Sunday, April 26, 2020

10 Tips To Stay Sane and Reduce Stress During Quarantine


Happy Sunday, everyone!

Hope everyone is staying safe and finding lots of fun and/or productive ways to stay busy during these difficult and strange times that we are in.

I have found this quarantine to be challenging and stressful for many reasons. I do appreciate the freed up time on my hands and have found some things that have helped me when I'm feeling stressed out over everything, and wanted to share some of them with you. Some of these tips are obvious things that one might do during quarantine but some have proven to be very helpful and cathartic for my stress/ type A personality.

Let me start off by saying, this quarantine has me taking more hot, Epsom salt baths than I've taken in years, and I'm not mad about it! 🛁



1. Watching Old TV Shows and Movies

Netflix has to be one of the most obvious things to do. I actually don't watch a lot of Netflix (yet) but I have really been enjoying binge-watching the show Ozark. I spend too much time online and I'm hoping to reduce that and spend more time watching TV and/or Netflix as it's much more relaxing than being online all day and night. I find that watching old TV shows and movies can be relaxing as it takes us back to more simple times "the good ole' days" some might say. Although, you don't need Netflix to watch old shows and movies as some TV channels have plenty of them to watch.


2. Intricate Adult Colouring Books

I purchased a fabulous adult colouring book where there are such small, intricate details in the beautiful artwork. It's a real stress-buster as it takes all of your focus and attention into the process of colouring, being careful to stay inside all of the lines and allowing creativity to flow as you select your own colours from the coloured pencils to create your own masterpiece. This is just what the type A personality needs! Similar book linked here.

See below for a peek inside the book and my 1st unfinished attempt at colouring.



3. Cleaning, Organizing, and Decluttering (Kon Mari)

I love being organized! I believe everything should have a place. As a lover of fashion and beauty products, my collection just keeps growing over time, so I have to keep on top of organizing and decluttering my items. I usually do this every season, but there is no better time than now to make the time for it. I have heard so much about the Kon Mari methods for organizing and decluttering which was created by Marie Kondo and outlined in her book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. I use some of her ideas and leave others that don't mesh with me at this time.

Cleaning, organizing, and decluttering are very satisfying for me. My biggest take away so far during quarantine, is that I finally took the time to apply Marie Kondo's folding techniques to all of my tops. I never had the patience to do it properly before. I didn't believe that it would give me more space as I had tried my own take on her folding method and it did not save space and my drawers wouldn't close. This time, I took the time to watch a YouTube video on how to apply her folding method and I followed it exactly. This proved to be very cathartic for me! Since I am not a patient person, it was exactly the right task for me! It takes concentration, time, and patience so it actually becomes like a form of meditation. It was very relaxing for me and very rewarding as it ended up saving me so much space and I can now see all of my tops, so they are all getting used!

See the pictures below with the results of my Kon Mari folding method for my tops.

 T-shirt folded Kon Mari Style

 Above: Short sleeve and long sleeve tops folded the Kon Mari way

I can see everything and I have more space in the back.

Above: Sweatshirt drawer folded the Kon Mari way


4. Use It Or Lose It / Selling Items Without Contact

After decluttering, you will have items to donate, toss or sell. With these difficult times upon us, it never hurts to make some extra cash for your unwanted items.

I have a lot of luck with Facebook Marketplace (my ad is shown below), and Poshmark Canada. Both allow for contactless transactions and are easy to use. When I sell something on Facebook, the buyer sends a free etransfer to my email and we arrange a time for them to pick up the item on my porch.

With Poshmark, you send the items via mail, so I ship all of my sales when I'm at the store and have my mask on per usual when going to the stores these days.

If you are new to Poshmark, you can sign up using my invite code POSHSUMMERGIRL on the sign up page and get a $15 credit! Linked here.




5. Trying New Recipes; Baking and Cooking

I think a lot of people are enjoying baking and trying new recipes now more than ever. We often resort to frozen pizzas but homemade cannot be beat. Below is my favourite pizza recipe. I purchased a thin wholegrain crust and added my favourite toppings: Pizza sauce, mozzarella, feta, sundried tomatoes, black olives, onions and garlic. I ran out of sundried tomatoes and used regular ones this time, it was just as good!

The Dalgona coffee recipe (shown below) is all over social media so I had to give it a try. I found it quite strong, so I will try it again with half of the ingredients.

