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

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! 🙂

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 Apps 

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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How to Achieve the Perfect Summer Tan

Summer is at its prime so there’s no better time to tan than now! If you’re looking to achieve that perfect glow-y tan, no sunburn or peeling involved, then I’m here to help you out. Sitting out in the sun can enhance the natural beauty of your skin but in the same amount of time, if done incorrectly, can leave you with some nasty blisters and peeling. Nobody wants that, so today I’m sharing how I achieve the perfect summertime glow and how I avoid those bad burns.

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Exfoliate

If you exfoliate your body, even with a simple scrub, your skin will be smooth and clean for a good tan. Dead skin on the surface of your body makes it easier for your tan to peel, especially if you get a sunburn! Try to exfoliate a day or two before you go out to tan.

Apply Sunscreen

Even if you don’t think you burn, applying sunscreen does more than just avoid redness! Sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful rays and can even prevent skin cancer. I like to apply one layer before any tanning oil just to be safe.

Use Hydrating Oils

When you’re choosing an oil to tan with, make sure that it’s hydrating because the sun really sucks out any moisture that your skin has. I really like the Bali Body tanning oils because of their hydration.

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Use Dark Oils

I prefer to use dark oils because I feel that they give me a deeper tan. The one that I’ve been using lately is the Bali Body Cacao tanning oil. It’s hydrating, smells like cacao and results in the prettiest glow!

Moisturize Religiously

The real trick to keeping your tan locked in place is moisturizing. Right after you shower and wash off your sunscreen and oils make sure that you moisturize your skin with a good amount of cream. This prevents the skin from flaking and the tan from fading.

If you get a sunburn…

While I was in Mexico I actually got a minor sunburn on my nose and cheeks, but it disappeared within two days because of one thing, my La Mer Cool Gel Cream. I suggest investing in a cream that works beneath the skin to reduce redness and sensitivity because you’ll need it if you burn, even a little bit. I applied this cream to the tips of my shoulders as well because that’s where I tanned the darkest and I didn’t want to peel and it worked!

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Do you have any tanning tips or hacks? Share them in the comment section below!

xoxo,

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5 Ways To Stay Organized While On Vacation

An enjoyable vacation for me is always well planned and organized. I find that when I don’t have to worry about putting together outfits or planning my days I’m much more relaxed! This does take some extra organization beforehand, but it’s definitely worth it. Scroll down to read my tips on staying organized while on vacation!

  1. Plan ahead of time. It sounds obvious but most people don’t do this! I like to plan my trips at least three months ahead of time so that I have a set schedule by the time I head to the airport. This includes booking flights, booking hotels or Air BnBs, transportation within my destination (unless it’s Uber), and an activity itinerary!
  2. Create detailed itineraries. It’s easier to write down a list of attractions and events you want to visit while on your vacation, but it’s better to plan the dates and times that you actually want to go. I always create a detailed itinerary for each vacation that I go on because it eases my mind before travelling and let’s my brain relax when I get to my destination. The details of these itineraries include date, time, method of transportation and the amount of money I assume I’m going to need for food and shopping. I’ve created a template that you can use for your next vacation itinerary too! -> VACATION ITINERARY TEMPLATE
  3. Buy tickets early. To avoid long lines and sometimes higher prices I always buy tickets for events or attractions before I travel!
  4. Brainstorm outfit ideas. Outfits are probably the biggest deal for me, but I’m not ashamed! I love feeling good in what I’m wearing, especially on vacation. I’m definitely not the type to let go of my style when travelling so I always plan every single outfit early. I create mood boards on Pinterest and Instagram that include the style that I want to portray on vacay and then I execute! I plan everything from head to toe (accessories, clothing, shoes) and write it all down in a chart. This way I can avoid overpacking and when I’m actually on vacation I don’t have to worry about pairing pieces!
  5. Use packing cubes. I only recently started using packing cubes but WOW are they a life changer. They make life SO much easier when travelling!! I categorize each cube into shirts, pants, undergarments, swim suits, pyjamas and toiletries and it saves me so much time when unpacking and looking for items.

