Thursday, 14 July 2016

My Beach Essentials

The beach is always a must for me in the summer! I love the water, crashing waves, sand, beach food and just hanging out with family or friends. Coming back from a mini beach trip always makes me feel fresh and revitalized! Since the beach is a rare occasion for me, a lot goes into planning the perfect beach weekend. This definitely means that I carefully consider my beach essentials and what I should bring along for the ride. Today on the blog, I thought I would share my beach essentials!

A Big Beach Bag
A big beach bag is a must! You can't bring along everything else that you want unless you have a bag to store it all in! My husband gifted me this Guess bag a few years ago for my birthday and I use it specifically for going to the beach. I love that it can be a stylish accessory to complete my beach outfit. I also love that it can fit a lot and it's functional.

Swimsuit Cover Up
I got a cover up only a few months ago when I traveled south for vacation. I have no idea why I didn't have one in my life sooner! While I like to relax in a swimsuit, sometimes there's a brisk breeze as the sun sets and the cover up is great to shield against that. I also use it to shield against the sun during the day if I don't want to get burned as much. Really cute accessory for the beach day attire!

A Good Book
I'm a huge book lover and most days you will find me reading at some part of the day. However, there's just something magical about reading on the beach in a nice comfy chair, with the sun beating down, fresh air all around you and water nearby. There's just something very calming and relaxing about it. While I wouldn't spend the entire beach trip reading (I would make sure that I enjoy the water and be social!), there's a very high chance you will find me reading.

Sun Hat
I am not a hat type of girl. In fact the only time you will find me wearing a hat is when I am at the beach! Ha! A sun hat is essential for me at the beach to protect myself against the strong rays. Depending on what time of day you are at the beach, the sun can cause skin burn and possibly even lead to dehydration. It's so important to protect yourself against the sun! I choose to do this in a stylist way with a cute sun hat!

Moisturizing Lip Balm
Lips are another body part that can become dehydrated from the sun. Lips can become cracked and dry and no one likes that. I always ensure that I have a very moisturizing lip balm on hand while the sun is beating. Feel free to re-apply frequently. Consistent eating and sipping of drinks can wear off lip balm fairly quickly. Burt's Bee's Lip Balm in Mango is my go-to for the beach because the flavour reminds me of the tropics!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog post! I had fun creating this post as the beach is always a fun time for me! I always look forward to going every year when summer rolls around. I would love to hear in the comments below, some of your beach essentials!

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Friday, 8 July 2016

5 of My Favourite Summertime Beauty Products : A Collab with Katelyn Blogs

It has been super hot where I live! I've been trying to enjoy it as much as possible since we only get a couple of months of summer... With the hot, steamy weather I've been thinking about talking about my favourite summertime beauty products! I have so many, that it was really difficult to narrow it down to just five. What can I say? Summertime is just a special time!

Speaking of special, this post is also special as I am collaborating with the ever-so-fabulous Katelyn Brewer of Katelyn Blogs! She's such an awesome blogger and has so many beauty, blogging and lifestyle tips. Check out her blog here! Thanks Katelyn for collaborating with me on this blog post! I know this is a topic we're both passionate about :)

St. Ives Pink Lemon & Mandarin Body Wash
I'm usually a Bath and Body Works kind of girl when it comes to body wash. However, one day I was strolling down the toiletries aisle at Walmart and came across this St. Ives Pink Lemon body wash. I smelt it and I was sold! This particular scent smells like everything tropical, sunshine and beach - combined! It smells so good! Using this in the shower sets the tone for my summer evenings. I also love that there is a little bit of texture which helps to get rid of all the dead skin.

Essie Nail Polish 'Cute As A Button'
I love this corally-pink-orange-y shade for summer! For me, nothing says summer more than coral. Naturally, it's always a given that I will use this colour very often in the summer months. If you haven't already, you should check out my previous blog post where I talk about my favourite essie nail polishes for summer. As you can already guess, this is one of the shades I talk about.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Protector
I'm one of the lucky few who have been blessed with oily skin... :( :( :( . So, all year around I always try my best to use a primer under my foundation. This is particularly important in the summer months when the weather gets extremely hot. My favourite primer is Becca. It's great because it's light weight and glides on easy. You only need a little bit of product, so your purchase will last you a long time! There's only so much that you can blot throughout the day!

Foot Masks
I find in the summer months that my feet tend to become rough very quickly. I'll get a pedicure one day and a few days later, my feet are rough again! I found that the best way to keep feet looking their best in summer sandals, is by using a foot mask. If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I recently bought an olive oil foot mask in Vancouver that I can't wait to try! Stay tuned as I plan to write a review. If you're not a fan of foot masks, I also like to soak my feet in Epsom salts and warm water.

