11 Ways to Wear a Scarf

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The spring trend I can’t get enough of, and is very budget friendly, is a square scarf/neckerchief  I love how the addition of a fun scarf can easily update a basic look. Below are some of my favourite ways to wear scarfs this spring.

Added to a braid: Simply adding a scarf to your braid whether at the end like I did here, or incorporated into your braid, it’s an easy way to update a simple braid.

Tied around a bun: If you have layers like me, you probably have little hair that stick out of your bun. Adding a scarf to the bun is a quick way to hide those fly away’s and fancy up any bad hair day.

Half-up, half down: I think this might be my favourite way to wear this tie in my hair!

Up and Around: If you wear clip in hair extensions, like I occasionally do, this is the perfect way to hide them 😉

On a bag: You can rest assured that I will be spicing up my summer bags with all the scarfs I can find!

Around a Pony: A more mature version of the cheerleader pony

A low bun: A softer version of the bun, and an easy way to hide those fly away’s

Loose neck-tie: perfect to spice up a simple tee

Fitted neck-tie: I love this look with a dress or blouse and long skirt combo

Babushka: This one’s for my Polish-Ukrainian grandmother, she always more her scarf like this.

A little lift: tying the scarf under my bun, or under a pony will help to keep it from slipping off and add some fun to your look

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How to Keep Your Hair Healthy

Though I have always prided myself on having healthy locks, I made some significant hair whoopsies a couple years back that lead to multi toned locks that were uneven and broken. It’s been a long journey back to healthy hair, and I still have a ways to go before it’s as long as it once was, but I am happy to say I’ve made some great improvements since the day I realized my right side of my hair was three inches shorter than the left. Today, I’m going to share some of the things I’ve learned over the past year that have helped bring my hair back to life.

Get it cut! It may seem counter-intuitive, but getting your hair cut regularly actually helps with growing it out. Trimming off dead ends regularly keeps your hair looking healthy and prevents split ends.

Don’t wash it too often Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Washing your hair daily can dry out your scalp since shampoo washes away essential natural oils along with the dirt. If you’re someone who regularly styles their hair, washing it daily and heat styling it will lead to further damage. I aim to wash my hair and heat style it only twice a week, using braids or buns to fill the gaps. I am also a huge believer in dry shampoo – I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

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Use oils and conditioner I noticed a big difference in the health of my hair when I started using a leave in conditioner and Moroccan oil after every shampoo. I also use a heat protectant before any heat styling.

Two words: Tangle Teezer I received a Tangle Teezer in my stocking a couple years ago and it was such a game changer for my hair! With my fine hair I end up with a birds nest any time I walk outside and there’s a breeze. I cannot tell you how many times I would struggle brushing my hair with my old brushes, usually ripping out some strands along the way.

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Alcohol free hairspray I would have never though about hairspray having alcohol in it, or that it was killing my hair. I am aware that hairspray isn’t the healthiest thing for your hair, but I figured that my limited use of it wasn’t doing me much harm. One day while speaking to a hairstylist about my issues with breakage, she suggested finding an alcohol free hairspray, I made the switch and it helped! My favourite is Pantene Air Spray.

Invest in good hair ties have you ever slid a hair tie on your wrist to be tickled by all of the broken hairs wrapped around it? I know I have. Those broken hairs felt like a failure every time they unknowingly slid over my hand. Recently I was introduced to Invisibobble and have been loving that they don’t leave any creases or kinks in my hair!

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Spring Refresh

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Now that Spring has made it’s grand return, I am preparing for the warmer days ahead by refreshing my daily routine – mostly by starting each day with a fresh, healthy, meal. In the winter months I mostly eat avocado toast for breakfast. It’s an almost daily occurrence. Other days I might switch it up with some oatmeal, but truly I am very boring with my meals during the fall and winter months.

