Monthly Archives: February 2011

TRULY (Zellers) Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings Review

Hi again – and this time, I decided to do a review on a generic brand pad under the name TRULY, found at HBC Zellers (which will soon be taken over by Target). I figured with all the big brands I do out there, I ought to finally do one on a “non big” brand name and you know in Canada, you’re pretty much restricted to the usual “big 3” of pads, Always, Kotex and Stayfree. Rather than giving them publicity more than they already have, let’s give “the small guys” some exposure. I’ve tested my fair share of generic pads before and have already made a post about them before, but these TRULY ones really motivated me into writing this review… so let’s begin! Oh and as usual, all the pictures are thumbnails or shrunk to fit the blog, so you can click on the picture to get a larger resolution of it!

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Package Front (EN)

Their “sale” (ok, so it wasn’t THAT cheap) caught my eye in the flyer. Of course the flyer week is already over, so I can’t promise it will be the same price by now. They had assorted Truly regular-sized package pads for $2.50 ($2.63 post-tax). I was glad that unlike retarded Walmart, Zellers only charged me the GST portion of the HST since the 8% PST portion is actually supposed to be exempt from the purchase of feminine hygiene items. If I had caught that when I was buying from Walmart last time, I would’ve gave them shit. It’s not a matter of the few cents, but rather, the principle since living in Canada we get our ass taxed for everything as it stands. Furthermore, if as a male I know that feminine hygiene products are point-of-sale PST rebate-eligible, that female cashier should’ve known that even more!

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Package Front (FR)

Bar-code and Instructions

Warning and Guarantee

Package Contents

So this is actually the first time I had exposure with the TRULY pads and they’re quite amazing for a store-brand. The packaging was plastic, just like most conventional packaging – so not exactly the best for the environment, but I don’t think any conventional pads or tampons really are and for the environmentally-conscious people, they opt to use menstrual cups or cloth pads. Nevertheless, with the plastic packaging aside (and probably all the rest of the packaging), where this packaging stands out is the fact that it has another layer of protection. As many people are not aware, the surface of pads or anything that comes in contact with the vagina should be sterile and clean. Over time, pads that are left on the shelf and exposed to elements begin to catch things like humidity, dust and eventually, bacteria formation.

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Supplementary Bag

This particular package (and I’d assume the same with the rest of their lines) not only has an outer packaging, but also another bag within. Of course another environmentally rude material, but it adds another layer of protection for the sake of your vaginal health. The only thing I found was that because of how tightly the contents are packed along with the restrictions of having an extra bag within the package (which you can fully remove so that you only have the inner clear-plastic bag left and throw the outer one away) made the pads hard to remove at the start. Obviously once you take out 3-4, it becomes less packed and the pads come out with ease. The only thing that I was not pleased about with general packaging, is the fact the pad wrapper doesn’t seem to seal too well and as I was pulling the pad out from the package, a part of the pad opened up. Now, this could be because I was rather rough with it, but after inspecting the pad wrapper sealing, there wasn’t a lot of adhesive on it.

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Pad in Wrapper

Part of the pros about not having a very tight adhesive is the fact you don’t get a lot of “tearing” sound. For those extra shy women who are afraid of letting someone hear them opening a pad wrapper, this is for you! I would even dare say that the Kotex ‘silent wrappers’ aren’t as silent as these ones! Of course I haven’t tested Kotex in a while (the North-American ones), so maybe my memory is waning, but when you open a Kotex silent-wrapper pad, you still get quite a bit of noise from the edges tearing… unlike the TRULY ones where you get almost a near silent parting of the edges. These are one of the few pads I will open in my house openly without suppressing the noise, lol – yes, that’s how quiet the wrapper is, even though the downside is that it may be a problem for women carrying it in their purse or bag that jostles the pad around and might “open up” accidentally. I would recommend people carry this a more confined space or where it won’t give the opportunity for the pad to friction against other things.

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Pad with Wings Folded

When you unfold the wrapper, nothing about the pad seems to be impressive. I wasn’t expecting much from a generic-brand pad, but thought after being impressed with the outer packaging that they just might have some secrets lying within, haha. The pad is about 26cm long from the front of the pad to the end. The width of the pad at most parts is about 7.6cm, except for the rear that is wider probably to catch overnight rush-flow towards the rear at roughly 9cm. The pad wrapper unfortunately does not have sticky tab, so resealing the existing or used pad is an issue. On the bright side, the pad on the wrapper adhesive is very strong – which I suppose depending on your strength may be a good or bad thing. Suffice to say, the pad sticks very well to undergarment, although with the stickiness, I’m not sure if it’s even enough to damage clothing material. So far, I haven’t seen it do anything like the U By Kotex where it begins to rip material apart. I’m telling you thought, your pad is not likely to move anywhere while it’s worn with how secure it is!

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Pad with Wings Exposed

Now when it comes down to the wings, that’s something yet-to-be-desired. I found that the wings had marginal, if not, no absorbing ability. The wings are there strictly for fastening the pad on undergarment and not so much for “preventing leaks” because it will not do much of that at all. The adhesive on the wings are definitely not as impressive as the one on the bottom of the pad either and does not hold very well. The thickness of the pad is an excellent hybrid between “ultra thins” and “maxi” … akin to the “slim” sized pads found in Asia. This is a great pad to compromise with for those who feel the ultra thins don’t provide a feeling of security (or who prefer greater absorbency) but don’t want the bulkiness of the usual overnight sized maxi pads.

