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 🙂
  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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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 😉 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! 🙂

xoxo,

Evening Skincare Routine

Evening Skincare Routine

You all know I’m a skincare junkie, I love buying, testing and reviewing products but that also means my routine is constantly changing. With the recent season switch and new products arriving all the time my evening routine has changed a little since I last shared it!

My evening routine is what helps me wind down after a busy or stressful day and it’s something that I NEVER forget to do. Even if I’ve had a couple drinks, even if I’m dead tired or not feeling well, I know that my evening care is what keeps my skin from freaking out.

I have a naturally oily face (in my t-zone) and normal in the other areas so I like to use gentle products. Below are my go-to skin treats in order of my routine! 🙂

  1. Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution – Oily Skin: I start my routine by removing all makeup with this water and a cotton pad. It’s amazing at getting (mostly) every bit off, even waterproof makeup! micellaire.jpg
  2. Olay Oily Minimizing Foaming Cleanser: I continue with this super gentle and non-drying foaming cleanser. I love it because you don’t need a ton of it for a good clean and it leaves your skin baby smooth. olay
  3. Rodan + Fields Unblemish Clarifying Toner: This is the only toner that I use because I find that it really helps to shrink my pores and give my skin a deep clean if there’s any leftover bacteria. untj125-unblemish-clarifying-toner-lg
  4. Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate: I received this serum as a gift 3 months ago and haven’t stopped using it since. I’m even going to buy the serum in-store once I run out. That’s how AMAZING it is! I honestly believe that this serum is what prevents breakouts and keeps my skin hydrated and plump 24/7. 3605533117217_1.7OZ_ADVANCEDGENIFIQUE
  5. Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask: I now use this mask as an overnight under-eye treatment because it visibly reduces my dark circles in the AM! It’s also very hydrating which is going to be great during these dryer fall and then winter months. s2071322-main-zoom
  6. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: I hate having chapped lips so I always apply this last and right before I sleep. It’s a really nice thick consistency and smells like fruity bubblegum! I wake up with SUPER moisturized lips every time. zoom_263e9a674cf11988b0edd6af94da81dd41db8879_1520356136_33733_Laneige_LipSleepingMask_Classic_WEB

Voila! My 6-step evening skincare routine! If you have any questions about this routine or the products feel free to contact me 🙂

xoxo,

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4 Ways to Feel Your Best Throughout the Day

4 Ways to Feel Your Best Throughout the Day

We all know that some days are just better than others, but with a few tweaks in our daily schedules it’s possible to feel healthy and refreshed even on our busiest days. Whether it’s an early morning workout, a cup of herbal tea, or a few minutes of meditation there are so many ways to improve how you’re feeling during the day.

Below are little life hacks that you can add to your day to ensure that you’re always feeling your best!

  1. Drink naturally infused water throughout the day. Lemon water in particular is great for flushing out toxins and providing a boost of energy. If you get through the day without drinking sugary beverages, you’ll feel much better and more awake!
  2. Start your morning off with cardio. Even before you go to grab your breakfast, make it a goal to start your day off with a run or a skip rope session. By doing this you’ll feel more awake, hungry for breakfast (if you’re not a morning person), and ready to take on the day. It’s also nice to start your day off with a shower, so working out in the AM fits perfectly into that schedule.
  3. Use a clarity or focus spray before doing work. My bestie recently got me the Saje Mental Alertness Spray and I can’t stop using it! A few sprays of this helps to clear my mind and allows me to focus on my work longer.
  4. Put your devices away while eating. If you’re going to have a lunch break mid-day, put your phone or laptop aside and let yourself relax while you eat. Even if it’s just 15 minutes of silence and eating, it’ll help your brain to re-focus and you’ll be more productive afterwards.

How do you stay feeling your best throughout the day? Share in the comments below!

xoxo,

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5 Ways to Refresh Your Life

5 Ways to Refresh Your Life

Is it just me, or are you wondering how September creeped up on us so quickly too? I feel as if the summer ran away from me! With that being said though, I do adore the Autumn months and I have a lot of exciting projects and collaborations coming up, so as much as I’d love summer to stay I’m ready to say goodbye. Before I do though, I’m in desperate need of a life refresher and if you are too then you might find this post helpful. Keep reading to learn about five ways you can refresh your life right now!


