Thursday, 25 December 2014

What I Got For Christmas 2014 | Blogmas Day 6

I'm not sure when it started, but for the past few years, my family and I realized that the easiest way to give gifts amongst us for Christmas is to pick out our own gifts. In the end, my parents always surprise us with a couple of extra presents anyway... :P But without further ado, here are some of the gifts I got for Christmas this year!

1. Audio-Technica Record Player
Definitely my favourite out of everything and I'm not even afraid to admit it. We ordered this online on Cyber Monday and I have been using it since winter break started since my friends bought me loads of new records for my birthday. So far, my collection includes Night Visions by Imagine Dragons, In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith, The 1975 by The 1975, Bad Blood by Bastille and a random Mozart album. Needless to say, the sound quality of vinyls are so much better than the compressed music files we have these days. All these records have been played at least 3 times already...

2. Le Chatelaine Hand Cream Set
This was one of those surprise gifts my parents sneaked under the tree. As soon as I saw the packaging, I fell in love. This set is made in France and contains 20% organic shea butter with vitamins.
In this set, there are the following scents:
Lemon Verbena, Gardenia, Pear, Coconut Milk, Shea, Sweet Almond, Rose Acacia, Orange Blossom, Lavender, Passion Fruit, Lychee Bilberry and Citrus.

3. Mug & Beanie
The next two presents were given to me by my friend during our Student Council Secret Santa. As soon as I saw the mug, I both laughed and cried at the accuracy of Stay Stressed Then Give Up. And I'm in love with the new beanie I can add to my collection since I don't have hats in that colour yet.

4. Just Dance 2015 Wii
Another surprise gift. My sister and I screamed after opening this present. We both danced ballet before and still love it. We just love dance in general. Not to mention the fact that Just Dance is an amazing work out. We popped this disc in before lunch, danced five dances and were completely exhausted and out of breath!

5. H&M Scarf
My childhood best friends bought me a chunky knitted infinity scarf. I don't have any scarves in this colour and just by wearing it for a couple of seconds immediately after unwrapping it, I can already tell that this scarf will be keeping me warm throughout winter time!

6. Aldo Black Suede Pumps
I picked out this gift myself when doing some Christmas shopping with my mom and my sister. I've always loved the idea of having a pair of black pumps to dress up and outfit. Aldo was having a 50% off sale on their sale items when we were at the mall and this pair of shoes attracted me immediately. I can't wait to wear these later! It's definitely another one of my favourites!

7. Sweets Kit
One day, my friend pulled me to her locker at school and just stuffed this tin into my hands with the sweetest note on it. Plus the tin was filled to the brim with homemade cookies, chocolates and candies. And sweets just happen to be the way to my heart.

8. Secret Santa
My friends and I organized a Secret Santa among us this year. Somehow, my gift seemed perfectly customized for me. A cute mug with a cute message, chocolate from Purdy's and a little something from Bath & Body Works to go with it!

9. Forever XXI Gift Card
Finally, my family friends gave my sister and I each a Forever XXI gift card. This was such a practical gift since my family always goes out for Boxing Day and Forever XXI will always be one of my stops. I can't wait to be able to spend this gift card to my heart's content tomorrow!

There wasn't a single gift this year that I didn't love. I don't know if it's because I love a lot of things, or if the people around me just really understand me. Either way, looking at the gifts in front of me makes me unreasonably happy. My family and I have also just spent our day playing Just Dance and watching movies. I gotta say, I love Christmas.

So that brings us to the end of Blogmas 2014! It wasn't much, but I had fun getting back into the blogging groove after going on hiatus because of school. I'll definitely be back sometime soon to post a couple more times before school starts again. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas or happy holidays and I'll see you again soon!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

10 Things to Love About Christmas | Blogmas Day 5

With Christmas coming up in just a day, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to hold in my excitement. I'm actually just getting ready to head out the door to go to my childhood friends' family's Christmas party! Due to this, I thought I would just write a short little post on what I love about Christmas...

1. Christmas Trees
I love everyone can create their own little twist on a Christmas tree. From visiting my friends' houses to entering festive classrooms or just seeing these giant trees in public, I always love to take the time and look at all the unique ornaments that each tree has.

2. Christmas Lights
Rather than being greeted with a dark street every night like usual, the streets are all lit up with the magical decorations that everyone puts up.