Batiste Dry Shampoo
Going hand in hand with my oil skin is my oily hair... I find that in the colder months I can really control the oil by using a shampoo for oily hair. However, in the summer months I find this much harder to do. To help with this, I like to use the Batiste dry shampoo. I mostly use it on my second day hair. Spray, style your hair and your ready with perfect summer hair to combat the heat!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed reading about my favourite summertime beauty products. Be sure to sign up for email notifications to keep updated with the blog! Thanks again to Katelyn for collaborating with me on this post. Don't forget to check out her blog to read all about her favourite summertime beauty products - Katelyn Blogs! If you like our collaboration, please let us know in the comments below.

What are your favourite summertime beauty products?


Sunday, 3 July 2016

My 4 Favourite Essie Nail Polishes for Summer

It's finally summer! The start of summer means lots of things... like BBQs, the beach, cold drinks, dresses and summertime nail polish! If you're like me, then you'll also have specific nail polish colours for each season of the year. While I may pull out my summer nail polish colours during the Winter season, I usually wait to use these colours when summer has officially arrived. If you really know me, you`ll know that my entire nail polish collection consists of Essie nail polishes. So, today I'm going to talk about my four favourite Essie nail polishes for summer! I was inspired to do this blog post by A Girl, Obsessed!

Hubby For Dessert
I know, such a weird name... but I love this light, sheer, lilac colour for those days when I'm looking for a nude colour but with something a little extra. I usually wear this colour for daily manicures. This is also the perfect colour for those summer events such as weddings or showers. You would definitely need at least three coats for the full purple effect. If you don`t care for the purple effect, you can get away with about two coats.

Really Red
Next up is a classic red - 'really red'! A classic red is a 'must' for summer months! If you are looking for a true red that is the perfect, rich red colour, then look no further. Two coats of this classic makes the perfect pedicure with a cute pair of sandals for a night out on the town. Even though this is a summer pick for me, you could get away with wearing this colour during any season of the year.

Cute As A Button
When I think of summer, my mind always thinks about coral-ly pinks and 'cute as a button' fits this description so perfectly! It's the perfect shade for your beach trip or your summertime vacation. I usually like to wear this colour as a pedicure. Two coats are needed to freshen up your beauty summertime look!

Mint Candy Apple
This has been one of my favourites for a very long time! For me, mint will always be a favourite. This shade is a creme based nail polish that has a pastel green finish. I can wear this colour for either a pedicure or manicure. If I'm looking for a colour to have a little fun, I will usually pick this. This colour needs about two coats.

What are your all time favourite Essie nail polishes for summer?


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Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Magic of Tidying and How Its Helped Me

I've always been a person who likes order, organization and tidying. Even as a child, I would constantly rearrange my room for maximum tidying effectiveness. When I came across Marie Kondo's book called 'Spark Joy' I was very intrigued at the idea of 'how much more 'tidy' could I really be?' If you step into any of my personal spaces, I think you would say that I am a pretty tidy and organized person.

'Spark Joy' is the second book that Marie Kondo has written after completing her first book: 'The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up'. 'Spark Joy' really intrigued me after I listened to an audio book of Marie's first book. I was in the book store after the new year and saw 'Spark Joy'. It's a little different than her first book as 'Spark Joy' has illustrations of the folding techniques she describes, which I really like.

In a nutshell, 'Spark Joy' is all about getting rid of things that do not spark joy. It's about surrounding yourself with only those things that bring you the absolute most joy and love. Through the KonMari method (described in detail in the first book), she recommends that you hold each item and embrace it to see if it truly brings joy. While this sounds really weird... it totally works!

The New Year's resolutions had hit me in a big way and I was searching for the perfect challenge to start off the new year. That's when I decided to complete the Whole 30 challenge and tackle tidying my entire house after reading 'Spark Joy'. You can read about my Whole 30 challenge here!

I started to tidy back in November when I listened to her audio book. In that month I tackled the first category that she suggests, which was clothes! Clothes was a huge category. Between my husband and I, we donated about 5 garbage bags worth of clothes! It was a tedious process, but it was well worth it. We felt as if we had shed about 20 pounds after all was said and done. Then the holidays rolled around and we didn't end up tidying anything else. Then, I was re-inspired when I read 'Spark Joy' in the new year to tackle the rest of the house. Between January to April we went through every other category that she talks about in the book. This means every-single-room and every-single-object that we owned was 'reexamined' for its joy factor.

Most weekends we dedicated a few hours to tidying and eventually we got to it all! All in all, we ended up getting rid of 1,539 items! Everything from socks, books, stationary, electronics, tools, kitchen gadgets were all included. The most items that were thrown away were shirts (40), earrings (60), books/magazines (200), CDs (69), loyalty cards (50), buttons (170), papers (4 garbage bags) and fortunes from fortune cookies (50) - I know really random. Items that were reusable we ended up donating. In fact, we had about 15 boxes of items picked up for donations!

