7 Ways to Start Off the New Year Right

7 Ways to Start Off the New Year Right

As clichΓ© as it sounds, the New Year is certainly the right time to start working on those things you said you’d do a while back…and never did. It’s the best time to start fresh and focus on what’s really important in your life.

You probably already have a list of “goals for 2019” and that’s always a good thing, but you should definitely have a game plan as well! After all, you do want to check off those goals right?

Think of the new year as a new day. You don’t want to start your day off slowly and without a task-list! It’s always best to start the day with a clear mind, a clean workspace and a task list that will keep you going! So that’s what this post will help you do to start off 2019 the right way πŸ™‚


#1 Clean up your home/workspace/bedroom.

Clutter is not welcome in 2019! Get rid of old papers, unwanted clothing, shoes and random items around your home and workspace.

#2 Get your budget straightened out.

Figure out and finalize your weekly and monthly budget! You’ll step into 2019 prepared and ready to take on those bank statements.

#3 Create a workout schedule.

If one of your goals is to live a healthier lifestyle or workout more often, be specific and make a proper schedule so it actually happens. Make sure you create your workout schedule before the New Year starts. This will prevent you from saying “I’ll start tomorrow”, “I’ll start next week”, and so on.

#4 Detox.

Another part of living a healthy lifestyle is eating well. Detoxing right before or during the start of the New Year will get you in the right mindset to better your eating habits. This could be a one week diet cutting out sugar and processed foods, or it could even be a juice cleanse!

#5 Do a yearly review.

This one is a little time consuming but will leave you feeling confident about your new year goals. Review the past year and figure out what worked and didn’t work for you, socially, personally, health-wise, work-wise, etc. Ask yourself some of these questions:

Why didn’t I reach (x) goal last year?

What did I cut out that made me happier?

How did I improve my health?

What went well for me last year?

How did I improve my relationships?

#6 Finish what you started.

I feel like we all have a to-do list in the back of our mind that never actually gets checked off. If you’ve got one of these and the tasks can be completed within one day or maybe even a few hours, dedicate one full day to them. These tasks are usually centered around the following:

  • house chores
  • repairs (home, clothing, shoes)
  • car (oil change, brake check, clean)
  • purge/donate unwanted items

#7 Create a list of daily habits.

Think of a few small tasks that you want to accomplish each day and keep the list handy. It could be drinking 2L of water per day, working out for 30 minutes, or even praying for 10 minutes every morning!


How will you be starting 2019 off right? What are some of your goals for the New Year?

xoxo,

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How to Give Back This Christmas

How to Give Back This Christmas

Christmas is all about love and although there are many different things going on during the holidays, giving back should definitely be on your bucket list. Not everyone is as fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones, receive gifts or even have a Christmas meal around this time of year. Giving back is a wonderful way to spread happiness and positivity to others. So I’ve put together a list of ways that you can give back within your local communities this season.

There are so many ways to give back and they’re not always right in front of your eyes. It’s the lonely seniors waiting for visitors on Christmas Eve or a child waking up to no presents on Christmas morning that are often overlooked. Through these ways of giving back, we can share some Christmas joy with them this year.

  1. Bake treats for your neighbours or a local shelter. I always love to bake at Christmas time because it feels extra special. Baking for a local soup kitchen or shelter will feed hungry people and hopefully give them that warm and fuzzy feeling when they see homemade cookies and treats!
  2. Donate money to your local women’s shelters or for youth in need. Do a bit of research before you choose the charity you donate to. Try to choose one that really resonates with you. Maybe you know a few youth that are currently struggling, or a single mother who needs a bit of help. Don’t just donate what you can though. Service is about sacrifice, so try giving a little more than what’s in your budget.
  3. Visit your local seniors homes. Every year my family visits the seniors home that my great grandmother resided in. We sing carols and dance with the seniors and the smiles on their faces are what make it all worth it. Many seniors are left alone during the holidays and many of them don’t actually have family to visit with. Stay a while, have a cup of tea and get to know some of the seniors in your community. Maybe you’ll even spark a friendship πŸ™‚
  4. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. If you really want to get hands on this holiday season, contact a local soup kitchen and ask when the best time is for you to visit and help serve the hungry.
  5. Donate toys and clothing. Find a local charity that gives back to less fortunate women, children and families and donate a box of new (or even gently used) clothing and toys.
  6. Coordinate a food drive in your neighbourhood. Almost everyone has canned food in their home. Walk or drive around your neighbourhood collecting canned food! There’s probably more than one organization in your community that accepts these food donations and distributes them over the holiday season.
  7. Visit children in the hospital. So many children spend their holidays in the hospital and don’t get the Christmas experiences that they deserve. It’s easy to visit your local hospital and bring a few toys (new or used) down to the children’s wing. Maybe bring a couple board games and play with them too!

