Friday, 26 December 2014

Dollarama Steal! Nail Polish (A sought after brand!)

Alright, I spoiled the surprise. I wanted to lead you on a little, pique your curiosity and try to make you guess what I found at Dollarama. But I realized then that no one would be able to stumble onto this post. It's alright, I realized I could leave out the brand.

Dun dun dun. Which Nail Polish did I find at Dollarama? I'm pretty sure you have all seen some Loreal and Nicole by OPI lingering around, so what did I see today?

Well as usual I think I might go onto a little bit of a tangent first before coming back to my original point. But really, how many of you loove Dollarama? I know in the US "Dollar Tree" is highly regarded but to be honest the one (alright, maybe one location should not be used to generalize the rest of the chain) I visited really wasn't that great. I just think that Dollaramas are maintained really well, they're incredibly clean and always extremely organized. Their success is definitely a reflection of that, as the chain has boomed in popularity across Canada.

Why are dollar stores great? Because we can usually find handy household, office or a plethora of handy items for dirt cheap. The same items are usually significantly more at other retail locations, and all in all you save a lot of money. Before, I noticed that most of the stock carried at these dollar stores were no-name brands but recently I've seen more big names at Dollarama.

I know the food is probably fine to consume, but something about dollar store food just leads me to assume that it is of subpar quality. I know I shouldn't really judge brands (but really, that's why they are paying all those big bucks for sponsorship and marketing) based on familiarity but it is something that happens subconsciously. But recently I've noticed General Mills Cereal, Duncan Hines Cake Mix, Post It Notes, Sharpies and more!

But back to what I was saying earlier, what I saw the other day was Essie!!


Photo of Essie Nail Polish 'sssssexy'

Can you believe it was only $3?! I swear that at Shoppers Drug Mart they can sell for over $9. Sometimes when I go cross border shopping there is a great store at Walden Galleria that sells a lot of them for ~5-7 but they're rarely this cheap. They actually had some OPI but I didn't really like any of the colours.

Honestly, I do own a lot of Essie nail polishes - but I've refrained from purchasing more over the past year. Today I applied the nail polish in a rush, read as in 5 minutes before running out the door, which is why it's quite messy but you get the idea and can still see how it looks like. Oh, and this is Essie in 'sssssexy'! It really is a great shade.

What I really liked about it was that it only required one coat to look like this! It also took no time to dry, the top layer was pretty much dry in under 5 minutes - of course I made sure to be cautious with it since it was probably not completely dry.

Photo of Essie Nail Polish 'sssssexy'



Photo of Essie Nail Polish 'sssssexy'


What has been your best find at Dollarama to date? Let me know (it can be at any Dollar store)!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Moksha Yoga vs Bikram Yoga

You may or may not know this, but I've been doing Hot Yoga on and off for the past 5 years. Last summer I was part of the Moksha Yoga Energy Exchange Program, by volunteering there I was allowed to practice unlimitedly (they actually encourage you to do so in order to get more out of the pgoram).

Recently I realized that last year summer was probably a time when I felt the most fit and toned and realized that I wanted to get back into it. I'm extremely excited to buy a YogaShack (London, ON) membership when I am back in the new year, they have this phenomenal student deal - $99 for 3
months! But while or my winter break I wanted to stay in shape and to do yoga as much as I could.

Unfortunately I realized how expensive it would be to go frequently if I was paying $16 per class, or to buy a 10 class pass. So what I did was look to Groupon, they always seemed to have good deals! I saw a groupon for Moksha Yoga but one locationfirst-timers only - unfortunately I didn't fall into that group.
was too far while the local studio stated it was for

At the end I saw a $25 Groupon for a month of Bikram Yoga - I had heard about it, and thought that this would be a great opportunity to try it since I heard it was very different from Moksha. So I went for the first time and boy... it is very different.

I'm a fairly regular yogi and am definitely not knew to it; but Bikram was completely different from what I was used to. I honestly felt like I was going to pass out for the majority of it.

It is heated at 110 F (40C) with 40% humidity. 

I'm pretty sure Moksha keeps theirs at 95-103, but the atmosphere and the sheer heat studio completely overwhelmed me. It was fine when I first entered but a few moves in I was breathing extremely hard and for the rest of it I can honestly say I was scared of passing out. The moves themself were similar in nature, and I don't think they were harder but the environment made it much more exhausting.

Like other articles had mentioned, Bikram is a series of 26 movies and follows more direction. I was completely unused to it but the instructor was practically shouting out the instructions.

They're much less beginner-friendly.

If someone with absolutely no experience had gone in, they might have walked out hating it. The instructor said very early on that she would not be demonstrating the moves and that it was all verbal. She also makes no mention of what to do in cases (like mine) where you can not keep up. At Moksha, they give very friendly tips and tell you that it is okay to take Shavasana or to simply lie down if it is too hot for you, take a sip of water or leave the room. To be completely honest, I had thoughts of leaving but didn't know if that was acceptable practice as the instructor had mentioned nothing of it. It was a small class and I also felt quite uncomfortable stopping midway and taking my own pose.

Moksha has a nicer, rounded image. 

What I mean by this, is that they're very thorough about how they present themselves as a company. Their interior decor is really nice, everything is really clean and environmentally friendly and their website is really smooth and user friendly. Bikram, I believe their studio is older - they are doing renovations explains why their interior was no where as nice. However, I noticed that their website was extremely dated and did not look anywhere as professional.

The Class Itself

Like I mentioned earlier, the class is carried out much differently. Not only is it much more hot on the inside, but it is 30 minutes longer. Every class is typically 90 min whereas Moksha's are usually around 1h (60 min).

I was also extremely surprised when all the lights were turned on at the start of class, it was very bright. I had been accustomed to Moksha's dimly lit studios.

They start of with a breathing exercise which I didn't find very pleasant. You start with your knuckles at your chin and bring your elbows up 'as high as you can' before breathing out and bending your head back. I generally don't really like a lot of head bending exercises or exercises which require you to tense/support with your neck.

