Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goodbye Summer with BlueBerry Lagoon

I'm looking at my agenda...and I'm crying. How did 4-months of summer just fly by?! The weather was so crummy and wet for the most part and I just don't have the motivation to go back to school. 

My schedule have been packed the last few weeks since everyone is leaving - just cramming a little bit of everyone in my life before we all go our separate ways for the next 8-months. 

With that being said...I neglected tea for some time. I never found the time to brew myself a cup and just sit down to enjoy it. So, today - I chose Blueberry Lagoon by Tealish Tea to let the last taste of summer sink in. 



Just as the name suggest, this tea has a very sweet scent to it. It smells amazing and the taste is very light and subtle. To make the tea stand out, I added a hint of honey to it. And it was a perfect cup of tea. Unfortunately, my boyfriend's house didn't have any ice - otherwise I would have made an iced tea for summer. 



Hot or Cold, this tea is perfect to remind me of the summer months. 

love & light,
Susan

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rehydrate with Vanilla Coconut Water

The cold weather in Canada ruins all the good stuff we have in the world. I always wish I could grow coconuts in my backyard! You'll see tons of coconuts on your grocery store's shelf during the summer months to quench your thirst, but how about the winter months? Well, good thing they make packaged coconut water - not as good and beneficial as the fresh coconuts themselves, but what else can we do? 

Coconut water is so hydrating - it's literally super water; perfect for an after workout drink. It has full of potassium and natural sugars (none of that processed stuff in sport drinks!) to reboot you after an intensive workout. Along with this, it has great electrolytes that your body needs - calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. 

Already, coconut water is literally perfect hydrator on its own - let's make this even better! 

Raw Cacao Powder - we all love chocolate and this is the rawest form. It's full of great antioxidants and is a girl's best friend during PMS week! 

Chia Seeds - packed full of omega-3s!!! 

Protein Powder - I usually use Vega One, but in this photo, I used Raw Meal by Garden of Life. They both are packed full of other great nutrients that is similar to if you had a complete meal - especially being a student, sometimes we forget to feed ourselves all the nutrients we need. This is perfect for an after workout drink! 



Vanilla Coconut Water 

1-2 cups of coconut water
1 banana (to thicken the drink a bit)
1 scoop of your favourite vanilla protein powder 
1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)

Put all your ingredients into your blender and blend! 

It's really that easy - a quick drink to rehydrate and refuel for the rest of your day after your workout! 

love and light,
Susan

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Your Feel Good Soap Bath Soak

Have you been to this hidden gem? Your Feel Good Soap is a little soap shop located in Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood of Toronto - tucked away from the busy Queen St. W. What makes them so unique? Everything is customizable!!! You put your creative and personality in your body products. Anything that is liquid/creamy can be customized - body wash, body lotion, body balm, and shampoo. And that's not all - they are 100% natural! Just the way body care should be. 



When I popped in the store a few weeks ago, they have just launched their create your own bath soaks

So, how does this work?

1. Begin with an empty mason jar! 


2. You begin with choosing the bath salt you want - Epsom, Pink Himalayan, and Dead Sea. You can even choose all three if you want! 

3. Choose your flowers and herbs (this was my favourite part!) - Chamomile, Rose Buds, Lavender, Rosemary, Spearmint, and Oats. All have different benefits - don't be afraid to ask Karina, the owner, to let you know what each is good for. She has little pouches to put all the little flowers/herbs in. You can either choose to throw the whole pouch in your bath and it's reusable. Or you can straight up just throw them in your bath and let it float around you. 


4. Injecting the essential oils. They have a handy guide for scent blends depending on what you are looking for in a perfect bath soak blend. She'll put the perfect amount in the mason jar with your bath salts and mix it up for you; you'll get a perfect consistent bath each time!


5. She'll assemble the pouch and mason jar together - and there it is...a personalized bath soak for your beautiful body! 

It was such a fun process to go through. If you're indecisive like me, she's prepared. There's a station set up for you to smell all the essential oils she has in the store...at your own pace! She even has stools set up in front of the station if you are like me. 

I ended up getting:
  • All three salts
  • Flowers and Herbs: chamomile, rose buds, lavender, and oats
  • Essential Oils: Lavender and Ylang Ylang (such a strong and relaxing combination!)
I told Karina about my extremely dry skin and she even put coconut oil and almond oil to the blend to make it extra moisturizing! 



The experience itself is so relaxing and fun. Definitely a de-stressing activity and with your new personalized bath salts, you can take the same feeling home!!

So, if you're in Toronto, take a trip down and give them a smell. They do have an online store that sells most of their homemade products. However, they have yet to add the bath soak to the website - it's the experience of customizing your own that makes it so special! 

love and light,
Susan 

Disclaimer - I have purchased this bath soak and wanted to share my fun experience. As always, these opinions are my own and always genuine.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Non-caffeinated good - ROOIBOS TEA

My name is Susan and I am addicted to tea. 


ROOIBOS. The word that gets everyone going like "what is it? say that word again". This cup of tea is not your typical one. 

So...what is rooibos? 
Rooibos is a plant from South Africa that is also referred to as "red bush". If you search photos up on Google, you'll see that it looks like needle-leaves - definitely not like any of your everyday teas. But, don't be fooled by its' difference. It makes a perfect cup of herbal tea! 

Why is it so good for you?
  • Antioxidant - just like the other types of tea, rooiboos has antioxidants that helps keep your cells strong! In particular, rooibos contains high concentration of aspalathin and nothofagin, which fight against free radicals to protect your healthy cells. 
  • Caffeine free! - so drink up! The rooibos plant grows naturally with no caffeine, so it's a perfect choice for everyone...even for children. 
  • Minerals - this plant is packed full of good minerals to fuel your body. Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc...it's all there to assist with building strong teeth, bones, support for immune system, and distributing oxygen around your body. Rooibos increases iron absorption in our bodies...a definitely plus for females!
  • Happy tummy and gut - another high concentration of flavonoids helps with relieving any upset stomach, indigestion, and cramps. 
  • Post-workout drink - a great drink to enjoy after a workout that is different than the good old water. The minerals will help bring your body back to equilibrium. 
  • Golden sleep - with absolutely no caffeine and high mineral content, it's found to be a very relaxing tea for night time! 
This is just a mini list of the great benefits of rooibos tea! There are tons more out there for this powerful plant. 

