Holiday Gift Guide #3: Lifestyle Edition!

Hey everyone!

First off — happy December you guys!!! We’ve finally made it to the final month of the year and I, for one, could not be more excited. 2020, in all honesty, has been a particularly brutal year for me and no matter what 2021 holds, I’ll be excited to put this year behind me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling a little relieved that it’s finally the last month of the year, am I right?

Anyways, I’m back with another Gift Guide this week — and this time it’s all about Lifestyle! This week’s collection of gifts are loosely themed together by the fact that they’re all cool little things that really help add to and improve the lifestyle of whomever you’re gifting for — so while the theme is less defined this week, there’s really something in this list for anyone.

As always, since shopping in person isn’t really an option this year, I’ve chosen items that can all be purchased online! While it does kind of suck to miss out on holiday shopping this year, it isn’t really a necessity to get into the holiday spirit. Even if you’re in an area that still allows in person shopping, the responsible (and easier!) thing to do is crack open your laptop, lay on the couch and send in some online orders — so let me make that even easier for you by recommending some of my favourite things that would make great gifts for just about anyone on your list!

Ouai Super Dry Shampoo

Maybe this is just me, but as someone with very fine hair who lives in a super humid climate, my hair starts feeling greasy faster than I can keep up with washing it. Even in lockdowns, when no one sees me for days on end, this dry shampoo has been a bit of a lifesaver. It’s hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used — and yes, I’ve become pretty acquainted with dry shampoos over the years. (What can I say? Sometimes half an hour of extra sleep is more valuable than freshly-showered hair). Unlike so many dry shampoos, it actually works to make your hair feel cleaner and doesn’t leave a residue behind or leave your hair looking powdery. My hair always both looks AND feels cleaner after using this stuff — making it an extra-useful gift for any busy bees in your life.

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

Mini Stone Pack

This is a cute and simple gift for your friend who’s super into horoscopes, decorating, collecting, or all of the above. These stone packs from Amazon come conveniently packaged in little packs or individually, with a little information on each type of crystal included such as what it manifests in your life. Whether you believe in the power of crystals or not — they make a great decoration or addition to any gift!

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at Indigo in Amethyst and Rose Quartz!

Herbivore Coconut Milk Body Polish

Okay, so if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know all about my love of Herbivore Botanicals body scrubs. When I saw they released a coconut version earlier this year, I knew I had to give it a try. This version of their body scrub comes a little cheaper than the Crushed Amethyst body scrub, but they’re both so worth it. The amethyst scrub does seem to be a little more of a deep exfoliation, but this one is also effective, soft, and smells soooooo good. 10/10, would LOVE to receive this as a gift.

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

Dry Bar Prep Rally Detangler

This is such a universally loved, universally good-for-all hair type heat protectant. I guarantee that no matter who you buy this for, it’ll work for their hair. This next-level two-in-one detangler and heat protectant has kept my hair looking and feeling so great ever since I first received it in a FabFitFun box last winter — it really is SUCH an effective protector against blowdrying and styling heat damage. It doesn’t leave behind a residue either, making it a great gift for literally anyone on your list.

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

FOXYBAE Hair Curler

On the topic of hair styling, this hair curler I received in my latest FabFitFun box is AMAZING. It heats up well, is nice and easy to use, doesn’t seem to damage my hair and makes perfect curls. I really don’t know much about hair styling — I had short hair for most of my life — but I can tell you, this curler is by FAR the best I’ve ever owned. It makes curling your hair SO effortless and my hair has honestly looked better using this curler than it ever has in my entire lifetime of curling my hair. Basically, it’s super worth it.

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

AMIKA Hair Straightener

On a final hairstyling note, this AMIKA hair straightener (which, surprise surprise, I also recieved in a FabFitFun box) has been an absolute godsend in my life. It’s so high quality and straightens hair so effectively without damaging your hair. This was the first “fancy” hair straightener I’ve ever owned (ie. not purchased at the drugstore) and I was blown away at the difference it made — not just in terms of damage, but how fast and effectively it worked and how much better my hair looked when it was done. This straightener is a blessing.

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

Skincare Hairbands

This was something I purchased for myself recently on a bit of a whim, not really expecting much of it. I had seen other skincare fans using them all over social media, but I couldn’t really tell if they were going to help or simply hinder me while I washed my face and make the whole task more challenging. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that these little hairbands make washing your face 200% easier. They keep all your baby hairs out of the way, and don’t get in the way themselves. I was kind of worried they would just end up getting wet and gross while I used them, but they don’t at all. They really act to solve something that you’d never realize was a large grievance until you see what life is like on the other side. Trust me.

