Best Ways to De-Stress

It’s important to remember to take care of ourselves, especially in today’s busy world. Whether or not you notice it, we’re always on the go and a lot of people forget to take breaks or give themselves a breather. For me, there are small things that I try to do daily and weekly to de-tress and relax. Most people don’t have time to go on regular vacations, or even weekend trips, so daily de-stressing tasks can come in really handy! Here are my personal favourite ways to relax and relieve stress.

1.Listening to the “Calma” playlist on Spotify. I love to listen to this playlist when I just need time to myself. Sometimes that’s in the car and other times it’s when I’m working at home. It creates a really relaxing environment and helps to keep me calm.

2. A cup of chamomile tea. I usually only drink this in the evenings when I need a breather after a long day. The tea works wonders for helping you relax before going to sleep.

3. Hot bath with epsom salts. Epsom salts are known to relieve muscle tension and relax the body, which makes them perfect de-stressors. Below is the brand of epsom salts that I use!

4. Diffuser with eucalyptus oil. Before I sleep or sometimes while I’m working later in the day, I like to turn on my Saje diffuser with eucalyptus oil. Just like the epsom salts, it helps the mind to relax and calm down! It also really helps if you have trouble sleeping.

5. Pedicure. This one is not something I do weekly, but when I have the opportunity to get a pedicure it always helps to relieve stress. It’s just a great pick-me-up activity! I mean, who doesn’t love getting pedicures?

6. Creating a list. When I am extremely stressed out about multiple things, it helps to create a list of everything that’s stressing me out. Beside that list I write down possible solutions that will help to relieve the stress that I’m holding. For example, if I’m ever stressed about deadlines, it always helps to write down everything I need to do and schedule in the priority tasks.

7. Working out. I try to workout 4-6 times a week because while I’m exercising I’m not thinking about anything else! It’s 100% ME time and I always feel refreshed and focussed afterward. I prefer to workout in the mornings so that I start my day off right.

8. Putting my phone down. Since my job is to always be online, my phone often causes me a lot of stress. It’s taken me a while to understand when I need to put it down, but now whenever I feel overwhelmed, it helps to put it away and spend time with family or friends.

9. Staying away from social media. Only over the past month or so have I learned that social media should not rule my life and I do NOT need to be on it 24/7. It is my job, but there needs to be a boundary between my daily life and my social media accounts. Whether it’s scheduling time to be on my phone during the day, or just staying off of it for a weekend, it helps relieve some of my stress.

10. Going on walks. I don’t do this very often, but when I do it really helps. This in combination with the Calma playlist on Spotify are great for clearing my head and re-focusing during the day.

What do you do to de-stress?

xoxo,

Haley

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Dry Brushing 101

I recently discovered dry brushing and added it to my daily routine, so today I want to share all of its benefits with you!

I recently added dry brushing to my daily beauty routine and thought I’d do up a little 101 guide on the beauty hack for you. For starters, let me explain what exactly dry brushing is! Dry brushing is basically what it sounds like, brushing your skin with a dry body brush. It’s usually done before showering and has a few great benefits.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

  1. Exfoliates and smooths. As you can imagine, brushing your skin is an amazing way to exfoliate because of the natural bristles. By brushing the skin with this tool, it helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells, therefore making your skin much smoother.
  2. Lymphatic drainage. If you haven’t heard of this before then it might sound complicated, so I’ll explain it simple terms. Your body is made up of lymph (it’s a fluid) and the body detoxifies through lymph vessels. Since a lot of the lymph vessels are right below the surface of your skin, dry brushing helps to stimulate normal lymph flow in the body. This basically means that the brushing is helping your body naturally detoxify!
  3. Smaller pores. Since the natural bristles help to exfoliate the skin, your pores are regularly being cleaned out by the dry brushing. As a result, pores appear smaller and the skin smoother!

How to Dry Brush

It’s been said that dry brushing creates energy as it increases circulation, so doing it in the morning before a shower is best! You can even do it twice a day if you feel like it. Always brush towards the center of the body as the heart and chest area are where lymph is drained. Very little pressure is needed if you have a firm brush!

Legs: Brush from the ankles upward in long strokes and repeat around 8-10 times per leg.

