Holiday Gift Guide #1: Self Care Edition!

Hey friends!

It’s crazy to believe with how long 2020 has felt, but the holidays are finally just around the corner! That’s right — we’ve finally almost made it. While it does feel a little bit like we’re crawling our way to the end of the year, it’s going to be December before we even know it and it’s best to be prepared. This year has already been stressful enough — don’t cause yourself to stress more over buying gifts and last minute shopping.

Holiday shopping is probably going to be looking a little different this year as, sadly, its going to be 100% online. While I’ve transitioned to doing more of my Christmas shopping online the past few years already, it’s kind nice to stop by the mall or local shop at least once — you know, just for the good holiday vibes. However, with COVID cases picking up, it’s looking like I’ll be doing my shopping 100% online this year. Which is fine — I can get my annual dose of holiday cheer elsewhere, after all — although I’ve been trying to get it all done before December hits, so I can ensure it all arrives on time.

Basically, this year has been rough for all of us — so I’m hoping that by bringing back my Holiday Gift Guide, I’ll be able to help alleviate all of your holiday stress. That way you can get back to enjoying the holidays — rather than fearing them! This year, I’m going to be doing a four-part series: Self Care, Skincare, Lifestyle and Makeup! Be sure to stay tuned each Sunday for the next segment of the series. Hopefully, by the end of it, all of you will have plenty of gift ideas safely purchase online from the comfort of your own home!

And on the topic of stress — we’ve all definitely been dealing with more of it than average this year. As such, I decided to make my first segment focus on Self-Care gift ideas! Whether you’re looking to throw together a little self-care basket for someone in your life, need a few stocking stuffers or one great gift — there’s something on this list for everyone in your life (or even just yourself! I won’t tell).

Bath Salts by Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

There’s nothing quite like a nice, long soak after a tough day (or week…or year). These bath salts come loaded up with all kinds of aromatherapy to help soothe and refresh your body. Not only are these a great gift for pretty much anyone in your life, but you can also get more than one use out of them, unlike bath bombs (at a much better price as well). Plus, they’re made with 100% natural ingredients, cruelty free, vegan, and made in Canada!

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

Candles from Indigo

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Not only do candles smell AMAZING and help create a great atmosphere — they also double as some lovely decor. Candles are another great gift that just about anyone would appreciate receiving. I personally buy all my candles from Indigo — they have an amazing variety of candles in every scent, colour, and size you could ever want. However, some of my personal favourites have been their Himalayan Salt candle and Voluspa’s Honey Lavender candle!

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out a selection of candles online at Indigo!

Diffuser Oils by Saje

Buying a Saje diffuser was one of the best choices I made for myself in 2020. If you’re looking to REALLY splurge on a gift for someone special in your life, I’d totally recommend getting them a Saje diffuser if they don’t have one already (personally, I have the Aroma Om and I’m obsessed with it). However, for anyone else in your life who already has a diffuser, Saje or otherwise, gifting them a couple of oils is always a great gift since they’re going to get good use out of them. It’s hard to go wrong with any scent from Saje, but my personal faves are Into The Trees and Goddess.

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

Body Lotion by Deew

I absolutely adore this body lotion. It’s loaded up with all sorts of essential oils, vitamins and hydrating ingredients and leaves my skin feeling flawless after I use it. As well, this lotion features Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil in it’s formulation, making it great for when you need a little calm in your life. This lotion makes a pretty solid gift for just about anyone, as it isn’t too thick, absorbs into the skin quickly and is just all around a high-quality product. Plus, on top of everything else, the scent is relaxing AF without being overwhelming.

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

Pedicure Set by Voesh New York

As many of you may remember, I received this Pedicure in a Box set in my latest FabFitFun box. It’s really a great gift for anyone who’s missing going for regular mani-pedis, or anyone who’s been having a rough year and could really use a full-send at home spa night in the name of self-care. This four-step at home pedi comes complete with a salt soak, scrub, foot mask and massage butter and left my feet feeling AMAZING. 10/10, would recommend as a gift for just about anyone.

Sound like the perfect gift? Check out this product online at VOESH New York!