After the breathing exercise they repeat every pose twice. So for moves that focus on one side of the body, they are done a total of 4 times: Left, Right, Left, Right. I actually didn't really enjoy this part either.

There are no chaturangas! I actually really like these flows, I feel as though it helps in building strength and really missed this component. I found that the poses seem to focus a lot more on stretching and balance; Moksha classes leave me feeling stronger.

Overall, when I leave Moksha classes I usually feel a sense of calm, relief and peace. It leaves me mentally rested while feeling as though I have gone through a good work out. With Bikram Yoga I felt pretty overwhelmed as I left the studio. For 75% of the class I was uncomfortable and could only focus on the fact that my skin felt as though it was on fire. I felt more stretched and flexible, but besides feeling the nice cool air on my skin afterwards, I didn't feel as though my body had exercised and did not feel any stronger. Since there are only 26 moves the focus is a lot more limited, there is a lot less core work.

Bikram Yoga is a lot more intense. The moves may not be necessarily harder but the environment itself makes it much more difficult to focus on the practice. 

Although I did not enjoy it very much, I might have to go back to make use of the Groupon. Hopefully my body adjusts to it better! I'll be checking out a new location, and seeing what a bigger class feels like.



Have you done yoga before? Did you do the regular form or did you do Hot Yoga (if yes, which type do you prefer or practice??)

Friday, 5 December 2014

Don't Miss Out on another Starbucks Offer!

Head over to Starbuck's on Facebook or simply click this link! Receive a Grande of any espresso drink (that means all those holiday drinks are fair game) for only $3.

I realize that people are paid to make promotional posts..but I'm doing it just because I don't want you to miss out on this deal!

This is super short post, I'm in exam season, but I didn't want you all to miss out.

Would love to hear what your favourite Starbucks drink/food/product is, tell me in the comment section.

Also, which other Facebook pages offer some awesome promotional freebies and coupons?


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Awesome Affordable Phone Cases

I like to buy my phone cases online - why? Because it's phenomenal. You can get the case shipped to your house, including the case itself, for just $1. It's crazy, and it also works!

So today I decided to scour Amazon for some snazzy new cases. In particular, I was looking for something that was partially transparent, I had spent a good amount of time combing through ads when I had initially bought my iPhone and had insisted on purchasing one that was Gold. So I figure now that I shouldn't have done that, or I might as well show it off now.

So here are some cases I thought were pretty interesting that were around $5 including shopping and revealed the back of the phone (there may be one or two outliers).

1.  2. 3.  4.  5. 6.  7. 8.  9. 10.  11.

Where do you buy your cases from? Do you have a favourite amongst any of these selected cases? Let me know!

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Black Friday featuring NYX Butter Gloss

If you live in the US you probably would have noticed all the hype that goes into Black Friday -and for good reason too, have you seen all the deals that come out? A couple of years ago, the only acknowledgement of this 'holiday' by Canadians were those that actually crossed the border to go cross-border shopping. However in the last few years Canadian retailers have been trying to keep us from leaving and have been trying to keep our spending/dollars within our own country. Now there are Black Friday sales in a large portion of stores here as well; however, it never feels exactly the same - the deals really don't seem to hold up to the Americans'. If you did not know, Black Friday -and the following weekend- is the same weekend as American thanksgiving and is renowned for its large sales.

Black Friday Victoria Secret Bombshell Perfume
Anyways nonetheless, my roommates and I decided to head over to the mall at 7:30am to see what we could find. A quick search on google, or other blogs already post a list of all the ongoing deals, flyers and etc so I won't be doing that. Instead I thought it would be fun to see what deals everyone actually jumped onto, what are you finds and steals??

So at La Senza they had a 40% store-wide special, which was perfect because I had actually been searching for a new beige bra. Check. Aerie also had 40% storewide except for PJ pants which had a buy one get one deal (or was it half off..).

Garage had 40% off a bunch of items in addition to some other promotional deals. I don't really shop at Garage, I mean some of their styles are not too bad - they copy whatever is selling well and the popular fads at the moment but it is targetted at a younger age group.

At Aritzia, even though they like to advertise 40-60% off discounts, reality is that the majority of store items only qualify for the 10% off - only a select few are more severely marked down. To be honest there probably are some that are marked off more significantly; however, their on sale price will still be quite high and over $100.

Urban Outfitters had its usual sale of 50% off sale items. I was actually pretty disappointed, I had gone in two days ago for a 20% off (everything) special  that they had going on and noticed that they hadn't really added anything to the sale section since. I will say that I do like the majority of clothing items that Urban sells, unfortunately my student budget really doesn't allow me to splurge on everything. Although their red-sticker sale items are fairly priced as well, what I truly adore Urban for is this '50% off sale' that they have several times a year. I mean I will fairly often be able to pick out cute tops for $5-10 - I mean where else can you do that really? I got a cardigan that was originally $100, marked down to $50 for $25. Along with a few other cardigans, those were the only interesting sale items my roommates and I noticed.

Finally, in reference to the photo at the top there: Victoria Secret. I will honestly say that it was probably my best buy. I bought "Bombshell" after hearing so many people rave about it and noticing that it seemed to a favourite amongst Victoria Secret's many scents. If you can tell in the photo, I bought the bigger size which is 3.4 oz - normally it's original price is ~$75! In store, they were selling every size (therefore go for the bigger one) for only $28. This was honestly one of the biggest reductions I saw all day and therefore one of my favourites.

Attached to the mall is a Target - so I ended up going just to see if there would be anything great. There wasn't anything too exciting, when I went over to the beauty department I realized that they carried NYX (a drugstore brand that is only carried at select stores, and cannot be found at Shoppers Drug Mart) - at this point a light bulb went off and I remembered reading all the online ravings about the 'Butter Gloss'. It's a drugstore lipgloss notorious for its superb quality and a great dupe, so I knew I had to check it out. The one I got is called "Angel Cake" - and the quality was just as good as I expected and it was about $9 after Tax(I don't know how much it is priced regularly)

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss

NYX Angel Cake Butter Gloss
I'm wearing Angel Cake here, it's a really great neutral color and isn't overly pink either! 


