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Monday, March 30, 2015

Things to do when you just can't sleep!

What to do when you just can't sleep!?





I'm sure many of us experience insomnia at some point in our lives. I decided to compile a list of things to do when you just can't sleep. Of course, I wont be able to list every possible thing, but I'll list as many as I can think of and include links where I can. Hopefully this will help some of you. And, of course, please share any suggestions you have.. let's keep the conversation going!


  • Prayer
  • meditation- just focus on your breath. Also, there are plenty of great meditation tracks on youtube as well as cell phone apps
  • count sheep or just count your breaths
  • try deep breathing- breathing exercises
  • have a calming mantra- a word you find calming and repeat it in your head while you breathe
  • listen to relaxing music- calm.com (also for iPhone and android)
  • progressive muscle relaxation- instructions here or try YouTube
  • read a boring book
  • listen to a boring book - Audible free trial
  • flip through a magazine
  • alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhan) - how to or youtube
  • gentle stretches- especially the neck
  • try a few yoga postures- child's pose and legs up the wall can work well- yoga poses for sleep
  • this dvd helped me a lot! It includes: yoga, self massage, guided meditation and diet tips and recipes- my favourite dvd for sleep & relaxation
  • yoga dvd for sleep and relaxation (another personal favourite) - yoga dvd for sleep
  • self massage- especially the neck and forehead and temples
  • try reflexology- how to 
  • journaling- get your thoughts out of your head- 10 tips
  • to-do list- update or make one 
  • write down the things you are thankful for
  • write an email or letter- if you're upset with someone, write it down (just don't send it!)
  • play a game you find boring- maybe solitaire
  • massage your earlobes (this is known to induce relaxation)
  • easy hand massage (reflexology) - youtube
  • try acupressure points for sleep- acupressure
  • pet your pet (a proven stress reliever!)
  • If you're too cold, grab some socks or a heating pad (just don't fall asleep with the heating pad on)
  • watch a boring TV show- I prefer to keep off lights and electronics, but if all else fails..
  • have a snack- preferably a protein and carbohydrate mix to get the tryptophan through the BBB (blood-brain barrier)  eg. nut butter with 1/2 slice whole grain bread, warm milk, sliced bananas in milk, to name a few..
  • try golden milk- golden milk recipe
  • take some magnesium - natural calm works like a dream!
  • sip some relaxing tea- Some of the sleep teas at the supermarket are great, Celestial makes some good ones!
  • use essential oils- add to your hand cream or put a few drops on a cotton pad beside your pillow- lavender, jasmine and chamomile are a few good ones. One of my favourite's is badger's sleep balm 
  • keep some homeopathic remedies on hand - coffea cruda and bhi calming are good ones!
  • inositol powder in some water can do wonders to shut off the mind!- Powdered Inositol
  • liquid calcium/magnesium can also work wonders- liquid cal-mag
  • clear the clutter, just don't start a full-on cleaning!
  • try some melatonin if you have at least 8 hours before you have to get up- 1mg time released melatonin helps me!
  • if restless legs are keeping you up, you could be low in iron-  make a note to check with your Doctor
  • catch up on your favourite blogs or start one!
Lastly, I came across this interesting article on cooling the brain for sleep and decided last minute to add it into this post. I've heard many different thoughts regarding keeping the feet warm vs cool for sleep and similarly with the head. Chinese medicine refers to this a lot.

These are just the things that came to my mind as I compiled this list. It just takes finding the right thing that works for each of us. I hope you will try some of these if they are new to you and hope you find them helpful.  I would love to hear any tips or tricks that you have.

As always, please check with your Doctor before implementing any of the supplements I have mentioned.

Sleep well!

xo Amy

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Another Target Canada Liquidation Haul! Sonia Kashuk and more!

I couldn't resist, I made a couple more trips to my local targets as I had heard that all the stores were now 50% off and up on everything! I happen to have 3 targets all within a 5-10 drive from me. I checked out two of them and the signs said they are closing in a week!

As I've mentioned before, I will really miss Target so I guess I'm not only trying to get some great deals but get in a little more "Target" in before they bid us farewell for good.

Cosmetics were all marked at 60% off now and skin care, soap, hair care and clothing at 50% off
(there was very little left in the regular cosmetics department but a TON of makeup at my stores in terms of the Sonia Kashuk and Pixi brands.)  And, if you have a red card, you know that you'll get an additonal 5% off of EVERYTHING...

Here is what I "scored" this time (there were more makeup and skincare items that are not pictured that were for friends and family.)  I'll give you the low-down on the prices in case anyone is interested.. so you can run to your local Target as things are going fast now.



