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February/March 2016 Favourites!

Happy Easter! It’s hard to believe that the end of March is already upon us, and Spring has finally arrived. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving for the past couple of months:

1. Yankee Candle Company Tumbler Candle in “Chocolate Layer Cake”

If you want your house to smell like the most delicious chocolate cake ever baked (who doesn’t?), this is for you.  It’s rich, decadent, and incredibly fragrant (you can smell it without even lighting it!).  I purchased this candle along with an adorable cake-stand holder (that I featured on Instagram here) for Valentine’s Day, but I plan on burning this candle through Easter and beyond.

2.  NYX Micro Brow Pencil in “Ash Brown”

I’ve mentioned my love for the Anastasia Brow Wiz in a previous favourites post, and it’s still one of my favourite brow products to date.  Late last year, I attended the grand opening of the NYX store in Square One Shopping Centre, and decided to try out their Micro Brow Pencil.  It’s very similar to the Brow Wiz in performance and design (one side is a thin retractable pencil, and the other is a spooley), but it’s a fraction of the cost at just $12.00 (Brow Wiz is $27.00)!

3. Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer

I received this product in a gift bag during last year’s Spark Sessions conference and stored it away in my “products to try” drawer.  Recently, the life of my beloved Nars Bronzing Powder in “Laguna” came to an end, and I decided it was time to take this product for a test drive.  Truthfully, I was a little intimidated at first by the layer of gold shimmer on top (I’ve never been one for sparkle in my face makeup).  I simply took a tissue, and was relieved to discover it was simply a light layer on top of the product (for presentation purposes I’m assuming; it’s beautiful!). Once the gold sparkles were removed, the product applied beautifully and evenly, and created a subtle glow on the skin.  As the name suggests, this bronzer is actually infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, which nourishes, conditions, and brightens skin.  It comes with a mirror and small brush, but I prefer to apply mine with a big, fluffy one.  You can purchase this product right now on Well.ca for just $13.99 (the Nars bronzer is $52.00)!

4. “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo

I don’t get to read as often as I’d like to (time: there’s just never enough of it!), but occasionally, I ‘ll find a book that sparks my interest and I’ll slowly make my way through it after work or before bed.  I’d seen this book in stores and on social media, but was curious to read it for myself after checking out an article on a mother who had implemented the practices of this book on her home.  It’s undeniable to me, how many things we (more specifically, I), own that we keep “just because”.  The premise of this book is that you should declutter your life, keeping only things that “spark joy”: that, when you hold them, make you truly happy.  It seems like such a simple, almost obvious, concept when it comes to cleaning, but it’s one that is so easily and commonly overlooked.  This book is a short, easy read that’s definitely worth checking out.

5. Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect Blow Dry Smoothing Cream

Now, that is a mouthful!  Using the power of Argan Oil, this product promises to hold hair “straight, frizz-free and shiny for up to 3 days”.  I’ve never really been one to use a blow dry cream, but received a sample in my monthly Ipsy Glam Bag, and decided to give it a try.  I really do notice that my blowout lasts significantly longer when I use this product.  My hair stays smoother, has less fly-aways, and is easier to manage.  I simply apply it when my hair is damp, focusing mainly on the ends of my hair.  This product is made for all hair types, and, if your hair tends to be especially frizzy, you can even reapply to to dry hair on days 2 or 3 for touch-ups.

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

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This Counts: Shopping with a Purpose (+Giveaway!)

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A running joke with my boyfriend is that I “fake online shop”: I sometimes browse a website, put all of my wishlist items in my cart, and then walk away because the shipping charges are outrageous. So, one of the things I instantly loved when introduced to a Canadian e-commerce retail site, This Counts, was that they offer free shipping on all items (AND all listed prices include taxes!). What I love even more than the free shipping, is what the site stands for: giving back. A portion of the sale of every single item goes to a charity supported by the retailer: with every purchase you make, you’re changing and saving lives around the world.  And, if you’re curious to see which charity the retailer supports, just click on the item to find out!

