Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My Erin Condren Planner

Since middle school, to high school and all the way up to my university days, I've always been obsessed with planners. I'm a very organized and detail oriented person, so for me, having a planner and using it was both very natural and very fun. After university however, I got rid of using a planner as I didn't see a need for it. Fast forward a few years later to present day and I'm back in the planner addict phase! I saw a lot of fellow YouTubers who were also in this crazy planner phase and thought to myself, "This looks like so much fun!" I feel as though the planner has evolved into a life planner/scrap booking project, where to do lists aren't the only things that are kept, but important events are documented as well. I like this idea around the planner, as it's a great way to capture what's going on in my life with the hope of looking back at it some day and remembering all the good times.

Naturally, I made the decision to buy the Erin Condren planner. I love it! When it got delivered, it was like Christmas morning at my house! What I love about the Erin Condren planner are the design, the use of colours and positive quotes, the vertical layout and that it goes all the way to December 2016. I've never had a vertical layout before in my previous planners, but this format did capture my attention. Now that I've had the opportunity to use a vertical layout, I don't know that I would ever go back to the horizontal format. The vertical layout is much more exciting and breaks the mold from the traditional planner format. Currently, I divide the vertical layout into a "Today, To Do, Blog/Bouquet, Little Things and Work Out" section. I'm really digging this layout!

Since getting my planner I've been going crazy with buying stickers, making my own stickers, washi tape galore, pens - colourful pens- etc... The planner addicts would know exactly what I'm talking about! It crazy, but I can spend hours on end decorating my planner, as well as watching "Plan With Me" videos on YouTube - who knew planners could be this interesting! (P.S. Beware it can also break the bank...) To be honest, it definitely is an activity that I associate with relaxing and de-stressing. I love the process of getting creative with stickers, washi tape, and coloured pens - it's very therapeutic to me and brings me joy.

I've been experimenting with different themes for decorating my planner to see what I like best. So far, I have a theme planned for every week up until Halloween. After that, I might choose to do the same layout or try something new - we'll see! That's the fun and exciting part of this whole planning hobby! Decorating and customizing for different events and holidays! I can't wait to decorate for the upcoming winter/Christmas celebrations!

I use my planner primarily to organize all the different activities in my life... sometimes it can get pretty hectic. I find that when I write things down, I'm more likely to act upon it and achieve better results. I like using my planner to organize my thoughts and action plan for the blog and my candy bouquet hobby. It's also motivation for me to keep track of certain goals I have. One example of this is working out. Sometimes, going to the gym is not motivating to me. However, when I get to fill out in my planner what activity I did at the gym, how many minutes I worked out and how many calories I burned, it certainly is motivation at the beginning of a new week to keep going! I also like that I can keep a note of what I've made for dinner, or what new recipes I've tried. If I'm ever in a situation where I can't think of what to make, it really helps to look back and get dinner ideas.

I love my planner and the process of decorating and using it. If you're not too sure about your love for planners, but want to test the waters first before diving in, you may want to start off with a cheaper planner option. You can achieve the same result with just about any planner, if a higher costing planner is not in your plans for the near future.

Do you have a planner? What do you like to use your planner for?


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

New Makeup Products I've Been Enjoying

At the beginning of the summer season, I had an itch to try some new makeup products. While we are far into the summer months and close to the end, this has given me plenty of time to use these products in my everyday makeup routine. Here's what I've been loving!

Sephora's Cream Lip Stain
I've heard many great reviews on this lip stain. I don't actually own any lip stains in my collection as I tend to stick to lipsticks. I decided to give this product a try... and... I'm itching to try more colours! I absolutely love this lip product and I now have a new found affection for lip stains. Once applied, the colour dries completely within minutes and leaves a nice, matte finish on your lips. You can eat, drink and sip all day long and this colour isn't moving anywhere. No smudges, no mess whatsoever! I got the shade "Always Red." Pair this with a red lip liner and you have yourself the perfect red lip! I love this colour as I think it works well for all seasons and is versatile.

Maybelline's Age Rewind Concealer
In the past I would never use concealer, as I felt it was a complicated product to apply. The only other brand that I've tried is ELF and I'm not too crazy about this product. Again, I've heard many great reviews about the Maybelline "Age Rewind Concealer" and decided to give it a try. I instantly fell in love with the texture and the creamy formula. It blends and sets well underneath the eye. What I love the most is how using this one simple product can make my whole makeup look go from alright to super amazing! The product itself is very simple to use. It definitely gives me the lift that I need during my early morning routine.

Milani's Eye Shadow in Bella Espresso
I really wanted one eye shadow colour that I could use a staple for my everyday makeup look. While I was in the United States recently, I went to a Walgreens where they had the Milani brand. I fell in love with this taupe, bronze, brown colour that pairs perfectly as a nude colour with my skin tone. Love the lasting power, as well as how easy it is to apply with just a finger tip. No hassle and no fuss!

Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm
I have to be honest... I got this product because everyone has one! I now know the obsession and craze behind it! It applies nicely, has a great smell to it and feels great on your lips. I love how moisturizing this product is. And can we talk a little bit about the packaging? Super cute and fun!

Essie's Nail Polish in Cute as a Button
I was on the hunt for a cute, summery, feminine nail polish colour. I think I found just that in Essie's "Cute as a Button" shade. I really fell in love with the coral, peachy-pink colour, and it works really well for a mani or pedi. I've worn this colour a lot this summer and I could see myself wearing this as a manicure colour in other seasons as well when I need a colour pick me up!

Essie's Gel Setter Nail Polish
There have been a lot of times where I feel as if I apply nail polish and the very next day, it chips. Nothing's worse than feeling that you've spent time to do your nails, but didn't get the results you wanted. Since I do a lot of dishes, cooking  and cleaning at home, long lasting manicures are important for me. While I could get my nails professionally done with a gel nail polish every two weeks, it is very expensive. Essie recently came out with this new product which is a top coat gel nail polish. It works fantastic! It completes your at home manicure with the shine, finish and protection that you would get by going to a salon. Love this product!

What new makeup products have you been enjoying? Any recommendations?


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

My Recent Reads

I've really been enjoying some great reads over the past few months! It always seems that there just isn't enough time in the day to read all of the books on my reading list... such is the bookworm in me! Here's what I've been enjoying recently.

Dead Wake
This story reflects upon a real life tragedy of the sinking of the Lusitania during the first World War. Despite signals and efforts to warn officials that this passenger ship would be crossing over 'deadly waters', no caution was taken and lives were lost. Definitely an event in history that has not been given enough attention. Great read if you like to learn about history. As I've grown, I've definitely given more appreciation to books that can educate me on world events in a way that is not draining. This read reminds me a lot of the world famous Titanic sinking.

The Girl On The Train
This book is about a girl named Rachel who commutes downtown everyday on the same train. During her commute she passes by the same set of houses and gets entranced by a particular couple. As she gets to know more about this couple, she sees on the news one day that the woman -  Meghan - has gone missing. She recently saw Meghan out on her balcony with someone suspicious. Rachel contemplates how this tip may help in discovering what has happened to Meghan, which sets off a series of events, leading to an exciting and unthinkable conclusion! This is such a gripping and thrilling read! I really loved Gone Girl, and this book reminds me of that particularly story. Such a great read. I would definitely recommend this to anymore whose looking for something exciting, gripping, thrilling and a page turner.

Paper Towns
There has been a lot of talk about this one lately (especially the movie). I've read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and definitely had to give this one a read as well. I'm not a huge fan of the story line in this book. It starts off very slow. Its about a girl named Margo who disappears the day after she takes Quentin out for the night of his life out on the town pranking kids from high school. The story explores how Quentin seeks out to find Margo with the help of his good friends. He is on a mission to find the girl that he truly has a passion for. While I'm not a huge fan of this book, it did remind me a lot of my high school days. It reminded me in particular of all the 'spots' my friends would hang out, of the daily gossip that would take place, the lunches in the cafeteria and all those tough projects and exams. I also am very curious to see the movie and how it compares to the book.

Many of you may be familiar with this title from the movie that was released earlier this year, directed by Angelina Jolie. This book tells the true story of ex-Olympian turned World War II solider named Louis Zamperini, who goes off to fight for the United States against the Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After a series of unfortunate events he and his war buddies find themselves stranded on water for several weeks. They float to nearby land eventually, but end up being imprisoned in a Japanese war camp. The leader of the camp turns out to be the most brutal person alive that makes life there a living hell. With no rescue and no end of war in sight, the US soldiers are left to fend for themselves. This is an amazing story of humanity, human survival, positivity, morale, perseverance, bravery and confidence. I was definitely moved by the personal accounts of Louis. While I don't know what its like to be in Louis position, I was able to get a glimpse into the hardships he endured to keep going. It's a great reminder to keep pushing even when you think you are at rock bottom. The movie is equally as good as the book. Great read and definitely a keeper in my personal library.

The One Hundred Foot Journey
I heard about this movie and was curious to read the book first. This book journeys through the life of Hassan, who is a natural born culinary chef. From his early days in India, to the life-changing move of going to France, he has a natural instinct for all things food. Once his family has settled in a village in France, they discover that their next door neighbour is Ms. Mallory, a well recognized and established French chef. As rivalry brews between Hassan's father's family business and Ms. Mallory, she soon discovers Hassan's natural talent for cooking. This is a light, humorous and adventurous read. If your looking for something quick, easy and uplifting, this might be one that you will want to check out. I have yet to watch the movie to see how it compares to the book. What I like in particular about this book is the depiction of the vibrant culture and cuisines and Hassan's passion for pursuing something that he truly loves.

I hope to continue doing these types of posts once I've been able to read a few books that I can talk about.

What have you been reading this summer? Any good book recommendations?