Morning and Evening Journal

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about mental health. It is a topic I hold near and dear to my heart as it is something I tackle every day along with many, many other people.
Thankfully it has become easier to talk about mental health online, and many people have bravely opened up with their own battles to
help others feel less alone.

I won’t go into detail about my own mental health journey in this post, but I do want to share something with you that has helped me significantly through harder times.
Journaling. Now I am not the first to discover the benefits of using a daily journal. I took inspiration from many other people to start doing it myself. I found that by starting my day with a few minutes to sort out my thoughts I could break through some of my anxious brain fog.

Most of all, I found that reflecting again at the end of the day I could observe my thoughts from a distance and without judgment.
Sometimes, oddly enough, I didn’t feel quite ready to answer certain questions in my morning journal, but when I revisited them at the end of the day I felt like I had more clear answers. I also noticed that my level of anxiety in the morning was always far different than how I felt at the end of the day, and it gave me some optimism for the future!

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite questions and exrsizes for journaling all wrapped up in a cute aesthetic post!

I hope everyone is having a happy and healthy October!

Welcoming Autumn

Hello everyone!

I feel like I’m welcoming Autumn with an especially warm hug this year. It’s as though I am finally able to breath deep and catch a glimpse of a more relaxed pace. Does anyone else feel this way?

Besides being relaxed, I am so excited for all the fun Autumn activities we are still able to enjoy during these ever changing times.

Things I am looking forward to this Fall are: enjoying everything in Pumpkin Spice Flavour 😋 Staying in watching movies on stormy nights. And more mushroom picking adventures with Alex and our pup!

What are your favourite Fall traditions? 🎃

Happiness Journal Prompts…

Hello everyone 👋🏻

I’ve been in and out of doing my happiness journal and I loved reading through all the prompts that they offer in books and online.

As I was reading them though, I was inspired with my own that I absolutely loved and I thought everyone would love too!

I love questions that not only make you think, but make you think it different ways than you normally would!

Think of the questions that kids ask, they are so honest and unafraid to ask, it always throws you off guard in the most wonderful way!

It’s definitely been one of my favourite ways to start the day, especially with a cup of tea or coffee. ☕️

Here is my list of questions to make you smile, snicker and scratch your head:

🌸 What is your favourite plant or flower? Why is it your favourite? The colour? the smell?

🍔 When was the last time you ate your favourite food? Where were you? Who were you with?

✍️ Write down 5 not physical traits you like about yourself.

😆 Do you remember the last time you made someone laugh? Or the last time you had a good laugh? What was happening at that time?

🚗 What is a favourite road trip or vacation you’ve been on? This could be as a child or recent.

❤️ What is something selfless you did today that was out of the kindness of your own heart? It could be as little as saving a spider.

🤗 Who was the last person you hugged? How did you feel? Was is a goodbye hug or a hello hug?

🤔 What is one challenge you faced and overcame today? It can be big or little!

💕 When was the last time you helped someone? What were you doing?

🍭 What is your favourite candy and why? Or if you’re more savoury, what’s your favourite savoury snack?

✨ Who is someone you truly look up to in your life and why?

✏️ Write down 5 pivotal moments in your life so far, and write a short explanation of how they’re important.

💦 When was the last time you happy cried at a movie? Which movie was it? What was happening in the movie?

🐻 What is your favourite animal and why? I know this is a simple question but I think it tells a lot about a person 😊

⏰ If you had a stopwatch that could freeze time, what would you do with it?

💃 If you could learn any skill instantly what would it be?

🌈 This is a first thought exercise, there are no wrong answers… What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see the colour yellow?

🌱 What is your first thought when you think of the smell of fresh cut grass?

⛈ What is your first thought when you think of a thunder storm? This could be a memory, or even something like a scene from a movie.

🎄 What was your favourite holiday growing up? Do you still love the holidays as much now?

🐕 What was your favourite childhood pet growing up? Can you recall a favourite adventure with your past pal?

🙋🏼 If you have a sibling, what is your favourite memory of them growing up?

📖 Do you remember your first book you read as a child? Or your favourite memory of a book that was read to you?

