Sunday Lately: August 22 - 28

Sunday, August 28, 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: I am working night shift all weekend so I just woke up! Once I finish this post, I will shower, start supper and most likely binge-watch some Hart of Dixie before heading in to work for my final shift of the weekend. I've also been spending a lot of free time on Pinterest so feel free to add me on there and oogle over my white kitchen and pastel hair pins.

Appreciating: My birthday is tomorrow and based on the tower of gifts in our spare bedroom, I think it's safe to say that Jordan is going to spoil me once again this year. I'm constantly insisting that he stop buying me things but he doesn't listen! I definitely appreciate all that he does for me on a day-to-day basis but he sure knows how to spoil a girl on her birthday too.

Designing: I recently made a few minor changes to my layout and added in a link to my brand new Facebook page. I wanted to stop cluttering my personal Facebook with blog links, however, I am definitely experiencing less views per post since I've moved the updates to the actual blog page. I'd love it if you followed me over there as well! 

Humming: I heard "Are You With Me" by Easton Corbin on SiriusXM this morning on the way home from work and I assumed it was a cover of the Lost Frequencies song. However, I just learned that it's actually the other way around - this is the original version and Lost Frequencies covered it. I happen to enjoy both versions! 

 I am expecting to have a great week! I'm not really a birthday person but of course I am looking forward to being spoiled tomorrow. I am also hoping to get together for supper with my family on Tuesday and to celebrate the last long weekend of summer with a deep fried turkey, a ride in boat (fingers crossed for good weather!) and quality time spent with my favourite people.

Ipsy August 2016 Review

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ipsy is one of the first ever monthly beauty subscription boxes and remains one of the most popular to this day. It costs $10/month USD and has free shipping within the US but unfortunately charges $4.99 shipping to Canada. With the poor exchange rate, Ipsy costs approximately $20/month in Canada. Ipsy bags contain 5 makeup, skincare or beauty items, which are a combination of deluxe samples and full-size products.

If you recall, July's Ipsy bag was just okay. I received two products that I liked, two that I wasn't a fan of, and one that was okay. I've actually been using the brush since then and I do quite like it for filling in my brows, so technically I guess I enjoyed three of the products! Ipsy always says that the more reviews you do on your bags, the better your future bags will be as they are less likely to send items that you reviewed poorly in the past. I have to say, I was pleased with my August Ipsy bag upon first impression but less so once I tried the products.

First of all, the mermaid bag designed by founder Michelle Phan is super cute. They had two designs, both which were pastel and featured mermaids - love! In my August Ipsy bag, I received the following five products:

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner | I received this in the scent "Vanilla Coconut Cream" but unfortunately, it doesn't smell as good as it sounds. I seem to get a plastic scent that reminds me of Silly Putty. I do like that the lip balm is organic and made with nourishing ingredients as it feels nice on the lips, but I'm not a fan of the scent. Approximate sample value: $10.

Tarte Cosmetics Lip Surgence Lip Creme | I received this in the color "Wonder" and I love it. I'm a big fan of Tarte and lip pencils are my favourite! The color is a gorgeous bright mauvey pink. The formula is comfortable and wears nicely, leaving a slight stain on the lips. Approximate sample value: $12.80.

Symphony Beauty Makeup Cleansing Wipes | I received these in the "Cucumber & Aloe Vera" scent which are meant to moisturize skin. The scent is light and refreshing and reminds me of some other wipes that I've tried before, though I cannot remember which ones! The wipes are stretchy and sturdy and did an excellent job of removing my makeup, while leaving my face soft and moisturized. I love receiving these in subscription boxes because they are perfect to toss in my toiletries bag for travelling. Approximate sample value: $1.83.