Our house is very small and my husband and I have lived here for close to three years. We thought that we had not accumulated a lot of things, but somehow, we did! Behind the dressers, closets, cardboard boxes and cupboards, there were a lot of things that we weren't using or that didn't spark joy. By all means we are not hoarders. If you came to our house pre-tidying stages, you would have had no idea about our 'things' since I was always particular about organizing.

For the most part, the house looks exactly the same as it did before. What is different are the items behind all the drawers, doors and closets. Everything has been organized in a more logical and effective way that has made our everyday life easier. Since the book shows you all the folding, sorting and categorizing techniques, it was so easy to achieve an organized space! Also, our basement has been completely cleared out of all cardboard boxes and is fully functional for workout routines. We don't have as much stuff anymore.

In fact, both of us have noticed that the feeling of walking into our home is different. It feels lighter, fresher, more positive and filled with energy. I think this also translates directly to how we feel when we're at home. We generally feel lighter with a lot more positive energy. I'm not sure if it's my mind or an actual thing but whatever it is, it's made a difference in our lives. The other thing that has really been beneficial is that we love every-single-object that is in our home. Everything from a glass to a t-shirt, board games and memorabilia. What we particularly love about this is that we can use the things we love more often, during everyday of our lives. What's the point of keeping your most precious china in a box when you can't use it? Today is the perfect day to break out the china and use your most fancy bed sheets! 

I'm not saying that the Marie Kondo's way of tidying is what everyone should do. For me, it worked and I really like the method. It has made a tremendous difference in my life and how I feel as a person. It has made me feel positive, light, happy, full of energy, healthy, not dependent on material objects and I have less (if at all any) day to day tidying. For others, tidying may not just be for them. Some of us thrive in disorganization and chaos and I think that's okay. Some of us like our homes to be constantly lived in with objects and items. Again, that's okay. I think it's important for all of us to recognize our style and live up to that style! 

Let me know down below what you think about the magic of tidying!


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Are you going to GOMO this summer?

I hope that title got your attention! And if it did you're probably wondering what the term "GOMO" means? ......Going Out More Often! I am a big believer in creating memories that will last a life time. I think we live in a world that depends a lot on materialistic items more so than creating real connection and experience. This is where GOMO comes into play. This summer, I challenge you to GOMO! I'm participating in this challenge as well! It's about time we step out of our shells and create memories that lasts a lifetime. Here are some of the ways in which I plan on GOMO!

1. Beach Day
Going to the beach in the summer is a must for me, the hubby and la familia! I love the beach and all it's natural beauty. There's so much to take in and absorb: from the sandy shores, to the water, blue skies and crashing waves. A beach day is not complete without all of my cousins and family members... and of course food! I'm definitely looking forward to this summer's beach day where we can all just chill, relax and spend quality family time together.

2. High Tea
Don't judge... but I've always wanted to try the whole high tea experience! I'm a die-hard Downton Abbey fan and ever since I've fell in love with the show I've always wanted that old time, Victorian-era, high tea experience. There are many places that offer the high tea experience. I particularly want to high tea in an old, rustic downtown hotel. I have my eyes on a few places already! I'm definitely looking forward to enjoying an evening in the downtown core, strolling around while ending the evening with a lovely high-tea experience filled with tea and scones!

3. Paint Nite
If you're are not familiar with Paint Nite, it's a set amount of time where you are taught how to paint a particular picture with an artist. Paint Nites usually take place at a bar/restaurant setting so you can order drinks and appetizers. You pay to take the painting piece home with you. It seems as if this is the new trend for social activities. I have to be honest - I'm definitely going to be splurging on creativity this summer! This would be a neat experience while out on the town, sipping on drinks and appetizers. I'm really looking forward to experiencing this (and hanging up my masterpiece!).

4. Mini Trip
I'm going to Vancouver and Seattle this summer! I'll be going due to work, but I've decided to add a extra few days while I'm there. I have family out there so it should be fun! I've always wanted to go visit the 'other' side of North America/Canada. I'm really excited to see the natural beauty of Vancouver and explore the downtown core of Seattle. Of course I'm looking forward to all the yummy foods I'll be trying as well. Every city has it's own feel and character and I'm really excited to discover this in these cities.

This is my GOMO plan for the summer!Take the challenge and just go out more often! If you're ever stuck on ideas on what new experiences, events or shows to try, you can always check out EventBrite. You can search by location to view what new events are happening in your area. Or, maybe you want to create your own local event! EventBrite has their own page for event management online where you can find here.

Creating memories, building experiences and doing something that you love is essential to your overall welling as a person. When's there's something for us to look forward to or something we get super excited about, it builds happiness and overall good health. We're less prone to feeling sad or unhappy. Feeling good is the best 'makeup' you can ever invest in.

I'm really excited to know how you are going to GOMO this summer! Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram!