What was your best Black Friday buy? Have you ever tried the NYX products, or more specifically this Butter Gloss? I'd love to hear from you :) leave a comment below!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Birchbox is Available in Canada!

So, it's finally here. Birchbox is a beauty/make up subscription service that has been available in the US for the past few years. In Canada, since we often get the short end of the stick and don't have the full access to products and services available to Americans, we have other alternative products or have to wait awhile before something arrives here.

So originally when I first heard about Birchbox, we only had TopBox and Luxebox by Loosebutton. If you look up Birchbox Canada on google you'll notice sometimes the prior mentioned services will actually show up as the "Canadian Birchbox". So I guess we are finally getting the real deal! They actually only announced it this month (November) so the first round of boxes will be available in December. I already saw a youtube video which showed an unboxing (I believe they received a box from a conference), I'm not sure if you actually want to do this as it might take out some of the surprise! Although these boxes tend to vary for people, so you might not even get the same thing.

Similarly to other services: there is an element of customization. I believe you take a short quiz just to determine some personal characteristics such as hair type, and skin type.

I've never actually received a Birchbox before, because it was only available in the US, and so if I do end up purchasing one it really will be new to me. I will however, be expecting it to be nicely packaged! I haven't had a subscription box in a while so it will definitely be nice to get something new in the mail (along with my credit statement).

Birchbox is $10 + 4.95 for shipping and taxes which puts it at a slightly higher price point - TopBox is $12 a month.

What I noticed on their website that did seem interesting was one of their incentives for posting reviews:

So although it does seem a little more expensive, you supposedly do receive a few dollars back in credit to spend on future purchases. I'm interested in learning more about this (they probably have a similar promotion going on in the states).


Will you be subscribing to BirchBox? Let me know, along with any other boxes you are currently subscribed to1

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Canada's Finest Coffee - Keurig Store Review (London)

At home with my roommates we all share a Keurig. We were lucky enough to have someone bring theirs in, and with that we all just buy our own K cups.

Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee Keurigs have started to become a household staple - what it brought into our homes is something people truly value, convenience. I mean with the pop of a K cup you can quickly have a cup of coffee without the hassles of brewing an entire pot! And although it is less cost efficient than buying a pack of ground coffee, if it saves you from buying a cup of Starbucks or Tim Hortons then at the end of the day you really are still saving money.

So what I have always found really annoying is that for the most part Keurig packs come in boxes of uniform flavours and there are very few variety packs available. I would also be scared to try a new brand or flavour in case I didn't want an entire box of it. What I soon noticed was that all my roommates were coming back with other flavours and etc that I had never seen before! They had cool flavours such as 'Cinnabon' or different White Chocolates or Mocha Java cups. Apparently in their home towns they have these 'Keurig Variety' K cup stores dedicated solely to picking out K cups as if they were at a bulk barn!

From what I've heard is that these stores where you can pick out individual flavours exist in Whitby, Kingston, Waterloo and London as well! I'm so upset that none of these really exist in Markham or Toronto. You would think that a city that populated would have something like this or would be the first to have one, but I haven't been able to find one on google (let me know if you know of one)! It's a good thing I don't actually have a Keurig machine when I'm home so I guess I don't actually need a store when I'm there.

Anyways so today I went to my first K Cup store at Canada's Finest Coffee in London. It's kind of located in a little area outside of downtown. I couldn't find it at first but eventually we found the building. I think It's located at 'Unit 2' 775 Industrial Road - this is right off of Oxford, so if you are going east on Oxford make a left onto Industrial road.
Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee
You cans ee the little trays here. 
I think the prices vary with these stores. Apparently the one in Whitby only charges 60c per K Cup, while it is a little more expensive over here. At this store it is either 6 for $5 (83c each) or 30 for $22 (73c each).
Mix and Match policy for K Cup Store Canada's Finest Coffee
 You can see the many bins of different flavours available here. They have regular coffee, flavoured coffees, hot chocolate as well as tea.
Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee

Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee


Bins of K Cups at Canada's Finest Coffee


A variety of K cups selected at Canada's Finest Coffee
This is what my friend ended up getting. I only ended up getting 6 cups, so I thought I would take a picture of this so you could see what a large variety they offer. This is so much more fun, in terms of trying out new drinks, than buying a regular box at the grocery store!

Hot Chocolate from Canada's Finest Coffee
The store is actually quite friend, and also have this great policy where they allow anyone in the store to try out a K cup of their choice. You get a drink for free! I decided to get a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - it was really sweet, just the way I like it.


If you are in London, check this out!



What city are you from? Have you heard of such a store, and do you have one that you visit ? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Starbucks Lovers! Don't miss out on a Groupon (Canada). $5 for $10 Gift Card

Hey Guys,

So if you don't know what Groupon is, it's a site which provides you with lots of cool discounts and coupons, and it is able to do this by basing it off of large 'Group Buys'. So currently there is a deal that is limited time only.

You can think of it almost as if you were getting a 'free drink' - this would be true if you purchased their frappuchinos or seasonal drinks, they come out to be around $5 anyways.

Or you can also just thinking about how the drinks you buy (maybe they're just regular coffees) are half off, or similarly, for the same amount of money you can get two times the amount!

Groupon deal for Starbucks Holiday
Add caption
Anyways this might not be worth it for someone who never drinks Starbucks, but for anyone who does somewhat occasionally then I would say it is worth it! Or why not save some money if you were looking to get some small gift cards to give away as Secret Santa, or Holiday gifts?