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Wider Pad Rear Closeup

Time to talk about the performance of the pad! When comparing things, I think people like to compare apples with applies and oranges to oranges. Well for me – or at least when it comes to pads and tampons – I like to compare them to the same standards. Pitting this TRULY pad against other brand-name pads, there are still quality-build differences. This pad tend to be floppier than others and you’ll notice it RIGHT as you open the wrapper and then remove the pad form the adhesive. However, this is not an issue in terms of the absorbency capability of the pad. Rather, the pad does experience a bit of crinkling noise, which may be a “deal breaker” for the ladies who want absolute discreteness that you have/are opening/are wearing a pad. It feels flimsy, so I was really worried about testing it because it could be a very messy scenario. However, trying to be professional, I proceeded anyways… to my surprize.

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Pad Front Closeup

The top layer is super comfortable and would even compare to branded-products! Step aside Always and Kotex, because the comfort level of the top-layer is soft and smooth against the skin. When saturated, it absorbs quick, but leaves a slightly wet feeling. Nevertheless, after a few minutes, the pad surface becomes dry again – so as long as you can put up with momentary feeling of wetness for a minute, you’ll be returned to a feeling of comfort and dryness! The absorbent material underneath the pad surface also seemed loose which added to my worry – that is, until after I tested it that the loose feeling of it still provided great security. If you’re one of those people willing to try new things and sacrifice your peace-of-mind on the first try, then you will realize how incredible this “budget” non-name brand pad is and superior in my opinion to any of the generic pads I have tested. Even after long-term use and saturation, the pad has a comfortable feel and does not become hard/rigid. For a pad of this length, I would have actually considered this a “long” or “super” as opposed to overnight. Nevertheless, given the quality and performance of this pad, I too would label it as being suitable for overnight (unless you’re one of those people with extra heavy night flows).

TRULY Brand Overnight Maxi Pads with Wings - Pad Absorbent Core Closeup

The channel patterns are nothing special, pretty typical design so there’s not much I can comment about that. However, the absorbent core really does a fine job of pulling in flow towards the middle. You will notice that even if you soil the front or rear of the pad, it eventually ends up in the middle in a reasonable time-frame. This keeps the extremities of the pad, which are more prone to leaks, safer from overflow. Also, due to the “generic”ness of the pad, the front and rears of the pad are not built as tough of a quality as branded pads, nevertheless, as long as a large amount of flow is introduced to the front and rear, the flow is highly contained in the middle where the most material and thought was placed into. As mentioned, I have no goodwill towards the wings of the product, other than the fact they’re there, help provide a sense of security and are large. The “walls” of the pad, particularly between the center of the pad and the wings are thicker and tougher to act as a last-resort effort of keeping flow from running off the pad. Even though it is thicker, it does not feel thicker, so rest assured, the comfort is still there.

All in all, I can’t imagine to having tested a generic pad with such quality and very little area for me to complain about! If they even spent a bit of time refining the wings a bit, I can imagine that this unknown little pad will strike hard into the “big 3” market territory. Unfortunately I would expect their funds and technology are more limited compared to P&G, K.C and J&J, so maybe that’s where some of the lack-of-progression will come into play. I would highly recommend this pad to anyone who are not afraid of trying something new and those who may be on a budget. This is after all, a store-brand pad, therefore you can expect lower prices on a pack when compared to branded product at non-sale prices. I am utterly impressed with this product, particularly because it is not one coming from international and multi-billionaire companies like the “big 3”.

Is Your Relationship Too Perfect & Having Standards vs. Being Picky

There's bebe and I in the future... LOL! Except.. I'm not as good-looking XD

There's bebe and I in the future... LOL! Except.. I'm not as good-looking XD

I really like these articles I find. I’m into self-improvement because I really want bebe to love me and find ways to be a more effective boyfriend and one day hopefully, husband. I think there’s no person too “perfect” to believe that they can always be better, while still being satisfied with themselves. Satisfaction, yet striving to improve are mutually independent things. One can be happy with who they are, yet continue to believe they have space to grow! “Beauty is in the imperfection“, I love it! 😀

Is Your Relationship Too Perfect?

By Sara Koonar (www.29secrets.com)
Why disputes and disagreements are a good thing

Is your relationship everything you’d dreamed of? Or is you idea of perfect not making you as happy as you thought it would? Arguments, challenges and set backs are what make us stronger and help us create a lasting bond. When you find Mr. Right and things are going smoothly, a little too smoothly, you have to wonder how you will grow as a couple if you have absolutely nothing to work on. Without those bumps in the road, our relationships become boring and unproductive. Building trust and falling in love means completely tearing down your walls and showing that person who you really are. No one is perfect, and if you are pretending to be something you are not, you simply can’t be yourself and you can’t be happy.

Anger is a Good Emotion
Constant disputes or never agreeing on anything can be a stress on most couples, but the occasional fight can help improve our communication skills and help us hash out our feelings. Keeping everything inside and putting on a fake smile is doing you and your partner a disservice. Being able to be open up about your feelings and opinions is what builds a strong partnership. Feeling comfortable enough to show your ugly cry or scream at the top of your lungs means you trust that person to love you at your lowest points.

Love is Blind
If you feel you need to act, dress or look a certain way that is opposite to who you are in order to make your partner happy, you should take a look at the sacrifices you are making and consider whether or not they are worth it. The greatest part of a relationship is being able to be yourself and know that you are loved. Wanting to be beautiful for someone is one thing, but completely changing to fit into someone else’s ideals is not okay. Stand up for yourself and let your partner know that you like who you are and they should too.

Beauty is in the Imperfections
If you can laugh at his loud snoring that keeps you up all night or tease him about his not-so-suave dance moves, loving your partners “imperfections” is what a great relationship is all about. Knowing what makes each other tick or finding out his deepest and darkest secrets is what makes your bond special. Having that connection with him is priceless and more perfect than a relationship that is based on shutting up and smiling through it.

