Brick Trick/Foiled Brat

The 5 Different Looks

1) For the Space Bunny - Start with applying Iced Out on the outer parts of your lips, leaving the middle part for Space Case. The simplyteee take on an intergalactic look!

2) For the 90s Chick - Apply Girl, Please on your lips, then top it off with a bit of Brains 'N' Bronze for that metallic finish. Scary Spice would be jealous.

3) For the Bronzed Goddess - Line the outer parts of your lips with Bad B, then dab the middle with Petal Metal to finish off the look. For those with naturally tanned olive skin, this one's for you.

4) For the Innocent Girl Next Door - Apply Pink Drank all over your lips, and top it off with Mauve Squad in the middle for that extra plump! Elle Woods approved.

5) For the Indecisive Badass - Apply Brick Trick to half of your lips, and finish off the other half with Foiled Brat. Alice in Wonderland vibes with this look!

6) For the Girl Boss - Start with applying Bad Apple all over, and finish off with Moscow Muled on the middle parts of your lips. A different take on the classic red lip!

#Breezy - Collaboration with Luxfindz

For those in Toronto, I highly encourage y'all to check out Luxfindz' Pop Up Shop tomorrow through Sunday at 111 Jarvis St W for up to 70% off selected pieces! 

The metal accent sleeves on this simple white dress makes me feel like a Greek goddess. However, with how all of my shoots go, 99% of it says otherwise. Keep reading for the top 5 bloopers from this shoot!

Luxfindz Pure White Dress // Photo Creds: Andrew So

NOW TIME FOR THE TOP 5 BLOOPERS

1. When you get sand in your (non-existent) boobs

2. When you felt a spider on your shoulder, but it was really just your hair

3. When you think you're all cute frolicking in the sand, but this is the result instead

4. When your hair simply doesn't want to cooperate

5. When your photographer tells you none of the shots turned out good

#Yeezy

You can still take advantage of the huge Nordstrom Warehouse Sale hosted by StyleDemocracy until April 17th at the International Centre (Hall 6) in Mississauga! Below are the hours:

  • Friday, April 14: 11am - 9pm

  • Saturday, April 15 - Sunday April 16: 10am - 6pm

  • Monday, April 17: 10am  - 5pm

If you have the patience to look through racks and racks of clothing and are prepared for potentially long lines, then you'll probably walk out with 10 items for under $300. I was able to snag these Rebecca Minkoff mules and shirt for $70!

Alsoo, check out the spotlight StyleDemocracy did on yours truly: http://www.styledemocracy.com/style-spotlight-tina-dao/

COS Oversized High-Neck Sweatshirt // Zara Oversized Tee // Garage High-Waist Jegging // Zara High-Heel Ankle Boots (Similar here, here, here and here) // Chloe Drew Leather Shoulder Bag // Forever 21 Round Sunglasses (Similar herehere and here)

#Overalls - Collaboration with Converse

Now these are kicks to converse with! The Converse Pro Leather LP is the perfect white leather sneaker for Spring and is available in stores as of April 3rd! Yeah, the date sneakered up on me too.

Also, everyone go watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. 

And it wouldn't be a simplyteee approved blog post without a GIF:

Converse Pro Leather LP // Forever 21 Distressed Denim Overalls // Forever 21 Off-The-Shoulder Top (Similar here, here and here) // Chloe Medium Drew

#Camo - Collab with Mavi Jeans

I decided to dedicate this blog post to some BTS gifs and how 99% of my shoots actually go. Scroll down for bloopers!

SOME GIF BLOOPERS

Review: Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipsticks

Since discovering liquid lipsticks, I find myself no longer gravitating towards standard lipsticks like I used to. I've tried them all - from higher end brands such as Kat Von D, Stila, Anastasia and Tarte, to drug store brands such as NYX, L'Oreal, and Revlon. Lipsticks with a matte finish tend to dry out the lips, but Smashbox is among the few that won't make your lips look like you've been parched in a desert for a week.

WHY I LOVE IT

  • The tip applicator makes it easy (and fun) to line and apply the lipstick 
  • You only need one coat due to how pigmented and creamy the formula is 
  • It won't smudge, budge or feather when you're drinking or eating
  • It lasts up to eight hours 
  • When re-applying throughout the day, it doesn't make your lips look like a butthole
  • Offers a wide range of shades to choose from

Left to right: Bawse, Thrill Seeker, Baja Bound, Babe Alert, Driver's Seat, In Demand, Stepping Out, Chill Zone

CHILL ZONE - A deep, cool grey that's bound to send chills down your ex' spine

IN DEMAND - A neutral, pink nude that's great for the everyday pout

THRILL SEEKER - A bright red orange that's guaranteed to take attention off that unwanted pimple on the middle of your forehead

BABE ALERT - A nude rose that's giving MLBB (my-lips-but-better) a run for her money

BAWSE - A deep, cool red by YouTube megastar Lilly Singh (iisuperwomanii) that's sure to make you feel like a bawse

STEPPING OUT - A deep nude that pays homage to the 90s

BAJA BOUND - A pink coral that reminds me of Ariel the little mermaid

DRIVER'S SEAT - The result of Stepping Out's and Baja Bound's one night stand

#That70sShow

This photo set was actually taken on 3 separate occasions, which is why you'll notice the varying lipstick shades and the different hairstyles.

  • Day 1 Early Afternoon: Hair down, neutral lips - It was extremely cold and windy outside, so we decided to take pictures inside. 
  • Day 1 Evening: Hair up, neutral lips - To combat the wind, I opted for a ponytail instead and attempted some shots outside.
  • Day 2: Hair up, dark lipstick - I then realized I wanted to pair the outfit with a dark lippie, so figured third time was the charm.

I picked my favorites from each set and the results are what you see below!

#White - Collaboration with Call It Spring

Partnered with Call It Spring for a fresh spring look! Though it definitely doesn't feel like spring right now, and this outfit wasn't so fresh after the spilt matcha latte on my pants...#CanYouSpotTheMatcha. The sandals dressed themselves, so I kept the outfit simple and colors minimal!

#OliveJuice

I don't know how it works and it does have a semi-uncomfortable burning sensation, but ChinUp Mask rid 2 cm off my double chin after using it for 30 minutes. I also have a very ticklish neck, so it was hard to keep a straight face with the mask on, but IT WORKS.

#OnceYouGoBlack - Collaboration with Frank & Oak

I'm proud to partner with Frank & Oak for their new permanent women’s collection, which is now officially available online and in store! C-c-check out my entire look and all the new styles here: www.frankandoak.com/invite/TinaDao

Also for anyone that's never tried Shin Black ramen, guaranteed you won't go back once you've had a taste.