On the This Counts site, you can easily share items, and create boards to keep track of your wishlists (which you’ll want to do, as the site continues to grow everyday!).  You can shop by store, by item, or by collection.  There’s something to be found for everyone: from electronics, to men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, to home decor.  They have a wide variety of pieces ranging from classic to super unique, and their prices are extremely reasonable.  Curious to know what’s on my wishlist?  I thought you’d never ask (keep reading for a giveaway and promo code!).

Let’s be honest, sometimes navigating the inside of our purses can seem….puzzling.  How awesome is this Rubiks Cube Purse (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)!? 

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m in love with anything palm-trees or flamingos.  These Dessert Palm Earrings (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada) are no exception! 

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Is there anyone who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling (who just happens to be from my hometown)? I’m picturing this “Run for Ryan Gosling Tee” (supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities) paired with a chic statement necklace (or some cozy sweats). 

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We’ve all seen the stereotypical heart-shaped ring, but how about this amazing “Lifeline Heartbeat Ring” (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)?! My heart races just looking at it.  

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad, but sometimes I just want to read a good old-fashioned hard copy book.  This “Once Upon a Time” bookmark set ensures you won’t lose your page, and is a gorgeous conversation piece.   

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But wait, there’s more!

This Counts has generously offered to provide all WhatDidSheFind readers with 15% off sitewide! Just use promo codeSHEFOUND15″.

And if you’re feeling lucky, why not enter to win a $50.00 credit to turn your wishlist into a reality!? This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, and will close on July 5, 2015.

 Click to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

New Year, New You: 2015

New Year New You 2015

Well, it’s here: 2015!  And, a new year means that it’s time for my “New Year, New You” series (check out last year’s here), where I take a few of the top new-year’s resolutions, and match them up with fun, new products that may even inspire you to hold true to your resolution past January!

1. Eat Healthier:

Just like working out, you somehow feel that much more motivated when you have some new gear to use. These new “LunchBlox” kits from Rubbermaid allow you to customize your lunch bag in a fun way (the containers snap together), while also allowing you to be mindful of portion-sizes (the individual containers have measurements on the sides). Need to keep your lunch cool? Just add a “Blue Ice” snap-in, and you’re good to go!  You can purchase starter kits, such as the one above, or individual containers to customize your lunch any way you please. The containers are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, and have lids that seal securely.

2. Drink More Water:

So, I know, this one kind of goes along with “Eat Healthier”, but as an avid mug collector I couldn’t leave out the opportunity to include a fun water bottle! This “S’Well ‘Hers’ Shimmer Water Bottle” from Chapters/Indigo is not only adorable, it’s also made of double-walled aluminum, allowing you to keep your water nice and cool (or your tea nice and hot) for hours. It is also “virtually unbreakable”, and has a mouth-opening wide enough to add ice cubes.  Another thing I’m loving lately: adding a few squirts of Crystal Light Aloha Pineapple Coconut Liquid Drink Mix to my water (and then pretending I’m on a beach).    

3. Get More Sleep:

This resolution speaks not only to catching more hours of zzz’s, but also to getting a better quality sleep. I’ve learned from experience, that having a room lit up by 15 different electronic devices does not help your sleep situation. I’ve also learned that the blue light emitted from your phone actually tells your body to wake up, so those last-minute Twitter checks may be preventing you from falling to sleep sooner. I recently received one of these Bucky40 Blinks Sleep Masks” for Christmas, and was pleased to discover that they they block out light perfectly, and also have an adjustable strap so you can sleep comfortably (no headaches here!). Even better? They have deep eye-cups, so you don’t need to worry about messing up your eye makeup during mid-day naps (you can even use them to protect eyelash extensions)!

4. Workout More Often:

Remember what I said in the “Eat Healthier” section? New gear (a.k.a shopping)=motivation. It also helps when the gear itself has a fun motivational phrase on it, such as those from Blogilates. One of my favorites? This blueberry-coloured “Train Insane or Remain The Same” gym tank.  Other fun ones are the “Stronger Every Day” tank, and the “Sore Muscles Happy Pain” Y-tank. Don’t lie, you feel like hitting up the gym now, don’t you!?