  1. Evaluate your diet. I indulged this summer, a little more than I should have, and I kind of let my body just be. Now that everyone is back to a set routine I’m ready to refresh my eating habits. Having a proper diet prevents unnecessary stress, laziness and keeps you in a healthy state of mind. What I’m going to do is finish off the year with a semi-strict diet that makes me feel good. I start my morning off the same everyday (eggs and tomatoes or avocado, coffee, green juice and vitamins), snack on healthy foods throughout the day (nuts, fruit, veggies), eat a light and healthy lunch (salads, veggies with hummus, rice cakes with avo, etc) and end my day with protein and veggies! I won’t give in to all of my cravings but if there’s a dessert that I really want I’ll definitely let myself eat it, balance is key.
  2. Create a workout schedule. This goes hand in hand with eating properly and I find that when I workout consistently I’m much more productive than when I’m not active. My goal for the rest of the year is to workout at least 4 times a week. No matter what your schedule is, if you include a workout in your routine, you’ll feel healthier in no time.
  3. Set weekly and monthly goals. A lot of new things are going on in my life right now so to stay on track I’m going to set realistic weekly and monthly goals. For example, this week my goal is to invest a little more in my blog and learn how to properly monetize it. With the time that I have during the week I’ll be researching and figuring out how I can reach this goal! You might be surprised at how much you can get done when you set goals like this.
  4. Clear out your closet. Sleeping and working in a clean and organized room is so important. It allows me to think more clearly and relax properly when I need to. I love clearing out my closet of things I don’t use or have outgrown because it truly is refreshing! Sell those items so you can give your closet a refresher with new items! Look good, feel good 😉
  5. Read. I’ve started reading motivational and positive quotes, articles and books every now and then because it gives me a great perspective on life. Taking half an hour to an hour of your day to sit and read in silence helps to let your inner thoughts flow. I also find that I’m more positive throughout the day if I do this in the morning 🙂

How do you give your life a little refresher? Share with me in the comments below! 🙂

xoxo,

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How I’m Balancing Two Jobs

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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Is Hand-Washing Your Face Bad For Your Skin?

Is Hand-Washing Your Face Bad For Your Skin?

We should all know that there’s no point in using skincare if you’re not applying it to a clean palette, AKA your face. For many of us washing our face involves just our fingertips, a cleanser and water but since I started using a Sonic facial cleansing system a question popped into my head. Is using your fingertips to wash your face actually bad for your skin? I did a bit of research and came up with an answer which of course I’ll be sharing with all of you because it’s quite interesting what I found!

Apparently using your fingertips to wash your face is one of the best things you can do for your skin! Your fingertips serve as a gentle massage for your skin and help to stimulate circulation. There are no facts that go against using your fingertips to wash your face, in fact it’s recommended by many beauty experts over the daily use of a cleansing brush!

A few things that you should keep in mind about washing your face is the temperature of the water, what type of cleanser you’re using and your method of washing. Take a look below to see some important points on these topics.

Temperature

While cold water temporarily tightens pores and hot water feels best, both of these temperatures can actually have a negative effect on your skin. Cold water doesn’t do a great job of thoroughly cleaning and hot water can leave your skin irritated and dry. The best temperature of water to wash your face with is lukewarm.

Type of Cleanser

This is an entirely different topic but it’s important to educate yourself on the skin-concerns that you might have so that you use the proper cleanser. Acne prone skin often requires drastically different cleansers than normal skin. Dry versus oily skin is the same!

Method

The best way to wash your face, a way that has been working for me, is to rinse your face, apply the cleanser and massage your skin in small circular and upward motions. Even though I love my Soniclear Petite cleansing brush from Michael Todd, I’ve decided to use it only 1-2 times a week to protect my sensitive skin. Even though the bristles are extremely soft and it has a very low speed setting, it still serves as a form of exfoliation which isn’t necessary every day.

The Verdict

While cleansing systems and brushes are huge in the market, they’re not always the best way to wash your face. Your fingertips are your best tool indeed and a brush should only be used a few times a week for a deep clean and exfoliation.

xoxo,

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How to Prevent Sickness While Travelling

How to Prevent Sickness While Travelling

Travelling can often bring on sickness, especially if you’re on long haul flights often, so today I’d like to share my tips on how to prevent that from happening! A couple of these tips were given to me by my best friend and when I was travelling last December I tried them out and successfully avoided any illness on my trip.

Sickness while travelling can arise from a multitude of factors some of them being fatigue, large groups of people in close quarters, exposure to foreign diseases, and stress. Therefore it’s important to cover your bases before and during your trip to ensure those bugs don’t get to you!

