Monthly Favourites: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016


I don't want to talk about the fact that it is the end of June. Before we know it, summer will be over and my poor, sunshine-loving heart is not ready to accept that. Anyway, here are the things that I've been loving this month!


Song: I could honestly list off 5-10 songs that I have been loving this month but I will try to keep it at three. First up is "Thank God You're Holding Me" by Emily Hearn. Do you ever listen to certain songs and think that if there was a soundtrack to your life, that song would be on it? (No, just me?) That is this song for me. Next is "Like I Dream" by The Spacies. I've recently become obsessed with their music but this song is my favourite. I need them to release a full-length album right now! Finally, I am loving "Inside Out" by The New Electric, which I mentioned in a Sunday Lately post this month.



Read: I recently started "One True Loves" by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I've really been enjoying it thus far. In terms of blog posts, I've been loving Caroline's and Stephanie's recaps of their trips to Greece. Consider it added to my travel bucket list!

TV Show or Movie: We finally finished Scandal and my life hasn't been quite the same since! (Okay, not really, but I am missing Fitz in my life..). Since then, we started watching How To Get Away With Murder because we love Shonda Rhimes, basically. So far it's quite good (not as good as Scandal though) but there is only one season on Canadian Netflix and we are nearly finished already. Any recommendations for what we should watch next?

Beauty Product: The Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Face Palette, duh. Did you expect me to say anything different? I've actually even grown to love "Amaretto" and in fact, it's probably the blush that I use most frequently! I've also been loving this foundation which I picked up at Walmart for $12.99. The finish is absolutely gorgeous and it lasts longer than my Nars Sheer Glow foundation.

Food: Chicken kabobs are a summer staple in our house and I'm certain that I could actually eat them every day! Boneless chicken, mushrooms, red onion and peppers, sprinkled with Montreal Chicken Spice and grilled on the BBQ. So. Good.

Purchase: 
I finally purchased this brush after having numerous people recommend it to me and I must say, it is worth the hype! I have thin, fine hair that tangles easily. Without conditioner, I would not be able to get a comb through my hair, much less a brush. I've been using a white-tooth comb forever to comb my hair after I get out of the shower but just a regular brush to dry my hair which resulted in many tangles and a whole lot of frustration. This brush has been a game-changer for me!

I also made two super spontaneous purchases last week. One being a new Rebecca Minkoff purse which I haven't received yet but I am sure it will be a favourite! The other is an inflatable hot tub. I know, right?! One of my coworkers was selling hers for cheap so Jordan and I decided to buy it! I've been wanting a real hot tub forever but obviously I cannot afford that right now, plus it doesn't make sense as we are not planning to stay in this house long-term. While the inflatable one isn't as hot or as spacious as a regular full-size hot tub, we are quite impressed! This is the one that we have!

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

Sunday Lately: June 20 - 26

Sunday, June 26, 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: It's the end of the month which means that it's time for my usual monthly favourites and product empties posts but I am trying to create some new, fresh content as well. Is there anything in particular you would like to see? Let me know in the comments below! 

Finding: I found a new favourite drink at Starbucks yesterday. I ordered a Youthberry White Tea Granita but with passion tea instead of white tea. It was basically a frozen Passion Iced Tea and it was amazing! I definitely do want to try it with the white tea as well. I hate that the nearest Starbucks is so far away!

Switching: I will soon be switching over my purse to the gorgeous new Rebecca Minkoff bag that I purchased! My poor Kate Spade purse has seen better days and I have been on the lookout for a new bag for a while now. As much as I hate to replace that one, given that it was a gift from Jordan, the pale minty-blue color means that it now looks super dirty. I've managed to get some of the dirt off with baby wipes but unfortunately the denim stains are there to stay. I was looking for a navy Kate Spade bag and nearly bought one when I was in Florida but I haven't been able to find one since I came home. In a spur of the moment decision, I ended up with a black Rebecca Minkoff and I cannot wait for it to arrive in the mail! 

