Holiday Gift Guide #2: Skin Care Edition!

Hey friends!

I hope the last few days of November are treating you all well! With December now just around the corner, holiday season is starting to get into full swing. When winter holidays are so soon, it can be hard not to stress about gift giving — after all, it’s looking a little different this year. In order to save you from worrying about how you’re going to handle online shopping for gifts this year, I’ve made a compilation of what I consider to be some of the greatest gifts you can give so you can sit back and enjoy the holidays! Feel free to check out my segment from last week on Self-Care Gift Ideas for some extra inspo as well!

Skin care is one of my favourite things in life and, when done right, can make a fantastic gift. Of course, it can be difficult to gift if you don’t know where to start — many people already have their favourite staples, or special skin concerns that may not be compatible with certain products. However, I’ve gone out of my way to compile a list solely of items that won’t interfere with staples and are good for all skin types. As well, I adore all of these products, and my skin is super sensitive — so you shouldn’t have to worry about these products being too harsh on your family/friends/SO’s skin!

With such a wide range of products, there’s a gift here for everyone on your list from the skincare guru to the newbie looking to try something new in 2021. Hopefully, with the help of this list you’ll find something great for even the hardest people on your list to gift for!

Fresh Face Masks

These masks have been a staple in my skincare line-up for years now — so I can certifiably tell you they’d make a fantastic gift. Both of these masks are gentle on the skin and have a visible effect on your skin after just one use. The Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask has a smoothing effect on the skin — it really lives up to it’s “instant perfecting” name — while also leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturized. The Rose Face Mask, on the other hand, helps to moisturize and smooth your skin (and if you’re unsure about a person’s skin type and sensitivities, would probably make the safer gift). Either way, however, both of these masks are of the BEST face masks I’ve ever tried and will absolutely, visibly, change your skin for the better.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out the Rose Face Mask and the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask online at Sephora!

Grace & Stella Eye Masks

As someone who tends to struggle a lot with under eye bags, there’s nothing I love more than a good eye mask. These eye masks, which come in sets of 12 and only cost $16.00, making them a pretty solid deal. They have a lovely cooling effect on your under eyes, and come loaded with caffeine to help you look more awake and alert. Basically, these are a gift that’s great for anyone who’s ever had a rough morning and could use a little boost to look like they’re 100% — even if they aren’t (and really, haven’t we all been there before?).

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

Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm

This is a pretty new product that I tried recently and absolutely fell in love with. Glow Recipe was one of the brands I was most excited to try in 2020, and to be honest, it’s one of the best things to happen to me so far this year. Basically, all of their products are amazing, but if you know anyone who’s specifically looking to jump in on the new cleansing balm trend for removing makeup and cleansing your skin, this would make the perfect gift. I’ve tried samples of other cleansing balms, but they just don’t measure up. This product smells amazing and it WORKS. 10/10, would make a fantastic gift.

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

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

This was the first product from Glow Recipe that I tried, and arguably their best known. From the first time I used it, I knew it was love. This mask leaves your skin feeling instantly softer and plumper and leaves your complexion looking moisturized and bright. Even though this mask uses AHAs to exfoliate, it’s incredibly gentle — and if you gift it to someone who has sensitive skin (like me) they don’t have to use it as an overnight mask — 10 minutes is enough to see results.

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

Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel Exfoliator

Exfoliating is a super important aspect of skincare that is so often overlooked. This exfoliator has been a staple for me for years now — it’s so easy to use and works so effectively. All you have to do with this product is gentled rub it over dry skin and watch all your dead cells be wiped away. It’s gentle, never caused me irritation, and is quick and satisfying to use. Do I need to say any more?

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

Shiseido Full Lash Serum

I’d absolutely recommend this lash serum for anyone in your life looking for longer lashes. This is one of the few lash serums I’ve used that actually gave me visible results, and the doe foot applicator makes it easy to apply to brows as well. For anyone in your life who’s been wanting longer lashes or fuller brows (and who doesn’t want those things?), this serum makes the perfect gift.

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

Biossance Squalene + Tea Tree Detox Mask

This mask is another one of my all-time faves. Biossance has been one of my favourite brands ever since I first tried their Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil, and their products have never done me wrong. I absolutely love this mask, because to me it’s like a gentler version of a charcoal mask. I’ve never been able to find a decent charcoal mask that a) has a visible effect and b) doesn’t irritate my skin, so this mask has kind of been a lifesaver. It does a great job of purifying my pores, and rather than irritating my skin it actually softens it significantly. While charcoal masks may seem like a great gift as they are universally popular, if you know someone with sensitive skin looking for a good purifying mask — this is it.