Nomad Cosmetics Intense Eyeshadow | I received this in the color "Spice Market" which is a warm, terracotta color. I'm not really a fan of the color as it is too orange for my taste. The pigmentation is okay. I cannot speak for the longevity as I have only swatched this product. I am also not a fan of the packaging as it feels quite cheap and flimsy. I will likely be tossing this or passing it on to someone else. Approximate sample value: $5? (It's contained in a multi product set, so that's a guess!)

Beau Gachis Paris Pro Series Applicator Sponge | This is a teardrop shaped beauty sponge that mimics the famous Beauty Blender. I'm a huge fan of the Beauty Blender but I didn't like this one at all. This sponge is black and feels denser when squeezed. It seemed to soak up most of my foundation to the point where I had to use about double the amount to cover my face. Not to mention, the foundation didn't look nearly as nice when applied. This will be a toss for sure unless someone wants to take it off my hands and give it a try! Approximate sample value: $11.50.

The total approximate sample value of this Ipsy bag is $41.13 USD ($53.26 CAD) which is more than double the price that I paid. I absolutely love everything about the Tarte lip crayon - the brand, color, and formula! I also love the makeup remover wipes. The other three products were unfortunately a miss for me. Hopefully next month will be better!

If you'd like to sign up for Ipsy, feel free to use my referral code!

A Potterhead's Thoughts on "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Title: "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

Author: JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany

Genre: Fiction, fantasy, screenplay 

Synopsis: Nineteen years after the famous Battle of Hogwarts, Harry Potter is working at the Ministry of Magic and is the father of three. The story follows his son Albus Sirius as he struggles to deal with his father's legacy and the darkness and tragedies of his past.

Review: First of all, I knew I wasn't going to love this the way that I love the original Harry Potter series, simply because it is a screenplay and not a novel. However, I didn't expect to be as disappointed as I was. To me, it just seems like this was an afterthought that failed to provide the intricate storyline and details that we've come to expect from Harry Potter and JK Rowling. Again, a lot of this has to do with the actual format and the fact that it is immensely shorter than previous books but, if I am completely honest, I just wish this had never come to light. I read it quickly and while I was engrossed, I found that it felt more like a fan fiction story than the work of a world-renowned author. I did appreciate the humour that was injected in the story (most notably from Ron!) but overall, the storyline was lacking. Even the climax of the novel was somehow anticlimatic. If I hadn't already read the Harry Potter books and had such high expectations, I probably would have enjoyed this more. However, while it was a light and quick read, it was overall a disappointment to me.

Rating: 3/5

Other Musings:
- I still love Ron Weasley!
- I would really like to see this play! Even though I didn't love the book, I feel like it would be an amazing experience to see it in action (I just have to disassociate it from the series).
- I would still recommend you read it if you love Harry Potter, just don't set your expectations high.
- I kept expecting Scorpius and Albus to fall for each other.. did anyone else feel that way?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are a fellow die-hard Harry Potter fan like myself! Did you love it or hate it?

Sunday Lately: August 15 - 21

Sunday, August 21, 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 and Feeling.

Planning: I am hoping to make the most of what is left to summer! Granted, there is still technically about a month left but in my mind, summer always comes to an end after Labour Day weekend. My birthday is a week from tomorrow and while I don't have any plans yet, it would be nice to get together with friends sometime before summer ends. We've all been so busy this year! I am also hoping to get out in boat again and perhaps go for another hike. So much to do and so little time! 

Loving: Weekend adventures, white Oreo Thins, pretty sunsets, and Skip-Bo marathons with Jordan. I swear, we aren't 85! 

Reading: I just finished reading "#GIRLBOSS" by Sophie Amoruso and I loved it. It's amazing how she built a multimillion dollar business from selling vintage clothes on eBay. The book contained so many stories and quotes that truly inspired me. I'd love recommendations of similar books if anyone has any! 

Wishing: That the weekend wasn't nearly over already! We had a great one which makes it even sadder when it ends. Jordan and I spent the weekend camping, hiking and eating! I mean, what more could you ask for? 

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

Feeling: I have the worst craving for spinach dip right now but I'm already in my PJs and I have no desire to leave the house to get it! 

