3 Hacks to Upgrade Your Morning Coffee With Little Effort

Hello, lovelies!

Are you an avid coffee drinker? I often stay true to one type of brew, but enjoy changing how I take my morning coffee. Here are three ways you can upgrade your standard cup of coffee:

1. Heat your milk

If you enjoy milk and sugar in your coffee, heating the milk will kick it up a notch. Heat your milk before adding it to your cup to keep the coffee cold and add froth.

2. Reduce bitterness with a pinch of salt

Sprinkle a pinch of salt into your coffee to reduce the bitter taste. The sodium in the salt counteracts with the coffee and levels out the taste.

3. Create coffee ice cubes for the perfect iced brew

Adding coffee ice cubes to your iced coffee prevents the flavour from becoming watered-down. Freeze coffee into ice cube trays then add it into a cup when ready to enjoy.

What tips do you use to upgrade your coffee?

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Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffer Edition

Hello, lovelies!

With the holidays approaching, I am spending more time completing my Christmas shopping. I developed the idea for this post while browsing my local Winners-HomeSense store for gift ideas. I often spend a lot of time thinking about what to buy for stocking stuffers. To help both you and I find the perfect stocking stuffer idea, keep reading!

FOR HER 

1. Bath and Body Products 

Bath and Body Works offers a great selection of hand cream, bath fizzies, and body lotion to include in any stocking. Most of the smaller items sold are under $15. I love including Christmas-scented products with my gifts and return to the store yearly to select peppermint, candy apple, and nutmeg scented products.

2. Home Decor + Kitchen Items 

Stores like Winners-HomeSense offer a wide, unique variety of home decor items. If you have a baker in your life, you’ll find everything from colorful mixing attachments to miniature baking trays at Winners. The store offers a variety of home decor items from cozy blankets to candles.

FOR HIM 

1. New Gloves 

New gloves will not only keep his hands warm, but a pair like the Apex e-Tip are compatible with touchscreens! Even if the special guy in your life is not a glove wearer, a slim, text-friendly pair is a functional, and fashionable gift.

2. USB Car Charger 

A car-powered USB charger is a perfect gift for a guy who is always on the move. He can charge multiple devices, and he’ll never have to wonder if he really left his charger at your house again.

What are you top ideas for a stocking stuffer?

I Ditched My Fancy Cleanser for Makeup Wipes and This is What Happened

Hello, lovelies!

I adore makeup wipes, I truly do. I use them every night to remove my makeup but I’ve never considered how my skin would react if I use them to cleanse. This challenge emerged from pure tiredness – toward the end of this semester I just felt too exhausted to engage in my usual skin care routine. Here’s what happened:

The Challenge 

I tucked my beloved face cleansers away on Sunday night and armed myself with a package of Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes from my local Costco. I dreaded the idea of using just a wipe to cleanse my entire face. After the first night, I noticed a difference in my skin.

Day 1 

I woke on the first day and cleansed my face with water and a moist wipe. It felt soft and clean on my skin – the soft feeling is something I often miss with my regular face mask. I did not have high hopes for this challenge. While my skin felt softer, it didn’t feel like the product was doing anything. 

Day 2

Despite my hesitation the night before, my skin appeared soft and radiant the next morning. I noticed that two zits that were forming on my chin the previous week were becoming smaller. My pores looked minimized and my face looked moisturized.

Day 3 

On the third day I noticed better results. The wipes were clearing and cleansing my skin. Not only were my pimples disappearing, but the texture of my skin appeared smoother. The level of moisture in my skin increased which gave my skin a soft, plump look. My t-zone usually flares up with acne, but it remained smooth and pimple-free on the third day. Overall, the wipes helped my skin.

What products do you use to cleanse your skin? 

3 Winter Skin Care Tips for Glowing and Hydrated Skin

Hello, lovelies!

Winter weather can be particularly harsh on your skin. I like to begin my winter skincare routine early to keep my skin hydrated and fresh all season. Here are a few of the tips I use to prevent skin dryness, irritation, and cracking throughout the season.

Moisturize 

Using a daily moisturizer is important to supplement the skin’s natural moisture barrier. A moisturizer that contains ingredients like Vitamin E and shea butter will add moisture and hydration back into your skin.