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

Twine Cheese Board with Plate

If you have someone in your life who loves hosting wine nights or considers themselves a charcuterie enthusiast, then this is the perfect gift for them. This little board is so tiny and cute, it makes the perfect board for those with tiny kitchens or an addition to the collection of a charcuterie lover’s collection to add to a full spread. (Or, frankly, it also works well for making yourself feel a little fancier while eating cheese and crackers home alone). It’s cute, simple, small, easy to clean, and a great gift overall. I’ve been totally obsessed ever since I received this in a FabFitFun box (yes, again), and I’ve always thought it would make a great gift for anyone who loves dinner parties, or just cheese.

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

DAVID’s TEA Loose Leaf Teas

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a tea fanatic. David’s Tea, in my opinion, is THE best tea out there. I seriously drink at least 2-4 cups a day (and sometimes more). The options they offer are seriously endless, meaning that there’s absolutely a tea out there for everyone on your list. From traditional teas, to classic favourites, to crazy new flavours you couldn’t find elsewhere, David’s Tea has it all. It can be a little tricky to know where to start with all the options, but my favourites are Cream of Earl Grey, Genmaicha, Forever Nuts, Bai Hao Yin Zhen, and Butterfly Jasmine.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at DAVID’s Tea!

Lululemon Yoga Mat

With COVID likely still hanging around for the next few months, there’s really no better gift you could give than a high-quality yoga mat. Perfect for not just at home yoga sessions, these mats help make a wide variety of home workouts possible. Since yoga mats are something you only need one of and don’t often replace, it’s nice to be able to splurge on one for someone on your list — and after that, they’ll be all set to get on top of staying fit in 2021. Whether it’s for at-home use, or for yoga classes in the (hopefully not so distant) future, this mat is high quality and comes with a warranty, making sure it’ll be useful for years to come.

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

Lululemon Massage Roller

This is another thing that’s been a real lifesaver for me in COVID. It’s hard with all the stress this year has toot feel the impacts on your body — overtime, it really wears you down. However, going for a quick massage isn’t really an option in 2020. Instead, I’ve been using this yoga roller to work out all the knots in my body where I’ve been holding all my stress. It really makes a huge difference in your overall wellbeing to be able to massage out all the kinks every so often. It’s kind of self-care, but also in 2020, very necessary.

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

Silked Satin Pillowcase

Finally, we have the Silked satin pillowcase (which, yes, I also received in a FabFitFun box. I know this whole post probably just seems like one giant advertisement for FabFitFun, but I swear it’s not! They really just gift the best stuff). Satin pillowcases are fantastic for soooo many reasons — they don’t tug on your skin or mess with your hair, making them gentler and less damaging on both (plus they’re just cute as well). For those on your list who worry about hair damage, skincare or wrinkles, these pillowcases are extra soft on your skin and hair overnight — making them the perfect gift. The first time I ever used one, the difference I felt in my hair the next morning was like night and day — I could never go back to using regular pillow cases ever again.

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

I hope you guys are all having a great week! Hopefully at this point you’ve got a good idea of what you’ll be gifting everyone on your list this year, but if not — stay tuned for my final gift guide next week! I’ll be sharing my favourite makeup items that will make universally great gifts for any makeup lovers in your life — regardless of skin tone and staples they already own.

So, again, happy December! Are you guys all still setting goals for yourself this month? Personally, I’m taking a bit of a break and riding out the last month of 2020 as easily as I can, but if you guys have some goals you’ve set for yourself I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re hoping to manifest before the end of the year!

Stay safe and much love,

Meredith

My Spring FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey everyone!

Hope everyone’s still holding up well! It’s definitely a strange week, but I find one of the best ways to make it through social distancing is making sure you have little things to look forward to. This can mean anything from little FaceTime dates, to special blog posts you’ve been working on forever, or a fancy face mask/spa night you’ve planned out for yourself. But one of my favourites is buying little gifts for myself online. That’s exactly why I love FabFitFun so much — the element of surprise in every box turns it into a little seasonal gift for myself.

I’ve been a FabFitFun member for over a year now, and frankly, they’ve never disappointed. First of all, the quality of the products they offer is INSANE. Not only that, but they really seem to add a selection of staples and items tailored for the specific season. I feel like people worry about receiving items they won’t need or use in subscription boxes, but that’s never been the case for me. Maybe it’s because all the items FabFitFun offers are so universal and great, or maybe it’s just a mix of luck and getting to select a certain number of items per each box. Either way, in the year and a half that I’ve been a member, I’ve used and loved every single product I’ve received.

This season is no exception. I’ve already put so many of my items from this season’s box to good use, and I can’t wait to share each and every one of them with you! Plus, if you love what you’re seeing it’s not too late to get a box of your very own! You can get your first box $10 off by clicking here and using my affiliate discount SPRINGLOVE! It might just be the perfect pick-me-up to get you through this social distancing season.

