Monthly Favourites: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How is it even possible that tomorrow is the first day of June?! It seriously feels like we were just celebrating Christmas and somehow I blinked and summer arrived. Fingers crossed that some consistently warm summer weather will soon arrive too!

Song: I already mentioned "Let Me Be" by Charlie Brennan in a Sunday Lately post, but that's definitely one of my monthly favourites. I've also recently become obsessed with Florida Georgia Line's new song, "H.O.L.Y". Is it just me or do they always have the catchiest songs? My third favourite is "Chainsaw" by Nick Jonas. Not typically the type of music that I would listen to but I think I can officially consider him to be my guilty pleasure because all of his songs are pure bops.

Read: Sadly, I am struggling to answer this question once again but I really enjoyed Jordyn's Vogue 73 Questions post. Those videos are super fun and I definitely plan to steal this idea!

TV Show or Movie: We are late jumping on the bandwagon but we finally started watching Scandal and seriously cannot get enough. We've binge-watched four seasons in about two weeks and I have no idea what we are going to do with our lives when it is over. I also started watching Felicity in an attempt to fill the 90s/00s void that Dawson's Creek has left in my life now that it is no longer on Netflix. It took a few episodes before I really started to enjoy it but now I love it.

Beauty Product: Since receiving it in my Topbopx this month, I've been obsessed with The Face Shop Collagen Pomegranate Pack. I will definitely be picking up a full size of this because my skin actually glows after using it at night. I've also been enjoying this primer which I also received in a previous sample box. It really makes my foundation last longer which is important when you work 12-hour shifts!

Food: Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I essentially made the sauce in this recipe and cooked it on chicken thighs and legs for my grandmother's birthday supper this past weekend. It was delicious and I definitely plan to make it again in the very near future. I also made turkey burgers using a recipe similar to this one except that I added some feta and parmesan cheese into the burgers as well. Jordan hasn't stopped raving about the burgers since then so I'll consider that a win!

I haven't really had a chance to play with it much yet, but the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette is definitely a favourite purchase already. I also picked up a pair of cheap sunglasses from Old Navy that I have been wearing non-stop. Glasses usually give me a headache but these don't seem to bother me, plus they remind me of the Ray-Bans that I love but refuse to pay $250 for.

What are you loving this month? Leave a comment below!

Five on Friday: Volume 6

Friday, May 27, 2016

It's nearly Saturday but I am really trying to get this post up before the clock strikes twelve! I apologize as it isn't the greatest Five on Friday but after getting only three hours of sleep in the past ~33 hours, my brain is basically mush.

1. I love Amy Schumer's attitude about her body. After receiving negative comments while on vacation, she took to Instagram to say that she feels strong, healthy and most importantly, happy. I am so sick of people body shaming others, especially this time of year during swimsuit season. Does that mean I am totally happy with my own body? No, not at all. But that doesn't give me or anyone else any right to judge.
(Photo Credit: Yoga By Candace)

2. If you follow me on Twitter, you know how worried I was that I would miss out on the chance to snag the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette yesterday. I was working night shift and set my alarm for 1:30PM so that I could order it before it sold out online. It's due to arrive next week and I'm dying to see it in person! It's currently sold out on Sephora online but will be in store and restocked online on June 16th. Once it's gone then, it's gone for good so be sure to grab one quickly!

3. I discovered Ricky McWells on Facebook after this post about mowing the lawn went viral and I've  since become obsessed with him (in a totally non-creepy way). I honestly think he is just the cutest and his snaps never fail to make me laugh! His Snapchat is "heyricky91" if you want to follow him.

4. Unless you live under a rock (or outside of the blog world), you know that Nordstrom is currently having their half-yearly sale. I am on a self-imposed shopping ban at the moment but I am so tempted to order these Sam Edelman sandals. If you'd like to see my favourite items featured in the sale just leave a comment below and I will do a separate post.