Arms: Brush from the wrists to the armpit in long strokes, repeat 8-10 times per arm.

Circular motions can be used on the abdomen, back and armpits.

Where to Buy a Dry Brush

Below are a few options for dry brushes, they’re not super pricey and definitely don’t need to be splurged on! Any firm, natural bristle brush will work. Larger ones with long sticks can be used for the body, and smaller gentler bristled brushes can be used for the face.

After dry brushing daily for about 3 weeks now, I’ve found that my skin is much smoother than before and seems to also be a bit tighter in stubborn fattier areas. I also find that the small bumps on the back of my thighs have disappeared! If you have any questions about dry brushing feel free to comment below.

xo,

Haley

My Current Daytime Skincare Routine

Here’s what I use on the daily to keep my skin healthy and glowing!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my update skincare routine, so today I’m laying it all out for you. I’ve been struggling a bit with acne recently so I’ve switched over to some products that are helping to control it. In addition, I’ve been using some products that help with the texture and enlarged pores. Let’s dive in shall we?

#1 Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

This is the cleanser that I’ve been using to combat incoming acne and pimples that have already surfaced. It has salicylic acid which is a chemical exfoliant and helps to break down impurities!

#2 Sunday Riley Good Genes

To get rid of my acne scars I’ve been using the Good Genes because it has Lactic Acid. It exfoliates the skin and helps to unclog pores, even out texture and reduce dark spots. I’ve found that after using this for even just a month my scars have lightened quite a bit.

#3 Swiss Line Recovery Serum

Basically this serum helps to revive the skin. So whether it’s because I’ve been out drinking too much or maybe eating poorly during the week, this serum improves my skin’s self-renewal. The signs of fatigue and stress are much less visible!

#4 Swiss Line Perfection Booster

This is a booster that I mix in with the Recovery Serum. It has 10% lactic acid which again helps to exfoliate the skin. Basically this booster helps to resurface and smooth skin texture and reduce the size of my pores.

#5 Decorté Overnight Performance Cream

This cream hydrates, lifts and firms my skin. A little bit goes a long way and I love it because my skin feels so moisturized when I wake up! The ingredients in it help the skin to look more youthful and bouncy over time.

#6 Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask

Under my eyes I use the jetlag mask because out of all the eye creams I’ve tried, this one truly helps to reduce puffiness and darkness when I’m extremely tired.

#7 Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

I don’t remember the last time I had chapped lips and this sleeping mask is why! It’s super thick and smells amazing. It keeps my lips super hydrated and plump.

What are some skincare products you’re loving right now?

xoxo,

Haley

Fool Proof Ways to Tone for Summer

It’s that time of year again when we all want to tone our bodies for summer and get leaaannnnn. If there’s one appearance goal that I have it would definitely be to tone my body and cut down on stubborn fat. It’s easier said than done, but with consistence and dedication it is definitely possibly. Here are a few ways that help me to tone my body for summer!

#1 Reduce Your Calorie Intake

The body needs to be in a calorie deficit in order to truly burn fat cells on its own. You can do this by eating and drinking less calories than you burn off in a day. When you burn more calories a day than you’re eating or drinking, your body will begin to shrink fat cells for energy!

The best way to figure out how many calories you should eat/drink a day is to use a fitness app or website. It’s all based on your gender, age, weight and height so they’re pretty accurate. Once you know your target calorie range, subtract 500-1000 calories a day, to get into that calorie deficit.

#2 Cardio, cardio, cardio!

This is an easy one to understand. Cardiovascular activity simply burns calories! Whether you’re a runner, swimmer or love to skip rope, any type of cardio daily will help you tone for summer. This is especially important if you do regular strength training in the gym or at classes.

#3 Drink tons of water!

Thousands of calories are consumed through sugary or alcoholic drinks. Water is your best friend this summer girl! Drinking water, at least 2L a day, keeps you hydrated, flushes out toxins and tightens the skin. When you do want a sweet drink or alcoholic beverage, make sure you drink lots of water at the same time so your body doesn’t retain a lot of water.

#4 Eat your greens and fruits!