Forgetting: Hopefully I don't jinx it by saying this but I am forgetting the cold weather because we are thankfully having a nice June with warm, sunny days. However, I had forgotten how much I hate bugs but unfortunately, I have since been reminded. Bugs are the worst part of summer for sure! 

Craving: Food-wise, I am craving garlic butter shrimp and also a salad. Weird combination, right? I am also craving a tropical vacation but that's nothing new! 

Hope you are having a great weekend! I am on holidays for the next week and I could not be more excited!

Topbox June 2016 Review

Tuesday, June 21, 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 privé box. Here is a look at what I received in my June 2016 Topbox!



Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo | I've been wanting to try this dry shampoo forever and it has definitely met my expectations. In fact, this might be a new HG product! Of course, Sephora doesn't sell this product in Canada, which makes it very difficult (and expensive) to obtain here. I have a feeling that I will be willing to pay whatever it takes though because it's that good. It smells amazing, instantly makes my hair look non-greasy and gives me volume, plus the packaging is gorgeous. Approximate sample value: $4.25.

Pur-lisse Blue Lotus & White Tea Treatment Sheet Mask | This mask claims to leave skin bright and firm, as well as improve the overall texture of your skin. I haven't used this yet so I can't comment on how well it works, but I do love receiving sheet masks in my bags so I am pleased with this. Approximate sample value: $10 (full size).

O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face | This is an enzyme exfoliant that extracts dermal debris and dead skin for brighter, softer skin. I also haven't tried this just yet but I am very intrigued! It has a lot of good reviews on the website, so I am hopeful. I am all about products that claim to make my skin glow! Approximate sample value: $4.50. 

Mirabella Pearls & Pastels Eyeshadow Pigment in "Refreshmint" | I received this product in my most recent Luxe Box and I wasn't happy about it then so I'm definitely not happy to see it again. I actually gave away the first one but apparently these companies are determined that I should own this product. Approximate sample value: Originally $28, on sale for $10 (full size).

The total value of this month's Topbox is $28.75, which isn't overly high but I am pleased with three of the four products. However, I decided to cancel my Topbox subscription for now and I signed up with Ipsy again. Even though I expected some repetition of products between Topbox and Luxe Box when they merged, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt as they claimed they would have "separate operations". But after receiving multiple repeat products between the two boxes, I decided to cancel both. I may re-subscribe to Topbox again in the future but I am done for now. Hopefully I will have better luck with Ipsy! 

Sunday Lately: June 13-19

Sunday, June 19, 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, Expecting.

Doing: I am working nights this weekend which means I am doing very little in the daytime. Up until today the weather has been miserable but it's actually quite warm (albeit windy) today. However, Jordan is spending the day with his family as it is Father's Day as well as his mother's birthday, so I am taking the time to do a little blogging. Thankfully I'm off for the next three weekends after this because I want to cross some things off my bucket list!

Appreciating: I've really been appreciating Jordan this past week. It's been a difficult week for me with some personal things happening that have caused me quite a bit of anxiety. I've spent a lot of time crying and stressing over things that I cannot even necessarily pinpoint but he has been nothing but caring and supportive. He even surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with the sweetest note that nearly made me cry.



Designing: I mentioned in my Life Lately post that I've recently made a couple upgrades to the spare room and our living room. I am also on the lookout for a new comforter for our bedroom. As much as I love the design of our current one, it is old and after washing it in the washing machine, it looks terrible! I really want a white comforter but Jordan insists that it is totally impractical with our animals (he isn't entirely wrong, either). We may be going to the city next weekend and I am determined to find something this trip!

Humming: "Inside Out" by The New Electric. I expect that this song will end up in my my Monthly Favourites as well because I cannot stop listening to it. Such a good song to sing to while driving! The video is rather odd but I'm looking forward to hearing more from these guys!

