A Virtual Tour Of My Bedroom Decor!

Hey y’all!

Soooooo, it finally happened! After a whole year of slowly working away at decorating my apartment, I’ve finally finished up decorating my bedroom. For those of you who’ve been following my blog since last summer, you may remember that I moved into my current apartment in September of last year. Back when I moved in, I was in the middle of a huge transitional period in my life (that I’m still only now really starting to come out of) and I really didn’t have a lot of free time to myself. Between working my full-time job, figuring out and beginning classes for my final year at UBC, and moving from campus to downtown, I was pretty much swamped. When I moved into my apartment, I had just about nothing in the way of furniture — all the furniture from my on-campus apartment had to be sold as I was subletting an apartment for the months in between moves and I had no where to keep it all.

So, September rolls around and I move into my completely empty apartment. On one hand, it was a total dream — I’ve always wanted to furnish and fully decorate my own place. But on the other hand, as I’d come to discover, decorating from scratch is no easy task. It takes a lot of coordination, planning, and effort to pull it off. My apartment is a relatively small space, so not only did I have to ensure that everything would actually fit into my apartment, I had to envision how everything would look together in the space before committing to purchasing things, and of course, I had to assemble everything myself.

This all turned out to be a MUCH larger undertaking than I anticipated. It would have been challenging at the best of times, but I generally only got one day off a week, and I had a lot of other important matters to take care of in September and October while I got settled in. On top of that, it turns out that I find visualizing spaces (for example, to imagine how my place would look with certain furniture I was considering) very difficult. I essentially had to resort to slowly acquiring one piece of furniture at a time and wait until it was arrived and assembled before I could even think about picking out something else — which, of course, ended up taking forever considering my limited amounts of free time.

However, nearly a whole year later on, my apartment has finally started to really come together. While my mailroom only feels about 50% complete, it has all the furniture it needs to be a functional for everyday use, and has a couple decorations that help to make it feel like my own. My bedroom on the other hand — well, after a whole year, it’s finally complete! While I may add a couple of other decor items here and there in the future, these things will come as I happen across them, and not because I am actively searching for them.

So, I’m going to break it all down for you bit by bit — I want to explain a little bit about where everything I found is from and my process in putting it all together. In general, I found Pinterest to be the greatest tool for generating ideas, finding decor themes, and envisioning how everything would look all together. If you’re looking to decorate a space anytime soon, it’s worth checking out — it can really be invaluable if (like me) you have a hard time visualizing how things will work out. As well, I’ve linked almost everything below — some items I didn’t buy online, or I had from before and may no longer be carried by the brand. However, I linked everything I could find and attached the company I found it at and the item list on their website for those I could not!

My Bed Area

Due to the size of my bedroom and the fact that I personally wanted the largest possible bed I could squeeze into it, the only real furniture in my bedroom is my bed and bedside table. If I had opted for a single, I guess I could have fit more — such as a desk, or a chair perhaps — but honestly, I value both my comfort and sleep FAR too much for that. Out of all the furniture in my apartment, these were definitely the two trickiest — they were big and heavy, and I ended up not being able to assemble the bed frame myself. However, it came together in the end and I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Bed: Structube

Quilt: The Bay

Throw Pillows: The Bay & Wayfair (the little white one is from Amazon and I unfortunately bought it years ago but you can find similar on almost any decor site!).

My Bedside Table

This is the one piece of furniture in my whole apartment that didn’t require assembling of any sort, which was a huge blessing honestly. While I’ve had this side table for a while now, I only just settled on the decor on top recently after I had a little epiphany to use my little marble tray here instead of where I had been using it in my bathroom storage shelves previously.

Bedside Table: Structube

Marble Tray: The Bay

Vase: Anthropologie

Diffuser: Saje

Lamp: Ikea

Aloe Plant: This was from a local grocery store, unfortunately, but there’s plenty of cute plant pots you can find just about anywhere — from Canadian Tire to Amazon to local shops!