If you already have a group on account the url is here. And if you don't have an account, you can just go to the Groupon website - or you could sign up using this 'referral URL'. I don't want to trick you or anything, by referring people to the site there is a $10 incentive bonus for me, so if you'd rather just sign up normally without the referral there is no offence taken! Just simply go to their website, it really is an easy sign up anyways.

PS: Another idea or way to put it towards good use is to buy a Tumbler or a Mug with it! A lot of them are around $15-$20 so it's an instant $5 off.

What is your favourite drink at Starbucks? Reply in the comments!

Personally I only go there for their frilly $5 drinks anyways meaning Frappuccinos, PSL, and White Chocolate Peppermint Lattes. I don't really drink their 'real coffees' because I actually tend to stick with Tims and their standardized milk and sugars ratios ( I can't seem to make my own coffee as well).





Monday, 10 November 2014

October Nature Box 2014 Review (Canada)

It's kind of funny, sometimes you have those days where you're just so easily swayed and so impulsive..

That is exactly the type of day I had when I ordered my Nature Box. I ordered it the afternoon after having heard of it for the first time. I mean I've had a subscription service before with Topbox (here's another Topbox review and one for Loose Button) and have always loved them, since I love to receive things in my mail - that are not credit statements.

NatureBox sends monthly packages of snacks to your door, and what makes these snacks so great (other than the fact that it arrives right at your door) is that they are healthy snacks and they are extremely creative. I have never heard of the snacks that I received and actually really liked them.


Taken from their site: NatureBox Discovery Snack Boxes. Each month, your box will include five different NatureBox snacks made from wholesome ingredients. In fact, our nutritionist-approved foods are minimally processed, if at all. To get a better idea of what you can expect in your subscription, here are some of our past NatureBoxes


I found out it was American, well there's a surprise, but they were extending a 'beta' version to Canadians as well. The difference is that we don't get to choose our snacks and can only receive a 'fixed' box of the month.

So this is what I received for October! I know that it is November, which means that it is extremely late - but I mean, I'm sure people like to see what Nature Box has sent out previously and just to see everyone else's reactions right?

Here are the photos taken from their website, I forgot to take a photo when I still had the packaging and am smacking myself for that. I think it's so much more fun to see everything from start to end which is why all the unpacking videos on youtube are also so popular. I've placed them in order from my favourite to least favourite.

This snack was absolutely delicious. It was the first one I had (well because it seemed chocolate-y) and it was the first one to go, since I liked it so much! It's kind of funny because I looked at one other article just to see how other people liked it, and it seemed like some people didn't like it at all. I thought these were great, they hit the spot and felt like a snack that I was indulging in only to find out that it was still pretty nutritious and good for you! I wish that I could purchase these stand-alone.

Alrighty so these are kind of mustardy. I thought it actually had 'mustard' printed on the packaging, but maybe I just assumed so based off of the name. Anyhow, I can't say that I love mustard - sometimes I'll put some on a hamburger just because I feel like it's the thing to do and it gets paired up with ketchup. But, it didn't really seem that appealing to me. I was surprised with the flavour but generally took a liking to it for the most part. It's probably because it is honey flavoured so there is a little bit of sweetness. The pretzels themselves were actually great and bite sized!
Alright so this was also something that I found to be really unusual. I mean, lentil loops? I've never even had lentils (to my knowledge). These were so good!! I felt like I was eating a type of chips, I think it might have had some potato flour or something, but it had the perfect crunch and texture. The only thing I didn't like about these were the flavour, but that's just me - I don't even season my food with peppers. If these came in another flavour I would have ranked this even higher.

 These were alright. I mean they didn't taste like anything special to me, and relative to the first few snacks they also were a lot less creative. 
I didn't really like these that much, but that's just because it's not really the type of snack that I prefer. I don't really like raisins too much, but I mean there are times where I do like dried cranberries. These were pretty sweet and would have been better if they had come with some granola or something.


Overall, I did like these snacks. They were really neat and came in fairly generous portions. The only downfall is that this service is fairly expensive and are normally around $20. I mean some of you might find that that's a perfectly acceptable amount to invest in healthy snacks but that's you. If you dig around online I believe there's always a ton of coupons. Personally I got mine using a $10 off so after shipping and tax and etc I feel like I paid around $14 for 5 snack packs. 

The only problem I found was that there was a glitch on their website which wouldn't show me where the button was to unsubscribe to the website. The first response I got was immediate but useless, they simply tried to get me to go to that same page which was not working. I had to email them a second time with a bit more of an edge telling them that I did not want to pay for a second month, this was when I finally received confirmation from them that they had cancelled it for me. 

I do wish that we had the same site functionality as the American site, perhaps when it finally gets here I will give it another try. I just went to their website to take a look at their snacks (this in itself was extremely difficult because the website kept redirecting me to the Canadian version), and there were soo many snacks that actually looked really good!

Have you ordered Nature Box before? Do you know of another subscription service that is really good? Leave me a comment I would love to hear from you! 




Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sephora VIB Sale 20% Off! US and Canada

Hey Everyone,

If you didn't know, there was just a Friends and Family sale that ended just around the corner (October 30th). I say this because- I actually didn't know. You would think that following a bunch of beauty and lifestyle blogs this would have jumped out somewhere and caught my attention but I had no idea!

Sephora's personalized holiday email
No Fear - There is another sale following suit! It starts on November 6th, and it's to reward all of its VIB and VIB Rouge members. That's not to say I actually have a VIB account.

Again - don't worry, because apparently these members will all have a Friends code! Although VIB members will have a general 'VIBgift' code, that appears to work for multiple purchases within this window, they do get one time code they can share with those around them.

So if you know someone who has one, maybe they will be kind enough to share one with you. What worked for me last year was heading over to Sephora's Facebook page. People were kind enough to post on the wall that they had extra code's they were willing to message, yes, kind and generous people do exist.

What are you planning to buy with your 20% off? Oh and did you love their new customized emails or what!? I'm looking at a NARS blush and bronzer along with an eyeliner set; I'm also torn over whether to take the splurge for a YSL lipstick or not - I mean how pretty is it..