3. Christmas Drinks
Hot chocolate, cafes with special Christmas menus, cinnamon, nutmeg... need I say more?

4. Baking!
I have a slight advantage since I love baking... and eating. So it all works out. I actually went on a huge baking marathon Friday night after school ended and it continued all the way to Saturday afternoon until my friends came over. Needless to say, my house smelled like sugar cookies and cupcakes for a while... and it was beautiful.

5. Giving Presents
It's always fun when you can buy gifts! When you know the person well, it feels amazing when you find the perfect present for them. Meanwhile, for large secret Santa events, it's always fun to be able to put together a little package of cute Christmas trinkets that you spent hours hunting for in stores.

6. Receiving Presents
Items can finally be crossed off your wishlist. That is all.

7. Parties
Let it be casual or formal, Christmas time gives the perfect excuse to host and go to parties. After working hard since September, it's nice to be able to sit back and relax with your friends without having the weight of assignments and tests stress you out.

8. Family Nights
Without homework, it gives you the opportunity to gain back the lost family time. Even if it just involves sitting in the living room with the Christmas tree lit and watching TV, there's still something heart-warming about being together as a family.

9. Shopping
All the sales and the sheer volume of shoppers just makes the experience a little more exciting and fun.

10. Classics
The time of year where you can look forward to the fact that people will be coming together everywhere. United by their favourite Christmas movies, their favourite Christmas songs and more. Shout out to all the Home Alone, Elf and All I Want For Christmas Is You lovers out there...

What do you love about the holiday seasons?

1 more day! xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Room Tour 2014 | Blogmas Day 4

After spending a whole day out and about, there's nothing better than coming back home and spending some time lazying around in a cozy bedroom. My bedroom may not be 'designer' or anything really, but to me, it's the coziest place where I can go to read, study or just relax and spend some time alone. And that is the most important thing about a bedroom. It has to fit you and no one else. So here's a little look into my room, my quirky little haven.

When you climb the stairs to the second floor, if my bedroom door is open, you will most definitely be greeted with the sight of my newly put up photo wall. I'm kind of in love with being able to display everything I love on one wall, from my photography, to my family and friends... and I even went as far as to print out a couple of photos of my favourite celebrities! I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to cover my entire wall with things I love which make me happy!
(Photos printed at Costco)

And yes, the walls are green. I've received many mixed reviews about my choice in colour, however no matter how others may not like my wall colour, I chose it since green is my favourite colour. I love how this light green can make you feel just a little more at ease and relaxed while other colours are known for giving energy or really tiring you out. Plus, I've always been a big fan of everything nature, which is perfect since I live in Canada, but green tends to be a colour that represents that well.

On the left of my bed is one of my favourite spots in my room. After years of hoping for a bean bag chair, my dream finally came true last year. This corner with the comfy chair, stuffed animals and my childhood "Blankie" is my go-to spot for some relaxation. That means those few moments every month where I leave all my homework on my desk and cuddle up for an hour to go through what has built up on my YouTube subscriptions list or to read a book. 
(Bean bag chair from Target. Carpet from Costco.)

On the other side of my bed is a little bedside table that I have. All it holds is my little box for my bracelets, a tissue box, my lamp and my new favourite book. My mom bought me National Geographic Covers for my birthday knowing how much I love photography. I'm going to start reading it during break and I cannot wait to flip through all those beautiful photos and stories!

Directly on the left of my bed is my desk. The home to my school work and blog posts. I actually have a specific post dedicated to the way I organize my desk here if you're interested.

On the other side of my bed is the perfect representation of the poster and fangirl/boy phase every teenager goes through. If you get to know me, you'll find out I'm a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw away anything since I can always think of a little memory the object holds. So after taking down the posters to put up my photo wall, I slapped them all onto my closet doors and they will probably stay there as a little nostalgic tribute to my cheesy fangirling days.