Sunday, 29 May 2016

What Every Contact Lens User Should Know

I've been wearing contact lens for 11 years now! That's a long time.. In that time, I have learned a lot about proper handling techniques for contact lens along with general tips and tricks. Some tips I learned when I first started wearing contacts and others I've learned throughout the years. I don't see a lot of talk about tips and tricks about this topic and I thought that I could share some of what I have learned. Contact lens are tricky because one small thing could cause an infection or irritation. They are simple to use but not nearly as simple as one may think. I always recommend that you consult your eye doctor first before using contact lens. Of course, I am not a professional but here is what every contact lens user should know (in my opinion)!

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before touching your eyes or contact lenses.
2. Dry your hands using a towel or paper towel. This will prevent lint from sticking onto your fingers and travelling onto your contact lens. A piece of lint can easily scratch the eye or your contact lens.
3. Change your contact lens case frequently. Unwanted bacteria and dirt can build up after prolonged use.
4. Don't stock up on contact lens solution as they have expiry dates. Always check the expiry dates before using a new bottle of contact lens solution.
5. Before using a new set of contact lenses, be sure to wash them thoroughly in contact solution. You never know how they were packed.
6. Only wear your contact lenses for the duration they are made for. IE: don't wear daily contacts for a week at a time.
7. Beware of your contact lens around long nails! Your nails could end up scratching or tearing your lens.
8. Long nails are more prone to trapping dirt and bacteria which could cause infections when handling your contact lens. Try to get them at a reasonable and hygienic length.
9. Even though you may be tempted to wear contact lens for prolonged periods of time, it's best to always give your eyes a break by giving them some extra oxygen love.
10. Contact lens have expiry dates too! Check before you use them.

Do you have any tips and tricks for contact lenses?


Sunday, 15 May 2016

10 Uses for Q-Tips

So many of us forget about q-tips in our grooming routines. I'm sure many of us have an unopened pack under the sink or in our linen closet. When we think about q-tips, we usually think about the traditional uses such as making our ears squeaky clean. However, there are so many other uses for q-tips than just the conventional way. There's so much big potential in these little guys! I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 10 uses for q-tips!

1. Dip your q-tip in nail polish remover to clean up the nail polish around the edges of your nails.
2. Use them to make designs on your nails by dipping in nail polish.
3. You can apply eye shadow in the crease or the inner corner of your eyelid using a q-tip.
4. Use a q-tip to create a smudged look with your eyeliner.
5. Mix your pigment with a mixing agent by using a q-tip.
6. Apply liquid lip gloss from a tube or in a palette using a q-tip.
7. Mix different lip colours to create a new lip colour by using a q-tip.
8. Clean up a makeup mistake by dipping in makeup remover (ie. applying eyeliner).
9. If you are going to pop a pimple, don't use your fingers! Use q-tips!
10. Apply eye brow gel or powder by using a q-tip.

As you can see, q-tips are a great, inexpensive and versatile tool to keep around the house. These are only a few uses for q-tips but I am sure there are so many other things you could do with them. Let me know what are your top uses for q-tips both beauty, wellness or other related. I would love to know!


Saturday, 30 April 2016

About Me!

Do you have an interest in all things glam, beauty, makeup and wellness but you're not big on the latest crazes, spending huge heaps of money or buying every single new product?

Well good. I'm like that too. I think we'll get along just fine. 

Hi! I'm Usha and I live in Ontario, Canada! Canada has many wonderful things like Tim Hortons, snow, hockey and the CN Tower!

If you love makeup, beauty, health, wellness and you don't like to be broke or use complicated products, you've come to the right space. Here you can find tips, tricks and advice on all things beauty and wellness related from my daily experience in this wonderful journey we call life. I'm not an expert or a professional makeup artist but I love to share ideas and be creative. You might have a tip or two to share as well! I'm always learning and I don't think I'll ever become an expert or 'know it all'. I hope we can travel along this journey together.

I started Just Random Little Things as blogging was always a dream of me and I wanted to share all the wonderful things that life has to offer. During my 25th birthday I finally decided to turn that dream into reality. Since that time it has grown to so much more! For me blogging is a creative outlet and a way to share ideas and connect with others who have similar interests.

There are so many beauty and wellness blogs that dedicate so much time and money on makeup and buying the latest products (and nothing is wrong with this!). However, I'm not about that. I rarely buy makeup. I don't have a makeup room and my makeup collection is the size of travel makeup case. I just like to share tips and tricks and love learning!

Makeup and wellness play a significant part in my life and how I feel as a person. It makes me feel beautiful, complete and amazing and I want to share that with others! Take a look around and explore what I have to share. There's a lot of content to share.

I love books, coffee, colouring, cooking, popcorn, chocolate, ice cream, pjs and travelling.

P.S. Don't be shy! Stop by and say hi! You can find me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can leave me a comment or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

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Protect Your Skin - Foundation Expires!