Edit: I feel like no one is really doing it this year on the FB, although there was a Reddit page there is a huge imbalance in the ratio of Beauty Insiders: VIB. If anyone is willing to share an extra code leave a comment - perhaps we could get some discussion going on here. Anyone who isn't using theirs reply, hopefully we can pair up some unused codes and get some use out of em!

Edit 2: Apparently there are so many loyal sephora customers, or makeup addicts (self-proclaimed) that Sephora's website has been crashing all night for people. It is still crashing as of 2pm Thursday.

Sephora's Notice when the Site Crashed during VIB Beauty Sale


Edit 3: Got a code! But it actually is pretty confusing; a kind soul tried to forward me her email but I and could not find the code anywhere on the email. People said that they would simply message 'the code' but it was only later, in a comment buried down in the thread, that I found out that you (the VIB) have to go to this URL to enter your First Name, Last Name and email along with the email of the person you are donating it to.


Sephora's Email with Friend Coupon for VIB Members



Friday, 24 October 2014

T.G.I.F - Coffee Shop Edition

Williams Fresh Cafe Coffee ShopHave you guys ever had one of those days , where you're just kinda feeling glum? Don't get me wrong, most of the time my friends will laugh at the fact that I'm just constantly smiling. Like always, even when I'm doing nothing (or so they tell me), but today I was at the library and I was trying to study for a midterm and I just wasn't feeling it..

It's a huge concrete library, and sitting on the 'silent' floor just felt so isolating. I realized I had to get a change of environment. The leaves outside are beautiful here during the Fall. I hope you guys are lucky enough to witness the changing colors of the leaves (I know that not all countries experience these seasonal transitions), but still I guess I was just having one of those days where you feel kind of down. And I couldn't even place my finger on something specifically.

So I realized I had to move and go somewhere else. I decided to go to Williams, a franchise coffee-store just down the street from where I live. And that make the biggest difference. It's just such a nice coffee sit down area where you can meet up with friends or just sit down and do work. I'm not sure what kind of person you are, but I actually love to work with background noise. I can work with conversation nearby (as long as I don't key-in on one conversation specifically) and some light chatter. They do  have wifi, and actually have pretty good food and coffee too. They have this one panini that I love, I think it's a chicken pesto (it's been a while).

Anyways I wanted to know where you guys like to go when you need to get work done (but need to get out of the house). Do you have a favourite spot? Let me know!

Williams Fresh Cafe

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Cheap Find Alert! iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 Adapter

Hey Guys!

I made an amazing discovery the other day, unfortunately I think it will only be relevant to Canadian Shoppers.

So at this point, there are a lot of experienced iPhone users - you know who you are, this isn't your first, you just wanted to (had to) upgrade your phone. But the problem for anyone who upgraded from an iPhone earlier than the 5 to the 5/5S or 6 is that they changed the port.

 Instead of '30 pins' it is requires an 8 pin plug that can be plugged in (either way) and occupies less space. The problem with this is that, your amazing speakers/docks won't work any more! And I don't know about you, but because we're always on campus and the iPhone batteries never last an entire day, me and my friends have all resorted to having at least two phone chargers. One that can be kept at the bed side and another one for travelling around with (having to plug in and move around the same charger everyday can really become a hassle and inconvenient - think being snuggled in bed and realizing your charger is downstairs).

So when I upgraded to my 5S I wasn't too pleased that I was stuck with only one charger (and my old iphone 4 charger that would basically be of no use to me).

Until.. I decided to do grocery shopping and found this magnificent gadget at No Frills (of all places)?! To anyone who doesn't live in Canada it's exactly as the name implies. It is a discount grocery store (great for saving money) with an interior that's much less glamorous than the typical Safeway or Loblaws. But they do have his little 'dollar store' section of miscellaneous items - including this converter! It was only $4 dollars.

I almost wanted to buy two - one for my speaker and one for my charger, but I was worried that it would be a waste of money if it actually didn't work and wasn't good quality. But when I went home it all checked out. It works! Some of these are $10 or more online, and if you bought it from the Apple store it would be $45.

So there you go, I just wanted to let you all know; hopefully it helps you guys out. :)




Sunday, 12 October 2014

LPT (Life Pro Tip) for iPhone users

Alright so I'm pretty sure most people know that in their settings there is such a feature called "Keyboard Shortcuts". And when I say most, that's probably over stretching it a little bit.

I know I've always thought 'Wow, that would be useful, but like what would I actually use it for?' I always figured there wasn't one saying, or one line that I consistently said all the time and required a shortcut for.

It was definitely online somewhere, that I found this tip: enter your email address and make '@@' a shortcut. Or just do something similarly along those lines. Writing out your email each time for registrations or sign ins is definitely a drag (especially if it's long) in addition to the @domain.com - we want to save time right?

I honestly had this set up a while ago, and it wasn't until I switched phones and had my settings reset that I realized how much of a convenience it had been.





Do you actually have any other shortcuts set up besides this? Share them below!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Aritzia Thanksgiving Sale: LIVE!

I checked my email and was excited to see that Aritzia would be launching a sale at 12* midnight. Seeing this at 1am, made me pretty excited - but I soon realized that it was during PST hours. That's alright, I figured I had some studying to do anyways. At 3:03am I clicked refreshed, checked the redirect link from my email, and didn't see anything either. I was confused, and slightly disappointed. Maybe I just couldn't find the right link? A few minutes later I realized it was up and there had just been a slight delay. I bet they thought no one would notice, I mean who else is really crazy enough to check in the middle of the night..


Enjoy!! It's too bad they still require a $150 minimum for free shipping.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

New to Blogging? How do you get more connected to the Community?!

This is a question exclamation post. What does that mean? Well, it's kind of my way to trying to learn more about you guys (the readers) while giving a little bit of my own input at the same time.