Expecting: With an improvement in the weather and my upcoming holidays from work, I am expecting (and hoping!) to start feeling better and to get back to myself. Sunshine definitely improves my mood and I am eager to get outside and enjoy it. Provided that all goes well with Jordan's surgery, we are making plans with our friends to go camping for a few nights, possibly do a hike, take a trip to Bonavista for ice cream, and spend a couple days in the city. 

Summer 2016 Bucket List

Friday, June 17, 2016


Every year I vow to make that summer the best one ever and if we are being entirely honest, I'm usually disappointed by the time August rolls around. Newfoundland's weather is the absolute worst and for the past two summers we have had terrible summers (last year, July was nicknamed "Julyuary" and we arrested a meteorologist). This year I won't set my sights on making it the "best summer ever" (let's be honest, the best summers involved having two months off from school!) but making the best of what is to come. Honestly, I will probably be happy if we can just have sunshine and warm temperatures for the next couple of months! That being said, I've compiled a bucket list of things that I'd like to do this summer in hopes that I will hold myself accountable to it.

Go Hiking | Ever since I read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, I've been obsessed with the idea of hiking. I actually went hiking once before and swore I'd never do it again, so this is a good thing! Newfoundland has a number of amazing trails and I am hoping to do the Skerwink Trail again (this is the one I tried and it nearly killed me), as well as the La Manche Village Path (that suspension bridge!) and the Centre Hill Wilderness Trail. I am also hoping to do the Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic which is less of a hike and more a picnic but you have to actually walk to get to the food, so it totally counts.

Try Five New Restaurants | In recent years, Newfoundland has become known for its culinary experiences. While I won't be splurging on some of the highly reclaimed restaurants, I want to branch out and try some new places. Although Bier Markt is a chain restaurant, it is not super popular and serves some gourmet takes on some of my favourite pub foods, so I definitely want to check that out! I also need to try St. John's Fish ExchangeMallard Cottage for brunch, Get Stuffed, and the Newfoundland sushi at Grates Cove Studio.

Read, Read, Read | I've been failing in my goal to read a book each month (currently averaging one every two months) and I'd like to make up for that this summer. Lazy summer days are the perfect opportunity to sneak in some reading time. I added a few new books to my Kindle yesterday including "#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso"One True Loves" by Taylor Jenkins Reid and "Confess" by Colleen Hoover. And of course, I will be picking up a copy of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" as soon as it hits stores!

Go Fishing | This is an easy one that I can pretty well guarantee will be checked off before too long. It has been a few years since I've gone fishing but I absolutely love it. The cod fishing season opens July 1st and has been extended this summer so it will be difficult not to accomplish this one.

Go Camping.. In a Tent! | I love camping in the summer but I've always camped in an RV and never in a tent. Again, I think "Wild" inspired this bucket list item as well because until that point I've never had any interest in camping in a tent. Sadly the weather here in Newfoundland might make this one difficult (there are only a handful of days where it's actually warm at night) but we are going to give it a try!

Take a Weekend Trip | Because of Jordan's upcoming surgery, we had to cancel our plans to road trip to Maine this summer (but there's always next year!). I still want to travel somewhere though. We mentioned St. Pierre and Miquelon, perhaps if we could find another couple to go with us. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye out for seat sales for Toronto, Ottawa, New York, or we may just end up taking a weekend trip someplace in Newfoundland.

Overall, I think that should be an easy list to complete. For the most part, we are planning to be "tourists at home" this summer, which means that I will be highlighting the best of our province on this blog. Do you have a summer bucket list? I'd love to hear what your plans are!

Luxe Box Summer 2016 Review

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Luxe Box is a Canadian beauty subscription service that offers quarterly boxes at a cost of $26/box with free shipping. Each box contains 7-8 beauty products, including some full-size items! This is my second Luxe Box and I have to say, I was very disappointed to the point where I actually cancelled my subscription. Luxe Box and Topbox merged last year, however, they stated that they would each retain their "unique brand identity". That is clearly not the case, as evidenced by the number of repetitive products between the two boxes. I'm actually considering cancelling my Topbox subscription as well, but we will see.


