To London for Soap and Glory

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I haven’t been writing in a while. Why? Because I have been planning and working on getting ready to go to Europe, where I have been for the entire month of May. Holy Moly it was amazing! We went to Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal, and I seriously wish that I could live there. Seriously. I am thinking about doing a packing blog post that will be coming up pretty soon, so that will be pretty awesome (I hope).

While in London, we of course went to Boots (if you don’t know what Boots is, it is a fantastic pharmacy/drugstore in the U.K.), that I have been dying to go to for Soap and Glory products. Why? Because they are amazing. So, of course, they fortunately had their very famous 2 for 3 sale and I picked up 3 amazing products that I am so excited to try. And here they are:

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1. Pulp-Friction Foamy Fruity Body Scrub. This smells absolutely glorious and I cannot wait to use it. I love to make my skin feel super exfoliated and smooth. I have slightly bumpy and kind of dry skin, so I find it super helpful to scrub off that layer of dead skin cells. And as an added bonus the Soap and Glory scrubs are extremely moisturizing also, which is fantastic and not super common with all scrubs. I don’t use body scrubs every day, but at least once a week I will, especially when I am having a nice shower at the end of the day or before I night out. Unfortunately, if I love this stuff I am unsure as to whether it is in Canada or not, but I haven’t seen it. So I will have to look.

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2. Smooth Star Breakfast Scrub. This is even more amazing, if you can believe it. (And I just realized while writing this post that I just bought 3 body scrub products. Well, why not when they are the best. I don’t even care). Anyways, this particular scrub actually smells like maple cookies, and even smells moisturizing. I am so excited to start using this one as well because I have never even heard of this particular scrub. Yum. I almost want to eat this product because it smells so amazing. If you find it, open it up and smell, and you will know what I am talking about.

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3. Lastly, I bought another Flake Away Scrub. I actually already have bought and used this scrub, which is how and why I completely fell in love with Soap and Glory products. This was the stuff that opened such a love that I can’t even tell you how much I am loving this line. It smells amazing, and all of the packing is different shades of pink and evokes the retro love that I have in life. I just feel like an adorable 50’s modern house wife when I see this stuff. It is awesome. Back to the love of this particular product, when I opened this product when I got home, I realized that they had actually moderately changed this formula. The colour of the product that I have at home is actually a bright yellow and kind of stains my tub a bit until I clean my bathroom with this wonderful colour. However, the new stuff smells the exact same and looks similarly scrubby, but is brownish in colour now. I am not upset. The yellow was fun, but I wouldn’t mind using a darker colour, just as long as the product stays the same. This is seriously the scrub that I don’t even feel like I have to moisturize after using it because it makes my skin feel like buttery soft and so smooth. I tell my husband to feel different parts of my body because they just feel so nice (and I don’t hear any complaints). I seriously love this stuff, and it is worth the $18 to $20 that they are at home.

I need to go and have a bath now that I am so excited to use this stuff. If you haven’t tried any Soap and Glory scrubs, I highly recommend them. I love them so much that I traveled all of the way to London just to get them. Now that is love.

Thanks for reading!

L.

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Holy Grail Haircare Products

It has taken me a long time to get my hair the way that I really want it. My hair is dyed strawberry blonde, and is fairly long, and very curly. My hair isn’t very coarse, but is kind of fine, and wispy. It can look very nice and curly, or it just looks quite frizzy. So I have a few products that help me tame the beast.

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1. MoroccanOil Curl Defining Cream. This product was an amazing find for me that I found in a salon and decided to try. This has changed my hair so much for the better. It really defines curls, and reduces the frizz in my hair. I love this stuff. It is a very creamy product, and you don’t need to use a lot of it (and it lasts such a long time). I use it after I have washed my hair and slightly towel-dried hair. I pump some into my hand (about a nickel sized amount), rub it between my hands, and scrunch it through my hair. I part my hair off the centre part, to the left, and then I leave it. I don’t blow-dry my hair very often, and I certainly don’t after this product because I find that it does make my hair a little bit more frizzy, so I just let it air dry. I love this product.