Sephora 500 Point Perk: Stila Backstage Best Set Review

Friday, August 19, 2016

Stila Backstage Best Set Review

I recently redeemed 500 Sephora points for the Stila Backstage Best Set gift. I was hoping to get this post up before this 500 point perk sold out on the Sephora website but unfortunately that did not happen! It may still be available in your local store if you are interested though. The box contains four items: a Deluxe HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara, a Deluxe Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in "Intense Black", a Deluxe Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in "Fiery", and a Deluxe Eye Shadow in "Kitten". I tend to save my rewards for boxes like these that contain a variety of items that I can test out at one time.

Stila Backstage Best Set Review

The HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara is a decent sample size in a gorgeous gold tube. The brush is fluffy, thicker on the top and bottom, and thinner in the middle. The formula is neither too dry nor too wet and makes my lashes quite thick. I would consider this a thickening mascara more than a lengthening mascara. It doesn't have an offensive smell and appears to wear well throughout the day with no flaking. I don't think I would repurchase it because I prefer my lashes to look long as opposed to thick, but it is a decent mascara and I will definitely use the sample.

I've heard great things about the Stay All Day Waterproof Eye Liner but personally, it doesn't compare to my all-time favourite liquid eyeliner. The tip of the pen seems longer and flimsier which makes it harder to work with and it doesn't have the lasting power of the Kat Von D eyeliner. With a little water and minimal rubbing, I could easily rub away the swatch on my arm. I may pass this on to someone else because I definitely prefer other eye liners over this one.

I was really excited to try the Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in "Fiery" and it's 95% of the reason I decided to redeem my points for this box. I've heard great things about the formula and I personally see pros and cons to it. It reminds me of the Colourpop formula in that it's a bit thin and wet which can make it difficult and messy to apply. It also dries on the lips really quickly but never completely dries down to the point where it doesn't budge. Even after 2 hours of wear time, I could smudge this onto my face from my lips so I highly doubt it would last through a meal. Because of the feathering around the edges, you would definitely need to wear a lip liner, at least with this color. Once on the lips it was very comfortable though, and certainly not as drying as some other formulas. This color in particular is described as a "deep red". I would consider buying this liquid lipstick in other colors, but I still prefer my Kat Von D liquid lipsticks.

Finally, the box contained an eye shadow in "Kitten", which is described as a "shimmering nude pink". Personally, I'd consider it more of a champagne color. It is a really pretty neutral color that could also be used as a highlight. The pigmentation is good and I didn't notice any fall out. I wouldn't wear it alone on my eyelids but it's nice when blended out with other shades. I don't generally buy single eyeshadows but I will continue to use this one.

Stila Backstage Best Set Review
Top-bottom: Liquid Lipstick in "Fiery", Eye Shadow in "Kitten", Eye Liner in "Intense Black"

I created a quick (very quick!) look using all of the products, which you can see below. I didn't have a red lip liner and you can see that my lipstick lines aren't perfect, so I definitely need to pick one up.

Overall, I liked three of the four products with only one of them being a miss for me. While I may not repurchase any of these products, I am glad that I was able to try them out! Have you ever tried any of these products? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Vogue 73 Questions

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I love watching the Vogue "73 Questions" videos which offer viewers a tour of celebrity homes while learning a little more about them. Naturally, the Taylor Swift video is my favourite, but I also enjoyed the Nicole Kidman and Victoria Beckham versions. A few months ago, Jordyn created her own 73 questions on her blog and I knew I wanted to do the same. I took these questions from her version so be sure to go check it out! The answers are supposed to be concise and spontaneous but I definitely had to think about a few of them! 

1.What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? A spontaneous getaway to Punta Cana.