👋🏻 What little habit would you like to work on for yourself? Write down 5 action steps you can work on every day this week.

🗺 If you had the chance to re-write history once, what change would you make? This can literally be anything you want.

I hope these questions inspire you to start writing in a journal , or even jot down your thoughts on a napkin. 😊

My Favourite Healthy Meal: Tuna Poke

Oh my gosh do I have a good one for you. Just the thought of this recipe makes my mouth water 🤤

This recipe combines all of my favourite things: fresh fruit and veg, seafood and so many sauces to top them off.

The best thing about this recipe is you can mix and match with so many different veggies and toppings it will always be delicious.

When I make Tuna Poke I always make enough for two because it is one of my boyfriends absolute favourite meals. I’ve been perfecting it for a while and I think I get a little better every time.

The ingredients are:

250 grams of Ahi Tuna (however much you enjoy really) or about $10 worth.

2 cups of Prepared sushi rice or regular is good too

2 Avocados

2 Mangos

1 cup of bean or pea sprouts

1/2 Cucumber sliced thin

The Marinade for Tuna:

1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

1 Teaspoon Wasabi

A pinch of Salt and Pepper

Splash of pickled ginger juice

1 Tablespoon of chopped pickled ginger

And some assorted sauces!!! This is the fun part where you get to make a custom dressing to top your Ahi Tuna.

One of my favourite and most simple sauces is mixing a 2 to 1 ratio of wasabi and mayonnaise. Just so easy and tasty. You can mix it to your taste too if you like a more spicy Mayo, just add more wasabi.

I also use an in store Chipotle Mayo as a topping and then lots of ginger to garnish the side.

With the actual plating of the food you can display it in so many different ways. I use my handy bamboo boards but using a regular bowl and placing all your ingredients on top is just as lovely.

I tend to mix up all the ingredients when I eat it, so the display never lasts very long anyway. 😂

When I first had a Poke bowl is when I learned that healthy food can taste good, be enjoyable AND be within budget.

While we might not eat it every week it’s still a fairly budget friendly meal. Especially with the amount of takeout that is being ordered right now during this whole Pandemic, it’s been relaxing to make a really nice meal to sit and enjoy at home.

I hope this inspires you to take the time to make your own meal and sit and enjoy! There is something very therapeutic about cooking and then enjoying your own food.

My Top 5 Fitness Must-Haves

Hello you lovely people,

Today I wanted to talk about my favourite fitness must haves. I feel like more than ever nowadays, there is an overwhelming sea of products for fitness and healthy living. At times it can be hard to sift through that plethora of information to find an honest and experienced answer.

So here are my 5 favourite workout goodies, and why I absolutely love them!

1. And Probably my most favorite of all is the Fitbit Versa Lite. This is a necessity for me as I LOVE keeping track of things lol. The Fitbit Versa tracks my calories burned, steps, and most importantly (for me) my heart rate. I love the colors it comes in, although I definitely would have loved it even more if it came in pink. Overall it’s a wonderful device. One of my favorite features that is the most underrated is the ‘Relax’ app. It will track your heart rate while it takes you through breathing exercises, using colors to indicate if your breathing/heart rate is in a great, good, or needs work zone. I use this quite often at any time of the day if I’m feeling anxious or stressed. It is an easy and discreet way to slip in a guided meditation.

2. I decided to fully invest in some good quality resistance bands and it improved my workout game so much! I decided to get the Peach Bands Resistance bands. I did some research looking for a Canadian fitness company and I was immediately obsessed with their bright pink and purple fitness gear. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but the bands themselves are resilient and have a great feel. They don’t roll or pinch (unless you really twist them). The weight of these bands ranges from Light (10 lbs) to Xtra Heavy (35lbs) giving a broad range of weight. If you need to have heavier resistance you can easily double up on the bands and get that weight you need without any discomfort. These bands are a slender shape making it easy to use 2 at a time. They also pair great with dumbbells or by themselves for the perfect quarantine workout. (Should I do a post on my quarantine workout?!?!)