I wonder if my bebe has “standards” or is “too picky” XD I guess I’ll have to find out the hard way 😆

Having Standards vs. Being Picky

By Nora McInerny (www.29secrets.com)
How to tell the difference

You know that it’s better to be single than to compromise your standards. Your coupled friends, your mother and your gynecologist insist that you’re being a little too picky. So who’s right?

Standard:
Having a type. If you know that you’re a preppy princess, then you can feel free to weed out the skinny hipsters from your banker boy dating pool.

Being Picky:
Okay, so you like your guys clean cut. But is it necessary for any man you date to wear exclusively Brooks Brothers, part his hair on the side, have a perfectly hairless chest, drive a Saab and own a vacation cottage? When you’re looking for one specific person, you’re going to miss out on a whole lot of quality humans.

Standard:
A gainfully employed gentleman who takes pride in his career. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone who is interesting in building a secure and comfortable future with you.

Being picky:
Wanting a dude with a career you’re specifically interested in bragging to your friends about. Not all the good guys end up being doctors or rocket scientists, and who knows? If you expand your horizons beyond the astronaut you’ve always dreamed about, you just may meet the insurance actuary who will sweep you off your feet.

Standard:
Someone who has common interests. Life is more fun when you have someone to share the things you love!

Being picky:
Someone who has everything in common with you. You’re wonderful, but you don’t need a carbon copy of yourself. Breaking up with a dude who doesn’t share your list of desert island movies or whose iTunes Most Played list makes you cringe is going a step – or six – too far.

Sometimes these articles are nice, because it gives ideas from angles that I would never see. Men and women are distinctly different in how they think and perceive things… and I mean it could be said since we’re all “individuals” – but men and women often have attributes that are “like” their ‘own kind’ (as in male/female). I laugh whenever I ask my girl-friends things about bebe or how women perceive things and they often all have a resounding similar answers to each other, while when I ask my guy-friends, they often all reply with thoughts similar to mine 😀 I don’t try to make an analysis out of everything, but it is almost amusing to see how sometimes our brains all walk on the same line 😆 Something that makes it harder is that bebe doesn’t think like the “typical girl” all that time, so I end up not always being able to rely on my girls for “girl-like” advice XD HAH!

Credit Card Shock

Ok… so really, I’m not that shocked about my current credit card balance (and only ONE of them too, LOL), because I’m quite aware of my spending. If you have been paying attention to the blog, you’ll also know I’ve been trying to actually “utilize” my money and actually spend more of it to entertain and/or generate some monetary happiness, so it wasn’t like I “wasn’t expecting” to see these numbers. It is shocking only because I rarely see it this high 😆 .. and plus, I needed a catchy topic title, harhar.

I was going through my list of like 20 some-odd transactions, trying to figure out how much of it was pleasure-related and trying to separate it from business-related payments, since I also run purchases for my own company through this particular card. Looks like this month, I’ve spent quite a bit for ‘personal’ use and the numbers are starting to rack up. Just this weekend alone I spent quite a bit of money, particularly on food, haha! You know those weekends that you just go out and spend money like crazy? This was one of them. You’ll feel the pain a month down the road when the bills come flying in, lol.

And if you think these numbers actually included my plane ticket or spending in
Hong Kong, I’ll have you know those amounts were cleared a long time ago and all this spending contributing to the following picture is all from the past month since I’ve returned to Canada. I suppose I should really bend over now, lube up my ass and just wait until the next credit card statement lands on my desk.

Current owing amount and the billing period isn’t even over yet…

My ass hurts... $$$

My ass hurts... $$$

And so I proceeded to read an article which made me laugh because I realized why I spent more this year (other than my changes in spending habits) than any other during this-time-of-the-year…

Valentine’s can be considered an economic stimulus that helps to boost sales in between Christmas and Easter. According to Reuters News Agency, for Valentine’s Day 2011, the average American couple will spend $189, which is three times more than what singles generally spend on an average date ($67).

Man.. people go on expensive dates, LOL.. actually, I never calculated how much I spend taking bebe out. Come to think of it, I might actually spend more than that in a day with her 😐 Eep! There’s a good reason why bebe and I don’t go out every night, I’d be poor afterward XD

According to estimates from the National Retail Foundation, the average person will spend $116.21 on Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, this figure is up almost 13% percent over last year’s $103.00. Overall, this will bring total Valentine’s Day spending to about $15.7 billion.

 

Some people barely have money to eat, and here we are spending over $100 on gifts… ick.

The survey also found that overall spending is expected to be up this year. Consumers will fork over $3.5 billion on jewelry this Valentine’s Day, up from 2010’s estimated $3 billion.

Woooo, I’m part of the statistic this year! LOL.. I’m contributing to that 3.5 billion, haha.

No changes are expected on who will spend more; men will spend the most on Valentine’s Day gifts. The average man is anticipated to spend $158.71, more than double what the average woman will spend.

 

That’s bullshit 😛 Why do us guys have to pay more? 😆 I thought men and women were supposed to be equal in societal standards now, haha.

According to Reuters, young professionals plan to spend $255 for Valentine’s with their significant other.

Hrm… how to define young professionals?

I was just talking to one of the girls at work today and she pretty much said as well Valentine’s Day is really a waste of money – or rather – if you’re going to buy gifts or do sweet things for your partner, that can be done any time, rather than on a “specific day”… and yes, while I agree with that, it’s also nice to mark a special occasion like this. However, give it a few more years and when bebe and I get married, v-day may not really be all that special 😀 HAHA!

