Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Secret of the (Non) Stink- Product Review

This is a post about deodorant. Just a heads up. I am part of a website called BzzAgent. It gives members the opportunity to fill out surveys about your lifestyle and you can get free stuff based on your answers. All you have to do is share it on social media (I’m still trying to figure out a way to post it on Instagram without making it sound like a cheesy ad) and be honest about whether you like it or not. So I mean, it’s a good idea. I went crazy on filling out the surveys when I applied for membership, and I got a match for an upcoming campaign within a week. I suppose I am lucky. For this campaign, I received Secret Outlast Clear Gel in Ooh-La-La Lavender. Receiving deodorant in the mail is quite the experience, let me tell you. First issue: how the heck do you write a blog post about deodorant? Second issue: how does one go about taking pictures of deodorant that are decent enough to be put on the Internet (Google is useless in this matter)? My conclusion: I decided to wing it. 

As you can see from my picture of the three deodorants, I was no stranger to this brand. I have not had much luck with deodorant in the past. I find that a lot of it ends up covering the smell without masking it. As in, you know you’re trying to hide a smell. When it comes to Secret brand, I have never been disappointed with the results. I have used both the original style and this lavender style, but I preferred the lavender. Just to add an opposing view here, my sister thought it was too strong a scent. I loved that at the end of the day, I still knew I was wearing deodorant, even if I was in a “sweatin’ in my boots” kind of day. I’ve tried roll-on, I’ve tried organic, I’ve tried solid, but this gel deodorant is the most sufficient. As I said, it does not feel like it is covering up a smell, but creates a long-lasting (and good) smell of its own.

This deodorant promises some hefty things. I know you’ve seen the ads. So let’s talk about it.

It promises: “fast drying ingredients to evaporate in seconds”

The truth: Oh, it certainly does! I work at a pool. Chlorine kills off the deodorant, but all I need is a swipe of the stick and I’m good to go for the rest of my shift. And I don’t need to hold my arms up to wait for it to dry, which is apparently a problem. I did find that I was waiting when I tried roll-on deodorant.

It promises: “permeate sweat glands faster and more efficiently than invisible solid deodorant” and “stop odour before it starts”

The truth: Agreed. As I mentioned above, I never felt as if there was some gross scent underneath the scent of the deodorant. We’ve all been there. This is some cool science.

It promises: “bid farewell to white marks”

The truth: You know when you’re shopping and trying on clothes and you see someone else’s armpit mark on the shirt (I always imagine it to be an old lady) and you can only think about the fact that this article of clothing was on someone else’s armpit? Well, you will now have full confidence that no one will be grossed out by your armpit marks because there will not be any. That actually may be grosser.

It promises: “minimizes odour-causing bacteria for longer-lasting, 48 hour odour protection”

The truth: Apparently, this has something to do with the pH in the deodorant. I mean, sure. I trust you. It does last all day, but I have not tested it out for 48 hours. However, if you’re going to go out a night, let’s say, and then you’re not going to home to shower after, hypothetically, then your deodorant will still be working the next day. Not sure about the state of your hair or face or breath though. But seriously, I always crash at my friends’ houses because I live too far away from downtown. I trust my deodorant to do the trick.

Overall impression? Great! Awesome! Loved it! Will I buy it again? Well, not for a while because I have three, but definitely when I run out. I suggest it. So go for it! And let me know if you do, because it would be cool to know if someone actually takes my advice.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #18

This week seems like such a blur! I was so busy! But it was fun. I got to hang out with some awesome people, join in for a tradition at my university, and reconnect with some old friends. Not to mention, I came up with some amazing plans for my birthday (it was exactly two months away on Thursday). I have a couple bonus outfits, just like I mentioned last week.
Tuesday- I have realized that most of my outfit board on Pinterest consists of leather jackets like this one from Hello Fashion. So maybe I should incorporate more outfits into my weekly outfit. I realize this picture kind of makes me looks like a penguin. I mean.....those socks. 

