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Watermelon Mint Iced Tea.

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I love iced tea in the summer! It’s such a refreshing treat. David’s Tea always has fun flavours to try and I recently picked up their Watermelon Mint. Mint tea is my absolute favourite all year round, so I was really excited to try the mint watermelon combination for something a little fruity. It’s a caffeine-free tea made with honeydew melons, carrots, wild strawberry leaves, beetroot, and of course peppermint and watermelon. The website suggests trying this iced tea with a splash of vodka for a fun cocktail! However, I stuck with the regular iced tea this time and it was delicious! Perfect for a BBQ! You can chose to add a sweetener, but I found the tea sweet enough without.

Watermelon Mint Iced Tea

25g watermelon mint loose-leaf tea
1 litre boiling water
mint leaves
fresh watermelon
agave/honey (optional)

Steep the loose-leaf tea in the boiling water for 10 minutes. If you are going to use a sweetener (honey or agave) add this while your tea is steeping. Strain the loose tea and add ice cubes to the hot water. Allow this to chill in the fridge until cold (20-30 mins). Add mint leaves and fresh watermelon. Enjoy!

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Weekend Reading.

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What are you up to this weekend? Any plans? The weather is a bit dreary for the middle of July. I was hoping for a day at the beach but I think it’s a little too chilly. Seems like the perfect day for an infrared sauna and catching up on some reading. Have a cozy weekend and here are a few fun links from around the web to enjoy with your morning coffee…

Quinoa pizza with Meyer lemon, goat cheese, and basil.

Lemon thyme popcorn. A good summer snack.

5 French Wines That Taste Like They Cost a Fortune. | 10 Awesome White Wines Under $20.00.

Australian salt mines are surprisingly beautiful.

The most perfect ballet flats ever (made by Josefinas).

Real life emojis. Made me laugh.

20 signs you’re succeeding in life (even if it doesn’t feel like it).

8 tips for entertaining your guests.

Gorgeous blue nails: YSL Bleu Majorelle | Essie Strut Your Stuff | Deborah Lippmann Blue Orchid

Design: Tuft Love.

What’s In My Beauty Bag with Katsuno Nagamura. This girl knows her skincare, and she’s got all the travel products you need to look your best on a long-haul flight!

Have a cozy weekend!
[Photo via Piece of Cake]


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Motivational Passwords.

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Have you tried using a motivational password before?

Every 30 days or so my computer at work prompts me to change my password. It always seems to come on a morning when I’m running late and I never feel prepared to commit myself to a brand new 8 digit word filled with uppercases, lowercases, symbols, and numbers. This is why I’ve kept the same meaningless word that was assigned to me at the start and simply switch the number up by one digit every month. Every month until last week that is. There’s a website that’s been shared around the internet lately about how a password changed someone’s life. Ever since reading that I’ve been waiting patiently for the morning to come when my computer forces me to enter a new password. A password that I will have to enter and re-enter anywhere from 20-40 times a day for the next month.

I mean, not that I really believe a password will change my life, but I’m a sucker for a good motivational technique. I started thinking about something I would want to hear repeatedly throughout the day for the next month and nothing came to mind. All I could think of was the word motivation, and that just won’t work. I decided I should pick something that I want to get done, something from my to-do list that I need a little extra help completing. Eliminating refined sugars from my life is something I’ve been attempting for the last little while, so I entered a sugar-free password to see if this motivational theory really worked.

I kid you not, it’s only been a week, but my sugarless password is helping! The constant reminder acts as a subliminal message that goes straight to my brain every time I use my computer. The fact that I am forced to type it out makes it more powerful than simply reading it. I say the words in my mind as I type them, and after telling myself the same thing 40 times in an 8 hour period, I’m bound to start believing it, right?  It makes sense. I wish I started doing this earlier, it’s so simple and effective. If you don’t already use a motivational password, give it a try! I think you’ll like it. Even if you don’t have a password for work, try changing the password to your laptop or email.

What do you think? Have you used motivational passwords before? Do they work for you? Let me know!


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What’s In My Beauty Bag | Katsuno Nagamura.

