Disqus Comment System

So I recently moved over to the popular Disqus Comment System. It has a lot of features that Blogger comment doesn’t have, such as Reply, Like, sign in using multiple IDs, etc.

However, I’ve also noticed its downside. Of late a few comments left on my blog were NOT published for public viewing. When I login, I could see the comments through the Blogger Dashboard, and I also received alerts in the email. However, I couldn’t see these comments from my blog’s public domain — that means other bloggers can’t see them either. Also, I noticed the site now takes much longer to load with the Disqus plug-in.

Now I am thinking of reverting to the default Blogger comment. Are you experiencing similar problem with comments not showing up? Slow performance?

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And The Winner Is…

The Giveaway brought in a total of 39 comments. Though everyone likes free stuff, this contest showed what the “popular” free stuff is, and plan for future giveaways.

This is what comes out of the Random.org generator, so the winner of the Designer Trellis Pillow Cushion Covers is….Janice at LB30! Congrats!

I thank all of you that threw your names in the hat. Please stick with me, and I am sure there will be more fantastic giveaways in the near future.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Giveaway: Pair of Designer Trellis Pillow Cushion Covers

I am not a beach person, but this type of gloomy weather with wet snow really brings me down. On the upside, 30 Rock‘s season premiere is tonight, and I could barely wait!

That said, we all need our picker-upper to help combat winter blues. And that’s why I am doing my 2012 first giveaway — a pair of Trellis-patterned Ikat Pillow Cushion Covers, sponsored by yours truly. They measure 12″ x 20″ each, perfect size as lumbar pillows. They are brand new from my pet-free and non-smoking home. I ordered them for my master bedroom’s seating area, but have a change of heart now that I am re-designing the whole room. They are made of heavy-weight canvas cotton, background is natural linen/oatmeal color, and trellis pattern is printed in charcoal/dark grey.

Winner of this giveaway will be getting these…aren’t they gorgeous?

Here is how you could enter to win:

1. Follow my blog by clicking “Join this site” tab on the right sidebar; those that add me to their “Blogs I love to read list”-alike on their front page get an extra entry.

2. Leave a comment to confirm the above, and share with us where you plan to use these pillows.

And that’s it!

This giveaway is open to US and Canada. I will announce the winner on Friday January 20th, and contact you to arrange for shipping or delivery.

Good luck everyone!

Not Just Your Mom’s Shoe Store – Naturalizer

Who knew? Well, I didn’t. A few months ago I went fall/winter shoe shopping with my mom, and wandered into a Naturalizer store for the first time. She liked that in addition to half sizes, which most shoemakers offer these days, Naturalizer offers different shoe widths (narrow, medium, wide and extra wide), and calf widths for boots. I also took the opportunity to try out a few pairs of boots and flats, and to my great surprise, the shoes are extremely comfortable yet not at the expense of style. Mom picked up a pair of ankle boots, while I decided to wait for a sale before I tried them out.

And the sale is on now! I picked up two pairs of these leather buckle flats…aren’t they gorgeous?

Naturalizer Valya Red Patent Leather Buckle Flats

Naturalizer Valya Jungle Snake Buckle Flats

The best part is that they are super comfy thanks to the N5 Comfort design. I bet I can go speed walking in these flats…well I shouldn’t. Years ago I was rear-ended on highway by an SUV travelling at 120KM…imagine the BANG! Anyhow, after months of physiotherapy, ever since, I still often feel back, shoulder and neck pains. Therefore, I have been wearing comfortable shoes (e.g. Ecco) and sometimes even had to give up styles. And now I have Naturalizer! I know their shoes are not super fashionable or edgy, but for me they are just right.

I also picked up a pair of these Oxford heels…I guess certain style never goes out of date, right?

Naturalizer Ilona Oxford Heels
Naturalizer Ilona Oxford Heels

Naturalizer is having a 50% winter sale now with an additional 20% off. Online order is a breeze, and shipping rate is very reasonable at $5 for 1st pair and additional $2 per pair from there.

While I was in shower West Elm called to inform me that the Niche Nightstands I ordered are in so I can go pick them up…so excited. Will post some pictures later.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

7 Things About Me

I have been writing interior design blogs since July 2008 in preparation for moving into our custom-built home. Three years later, I am still loving every bit of reading and writing decor blogs. Thanks to Jen at Rambling Renovators and Shannon at 8foot6 for the Versatile Blogger Award, I will follow the rule and write 7 things about myself.
  1. I am now officially in my mid 30’s (birthday was last week).
  2. As much as I refused to be a Canadian Asian stereotype, I finished my Computer Science and Economics degrees within 4 years with minimal-to-no social life. In year 2000 when every other person I knew had an MBA, I somehow talked myself into taking the part-time program.
  3. My job demands superior change management skills yet true to my identity I like personal things in a static state: I keep the same hairstyle for as long as I could remember; I’ve been working for the same company for over 10 years; and I am still good friends with all my high school buddies.
  4. Italian is my favorite, and I am adventurous in exploring differnt cuisines. I was a Size 0 until I turned 30, but I am still pretty content with my natural weight (bigger than Size 0 of course) these days — it stays the same for years even without dieting or working out so my bathroom scale has been collecting dust.
  5. I am a HGTV junkie, and interior design has always been my interest.  My mom keeps a very tidy and beautiful house, and it’s only natural that I grew up like her. My self-proclaimed design style is vintage elegance with a dash of French Provincial. Sarah Richardson is my all-time inspiration, and so are all the fantastic bloggers out there (yes ladies..I am talking about you).
  6. I am a value investor and a deal hunter. I almost never pay full retail price for anything these days.
  7. Lastly, I met my wonderful husband through a shared friend 10 years ago and we’ve been married for 8 — yes, that’s 8 long years without kids and enough to challenge any inlaws’ patience!
Now I am passing the award on to these phenomenal bloggers, in random order:

12 Hours: My ER Déjà vu

My last bid for the Canadian healthcare emergency service was two and half years ago when a chicken bone cut through my esophagus. The 7-hour wait time made me swear that unless, God forbid, I was dying, I would never go back to ER again.

