Holiday Gift Guide #1: Self Care Edition!

Hey friends!

It’s crazy to believe with how long 2020 has felt, but the holidays are finally just around the corner! That’s right — we’ve finally almost made it. While it does feel a little bit like we’re crawling our way to the end of the year, it’s going to be December before we even know it and it’s best to be prepared. This year has already been stressful enough — don’t cause yourself to stress more over buying gifts and last minute shopping.

Holiday shopping is probably going to be looking a little different this year as, sadly, its going to be 100% online. While I’ve transitioned to doing more of my Christmas shopping online the past few years already, it’s kind nice to stop by the mall or local shop at least once — you know, just for the good holiday vibes. However, with COVID cases picking up, it’s looking like I’ll be doing my shopping 100% online this year. Which is fine — I can get my annual dose of holiday cheer elsewhere, after all — although I’ve been trying to get it all done before December hits, so I can ensure it all arrives on time.

Basically, this year has been rough for all of us — so I’m hoping that by bringing back my Holiday Gift Guide, I’ll be able to help alleviate all of your holiday stress. That way you can get back to enjoying the holidays — rather than fearing them! This year, I’m going to be doing a four-part series: Self Care, Skincare, Lifestyle and Makeup! Be sure to stay tuned each Sunday for the next segment of the series. Hopefully, by the end of it, all of you will have plenty of gift ideas safely purchase online from the comfort of your own home!

And on the topic of stress — we’ve all definitely been dealing with more of it than average this year. As such, I decided to make my first segment focus on Self-Care gift ideas! Whether you’re looking to throw together a little self-care basket for someone in your life, need a few stocking stuffers or one great gift — there’s something on this list for everyone in your life (or even just yourself! I won’t tell).

Bath Salts by Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

There’s nothing quite like a nice, long soak after a tough day (or week…or year). These bath salts come loaded up with all kinds of aromatherapy to help soothe and refresh your body. Not only are these a great gift for pretty much anyone in your life, but you can also get more than one use out of them, unlike bath bombs (at a much better price as well). Plus, they’re made with 100% natural ingredients, cruelty free, vegan, and made in Canada!

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Indigo!

Candles from Indigo

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Not only do candles smell AMAZING and help create a great atmosphere — they also double as some lovely decor. Candles are another great gift that just about anyone would appreciate receiving. I personally buy all my candles from Indigo — they have an amazing variety of candles in every scent, colour, and size you could ever want. However, some of my personal favourites have been their Himalayan Salt candle and Voluspa’s Honey Lavender candle!

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out a selection of candles online at Indigo!

Diffuser Oils by Saje

Buying a Saje diffuser was one of the best choices I made for myself in 2020. If you’re looking to REALLY splurge on a gift for someone special in your life, I’d totally recommend getting them a Saje diffuser if they don’t have one already (personally, I have the Aroma Om and I’m obsessed with it). However, for anyone else in your life who already has a diffuser, Saje or otherwise, gifting them a couple of oils is always a great gift since they’re going to get good use out of them. It’s hard to go wrong with any scent from Saje, but my personal faves are Into The Trees and Goddess.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Saje!

Body Lotion by Deew

I absolutely adore this body lotion. It’s loaded up with all sorts of essential oils, vitamins and hydrating ingredients and leaves my skin feeling flawless after I use it. As well, this lotion features Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil in it’s formulation, making it great for when you need a little calm in your life. This lotion makes a pretty solid gift for just about anyone, as it isn’t too thick, absorbs into the skin quickly and is just all around a high-quality product. Plus, on top of everything else, the scent is relaxing AF without being overwhelming.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Indigo!

Pedicure Set by Voesh New York

As many of you may remember, I received this Pedicure in a Box set in my latest FabFitFun box. It’s really a great gift for anyone who’s missing going for regular mani-pedis, or anyone who’s been having a rough year and could really use a full-send at home spa night in the name of self-care. This four-step at home pedi comes complete with a salt soak, scrub, foot mask and massage butter and left my feet feeling AMAZING. 10/10, would recommend as a gift for just about anyone.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at VOESH New York!

Hand Cream by Spongelle

Hand cream seems like a somewhat generic gift, but it’s kind of a godsend in 2020. Considering how much more frequently we’ve all been washing our hands (and probably will keep doing long after this pandemic has ended) and winter’s frequently dry weather, having a solid hand cream is kind of a must. I received this cream in my FabFitFun Summer 2020 box, and it’s honestly so worth it. It smells amazing (without having too strong of a scent) and is super-hydrating without being heavy.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Spongelle!