All cosmetics were now 60% off (item deets below):


I have been wanting the Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral (matte) Palette for some time but wasn't sure it was worth the $20 price tag (as you can see, I've already dug in!)
  • Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral palette Reg. $19.99 now $7.99! ($7.59 with the red card)
  • Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colour in Sheer Pink Lust- Reg 10.99 now $4.39
  • Annabelle BIGSHOW Lip Shine in Socialite- Reg 9.50 now $3.79

Health and Beauty now 50% off:


This is Target's own "up and up" brand.  I find they are a dupe for the Dove brand bar soaps. I purchased unscented but they were well stocked on all of these soaps, even in other variations.
  • Up and Up brand soap Reg. $3.99 now $1.99 each

Clothing now 50% off:



I purchased these great buys for my mother.
  • Ava + Viv shirt Reg. $19.99 now $9.99
  • Beaver Canoe Sweatpants Reg. $24.99 now $$12.49

Pharmacy & Supplements now 50% off:


  • FemMED Hormonal Balance Herbal formula Reg $27.99 now $13.99 (this is good stuff!)

I have a feeling I will be back before they close down and leave us for good, but the store is getting more and more crazy in terms of crowds and line ups at the cash registers, so you kind of have to prepare yourself for that and be in that kind of mood (if there ever is one.) :P

Let me know what you scored at your local Target!

xo Amy

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DIY: How To Lighten Roots at Home Between Highlights- Bump the Base (in 10 minutes)

I wanted to share with you how I lighten my roots at home myself in between highlights with my stylist. I am not a hairdresser and don't have any training (although I often wish I did!). These directions were given to me by my Stylist when I asked how I could lighten my base between highlights when I just can't take anymore of my roots!

A bit of background first: Unfortunately, I don't suit my darker hair. I was a blonde kid and like many people my hair grew darker as I got older. I have been highlighting my hair for as long as I can remember. I used to do it at home with the cap with the holes in it- ouch! Eventually, I had to get it professionally done and the results are much better but highlights are pricey! from around $70 for partial highlights (the crown area) to $100 and up for a whole head (this isn't including the cut and style!) Not only is it expensive, but my stylist is pretty far from me so I only go every 3-4 months. I've tried some stylist locally but found the one's that I went to were either not consistent or over-processed my hair to the point of tons of breakage!  I've even tried going back to different shades of brown more times than I can count and I've learned that I look best blonde.

My natural colour is between a level 5-6 from what I've been told and although it's very ashy and dull, it pulls a LOT of red! If I was a true level 6, as many hairdresser think I am, I could probably get a nice blonde with a box of hair dye in the ash family without it pulling so red and having to resort to bleach. I have seen a few well known stylist who told me I was a level 6 and they could get me a gorgeous blonde with just one step (not having to bleach and then tone), but, it always came out some shade of orange!

So, when the mood strikes and I can't take anymore, I go to it with my Stylist's valuable instructions in hand! If you are interested in giving this a go, here are the deets....

Here is what you'll need: 

  • 20 vol developer (Goldwell 20 volume)
  • hair colour (Goldwell 10P)
  • mixing bowl
  • Tint brush (I got my mixing bowl and tint brush in a kit at the dollar store)
  • shot glass (I use for measuring)
  • gloves
  • Towel and clothing you don't care about getting dye on
  • a clock or timer




The colour I use is Goldwell Topchic in 10P (for"pastel pearl blonde" it's a cool tone to keep as much brassiness out as possible)


Mix a 1:1 ratio of dye to developer. 1/2 of the tube of dye is 30g. (I use a shot glass to measure the developer)

1:1 Ratio
Mix well:
Here is your product ready to be applied


Instructions for application:

  • Shampoo hair and towel dry
  • comb through hair
  • put on gloves
  • apply your toner (mixture) to roots with brush, sectioning with fingers or end of brush
  • massage toner into roots throughout the hair
  • leave on for short time, keeping an eye on it for desired results (approx 6-10 minutes) -this is the tricky part for me; if I leave it too long it does get lighter but I get more orange to it, if I get it just at the right time, I get a lighter, softer brown/dirty blonde look. (I don't have a trained eye for this so sometimes it comes out better than others, but it's always better than the super-dark roots) 
  • rinse dye out thoroughly
  • condition
  • rinse 
  • apply leave in conditioner if you like or other styling products and style

These are my roots from the top view (yuk, I know) and to make matters worse, I have a few grey hairs right where I part my hair! And a side view. This is about 2 months of growth since my last highlights:


Here are the final results (my hair has been dried but not styled.) It's not perfect, but definitely softened the look.