3. Sweet Sweat Workout Enhancer. This stuff has taken my cardio from average to a full-on sweat sesh. It is a bit of an adjustment applying a product like this to your skin as it’s not supposed to soak in. The whole idea is you apply it to the surface of your skin and it makes you sweat like 5x more than normal (not an actual scientific number but you get what I’m saying 😉) You apply to slow-reacting areas or spots you want to focus on in your workout and presto, you are sweating your booty off. I find it helps me be less sore in the morning and helps my muscles be less fatigued at the time of my workout.

4. Keto Bomb Coffee Creamer. Just thinking about this makes me so excited for my morning cuppa coffee. Like I’m actually salivating a little bit 😆 Save your money you would spend on expensive ‘specialty’ coffee, and try some Keto Bomb. My favorite flavors are French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato. The best part is enjoying the amazing flavors and knowing they are a fraction of the sugar you would normally have with a regular Starbucks coffee. Not to mention you’re giving your body the fuel it needs with Vitamins like Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. I love using my Bodum frother to top it off and making it deliciously frothy and aesthetically pleasing. ☕️ ✌️

*A a side note here….specialty coffee if fun and delicious and nothing is wrong with enjoying them! I love a PSL and nothing will hold a candle to that. The amount of sugar in a food doesn’t make it ‘good’ or ‘bad’. 😘

5. Is the most basic but makes the most sense and that is a Yoga Mat. I got my yoga mat so long ago I can’t even remember the brand 😂 But I use it every workout. Not only is it an important cushion for your body but it’s nice to have a designated area laid out for working out. I find it creates guidelines for me when I’m doing exercises. It helps me center myself and check my form.

I hope everyone is having a happy Saturday and I’d love to hear about your favorite fitness goodies you can’t live without!

✌️❤️

How I Fixed My Skin. Tips and Tricks ✨

Hello everyone! How are we all doing today?

I feel like the past couple of months have been a heck of a journey for my skin. I took time to really care for my skin and keep on top of a skincare routine. The extra TLC really has made a massive difference! 

I thought I would share some of the things I learned as I always believe knowledge is power and sharing is caring (see I fit in a double cliché 😂)

Now the big thing I have to say is that my skin is always changing, so just because it is good now, certainly does not mean it’s always perfect. Also, our skin doesn’t define us nor does it define beauty. Acne and other skin conditions are things that are purely out of our control sometimes and we all just try our best to take care of it. ✌️✨

Alrighty, my first tip might seem a bit funny but DON’T STRESS. Just chill alright? I know, I know life gets busy, crazy and downright unfair but we wear our stress on our face as much as we do our emotions. I know it seems trivial to say, but I recently had a very stressful period of my life end and my skin has basically been healing since then. I don’t know if there’s actually a direct connection between the two, but I’m going to say yes. 😉

Next, drink lots of water! 💦 I know this is what everyone says, but it wouldn’t be said so much if it wasn’t true. I think it is one of the most important tips for good skin health, as well as overall health. I used to think drinking water wasn’t important to skin health until I made a goal to drink about 2 Litres of water a day for other health reasons. I definitely don’t hit my marker some days but the extra hydration has been a saviour. If you find it hard to drink water I have a tip for that too: use a couple drops of Stevia (a natural plant-based sweetener) and add some lemon or a fruit tea to it. It will make the water a lot more tasty 😋

Double Cleansing is my next biggest tip! I think I spoke about this in an earlier post but I decided to put it to the test and practice it regularly. I’ve always had texture on my forehead and it has been a big insecurity of mine. I started to use a charcoal face wash with a soft face cloth to do my second cleanse at night and I really noticed a big difference. I don’t want to sound like a crazy person but I swore I saw results as early as the next morning! It’s also important for face cloth users to make sure you wash your face cloths on the regular. Bacteria grow in damp, warm environments and a yucky face cloth could be causing breakouts.

Lastly is being aware of how much you touch your face. This is so important! I know because my worst habit is touching my face and the acne always follows. Now I don’t mean not touching your face again, but be aware. If you’re out in public, bacteria gets on your hands, and then easily transported to the face when we try to smooth out some creased concealer or scratch that itch on our chin. If I know I’m going out I’ll pack a small brush to do any touch ups and keep a hand sanitizer with me as well.