 

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Compression Packing Cubes
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6 Set of Pro Packing Cubes
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Water Proof Packing Cubes

How do you stay organized while on vacation? I’d love to know! Comment below with your travel tips 🙂

xoxo,

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Face Mask

Masking is one of my favourite down-time activities because it’s relaxing but also comes with a lot of benefits for your skin. After years of using face masks though I’ve realized that in order to get the full benefits there are a few things you should do instead of just slapping on the mask! These tricks enhance the effects on your skin and make masking worth your while.

  1. Exfoliate before applying the mask. Getting rid of dead skin cells that may be clogging your pores helps the mask to penetrate the skin deeper.
  2. Follow the time suggestion on the instructions. Taking off your mask prematurely will prevent it from doing its full job and leaving it on for too long will dry out the skin.
  3. Multi-mask your face. One of the latest trends in the beauty industry is using more than one mask at the same time but on different parts of the face. Doing this helps you target the different skin concerns you may have like oiliness, dryness or sensitivity. Below are a couple of brands that carry multi-masking kits!
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Boscia – The Art of Multi-Masking Kit
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L’Oréal Pure Clay Masks

Happy masking!

xoxo,

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How I’m Balancing Two Jobs

I recently starting working a second job and today I’d like to share why I chose to do this and how I’m managing my even crazier schedule. I know that a lot of people do this already, but it’s brand new for me and I had to figure everything out for the first time, so for those of you considering getting a second job here is what I’ve figured out so far.

Why I Got a Second Job

It wasn’t that I was dissatisfied with my daytime office job, because I love the work that I do there! I got a second job because 1) I’m travelling a lot this summer so any steady income helps with my savings and 2) it’s weird to say, but I crave a busy schedule and even though I have blogging on the side, I still felt like I had too much idle time during the evenings and weekends. I’m not working full-time at my new job but it’s keeping me just as busy as I would be if I was still in school (I don’t have any summer classes right now).

However my new job is my very first restaurant job so it can definitely get tiring, but I made a promise to myself that I’d do everything I could to make sure I don’t crash 😉 Here’s what I’m doing to basically, you know, stay sane, working two jobs, blogging, staying fit, and having time for family, my boyfriend and friends.

How I’m Taking Care of Myself (Staying Sane)

  1. Sleep. I make it my nightly goal to get a bare minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night but I usually end up getting 8-9 depending on the day! I know that I’ll crash by the end of day if I get less than 7 (am I a sleep snob?) so this is the most important factor in keeping my energy levels up. It also helps me to depend less on coffee, I only have 1 cup a day!
  2. Hydration. I never want to become dependent on coffee, so I limit myself to one cup a day and then switch over to herbal tea if I need a pick me up later on. Otherwise I always have my Swell water bottle with me and I’m constantly drinking water. No pop, juices and I try not to have any alcohol in the evenings even if I go out.
  3. Eating Habits. I know for a fact that once I start eating junk my body starts to shut down and go into lazy mode. I aim to eat little to no wheat (pasta, breads, pastries, rice, etc) because it makes me tired and instead I eat salads with protein, fruits with yogourt, and vegetable stir fry.
  4. Monitor Energy Levels. This is probably of equal importance to sleep because it’s all about the mind! I really try my best to monitor how I’m actually feeling everyday and base my workouts around it. I figured out that it’s important to know the difference between feeling adrenaline versus healthy energy. I know I’m feeling adrenaline when I’m in a go-go-go non-stop mood and I’m treating everything like a checklist, which never ends well and I often can’t fall asleep at the end of the day. Healthy energy for me is when I haven’t been yawning or reaching for caffeine all day, my mind focusses easily and I don’t feel flustered about getting everything done in one day.
  5. Positive Attitude. If I’m getting fed up with my schedule I have a little pep talk with myself to remember what my end goal is. Staying positive is key to staying sane in my opinion.

If you’ve balanced a crazy busy schedule or even two jobs before, how have you handled it all and managed to stay in a healthy mind set? Please share your experience in the comments below!

xoxo,

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A Guide to Perfect Brows

Eyebrows can be very tricky to deal with but because they’re such a prominent part of our faces they’re one of those things that you should be taking care of! They can make or break your entire look and anyone who’s had a bad experience at a brow salon can tell you exactly what it feels like. Yikes!

Although we don’t all have the exact same brow shapes, thicknesses or colour, there are certain things we could all be doing to make sure our brows are always “on point”! These are simple daily tasks that result in YOUR own perfect brows.

