Monthly Favourites: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Each month I have full intentions of restructuring how I do my monthly favourites and each time, the end of the month sneaks up on me without warning and I'm stuck with the same old post. At this point I figure it's just as well to finish off this year and start fresh in January but we shall see. I want to focus more on specific items that I really love, rather than keeping with this structured list of things. The downside of that is that I will have to take photos each month which means that I will actually have to do this before the very last minute, oops.

Song: I've mostly been obsessed with older songs this month, probably due to the amount of early-mid-2000s TV that I've been watching. Of course, they make me totally nostalgic for high school and then I get moody and sad.

Read: I read "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena in two days, so needless to say I enjoyed it! It wasn't the best book I've ever read but it was a quick, intriguing read. I'm currently reading "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn which I am also really enjoying, but it's a deeper, darker read than the other book and it's taking me longer to get through it.

TV Show or Movie: I'm still obsessively watching One Tree Hill, though I have no hope of finishing it before November 30th. I'm also really enjoying This Is Us, especially Kate's storyline. 

Beauty Product: MyChelle was kind enough to send me some products for review and I have been loving the Refining Sugar Cleanser (expect reviews on all the products soon!). I've also been obsessed with the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara which does an amazing job at volumizing my lashes.

Food: Thanks to a coworker, I've spent half the month craving Singapore noodles and general tao chicken, which I've eaten a couple times this month. We've also been eating a ton of squid (or "calamari" as some of you may know it) which makes me super happy as I haven't been able to get any fresh squid for years.

Purchase: We've upgraded a couple small things in the house - a new mirror in our ensuite and new bedding in our room. There are definitely a few more things that I want to change but those two little items are making a big difference. 

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

White Willow Box October 2016 Review

Friday, October 28, 2016

White Willow Box October 2016

White Willow Box was formed in 2015 by Shab Ansari and is a Canadian lifestyle subscription box. Each box contains 4-5 lifestyle products, which may include beauty products, fashion accessories, food and culinary products, home decor, paper goods, and more. The subscription service recently switched to a bimonthly box, which means that you get one box every two months at a cost of $49.95 plus tax and $8.50 shipping. The total cost of the box was $66.03, which is a lot but I think the cost is worth receiving a box of goodies every two months.

I was on the fence about getting a White Willow subscription for a long time, mainly because of the cost. However, once I cancelled my Ipsy subscription, I decided to give it a try. I've always loved the products in the boxes and also that they are a Canadian service. However, the final selling point was the sneak peek of the blanket scarf. I am a sucker for blanket scarves and I loved the design of this particular one so I immediately went and ordered my first box.

White Willow Box October 2016

After much anticipation, my box finally arrived on October 20th after leaving British Columbia on October 7th. The box itself was packaged in a brown mailing box with a "Fragile" sticker on the outside. The inner box is gorgeous with the White Willow label on the front. Inside the box, everything was wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a bow. The box was filled with shredded paper and anything breakable was bubble wrapped. I am definitely impressed with the effort that they make to protect their products in transit.

I received four items in my October White Willow Box, plus some bonus Lindt Pumpkin Spice chocolate truffles (yum!).

Rose Gold Mirror Photo Frame | I love anything mirrored and rose gold so this is definitely my style! It fits 4x6 photos and can be used vertically or horizontally. I think I will find a nice photo of me and Jordan and place this on my nightstand. Suggested retail value is $22, available here for $20.40.

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil Cloths | These wipes are 100% biodegradable and cruelty free, which is always great. Not only do they remove makeup but they also cleanse the skin without stripping it. They smell great and are packaged in a re-sealable matter so they won't dry out between uses. I love getting wipes as I use them frequently while travelling! Retail price is $15.50 and can be found here.

Wildly Delicious Maple Pumpkin Butter | I've never had pumpkin butter before but I love pumpkin so I was more than willing to give it a try! I don't get a strong maple flavour on this, more so just a light pumpkin taste. This can be used on toast, served with cheese and crackers, in coffee, or as a filling for baked goods. It retails for $6.50 (steal!) and can be found here, along with many other delicious-sounding flavours.