Once spring and summer roll around, I like to have something fresher and lighter to start my day – and I get a smidge more creative. Today I am sharing a few of my favourite quick and easy vegan** breakfasts that I love to keep in rotation.

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Old Navy Floral Blouse | Old Navy Overalls | Vionic Wedge Sandals c/o | Ray-Ban Aviators

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First up, smoothies.

One of my favourite quick and easy breakfasts on the go is a berry smoothie. The one I have in this post is from my favourite smoothie and juice shop, Fresh Addicts, though most days I make one for myself and bring it with me to work in a mason jar.

I make my morning smoothie with:

1 banana

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup soy or coconut milk

1 tbs hemp hearts

1 tsp coconut oil

I am by no means a nutritionist, though I have had some who have recommended a few things to me when it comes to having smoothies in the morning. Having blended fruit in the morning can spike your blood sugar, which is why I add the hemp hearts and coconut oil to my smoothie. Having these healthy fats slows down how quickly your body processes those sugars, meaning less of a chance of spiking your blood sugar then crashing shortly after.

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Acai bowls are another one of my morning favourites. I tend to have these on the weekends since I tend to spill on myself half the time I eat a smoothie bowl. When we get them from a restaurant I find they are much thicker so I don’t tend to make such a mess, though they are much more expensive.

When making them at home I use:

1 Acai packet from Sambazon

1 banana

1/4 cup coconut milk

I then top my Acai bowls with fresh berries, banana, granola, and coconut chips

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The breakfast I’ve eaten the past two mornings are this vegan yogurt parfait.

I use:

1/2 cup Silk vegan coconut yoghurt

1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries

1/4 cup granola

I also top this with a small handful of coconut chips

I love these light, refreshing, and easy to make vegan breakfast to renew my daily routine and get me into the swing of springtime. If you have any easy vegan (and nut free) breakfasts you enjoy, I would love to hear them!

** I’m not vegan, though I try to mostly eat plant based since I have a dairy allergy

This post is brought to you by Vionic, all opinions are my own.

How Do I Wear That Wednesday: Barely There Makeup

With a nine to five job, running this blog, and running around with my puppies life is busy. I also really love sleep, and don’t love a full face look, so I prefer to keep my makeup routine pretty simple. I just follow a few simple steps to achieve a fresh faced look and I’m ready to head out the door in five short minutes.

Khiel’s Daily Reviving Concentrate to moisturize and refresh my skin in the morning

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream or Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturizer to even out my skin tone and smooth out any fine lines. I like sticking to a BB or CC Cream to keep my skin moisturized and feeling fresh

Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra-Fine Shape & Define fills in and darkens my ultra-light and fine brows. Without this stuff I don’t even look like I have eyebrows 🙁

Benefit Cosmetics 24-hr Brow Setter setting gel sets my brow colour and shape in place for the day

Benefit Cosmetics roller lash super curling & lifting mascara on the days when I don’t have lash extensions on. If you live in the GTHA area go to my girl Danielle for lash extensions, she’s the best!

Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Wear Waterproof Concealer corrects any dark circles or small imperfections

Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Blush/Highlighter, Pink Shimmer dusted along my cheekbones, chin, and forehead for a warm healthy glow

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Budding Blossom if I want to add a little extra to the look or a darker shade to take it from day to night I’ll use Pudgy Peony or Chunky Cherry

Saranghae 5 Step Skin Care Routine

One of my goals from 2017 was to be more consistent with my skin care. While I love trying out products, and aim to take good care of my skin, I often fall in and out of a routine. The main reason I divert from a routine is because I feel like it’s too much work, aka taking up too much time – when I’m tired, whether it be morning or evening, all I can think about is sleep, skin care too often falls to the wayside.