5. Read More Books:

A simple solution to the “I don’t have time to read” excuse is Audible (because we all have time to listen, whether it’s while we’re commuting to work, while we’re cleaning the house, or while we’re lying in bed).  Audible offers a membership program, where $14.95/month gets you a credit for one audio book, plus 30% off additional books (and, should you choose to end your membership, you can keep all your audio books, no questions asked).  Sign up now to receive your first audio book free! Some of the books I’ve been loving lately? My Story by Elizabeth Smart and #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.

6. Try Something New/ Treat Yourself:

While I purchased this late in 2014, I still consider my Clairsonic Mia 2 (in the colour “Joy”) to be “something new”.  It’s also something I’d been debating treating myself to for a few years.  After learning more about it during the Spark Sessions conference, I decided to take the plunge.  I was lucky enough to have little to no “purging” (basically, where your skin breaks out over the span of a few weeks as it cleans out your pores).  I use the sensitive brush daily, and then add in the deep pore brush 1-2 times a week.  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the smoothness of my skin, and am excited to continue seeing results as time goes on.  I highly recommend trying out the Clarisonic, and with a 90-day 100% money back guarantee, what have you got to lose? Don’t forget to sign up at Clarisonic.ca for tips, tricks, and discounts!

“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

WhatDidSheFind Gift Guide: Day Four

Photos as seen on Pantone.com

Photos as seen on Pantone.com

In a world where e-books and audio books continue to grow in popularity, it’s always nice on occasion to receive the nostalgia that is a physical, in-your-hands, hard-copy book.  Whether it’s a new release, a chic coffee table book, or an old classic (my personal favourite), there’s one out there for everyone to enjoy.  Even better? It doubles as a card when you leave a sweet-nothing written in the front cover.

Today’s gift is one that is perfect for the fashion, beauty, art, or home decor lover in your life.  As you may already know, Pantone, “is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer” (Panetone.com).  Every year, Pantone selects the “color of the year” (2014’s is Radiant Orchid).  Released this past September, “Pantone on Fashion: A Century of Color in Design“, is a gorgeous hardcover book which follows the history of colour in fashion, while also listing fun facts about each shade (for example, Hermès iconic “Bright Marigold” wrapping was actually due to a WWII paper shortage).

You can purchase this book online in Canada from Indigo for around $27.00 CDN with free shipping.  Or, you can purchase it from the Pantone website to receive a copy autographed by one of the authors (Leatrice Eiseman) for $35.00 US.

Missed the first 3 days of the gift guide? No problem, check them out here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three.

New Year, New You (and some fun new products, too!)

2014

2014 has arrived, and by now, your new year’s resolutions are likely in full swing.  Whether it be to stop biting your nails, or to shed a few extra pounds, we all seem to have something we say we’ll do this year (whether we actually do it is another thing altogether).  In the same way that new workout clothes somehow make you actually want to go to the gym, I thought I’d put together a list of a few fun products and items (some of which were Christmas gifts, thanks Santa!), that will hopefully help you get motivated about your goals for 2014.

Resolution: Get Fit!

Jawbone UP

Jawbone Up!

I think this is probably in everyone’s top 5 resolutions, and truth be told, it’s not really a fun one.  I mean, be honest, it is for the first 10 days or so, but then Haagen Dazs, yoga pants, and your living room couch all start to seem like better options than the gym.  Need some motivation?  The Jawbone UP band is a fun way to track your fitness goals, levels, caloric intake, sleep patterns, and more!  The band itself does not have a screen, so you are required to link to your smartphone (Android/IOS) using the UP app.  The bands come in a variety of colours and multiple sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for anyone.  Not only is it fun to see how much (or little) sleep you got the night before, it also motivates you to get up (no pun intended) and reach your fitness goals.  Whether it be walking the recommended 10,000 steps a day, or exercising for 30 minutes, this band is a fun, innovative way of tracking and analyzing your lifestyle.  Want one? Get yours at the Apple store, or Best Buy.