(Ignore my chippy polish haha 😂)

I was just wearing a bit of moisturizer, bronzer and highlight in this photo. ✌️

Do you guys have any tips you live by? 😊

The Best Detox Mask 🌿🌱

Hello everyone!

How are you doing on this fine, fabulous Friday? 😊

Today I wanted to share with you my favourite holy grail face mask. It not only removes impurities but adds antioxidants and important nutrients back into the skin.

I wanted to call it something funny like ‘Mean Greeny’, but I didn’t think it would be a very attractive title 😂 Instead I will call it the Best Detox Mask! (ever?)

For the base, I started with Bentonite Clay which is the most common ingredient in clay masks. It is a lightweight clay that is best used to rid your pores of any dirt, oil, or lingering toxins. Secondly, this clay helps with the healing of acne and can help lighten past acne scars.

Like I said this mask is all about being green! So it was a no-brainer to add Spirulina Algae to the mix. This algae, in particular, is a powerhouse of antioxidants which can reduce signs of ageing and are just important for the general well being of our skin, after all the epidermis is the largest organ we have! Spirulina algae are also filled with amino acids which help with the hydration of the skin and help with the elasticity.

If you don’t have Spirulina Algae lying around the house, Spinach can even be a good substitute since it is also high in antioxidants and vitamins.

Lastly, if you want this to be a healing mask as well as a detoxing one, adding honey can add a whole new list of benefits. Honey is best known for its antibacterial qualities making it amazing for soothing and healing acne. It also contains antioxidants that help slow the ageing of our skin, AND last but not least, gives your skin that wonderful glow afterwards.

I felt such a difference after using this face mask I would not speak about it so passionately if it didn’t help as much as it did! More amazingly I can’t believe it was (kind of) a fluke haha! I try many different recipes and some flop (very hard) and some work wonders. This just happens to be one of the lucky ones!

I also feel very strongly about using organic and ethically sourced ingredients too, so when I make my own face masks I know exactly where the ingredients are coming from, and the quality of them.

A big shout out to Oleum Vera for being an amazing organic brand that makes amazing starter kits so you can create your own face masks. (No this is not sponsored by them 😛 I wish haha!)

Let me know if you guys like more of these skincare posts, I certainly love writing them and sharing my experiences 🙂

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

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The Ordinary Skincare Brand Review

Hello loves!

Today I wanted to chat about a new skin care purchase of mine.

Since I’ve been going to school I’ve been exposed to so many new products and beauty brands. Along with that, I am so lucky to be surrounded by very knowledgeable people in terms of makeup, skincare and beauty in general.

The one brand that stood out as a winner for everyone was The Ordinary. I had never tried them before or even heard of them. My first assumption was that it must cost a pretty penny if it works that well for everybody and can be found in beauty boutiques. That’s where I was wrong! It is by far one of the most affordable skin care lines I’ve seen. I bought these 2 items without breaking the bank.

The item I wanted most was the Caffeine Solution. It was raved about as a holy grail for everyone so I had to see what the hype was all about. Basically how it works is: the caffeine stimulates the blood flow under your eyes reducing the darkness, and reducing any puffiness. Quite genius when you think about it, it’s like an extra shot of espresso for your under eyes. Rise and shine! ☀️

The other serum that I bought is called ‘Buffet’. The name really explains it all as it is a buffet of amazing ingredients. It’s an anti-aging serum that contains Peptides, Probiotics, Amino Acids, the list goes on! While I am still young and not needing to worry about anti-aging products yet, it also helps with many other things like the elasticity in your skin. It is a deep moisturizer containing Hyaluronic Acid, and also helps with the overall texture of your skin.

So, now we get to the really good stuff. I’ve been using it for roughly a week and a half. At first I wondered how quickly I’d see any results (if any). It’s hard when you see yourself every day, so you don’t always notice a difference. I started to notice my usual hormonal breakouts were not as bad, and the blemishes disappeared quicker. Once you apply it, you can feel it work all day/ all night. It sinks deep into the skin instead of sitting on top, or disappearing like other serums do.