Even with the great benefits tea offers, we tend to overlook that tea leaves/plants are big targets for pesticides and herbicides. Especially for someone like me, who consumes large amounts of it on a daily basis, it does add up. It's very important to really consider switching to organic tea if you are a frequent drinker! Another important factor to look into is the tea bag - many companies may be using organic tea leaves, but the tea bag may not be organic! All the chemicals that you are trying to avoid is seeking in your cup of tea. That's why I love Numi Organic Tea - they use organic tea to protect farmers, the planet, and the consumers. They even go as far as making sure their tea bags were not produced with any GMOs or plastic. Double bonus.

I hope you enjoy this cup of tea!

love and light,
Susan

Disclaimer - I have purchased this tea (and highly recommend it to all my friends and family!). As always, these opinions are my own and are always genuine!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

UPDATE...I'm back on blogger!

Hey.

I've been gone for a while. I haven't blogged for about two months now - but, I'm back! 
I got carried away with life...all the good, the bad, and the everyday the last two months.  
  • I actually tried re-vamping my blog by moving it to another hosting website. That didn't last very long - I realized it was much easier to blog with Blogger and I knew my way around the website. So, here I am...I never left! 
  • When I started this blog last year, I shared that I went to my first ever pilates class. Never been super active in my past life, I was instantly hooked onto the mat. When I found out about a mat teaching course, I was a little sceptical on my ability and knowledge to actually join the field. With a little push from my brother, dad, and boyfriend to go for it, I'm happy I did. Today, I finished the mat intensive teaching course and can't be more excited to get the full certification soon! 
  • I love trying new things. After the mat course, I wanted to try something different to go along with pilates. Strength and Conditioning. Something that everyone is aware of is so foreign to me. I've been loving the new experiences and exercises - but, I know, nothing will replace pilates for me. 
  • I got hired for a summer job at a local retail store and quit. The job started out very well - the store was full of great products and items that was different than what was sold at your big box companies. The customers were all very friendly. Also, it was my first retail job, so I was excited to learn. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, it twisted around. The boss and I did not sync in any way - our communication was on different ends of the spectrum. No matter what - words was always shoved in my mouth. I tried my best to let the boss know that she's interpreting me differently and I never mean to offend her in any way. However, it starts to turn ugly when she would tell me things like - "for your age, you're not worth anything" or "your positive attitude has to stop". Eventually, as hard as I tried to make it work since it's understandable that people have bad days - it got to the point where she would make me feel terrible on every shift I worked, so I knew the work environment was no longer for me. So, I left and have not dreaded waking up any more summer mornings.
  • I'm still interning in a natural skincare company and I've been loving it. Learning how to mix oils for the perfect recipe to the positive energy around the workspace, it's one of the best thing I've done this summer. Something that I count down the days till I go back in!
  • Dancing taste buds! I've been loving Toronto and all the food it offers. Along with this, I miss the great company of my friends back at home. I love the dinner and breakfast parties we cook up - I have another month of my Toronto friends before I'm back to university. Soaking in the happiness!
And last, I have to share what made me giggle this week. Even though it's the middle of summer, Frosty never melts...


Looking forward to sharing new posts for you on a regular basis. The inspiration have hit me to share snippets of my life with the world...again! 

Love and light <3
Susan 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Food: Homemade Almond Milk

I LOVE MAKING MY OWN ALMOND MILK. Yes, I had to write that in caps, because who knew it could be so easy to do? Seriously much more healthier since boxed almond milk always have additional added ingredients that does not need to be in your almond milk! The first time I tried, I had quite a malfunction - I tried it with a cheesecloth...and it was messy. The cheese cloth kept tearing up on me and the little ground almonds kept getting into my milk when I didn't want that to happen. So, I went back to buying boxed almond milk for another month until I moved back home for the summer and tried making it again using a strainer instead. BEST. TOOL. EVER. Made the job less stressful!

I usually sweeten mine, but you can easily just take out the last two ingredients to make it simple, unsweetened almond milk. 

Here's a simple and easy recipe to make your own almond milk.
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 medjool dates (remember to take out the seed beforehand!)

1. Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight or for 8-10 hours.


2. Drain the water from the soaked almonds. Pour the almonds into a blender. 

3. Add 3-4 cups of water.

4. Blend! Blend! Blend! Blend until the water becomes a milky colour and the almonds are all grounded up.


5. Add the vanilla extract and medjool date(s).



6. Blend for another few minutes, so everything is well incorporated. 

7. Get a big bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer (my strainer is very small, so I have to separate the straining into three different batches). Once you strain everything, there will be tons of almond grounds - using a fork/spoon, push the almond ground to make sure you get every last drop of the milk through the strainer.


8. Once you strained the whole amount, your amount milk is now complete! Pour it into a cup, a container, and enjoy.


I usually keep my almond milk in the fridge for no longer than one week - which isn't a problem, since I drink it daily. 

My parents usually get almonds in bulk, so making your almond milk is much more cost effective and cheaper than regularly purchasing store-bought, boxed almond milk.

I hope you enjoy this simple DIY!

<3

Susan 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Favourites: MAY MAY MAY



May have been a great month so far - moved back home and kept myself busy this whole month! What made me happy this month?

1. Toronto

It's so weird that I wanted to leave home so f*(&ing badly when I was back in high school. Biggest mistake - never felt more comfortable than being in my own neighbourhood that I grew up in and the city that I know so well. It's so nice and relaxing just moving back home - only two more years left in university and then I can settle back into the city!

2. Banana Spinach Smoothie

Find the recipe here! I blogged about it earlier this month and it's my easy, go-to recipe for most days!

3. WARM & SUNNY WEATHER

We got snow back in April and then we got tons of rain in the beginning of May...Susan hates rain. I'm a walker - I love walking everywhere and rain really does ruin my parade. So, it's so nice that the last two weeks of May was just sunshine and comfortable weather.