For my local Vancouverites, below is a list of local charities and organizations that you can help out this season:

Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Blanket BC

Union Gospel Mission

Covenant House

Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau

How do you give back during the holidays?

xoxo,

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How to Look Cute on a Lazy Day

How to Look Cute on a Lazy Day

Sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and that’s okay. If you’re having a lazy day, there’s still hope for looking cute πŸ˜‰

Believe it or not there are ways to look cute without having to put too much effort in and today I’m going to share them with you! Everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time, so take these tips and use them the next time you’re feeling tired.


1. Joggers VS. Sweats

Baggy sweats look cute on some girls, but they’re usually not socially acceptable when you’re going out, so opt for a pair of joggers instead. These babies are comfy AND cute at the same time. They’re also super easy to style, especially if you have them in a neutral colour (black, white, grey, brown).

2. Braids

If you’re not up for styling your hair, a braid is a cute and quick alternative. I personally don’t know how to french braid but even a regular braid looks better than undone locks.

3. Throw on a hat!

If you’re really not up for styling your hair, throw on a hat! A ball cap looks cute (as long as it’s in good condition) and a toque works just as well. If you’re wearing a comfy casual outfit, either of these two hats will make you look just a little more put together.

4. Jackets

Don’t underestimate the power of a jacket! Even if you’re wearing joggers or leggings, a jacket adds something unique to your outfit. Try layering a hoodie and a leather jacket with a pair of joggers for a cute off duty look.

5. Loafers

Instead of socks and slides or your torn up sneakers, try wearing a pair of slip on loafers with your outfit. Whether it’s leggings or joggers that you have on, a pair of loafers are comfy, easy to slip on and they’re cute!

How do you look cute on your laziest days? πŸ˜‰

xoxo,

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15 Ways to Look & Feel Put Together

15 Ways to Look & Feel Put Together

We all have those days that we just feel blah, but thankfully there are a few tricks that can actually help us look and feel put together. They’re easy, quick and pretty simple I think!

Whether it’s your mood or appearance, these tips will help you to look your best, and then hopefully feel your best! Keep reading to find out what they are…

  1. Wash your hair. Everyone knows that a freshly washed head of hair makes the world of a difference in your appearance!
  2. Wear black. No matter what the occasion, wearing black makes you look put together! If you’re not into black though, you can certainly wear a different monochrome outfit πŸ˜›
  3. Use a lint roller. Lint-free clothing screams “I’ve got this”. It’s a quick clothing fix so why not do it before you run out the door!
  4. Put on some mascara. If you’re looking tired, mascara can do wonders for your face. A natural makeup look really makes a difference!
  5. Shave. This is pretty self-explanatory… who doesn’t feel awesome after they shave their legs?!
  6. Be mindful of your eating throughout the day. Eat good, feel good.
  7. Wake up early. Ever since I started waking up early everyday I’ve seen a huge difference in my mood throughout the day. Waking up early gets you on the right track for the day and you’ll feel good πŸ™‚
  8. Put on some perfume. Spray some on, thank me later.
  9. Write out a to-do list. Stay on track with your productivity and feel good about what you’re doing throughout the day!
  10. Listen to some up-beat music. Nothing is better than a little dance sesh!
  11. Chew some gum. Does this really need an explanation? What beats fresh breath?
  12. Do a five minute breathing meditation. Feeling blah? A quick meditation will immediately refresh your mind.
  13. Get dressed as soon as you wake up. Take action as soon as you jump out of bed!
  14. Have a 30 minute workout. A workout has been proven to increase positivity and productivity.
  15. Put on a pair of earrings. Going out but still feeling blah? Throw on a pair of earrings or other jewellery. Usually when you look good, you feel good.