I will say that the packaging on this box is impressive. It does in fact appear very luxe, in a sleek white box with gold lettering. The products are then contained in a silky cream bag inside the box. Unfortunately, that's where my compliments end. Keep reading to find out what I received in my summer Luxe Box!


Novex Brazillian Keratin Deep Conditioning Hair Mask | I received this product in my Topbox last month so I was automatically unimpressed that it showed up in my Luxe Box as well. I have thin, fine, oily hair so I rarely have a need for deep conditioning masks. I've used my other sample as a regular conditioner on a few occasions and while it does a good job of conditioning my hair, I do find it a bit too heavy and my hair seems to get greasy faster than usual. Approximate sample value: $3.30.

Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum | I received this product in a previous Topbox as well. I've used it a few times and haven't noticed any real difference in my under eye appearance, but it could be because I haven't used it enough. It will take me forever to use one of these, much less two! Approximate sample value: $30.

Barefoot Venus Lip Bliss in "Coconut Kiss" | I had high hopes for this product as it is really hard to screw up a lip balm! It feels nice and moisturizing on the lips but the scent is really weird. It took me a while to figure out what the smell reminded me of but I finally did - Silly Putty! If you don't mind the smell, it's fine, but it definitely doesn't smell like coconut to me. Approximate sample value:  $7.50 (full size).

Mirabella Pearls & Pastels Eyeshadow Pigment in "Refreshmint" | I love the packaging of this product and I would be pleased if it were in a neutral color. However, this is a bright minty blue. I don't know about you, but I don't feel that I can pull off blue eyeshadow! I will probably pass this along to one of Jordan's nieces as I will have no use for it. Approximate sample value: Originally $28, on sale for $10 (full size).


Harvey Prince Organics Sincerely Body Cream | This is a small sample so it will probably be used as a hand cream as opposed to a body cream. Again, the smell of this is very odd. It has a perfumey scent, almost to the point of an "old lady" smell. Feels fine on my hands but I'm not keen on the scent. Approximate sample value: $1.

Morgan Taylor Nail Laquer in "I'm Charmed" | Ugh, I hate getting nail polish samples. I have gel nails (because otherwise I bite my nails) so I rarely ever use nail polish. I also received this brand in my Spring Luxe Box, like seriously? You've had three months to find new brands to work with. And I've used that product once! Anyway, at least the color is nice. Approximate sample value: $15.83

Coppertone Clearly Sheer Faces Sunscreen Lotion | Well at least this is a product that I can use (and the only one that I have used so far!). I'm all for sunscreen that is suitable for your face. I have very fair skin so I am very cautious about applying SPF in the summer. This one has SPF 30 but also comes in a SPF 50. I wore this one in boat the other day and I did burn my nose, however I didn't reapply throughout the day so that was really my own fault. Approximate sample value: $10.

Overall, the approximate value of this box was $77.63 but the products weren't worth the $26 in my opinion. The only thing that I will actually really use is the sunscreen lotion, therefore I cancelled my subscription. I'm curious to know if others received as many repeat and duplicate products as I did. If you subscribe, let me know in the comments!

Life Lately: Volume 1

Monday, June 13, 2016


I've all but disappeared from the blog world thanks to work and busy weekends, so I figured I would write my all-time favourite type of post (AKA a list) to catch you guys up on my life. I considered just doing a weekend recap but then I realized that I hadn't discussed things from a few weeks ago so instead it will just be a hodge-podge of everything that has happened lately.

First of all, I feel like I have to acknowledge the tragedy that occurred at an Orlando nightclub this past weekend. There's nothing like a senseless occurrence like that to snap you back to reality and make you appreciate your own life. Orlando is a city that I've visited frequently and that I happen to love and my heart breaks for all those affected by the shooting. Mass shootings are becoming way too common these days. I'm not sure what the solution is but something has to be done to keep this from happening so frequently in the future.

