Friday, 7 August 2015

July Favourites 2015

Exactly one week passed since we said goodbye to July for this year and I have finally come out with my first monthly favourites post in... well... forever! The reason this post is a little late is because I just got back from my vacation in San Francisco. But not to worry, I prepared more than a couple of blog posts while I was there, so be sure to look out for them in the future!

Seeing as this post is already late enough, I'll stop with the rambling and excuses and move on to my July 2015 favourites!


Reflective Aviators from Aldo

Every summer, my sister and I treat ourselves to the 2 for $20 deal at Aldo for sunglasses. After seeing the trend everywhere on the Internet of reflective Quay-styled sunglasses and wanting to own a pair of aviators for a very long time, these glasses have easily become a staple in my daily summer outfits.

Athletic Sandals from Old Navy

This summer, I've been absolutely loving the new monochrome, sporty chic Adidas trend. After spotting these sandals at Old Navy on sale for an insanely low price, I knew I had to have them. Throughout the month of July, I've been obsessed with adding these shoes to any outfit, from denim shorts to cute skater skirts.

Black Wool Floppy Hat from Target

Yet another trend I've been spotting everywhere for the past two years. I love how a nice black wool floppy hat can make a casual outfit look cleaner, more professional and more fashionable in general. With Bluesfest (Ottawa's summer music festival), travelling to California, and just spending a whole lot of time outside in the summer in general, this hat has probably saved my face from turning 3000 shades darker than it already has. Not going to lie, it's probably my favourite thing in this entire post, and will be my favourite for the rest of this summer and autumn.

Monochrome Bag from Target

This bag is all that I need in a bag. For one, not sure if you can already tell, but I love the whole black and white colour scheme. This bag is also accented with tiny golden pegs on the bottom for the perfect classy touch. Picking up this bag before I walk out the door instantly makes my overall look a little more mature and put together. Another great part of this bag is its size. I tend to 'hoard' things in my bag and I'm sure some of you have the same problem. I basically like to store every little thing I think I "might possibly need" even if it's just a short trip to the grocery store. With three compartments (the main one and two flat ones on each panel), this bag offers me all the space I need.


Face Masks (Costco, TheFaceShop, etc.)

Like I said before, summer means spending a lot of time in the sun. I also know that a lot of girls tend to wear full faces of make up every day. I'm not the type to do that, but I have actually begun exploring the world of make up a little as well. This being said, it makes it even more important to take care of your bare skin. That's why I have been rotating between the Korean sheet masks and Costco formulas. I use these masks usually once a week after taking a shower, and decide which one best suits my skin condition that week. I think they have definitely made a difference to my skin, smoothing my acne scars and minimizing my breakouts.

Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes (Waterproof)

Like I said, I have recently started exploring the make up world. So I finally have things to write for this section! After trying a couple of sample mascaras, I was frustrated over how they never held my curl and usually gave me raccoon eyes by the end of the day. After doing some research, I realised that I needed to find myself a waterproof mascara. And I think I hit the jackpot on this one. The Big Eyes mascara holds my curl, stays in place and makes my lashes look longer and thicker. The dual ended wands also help a lot since my bottom lashes are incredibly short. The small wand allows for an easy and mess free application.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter (Tutti Frutti 015)

For all the newbies still hesitant on jumping into the world of bold and dramatic lipsticks, this is the perfect introduction. Being more of a sheer tint than a pigmented and heavily coloured lipstick, the Colorburst is a perfect mix between a tinted lip balm and a lipstick. I picked out this colour specifically since I've always loved the way orange/coral lipstick adds the summer glow and warmth to a make up look.
(Small warning, my friend purchased a lighter shade before, and though the sample showed on her hand when she tested in stores, it didn't show up on her lips!)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

Once again, it's all about the sun protection. After spending two weeks outdoors at a music festival, I realised exactly how amazing this sunscreen was. It doesn't give a greasy feeling and is very matte once dry, so I never hesitated to apply it before leaving the house. I understand that many people dream to have that glowing summer tan, but remember to achieve it in a healthy way. Even though I applied the sunscreen every day, I still became many shades darker, all while avoiding the burns and danger of permanent skin damage or skin cancer.