Wall Decor

This was definitely the most stressful part of decorating my room — putting stuff up on the walls feels so permanent, so it really felt important to slowly work out exactly what I wanted. As well, I spent a loooooong time measuring out where I wanted everything to go — its so challenging to get picture frames to align perfectly, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. This was actually the final step I took in decorating my room, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out — it really brought everything together.

Picture Frames: Michael’s Arts and Crafts

Wall Art: AgataCreate on Etsy (you have to print them yourself, but IMO Etsy prints are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get cute and versatile wall art).

Plant Pots: Umbra at Indigo

Final Touches

While I may not have had space for other furniture in my apartment, I still added some extra items to help bring it all together! Namely, my lamp and mirror — which were kind of necessities (there’s no ceiling lighting or other full-length mirrors in my room/apartment) and then my rug to simply help tie everything together.

Lamp: Ikea

Mirror: Ikea

Rug: Wayfair

The Finished Product!

And there you have it! It may have taken forever, but I’m absolutely in love with my room — I really love the minimalist, clean aesthetic. I find it really relaxing, which is important for me to have in my space. After all, your room is the one place that’s totally your own, and your space to wind down after a long day — I personally like mine to be a place that brings me peace and is comfortable.

Hopefully, for those of you who’ve been getting into redecorating during lockdowns, you’ve found a little inspiration from this post! If you guys have any advice for decorating in the future, please drop a comment below! I still have a little ways to go on my main room (which I’ll be sure to share with you all when it’s done) and I’d love to hear all of your best tips and tricks!

I hope you’re all having a good week! Can you believe we’re already halfway through August? On one hand, I feel like I havent even gotten a chance to enjoy summer yet, but on the other I’m honestly kind of fired up for the Fall vibes ……. I can’t be the only one who loves summer but gets crazy excited for fall come August, right?

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 13th

Hey y’all!

Hope everyone’s been having a fantastic week so far! I’ve actually been pretty busy these last few weeks, between finishing up tasks and trying to squeeze in some socializing before fall (and a potential second wave comes). However, I do have some exciting news — not only have I finally finished decorating my room, but also I’ll be getting my first tattoo this weekend! Stay tuned the next two weekends, where I’ll be sharing posts detailing both more in depth for you all!

But that’s for later on. Today, I wanted to share a new favourite product of mine — NARS Laguna Paradise Found bronzer!

When it comes to makeup, my favourite part to complete is my cheeks. I’ve never had the chance to share any of my favourite cheek products with you all, as I haven’t used up/replaced any of my absolute staples since I began this blog. After all, I want to make sure I can take pictures of these products when they’re pretty and fresh for you guys! In the last year, though, I’ve been branching out and trying new products on my cheeks — and while my staples remain my favourites, I’ve tried out a couple new products that I absolutely adore and still think are worth sharing with you guys.

One of these products is NARS’s Laguna Bronzer — the one I have is their Paradise Found limited edition version with a golden overspray on top. I won’t lie — I actually bought this product on a complete whim. I already use two bronzers in my usual routine, which seemed like enough as is. But NARS is one of my favourite brands, especially for cheek products (one of their blushes is my holy grail everyday go-to) so when I saw this product, I just decided to go for it.

When I initially received and swatched this product, I honestly didn’t think I was gonna like it at first. The sheen of gold glitter coated on top seemed odd, and the swatch didn’t seem like it was all to pigmented. However, when it comes to makeup, there is more than matters about pigmentation — which is definitely true of this bronzer. Lower pigmentation can actually be a good thing for cheek products — as counterintuitive as that sounds. It can be really easy to go a little overboard with bronzer, blush and contour — so having a product that’s buildable rather than pigmented can actually make life a lot easier.

