My Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide!

Hey friends!

Soooo, it’s officially April and spring is finally upon us. After this last year, it really feels like it’s time to shed the weight of 2020 and get ready for a fresh new start — and what better way to do that than a good, old-fashioned spring cleaning? I kind of love clearing out my home each spring — it really helps me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Every year when I end up spring cleaning, I kind of end up making a whole event out of it — I’ll spend one or two days fully dedicated to just cleaning up my space. It can be daunting to take on such a big task if you don’t really know where to start — but don’t fret, because that’s exactly what this guide is for! There’s four main ways I freshen up my space each spring — deep cleaning, de-cluttering, reorganizing, and “cleansing the vibe”, so to speak. In this guide, I’ve broken down my usual game plan into twelve simple steps (don’t worry if that sounds crazy to you — a lot of the steps are super short, so it’s not as insurmountable as it sounds). This way, you can follow along, find new advice, or rework my plan into your own personalized cleaning schedule and get spring clean-ready!

Air Out Your Home

To start, open up all the windows in your house that you can and get some good fresh air circulating in your space. Now that it’s warm enough to keep the windows open for a while, try to leave them open while your cleaning up to allow you to get rid of all the musty, stagnant air that’s been sitting around your home. Even if you don’t feel much of a difference, I promise the fresh air will make you feel better.

Finish Up Little Tasks You’ve Been Putting Off

What little fixes around your home have you been avoiding? Things such as changing that burnt out lightbulb, tightening up the screws on a sticky door, or tossing and replacing old and useless appliances? Whatever it is, make a list between now and when you start cleaning of everything you’ve been putting off, so you can ensure you don’t miss anything. It’s so easy, once you’ve started putting off a task, to continue procrastinating on it until the end of time — you’ve already decided you can live with the problem, after all. However, that ends now! Before you can forget again, write down and finish up all the tasks you’ve been putting off — it’ll honestly be a weight off your shoulders.

Clear Out Your Closet

The most obvious step to a good, thorough spring cleaning is clearing out old clothes from your closet. While you can do this any way that suits you best, I’d recommend checking out Marie Kondo’s method — her Netflix show really inspired me back when it came out, and helped me declutter my life more effectively than I ever had before. When cleaning out my closet, I usually take the time to pull everything out, section my section, and go through all of it — making both a donation pile, and a pile of winter clothes that can be put away over the summer months to reduce clutter in my closet.

Throw Out Old Makeup and Bathroom Items

This is an important one — it’s really easy to hold onto hold onto old cosmetics and skincare items and not realize how bad they are for your skin if you continue to use them after their expiry date. Here’s a quick little guide I found that summarizes how long you should be keeping all of your items before replacing them — its worth double checking, even if you’re pretty certain you know how long items last. While it won’t kill you to keep items a little past their due, using items that are too far gone can lead to all kinds of problems — from issues with your complexion to infection. It’s worth taking the time once a year to evaluate what’s still good, and what needs to go.

Rethink Your Accessories

If you’re a big accessorizer, you’ll know how accessories can pile up over the years. Certain trends can come and go over a single season, and certain pieces can become very outdated over a short period of time. This spring, it’s time to rethink the accessories you have — is it necessary to keep them all? Sentimental items aside, go through the accessories you’ve collected over the years and decide if you still use them and if they’re still worth keeping. If not, you can always donate them (or even sell them) — that way, you’ll be able to reduce clutter and make room for new accessories in the future!

Kitchen Clean Out

Now it’s time to go through your kitchen. During this step, you’ll want to go through both kitchen items as well as good, and find ways to get rid of what you don’t need. Old, broken appliances or items you no longer use that are taking up space should be disposed of appropriately. Any expired food should be tossed, and non-perishable items you haven’t eaten and won’t end up using should be donated. The details of this step are really up to you — but the gist is to declutter and reorganize your kitchen the same way you did the other ares of your home in the previous steps.

Downsize Your Storage

Possibly the most daunting step — it’s a good idea to go through your storage and clear out everything you don’t need. It’s so easy to neglect storage items, with them being hidden away and infrequently used. While it’s easy to just ignore the problem, with time you’ll end up adding more and more items until you’re out of storage, or your storage is simply impossible to navigate. By going through once a year, clearing out items you no longer need and reorganizing what’s left, you’ll never get to the point where clearing out your storage seems like some insurmountable task, and going through it every so often reminds you of what you already own — before you accidentally end up purchasing doubles.