Cuticle Oil by Cuccio

This was actually something I bought for myself a while back, but didn’t use regularly until recently. My nails have been something I’ve always been self-conscious about — growing up, I constantly bit my nails (and still do in high-stress times in my life). My cuticles have always been rough, but I’ve never taken much care of them. However, I’ve been getting really into nail care lately — it’s not like we can just go for manicures right now, after all — and this oil has literally transformed my cuticles. My nails actually look kind of great lately, which I probably wouldn’t have believed I was capable of without the help of an aesthetician at the beginning of this year. No matter if the person you’re looking to gift for is into nail care or manicures, this product is really low maintenance and legitimately transforms your hands.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Amazon!

Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige

This was a recent purchase that I’ve made and have become totally obsessed with. There’s really no worse feeling than chapped lips — it’s a small grievance that can really become a huge annoyance. I first tried this product as a little free sample from Sephora, but instantly fell in love with from the first use. This lip treatment is thick without being heavy and mega-hydrating and softening. Seriously — it’ll transform your lips overnight. This really will make a great gift for anyone in your life who hates chapped lips and is looking for a permanent solution to their woes.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Sephora!

I hope you guys have enjoyed this list — holiday shopping can be tough when you’re in need of ideas, so I hope you all got a little inspo from reading! Stay tuned this weekend for a gift guide full of Skincare gifts — from masks, to toners and everything in between! I’ve made an effort to make all the products I’ll be sharing this year good for most skin types, so that the list can be used universally for any skincare lovers in your life.

As always, I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe! Even though this year has been different (to say the least), I hope that all of you who celebrate holidays in December are still finding ways to bring around good vibes. It’s tough when a lot of what makes this time of year special is spending it with others, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy this time of year in 2020 — it’s just going to be a little different this time around! What are some ways you guys are staying festive this upcoming holiday season? Drop a comment below to share with others so we can all enjoy this December to the fullest!

Much love,

Meredith

My Fall 2020 FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey friends!

So, it’s been a minute. I know. I’ve decided to stop apologizing for delays and needing to take breaks this year — in all honestly, I’m incredibly burnt out. The stress of keeping up with the news, trying to stay active, productive and healthy, finding a job, dealing with my newfound seasonal depression and just overall how 2020 has made me feel in general has just left me completely worn out. So I’m not apologizing anymore — this year has been brutal and I’m not going to pretend it’s all been smooth sailing because honestly, anyone that’s told you that their 2020 has been going well is lying to you or trying to sell you something. While I tried to force myself to keep up with my self-imposed blogging schedule, I’ve spent the last two months dealing with not only writers block, but a severe lack of motivation and an overall feeling of exhaustion. Eventually, I was sort of forced to take a step back — I just couldn’t keep up with it all anymore.

However, now that I’ve taken a bit of a break and am feeling a little rejuvenated with the holidays coming up, I figured it’s time to start sharing with you all again. Will I maintain my blogging schedule? Will I always end up posting on time? Who knows. I’m not making any promises. Forcing myself to adhere so strictly to my blogging schedule, regardless of how much pressure I was putting on myself, is how I ended up in this mess in the first place. So, basically, I don’t know. I’m excited to start writing out some holiday and end-of-year content to share with you all, but whether it arrives on Thursdays & Sundays, on time, or just whenever I feel like it will really depend and I’m not going to force myself to do anything I’m not feeling up to.

But all that aside, I do have something I’ve been meaning to share with you guys for a while now — my fall FabFitFun box! Receiving this box was really exciting, not only because I was hyped about the items I was receiving but also to see the changes FabFitFun has been making with COVID and to actively help the environment! Certain changes are very visible — such as redesigning the boxes to be smaller, as well as using 100% recycled materials to make their box, as well as all the tissue paper that comes inside. The magazine also appears to be made out of new materials, as well, and they note inside it that they predict that these changes will lead to a 43.78% difference in their greenhouse gas emissions as well as save 31,302 trees! So yeah, I’m pretty hyped about that — climate change is one of the biggest issues facing us and our planet and it’s great seeing companies take steps to combat it.

Overall, I really couldn’t be happier with this box — not only is it always a lovely pick-me-up at the start of each season, but sending a little surprise gift to yourself really helps to combat the COVID blues. Plus, this time around my box had CRAZY value for my money — while I did add on more items this time around than I ever have before, my items would have costed me $504.49 in real life — which is significantly more than the $117.50 (including shipping, add-ons and all) that I paid. Basically — I really couldn’t recommend these boxes more! I’ve yet to let a product go to waste, and the discounts you receive through FabFitFun are unreal. Plus, each box really does feel like a little gift to yourself. What’s not to love?