  1. Do your research before you go. Depending on where you’re travelling to, there may be viruses and diseases that you need to prepare for. Sometimes this involves getting shots beforehand and other times it just means avoiding specific types of foods and water.
  2. Stock up on Vitamin C packets. Every single morning while travelling I take an Emergen-C packet or tablet in a glass of water and not only does it boost your energy but it also helps support the immune system.
  3. Take Cold-FX daily. Taking Cold-FX pills helps prevent flu and cold symptoms and reduces their frequency, duration and severity. I honestly think that taking these was a huge factor in why I didn’t get sick during my three week trip.
  4. Drink from disposable water bottles, not tap. Wherever you go if you know it’s not 100% safe to drink from the tap then don’t. Even in restaurants you should ask for a bottle of water rather than a glass because you never know where it might be coming from.
  5. Pair up your sleeping schedule as soon as you can. If you know you’re going to by flying during the nighttime hours of your destination then sleep as much as you can to catchup to that places time zone.
  6. Carry a hand sanitizer at all times. Keep those airplane and airport germs away!

Do you have any other sickness prevention tips for travelling? Share them in the comments please!

xoxo,

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Flowers & Plants That Help You Sleep

Flowers & Plants That Help You Sleep

As a flower lover I almost always have at least one bouquet of flowers in my room and I’ve become curious about what types of flowers and plants might actually help me sleep. I’ve done a little research and come up with a list of species that provide calming and purifying benefits and improve your sleep pattern.

Although I haven’t used all of these plants and flowers to help me sleep, the facts about them certainly add up. If you’ve tried out any of these I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Jasmine

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Calming, soothing and reduces anxiety.

Lavender

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The fragrance is known to soothe and lower heart rate.

Aloe Vera

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Emits oxygen at night and purifies the air for a better sleep.

Gardenia

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Relieves anxiety and gives off a lovely calming fragrance.

Spider Plant

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Absorbs fumes and purifies the air like Aloe Vera.

Peace Lily

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Improves room humidity and filters out harmful toxins.

Bamboo Palm

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Known to be an air purifier.

Gerbera Daisies

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They release oxygen at night and serve as a happy and bright pick me up during the day.

xoxo,

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Sources:

*these images are not my own*

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/12-plants-for-your-bedroom-to-help-you-sleep/

https://dailyhealthpost.com/put-these-10-air-purifying-plants-next-to-your-bed-for-better-sleep/

https://www.davidwolfe.com/house-plants-improve-your-health/

How to Free Up Your Weekends

How to Free Up Your Weekends

I don’t know about you, but I love to have freedom on my weekends, AKA, I like not having to worry about finishing assignments or getting work done for deadlines. I’d say 90% of my weekends are laid back, and my secret is… I work my a** off during the week! I’ve broken down my habits during the week so that hopefully you can free up your weekends as well.

The key to weekend freedom is simply this, DO NOT WASTE PRECIOUS WEEKDAY TIME. As much as I’d love to spend my evenings catching up on Netflix shows and scrolling through my social media, I don’t. I’ve developed the habit of getting done what’s important before sitting down to relax.


SCHOOL

  • Complete assignments in between classes.
  • Complete assignments ahead of time.
  • If you write class notes, write them in the evenings from Monday-Thursday.
  • If you’re taking an online course, read your chapters in the evenings and complete discussions or weekly activities in between your classes.
  • Pay attention in class so that you don’t have to take time outside of class to catchup and re-read what you’ve just been taught.

Asides from exam time, I really do try hard to keep my weekends free because that’s my time to refresh my brain for the upcoming week. When it’s exam time I follow these guidelines but do a lot of my studying on the weekends.

WORK

  • Accept that if deadlines aren’t met it is NOT the end of the world. If you’re stressing out about not meeting a project deadline or something similar then take a step back and re-evaluate. Stressing yourself out will likely cause you to take double the amount of time to finish the task.
  • Stay OFF of your phone. If you work in an office like me and sit at your desk for 7/8 of the day then you know how tempting it can be to check your phone every so often. I’ve learned to keep my phone either in my desk or bag so that I don’t waste time doing useless things on it when I should be working!
  • Do not bring work home with you. What’s done is done and if you’ve managed your time correctly then your deadlines should be completely feasible! Don’t bring work home on the weekends because it will prevent you from getting the proper relaxation that your mind needs and will carry stress over into the next week.

GENERAL GOOD HABITS

  • Put your phone down. So obvious right? Trust me, it saves a TON of time.
  • Exercise regularly and eat right! This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think time saver but it certainly is. Exercising and feeding your body the right types of energy will boost your productivity.
  • Use a planner or agenda. Documenting your to-do lists ahead of time will save you stress, protect you from forgetting things, and keep you on track.

How do you free up your weekends babes?

xoxo,

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