If you’re in a calorie deficit, you’re going to need energy from something. Try to increase your vegetable and fruit intake daily so that you’re getting all of the nutrients and vitamins your body needs. Pass on the potatoes and get the carrots 😛

#5 Stay Consistent

One of the easiest ways to stay consistent is by planning out at least one or two meals a day. For example, I eat the same thing for breakfast every day! Two eggs and a sausage patty right after my workout provide the protein I need to stay strong and grow muscle.

I hope these ways help you to tone your own body for summer! If you have any tips of your own feel free to share them in the comments 🙂

xx,

Haley

The Blog Series: How to Develop and Maintain an Instagram Aesthetic

Maintaining an Instagram aesthetic can be difficult, but if you follow these few tricks of mine it should be a breeze!

Maintaining an IG aesthetic is not always easy, especially if you’re not 100% certain about your personal style or vibe. Over the course of the past two years I’ve been able to figure out how exactly I can maintain a feed that is pleasing to the eye, and not stressful to create. The tips I’m going to share should help you develop and maintain an Instagram feed that is satisfying to look at, even if you’re not completely certain about your own style, niche or vibe.

aesthetic; giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance

Believe me, it hasn’t always been easy for me to maintain my IG aesthetic, in fact it used to stress me out all the time. I think with this though, practice makes perfect and it took me trial and error of planning and editing to figure out what really works. Below are the few things that I do to maintain my aesthetic.

Tip 1: Pick Your Colours

Everyone has a favourite colour. No matter what anyone says, there is definitely one colour that dominates all others in a person’s eyes; a colour that sticks out anywhere they go. The trick to an aesthetic feed is its cohesiveness, which is often created with colour. For example, my favourite “colour” is white or cream and that’s what ties my feed together. Each or most of my photos include white or a very similar colour, like ivory, off white, cream or beige. To develop and maintain an aesthetic, stick to similar colours.

Tip 2: Build in Blocks

One of my favourite ways to let my creative juices and ideas flow, while maintaining my aesthetic, is to build my feed in blocks. Using blocks of 3, 6 or 9 on your feed can allow you to incorporate other colours and possibly styles of photography. For example, my feed is mainly neutrals, but when I was in Paris I took photos in front of the Eiffel Tower where there were green trees. In order to incorporate the green onto my feed, I included a few other photos that featured green. I also did a block of 3 with the colour blue. See below!

I featured green with the roses, my tank top, the Eiffel tower photos, and the Cafe De Flore flatlay. The blue was incorporated through the fringe sleeve, blue jeans and pole.

Tip 3: Be Consistent

Consistency is key in developing anything creative. In the case of an Instagram feed, consistency relates to photography style and the quality of your photos. It just helps the page flow better. Most of the best feeds are consistent in what type of images they post, like iPhone versus a professional camera. Shooting on either one is quite different and often times noticeable depending on how heavily you filter your photos. I mix it up sometimes between my phone and camera, but if I do that then I try to work in blocks!

Tip 4: Edit with Similar Filters

My last tip for creating an aesthetic feed would be to use similar or the same filters on each photo. Doing this ties all of your images together and makes it much easier to plan your feed. To make this easier for myself, I’ve actually created my own preset on VSCO. This is something that you can also do on Lightroom, however if you’re just getting started then I’d suggest using one of the simple filters from an app like VSCO or ColourStory.

I really hope these tips help you with your feed babes! If you have any IG aesthetic tips of your own, feel free to comment them below!

xx,

Haley

Style Tips for Petites

Here are my tips for dressing and shopping as a petite!

As you all may know, I’m a petite, like, extremely petite. 4’10” to be exact. So I thought I would do up a little guide on my tips for dressing as a small gal. I did a YouTube video on this last year and it seemed to be a hit, so I thought, why not do a written form!

Dressing as a petite can get tricky, especially when you’re shopping in the regular sized section of a store and your proportions just aren’t the same. My favourite stores are Zara, TopShop, and Aritzia, but only one of them has an actual petite section. So petite style hacks come in very handy when shopping. I’ve listed my mains below and I truly hope that they serve as helpful for all the other petite women reading this!

#1 Shop the petite section when possible.