Summertime means I can get back to working at my city's best gelato shop. (Shout out to Piccolo Grande) Let me tell you, it's pretty much the best thing ever to get to work in the summer surrounded by these cold sweet treats and get to take one home after every shift! Not to mention, after starting to work there, I learned some great things about gelato. Unlike ice cream, gelato is made entirely out of milk, so no flour whatsoever and completely gluten free. My store makes its gelato fresh in the back with the actual ingredients, there is significantly less sugar and is overall a great healthy treat for the hot summer days.

Raisin Bran

Incredibly random, but after accompanying my mom on a trip to Costco, I saw big boxes of Raisin Bran on sale. I realised at that moment that I hadn't had this cereal in forever. I've been downright obsessed with adding a bowl of this cereal and milk to my giant breakfasts in the morning in July. It tastes great, and it's definitely healthier than the sugary cereals, not that I wouldn't eat those as well......

Dill Pickles

Also another random food favourite. And not a healthy one either. For me, pickles seem to be the perfect appetizer. With super hot summers, sometimes I find that my appetite seems to leave my body along with my sweat. However, munching on these pickles before a meal always seem to do the trick. I always make sure to only eat a little, of course. But what can I do, I've always strangely loved to eat sour things.


Yep, it's not an empty mason jar. Water has pretty much been my best friend last month. I set out on a mission in July after hearing for years about how drinking enough water every day can make a huge difference in your overall health. I can now testify that it is indeed true. The biggest difference I noticed was my skin. Though it may not solely rely on my intake of water, it definitely helped in clearing my skin and adding a subtle healthy glow.


After each music festival, I pretty much get obsessed over music from the bands in the line up. Live performances always seem to create a new experience for the audience, no matter how many times they've heard the song through the radio or their phones already. Only one of these bands isn't from the line up, but here's a shout out to the other three for putting on some amazing shows. (For real though if the band is reading this: !!!!!!!!)

Just a heads up, the following bands are all, in my opinion, incredibly underrated. So be sure to check them out and I hope I can help you discover some new and amazing music while gaining these artists some appreciation for their music.

1. Metropolis by Logic (+)

This song most definitely will not be for everyone. It's a very smooth kind of rap song with a groovy beat in the background. Personally, after hearing this song, I instantly knew that I would love Logic's songs. I suppose the thing that captured me the most about this artist was watching him freestyle on stage at Bluesfest. As someone who is definitely new to the world of rap music, it was my first time witnessing the raw creation of instantaneous music.

2. One Life by Hedley (+)

One of their older songs, but the perfect song to play third on their setlist. Though some of their songs most definitely have that edgy pop rock and pop punk feel, I love how they use their energy to channel a much more inspirational message in this song. Watching this live in the front few rows was an incredible experience which made me see the song in a whole new way once again.

3. Illuminate by The Hunts (+)

The one band on this list that was not at Bluesfest this year. I've always found it hard to discover music I've actually enjoyed on Spotify. However, one night, I stumbled accross the perfect playlist for me, and Illuminate happened to be one of the songs that captured me and drew into the playlist. At this point, you can probably already tell the diversity of my music taste since this band is a lot more acoustic and serene sounding.

4. End of the Line by Moroccan Sun (+)

I'm going to speak about this band in general rather than the song itself. This band is most definitely underrated, with only a little over a thousand views on their most viewed video. I was introduced to this band by my sister's friend who is friends with the guitarist. That's because this band is actually from Ottawa. This band describes themselves as being an alternative rock/indie pop band influenced by Young the Giant, Arkells, The National and more. If you see a band in their influencers list that fits with a style of music that you like, I strongly suggest checking out Moroccan Sun.


1. PumpUp

Even though I get free summer gym memberships as a teen, sometimes I find it a little ridiculous to drive out just to run on an elliptical and use some weight machines. Being a new person at the gym, I was definitely a little lost on what else to do. Then I found this app which is completely free and acts as a personal trainer. You can set your goal (such as losing weight or toning your body), select what equipment you have, how much time you have to work out, how often your body is used to working out as well as setting your gender, age and weight. The app then customizes the perfect routine for you. I use this app in the safety of my cool basement where we installed a wall of mirrors for my sister and I to dance. After my first work out, I couldn't walk properly for two days, but the app only pushed me to the point where I was healthily sore, without it, I wouldn't know my limit and could risk getting injured,

2. 1010!