Here is a close up of the final product (again, just a rough blow dry, not styled.) As you can see, it really does soften the drastic difference between my highlight and my natural root colour, softening and blending it with the rest of my hair- it's def. an improvement from my original roots! I left the product on for about 8 minutes and it did come out with just a hint of orange to it this time, not as ashy as I would like, but it sure beats the dark roots. And, it will buy me some time before I have to go see my stylist and shell out $150 for highlights, cut and blow-dry. Note: I do have a few grey's where I part my hair and this volume of developer is not high enough to cover them, plus, leaving it on for only a few minutes is not long enough for grey coverage. Therefore, If you have a lot of grey's I wouldn't suggest this method, but if you only have a few this will help blend them in.



My stylist said it's better to leave it on for less time rather than more to avoid getting it too light or too brassy, and if it's not light enough just repeat the process another day.

Note: if your hair is even a shade lighter than mine, you should get great results!

You can purchase Goldwell 10P and other similar products linked here. Goldwell 20 volume developer is linked here.

I am so happy I asked my hairdresser how to do this. It may not be perfect but it really makes a difference for me, not only in how I feel about the way I look, but it saves me some time and money. The hair colour is only about $12 for 2 applications! The developer bottle is not expensive and will last a long time since you only use 1 oz. The gloves and mixing bowl with brush are only a few dollars and I reuse the same ones each time.

Let me know if you try this or if you need anymore details on how I do this.

xo Amy

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How I Overcame IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Became Symptom free!

It seems like I was plagued with stomach problems my whole life. When I was 2 years old, I was hospitalized with Gastroenteritis and ever since then I had stomach issues. I was chronically constipated which I knew nothing about as a child, so it just became the norm for me to end up with stomach pain and eventually unpleasant and very painful trips to the bathroom. It would always come on by complete surprise, it didn't matter if I was at home, school or on a road trip with my family.

This went on until I became old enough to understand a bit about health matters and understand that it's not "normal" to not be "regular" and have stomach pain all the time. So, I became conscious of it and started taking fibre drinks to try and alleviate the problems. That was the first step for me, realizing what is normal in terms of being regular.  However, I still had stomach issues and over the years I saw many Doctor's and had many tests, Barium X-rays etc. Every Doctor I saw diagnosed me with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I had all the symptoms; alternating constipation and diarrhea, stomach pains etc. and any stress seemed to aggravate my symptoms. All other causes of my issues had been ruled out with all the tests I had gone though. (This is the diagnosis often made when everything else is ruled out and they cannot find a cause for all of your symptoms.)

It wasn't until about 17 years ago when my stomach issues became chronic for a period of time and I finally came across a Doctor who tested me for H-Pylori (Helicobacter pylori) which is a type of bacteria, and was discovered to be the cause of ulcers. According to WebMD "about two-thirds of the world's population has it in their bodies" but many are asymptomatic. I tested positive and by that time I had become very weak, lost a lot of weight and was having a hard time functioning or even eating.

I was referred to a friend of a friend who was somewhat of a health expert. The first thing he did was build up my system by introducing a special type of probiotic / Primal Defense (good bacteria) to my body and also started me on some whole food vitamins as well as Colostrum. He explained how we all have good and bad bacteria in our bodies and how the probiotics fill our system with the good bacteria . He also pointed out how antibiotics cannot tell the difference between good and bad bacteria so they just kill off everything and taking probiotics puts the good bacteria back into our bodies (there is too much info to go into regarding probiotics so I will leave a link all about them down below) . I became stronger and felt better, but I wanted to make sure I got rid of the H-Pylori, so I treated it medically and continued with the vitamins and probiotics. This made it so I was strong enough to handle the medications for eradication of the H-Pylori.  After the treatment, I decided to continue with the probiotics because they had made such a significant difference in how I felt overall; they made me very regular for the first time in my life, helped clear up my skin (I suffered from acne), cleared up all of my IBS symptoms, and I noticed a boost in my immunity!

I have been taking these probiotics ever since, about 17 years and counting now. And, I will never, can never, go without these. I am completely free of my IBS symptoms as long as I take them and I am regular for the first time in my life! It's become a natural part of my daily routine, kind of like reaching for your smartphone first thing in the morning when you wake up. (Note: unlike other probiotics, this one should not be refrigerated, so you can keep it by your bedside table,)

All probiotics are not created equal. This is a different type of probiotic, I have posted links and a bit of info on this below. I admit to "cheating" on my Primal Defense and trying other probiotics, they didn't work for me and I quickly started to become constipated and develop IBS symptoms again. Obviously, I haven't been able to try all of the probiotics out there, but as they say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Primal Defense is what works for me, it's like the Rolls Royce of probiotics to me.