This is obvious, but my number one tip because a lot of women shop in the regular section when they don’t have to! If there’s a petite section available, shop in it, plain and simple. The tailoring is made for us, so why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?!

#2 High waisted pants are your BFF.

High waisted pants give the illusion of longer legs, plus they suck everthing in 😉 Win, win right? Whether they’re trousers or jeans, a high waistline will be sure to make you look taller.

#3 Dress to your own proportions.

Everyone is different and just because your petite, that doesn’t automatically give you short legs! Lots of petites have longer legs and shorter torsos, or vice versa. If you’re aware of the way your body is, then dressing will be much easier. For example, if you have longer legs, then a regular fit mini skirt will probably be fine for you. Whereas a mini skirt from the petite section might actually be too short! The same goes for tops, blazers and coats.

#4 Avoid wide leg pants.

Culottes are cute, don’t get me wrong, but you’ve gotta know when the pant is just TOO wide. Any pant that looks like it’s eating up your body because it’s so baggy, loose or wide, is not the pant for you. Wider pants will swamp your figure, so a nice fitted or tailored trouser is much more flattering. A cropped and tailored trouser is flattering on just about any petite!

#5 Mini bags FTW.

I’m naturally drawn to mini bags so this isn’t hard for me. But if you’re the type to carry your entire life in your handbag…then this may be a challenge for you. Smaller to medium sized handbags do two things for petites. One, they don’t draw unwanted attention like huge oversized bags do. And two, they’re flattering with just about anything you put on. An oversized handbag overwhelms a petite figure, so they’re a definite no-no.

#6 Opt for open chest tops.

I don’t mean to sound immodest or anything, but open chest tops create the illusion of height. I’m not talking deep v-cuts down to your belly button though. A v-neck or a lower squared neckline are super flattering and make your torso seem taller than it actually may be.

#7 Choose narrow belts.

The last thing you want to do is cut your figure in half and screw up the vertical illusion of height. Slim belts serve as beautiful accessories, they keep things in place and they don’t cut your figure in half. Wider belts on the other hand do just the opposite, so try to avoid them.

#8 Learn how to walk in heels girrrrlllll.

It’s a little bit unfair, but if you WANT to look taller, heels are a sure way to do so. Whether it’s a kitten heel or a 5″ stiletto, heels will obviously lengthen any look you put on. I personally love to wear heels with jeans and pants as casual wear, even if it means my feet are hurting by the end of the day LOL. No pain, no gain baby!

There you have it, my tips for styling looks and shopping as a petite. If you have any tips of your own, I would love to hear them! Feel free to comment them below 🙂

xx,

Haley

Paris Café Guide

While I was in Paris I made it a goal to visit as many cafés/restaurants that I could. I love experiencing the food of new places, and I knew that cafés are a huge part of the one I was in! Since I visited so many, I thought I’d do up a guide and review of each one for you. Hopefully this will help the next time you plan a trip to Paris!


Café de Flore

Oh the famous Café de Flore. When we visited the St. Germain area I knew that visiting this café was a must. I just had to see what all the fuss was about! After all, it is ALL over Instagram and Pinterest. The outside of this spot is definitely an eye-catcher but I wanted to see if the food and drinks were really worth the wait. When we arrived every outside table was taken, and we had to wait about ten minutes to secure a spot of our own. The staff was friendly and quick at setting up our table. The menu was of decent size with many options. I got a coffee with milk, fresh orange juice and a ham and cheese toast. Here’s what I thought overall:

Food: 8/10, the coffee and food was great however the orange juice they served was verrrryyyy sour! I’d definitely go back to try out more dishes though!

Service: 10/10, very attentive, kind and welcoming!

Price: 6/10, everything was a little pricier than other cafés I had visited, but I guess that’s what comes with going to a popular place!

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Angelina Paris

I had been waiting since my last trip to visit this popular spot. I had heard raving reviews about their famous hot chocolate, so of course I had to try it! We visited the location that’s right across from the amusement park near the Louvre, and didn’t have to wait even a minute to get a table. The staff was extremely kind and well-mannered. We came here starving so of course ordered full meals and drinks! I ordered the mushroom truffle ravioli and it was AMAZING. My friend ordered a club sandwich and both of our dishes were very good sizes. I can honestly say though that I was completely stuffed after my meal. After the ravioli I ordered just the hot chocolate for dessert and it was super creamy and rich. I’d definitely recommend sharing one pot between two people as it is very heavy, but nevertheless very delicious too.