If you have any other tips on how to look and feel put together, feel free to share them below!

xoxo,

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How to Wear a Beret With Short Hair

How to Wear a Beret With Short Hair

I’ve heard a lot of women complain about not being able to wear berets because of their short hair. Now that I’ve chopped mine off and had the chance to try on a few hats, I’ve figured out what the best ways are to wear a beret with short locks.

The problem that usually arises when hats are tried on with short hair is the ears sticking out! Fortunately there are ways around this little annoyance πŸ˜‰ Keep reading to find out how you can prevent elf ears in your beret!

#1 Behind the Ear

One of the chicest ways to wear a beret is with one side of hair behind your ear. This allows you to pull the beret a little lower down on the other side, thus covering your other ear!

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#2 Slouched to One Side

If you don’t want to expose your ears, try styling the beret off to the side! You’ll be warm and stylish πŸ™‚

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#3 Pulled Back

This may not work for super short bobs, but if you’re able to pull your hair back into a little ponytail or bun, do it! This is a really sleek look and makes the beret very easy to put on!

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How do you style your beret?

xoxo,

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5 Ways to Pose for the ‘Gram

5 Ways to Pose for the ‘Gram

Are you stuck for poses? Seeking inspiration for your weekly Instagram photos? Look no further, here are five different poses that you can use for your #OOTDs πŸ˜‰

#1 Look Back At It

This is a great pose for showing off the backside of your outfit or any heels that you might be wearing!

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#2 The Walk By

Show a little attitude by doing a walk by photo! You can capture this on an iPhone or a professional camera by completing a burst photo of you walking.

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#3 The Knee Pop

This pose looks great close up or far away. I personally love using this pose for a details shot.

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#4 Look Afar

So you don’t want to look straight into the camera huh…why don’t you try looking away! Your photo will turn out with a laid-back and effortless look.

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#5 Hand to Hip

This pose is a little more flirty and goes great with a smile. I love this pose while wearing a dress or skirt because it helps to flare out the bottom a little bit!

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What’s your favourite pose? πŸ™‚

xoxo,

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5 Easy Ways to Save Your Money

5 Easy Ways to Save Your Money

It might be a little early to say this but….the holidays are only a few weeks away which means a lot of us are starting to save for gifts, events and other festivity expenses. That’s why today I’m going to share my saving tips! Even though they may be small they certainly make a difference when you add it all up.

I recently read “Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism” and it turned me in a different direction, more specifically, away from spending and consuming so much during my day to day life. This book helped me to realize that if you’re truly spending on and consuming the right things, there’s really no need to be constantly opening your wallet. This is relevant to basically everything you spend on, from food to clothing, there are tons of ways you can save your dollars.

Here are some of the easy ways that I save money!

  1. Learn how to DIY. As a girl who focuses a lot on beauty and takes a lot of photos, I used to spend quite a bit on waxing and threading my face. For over a year now I’ve been threading my eyebrows and upper lip myself. Thread is dirt cheap and the process isn’t hard to learn (find my tutorial here). This will save you a few bucks a month especially if you find yourself visiting the salon quite often. It can also be applied to your nails! Get your own gel machine and polishes, I guarantee it’ll be cheaper than the salon.
  2. Invest in a good coffee machine. Why do we always choose Starbucks over a home-made cup of coffee in the morning? It’s probably because the home-made stuff isn’t as good, but what if it could be? If you spend a little more ONCE on a coffee machine that allows you to make lattes that you love, you won’t feel the need to spend $$$ every day at your local cafe. After all, buying coffee grounds once a month or even once every two months will definitely end up saving you money.
  3. Use GasBuddy. If you’ve got a car, you know how expensive it can get to be driving around all the time. Be smart about where and when you gas up! It’s as easy as using an app, seriously. GasBuddy compares the prices at your local gas stations, so you know where to go to save some mula!
  4. Don’t walk into a mall or store without a need. Shopping used to be a really bad habit of mine because I would go out simply to “look around” and FIND something that I wanted. I’ve learned now that this is super dangerous and results in you spending hundreds every month on unnecessary sh*t. My rule now is, if you don’t NEED an item in the store, don’t walk in. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll save.
  5. Sell your pre-loved items. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been selling my used clothing, home decor, accessories and more. Why not get a little money back from the things you spent your coin on?! Even if you’re not making a profit, it all adds up and you won’t feel so bad purging πŸ˜‰