Hand Cream by Spongelle

Hand cream seems like a somewhat generic gift, but it’s kind of a godsend in 2020. Considering how much more frequently we’ve all been washing our hands (and probably will keep doing long after this pandemic has ended) and winter’s frequently dry weather, having a solid hand cream is kind of a must. I received this cream in my FabFitFun Summer 2020 box, and it’s honestly so worth it. It smells amazing (without having too strong of a scent) and is super-hydrating without being heavy.

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

Cuticle Oil by Cuccio

This was actually something I bought for myself a while back, but didn’t use regularly until recently. My nails have been something I’ve always been self-conscious about — growing up, I constantly bit my nails (and still do in high-stress times in my life). My cuticles have always been rough, but I’ve never taken much care of them. However, I’ve been getting really into nail care lately — it’s not like we can just go for manicures right now, after all — and this oil has literally transformed my cuticles. My nails actually look kind of great lately, which I probably wouldn’t have believed I was capable of without the help of an aesthetician at the beginning of this year. No matter if the person you’re looking to gift for is into nail care or manicures, this product is really low maintenance and legitimately transforms your hands.

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

Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige

This was a recent purchase that I’ve made and have become totally obsessed with. There’s really no worse feeling than chapped lips — it’s a small grievance that can really become a huge annoyance. I first tried this product as a little free sample from Sephora, but instantly fell in love with from the first use. This lip treatment is thick without being heavy and mega-hydrating and softening. Seriously — it’ll transform your lips overnight. This really will make a great gift for anyone in your life who hates chapped lips and is looking for a permanent solution to their woes.

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

I hope you guys have enjoyed this list — holiday shopping can be tough when you’re in need of ideas, so I hope you all got a little inspo from reading! Stay tuned this weekend for a gift guide full of Skincare gifts — from masks, to toners and everything in between! I’ve made an effort to make all the products I’ll be sharing this year good for most skin types, so that the list can be used universally for any skincare lovers in your life.

As always, I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe! Even though this year has been different (to say the least), I hope that all of you who celebrate holidays in December are still finding ways to bring around good vibes. It’s tough when a lot of what makes this time of year special is spending it with others, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy this time of year in 2020 — it’s just going to be a little different this time around! What are some ways you guys are staying festive this upcoming holiday season? Drop a comment below to share with others so we can all enjoy this December to the fullest!

Much love,

Meredith

Fall Quarantine Self-Care Must-Haves!

Hey friends!

September has just begun and fall is upon us! While it’s kind of sad to see summer go, I love fall and I can’t help but to get excited for the season. While I love summer for it’s warm weather and carefree vibes, fall has so many specific elements I just love — Halloween (my favourite holiday!), Thanksgiving, cozy vibes, falling leaves, fall-themed food and drinks and superior fashion. (Oh, and my birthday, of course!).

However, this year, it seems fall is probably going to be a little different. In Vancouver (and I’m sure in many other places around the world), COVID-19 is still prevalent with flu season about to start ramping up, it seems more likely than not that we’re going to start seeing more restrictions, lockdowns and work-from-home. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it — I feel as though it’ll probably be a lot more challenging the second time through. Between the cooler and darkening weather, potential seasonal depression, uncertainty and restlessness of a second quarantine, it definitely seems like we may have a rough few months ahead.

Rather than fearing it, though, I’m trying to embrace it — life is unpredictable even at the best of times, so who knows what’s coming next — so why worry now when things are still good? It’s not always possible to avoid anxiety about the future, but right now there’s no need to be negative now about situations that don’t exist in the present. Besides, half the fun of fall is staying in and being cozy — so while we may miss out on certain elements this year, it’s not the end of the world.

Either way, fall self-care is absolutely some of my favourites — there’s just something about the season that caters SO well to self-care concepts. Nights in, getting cozy — it’s just such a vibe. And while I already believe that self-care is more than a luxury and should be practiced even in the most normal of times, with everything going on in the world, I think we have a bit of an excuse to really indulge this fall. So if you’ve been looking for some new to spice up your self-care routine, look no further for your latest inspo! I’ve got you covered.