4. Numi Tea

Organic tea that is perfectly prepared - even the tea bag doesn't have harmful chemicals! I love the bold and rich quality of Numi Tea. Pricey, but each tea bag can be re-steeped and still taste amazing. Happy I discovered this brand a few months ago and of course, I went overboard and bought two boxes of 100 tea bags on Amazon.

5. Food

Relating back to the first point....being back in Toronto gives me this wide selection of amazing food. I love the small, local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes around. I love trying new bites and my food is my biggest weakness to my paycheques.

Overall, I've been really happy to settle back home for the summer. Enjoying it as it lasts!

<3

Susan

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Skincare: What Cleans My Face?

Since my makeup days are over, I've been hoarding and trying new skincare products all the time. With extensive research, I really found myself interested in seeking for natural and organic skincare lines that have ingredients that I can identify myself. My first skincare routine post on this blog received a lot of love, so I decided to share a series of posts of what I'm currently using. Here are the cleansers that I've been loving recently:



This was the first facial wash that I ever tried that is oil based. It includes coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and castor oil. What I really love about this cleanser is the scent - peppermint and lemongrass are such an energizing combination; the scent that is perfect for early mornings to help wake you up. I usually apply this straight to my dry face, massaging it all over my face (the vegetable glycerin base makes the product look very white on dry skin), and then I slowly incorporate some water to create a lather on my face before wiping everything off. This cleanser doesn't just wake me up in the morning, it really wakes my skin up, making it look and feel brighter, cleaner, and healthier. 



This is a sample I got from the owner. It's really similar to the concept of the oil cleansing method, as the main ingredients to this facial wash are sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. The difference between this facial wash and the oil cleansing method is the other great nourishing ingredients that it has - such as vitamin e and essential oils. It's extremely gentle and very moisturizing for my dehydrated skin. I usually apply 2-3 pumps of the cleanser straight to my dry face, taking a few moments to really rub it all over my face. Then, I would take a hot damp face towel to drape it over my face as a "steam" to open up my pores to really allow the oil to sink in. After about 30 seconds, I'll slowly wipe off the cleanser. A big plus is the scent - very light and relaxing...perfect for ending your day! 



This cleanser is great for all skin types. A foaming cleanser that will not strip away your skin's natural oils. In fact, it does a great job at cleaning your skin from environmental factors and fighting blemishes, as well as rehydrating your skin with Grape Seed Oil. I visit my boyfriend every couple of weeks and this have been in my toiletry bag every time I pack up. It's in a plastic bottle, so it's super light and I don't have to worry about the container potentially shattering and spilling all over my bag. Also, it's easy to use - the foam makes it extremely easy to rub over my face and wipe off with water and hands. Overall, a great cleanser that will not throw off my skin, even if I only use it for a few washes when I'm on the go. 

All three of these brands are based in Toronto - local and organic! Just what I love! The oil-based cleansers are great for keeping moisture in my skin; the last thing I need in a skincare cleanser is for it to be oil striping. This whole combination is helping my skin cope with my diet change and environment change as I settle back home. Have been making my skin feel and look great - a big plus for going bare face everyday. Definitely cleansers that I will be repurchasing and recommending to others. 

<3

Susan 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Food: Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

Just as I said in my new years resolution, I'm trying my best at eating healthier and changing my food habits. I've made tons of changes this year so far, but I know this summer would be an easier time for me to explore recipes and options.

Just the other day, my boyfriend's grandma made a loaf kind of cake and I knew a jam would be perfect to go along with it. I remember seeing other articles on chia jam, but this is one quick one I assembled myself in the kitchen the other day.



Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

1 Cup of Raspberries, Fresh or Frozen (make sure it's thawed!)
1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
1-2 Tablespoon of Honey

In a small bowl, using a fork, mash up the raspberries.
Add the chia seeds and mix well. 
Mix in the honey. Some berries, especially frozen, tend to be quite sour and depending on individual preferences, the amount of honey will differ among everyone. 

Tasty and healthy raspberry chia seed jam. Can leave in your fridge for the week.

Enjoy!

<3

Susan

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Food: Spinach and Banana Smoothie...and VEGA ONE!

Sooo, it's been a while - and a lot have happened in that while.

April in a nutshell:
  • I finished all my papers, presentations, and final assignments for second year!
  • I fell down the stairs and sprained my foot...pretty badly. Late night ER for 4 hours was not fun. I can't forget to mention how much I HATE crutches!
  • My relatives from sunny California came for a visit - yay to family time! 
  • My exam schedule was the worst. It was completely spread out and I pretty much had about 6 days in between my exams and days with back-to-back exams. So, I wrote 5 final exams and am now OFFICIALLY FINISHED WITH MY SECOND YEAR OF UNIVERSITY. 
  • I started a new part-time job and am pretty excited for the rest of the summer!
  • I moved my whole life back to Toronto for the summer.
  • I started an internship at another local business as well.
  • Back to pilates and yoga...on a consistent basis. 
As busy as April sounds and a good start for the rest of the summer, I'm back to blogging! 


I've been hearing lots of good things about Vega One through other bloggers and from a recommendation of a good friend. I hopped on the bandwagon as well and decided to order a small tub of it to test it out. With my sprained ankle, I ended up ordering it from vitamart.ca (just a quick note - they have the fastest shipping ever!). Probably because I didn't have a blender at school, I've been really into making smoothies the last few days that I've moved back home. My friend introduced me to the spinach and banana smoothie and I've been loving it. To test the Vega One protein powder, I just add some into the smoothie. Since I've just started testing the Vega One protein powder in French Vanilla, I can't really give a full review of the product yet. But, so far, I'm really liking the taste of it. I've only been adding about a quarter of a scoop of it into my smoothies so far, just so my body can slowly adjust to the additional supplements! 


Spinach and Banana Smoothie 

1 cup of almond milk (you can use whatever milk you want!)
1 banana
1 HUGE handful of spinach
1/4 scoop of Vega One Protein Powder in French Vanilla

Put the almond milk, banana, and spinach in the blender and blend till smooth. 
Add the protein powder and make sure you blend at a slower speed to ensure it doesn't clump up in one area. 
Once it's well blended, pour it into your favourite cup (or mason jar!)

ENJOY!


<3 

Susan


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Food: New Dip!