There are many other small ways that I save my money, but these ones are my mains. If you’ve got any tips of your own please share them! πŸ™‚

xoxo,

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Tips on Working from Home

Tips on Working from Home

As someone who is constantly working from home, I’ve been able to figure out how to make the most out of my day. Most people think it’s working in your pjs from bed all day, but that’s definitely not the case. For me, a lot of thought is put into working from home because it’s THAT easy to curl right back up in bed.

I’ve tried sitting in bed all day working to get my task list checked off, and let me tell you now, it doesn’t work. I’ve also tried sleeping in and working later, but that wasn’t ideal either. In order to get my work done I need to wake up earlier, start my morning off with a boost of energy and tackle a to-do list one by one. Here are the ways that I get all of my work done at home.

Wake Up Early

This might mean something different to you, depending on when you usually get up, but for me it means 8 to 8:30am. I find that setting my alarm even an hour later than this (9am) prevents me from getting up right away. Being up with the rest of my household at 8am encourages me to make my bed, change my clothes and start the day.

Workout Right Away

I used to convince myself I couldn’t do this because I’d wake up hungry, too tired, etc, etc. However those were excuses and I’m glad I’ve put an end to them because working out as soon as I’m awake gets my blood flowing and helps me be more productive. Once the workout is over I can focus the rest of my day on what’s important. It doesn’t need to be a long workout, even 20-30 minutes will do you good!

Shower

If you workout you should probably shower too, but this is a win-win situation. If your sweat sesh didn’t wake you up, then a shower surely will! You’ll also be ready for the day in case you need to go out.

Prepare a Checklist

I find that physically writing down my to-do list the evening before really helps me to get things done the next day. Whether it’s on my whiteboard or a notebook, being able to prioritize and actually check things off throughout the day allows me to get more done. I also write down ideal times for getting things done, see my example below.

8am – wake up, workout, shower

9am – emails

10am – content creation for (brand)

Make Your Own Schedule

Every work shift has a start and an end time, so I try my best to do that for my own schedule too. If I’m waking up at 8am, having a workout, lunch break or running errands, then I’ll end my day around 5-6pm. However, in this industry your work is going on 24/7, so you just need to know when to stop answering your emails πŸ˜‰ Knowing how to do this comes in handy when you have family or significant-other time planned.

I hope these tips help you get more done while working at home! If you have any other suggestions for increased productivity and organization please share them in a comment below! πŸ™‚

xoxo,

Minimal Bedroom Decor

Minimal Bedroom Decor

Since I recently moved into my new (and much larger) bedroom I’ve been trying to decorate and organize as minimally as possible. That means purging LIKE CRAZY, constantly moving everything and decorating in the simplest ways.

In my previous bedroom I had a lot of white and gold, but this time around I’m going for more natural materials and colours. I’m trying to get rid of most of the gold furniture and decor and bring in more browns and blacks. Let me tell you though, it has been SO difficult! I feel as if my mind is in a thousand places at once. With that being said though, I have managed to decorate a few parts of my room, so I want to share them with you today.

I personally love reading about and watching room renovations and interior design processes so if you do too then this post will be the perfect read. Let’s get started!

THE WORK CORNER

I went for a natural and modern looking chair and luckily I found this gorgeous IKEA one 40% off on Facebook Marketplace. In the corner I have different sized cylinder boxes with extra notebooks, moisturizers and camera gear, AKA things that I rarely pull out. On the left wall I also have my glass whiteboard from IKEA which I use to write out my daily to-do’s and things to remember. You can shop the chair here.