When Saranghae, a Korean skin care company, reached out to me to try their 5 step routine I was game to try it, and commit to it! I’ve been using this system daily since receiving this package and I am loving it, the routine is so easy to follow and I can get it done in less than a minute. I love each of these products and what they have done for my skin over the past month. Saranghae products promote overall skin health, with a focus on anti-aging. I heard that one should start the anti-aging process when you’re in your mid to late twenties, and when I started to spot some fine lines between my brows and on my forehead I knew it was time to start. Within the first week of using the Saranghae products I noticed a reduction in the lines between my brows and I haven’t seen the one on my forehead in weeks!

To see a video of my full beauty routine, check out my video on my Instagram page. To learn more about Saranghae you can visit their Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest pages.

 

About Saranghae
Saranghae is an award winning Korean 5 Step Anti-Aging skin care routine that heals, regenerates and
protects your skin. Saranghae’s focus on natural ingredients, highly effective products and excellence in
customer service has helped them become the fastest growing Korean skin care brand in the United
States.
For more information please visit: www.lovesaranghae.com

Easy At Home Teeth Whitening

Having a good set of pearly whites is something I have always strived for. When I was in high school I would steal my moms whitening strips (it didn’t last long, I’m not very sneaky), or spend a half hour every day walking around my parents place with a mouth full of whitening toothpaste, thinking that would help. When I got braces my whitening obsession continued as I was terrified that I would let my teeth get stained and end up with little white squares on my teeth. I went through a lot of toothpaste. I got my braces off the week before prom and was a little surprised that I had ended up whitening my teeth so that they were lighter than when I got my braces on.

Between then and now, ten years have passed, I started drinking coffee, tea, and red wine. I’ve also stopped stealing my moms white strips – to be honest, I never really liked them. As the years have gone by my teeth yellowed and became something I wasn’t as proud of. I looked into getting my teeth professionally whitened at my dentist office but the price was just not in my budget.

With my blog growing and me getting tired of feeling disappointed about my smile whenever I looked at my photos, I started looking into options online; then Smile Brilliant reached out to see if I was interested in trying their at home teeth whitening service – I was thrilled. And learning that I could complete the entire whitening process at home was the cherry on top.

Smile Brilliant has found a way to cut out the visit to the dentist office, along with the cost,
making it very affordable at less than $200 from start to finish. Speaking of the process, it’s so easy!

The process began with me answering a few questions about my dental history and about a week later (it was this long because I am in Canada, it only takes a couple days if you are in the US) a box arrived with the whitening and desensitizing gels, along with the putty to make my molds. I quickly mixed up the putty, made my molds, and popped them in the mail with the envelope provided. A couple days later I received a notification from Smile Brilliant that my custom whitening trays were being made and a week later they arrived. I want to reiterate that these trays are customized to your teeth. That means if you have cooked teeth, or you’re like me and your eye teeth stick out a bit, your trays will be a perfect match to your smile.

Over the next few weeks I spent one to two hours whitening my teeth each day. It was so exciting to watch my teeth become whiter as the days went by. One of my favourite things about this system was how easy it was to go about my every day activities while whitening my teeth. The first couple days I was a little unsure about how comfortable I was with it, but three days in I went to the gym in my condo with the trays in. I also wore them while I was cleaning my house, cooking, while with friends (best friends, I still had a bit of a lisp), and mostly while working on the blog. I like to do my writing before I go to bed so it was really convenient for me to pop the trays in after dinner and keep them in while I worked.

Smile Brilliant included their desensitizing gel in my package since I had indicated that I occasionally experience tooth sensitivity, but I ended up not needing it. I truly love this product and am so happy with the results. If one of your New Years resolutions is to get whiter teeth I would highly recommend Smile Brilliant. Assuming my love of coffee and red wine doesn’t come to an end soon (which I highly doubt it will) I will definitely continue using
the Smile Brilliant system. If you’re considering it but aren’t 100% sure just yet here is a great
article that outlines seven things to know before buying a Smile Brilliant kit.

Should you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them! Simply leave your question in the comments and I will get back to you.

Scroll down for your chance to win your own Smile Brilliant Whitening kit.