Soothing Body Moisturizer

While dry skin isn’t as much of a concern in Vancouver as it is elsewhere in Canada (after all, our Fall and Winter seasons are full of rain and humidity), it’s still important to take good care of your skin. Personally, I’ve been LOVING this body cream by Deew I found at Indigo — it’s full of essential oils, vitamins, and Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil making it uber-relaxing to apply. Not only does this cream keep your skin feeling super soft, it’s made in Canada with ethically sourced materials (meaning you can feel guilt-free about splurging on one for yourself). I apply this cream daily after showering or before bed, and it really does help to calm me right down after a long day. 10/10, would totally recommend.

Skincare Tools 

Some of you may remember the segment I did a few weeks back on my favourite skincare tools — but seriously, these tools are the perfect way to keep up a small self-care ritual morning and night while also taking care of your complexion. My personal favourites are Mount Lai’s Gua Sha (which I have recently purchased for myself, and adore) and Textured Jade Roller, as well as Herbivore’s Rose Quartz Facial Roller. If you don’t have any sort of skincare tool, I can’t recommend them more — they’re great for your skin, incredibly relaxing, can help massage out any knots in your face and as they are made from crystals, they last forever. I’d definitely have to recommend splurging on one as a little self-care gift to yourself.

Fall Scented Candles

Ah, candles. The ultimate decor for cozy vibes and self-care. While I usually use a diffuser for more day-to-day aroma use, I love scented candles for special occasions. They’re great to light during a self-care night, or when you’re settling in for a bath, or just need to burn off any negative vibes in your space. Investing in a couple good fall-scented candles is a good, universal form of self-care and really set the mood for the upcoming Fall season.

Fall Teas

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with tea. As in, 3-4 cups of tea every day kind of obsessed. My favourite place to get tea is hands down David’s Tea — not only is the amount of selection they offer completely unparalleled, but their teas are SO high quality, too. They offer all kinds of flavours of specialty fall teas, and I’d totally recommend picking up a few to brew up on cool fall nights amp up the cozy vibes of your self care night. While David’s Tea offers endless great selections, if you’re going to only get one fall tea — I’d have to recommend Forever Nuts. It’s not fall-specific, but has a flavour that’s fitting for the Autumn season and is absolutely one of their best teas of all time.

Cute Plants

On top of being a dedicated tea lover, I’ve also been dubbed as a crazy plant mom. Not only do I have plants all over my apartment, but I take great care in keeping them healthy and thriving. I’ve found this to be especially useful in lockdown, however. Not only does having the plants give you something to actively care for — the fruits of your efforts are something that become visible with time and leave you feeling accomplished. Also, while I’m not 100% sure of the science behind this, I’ve heard that having more indoor plants helps to decrease depression. As humans, we weren’t really made to be cooped up inside all of the time, and having plants helps to simulate a little more of a natural environment. Or something like that — I don’t really know, but they make cute decor and anything that helps combat seasonal depression is worth a shot, right?

Fall Decor 

My favourite part about the last few months of the year is absolutely the seasonal decorating that comes with it. The photo above is of a couple of the decorations I bought last year — but this year, I’m going to go all out. After all, if I’m going to be inside all the time, I might as well take advantage and make sure I get to experience all the fall I can, considering there’s certain things I’ll likely be missing out on this year. So basically, catch me at the local corner store buying all the pumpkins, leaves, gourds, and anything else fall-related I can get my hands on.

Face Masks

No, not the kind you wear to the supermarket. I’m talking about skincare masks. Before we all get locked in, be sure to stock up on a couple nice multi-use face masks (and maybe even some sheet masks too!) to ensure you have enough to get through all the rough days, self-care nights, and lockdown breakouts over the course of the next few months. I’d totally recommend checking out some of my personal faves, such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Mask, Dr Jart+’s Lover Rubber Masks, or one of my new faves — Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Oil Detox Mask! (Stay tuned this Thursday to read all about it!).

Bath Soaks

Is there anything more relaxing than a good old-fashioned bath? While bath bombs have been all the rage for a while now, I used to love salt-soaks as a kid and wanted to give them another shot. I’m super excited to try out these salt soaks by Rocky Mountain Soap Co. that I picked up at Indigo the other day — the scents sound heavenly and they really seem like exactly what I’ve been needing lately. As we move deeper into fall, though, I know I’m really going to appreciate a warm bath on cold and rainy days — so I know I’ll be getting good use out of these soaks.