Food: 10/10, everything I ordered was absolutely delicious!

Service: 10/10, staff was very attentive and spoke English well!

Price: 9/10, the prices were decent in my opinion as the serving sizes were quite big, but also tasted amazing!

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DS Café

This was the first café we visited when we arrived in Paris. It was only a couple of blocks down from our Air BnB and had great healthy options on the menu. We ate here twice and both of my visits were pleasant! The food was wonderful, however the service was not the best as we had to ask multiple times for more water, and had to wait a very long time to actually order our food. I ordered a Norvegian Bagel (avocado, smoked salmon, cream cheese) and it came with a side of potatoes and salad, which I was not fond of at all. The second time, I ordered the avocado toast which again came with the same sides. The avo toast was great though! The drinks I ordered were the Machiatto and Matcha Latte, and out of the two I’d definitely recommend the Matcha!

Food: 7/10, the main dishes were great but the sides they served were very mediocre and not very pleasant!

Service: 4/10, felt like there wasn’t much service at all.

Price: 8/10, for the fresh veggies and healthy options, I felt that their prices were fair! I also found that the price for dishes with fresh salmon was amazing compared to back here in Vancouver.

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Thierry Meunier

This was more of a pastry shop than a full café however they did also have bottled drinks and coffee available to order. It was right beside DS Café so we visited a few times. The baguette sandwiches were not the best as the butter and cream cheese was clumped along the bread rather than spread. The drinks were decent and the pastries were hit or miss. The madeleine that I had from here was not very good, however the chocolate cake was delicious and moist!

Food: 4/10

Service: 6/10, the staff behind the counter seemed very snappy and impatient but it could have been worse!

Price: 5/10, pricing was decent however the quality of most of the food we tried wasn’t up to par.

Café Kitsuné

I can’t say much about this because we visited the very tiny location that was inside of Jardin du Palais Royal. I ordered the White Matcha which was a mix of white hot chocolate and matcha latte. The drink was just okay, and when I got about half way I started to get clumps of matcha in my mouth. Something no matcha latte should ever have!

Drinks: 6/10, I was very excited to try this place out, but was disappointed by the quality of my drink.

Service: 7/10, I can’t say much because we only spoke to one person behind the counter but they seemed friendly!

Price: 4/10, obviously this place was in a prime tourist spot and therefore the prices were ridiculously high. I believe our drinks came out to be about 6 or 7 euros, and our cups were tiny. Definitely not worth it!

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Creperie Framboise

I had to include this spot because it was SO delicious! We visited this creperie in Passy, more of a local area and it was very low-key. I got a crepe with chopped hazelnuts, nutella and chantilly (whipped cream). My friend got one with nutella and banana and the both of us were very impressed! I definitely could have eaten another.

Food: 10/10, would definitely recommend the sweet crepes!

Service: 6/10, our server seemed nice but did not know very much english so it was difficult to ask questions.

Price: 10/10, our crepes were each about 7 to 8 euros and I felt that was fair for the size of them and taste!

Le Paradis du Fruit

We stopped here for a late lunch one day and it was delicious. The service was decent and the restaurant was clean and lively. I ordered the toasted pita with mozzarella, pesto and tomato and it was delish. My friend ordered their superbowl full of veggies and it was a huge serving. All of the vegetables coming out looked very fresh, hence worth the price. Our server was great at answering questions, spoke English well and was attentive. Their menu also had a lot of cocktail options making it a great spot for a drink outside on the patio!

Food: 10/10

Service: 8/10

Price: 7/10, it was affordable but definitely on the pricier side for the fresh vegetable dishes!