Jacket- Smart Set
Shirt- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy

Wednesday- This outfit was honestly a mistake. I had an exam that morning, and I forgot the classrooms are usually freezing. So I was so so cold. I liked to overall idea though. It was simple to put together and it was great! My friends asked me why I was so dressed up for an exam. I got the idea from Rooted in Love which is a Wedding Planning website. I did end up wearing long brown boots, but I cannot drag the snowy, salty outside into my house! A little imagination never hurt anyone.
Scarf- Forever 21
Shirt- Joe Fresh
Tank Top (underneath)- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy

Thursday- I went out Wednesday night and stayed at my friend's place, and I wanted something comfy and simple to wear for Thursday. Enter inspiration from Hello Fashion once again.This sweater is very warm, and I was incredibly cozy. I love this striped shirt, and I've worn it quite a bit since a bought it a couple months ago!
Sweater- Gift
Shirt- Target
Jeans- Old Navy

Friday- My friends and I went on a spontaneous shopping trip on Wednesday, and all three of us ended up with this blazer. I could not resist adding it to my outfit when I saw the outfit on Penny Pincher Fashion. I had the minimal sparkle shirt, but I have a different tank top with a lot of sparkles if a fancier occasion like dinner or a party pop up. The options are endless! Plus, blazers are awesome.
Blazer- The Bay
Tank Top- Zellers (when it was open)
Jeans- Old Navy

Bonus #1- As I said earlier, I went to an event that is considered a tradition at my University. It's a very casual bar night with a singer (who has been singing there for 30 or so years!). I love to feel comfy as well as cute when I go out, so this shirt worked out really well. I also got it from the random shopping trip, and I ended up wearing it the same night! But I loved the way it looked.
Shirt- The Bay
Jeans- Old Navy
Bonus #2- It was my friend's birthday today, and she wanted to something really casual but wanted us to look good anyway. I love this dress because it is easy to dress up and dress down. I added this cardigan as an easy casual look, but I have worn it with a denim jacket as well. I'm still waiting for a day to dress it up!
Dress- Target
Tights- Old Navy
I'm ready to rest up after this week. I just bought some more bath bombs from Lush, so I am looking forward to a nice, relaxing soak in the tub.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review- The Color Master by Aimee Bender

This is not the post I was planning for today, but seeing as I have a midterm for my hardest class in the morning, I decided this would be the easiest to complete. Plus, I have already read two and a half books in this month alone, so I will get behind if I don’t write it any sooner!

I read a review for this book (I really need to start writing down where I read them) and decided to pick it up for myself. Similar to when I picked up the book by Diane Keaton, this was not something I usually choose. This book is a collection of short stories. As I am in English in university, I have read my fair share of short stories, so the concept is not new to me. However, I have never read an entire collection. Overall experience? Pretty awesome actually. Aimee Bender managed to completely draw me in with every story. I forgot that the stories were not part of a larger work. So much detail in so little pages. With this in mind, the quotes I choose for this will not have any significance in a book as a whole, but little snippets within the stories.
1.       I am on hell of a big resentment, she said. The mirror and the wall did not answer. They knew very well what she was like by now (18). 

This is such a powerful thought. It is no joke that being a child is easier when we did not give in to societal expectations and self-esteem starts to go down. But imagine, by personifying the rooms around you, it’s almost as if they can tell you your own story. You literally watch yourself grow up mirrors, but what would the mirror say if it could talk back.  

2.       I’m really really lucky she’s my sister. Otherwise no one like her would give me the time of day (29). 

This quote hit home for me because of my own sister. We are complete opposites. I don’t think we’d be friends if we met as not sisters. She’s logic and math. I’m emotion and English. However, in true opposition fashion, she disagrees with me. We are opposites, but we balance each other out perfectly.  

3.       That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone (31). 

The holidays are over, but I’ll tell you that my favourite gift was the homemade one my best friend made for me. Homemade is something I don’t usually have the creativity for, but when I do, it feels amazing to give it away. I love the notion that you really are putting a little piece of yourself in with it. And no matter what, that gift will be a reminder of you, of the friendship, and of love.  

4.       It is so often surprising, who rescues you at your lowest moment (33).  

I am so skeptical of this idea, but I find it to be true. I had a personal issue happen in October-ish, and someone I was not close with at the time happened to be right there when it all spiralled down. After that, she has been a close friend. She was able to lift me out of my dark place when she hardly knew me. I am ever so thankful for people like this in my life.

5.       They formed their identities in the negative space instead (75). 

To me, this encompasses what I believe in. Real, not ideal. People want to be part of what everyone else is a part of. The pieces printed in colour. However, they do not always realize that negative space allows for creativity and the ability to make mistakes. By being your own person, you are not held to the same expectations everyone else is. Find out who you are. Be that person. And love that person.  