Homemade Pizza 🤤

Dalgona Coffee

6. Pampering- Hair and Skin Treatments

Now is the perfect time to give our hair and skin some extra pampering. Needless to say, I'm finally getting around to using up a lot of my products that were being neglected, along with my skin and hair!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there is nothing like a nice hot Epsom salt bath to relax your mind and body. I like to add some lavender essential oils, my favourite Live Clean bubble bath, and light a candle.

You can take all of the above ideas and create a spa day at home with some relaxation music for the full experience.



7. Exercise, Yoga, Meditation

Now is the perfect time to start exercising- check with your doctor before beginning a new form of exercise. Depending on your health and energy levels, you may want to do some gentle exercises like yoga, walking, or do some HIIT workouts. You can find tons of free exercise routines on YouTube.

Below are 2 of my favourite yoga DVD's. Sara Ivanhoe's Body Makeover has five 20 minute routines using Hatha style yoga, while the Happy Hormones by Ana Brett uses Kundalini style of yoga which is very different from the conventional Hatha style of yoga but has a lot of health benefits, including balancing out your hormones.

There are plenty of fitness DVD's, free YouTube videos, as well as apps for most forms of exercise as well as meditation. I really like the Down Dog app and the Insight Timer app.


8. Makeup Organizing and Decluttering

I know a lot of people online are into decluttering their makeup collections now more than ever. I recently cleaned out my makeup collection and tossed out everything that was expired. I felt bad that I had wasted so much makeup as I wasn't able to use it all up before it expired. But I feel so good that I've now fit almost my entire makeup collection into the makeup organizer shown below. The only items that I am not able to fit into this organizer yet are my palettes and tools.

We may not be able to go to stores yet, but you can still get organizers like this online.

ALMOST my entire makeup collection (minus palettes and tools)

9. Haircuts and Colour

Many of us will have to resort to a DIY haircut. I've been doing my own hair for the last few years and I have some tips and tools to take the stress out of it! Check out my post on how I cut my own hair linked here. I use some tools that make it super easy and simple including the Crea Clip.

I also do my own highlight and base bump! I have a whole post on how I bump my base and tone my hair linked here. Goldwell 10p + 20 volume developer are my secret weapons to toning my hair and bumping my base in 10 minutes!

10. Reading, Hobbies, Crafts, and Games

Some more common tips worth mentioning are starting hobbies that you've always wanted to or ones that you haven't had the time for in a while. Finally picking up that novel or self help book that you've been meaning to read.

Playing cards, board games, and puzzles are also lots of fun and can help relieve stress during these tough times.

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the benefits of good sleep (that's a whole other post), music, and sometimes you just need a nice big bowl of your favourite ice cream! 🍨


I hope you found some of these tips helpful.


Let me know what you're doing to have fun, keep busy and combat stress during these difficult times.

Now I'm off for yet another hot bath! 😊

#staysafe



Some links are referral, thank you for the support if you choose to use them!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

New! Ipsy Beauty Glam Bag April 2020


Hey, Everyone!

Sorry I wasn't able to get my usual Sunday post up. Even though we are still under quarantine, I have a lot going on at the moment and it makes it difficult to keep up with everything. Hopefully, today's fun post will make up for it!

I received Ipsy's beauty bag subscription for the month of April for free thanks to an online buddy, and I think it's a really great bag.

If you're not familiar with Ipsy / Glam bag, they are a monthly beauty subscription service where you receive a makeup bag and 5 personalized beauty products (usually deluxe sample sizes) based on your own individual profile. The subscription is $12 USD per month, which is a great deal! But, if you live in Canada, it will end up costing about $21 per month with the exchange rate and the $2.95 shipping and taxes fee.

I'll share what I received and hopefully, it will help you determine if the bag is right for you.


IPSY APRIL 2020


My bag has a mix of skincare and makeup which is right up my alley! In my Beauty Quiz, I requested not to be sent fragrances and quite a few other items, which pretty much left skincare and makeup which is just what I wanted to receive.

INSIDE THE BAG

Firstly, the makeup bag that came with my subscription is super cute and good quality, I'll definitely get use out of it.


I was happy to see 2 K Beauty sheet masks in my bag by Jayjun Cosmetics. I've never heard of this brand before but I'm looking forward to trying them out. Discovering new beauty brands is my favourite thing about these beauty subscription services!

One mask is for brightening and one for calming- both right up my alley!


Next up, I received a deluxe sample size (30ml) of Pure Heals by Nature Village Propolis Softening Toner. Niacinimide is the 3rd ingredient, so I'm stocked to try this out!