Donni Ribbed Sweater Coat

When I saw this sweater as an option, I just KNEW I had to get it. Cardigans and sweaters are something my closet is hugely lacking in, which is a huge pain during spring. I always end up struggling with choosing between being cold or having to wear outer layers that don’t really match my outfit, and while the type of weather that calls for that kind of transition never lasts long and I always just scrape by, it really is an easy fix. I’ve already gotten the chance to try out this little sweater jacket once and I’m all about it — it’s casual and classic, super cozy and will go with just about any simple outfit I have stashed away in my closet.

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion

I’m absolutely in love with this serum. I know I haven’t been using it for that long, but I’m absolutely adding it into my regular routine — even after I use this bottle up. First of all, I’ve already discussed in many previous posts all the benefits collagen offers. I know I’ve shared before all about how much I love Tarte’s Rainforest Of The Sea Collagen Super Serum, and I’d still vouch for it as a product. However, I find the cream-formulation of this serum so be a lot less messy to apply, and it doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue on my skin. Also, the smell of this stuff is just unreal — I’d love to have a candle with the same scent because I really just love it that much.

Wei Two-In-One Purify and Glow Mask Collection

I’ve been trying to use this quarantine time to work through a bunch of face mask samples I have to help refine my collection to products that really benefit my skin the most. While there’s certain masks in my collection that I’m certain are here to stay — such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Mask and Fresh’s Instant Perfecting Mask, there’s others that I feel may not be the best suited for my skin compared to newer options, plus I just like to switch it up and see what’s out there. While I haven’t tried out the exfoliating masks in this little package just yet, I can already say I’m definitely repurchasing the golden root clay mask.

This mask left me feeling like I had a whole new face. Even for someone who spends a lot (maybe even too much?) time on skincare, I had never seen my skin looking as good as I had after this mask. The mask itself is so soft and feels lovely to apply (especially with the little brush they include with it) and the deep-cleansing results are immediately visible. If you’re looking for a solid clay mask to add to your collection, I’d highly recommend trying this one out.

Jabonería Marianella Imperial Jade Body Oil

I’m really happy I received this product in my box as it’s definitely something I would have never tried normally. Body oils are something I’ve kind of kept a distance from in the past as they have a tendency to be messy and if they don’t absorb well, will leave your clothes/bed sheets/life oily and stained too. However, this oil is thick enough that it’s easy to apply without worrying about making a massive mess. Not only that, but it absorbs quickly enough you can apply it in the morning and not worry about ruining your clothes, which is amazing. This oil is perfect for mornings, too, because the scent is a) so heavenly and b) really helps wake me up and help me feel energized after I apply it. (Plus, it’s packed with all kinds of vitamins that keep your skin glowing and healthy!).

AG Hair Fast Food Leave-On Conditioner

This is the only product I’ve received in my box I haven’t had a chance to try out yet, but I’ll be sure to report back once I have the chance. I love that FabFitFun often throws in products like this, though, since I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about hair care as I am about skincare and makeup. FabFitFun really has introduced me to SO many of my favourite products/brands over the years, and many of my all-time favourites have been hair care products. Items such as Aveda’s Damage Remedy, DryBar’s Prep Rally, and of course, the entire brand of Ouai, have all remained in my full-time rotation since I first received them. So I’m not worried, I’m sure this product wont disappoint.

This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon

FabFitFun has gifted me many of my favourite body moisturizers over the years, and this one is no exception. My favourite types of moisturizers are the kind that are light-weight and absorb quickly, because I hate that lingering feeling so many creams have that you can feel on your skin for ages after you apply it. This cream is both fantastic and lightweight, but the smell really does help me feel relaxed and ready for bed after I apply it. It’s formulated specifically with shea butter, Lavender, Vertivert and Camomile essential oils, and Crambe and Camelina sativa oils to help soothe your body and protect skin from aging. It’s super soothing and I just love adding it into my nighttime ritual, it’s the kind of thing that helps me fully unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Chic & Tonic Silicone Straws

I am OBSESSED with these. First of all — look at how cute they are. But past that, I’ve really been struggling to find the perfect balance when it comes to not using plastic straws. Metal straws are challenging to carry around, and the silicone-metal hybrid one I had purchased I found challenging to clean and store. Paper straws are kind of gross, too, so I usually end up just drinking directly from the glass (which I kind of hate — maybe it’s just because I’m a klutz, but I always end up spilling drinks with ice all over me when I drink them directly from the glass). Anyways, not only are these straws eco-friendly and adorable, they fold up for easy storage (and they even come with a carrying case) and I personally find them easier to clean than metal straws. So, basically, me and my accident-prone self’s life just got a lot easier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

I’ve always been curious about this type of product after seeing the Evian version available in Sephora for years, but I’ve never actually made the leap to try it. When I was reading the instructions for this product, I was blown away by how many uses it actually had. Previously, I never saw the point in purchasing “just water”, but the uses of this product range from makeup remover, to sunburn care, to soothing aftershave (and even more, I honestly can’t list them all). As well, this water has been purified and can help to soften skin and doesn’t include any irritants. As someone who’s morning skincare routine consists of a gentle water wash as the first step, I’ve been loving this product for that — but I can’t wait to test it out for more of it’s many uses in the future.