Now that I've touched on that, I will move on to lighter and happier things in my life.

- Today is such a lazy day and I am very appreciative to have one. I still have to do a few things around the house (including cleaning our bathroom) but so far I've spent the day catching up on YouTube videos while the rain pours outside the window. Meanwhile, it is warm and cozy in my house where I am wearing PJs and a hoodie with one of my favourite candles burning.

- This past weekend was a good one! Jordan and I went out to supper and a movie on Friday night. He wanted to see Neighbours 2 and despite the fact that it wasn't exactly my "type" of movie, it wasn't too bad. Saturday morning we were up bright and early (much to my dismay). I spent part of the morning drinking tea and catching up on blog posts, then we went out to do some shopping and picked up supplies to make sushi. We ended up going out for a birthday supper for Jordan's sister on Saturday night, then hung out with friends afterwards. On Sunday, we enjoyed the day in boat with Jordan's sister and her fiancé, which you may have seen if you follow me on Snapchat.


- While shopping on Saturday, I finally bought a white shag rug for our living room and a new quilt for the spare bedroom. We also picked up a canvas print to put above the bed in the spare bedroom as it looked quite bare in there. That room is a random mixture of furniture and pieces that we have picked up over the years so it isn't the most cohesive room, that's for sure! However, this isn't our forever home so it isn't the end of the world.


- I won the Fitbit Weekend Challenge last weekend, thanks to work! (#nurseperks) I then got third place in our Workweek Challenge (which was only a short work week for me) but I was fine with that because I met my personal goal of 10,000 steps each day. I also had over 30 active minutes on all my days off work.

- I hate the thought of renewing my gym membership in the summer because it is nice enough to do my cardio outside, however, I feel like I need the gym for ab work and weights. That being said, I have no idea how to actually use that equipment at the gym so if someone would like to show me, that would be great!

- I was in the city a couple weeks ago and picked up a few new things for summer! I picked up a new bikini from Victoria's Secret as they will no longer be selling swimwear and had the collection on sale for 40% off. I also had a gift card left over from Christmas so I ended up paying $16 out of pocket for a $70 bikini! While walking past Aeropostale, it appeared that they were liquidating everything and had a great sale on. It's not a store that I generally shop at but I did pick up this henley tank in black. It's super cute and casual for the summer and I wish I had grabbed more colors. After that, I went to Winners (similar to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc.) where I found three tank tops and a super comfy black cardigan, all for less than $100.

 


- I also had a recent Sephora haul which I never did talk about here on the blog. As you know, I placed an order for the  Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Face Palette (review here). I also picked up a Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in "Lucky" which was on sale for $15 and deluxe samples of the Urban Decay All Nighter Long setting spray, Marc Jacobs Mod Noir perfume, and the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist. At the same time, Jordan surprised me with more goodies from Sephora, including the Kat Von D Everlasting Lip Duo which had been on my wishlist, as well as a Beauty Blender and the Bare Minerals Marvellous Moxie lipstick in "Lead The Way" (which I discovered at Ulta in Florida but they were sold out and he somehow remembered which one I wanted!).


I think that's probably all the random new happenings in my life lately, so I'm going to wrap this up here. We are making sushi for supper (again!) and spending the night relaxing and watching Scandal. We are on season five now which is the last season on Netflix and I have no idea how I will survive without my daily dose of Fitz. Hope you guys are having a great Monday!

It's Time To Get Serious..

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Yesterday was a bad day.


I took one look at myself in the mirror and felt like crying. We all have those days, right? Days where you have to wiggle into your jeans or go shopping for a new bikini and suddenly you're thinking "How did I let myself get to this point?" and "I need six more months before swimsuit season".