That’s exactly what I ended up loving most about this product — it’s so blendable and buildable that it almost looks as if it was airbrushed on when you apply it. Not only does that make it easy enough for anyone to use (even those who aren’t super familiar with using bronzer), but allows a truly flawless sunkissed look no matter what makeup look you’re going for. While it’s a powder, it has a rich, creamy texture that gives it a really seamless-looking effect when applied. Plus, it doesn’t take much to build this bronzer up to a good amount of product — it isn’t so light that it’s impossible to build. Ultimately, it’s lighter pigmentation just makes it easier to build and blend — rather than an ineffective or difficult product.

Unfortunately, this exact product was limited edition — but that only means you can’t get it with the golden glitter spray on top. If you’ve been needing a bronzer like this to add to your collection, no worries — NARS offers it in both matte and shimmer.

I hope everyone’s been doing well and staying healthy! These last few weeks have been kind of hectic but I feel like I may finally be on the verge of getting my life just a littttllleeee back on track (I don’t want to jinx it though!). I’m so excited for the next couple blog posts and the content I have planned out to share with you all, so be sure to stay tuned this and next Sunday to read all about everything I’ve been up to! I’ll be sharing how I decorated my bedroom with you all this weekend — I hope you’re all ready to see how it turned out!

Much love,

Meredith

Get To Know The Writer Behind The Blog!

Hey y’all!

I’m taking this post in a bit of a different direction today — I wanted to take some time to introduce you all to my real self! While I’m obviously often very open and forthcoming with all of you about my life, my schedule, and what I’ve been through in this last year, due to the nature of this blog I feel as though it limits you all from getting the full scope of who I am as a person. Many of my posts focus mainly on lifestyle, skincare, and makeup — which are some of my most favourite things in the world — but I wanted to take this time to introduce you all to a couple of the little things I love that make up who I am as a person as well!

So, without further ado, here’s a couple random facts about my interests, my favourite things, and all the little bits and pieces that come together to make me who I am!

Age: 23

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Currently Living In: Vancouver, British Columbia

Fave Food: Definitely either pasta or dim sum! I have so many others though — I really love tacos and banh mi as well.

Fave Travel Destination: It’s gotta be a tie between Iceland, Vietnam and Thailand!

Dream Travel Destination: Japan, Greece and Italy!

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Fave Movies: Howl’s Moving Castle, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and I’m always down for a good action movie — but in general I’m more of a TV kind of person.

Fave Genre: Thrillers and dramas!

Fave TV Shows: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Grey’s Anatomy and Death Note.

Fave Holiday: Halloween!

Halloween 2019

Fave Skincare Brands: Biossance, Herbivore Botanicals, Fresh and Glow Recipe

Fave Makeup Brands: NARS, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Huda Beauty.

Biossance, one of my fave brands

Fave Workout: Yoga! (If that counts as a workout, that is).

My Hobbies: Drawing, Makeup and Writing! (I’m not super ready yet to start sharing my drawings yet, since I’m just getting back into it after taking a couple years off. I’ve been experimenting with alcohol-based markers, but since I’m a long way off from truly getting the hang of using them, here’s the outline of a little doodle I did the other day before I coloured it in. No judgement — I know it’s nothing fantastic! I’ll start sharing more once I’m more practiced. Those of you with similar interests may recognize where this drawing is from, though!).

Coffee or Tea: Tea, always.

Cats or Dogs: I do love dogs, but I’m 100% a cat person. (See attached below a picture of my baby, Dmitry, who I love to show off at any given chance because I ADORE him).

My baby, Dmitry!

What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up: When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the idea of being an archeologist or a palaeontologist! (Yes, Jurassic Park was my favourite movie).

Weird Fact About Me: In high school, I was an archer and I played the double bass in my school’s orchestra!

And that’s a few fun little facts about me! If any of you have similar interests or little tidbits about yourself to what I shared in this post, I’d love to hear it! The strangest thing about having a blog is that while I’ve been so personal with you all and you know so many details of my personal life, it’s often the little things that really make up our personality and who we are. I hope this post gave you a little more insight into who I am, both as a writer and as a person.