5. I have a feeling that this will be featured in my Monthly Favourites post as well but the Summer Dollar Drink Days have returned at McDonalds and I have been living on their $1 frozen lemonades. They are surprisingly tart and perfect for cooling down on a hot day (not that we've really experienced any of those yet). I'm also eager to try the Vanilla Chai Tea Frappe and their Caramel Iced Coffee. Unfortunately, I have to exercise extreme willpower not to order fries to accompany my drink each time I go there.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! The weather here is supposed to be cool and rainy so our plans to go camping or hiking this weekend went out the window, sadly.

Topbox May 2016 Review

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Topbox is a Canadian-based monthly beauty subscription service. It costs $12/month and offers free shipping. They send four beauty products per month, unless you decide to choose a special priv√© box. Here is a look at what I received in my May 2016 Topbox!

Novex Brazillian Keratin Deep Conditioning Hair Mask | This is the only product that I haven't tried yet as I'm more likely to use a deep conditioning mask when I am taking a bath as opposed to a shower, due to the fact that it is supposed to be left on for 15 minutes. However, it does state that it could also be left on for 3 minutes and used as a regular conditioner. It smells nice, like something you would smell in a salon, with a hint of nutty scent. This is a good sample size for someone like myself with fine, thin hair as I will definitely get a few uses out of it. Approximate sample value: $3.30.

The Face Shop Collagen Pomegranate Pack | This is a nighttime cream that you apply to your skin before bed. I've been intrigued by The Face Shop for quite some time now as I've heard a lot of great things about their sheet masks, so I was excited to see this in my bag! This has a lovely, not-too-strong pomegranate scent. It isn't a thick cream but applies nicely to the skin. I was actually very impressed with this product as my face looked super glowy this morning after only using it twice! I definitely want to check out more products from this brand. Topbox included a 15% off (plus a free sheet mask) coupon for The Face Shop, however, it is sadly only available for use in-store and the closest store is in Quebec. Approximate sample value: $4.05.

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream | I remember a ton of people raving about this hand cream a while ago. Trust me when I say this is a super thick cream. My hands initially feel greasy when this is applied but that eventually disappears. It is an unscented cream and contains 1% colloidal oatmeal which is supposed to help eczema, dermatitis and extreme dryness. As I have none of those problems (except dry skin in the winter), I cannot speak to its ability to live up to the claims. For me, it's a good cream to use at work as it's unscented and will help prevent my skin from drying out with all the hand sanitizer I use. Topbox included a coupon for $5 off orders over $50 as well. Approximate sample value: $17.99.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara | I love getting mascara samples so I was thrilled to see this in my bag this month! However, I was sorely disappointed the first time I used it as the product left my eyelashes clumpy. I decided to give it another chance and oddly enough, I had no issues the second or third time. On the contrary, I actually really enjoyed it! My lashes no longer looked clumpy and it did a great job of thickening and lengthening them. Approximate sample value: $10.

The approximate value of this month's box is $35.34 which is less than previous months but overall, I am still pleased with the products. This box contained one full size product and three sample sized products, as well as two coupons. If you'd like to sign up for Topbox, you can use my referral code here to bypass the wait list.

Sunday Lately: May 16 - 22

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Creating, Finding, Switching, Forgetting and Craving.

Creating: I have a few blog post ideas in mind for the upcoming weeks, aside from my usual monthly Topbox review, favourites, and empties. I still really struggle with writing posts ahead of time but at least I have some ideas in mind right now.

Finding: There are so many great Newfoundland bloggers and YouTubers and I love discovering new ones all the time! I recently discovered Becca from Just a Bit of Becca and Laura from Island Girl Gorgeous (a list of my favourite local YouTubers can be found here). Newfoundland is a pretty small province so I love supporting locals!

Switching: I am switching up my usual Starbucks order today (Passion Iced Tea Lemonade or Caramel Frappuccino) and trying a Chai Tea Latte for a change. Sadly the nearest Starbucks is in the city (a couple hours from where I live) but Jordan had to go there today so he is bringing me home a treat! I really want to try the new Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino but it would be melted by the time he gets home.