Anyways — enough rambling from me, let’s get into what I received this season!

Botkier New York Trigger Backpack

When I saw this product in the little “sneak peek” FabFitFun offered into their Fall box, I knew I had to have it. First of all — it’s super cute. But not just that, it’s a backpack!!! Which I adore. My biggest pet peeve is having to carry around a purse that forces me to dedicate an entire arm to simply carrying around the essentials — almost every bag I own is a crossbody or something similar for that exact reason. However — in my opinion — nothing beats backpacks when it comes to bags. I haven’t had a backpack for a while now, but this one is just so CUTE! I’m absolutely obsessed with it. It’s probably one of my favourite items I’ve received in a FabFitFun box, like, ever.

SOIA & KYO Woven Scarfigan With Fringe

Anything that combines cute and cozy is a win in my books — especially in 2020. I’m personally always feeling like I’m lacking in cute sweaters and cardigans, so any chance I have to add one to my collection is something I jump at. This cardigan isn’t just comfortable, though, it’s also really high quality and elevates any outfit you pair it with. I’ve been needing some warmer-weather statement pieces, and I’m absolutely loving that cardigan for this.

JENNY BIRD Leana Pendant

I’m not usually one for jewelry, but lately I’ve been trying to change that. (Evidently, since two of my add-on items were necklaces!). This necklace is SO pretty and classy — and it’s defintely something I wouldn’t have usually bought for myself, which really made it feel like a little gift from me to myself. It’s cute and adds a little statement to an outfit while still being simple, and really adds to almost any outfit.

Masontop’s Glass Water Bottle with Neoprene

There’s really nothing I needed more in my life than good, reusable water bottle. While I do have one I bought off some Instagram page complete with a giant crystal inside it (read: cute but small and impractical), I haven’t had a proper reusable bottle in a while (on account of me often misplacing them). It wasn’t much of a problem pre-COVID as almost any situation involving me leaving the house for long periods of time was to head to work — at a bar, where I could get a glass and refill it with water as often as I pleased. However, that isn’t the case anymore, and while I don’t have many reasons to leave the house nowadays with lockdowns, it feels nice to be prepared for when life goes back to normal.

HIP Cutlery Set

This might sound silly, but this cutlery set actually solves a huge problem in my life. In university, every time I got my life together enough to make myself lunch to eat between classes, I never really knew what to do about cutlery — bringing a fork from home meant I risked losing it, plus I never knew where to keep them without using a plastic bag. Finding plastic cutlery on campus was a pain, but also meant I had to be wasteful and overall wasn’t a great solution. However, with this cutlery set, I’ll be able to be more eco-friendly and prepared for days when I have it together enough to make my own lunch. Plus, the little carrying case looks like a total lifesaver in terms of storing your cutlery in your bag.

Voesh New York Pumpkin Spice Pedicure In A Box

Okay, this was been THE best thing my self-care nights have experienced in lockdown. This box comes with two pedicures — complete with a salt soak, scrub, mask and massage butter for your feet. Going for a pedicure is basically off the table right now (like, I’m sure you can go get one done — but is it really necessary?) but it’s nice to be able to pamper yourself, especially considering the current state of the world. I’ve already made use of one of the two pedicures included in the box, and not only was it massively relaxing, but my feet felt amazing after. I’ve been really getting into doing my own nails in lockdowns — I used to be really good at painting my own nails back before I discovered acrylics. However, I’ve been taking it a step further lately and trying to learn how to give myself the full mani/pedi experience, so I really loved these pedi packages.

NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Hair Treatment Masque

I haven’t actually had the chance to try this hair mask out just yet, so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. FabFitFun has never steered me wrong on hair care before, so I’m pretty excited to give this product a go. I JUST used up my latest Ouai Treatment Masque (which you all know I love) so I’m going to be able to start on this hair mask pretty soon. It’s loaded with all kinds of great ingredients, such as keratin, so I’m sure it’ll keep my hair healthy and strong this winter.