I haven't stepped on a scale since last fall and if we are being entirely honest here, I'm not sure if I have the nerve to do it. My weight last fall was 10-15lbs above where I wanted it to be. I did lose a little but never got back to my baseline, had a gym membership but let it expire, went on a healthy eating spree but eventually gave up, and now we are here.

A lot of people look at me and say "You're tiny, you don't need to lose weight!" but it's not about how other people perceive me, it is how I feel about myself that matters. Since high school I've gained about 25lbs and up until recently, my clothing size didn't really change much. However, I've recently gone up a size in jeans because my normal size suddenly feels a bit too tight and I am not okay with it. Now don't get me wrong, I know the number on the scale or the size on the tag isn't what matters. It's about how I look in the mirror and, more importantly, feel about myself. But I don't look nor feel my best right now and that needs to change.

I've always hated exercise. I was the kid in grade three who stayed home from school on sports day because I hated it that much. I never participated in gym class and dropped the course as quickly as I could. I don't like attending group classes because I feel like I cannot keep up with everyone else and then I want to quit.

However, it has gotten to the point where it is time to start doing something. Anything. I'm the girl who tells my friends to rock the bikini and exude confidence, so I feel like a hypocrite by lacking it myself. I started wearing my Fitbit again (add me: janineallison@hotmail.com) and have been participating in workweek and weekend challenges with my friends. I am quite competitive so it actually motivates me to get up and do more. Yesterday afternoon I had 1600 steps and was having a mental breakdown after looking at myself in the mirror and I decided to throw on my gym clothes and take the dog for a walk/run.

You won't see me posting a bikini photo here because the thought makes me want to sink through the floor but I am hoping this post will hold me accountable. If anyone out there is interested in being Fitbit friends, gym buddies, or hiking friends, let me know!

Beauty Review: Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Face Palette

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Everyone in the beauty realm is raving about the amazing new collaboration between Becca and Jaclyn Hill. The collection features a face palette, eyeshadow palette, liquid highlighter, and a cream highlighter. I had been eying the original Champagne Pop Highlighter for ages but couldn't bite the bullet due to the price so as soon as I reaized that it was included in the Champagne Glow Face Palette, I knew I had to get my hands on it.


The palette consists of three blushes and two highlighters. The first blush shade, Rosé Spritz, is described as a "luminous blush". It is a medium pink color with peachy undertones and a fine shimmer to give you a natural glow. It reminds me of the Milani "Dolce Pink" baked blush but has more of a coral undertone. The second and third shades are both matte colors - "Amaretto" is a orange-brown color and my least favourite in the palette and "Pamplemousse" is a bright pink-coral shade. As for the two highlighters, "Champagne Pop" is a shimmery white gold with pink undertones and "Prosecco Pop" is a warm golden shimmer.


The shades are all super pigmented to the point where you only need the tiniest amount on your makeup brush or else you will risk looking like you're headed to the circus. However, I find that they fade quickly on the face once blended. Midway through my 12-hour shift I was unable to notice much color or highlight on my face so that was a bit disappointing.

The swatches below are in the following order from top to bottom: Rosé Spritz, Amaretto, Pamplemousse, Champagne Pop, Prosecco Pop, Champagne Pop and Prosecco Pop blended together.

Natural light

Sunlight

The packaging is super cute! The case is gold and white with gold and silver flecks across the top. It is about half an inch thick and feels sturdy to hold. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to travel with this palette.


Overall, I am pleased with the products and the variety within this palette. I was slightly disappointed with the lasting power and not a fan of the "Amaretto" shade but would recommend it regardless. It retails for $59 CAN and is currently sold out on the Sephora website, however, will be available online and in store in a limited quantity on June 16th. Once the palette is sold out then it will be gone forever, so be sure to snatch it up if you are interested! The eyeshadow palette, Champagne Pop cream highlight, and original Champagne Pop highlight are all still available on the Sephora website.

Did you get a chance to pick up this palette already? What are your thoughts?

P.S. Follow me on Snapchat at "janineallison" to see the live swatches!
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