Thursday Favourites: March 26th

Hey y’all!

Hope everyone’s social distancing is going well! I finally feel like I’ve adjusted to it all, in fact, I’m actually starting to be super productive in studying for my finals! The first few days were definitely a bit weird and anxiety-inducing, but with time I feel like it’s starting to become normal and even a little relaxing. (If you’re still struggling to adjust, be sure to read my 15 Tips To Survive Social Distancing!).

I was hoping to keep up the de-stressing vibes in today’s post, so I decided to share a product I adore for self-care nights and when I need to relax a little — Lush’s Sleepy Body Lotion!

I received this lotion as a gift a while back, but it kind of helped rekindle my love of Lush’s products. Not only are their products top-notch quality, but they’re all formulated to be 100% vegetarian, handmade with ethically-sourced materials, and without the use of animal testing. Basically, you should never feel guilty when you’re splurging on their products because they were made safely and with care, all while causing as little harm to others.

I personally love this moisturizer for when my skin needs some extra TLC. This stuff is THICK, but it does an amazing job of keeping your skin hydrated and soft. While I personally find it a little heavy for everyday use, I know others (such as my friend Erin) absolutely love it for day-to-day. (You can catch it on her feed all the time!). For myself, this lotion is my go-to on a self-care night. First of all, the lavender scent is just heavenly — it always relaxes me and puts me in the mood to get a good night’s sleep. But on top of that, the ingredients in this lotion help to make it really penetrate into your skin — it really is the perfect final step in a self-care night before bed to help you wake up feeling your best.

If this sounds like the uber-relaxing body lotion you’ve been looking for, you can check it out on Lush’s site here!

I hope you guys are all doing well and staying safe — be sure to plan out a self-care night this week to help yourself relax! We’re going to get through this, and in the meantime, there are ways to learn to love this time off!

Xo,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: September 3rd

My (Rather Well Used) Function Of Beauty Shampoo

Hey guys! Welcome back!

So, for this week, I figured I’d elaborate a little more on a product I wrote about after trying, but fell more in love with the more I used it. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you may remember when I posted my blog about Function of Beauty back in June. (If not, feel free to click the link and read all about it!). At the time, I gave it a week to test it out before sharing the results with you guys. I hadn’t switched hair products in years, and didn’t really consider how long it would take to start seeing changes being made — a week certainly wasn’t enough time to see full results.

However, two months later it’s safe to say I’ve now thoroughly tested out this product, and I love it. As in, I’m so sold I honestly don’t know that I’ll ever switch shampoo or conditioners again — and with Function of Beauty’s model, I probably won’t have to. When choosing your products, you select your hair type — including texture, structure and moisture, as well as your five main concerns you wish to see improvements in your hair. Meaning, if you see something you want to change, all you have to do is select a different concern more applicable to your current needs in your next batch!

On top of all this, you get to choose from a variety of scents and colours, truly customizing the products and making them your own. You even get to label the bottle with a nickname — everything about it makes it feel so personal and cute.

I heard about this brand months before I got the chance to test it out — I literally waited as patiently as I could for my old products to finally run out so I could give these a try. As I noted in my initial post, I certainly saw some immediate effects — enough to keep me interested in buying more. I wasn’t sure if it was just that I was so hyped up about trying out this brand, but at first even with the results given, I still felt it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Unfortunately, I sometimes tend to be a bit impatient. The fact that I saw immediate results, really, should have said it all. Two months later, my hair is the healthiest it’s been in — well, possibly forever. It’s smooth, shiny, and constantly looks the best it ever has. On top of that, even though its been a few months since I had a hair cut, my hair almost feels as fresh as if I had just returned from the salon — I have minimal problems with split ends and tangling, which is almost always a problem for me. Furthermore, my ends look just as healthy as my roots, which is a nice change from what my hair has been from the last few years (especially with all the bleaching I put it through) — fried at the top, and fried-to-straw at the bottoms.

This product, no joke, has transformed my hair. It is the most beautiful and healthy it’s ever been — I always envied girls with long, shiny, healthy hair, but for the first time in years my hair is finally transformed into one of my favourite features. Plus: their products are Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Cruetly-Free and Vegan! This means these products are better for you, your hair, the animals AND the environment! It’s a win-win.

If this sounds like the change your hair has been needing, be sure to check out Function of Beauty here!

I hope you’re all having a lovely Tuesday!

Xoxo,

Meredith

South East Asia: The Top Ten!

Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Hey everybody!

So, as many of you know by now I’ve just returned from a trip across South East Asia that included Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. While it was all pretty amazing, I certainly had my favourite places that I’d consider to be must sees if you ever get the opportunity to travel to any of these beautiful countries! Between the ten of them, I really couldn’t pick favourites, plus everything is completely depended on what people are interested in pursuing while they travel, and which country or areas they choose to visit.

So, without further ado, here’s my top ten! They’re put in order of when we visited them, with absolutely no ranking in terms of favouritism between them. I hope if you’re reading this, it gives you ideas for where to visit on your travels or even inspires you to plan a trip! If anyone else has been/is going to any of the following places, drop a comment! I’d love to hear all about it.