I've come to the point where I'm too lazy to go walk over to the grocery store to buy groceries for the next two days that I'm still at university. I have exams for the rest of the month and I don't start till a little later on, so I thought it's probably best to just go home.

I had a whole bag of carrots sitting in my fridge for the last three weeks and it really had to go. So, I made a dip one afternoon last week...and I made it again the next day...and the day after...and today.

I think this dip is very particular and will only appeal to some people. But, I think it's pretty tasty and the fact that it can go with so many different foods, it makes it even better.

This recipe is usually eyeballed, but you'll try to get 1:1 part with the main ingredients and a pinch of any of the spices you desire. But, here's a recipe that will get you started and adjust accordingly to your needs.


Cheesy Carrot Dip

1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 tbsp of olive oil
pinch of ground pepper
pinch of ground cayenne pepper 
pinch of garlic powder

1. Mix the shredded carrots, shredded cheese, and sour cream together. You'll notice it's a little clumpy after this step.
2. Add the olive oil. This is what will smooth the whole mixture together. You'll see the change in consistency right away after you mix it all together.
3. Add your spices. 
4. Give it a good mix and you got yourself a good dip.

I used this as a "sauce" for my chicken finger wrap using lettuce. I used this to dip my chicken fingers. And as the photo below shows, I used it as a topping for my perogies . 


I'm pretty happy with this and it's helping me use up my carrots!

I hope you all enjoy this mini recipe. Let me know in the comments below if you tried this recipe and if you did any variation to change it up to your style!

<3

Susan

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Beauty: OOAK and LOVEFRESH



I have never attended any trade shows before, so when Stacey, the owner of LOVEFRESH, sent me a ticket to the One of a Kind Show in the mail - I was soooooo excited.

I took the train back to Toronto last Friday and coincidently, one of my best friends was also in the city for the day. Got her to come along and now we're both HOOKED to going to these shows.

One of a Kind Show is a show that happens twice a year in downtown Toronto - usually during the spring and before Christmas time. It has all independent, more or less, local businesses. You are truly getting items that you don't see in your everyday mall. This year, they introduced a mini ETSY section in the middle of the whole show.

TONS and tons of food samples around - shortbread cookies, chocolate, olive oil dips, baked goods, nuts, and soups; it's probably worth your ticket value.

I was very excited to see the whole LOVEFRESH line in a booth. I usually get my products from the Ten Spot and they only carry a small number of products. In fact, Stacey actually produces the Ten Spot's own line, GET NAILED, body products as well. Perfect to know that the products are all the same quality.

But, since I was at the show, I had to stock up on more goods. She had a deal of buy 3, get 1 free. So, Shannon and I decided to split it.


I got a new body scent that I never seen in stores - the Pomegranate. The power duo of the sugar body scrub and the body butter.


The sugar scrub is so gentle on your skin that it's perfect for the new changing weather as Spring kicks in. The body butter is extremely rich in good oils. It may feel greasy after applying, so I wouldn't recommend using this cream when you are in a rush to get changed and to run out the door. Perfect cream for night moisturizing and days that you can sit around in shorts and tank top to let it all soak in!


A perfect new duo that I'm so excited to be using in my bathroom soon!

I want to give Stacey and LOVEFRESH another big thank you for the ticket that opened my eyes to more local brands and my new love to go to more shows in the future!

<3

Susan

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tea: Tazo Organic Chai


When I first got into tea, I loved Tazo Tea - I went to Starbucks often, just to get Tazo tea. I used to love buying the huge tin sets from there, because of the huge triangle tea bag packaging. But, once I started really getting into tea, I got drawn into all the other brands around. From those in your supermarket aisle to the independent tea store to even online tea e-commence sites.

Over the past few years, I realized that Tazo started to expand and sell their tea bags in every supermarket. I used to love the Awake tea, but after a few cups this past two years...they changed it, it taste different and not in a good way. I started to step away from Tazo Tea.

I was at my local Shoppers Drug Mart the other day getting milk when the packaging of Tazo caught my eye. They changed it! And of course, that sucked me in reading the ingredients of the Chai Tea. A big KUDOS to Tazo Tea for not adding any artificial flavouring or natural flavouring in their Organic Chai Tea. So...the box ended up in my basket. 

Made myself a cup right when I got home and I must say, it is one of the best chai teas I've had. With a tiny slash of milk and some honey, it's a perfect blend. 

Some chai may be very heavy on spices and makes the tea very distinguishable in that way - which, I'm not a huge fan of. This chai tea has a perfect balance of the spices and tea leaves that makes it a very enjoyable drink.

So, this is my cup of tea today!

<3

Susan

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Life: March Favourites

March went by very quickly - I was swamped with papers, presentation, and group projects. Spent most of my days in the library and at my desk, I really don't have too many favourites this month. 

ALSO, I have this very annoying cough for the last week that doesn't seem to be getting better or worse...and the doctor said "you can't do anything about it, just let it be." Cool, I sound like a broken train for however long this cough decides to stay.

Sooo, back to my 3 favourites in March:

1. Consonant Skin Perfecting Body Scrub (Tangerine) - This scrub is probably one of the best body scrubs I have ever used for the cold season. A mix of salt and sugar with rich thick oils, it leaves my skin feeling moisturized after I step out of the shower. I hope they never discontinue this scrub in the future...I mean, what will my skin do when it's feeling like a sahara desert?

2. Avocados - As a broke university student...avocados are pricey. But, they've been on sale for 4 for $5 throughout this month at my grocery store, so I've been having them throughout March. Perfect to mash up to become a dip/spread, great for sandwiches, and great to just eat on its own as a snack. I hope my supermarket never raises the price on avocados - if they don't, my life will be complete.

3. Better Food Choices - Just as I stated on my New Years Resolutions, I've been pretty good at making this slow transition with my eating habits. Joyous Health and Megan Telpner has been a great source to help kick start my change! 



I hope y'all have a great April start - winter is finally winding down and the weather is warming up!

<3

Susan

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beauty: Body Scrubs (TORONTO EDITION!)

With the looooooooonnnnnnnnng and never-ending winter, my skin is constantly dry; even if I bath in lotion for a night, my body will just absorb it all and still be dry. I used to use the bigger brand body scrubs back in the day, LUSH and the Body Shop, but I've recently really been into a more healthier approach for my skin. Been looking for more natural and, if available, organic local skincare. Do remember, your skin is your biggest organ and treating it with love is what will benefit you in the long run! 