I know we all hate icebreakers, but if you guys have an interesting or similar fact drop it in a comment below! That way, when this is all said and done, we can all know each other a little better than we did before.

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: August 6th

Hey everyone!

Today marks the third and final part of my skincare tools series! I hope you’ve all been enjoying reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. For those of you wanting to check out the entire series, you can check out my post on Mount Lai’s Textured Jade Facial Roller and Herbivore Botanical’s Rose Quartz Roller as well!

Today, I’m going to be sharing the final tool I use in my skin care routine: the classic jade Gua Sha! Now, unlike the other tools, my current Gua Sha is just one I picked up from Amazon when this trend first came out, and I was looking to give it a try but not feeling ready to commit. However, at this point in my skincare tool journey, I’ve been looking into purchasing a new one — and I’ve had my eye on Mount Lai’s Gua Sha in particular. Even though I don’t exactly have a specific brand to share with you all at the moment, I still wanted to share what it is exactly that I love so much about the Gua Sha as a skincare tool, as truth be told, it’s my favourite out of all three.

The Gua Sha, unlike crystal rollers, is a simple curved jade tool that is used to help massage, brighten, and even sculpt the face. Unlike jade rollers, which can help with many of these but area ultimately a tool for de-puffing and soothing skin, the gua sha can really help to boost circulation and really physically push blockages down the lymphatic system. Most importantly, however, it can really help to break up muscle tension in the face, release tight areas and relax the skin of the face.

However, what makes me love this tool the most is how it actually provides a deep massage for your face. When you use this tool, you can actually feel your facial tension slowly being released and your circulation being boosted immediately (I always love the little tingly feeling you get post massage when you know it worked). Especially when it comes to areas that can contain some serious and deep-rooted knots and strain, such as your jawline, cheekbones, eyebrows, and temples, you can feel this tool popping knots and actually making a difference in your skin. Plus, relieving facial tension will help you feel more relaxed by proxy — just as being stressed will increase tension in your face, the psuedo-placebo effect of having knots in your face will cause you to believe (and therefore feel) stressed out.

And, as promised — I wanted to share a little about skincare tools that you should typically avoid as well. Now, obviously, if you’ve already been using these tools and they work for you, by all means keep using them. But rest assured, I will be explaining why to avoid them and what it is that makes them poorly suited for use of your face.

The first tool that generally should be avoided are the vacuum-style electric tools advertised to remove all the excess dirt from your pores. While I love a good deep-clean as much as the next person, these types of machines (as with basically every other method I’m going to mention) should really only be performed by a professional. There are all kind of face masks you can use to combat blackheads and clogged pores safely at home, but these tools are not only dangerous to use in terms of damaging your skin with their powerful suction — but also, you’re not trained to use them. Aestheticians go to school for a reason — these tools are challenging to use, and when used improperly can do more harm than good.

Another tool I’d generally recommend staying away from are Micro-Needle facial rollers. Once again, these types of procedures can have numerous benefits and stunning results when performed by a professional, but you should avoid attempting this one at home. Not only does the “roller” style of micro needling damage your skin, but without the proper tools to care for and sanitize your roller, all you’ll be doing is pushing bacteria that collects on the needles deep into your skin. When this procedure is performed as part of a facial, the needles are administered straight onto your skin, and the quick and direct in-and-out movement is what helps to avoid harm to the delicate skin of your face. When you use a needle roller, however, the rolling action drags the needle through your skin, creating micro-tears — which are damaging, ineffective and can even lead to scarring.

The last technique is one that I have actually tried myself, so I can speak on my own personal experiences. Microdermabrasion is a technique that has become all the rage lately, and many people try to get similar effects at home with face razors — which definitely work for some people but do require a lot of care to be used properly. While I’ve used face razors in the past on my upper brows and upper lip, there’s a couple of things you need to consider if you’re actually going to try to use a face razor on the entirety of your face.

