fun

What I’ve Been Loving Lately…

It’s been a while since my last post, and I couldn’t be more excited to get back into the swing of things!  The products I’ve discovered these past few months are some of my all-time favourites, and I hope you’ll love them, too!

1. MantraBand “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly” Bracelet

I discovered MantraBand during a trip to the USA this past summer.  Being someone who loves motivational quotes, I was immediately intrigued by these bracelets, which are sleek and simple in design (available in silver, rose gold, or yellow gold), and adorn various fun, inspirational messages.  In particular, I was drawn to the saying, “Smile, Breath, and Go Slowly“.  The MantraBand website describes this bracelet as a reminder to, “Remember to focus on one thing at a time and give it your all. Stay calm, look on the bright side, and keep going. Because it’s all about the journey, not the destination.”  I, like many others, often times find myself rushing to get things done, and I can easily forget to slow down and enjoy the process.  Naturally, I’m now hooked on these bracelets and have a handful of others on my wishlist: “Hakuna Matata“, “Ohana“, and “Que Sera Sera“, just to name a few!

2. L’Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo and Conditioner

I’ve waited a long time for an affordable shampoo and conditioner that were specially formulated for oily roots, and guess what?  It’s finally arrived! L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Clay line is perfect for those who have hair the equivalent to “combination skin”: an oily scalp, with ends that could use some love.  These products use the power of various clays (white, blue, and green) to cleanse, moisturize, and revitalize the hair and scalp, leaving hair balanced for up to 72 hours!  The shampoo lathers beautifully and leaves your hair and scalp feeling clean and refreshed, and the conditioner is super moisturizing and lightweight.  Oh, and both products smell amazing.  Using the shampoo and conditioner, I noticed a difference in my hair within just two uses.  Next on my list to try is the Pre-Shampoo Clay Mask.

3. Benefit Cosmetics Dallas Box o’Powder Blush

I’d always heard great things about Benefit Cosmetic’s boxed blushes, but had never actually purchased or tried one for myself.  I decided it was time to hop on the bandwagon, and chose the shade “Dallas” (described as a rosy-bronze hue).  Trust me, the shade you see in the box does not do this product justice.  Once applied, it wears as a gorgeous, warm bronze that gives you a healthy glow, and is perfect for Fall.  You can even use it as a bronzer, or to contour, and it suits nearly every skin tone.

4. Quo Effortless Curl Mascara in “Black”

I’m someone who’s lucky enough to have long lashes naturally, but if I don’t use the right mascara, they just fall flat and can end up looking sparse.  I’m therefore always on the lookout for affordable options that give volume and hold curl.  I received this particular mascara in a gift bag from a Quo event, and was hooked after trying it just once.  The formula is glossy and super pigmented, the curved silicone brush adds curl, and it apples clump-free and lasts all day.  This mascara easily compares to high-end versions, and is just a fraction of the price. Definitely recommend!

5. Michael Kors Eau de Parfum in “Sexy Amber”

This is a perfume that has been on my wishlist for a long time, but due to it’s higher-than-average price tag, I always hesitated.  When Shoppers Drug Mart hosted their recent redeem your points event, I decided to finally take the plunge.  First off, this product is an Eau de Parfum, meaning a little bit goes a long way (making it a good value for money). It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with gold accents, and the signature Michael Kors logo.  The scent itself has notes of warm amber, sandalwood, and white flowers.  It’s warm and musky but still feminine, and it’s perfect for the colder months ahead.

6. Bath and Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar”

Surprise! Another warm, musky scent that I can’t get enough of.  Until it was recently discontinued, Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods” was always one of my favourites.  However their new scent, “Golden Pear & Brown Sugar” has now replaced it as my number one.  It has notes of almond creme, Bartlett pear, brown sugar, toasted hazelnut, silken vanilla, and decadent pistachio mousse (hungry yet?).  It’s a pretty, sexy scent, but is also subtle and not overpowering.  I pair the shower gel in the same scent with the Ultra Shea Body Cream for an extra scent boost.  Note to self: stock up on this before it’s gone!

What have you been loving lately?  Let me know in the comments below!

My Top Picks: Quo’s 2016 New Product Release

I recently had the opportunity to attend Quo’s Sweet 16 party, which was by far the chicest birthday party I’ve ever been to.  There were gorgeous flowers, treats that were almost too pretty to eat, and, of course, makeup as far as the eye could see (I pinched myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming).  Besides celebrating 16 years of Quo, (Shoppers Drug Mart‘s makeup line), it was also an opportunity to get a sneak-peak at the new products for 2016.  I am incredibly grateful to have been sent home with a bunch of goodies to test out, and have chosen my top 3 picks to share with you today!  Also, stay tuned at the end of this post for some pictures of the event!

1. Quo Brow Kit, $18.00

This kit comes with everything you need to create the perfect arches: 2 brow powders, an applicator, and a brow gel.  Why 2 powders, you ask?  This allows you to create the perfect shade to match your brows, and takes the guessing out of choosing the right colour for you while at the store (one size fits all!).  Simply mix the powders, apply to your brows using the applicator, and finish with the brow gel to keep everything in shape.  This set is an amazing value for money, and is also great if you change your hair colour frequently (your brows will always match!).