As a girl from Toronto, I have tried three different local brands for salt and/or sugar scrubs for my body. So far, I've been enjoyed all three - but, each are very distinctly different that different people will probably prefer certain elements in a body scrub! 


LOVE FRESH Sugar Scrub ($30 CND)

LOVE FRESH was the first sugar scrub that has been hyped and used in many nail spas (e.g., TEN SPOT, Sekai Beauty Bar, etc.). The brand is very well-known and have been expanding quickly over the last few years. I believe you can find LOVE FRESH body products in Toronto Indigo/Chapter stores now! 

This scrub is very delicate for your skin. I really enjoy using this scrub more in the summer, since my skin isn't as dry. AND the scents - they are so summer-like and fruity, it's PERFECT for the warm weather. 

The only downfall that I found with this scrub is that it is not as mositurizing as I hope it would be. I would always have to use copious amount of body butter afterwards to ensure my skin is properly moisturized after scrubbing. 

Definitely recommend this scrub for those who have oily-normal skin type. And it's definitely going to be my summer go-to scrub for now on. 

I have tried a few of their scents so far - Key Lime Coconut Scrub, Pear, and Lemon Verbena. 

Consonant Skincare Skin Perfecting Body Scrub ($30 CND) - photo coming soon!

I recently picked this scrub up when I walked by a FUZZ Wax Bar location and saw a big chalkboard sign promoting soft skin for scrubbing. And I'm so glad I picked this scrub up, because this is what I needed after this long winter. Consonant is another all-natural skincare brand located in Toronto. 

The scrub is a mix of sugar and salt, giving two different dimensions of scrubbing for your skin. Usually salt is more coarse than sugar, giving it a more deeper scrub. What I really like about this scrub is the way my skin feels afterwards. You have to give this scrub a quick stir before you use it in your shower, because the oils separate from the sugar and salt. The main oils in this scrub are coconut oil and olive oil, which explains the separation. But, right when you step out of the shower, it leaves your skin feeling moisturized. I just used a lotion afterwards for extra moisture. 

Be aware that the salt scrub may be too abrasive for those with extremely sensitive skin, even with all the oils mixed along with this product. My skin turns slightly red after using this product that goes away after about 30 minutes. 

Crawford Street Skincare Grapefruit Mint Salt Body Scrub ($10 CND) - photo coming soon!


Crawford Street Skincare can be found in a few local stores across Toronto, as well as their online store. This is just a salt scrub and the scent is very energizing; great for your morning shower to wake you up before the day. A good scrub for the price (you do get a fraction of the other two mentioned above), but I'm debating whether or not to repurchase this item since my skin tends to be more on the sensitive side and this may be too abrasive to my skin in the long run. Along with this, it is very messy; it's literally digging your hands in a pile of salt. I think this scrub will be perfect for dry skin if you mix some oils (e.g., olive oil) to the scrub before you apply it to your skin.

What are you using to scrub off this winter?

<3

Susan

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life: Morning Ritual with Lemons

After my whole face breakout ordeal, I've done tons of research and really got myself into a more healthy approach with my food decision. Let's be honest - I eat a lot for my size and giving up food is not an option. I will and can eat anything and everything my heart desires. But, I've been really looking into a more holistic skincare and health approach; and finding ways to slowly incorporate it into my lifestyle.

I started drinking warm lemon water right after I wake up in the summer, but I was not consistent with it. One week, I'll be drinking it every morning, and then the next, I'll be forgetting. But, since the  New Year, I've been more consistent with this habit. The only times I find myself missing this is when I wake up slightly later and have to run out the house as quickly as possible. 

The reason why I jumped on this bandwagon was when I heard about the list of benefits that this morning drink does:
  • Improves your digestion - I used to have the most sensitive stomach ever; it runs in my family. But, since drinking this in the morning, I've had less stomach upsets and cramps! Definitely helping my food go through my digestive system a lot smoother and quicker.
  • Boosts your colon function and prevents constipation - The one thing I instantly noticed right from the start...I'll be running to the bathroom right after downing the mug of this lemon water. It helps promote your intestines to get things moving and to clear it all out. In the long run, there will be less food build up around your intestines, which results in removing all the nasty toxins and improving better nutrient absorption. 
  • Boosts your mood and energy 
  • Helps clear up your skin - This one was a big one! With all the acne scars on my cheeks, I know I can't completely get rid of it, but I know I can help it fade away.
Of course, there are tons of other reasons for this amazing morning drink; but, this is just a minor list of things I realized and noticed. Now, it's been about 3 months that I've been doing this and I've noticed the small changes it's done to my body. This is not a miracle product or anything, but it's not that hard to do and commit to.

I only recently started adding a little honey to the drink to change it up a bit. The lemon sourness was starting to get to me. Also, make sure the water isn't too hot - this will kill a lot of the good nutrients from the lemon and honey!


Warm Lemon Water with Honey 

A cup/mug of warm water
Half of a lemon
1 teaspoon of organic honey (I tend to eyeball it now)

Squeeze half of your lemon into the mug and add the honey. Give it a quick stir to make sure it is well-incorporated. 

It's really that easy. Give it 30 days and you'll start reflecting on the difference. 

<3

Susan 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Beauty: Sunday Face Masks

I've been getting into face masks the last several months...and I'm addicted. 

My skin is dry, sensitive, and acne-prone. It's like my skin comes as a full package of a little bit of everything. I love layering masks to meet my skin needs.



Before any face masks, I always exfoliate my skin. I've been using REN Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish. This scrub is so gentle for your face that it's perfect to use before layering face masks. Unfortunately, this mask is no longer sold by REN Skincare - I picked up this product over the summer at a local store in Toronto. 

My T-zone is extremely congested ALL THE TIME. I have yet to find a permanent solution to the problem, but I've recently got the REN Invisible Pore Detox Mask to help keep it under control. I haven't used it long enough to take my stand for this product, but REN claims that it's suppose to draw out impurities and reduce the appearance of your pores. Will definitely do an update blogpost for this mask. 