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

Dr. Jart+ Cryo Rubber Single-Use Rubber Masks

These are hands-down my favourite single-use face masks of all time. They’ve recently rebranded these masks a little, but Dr. Jart+ makes some of the greatest sheet masks I’ve ever come across so even if they’re a little different, I’m not concerned (however, I’m pretty sure they’re exactly the same). These masks come with ampoule and a rubber sheet mask to lock in the product for the duration you choose to wear it for. It’s a great way to treat someone when they’re needing a little self-care night — these masks are definitely on the pricier side for single use masks, but the results make them oh-so-worth it.

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

Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller

If you’re worried about not knowing someone’s skin type before buying them a skincare related gift, a rose quartz facial roller is pretty much the perfect way to go. Facial rolling has all sorts of benefits, such as de-puffing, treating fine lines, soothing your skin. It really helps push all the skincare products you use into your skin as well, making sure you reap all the benefits. It really doesn’t matter what age, skin type or routine the person you’re gifting for has — this will be a perfect addition to their skincare collection!

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

Mount Lai Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool

This skincare tool is also the perfection addition to any skincare lover’s collection — regardless of skin type. Unlike facial rollers, gua shas held to massage and brighten the skin, as well as sculpt the face. On top of that, they really help to boost circulation and can help stimulate your lymphatic drainage, boosting skin clarity and making your skin glow. Gua shas are simple to use and, like facial rollers, really work well for absolutely everyone — making them a fantastic gift.

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

Mount Lai Jade Textured Facial Roller

And finally, for anyone who’s really been needing a way to massage out their face in 2020, Mount Lai’s textured jade roller is the exact gift they’ve been needing. This jade roller is covered in tiny little bumps to help massage out every little knot on your face, leaving your skin feeling beyond pampered and brand new. Even if you’re looking to gift to someone who (gasp) doesn’t really care much about skincare — I think we can all agree we’ve been needing a good massage after this year. Plus, same as all the other facial tools, this product works for all skin types.

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

I hope you’ve all been having a great week! It’s crazy how close we’re getting to the end of the year — this year has really been simultaneously the longest AND shortest year of my life. It’s definitely going to be a weird holiday season this year — I’m curious, how do you all plan to spend it? Are you going 100% virtual for the holidays this year, or do you have a plan with your bubble in order to be able to spend some time in person? Whatever it is — I hope you’re all staying safe while still enjoying the holiday season as best you can!

If you’re still looking for some gift ideas, stay tuned for next week’s segment where I outline some of my favourite lifestyle gift ideas for the 2020 holiday season! I hope you guys are all enjoying my gift guide series so far, as well — it took me a lot of effort to put this all together, and all of your comments, reads and shares mean so much to me! So, basically, thank you all for your support — it means a lot.

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

A Little Update: I’m Back!!!

Hey everyone!

It’s been a minute. Ever since the beginning of September I more a less disappeared without a trace, with absolutely no explanation. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I was putting WAY too much pressure on myself to keep up with my own self-imposed deadlines, which combined with writers block (and all the other stress 2020 had to offer me) was just too much to handle. I have a blog post ready for you all this Sunday that explains it all a lot more in depth, but essentially I just wasn’t able to keep up and the stress of it all — which caused to to simply avoid blogging all together over the last two months.

I’m back now, albeit with some changes — first of all, I’m taking a little hiatus from my Thursday Favourites posts. While I love sharing new products with you guys, I do find review posts a little more challenging to write as they’re less creative. As such, I always like to have a number of them prepared in advance to ensure I don’t miss deadlines or stress myself out. One of the biggest sources of my blogging burnout simply came from falling behind on my Thursday reviews, and the game of catch-up I was playing for the last few months was exhausting. So, I’m going to wait until I have a good amount of posts written out and ready before I begin sharing them again. While I have SO many products that I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you all, it’ll probably be a while before I start publishing them again — but when I do, they’ll be polished and perfect and ready to go!

As well, in general, I won’t be expecting as much from myself from now on. If I need breaks, I won’t be apologizing — it’s MY blog, after all. While I’m very excited to start creating and sharing holiday content, I won’t beat myself up over missing a week — so while I’m going to try to get posts out to you all every Sunday, I won’t be making any promises. Blogging and writing are supposed to be an enjoyable hobby for me, and an escape from the stress of real life — not an added burden. I already have enough stress in 2020 without creating more for myself.

All that being said, I’m excited to be back and sharing new content with you all again — I’ve missed you guys all so much! Thank you for being patient with me this year. Stay tuned for this Sunday, when I’ll be sharing a (long overdue) post about my fall FabFitFun box with you all! I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

That’s all for now! Sending you all so much love.

Xo,

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

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