All of us can be guilty about keeping makeup longer than we should. There are so many times where I keep using expired lipstick or nail polish. You just don't think about makeup expiring. However, we really should; especially when it comes to foundation. I gave this no thought until recently when I was applying my foundation and it just wasn't doing its job. I knew something was off and that was when I discovered that foundation does expire! I thought I would share a few points on how you can also determine if your makeup expires.

1. For one, your skin will look darker. The foundation tends to oxidize much more when expired than when its not. You will definitely notice that something is off with the colour of your skin. If this happens, check your foundation.
2. Even though my skin was looking darker, I kept on using my foundation for a few more days. I thought that maybe the discoloration would stop after a few days. However, in addition to my skin looking darker my foundation was just not giving me the complete, flawless, smooth look that I was aiming for. I know how well my foundation performs and applies on my skin. When you notice that something isn't right about the application or finished look, most likely it can be due to expired foundation.
3. This is a weird one but I also noticed that my face was a lot more oily then usual (and I use an oil controlling base before I apply makeup). It just didn't seem right as I wasn't running a marathon throughout the day for my skin to be that oily. Also my diet didn't change and was pretty much the same. With the above two points combined with my oily skin, I knew that I was dealing with a case of expired foundation.

Luckily I had a brand new bottle of my usual foundation on hand as my first bottle was almost done. I then switched to the brand new foundation and boy, did it make the world of a difference! I knew instantly that I definitely was using expired foundation for a few days. You can just tell.

I don't think I'll be using expired foundation anytime soon as now I know what to look out for! I hope my experience can at least be of a little aid to you in what to look out for in your foundation. A good tip is to write the date on which you bought your foundation directly on the bottle. This way there are no excuses to loose track of time. Besides, you want to ensure that you are protecting your skin especially the skin on your face since it can be extremely sensitive.

I hope this helps! While I know what to look out for in foundation, I can definitely use some assistance in determining other expired makeup products - lipstick, eye shadow etc...

What tips do you have to tell when makeup products are expired?


Thursday, 31 March 2016

My Whole 30 Experience

What is Whole 30?
I'm not an expert at explaining the whole program. You can read the full details of the program on their website:

How did you learn about Whole 30?
Through my cousin who visited in December. He did the Whole 30 and said it was a great experience!

Why did you choose to do the Whole 30?
As the year ended and the new year embarked, I really felt the urge to just throw myself into a challenge! A HARD challenge! My husband and I were talking about this and decided that the Whole 30 could be the challenge. It was something I've never done before or never thought I would ever do. Reading the program information on the website screamed 'challenge' to me.

Secondly, I wanted to be a little more toned in my body. Up until this point I've always felt that I've eaten healthy and I've been going to the gym fairly frequently. However, I could never achieve my desired weight/body type.

How did you prep for the Whole 30?
I bought the book :) I would highly recommend buying the book for anyone who is interested in doing this. The book goes over the rationale, tips, advice and many recipes that can't be found on their website. While you could do the entire program by reading the website, the book pumps you up and encourages you even more!

Another key thing to prepping was going through my fridge, freezer and pantry and throwing away food that was not compliant. I knew that keeping certain foods around the house was not going to help.

I also meal prepped the hell out of my week! On weekends I always dedicated some time to meal prep. I made sauces, mayo, chopped, marinated etc.. I also always planned my meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner), snacks and emergency foods.

Yes, I was even prepared with emergency meals in case for whatever reason I was unable to make my planned meal. Best lifesaver as it stops you from eating non compliant foods and encourages you to not break the 30 day challenge.

Results of the Whole 30
I lost 6 lbs! My pants were loose. I had higher energy levels. I was awake and ready to tackle the day when I woke up in the morning without hitting my snooze button. Sometimes I would wake up before the alarm. I no longer had the 3pm 'need a pick me up' feeling. My skin looks brighter, cleaner and I had no pimples throughout the 30 days! My face and hair were less greasy. I was a lot more positive (than normal) and I had less disagreements with my husband (win-win for everyone)! For those wondering, my husband also did the Whole 30 with me and lost 14 lbs.

What did you learn from the Whole 30?
I have learned so many things! I didn't really discover any food intolerances. I did discover what foods make me feel bloated and cause me to have less energy. I also discovered what foods I really love, what foods I 'thought' I loved but really don't and what foods trigger unhealthy eating habits. I have learned so many new recipes! I've learned specifically how to be creative in the kitchen and that I don't necessarily need bread, rice or pasta to make a complete meal. I've learned that having a good, large breakfast is just as important as having a lunch and dinner.

I've also learned that I could achieve something I've set out to do. To be honest, when I first started this challenge, I was so scared! I was having nightmares about the Whole 30 before starting, that's how scared I was. I was scared to change my eating habits for 30 days and I was scared that I wouldn't be able to commit to the entire 30 days. In fact, I told myself that if I could do at least 1 week of Whole 30, I would be happy - and I ended up doing 30+ days of Whole30! I'm super proud of myself for this accomplishment.

