Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Finding the Adventure in Day-to-day Life

A photo I snapped while practicing mindfulness as I wandered around London, England.

If you know me well, you know I am one of those people with a case of wanderlust that I just cannot seem to satisfy or shake. I dream of far off places and days spent in different cultures. However, my lifestyle for the past few years has not been very accommodating when it comes to travel and I have found myself mostly Saskatchewan bound. This is not without joy, though. I have chosen to not make a priority of travel at this time, and I am not sitting here feeling trapped in my surroundings, aching to go – even though that would have been me about five years ago.

With less traveling I have really come to love where I live, and while I still wouldn’t call myself a homebody, I do enjoy being here. I have found that not knowing where my next adventure will lead me or when it will happen has helped me to find the adventure in my day-to-day life.  Surprisingly enough, I chose that as my blog tagline long before I think I actually knew what it meant. It wasn’t until recently that I started enjoying the beautiful melody of the birds chirping in the fresh morning air, or the softly fragranced breeze while walking near a garden.

Something that has kept crossing my mind lately is to be more intentional about these moments. To really be aware of the beauty surrounding me, instead of yearning for someplace else. One of my favourite things about being in Rome is wandering the streets early in the morning, before many people are up and about; the dewy air starting to dissipate with the sunshine sneaking between buildings as it continues to rise and awaken the city with it. Everything is fresh, everything is quiet, and, most importantly, I notice all of this. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been walking to work in the morning with a very similar situation going on around me, only to quickly pass it all and get in to the building that I work in. Lately, though, I have noticed the birds, I have noticed the rising sun, I have noticed the fresh, sweetly scented air, and you know what? It is amazing! The peace and calm that the 30 seconds of being mindful brings to me is worth so much I cannot even compare. Yes, being in Rome or another far-off place is wonderful and beautiful and it is extremely important to be mindful there too, but imagine how happy I would be if I allowed myself to have that same mindset everyday, all day while at home? It brings me so much joy just imagining the possibility!

What is something in your everyday that you find extremely beautiful or that reaches a special place in your heart, but you tend to take for granted? Have you ever intentionally practiced this kind of mindfulness, or is this how you have always lived? (Teach me your ways!) Please share a moment like this – big or small, I would really appreciate hearing about it!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recent Beauty Buys (Makeup Haul: Sephora & Shoppers Drug Mart)

So, for the last couple of years I have been doing pretty good about using up beauty products that I have on hand instead of purchasing new, but every now and then I slip up and a bunch of products find their way into my possession. This is one of those times. I mainly stocked up on items that needed replacing, but there are a few things in here that were just because I wanted them.

First up, Sephora. This all started because I received an e-mail about a promotion where online orders could get three deluxe Fresh samples. This is why I never open those e-mails. They work.

I actually only bought two items: a new NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla and the Nails Inc. Nailpure Nail Polish in London Court.

Then I used 100 points to get the Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Nude.

The three Fresh deluxe samples I chose were the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, the Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil, and the Sugar Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy.

Finally, I was supposed to get five free samples, but it seems the Sephora Collection Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying didn't make it into my box. The four samples that did make their way to me are Mandarine Glaciale by Atelier Cologne, Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, Benefit's Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill,  and Bumble and Bumble's Surf Foam Wash Shampoo and Surf Creme Rinse Conditioner.

Shoppers Drug Mart
Next, Shoppers Drug Mart. There was a 20x Your Points event if you spent $75 or more on beauty products and I had a bunch of items that had run out or were about to. So these are mainly repurchases of favourite/everyday items. Also, I really like the Shoppers Optimum points system, and generally try to take advantage of these events.

Items I picked up (all available at Shoppers Drug Mart, but also linked for convenience):
Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent
COLAB Dry Shampoo in New York 
Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution 3 in 1
NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe
NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray
NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray
Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation in 810 Classic Ivory
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush

Have you tried any of these items? What have you picked up recently?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Marcelle Makeup and Skincare Haul

I won an Instagram contest hosted by London Drugs and Marcelle and this is what I got! I was super excited when they DM'd me letting me know I had won, and it was super nice heading to my nearest London Drugs (which I frequent often) to pick up my prize. I used to work in the beauty department there (many years ago) and my manager, Sherri, is still there and we had a nice catch up.

All of these products are Marcelle products, because it was a Marcelle giveaway. My absolute favourite micellar water is from Marcelle, and it's actually the only thing I have really tried from Marcelle (I was surprised when I realized this!) Receiving a full bottle was a prize enough itself, so all these other products are a bonus and I cannot wait to give them a try!

Included in the giveaway prize (London Drugs linked when possible):
Volum'Xtension Magnetic Mascara
Xtension Plus Mascara
Ultimate Fringe Effect Mascara
Kohl Eyeliner - Black
Make-up Removing Cleansing Cloths
Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
3 in 1 Micellar Solution
Moisture Lotion
BB Cream Beauty Balm in Light to Medium
BB Cream Matte in Light to Medium
CC Cream SPF 35 in Light to Medium

Have you tried any of these? Any favourites? Anyone else like the micellar water as much as I do?! Would you like to see reviews of any of these products?
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