 

GIVEAWAY: For your chance to win a FREE Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit (a $139 value), enter by clicking this link:

Smile Brilliant Giveaway

OR

If you don’t win the giveaway and would like to purchase a Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening kit for yourself, you can get 10% off with code: emalexander15

Naturally Healthy Skin

When Thursday Plantation reached out to share some of their products for Acne Awareness Month, I was curious to see if it would have much of an affect on my skin. *Prepare your eye roll* I have been lucky enough to have a mostly clear face for a number of years now – as long as I eat cleanly –  so I really wasn’t sure if I would have much to say about their products and how effective they are at clearing acne.

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I was very pleasantly surprised with the results, after the first few days that is. I was chatting with my coworker about the products and found out that she was also using them to clear her skin. We both found that the first couple days made our skin seem worse, then once all that bad stuff got to the surface and cleaned out things got much better. I was shocked by how much I really had hiding under those pores I thought were so small and clean and am sure glad that I had a chance to test out these products and give my skin the proper cleaning it needed! I was also a little surprised by how much my face felt like it was tingling, especially when using the medicated gel for acne.

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One of the great things about Thursday Plantation is how affordable, and readily available, their products are. You can find them at Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Walmart, and online. In addition to their acne treatment products they also carry body and hair care products, and essential oils. As I work toward eliminating the chemical heavy products in our home – such as soaps and shampoos – I will be stocking up on more products from Thursday Plantation.

Coconut Coffee Scrub

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There are so many great things you can do with Coconut Oil, from hair treatments to cooking, this is one versatile product. One of my favourites uses for coconut oil is this coconut and coffee scrub! Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple years, you probably know that coconut oil has been a popular beauty and health foods staple for a while now, and for good reason!

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I feel like I need to preface this with why I love this so much. I have struggled with Eczema for many years. My first memory of it was on my face in grade two, then my arms, then my hands starting in tenth grade. I remember a time when I worked in a restaurant, after washing my hands with harsh soap over and over again throughout the night, I would wake up crying and shaking in the middle of the night because my hands were bleeding, raw, and incredibly itchy. It was so painful at times that I felt hopeless for a solution. My eczema has been an ongoing battle for me, I have medicines, I’ve taken a variety of different vitamins, and tried a few different diets to help stem my symptoms. I now have a system going that seems to work pretty well. One of the main parts of that system is this scrub; it not only exfoliates, but also hydrates my skin.

I started using coconut oil on my skin a few years back and I absolutely love it. Last year, I stumbled upon some coconut and coffee scrubs on Instagram. I was intrigued after reading of some of the benefits, but just couldn’t justify spending $18 – $30 on a product I knew I could easily make for myself. So, I decided to try it out at home.

The first time I made this scrub I used this PC coconut oil, which costs a whole $4, and some coffee grounds after brewing a cuppa Jo. I loved how it left my skin feeling, I also LOVE how this smells. Since that first trial, I have continued to experiment with this scrub to find the perfect mix for me.

Honestly, I have had this post in draft for a solid six months, slowly testing out different options and adding notes to make this as fulsome of a post as I can give you. So, lets get into it.

First, the recipe. As you may have guessed, this is basically the easiest recipe ever. Take two parts coconut oil to one part coffee grounds, mix them up, and slather it on your skin in the shower. You have a few options here that will make a big difference in how this scrub turns out. No matter how you put this together though, you will end up with coffee grounds all over your tub or shower. Be prepared to clean up after this.

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Option 1: Take two parts coconut oil, mix in one part ground coffee after brewing. Throw it in a bowl or mason jar, mix it together, and use in the shower or bath.

Option 2: Use the same mixture, but swap the brewed coffee for freshly ground coffee beans. This is best if you haven’t had coffee yet that day. The first time I tried this I didn’t really think through the fact that your skin absorbs the caffeine in the coffee, and if it hasn’t already been brewed, there is a lot of caffeine left. So, don’t do what I did and drink two cups of coffee before using this in the shower because it will make you H-Y-P-E-R. Seriously. I was wired for many, many hours after that combo.

