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

Easy Ways To Be Eco-Friendly!

Pacific Spirit Park, BC

Hey friends!!

So today I figured I’d talk about something near and dear to my heart: little ways to be eco-friendly. There’s so many articles out there that discuss the standard ways to help reduce waste, such as reusable bags and coffee mugs; but as someone who really tries to cut down on their daily waste I figured I’d share some other tips I use that go above and beyond! I really hope I don’t have to explain to y’all why you should care about the environment, but if you really don’t, think of it this way: the less waste you produce, the less often you have to take your trash out! No matter what, it’s a win-win, really.

Step One: Invest in Reusable Bathroom Products
Reusable Makeup Wipes and Cotton Pads

This one is a big one for me, as so many products we use daily in our life are disposable. Yes, it may save you a few minutes of time, but at what cost? These things pile up in our garbage, and produce loads of trash over time. One of my all-time-favourite products to use to avoid this is reusable makeup wipes! These towels are fantastic for a number of reasons. First of all, they remove your makeup with just water — no chemicals required! Just wet the towel, wipe off your makeup, wash the towel quickly after and your set. Another bonus is one of these towels can last for months — which leads to a whole lot of savings in the long run. Another similar product I’ve just recently started to try is reusable cotton pads. I haven’t used them for this purpose yet, but I’m pretty sure you could use these to remove your makeup too. I, however, love them for applying toner and other serums to my face. I go through cotton pads like crazy, so I’ve definitely noticed a drop in the amount of waste I produce since I’ve started using these!

Another one that I love, although not really a bathroom product, is reusable wool dryer balls! These relatively cheap wool balls help replace the need for disposable dryer sheets, which I used to go through like crazy. These things seriously last forever as well; I haven’t had to replace them since I bought them. There’s a little bonus too: you can simply leave them in your dryer and not even have to worry about throwing anything in before you dry your clothes, which makes life a bit simpler.

Something else to consider is compostable bathroom products. Plastics, such as toothbrushes, can make their way into the ocean and environment, and take years to break down (and may not ever completely disappear — as a lot of plastic products just break up into micro plastics). One way I love to reduce my plastic waste is with bamboo toothbrushes! This is by far one of the simplest ways to cut down on plastic, as it has no effect at all on your day-to-day life. Think about how many toothbrushes you go through in a lifetime — and how many you can stop from damaging the environment by choosing a more eco-friendly option.

Step Two: Reusable Kitchen Products
Bee Kind Food Wrap

The next couple of tips I have are for reusable products in the kitchen! I’ll start with one you’ve probably heard of before: metal straws. There’s so many options out there, but the one I chose to link is the one I use. It’s compact and portable, making it easy to carry around with you daily. Not only that, but the package comes with a little cleaning device so you can clean it immediately after use! Many metal straws out there aren’t collapsable, making them a pain to carry around, but this one makes it easy to never use a plastic straw again!

Another great product I’ve come to love recently is reusable produce bags. These mesh bags completely eliminate the need for disposable plastic produce bags. They’re light, making it easy to carry them around when you’re planning to go grocery shopping. Disposable plastic produce bags have always been a huge pet peeve of mine, since you really can’t repurpose them for much else. Ever since I started using these, I’ve cut down so much on plastic waste! They really are so smart to carry around.

One last one I just purchased but haven’t had time to try out yet is Bee Kind Food Wrap! I just came across this in the grocery store and am super excited to try it! Not only is it supposed to be better than plastic wrap for so many reasons other than simply cutting down on plastic waste, but the company was founded by an alumna of my sorority. Currently, you can only buy them in store in British Columbia and Ontario, but they have an online store in case you don’t live in the area and were hoping to try them for yourself!

Step Three: Food and Eating Habits
Chia Seeds

Next up is a couple of tips I have in terms of your eating habits that can help out the environment daily. I’ll start with an easy one: buying non-perishable products in bulk! Not only is this often a much cheaper option, but it can be a waste-free one, too. Anything from pasta, to rice, to quinoa, to seeds, nuts and beans can easily be purchased in bulk at your grocery store! To help eliminate waste entirely, I often use the produce bags I mentioned above when I get the products, and then transfer them into glass jars like the one pictured above when I get home. There’s really no downside here: you get to help eliminate waste and save money while you do it!

Another thing you can try, while it is a lot more challenging, is going vegetarian or vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian since last August, and it’s improved my life in so many ways. There’s countless meal prep options out there to check out, so it honestly has made me eat a lot healthier since I started. On top of that, cutting out meat saves gallons of water and more every day. I’m not really an expert on all this, but I’ve found some info on just how much of an impact it can make here.

Now, I know this can be tricky for a lot of people, both for dietary reasons or just because you love meat. So I have a couple of suggestions if you’re not ready to take the full leap:

  1. Try a flexitarian diet. When I cook for myself, I make 100% vegetarian food and have not purchased or used meat in cooking since last August. However, it can be super hard to cut out entirely and I know personally I’d miss a lot of my favourite foods if I did that. So, what I do is when I eat out, if I want something with meat in it, I’ll get it. Yeah, people kind of tease me about being a “bad” vegetarian, but overall my meat consumption is down probably 95% from where it was last year, which is still better than nothing.
  2. Try being vegetarian just one day a week! It can help you transition into a more heavily plant-based diet, but even cutting out meat products for one day can still have a huge impact on the environment and the meat industry.
  3. If you still want to eat meat every day of the week, try to buy your products locally or from small farms. Huge mass-meat factories are nasty for so many reasons outside of the damage they do to the environment, so you’ll be doing yourself a favour anyways.
Step Four: Repurpose Old Items
David’s Tea Tins and Candle Holder

Okay, one last tip for you guys. Something I love doing is reusing old items and making them new. If I ever get a product in packaging I love, I find a way to make use of it and eliminate the need to purchase a product that would have done the same job! My favourite two examples, pictured above, are my David’s Tea tins and old candles. The tiny golden tins David’s Tea packages individual tea samples in I found to be perfect for containing items such as earrings, necklaces, paper clips and elastics in a tidy and safe way. As for candles, I really love candles and have gone through enough of them in my life to repurpose them for just about anything — here you can see them holding my cotton swabs for when I mess up my makeup, but they also make great makeup brush/product holders, pen holders, containers for cotton balls/pads and more! It’s really up to you how you repurpose old products and make them new. But ultimately it’s a small but great way to help reduce a little waste, save a little money and dare I say have a little fun with decorating!

So, that’s it from me for now! I hope you all can find at least one tip in here to help you cut down on your daily waste, even if just a little bit. Cutting down on waste isn’t easy and is certainly not something you can change entirely overnight, but trying out a few of these hacks will hopefully help change your lifestyle a bit to help save our planet!

Love y’all,

Meredith