First of all, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing — so make sure to do a little research, or maybe watch a couple YouTube videos first. Second of all, you’ll want to be sure you have a good, clean and sharp razor that’ll be safe to use on your face. Finally, you’ll want to consider that there’s risks to performing this by yourself (since, once again, you’re not a professional). Shaving off your peach fuzz will make it easier to apply makeup, sure, but scraping away at your face too much can create micro-tears (or full-size cuts), ingrown hairs, and most importantly — when you remove hair from the hair follicle, it leaves it open and vulnerable to dirt and other foreign substances to make their way into your skin. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this one either — I never used it myself more than five times, and I haven’t tried it in about a year (nor would I bother to again). Basically, what I’m trying to say is be careful with skincare tools; while some are useful, others may be damaging and should only be used by aestheticians and dermatologists. Be sure to pick what you use on your face carefully!

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this little segment on skincare tools — I know it’s been a little different from my normal content, so hopefully you all felt you learned something new from these last three posts. If you have any fave skincare tools of your own, drop a comment below and tell me all about them! As well, if you’ve been inspired to try any of these tools out for yourself, I’d love to hear how they work for you!

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope August is treating you well. I know everyone’s been talking all year about how strangely time has been moving, but I really can’t believe it’s August already. I feel like the last three months specifically have been such a blur, but on the bright side — we only have four months left until we get a fresh start with 2021! I don’t want to jinx anything, but fingers crossed things will feel a lot more normal by then.

Love you all,

Meredith

UPDATE: Got my hands on the Mount Lai Gua Sha in Rose Quartz, I’m in love!

How To Cope With Writers Block In Lockdown

Hey everyone!

Soooo, I’m back with a little how-to on something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately — something, I’m sure, we’re all familiar with. Writers block has plagued everyone at some point or another. Even if you’re not a writer, you know the exact feeling I’m talking about from being stuck on ideas when you need to come up with something new but just cannot seem to find the inspiration you usually do.

Writers block can hit anywhere, at anytime, but after the first few months of being in lockdown, it has become insidious. For a while, I thought maybe my trouble with creating new blog content was low motivation (which has certainly played a role), but I’m starting to realize that it’s nearly impossible to write blog posts about my life and experiences when all I’m doing my best to spend most of my time at home.

After a certain point in lockdown, I started to feel I had written out almost everything I had to say about the current situation, how I was reacting to it, and how to cope with it all. However, it’s hard to transition back to normal content when I’ve yet to transition back to normal life. I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to come up with new ideas, until I realized how mundane lockdown life is compared to how life was before — even though my life was already rather repetitive with work and school. I still had other experiences; travelling, going home, balancing a busy schedule, trying new things — all things that are no longer really a part of my life. Back when I had more going on in my life, I had more to share.

Now, I know that none of these tips really do anything to help with the current situation in particular — they’re just my personal tips on dealing with writer’s block. However, hopefully you can use this experience to learn how to deal with feeling stuck creatively in the future, practice your craft, and become a stronger writer for it!

Daily Free Writes

This was a tip suggested to me in many of my classes in university that I always kind of brushed off as useless until I properly gave them a chance. I know this is likely different for everyone, but most of my best writing ideas do not strike me randomly, in fact, most of them come to me WHILE I am writing. Inspiration can come from anywhere, obviously, but when your brain is focused fully on writing it will actively generate ideas more frequently.

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who understands the feeling of getting a wave of inspiration while writing, that leads to another, that leads to a domino effect of ideas that I almost feel I cannot write out quickly enough to keep up with. If you know the feeling, just remember you never get there unless you are writing first. Inspiration is a lot less likely to strike out of nowhere, and you can’t just sit around forever until it does. Take matters into your own hands and just go for it! Whatever you start off with in your free writes will likely be nothing special (or even downright terrible), but as you get into it inspiration will start to flow more freely. Give into it and let it take you wherever it will!

