Tuesday, January 22, 2019

6 Days, 6 Lipsticks

I re-started my lipstick a day project last Thursday, and I've now worn 6 lipsticks from my current collection. The green dots indicate the lipsticks I'll be keeping in my collection, and the yellow dot marks the lipstick I'll be re-testing in a future episode in this series. I'm having so much fun wearing a different lipstick every day. My collection seems new to me again, and this is a great project to try if you're looking for a fun way to shop your stash.

I just finished editing the first episode in season two of my lipstick a day series, and I'll be posting the video tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought I would share all six videos from season one in today's blog post. These videos were filmed almost three years ago, when I had an inflated collection containing a whopping 102 lipsticks--and this was after multiple declutters! I continued to work on downsizing my collection after completing this series, and I now have around 25 lipsticks remaining in my stash.

Monday, January 21, 2019

How to Find Hygge

The concept of hygge has completely transformed my attitude towards winter. I used to dread winter, and I would do anything in my power to get out of Toronto to get a break from the cold weather. However, since learning about hygge, I've been intrigued by coziness, particularly winter coziness. So much so that I made it a goal to spend this entire winter in my hometown. I recently watched a film on Finding Hygge. During the post-screening Q&A, there still seemed to be some confusion on how as to find hygge, which provided me with the impetus for the title and theme of this video.

Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to coziness, contentment, and wellbeing. Hygge can include candles, wool socks, a hot mug of tea, and a good book; however, simply having these objects in your life does not guarantee hygge. The key to understanding the concept of hygge is the realization that it can mean different things to different people. Each individual can find hygge in different environments and with different people--and I fully believe hygge can be practiced alone, but is often enhanced in an intimate group setting, where you can be completely yourself and immersed in the present moment. To find hygge, you must first know yourself and be aware of your body's sensations. What brings you feelings of coziness, contentment, and wellbeing? What sends happy shivers up your spine? Be open, be yourself, and be present. Once you become in tune with how hygge feels, you can start incorporating more hyggelig things in your life and spending more time with hyggelig people. Before you know it, you'll have found hygge.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What I Bought This Week #3

My 2019 no-buy is going very well--the only items I bought this week were groceries! I tried to only buy what I needed, but I couldn't pass up a good deal on garlic in Chinatown. :) You'll also notice a lot of frozen pizza in this week's haul. I asked hubby if he wanted frozen pizza for dinner on Thursday, and he said yes, so I picked up a couple on my way home. When he got home, I was surprised to see that he bought a couple as well (along with some lettuce for Truffle). Amazingly, we bought almost exactly the same flavours. It's been over 2 months since I've had frozen pizza, and ohmygosh it really hit the spot.

Note: All expenses will be expressed as the total amount spent--hubby and I split our expenses on groceries and restaurants equally, so my portion will usually be half the amount shown, unless I am out on my own with friends.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Snowy Saturday

Winter hit full force in Toronto today. It's very frosty out, and it snowed pretty much all day. If you're in Toronto or experiencing similar weather, I hope you're keeping warm and cozy!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Instant Pot Chinese Hot Pot

Chinese hot pot is something that hubby and I indulge in almost every winter. We go the all-you-can-eat route, and we're usually overly stuffed by the end of each marathon meal. Last year, we skipped our cold weather hot pot visits, because neither of us felt like overindulging at a buffet. My in-laws and some of our friends do Chinese hot pot at home, but I've never been too curious about trying it myself. That is, until a close friend of mine tried it recently. She told me about buying the flavoured broth mixes from T&T and how delicious the result was, but my interest wasn't piqued until she said the magical word.


Some of you know that I am a big fan of all things spicy, but Sichuan peppers hold a special place in my heart. I love how they numb my mouth in a delightfully cooling way, and the flavour is unlike any other spice I've tried. I order Sichuan broth at hot pot whenever I can, and I don't really lovelovelove hot pot unless I get my fill of this mouth-numbing spice. In fact, I was just telling hubby that when I'm craving hot pot, it's really the Sichuan broth I desire. It's a little odd because I have Sichuan peppers in my spice drawer, yet I rarely use them. It never occurred to me to make my own Sichuan broth or that I could buy pre-made seasoning. Over the holidays, hubby and I made a trip to T&T and purchased a couple of hot pot seasoning packets. We used them tonight to make Instant Pot Chinese Hot Pot, and it was just as delicious as my friend claimed.