2. kms California Moist Repair Therapy Treatment. This product is for damaged hair, but I find that it just adds to much more moisture to my hair and makes it super silky. My hair was going through a bit of a dry period in the winter, so I bought this at the recommendation from my hairdresser, and I love it. I don’t wash my hair a whole lot, so when I do I like a very heavy conditioner (to last me 3 to 4 days). No, I don’t need to wash my hair that often at all. Being kind of a drier person, my hair takes a lot to get very greasy. Anyways, if your hair is super dry, or you just need a very moisturizing hair mask/conditioner, than you need this product (plus, they are all safe for colour-treated hair).

3. Pantene Pro-V Hairspray Classic-All Hair Types. This is such a nice hairspray that doesn’t give a lot of hold, but gives just enough to control frizz, and tame your hair. I hate hairspray that makes your hair feel like helmet, and makes it very hard and stiff. I like how this product really makes it very touchable and soft, while still keeping it mostly in place. It is great for curls.

4. MoroccanOil Treatment for fine or light-coloured hair. I use this when I am going for my natural hair. I have been using this product for a few years, and it makes my hair very soft and silky. I use it when I am have straightened my hair and need to tame some fly-aways, or just after I have washed my hair and I comb this through and let my hair do whatever. Or I put it in and then put my hair in a bun and let it dry. It makes my hair stay somewhat curly, and easy looking. I don’t know what I would do without it.

5. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner. I got this in an Ipsy Bag a little while ago, and I love this stuff. I still haven’t gone out to buy the full-sized bottle because I haven’t gone through this one just yet. This product is great for when I straighten my hair for sure. It makes it so soft and silky, and I don’t know how I have lived so long and never used it. You use it on wet/towel-dried hair, and comb it through. If you have never used this product. You need to!

6. Lastly, the Healthy Sexy Hair Spray Clay. I also got this product in an Ipsy Bag, and I take this with me to revitalize my curly hair. For second day hair, this product is amazing. It really gives your hair more volume, and makes it look fresh. Plus, it makes your hair smell amazing! I will definitely be buying the larger version of this product because I have realized that I have just run out.

So, there are just a few of my most loved haircare products. I realize that I have a few more than I really thought that I did, but I love all of these. If you have any other recommendations for me that would be appreciated for sure. Thanks for reading!

L.

The Body Shop

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The Body Shop had 50% off a few weeks ago! I love when this happens and I have a need for getting some new products. I haven’t gotten Body Shop products in ages, and I have found that The Body Shop have been having so many good deals lately. So I went a little crazy and bought maybe a few more products that I probably ought to. Is 9 too many? I have tried most of them so far, so heres a review in order of likes.

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1. Papaya Body Butter – I have been covering my whole body in this every night for the past few nights. It smells so fruity and is so moisturizing. When I wake up my skin feels so soft and buttery. Plus my pajamas smell lovely too.

2. Coconut Body Scrub – I have to say that I love body scrubs. If there is anything worth using in the shower, it is a scrub. Coconut just makes it smell like summer, the beach, and being a teenager. I used to wear Coconut Body Butter every date night as a teen and I love that smell.

3. Loofahs – I bought 3 of them. Is that too many? They were $1.50, and you can’t get much cheaper than that for even a drugstore loofah. These ones are infinitely better. They are thicker, and lather soap better, and I find that they do last a lot longer too. Plus, they are in this beautiful blue colour. I should have bought more. (Actually, they are called Refining Bath Lilies, haha).

4. Mango and Papaya Shower Gel – These smell absolutely amazing and I love the way that it makes my skin feel. I find that sometimes with shower gels they can leave your skin feeling slightly dry, especially in the winter. However, I don’t find that with The Body Shop shower gels. At all. They are great.

5. Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub – Out of everything fruity, I love the smell of pink grapefruit. As you can tell with some of the other moisturizers that I like, pink grapefruit will be the one that I am drawn to the most.

6. Satsuma Body Butter – I love this scent and I am so happy that I got this one in this a travel size so that I can take this around with me everywhere. So that I can really add to the plethora of hand creams to bring around in my purse and make it infinitely heavier. I love it.

I can’t wait to use all of these up and buy more. I should have bought more.

Thanks for reading!

L.

November Favourites

What I really should be doing right now is cleaning my house to prepare for people to come over for dinner, but instead I have been watching Youtube videos and drinking coffee (at 5pm). Plus, I was thinking about my blog and how much I have (not) been writing. Really, I have been on a crazy work schedule and have had literally no time to do anything but exercise and work. I was living off of Cliff bars and mandarin oranges for about 2 weeks straight. Talk about healthy…yikes.

This of course got me thinking about my favourite things this month (or I have just been watching too many videos telling me that it is the end of the month where everyone talks about their monthly favourites). Do I follow this regime? Not really. But I will try.

1. Clif bars

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Sounds crazy since I have been eating a ton of them, but really they have been getting me through a lot these past few days so I have to appreciate them for what they are. If you don’t know what they are, they are basically just protein bars that actually taste like food. You can get the crunchy bars (which are like Nature Valley bars) or the chewy bars that I personally enjoy more. My favourite has to be the Chocolate Almond Fudge bar that comes in a pack of 18 from Costco. Generally these bars range from about $1 (on sale) to $2 and up (pretty expensive, I know). In the pack from Costco though they are about $0.83, so I have two boxes that I am working my way through.
I generally keep these bars in my purse and work bag for the times when I am really hungry, but don’t have any food (which happens more often than I would like to admit). I really recommend trying these bars for sure. They are very tasty, and satisfy hunger effectively. My husband and I also took these when we were in Hawai’i on our 7 hour hike on the Napali trail. Since it was so hot and you didn’t want to carry a lot, these really came in handy.

2. Sleep

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Weird? I think not. To be honest, you know there are people who love to sleep? They could just stay in bed all day and sleep for countless hours. I am not one of these people. Personally, I don’t like sleep very much and I only sleep because I have to. But sometimes I feel like I really under-appreciate sleep. Because I work strictly nights only, I can range from sleeping about 4 hours to 7 hours in between nights. That is like sleeping from midnight to 4am. What have you really gained there? Not much.
I have to say that I can definitely function very well for a few days on very little sleep, but when you work 5 shifts in a row, that completes about 60 hours, on 4 hours a “night”, you aren’t really able to sustain that. So I like to sleep when I can, especially on weekends. Appreciate the little things.

3. Coffee

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Have I talked about my love for coffee? Likely not enough, even if I have written an entire post about coffee on this little blog. Hell, this has been running through my bloodstream all month. My husband and I actually have a Nespresso maker (the one that lots of celebrities endorse). It is really popular in Europe, and it makes amazing coffee. You buy capsules, put it in the machine, and out comes a perfect espresso. It is similar to a Keurig, or Tassimo, but better (because what comes out is stronger and tastier, in my personal opinion). Since it is a faster option to having coffee, with that lovely little shot of joy, I definitely haven’t been skimping on having them this month with all of that sleep that I haven’t been getting.

4. Soap and Glory Handfood

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I wrote about this hand moisturizer in My Favourite Moisturizers post, and I do really love this stuff. I have been using it so much that I basically have barely any left. I am scraping the bottom of it for sure. I have to really squeeze the bottle to get a little bit out. Hopefully I get more for Christmas (or else I will have to buy more). My hands have been suffering a lot this month for sure from washing my hands continuously. Hopefully work won’t be so bad this month like it was in November. So I definitely have been enjoying this stuff. Definitely makes a difference and the scent is heavenly. Certainly not too strong, but pleasantly gentle. God I love this stuff.

5. Wunderlist App

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If you haven’t heard of this app, you don’t know what you are missing. This one has been awesome and totally essential to my Christmas shopping. (Yes, I have been Christmas shopping for a few weeks already and I only have a few left to buy). I usually end up forgetting my list somewhere, so having it on my phone has been really helpful (I always have it on me). So, my husband actually got me into using this and it has been really great. It links up from my iPad to my iPhone very easily, and I can add as many categories as I want. If you haven’t checked this one out, go for it. Plus, it is free!

So, this list was definitely the more simple and practical of lists, but I haven’t had too much time to get any new products and really try them out. That will be saved for December. Should I do a gift giving guide for this month?

November Ipsy Bag

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Seems like not that long ago that I got my very first October Ipsy bag, and now I have my November one! I felt very excited to see what was in there! I just received it the other day, and I have tried most of the products so that I can give good impression and review. Sometimes I don’t really know what they are thinking when they send you some of these products. I mean, you basically fill out a survey, and then you get a mishmash of different products that they are sponsering, or being sponsered buy, and they send you products that they think that you would like. With this bag I just feel like they threw stuff in there without much thought, and a lot of these are products that I wouldn’t necessarily buy for myself.

That being said, I am definitely into trying all of these products that will maybe break me out of my comfort zone. There is nothing wrong with trying something new right? I am not totally beauty experienced, so there is always something good that will come out of this bag. Like how cute it is! Adorable! Like a gold snake skin, with a touch of pink: adorable.

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Let’s start off with the first item in the bag shall we? I received a Pixi Subtly Suntouched Bronzer. I have actually never used a bronzer before, and I have always been meaning to try one. I have a good idea of how to really put on a bronzer, but just in case I read a blog post* of how to contour round faces, because, yeah, I have that. Also, I was always a little weary that it would make me look too orange. I looked it up online, and it actually retails for $18, but when you buy this in store it comes with a kabuki brush. I really wish that this one would have come with that too, since I don’t have a proper brush to use it with. I only really have a small blush brush that I can use, which seemed to work fine. I think that I will have to get a little more practice with it, but the colour doesn’t seem to be too dark, and it doesn’t apply very heavily. You really have to get a lot of the brush in order for it to really show up. I am really happy that I got this product because it will definitely force me to try it and work with it a little more.

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The next product that I got was a Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Crayon in the colour Shameless. This is a nice burgundy colour that actually really suits my complexion, but I am not a fan of the glitter in the product. I typically only use lip products that are glossy or matte, so I don’t care for the glitter feature, but it isn’t too noticeable. Also, I am very particular with taste, and this product really doesn’t taste very good to me. It just tastes like lipstick, which I don’t care for. However, I do really like the crayon aspect of this product because it makes it very easy to apply so that I don’t get it all around my lips, and I use it more like a lip liner that I fill in. Since it is coming into the Christmas season, I think that I will be wearing this a lot because it is a nice dark berry colour that works very well for this time of year.

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What I actually used on top of the lip crayon was the em Cosmetics Pillow Plush Cushiony Lip Balm in the colour Lollipop. I like the colour of this product a lot and it feels really nice on the lips. I find it very moisturizing and soft. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the taste! I told you, I am hung up on taste for sure. The really important reason why I don’t like wearing lipstick is because I just don’t like the taste of it. It is gross. If it tastes nice, then I will probably wear it a lot, but I have a hard time getting passed the taste of things on my mouth. If you want to try something that is very tasty, I am a fan of the really like Fresh lip products.

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Next, I got the Cailyn Mineral Eyeshadow in Champagne. When I first looked at this product I had no idea what this was. The packaging makes it look like a nail polish, but cheaper because it is plastic. It is a very powdery and soft eyeshadow, but I actually didn’t find that I had any fall out when I wore it. I wore it under another eyeshadow, and although I am not a big fan of glittery products, I still actually really like the colouring of this product. However, I did find that trying to get more of product to apply was difficult. There is a tube in the product that the spongey applicator goes into, and when you first pull it out it is covered in the product, but when you stick it back in the bottle to get more product, it comes out with barely any. Therefore, it looks neat, but isn’t really user friendly.

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Then, I got Starlooks Gem Eyeliner in Topaz, which turned out to be a glittery grey colour (which isn’t topaz at all). It is a nice colour, although kind of more glittery than I would like. I found that it doesn’t really have very good staying power, and easily rubbed it off when I tried to blend it. I don’t know if I am going to wear it per se, but maybe I will find something good to do with it. (Christmas is coming right?) It is definitely very festive and fun, but not all my taste.

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Lastly, I got another nail polish (hooray!) by a company called Nailtini, in the colour Caviar Cocktail. This is a shiny, gunmetal grey colour that is easy to apply and looks decent. I noticed on the website that this brand promotes using their products with other colours to create the perfect blend of nailpolishes, which I think is a great idea since so many people are doing nail art these days. I think that this colour would work really well with another similarly shiny nail polish. It was a very easy product to apply and dried really easily. Plus, I think that the colour is a lot of fun and I have already worn it on my toes!

So this month’s bag was a bit of a miss, and definitely wasn’t as good as last month’s, but I am still excited to get some use out of the products that I got. I am hoping that next months is a little bit better. Considering how much products that you get to try, the ipsy bag* is an awesome deal, even if there are only a few items that you might really like. I totally recommend this subscription to anyone that likes to try new things and get a little surprise at the end of the day.

I Heart Coffee

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If I have one great love in my life that I really couldn’t live without, it would be coffee (that isn’t really true, but jeez I love it). Coffee makes me so, so happy, I can’t even tell you. I don’t mean the sugar-flavoured coffees that you get from Starbucks, I mean the brewed coffee with a little cream and a little sugar. The wake-up-in-the-morning-to-the-sweetness-that-is-life.

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Brewed coffee is by far the best. What is more amazing than being able to refill your coffee with more coffee? You can make it hotter, a little more bitter, and you can just have more by adding it in because it is there. If I am home by myself I could probably drink an entire pot in a day just for me. Those slogans that say “Just give me an I.V. of coffee”, or something silly like that, I always repost because it just rings true. This doesn’t mean that I cannot survive without coffee. I love it, but I won’t die without it. I just REALLY like it. It reminds me of Sunday mornings too…at home, watching t.v. with my husband and making breakfast. I don’t get that many weekends off, but when I do, it is really nice.

When I was little my parents would take us camping in the summer, and if you know anything about camping, it can be cold, even in a trailer, but boy is it cozy. There were 5 people sleeping a trailer built for 3. I loved it. In the mornings my mom would always make coffee on the Coleman stove outside, and I would wake to this beautiful smell of percolating coffee. Just thinking about it brings back wonderful memories of summer, swimming, and the sun. Ahhh…

Sorry about that, lost in my little world there. As you can see, I just have a deep and personal relationship with coffee, and subsequently, coffee mugs. I like drinking coffee in only so many of my favourite mugs (this is very important, no cheap mugs). I really like the nice ones that are fun and colourful, or personalized. When my husband and I travel, we especially like to look for new mugs that really remind us of our trip. (The only exception was when we went to Germany and we bought beer glasses, surprisingly).

Some of my favourites in list form include:

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1. My fox mug that I recently bought in Portland, Oregon. This is currently my go-to mug right now. It is absolutely adorable, and I just feel so happy when I am drinking out of it. I don’t know why, but I love foxes right now – so cute!

2. My “L” mug from Chapters, which I bought at Christmastime last year. I got this mug in a pair with a “K” mug for my husband. It is so simply and cute. It has a small cursive sized letter on one side, and a capital cursive letter on the other side. It is black and white, and small, and very sweet. Plus then my husband and I don’t get our drinks mixed up. Bonus!

3. Next, is my “Little Miss Naughty” mug that I got when I was in New York this year, at The Strand Bookstore, which was by far my favourite bookstore in New York for sure. I think that in total I went in there about 4 times, and spent several hours just looking around and reading. I don’t know, but I loved it. And this mug is equally adorable. Just the name seriously defines me to a “T”. It even has a little saying on it that says, “Looks like a nice day for being naughty!”. It makes me smile.

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4. Last, but not least, my blue Starbucks mug is a favourite as well. I got these mugs at my bridal shower before I was married, and they were the first expensive and beautiful mugs that I had ever gotten. They are this beautiful blue (yes, we got 2 matching ones), and they remind me of my first years of marriage. I love them. Plus, they are perfectly sized and just really sleek mugs.

Did I just write an entire post about coffee and coffee mugs? Yes I did. That is how I feel about coffee. I could go on, and on about it for an entire blog post. Probably more if I let myself. Anyways, thanks again for reading!

L.