  1. Trim! Whether you get them threaded, waxed or none of the above, keeping the inner parts of your brows trimmed helps to keep them looking fresh and well-kept.
  2. Use a growth enhancer. This one is up to you but I know that as a gal with thinner eyebrow hairs getting volume from product alone is difficult, so I turn to my eyebrow enhancer at night. It’s a quick and easy application and applies like mascara, but to your brows of course. It helps them grow longer and thicker! The enhancer that I’m currently using is from Hello Hair; you can shop it here.
  3. Brush them out daily. Just like your hair your eyebrows should be brushed out, with a spooly, at least once a day. This will keep them growing in their natural form and it keeps them looking clean and feathery.
  4. Keep a tweezer handy. Unless you never get your brows done, keeping a tweezer handy is very helpful to get rid of those random strays!
  5. Use highlighter. Highlighting the arch under your brow accentuates their shape and  easily makes your eyes look bigger too! My favourite highlighter right now is the Watts Up cream highlighter by Benefit. Shop it here.
  6. Visit a professional. Did you know that eyebrow hairs are the slowest growing hairs on your body? Try to visit a professional threader/waxer to fix the shape of your brows because if you try it yourself and screw up then it’ll be a long four months or more until they grow back. They may not even grow back the same….so be careful!

What do you babes do to take care of your brows? Comment your tips below! xx

xoxo,

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Shopping Tips – How to Avoid a Bad Buy!

If you’re going to spend your hard earned money and go shopping, you should definitely do it right and consider all options. Looking back to when I first started earning my own money I can see that I was spending carelessly on whatever caught my eye. Fast forward five years now and I’m more careful about what I spend on and I know how to make a proper decision when shopping.

First of all, I budget my earnings accordingly a few months ahead of time so that I know how much I need to save and how much I’m allowed to spend per pay-check. This is key because it gives me an idea of how often I can splurge during the month and sets a strict boundary on how much damage I can do 😉

Once I know my spending amounts I decide whether or not there’s something bigger and more expensive that I want to save for instead of spending on smaller things during the month. For example, my Gucci belt, which was much more than what I had budgeted for spending within a month so I saved for it with my spending money.

The three things that I spend the most money on are clothing, shoes and food. All of these things fall under my spending amount for the month so I have to be careful about what I do with it! If I have a ton of brunch or dinner dates planned then I know my shopping amount will be significantly lower than normal.

To keep it simple, these are the rules that I follow when I’m out shopping…

  1. 3 Outfit Rule: If I’m obsessed with an item (clothing or accessory) I always make sure that I can think of 3 different outfits to pair it with in my existing wardrobe.
  2. Similarity Rule: If it’s a basic piece that I’m looking at and it’s similar to an item in my existing wardrobe then I pick out the similarities between the two to figure out if it’s worth purchasing. For example, checked or plaid blazers! Even though they may be different prints, they’re most likely going to be worn with the same outfits and it’s probably not worth spending more money on.
  3. Consider Trends: The most perfect example of this is the pair of white boots that I just purchased. They were a huge trend this past Fall and Winter season but I could never bring myself to purchase a pair because I felt like it wouldn’t be trendy for very long. My prediction turned out to be true because white boots aren’t very high up on the current trend list anymore! However I found a pair for $35 (50% off) and because I still wanted a pair to style outfits with (I had loads of ideas) I got them! If you’re looking at a currently trending item try to consider how long it’ll actually be in style.
  4. Get It For Less Rule: If I believe that I can get a similar item to the one I’m looking at in store for a smaller price then I definitely won’t buy it! Items online are often cheaper than the ones in store so take a picture and look for something similar online before splurging.
  5. Consider Upcoming Sales: The worst feeling is when you buy an item and a week later it goes on sale. Especially when you can’t even get the discount applied afterwards! If you know a store is about to have a sale then wait to purchase the item. The in-store availability may not be good but if the sale is applicable online then there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for!

How do you avoid a bad buy?

xoxo,

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How to Clean Up Your Wardrobe

Spring is here and you know what that means…spring cleaning! My favourite way to clean up during the Springtime is in my closet. The more that gets thrown out, the more room there is for new things 😉 Although instead of spending hundreds of dollars on new clothing pieces I try to recycle the money I’ve already spent by selling my pre-loved clothing.