So if you're reading this, you can probably tell that this is a baby blog. I mean it's just starting up, and I don't have a large following. But at the same time, who really cares right? I honestly am that person who just has to rave about a product to every single person I know when I find something that is good. I love to share. The 'share article' feature has got to be one of the best features out there for someone like me. When I learn something that's pretty cool (Did you know Classico Spaghetti Sauce Jars are Mason jars? They don't just look like them- 'Mason' is actually embossed/engraved into the jar, it's legit!) I just feel the need to tell the world and where is there a better place than here (and that is the long-story short version of why this blog exists).

Of course it's a little bit disheartening knowing that very few people actually read what I say. I mean it is partially my fault as I haven't made this public on my Facebook or anything, and I don't share this to the people I actually know. But anyways, like every other blogger out there, I am trying wedge myself into the community and trying to discover new blogs on a daily basis.

So what I found has worked really well to discover other small up and coming blogs, is clicking on the 'click-through' links found on blog comments! Most people will leave a comment with their blog in their signature, and it's even nicer when the link itself is a URL that automatically brings you to the page. It helps when you already have a handful of blogs that you read, but honestly it's like the '6 degrees of separation effects' every blog has comments leading to another blog. It's great!

Lets be real small blogs are more personal, when there are thousands of readers sometimes it is easy for your comment to be overlooked. Bloggers will probably value your input even more if you're one of the few comments on there. Incorporating some of my beginner Economics.. It's the effect of Marginal Benefit - the first few comments (maybe first few hundred) all bring us great joy, but as it reaches a couple thousand every additional comment may make less of an impact.

Anyways another thing I realized today is that Pinterest is probably another phenomenal way of meeting new bloggers! Pinterest and blogging share such a great overlap, they are essentially the 'connector' or the pathway the brings together people with similar interests. Or even better, it's a selective 'Google'! I would say half the images will redirect you to a blog, and from here you can continue diving into more comments or 'guest posts'. The possibilities honestly seem endless. I've always been a fan of Pinterest for my own self interest (I mean, it makes organizing links and bookmarking soo much easier) but now I'm realizing how much of a tool it is as well.


Sorry for the run on post, it's your turn now! What do you do to discover new blogs and to get involved in the blogosphere? 


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Meal of the Day: Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa, Ground Beef and Vegetable Medley


Student cooking at its finest folks.
So I've seen this concept of Stuffed Peppers around for a while, and although they look enticing I hadn't gotten around to trying it out until this week.

That being said, I want to tell you, right now, to go ahead and make this at home. I'm pretty sure this is one of those idiot proof meals, that is just so easy to make but so delicious.

I'm not a cook, what I do is look around at a few recipes (usually the first few on google) see what they usually have in common and just go ahead with that.

So here's all I did:

Ingredients:
Bell Peppers
Ground Beef
Quinoa
Frozen Vegetables
Onion
Garlic
Tomato Sauce
Oil (Coconut or whatever normally cook with)
Cheese
* I haven't listed proportions because it's really up to you, how hungry you are, or how much you are planning to prepare.

  1. Cut out the seeds and the inner core of the bell peppers (any color. Put them in water, let it boil and stay for a few extra minutes.
  2. Prepared about half a cup (dry) of quinoa. It's a 1:2 (quinoa to water) ratio according to the package. I just do this in my rice cooker and wait til all the water has been absorbed and it flips the switch from 'cook' to 'warm' but I'm sure boiling this on the stove works exactly the same. This actually made more than I needed - so I just ate the leftover alone the next day.
  3. Meanwhile, put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on a frying pan. Pour in a cup of frozen vegetables, minced garlic, chopped up onion and let everything cook (let the flavours mix around and vegetables thaw).
  4. Cook some ground beef (I didn't really even put that much, only about 100g). Make sure that it's all cooked and everything, and then pour maybe 1/4 of a cup (if not less) of Tomato sauce just to jazz it up with some more flavour.
  5. Mix everything together and place aside while you cut your bell peppers either into halves (as shown with the green peppers) or simply slice off the top like I did with the red pepper.
  6. Now pour your mixture into the peppers.
  7. Grate 1/4-1/2 a cup of cheese. I honestly don't know how much I used, I just used enough so that I could get a thin layer across the surfaces! Do so - cover the peppers.
  8. Place peppers in a tray and into the oven at 350-400 degrees. Let it stay in for 10-15 minutes or however long you wish so that the peppers roast and the cheese melts.
Please note, this is extremely filling! :) I actually ended up having it with a sweet potato and left probably about half of it as leftovers.




Saturday, 27 September 2014

Backpack Recommendation: The North Face

Hi! So I know the back-to-school sales have all past, and people are already settled int their day to day school routines, but I thought I would write this anyway.

I mean some people keep the same bags from previous years right? Anyways, if you are deciding or have been looking for a new backpack for a while I would recommend The North Face - Borealis. 

It's kind of expensive. I mean in the past from elementary - high school, I cannot actually remember a time where I have paid more than $30-40 for a backpack. I used Jansports and actually thought they were a bit much at the time. I also used one of those Swiss Army ones for a short period before I realized that it was a ridiculously heavy bag itself - even without containing anything. Anyways so I slowly opened up to the idea of paying more for a backpack, I mean the PINK (by VS) backpacks seemed to cost a bit more as did the Herschel backpacks.

I ended up going to an outlet outside of Seattle last month and went from store to store with a mission: to find a good backpack. I mean I went to all of the following: Adidas, Nike, Under Armor, Reebok, only to end up with nothing. It was only at The North Face that I found the Borealis backpack ( I had previously read about online).