-In brief, About Garden of Life's Primal Defense HSO Probiotic Formula from their website : "Primal Defense is the only probiotic formula that contains a unique whole food blend with Homeostatic® Soil Organisms (HSOs) Note: (I've posted their link below for much more info)

-Info on Primal Defense from Iherb's Website: "Primal Defense is a natural blend of 12 species of probiotics and Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs), utilizing the Poten-Zyme process and delivered within a whole food matrix. The HSO probiotic blend in Primal Defense helps support normal gastrointestinal balance of good and potentially harmful bacteria to help maintain a balanced, healthy internal environment, and maximizes the benefits of a healthy diet by supporting normal absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the gut."




I am just sharing my story in hopes of helping someone else who is suffering. I am not a health professional and I always suggest asking your Doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you take medications or have any medical conditions.

Note: this product is available in many sizes and also comes in a powder form, I take the tablet form
And, all products have been purchased by me.

Where to buyGarden of Life's Primal Defense (This is where I find the best deal and you can get                            $5 off your first order with coupon code AGU725)

Info on Garden of Life's Primal Defense/Probiotic Garden of Life, Primal Defense

WebMD info on IBS: http://www.webmd.com/ibs/

WebMD info on H-Pylorihttp://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/h-pylori-helicobacter-pylori


I hope some of you find this helpful. If you have any questions or comments please post below.

Xo Amy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cruelty Free, Affordable Lipstick Dupe! #Review

I'm always on the lookout for cruelty-free, affordable dupes in makeup, skincare, hair care, really in anything!  My go to lip colour is usually a nude, nude-pink or something along that line. And, quite by accident I found a dupe in a nude-pink shade that I adore!

Here they are side by side:

Pictured on the left is the cruelty-free dupe, which is Essence Long-lasting Lipstick in Nude Love (11). On the right we have CoverGirl's Lip Perfection Lipstick in Honeyed (258):


Here are the swatches on the back of my hand. As you can see they are quite nude in colour.  The swatch pictured on top is the one by Essence, it is slightly rosier than CoverGirl's (pictured below.) Neither are matte, they both have a similar sheen.



As a test, I wore one on my top lip and the other on the bottom and I could not see a difference at all. The feel on the lips was similar, CoverGirl's may have felt slightly more drying.  They also wore for the same amount of time on my lips, I did not find either of them long-lasting. They both wore like a typical lipstick (IMO). They would need to be re-applied, which I really don't mind- these are the kind of colours I can kind of "slap-on-and-go." Also, the Essence lipstick lacks that infamous CoverGirl scent that many are not a fan of.

The Essence Long Lasting Lipstick is only $2.99 and can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. (And this colour "nude love" goes quite nicely with many of the Essence creamy lip liners that are only $1.49 each. I often wear this lipstick with their liner in "nude"- Gorg!)

The CoverGirl lipstick retails for approx. $8.99

I would love to hear if you have any cruelty-free affordable dupes!

xo Amy

Friday, March 20, 2015

DIY - Chemical Free, Organic Dry Shampoo #Recipe

I used to buy dry shampoo all the time because I don't like to wash my hair everyday. I prefer to wash it every other day so I don't apply heat everyday, or strip my scalp too much of it's natural oils by constant shampooing etc. It's also great to use when you don't have time or just don't have the energy for the whole process. Unless you're one of the lucky one's who can "wash and go."  And, honestly, It was getting rather expensive purchasing dry shampoo all the time, so I sought out to make my own.

What you need (items listed below)...



You will need:
  • A spice jar or shaker bottle of some sort ( I happened to have an empty bottle with a shaker top)
  • Cornstarch (preferably Organic, non-gmo cornstarch, I didn't have this time) and/or Arrowroot powder
  • Optional: your favourtie essential oil eg. (Lavender essential oil)
You can either use Cornstarch with Arrowroot powder mixed in equal parts, or you can use either of them on their own. For this batch, I have used just Cornstarch powder Organic Cornstarch . Then add a few drops of your favourtive essential oil (mine is Nature's Alchemy French Lavender ) and mix. Pour into a spice jar of your choice.

Here is what it will look like...



How to apply: 

I don't like to shake it onto my scalp, you could, but it will be harder to blend especially if you have darker hair. I pour approximately what you see in the picture above and then i massage it between my two hands. After that, I massage it into my roots. It will refresh your hair, absorb the oils and let you skip a day of washing, repeat this process if you feel you need more. It's also good to use if you've used too much product in your hair, this will help absorb the excess product(s).  I have blonde hair with darker roots and I will apply extra if I want to make my roots a little less obvious.