Life After Whole 30?
I didn't have the perfect Whole 30. I ate so many snacks throughout the whole thing (all compliant). That was one thing I just couldn't stop but maybe something I try to bet better at during a future round of Whole 30. Adopting a complete Whole 30 lifestyle is just not for me. I'm glad I did it for 30 days and I've learned a whole lot! However, I LOVE ice cream, chocolate, cream, desserts, rice and pasta way too much to completely give this up entirely. It's just not realistic for me. Instead, I eat Whole 30 about 80% of my time. The other 20% is non compliant. I also choose to eat non-compliant food when I want to and when it's worth it. I think I've learned to stop overindulging and to know when I've had enough of something. For example, I love chocolate and I can be satisfied by eating a tiny square. I just couldn't eat a whole chocolate bar.

Have you done the Whole 30? Do you have any other questions that I have answered? Let me know in the comments below!


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Best Lip Colour Combos

Lipstick is an essential in my makeup collection. I have a very small lipstick collection but I can safety safe that it is well loved. I've never been the one to collect huge amounts of makeup. I also find that I enjoy what I have more since I can remember what I own and find it very easily. Owning a small lipstick collection has allowed me to become creative with colours and combinations. While I may not have a lipstick colour to match all of my outfits I can certainty mix and match to create a whole different lip colour look. Here are my three best lip colour combos.

MAC Up The Amp + MAC Media
I love this lip combo in the spring and summer. You can make it as dark or light as you want. I apply a full layer of Media first. I then apply Up The Amp to the center of my lips. This creates a somewhat gradient/ombre look to the lips without much effort or hassle. Go darker by applying more Media and go lighter by applying more Up The Amp.

MAC Diva + MAC Vino
This is my go to lip combo for a red lip or a winter and/or fall look. I start by lining my lips with Vino. I then apply Vino to the outer edges of my lips, applying colour to one third of my lips on either side. I then go in with Diva and apply a full layer across the lips. I love this look as it gives you a different feel and appearance from your normal 'red lip'. If you are looking for a change or to switch things up, try out this deep purple and red combo.

Jordana's Cabernet + Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm in Sultry
I've always found it difficult to find the perfect nude for my skin tone (I have a medium to medium deep skin tone with an undertone of yellow). That search was called off when I found this colour combination! Wearing an all nude colour just washes out my face and lips. Instead I decided to experiment by combining two different tones of colours. I first line my lips with Cabarnet. I then fill in colour to one third of my lips on either side. Then apply one full layer of Sultry to the middle of the lips. I wear this colour combo all year around for various occasions; from just hanging around to getting all dressed up for a party!

What are your favourite lip colour combos? Would you try any of these lip colour combos?


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Favourite Mani/Pedi Combos (Tropical Inspiration)

Sorry for the long absence....things have been so busy around here with work and going away on vacation. I just couldn't get right back into the swing of things. I'm slowly, but surely getting there! How are you?

It's been kinda cold and rainy where I am. This type of weather calls for a desperate need for warmer weather! I can't wait for spring! An easy way for me to instantly uplift my mood is by a mani and/or pedi. It's such a great way to continue regular bodily maintenance and add a splash of colour to the dull winter weather around us. Once the cold weather creeps up, we often forget about taking care of ourselves - particularly regular hand and feet maintenance. Just because it isn't summer doesn't mean we can't maintain good hygiene on our hands and feet.

This thought sparked me to share my favourite mani and pedi colour combos - but with a twist! Tropical inspiration! I love the tropics with all its colours, fauna, flora, animals and warm weather - and since I recently came back from the Caribbean, I couldn't think of a better time to share! I thought this would be a fun way to put colour combos together. The tropics always makes me think of bright pinks, purples, greens and neons. Here are my favourite mani/pedi colour combinations with a tropical twist!

From top to bottom; left to right: First Timer and Madison Ave-Hue; DJ Play that Song and Cute as a Button; Off The Shoulder and Mint Candy Apple. My all-time favourite combo is #2!

When you're using the tropics as inspiration, I don't think you can really go wrong with any colour combination. I love to stick to my pinks, purples and greenish/blue tones when going for nail colour. The only rule when choosing your colours is ensuring that you are having fun when doing so!

What is your favourite mani/pedi colour combo?


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Colouring for a Healthy Mind

Have you heard of the latest craze - adult colouring! News outlets, articles and even store displays have been featuring nothing but colouring books! I have definitely been sucked into this craze. My colouring obsession started last summer when I purchased a $10 mandala book. I haven't hit the brakes on this one yet! I love colouring - I can't stop! I love choosing a new design, picking the colours, using different colouring materials and seeing the finished product. There's just something about fulfilling your inner creativity once you've completed a full picture that brings a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Speaking of which, there has been a lot of talk about how colouring is beneficial to the mind and soul. I'm not sure if there is any concrete stats or research complete on just how much colouring is beneficial to the human body and mind, but just Google 'adult colouring' and you will be sure to get a few results on the benefits of adult colouring. While I don't have solid evidence either on how beneficial colouring can be (I'm not a researcher!), I can definitely see how it affects my mind and body in a positive way.