Thailand
Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai
Doi Inthanon, Thailand

During our time in South East Asia, Nylah and I saw more temples than I could even keep track of. Doi Inthanon, however, was something special. It was by far one of the most peaceful and magical places I have ever laid eyes on. Between the beautiful architecture of these temples and the stunning mountain top view, if you’re ever in Thailand Doi Inthanon is a temple stop you definitely can’t miss. Read my original post here!

Elephant Sanctuary, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Thailand

When people think of Thailand, I’m sure for many elephant riding comes to mind. However, while elephant riding tours certainly still exist all over Thailand, many people have started to realize how inhumane they are to the animals. If you want to see elephants during your stay in Thailand, instead, you should check out a sanctuary like Elephant Jungle Sanctuary! Not only were many of the elephants rescued from elephant riding camps, but you could see how happy and well-cared for these animals were — something you’d definitely miss out on if you choose to ride the animals instead. Read my original post here!

Viewpoint Hike, Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Koh Phi Phi straight up has to be the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited in my life. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, the best way to take it all in is to hike up to the viewpoint! The hike is a little challenging, but incredibly rewarding as you get a view of the whole island from the top. If you do go, be sure to check out the second viewpoint, the scenery was absolutely insane. If you’re really looking for something special, be sure to hike up for sunset/sunrise for a truly spectacular view. Read my original post here!

BONUS: Get A Thai Massage

Okay, okay, I know I said top ten, but I figured I’d add this one in as a quick bonus. While I went to get a massage in Bangkok, you really could get one anywhere in Thailand, hence why I added it as a bonus — it really isn’t location-specific. Not only can you get an amazing massage for exceptional prices, if you’ve never experienced a Thai massage it’ll be unlike any you’ve had before. Be sure to ask at your hotel/hostel for recommendations for best places in the area!

Laos
Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang
Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

Oh man was this place ever magical. Kuang Si Falls is made up of a series of waterfalls, that cascade down into a set of pools you can swim in. The water is literally bright baby blue, and you can sit in the falls as well. They’re even full of those little fish they have at those pedicure places, so you can get a quick and all-natural pedi while you’re at it! Overall, this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, 10/10 would recommend. Read my original post here!

Phousi Mountain Hike, Luang Prabang
Phousi Mountain, Luang Prabang, Laos

Out of all the hikes we did, this one was certainly one of my favourites. For the relatively small level of difficulty, the views were spectacular. The viewpoint at the top gave you a lookout over all of Luang Prabang and the surrounding mountains. For an extra special view, be sure to go at sunrise or sundown. Read my original post here!

Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Hanoi
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay straight up looks like a scene out of a movie — it seriously doesn’t even look real. The bay is filled with tiny mountain-like islands, in fact, there’s nearly 2000 in the area. There’s all sorts of things to do in the area, such as hikes, caves, and beaches, so if you go be sure to check out the local boat cruises — I’d recommend an overnight one at least. This place is absolutely magical, and its certainly worthwhile to spend an extra night there, see the sunset, and take in the almost-ethereal locale. Read my original post here!

Hang Múa Hike, Ninh Binh
Hang Múa, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Out of all the hikes we completed across all of South East Asia, this one was certainly the hardest–but also the most spectacular. If you’re going to give it a try, be sure to go well prepared; it’s certainly not the easiest of hikes, especially it the Vietnam heat. But the view from the top was beyond amazing, words can’t even describe how beautiful and rewarding it was. Read my original post here!

Night Food Market, Ho Chi Minh City
Night Food Market, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

South East Asia, across the board, had many of the absolute best meals I’ve had in my life — but this place was by far my favourite. Not only did it have a great atmosphere, but there was endless options to choose from. There was all kinds of food stands from a large array of Asian cuisines, without a doubt there was something there for anything you happened to be craving. If I lived in Ho Chi Minh City, I guarantee you could find me here every night. Read my original post here!

Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Along with Doi Inthanon, Angkor Wat was my favourite temple we saw along our trip (and as I said, we saw a whole lot of temples). Not only was it crazy to see how Cambodian Temples differed from those in Thailand and Laos, but the sheer size and grandeur of Angkor Wat makes it a must-see. You could easily spend hours here and feel like there’s still more to see — and the views from the top are unreal. As the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat is something you absolutely can’t miss if you’re travelling to Cambodia. Read my original post here!

Phnom Kulen Falls, Siem Reap
Phnom Kulen Falls, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Like Kuang Si Falls, Phnom Kulen Falls are a great place to stop in for a swim–but also distinctly different from the falls in Laos. This waterfall had two swimming areas; one a smaller fall that was more like a shower, and a giant pool at the bottom of the second, massive waterfall. It was so beautiful and relaxing, and I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area. Read my original post here!

So there you have it! I really hope that some of y’all can find somewhere on this list that inspires you for your next trip. If any of you have been to any of these places and would like to share your thoughts, let me know! As well, I’d love to hear it if you have any suggestions of your own. It’ll probably be a little while before I’m going to be able to travel again, but for next time I’m thinking Japan, Singapore, or Europe!

But that’s all for now! Until next time.

Lots of Love,

Meredith