The first makeup item is this beautiful neutral eyeshadow quad by Oryza Beauty in Nude Shimmer and Contour (8 grams). It's another brand I haven't heard of! I actually selected this item before the bag was shipped. I received an email from Ipsy as they allow you to select your first item from a list of choices, the rest of the bag's contents are up to Ipsy. This palette is quite flimsy and doesn't have a mirror but it's great for the purse or travel. I appreciate small packaging more and more as I find it difficult to store bulky items and use up all my products before they expire. 



I also received Estate Beauty's baked highlighter in Dew Me (3.2grams). This is yet another brand that is new to me. It looks to be a bit of a blinding type of highlighter so I'll have to do a lot of blending as I like a subtle highlight (Essence Be My Highlight is my favourite). I'm still happy that I received this to try out and if I don't find myself using it, I can pass it on to someone else.

The last item that I received in this month's bag is this beautiful blush by Kaleido Cosmetics in the shade PrimaDonna (3 grams). I've never heard of this brand before either but the packaging states they are vegan and cruelty-free! 🐰

NOTE: I'm in Canada and my bag shipped on April 8th and I received it on April 21st.

I'm really happy with this bag and excited to play with everything! It's rare that I will use everything in a subscription box but this one is an exception. I know that many of us are going through difficult times for our own reasons and sometimes playing around with some new makeup can make us feel a little bit better, even if it's just for a little while.

If you are interested in trying out Ipsy, you can sign up here.

Did you receive a beauty bag this month? Let me know what you received!

Hope you enjoyed seeing what came in my April Ipsy / Glam bag and that you are all staying safe! 🙏





#notsponsored but I wish it was ;)

Some links are referral, thanks for your support, everyone!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Everyday Health and Wellness: Focus on Self-Care Without Busting Your Budget



Everyday Health and Wellness: Focus on Self-Care Without Busting Your Budget


Keeping yourself healthy, mentally and physically, doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. You don’t need a pricey gym membership to stay fit or an exotic vacation to relax. Instead, practice everyday self-care strategies that promote head-to-toe wellness but don’t bust your budget.

Get Enough Quality Sleep

While you are asleep, your body heals, your cells replenish, and your brain commits new information to memory. Most experts agree that seven to nine hours of sleep each night is the proper amount for most people. However, according to the American Sleep Association, 35.3 percent of adults are getting less than seven hours of sleep each night.

Chronic sleep problems can lead to fatigue, impatience, irritability, and inability to concentrate. Over time, sleep deprivation affects immunity, metabolism, and weight. Lack of sleep is also linked to diabetes, heart issues, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, and other diseases. You can reduce insomnia and other sleep problems by exercising regularly, as well as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, electronics, and overeating in the evenings. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes, healthy habits, and treatment options that may help you get a better night’s sleep.

Get a Massage Regularly

Stress can cause both physical and mental issues. If you love a good massage to relax and reduce stress, make it a point to get one regularly, whether from your partner or a pro. You can get inexpensive yet effective massages at a massage school. You might also consider purchasing a massage chair, particularly if you have a job that requires physical labor or standing all day. These come in a wide range of prices, but if you search online, you should be able to find some great deals on massage chairs. Additionally, look to sites like Rakuten for coupons and cashback offers to help maximize your savings. If you shop through Rakuten, you may also find deals for stores with free shipping. If all the massage chairs are beyond your budget, take a look at massage seat cushions instead.

Get Into Yoga

Regular yoga practice can improve sleep quality, energy levels, focus, and self-esteem. Physically, it improves balance, flexibility, muscle strength, blood flow, and posture. Yoga and meditation can also help if you are battling depression or anxiety, and can even reduce your risk of heart disease. You don’t need to pay for pricey yoga classes or drag yourself to a professional yoga studio every day. Instead, you can reap the benefits of yoga in your own home thanks to smartphone apps, video tutorials, and streaming YouTube channels.

Say ‘No’ More Often

It doesn’t cost a thing to say “no,” but it can improve your health and wellness. Being busy is often championed these days, but overscheduling yourself can cause health problems and burn out. Feel free to turn down invitations and requests to attend events, volunteer, work overtime, and so forth. There are only so many hours in a day. You don’t need to feel obligated to say “yes” to things you don’t have the energy, interest, money, and/or time to do.

Taking care of yourself — mind, body, and soul — is essential for your overall health and well-being. However, many people think they need to spend a lot of money to practice optimal self-care and healthy habits when, in fact, the opposite is true. A lavish vacation to a luxury resort or a personal trainer at the trendiest gym in town isn't what's standing between you and wellness. In fact, you don’t need to spend much money at all to focus on yourself and your health. Just follow these everyday habits and lifestyle changes to stay happy and healthy without putting a dent in your wallet.