6.       Here was a tasselless moment, without instruction or order or guilt or implication (82). 

You’ll have to read the story to find out what “tasselless” refers to, but this is a moment of pure freedom. I had it about a month and a half ago. It was a feeling of pure trust and excitement and there was not a worry in my head. I had not felt that in a while, and even now, I am content by all that conspired. Hold on to those feelings of freedom.  

7.       Color is nothing unless next to other colors, the Color Master told us all the time. Color does not exist alone (171).

This story is what the book is named after. To me, this quote connects to people. Every person is reflective of a colour. By ourselves, we can learn about our colour and how it can be used to help us. We do not see the way it is portrayed in the world until we come across people of other colours. Some mix better than others, but together, we make a rainbow because it includes the entire spectrum of colours.  

8.       …and in contrast to the general lore that good men were difficult to find, here were four, almost instantly, who were ready to take her mourning and knead it into their hearts (185). 

How beautiful is this thought? I am in no way expecting four men to start lining up at my door, but I am confident that one day, someone will come along that wants to share a life with me. He will want to share my experiences and emotions and want to understand what makes me feel the way I do.

9.       We are all, generally, symmetrical: ants, elephants, lions, fish, flowers, leaves. But she was a tree. No one expects a tree to be symmetrical at all. It opens its arms, in its unevenness, and he, the butterfly, flew inside (189).  

I think this is indicative of how relationships work. It’s the notion of being safe. It’s the unexpected ways that people can affect you. It’s how people go together. We are all the same in our differences.

Overall, I give this book 3.5/5 stars. As I said, each individual story captured me in amazing ways. I was left with unanswered questions at some points, and I am not entirely sure how some stories were tied together. The magical elements and the exploration of realities kept things interesting. If you like reading short stories, then I would suggest this for you.

Have you ever read a collection of short stories? Do you suggest any collections?


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #17

Remember when I talked about making goals at the end of December? The good news is that I have been doing well and taking it day by day. I will share more about it at the end of the month when I do my favourites because I found a new way to stay organized! So far, this week has been the most fulfilling. I feel so freaking happy. And these outfits have been making me feel so confident!

Tuesday- The leather vest once again! Honestly my favourite clothing item. I got the inspiration from The College Prepster. As usual, winter is coming on strong, and the cozy sweaters are the perfect way to combat the cold. I loved the way the outfit came together.

Sweater- Old Navy
Scarf- Garage
Vest- Smart Set
Jeans- Old Navy

Wednesday- This is my favourite outfit this week. The whole statement necklace and the cardigan and denim shirt was the perfect combination. Like I said, confidence. I found the post from Benjamin M Tumblr. I would have preferred to wear my Oxford shoes, but trekking through the snow would NOT work out with cute shoes like that.

Denim button up- Old Navy
Cardigan- Old Navy
Leggings- Garage

Thursday- Once again, I was at school for quite a while and I wanted to be comfy. The jeans were the best way to go. The way the softness of the lace shirt and the grungy shirt was great. I loved the carefree look from the original Polienne post, and I feel like I made it my own!

Plaid Button Up- Old Navy
Lace Shirt- Joe Fresh
Jeans- Old Navy

Friday- So I am not hipster. I'm not. But I loved the look of the flowy dress and the jean jacket from a Free People ad. So I went for it, and I thought it was pretty. The dress was a gift from Christmas, so I was excited to wear it for the first time!

Jacket- Old Navy
Dress- ??
Scarf- Garage
Leggings- Garage

That's it for this week! I may be going out a couple times this coming week, so I may have some bonus outfits for next week's post!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pinterest Challenge- Spiced White Hot Chocolate

So I may have cheated slightly on this one. And by cheating, I mean that I have combined two recipes to make one of my favourite combinations. The combination is completely optional for you. But anyway, last week, it snowed like crazy. The last time it snowed, it did not stick around. This time around, the weather decided to go all Elsa on us (I made a funny Tweet about it), and it was crazy. My sister had the day off school, and I came in looking like a snowman, so we cozy-ed up and made a nice warm drink. It was indulgent and felt so good!

I have been eyeing the white hot chocolate recipe from Gimme Some Oven for quite some time now. However, I decided to spice things up (hehe). A few years ago, I was doing a Starbucks run, and someone suggested I try white hot chocolate with a chai tea bag in it. And I LOVED it! I'm not a huge tea drinker, but this was different. When we decided to make white hot chocolate, I remembered a recipe for a vanilla chai milkshake from Chocolate Covered Katie, and I decided to add the same spices to our drink. Results? Perfection. Again, you don't need to add the spices in, but try it out if you want to try something new!