Wear a scarf 

I like to keep my face covered with a scarf and hat combo when I’m outside in cold weather. The chill of winter can cause windburn, which will dry out your skin and cause irritation. The best way to keep your skin protected is to keep it covered.

Shield your skin from the sun 

Even during the winter, it is important to continue wearing SPF. A moisturizer containing SPF will protect your skin from damaging UV rays. I often select makeup products with a built-in SPF to protect my skin from the sun.

How do you adapt your skin care routine for the winter season? 

3 Ideas To Implement Self-Care At​ the End of the Semester

Hello, lovelies!

As another semester draws to an end, I ensure to implement my self-care routine regularly to decrease stress. Today I share ideas that I implement to avoid burnout while preparing for end-of-term evaluations, exams, and my upcoming Christmas shopping!

Listen to yourself and your body/mind 

If you want to take care of yourself during this time, it is essential to listen to what your body and mind are trying to tell you. Take a few minutes out of your day to understand what is going on with you. Are you tired? Are you stressed out? Are you eating regularly?  To maintain your health and wellbeing at the end of term, cue into the signals your body sends you.

Create a visual calendar 

When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I like to create a mini, visual calendar of tasks to accomplish during the week. This enables me to visualize what is left to finish and I can divide my To-Do list into smaller tasks.

Try new exercise

I recently implemented mindfulness and deep-breathing exercises into my daily routine. Exercise helps me to de-stress and relax any racing thoughts. The newest routine I’ve implemented is deep-breathing and guided meditation through an app called Calm. This app features meditation exercises, deep breathing, and ‘Bedtime Stories’ to help you relax at night.

What methods do you use to decrease end-of-semester stress? 

3 Tips to Help You Minimize Your Morning Beauty Routine

Hello, lovelies!

My makeup and beauty routine definitely consumes most of the time I dedicate to getting ready each morning. Some mornings I go makeup-free. On days when I want a hint of colour on my bare face I employ a few simple tricks.

1. Gather a small, well-chosen team of products

Select 4-5 products that you always wear daily. I pare down my essential products to: concealer, mascara, blush and lipstick. I wear a full-coverage concealer that I apply to my entire face to double as foundation. Lining the lids with mascara quickly transforms it into an eyeliner dupe. If I want a little colour on my lids, I dot my favourite blush onto them.

2. Befriend a good dry shampoo

Dry shampoo works in a pinch when there’s no time to hop in the shower. It helps add volume to strands while reducing oil buildup. A quick tip when using dry shampoo? Spray it into the roots of hair before combing it through. This will distribute the product without leaving residue. I’ve tried a few different brands of dry shampoo, but my favourite one is John Frieda Volumizing Dry Shampoo

. 3. Plan a weekly maintenance night

If there are beauty habits you engage in weekly, it’s a good idea to devote a specific night to do them. Setting aside time to paint your nails and shave your legs saves you valuable time throughout the week.Do you engage in any beauty hacks to save time during the week?

Why I Bought a New Planner Before the New Year + 3 Steps to Set One Up

Hello, lovelies!

I love to plan. I usually buy a new planner every January, but this year I decided to buy a new one in November. The planner I previously owned did not have adequate space for my daily scheduling and I know I’ll need more writing space once I head into a new internship in January.

What planner did I buy?

I bought a large, spacious planner from my local bookstore. This one originates from a brand called ban.do. It features a 17-month spread (August 2017-December 2018), color-coded tabs and yearly/monthly/weekly calendar pageviews. To satisfy my inner organized nerd, it even contains a coil-bound closure and internal pockets.

So, why did I buy a new one before the year ended?

This new planner serves two purposes:

  1. It tracks all my reminders – Important dates, reminders, and schedules popped up throughout this semester. I already used up a lot of space in my previous planner, and required more writing space to track everything. (Grad photos, party reminders, group work, etc.)
  2. I can schedule activities in advance – I already have a few important dates scheduled for 2018. This new planner allows me to write those dates and times without waiting until January.

Tips to set up a new planner 

Setting up a new planner doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Here are three tips I use whenever I buy a new one:

  • Transfer all important dates into your new planner before throwing the old one away
  • Determine how you will colour-code your planner to organize it

How do you organize a new planner?