Zumba Fitness World Party (Various Wii and Xbox Consoles)

Zumba Fitness World PartyI’ve never been one for typical gym equipment.  Five minutes on the treadmill and I’m already staring at the clock, counting down the minutes until I can get off.  To stay engaged and motivated, I find classes to be the best method of exercise for me.  A couple years ago, I started collecting the Zumba Fitness games for Wii, and most recently, I purchased the latest game “Zumba Fitness World Party“.  Love it.  Not only can you track your score, as you can with mostly any video game, you can also track your fitness goals, weight, and how many calories you’ve burned.  There are pre-set classes ranging in length and fitness level, so you’ll always have something that suits you.  No need to hold a controller, as the game comes with a belt that allows you to play hands-free.  The songs are fun, new, and familiar, and the dances range in style, so you’ll never get bored.  And, if you don’t think a video game can give you a real workout, I challenge you to try this, and watch how fast you need a towel!

Resolution: Eat Healthier!

Yonanas

YonanasIf you know me, you know that dessert is close to my heart.  But, let’s face it, dessert doesn’t really mesh well with the resolution above…or does it?  My latest purchase was a Yonanas machine.  This fun invention takes frozen bananas (or other fruit) and turns them into a delicious, ice-cream style treat.  Seriously, you don’t even add milk, or any liquid for that matter!  The other day, I made banana, Skor, peanut butter ice cream that tasted better than any store-bought version! And plus, don’t they say that bananas are a healthy post-workout snack? Don’t you just love when a plan comes together…

Resolution: Set Time Aside for Yourself

Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips Starter KitSally Hansen

Fun, beautiful, salon quality nails that don’t chip after day one.  Sound too good to be true?  It’s not!  The new starter kit from Sally Hansen includes everything you need to create your own gel manicure at home.  I’ve blogged about my love of their fun-patterned nail polish strips before, but now they offer awesome designs in the gel version too!  You first purchase the starter kit (a choice of 3 different colours), and then purchase just the strips separately. Each kit contains gel polish strips, a gel polish top coat, file/buffer/cuticle stick, cleansing pads, and a UV light to set the polish and ensure long wear (and long love!).  It’s incredibly affordable and would definitely add some fun to your next girls night in!

Resolution: Enjoy Life More

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Happiness ProjectNot only is this a great feel-good read, it also has a lot of interesting facts and philosophical quotes about what makes up a truly happy person.  In this book, author Gretchen Rubin takes on a new challenge each month in order to achieve “happiness”, while also uncovering what her own personal definition of that is (meanwhile encouraging you to really take time to focus on your own).  Even though there are portions of this novel that describe life events I haven’t reached yet (marriage, children, and so on), I still found these sections to be surprisingly relatable and interesting.  What’s even cooler about this book? The journal that goes with it, below.

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal by Gretchen RubinHappiness Project Journal

One of the activities Gretchen explains in her novel, is that of keeping a journal.  Now, if you’re anything like me, you have about 10 different journals you’ve started over the years, each with about 5 days worth of entries before you lost interest. This journal however, is different.  All you need to do is write once sentence a day.  Write about something that made you happy, or simply what you did that day.  Keep this journal, and in the end, you’ll have 5 years worth of 1-sentence entries to look back on.  Pretty cool, right?

Resolution: Learn Something New

The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld

Cant Cook BookConfession: up until last week, I’d never made pancakes.  For some reason, I’ve always thought they were really complicated.  How do you flip them without them falling apart?  What happens if I burn them?  I was feeling brave, so I chose the “Lemon Ricotta Pancakes” recipe from  Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook.  And…they were delicious, perfectly cooked, and actually looked just like the picture (does that ever happen?).  Jessica ensures that anyone (yep, anyone) can create delicious, healthy snacks and meals.  The items in this cookbook will please nearly any diet, and even the most picky of eaters (me).

Try a Fun DIY Project 

Ready? Shameless blog promotion.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting a few fun, beauty and fashion DIY projects using unexpected household items.  Check out some hints below and get excited!

Crafts

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right ~Oprah Winfrey