I hope all of your September’s are off to a good start! Between the latest full moon and my horoscope, I’ve been told this is going to be a month full of changes for me — which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’ve already been having a couple crazy shake-ups this month, but it’s all for the best. (And yes, that’s why I missed this Thursday’s post — my bad!). Anyway, no matter what, I’m pretty excited for fall this year, and I’m so excited for the season to be started. Fingers crossed this fall holds good things for us all!

Much love,

Meredith

A Virtual Tour Of My Bedroom Decor!

Hey y’all!

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

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

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

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

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

My Bed Area

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

Bed: Structube

Quilt: The Bay

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

My Bedside Table

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

Bedside Table: Structube

Marble Tray: The Bay

Vase: Anthropologie

Diffuser: Saje

Lamp: Ikea

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

Wall Decor

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

Picture Frames: Michael’s Arts and Crafts

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

Plant Pots: Umbra at Indigo

Final Touches

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

Lamp: Ikea

Mirror: Ikea

Rug: Wayfair

The Finished Product!

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

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

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

Much love,

Meredith

My Winter FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey y’all!

The start of the winter season has rolled around, and you know what that means — its FabFitFun time!

I know it’s already been said, but I absolutely adore FabFitFun. It’s the only subscription box I’ve ever received, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best one out there. I’ve been subscribed to FabFitFun for a whole year now, and each box I’ve received has left me seriously impressed. There’s always such a wide range of items, all of which are full size and super high-quality. As well, their boxes have introduced me to many of my favourite brands and products — including Ouai, my Tula face wash (Favourites post coming on that soon, I promise!), and more.

Each month, they throw in a great mix of staples (such as hand and body cream, face masks, and all kinds of other great everyday items) as well as some super unique products — such as jewelry, accessories, decor, or anything else related to the season! I absolutely love receiving some of these as it introduces me to a whole bunch of products I love and wouldn’t have been able to find or buy myself. My go-to pair of sunglasses, cheese board, throw blanket and more are all perfect examples of this — I love them all so much, and probably would never have found them without receiving them in previous boxes.

The best part about FabFitFun are how many items you get for such a reasonable price — as well as how they always seem to know JUST what to give you. Every season, I get countless items in my box that I’ve either been dying to try or just was about to repurchase. Are they always just one step ahead on trends, or do they know me better than I know myself? Who knows, but as the box is only $50 USD per season, it’s really a godsend.

While FabFitFun only sends out boxes once a season, I really feel that their four boxes a year deliver the best possible products, as well as avoid unnessacary waste — I really do get great use out of everything these boxes provide. I’ve been (someone impatiently) waiting for my winter box for months now, but it was definitely worth the wait. The winter box comes chock full with all kinds of cozy decor and winter necessities, and I’m thoroughly impressed with my box. Keep reading to hear more about all the products I received!

Add On: UnHide Lil Marshmallow Faux Fur Blanket

This was my first time adding on an additional item to my box. When it came down to making my selections, I found I just couldn’t choose between the Jonathan Adler candle and this blanket. I’m so glad I didn’t — this is THE softest, cutest blanket I have ever seen. I’ve been super into the faux fur trend lately — it really is adorable. A blanket like this makes the perfect piece of accent decor — it’s not too large, and just adds a splash of texture into wherever you throw it. PLUS, this blanket is crazy cozy — perfect for snuggling up in the chillier winter months. (Extra bonus — it’s also machine washable!!!)

First Selection: Jonathan Adler Fleur De Sel Ceramic Candle

Okay, we all already know I LOVE a good candle. When I saw this as an option, I knew it would make a great addition — my latest candle is almost entirely used up, and everything about this candle looked just dreamy. While sometimes I hesitate to buy candles before getting the chance to smell them first, I knew FabFitFun wouldn’t let me down. They certainly didn’t — this candle smells AMAZING, and it came just in time for me to use up my Jo Malone candle yesterday. I’m all about cozy vibes in the winter season, and this candle certainly helps to provide exactly that in the colder, rainy months!