Clear Out Miscellaneous Items

The final step of cleaning everything out is to go around the remaining areas of your home and clearing out items you no longer need — which really changes from person to person. For instance, this year I’ll be specifically tidying up my bedside drawers, linens closet, and desk drawers — but what this step means for you will really depend on your own home. Similar to the other steps, clear out items you no longer need from cluttered spaces and tidy up what remains. After this, you’ll finally be done clearing everything out — so I know you’re tired, but power through and you’ll be able to get a really good, fresh start this spring.

Reorganize What Isn’t Working

What areas of your household just don’t work? Between now and when you get to cleaning, take some time to think about which areas of your space you are constantly irritated by, but never think to fix. For me, it’s always my bathroom drawers and bedroom closet. If the way your space is organized isn’t the most functional, perhaps it’s time to switch things up. Try purchasing some new organizers, or maybe try rearranging where in your home you store things. If you’re really up to it, you can even try building in new storage areas to get a good, custom fit.

Clean Every Nook and Cranny

Once you’ve cleared everything out and reorganized what remains, it’s time to deep clean. If you have the time, it’s worth making a day of it — set up a playlist, get into some comfy cleaning clothes and get down to it. If you can, try to do all the little tasks you end up forgetting — such as wiping down the windows, dusting the ceiling corners, vacuuming in the crevices, or whatever it is you find yourself putting off on cleaning days. It can be exhausting, but it’ll be really rewarding when you’ve completed your clean after going all out, with your space looking better than it has in a while.

Freshen Up With Candles

You’re finally almost done! Something that always makes me feel like the final steps of my clean out are coming together are lighting some candles, or turning on my diffuser, and freshening up. Odds are, after such a deep clean-out that your home may smell a bit like cleaning products, but hopefully between your open windows and scented candles, it shouldn’t be too overpowering. By the next day, your home should be smelling fresh, looking clean, and put you in a good mindset for a fresh start this spring. My personal suggestion, if you’re needing some new candles or diffuser oils to add to your collection, are always Indigo and Saje — they’re honestly two of my fave stores of all time, I’m totally obsessed with them. Indigo has more scented candles than anyone ever needs, so there’s totally a candle for everyone — and Saje is more a less the gold standard for diffusers and oils, so there’s nowhere better to shop.

Add In Something New

You’ve finally made it to the end! As a final step, I always love adding in something new — it really helps to make your place feel fresh and new. This can be anything from big decor items — such as a new wall art piece, to a carpet, to new lights or a tapestry — to something smaller, such as a new plant, vase, decor piece, or even some fresh flowers from the supermarket. It’s up to you, really, whatever it is your place feels like it’s missing to tie your spring clean up all together.

Happy April, everyone! It’s finally starting to get warm here in Vancouver — it’s kind of weird honestly, even though the last year has passed by so quickly, it still feels like another lifetime since the last time it was warm here. I’m personally super excited for summer this year — hopefully it’ll mean the end of a lot of lockdowns (since we’re right back in it here in Vancouver), as well as shaking off the seasonal depression and hopefully finding a new normal.

Are you all looking forward to the month ahead? Let me know what some of your plans and goals are — what are you most excited about this April? I’m looking forward to applying to new school programs, personally — as well, as March was the best month I’ve had on my blog in the last year, I’m hoping to smash my records again and have April be even better! Fingers crossed, we’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

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

Get To Know The Writer Behind The Blog!

Hey y’all!

I’m taking this post in a bit of a different direction today — I wanted to take some time to introduce you all to my real self! While I’m obviously often very open and forthcoming with all of you about my life, my schedule, and what I’ve been through in this last year, due to the nature of this blog I feel as though it limits you all from getting the full scope of who I am as a person. Many of my posts focus mainly on lifestyle, skincare, and makeup — which are some of my most favourite things in the world — but I wanted to take this time to introduce you all to a couple of the little things I love that make up who I am as a person as well!

So, without further ado, here’s a couple random facts about my interests, my favourite things, and all the little bits and pieces that come together to make me who I am!

Age: 23

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Currently Living In: Vancouver, British Columbia

Fave Food: Definitely either pasta or dim sum! I have so many others though — I really love tacos and banh mi as well.

Fave Travel Destination: It’s gotta be a tie between Iceland, Vietnam and Thailand!

Dream Travel Destination: Japan, Greece and Italy!

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Fave Movies: Howl’s Moving Castle, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and I’m always down for a good action movie — but in general I’m more of a TV kind of person.

Fave Genre: Thrillers and dramas!

Fave TV Shows: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Grey’s Anatomy and Death Note.

Fave Holiday: Halloween!

Halloween 2019

Fave Skincare Brands: Biossance, Herbivore Botanicals, Fresh and Glow Recipe

Fave Makeup Brands: NARS, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Huda Beauty.