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I am more than excited to start off a new series called What’s In My Beauty Bag with my gorgeous friend Katsuno Nagamura. Katsuno and I met in high school when her and her sister travelled from Japan to study here in Canada. She is currently living in Hong Kong and works on an international airline as a flight attendant. I was able to spend a couple days with her when she flew to Vancouver last month and she was kind enough to let me snoop through her products and share some of her skincare secrets with you.

You’re probably wondering the same thing as me: how does someone who spends their week on long-haul-dry-cabin-air-flights without a regular schedule for beauty sleep achieve such flawless skin? I mean really, she’s gorgeous! Katsuno has 3 basic methods to maintaining a flawless complexion while travelling and she walks me through each of them below…

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#1 | “I keep a small cosmetic bag filled with in-flight essentials with me at all times. I look for multitasking products that have excellent lasting power to get me through long shifts (sometimes up to 16 hours!)”.

Coco Mademoiselle Fresh Hair Mist. Perfume cannot be worn on the wrists as it might bother passengers while reaching in front of them or passing food, etc. However, having a hair mist allows me to keep things fresh and professional. Especially on the really long flights when I wish I could have a shower.

Shu Uemura Liquid Foundation & Pressed Powder. When it comes time to put makeup on for a 16 hour flight, I need something reliable that is going to last through the dry cabin air and not leave my face looking greasy. This foundation contains just enough moisture to prevent my skin from drying out and producing excess oil as a symptom of dehydration. It is something I trust to keep me looking my best throughout long shifts. I always set this foundation with the pressed powder and use the powder throughout the flight to touch up my face when needed.

Esteé Lauder Pure Colour Crystal Lipstick. This lipstick has just enough pigmentation to look professional and put together, and it’s hydrating enough to wear on my lips for long periods of time. Most lipsticks are too drying to wear during flights, but this one is the one I go to regularly because it gives a nice glossy finish. I can’t carry too many products with me so this lipstick/moisturizer/gloss combination is perfect.

L’Occitane Rose 4 Reines Hydrating Face Mist. This mist needs to be applied all throughout the flight to avoid skin dehydration. It’s gentle, doesn’t smudge my makeup, and nourishes my skin. I spritz it right over my makeup every few hours as a good refresher. This is a must-have for flying!

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#2 | “I make sure to thoroughly cleanse my skin everyday and give it as much nutrition as possible through the products I use”.

Morning Routine: I gently rinse my face with water in the morning. I apply the Vitalizing Refining Lotion from the Shu Uemura Red:Juvenus collection and follow with the Shu Uemura Lighbulb Fluid Foundation. This foundation gives me a seamless coverage without being sticky or oily and it lasts all day. I always top that off with the Shu Uemura Matte Face Powder to seal in my foundation and stop any shine. I use the Kate Tokyo Eyebrow Palette and a clear mascara to keep my brows in place and the Loreal Paris Curl Impact Collagene Mascara (only available in ASIA) on my bottom lashes. This is the best mascara I’ve found for my lashes. I wear eyelash extensions on my top lashes. For someone who is constantly travelling this is the best way to go. It saves me time in the morning and it’s an instant face brightener for days when I don’t get much sleep.

Evening Routine: I start by removing my makeup with the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil. This product is truly amazing. I really take the time to massage this into my skin and it removes all of my makeup while leaving my skin hydrated and nourished. I follow with the Vitalizing Refining Lotion, Intense Vitalizing Concentrate, Vitalizing Line-Reducing Eye Essence, Vitalizing Retexturizing Emulsion, and lastly the Vitalizing Retexturizing Night Cream. These products are all from the Shu Uemura Red:Juvenus collection. I am very loyal to the Shu Uemura brand because their products work well with my skin type and I know I am not only getting good hydration while cleansing my skin, but I am also giving my skin the nutrients it needs to repair itself and stay healthy.

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#3 | “I keep my skin active through activities like hot yoga.”

I was in total awe as soon as I caught a glimpse of Katsuno’s lace cosmetic bag and Japanese brand hair products neatly scattered around the sink in our hotel. This stuff was so gorgeous it had to be photographed. I can’t wait to try out some of the products she’s recommended, if they can pass the test of a 16 hour flight, they must be good! She let me use her cleansing oil in the hotel to take off my makeup at the end of the day and it really was amazing. I must remember to pick up a bottle of that.