After, the heavy-duty mask, my skin needs to be re-hydrated. The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask was a love at first sight mask. I got this back in September and it's finally reaching the end. It's been loved and shared with my housemates as well. The manuka honey is very hydrating and provides a great deal of antioxidising effects for those stubborn blemishes. A perfect, relaxing all-around mask to have on. Plus, it smells amazing!

Once I'm done with the masks, I just apply toner, serum, and moisturizer! 

Do any of you have a Sunday Ritual to end your week? 

<3

Susan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Food: What I do with my cornflakes?


For a girl my size, I eat a lot. I think my housemates are shocked at the portions and random combinations I tend to make for myself. But, food makes me feel good - so, why would I ever eat less?

Lately, I've realized how much cheaper it is to just buy cornflakes and top it off myself. Don't get me wrong, but Special K is still my favourite cereal...it's just a little too expensive...who am I kidding? It's overpriced. BUT, I found a great solution that makes my tummy even happier in the mornings.

I've been cutting up around 4-6 strawberries and a whole banana to add it to my cornflakes. SO much cheaper and healthier. It's fresh and it's gooood! WAIT, I can't forget to mention chia seeds - I soak about 1 tsp of chia seed in the bowl of milk while I wash and cut up all the fruits.

And if I have any different type of fruits on different weeks, the whole variation changes. It's like having a different breakfast each day!

Tasty and healthy. It's my new obsession.

<3

Susan

Monday, March 17, 2014

Food: Homemade Matcha Latte!


So, it's true. There's always snow in Canada...just kidding. But, really - last Tuesday we got our first taste of spring when the weather warmed up to 8 degrees C! The sun is what really needed to cheer me up. But, I went to bed...and the next morning, I woke up to 15cm of snow on the ground and -15 degree C weather. WAIT...so what just happened there? Well, today is snowing again, so I guess spring will never come?

With all this chilly weather, all I keep thinking about are warm drinks and cuddles. So, this is a old photo that I never got around blogging the recipe, but it's the tasty and easy homemade matcha latte! A little green for St. Patty's Day (sorry, no alcohol involved with this recipe...but I'm sure you can splash some Bailey's in it and it'll still be good!)

Tealish Tea Shop is a little independent tea shop in downtown Toronto. Offering a variety of different teas, they also sell three different types of latte mixes. These latte mixes are so versatile - I reallllly like baking with these!

Easy Homemade Matcha Latte
  • 1 cup of milk (Can be almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of matcha latte mix
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract (optional)
Heat up your milk with a saucepan.
Once the milk starts to bubble up, remove it off the heat and let it cool down just a bit (just so the milk isn't scaling hot).
Add one tablespoon of matcha latte mix and using a whisk (or a fork), make sure it is well-incorporated and "melted"with your milk. 
Once it's all dissolved, add a teaspoon of either vanilla or almond extract to give it an extra flavour. Of course, if you use vanilla soy milk for example, you can skip this step.
Pour it into a mug (your favourite mug to make this drink extra special).
And sip away!

I hope you all have a safe St. Patty's Day!

<3

Susan



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beauty: Products I Regret Buying #1



I used to be a compulsive buyer and this led to some massive product hauls that I ended up hating...so, when I looked through my sheleves this weekend, this is what I found!



HAIR

LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo - This product is basically baby powder with a citrus scent for 10x the price. With my thick Asian hair, the dry shampoo doesn't seem to want to blend and makes my hair looking super ashy after using. It is extremely messy too. It was quite sad that they only had the big size when I got it two years ago, but I have seen that they made a mini bottle of this stuff. Still not something I'll repurchase - I guess having thick hair is a good thing for oiliness sometimes. 

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Spray Gel - My best friend swore by this product for giving her the beachy-looking waves. Nope. This spray does nothing for me. As much as I scrunch, put my hair in a bun, etc. It just won't do the job that it advertises to do. The scent is a nice one, but the gel leaves my hair feeling gross, sticky, and dry afterwards. Unless I'm using it wrong, this product does nothing for me. 



SKINCARE

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (Grapefruit) - I must admit, the scent is what really gets me about this product; it just smells so fresh and juicy. But, this product is ABRASIVE. When I had my crazy acne breakout this summer, I went to my drugstore and got recommended this product by another customer in the drugstore in the same aisle as me. It's super drying (completely not ideal for a dry skin and dehydrated person) and started irritating my skin. Red blotches and dry patches after two uses is not a good sign. Never will I repurchase this product or any similar product again! 

Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining Toner - Kiehl's is the one brand that I absolutely hate. The only products that I found to like is their eye creams. But, anything else feels waxy or is too abrasive/strong for my skin. I walked into Kiehl's two years ago to get introduced to the company. The lady looked at my huge, clogged, enlarged nose pores and suggested that this product is perfect to help control that. It made my nose drier than ever and made the pores worse than I have ever seen before. Missed the 30-day return time frame and even my mother refuse to use it on her skin. It smells like alcohol too, another big no for dry skin. 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser - A cream-gel like cleanser that has a waxy consistency to it. Foams a lot, but doesn't seem to do a good job at cleaning my skin. I tried combining this with my old clarisonic and the product seems to just sit on top of your skin doing nothing. It was truly a disappointing cleanser. 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream - I used to like this product...until I realized it was a thick waxy consistency (do you see the same theme that's happening with all the Kiehl's products I mentioned here...) that clogged my pores. It felt like my skin couldn't breath and comparing it to my other lotions and potions, this is definitely one of the worse "high-end" facial cream I tried. 



MAKEUP

Benefit Scene Queen Palette/Set - I love Benefit, but this overpriced palette was definitely not worth the splurge. It has four eyeshadows that are very shimmery and very chalky; not a very blendable eyeshadow. The eyeliner that came with the set was very hard to apply, not creamy at all. It also came with a blush, brushes, and a very shimmery lip-gloss. A palette that is just sitting in my drawers. It's too bulky to travel with it anyways. I actually really wished I liked this palette since Benefit has really nice products.

Mac Concealors - Very cakey, both the pot and tube. Hard to blend into skin, especially if you tend not to wear heavy foundation along with this. Very heavy-duty, so when it comes to removing, it's not fun. I'm pretty sure it's water-resistant as well. 

balmShell Tinted Moisturizer - One word to describe this: ORANGE. 