Biossance, one of my fave brands

Fave Workout: Yoga! (If that counts as a workout, that is).

My Hobbies: Drawing, Makeup and Writing! (I’m not super ready yet to start sharing my drawings yet, since I’m just getting back into it after taking a couple years off. I’ve been experimenting with alcohol-based markers, but since I’m a long way off from truly getting the hang of using them, here’s the outline of a little doodle I did the other day before I coloured it in. No judgement — I know it’s nothing fantastic! I’ll start sharing more once I’m more practiced. Those of you with similar interests may recognize where this drawing is from, though!).

Coffee or Tea: Tea, always.

Cats or Dogs: I do love dogs, but I’m 100% a cat person. (See attached below a picture of my baby, Dmitry, who I love to show off at any given chance because I ADORE him).

My baby, Dmitry!

What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up: When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with the idea of being an archeologist or a palaeontologist! (Yes, Jurassic Park was my favourite movie).

Weird Fact About Me: In high school, I was an archer and I played the double bass in my school’s orchestra!

And that’s a few fun little facts about me! If any of you have similar interests or little tidbits about yourself to what I shared in this post, I’d love to hear it! The strangest thing about having a blog is that while I’ve been so personal with you all and you know so many details of my personal life, it’s often the little things that really make up our personality and who we are. I hope this post gave you a little more insight into who I am, both as a writer and as a person.

I know we all hate icebreakers, but if you guys have an interesting or similar fact drop it in a comment below! That way, when this is all said and done, we can all know each other a little better than we did before.

Much love,

Meredith

Fall FabFitFun Unboxing!

My Fall FabFitFun Box!

Happy first day of September y’all!

So, to start off, I’d figured I’d give a little life update — after a couple of the most hectic weeks of my life, I’m finally moved into my new apartment! I’m far from being done and probably have a few more crazy weeks ahead, but after that things should hopefully settle down. However, I’ve survived it all so far so cheers to that!

Now, onto today’s blog (which I am so excited to share) — unboxing my fall FabFitFun box! These boxes are absolutely my favourite thing in the world, I look forward to the start of each new season just to see what’s inside. Not only is every product I’ve received so far amazing; I swear FabFitFun knows what I need in my life before I do.

In this particular box, I received so many items I had just run out of/was looking to go purchase, so needless to say especially with the move this makes my life A LOT easier right now. Keep reading to see what I received in this season’s box!

Amika Strand Perfect Ceramic Straighter

Ceramic Straightener by Amika

This is the PERFECT example of FabFitFun seemingly knowing my needs before I do. For years, I’ve only had a cheap old drugstore straightener which did a terrible job of straightening my hair. It felt damaging, caught and tore my strands as I used it and took forever to use even on the highest setting — and my hair is naturally pretty straight. I am SO excited to give this fancy new straightener a go — maybe I’ll even be able to master flat iron curls!

Twine Cheese Board And Plate

Twine Cheese Board

This plate is so cute and perfect for if you ever have guests over! It’s incredibly high-quality and looks super classy for wine nights with your girls. It is 100% what I was looking for in terms of kitchen gear and I cannot WAIT to get some use out of it!

Cosmedix Pure C

Cosmedix Pure C

I cannot wait to give this stuff a try! It seems like such a simple way to add some extra Vitamin C to your skincare regimen. Simply add the powder to your serum or moisturizer, and it adds a boost of Vitamin C to your skin! Cosmedix is a fantastic brand as well — we carried it at the spa I used to work at and the whole line is incredibly high-quality. So while I haven’t tested this one out yet, I know I’ll be in for a treat when I do.

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

Yet another great example of FabFitFun having my back — this hair towel is SO cute and just what I needed! I’ve had the same cheap towels since I first moved to Vancouver, and over the years they’ve began to fall apart. Moving seemed like the perfect time to replace them, but now I’ve been saved a trip. I’ve had a towel in this style before; it’s designed to fit over the back of your head, wrap up your hair and then fastens with a button to keep it all together. While I haven’t had one of these since high school, these towels are amazing for your hair — they’re comfortable and convenient. Onto of that, the towel fabric is clearly high quality AND it’s pink! So cute!

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

Wander Beauty Eye Masks

FabFitFun has introduced me to a whole bunch of amazing eye masks since I started receiving their boxes — but these are my favourites so far. They’re packed with all sorts of amazing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. Within one use, I already noticed a significant change in my dark circles and eye area. You guys already know how much I struggle with my under-eye area, but these actually seemed to fix up all sorts of issues in just minutes. Plus, they’re super cute so when I had a surprise guest it wasn’t even embarrassing to be seen wearing them!