This is a great, simple, easy to make recipe that works! And, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, you're not putting a bunch of chemicals into your hair and scalp and the environment.

I hope you like it!  Let me know if you try it or have any recipes of your own..

xo Amy



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Healthy Protein snack: My Favourite Black Bean Brownie Recipe!

Today I wanted to share one of my favourite recipes with you.

This one is for Black Bean Brownies. I have tried many black bean brownie recipes and this one is my favourite. It's not only really easy to make but it also tastes great! It also doesn't require any rare ingredients that you wouldn't necessarily have at home.

I like to have protein snacks on hand and I prefer to make them myself so I can control what's in them and even more importantly, what is not in them.  Also, it is much cheaper than buying a processed snack at the store. These are super high in fiber and protein and not too high in sugar, you can also control the amount of sugar and they type you use. Also, this is a no flour recipe! Hooray for less carbs!

I have a few favourite recipes on rotation right now. I make a batch whenever I get a chance and it will usually last me a few days. ( I tend to eat 2-3 square at a time!)

Here is what you will need:


Here is the latest batch. I don't usually put this many chocolate chips on them, if at all (I use 50% cocoa chips or above) but this was the first time I made a batch and forgot to put them in the mixture itself.



Ingredients list: (see how simple!?)
I would recommend using a food processor for this and you will need an 8 x 8 baking pan.
  • black beans 
  • cocoa powder 
  • quick oats 
  • salt
  • pure maple syrup, agave or honey
  • stevia 
  • coconut oil
  • pure vanilla extract
  • baking powder
  • chocolate chips 
This recipe was created by "Chocolate Covered Katie" she has some great recipes!! You should really check out some more of them. But here is this link to her amazing "No Flour, Black Bean Brownies" http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/06/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/

Let me know if you try them.

Enjoy! 

xo, Amy






Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Real Techniques Blush Brush Dupe For $2.39 (USD)??

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to share with you a dupe? that I found for Real Technique's blush brush, I love the Real Techniques blush brush and when I saw something similar on eBay for only $2.39 usd, I had to check it out.

As you can see by the pictures below, the brushes basically look the same; they are the same length, have the same type of handle, similar bristles and similar shaped head.  Can you tell which one is which?


As you can see by the picture one has a brush head that is slightly wider than the other and one has a darker handle.

Here is a picture from the top, again one seems a little wider than the other. The base of the brush handles are the same and both stand up well.


Here is a closer picture of the brush heads so you can compare:


Drum roll please....... in case you could not tell which one is which, the Real Techniques brush is on the left or the one in the pictures with the lighter pink handle.

The Comparison: They both feel equally soft, the one I purchased from eBay is almost too soft.   Neither of them shed any hair and I put them to the test by pulling a little while washing and drying them.  The Real Techniques one is slightly denser (you really notice this difference during use) and they are both cut in the same tapered style.  I will say that when I was washing the eBay one, the black end of the handle did come loose, but it's nothing a little dollar store super glue wont hold, I just shoved it back into place and it's fine.

The Test: To put them to the test, I used the RT brush on one side of my face and the eBay brush on the other side of my face. I used them to apply my powder and blush. They both picked up the product equally well but I preferred how the RT one felt and how it applied the product; the eBay one was just a little too soft and flimsy, and that density that the Real Techniques one has really makes a difference in the feeling of control during application. Also, the RT brush seemed to deposit more colour when I compared the two sides of my face. 

The Verdict: Just by looking at the two brushes and feeling them, you don't notice much of a difference. It isn't until you use them that you really notice the difference. I really love my RT blush brush, it's very versatile and I use it for powder, blush and bronzer. It's especially great for a soft-effect with your blush because it is so soft and has a large brush head so it blends beautifully, Although the eBay one did the job and it could also be used for powder, blush and bronzer, I found the RT brush to be superior. That extra density in the Real Techniques when you apply your makeup gives you more control! Both are budget friendly in the world of cosmetics in this day and age.

I would say the two brushes are very similar in many ways but definitely not an exact dupe. I will probably end up using the eBay brush for powder because it lacks that control that the RT brush has for applying blush or bronzer.  In this case, I would say, you really do get what you pay for.

ps. Real Techniques is a Cruelty-free company! Thumbs up for that!

Price: 
  • I purchased my Real Techniques blush brush on Iherb.com  for $8.99 usd. Iherb has low  shipping rates even for international shipping (You can get $5-$10 off your first order with discount code AGU725)
  • I purchased the eBay one here ebay blush brush for $2.39 and that includes shipping!