At the very foot of my bed is a dresser that I've had for as long as I can remember. In it, I store any clothes that does not need to be hung up. On the top, I like to keep by huge collection of body mists and lotions from Bath & Body Works, my nail polish collection and other miscellaneous accessories that I've been too lazy to properly put away. I'm also kind of in love with the Christmas lights I have strung around my floral mirror. They're actually there all year round, but the little snowflake accessories only come out in the winter and the Santa's, around Christmas time. And though all this already makes me very excited (I'm weird, I know), my most favourite thing is the quote on top of my mirror. "And in this moment, I swear we are infinite." As mainstream hipster as this quote is, I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in grade 8 upon the recommendation from my friend Rosie. This was before the book really became popular, but I truly believe that since I read the book as a middle schooler, it was that point where every event had an effect on my life. And I believe that this book contributed immensely in shaping who I am today.

Finally, the photos get slightly uglier. The rest of my space is cluttered with little knick knacks that I have. Right next to my dresser is a random drawer with all my tech equipment and my bottle collection. This mostly means all my music and phone accessories. Above that is a bulletin board where I keep the cards that my friends send me for Christmas and for my birthday. I actually haven't had the chance to put up my latest birthday and Christmas cards so what you see above is from last year! My desk is also surrounded by two bookshelves that honestly carry more knick knacks than books since most of my books are on the six bookshelves downstairs. I also have a little cave in the wall next to my desk where I keep my Paris calendar as well as a tray for my many candles. And let's just pretend the pile of bags and binders were never there, but hey, at least I don't lie to you guys that I can be slightly unorganised...

So there's my pride and joy. I find that even though decorating your room takes time and effort, it can make a huge difference on your daily mood. And it doesn't all have to happen at once; this still is a work in progress even though I started over a year ago. So take the time, evaluate your space, and really make it your own. That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed the little look into one of my favourite places in the entire world... xx

2 more days!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Winter Pamper Night | Blogmas Day 3

One of the best parts about winter break is the ability to kick back and relax for a while and ignore the pile of work waiting for you once the break ends. I decided after looking at my rather extensive collection of Lush items, that it would be the perfect time for a pamper night. My second pamper night ever, in fact.

I usually start off by cleaning my face with my face wash brush from THEFACESHOP and running a bath. In this case, I'm using around 3-4 capfuls of the Bath & Body Works Sleep Lavender Vanilla bath soak along with a new present I got for my birthday! My friend bought me a Snowman Fun bar from Lush which can be used as shampoo, soap or in my case, as a bubble bath. I also like to light a candle on the edge of the bath. I chose the Tail Gate autumnal candle from Bath & Body Works tonight.

While in the bath, I take the opportunity to catch up on some light reading, in other words, anything other than a school assigned book. Today, I also applied Lush's Love Lettuce face mask and massaged Lush's Roots into my hair for 20 minutes. I then take a brief shower to wash out the face and hair mask and wash my hair. Out of the shower, I'll apply my Complex 15 face cream and the grapefruit body butter from The Body Shop.

When all this is done and I'm in my comfy pajamas (obviously my pig onesie), I'll go downstairs and make myself a cup of hot cocoa or tea. Today, I chose one of my birthday gifts from David's Tea called Santa's Secret which consists of black tea, peppermint and sprinkles! I'm also kind of in love with the mug my friend got me for secret Santa which reads "all you need is tea & warm socks". Once the tea or hot chocolate is ready, I'll usually paint my nails. Since Christmas is just around the corner, I pulled out three festive colours: Mint Sorbet by Sally Hansen, Sonic Bloom by Sally Hansen and a forest green from Garage. Along the way, I admit that I snacked on some treats that are probably way too sweet for the night time, namely the various Purdy's chocolate treats I got from secret Santa.

Finally, when all is done and I'm waiting for my nails to dry, my sister and I usually sprawl ourselves across the many couches and bean bag chairs and pop in a movie for the night.

So there's what my typical pamper night looks like! I find that the rarity of these pamper nights make them even more of a treat! So I encourage you to go give it a try if you haven't already, and if you have, well, now's the time to have some more you time! That's it for today and I'll see you tomorrow with another Blogmas post! xx

3 days left.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

How To Make a Lightbox | Blogmas Day 2

I have always found that one of the most important elements of a blog post is the pictures. As much as we're told: "Don't judge a book by its cover", it's unpreventable that human do so. Not to mention, having great photos adds to the presentation aspect of your content and shows your readers that you really are making an effort and you respect them enough to pay attention to making a high quality post for them.