I think it’ll be very quick that the next time I check my credit card tally that it’s going to be pushed over the 3,000 mark.. ooohh boy. Looks like I’ll be eating Mr. Noodles for a while 😛

Contraceptive Options – Know Before You Act! (Birth Control)

Options of Preventing Pregnancy

So you may wonder why I have such an odd “non-related” topic on my blog – but in reality, the likelihood is if you’re pregnant, that you’re not going to be getting your period, so I guess in a way, it IS a related matter, lol. What inspired me to write this little blog post (and yes it will be “little” because there is just way too much to cover) is that I was listening on the radio on the drive to work and one of the hosts mentioned that in Canada, they found that many women are actually unaware of the many contraceptive choices that are available to them. I would dare wager that the 2 most well-known contraceptive methods are the pill and condoms. I have done my best to do proper research, but feel free to correct me if mistakes are found as I am more than happy to learn, particularly from those with anecdotal experiences. I have yet to be with a girl who uses such contraception, particularly with a lack of knowledge about the pill and administering techniques other than by hearsay, so my knowledge may be iffy on that.

So many contraceptive choices!! What do you do?

So many contraceptive choices!! What do you do?

Suffice to say, while those two methods are well-known and used by many who choose not to have children at the moment (or never), they are not the only options available at this day in age. In this entry, I hope to gain some insight myself and also help open the world of contraceptive options to men and women. Where do men come into play? Well obviously contraceptive choices between couples or consenting adults is recommended when there is no intention to cause pregnancy. I should mention before I start this post that I’ll be concentrating on avoiding pregnancy in this posting, but should point out that most contraception forms do not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

Birth Control Pill (or “the pill”):

The basis of “the pill” is to prevent ovulation through a mixture of hormones, estrogen and progesterone. By suppressing ovulation, there is no egg released by the ovaries to to be fertilized by male sperm, therefore eliminating the risk of becoming pregnant. In addition to inhibiting the ovulation process, the pill also works by thickening the mucus around the cervix, reducing the likelihood that sperm is able to enter the uterus in the event that a female egg has already been released. Due to the combination of hormones present in the pill, even if fertilization does occur, the changes to the uterus lining much harder for the fertilized egg to attach to the uterus wall.

Most of “the pill” packages come in a 21 or 28 day-use cycle. The pill is administered orally (I should make that clear that “orally” means through the MOUTH) daily and at the same time every day. Users of the 21-day pack is taken 21 days continuously where the user will then stop for 7 days before starting the next 21-day pack. Users of the 28-day pack will continue to take all the pills in the package, but the last 7 pills of the cycle are actually hormone-less, usually called a placebo, which really has no effect on the body other than maintaining regularity and familiarity in maintaining the habit of taking the pill daily. If a single dose is missed (other than the placebo pills), then the chances of contraceptive protection drops considerably, so it is imperative that the pill be taken effectively. For women who start using “the pill” – it takes up to 7 days for it to take effect, therefore those who are sexually active within that 7-day window should continue to use alternate contraceptive methods such as a condom.

There are variants of “the pill” (such as progesterone-only), and your health-care professional will be able to give you the best advice on which suits you the best. There are of course benefits and risks for using “the pill” and making it important for you to consult a professional and to research what is in your best interest to use as contraception. For some women, the use of “the pill” is highly discouraged if they have certain medical conditions, so “the pill” is not recommended for everyone. There are also emergency contraceptives, such as “Plan B” for those “oopsies, we had unprotected sex” scenarios that prevent an embryo from attaching the the uterus wall after fertilization. “The pill” requires a prescription to acquire, but “Plan B” is available over-the-counter.

Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills

Contraceptive Patch

The contraceptive patch works similarly to “the pill” by delivering the combined hormones through the skin. A “bandage-like” adhesive is applied to the abdomen, buttocks, upper arm or upper torso. The scheduled usage of the product is like “the pill” and carries generally the same benefits and negative side effects, only that the method of which the hormones enter the body is different.

Contraceptive Patch

Contraceptive Patch

Intrauterine Devices

IUD’s are devices implanted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy by preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. These “T-shaped” devices can be left in the uterus for several years and are usually composed from plastic and copper. Recent ‘enhancements’ to IUD’s also allow them to be loaded with a hormone-containing device which slowly release hormones over time to help alter the menstrual cycle and suppress conception. The IUD acts as a “physical barrier” which hinders the ability for sperm to meet with an egg and also due to a foreign object (the IUD) irritating the uterus lining, it prevents an embryo from implanting onto the uterus wall. This device is not suitable for those who have reactions to copper as it may cause increase menstrual cramps and flow. On the contrary, hormone-releasing variations of the IUD have been known to reduce menstrual flow and regulate periods. Nevertheless IUD’s have the potential of being pushed out of the vagina due to natural contractions. IUD’s are a great contraceptive choice if a user wants to be able to quickly become fertile again (assuming one was fertile in the first place). IUD’s should be implanted with the skills of an expert practitioner.

Intrauterine Device

Intrauterine Device

Vaginal Ring

The vaginal ring works similarly to “the pill” by delivering the combined hormones through the vagina. A “ring-like” device is inserted into the vaginal which stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and creates a barrier to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. The scheduled usage of the product is like “the pill” and carries generally the same benefits and negative side effects, only that the method of which the hormones enter the body is different. It is possible for the ring to fall out and may cause vaginal irritation. If the ring is left outside the body for more than 3 hours, pregnancy once against becomes a risk and requires a 7-day window to become effective again. The vaginal ring can be inserted/removed without professional intervention.

Vaginal Ring

Vaginal Ring

Contraceptive Injections

Contraceptive injections containing synthetic hormones can be absorbed into the body via intramuscular injection. The hormones contained within prevent ovulation, thickens the mucus in the cervix and also makes the womb lining thinner to prevent an embryo from attaching to the uterus wall. Initial injections prevented pregnancy from 8 to 12 weeks, however, newer shots are said to last up to several months. Unfortunately, because hormones are injected directly into the body, they may stay resident in the body for up to 2 years, therefore resuming fertility is not as fast as other methods. Also, there have been riskier “aftermaths” even after discontinued use of contraceptive injections. With the use of contraceptive injections, menstrual periods completely stop (other than spot-bleeding) and do not become regular until a year or more of discontinued use of the product.