There you have it! I’ll add any new spots I go to the next time I visit!

xoxo,

Haley

How I Manage Work When I’m on Vacation

Since I’m just getting back from my Paris vacation, I thought it would be fitting to share how I manage my work while I’m away. By now most of you know that I’m a full time blogger, so the work never really stops. It’s not a regular 9-5 gig, it’s more like a 24/7 job. The work that I put in, is what I’m going to get back and therefore I’m working almost all of the time in some way. Whether it’s engaging on IG, writing a blog post, filming a video or brainstorming for my next content, I work really hard to make sure that I’m capitalizing on my time.

Working from home sounds like an easy way out, but there are times when I wish my job was only 9-5, Monday to Friday! It takes a lot of self-motivation and dedication to get everything I need to do done. When I go away, even for a week or so there’s a lot of planning involved so that I don’t need to “work” while I’m on my trip. There are some major things that I do to prepare for vacation and tie up my work before I leave, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today.


#1 Create a list of all the content I need available while I’m away.

The very first step in prepping is to create a list of all the content I’ll be needing on my trip. This includes every blog post (1/week) and YouTube video (2/week). For the trip I was recently on, I needed to have two blog posts and four videos completed before I left. It doesn’t sound like a lot at first, but when considering the amount of work and time it takes to produce the content, it’s A LOT.

In addition to the content needed on my trip, I had to get all of the content done that was due before I left. To give you a better picture, that totaled to six blog posts and nine YouTube videos. It’s always intimidating at first, but the next couple of steps really helped me to stay on track and get things done in a timely manner.

#2 Schedule production days and editing days.

Once I have my excel sheet lists of content, including content titles and posting dates, I move on to scheduling when I’m going to produce them and edit them. Doing this allows me to get the work done but not overwork myself. It’s all about working smarter, not harder 😉 For example, one of my YouTube videos that I’ll be posting, I filmed while I was in Paris, and I edited it on the plane ride home! Who needs in-flight movies when you can be productive?! Below is what my schedule looked like!

Blog Content Schedule
Left to Right: posting date, content title, status
YouTube Content Schedule
Left to right: posting date, content title, production/editing date, status

#3 Automate posting dates.

Instead of manually publishing each blog post and YouTube video while I’m away, I automate the posting date and time. Thankfully both YouTube Studio and WordPress have this feature, or else it would be very annoying to worry about while on vacay.

Automating posting date and time on WordPress.
Automating posting date and time on YouTube.

#4 Bring a small planner on vacation.

Once all of my content is created and ready to post, I move on to preparing what I’ll physically be bringing on my trip, a planner! Instead of my big regular planner, I usually bring a small notebook to remember important things on my trip. What I write down in my notebook is listed below.

  • brands that I need to shoot while on vacation (clothes, shoes, etc.)
  • content I need to create (vlogs, photos for blog, etc.)
  • due dates for Instagram postings
  • due dates for content submission to brands
  • outfit guide

I could do all of this on my iPhone Notes app, but I work better when things are physically written down for some reason!

#5 Plan outfits head to toe.

For my recent trip to Paris, I was working with a few clothing brands so I had specific looks that I needed to shoot while I was there. Instead of stressing about what to wear, accessorize with and style while on my trip, I prepared all of my brand outfits ahead of time. This is the outfit guide that I mentioned on the list above.

For example, if a brand has sent me four items to style on my trip, I will write down exactly what I’ll be wearing from clothing to accessories with suggestions on when and where I could shoot the look. Below is an example of what my guide looks like.

CLOTHINGSHOESACCESSORIESNOTES
Purple
dress
White strappy
sandal
– white beret
– gold Gemini necklace
– beaded purse
– in front of
Eiffel
tower

#6 Schedule time for emails.

Since I was traveling with my best friend who is also a content creator, we were both able to schedule a bit of time each morning to respond to pressing emails. Email responses aren’t a big deal because most of the brands I work with are notified that I’ll be “OOO” beforehand. However, I do like to keep track of what’s coming in so that it doesn’t pile up when I get back home!

#7 Go with the flow.

I know it sounds silly, but this is a major part of managing my work while on vacation. Whenever I go away, I always need to remind myself that I’m on vacation and if work things aren’t going the way I originally planned, it’s OK. Things usually tend to work themselves out anyway, and stressing over content creation or emails doesn’t help. Going with the flow is KEY!