Forgetting: I had forgotten how much I struggle to sleep in the daytime when I'm working night shifts but I've quickly been reminded this weekend! I used to love working night shifts when I had no trouble sleeping until 5pm the next day but now I only sleep in 1-2 hour increments during the day which basically results in a weekend-long sleep-deprived headache. Thankfully I just have one more shift to go!

Craving: I want to buy a whole new summer wardrobe. I'd love to just go drop $1000 on new clothes and accessories right now but my bank account informs me that that won't be happening anytime soon. I am just loving all of the boho, floral and lace pieces that seem to be everywhere these days. I haven't had a good shopping haul in ages (basically since I became a grown up and bought a house) and I am dying for one now!

Hope you are all enjoying your long weekend! Spread a little empathy my way as I spend mine at work!

Beauty Review: Hard Candy "All Glossed Up" and "Fierce Effects Lipstick"

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hard Candy All Glossed Up and Fierce Effects Lipstick Review

I'm not sure why but I've been obsessed with the color purple lately. Suddenly I am in love with lilac hair and plum eyeshadow and most recently, purple lipstick!  While browsing the Hard Candy section at Walmart a few nights ago, a couple products caught my eye. I must say, Hard Candy has really stepped up their game since the 90s!

Hard Candy All Glossed Up and Fierce Effects Lipstick Review

I picked up the All Glossed Up hydrating lip stain in "Plum Yum" which is a medium pink-purple gloss and the Fierce Effects lipstick in "Newly Berried" which is a shiny berry-purple color.

Hard Candy All Glossed Up and Fierce Effects Lipstick Swatch
All Glossed Up Hydrating Stain in "Plum Yum" (left) and Fierce Effects Lipstick in "Newly Berried" (right)

The All Glossed Up hydrating stain feels nice on the lips. It is easy to apply with the retractable pen (my favourite!) and has a glossy finish. As you can tell from the swatch, it has a fair amount of pigment, however, I find it less noticeable on my lips. Not sure if this is because of the actual color of my lips or just the color of this gloss but it comes off as very natural looking on me. As a result, I don't really notice a staining effect from it. It is very comfortable to wear, though, and I would consider repurchasing in a bolder color. Also, for those of you who hate scented products, this one has a barely-detectable scent, so that's a bonus! These retail for $5.98 at Walmart.

Hard Candy All Glossed Up Plum Yum Swatch

First of all, the packaging on the Fierce Effects lipstick could totally pass for Kat Von D packaging. Maybe not in terms of quality, but it sure looks cute on my vanity! The tube is black with silver studs and has the lipstick color on the top (totally convenient!) and the name of the lipstick on the bottom. This lipstick applies evenly and smoothly across the lips and is comfortable to wear. It definitely has a sheen to it, though, so keep that in mind if you aren't a fan of that. Unlike the stain, this lipstick has a fruity-plastic scent. It isn't offensive in my opinion but I am not generally bothered by scents anyway. These retail for $5.98 at Walmart.

Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lipstick Newly Berried Swatch

The lipstick definitely has better staying power than the gloss and lasts a few hours but needs to be reapplied following meals. The gloss only lasted an hour or two before needing to be reapplied but it isn't a big deal to me as it is so easy to reapply - you don't even really need a mirror!

Have you tried either of these products? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday Lately: May 9 - 15

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Doing, Appreciating, Designing, Humming and Expecting.

Doing: Watching YouTube videos and making toutons for breakfast. Toutons are a Newfoundland specialty and are essentially just fried bread dough, however, they were historically cooked in fried pork fat (which we call "scrunchions") which is what makes them amazing. A lot of people choose healthier oils for cooking them now but considering that I only eat them once or twice a year, I make them the traditional and totally unhealthy way. Once cooked they can be drizzled with molasses, pancake syrup, or just eaten with butter.