Contraceptive Injection

Contraceptive Injection

Implants

Capsules which release fertility-inhibiting hormones were implanted into a woman’s arm which could prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years. It was highly effective, however, side-effects were not properly communicated to customers which resulted in several class-action lawsuits. I’m not going to talk a lot about this method since it has been pulled off the shelves in North America.

Contraceptive Implants

Contraceptive Implants

Diaphragm

A diaphragm is the “female equivalent” of a condom, a barrier contraceptive method. A diaphragm is a latex or silicon device shaped in a dome which is inserted into the vagina to “block off” the contact of sperm and a released egg. Just like a condom, a diaphragm is inserted prior to sexual intercourse, however, unlike a condom, the device should be left in the vagina for another 6 to 8 hours (although debated due to lack of evidence/conclusion) from the last male ejaculation within the vagina. It is common that spermicide be applied to the rim and/or dome of the diaphragm prior to insertion. Diaphragms can be reused as long as they are properly cleansed and can be reused immediately if required. Care should be taken to avoid contact with oil, whether it is oil-based vaginal medication of lube as it causes the deterioration of the diaphragm. Depending on the material used to make the diaphragm, it may be used from anywhere between 1 to 10 years.

A fitting appointment is recommended with your health-care professional to assist in finding a diaphragm that fits each woman’s size and needs. Whether a diaphragm is too large or too small may affect the woman’s health and may increase the risk of pregnancy if a seal is not properly formed. The diaphragm covers the cervix and physically prevents sperm from entering the uterus. It should be noted that like tampons, diaphragms are susceptible to causing TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) when it is worn for periods of greater than 24 hours. A diaphragm does not affect future fertility opportunity and does not affect hormones or regular menstrual cycle in any way.

Diaphragm

Diaphragm

Closing

I hope this helps shed some light on the various birth-control options for everyone. For those of us who are in relationships, please be reminded that birth-control is not a one-sided decision and it’s best made with both parties involved. If you are having sex outside of a monogamous relationship, then it’s a totally different story. While it is rightful and legal for a woman to make a sole decision on birth-control methods, please do be considerate and include or at least consult with her partner on his/her feelings and objectives.

Your choice of birth-control may have irreversible or long-term effects, thus, it is advisable to also seek the opinion of your health-care professional. Also, some medical conditions you may have may exempt you from the opportunity to safely utilize some of these methods. There are many risks and rewards to using the above options and I have hardly even touched on the advantages and side-effects of the choices. It is also in your best interest to do prior research and then consult your medical specialist to help make the best decision, fitting to your scenario.

Stock-Up on Stayfree Pads @ Walmart

$2 Sale - Stayfree Pads @ WalmartOH MY GOD! Yes, that’s right.. Stayfree Feminine Protection, assorted types and sizes (Maxi/Ultra Thin pads) are now on sale at Walmart this week! The sale goes from Feb 11th to 17th here in Ontario. However, please ensure you check your local flyers and applicable Walmart stores to see if they offer the sale as I’m not sure whether all Walmarts across Ontario offer the same sale-products! I’m totally going to take a look and see how much stuff I have left over at home, maybe stock up for myself, some of my girls and perhaps for bebe! 😀

If you have the “Save $5 when you buy 2 Stayfree, Carefree or O.B” products coupon, here’s your chance to use it and even get $1 back! I’m going to wait until near the end of this sale-week to see if my coupon arrives and that’d be great if it did. Walmart does have some awesome $1 and $2 sales this week as well, so everyone is advised to check out the flyers whether on-paper or on-line while taking advantage of this great pad-sale! I’m usually not a fan of Walmart, but hey, gotta give it to them if they really have a good sale on!

I just wished they’d bring the Thermo Control Stayfree pads over to Canada, ARG!

My First Meaningful Valentine’s Day

You know, having been with a few girls over my years of life, I must say this has been one of the most touching Valentine’s day I’ve ever experienced – well, at least for now – I’m sure bebe will make me love her more and more every year! Nevertheless, it took me a bit of time to consider whether I’d actually say this because it would seem rather unfair to my ex’s. With me ex’s, I never want them to feel as if they were an unimportant part of my life, because they really are and all with the exception of one, I still keep in (relatively) close contact with. My ex’s have helped me develop my relationship aptitude and helped me explore and engage myself in ways I never thought possible. Each one has paved the path of who I am today and that lucky for bebe (HAHA), she will hopefully get to be my final recipient of my love. So when bebe and I get married one day, she owes the way I treat her to all my ex’s who’ve made me the person I am today XD

But anyways, lets set the whole unfairness thing aside, this valentines I truly “feel” it… and I guess perhaps this relationship has delved into more serious emotions and connections than ones before. My most recent ex was probably the most unfortunate one because it was pure lust and perhaps we both used each other to satisfy our “rebounding” feelings. Having been with L for quite a few years, it took me a long time before I could even be with another girl… It wasn’t until 3-4 years later when my heart could even consider another person. L and I had some pretty good Valentines day and we certainly made it special for each other, whether nearby or afar, however, this Valentines with bebe so far away, I still feel super close to her, as if she was sitting right next to me with her head on my shoulders.

Then of course, many years ago, those teenage relationships you never expected to go real far. High-school relationships were either, 1) for pleasure, 2) for status quo and mostly, 3) experimentation. Unfortunately I never dated a girl for #1 which I’m not sure if I regret or not 😆 HAH! For #2 I thought was absolutely useless because a person should not rely on “a partner” to have a specific status within school and so of course I dated for #3. Back then, girls were just someone you’d hang out with after-school, do things with when you’re bored or just someone you could confide in private with… but really, I don’t think at that point a person can truly appreciate what true, lasting relationships are about… people come together and people fall apart in a whim, without repercussion. “Easy come, easy go” was a serious reality. I always thought to myself how disgusting it would be if I were to sleep with a girl who I know every one of my best friends have slept with or “been inside” with – urg, the thought is sickening.