Sometimes Iherb has 20% off of Real Techniques so you may want to keep your eye out for that.

Have you found any good dupes or great deals lately?

xo Amy

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Physicians Formula Argan Wear Blush in Rose; Review and Swatches

Hi everyone,

I recently made a few Physicians Formula purchases (see blog post: PF blog post ) and I saw their new Argan Wear line while I was at the store and the blushes in this line really caught my eye (I admit it, I am a blush-addict!)  They only came in two shades: Natural and Rose.  I decided I had to have the pink shade (Rose) - I'm always drawn to pink shades over peaches or corals, I think it's because it looks more natural to me as its the colour we turn naturally when we flush.  Anyhow, by the time i decided I had to have the blush I went back and the store was out of that colour.  I ran to another store and was able to grab one. The store still had the sale going on plus a rebate on the product, so I couldn't pass it up!

I have been using the blush for about a week now and I wasn't planning on doing a review since I only had the one item, so I no longer have the box that it came in.  But, I think this blush is worth reviewing. Here are some photos and swatches as well as some info from Physician's Formula's website.

Physicians Formula description and claims:














  • Ultra-luxe formula features luminous, light-reflecting pigments that deliver a skin perfecting effect for a youthful and glowing radiance. Infused with 100% Pure Argan Oil, know as liquid gold for its rich conditioning benefits that can improve skin's brightness, tone, texture, and elasticity.














  • Hypoallergenic. Gluten Free.Non-comedogenic. Dermatologist Approved





Here is PF stock photo, showing the gold over-spray on the product (the over-spray is easily removed):

All my pictures were taken inside with natural daylight and no flash (here without the over-spray):


Comes with a small flat brush pictured above and below:


Here it is opened, it has a mirror under the back side of the blush which can be useful and the compartment for storing the blush. This can be handy, but I would prefer a sleeker packaging if they would leave the brush out.


Swatches left to right: All blended together, centre of blush, middle layer, outer layer:



Close up of swatch with all colours blended together: (see the natural looking flush)


Swatched from top to bottom: Outer layer, second layer, centre, blended together


The blush retails for $15.99, but PF is always on sale at one of the drugstores or Walmart. I got it on sale for $12.49 and had an $8 rebate, so I only paid $4.50! Which is such a steal!!

As you can see this is a blue based light-medium pink, with a subtle but beautiful glow! I don't see how this blush could be used with the individual colours but I don't think that's the purpose, like the over-spray, I think it's just for the Moroccan themed design.

Most people don't appreciate this little brushes that come in these products and I agree, mainly because it makes for much bulkier packaging and I would prefer something sleeker. But, I do keep these brushes and I use them with bronzer to contour my nose.

I have really been enjoying this blush, so much, that I have used it everyday and can't seem to put it down! I find that it's pigmented but not too pigmented that you'd have to worry about looking like a "crazy blush lady." You can have a sheer application or you can build it up. It blends beautifully and is long-lasting. I find the colour very flattering on my light/yellow toned skin. As I mentioned it leaves a beautiful glow, no shimmer or glitter, just a youthful glow, and I love that!

It does have quite a strong, probably unpleasant to some, fragrance. I find though that the fragrance does not last. Even in the packaging it seems to be fading. I understand they were going for the whole Moroccan theme, but with so many people having sensitivities to fragrance, this would have been better without the scent. I find most of the reviews that I've seen that are negative are in response to the fragrance, so I'm sure PF is realizing now that they would have been better off leaving it out. Especially since PF is known to be a company that makes Hypoallergenic and Dermatologist approved products.

In conclusion, this is one of my new favourite blushes (among a few others that are also by PF!). Luckily I can get over the scent, but if you're sensitive, you might want to pass on this one.

Have you tried any of the products from Physicians Formula's new Argan Wear line? I still have my eye on a few of the products! ;)

Physicians Formula is Cruelty free! (no animal testing) :D

Physicians Formula website: https://www.physiciansformula.com/en-us/default.html
Physicians Formula Canadian Rebate page: https://www.physiciansformula.com/en-ca/staticpage/rebate.html

xo Amy

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Target Canada Liquidation Sale and Mini Haul! Mossimo, pixi, sonia kashuk

I wanted to share some of my recent Target purchases during their liquidation sale here in Canada.

Over the last month or so I have made a few visits to my local Targets and as others have said, the prices are definitely not what you would expect for a liquidation sale. Actually, I found much better deals on Target's clearance items before they went belly-up here in Canada. I know Target didn't bring a lot of what us Canadians wanted, but, I for one will definitely miss them. It was a peaceful place to shop and I REALLY love target for good quality, high fashion, inexpensive shoes and boots. I also love some of their store brands that I cannot find elsewhere, like Mossimo and Merona.