It's pretty cool in the sense that my backpack is so unique I have yet to see one available in my colour. It is black, but it is also really bright because the straps are neon! At first I thought it was a bit much but I warmed up to it.
The North Face Borealis Black with Neon Straps Electric

The North Face Borealis Black with Neon Straps Electric

Within the first few pages of google images I didn't see any look these so I had to post my own! Now here is what I like about the backpack:

  • It has water bottle pockets! This is something extremely practical and necessary. I can't even count the amount of times that liquids have spilled inside my backpacks. I mean I could have chosen an extremely stylish and fashionable backpack (I mean there are sooo many nice rucksage-styled leather bags) but none of them had these water bottle holders - and I was determined to get it.
  • It has a small storage/pocket compartment near the top, here I use this to keep my bus pass and keys. It's so useful I used to spend about 5 minutes per day looking for my bus pass because I would always lose it but with this dedicated slot it's no longer an issue.
  • It's certified - by the American Chiropractic Association. At first I thought this was a useless bonus, something that they just stuck on to a tag to help it sell better but no, I was wrong! The weight distribution is actually so different. It never feels truly heavy because it sits so comfortably!
  • This leads me into the next point. As you can see from the side profile it's a super 'compact' bag. I mean there's no large overhanging pocket (you know.. most bags kind of have this this particular shape to it that's has a mixed side-profile between a \ and a ) it's basically rounded with all the stuff being carried near the outer bottom?). Because of this, the weight falls directly/straight-down on your shoulders and doesn't pull backwards on you.
    • At first I thought the shape was kind of strange because it wasn't more typical, but now I really like it!
  • It also has a fantastic laptop holder compartment. See, I never had one of these in my old backpacks. I thought they were 'extra', like why would you need an extra designation for it? I realized now how helpful it is now, built into this slot at the very bottom is a lot of cushioning. That way when you drop your laptop in, or your drop your backpack on the floor it doesn't slam into a wall of impact (it offers a lot of protection). My roommate actually just got a High Sierra backpack but I noticed that TNF had a lot more cushioning, it feels about 2" thick!
Anyways I was lucky enough to get this on sale at the outlet. Instead of being $80-100 like it is regularly (from what I can see online) it was around $60 which I think is quite a steal. The only thing that seems to bug me a little are the pink straps see at the bottom. They're attached to the arm-straps and so those are always visible when you're facing something and seem to clash with my outfit 95% of the time! I'm honestly thinking of just grabbing a permanent black spray paint and just using that.

So, what backpack are you using right now? Do you love it or hate it? 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Running and some Great Apps

Hi Guys!

Here are the Two (Free iPhone) Running Apps I like to use:   RunKeeper and 'Interval Timer'

RunKeeper: Provides you with a log as it records all the handy information from your run. It includes

  • GPS tracking, you can see the route that you run
  • Verbal indicators of the distance ran, pace, and duration of run
  • Estimation of Calories Burned
  • Optional reminders to 'go for a run'
  • Allows you to have a playlist (music) going on in the background
Interval Timer : Specifically this one , it's simple without all the bells and whistles of other complex apps. I did find the set up very confusing though. If you want it to do something similar to Garmin's, set up a 'Long Duration' of your running cycle and then the 'Short Duration' to be one minute. Also make sure to choose the "Start Interval with: Long" setting or else it might mess you up/confuse you a little bit.

If you have both these running at the same time it works similar to the Garmin Forerunner without a heartrate monitor- hope this helps!



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Aritzia Warehouse Sale 2014 - Experience, What I Learned and Tips!

Aritzia Shopping Bag from Aritzia Warehouse SaleHey guys!

 I haven't posted for quite a long time. School has started, I've moved back into my student house (with 4 amazing rroommates and am getting back into the school year grind. But before that all happened, I was in Vancouver, B.C. for just over a week moving in my sister- who is going into first year at UBC!

Just after I arrived, I was shocked to see Aritzia's instagram post. They were promoting their annual Warehouse Sale! Although I have heard about this famous (or infamous) sale, I had never attended it. I mean it was on the wrong coast, the opposite coast of the country! I had actually been in Vancouver about two summers ago, but as luck would have it - the sale happened right after I left. I had checked the dates earlier in the summer and thought that I would miss it once again, so I had pretty much accepted it. The excitement slowly started to build inside me as I realized that I would finally get to go!Here are some photos and a blurb about my experience.

Aritzia Warehouse Sale in Vancouver

Aritzia Warehouse Sale in Vancouver

The warehouse sale takes place inside the Metro Convention centre. It's extremely large but nonetheless it cannot contain the amount of excited shoppers and loyal customers on its 'Grand Opening'. Although this sale is open for a range of days, of course most people will try to show up the first day (I mean, that's when you can get all the good stuff right?) 

Be prepared to wait. On Day 1, people are known to start lining up early. And that means that there may be some people eager enough to start the night before, or simply during the wee hours of the morning - I am talking before 5 am. I believe that the sale started or opened at 7am, but if you choose to arrive then don't be surprised to see a line. I think I lined up at 8am, and by that time the way had made its way outside of the convention centre, and around all the way to the part near the Teardrop ( I think that's what it was, near all the cafes?) The line moved quite quickly from the outside but seemed to slow down after we got in - in total I think we (me and my sister) waited for about 1.5h. 

Just to let you know, I actually went back a second time later on that week. Apparently this is quite common, because the hype occurs primarily on day 1. The rest of the time there is essentially no wait and no line - that's right, no waiting in line for 1.5h, while news cameras and people take photos of the enormous line. But of course you might miss out on some of those finds such as Kenya Mackage jackets (amiright?). Furthermore, what the staff will constantly remind you is that new stuff is released onto the floor each day.

When you first get in, they actually require you to check in your purses, bags or backpacks. Honestly they just have a few rocks of shelves where everything is left in plain site (of course only with employee access) but I'm not sure how much I would really trust it. You should probably leave your favourite purse at home unless you bring a very small clutch, although I definitely did see a LV just sitting there. I went two times with the same cross-body swingpack and the first time they insisted that it be checked in where as the second time they simply let me walk right by (so I guess it's really subjective). 