Pictured above is half of our food, which I portioned out for us to eat today. Hubby and I didn't think it would be enough, because we usually eat AYCE, but amazingly, it was. We were both bursting by the end of the highly satisfying meal, and we're excited to chow down again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Lipstick a Day Project

Yesterday morning, I went to see my orthodontist, and she removed the rest of the buttons from my teeth. These buttons were glued onto each of my teeth around 2 years ago to help my Invisalign aligners shift my teeth more effectively. My orthodontist removed the buttons from my back teeth last October, and she removed the rest yesterday. In the past couple years, I rarely wore lipstick, because the product tended to get trapped under my aligners, making a bit of a mess. Now that I'm officially finished with my Invisalign treatment, look how happy I am to be wearing lipstick again!

Since my teeth are now button-free, I'm excited to be re-starting the lipstick a day project! I recorded this series a few years ago when I still had an inflated lipstick collection, and it took me a looong time to get through all my products. This time, I only have around 25 lipsticks. I've come such a long way with downsizing my collection--it feels great to have less. I'm re-starting this series with an old standby, which I've been using on-and-off in the past few months to add a bit of colour to my lips. This is the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte-Carlo, a very sheer lipstick in a pretty rose shade with a bit of sparkle. It was fun recording a clip for this product today, and I'm sharing a few screenshots from my video in this blog post. I'll be putting several clips together in each video, and the first video in this series should be posted in a week or so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

October 2018 to January 2019 Empties

The theme for this installment of empties is minis!! I finished so many samples, trial sizes, and hotel products--mainly because I brought a lot of these with me to the silent meditation course. Note that due to the length of time it takes to put together these blog posts, I'll only include notes on selected products.

Hair care: I finished a few full-size products including The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo and the Cake Delectable Dry Shampoo and Body Powder in the Lemon scent. I love both these products and wouldn't hesitate to repurchase them. I won't be stocking up just yet as per my 2019 no-buy rules, because I'm working on a huge bottle of Paul Mitchell shampoo and I have a few backups of the Cake dry shampoo in my collection.

Bath & shower: The majority of the body washes and shower gels in my empties videos are used up by yours truly. For this set of empties, I finished a whopping 10 deluxe samples or hotel sizes, 6 of which were the Le Labo Rose 31 shower gels. I still love the Rose 31 scent.

Bath & shower (continued): While I tend to gravitate more towards body washes and shower gels, hubby prefers solid bar soaps. Together, we finished 7 minis.

Body moisturizer: I finished 3 hand cream minis, along with one hand cream foil packet. In addition, I finished 3 body moisturizer foil packets.

Body moisturizer (continued): The Body Shop Gel-Lotion is a lightweight formulation that I find reasonably moisturizing. I love using this product after a shower or bath because it absorbs so quickly and smells so good. I enjoyed both the satsuma and strawberry scents. I also finished one full-size body butter in the Vineyard Peach scent. This product is more thick and heavy, so I use this to moisturize my hands and feet before going to bed.

Facial skincare: I brought the Daiso cleansing cloths to the silent meditation course, and I was surprised how moist they still were (I opened the package ages ago). I also finished up 7 miscellaneous foil packets of serums and face creams, as well as a peel off mask.

Facial skincare (continued): So much facial skincare in this set of empties! I used up a sample of the Hydro Boost from H2O+, two full-size products from The Ordinary (the Argireline 10% is one of my staple items as per my 2019 no-buy rules, and I also really enjoy the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%), the Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil (I didn't think this was worth the high price point), and a Pelle Beauty lip balm (I enjoyed this).

Makeup: Both the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (natural) and Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (dark) were too light for me in terms of coverage, so I won't be repurchasing either product. I also finished my last mini Estee Lauder Even Skin Tone Illuminator, a Beautyblender (love these), and a sample of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara (love this).

Dental care: These are my dental care staples, and I'll continue to repurchase both the Eco-Dent DailyCare Toothpowder and the Life Brand Unflavoured Dental Flossers.

Miscellaneous: All the products in the Miscellaneous category are scent-related: a body mist that I've had in my collection for ages, a deluxe mini perfume, 5 mini perfume vials, and essential oils in the lavender and orange. I enjoyed both essential oils and will continue to repurchase these. Once I'm done all the perfumes in my collection, I won't be buying any more, as I found I am starting to develop some sensitivities to strong scents. Below is a closer look at the 5 perfume vials I used up, and that's a wrap on 3.5 months of empties!

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