Second Selection: Karuna Face For All Face & Eye Masks

This little box set comes filled with a whole seven sheet masks for seven different concerns for the face and eye area! I love face masks, but I don’t always have time to apply them and wash them off all the time — especially lately, as I’ve been crazy busy this whole month. Sheet masks are fantastic for this exact reason — they’re so easy to apply and remove! Plus, they give a fantastic cooling effect to the face, which I love. This pack includes a clarifying, brightening, anti-oxidant, age-defying, hydrating and exfoliating mask for the face, as well as a renewal mask for the eyes. I can’t wait to give these masks a try — especially on nights when I’m tired and don’t have the energy to do a regular face mask.

LashesMD Lash Conditioner

Just last month I finally took the leap and got a lash lift — which was definitely one of the better choices I’ve made in life. It makes may life so much easier, as my lashes now look naturally amazing without having to bother with mascara every day. The only thing is, unlike lash extensions, lash lifts only enhance your natural eyelashes — meaning the better your lashes, the better the lift. I’ve been using lash serum religiously lately in order to achieve the best effect — so needless to say, I was beyond excited to find this item in my box. I’ve heard amazing things about LashesMD, and I can’t wait to start testing this product out as soon as I use up my current serum.

Beauty Bakerie Proof Is In The Puddin’ Eyeshadow Palette

This is THE cutest lil eyeshadow palette I’ve seen in a while. The colours are absolutely stunning and perfect for winter. A quick swatch test showed that not only do these shadows have great pigment, but they seem pretty high-quality as well. I haven’t gotten the chance to test it out just yet — I’ve been too busy, unfortunately — but the colour story is stunning. I’ve been dying to try a new palette lately, and this one looks like it’ll make a fantastic addition to my collection. Plus, just take in this adorable packaging! Ugh, I’m in love.

Vera Mona Color Switch Solo

If you’ve been following my Thursday Favourites segment then you’ll already know I own (and love) the Sephora edition of the Vera Mona Colour Switch. This is one of the most useful products I’ve ever owned, so I’m glad to have a second one for when I wear out the one I already have. Plus, this one is larger (!!!) than the Sephora edition, which is definitely a plus. If you don’t already know, this product is designed to help you remove excess powder between switching shadows while doing eye makeup — all without damaging the brushes or accidentally mixing colours. I’ve found it to be an absolute godsend when doing more elaborate colourful shadow looks, so I’m super happy to have received this backup in my box!

Cuccio Somatology Calm + Clean Epsom Salt Hand + Body Wash

For some reason, I’ve always had a deep love of hand soap. It might be weird, I know, but I love having nice hand soap — it just makes my days better. I usually go out and buy a whole bunch of foaming hand soaps at once from Bath and Body Works — but I’m down to my last one now, which is about to run out soon. Receiving this product in my box could not have been more perfectly timed! As well, this product is certainly high quality — the ingredients are fantastic, and loaded with all kinds of oils and such to help keep your hands from drying out in the winter season. Plys, it smells amazing too — I just can’t get enough!

In Every Box: Dry Bar Prep Rally Spray

This was another product I received in my box that could not have been more perfectly timed. This prep spray is made to detangle, condition, AND protect hair against heat — it almost sounds too good to be true. I got started on using this product right away as I’ve just run out of my last heat protectant and so far, it really does seem to deliver. I’ve been looking for a solid go-to brand for heat protectant as I’ve been switching mine up somewhat often lately, so I’m hoping that this may be the one. So far, it definitely seems like a fantastic product, and I’m super excited to get the chance to try it out. I’ve heard great things about Dry Bar, but this is my first time using one of their products for myself — who knows, maybe it’ll turn out being one of my new all-time fave brands (just like when FabFitFun introduced me to Ouai!).

In Every Box: The Original Makeup Eraser

So for those of you who’ve been following me for a while, you’ll already know how much I adore makeup erasers. These makeup wipes are my holy grail for a number of reasons — they’re quick, easy, cheap, and eco-friendly. These reusable wipes only require water to remove your makeup, so you don’t have to use chemicals or other harsh products on your skin. As well, having one singular cloth rather than a load of makeup wipes is simultaneously much better for both the environment and your wallet — a one-time purchase on a cloth will last you about 6 months. Since the first time I’ve purchased one, I’ve never once switched back to “traditional” makeup remover — so it’s always great to have a stock of some extras in case my current cloth begins to get a little worn out. If you haven’t ever tried makeup erasers, I’d highly recommend it — there’s really no downsides!