The Beauty Crop Glow Milk in Blind Date

This little liquid highlighter came at just the right time for me. I’m a huge fan of CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops, but sadly I just used up my bottle. While I’ve purchased makeup here and there this year, it feels awfully pointless to be spending loads of money on makeup right now when I’m hardly leaving the house or wearing any (especially since Sephora no longer carries CoverFX, so I’d have to go out of my way to buy it). This liquid highlighter definitely isn’t quite the same, it’s more in line with what I need right now. It’s not as pigmented, which gives a nice, natural, every-day glow — unlike CoverFX, I can wear it without a full face of makeup and it would look perfectly normal. I’m really happy to have received this product in my box, and I’m hoping that I’ll have more chances to test it out soon!

Add On: FOXYBAE 25mm Curling Wand

When I saw this curling wand available for this season’s box, I knew I had to have it. I haven’t owned a hair curler of my own in SO LONG, so it feels nice to finally have one again. I really don’t know much about hair, so buying a hair curler myself was a bit of a daunting idea — I really wouldn’t know where to start on finding a good one. However, I trust FabFitFun to not steer me in the wrong direction — PLUS, I got this $100 hair curler for only $15, so it made it feel like a much less daunting commitment. I’ve only gotten once chance to try it out so far, but it works probably, without exaggerating, as least 3x better than any curler I’ve ever owned before and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Add On: Genevive Jewelry Heart Necklace and Jennifer Zeuner Star Double Necklace

I decided to add these on to my box this season to add to my little jewelry collection. Not only are they super cute, but they collectively cost me $50 — a FAR cry from the $250 I would have spent if I bought them retail. I don’t know how FabFitFun manages to offer so many products at such a large discount, but I won’t question it.

I hope you guys all enjoyed this post! I won’t lie, it actually feels pretty good to get back into writing and doing something productive for myself. While forcing myself to write only ended up adding to the stress that this year has already caused me, writing in itself is one of my favourite hobbies and is usually something that brings me peace. Here’s to hoping that for the rest of 2020, I can get back on track with it and maintain it as an escape from burnout, rather than a source of it.

If all goes well, I should have a lot of new and exciting posts coming up for you all! I’m going to hold off on posting my favourite products on Thursdays until I’ve built up a good backlog of reviews as one of my biggest sources of stress over blogging was sharing my Thursday Favourite’s posts. While I do love sharing them and I hope you guys have found products you loved based off my reviews, they can be a little more challenging to write as the scope of what I share in each post is more limited and I felt I was always playing catch-up trying to get each post out to you guys each Thursday. In the meantime, I’m going to be writing up a whole bunch of Holiday content — such as my Holiday Gift Guide series some of you may remember from last year, as well as New Years 2021 content! I’m also going to be sharing my first EVER ColourPop Cosmetics haul with you guys soon, as well as my Winter FabFitFun Unboxing!

Thank you all, once again, for being so patient with me as I’ve learned to be patient with myself. This year has been a rough one, but slowly I’ve been learning to get myself back on track without pushing myself too hard or causing myself too much stress. It took a while, but I’ve learned that progress doesn’t happen overnight and trying to force it to just leads to a cycle of burnout and needing to take time off. 2020 hasn’t been easy for any of us, and while it may seem like everyone is preaching productivity in lockdown, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack. This year has been stressful enough without you adding a larger burden on yourself.

Much love,

Meredith

24 Lessons I Learned In 24 Years

Hey y’all!

Soooooo, today I decided to take a little break from our regularly scheduled Thursday posts, as after all — today is a VERY special day. It’s my 24th birthday!

This year, 2020’s craziness aside — my birthday’s feeling a little extra special. It’s finally my champagne birthday! After 24 whole years, I’m finally the age of the day my birthday falls on. So even though this whole year has been a little weird and different, I’m still pretty excited about what 24 will have to offer.

All things being equal, it’s been a great birthday so far as well. Not only did my best friend book an Air BnB for a small group of my friends to get dressed up at, stay overnight, have some drinks and watch Spirited Away — but my parents drove out here to be able to celebrate my birthday with me! As in, yes, they really drove all the way out from Toronto to Vancouver. So, all in all, even with COVID, 2020 and the general state of the world, I’m actually having a pretty great time.

So, now that I’m a year older (and apparently a year wiser), I wanted to share with you a little wisdom I’ve learned from my experiences in life that will hopefully resonate with you all. I did learn all these the hard way, so hopefully by sharing them I can help at least one of you through a tricky situation in life a little easier than I made it through myself.