Add On: Calpack Packing Cubes in “Sorbet”

As an avid traveller, one of my biggest pet peeves about packing is how disorganized my suitcase looks after flying — it really doesn’t matter how much effort you put into packing everything as neatly as possible before you fly, by the time you land everything just ends up being a jumbled mess. When I saw these packing cubes as an option, I knew I needed to add them on to my order. While I don’t have any travel plans in the immediate future, the idea of being able to keep my clothes separate and neatly folded already has me excited for my next trip.

And that’s it for my spring box! I’m already obsessing over SO many of the items I’ve received, and I don’t even feel that I’ve gotten the chance to really see how amazing they are in the long run. Everything in this box is not only useful but universal, so while I know I’m definitely going to get use out of everything, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could ever struggle to find use for their items. While I am a little sad I now have to wait a whole three months for my next box, I love the seasonal theme of FabFitFun — it really helps to ring in each season, and it’s always worth the wait!

If you’re still hoping to get a spring box of your own, there’s still time! Don’t forget to click here and get your box discounted with the code SPRINGLOVE — if you were already considering it, the discount is just a bonus!

I hope everyone’s holding up okay while social distancing! The best thing to do right now is keep productive, calm and find little things to look forward to or make you happy. If you need some extra ideas, you can always check out my fifteen tips to get through social distancing — but also just keep in mind to take everything one day at a time and to do your best to stay positive. The more seriously we take this now, the sooner it will all blow over anyway!

Much love, and happy spring!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: January 23rd

DryBar Prep Rally Spray

Hey guys!

This Thursday I’m going to be covering a product that is still relatively new to me — which only speaks to how quickly I’ve fallen in love with it. While I only received the Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray in my Winter FabFitFun box only two months ago, I already know that I’m going to be repurchasing this product as soon as I use it up.

Before receiving this product in my box, I’d been searching for a long (like, seriously long) time for a good, go-to heat protectant spray. For the longest time my go-to was the Pureology Colour Fanatic Beautifier Spray — my hairdresser sold it to me, and I really didn’t know enough about hair products to know if I even liked it or not. While it certainly was a good product — in retrospect it became heavy and sticky quickly just by spraying in the tiniest bit too much. However, upon switching to a Vancouver hairdresser Pureology became increasingly harder to find (a huge struggle, since it literally used to be the only brand I used on my hair). Ever since then, I’ve just been switching around from one heat protectant to the next, never really settling on something long term.

I was just finishing up a sample bottle of Bumble&Bumble’s Thickening Spray (which was actually pretty good) when I received this bottle. And while the Bumble&Bumble spray was good — this one was better. I believe the hallmark of a good heat protectant is that once your hair is all dried and styled, it should be as if you never sprayed any in at all. There shouldn’t be any stiffness, greasiness, heaviness or stickiness to your hair — but there also shouldn’t be any heat damage whatsoever. Dry Bar’s Prep Rally spray, so far, has met all of these requirements.

Not only does this spray smell fantastic, it’s nice and light too — once you’ve dried your hair, there’s no evidence or feeling you ever sprayed it in to begin with. Really, the only evidence I’ve been using it at all is that my hair remains undamaged since I’ve started using it. While I’ve used products in the past as heat protectants that I felt didn’t leave behind much of a residue — this one really seems as though nothing remains behind at all. My hair just feels like smooth, shiny, soft and healthy hair — as if it were au natural.

Does this sound like the heat protectant you’ve been needing in your life? Be sure to check out DryBar’s Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler at Sephora here!

I hope you’re all having an amazing week — we’re just about one week out from the end of January, so be sure to hustle towards achieving all of your monthly goals! Personally, I’m having a bit of a rough week — I came down with the flu on Tuesday and it’s really been taking a toll on me. If you guys have any tried-and-true flu remedies, I’d love to hear them! Drop a comment and let me know what makes you feel better quickly when you’re sick. I have a long week ahead of me — especially considering that I’ve had to take two days to recover already — so I have a lot of catching up to do, on top of next weeks tasks. Wish me luck!

Xo,

Meredith