This Guest Post was written by:

Jennifer McGregor


Photo via Pixabay



Guest post

Sunday, April 5, 2020

March Empties | Favourites and Fails!

Welcome to another Empties post! Apparently, I missed doing my February empties... I'm pretty sure I was just recycling things for that month as I changed up my empties storage area and no longer have that much space for saving up all of my empties. My last empties was January's, linked HERE in case you'd like to check it out.

I have some haircare, skincare. makeup, and one pet health product to share. I'll share links to products in the headings and provide a brief review for each item.


MARCH EMPTIES


SKINCARE AND MAKEUP

Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream 15ml
This was a small sample size. I had heard so much hype over this product. The sample size wasn't enough to form a solid opinion on it and for the price, I would have liked to see some results pretty quickly. I thought it was a decent skin cream but wasn't impressed enough (atm) to go purchase the full-size. Glad I was able to try before I buy though.

Repurchase- Not likely, but possible :)

Tarte TarteGuard Tinted Moisturizer in Medium 25ml
This product really grew on me! It actually checks off all of my boxes for what I look for in a tinted moisturizer. It has a skin-like appearance on my face, has SPF, light-medium coverage, and it's moisturizing. The medium shade is a hair dark for me in the winter but it gives me some colour and I can sheer it out so it works. This sleek bottle also lasted quite a while (although I do alternate my products).

Repurchase- Yes, but I think I can get something at the drugstore that does the same thing for less, so I'll be checking out the drugstore next

Algenist Ultra Shine anti-ageing Lipgloss in Romance 15ml
I LOVED this lipgloss! I did not find it "ultra-shiny" but it certainly was hydrating and reduced the look of lines in my aging lips. The colour, Romance, is a beautiful, everyday pink shade. This lived in my purse and I wasn't even able to finish it up before it expired. (Unable to find online).

Repurchase- Yes!

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
This has been my go-to mascara for a few years now. I still try other mascaras but this one still reigns supreme! It gives me both length and volume and doesn't' flake or smudge. Plus, it's easy to remove! Also, cruelty-free and gluten-free!

Repurchase- Yes

Milk Makeup Kush Mascara (Sample- Sephora birthday gift)
This was a sample size and I used it about 3 times before I had finally had enough and tossed it in the bin. I heard a lot of great things about this mascara but it didn't work for my lashes, unfortunately. The bottle quickly became a mess and it gave me the wimpiest lashes! I like a much wetter mascara that will coat my lashes, this barely coated my lashes at all.

Repurchase- NO

HAIR PRODUCTS
.
Tre Semme Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Smoothing Spray
I have had this bottle for so long I can't even tell you how old it is- it definitely lasts forever! I always use this product when I use hot tools. I should probably use it before I blow dry as well but I have so many products that I'm trying to use up and I don't like to layer too many products in my hair as it gets weighed down. I can't tell if it actually protects my hair from heat, but I'm not going to chance it by going without. It definitely does help with frizz though, and that's enough to make me repurchase it, plus the price is great!

Repurchase- Already have

Loreal Absolut Hair Repair Lipidium, Instant Resurfacing Conditioner for Very Damaged Hair
Phew, that's a long name! I had high hopes for this conditioner. It sounded so good! I have damaged hair from bleaching it and colouring etc. Unfortunately, I didn't notice much except maybe softer hair when I used this. I was expecting to notice some repairing going on, based on the name.

Repurchase- Not likely

Olaplex  Hair Perfector No3
I had heard so much about this product doing wonders for people who have damaged hair from bleach etc. I didn't notice any improvement to my hair while using this. Although, I did notice that my hair lightened more easily if I used it before I would do my highlights. I purchased it from Amazon and I've heard it could be a fake but since I hadn't used it before this bottle, I had nothing to compare it to.

Repurchase- Possibly (would probably purchase from Sephora to see if there is a difference)


PET HEALTH

Mercola Ubiquinol Q10 for Cats and Dogs
I've been taking Q10 ever since I found out that I had a heart condition and it's possible that it's the reason that my heart condition improved. Q10 has so many reported benefits that I also give it to my kitty cat. This one by Mercola is easy to dose and is in an airtight pump. I just put a pump in his wet food and he laps it up.

Repurchase- Already have


I hope you enjoyed seeing this month's empties. Hopefully, I can finish up many more products for next month. It's just so gratifying to finish up products when you have so many to use up!

Have a great week, everyone and stay safe! 💗


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