  1. It’s great to have a plan, but inevitably things will go wrong — but if you embrace it, your new path may be better than anything you had ever planned out. Nothing in life works out — no matter how much you prepare and plot and try. If my life had worked out exactly as I had planned after high school, it would be completely different now — my big dreams were to move to Los Angeles, attend USC and become a filmmaker. But if that had worked out, I never would have met the friends I did, joined my sorority, or discovered how much I love Vancouver. Nothing worked out the way I thought it would, but honestly?I believe it worked out for the best.
  2. Hard work is important, but so is taking a break. Everyone needs a work/life balance, and everyone needs some time to themselves. You may be functioning just fine now throwing yourself 100% into your work, but it can’t be maintained forever. One day, whether it’s tomorrow or 20 years from now, you’ll burn out and crash. Life is a marathon, not a race — pace yourself.
  3. Show your loved ones how important they are to you as often as you can. Life is unpredictable. You never know when it may be the last time. Telling people you love and care for them is great, but putting in time and effort to show them how much you care goes a much longer way.
  4. Sometimes hobbies are just hobbies. They say if you love something, do it for work and you’ll never work a day in your life. I’ve learned with time, however, that what is more important is rather to choose a JOB you love and let the things you love exist in your life without turning them into work. There are many hobbies in my life that I could perhaps turn into a job if I was so inclined — such as drawing, visual art, or makeup — but having to complete them for work day in and day out would eventually suck the joy out of them for me. I’d much rather choose a job that I love, and maintain my hobbies as just that and return to them AFTER a long day’s work to enjoy them at my leisure.
  5. Everything works best in moderation. Even the best things in life become tiresome or negative without switching things up. Whether it’s hard work, relaxing, socializing, healthy eating, anything really — it’s important to have balance.
  6. People will judge you no matter what — might as well do whatever it is you want. Seriously — it’s a sad truth about life, but others are always going to judge. It really doesn’t matter if you pick a path that conforms to societal norms or not, since people will always have their opinions. If you learn to ignore other’s judgement and let them be, you’ll be able to follow whatever path you want. Might as well go for the one that makes you happy, rather than the one you believe will make others happy.
  7. Be patient with yourself. You’ll get there eventually. Hang in there.
  8. Take time to do things for others. I mean, why not? You would want others to be there for you, so why not show them you’ll be there for them? If nothing else, it’ll help build relationships you can rely on in hard times — but really, isn’t it enough to simply brighten someone else’s day?
  9. Don’t waste time on people who negatively impact your life. This has been a really important lesson for me. Whenever I used to feel wronged by someone, I would dwell on it for ages — it would consume so much of my mental energy, drive me to overthink, cause me stress and damage my mental health. But why? It didn’t do anything to help these situations. Obviously, you can’t rely on this tactic 100% of the time — not everything in life works this way — but if someone in your life only impacts you negatively, just let them go. Remove them from your social media and real-life interactions. It’ll make it a lot easier to move on and not obsess if you no longer see them pop up on your phone every day. It’s hard at first, but try to let go and move on — a few weeks, or perhaps months later, and you won’t even think about them anymore. It’ll only benefit you.
  10. It’s okay to say no. I guess I’m still learning this one myself, but it’s okay to have your boundaries. It isn’t mean or unfair — everyone has them. Learn to enforce yours.
  11. Learn how to stand up for yourself. It can be tough. I’m still learning this one as well, but don’t let people walk all over you. There’s no need to be harsh, but learn to stand your ground and know your worth.
  12. Decide what exactly you want in life, and what you’re willing to sacrifice for it. Nowadays, it often feels like your job is the most important thing in life — like we have to give up everything else in pursuit of our career. But is that really what you want? If it is — more power to you. But what do you really want in life? Is it endless luxury items, or just a few nice things and to be comfortable? I’ve started to realize there’s no way I could ever be happy in a job that requires absolutely all of my time and energy — I’d rather have time for family and friends, hobbies and leisure than to have more money for material items. Of course, everyone is different — but consider what you want and if it is worth the sacrifices you’re currently making.
  13. Being kind is powerful. Kindness is often seen as weakness, but I disagree — I believe it’s a strength. It isn’t always easy to be kind. It’s a lot easier to lash out when you’ve been wronged, or be cruel when experiencing jealousy (and more, I could go on and on and on). However, reacting with kindness — however hard it may be — will make the situation easier for you, benefit you in the long term, and hopefully will inspire others to do the same. It’s not always easy, but if we were all a little kinder to each other the world would be better for it.
  14. Take time to appreciate beauty in the world. Romanticize your life — there is beauty in the little things. The sunsets, the walk between your house and work, in nature, the city streets, wherever it is you find it. Enjoy it.
  15. Be proud of your accomplishments. Even if they don’t feel big, it’s still an accomplishment. Maybe you don’t have to show it off to the world, maybe you simply accomplished getting out of bed, eating a meal and having a shower — you still did it. Be proud of that.
  16. Your mental health comes first. Sometimes it feels wrong to prioritize your mental well-being — in our culture of constant productivity taking time for yourself and creating boundaries counterproductive to our goals. However, you can’t function at your best if you aren’t feeling your best. It’s better to give it your all and take breaks appropriately, rather than to give it 50% all the time. Take care of yourself.
  17. No relationship is worth sacrificing your happiness. While no friendship, family bond or romantic relationship is smooth sailing 24/7, in general, your relationships should benefit your life positively. It can be hard to accept, but if you have people in your life who bring you down, whether intentionally or not, it’s for the best to loosen ties with them and let them go if they are not capable of change. It’s important to give second chances, but do not let that go on forever and let others walk all over you — it will only cause you harm.
  18. Good things don’t just fall into your lap — you have to work for them. While success in life is based upon a certain amount of luck, if you sit around constantly waiting for a sign, or an opportunity, or whatever it is you’re hoping for, you’re pretty unlikely to find it. You have a much better chance if you put yourself out there and go looking for what you want — or better yet, create it for yourself.
  19. Being uncomfortable is a key part of growth. One thing that’s always been tough for me to accept in life is that you won’t grow if you don’t put yourself through some uncomfortable stuff. It can be tough putting yourself out there and taking risks, but ultimately all the greatest things in my life can from times that I put myself through some discomfort and tried something new. Just because you’re nervous to try something doesn’t mean you should shy away from it — in fact, it probably means you should go for it.
  20. Learning doesn’t stop when you finish with school — be curious about the world around you. We are always growing. If you decide one day to stop learning and taking in information about the world around you, you’ll only limit your worldview and become stuck in the past.
  21. Be a force for positivity. Everyone always says how the world is a cruel and unkind place — but if you act as a force for positivity and inspire others to do the same, eventually the world will be a better place.
  22. Take time to find things you appreciate and love about yourself. Take time to take stock of your accomplishments, talents, skills and personality traits and aspects of your appearance that you love. Think about them often. Learn to see the positive in yourself, rather than focusing on your flaws.
  23. There’s no need to conform or fit a certain mold. I know everyone has told us all it’s okay to “be different” ever since we were young, and I’m sure many of you have taken that to heart by now. But I find with social media nowadays, there’s a huge trend with finding your niche and following it’s particular rules — ie. minimalist, e-girl, grunge, VSCO girl, etc. — it’s okay to choose one of these vibes and go for it, but don’t forget you can do your own thing! It’s okay to take inspiration from others, but by all means branch and do whatever you want with your life, style, and platform.
  24. Find what makes you happy in life — in values, friends, work and hobbies — and just go for it. I think this one says it all.