Since I was travelling at the end of the month, this meant long plane rides and wifi-less waiting times. 1010! became the perfect way to pass time. I'm the type of person who does not enjoy a stressful game. This is also why I don't have many games on my phone. However, 1010! is a very relaxing game that allows you to take your time and beat your own personal records. The visual design itself is also super pleasing and minimalistic.

3. ImJennIm

Being a fan of Jenn (clothesecounters) for quite sometime, she once again astounded me with her idea of releasing an app where her fans could share their fashion sense, food and lifestyle with a community with similar values. I love spending time scrolling through the photos neatly organized in hashtags such as #OOTD or #Yum. I've got to say, the app has motivated me to put a little more care into my outfits every day, helped me organize a mental shopping list for mall outings rather than randomly splurge on things I don't need, and pressured me into eating healthy.

4. Instagram

Basically on the top of my list of obsessions, I spend hours on this app liking photos, posting my own and browsing the explore section to gain inspiration and try to learn new photography skills. While social networking sites such as Facebook are orientated towards direct interaction with friends, family and peers, I love how Instagram is more of an artistic app which allows the user to create whatever profile they want without feeling judged. While I personally feel like a spammer posting my photography onto Facebook which is mostly used for school work now, I am absolutely addicted to creating the best Instagram profile for myself, regardless of how many likes I get or don't get.

Movies / TV Shows / Books

1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

July was also the month where I got all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out. Needless to say, I've had a busy month. But while resting on the couch for a week, I finally had the time to start watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Though this type of show is definitely not for everyone, if you enjoy action movies with a touch of Sci-Fi, or if you love Marvel movies, I suggest you give this show a try. It's action packed, while being cleverly written and also ensures that you grow attached to each of its characters.

2. Inside Out

Yet another masterpiece by Pixar. Unlike Disney, I love how Pixar will venture out into a more mature theme once in a while with their animated movies. After hearing countless recommendations to watch this from friends, but seeing negative reviews online, I decided to give it a shot anyway. After watching the movie, I understood both ends to the opinions. All the negative reviews had come from parents of young children, and I can agree that young kids will find this movie boring. Instead, this movie was an absolutely genius for me. With simple, innocent and cute character, Pixar managed to convey an eye-opening message about mental health. They also managed to add their famous tear-jerking scene to the movie which absolutely tore my heart apart. Overall, this was by far one of my favourites and I believe everybody should watch this at a certain point of their lives to gain a deeper sense of self understanding and acceptance.

3. Healer

Once again, a TV show that is not for everyone. Being a Korean drama, I know that genre has already scared many people away. If you're still here, that's great! This is by far one of my favourite Korean dramas yet, it gives the perfect balance of action, romance, comedy and a protagonist's battle against himself. It was a capturing series the whole way through, was incredibly unique and had a breathtaking soundtrack which contributed strongly to the raw beauty of each scene. You can watch it with English subtitles here!

5. Paper Towns by John Green

As someone who, once upon a time, was pretty anti-John Green, this novel has once again proved me wrong. After Ed Sheeran's All Of The Stars was released for the soundtrack of the movie for The Fault in Our Stars, I was so touched by the song that I ended up watching the movie. This then read to my reading of the book and my eventual love for the wondrous mind and writing of John Green. I can assure you that Paper Towns is significantly lacking in the tragedy element of his previous hit, but is no less of a quirky and witty novel written with John Green's semi sarcastically light-hearted tone. The entire novel is an adventure for the reader and a very easy read. Needless to say, I will be heading out to the theatres next Tuesday to watch the movie.


If you can't already tell, I absolutely adored the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest. Through all the things I could possibly waste my money on, it would definitely be concerts and the endless experience of live music. Lucky for me, volunteers get free shows, so it was pretty much the best thing that happened to me ever. Of course, I still don't love the audience and their behaviour at Bluesfest (I'm not about that life), but being so close to some of the most talented artists currently out there makes it all okay. Let's just say that I cannot wait for next year!

Phew, I forgot how tiring monthly favourites can be. No joke, my fingers are actually sore from all the typing. I hope you enjoyed, and I have so many posts prepared for you guys all about San Francisco, so I'll see you soon!

What are some of your July favourites?


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