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THE CLOTHING RACK

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Since I have so many coats I decided to use them as a display item because 1) it saves closet space and 2) it adds some texture to the room! For a more aesthetic look I order my coats from dark to light. I got this IKEA rack for $20CAD, you can shop it here.

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THE ARTWORK

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I kept only the black DIY framed artwork from my last bedroom because like I said above, I’m trying to get rid of my gold. But it all fit perfectly on this shelf and above my mirror! You can get this picture ledge here and my mirror (not pictured) here. To find out how I created this DIY photo frames you can watch my tutorial here!

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THE SHELVING UNITS

This first shelving unit is a white metal frame with glass shelves, so I wanted to keep it as minimal as possible to really get the illusion of space. I hate clutter so I tried to only show items that provide usefulness or beauty to the shelf. The dark brown baskets are from IKEA and I got them to match my chair! The jewellery box and skincare holder are both from Marshalls Canada. You can find the baskets here.

This second shelving unit shown below is also from IKEA and I’m using it to display my favourite shoes of the season and a few books. I tried to show only brown and black items so that everything would match! You can find the shelving unit here.

THE WINDOW UNIT

The only items I will always have on this shelving unit in front of the window are these new vases from IKEA and a scented candle. Since this unit is reflective and in front of the window I wanted to keep it clean and plain. You can find the shelving unit here. Unfortunately I can’t find the vases online but I’m sure you’d be able to find them in-store.

THE CURTAINS

Since the room is so large I wanted to cover one of the windows to create a cozier environment. These ones from IKEA were totally inexpensive and really add something to the room. You can find the curtains here and the rod here.

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That’s it for my room decor! I’ve still got a few spots that I want to fill up but I’ll be sure to share with you when they’re complete.

xoxo,

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How I Edit My Instagram Photos

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

I thought it was about time that I write an updated post on how I edit my Instagram photos because it’s been a while and my process has definitely changed a bit. So for those of you wondering how I keep a consistent aesthetic and make my pics look the way they do, keep reading! πŸ™‚

My personal style has always been simple, neutral and classic (in my opinion) in terms of clothing and accessorizing, so all that has changed since my last post is my style of photography and editing. I’ve transitioned to more professional photography rather than iPhone and switched the filter that I use. I really love the filter that I currently use on VSCO, M5, because it gives me the ability to create either a warm or cool image and it’s very natural looking.

Let’s dive into this editing process!


Step 1: Capture the shot with my Olympus E-PL8 and 17mm f1.8 lens. I love using this camera and lens for flatlays and close up shots because it really captures full details and textures. For farther away shots, landscape or interior shots I like to use my 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens! Occasionally I will shoot with my iPhone 7 Plus, but only if there’s proper indirect daylight (never in shadows or direct sunlight). Using my camera for majority of my photography really helps with keeping consistent quality imaging on my page.

Step 2: Use the Snapseed app to edit brightness, ambience, highlights, shadows, structure and sharpness of the photo. I don’t have a specific number for these tuning edits because I believe each image is different and because I have a natural(ish) looking page I like to edit depending on what the raw image looks like.

Step 3: Use VSCO to add filter M5 and sharpen. I use this app to simply filter and pull out further details in the image. I don’t use the tuning options in VSCO because I feel that the image ends up being grainy most of the time. By using the same filter on every photo, my feed stays consistent and cohesive. I usually keep the strength of the filter between 5-8 on my images.

Special AppsΒ 

Photoshop Mix: Occasionally I will need to photoshop out a garbage can or person in the background, so for that I use the “Fill” feature on the Photoshop Mix app. It’s super easy for tiny removals!

Facetune 2 (free version): If I ever need to de-colour something bright in an image I use the Black & Whitening feature on Facetune. I love this feature because I can choose the strength of it which comes in handy if you just want to make a colour dull rather than grey.

AirBrush: If I need to remove small things like cigarette butts or dirt on the ground of an image I use the “Acne” feature on AirBrush to remove it! I find it more convenient than using Photoshop Mix because it’s such a tiny task.


This is my full editing process so if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!

xoxo,

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