I think it’s very common now that people adapted to the whole, “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy – if you’re with someone, it’s best you don’t know about their relationship-past or sexual-history. To be honest, I would think 4-5 years ago that I expected any girl that I’d be with to be a virgin (and by virgin, I mean REALLY virgin, as in no sex of ANY type, whether oral, anal or vaginal), but truly, I don’t expect any of the girls I know to be virgins anymore 😀 lol – it’s just not realistic. Bebe has always been interested in my past relationships, as she was always curious in knowing why my previous relationships failed. For me, I probably prefer not to know how many guys she’s been with, what they have done together and I just pretend that there was no one before me, haha, it’s much more settling that way.

So I came to this realization that this valentine is probably one of the most heart-felt one was due to the fact I truly truly FELT COMPELLED to get something for bebe. I know that she’s not big on receiving gifts from me, she’s one of those modern “financially independent” type of girls, but she certainly didn’t reject it either. I actually gave her a few necklaces to choose from and go figure, from all the choices I gave her, she chose the diamond one 😛 how typical girl, haha. I don’t mind though because if I offered it, then obviously I already budgeted to buy it for her initially. It was just amusing that when I was at the jewelery store, all the girls there that I know quite well from buying there a lot, all agreed that bebe would likely pick the diamond one because you know, girls just LOVE diamonds 😆 They said, “A girl will always buy the most expensive one that their boyfriend offers” and I laughed – because bebe did indeed choose the most expensive one.

My gift is not actually in this box...

Getting this present was not without hardships though. When I asked bebe the first time, they actually had a 10% sale going on and by the time she responded, the sale was over. I was still going to buy it even for regular price, but I decided to go to the store to bug them like a typical Asian to see if they would honour the discount even though it was technically over. Luckily, they told me they were restarting the discount due to popular demand the next day, so I told them I’d go make the purchase then… however, I also found out the necklace that bebe wanted was also out of stock at the store I usually go to, BLAH!

I was like OMFG, lol. I was trying to figure out whether they’d get it in and they suggested me to go visit other stores. Alternately, I could order online, but I’m not big on buying something before I actually get to see it, ESPECIALLY, when it comes to expensive things or jewelery. If I’m paying this much for it, it better be the guaranteed quality, correct diamond and gold karat composition and be the exact style as shown in the picture. So I was frantic of course, HOLY SHIT, I started scrambling to every store around the area possible to find it and if I couldn’t find it here locally, I’d drive to nearby cities to get it if I had to. So finally I found a place that sold the exact one bebe picked up and I was so happy! I always watch those movies and think how nutty guys are to look high and low just to get a gift for their lover, but now I truly understand the feeling and reasoning behind it… it’s such a huge disappointment when you can’t get the thing you wanted for someone you care about – so you’ll do ANYTHING just to get your hands on it. So I ordered it and then picked it up just yesterday after work. I left work early so I could “beat the rush” as many guys and gals would be picking up there Valentine’s gift after work due to the discount.

So can you believe it? Today, my mom goes on to “casually ask me more” about bebe. Not only that, but she “advised” me that I should make sure I take [bebe’s full name] out for valentines lunch/dinner to make up for the fact she’s not in Canada now. I can’t believe it, my MOM actually told me I need to take bebe out (not that I didn’t plan to, lol).. but she made it very clear that I SHOULD, haha. Since when did my parents become that involved in girls I like? 😛 Not only that, but I’ve never had a girl in my life who my parents cared so much about whether we actually stayed together, lol. Other than L, my parents didn’t care much for these girls, haha… in fact, the last one I had they utterly hated XD – ok so I guess that proves they did care about the results of my last relationship because they didn’t want me to end up with that girl :lol:… on a totally AWESOME note is the fact my mom: a) wants to get to know bebe more, b) actually remembers her name, c) seems to approve of her, and d) interested in helping me keep bebe and have a future with her … and of course not many people who read this blog know my parents, but if you did, you would realize that a, b, c, and d mean a lot given how little my parents have ever shown approval for a girl I got involved with. They did inquire (or I could say “blame”, hah) me for failing that relationship with L… and funny enough, even though my parents never met her, they seem to really like her. Who knows why… maybe it was ‘cuz she is SUPER PRETTY, haha. I still remember when I went out to Toronto to visit L one year, my dad was picking me up from the GO Train station and asked me why I didn’t try to kau (date/woo) L, but at that time, we had already broken up because she left me for a better looking guy 😦

In case anyone wonders what I got bebe… here it is! I’m actually quite proud of getting her something, not that I shouldn’t or something, but you know – I just feel good about myself and I don’t think there should be something “wrong” with that feeling. It makes me feel warm and tingly inside and even though she might not be quite ready to reciprocate my love for her, at least she acknowledges it, which is important 😀 I cut out the picture below so no one (unless you really like to backtrack links…) can find out where I bought it from and mainly that I’d get in so much shit for buying something so expensive for her, LOL… My friends were like, “You know.. most people only start buying diamonds for their girlfriend when they’re like… about to get married.. not just when you guys are starting out” – but hey, we’re not really ‘just starting’.. or well, the whole situation is complex, but at least we’ve “been seeing each other” for a good year and a half now, so it’s not like we’re total strangers or something and plus, bebe is such a good girl that she’s totally worth spoiling!