Appreciating: I am finally starting to feel better (still not 100%, but getting there) so I am definitely appreciating my health and being able to breathe through my nose. Funny how we take these things for granted until we get sick and cannot do it anymore!

Designing: I never really have an answer for this one, but I'd like to buy some shelves for the bathrooms and perhaps the living room as well to make this place look a little more homey. 

Humming: I've discovered so many good songs this month but "Let Me Be" by Charlie Brennan is probably my favourite!

 I am expecting that this will be a tiresome week considering that I've been off work for nearly two weeks now and I am heading into my long, five-shift work week. Of course, it's not like I've been off on vacation so it hasn't been the most enjoyable time spent away from work, but I never exactly look forward to early mornings and 12-hour shifts and it is especially hard once you've been away from it for a while.

Five on Friday: Volume 5

Friday, May 13, 2016

You would think that being off work all week would have provided ample opportunity to plan and write numerous blog posts but that was not the case. I spent most of my weekend and the beginning of my week off too sick to even think about blogging, much less actually write something. On the bright side, despite still coughing and sniffling 24/7, I am now vertical and seemingly on the mend. Here's to a productive weekend (fingers crossed!).

1. First of all, it's Nurse's Week here in Canada, so go hug a nurse. Or at the very least, thank one. I don't talk much about my job on this blog because frankly, this isn't the place for it (and also HIPPA regulations terrify me) but I can summarize it with this lovely e-card.

Also, if you want to know what happens in the mind of a nurse? Here you go! And Ryan Reynolds gets it.

2. Thanks to my awesome grandmother (with some help from my mother!), my house is now the cleanest it has been since we moved in. I had planned to do some thorough spring cleaning at the beginning of the week but honestly didn't have the energy to do it. They visited and helped clean my house from top to bottom and it basically feels like a brand new house again.

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

3. While cleaning the house I managed to collect five bags of items to donate to the SPCA thrift store. It's crazy how much junk accumulates in your house in such a short period of time! I ended up browsing around the store while I was there and left with the cutest ginger jar (for $2!) and two pairs of American Eagle jeggings for $10 each. I normally hate thrift stores - the smell, the general ick factor of used clothing - but all proceeds from this one go to the SPCA and the jeans were in excellent condition so I justified it to myself.

4. If you use the internet at all, you've probably heard that Becca and Jaclyn Hill are teaming up again, this time to create the Champagne Glow Palette which features three blushes and two highlighters. I. just. died. Actually, I will die if I don't get my hands on that palette when it is released. Be still in my heart.

5. I heard about Tinge Pastel through Eleventh Gorgeous and I fell in love! It's a color-depositing conditioner that dyes your hair pastel and lasts 3-5 washes. I feel like funky hair colors are all the rage this year but I could never commit to a permanent color so this is the perfect solution to me. I'm looking forward to testing it out this summer! I ordered the pink, purple and silver dyes so be on the look out for a review of those when they arrive!

I hope you all have a great weekend! I think I'm heading out with a few co-workers tonight for some Nursing Week celebrations and hopefully Jordan and I will go on a little adventure one day this weekend if the weather cooperates.

Sunday Lately: May 2 - 8

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Planning, Loving, Reading, Wishing, Feeling.

Planning: I started looking at details for our potential trip to Maine this summer and decided that we need to pack a tent and camp out for at least a few nights while we are there. It will be way too expensive to rent hotels for a week or so on top of gas money and eating out. Plus I wanted to do some camping this summer so this is a great way to do it! However, this trip is still very much a tentative plan, especially because Jordan will likely need surgery to have his gallbladder removed around the time we planned to go. 

Loving: I started watching Felicity on Shomi a couple days ago in an attempt to fill the late 90's-early 00's void that Dawson's Creek left behind (now that I can no longer watch it on Netflix). It's been a long time since I watched a show that I have never seen before and I'm surprisingly nearly finished the first season. I am normally the world's worst binge-watcher because I tend to get antsy after a couple episodes so this is a big accomplishment for me!