As you can see from the parking lot, the store is much busier now than it was before they announced their liquidation.

Here are my finds:


I only got clearance prices on a couple of items, all of the others were marked back up to their regular prices and then they were 30% off.  And, I know for a fact, that before the liquidation the Jeans were already on sale for the same prices that I paid. But, these were items that I just had to have!

I got these white Mossimo Jeans for the summer. I love that the front of the jeans have a floral pattern in the denim! They were reg. $29.99 and I paid $20.99. (I have Target's Red Card, so I got an additional 5% on all items, which helps a little.)


On the same trip I grabbed this distressed/ worn looking V-neck T-shirt by Mossimo. It is super soft and I love the over-sized, loose, casual style. It was reg. $14.99 and I paid $10.50. The key necklace came with 3 pair of stud earrings and the set was only $6!


My most recent find was this super distressed pair of jeans by Mossimo that were screaming summer! They were also reg.$29.99 and on sale for $20.99


There were only 2 items that I somehow managed to get at clearance prices. The coloured case is by Sonia Kashuk and was reg. $24.99 on sale for $7, and the dark wash Mossimo jeans were reg. $29.99 on sale for $8.99. I bought the cosmetics case with the thought in mind that it would be perfect for when I downsize my makeup collection (see all the pockets inside?) and it could all fit in here- yeah, right!!


I was eager to check out the cosmetics section since target has The Sonia Kashuk and Pixi brands and a huge cosmetics section in general. Oddly enough, I didn't purchase any cosmetics, yet! All the cosmetics were 30% off, including Pixi and Sonia Kashuk. There were piles and piles of Pixi and especially Sonia Kashuk all over the place. The regular cosmetics were reduced to "rubble" and most of what was left was broken. It was kind of shocking in person. Here are a few pics of the makeup. (from left to right: Sonia Kashuk, Pixi, all other cosmetics)


I'm sure I will make another trip to Target to see if I can score some great deals before they leave us. There are a few items I have had my eye on for quite some time, but I'm waiting to see if I can get a really great deal on them! They are all currently at 30% off. (Hey, if any of you go to get these black booties, please, leave a pair for me, size 9, thanks!)


Some departments have been pretty much wiped out ie. food, jewelry and cosmetics, but, other departments like clothing have had a sudden influx of new goods, including summer wear! So, if you need some new clothes it might be a good place to check out.  Hopefully they will drop their prices a lot more! Here are some other shots of housewares, jewelry and women's clothing.


Have you scored any deals at your Target? I would love to hear about what deals you found. I'm always on the lookout for a good bargain!

Happy Shopping!

Amy xo




Saturday, March 14, 2015

Saturday Smoothie! Superfood Blueberry Kale Chia Protein Blast!

To say i haven't been eating healthy lately would be the understatement of the year. So, I decided to make a protein smoothie loaded with fruit, veggies and proteins today.  This one is chock-full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and protein, basically a superfood smoothie.

I decided to go with a ton of kale, organic frozen blueberries, Chia seeds, Almond/coconut milk, some stevia and kelp (for the thyroid). Note: I don't use kelp powder regularly as I am acne prone and it can cause acne for me if I use it too often.

The kale and chia seeds are packed with protein, add in some protein powder of your choice and you've got protein packed smoothie!  I left out bananas in this one as I wanted a lower sugar content. I might crave it, but sugar is NOT my friend!


This is my favourite, go-to protein powder by Natural Factors. It's a whey powder so for dairy sensitive individuals or vegans, there are many other plant based protein powders on the market, Natural Factors carries some as well. I purchase mine at my local health food store for around $30.


Here is the finished product:


I can barely taste the kale as their is so much flavour and sweetness from the blueberries and a bit of stevia.

RECIPE:
Superfood Blueberry Kale Chia Protein Blast

  • 2 cups of kale (packed down in the mug) 
  • Frozen Blueberries to the fill line
  • Silk Almond/Coconut milk blend to fill line
  • 1 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 scoops of Kelp powder-  Now Foods Kelp powder
  • 3 drops Now Stevia (alcohol free) - Now Foods Alcohol free Stevia( I have this is so many different flavours!)


Let me know if you try it or share one of your favourite smoothie recipes with me!

Happy smoothie making!