And there you have it, those are the ways that I manage work while I’m on vacation. I hope this post was helpful if you’re a fellow content creator just starting out and planning a vacay! Let me know if you have any tips of your own in the comments!

xx,

Haley

My In-Flight Essentials

A list of my absolute essentials for the plane!

Travel can be stressful in many ways, and one of my least favourites is having to carry a ton of stuff on the plane. It seems to happen every time I travel and I’m putting a stop to it. Whether it’s because my checked luggage was overweight or because I packed unnecessary items, I often end up with a 10lb purse on the plane. For the France trip that I’m currently on, I told myself that I would aim to strictly pack my personal bag with only essentials. Guess what? I successfully did it, and here’s what I packed.

Essentials to me, well also by definition, are things that are absolutely necessary. So I decided that the items I usually pack which I thought were necessary, actually weren’t because I never ended up using them during my travels! The items that I pack now are things that I KNOW I’m going to use either in flight, or before and after.

Wet Wipes

I usually pack a hand sanitizer for my travels but I realize that I don’t really use it! When I’m in-flight I’ll just get up to wash my hands in the restroom and when I get off the plane I also go straight to the restroom, so hand sanitizer is kind of pointless to me. Instead, I’ve packed super light and easy to carry wipe packets from Fur. Since they’re so thin, it’s almost like they’re not even in my bag and they’re much better to clean off or refresh during the flight.

Sleeping Mask & Ear Plugs

I only pack these two things when I’m on a flight that’s longer than four hours. I’m a very light sleeper so ear plugs are absolutely essential, and if I’m trying to sleep and someone has their reading light on, then a sleeping mask also comes in handy.

Lip Balm

Duh. Instead of bringing my whole collection of glosses, lipsticks and liners, I’ve cut it down to one lip balm that I love. The most hydrating one that I own is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask and it also gives off a nice glossy look if enough is applied! Win-win!

Laptop & Charger

Since a personal bag gets heavy so easily I try to choose my heavier items wisely. Something that’s essential for me is my laptop and charger. It allows me to get some work done on the flight and ensures it’s safe and secure during travel!

Passport & Wallet

Okay these are completely obvious necessities, but I store them together in one flat pouch so that I don’t lose anything. The pouch I use is also big enough for my boarding passes, trip itinerary and any other documents I get while traveling. Since the pouch is flat, it’s easy to stick it in my bag and forget about it!

Emergen-C Packets

The last thing I want while travelling is to get sick, so I pack two or three Emergen-C packets for my flight to give my immune system a little help! These are also super flat and easy to pack.

Pack of Gum

This isn’t just for fresh breath though! Chewing gum on the plane helps with ear pressure, which happens quite a lot for me. I make sure I have one full pack before flying.

What are your in-flight essentials?

xoxo,

Haley

The Blog Series: What Being on IG Has Taught Me

Here’s what I’ve learned from being an Instagram user for over five years. The good, the bad and the ugly!

What did we have before Instagram? Can you even remember a time when Instagram wasn’t relevant every minute of our daily lives? Though the app has been active for quite a few years, only recently it has switched to be THE app that everyone has, wants and needs. I’ve been on Instagram since 2013 and though I wasn’t a heavily active user in the beginning years, it has grown to be the platform that my career bloomed from, which is amazing to me.

After almost 6 years of being an Instagram user, there are a few things that I’ve realized and learned. This month for The Blog Series I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you. It’s a little different than my usual posts, but I really want to share the more personal side of Instagram and blogging rather than just technical things! I hope some of this, if not all, resonates with you and helps you stay true to who you are on the ‘GRAM!


1. Numbers should never define your worth. I’ve been through all the roller coaster emotions of not feeling good enough, big enough, important enough and it’s not worth the stress it carries. If you’re in the industry for the wrong reasons and haven’t started as a creator purely because you love to create, then of course numbers are going to be the biggest issue for you. With growth comes more income, but true content creators, as much as numbers help us, aren’t focusing on them the most. Our number one priority, at least mine, is my content and the quality that I’m putting out for my audience to see. My content defines me, not my followers, likes or comments.