Reading: I started reading "Lone Wolf" by Jodi Picoult a few weeks ago but I haven't been devoting much time to it. While I love most of her books, the story of the wolves just doesn't provoke my interest the way that her stories generally do. I've also been catching up on some blog reading thanks to a few unexpected sick days.

Wishing: Jordan was home and feeling better! He was admitted to the hospital Saturday morning with an inflamed gallbladder and I certainly miss having him around the house. 

Feeling: Under the weather but with any luck, better than I've felt for the past few days (I'm writing this a day in advance). I've been sick with a cold/sore throat/cough/sinus infection since Thursday night. I actually took two days off work and spent them entirely in bed, which I rarely ever do. Needless to say, it hasn't been a good health week for our house!

Make Up For Ever AquaXL Eye Pencils Review & Swatches

Friday, May 6, 2016

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Review and Swatches

News flash! You need to seriously run, not walk, and pick up the new AquaXL Eye Pencils by Make Up For Ever. I'll be honest, I have an old sample of their Aqua Eyes eyeliner and I am not a huge fan. But the new AquaXL eye pencils? They are worth every pretty penny!

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Review

The AquaXL eye pencils were created in collaboration with Charli XCX, most famously known for her song "Boom Clap" but is featured on one of my personal favourites, "I Love It" by Icona Pop.  The collection contains twenty shades in five different finishes - matte, diamond, satin, iridescent and metallic and include every color from basic brown and black to Tiffany blue and lilac purple.  They are also waterproof, smudge-proof, sweat-proof and transfer-proof, while providing intense pigmentation and comfortable wear.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Swatches

In the order swatched on my arm:

M10 - matte black
D12 - sparkly black
M14 - matte charcoal grey
M60 - matte brown
D62 - sparkly brown
S50 - fawn brown
I36 - olive green-brown
ME42 - metallic gold
M40 - matte yellow
M30 - matte mint green
I34 - medium green
I32 - deep green-blue
M26 - bright robin's egg blue
I24 - teal blue 
S20 - deep denim blue
M22 - matte royal blue
M80 - matte plum
I90 - bright purple
M92 - matte pastel purple
M16 - matte white

You can see the colors more closely below. The metallic and iridescent formulas are gorgeous!

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Swatches

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Swatches

The formula of the pencils is amazing - it is creamy and smooth and literally glides across the eyelid. The only downside of this is that it doesn't stay sharp for long as it basically melts when pressed into the skin. Nothing that a pencil sharpener can't fix though (I have this one and love it!). Aside from the amazing formula, this eyeliner also offers excellent staying power. I work 12-hour shifts and it lasts all day without smudging! I actually have to work hard to remove it at the end of the day. Luckily, the Make Up For Ever Sens'Eye Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser does a great job of removing my waterproof makeup without burning my sensitive eyes.

The Make Up For Ever AquaXL Eye Pencils are available for purchase at here and here and in Sephora stores across Canada for $25 each. If you are a VIB Rouge at Sephora, you can also buy the Charli XCX Festival Fave 4-pack for a steal at $58!

The products in this post were provided complimentary for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and based on my personal experience. 

Monthly Empties: March and April 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I think that the reason it took me so long to get this post written (as in, over two months..) is because I feel like I didn't use up any exciting products lately. Regardless, I hope you enjoy!

Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Soap | I finished off the scents "Merry Cookie" and "Winter" which were two limited edition soaps from the winter collection. "Winter" is one of my all-time favourite B&BW soaps so I will definitely repurchase that one and I also enjoyed "Merry Cookie" which was a typical, sweet cookie scent. "Island White Pineapple" is the scent I had in the kitchen for a long time and I love it. I recently picked up Golden Pineapple Luau which is this year's equivalent. Repurchase? Yes!

Bath and Body Works "Vanilla Bean Noel" Body Wash | This is one of my favourite B&BW scents and I love that the shower gel scent lingers on your skin afterwards. Sadly, this is a holiday product so it is not available year-round. Repurchase? Definitely!