After thinking long and hard for what I wanted for my birthday in November, the thought of purchasing a light box entered my mind. However, curiosity got the best of me, as well as the excitement of winter break, and I decided to use Google to see if building a lightbox could become my winter project. Reading over the instruction from here, I realized that it would actually be really simple. So today, I gathered all my materials, sat down in my living room and surprisingly, the lightbox was completed within an hour!

To start off, you'll need a cardboard box (size of you choice), a matte white poster board, tape, black construction paper, ruler, pencil, scissors, X acto knife and white cloth (I used tissue paper).

The first thing you have to do is tape up your box and make sure its sturdy. For example, my box was shallow, so I had to increase the depth by taping the flaps together.

Next, select the two sides you will be shining light through. Then use your ruler an pencil to mark out and draw a cutout with one inch to spare on each side.

Cutting out the two sides with an X acto knife should leave you with something like this.

Then take your cloth or tissue paper and stretch it over the surface that you just cut out. Trim to fit.

Use tape and stretch the cloth or tissue paper across the surface. Warning, if you're using tissue paper like me, be very delicate when stretching the paper, otherwise it rips really easily.

Take your matte poster board and fit it into your box. Fit it around the curves, but don't crease the paper.

Now, set up your box with identical lights on each side. Test out the brightness and add more layers of cloth or tissue paper accordingly.

When you have all the layers you need, cut out one inch thick strips of black construction paper.

Tape the strips along the outside borders. This blocks out any excess light coming in from the sides.

And there you have it! Your very own lightbox! I'm so excited to use this for my future blog posts, the improvement in my photos is amazing! Below is a before and after. It's super simple and can do wonders to the quality of your blog posts. That's it for today and I'll see you tomorrow!



Saturday, 20 December 2014

HAUL: Lush, Bath & Body Works and More... | Blogmas Day 1

School is finally over and Christmas is on it's way, so I finally have the time to start Blogmas! So... my sister and I have both developed some obsessions over the past month. She has started to build her collection of make up... and I expanded my candle collection... even more. Oops. But without further ado, here's what we bought this month!



Complex 15 Daily Face Cream (Ask your pharmacist!)


Foundation Brush (can't find a link)

Eyebrow Pencil (can't find link)

Pomegranate Face Mask (no link)


Bath & Body Works

Alpine Frost (only the wall fragrance is on their site)
Scent: Sweet, musky, pine trees

Scent: Autumnal, spicy, musky, warm? :P

Scent: Autumnal, sweet, leaves

Scent: CHRISTMAS TREES (bought two, no regrets)

Scent: Fresh, Fruity, Sweet

Out of all the purchases this month, I've really been loving the Complex 15 Daily Face Cream, Covergirl Concealer, Love Lettuce Face Mask and (obviously) the candles! 

I actually bought the face cream this month because my first tube ran out. I was literally in a state of panic for a few days until I could run to Costco to get some more. By adding this to my skincare routine, my acne has cleared up almost completely since last year! The one downside is that you do have to ask your pharmacist for the face cream, however you don't need a prescription!

Though I don't use make up often because I'm not committed enough to wake up at 6 am for that, I use the concealer quite often. With all the school work and extra curricular activities, it's normal for me to get only 5 hours of sleep, and even though my glasses hide my dark circles a little, this concealer has made it so much better! I definitely like it better than the stick applicator we used to have, the creamy consistency makes blending a lot easier. One thing that bothers me about this concealer, however, is the packaging quality. From the picture above, you can see that after owning it for only a month, the lid is already cracking... :(

The Lush Love Lettuce face mask works miracles! Along with the great ingredients, they also add little beads to exfoliate your skin, This helped remove my dead skin and blackheads, leaving my face much smoother and clearer. After washing away the mask with warm water, it's also immediately apparent on how small it makes your pores!

Finally... candles. All you need is the right candle, the right Spotify playlist and you're off in your own little world. For example, my family has always used fake Christmas trees, so when my mom and I found the Fresh Balsam candle, we grabbed the only remaining two in the store instantly. This way, we can at least pretend that we have a real tree, haha... Another thing I loved about these specific candles is that they come in mason jars! One of my favourite things is that after finishing a candle, you can just stick it into the freezer to remove the remaining wax and the container becomes something you can reuse. With the mason jar, there's also a super handy lid!

So that's it for today, it's already past 12 am where I live, so I guess I'll be coming out with another post today... so see you again soon!

5 days left!