This post ended up being way longer than I intended it to be, so I’ll keep the wrap up short and sweet — thank you all so much for sticking with me over the last year. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster and the hardest years of my life, but I’ve learned so much about myself and life through it all. While I haven’t been great (or even kind of terrible) at blogging regularly these past few months, it feels great to still have all of your support. Thank you so much, and here’s to 24 being a better year!

Xo,

Meredith

Fall Quarantine Self-Care Must-Haves!

Hey friends!

September has just begun and fall is upon us! While it’s kind of sad to see summer go, I love fall and I can’t help but to get excited for the season. While I love summer for it’s warm weather and carefree vibes, fall has so many specific elements I just love — Halloween (my favourite holiday!), Thanksgiving, cozy vibes, falling leaves, fall-themed food and drinks and superior fashion. (Oh, and my birthday, of course!).

However, this year, it seems fall is probably going to be a little different. In Vancouver (and I’m sure in many other places around the world), COVID-19 is still prevalent with flu season about to start ramping up, it seems more likely than not that we’re going to start seeing more restrictions, lockdowns and work-from-home. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it — I feel as though it’ll probably be a lot more challenging the second time through. Between the cooler and darkening weather, potential seasonal depression, uncertainty and restlessness of a second quarantine, it definitely seems like we may have a rough few months ahead.

Rather than fearing it, though, I’m trying to embrace it — life is unpredictable even at the best of times, so who knows what’s coming next — so why worry now when things are still good? It’s not always possible to avoid anxiety about the future, but right now there’s no need to be negative now about situations that don’t exist in the present. Besides, half the fun of fall is staying in and being cozy — so while we may miss out on certain elements this year, it’s not the end of the world.