Amy xo






Thursday, March 12, 2015

Physicians Formula Mini Haul, Organic BB Cream, BB All-in-1 Bronzer Blush, Swatches

I wanted to get this post up today as I scored some Physicians Formula products last night at Shoppers Drug Mart and the sale ends this Friday. They have all Physicians Formula on sale for 30% off plus the newer items have rebates stickers on them. I find that PF goes on sale often, so if Shoppers sale has ended, chances are you will find a sale on them at another pharmacy or Walmart. I will end up only paying $1 each plus the postage. I will tell you how, but first here is what I got:

  1. Physicians Formula Organic Wear BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream in Light 
  2. Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Bronzer & Blush in Light

 I want to share close ups of the pretty blush and bronzer and some swatches..

Here is the Super BB blush and bronzer in light. It's really pretty!




Well, it looks like my product is crooked in the pan! I'm sensing some OCD from this..I think this product in light would be suitable for anyone with light to light/medium skin tones. I know some PF products can be dark for the shade light and others can be too light to be labelled light (I'm talking to you PF bronze booster in light!)
Here is a swatch:

I think the colours are gorgeous (especially the blush) and fairly pigmented. The bronzer has a hint of orange to it but I find it more on the neutral side not red toned or orange toned, and seems matte.  The blush is a beautiful pink shade and has a beautiful glow.  (note they seemed a little powdery at the first swipes, but that seems to have subsided.)

I wore the blush today with a light fluffy blush and for the small amount that I picked up with my brush, i looked like that "crazy blush lady" so i had to blend it out. It was my first test run with it, so now i know to use a light hand.  I definitely recommend this blush.

I was concerned that the blush and bronzer didn't have a divider between them.. so how would you keep the colours separated?? The cosmetician had a good pointer, she said to pinch your brush to pick the product up. I really didn't have a problem only getting the blush with my blush brush.

My last photo is a swatch of the Organic Wear BB bronzer in light, it seems pretty similar to the Super BB by PF in light that I am currently using, although i have only swatched this product so far.


I recommend signing up with Shoppers Optimum program and emails if you haven't already, they will email you customized coupons just for you. They sent me a $10 off $30 purchase coupon, so I purchased 2 PF products on sale for $13.99 + $14.99 and added in an Essence Nude lip liner for $1.49 to get me to the $30 mark. So I only paid around $20 for the 2 PF products with the 30% off and Shoppers coupon. With the $9 rebate on each PF product, that brings it down to approximately $1 per product. (note: I did have to pay tax)

Happy shopping

Amy xo

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Paula's Choice- Anti-agng skin care review: Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer

I received my first order with Paula's Choice the other day. I got a $10 off coupon that I found online plus they had free shipping, so I figured I didn't have much to lose- the $26 skin product I wanted to purchase only ended up costing me $16! I did have to pay a $5 customs/brokerage fee and tax however, but it was still a deal! 

Here is what came in my package:

 I ordered the Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer ($26 reg) and a nice size at 60ml! The other items are samples and some skin care booklets that all came free with my order.  When you checkout on the website you are able to add 3 free skin care samples of your choice. I'm excited to read the free skin care booklets too, since I'm a total skin care junkie! 

Here is the Skin Recovery Replenishing Moisturizer that I started yesterday:

 I used the Recovery Moisturizer last night with my Holistic Vanity Argan oil (from Pure and Simple Spa) over top and Pure and Simple's Algae Serum underneath. My skin stayed hydrated until I woke up... I couldn't stop touching my skin! Even with the Argan oil, a lot of my other moisturizers fail to keep my skin moisturized through the night, Paula's Skin Recovery Moisturizer did not disappoint.
This morning I used the Skin Recovery Moisturizer again, this time just over a serum, and without an oil over top. It left the perfect finish to my skin, it looked and felt moisturized, but sunk right in and did not leave any greasy residue. It also left the perfect finish (almost like I had used a primer) for application of my daily BB cream (currently that is the Physicians Formula Super BB),  Usually when I apply this BB cream my skin looks dry underneath, despite my previous moisturizers layered underneath.

It's currently past 5pm and I cannot stop touching my face! And it looks GREAT for a change! So I am excited to say the least, I love me some good skin care. I don't want to get too ahead of myself because I am very acne prone, but *knock on wood, so far so good, I don't see any signs of clogged pores, nor does it feel clogging, and the few spots I have from other skin care samples I tried still seem to be clearing up!

ps. if you are interested, I encourage you to sign up with them as they will send you info on sales as well as coupons for your Birthday etc..

If you want to try Paula's Choice, here is a $10 off coupon for your first order: Paula's Choice coupon
(note: this is an affiliate link and we will both benefit if you use it. After signing up you can also get a $10 off coupon code to share with your friends and family).

Happy Skin care shopping!

xo, Amy






















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