The caffeine solution has done as promised and so far my under-eyes look a whole lot healthier and brighter. When allergy season hits I often get itchy swollen eyes. I have been noticing that the caffeine solutions helps reduce the swelling, and has slowly diminished the dark circles. Not only is that great for my self confidence, but it’s made wearing my contacts more comfortable which is an odd discovery!

I apply moisturizer after letting the solution sink in and it feels amazing. I read some reviews of people saying it dried out their under eye, but I haven’t found it to do that at all. I think because I do apply my moisturizers after the serum, it might help. 🤷🏼‍♀️😁

I was also intrigued by the style of packaging they come in. The glass dropper makes it easy to apply and the glass tip is very cold and soothing when I apply it under my eye. I’m not sure if that’s the intended purpose but that’s how I’m enjoying it. 😂

Each bottle contains a whopping 30 ml, and a little goes a very long way. In terms of price, product quality, and packaging this line of skin care is a winner.

The Caffeine Solution retails at $6.70 CAD, and Buffet at $14.80 CAD.

I would love to know if anyone else has heard of this brand? I have to credit my lovely classmates for telling me about this brand! ❤️ you ladies are a rad bunch. 😘

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday! 💋

~M

Tips for a more organized lifestyle.

Hello everyone!

For me to write this post, it actually feels a bit funny and momentous. I have not always been an organized person. In fact when I was in high school, and even a couple of years after I was probably the last person who would know anything about being organized. It has been a long time since then, and I have learned A LOT. In general, from growing up and having responsibilities thrust upon us, and my desire to learn and better myself, I’ve managed to have an organized lifestyle that I feel comfortable with.

For me, it is a perfect balance of focus and relaxation. It has taken a long time to realize that you can’t have control over everything, and nothing will be %100 perfect. Once you get past that you will feel better. Some people are just ‘better’ at certain things and we all have to form our own habits based on what we know we carry out easily, and what might take a bit more time.

My first tip is what I call:

Brain Bribery.

For example, I absolutely hate making my bed. I love having clean sheets and it all beautifully made, but I just hate having to put the duvet cover on,  put the sheets on the bed etc….

it sounds so small and petty but it’s true to my core. 😂

One habit I have started to make myself take on is that I can’t go on the internet until I get my bed done. Once those sheets are ready and dried there is no going on my phone or laptop until it’s all done from top to bottom. It’s a small thing but once I plant the idea in my head, it reinforces it to make it stronger. Then when it’s done I let myself watch whatever it is that I’ve been wanting to watch all day (usually a Zoella vlog hehe) and maybe enjoy a cup of tea. It’s that moment that I can enjoy those little accomplishments, and have my reward for doing my task first.

Secondly:

Enjoy your Organizing.

That sounds like such an odd thing when I write it down, but in reality, it’s true. I used to hate doing any kind of organizing in my life because I felt like nothing had a place. Then I looked at different shops for materials that made organizing easier, and more fun. It doesn’t cost much to do it, simple things like file folders, wire baskets and hangers are quite cheap and easy to come by. I love looking at Indigo, Canadian Tire (it’s like Walmart), and especially the dollar store.They always have fun and affordable trinkets. Another one of my favourites places is the thrift store. I also have a love for vintage items and you can find so many cool trunks and boxes from there. This goes especially for people living in small spaces. Space-saving items will be a lifesaver too, so invest in a hollow ottoman. I have 2 and I store my winter clothes and random seasonal items in there.

Next is:

 It’s better to do a little than nothing at all.

 I used to think ‘Oh, I don’t have enough time to clean my whole room so I won’t do it at all’. Then my room would sit for days looking like a hurricane struck more and more. That was not a good mindset at all. I started to just do one little thing every time the opportunity arose. I could throw those dirty clothes in my laundry hamper before running out to work, or take my garbage out while running out the door. Like I always say: small steps can climb mountains.

These are just some of my own tips and habits I’ve curated. By no means am I perfect though, my room still looks like a disaster sometimes and I’m very guilty of leaving things last-minute. It’s also important not to get stressed out if things don’t stay perfect.