Thank you so much for letting me rummage through your beauty bag and share it with the world Katsuno. Your skin is an inspiration to us all. I hope you enjoyed this What’s In My Beauty Bag post. I’ll be back with another lovely face next month. Thanks for reading! Love you guys.


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Essie ‘Big Spender’ Nail Polish.

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Is it too early to say I’ve found my favourite summer nail polish? I know it’s only half way through July, but I would be happy wearing this lush red-violet shade on my toes for the rest of the season. Essie‘s Big Spender is a rich and sassy violet that pairs well with so many things! It’s a shade from their older collection, but I only recently picked it up and I’m totally in love with it. I typically like wearing a darker shade on my toes and I find this shade deep enough to be considered dark, but still bright enough to be fun for summer. Like all Essie polishes, it’s DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free.

What do you think? What’s your favourite toe-polish shade for summer?

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Essie Polish: $9.00 per bottle.
Happy Tuesday!


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Weekend Reading.

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What are you up to this weekend? The weather is going to be hot, remember to put on that SPF and drink lots of water! I’m hoping to spend some time at the lake today before having to work on Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend and here are a few fun links from around the web to enjoy with your morning coffee…

Fresh lasagna with walnut pesto | Snap pea, watermelon, and edamame salad with sesame vinaigrette.

Strawberry cheesecake popsicles.

This little summer outfit.

DIY: a simple twisted bun | edible fruit kabob place cards.

Speech tips for those of you in summer weddings (via C & C).

Emojinalysis.

How to ride a bike in a skirt.

Creating a backyard oasis.

Design: loving these colour block walls.

Global beauty standards (one face photoshopped by 25 different countries).

Have a wonderful weekend!
[Photo via Maddie On Things]


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Summer Entertaining: Chilled Broccoli and Pistachio Soup + Chardonnay.

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Following up with my Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad + Rosé is a chilled soup recipe adapted from SixCourseDinner. I know, soup is typically something for the cooler months, but this chilled green soup is a healthy and delicious little dish to serve on the patio this summer. Christine and I had fun making this one, and look how fancy it turned out! You could really impress your friends with this, and it’s so simple to make.

Chilled Broccoli and Pistachio Soup

1 bunch organic broccoli
3/4 cup raw pistachios
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
ricotta cheese or plain yogurt

Bring a saucepan to medium heat with a bit of olive oil. Add the broccoli florets and cook until
bright green, but not cooked all the way through. In a medium pot, start to heat the vegetable
broth. Once boiling, add the broccoli, chopped garlic, and pistachios and lower the heat.
Cook for a few minutes (until the broccoli is nice and tender). Use an inverted hand blender
to purée the mixture as much as possible. Strain it through a fine chinois. Add the rice wine
vinegar and salt/pepper to taste. Let the soup cool before dividing into bowls and garnishing
with a few pistachios, a dollop of plain yogurt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

yeppThis soup is very wine friendly and I think a variety of white wines would pair lovely with it. I’ve chosen one of my favourite wines, an oaked chardonnay from a winery in Yolo County, California called Toasted Head. This winery is known for toasting their barrel heads to impart a mellow, toasted flavour into their barrel-aged wines. Their chardonnay has hints of coconut, lemon, and vanilla and it’s finished with a butter toast flavour. I love the unique ,almost woody, taste of this wine. It’s smooth and creamy but still crisp . At $18.00 a bottle this wine is a great way to treat yourself and your guests.

Happy patio season, enjoy!
[Photo collaboration with Baci&Baci]


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Parasocial Relationships + Do You Have Them?

tv relationships

A recent article in Darling Magazine by Keli Finnerty-Myers really caught my attention. I read it right after the opening weekend of Orange Is The New Black Season 2 on Netflix. The weekend that I camped out on my laptop and binge-watched the entire season before going back to work on Monday morning. Somebody tell me I’m not the only person who did that…

Anyways, the article talks about our relationship to celebrities or fictional characters from television series/books/etc that we feel ourselves connecting to on a personal level. Even though we never really meet them we start to feel as if we grow to know them better the more we’re around them. I fall right into this category, I get completely attached to characters and often think of them as people I know. I am the type of person who cries during season finales regardless if it’s a sad ending or not. I mean when Michael Scott left The Office, when Monica and Chandler moved out of the city, and when Carrie Bradshaw hung up her last call from Mr. Big, I was a total wreck. I do not like hate good-bye’s. Real or not.