How bebe has somehow mesmerized my entire family into liking her, I have no idea, LOL. She’s managed to meet only two of my aunts plus my cousin and my whole family is all happy over her already. She only exchanged a few words with my aunts and maybe a few paragraphs with my cousin 😛 I mean, I know my family has a habit and talent of judging people quite quickly in even the smallest exchange of words and obviously, they all seem to think she’s an excellent girl for me to be with and that we’d make a great couple. I don’t mind them thinking that of course, because it gives me the support/encouragement, as well that I know she will be a great “fit” into my family since everyone’s already given her the “thumbs up” – and particular in Asian families or I should say my family, that approval is extremely hard to earn/obtain! Even my mom agrees that I should “put forth effort” towards bebe, so I can always claim that my own taste/judgments of girls can sometimes be questionable (à la my last relationship, lol), but so far, everyone I know really want to meet her and think we’re definitely relationship-material and I’d say if I couldn’t trust myself in my own feelings for bebe, I can definitely trust others who are normally quite demanding of girls I’m with! All in all, this is a great sign – or at least for the family part. I still have to of course, win bebe’s heart over 😛

I went to Niagara Falls today to enjoy a show and a dinner and it was a great day, but at times like these, I really wish bebe was around here with me. I know she’s having a wonderful time with her family back at home (in fact, even HOME home!), so I while I do miss her greatly, I have to hold back my greediness back and have to respect the fact she has her own family and there’s more to her life than just me. Nevertheless, even if she’s at least thought of me once a day, whether for a split-second or for minutes, I’d still feel really touched and special in her life anyways! There are still a lot of struggles for us in the coming days, weeks and months, particularly with getting her settled here and solving “geographical” issues. I really want this to be the last relationship I’m in… because I love bebe so much! Surely given that there are so many people who can clearly see and even feel how much I care about bebe, that soon bebe will truly feel that she means the world to me and stay by my side and let me love and care for her – forever and always.

and of course… I like when people ask me questions like what’s posed in this song, I can answer using a music video… HAH:

The Temptations – My Girl

And because EMI Publishing is a bunch of fucktards and won’t let people stream off WordPress but can off of Youtube, you have to go there directly to listen to it. When I have time, I’m going to find a way around that. And you wonder why people don’t buy music legally anymore? Why the shit should I buy music when music companies do stupid stuff like this? I hope everyone keeps downloading illegally and puts those idiots out of business until they start embracing the real world. When I see their CEO’s begging on the street for food, I’m going to shit on their heads.

Top 10 Commandments for a Successful Relationship

Found a nice little article written by expert Dr. Teesha Morgan.. thought it’d be a nice post for everyone who struggles in their relationships with their special-someone. I know I’m not alone in my situation and there are many more like me, perhaps even some who are more deeply pained than I am, so perhaps if people just took a bit of time to acknowledge that love is not just all easy and painless like we see in movies and dream-up in fairy-tales.

Top 10 Commandments for a Successful Relationship

1. Thou shalt drop the Hollywood love theme and acquire realistic love life expectations

Relationships may start out in a blissful state of awe-inspiring romance, however this is called a ‘state’ or a ‘stage’ for a reason. When two lives eventually meld as one, the result can be tedious, mundane and exhausting. It is therefore up to you to keep that spark alive because no fairy godmother is waiting to hand you glass slippers and a prince reared to perfection.

2. Thou shalt combine duties and chores to become a team

Science has shown us that women often take the brunt of household chores, even when they are trying to juggle a job as well. Ask your partner to help split chores more evenly; the lessened household workload has been shown to increase sexual desire in women and decrease stress on all accounts.

3. Thou shalt banish your acting prowess and quit pretending nothing is wrong

Pretending you’re fine when you’re not benefits no one. This simply chokes communication lines and creates resentment and anger. Become an adult, and express your feelings.

4. Thou shalt not strive for the title of gossip queen

Although tiaras are fun to wear, this crown should not be one you’re proud to prance around in. Gushing out all your relationship problems to your girlfriends may help you blow off some steam, but bashing your man behind closed doors does nothing to improve your relationship, or your image.

5. Thou shalt be yourself

Faking an interest in hockey or a love of video games will do nothing more than place you on a phony pedestal and lead you on a pathway of misguided love.

6. Thou shalt take control of one’s own sexual satisfaction

No man is a mind reader, so if you’re not communicating a solid and specific thumbs up or down on his performance, then you have only yourself to blame for not reaching the highs that true orgasmic intimacy can bring.

7. Thou shalt not take on another lover (unless your partner may do so also)

Enough said.

8. Thou shalt have a life outside of the ‘we’

If we become too consumed with our partners and our relationship, we forget about ourselves and our goals to become a better individual – individual being the key word. Don’t become so involved in the ‘we’ that you lose a piece of yourself.

9. Thou shalt not obsess about obtaining bodily perfection

No one is perfect, even the airbrushed models we glamorize. The more we worry about our weight and stress about our imperfections, the more reserved we become sexually and the less beautiful we feel. Opening up your imperfect self to another is the first step to true intimacy and acceptance.

10. Thou shalt not try and ‘fix’ one’s partner, as they are not broken

The more we view our better halves as in need of mending, the more we project faults onto them and blame them for our unhappiness. Work from the inside out. Whether it’s personal or relationship based, only you can start making changes for life-long happiness.

I really like reading love articles, because I enjoy pursuing self-improvement. I know that I, along with every human in this world always has space to improve upon themselves. Although I know bits and pieces about love, I always enjoy learning more and seeing how I can be a better man and a better lover. Suffice to say, this is kind if like school… you can only learn so much, as experience is where you face the real-deal, but at least having a good foundation and knowledge will only help to better the situation! I want not only to be able to love bebe even better, but I also want to help her find ways to love me even more. It’s much harder for you to love another person than to give them reasons to love you, or at least, perhaps in my scenario.