This my first products I regret buying post! All these purchases were made 2-3 years ago and if you follow my blog, you know I'm your everyday plain jane now. Makeup is rare and I go for a more natural skincare approach. So, these products are heading to the trash. 

What are some of your products that you regret buying? Share in the comments below - I'll love to hear your thoughts!

<3

Susan 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Loving Yourself: Introduction

No matter what, insecurities will always persist in our lives. Whether or not they become surface issues, it's likely that they'll always be there.

Lately, this topic has been brought up consistently in my life. With long discussions with friends and late night thoughts with myself, I decided that it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on this topic. I will be doing a mini series of several blog posts on loving yourself and really share my personal story on how I learn (and continuing to learn) to accept myself. 

*** Please be advised that I am in no way an expert in this topic and am just contributing my thoughts. I really do hope that I do change at least one reader's perspective and want to reach out to more girls (and guys!) to really learn to accept themselves and their bodies. ***



Before I get into more specifics, I would love to get my story out there and how it inspired me to write these posts for the internet. 

I am your city girl. Growing up in Toronto, I was exposed to all sorts of diverse culture and different people. A city that allowed the expression of who you are - especially being a downtown girl, it was all around me. 

Throughout elementary school and middle school, I was surrounded by the same group of people. We all grew up in the same neighbourhood more or less and have continued to all be acquaintances, friends, and classmates due to geographic convenience. 

Throughout those early years, I have met some great friends that I am still connected to today, but at the same time, the majority of them were not so kind. The insecurities begin in grade 3 when name-calling and gossip have become a common occurrence. 

I was the girl with no special talents in anything, very naive and gullible, and very unsure of who I was. The girls I was constantly surrounded by always found a way to tear down my happiness - it began with being called ugly on a daily basis and made fun of having single-sided deafness; it continues to escalate as I aged. Now, the personal flaws that I have were being more specific and pointed out. Big nose, bushy eye brows, lazy eye, being deaf, being too skinny, no sense of style, acne face, and the list goes on. And all this experience only got myself to become a mean girl as well just to defend myself and verbally attack others as well. In the end, I was being toxic back to the girls who were being toxic to me. 

Kind of ironic to find that young girls are not the only ones to tear you down. Parents were also contributing to the way I looked at myself. One particular memory was in grade 5, when I was at a girl's birthday party and the mother started going around the room numbering down who was the prettiest putting me at the end of the list. To this day, I can't believe a mother would do that. 

With all this, I ended up believing I was worthless, ugly, and alone. I hated myself. As I try to seek for solutions, this only lead me finding the wrong things. Buying clothes, because what everyone else was wearing. Experimenting with makeup for the wrong reasons. Using abrasive products without any knowledge of the effects in the future. And of course, finding ways to put others down to make myself feel better.  I became a monster to myself and to others. 

In grade 8, when we were all choosing our high schools, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed to get away from the group I was forced to stay with all throughout my childhood. Applying to a school that really pushed my standards have really been the best decision of my life. 

A high school was not restricted to being local, it accepted those across the city. Having strong values and high academic achievement, I was surrounded by all sorts of different people. And these people are some of the best peoples I have ever met in my life. People who didn't ever find a way to put each other down, but embrace the difference we all have in each individuals. Really made me change my perspective on others and began loving being around others. And nothing like kindness has really touched my heart. 

Even though this change was good, the detrimental effect that I endured as a child was still firing inside of me. Entering grade 9 being super insecure, it still persisted all throughout high school - but I come to realize there are much more important things than how I looked. I started to let go of insecurities slowly each and everyday. I began to feel un-restricted in trying new things and began to really figure myself out. Once I found what I really enjoyed, that's when I started to learn to love myself. And even to this day, I'm still discovering what I enjoy and what I don't. 

Today, I look back to my past, I feel so stupid and terrible for what I've done and for something I can't ever take back for myself and to others. 

Now that I am sitting in second year of university, the dramatic change from my childhood to high school have shaped me to become a better person to myself and others. I do still struggle with some insecurities, but I have learn to accept that sometimes, some things are not changeable. Inside of picking at the surface issues, I found you have to really dig to the root problem to really figure things out.

Most importantly, I learnt to slowly love myself. And I really hope to share these experience to hear back from my reader's experience and build an online community to help at least one other person to love themselves. 

<3

Susan

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Food: Vanilla (with hints of butterscotch) cupcakes and mini SKOR topping

I've been home for reading week the last few days and I've finally got a chance to bake! I was too consumed in being lazy for the week and going to pilates/yoga class everyday. I started with a basic vanilla cupcake and I decided to add some of the leftover butterscotch chips that was lying around. Along with that, I just made a basic buttercreme frosting and added tiny SKOR bits on top. I had everyone on a sugar coma! 



Vanilla Cupcakes with a Hint of Butterscotch
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (soften, room-temperature)
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour (I used blending flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 cup of milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees C. Line two cupcake pans with liners - you may not fill all of them up depending on how much you fill them up, but line them all up just in case.

In a big bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a good mix. Set aside.

Using a measuring cup, measure out the milk. Then, add the vanilla extract. Give it a stir. Set aside. 

Going back to the big bowl, you'll alternate between the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in three parts - slowly incorporating it into the sugar and butter mix. Make sure you do not over mix. Stop mixing once you don't see anymore of the dry ingredients. Using a spoon (or any other utensil), slowly stir and mix in the butterscotch chips. 

Using an ice cream scoop, fill up the liners. The ice cream scoop will distribute the batter more or less evenly throughout. In the end, I only filled up 20 liners. 

Pop them into the oven for 16-20 minutes. Let them cool before you frost them!


Vanilla Buttercreme Frosting 
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (soften, room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons of milk/cream (I used whipping cream)
Prepare your piping bag.

In a bowl, cream the butter. Add the vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time, blending right after. Add a tablespoon of milk/cream when you find it hard to blend. Mix until the all the ingredients are well blended. 

Fill the piping bag up and frost your cupcakes the way your heart desires. 

Give your cupcakes a sprinkle of some skor chips to finish the cupcake up.