Either way, fall self-care is absolutely some of my favourites — there’s just something about the season that caters SO well to self-care concepts. Nights in, getting cozy — it’s just such a vibe. And while I already believe that self-care is more than a luxury and should be practiced even in the most normal of times, with everything going on in the world, I think we have a bit of an excuse to really indulge this fall. So if you’ve been looking for some new to spice up your self-care routine, look no further for your latest inspo! I’ve got you covered.

Soothing Body Moisturizer

While dry skin isn’t as much of a concern in Vancouver as it is elsewhere in Canada (after all, our Fall and Winter seasons are full of rain and humidity), it’s still important to take good care of your skin. Personally, I’ve been LOVING this body cream by Deew I found at Indigo — it’s full of essential oils, vitamins, and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil making it uber-relaxing to apply. Not only does this cream keep your skin feeling super soft, it’s made in Canada with ethically sourced materials (meaning you can feel guilt-free about splurging on one for yourself). I apply this cream daily after showering or before bed, and it really does help to calm me right down after a long day. 10/10, would totally recommend.

Skincare Tools 

Some of you may remember the segment I did a few weeks back on my favourite skincare tools — but seriously, these tools are the perfect way to keep up a small self-care ritual morning and night while also taking care of your complexion. My personal favourites are Mount Lai’s Gua Sha (which I have recently purchased for myself, and adore) and Textured Jade Roller, as well as Herbivore’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller. If you don’t have any sort of skincare tool, I can’t recommend them more — they’re great for your skin, incredibly relaxing, can help massage out any knots in your face and as they are made from crystals, they last forever. I’d definitely have to recommend splurging on one as a little self-care gift to yourself.

Fall Scented Candles

Ah, candles. The ultimate decor for cozy vibes and self-care. While I usually use a diffuser for more day-to-day aroma use, I love scented candles for special occasions. They’re great to light during a self-care night, or when you’re settling in for a bath, or just need to burn off any negative vibes in your space. Investing in a couple good fall-scented candles is a good, universal form of self-care and really set the mood for the upcoming Fall season.

Fall Teas

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with tea. As in, 3-4 cups of tea every day kind of obsessed. My favourite place to get tea is hands down David’s Tea — not only is the amount of selection they offer completely unparalleled, but their teas are SO high quality, too. They offer all kinds of flavours of specialty fall teas, and I’d totally recommend picking up a few to brew up on cool fall nights amp up the cozy vibes of your self care night. While David’s Tea offers endless great selections, if you’re going to only get one fall tea — I’d have to recommend Forever Nuts. It’s not fall-specific, but has a flavour that’s fitting for the Autumn season and is absolutely one of their best teas of all time.

Cute Plants

On top of being a dedicated tea lover, I’ve also been dubbed as a crazy plant mom. Not only do I have plants all over my apartment, but I take great care in keeping them healthy and thriving. I’ve found this to be especially useful in lockdown, however. Not only does having the plants give you something to actively care for — the fruits of your efforts are something that become visible with time and leave you feeling accomplished. Also, while I’m not 100% sure of the science behind this, I’ve heard that having more indoor plants helps to decrease depression. As humans, we weren’t really made to be cooped up inside all of the time, and having plants helps to simulate a little more of a natural environment. Or something like that — I don’t really know, but they make cute decor and anything that helps combat seasonal depression is worth a shot, right?

Fall Decor 

My favourite part about the last few months of the year is absolutely the seasonal decorating that comes with it. The photo above is of a couple of the decorations I bought last year — but this year, I’m going to go all out. After all, if I’m going to be inside all the time, I might as well take advantage and make sure I get to experience all the fall I can, considering there’s certain things I’ll likely be missing out on this year. So basically, catch me at the local corner store buying all the pumpkins, leaves, gourds, and anything else fall-related I can get my hands on.

Face Masks

No, not the kind you wear to the supermarket. I’m talking about skincare masks. Before we all get locked in, be sure to stock up on a couple nice multi-use face masks (and maybe even some sheet masks too!) to ensure you have enough to get through all the rough days, self-care nights, and lockdown breakouts over the course of the next few months. I’d totally recommend checking out some of my personal faves, such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Mask, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, or one of my new faves — Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Oil Detox Mask! (Stay tuned this Thursday to read all about it!).