2. Quo Colour Spectrum Refillable Lip Gloss, $12.00 (Refill: $10.00)

Available in 6 different shades ranging from nude to pink, this lip gloss is rich, creamy, and beautifully pigmented. What’s most unique about this product however, is it’s packaging.  Purchase the full lip gloss to start, and then simply purchase refills at a lesser cost!  This product is a fun, innovative way to reduce packing waste (and recycle!) without sacrificing style.

3. Quo Contour Kit, $23.00

If you’re anything like me, the idea of contouring can be a bit scary.  As someone with oily skin, I worry that by the end of the day, my makeup will have shifted and I’ll look like a watercolour painting.  But this kit actually inspired me to give contouring a try.  Why is it any different?  The products in this kit are powder based, which is perfect for oily skin (as opposed to thick, creamy products). It also comes with fool-proof instructions built right into the packaging!  Included in the kit are a bronzer, highlighter, and contour shade, as well as a super-soft brush to achieve the perfect look.  There’s also a built in mirror for when you’re doing your makeup on the go, or touching up throughout the day.

Pictures from the Event

Have you tried any of the products from Quo’s new collection?  What are you most excited to try?  Let me know in the comments below!

Spring Sweat Series: Blogilates

It’s not something I typically blog about, but since recently embarking on my own personal fitness journey, working on bettering my health and wellness has truly become a passion of mine.  It all started this past January, where I found myself constantly feeling tired and “blah” (very articulate, I know), and my wardrobe options were getting smaller and smaller as my selection of pants got, well, tighter and tighter.  I changed into yoga pants, opened YouTube on my phone, and started my very first Blogilates (Pilates) workout.  I was instantly hooked: I loved the music, the combination of cardio exercises mixed with strength training, and the high-energy instructor (self-made YouTube personality Cassey Ho).  But what really, truly helped me commit was the fact that the workout program was structured, and that each workout was laid out for me in the form of a daily schedule.  For me, this took the guessing out of “where do I start?” and “what do I do next?“.  I started the first month with the Beginner’s Calendar (in the picture above) and by February, was all set to join the regular monthly program (which is free by the way; all you have to do is sign-up!).

I could feel myself getting stronger within just the first few weeks, had more energy, and was truly happier.  I found (and still find) happiness and gratification in checking off my workouts as I complete them each day (there are around 5 workout videos to complete a day, ranging from 3-15 minutes each).  Along the way, I’ve gained a new appreciation for fun exercise gear, healthy snacks, and nutritious meals.  So, for the next month, I thought I’d start a “Spring Sweat Series“, where I talk about all of these things, along with other tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way thus far.  And don’t worry, if this isn’t really your thing, there will still be beauty and fashion posts mixed in along the way!  I hope you enjoy!

Have questions, or want to share your own health and fitness tips and tricks?  Let me know in the comments below!

Gift Guide Day 12: For the Plant-Lover (or Kid at Heart!)

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I love having plants and flowers in the house, but I’m terrible and can never seem to remember to water them (which is sort of essential).  With this fun planter, the Rainy Pot, you won’t just remember to water your plant, you’ll probably look forward to it!  Simply pour the water into the cloud at the top of the wall mount, and watch the clouds “rain” on your plant.  Poured too much?  The Rainy Pot has a small plug under the plant so you can drain it easily.  It comes in Red/Blue or Green/Red, or you can purchase both in a set.  If you’re curious to know more before purchasing one (for under $15.00!), you can always check out the video demonstration here.

Missed days 1-11 of the gift guide?  Check them out below!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Gift Guide Day 2: The Perfect (Pink) Coffee Table Book

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For me, books have always been fascinating.  They are read and enjoyed, perhaps one day past along to someone new, and come to have not only their own story to tell (the one between the pages), but also those of the lives it has touched along the way (deep, I know).  In fact, it fascinates me so much, that I have my own personal collection of old books with strangers’ signatures and well-wishes on the inside covers.  So much history and so much mystery: I love it.

So naturally, I’ve chosen to add a book to the gift guide this year, and it’s one that’s perfect for your girlfriends, mother, sister, and beyond (it’s also a perfect housewarming present!).  All in Good Taste from Kate Spade New York is a gorgeous pink hardcover book (yes, that wine stain is intentional!) that shares fun recipes, how-to’s, personal essays, and more.  Topics covered include: how to shuck an oyster, the proper way to set the table, how to write the perfect thank-you note to the party hostess, what to have on-hand for your at-home bar, and Instagram etiquette at dinner.  This book is fun to read, but is also a great conversation piece to have on your coffee table or bookshelf.  Just write a cute note on the inside, place a bow on the outside, and gift!

Missed Day 1 of the Gift Guide? Check it out here (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!).

WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Eight

While us women like to think we’ve got everything under control, all the time (we pretty much do), there are occasions where things may slip our minds.  For example, remembering to turn off our styling tool before we start our day (or night).  This brilliant doormat ensures that a reminder to “unplug” is the last thing you’ll see before you leave your front door, and reads, “turn off your curling iron.”.  Hand-painted and made to order, this fun 18 X 30 inch doormat can be purchased from “BeThereInFive” on Etsy for $40.00 US.  And, if you or your friend’s styling tool of choice happens to be a straightener instead of a curling iron, there’s a mat for you too!

Previous Days:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven