Top 5 Tips & Tricks for Packing: General Advice

Advice from a Veteran Traveler, a Makeup Junkie, a Fashion Enthusiast, and Someone who Still Overpacks

Depending on where you live and what school you go to, you’re probably getting ready for either spring break or the end of the school year. Maybe you’re flying halfway across the world to make your dream vacation a reality; or maybe, you’re going on a road trip with some friends on the weekend. Either way, you’ve got to start packing and I’m here to help. (Specific tips & tricks for makeup and for fashion coming soon)

1. Cut the bullshit.

Ok, maybe that was a bit harsh. Nevertheless, this is probably the most useful piece of advice I could give you and the one that I need to remind myself of the most. Ask yourself: do you really need three different workout outfits for a weeklong trip where you’re apparently going to turn your whole life around and start exercising? Do you really need both a matte red lipstick and a satin one? Are you absolutely sure that you’re going to go through a whole box of Band-Aids while you’re away? You get the point. Don’t kid yourself, only bring what you really need. Stop creating an endless list of hypothetical situations in your head, and remember that if you didn’t pack something that you really end up needing, you can always buy it there. I know it’s hard to do, but when it comes to packing, it’s best to put a strict limit on “better safe than sorry.”

2. Make a packing list.

This one may seem obvious, but I do have some tips on making a solid packing list. First of all, write down the number of each item that you need to bring and stick with it. If you don’t make a list and you just pick your clothes straight out of the closet, you may be tempted to bring more clothes than you need. Also, if you’re a last-minute packer like me, you don’t need to stress about anything you’re forgetting or pack anything that you don’t need. Second of all, make sure that you have written down everything that you can’t live without. These are the items that you either can’t buy wherever it is that you’re going, or that are going to be useful on a regular basis while you’re away from home. Examples of these items may include cellphones, cameras, laptops, hair straighteners/curling irons, basically anything that you wouldn’t want to have to repurchase because you forgot yours at home. Something that I do to pick out the things that I don’t necessarily need but that I think I can’t live without is to pretend that my suitcase is overweight and force myself to take out some of the items (usually clothes/makeup).

3. Remember, you’re probably going to buy stuff. 

Souvenirs, gifts, maybe some locally-made trinkets and artisanal goods, you’re going to need to leave space in your suitcase for everything that you’re going to buy. My rule of thumb is to leave enough space to fit a cereal box, but you may need more or less space depending on where you’re going, how long you’re going, and how many people you intend to buy for. To resist the temptation to sneak those extra pair of shoes that you really want to bring into the extra space in your suitcase, pack an object (like the cereal box) into your suitcase to take up the space you want to save for your future purchases. Just remember to take it out before you leave!

4. Pack everything in individual bags before putting them in your suitcase. 

Packing cubes were invented for a reason. Although you don’t have to buy the actual bags made for packing, it’s still effective to pack your things in individual bags, whether it be in Ziploc bags or wash bags. I suggest that you sort everything that you’re bringing into categories (ex. tops, socks, etc.) and pack items of the same category into a single (or maybe 2/3) bags. This way, when you’re digging through your suitcase for that one item that you need, you will not only be able to find it faster, but you also won’t make a mess and scatter your things all over the place. If you want to take it even further and be even more organised, you can pack a complete outfit in each bag and that way you can plan out all your outfits in advance and save time in the morning too.

5. Keep your items safe.

This is probably something that you do already, but I have a few tricks that may be helpful to you. First of all, use coats, scarves, or towels as a cushion of sorts and place them strategically around your suitcase to protect any fragile items (makeup, glass bottles, laptops). For glass items, I would wrap some bubble wrap around it first before putting it in my suitcase. I would also put electronics like laptops and tablets between layers of clothing and towards the middle of the suitcase so that there’s cushioning for it on all sides. Usually, I would just suggest that you put all electronics in your carry-on, but with the (stupid, irrational, and just plain racist) electronics ban that the US and the UK have implemented, that may not be possible for some of you. Lastly, always lock up your suitcase and maybe even invest in a luggage strap. I know that airport security is allowed to break your lock and go through your luggage, but the last thing you want is for your zipper to break or something and have all your belongings spill out, so a luggage strap is a great extra precaution to take.

Bonus tip: Ask your mom to help you; moms always seem to know what to do.

I hope that these 5 tips have helped you with your travel preparations! As I mentioned in my last post, I will only be posting once a week on Sundays (and maybe skipping a week or two) from now until mid-April, so if you want to read more of my posts, check out some of my previous posts below:

Hyped: Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette

Quick & Easy: How I Curl My Lob

My Shopping List: Spring Edition

Healthy Breakfast Idea: Overnight Oats

Happy reading !

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#ootd: Think Pink

How to Incorporate Pink into your Outfit for Spring

Pink has been a very on trend colour in the fashion world recently and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Although I tend to gravitate more towards neutral colours, I love to add a pop of colour to my outfits, especially pastel colours. So, I put together this wearable and easy winter-to-spring transitional outfit incorporating this trendy colour in a pastel shade. I absolutely love this outfit and I think that it will definitely be my go-to look for the cooler spring days.

*Side Note* It’s the busiest time of year for all university students including myself right now and since I’ve only started blogging for a month, I don’t want to take a break from posting altogether. That being said, I apologize for the influx of #ootd posts to come (they’re the quickest to do!) and if I miss a day (I usually post every Sunday and Thursday). I promise that I’ll have at least one post out every week. So without further ado, the first of my spring #ootd posts:

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The star of the outfit is obviously the skinny, cropped pastel pink jeans. I love how comfortable these jeans are and how they are completely opaque, so I don’t have to worry about covering my butt or wearing a thong. The pair that I’m wearing are from Levi’s and they are sadly not available anymore, but I found some very similar options here and here.

I paired the jeans with one of my all-time favourite shoes: Vans Perforated Leather Slip-Ons. These shoes are just so easy and classic and I love how they give a more relaxed, yet still classic look to any outfit.

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My knit charcoal coat is from Zara and is also no longer available (at least online), but I bought it in store less than two weeks ago so it should still be available at your local Zara. I love how lightweight this coat is and how it feels more like a thick, soft cardigan than a traditional coat. It’s also not too warm, so it’s perfect for the cool spring weather that we’ve been having here in south-east England recently. Here is an alternative/dupe I found if you’re not able to find this exact coat.

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The top that I’m wearing is just a basic, v-neck long-sleeve from TNA (available at Aritzia). Again, I can’t find this top online, but you can find one pretty much anywhere or you might even own a similar one already. I’ve had this top for about two years now and it’s still one of my basic wardrobe staples because of how soft the material is and how flattering its shape is. (Similar herehere, and here)

Hope you enjoyed this spring outfit idea with a pop of pink! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

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My Shopping List: Spring Edition

The Top 3 Spring Fashion Staples on my Shopping List

Goodbye dark neutrals, hello pastels. While I always think of neutral or deep jewel tones, minimalistic prints, and simple, classic silhouettes for winter clothes; spring clothes always makes me think of pastel easter-egg colours, mod prints, and pops of bright colours. Although I’m a neutral girl at heart, I still like to add a few fun pieces to my collection every now and again to spice up my outfits. Here are 3 spring fashion items that I’ll be investing in this season to update my wardrobe and welcome the warmer weather.

1. The Upgraded Leather/Suede Jacket

A feminine spin on the classic black leather biker jacket, the baby pink leather or suede biker jacket is the perfect way to incorporate this season’s hottest colour into your spring wardrobe. Personally, I much prefer suede over leather for this particular style and colour as I think that it looks softer and is more wearable and easier to style. Here are some of the best pink suede jackets that I’ve found:

2. The Men’s Shirt with a Girly Twist

Staying with the theme of adding a feminine spin to a classic wardrobe staple, the embroidered shirtdress will give you the sexy and laid-back “I’m wearing my boyfriend’s shirt” look with the added bonus of incorporating the on-trend embroidery into your outfit. Roll up the sleeves, unbutton a few buttons, and pair it with some loose beach waves for a chill and laid-back look; or slip on some heeled booties or a pair of over-the-knee boots for a relaxed, yet put-together outfit. Here are two of my favourite embroidered shirtdresses:

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Zara Poplin Shirt (£39.99) technically a shirt, but just size up!

3. Throwback to the 60s

Mod style is making a comeback and it’s in the form of gingham. From girly gingham dresses to edgy gingham trousers, gingham is all the rage and almost every retailer is selling the print. As much as I love billowy sleeves and cute smock dress silhouettes, my petite frame and baby face make it almost impossible for me to rock some of the vintage school-girl inspired clothes in gingham prints. However, I am very much drawn to the tight fitting gingham dresses and off-the-shoulder styles. Here are some of the gingham items that I’ve had my eye on:

Those were three of my top picks for spring and some of the items that I’ll definitely be grabbing before spring is over. Stay tuned for some #ootd posts featuring these spring trends and let me know the spring fashion items on your shopping list!

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Top 3 Waterproof Mascaras & Best Ways to Remove Them

Through Blood, Sweat, and Tears… Or Just a Day at the Beach: 3 Tried and True Waterproof Mascaras

Spring break is coming. For those of you lucky enough to be traveling to a tropical destination this coming break, this post is for you. You may also be interested if you’ve got a special event coming up, if you have trouble finding a mascara that won’t run during a sweaty workout session, or if you’ve simply got stubborn, straight lashes. I’ve been in all those situations and I promise you that these mascaras will not let you down.

Many people are scared to wear waterproof mascara because of the removal process. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back on that too (right after I talk about my favourites). Although my lashes are not that short or sparse, they are stubbornly straight. When I first started wearing makeup, I used to apply regular mascara and then curl my lashes, which can actually make your lashes stick to the lash curler and pull them out. Thankfully, this never happened to me (but really, don’t try it). After discovering waterproof mascara, I have never turned back. I’ve probably tried close to 30 different waterproof formulas and I’ve got to say that the drugstore does it best. These 3 are by far my all-time favourites! So without further ado, I present to you the top 3 waterproof mascaras I have ever tried.

1. Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Waterproof Mascara

I’m kind of cheating with this first favourite because even though the Maybelline The Colossal Mascara is the one I have on hand right now, I pretty much love all of the Maybelline Waterproof Mascaras that I’ve tried; they nailed their waterproof formula. This mascara is the most waterproof out of my top 3 -I wore it in humid 30°C weather to a waterpark where I spent the entire day and it didn’t smudge or flake at all. As expected, after you dunk your face into the pool numerous times, your lashes will still lose its curl. However, out of all the waterproof mascaras I’ve tried, I always choose this one whenever I’m going to the pool or somewhere humid and tropical. Even out of all the Maybelline mascaras that I’ve tried and loved, I keep going back to this one for some reason and I’ve probably repurchased it more than 10 times. As the name suggests, this mascara is volumizing thanks to the fat bristle brush, but it doesn’t clump and still lengthens and separates the lashes. An overall big winner!

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I’ve traveled so much with this mascara that the name has completely scratched off

2. Isehan Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara in Super Waterproof

This mascara is from a Japanese makeup brand, but you can get it online here. I first bought this mascara in Japan randomly and I am so glad I did. The Japanese really know how to make a good mascara! This mascara has a curved bristle wand and the fibres in the actual product really lengthen the lashes and make them look full and fluttery. I also love how a thin coat of this mascara looks super natural, like you just naturally have amazing eyelashes. It’s one of the few mascaras I’ve tried that I can layer throughout the day or on top of other mascaras and it doesn’t clump up or look too spidery. It’s not as waterproof as the name suggests, it does flake and smudge a bit if you go into water; but for a hot, humid day in town, this mascara isn’t going anywhere and you can be sure that your lashes will look great all day.

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3. Covergirl Super Sizer Waterproof Mascara

I’ve already talked about how amazing this mascara is in my everyday makeup post, but I just had to include it on this list because of how hyped up this mascara is and how many people rave about it. It is definitely worth the hype! Even though the brush itself is made of rubber and looks weird, it is amazing for applying mascara evenly from the roots of your lashes to the top. The fact that the bristles themselves are short means that you can lightly press the wand on your lashline to line your eyes without poking yourself. It also separates and volumizes your lashes while adding length, which is really all you can ask for from a mascara. This last plus (?) may sound weird to some, but this mascara has a plastic-like glossy look of some sort on your lashes, so it gives the effect of plastic false eyelashes without looking fake (if that makes sense).

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Now that you know my top 3 waterproof mascaras, let’s move on to the removal process. Trust me, these products and methods will get your mascara off quickly without removing your lashes in the process.

Lose the Clumps, Not the Lashes

First, let’s talk about the products. The best waterproof eye makeup remover has hands down got to be the Biotherm Biocils Lash Optimizer. When I first started wearing makeup, my mom gave me a sample of this makeup remover to try and since then, it has remained my number one (especially after some not-so-great makeup removal experiences). Not only does this makeup remover effortlessly break down the mascara on my lashes and swipe it off, it claims to stimulate the natural growth of your lashes. Now I can’t say that it makes your lashes noticeably longer or thicker, but compared to other makeup removers, it is so much gentler and doesn’t make any of your lashes fall out. I say this because from my experience with other makeup removers, no matter how gentle I am, I will still see one or two lashes on my cotton pad after I remove my mascara. However, with this one, my lashes stay intact and look nourished after I use it.

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How I like to use this makeup remover is to pour some of the liquid onto a cotton ball or cotton pad and press it lightly against my eye until my lashes are fully saturated. I then swipe and pat gently at my lashes and the mascara seems to break down and slide seamlessly off my lashes.

The next product is not marketed as a makeup remover, but I used it for this very purpose after a desperate internet search for makeup remover alternatives on a weekend away from home. As I suffer from cracked, dry skin, I always carry around a travel sized tub of Vaseline. After reading online that it could be used as an eye makeup remover, I was skeptical, but with no other options available, I tried it and it worked wonders. I’ve also read that using petroleum jelly on your lashes can help them grow and that some people swear by it; but since I don’t use it regularly, I haven’t noticed that the handful of times that I have tried it. The only thing that I don’t like about using Vaseline is that since it’s not a liquid, it doesn’t completely saturate your lashes so it takes a bit longer to remove your mascara and also to get all of the vaseline out of your lashes after removal.

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Since the petroleum jelly has a thick texture, it doesn’t really work when I try to scoop some onto a cotton pad. Instead, I just rub my finger into the pot and gently rub my lashes with my finger to smudge off the mascara. Then, I take a spoolie and comb out my lashes, removing any of the excess jelly and mascara. Lastly, I take a dampened washcloth or cotton pad and pat my eye area until the smudged mascara is all off and the Vaseline has either absorbed into my skin or has been removed.

Hope this post was useful and that you’ll try out these products for your next tropical escapades! Thanks for reading!

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Healthy Breakfast Idea: Overnight Oats

Breakfast for the Person Who Doesn’t Have Time for Breakfast

Do you ever hit the snooze button one (or ten) too many times in the morning? Do you rush to get ready every morning and find yourself skipping breakfast or just grabbing a granola bar on your way out? I know I do. That’s why I’m sharing with you this perfect easy breakfast idea for when you want a healthy, nutritious breakfast that you can eat in a pinch.

Overnight oats may not be the most revolutionary idea ever. In fact, you’ve probably already heard of it. But, I feel like overnight oats are one of those things that people never end up actually making and I wanted to highlight how amazing they are. Seriously, overnight oats has changed my breakfast game. It’s delicious, filling, and I can eat it while getting ready or bring it with me on the go.

Like the name suggests, you “cook” the oats overnight. All you have to do is soak some oats in milk and leave it in the fridge overnight. You can also add some honey or maple syrup in the oatmeal to give it some sweetness. I would suggest using some sort of glass container like a mason jar or a Pyrex container, but any sealed container will do. After soaking the oats overnight, you’ll see that the oats will have soaked up most of the milk and will have the texture of oatmeal.

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6/7 hours later; I used jumbo rolled oats and coconut milk

Usually, I like to have my oats ready for me to eat in the morning, so I top my oats off with some berries or a banana the night before. However, on this particular day, the only fruits that I had on hand were apples and I don’t like to leave them to brown overnight, so I chopped up an apple and added it to the oatmeal the morning of. If you know you’re going to have an early start, you probably want to add your fruits the night before.

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To add a bit of a crunch and some more sweetness to your oats, I like to add some granola to top it all of. Of course, if I’m in a big rush, I’ll skip the granola and just eat it as is. For a healthier option, a handful of nuts would be just as good!

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And that’s it! A delicious and nutritious quick breakfast that requires no (or almost no) preparation whatsoever in the morning. Hopefully this quick post was informative and helped you in some way or another. Thanks for reading!

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#ootd: Nama-slay in Yoga Class

Balance & Bend in Style

As an avid yogi for 5 years and counting, I’ve learned that style is not the only thing to look for in yoga clothes, functionality is too. I used to think that as long as it was Lululemon, I could wear it to yoga. I was so wrong. Over the years, I’ve realised that I have very specific preferences for what I like to wear exclusively to yoga class. I felt guilty every time I reached for an old t-shirt over my 50-dollar Lululemon tank tops. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Lululemon. In fact, even now the majority of my workout clothes are from there. However, now I’ve become more willing to venture out into other athletic-wear brands and I’ve found different silhouettes that I love for reasons to do with functionality. You may think that this all sounds silly, that workout wear is workout wear; but trust me, there are certain items that work better than others for yoga specifically (of course, this also has to do with personal preference and body shape). I’ll explain.

This is the outfit I’m wearing to my yoga class later today.

1. The Top

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Under Armour Tank Top (no longer available)

You might be thinking: how is this anything special? Well, first of all, how cute is this top?! I love the colour and the draped back detail. Second of all, this tank top has a built-in sports bra and is tight around the chest, which is crucial because I don’t want to accidentally flash anyone. Finally, this top cinches around the hips, which is very important (at least for me) in yoga because of all the inversions that we do. If I wear a loose top, my shirt will give way to gravity and expose my stomach when I’m upside down, or even when I’m just in the downward dog pose. Most of you may feel comfortable by simply wearing a tight top to rectify the situation, but personally, I’m quite self-conscious about my midriff. Although I’m okay with wearing a tight top when I’m running or just going about my normal day; I don’t like to wear anything that’s tight around my stomach area when I’m doing yoga because all the bending, twisting, and even sitting can emphasise my love handles and stomach fat. That’s why I love how this top is loose around the midriff and tight against the hips. I know that this may seem like a silly issue to some people, but this is what makes me feel good about myself and that’s all that should matter. You do you.

2. The Bottoms

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Lululemon crops (similar here and here)

To be completely honest, there’s really nothing that special about these bottoms. I like wearing crops over full-length leggings because they can get a bit too toasty and over shorts because my knees will get cold walking to yoga class (my class is at night). So really, it’s all down to personal preference. I love the mesh panel on these leggings because they’re both functional and stylish and I absolutely adore the deep pockets that are masked with a criss-cross design on the side of the leg. In general, I love the material that all the Lululemon leggings are made from because not only are they extremely stretchy and comfortable, but they are also completely opaque so you can’t see your underwear through them. However, I still do recommend wearing a thong or smooth, raw-cut panties so that your panty-lines don’t show.

Here’s my whole outfit (and me doing the tree pose vriksasana)

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Hope you enjoyed this slightly different #ootd post! I usually don’t go and don’t plan on going into this much detail on these kinds of posts, but I thought that I would this time in case any of you reading this has the same insecurities or preferences as me.

Namaste!

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Healthy One Pot Meal: Easy 20-Minute Vegan Quinoa Bowl Recipe

A Meal Not Worth Skipping

I certainly never thought that I would be posting recipes when I first created my blog (and it was less than a month ago too), but here’s a simple and quick last-minute lunch/dinner idea. I’m no professional chef, nor am I an experienced cook, but I thought that I could be of help to anyone who has a tight schedule and is trying to eat healthier. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably always busy and may often be tempted to skip meals or order takeout. As a university student, I’ve been there too. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, perfect for the health-conscious, and can easily be modified to accommodate whatever ingredients you have on hand. Did I also mention that it’s very filling and absolutely delicious?

I’m trying to keep this post short and sweet, so I’ll stop there and get on with the recipe.

Ingredients: (makes enough for 1 person)

I usually just eyeball the measurements, so these are just approximations.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa grains (2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves (modify as you see fit)
  • 2/3 cup diced mushrooms
  • olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • walnuts for garnish (or substitute almonds, pine nuts, whatever you fancy)

Steps:

  1.  Add one cup of water to your pot, along with the quinoa and some salt. Bring to boil. Make sure not to stir the quinoa as it will cook unevenly if you do so.quinoa1Cover the quinoa and let it simmer for around 10 minutes or until the grains have soaked up the majority of the water.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, dice up the mushrooms. quinoa2
  3. Drain the remaining water that the quinoa has not soaked up. Transfer the quinoa into a bowl. quinoa3.JPGIt should not be mushy, but have a fluffy texture. If you want to add some cheese, sprinkle it on top the quinoa now. The heat of the quinoa will melt it.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil in the same pot and add in the spinach and diced mushrooms. Season with pepper as needed. quinoa4.JPG Stir around to cook until all the spinach has wilted.
  5. Add the spinach and mushrooms on top of the quinoa. quinoa5
  6. Garnish with crushed walnuts (or any kind of nuts you fancy) and you’re done!quinoa6

Hope you enjoyed this quick and easy 20-minute recipe and that it helps you out! Stay tuned for my next post coming to you soon!

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La Crème de la Crème: February

Things I’ve Been Loving During the Month of Love

February is over and it is officially one month closer to spring break! I cannot wait for the warmer weather and the freshly bloomed flowers; but before I look too far ahead, I’m going to do a quick recap of everything that I’ve loved this past month. My plans may change, but as of now, I am planning to do a recap of my favourites every month. I will be including one makeup/skincare/haircare product, one food item, one activity, one item of clothing, and a random one that can be from any category! I will not be talking about anything that I’ve mentioned in my other posts in this month’s recap (including makeup, clothes, food, drinks, etc.), so rest assured that I still love my Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette and my yogurt parfaits.

1. Blogging

I created my blog and started blogging this past month, so of course this had to be in my top 5! I have loved (and am still loving) being able take a break from my studies to do something more creative and more meaningful than binge-watching TV or browsing through social media in my down time. It’s also so rewarding to see that there are a few people who take the time to read my posts! This blog is going to be a permanent record of parts of my daily life that I’m not only sharing, but that I’m also keeping as a journal of some sort to look back on in the future.

2. Multi Grain Cheerios

This is kind of an embarrassing one, but I’ve been addicted to Multi Grain Cheerios. Not as a breakfast cereal, but as a snack (I’m an adult btw). I love snacking through the day, especially when I’m working, so instead of munching my way through a bag of chips or a couple chocolate bars, I like to eat Cheerios instead. They’re a fairly healthy option and so I don’t feel as guilty when I refill my bowl for the third time halfway through the day. I also like how they’re slightly sweet because they satisfy my sweet tooth just enough to prevent me from snacking on more sugary and unhealthy foods. There’s really not much more to say other than I’m hooked.

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3. Rose Essential Oil

I’ve talked about my love for Bio-Oil on my blog in the past (link here), but I have yet to talk about my other favourite facial oil, which is rose essential oil. The one I use is the Bosphorus Gül Esans Yaği , which is from a Turkish brand. I received it as a gift so I don’t know where you can buy it other than online, but any kind of rose oil will do. I use this oil interchangeably with my Bio-Oil to treat acne and I sometimes mix a drop of it into my foundation on days where my skin is not looking too good. I don’t know if this is a good idea since rose oil has apparently some of the strongest anti-bacterial properties and can also be used as an antiseptic, but it should be fine (take my advice with a grain of salt) as long as you don’t get it near your eyes.

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4. Hot Chocolate

Specifically hot chocolate with whipped cream. This is my guilty pleasure drink of choice when I need to cut back on the coffee (and caffeine in general) before going to bed. I love making my own hot chocolate with the Alpro coconut milk (vegan) and the Sweet Freedom Orange Spice Choc Shot. I wouldn’t recommend this milk alternative as it does contain carrageenan (although it is delicious), but I highly recommend the choc shot! This chocolate sauce is made from fruits and it is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO with no chemical processing, added preservatives, added additives, or palm oil. It is also free from 14 major food allergens and only contains 14 calories per teaspoon! Depending on my mood (and my level of self-control), I’ll top it all off with some whipped cream for an extra little treat.

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5. New Look Black Coated High Waisted Skinny Jeans

Upgrade your traditional black skinny jeans to the more sophisticated, and in my opinion more versatile, coated jeans. I have tried many faux leather and leather leggings/pants, but these coated jeans are so much more flattering on my legs and give a very similar, if not the same, effect. I love to pair these jeans with an oversized denim jacket for a slightly grungy, casual look, a trench coat and a blouse for a more chic look, or a mix of both.  Stay tuned for either a #ootd post featuring these jeans or a post on different ways to style these jeans on my blog coming soon!

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There we have it, my crème de la crème items of the month of love! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for my next post coming to you soon!

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Quick & Easy: How I Curl My Lob

Short Hair, Kinda Care

Easy, Fast, and Simple Beachy Waves

(Skip down for the actual tutorial. I tend to ramble a lot, I know.)

Every girl knows that sinking feeling after you leave the salon with 4″ chopped off your hair rather than that trim you asked for. I know I always did. When I was younger, I was a bit of a tomboy, so I didn’t care that my mom had my hair cut into a long bob, or a lob as they call it. As I got older, I became more of a “girly” girl and I refused to cut my hair short. I also begged for bangs (which looked awful on me), but that’s another story. Anyways, since I was about 9, I’ve kept my hair long -all the way down to my waist. I always dreaded going to the hair salon, knowing the inevitable fate of my precious long locks. However, a few years ago, I decided that I would take the plunge and get 8″ of my hair chopped off into the popular lob style. This time, by choice. Although I loved the new length, my hair quickly grew long again (my hair grows really fast, which is both a blessing and a curse) and I never chopped it that short again. Until now.

I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures on Pinterest of gorgeous lob cuts with balayage highlights  or écaille (tortoiseshell) hair colours. I loved how both of these hair colours made highlights look so natural and I was dying to try the trend myself. I’ve always had colour-treated hair. From the ever so popular harsh ombre that I experimented with in my teens, to a coppery rich auburn, I loved to try new hair colours -all within my neutral comfort zone, of course. So, about two months ago, I did it. I wish I had a picture of my hair right after I left the salon because no matter how hard I try I can’t quite recreate the way my hairdresser styled my hair. The pictures below are of my hair now without any styling.

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I don’t know why it looks so brassy in the picture, but in real life it is a bit more cool-toned and a caramel honey-blonde colour.

My natural hair, as you can see above, is quite straight. Although my hair is quite normal in the sense that it is neither fine nor thin, and it is certainly not thick, it does lack in texture and body. So, on an almost daily basis, I like to curl my hair to give it some textured, beachy waves. I promise that it’s easy and shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes after some practice. If you’re not quite used to it in the beginning and it’s taking you a bit longer, I suggest that you curl your hair the night before so you don’t have to rush in the morning. I’ve tried this many times and when I wake up in the morning, I like to touch up my front pieces a bit, but if your hair holds a curl well, you can walk straight out the door!

What you will need:

  1. A curling iron (mine is 1″/25mm)
  2. Some texture spray (I use dry shampoo)
  3. Heat protectant of some kind for your hair
  4. Optional: A heat protectant glove

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I use the NuMe Magic Wand (169USD, ships internationally) with the 1″/25mm titanium barrel. The titanium barrel claims to lock in your hair’s natural moisture and keep your hair soft, which I totally agree with. For how hot this thing can get, it’s surprising to see that it doesn’t damage my hair or fade my colour-treated hair. This wand also comes with a heat protectant glove, which makes curling my hair so much easier for me because I don’t have to worry about burning my hand. NuMe always has coupon codes, so make sure to check them out before paying the full price! These are a few codes that I found (there is an expiration date on these, but they always come out with new codes that you can find easily online):

  • code ITSONLY70 for 70% off any curling wand + free US shipping
  • code ALLTOOLS for 50% off any tool + free US and CA shipping
  • code WISHES for any curling wand for 49USD + free argan oil + free US shipping

For giving texture to my hair, I use my favourite Batiste Dry Shampoo (prices vary, around 8USD/£3/10CAD) in the scent “Natural and light: bare.” This is my favourite scent by far from their whole collection and the dry shampoo itself is amazing for creating texture and volume in my hair, as well as giving my hair the “beachy” look. Added bonus: it doesn’t leave the dreaded white cast in dark hair.

The heat protectant that I’m currently using is the Umberto Giannini Miracle Worker Smooth Serum (£8, does not ship internationally). To be fair, this is marketed as a serum to use on either damp or already-styled hair, but it does claim to contain heat protectant. I am not the biggest fan of this product and to be completely honest, I picked it up more for the iridescent packaging than anything. I probably won’t repurchase this but as it is not a bad product, I’m going to use it up. I recommend getting the TreSemme Thermal Creations Protective Spray Heat Tamer (prices vary, around 4USD, £8, 5CAD) if you’re looking for a good heat protectant.

Finally, the actual tutorial. 

  1. Spray in/apply heat protectant. I use about 4 pumps of mine and roughly work it into my hair.
  2. Spray in your dry shampoo, focusing on the roots of your hair. Massage it into your roots and roughly tousle your hair. I also like to flip my hair over to add even more volume. I prefer adding dry shampoo before I curl my hair because I find that using it after can mess up my curls. However, if I feel like I need more texture or volume after curling, I will spray in a bit more.
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    Before and after dry shampoo

    I know the difference is subtle, but I swear that it’ll make a big difference to the end result!

  3. Start curling! I don’t section off my hair because it takes too much time and I don’t like my curls to look too perfect anyways. Also, with short hair, you can get away with not curling the shorter strands on the bottom layer of hair since you won’t be able to see it anyways. Even though I have a side part, I like to part my hair in the middle while I curl my hair (you’ll see why later). I like to set my curling iron to 390°F and just grab sections of hair at random, wrapping them around the curling iron for around 10 seconds and alternating directions with each curl. I don’t really have a specific method, but here are some pictures to show you what I do. hair4On days where I’m in a big rush, I’ll turn up the heat to 430°F and take larger chunks of hair. This probably isn’t good for your hair so I wouldn’t recommend doing it, but you know… just throwing it out there.
  4. One side done! Repeat the same thing on the other side.hair5
  5. After I finish both sides, I make sure to flip my hair to my right side to form my side part again. The reason why I curled my hair parted in the centre is so that I get more volume at the roots when I flip the hair back to my side part. This is how the curls look after I’ve curled all of my hair. I don’t brush my hair out as that ruins the piecey, beachy look that I go for, but I did run my fingers through my curls to tousle them a bit. I didn’t feel like I needed more volume, so I didn’t use more dry shampoo, but now’s the time to do it if your hair is lacking in the volume department. hair6

Here are the before and after pictures:

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I didn’t add hairspray because personally, I hate having to wash it out at the end of the day. My hair doesn’t hold a curl exceptionally well, but well enough that at the end of the day, I will still have some waves left in my hair. The dry shampoo also helps to keep your waves intact. If you’re going to a special event or if it’s very humid where you live, I would suggest spritzing some hairspray in your curls after you’re done. Here’s my hair after 10 hours of wear:

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Not bad eh? (Sorry about the lighting change, but this was at the end of the day so I had to use artificial lighting)

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my first ever hair tutorial!

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Hyped: Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette

The Peach of my Eye

Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette: Review & Swatches + Rundown of All 18 Shades

As spring is getting closer and closer, I’ve been loving switching up my makeup game. Gone are the smoky eyes and dark lips that I’ve been rocking on days where I’ve added a few extra steps to my everyday makeup routine. Don’t get me wrong, I still do love a good smoky eye, but I’ve been swapping the deep, sultry colours with lighter, more spring-appropriate shades. Enter the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette (49USD, £39, 59CAD). Everyone’s been talking about it, everyone loves it. Like all makeup addicts, I was so excited when it released again after its first limited run. However, the practical side of me was wondering: is it really worth it? Trends come and go, and while peachy shades may be all the rage right now, I didn’t know if I would continue to use them when all the hype is over. Long story short, I debated whether or not to get it for weeks, only to receive it as a gift from my wonderful cousin for Christmas. I’ve been playing with it for over a month now, so I thought I’d share my honest thoughts and swatch all of the shades for you. Here is the palette in all of its glory.

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First off, the smell. It smells amazing. Not like real peaches, but like the artificial peach flavour in peach tea or a peach popsicle. In a good way, of course. If you’re sensitive to smell, or just hate strong scents in general, you may not like this palette because it can be a bit overpowering. However, if you’re in love with the colours, get it anyways! You can’t smell it once it’s on your lids.

The packaging is solid and so cute! It features gold lettering and a peach motif on an ombre light peach-to-orange backdrop. The packaging is also made of tin and has a magnetic closure, so it feels very sturdy. I’ve traveled with it in my check-in luggage and it was completely fine.

Now for the most important part: the formula. Too Faced definitely did not slack on this palette. If you like the formula on their original Chocolate Bar Palette (love that one too btw), you’ll like the formula on this one too. Both the matte and shimmery shades have amazing pigmentation and are super blendable too! The texture on these shadows vary from shade to shade, but for the most part they are smooth; not overly powdery,buttery, or chalky; and aren’t patchy on the lid. The shadows also last all day on my eyelids (with my Urban Decay Primer Potion as I have extremely oily eyelids) and have little to no fallout. I’m a big fan of the shade range as it is very versatile, there are a lot of neutral colours, and none of the shades are too far out of my comfort zone. That being said, I definitely do have some favourites and some not-so-favourites.

Keep reading for swatches and my thoughts on each individual shade (including favourites)! (Keep in mind that you get 17.1g/0.54oz of product, which works out to 0.95g/0.03oz per shadow, each shadow is 2.72USD/£2.17/3.28CAD)
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The first six shades are (from left to right, up to down) “White Peach”, “Luscious”, “Nectar”, “Cobbler”, “Peaches ‘N Cream”, and “Georgia”.

Here are the swatches in that order:

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White Peach: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout little to none

An off-white creamy highlight shade with a sheen that’s not quite metallic but definitely not matte. This is one of my favourite shades in the palette because of how buttery smooth it is. I love to use this shade under my eyebrows and even down my nose. Be careful to tap off the excess on your brush as it can be a bit powdery.

Luscious: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout none

A light gold metallic shade with a peachy undertone. Another one of my favourite shades (I promise  I won’t say this for every shade!). I love to use this colour all over the lid; it is so pretty! There is no chunky glitter in this shade and although it is easy to blend, if you blend it too heavily it blends away the colour and only leaves behind a little bit of shimmer.

Nectar: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout none

A pale yellowy beige metallic shade. This colour is super pigmented and blendable but isn’t  too buttery to the touch, so it doesn’t have any fallout. I use this shade on my inner corners and even as a highlight for my face.

Cobbler: Pigmentation 4/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout none

A light bronze metallic shade with a peachy undertone. This is such a unique colour and I love it as an all over the lid shade. It is not as buttery as the lighter metallic shades, but has good pigmentation and blendability nonetheless.

Peaches ‘N Cream: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout little to none

A matte true beige shade with a peach undertone. This colour is super soft, so make sure to tap off the excess. I love to use this shade to blend out my transition shade.

Georgia: Pigmentation 3/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout none

A pinky peach matte shade. I use this shade as my transition shade, but it wouldn’t work as a transition for anyone with medium-tan to dark skin. You definitely need to build this colour up; it is not as buttery or as pigmented as the other matte shades. However, it does translate better on the eyelids than it does swatched on my arm.

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The next six shades are (from left to right, up to down) “Just Peachy”, “Bless Her Heart”, “Candied Peach”, “Bellini”, “Caramelized”, and “Puree”.

Here are the swatches in that order:

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Just Peachy: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout little

A metallic peachy pink shade with gold shimmer running through it. I would describe it as Nars Orgasm Blush if it were an eyeshadow. Very pigmented and soft, so be careful or there will be fallout. I love this shade all over the lid for a pretty peachy eye look.

Bless Her Heart: Pigmentation 3/5 | Blendability 3/5 | Fallout little to none

An olive khaki green metallic shade. It is not as pigmented as the other metallic shades in this palette, and it does get a little patchy if you try to blend it out. I like to use this shade all over the eye for a more neutral green smokey eye, but I prefer it over a cream eyeshadow rather than by itself.

Candied Peach: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout none

A true matte peach shade. Perfect as a transition/crease shade. In the pan, you can see purple glitter running through it, but it won’t show on the lids if you use a brush. If you’re a fan of the glitter, pat it on with your fingers.

Bellini: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout none

A lighter, cooler-toned version of “Just Peachy”. It makes a more natural pinky lid colour and is not as soft as “Just Peachy”, so I find that there is no fallout and works best patted all over the lid with your fingers.

Caramelized: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout none

A warm toned bronze metallic shade, almost with a burnt peachy terracotta undertone. Dare I say my favourite shade in the palette? It is so pigmented and buttery but I have never experienced fallout. I love to use this shade for a one-shadow eye look. I just blend it on my lid up to my crease with a fluffy brush and I’m done!

Puree: Pigmentation 4/5 | Blendability 4/5 | Fallout none

A matte, warm medium brown shade with a terracotta undertone. Not the most outstanding formula ever, but a solid shadow and great formula nonetheless. I love this colour on my outer corner of my lid to deepen up my eye look.

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The last six shades are (from left to right, up to down) “Tempting”, “Charmed, I’m Sure”, “Peach Pit”, “Delectable”, “Summer Yum”, and “Talk Derby to Me”.

Here are the swatches in that order:

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Tempting: Pigmentation 3/5 | Blendability 3/5 | Fallout little to none

A deep, dark olive green metallic shade with a bit of micro glitter running through it. For such a dark colour, you’d expect more pigmentation, and it can look patchy if you don’t build it up. I would suggest layering this on top of a cream eyeshadow or smoked out on the lash line with a damp angled brush.

Charmed, I’m Sure: Pigmentation 4/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout none

A dark taupe shape. This shade is so hard to describe because of how unique it is. It’s cool toned, but looks warmer on the edges when blended, almost like you used two shades. It’s also not quite matte, but definitely not shimmery; almost like a cross between a matte and a satin shadow. This is one of my favourites in the palette for sure because of how easily it blends on the outer corner of my lids and how unique the colour is. It also builds up nicely, isn’t patchy, and I haven’t experienced any fallout from it.

Peach Pit: Pigmentation 5/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout little to none

A rich metallic purple shade with almost a bronzy undertone and light pink micro glitter. Another favourite (I know, I’m sorry). This shadow is so pigmented and buttery and glides on like a dream. It can also be blended out without looking patchy, which is an issue I have with a lot of darker shades. Perfect all over the lid for a purple smokey eye.

Delectable: Pigmentation 2/5 | Blendability 3/5 | Fallout none

A deep royal purple that looks shimmery in the pan but is quite dull swatched. It is not pigmented enough for such a pretty deep purple shade, and is quite patchy, especially when it’s blended out. Not my favourite, but could be a good outer corner shade for someone with a heavy hand.

Summer Yum: Pigmentation 4/5 | Blendability 5/5 | Fallout none

A matte rusty terracotta shade, a darker and more warm toned version of “Puree” with almost the same formula. I do find that this one blends slightly better for some reason. I love using this colour as an outer corner shade or smoked out on the bottom lash line for a rusty smokey eye.

Talk Derby To Me: Pigmentation 1/5 | Blendability 2/5 | Fallout little

A dark indigo shade with chunky pink and purple glitter. In my opinion, the worst shadow in this palette (sorry Too Faced!). This shadow is not pigmented at all and it took a lot of rubbing to get it to show on my arm. It also has an extremely chalky, scratchy texture. Even though I haven’t seen fallout from the dark pigment, the glitter does fall out. I’ve even tried it with my tried and true MAC Fix + and I still couldn’t get the colour to be opaque and smooth. Not my favourite.

Overall, I love this palette and it is definitely worth the hype in my opinion. I’ve always been a very neutral gal and haven’t ventured into the peach spectrum before this palette, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how wearable the shades are and how often I’ve reached for this palette.

If you’re still reading this, THANK YOU!! I know this was a very long post but I wanted to be as helpful and informative as possible. Hope to catch you on my next post (on Sunday)!

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#ootd: A Warm Winter Day

Winter is Leaving

So… it’s not Sunday or Thursday, but here’s a sneaky little extra post because I am loving the warm sunny weather in South-East England right now.

You may notice a running theme on my blog: comfort. Well, I’ve only posted three times so it’s not really a theme yet, but you’ll see. Even on days when I have to go to class, run errands, or go for a night out, I still like to be comfortable.  That being said, I don’t like to sacrifice style for comfort and I still like to look put together to some degree. Today, it was a sunny 12°C -a warm day by my Canadian standards, so here is what I wore out to lunch and to run a few errands.

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My denim jacket and dress are both from Brandy Melville. The t-shirt dress is so soft (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever felt any of the Brandy Melville tees) and flowy,  but it still looks flattering. Just make sure to wear a pair of shorts underneath so you don’t accidentally flash someone! The denim jacket is in a boyfriend fit that is slightly oversized, so I rolled up the sleeves to give it more shape and so that it doesn’t look like I bought it in the wrong size. I love this jacket because the denim is not scratchy at all and it does not restrict my shoulder movement like most fitted jackets. Both the dress and the jacket are sadly no longer available, but here are some similar options:

Denim jacket: Brandy MelvilleForever 21ASOSTopshop

Dress: Forever 21H&MBoohooCotton:on

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For shoes, I just wore my white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. You can find these pretty much everywhere both in stores and online. There are also tons of dupes out there if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

I know that some people may still find it a little too cold for bare legs (after all, it’s still winter), so I paired the same outfit with my over-the-knee boots for a warmer, slightly more put-together (but still comfortable) look.

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These boots are from Zara and they’re only available in khaki now, but you can find over-the-knee boots pretty much everywhere right now. I love the tie detail on the back of the boots that are not only pretty, but functional as well. You can tighten them to fit your thighs perfectly. These boots also have a slightly pointed toe and a 4.5cm low heel. Here are some similar ones that I’ve found:

Over-the-knee boots: Public Desire (flat 3cm heel), Public Desire (10cm heel), splurge: Stuart Weitzman (different heel heights available)

Hope you enjoyed this extra little post! Sorry to any Canadian babes reading this… I feel your pain knowing that it will probably still be freezing when I go home in April.

Thanks for reading!

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Treat yo self: A Guide to the Perfect Lazy Day

A Cozy Sunday In

As a university student, my day-to-day life is usually quite hectic, even on the weekends. So, when I get a day off, I like to treat myself to a cozy day in. While I do enjoy going out for a few drinks with friends, sometimes, I just like to spend some time by myself to de-stress and relax. Basically, I live as a hermit for a day. Here’s my guide to making the most out of an uneventful day.

1. Sleep in… but not too much

This may seem obvious (and you probably do this anyways), but sleeping in is the best way to start a lazy day. However, while sleeping until the early hours of the afternoon may feel great at the time, you will pay the price the next day (and possibly the next week) when it feels even more impossible to get up at your usual time. So, what I like to do is try and only sleep in an hour or two more than I usually would. That being said, I’ve always struggled with my sleep schedule, so it’s a lot easier said then done. On most days, I sleep at around 2am (it’s bad, I know) and wake up at 8am (maybe 8:30) for school. While I try to wake up between 9-10am on a lazy day, 90% of the time I end up waking up closer to 11 or 12. But I’m working on it, I swear. And you should too.

2. A delicious brunch, minus the effort & time

Don’t get me wrong, I love pancakes and waffles as much as the next girl. On a lazy day however, I don’t like to spend the time and effort to cook a big, hearty brunch. Since I like to maintain a relatively healthy diet (for the most part), my brunch of choice centers around the perfect yogurt parfait (get it? perfect, parfait). First, I scoop in some low fat plain greek yogurt. Then, I dress it up with whatever toppings I want. Usually this includes a sliced up banana, some berries, and some granola to top it all off. If I’m having an especially sweet tooth that day, I’ll mix in some honey into my yogurt to give it some more flavour. You can also add whipped cream, some brown sugar, or experiment with different fruits.

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Low fat Greek yogurt with bananas, raspberries, and granola

With my yogurt parfait, I’ll usually have a coffee or a smoothie, and a few slices of toast with butter and jam to really fill me up.

p.s. I know that yogurt parfaits are traditionally layered, but who has the time on a lazy day? Do as you please to modify your parfait and scoop in another layer of yogurt and toppings if you so desire.

3. Pamper yo self

Moisturise, stay hydrated, do your nails, put on a face mask. While I would love to throw “take a long bath” into the mix, I live in a dorm and unfortunately don’t have the luxury to do that. But if you do, go ahead and include that into your routine! Here are some of the products that I reach for on a lazy day.

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Now most of these products speak for themselves; the hand cream, the lip balm, the face mask, the moisturiser, and the water bottle. But let me explain the other ones. I always like to have a clean face before I put on a mask, so I use these face wipes from Costco to quickly cleanse my skin. Out of all the face wipe type products I’ve used, these ones are by far my favourite. They don’t irritate my eyes, they remove all of my makeup, and they don’t have an overpowering smell. Next, the dry shampoo. If I don’t feel like washing my hair, dry shampoo is my best friend. I hate the feeling of oily, greasy hair, so I use dry shampoo to freshen it up a bit. The Batiste dry shampoo in the natural and light: bare scent has never failed me and is by far my favourite scent. Don’t worry if you have dark hair, I have dark roots and I have no issues whatsoever with white casts. The Petroleum Jelly and socks are next. If you have cracked heels or just any dry skin on your feet in general, this duo will change your life. I like to slather on a thick layer of Vaseline on my feet, pull on my cozy long socks, and read a book, listen to music, or watch TV. This really helps with the dry, cracked skin on your heels and you’ll see instant results when you take the socks off. Last but certainly not least, Bio-oil. I’ve mentioned in my last post that I have acne-prone skin. I’ve struggled with acne since my early teens and I use prescription Benzoyl Peroxide Gel to target any breakouts I may have, which dries out my skin. Although my skin is mostly clear these days, I do have a lot of acne scarring, especially on my temples. Bio-oil has significantly faded these scars and helped with my dry patches so I now incorporate it into my pamper (and daily) routine. I just mix it into my moisturiser or use it to target specific areas on my face where I have scarring or dry patches.

4. The outfit

You may be wondering why this is even on the list. I mean, can’t you just lounge around in your pjs all day or throw on the baggiest clothes you own? If you live in a dorm like me, where there’s a shared kitchen and you can’t avoid all human interaction, you’d still want to look a little cute and less of a mess. Hence, the perfect cozy day outfit.

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I’m wearing my favourite jogger-style sweatpants from Nike (similar here) and the softest sweater I own, which I got at Nordstrom Rack from the brand Harlowe and Graham. I absolutely love how monochromatic this outfit is and how incredibly comfortable it is. Better than pjs and baggy clothes am I right?

5. A cheeky little cheat meal

I’ve always had the biggest sweet tooth. Even though I try to eat healthy meals, I just can’t seem to cut out (or cut down for that matter) all the sugar that I consume. I believe that even on lazy days, you should try to eat healthy whole meals instead of microwaved meals or delivery pizza. However, I do think that you should treat yourself to one cheat meal, whether it be burger and fries or a slice of cake. I satisfied my sweet tooth with a bowl (or mug in this case) of Ben and Jerry’s Sofa so Good ice cream -my absolute favourite at the moment.

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After all, what better way to de-stress than with a bit of ice cream?

So there you go, my idea of a perfect cozy day in. How will you be spending your next cozy day in?

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