Over the years I’ve learned how to properly go through my wardrobe and actually make a dent in the purging process rather than convincing myself that I still wear every single item. We all know that’s never true! It takes a lot of self-control and determination but it is possible! Let’s get started shall we?

Since Winter is ending it’s time to clean out the Fall and Winter seasonal clothing because I’ll know which pieces I did and didn’t wear.

  1. Use the 6 month rule. If you haven’t worn the item within the past six months, chuck it. Don’t even try to convince yourself that you’ll wear it next Winter because it’s most likely going to be replaced with new trends anyway.
  2. Use the 3 outfit rule. If you can’t think of 3 completely different outfits to wear the item with, chuck it. I don’t typically use this rule against formal dresses and such because those are a little harder to create different outfits with, but for pieces like blazers and blouses I find it important to have different uses for them or else they get forgotten.
  3. Compare similar or same pieces. I think I’ve got like 10 white t-shirts and let’s be real, it’s not realistic because I’m always going to go for my favourite one! Compare your pieces if you have duplicates and keep the better quality one. If a few of them have different traits and you can see yourself in multiple outfits then keep up to half of your collection, but be realistic.
  4. Do quality checks. Sometimes we hold on to pieces that we’ve worn a lot in the past in hopes that we’ll put them on again but they may not be in the best shape. Check for underarm marks, tiny holes, excessive pilling and shrinkage. Obviously throw away the damaged goods.
  5. Think about why you bought the piece. If an item was purchased purely because it was a trend and you wanted to fit in then ask yourself if you actually like it! Trends are tricky and at the time of purchase you may have loved it but it was also probably because everyone else did too.

What helps you clean out your wardrobe? Please feel free to share in the comments section below!

xoxo,

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How to Get a Good Insta Shot

To this very day after a full year and a bit of blogging I still get nervous in front of the camera. However, I’ve learned a few things about how to get just the right shot even if my nerves are there and today I’d like to share them with all of you! Some of these photo tips have to do with you and some of them have to do with your surroundings but nonetheless they’ll help you get that Insta-worthy shot.


#1 Be happy and comfortable in your outfit.

Feeling comfortable about what you have on is key to getting that candid or even posed image. No one takes a good photo if they’re feeling awkward and not put together right? Do a few jumping jacks, listen to an upbeat song or do whatever it takes to get yourself in a comfy and vibrant mood to shoot!

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#2 Location is key; stay away from distractions.

The perfect background is hard to find and that’s something I used to struggle with a lot (I still do sometimes) but it doesn’t need to be difficult! If your focus of the image is you then choose a background that has the least amount of distractions. Go for a simple wall, an empty (or semi-empty) sidewalk or the front of a minimalistic building. If there’s text on the building you’re in front of, don’t let it stop you! Try to photoshop it out like this one below.

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#3 Lighting sets the mood.

We all know that lighting can make or break a photo so when you’re taking a picture make sure that it’s on point. Ideally you’ll want daylight for your photos as it shows every texture, feature and detail in the shot. My favourite time of day to shoot is about an hour or two before the sun is going down or in the early morning when the sun isn’t fully up yet. Two rules I try to follow are: 1) don’t have the sun to your back because the shadows will ruin the entire picture and 2) don’t standing directly in front of the sun because the glare might cause extra shininess, whites will glow and your eyes will be squinting no matter how hard you try not to.

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#4 Capture candids.

Don’t just take posed photos because you’ll eventually get bored and your mood will go downhill (at least that’s what happens to me). If I only go for posed shots and then they don’t turn out the way I wanted them to it’s tough to want to shoot more! Capture candid photos by using the burst feature on your iPhone or rapid shot on your camera. I guarantee your photos will turn out much less structured, you’ll look happier and you’ll have at least one shot you love!

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#5 Find a pose that you love.

Just to make this confusing for you here’s a tip that contradicts with #4 haha! If you want your photos to be posed (which is 100% acceptable too) find 1-3 poses that you love the way you look in and use them! By practicing these poses in a mirror and figuring out which ones are best for your figure your shots will always be clean.


What are your tips for taking a good Instagram shot? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

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