So my last tip is:

‘Just chill’. It’s good to have a structure with your habits but it’s not worth the stress if you really can’t get something done. Sometimes life hits its peak busy level and things will get put to the side. Then, you will find a quiet day to just plug away at whatever it is you’ve needed to get done all week. There will always be spare time, sometimes we just can’t fathom it in the hectic swirl that is life.

I hope this has helped you in any way or maybe brought a smile to your face!

Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by! ❤️

~M

Weird Beauty Habits that are actually Good?

Weird title huh?

I am starting to realize that we all have our own quirky habits that we may not share on a regular basis due to their strangeness, eccentrics or yadda yadda yadda. I want to break that stereotype and share some of my weird, wacky, and maybe even helpful habits. There’s nothing better than finding a cool ‘hack’ in my opinion. As a beauty community, I think it’s important to show we are all wonderfully different and that is what makes it a great community.

So I’m going to kick off with my biggest habit that actually turns out….is good for you?

1) Not washing my face in the morning. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds so gross, but hear me out before you make any further judgement. I will use a cleansing wipe to freshen up or warm wet cloth to ‘wash’ it but that is all. Then I apply moisturizer and serum etc. I know we all believe that we must wash day and night but really what are we ‘washing off’ in the morning? If you cleanse your face thoroughly at night and all that, what are we washing off in the morning that is so bad? The answer is nothing. We are not exposed to any dirt or bacteria, and typically we don’t sweat so what’s the point? (Of course, if you’re sick or do sweat that is a different story). Night time is when our skin actually repairs its self after the day of abuse from sun, makeup, and being around bacteria. It needs that time to literally rebalance its mojo. The reason we use moisturizer before bed is that we strip our natural oils with the dirt when we wash our face, hence why replenishing is important at night. So don’t freak out if you miss a morning wash, or really don’t want to get up and do your regime. It might actually be good for you. Take it easy on your skin in the morning, it’s just woken up too ;P

2) Applying Moisturizer with a brush. So this might be more of a preference than a benefit. I just hate touching my face. It’s a weird habit I know (hence the title). I constantly worry about bacteria especially when I have acne so this seemed like a possible solution. I started using a soft synthetic stippling brush to apply my moisturizer and serum. I am way more happy to do my skincare routine at night, thus improves my quality of care. It is important that we like our skincare routine and if it needs a re-vamp once in a while that is ok! I was reluctant to do mine because I dislike touching my face, so I started using a facial brush to wash, and then the stippling brush right after that. Now it is my favourite time of night. 

3) It’s ok to let your hair get ‘greasy’. So this goes to an extent. Like I said before about washing your face, your body has natural oils it produces to condition your skin, scalp and hair. These oils are not bad in regular amounts. The natural oils our scalps produce is actually what keeps our hair soft and scalp happy, so don’t be so quick to strip your hair of it every day. I can honestly say I go 3 days without washing my hair (but still showering and staying clean obviously) Have you ever noticed there’s always a golden time between your freshly washed hair, and when you need to wear a bun to hide the flop? I call that the happy hair period. It’s a perfect mix of natural oils and clean hair. Embrace it! Let your hair go the extra day without a wash, just wear a bun. I guarantee after you wash your hair it will feel soft and your scalp will be very happy too.

4) Last but not least: Admire yourself in the Mirror. I know, it feels we’ve been taught that you shouldn’t like things about yourself because it makes you vein…WRONG! It is totally healthy to like certain features of your body, or heck, your whole self for that matter! As long as you’re not doing anyone else harm, there’s nothing wrong with loving yourself. I challenge you to look in the mirror once every day and say something you like about yourself. Whether it be your little freckle on your nose or your whole figure. I urge you to say it and then smile. I’m not saying this will move mountains in terms of self-esteem but it will be a real pick-me-up every day. Whether you’re totally made up in your best makeup, or ‘au naturel’, I think this is an important habit to make 😊 It has taken me a darn long time to feel good or even proud of myself, and this is one thing that’s actually helped no matter how corny and cheesy it sounds.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope you’re having a wonderful week so far. Remember you can do it! ❤ Whatever it is :p

~M