Many of us work standard, routine jobs. There are very few of us that have a job completely dedicated to creativity. We get home and tasks generally are routine as well. It's not long before we feel the need to get the creative juices flowing. Colouring is a great activity for that! It's a creative outlet that allows you to express yourself through colour, pictures, patterns and doodles. Practicing in one creative outlet leads to fresh and new ideas. This affects spills over to almost every aspect of your life: work and personal.

We spend so much of our time consumed by technology and media that our minds all need a much deserved break at the end of a long day. Colouring allows for this. It allows for your mind to be focused on doing a simple and easy task. Instead of picking up your tablet and phone before going to bed, why not try colouring for a few minutes? It could probably make for better sleep as well.

The act of colouring can be really relaxing and can bring about a meditative state of mind. Being relaxed is very important to your overall health and how you feel as a person. I can't imagine how being stressed all the time would feel as well as all of the side effects to go along with it. Next time you're stressed, instead of pouring yourself a glass of wine, why not spend a few minutes colouring?

Colouring can also help when we're going through something difficult. I talk about stress in the point above but maybe you're going through a difficult situation like a loss or maybe you've just hit a wall. Colouring can take our minds off of the situation/difficulty at hand (just for a little bit) to re-focus our minds. It can be a great way to cope. I've read many articles where individuals are using colouring to overcome or deal with a difficult situation in their lives.

(The finished picture is on my Instagram!)

Being an adult can be difficult and sometimes all we want to do is revisit our childhood. Colouring is a great way to do so! I think it has become so popular because it brings individuals back to their childhood. Not only is it a flashback to the past but it's a way to fulfill that inner child in all of us. I think at some point every adult experiences this yearning at least once in their life and colouring can be a great way to address it! As much as we all have responsibility and lives to lead, it's important to 'play' as well.

Well there you have it -  my opinions on colouring and how/why you can colour yourself to a healthy mind. Let me know if you're interested in having me share my finished colouring pages.

Do you colour? What have you coloured so far? And why do you like colouring?


Thursday, 4 February 2016

How Cleaning Can Be Effective Exercise

For most of us, tidying up and general cleaning is a weekly, or daily occurrence. Sometimes, it takes a huge amount of motivation for me to get up and start cleaning. One thought that has made cleaning easier is that I can incorporate exercise into my cleaning routine.  I love to stay active when I am at home by walking or standing. Think about it - lifting things, rapid movements and physical activity while tidying and cleaning can only aid you in making you more fit! Here are some ways that tidying and cleaning can be an effective use for exercise.

  • Putting objects away requires lifting, walking and climbing stairs. Instead of placing an object in it's place, think of it as a weight. Maybe do a few squats or bicep curls before putting it away. (Pump that iron!)
  • Carrying your heavy laundry basket up and down several flights of stairs can definitely make you sweat. 
  • Pushing a heavy vacuum around adds weight to your step. (And makes your carpet clean!)
  • When carrying items up and down stairs, take a little extra time to repeat the process. 
  • To add on to my point above, step up and down continuously on your bottom step for 1 minute. 
  • When cleaning underneath a bench or bed, do some push ups!
  • Take out the mop and bucket and get mopping! It's a good arm work out.
  • Get down and scrub the bathroom tub. Again, really great arm work out. 
  • Scrub the toilet while doing a squat. Not only are you getting an arm work out but you are working your inner core. 
  • While folding your clothes, try balancing on one leg or do a runner's stretch. 
With so many options to engage in physical activity while tidying and cleaning, there's more motivation to make the process a little easier. Tidying and cleaning is not my favourite thing to do, but by incorporating exercise into it, I can transform a dull and boring chore into an activity that adds to my overall wellness. I am always looking for creative ways to add steps and movement into my daily activity. 

How do you incorporate exercise into your daily household routine?


Thursday, 28 January 2016

5 Reasons Why I Switched to All Natural Deodarant

It feels that I've always had problems 'there'... By 'there' I mean my armpits. Yes, we are totally getting real today! Growing up, I always had a sweat problem where no type of deodorant could control the amount of sweat I produced. While I have come far from that problem, I recently found the need to switch to an all-natural deodorant.

Before the switch, I was using a brand of deodorant called Secret. Secret is very popular here in North America. I've been using this brand for as long as I can remember. While it never really did 'wonders' for me, I've continued to use it for many, many, MANY years! It was only until recently when I realized that I must switch to an all-natural deodorant. Here are five reasons as to why I have switched to an all-natural deodorant.