And that’s it for my winter box! If you received a box of your own this season, I’d love to hear how you liked it/which products you received! I’m personally super happy with my box, and I’m already hyped up to see what the spring box brings!

I hope you all had a lovely week, and are ready for the last push before the upcoming holiday season! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my holiday gift guide collection if you’re still in need of gift ideas — I shared one on self-care, skincare, and makeup products that would all make lovely gifts. We only have two weeks left now until the new year, so let’s make it count!

Xo,

Meredith

Holiday Gift Guide #1: Self-Care Edition!

Hey everyone!

This week I’m kicking off the first part of my three-piece Holiday segment — Holiday Gift Guides! Each week will have it’s own theme, and comes with plenty of recommendations of all my favourite products and gift ideas! My hope is, for those of you who absolutely hate Christmas shopping, that you’ll be able to find a couple great ideas from this post.

Even at the best of times, Christmas shopping can be an ordeal. Picking out gifts for anyone can be stressful — yet alone those who are simply impossible to buy for. As well, aimlessly walking around crowded malls is unpleasant to say the least. No matter how much you love shopping, when it comes to Christmas crowds, we all have other things we’d rather be doing. Hopefully, with these lists, you’ll be able to go in with a plan, get all the gifts you need — and the reward of seeing how much joy these gifts will bring will make up for all the struggle.

This week’s theme is self-care, so if you have someone in your life who’s been feeling a little overwhelmed this year and really needs to spend time over the holidays relaxing and recuperating before 2020, this list has you covered. Any one of these items would make a great gift, or for a particularly special someone — feel free to package them all together into a little self-care basket!

For Someone Who Loves A Little Luxury

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Candles make the easiest and most ultimate home-decor/self care gift for so many reasons. They’re cute, simple, create a cozy atmosphere in the winter. Plus, they make cute decor even if you don’t want to light them. I personally ADORE Jo Malone candles over any other brand — they may be expensive, but they smell AMAZING, can burn forever. These candles make absolutely stunning additions to any room they’re in, and don’t overwhelm too much with a heavy smell.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here!

For Someone Who Loves Smooth Skin

Okay, we all already know that I adore the Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Body Polish. It makes the perfect gift for anyone in need of a little extra TLC this holiday season for so many reasons. First of all, weekly exfoliation is super important to maintaining clear, soft, healthy skin — especially in the wintertime. As well, this exfoliator smells like lilacs (!!!!), comes loaded with all kinds of hydrating oils, and provides a fantastic exfoliation. It’s not too rough, nor does it dissolve in water as you use it. There’s very few products in the world I would deem completely perfect — but this is definitely one of them.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here and at Sephora here!

For Someone Looking To Decorate

I can’t even count how many times I’ve been referred to as a “plant mom”. My apartment has more plants than any other kind of decoration — I can’t help it, I just love them! Plants make a perfect gift for so many reasons. First of all, as decor, they go with just about everything. As well, plants are great for filtering air in stuffy apartments, and have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression. So whether its a little aloe or an extra-large Philodendron, consider plants for anyone in your life who could use a little decor and a pick-me-up!

I’m not going to link to any online shops, but some good plants to consider are aloes, cactuses, snake grass, rubber plants, miniature palms, dracaena, or money trees!

For Someone Who Struggles With Winter Weather

In many places, winter is just a truly brutal time for your skin. Besides the cold, it can often get incredibly dry — leading to all sorts of problems for your skin, face, and lips. Luckily, in Vancouver where it rains all winter, its not too much of a problem — but I still remember how dry winter can get from my years in Toronto very well. So, for anyone who may need a little help tackling winter dryness, I have a couple solutions that would make great gifts!

The first item on this list is the Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm. I’ve been using this lip balm for over a year now, and I’m pretty convinced its the best one there is. This lip balm hits all the necessities for me — it’s ultra hydrating, incredibly smooth, and not a little bit sticky, greasy or heavy. Plus, it smells amazing! I guarantee this lip balm would make a great present for anyone who hates suffering from dry, cracked lips this winter season.

As for those suffering from dry skin in the winter, the “Sleepy” Lush body moisturizer makes a great gift! It’s a little on the heavier side, which I’m usually not a fan of, but it’s not too heavy — and really helps with keeping skin soft if you let it absorb overnight. Plus, it smells like lavender, making it the perfect, relaxing end to any self care night!