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair

Aveda Damage Ready Daily Hair Repair

Again, an example of FabFitFun knowing my needs. I had just ran out of my beloved Ryo hair mask, but this one arrived just in time for me to have to go mask-less. After one use alone I have to say, I’m pretty sold on this stuff. At first, the idea of leave-in treatment had me a little stressed — it sounded like something that would just leave my hair oily and gross. However, this stuff is non-coating and light, and I couldn’t believe how fantastic my hair felt after use.

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

While I haven’t had a chance to give this product a try, I’m beyond excited to! The ingredients in this moisturizer sound lovely, and I love a nice, light body cream — I’m really not a fan of heavier stuff as it often lingers and leaves a residue on my skin. I just used up the last cream I received in a FabFitFun box and it was one of the best products I’d ever tried, so I can’t wait to give this one a shot!

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes

The last item in my box — these exfoliating sugar cubes — are just another example of FabFitFun knowing exactly what I need. (See what I mean now? Out of seven products, four of them filled a direct need I’ve been having lately. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m impressed!). As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of exfoliating, however I just ran out of my Herbivore exfoliator and haven’t had the time to purchase a new one. These cubes are pretty cool — while I’ll admit I probably wouldn’t repurchase them myself, they’re small and make it easy to ensure you don’t overuse and waste product. They smell amazing and are packed full of ingredients to leave your skin moisturized. While I’m still pretty married to the Herbivore Amethyst exfoliator, this is certainly better than many other products I’ve tried and would definitely recommend it!

And that’s it for this season’s box! I love these boxes so much, not only do they introduce me to so many amazing products and brands, but they’re like a little gift to myself every three months. On top of all the amazing products they sent me, they come packed with all sorts of other little goodies such as gift cards, free boxes to send to your friends, and a magazine detailing all the products in your box! All in all, you get your money’s worth so many times over with these boxes as so many of these products are full-sized and quite expensive to purchase. I’m already beyond excited for next seasons box — my only complaint is that I have to wait three whole months to see it!

Happy fall, everyone!

Love,

Meredith

Update: Blog Things!

Hey friends!

For any of you who’ve been following me for a while, you may have noticed I’ve kept up a consistent blogging schedule of posting three times a week (crazy, I know!). When I first started this blog, I was SO excited to share every thought I had, completely unfiltered. Shortly after I started, I had a bit of a whirlwind two months of travelling and the content potential just kept coming — I felt like I couldn’t even keep up with how much I wanted to share.

However, since then, my life has slowed down in some ways and sped up in others. While my two months of jet-setting have come to a close, I have an insane month of completely upheaving my life ahead. Not only will I be moving into my brand new apartment, I’ll be searching for a career job and settling into my new downtown life — which is going to be a big change from living on campus for the last 5 years.

While, yes, I have been living on my own out in Vancouver since I was seventeen, there’s something about campus life and university that makes it all a little simpler than the real world. School schedules can be adjusted to your exact choosing, university campuses are set up with nearly everything you’d ever need, and all your friends live within blocks of you. It’s a time, I’ve found, that mistakes are meant to be made and learnt from. Not that this isn’t true for all stages of life (we never really stop learning, even when we leave educational institutions), but settling into “real world” adult life is certainly a little more serious and unforgiving than university is.

All that being said, I’m excited for it all — I cannot WAIT to move downtown and experience it. However, the adjustments I’m going to be making over the next month are going to be numerous. I have to deal with lots of exciting things — furnishing my apartment, finding new go-to’s for all my health, food and beauty needs, meeting potential roommates and more. However, there are countless more “serious” things I have to accomplish as well; I need to switch over my Ontario residency, find new doctors/optometrists/dentists etc, finally get my licence (yes, really), find myself a job …you get the point. It’s going to be a very hectic and transformative time for me.

Anyway, this is all just an incredibly long-winded way of letting you all know to avoid burn-out, I’m going to be limiting myself to two posts a week — My Tuesday Favourites, as well as a Sunday post of my choosing. I’m hoping this way, I can work on curating more quality content for you all, as well as making sure I don’t fall behind with posting content on schedule.

So, here’s to the next month! Fingers crossed I survive it all and make it out to October in one piece. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated, as well as sharing all my favourite beauty and skincare products and whatever posts each Sunday may hold. But for now, this is my last Thursday post.

Love you all, and thank you all so much for your support so far over the last few months! Every comment I receive from you guys means the world to me, I love knowing that my blogging is actually making an impact in people’s lives.

Stay tuned for this Sunday, when I share my latest Sephora haul with you guys!

Love y’all,

Meredith