Make A Cute Writing Set-Up

Next up, create a space for you to practice writing in that you love. Ideally, wherever you’re going to work should be comfortable, well-lit, and quiet. Past that, your workspace should be somewhere you love spending time in and should inspire you to spend more time there — because the more time you spend there, the more time you spend writing! Finally, your writing set up should be decorated in a way that makes you happy — whatever it is that helps to create the right vibes for you. So hit up Pinterest, save a bunch of workspace ideas that you just can’t get enough of, and work some of that inspo into a space of your very own!

Take Breaks

This piece of advice kind of goes against most of what I’ve already said, however, if you’re feeling burnt out, there’s no point in trying to force yourself to write when you really just can’t. Take some time off, whether its half an hour, or a night, or a whole week — it’s really up to you. Whatever you need to feel refreshed and ready to tackle your latest project with everything you’ve got.

Write More, Cut More

If you’re feeling stuck, you’re better off putting down absolutely idea you have than trying to edit yourself as you go. This is kind of the same idea as practicing with free writes, but if you’re too worried in the moment about whether or not what you’re writing is engaging, exciting, or even making sense, you’ll only be holding yourself back. Instead, just write it all out and refine it down to the best bits later — you’ll be able to tailor it into a great piece with enough editing. However, there’ll be nothing to edit if you never start — so just go for it and figure the rest out later.

Keep An Idea List

While most of my inspiration does hit me either while I’m actively writing or thinking about what I want to blog about, we all know that feeling where inspiration hits you out of absolutely nowhere. For when moments like these strike me, I like to keep a little list at the ready in my iPhone Notes app to jot it down as quickly as possible, before the idea gets away from me. My worst habit is coming up with ideas and just believing that I’ll remember them — because how could I ever forget such a great idea? And yet, time and time again, if I don’t write it down I don’t remember it when it comes time to write out a new post. It’s frustrating, but if I have my list at the ready in my phone I’m much more likely to write it down and remember it. And don’t just write down the good ideas — try to write down EVERY idea. Just like I said above, just because your idea isn’t quite there yet doesn’t mean it can’t be workshopped into an amazing post idea.

Read More & Get Inspired!

Finally, one of the biggest ways to get inspired as a writer is to actively be keeping up with what others in your niche are writing. (Or, honestly, even those not in your niche. It’s important to be taking in inspiration from all kinds of sources to help broaden your perspective and scope!). Reading other’s blogs should bring you excitement and shouldn’t be solely for reaping ideas — the point of this isn’t to simply plagiarize other’s blog posts. However, reading what others have to say will help to give you ideas for similar posts, get your creative juices flowing, and inform your opinion of what’s currently being discussed in your blog niche to help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Not that you need to be — your blog is all about what YOU have to say, after all. However, it’s always important to know what’s popular amongst what people are creating, reading and sharing. Plus, it might just inspire your new greatest post! Always try to keep an open mind and take in as much as possible, so that your craft as a writer is always growing and moving forward.

Hopefully, after reading through this list, you’re all feeling a little more inspired than you were before. The takeaway of this post, I hope, is that there’s really no way around writer’s block — the only way is through. While pushing yourself too much will leave you tired and frustrated, you won’t get anything done if you don’t try. Inspiration always hits us when we least expect it — and often, it comes randomly while we are actively writing. With a little effort, time, and luck, even with life’s current circumstances, you should be back on track before you know it.

If you’ve been feeling frustrated with writing lately, or have some other personal tips for getting past writers block, drop a comment below! I’d love to hear any advice you guys have. While I’m working on it, I’m still struggling a lot with new ideas for content and I’d be more than happy to try anything you guys have to suggest.

Happy Sunday everyone, hopefully you all have a great week planned out! And just remember — while it feels like our current reality will last forever, it won’t. One day in the future, things will be different and right now will be nothing but a memory. Keep going.

Much love,

Meredith