As for hand cream, I’ve always been a big fan of Crabtree and Evelyn. Their luxurious hand creams come in all kinds of scents from neutral, to floral, to citrus, to herbal, so there’s guaranteed a scent for everyone on your list. They especially make fantastic add-ons to a gift, or a little gift when you’re gifting for multiple people (ie. teachers, coworkers, etc). Who could ever dislike having silky-smooth hands in the middle of winter, right?

Feeling inspired? Check out the Fresh Sugar Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm here (available in other flavours), the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion here, and the Crabtree and Evelyn hand creams here!

For Someone In Need Of An At-Home Spa Day

Nothing says “self care time” like a long, relaxing bath. For anyone in need of a good night off to unwind, consider bath bombs as a gift!

An absolute classic is the Lush bath bombs, you really can’t go wrong with these. They smell amazing and come in so many fun colours, there’s absolutely one for everyone here. A couple of my personal favourites are “Big Blue” and “Avobath“, but really, you can’t go wrong with any bath bomb from Lush. Plus, they have plenty of holiday-themed options to choose from!

These next two I haven’t tried personally, but I’ve been dying to get my hands on them and both look like they would make absolutely fantastic gifts. For someone looking for a true spa experience, Ouai’s new Chill Pills make the perfect gift! Not only are they supposed to smell amazing, but they’re formulated with Jojoba Oil, Safflower Oil, and Hemp Seed Oil, making them fantastic for your skin. As well, I’ve tried a number of other Ouai bath products and all of them were incredible — so I doubt you can go wrong here.

For someone looking for an insta-worthy soak, consider a bath bomb from WWFCO! I’ve been following them on Instagram for ages, and not only are their bath bombs beautiful — they’re handmade, and come loaded with unique and great ingredients in every bag. They have all kinds of rave reviews, so I’d be willing to put my money on these making an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who needs a good, relaxing night off.

Feeling inspired? Check out Lush’s line here, Ouai’s Chill Pills here, and WWFCO on Instagram here!

For Someone Needing To Feel Special

This one is a particularly special one for me, as it was actually a Christmas gift I received last year from my little sister that I wear absolutely every day.

Kate Spade necklaces are so beautiful and simple, all of them make a fantastic gift. However, what makes this one in particular so special is how personalized it is. On the front, it’s engraved with an “M” (for Meredith!) and the back reads “one in a million”. Something this personalized is so sweet and special, and I can tell you firsthand makes an incredible gift for someone who needs to feel a little special this holiday season.

Feeling inspired? Check out this product here (and other Kate Spade necklaces here)!

For Someone You Want To Spend Time With

@element5digital on Unsplash

A manicure day is a great gift because it can also offer the gift of spending time with the person you give it to! A great way to pull this gift off is to make a little coupon to give to whomever you’re sharing it with, make plans to go sometime in January, and enjoy hanging out while pampering yourselves! This gift is also great because it works for just about everyone — whether its for an extra AF friend who want long, blinged out acrylics, someone who never gets their nails done and could use a pick-me-up and a bit of polish, or for guys who like to take good care of their hands. For an added cute touch, if you and the person you’re buying the manicure for are both getting polish, get matching nails!

As An Extra Little Add-On

@julianamalta on Unsplash

Gift cards can seem like a bit of a cop-out as a standalone gift, but when added in addition with something else can seem like a nice extra touch. Plus, I don’t know about you guys but I love online shopping — when it arrives it’s like a little gift to yourself, plus you don’t have to deal with crowded stores. For an extra special touch, add a note with something along the lines of “treat yourself to something nice” or anything else you feel works! Some great ideas for gift cards to add on can be Amazon, Sephora, FashionNova, Nordstrom, Aritzia, Glossier, The Bay, or UrbanOutfitters! Obviously, it all depends on who you’re buying for, but hopefully these options give you some ideas.

Hopefully some of you guys got some great inspiration from this post for your Christmas shopping this year, or at least got a little more in the Holiday spirit! Stay tuned for next weeks list — with a new theme and all kinds of new ideas!

Hope you’ve all had a relaxing weekend, and are gearing up for a productive week!

Much Love,

Meredith