Unfortunately this time it was hub’s turn. He is an extremely healthy person that rarely gets sick. As a healthcare professional, he actually knows how to take care of himself (the joke is most of them don’t. An example is that they give patients annual physical but never bother to take one themselves).

Here is an hour-by-hour replay of the events from this past Thursday.

3:30pm
I was on a long phone conversation with an important client. Anthony barged into my office (which he’s never done before): “I am going to see our family physician.” I had no time to react nor could I before he closed the door and disappeared.

4:30pm
He called me on his way home to tell me that he had Tinnitus in his right ear. Our family doctor believed the Eustachian tube was blocked, and asked him to take some OTC decongestant. After he got home he immediately took a Sudafed, and things started to go downhill from there (unrelated to Sudafed just to be fair).

He started to feel the room spinning, couldn’t hold himself steady, and minutes later, he had his first projectile vomiting.  

Not long after I helped him lie down before he threw up again and again for four times.

6:00pm
That’s it, we are going to the emergency. I rushed him to a community hospital nearby, waited in line for 15 minutes to get to the Triage, and another 15 minutes to complete the registration. We were given a red file folder which meant high priority case. Not bad at all so far. We then moved to a room filled with 10+ more patients, sat there and waited for an ER doctor.

7:45pm
A nurse called our name, and we were led to a curtained area by an ER doctor. The doctor, without looking into his ear or checking his eye movement, told us that Anthony’s symptoms were very typical Ménière’s Disease. It could be temporary or chronic but there’s no way to be sure (yes, he actually told us that. What I learnt later on was that Ménière’s is a diagnosis of exclusion). The doc gave us a prescription and a referral to an ENT specialist, and by 8pm we were on our way back home.

The world in hub’s eyes that night

8:00-11:30pm
The projectile vomiting continued, and there’s no sign indicating that he was going to get better on his own. My brother-in-law D (works in Internal Medicine of that hospital) and mother-in-law L (was a Cardiac OR nurse before she retired) earlier suggested that we went to a downtown teaching hospital where they are better equipped with skills and technologies to help us. An ENT resident might also be on call there that night.

11:45pm
Hub was exhausted and wanted to lie still to avoid vomiting. I was able to convince him to give the downtown hospital a try. 404/DVP was never so sane to me, and it only took us 30 minutes to get there.

Triage and Registration was fast, but the nurse did drop a nuclear bomb on me: “oh, I am sure the doctor would want to order a CT scan to rule out stroke or anything else worse.” The word stroke had me frozen for a few seconds. 30 minutes later hub was given a bed at the Rapid Assessment Area to rest.

1:00am
We waited for the ER doctor to come.

2:00am
We waited for the ER doctor to come.

I had no where to sit or lie down, so I went to an empty waiting area and dragged a chair myself next to hub’s bed.

3:00am
We waited for the ER doctor to come.

4:00am
We waited for the ER doctor to come.

My neck, shoulders and back were killing me. I went outside the room to hunt down the doc. The ER doctor was nice enough to explain to me that he was the only one working the ER that night, and after he stitched up a patient’s chin he would come over.

Contrary to the community hospital which considered hub’s condition severe, this prestigious downtown hospital gets the most complicated and urgent cases such as heart attacks, strokes, gunshot woulds, etc. Understandably, we were not on the priority list to receive treatment. As much as my in-laws wanted to help us, they are also very ethical and chose not to influence the process. I’ve watched enough legal dramas such as The Practice and Boston Legal to see how much it sucked for those that were pushed down on the list due to lack of influence or ability to jump the line, so we wouldn’t do it.

4:30am
Hallelujah, the ER doctor showed up! He looked into hub’s ear, checked his eye movement, prescribed 500ml normal saline and Gravol IV, and ordered a CT scan — basically everything that the ER doc at the community hospital didn’t do for us!

5:30am
The IV dripped on, and hub was wheeled into the CT room.

6:30am
The ER doctor popped in, and shared the good news that hub’s CT scan was negative — no acute intracranial mass, hemorrhage, infarct or fractures! In layman’s terms, that meant they ruled out stroke and brain tumour.

7:30am
Crap! The street parking outside of the ER ends at 7:30am. The ER doctor suggested that I moved the car to the front entrance and put the emergency break on. For the first time in my life, I felt so legit to park next to numerous “Fire Route No Parking” signs!

8:30am
We were given a referral to the ENT Resident Clinic inside the same hospital, and discharged from the ER.

9:30am
My eyes still tried to get used to the morning sunlight. Flashbacks of IV drips (yes, hub was sleeping and I had nothing to do but to stare at the drips) still lingered around. But fortunately, we were once again done with our wait at the ER, and hub received the most thorough diagnosis we hoped for. The even better news is that his condition continued to improve slowly.

I will spare you my ranting on Canada’s healthcare systems. Instead, you could read my hub’s more rational version on the similar subject here about “Why the wait?”

I hope everyone has had a better week than I did.