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Option 3: One part coconut oil, one part shredded coconut (I used what was left after making my own coconut milk – eliminating dairy helped with my eczema), and one part coffee grounds. This is my favourite combo because you get both the gentle exfoliation of of the shredded coconut and the deeper exfoliation of the ground coffee. I also particularly love putting this mixture into muffin tins and freezing it. I find it both helps minimize some of the coffee mess in the shower, and the cold scrub mixed with the warm water is an invigorating way to wake up….along with the caffeine of course.

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I hope you guys enjoy this easy, and much more affordable DIY coconut-coffee scrub. I think I will try incorporating some lavender or other essential oils in the next mixture. Let me know what you guys think, and if you have other variations I should try out!

 

 

Nighttime Beauty Routine

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For so many years, I didn’t have a proper end of the day beauty routine. Actually, I didn’t have any beauty routine at all. I would just wipe my face off with a wet cloth and use some baby oil, or maybe Dove soap, to remove my eye makeup and that was it. I have been really lucky with the skin on my face being mostly pimple free, as long as I eat well, but it has been dry and a bit patchy for as long as I can remember.

About a year ago, in preparation for my wedding, I decided to take control of my skin. I headed to Sephora to get some help, and am so glad I did. I have finally found a great skin routine that leaves my face feeling smooth and moisturized. Today, I’ll take you step-by-step through my routine and outline my favourite products*.

  • *I do want to mention that I was given the Kiehl’s products for free. They weren’t intended for the blog, I just happened to win a contest with them back in the summer. I have, however, been using Kiehl’s products for a few years now, mostly to help my eczema on my hands, and I love their stuff!

Cleansing products:

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First up, cleansing my skin. I start by removing my face makeup with First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser. I love that this gentle cleanser gets rid of all that dirt, makeup, and oil without drying out or irritating my skin. After that, I remove my eye makeup with Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. I use an oil-free eye makeup remover as I have eyelash extensions and the lashes will fall out if you use anything with oil in them.

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Hydrating & Toning:

Once your makeup is removed, it’s time to tone. I like to start with the Fresh Rose Face Mask, leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse that off and use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I love how the Rose Mask smells, it’s so nice and fresh, and the radiance pads gently exfoliate my skin while balancing the PH.

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Moisturize & Recover:

Lastly I use the Midnight Recovery Eye under my eyes, which is AMAZING! and the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This under eye cream is seriously the best cream I have ever used. I had this mark under my left eye that was slowly growing bigger, and darker, over the past couple years. I tried a variety of lotions and potions to try to fix this, but nothing was really working. That was, until I found the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye. After a few days of using this lotion, the spot was completely gone!

One of the other great things about the Midnight Recovery products is that they smell like Lavender which is so calming and perfect right before bed.

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Date Night Makeup Tutorial

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See the tutorial here

Hi y’all happy Monday! My friend Jessica recently requested that I do a makeup tutorial, so Jess, this one’s for you! I hope the rest of you enjoy this and find it helpful. Comment below if you want to see more of these 🙂 Hope you have a great week!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer | Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer | Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water | Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 | Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer (THE BEST!) | Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Waterproof Conceler | Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights (Another favourite, I love sun kissed glow it gives me) | Marcelle Nano Eye Nano Eyebrow Liner | Benefit Cosmetics Gimmie Brow | Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara | Absolute New York Nano Liner Ultra Fine Precision Liquid Liner in Black | Pure Cosmetics Nude Collection Eyeshadow | MAC All That Glitters Eyeshadow | Silicone Makeup Applicator | Beauty Blender | Sephora 5 Mini Sponges | Makeup Brushes *this is NOT sponsored by Smashbox, I just love their products*

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