- 4 cups of milk (you can use whatever milk best suits your digestive system)
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips (or 8oz of chopped Baker's White Chocolate)
- 1 tip vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
- 1pinch of pepper, cardamom, ground cloves, nutmeg (can use a combination of all or none of these spices)
Instructions (for white hot chocolate):
1. Add 4 cups of milk.
2. Add 1 cup of white chocolate chips
3. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla.
4. Stir ingredients together over medium low heat until they come to a simmer (NOT a boil)
Instructions (for the spice)
1. Add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2. Add 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3. Add extra spice
4. Add extra spice and stir
*the spices will not completely dissolve, they will also form a layer at the top of your drink, so don't let it sit too long if that grosses you out*
So there we have it! As a little experiment, it went over very well. My sister and I enjoyed our drinks immensely. As always, you can find any of my other challenges on my Pinterest Challenge Board. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Copycat the Cool Way #16

Guys, you have no idea how much effort it took to write this post today. The editing website I use to add the blog name to the pictures was all messed up and things took three times as long. And I had training for work tonight, and all I want to do is go to bed. However, I did it. I persevered, and although my bed is calling my name and my eyes are burning from keeping my contacts in, I am pushing through this.

So winter has come on full steam, so since I cannot trek upstairs with dirty snow boots. Until further notice, always imagine my outfits with black boots. They are plain, but they are black. I will mostly be wearing sock, or barefoot (I don't even like socks) in the meantime. Since it was the first week back at school, I wanted to look good. I have not tried to look good in a month. It was fun! And if you look good, you feel good.

Tuesday- I really wish I had chosen a better picture for what I'm copying on Seersucker and Saddles because I nailed this look. I feel like I am allowed to be cocky about it because this is my thing. The red plaid has been a recent addition to my closet, and boy is it comfortable. I was wearing it today and someone came to the door, and complimented me on my "pyjamas." If that doesn't say comfy, then I don't know what does!

Plaid Button Up- Old Navy
Sweater- Roots
Jeans- Old Navy

Wednesday- There was a snow storm this day. I decided to be a good scholar and attempt to go to my morning class. Not. Worth. It. My prof ended class an hour early and later told us none of it would be on the exam since she cancelled her evening class. *facepalm* Great day... I found this on J's Everyday Fashion, and I immediately thought of these pants. I don't wear them as much as I used to, so I'm sure they were happy to spend some time out of the drawer!

Tank top- Old Navy
Shirt- Bootlegger
Pants- Old Navy

Thursday- I wanted to be comfy, so I didn't put a ton of effort into the look. I loved the minimalist look from Styled Avenue, and I added some red lipstick to add some uumph. And boy did it ever! For such a simple look, I got a lot of compliments. I really truly honestly believe it is all because of the lipstick. I love lipstick.

Sweater- Unknown
Shirt- Aerie
Leggings- Garage
Hat- Roots


Friday- Once again, I decided to go for something simple. I found this outfit on Rougeuse, and I loved the addition of the leather jacket. I thought it went really well with the light jeans and bright top. Remember the headband? I made all those cool headbands and I've barely worn them!

Jacket- Smart Set
Tank top- Old Navy
Jeans- Old Navy

Lesson of the week? Lipstick makes an outfit perfect.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Letter Unsent

Dear “Someone Else,”

              You are a lucky girl. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know how you know him, but you are a lucky girl. You are lucky because his heart belongs to you whether you know it or not. You are lucky because his beautiful words are to be spoken for your ears to hear. You are lucky because his gentleman manner is directed towards you. You are lucky because you have the opportunity to have the man I’ve been dreaming of.

              He likes it when you run your hands through his hair. He says it’s calming. So make sure you caress every hair on his head. He doesn’t like silence. He tries to fill it with humour. So make sure you get to the point where silence is comfortable. He wants to be looked at like he’s your most prized treasure. He giggles if you look at him this way. So make sure he is a treasure to you, because your eyes will bring that feeling across without words.

              The truth is, I think he’s perfect. Don’t hurt him. I’m not jealous, because I had my time with him, no matter how brief. However, it was enough time to realize how special he is. How wonderful he is. He is an opportunity I’m not sure I’m going to get again. I hope you make him happy. He’s the type of guy one marries. If you two are meant to be, then I trust you will appreciate all he is. I missed out because something about you draws him in. And so, you lucky “someone else,” love him the way I would have.

Not the One