Definitely a good hit away from your classic vanilla cupcake.

Enjoy!

<3

Susan


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Food: Avocado Rice for Lunch!

So, it's extremely snowy out and we're expecting around 20cm of snow throughout the day.  A great day to stay indoors and just eat...and maybe study...actually, I really should be studying for my midterms next week. 

On another note, everyone in my house is sick except for me. So, my housemates turned up the heat and it's probably the optimal ripping temperature for my fruits and veggies. I brought 4 avocados this weekend and I brought a few specifically to slowly ripe throughout the week. NOPE, didn't happen. I went to class on Monday, came home, and all my avocados are screaming "EAT ME NOW". 

So, having to think of ways to be all avo-creative, I decided to mix it into my rice today!



I just made some rice in my rice cooker and once it's done, scoop a whole avocado into bowl and just mix. All the white rice will slowly turn green - add a little bit of lime juice to it and don't forget to add your seasoning of choice (I used garlic powder and ground pepper)! I had a whole container of mixed greens sitting in my fridge, so I had the rice sit on top of some of that good green fuel. 

Along with this, I had half of a baked potato from last night with some sour cream and green onions.

And of course, how can I have a meal without my green tea?

I hope you all enjoy this mini food post. Let me know what you use your avocados for!

<3

Susan

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Food: Sunday Salad

As the weekend come to an end, it was nice to be home for the last 2/3 days. I kept an eye on the weather for Toronto the last week and was so excited to see that the weather was rising...ALL THE WAY TO 0 DEGREES for Saturday. Without realizing that the warm weather is a bad idea to wear my Uggs; not because it was warm, because it's still cold enough to wear the shoes - but, instead, when Saturday did come, it was raining snow flakes. Extreme slushy puddles all over the city! My poor UGGS are SOAKED and DESTROYED.

Lesson for my life - UGGs are not functional...EVER.

Despite losing a pair of shoes this weekend, I came back to my place to find tons of veggies sitting in my fridge about to go bad. I made a great salad for lunch today and I just wanted to share with all of you a little bit of my day!



What's in this salad?

  • Spring Mix
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Salad Dressing
I hope you all enjoy this mini update! 

<3

Susan

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life: Quick Saving Tip!

From my New Years Resolution post, I vowed myself to be a better saver and to rekindle my relationship with my bank account. The last year, I had a terrible relationship with understanding the purpose of my savings account, but not anymore! So far, the year has been good and I just wanted to share a quick tip for y'all!

Grab a jar. Any jar. I use an old coffee bean jar and every time I have spare change (except for loonies and toonies), I throw it in the jar. Once the jar fills up, you can roll them up or bring them to your bank to get it deposited into your bank account!

The last time I got my jar filled, I went to the my bank's coin counter and it added up just a little over $91!

Small change makes all the difference!

<3

Susan

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beauty: THE BLOGGER/VLOGGER MADE ME DO IT TAG

When I read this tag on Brittany's blog (Life, Set Sail), it made me realize that probably a good amount of my purchases were from other's recommendations and raves. I was an avid YouTube junkie a few years back, which really got me into my beauty obsession in my old high school days and I slowly merged into blogging...since it's easier to sneak reading during my lectures.

Who are you most influential bloggers/vloggers? Who are the ones you really rely on for reviews and swatches?

Christine from Temptalia is one of the most extensive and informative bloggers I know. Her blog has almost everything and anything you want and need to know for the beauty sphere - from foundation matrix to swatches to product reviews and some big giveaways, it's my go-to blog for high quality content.

Do you buy a product solely as a result from one review from your favourite bloggers, or do you look for more reviews from others?

Usually I don't. Even for my favourite bloggers/vloggers, I will do another round of research to get different opinions before putting the item in my cart!

What is your most favourite item that you have ever brought as a consequence of blogs?

I've been a huge skincare junkie the last year and nothing will beat my love for REN Skincare. It's not as hyped on Youtube, but it's slowly gaining huge recognition lately on blogs. Definitely a great natural skincare line. As a result, REN products have slowly pushed all the other skincare products out of my washroom shelves!

What is your least favourite item that you have ever brought as a consequence of blogs?

NARS blush - Amour to be specific. There was a period of time, a couple of years ago, that NARS blush got a lot of hype on Youtube. It's either way too pigmented, which prevents me from getting that natural look I always achieve for, or it's too shimmery/glittery.

Name 5 products you have brought recently as a result of blogs?

Bobbi Brown have been recognized for a long time; but something about watching EssieButton's video on Bobbi Brown products really itched me to get my butt out of the house to get some.

-Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation
-Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
-Bobbi Brown Corrector
-Bobbi Brown Sheer Powder

After looking into cream eyeshadows, I found many blogs loved them as an eyeshadow base. That led me to Sephora and I got one before the New Years.

-Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Birthday Suit

Have you ever given into blogger hype? If so, which hype?

The NAKED fever. And my heart still pounds fast when I walk into Sephora and see the whole Urban Decay's NAKED palettes. I did give in and got the NAKED1 when it first came out, but gladly I resisted and had some self-control on the other palettes.

Have you ever avoided blogger hype? If so, which hype?

Not one that I can think of! I think it's because I read a variety of different blogs (beauty, food, personal, etc.) that I'm always reading something different each day that I didn't take notice of blogger trends!

Is everything you buy based on blogger  reviews or are there some items you buy without without checking a review?

I definitely have a problem with impulse buys the last year, so a good amount of products were picked up from my own curiosity.

I hope you all enjoy this little tag!

<3

Susan

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Squat Challenge Update #1

So far, so good! Did three days of the squat challenge and today is a break day. A totally of 165 squats in the last three days and my knees have cracked one too many times! I'm ready to get back to the challenge tomorrow with 70 squats!

Susan

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

SQUAT CHALLENGE.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

The other day, I came across a blog post about a 30-Day Squat Challenge. My boyfriend loves to lift and is basically in love with squats. Right after I showed him the post, of course, he convinced me to try it out. And I agreed only if he was going to do it along with me.

So, how does this work?
Chart from http://www.dailyhiit.com
Just like that! I'm starting tonight and I'll definitely do updates for ya'll throughout the next 30 days.

Have any of you done this before?

<3

Susan