Bath Soaks

Is there anything more relaxing than a good old-fashioned bath? While bath bombs have been all the rage for a while now, I used to love salt-soaks as a kid and wanted to give them another shot. I’m super excited to try out these salt soaks by Rocky Mountain Soap Co. that I picked up at Indigo the other day — the scents sound heavenly and they really seem like exactly what I’ve been needing lately. As we move deeper into fall, though, I know I’m really going to appreciate a warm bath on cold and rainy days — so I know I’ll be getting good use out of these soaks.

I hope all of your September’s are off to a good start! Between the latest full moon and my horoscope, I’ve been told this is going to be a month full of changes for me — which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’ve already been having a couple crazy shake-ups this month, but it’s all for the best. (And yes, that’s why I missed this Thursday’s post — my bad!). Anyway, no matter what, I’m pretty excited for fall this year, and I’m so excited for the season to be started. Fingers crossed this fall holds good things for us all!

Much love,

Meredith

My Experience Getting My First Tattoo!

Hey friends!

Sooooooo, it finally happened! I went out last weekend and got my first tattoo. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I haven’t until now — so this is a pretty big deal for me.

Getting a tattoo has been something I’ve wanted to do since high school, but due to my indecisive nature I often got tired of designs before I could even get them done. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a couple of ideas for what I’d like that I knew I’d love long-term, but I never really had the motivation to find an artist or book an appointment.

Now, while I don’t believe that tattoos need to have meaning — I’m a huge fan of tattoos just because they’re art, or of things you love — in this case, it was a great motivator for finally just going for it. I’m really glad I did, too — I love my tattoo and honestly? Getting it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.

Getting a tattoo in the middle of a pandemic was certainly a little interesting — not only were all of the “consultation” aspects done online or via email, but when I showed up I had to remain in a mask the entire time and I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone with me. It was a little nerve-wracking having to go alone, but it ultimately ended ip being totally fine. While it probably would have cooled my nerves leading up to the appointment if I had a friend with me, honestly, getting it done wasn’t all too bad either way.

I wanted to share a little about my experience so that those of you considering getting a tattoo in the future know what to expect! Honestly, the scariest part of getting it all done was simply not knowing what the whole experience was going to be like. Once I was there and we had gotten started, all of my fears washed away pretty quickly and I adjusted to the whole process pretty quickly.

My tattoo artist, Vanessa (for those of you in Vancouver — she was amazing, so be sure to check her out!), had drawn up my tattoo in advance. She printed out a couple of size options for me and held them up to approximately where I wanted my tattoo to be, on the left side of my ribcage. After we got it all lined up, and the outline imprinted on my skin, she gave me a little test line so I knew what getting the tattoo was going to feel like — which I really appreciated, because not knowing how it would feel was the source of most of my nerves.

All in all, the whole thing only took about an hour — including aligning the design, doing the outline, and colouring in the shading. However, I’m sure the part most of you are interested in hearing is how much it hurt. Ribcage tattoos are notorious for being one of the most painful, and all of my tattooed friends (and even my tattoo artist) warned me that it was going to be pretty tough to sit through. To be completely honest, though — I don’t know if it was how much everyone hyped up the pain of the process, that I got lucky and have anatomy that makes my ribs less sensitive, or if I simply have a high pain tolerance, but I honestly didn’t really find the process to be painful. There was occasional moments where it did feel pretty painful, but overall I’d compare it to the pain of plucking you’re eyebrows. Some moments were worse, some weren’t as bad, but it wasn’t something that brought tears to my eyes, made me consider leaving partway through or would deter me from getting another tattoo. Basically — it isn’t fun, but it certainly isn’t anything bad enough to stop you.

All in all, I’m so happy I finally took the leap and got a tattoo and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I love the idea of being able to decorate my body with artwork and being able to personalize myself with drawings, memories, or whatever it is I feel like. It really looks amazing, too, and since it means so much to me it felt like a good place to start. (Start because I’m probably going to get more in the future …………. Mom if you’re reading this ………….. sorry! Love you.).

If any of you have any other questions about what the whole process was like, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions. The scariest part about getting a tattoo is not knowing, so while nothing can change that fundamentally I’d love to clear up as many questions or concerns as possible! It’s really not that bad, and it’s only for a few hours at most — which when you consider that tattoos are for life, seems like a pretty great deal.

I hope everyone’s doing well! I feel like we may be about to head back into lockdown in BC, so I’ve just been preparing for that mentally. But whatever, if we can do it once we can do it again! Just remember to stay safe out there and try to follow guidelines as best you can — this will end one day, it isn’t forever. Let’s just power through it so going back to real life will be that much more exciting when we make it to the other side.

Much love,

Meredith