After you get in it really is just overwhelming. Think about what it feels like when you walk into a Winners, now think about that multiplied by like 50. There are what feels like over 50 racks of clothing there: some racks have 30 of the same pieces of clothing while others will be completely miscellaneous - hold on to an item if you like it because you may not find another one. Now imagine the messiest your bedroom has ever been, this is the warehouse sale. It feels like 40% of the floor is covered in clothing. It's overwhelming and kind of discomforting. Along every single wall are piles and heaps of clothing that people have either decided against, or are going back to as their 'home base'. 

It actually gets really tiring because you have to hold on to everything that you want, meaning you can only buy as much as you can carry. You might think that this is insignificant but walking around and searching through racks, and digging in piles of clothing is a lot more difficult if you're trying to walk around with arms full of clothing. It was pretty funny because you could see that there were some tricks that the more 'experienced' shoppers had developed for themselves. Around the sale you will find some empty cardboard/carton boxes. People would use these as makeshift shopping carts, I even saw some people stick clothes hangers (you know the hook part that looks like ?) into the box and use that as a handle to drag the box around.

Another heads up: there is a communal fitting room. That means you are going to see a lot of skin: bras, undies, stomachs, butts - everything. Be prepared to go in something you don't mind wearing infront of hundreds of strangers. I know you might like to wear thongs, but like for the sake of those around you I'm not sure everyone else wants to see your cheeks! Wearing a skirt is pretty helpful for such a situation and allows you to slip things on underneath quite easily. 

So of course I found a few items, but overall from my trip I would say that I had two amazing finds. I got a Verbier Aritzia Winter Jacket for $125 (initially $275) and a pair of TOMs for $20. You definitely save a lot of money at this sale, but as a whole most people will definitely spend over $100 (probably a few). They also had a great jean selection from 23/24s to probably size 32s+. For any denim fanatic this would be a dream come tree. There were J brands ($75), Rag and Bone (I got a pair for $30), Citizens of Humanity and more. Although the jeans start off initially organized by size, by the end of it the tables may have them stacked in neat piles but you will need to look at each one by the sticker/tag/label to check each size because each table will have a plethora of sizes arranged in no order. It is slightly chaotic.

Anyways, that is about all I can ramble about this sale. If you have any questions please leave a comment below! Furthermore, if you did attend the event tell me how you found it, and what your best find was!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Getting into the swing of things!

Now that it's summer, I am so grateful to have a break from school. If anything, I have all this extra time to seek out activities I enjoy, watch TV and explore the blogaverse out here!

 I feel like I'm just starting to discover the blogging community and am so excited to see everyone's hard work. It's honestly like any other social media out there, if you have no one to follow on Twitter or Instagram it loses half of its functionality, you get bored and never go back! I've realized that with so many people commenting on everyone else's posts that their signature blog links make for a great way to explore and discover new bloggers. So if that's how you found this post, it's really great to meet you ! Believe me, I'm probably following you via Bloglovin or Google and can't wait to see the content that you upload. I've noticed that I tend to like smaller blogs more, I feel like with a smaller community and following you can actually get to know one another whereas with others youre just in 'one in thousands'!

I'm going to try to actively post a bit more these few months and am just as excited to meet more of you :) . This is more of a scrapbook, a mix of this and that. I'm going into my third year at UWO for Biomedical Sciences in Canada, and love all things food related, fashion and makeup.

Please leave a comment, I'd love to know where you are from!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Zippity Quick

It's crazy how quickly my summer has been going by! Monday becomes Friday so quickly that I can hardly believe how soon the weekend has arrived week after week. I mean you know how some weeks just feel soo slow? It hasn't been like that at all for me!

Contrary to my Intro post when I was still bumming around and watching nothing but TV from morning to night my life has turned a 180. It feels like every hour counts! I mean from the time I wake up at around 8am, I work part-time at an office until lunch, drive to school where I finish class and remain in the library  until the 5-6pm (varies), run off to the gym, come home for dinner, and then go back to studying for the rest of the day!

Do you have those phases where you feel like you're just constantly busy doing something or on the go?

Happy Friday!

Christy

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Non Fat Yogurt - Be Careful!


Hey guys,

I just wanted to remind you that you should be super careful when you're doing your groceries and buying yogurt. Society has conditioned us into thinking that 'low fat' or 'no fat' everything is healthier, and better. But it's really not!

What we don't realize is that to makeup for the taste, texture and etc from eliminating the fat, companies end up trying to compensate with sugar - which can be almost worst! What you should realize is that your body does need some fat, so in a lot of cases choosing that 1% or 2% yogurt is actually  better for you. Nevertheless, it's probably still tempting to reach for the 0% and if that's the case you might as well make an informed choice while you're at it.

A lot of companies like Activia, for example, have '0% fat yogurt' yogurt which actually has Aspartame added in it - aka Splenda, yuck!

I wanted to show you a quick example highlighting the difference it can make.

Alright, so its' kind of embarassing how messy everything is behind it but I just get so excited when I think of something that I want to share on here and would just rather take a picture right there and then. I know.. patience is a virtue. I'll try harder next time?

Anyways so as you can see they're both "Organic" No Fat Yogurts. It's funny, the first thing I checked for was if there was any Aspartame. Nope it was fine. I also checked the ingredient to see how much added crap was in it, but it looked pretty good. So naively, I decided that it was probably all good to go and started eating both. Actually I started eating more of the Liberte one, I noiced that the texture was a lot more smooth and silky. It was yummier! I had tried the organic meadow one before, and it wasn't bad but it wasn't anything special either. For a while I was just suprised at how much yummier the Liberte yogurt was. 

Pretty simple, it's a clean list.

Alright so maybe I jumped the gun reading the ingredients, there actually is quite a lot of added stuff.


So if you look closely enough at the 'Sugar' content. Liberte has nearly twenty grams of sugar while there is only nine in Organic Meadow. That's around/just over two times as much for the same sample size! Anyways I was shocked when I realized the difference (it explained how the taste seemed to vary so much).

So the lesson is to look carefuly at the ingredients and Nutrition Table when you're shopping!