2. What is something you’re tired of? Going to work and paying bills.

3. What is something that recently moved you? Travelling to a less fortunate country.

4. If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? Health or social studies.

5. What’s your favorite beverage? Ginger Ale and lemon water.

6. What’s your favorite cocktail? Whiskey sour.

7. What is your favorite birthday cake? My mom made me a swimming pool cake out of jello and wafer cookies as a child - it's still my favourite. 

8.What is one thing you still have from your childhood? My baby ring, which still fits on my pinky finger.

9. What is your favorite movie? The Notebook and Pitch Perfect.

10. What is something you can’t do? Push ups.

11. What is one habit you wish you could break? Biting my nails.

12. What makes you laugh no matter what? My dog.

13. What does creativity mean to you? Creating unique and meaningful things that bring you personal joy.

14. What are your favorite lyrics of all time? "You belong among the wildflowers, you belong in a boat out at sea", which I actually have tattooed on my ribs.

15. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do? Sky diving.

16. Best advice for your 19 year old self? Do what makes you happy and say yes to more opportunities.

17. If you could raid one woman’s closet who would it be? Sarah Vickers.

18. Must have purse item? Lipstick.

19. What did you want to do with your life at age 12? Be a graphic and web designer. 

20. What is something you will not be doing in ten years? Dreading going to work.

21. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? Life is short so do what makes you happy and ignore the rest.

22. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime? Have a career that I love.

23. Would you ever live anywhere besides your current town? Absolutely, I would move in a heartbeat.

24. What is your favorite dessert? Cannolis are my new favourite.

25. Is there a dessert you don’t like? Anything that involves baked fruit.

26. It’s brunch! What do you eat? Waffles, bacon and hash browns with fruit.

27. Who is your favorite painter? I don't have one.

28. Favorite Disney animal? Simba.

29. What is a book you are planning on reading? "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi.

30. What did you read most recently? Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

31. Favorite solo artist? Taylor Swift.

32. What’s your favorite board game? Scattergories. 

33. What’s a city you wish to visit? New York City.

34. Heels or flats? Boots.

35.  Where does one go on a perfect road trip? To Maine.

36. What do you do on a rainy day? Cozy up in a blanket, light a candle and work on my blog.

37. What’s your favorite exercise? None at all. 

38. What was your worst subject in school? P.E., unsurprisingly.

39. What is your spirit animal? Cats because they are sassy.

40. What do you usually eat for breakfast? Smoothies.

41. What do you usually eat for dinner? A meat or fish, a carb, and something green.

42. Cooking or Baking? Cooking.

43. Favorite baked good? S'mores cookies and pumpkin bars.

44. What is something you wish you could be good at? Singing.

45. Skiing or Surfing? Skiing.

46. First celebrity crush? Michael on "Barney".

47. Most recent celebrity crush? Wilson Bethel.

48. What color was your prom dress? Black.

49. How do you manage stress? I generally cry and vent to Jordan.

50. What do you do to relax? Listen to music.

51. Age when you were first kissed? 15, I think.

52. Place you were first kissed? At a friend's house.

53. Favorite fashion trend of all time? Riding boots.

54. Best fashion advice you’ve ever received? I have no idea. I don't really follow anyone's fashion advice, I just wear what I like.

55. Trend you would like to see disappear forever? White frame sunglasses.

56. Shoes or Bags? Bags.

57. How do you know if you’re in love? You just inherently know.

58. Television show you’ve binged on recently? Hart of Dixie.

59. Who do you turn to when you’re sad? Jordan.

60. Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? Life is too short to stay in any situation that makes you unhappy.

61. If you could make a documentary about anything what would it be? Puppies, because PUPPIES.

62. What is your Kryptonite? Intelligence.

63. What are you most enchanted by? The ocean.

64. What is your biggest strength? I'm passionate about what I love.

65. What is your biggest weakness? My emotions.

66. What are 3 words to describe living in Newfoundland? Wet, outdoorsy, friendly.

67. Cutest thing on planet earth? Baby animals.

68. Most important advice you’d give your future children? Just be yourself.

69. Best first date idea? A picnic followed by stargazing.

70. Favorite type of flower? Peonies and hydrangeas.

71. What do you first notice about someone when you meet them? Shoes.

72. What’s your guilty pleasure? Cheesy TV shows and Nicholas Sparks books.

73. Plans for the weekend? Crossing off some bucket list items!

A bit of a different post, but I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. I am still trying to settle back into post-vacation reality while battling a stomach bug, so bare with me until I can get back to my regular self! 

