Hey there.


For those who miss TOD -- here she is!

For those who miss TOD -- here she is!

Still not comfortable in front of the camera.

Still not comfortable in front of the camera.

It's been a minute and a half since I've been on here.  I didn't mean to disappear -- my head's just been everywhere else but beauty right now.  I wish I could say that I've taken the past 3 months to do a redesign or planned out content for the rest of the year, but I really, really haven't. 

Things I've been doing instead:

  1. Not buying makeup. I haven't made a single beauty purchase since I was in Hong Kong over the break (I had to check out some of that Asian beauty gold, but honestly bought 3 things that I actually needed.  Those'll come up at some point, I'm sure!)
  2. Getting my fitness on.  I've been skinny-fat my entire life, and I'm trying to change that lest I get diabetes or heart failure by the time I'm 30.  That's only 4 years away!
  3. The 90-day vegan challenge?  It's going.  As we speak, I'm on day 76.  Only two more weeks to go!  I'll do a video about how I'm feeling (spoiler alert:  seeing as I haven't given up yet, it's not all bad)

I've been avoiding my laptop for a while -- I just can't quite bring myself to open it some days.  The past few weekends I've barely even touched it; I've been getting my Youtube and Bloglovin fix via mobile, but otherwise I've been going through a little digital exhaustion.  I think after this hiatus I'm feeling a little better, but I'll get back into it slowly.  

Who's with me?


THE MOST MINIMAL TRAVEL MAKEUP BAG


I'm pretty proud of this edit.  It's 10 products IN TOTAL (one I forgot to show, my brows, because I used it right before filming).  I love a round number and I cannot lie.  It's actually so incredibly satisfying to whittle it down to this -- I think if it weren't a work trip and my skin were in a slightly better state, I could even get down to five products. #goals.

Check out the video for a roundup of what I'm taking with me this week to Vancouver, BC!  I haven't been since I was in high school (and even then, I experienced the lovely concrete walls of a high school and nothing else), so I'm incredibly excited to spend a couple of days there.

I've been thinking about my travel videos, and they're difficult to film while I'm working because I usually travel for work in order to film for clients.  I have an idea for this week's video though -- it'll be part travel diary, part one of my favourite videos to watch. I'm excited!  Hope you are too :)

PS: This is my second Birchbox ever (check out the first one here), and holy crap -- Sunday Riley?!  Get yourselves on this train -- literally EVERYTHING is 25% off.


WEEKLY GROCERY HAUL


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The last month or so I've been exploring a couple of produce deliveries. I adore fruits and vegetables, but I'm occasionally too lazy to go to the grocery store.  I have no issues getting up at 7 a.m. for yoga, but for some reason, mundane errands like grocery shopping or getting a flu shot escape me entirely.

There's definitely a premium when it comes to ordering anything in -- nothing will ever be as cheap as corporate-sponsored, genetically modified and economically optimized produce that you go and get from No Frills, so let go of the idea that this is saving you money on a unit-by-unit basis.  Where this does provide me a little economic benefit though, is that I'm more motivated to cook and I'm less inclined to spend $30/day on a takeout burrito and pizza delivery.

A few things that affected my decision-making:

  • The produce has to local, or as much as it can be.  I'm all for supporting your local economy, and because I can't get out to the farmer's market every weekend, this is a great way to access Ontario farmers.
  • It should be organic.  If I'm going to do this in the name of health, I might as well spend the extra money and ensure that I'm not eating pesticides. That and I'd rather support a small organic farmer than a corporate giant.
  • No commitments -- not interested in binding myself to several months of produce. Players gotta play.

Fresh City Farms

This is a local urban farm just north of Toronto that grows all of their own food.  The idea of urban farming is insanely cool to me -- the fact that it's so sustainable and such a positive effort is super attractive.  Their 2-3 person fruit and vegetable bags cost $28, and they charge a $3 delivery fee. If you live close to one of their several pick-up spots, you can even skip delivery!  The image on the right shows how much produce you get.  I find that I have to be super committed to finishing all of the food -- it's definitely enough to last me the whole week, with a little extra to feed my freezer.  What's great about this service is that in addition to letting you know what you're receiving each week, you have a list of "Never Sends." Since my apple-picking adventure, I've asked them not to send apples EVER, so they replace them with something else (I chose oranges).

Good Food Box

This box is developed by FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in Toronto families. They don't offer delivery, but they have a number of volunteer pick-up locations across the city. You don't know what your'e getting until you receive, but this has actually opened my eyes up to a few vegetables that I would have never purchased.  Case in point: I'm now obsessed with acorn squash.  They have several versions of the box, including non-organic options, but the image on the left shows the produce you receive in a $24 Small Organic box.  You'll need to bring your own reusable bag to bring your groceries home though, so don't forget that!

So far, I'm really enjoying receiving groceries on a weekly basis -- you know how you were really excited to get mail as a kid (I assume no one reading this received bills as a nine year-old)?  This is kind of like that.  Except you get to eat your mail.  


Top 5 Face Brushes


My makeup brush mania has slowed down somewhat -- like every one of my obsessions, when I first got into it I would write endless lists of the different types of brushes I thought I needed. It was like taking the first step in my closet decluttering routine without actually having established what I need or use. It made no sense.  

Now that it's been a few years and I've settled into a certain makeup routine or usage, I've figured out what works for me and the brushes I turn to over and over again. The picks in this video are the only face brushes I really need (read: I still have at least 12 others that I use and rotate on a regular basis), and it covers almost everything I'll ever do to my face.

For anyone looking to start their own makeup brush collection, I wouldn't dive right into buying expensive brushes immediately.  I love lines like EcoTools and Real Techniques that offer well-shaped, good quality brushes for a fraction of the price of a drugstore brand. Get to know the shapes and sizes that work well on your face, and if you feel the need to upgrade due to brush hair quality, or just to invest in a life-long tool, go for it!


5 NIGHT ROUTINE HACKS


Last week I wrote about what I do in the mornings to start my day off right.  I'm not a morning person in the least -- I regularly woke up at 2 p.m. for most of my teenaged and university life.  In fact, even a month ago waking up at 6:30 a.m. was inconceivable. Turns out, you just need a reason to get up.

I go to a couple of early morning workout classes every week -- after realizing that there is not a snowball's chance in hell that I'm going to motivate myself to go workout after my day job, I knew that if I wanted to not physically fall apart by age 30 that I needed to do it first thing in the morning.

Waking up sucks. It really does. But I never regret going, so that's got to count for something!  Since I hate it so much, I do a couple of things the night before to make sure the mornings go as smoothly as possible.

- Workout gear: Wear it to bed. I'm serious. It's supposed to be the most comfortable clothing you'll ever wear, so sleep in it.  You'll wake up, pick up your gear and keys and walk out the door.

- Set out a giant glass of water for the morning. You'll drink this before your feet even leave your bed.

- Clear off all horizontal surfaces.  This just feels insanely good to wake up to.

- Put together your lunch for the next day. I'll get to this in more detail in my Sunday prep post -- next week!

Make breakfast. I eat steel cut oats in the morning about 90% of the time, so to avoid standing over a stove for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, I pre-cook it about halfway the night before. I've tried doing this once a week, but they disappear too quickly given my tendency to overeat.