It may sound a little crazy, I mean it’s just TV right? But if you think about the hours we spend investing our time and emotion into these stories, it’s really not so crazy. These feelings of closeness to people we have never met are called parasocial relationships. With all the information provided by the internet and media today, it’s more and more common for people to have these types of relationships. Can you think of someone you’ve never met that you may know more about than someone you work with everyday? These parasocial relationships are normal, but take note of how they influence you. TV “friends” of ours can influence our behaviour in similar ways that real friendships can. After spending the weekend with someone you might notice yourself acting or thinking like them. The next time you binge watch a whole season in a weekend (thanks to Netflix) think about how you might be influenced by your relationship to the characters, and prepare yourself for a period of grief once you run out of episodes and you’re forced to say goodbye to your newly formed friends.

Do you have any parasocial relationships?
[Photo via Stephanie Sterjovski]


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LORAC PRO To Go Eye/Cheek Palette.

I bought the LORAC PRO To Go Eye/Cheek Palette for a trip I have planned in September. I thought it would be great for traveling because it has all the basic nude eye colours (3 matte and 3 shimmer) and it also has a bronzer and two blushes. It comes in a sleek little compact that flips open and magnetically closes. It also has a large mirror on the inner side of one flap. If you’re travelling low key and not planning on wearing a ton of makeup, this palette will seriously save you a ton of room in your makeup kit. It’s so practical! I was planning on saving this palette until my trip, but I love it so much I’ve been using it almost everyday since I got it. It’s just perfection.

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The eyeshadows are really pigmented which is nice because you barely need to apply any powder to get a good amount of colour. They are buttery, very long lasting, and they even smell nice. Whenever I open the palette I can smell a really faint but pleasant scent. I haven’t tried this yet but apparently the eyeshadows are also really good used wet (especially the black) as an eyeliner. The bronzer is what really hooked me to this palette though. It leaves such a beautiful bronze shade on the skin and it’s really good quality. It’s definitely my favourite bronzer right now. The blushes pair lovely with the bronzer and together they really highlight the neutral eyeshadow shades. I am completely in love with this palette and I would highly recommend it to anyone travelling or anyone who likes to have as little makeup products as possible.

The original LORAC PRO Palette is one of the most coveted palettes in the beauty world. It’s continuously sold-out everywhere. Just last week the LORAC PRO 2 Palette was launched and I think this is one I am going to need. I mean check out some of the shades. The cool grey/nectar/mocha combination alone is enough reason to buy it. Also the charcoal and jade, oh my gosh! For the quality and amount of product you get in these palettes, they are extremely affordable. LORAC for the win everyone.

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I was pretty excited when I got my little travel palette in the mail. Can you tell?

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LORAC PRO To Go Eye/Cheek Palette- $38.00
Happy Tuesday!


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Weekend Reading.

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What are you up to this weekend? Anyone heading South for some 4th of July celebrations? After a short three-day week, I’m really looking forward to another weekend! I’ll be hanging out in town, hoping to go for a good bike ride! Have a great weekend and here are a few fun links from around the web to enjoy with your morning coffee…

Crispy salmon with strawberry basil salsa. | Dark chocolate, pear, and rosemary cake.

Sand castles.

The perfect cover to an old favourite. I’ve had this on repeat all week!

Palm print shirt | Crab print flats | Pineapple print shorts.

Do you hug and kiss your friends?

More summer reading recommendations here and here.

Crazy cat people are going to love this!

How cute is this power outlet!?

5 natural sunburn remedies.

What our non-instagram lives are like. Made me laugh.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived 12 little girls in two straight lines”. Madeline is 75!

Have a great weekend!
[Photo via Nicole da Rosa]