Sunday Lately: August 1 - 7

Sunday, August 7, 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 Updating, Remembering, Needing, Wearing and Being.

Updating: I'm still on vacation and the Internet here isn't the greatest, however, it tends to be a bit faster early in the morning so I figured I'd update my blog! Also, be sure to follow along with my vacation on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (username: janineallison) to keep up as I have been updating those as frequently as I can. 

Remembering: How much sunburns suck! Despite reapplying SPF 60 quite frequently yesterday, I still burned my back, chest and nose. I had already burned my back once this summer but thankfully it doesn't seem quite as bad this time. 

Needing: To be extra vigilant with preventing any further sunburns this trip. I have super fair skin and burn easily. I'm not even entirely sure how I burned my back so bad yesterday considering it was only exposed to the sun for about 15-20 minutes (while wearing sunscreen!). I also need to get some reading done. I can't believe that I am halfway through my trip and haven't started reading a book yet. 

Wearing: PJs at the moment but bikinis for the most part. I get dressed for breakfast, then spend my day in a swimsuit until suppertime when we shower and get dressed up to go out and eat. It's surprisingly not as hot here as I had anticipated given that it's the middle of summer. I figure it's because our bodies are already somewhat acclimated to warm weather as its also summertime at home, whereas it's more of a shock to your body when you come here in the middle of winter. I've actually been chilly every day in the afternoon when the sun disappears behind the clouds. 

Being: Sad that vacation is halfway over but overall happy that we decided to come here on a spur-of-the-moment trip. I always find myself so much more contra and at peace when I am away from the stress and busyness of my everyday life. I could use a vacation once a month! 

Au Revoir!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I'm officially on holidays so posting will be sporadic (and minimal) until I return! I will continue to check social media and answer e-mails. I wanted to be a good blogger and schedule posts in my absence but alas, I ran out of time (that's what happens when you wait until the last day to pack, oops!). 

Monthly Favourites: July 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Song: I always love listening to country music in the summertime as this month has been no exception. I really had difficulty choosing three (as usual) but these made the cut. Something about country music just reminds me of driving with the windows down, camping & bonfires, and long lazy days.

Read: Shocker, I haven't been reading much. This is one item on my summer bucket list that I am nowhere near completing! I am hoping to get some reading done while on vacation so that I can actually answer this question next month. I loved this post by Adaleta on why you should stop blogging for free. Both the post and the comments made for a very interesting read!

TV Show or Movie: We became obsessed with How To Get Away With Murder and are now completely up to date. After we finished that, we started watching Orange is the New Black, however, neither of us are really in love with it. We have one episode left to season two and then we are going to watch something else for a change. I've missed having a TV show to binge watch in the past few weeks since we finished HTGAWM.

Beauty Product: I've been loving this scrub cleanser from Origins, the lip products from this post, and the Nivea After Shave balm as a primer. I also found a new favourite drugstore foundation, which is the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Foundation, however, I think the lightest shade will be too dark for me once summer is over.

Food: This isn't a new favourite but Rainbow Twist Twizzlers. Literally as soon as we finish one pack, I start craving them again and we have to buy another pack. But hey, I could have worse addictions!

Aside from the Burts Bees lipsticks that I've been raving about, my favourite purchase was definitely our upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic! I also picked up two books from the SPCA thrift store for a grand total of 50 cents (even if I don't like the books, I love a steal when it comes to buying them) and the cutest maxi dress from Walmart (of all places!) for $10.

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