Blanket Scarf | Ah yes, the item that I was most looking forward to! This scarf is huge (hence the term "blanket") and super soft. The included booklet features a number of ways that the scarf can be worn, which I can't wait to try out. Suggested retail price is $40, however, it looks a lot like this scarf which retails for $30.

Even using the cheaper prices that I found online, the value of the box is $72.40, which is still more than what I paid for it. Would I necessarily have chosen all those items if I were in a store? No. But do I really like everything that I received? Yes! I love that I am getting products that I wouldn't necessarily be able to easily obtain here. Plus, the products are so nice that even if I received something that I didn't want to keep myself, I could definitely give it away as a gift.

I was initially only going to keep the subscription for one month, given the price. However, I really enjoyed this box and depending on what the sneak peek is for December, I think I will continue on with my subscription. This would also make a great Christmas gift for someone special in your life (hint, hint!).

Ipsy October 2016 Review

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

After a disappointing September bag (with the exception of this mascara, which may be my new HG), I decided to cancel my Ipsy bag. However, it turns out that I didn't successfully do that as I discovered a few days ago that my October bag was en route. Turns out that I forgot the last step in cancelling my bag! However, I have since completed that step so this will be my last Ipsy review. I tend to only subscribe to makeup boxes for a few months as I get easily overwhelmed with the numbers of products.

The makeup bag for October is a pale pink with black Halloween graphics and a ghost-shaped pull tab. It's actually pretty cute! Here is what I received in my October Ipsy bag:

Ciaté London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner | I was actually really hoping to receive this once I seen the spoilers for the October bag, however, I was kind of disappointed in it. I love the pigmentation and control that I have with the brush but I felt that it was tugging at my eyelids as I was applying it. It definitely doesn't apply as smoothly at my Kat Von D Tattoo liner. I will probably use it, but not repurchase in the future. Approximate sample value: $23.

TheBalm Cosmetics Blush in "Hot Mama" | This is a peachy-coral blush with shimmer throughout that can also be used as eyeshadow. Unfortunately, the sample is quite small but it was surprisingly easy to pick up with a blush brush. It is extremely pigmented, though it has a gold shimmer throughout it which may bother some people. I like it and I find TheBalm products to be great from my experience. Approximate sample value: $2.25.

Noyah Natural Lipstick in "Current News"| I wish we received a full size of this product because the regular packaging is adorable! I'm so glad I received this color, which is a dark berry color. It applies smoothy and evenly to the lips and feels moisturizing when applied. Approximate sample value: $7.35.

Preventative Measures 101 Lip 101 After Hours Balm | This retails for $13US ($17 CAD) which I would never pay for a plain lip balm. It has a sweet, soapy smell and feels quite moisturizing when applied, however, only lasts a short period of time. Approximate sample value: $17.

Elizabeth Grant Skincare Green Power C Hydrating Cleanser | I haven't used this enough to comment on the effectiveness of the product, however, it was easy to use with a fresh scent. It left my face feeling clean without being tight or oily. Approximate sample value: $1.88.

The total value of this month's bag is $51.48 CAD which is more than double what I paid (approx. $20). I love that there are two full sized products and a good variety of makeup items (eyeliner, blush, and lipstick). However, it's time for me to take a break from Ipsy so this will be my last bag for now!

Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo Review

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dove Refresh Care Volume Dry Shampoo

I recently received the Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo through Chick Advisor in exchange for a review. I have had little luck with drugstore dry shampoos in the past but I was pleasantly surprised with this particular one!

My hair is extremely thin, fine and limp, and tends to get oily quickly. I found that this dry shampoo was successful in removing any oil from my hair, while also giving it a little boost of volume. I didn't notice any white residue remaining on my hair, however, my hair is quite light in color.

My only concern with this product is the scent, which is quite overpowering initially. It is a very perfumey scent, reminiscent of other Dove products. The scent actually made me cough when I first applied it and I am not generally sensitive to scented products. If you are normally sensitive to strong scents, I would avoid this!

The Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo is available at Walmart and retails for $3.88 for 142g of product, which makes this a great bang for your buck! Overall, I would recommend it, as long as you don't mind overly scented products. It does a great job at controlling oil and providing volume, plus it's inexpensive and easily obtainable.

Have you ever tried this dry shampoo? Which dry shampoo is your favourite?

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. 

Sunday Lately: October 10 - 16

Sunday, October 16, 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: This blog, finally! I'm not sure why I've been in such a slump lately but it seems like I've had no free time between work, weddings, birthdays and appointments, and I just couldn't find any motivation to blog in the bit of free time that I did have. I really do enjoy blogging, particularly writing and interacting with fellow bloggers, but it is hard to manage when you work full-time. Taking and editing photos then writing a post can take an entire afternoon of one day, for just one blog post. Anyway, I am hoping to get my stride back this week! I've tested a few products that are ready for review, I'm in the midst of testing some new skincare products, and I'm waiting on some PR products to arrive for review.

Remembering: How important it is to spend time with good friends. After traveling two hours to attend our friends' wedding, I realized how much I've missed spending quality time with them. I've also been spending some much-needed time with girl friends recently and it has been great. It seems that everyone is so busy these days, it's such a struggle to find time to hang out with friends but it is so necessary.

Needing: I think I've mentioned this before but I need to make a few decorative changes to our house. We just picked up a new mirror for our ensuite yesterday and I already like the room so much more now. I also want some new lamp shades, pillows, and a throw for the living room. On a side note, I also need to learn how to apply false lashes without gluing my eyes together. Any suggestions?

Wearing: At the moment, PJs! However, I have been mostly wearing a uniform consisting of jeans, a sweater, riding boots and my favourite fall jacket. I am really missing Target at the moment because they make my favourite sweaters and v-necks. To help mend my broken heart, I placed a Dynamite order last night, oops!

Being: Sleepy. I honestly don't even understand considering I slept for about 11 hours last night but I've been struggling to keep my eyes open all day. I'm looking forward to getting in bed shortly but unfortunately I have to wake up early for work tomorrow and I am already predicting how much that will suck.

September 2016 Favourites

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How is it already October? Seriously? As much as I love Fall, I am so not ready for what follows. Anyway, this is a few days late because I was in a wedding over the weekend which kept me quite busy! So without further ado, here are my favourites for the month of September.

Song: September was such a good month for songs that I honestly think I have to splurge and include four (!!) favourites. I really don't even know how to elaborate on these so just listen to them and you can thank me later because they are all SO. GOOD.

Read: I finished reading "Confess" by Colleen Hoover which I absolutely loved! Unfortunately I haven't fallen in love with "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I am currently struggling through.

TV Show or Movie: I know I'm about ten years late to hop on the bandwagon but I started watching One Tree Hill and now I'm obsessed. I tried watching it when it first aired and I didn't enjoy it but now it makes me super nostalgic for high school. Unfortunately, I somehow have to binge-watch all nine seasons between now and November 30th, when Shomi shuts down.

Beauty Product: Funnily enough, both myself and the bride chose Kat Von D "Lovecraft" to wear the day of the wedding (without having discussed it prior!). She layered hers with "Requiem" which was gorgeous (and now officially on my Christmas list) but I wore mine alone. It's such a beautiful subtle color that would honestly look amazing on anyone. The formula is also super comfortable and it lasted all day with only minor touch-ups. Highly recommend!

Food: This is going to be such a bad answer but honestly, chicken tater poutine from Mary Browns. I've definitely eaten it way too many times this month. But seriously, what could be better than seasoned taters, cheese, gravy, and pulled chicken? NOTHING. Except maybe Chinese food, which I also ate a lot of.

Purchase: Definitely my J. Crew Downtown Field Jacket! I am honestly obsessed with it and despite how much I detest the cold weather, I am grateful that it allows me to wear this jacket. I am also obsessed with my new booties this season. And of course, my new luggage set - I can't forget to include that!

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