1. Chemically filled deodorant kept ruining my clothes. I would wear a clean, crisp white shirt and by the end of the day there would be a yellowish, dark stain under my arm pits. Not cool - at all. I would have to use special cleaning products to remove the stains. This ended ruining the quality of my clothes. It was too much maintenance for clothes, all because of deodorant.

2. The deodorant was doing nothing to stop my problem of sweating. I was still sweating! Sometimes I would sweat so much it would show through my shirt (which is awfully embarrassing!).

3. I would have to keep re-applying deodorant several times throughout the day as I felt the deodorant wasn't doing its job or making me smell 'presentable'. What's the point then of even wearing deodorant if you still smell odor?

4. The deodorant was not a true testimony to its claims on the packaging and through advertising. It wasn't doing its job, not for me anyways.

5. Why was I continuing to use a product that is made of harmful chemicals? I think I deserve to use a product that is more 'friendlier' to my body.

These reasons lead me to make a life changing switch to a deodorant called Tom's of Maine -  an all-natural deodorant. I did a lot of research online and my decision really came down to the availability of a brand in my local department store and pricing. This this was my first time using an all-natural deodorant, so I didn't want to invest loads of cash. Tom's of Maine was affordable and readily available, so that's what I choose it. I couldn't be happier! Long gone are the days when I had to spend time on the weekends trying to scrub away those nasty armpit stains on my clothing. You know what's also gone too? All of those embarrassing sweat stains! (Sigh) Such a huge relief! I wish I had known about deodorant alternatives much earlier in my life.

I didn't mean for this blog post to be a review on the product. However, if you are interested in learning more about the product, let me know. I can also do a detailed product review for those who are interested.

All in all, switch to an all-natural deodorant! It's so much better for you, your body, your self-esteem and especially your clothes!

Do you use an all-natural deodorant?


Thursday, 14 January 2016

5 Reasons Why Using A Face Towel is Awesome

Using a face towel during your morning and night facial routine is a must for me. There are so many reasons why I could not go back to using my bath towel as a face towel. There are also many reasons why I wouldn't rely on a wet cleansing cloth as well. I was hesitant to spend money on a buying a bunch of face towels as I originally thought it was a waste of money. This decision, however, has made a major positive change to how my skin feels and looks. Here are five reasons why using a face towel is awesome!

1. You don't want to track dirt or other bacteria from a used towel to your clean face. Trapped dirt and bacteria is what causes breakouts and disrupts your skin. Using a clean face cloth every time you pat dry your face will ensure you are preventing this as much as possible.
2. Helps to prevent breakouts. The more times you use a clean face towel to pat dry your face, the less breakouts you will see and everyone likes that!
3. They are reusable! I use one side during my morning routine and the other side during my night routine. I go through one face towel a day. You don't have to discard the whole towel after one use, which is awesome.
4. They are easily washable. It's a bad idea to reuse a side more than once. So wash those towels! Pile all the similar colours together, add some laundry detergent and let the machine do all the cleaning for you.
5. It is such an economical method to your facial routine. Get a whole bunch that would last you at least the whole week. At the end of the week, you can wash everything. Places like Costco sell a bunch in a pack, which will definitely last you more than a week. It's definitely worth the purchase, since you won't have to be repurchasing this item anytime soon.

Are face towels a part of your beauty routine? If so, what do you use them for?


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

10 Tips to Live a More Meaningful 2016

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 was full of adventures, positivity and great memories. Sometimes, things don't always go our way, but we have to make the best out of the situations that life gives us. At times, we can feel that we don't have control over of our lives and destiny and this is very true. But there are some things that we can control and decisions we can take charge of. The year of 2016 has just started! Make it your best, your most awesome year yet! Here are my top ten tips to live a more meaningful 2016!

1. Treat the new year as a fresh start. Let bygones be bygones. Leave the bad and ugly in 2015 and start 2016 with a fresh new slate.
2. Goal setting is great, but don't set yourself up for failure. Set a manageable amount of goals (I would say that 3 is plenty) within a short time frame (about 3 months). When you achieve those, set other goals.
3. Challenge yourself to do something you would never think you can do. This makes life so much more interesting and adventurous. It's also a great lesson about human willpower.
4. Create new adventures by trying something new. Maybe you want to take a pottery class or take an unplanned road trip. There is no better time to do it than now.
5. Make more time for the things you love. If you surround yourself by doing more of the these things, you will become a happier person and a live healthier lifestyle.
6. Get rid of the negativity that drags you down. Life is too short to spend time and energy on something or someone that does not add value.
7. Be kind to yourself and others. Saying 'thank you' or giving someone else a compliment can make you feel like you are on cloud nine. Try it!
8. Slow down. Living in a society where everyone is always on the go can be draining and do harm to your health. Try slowing down by waking up slower, walking slower or eating slower.
9. You are your best friend. You deserve a break and lots of 'me time'.
10. Read a life changing book. A personal recommendation is 'Spark Joy' by Marie Kondo.

Do you have any tips/plans to make 2016 more meaningful?