I know some view it as silly to bother with reading relationship articles because it seems worthless, but to me, it sheds light on things that sometimes I don’t seem to be able to find answer to or things that I see from a different angle. Remember we all have different perceptions of relationships and love and sometimes being able to “hear the story from someone else” allows me to readjust my thinking. Sometimes when I spend time with bebe, I try to remember things I’ve learned, experiences I’ve been through, while maintaining my own individuality. I’m not going to “follow everything” like you do in school as if this is a ‘manual of love’ or ‘instructions’ – but rather, extract ideas and concepts pertinent to our situation to help us love each other.

Someone said something beautiful to me...

Once in a while, I have to rely on my friends just to cheer me up and set my mind straight when it comes to dealing with bebe. Every day, I endure a lot of stress, headaches and pains over trying to steer our relationship in the right path and having support gives me that strength. I really liked what my friend said to me XD gave me such encouragement, haha… and a good feeling! Of course I wish I got the same encouragement from bebe herself, but I guess I’ll just have to rely on friends to cheer me on until she will 😆 For those who didn’t know, Chinese New Years just passed a few days ago and getting excellent greetings and kind-words carries far into the year! Isn’t this great what my friend said to me about bebe and I? 😀

Uh huh, now let’s just hope this dream comes true soon, haha. Actually, I’m not so much concerned about the marrying part… we still have tons of time, but I’d sure like to get some progress into this relationship.. something realistic. It’s going to be an uphill battle because I’m trying hard to help bebe ‘have a life’ here… she’s kind of returning smack in the middle of winter and it’ll probably be super-depressing for her and it’ll really make her frustrated with how life is in Canada… it’s kind of a bad time to return since she’ll just be stuck inside her house and that is why I really want to give her a lifestyle that’s a nice mixture of realism and fantasy. Of course I want to help her find a job or at least something to make her days bearable as well as be able to spend time with her so she doesn’t feel like she came to a country to sit inside a jail-home. It’s cold and the conditions are bad outside, but I don’t want her to feel as if she’s alone here, she has ME whenever she needs me. I know she doesn’t have a habit of “relying” on people, but it’s a matter of simply having time to spend together so we don’t feel as lonely… this goes for both her and I.

We are a great couple and I can be a great boyfriend, she just has to give me a chance! I find that trying to secure a lifestyle for her in Canada is giving me more stress than when I was trying to find a job, LOL! But hey, what kind of guy would I be if I don’t show any type of effort for her right? This better pay off… hahahaha… I’m very easy to please, I just want her love! We’ll put all that physical intimacy aside until her arms are ready to open up, I just want her heart for now, especially for valentines day!!

Something for everyone to think about.. people ask me why if bebe shows so little towards me, that I can endure all the pain and somehow, cry myself through the night and wake up in the morning as if nothing happened… and I give them these quotes:

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

Erica Jong
1942-, American Author


And why is it so persistent that I’d rather stick to bebe than to look for another girl who may more easily submit to me and love me with a lot less effort than her?…

Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another’s soul.

James Joyce
1882-1941, Irish Author

Bebe is worth fighting for, being brave for and risking everything for…. and my love for bebe is not as simple as giving her up, moving on to another girl and believing that I can love that girl like I love bebe. It may sound like I’m just “settling for her” just because… but you misunderstand, I am settling for her because I love her and I want to spend my life with her, however short or however long that may be.

Southern Ontario Cities Under Blizzard Warning

Wednesday’s “Groundhog Day Storm“ is almost guaranteed to be a major snow event in southern Ontario, with up to 40 cm forecast for some areas by mid-afternoon.

That, combined with strong northeast winds, has prompted Environment Canada to issue a blizzard warning for parts of the region, including Sarnia, London, St. Catharines and Hamilton.

This is the first widespread blizzard warning for southern Ontario since March 1993.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the rest of the region and stretches as far to the northeast as Ottawa.

The storm has prompted numerous closures and cancellations.

[…]Hundreds of flights from Toronto to the United States have already been cancelled due to severe weather conditions there.

Several airlines are encouraging travellers to check their flight information before heading to the airport.

[…]

People in some areas could wake up to 15 cm of snow already on the ground Wednesday, so officials are asking commuters to take caution.

Source

and another scary note…

Blizzard Warning

Issued at 10:07 PM EST Tuesday 1 February 2011

Summary

Blizzard conditions expected tonight into Wednesday morning. The major storm which was born in Texas late Monday is moving northeast across Indiana accompanied by a huge shield of wintery precipitation. Heavy snow has arrived in Southwestern Ontario this evening and will quickly spread northeast to the west end of Lake Ontario by midnight. Widespread total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm are likely before the snow begins to lighten up Wednesday morning. Locally higher amounts are possible in the Hamilton to St. Catharines corridor. In addition, strong northeast winds of 40 gusting to 60 or 70 km/h will accompany the snow..Creating blizzard conditions. Note that the blizzard warning criteria for Ontario was changed June 2010 to remove cold wind chill requirements. The new criteria requires a visibility of 400 metres or less in snow and blowing snow accompanied by sustained wind speeds of 40 km/h for at least four hours. This will likely mean more blizzard warnings will be issued in the future. This is the first widespread blizzard warning for Southern Ontario since March 1993..During the ‘storm of the century’. This is a warning that blizzard conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

Details

Motorists should be prepared to change plans accordingly to avoid unnecessary travel during the storm as conditions will be dangerous. If driving is necessary..Make sure you have an emergency kit..And if your car gets stuck..Remain calm and remain in your car. Environment Canada continues to monitor this dangerous winter storm and will issue further watches and warnings as necessary.

So… if I go missing, you will know why 😛

I hope my heater and internet/electronics continue to work — life will be ok with those, haha. If I die, someone please tell bebe that I love her… 😆 Given that I survive tonight, it looks like tomorrow’s not going to be much of a school/work day for most, lol.

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