Nothing good comes from worrying about your numbers, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry. It makes sense that numbers will be low in the beginning years. Of course there are a few creators who boom right away within the first two or three, but quite honestly, it’s usually not that easy. For anyone. If I ever start to stoop to a low of not feeling good enough or that I’ve had enough growth in the past week, month or year I always remind myself that everyone is on their own journey and timeline. Every single time I tell myself that, it immediately pushes any feeling of disappointment and fear out the door. My main focus is to create content, enjoy creating my content and challenge myself while doing it!


2. Comparison is a b*tch. Straight up! I’ve realized that any time I feel bad about my content it’s for one reason; I’m comparing myself to another image, creator or page. The truth is, there is no other you, and that is your power on the platform. Inspiration and motivation from other accounts is fantastic, but there is a fine line between being inspired and straight up trying to copy someone else’s style, look or photo.

I’ll be honest, it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out who you really are (style, aesthetic, vibe wise), and that’s because the Instagram platform is SO saturated! How many accounts have you come across that look EXACTLY the same? Everything good takes time and the same goes for your personal style. As humans we obviously go through phases, and whether or not you’re “easily influenced”, the Instagram platform affects in ways you may not even realize. What makes you want to buy that beaded bag? What made you buy that $100 face cream? Why are you wearing a 10lb pair of sneakers on your feet? Influence is not all bad, don’t get me wrong, but once you figure out your true style and true self, you’ll see just how much others have influenced you and not always in a beneficial way. WOW, I feel like I just went on a tangent there! My point is, comparison is killer, so stay strong to your own values, beliefs and style (if you already have an idea of it!).


3. Networking is integral. My favourite part about being on Instagram is the networking! I never used to be the type to want to go out, mingle and meet new people but this platform has changed me. And I’m so glad it did! It’s as if I was pulled out of my little introvert bubble. If you’re not a people person but want to grow on the gram and become well known, then you’re going to have to accept the fact that it’s a networking platform. There’s work that comes with the app, and I don’t just mean taking photos and posting them! I met my bestfriend through Instagram and it’s been just over a year now since we met. If it weren’t for IG, I probably never would have met her! It all started with a DM, then a coffee date and the rest is history.

Some of you might argue that networking is optional, but from a creator/blogger perspective I really find that it’s essential to building a community and support system. Though it may not necessarily be essential to growing your following, it helps immensely in other ways. For starters, you can build a support system of people in your niche. My niche is fashion and beauty mostly, so my circle is built of women that are similar! It’s wonderful to have because we all have eachother’s backs. Another great part about networking is that you meet so many people that are higher up in the industry. Think PR Agents, VP’s of Marketing and individuals that are heavily involved with the brands that you love! A lot of my work and event invites come from people that I’ve met through previous PR parties and social gatherings. Networking is no joke people!


4. Consistency is queen but breaks are crucial. We all have a tipping point. A point where we reach our creative capacity, unfortunately. Thankfully I haven’t had to learn it the hard way, but I can tell you that letting my mind rest every so often has led to much, MUCH better content creation and brainstorming. As much as consistency rules, I’ve learned that it’s just as important to take a break from the app, even just for a couple days, a weekend.

Planning supports consistency and can also allow for more breaks. I never have to worry about posting consistently when I shoot 3-4 looks on a weekend and it always allows me to take a break the next weekend! However, shooting is one of my favourite pastimes so I don’t have an issue with it unless I’m super tired and have other plans. Just remember that the harder you work, the harder you can play. But also, the smarter you work the harder you can play! Plan ahead, be prepared and allow room for breaks!


5. Not everything needs to be documented. It took me a while to figure this one out because I could IG story all day long if it was healthy! I’ve learned that not every part of my life needs to be on Instagram for everyone to see. Enjoying moments with loved ones and friends can be remembered through memories rather than my IG archive. A healthy personal and social life is actually healthy when you don’t feel the need to show everything to the world! Sure, your audience wants to see your “everyday life” but that doesn’t mean you need to show it all! I meannn, what they can’t see won’t hurt them right 😉

If you’ve read up to this point, kudos to you and thank you for reading this post. I hope you found it insightful, or maybe just interesting! If you have realizations and lessons of your own from Instagram I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Until next time..

-Haley