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I think I may have slightly gained the upper hand in wrangling my self control. Every time I go on a trip, or anywhere for that matter, I have an impulse to want to buy things, gifts for friends or myself. I was much worse in my early 20s. I had no concept of saving & budgeting, & I was feeling very generous, always buying useless, meaningless things.

Now I am trying much harder to control my shopping impulses by reminding myself that I am trying to de-clutter my life & really clean up all the junk I’ve accumulated over the years. Oh, & I am also trying to stick to a budget & all that good practice stuff. I am slowly getting better at controling myself, or more accurately my wallet. On this past trip to Vancouver, I was very much relieved when I didn’t get much chance to do any souvenir shopping. It also helped that I didn’t approach this vacation with any desire to shop whatsoever.

I am happy to report that most of my moola was spent on taxi fare, food, coffee, & ice cream. Who can resist coffee or ice cream? Well, actually, there were one or two times when I gave in to my shopping impulses & bought a few trinkets. However, I try to justify those purchases by saying they’re only small items, & one of the items I bought was handmade by a local Vancouver artist, while another item was a comemorative item from a once-in-a-lifetime art exhibition.

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I got this super weird cute tooth necklace when I visited a fun shop on Granville Island. The shop assistant explained that it was handmade by a local artist from Vancouver. I thought this necklace was really cool, & I like quirky, odd, unique jewelry like this. This is a souvenir I will defintely cherish, & it will always remind me of Vancouver. I’ve already worn this necklace several times, & the best part is that I’ve worn it in the shower (accidentally), & the metal chain does not rust.

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Ok, I hauled a bunch of enamel pins. That’s not really big time news to anybody. I’ve said in the past that I am going to try to limit my collecting of various little things, but I feel like enamel pins can be justified because they’re making a comeback in the fashion world. Slapping enamel pins all over your oversized slouchy denim jacket is in style now. I feel like I’m already ahead of the curve, since I’ve been collecting pins since before they made a comeback as a hipster trend.

A few key pins to make note of are the maple leaf pin, the YVR umbrella pin, & the Takashi Murakami pin. I don’t think I’ll become a ‘Canadiophile’ anytime soon, but I wanted some glaringly cheesy souvenirs to show I had actually visited Vancouver, BC, & I thought buying myself a refrigerator magnet was too boring. (Plus, I don’t stick things to my refrigerator, so there’s no use for a magnet.)

I really wanted to get a unique souvenir to commemorate my visit to the Takashi Murakami art exhibition, but most of his gift shop merchandise was your standard, you-can-get-it-anywhere pop art flower stuff like: pens, postcards, notepads, plushes, & other useless bric-a-brac. The museum gift shop was selling a cool coffee table book & framed art prints, but I was not about to lug those heavy items home in my dinky little suitcase (& run the risk of paying the overweight luggage penalty). So, I got this little pin instead. I find it so much more meaningful that I got something that I took careful consideration in selecting.

In the end, I think I did pretty well, only got a handful of items. I said in my last blog post that I’m going back to Vancouver again with Jian in a couple of months, & next time I’m going to try to focus more on eating, drinking, & adventuring. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Today’s song of the day:

I know it’s cheesy & clichéd to go shopping at a mall or department store when you’re on vacation, but London has some of the most well-known, iconic, & oldest department stores in all the lands. So, it was an obvious choice to put these touristy famous shopping destinations on my list of must visit places. I wasn’t necessarily planning on buying anything, but I at the very least wanted to step inside & take a look around & to be able to say that I’ve been there.

Fortnum and Mason is one of those department stores where you know there’s going to be a lot of old, stuffy history, & where you know you’re going to look severely underdressed (& undertitled) compared to all of the high-society ladies who stop there for some exclusive afternoon tea. Jian is not in the least bit interested in shopping malls or department stores, so it was a bit of a task to convince him to go with me to Forntum and Mason.

When we got there, the place was packed to the gills with other tourist shoppers, all with the same intentions as we had…to buy semi non-kitschy souvenirs for friends & family. Of course Fortnum and Mason is well-known for their teas, but they also carried a massive variety of confectioneries & cookies/biscuits. We bought a few small tins of cookies/biscuits for Jian’s parents & a small box of marzipan for my mom. However, there was one item I kept passing by while we were browsing. It was a box of milk chocolates, but it wasn’t the chocolates that got me hooked. It was the absolutely adorable & clever packaging that caught my eye.

I am always a sucker for product packaging like cute gift wrapping, or souvenir boxes/tins. This chocolate box packaging was no exception. I 100 percent fell in love with the packaging as soon as I saw it. Also, I love chocolate, so it was a no-brainer that I had to pick this up as a souvenir for myself. Check out the packaging below.

 

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Please excuse my crappy photo-taking & editing. These were all shot on an iPhone SE.

  1. The box cover says “Cute as a button”. That got me hook, line, & sinker. Also, I loved the pink & blue pastel color scheme of the box.
  2. The back of the box has all of the nutritional information, blah, blah, blah…
  3. Inside, the chocolates are wrapped in tissue paper with a gold foil bumble bee sticker.
  4. I love the clever sewing theme of the box. The bottom side of the box lid has an adorable sewing lablel graphic that says “100% Delicious Made in England”.
  5. The side of the box lid has a super cute graphic of a pincushion with a thread & stitching graphic wrapping around the box lid.
  6. Inside is the real prize. The chocolates are shaped like actual antique buttons. That is just incredible attention to detail.

I can’t wait to sample these chocolates for myself. They almost look too delicious to eat, but who can pass up a piece of yummy chocolate? I know I can’t. Until then, cheers to chocolate mates!

Today’s song of the day:

“Can I Kick It?” by A Tribe Called Quest

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