Bath and Body Works "Cashmere Glow" Body Lotion | This is another one of my favourite B&BW scents - it is warm, fruity and musky and lasts forever on the skin. Not to mention that this lotion is incredibly moisturizing. Repurchase? Yes!

LUSH "The Christmas Hedgehog" Bubble Bar | This was a Christmas product, obviously, which means that it is no longer available for purchase. I love LUSH's bubble bars in general but this one was just okay. The scent was fruity-floral, but not one of my favourites. Repurchase? Probably not, but that's just based on my personal scent preference.

Gillette Satin Care Dry Skin Shave Cream | I struggle with dry skin in the winter so I decided to give this a try, however, it wasn't as effective as the Eos shave cream for helping with my dry skin. The can also turns rusty on the bottom, leaving a ring behind! Repurchase? No.

Garnier Whole Blends Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner | This smells of coconut water and vanilla milk and if you are a fan of straight-up coconut scents then you would enjoy this! Aside from that, I don't recall anything standing out about this duo. Repurchase? No, not a big coconut fan and my hair doesn't need any extra hydration.

Whish Renewing Mud Mask | I posted a review of this here so I won't elaborate any further. Repurchase? No.

Naobay Oxygenizing Cream Moisturizer | I received this product in a Birchbox and the sample lasted a surprisingly long time with everyday use! The scent was orange-y and reminded me of LUSH's "Cosmetic Lad" moisturizer. This, however, had a much thinner, somewhat watery consistency. It did a decent job of moisturizing my face but would be better suited for summer. Repurchase? No, but I would use it again if I received another sample.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge | First of all, I've never used an authentic Beauty Blender, as I keep buying this one instead. It costs $10 and does a great job of blending my foundation. Repurchase? Yes, I've already purchased a new one.

I also tried a bunch of foundation samples from Sephora this month in an attempt to find a new HG foundation. To be honest, I can't really remember what I liked and didn't like about each one. I tried the Lancome Teint Idole 24H Long Wear Foundation, the Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation, the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (my old HG!) and the YSL Touche Eclat le Teint Radiance Awakening Foundation. I actually really thought I was going to buy the YSL foundation (despite the fact that everyone else seems to hate the new formula) but on final inspection, I realized that it really did not wear well and was basically completely worn off my face by the end of the day.

Sunday Lately: April 25 - May 1

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life that week. This weeks prompts are Completing, Visiting, Repeating, Writing and Scheduling.

Completing: I crossed off a bucket list item and got my nose pierced yesterday! I've never really been interested in piercings (I only got my ears pierced a few years ago) but for the past year or so I've felt the urge to get my nose pierced. I finally did it yesterday as a spur-of-the-moment decision and I'm so pleased! I won't be sorry when it doesn't hurt to yawn though.

Visiting: We visited Jordan's sister today and went for a little ride in boat with her and her fianc√©. It was a lovely sunny day (albeit still cold) but I was so happy to get back out on the water. Boat has to be my favourite mode of transportation and nothing cheers me up quite like the salt water does. 

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

Repeating: In my second ever blog post I talked about how much fun I had on a girls trip to St. John's. Well, we had another one yesterday! Tara, Renee, Brittany and I got up bright & early yesterday morning and headed to the city for a day of eating, shopping, and spontaneous piercings. It was definitely a day for the books and another reminder of how much I love having great girl friends.

Writing: I have a few post ideas, including my monthly empties which I must get up ASAP, as well as a fun new collaboration with Make Up For Ever which I am super excited to share! If all goes well, both of those posts should be up this week. 

Scheduling: This is going to be a busy week for me! It's my long week at work, which means that I work five 12-hour shifts this week, and on my days off I have a nail appointment one day and Macy has an appointment at the groomer the next day. I hate making appointments for my days off on my long week because it leaves little time for anything else. Luckily I have next week off so I will get a chance to relax, blog and clean the house then!
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