Monday, September 15, 2014

Life :: Planning a Trip Abroad

Planning a trip does require some organization. How do you stay on top of planning?

I leave in a couple days for one of the biggest trips in my adult life. It hasn't been the easiest thing to plan because I am planning it for 2 people. Andrew, who has already done a Euro-trip, was uninterested in helping me plan this thing, or make any decisions regarding what he wanted to see or do. So unhelpful. Perhaps I'm just being to caring about what he wants to do ;). Regardless, I've been doing research, and trying to figure things out, but I easily find myself overwhelmed. What's a girl to do?

Apparently, plan a trip. No feedback from a partner going with you is extremely tough. Right now I'm kind of just hoping for the best. I should be better at this for the next trip.

5 Things I have learned so far:

  1. Don't procrastinate. Time has a way of just flying by, and when you think you have plenty of time - you really don't. I am learning this the hard way. And I am still procrastinating.
  2. Enthusiasm. It's harder to stay excited about a trip when every one is asking how excited you are. I am excited, but every time you mention the trip I am reminded about #1 - which leads to just a little bit of anxiety. But as we're just over a week away, I'm getting really, really excited. 
  3. Packing. I always have good intentions of packing light. I'm a little bit more worried about things I end up buying on that side. Although - I can't really afford anything that can't fit in my bag anyways. I have also been compiling lists upon lists of things to bring. I'm always a fan of a good check list, so I don't forget anything at any point in my trip! 
  4. Budget. Things cost way more than you actually realize, and so it's good to have a rough ball point figure. Also, when the numbers start to add up - don't panic. It's totally worth the money for the experiences! 
  5. Suggestions. Once everyone finds out that you're going on a trip, if they've been there, they will let you know. I've heard more suggestions on things to do, places to go and stay, and how to get around. As it's all pretty informative, I'm always appreciative, but don't let suggestions force a decision. Only you know what you actually want to do and see. 
I am completely ecstatic that I'm going to be travelling, and as we get closer to the date, Andrew is also getting more excited. Let the countdown begin! Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book :: #GIRLBOSS Review

Are you a #GILRBOSS?

While I might be the last to the party, this book is definitely worth the read.

I am in love with this book. Can you say, new mantras for life? I found her story fascinating, and while I didn't always relate with her personally [I'm not one to be a rule breaker], I did find that she reminded me of my brother a lot.

As I'm sure that majority of you have either read the book, or read a review on the book, I'm only going to briefly go into a review. I love what she represents and there are many things that I do relate to. She's definitely an inspiration, and while it's easy to immediately want to do everything that she did, that would defeat the purpose and that wouldn't make you a #GIRLBOSS.

The main points that I took from the book are:
  1. Cover letters - Do them! And do them right! 
  2. Stay on top of your money - don't spend like crazy and have nothing saved in the bank! 
  3. Be nice, you never know who you'll meet or who knows who. Plus, if you treat everyone with the same amount of respect, that earns you respect back. 
  4. It's ok to fail - it's almost better if you do. That's the only way to learn and grow. 
  5. Change is inevitable. Just make sure that you stay true to yourself!
What points stuck with you? I'm literally telling everyone to read this book, but I think that I'll be lending it to my brother first. 



Friday, September 12, 2014

Fashion :: GlassesUSA Rx Sunglasses Review

GlassesUSA is just one of many online glasses retailers, but for the price and the service it's one that I would definitely use again!

What can't you get on the Internet nowadays? I decided to take the jump into the world of ordering my sunglasses online when I decided that I a) needed sunglasses that I could see from, b) just got a new prescription and c) I knew I wanted something specific.

Glasses-USA-Cat-Eye-Sunglasses-01

The great thing about ordering from GlassesUSA is that it's simple. I went to a couple other sites before deciding that I liked the layout and the filtering choices of this site the best. Since I was after a specific shape and style, I found that GlassesUSA had easy links to sort and filter, and was fairly reasonably priced.

Glasses-USA-Cat-Eye-Sunglasses

I used the first time buyer's 50% off code by signing up for an account, which is easy enough to do an free. As I was looking specifically for prescription, I went to the women's section for those, and I liked that they specific filters to use. The only downfall to this site is that if you are after designer glasses, they might not have quite as much selection as other sites on the market. I was more after a good deal and price than designer [for once], so that wasn't an issue for me.

Once I ordered, easily adding my prescription in the fillable form during the ordering process, I got regular updates about my order via email which was especially nice. They kept me informed throughout the process, and had a tracking code when they shipped. I love being able to track my shipments. Overall it probably took about 2 weeks for them to arrive, which when they're being "custom made" isn't bad at all. If you aren't doing a prescription sunglass then they probably ship out quicker.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with my order and would definitely recommend and use them again.

Glasses-USA-Cat-Eye-Sunglasses-02

Have you ever purchased glasses or the like online? Where have you shopped before?



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Beauty :: St. Ive's Green Tea Face Scrub

Fighting with cleaning your pores completely? This might just be the scrub for you.

I'll be the first to admit that I have really annoying pores. Especially on my chin. Anyone else have this? It just seems like they never come clean. As I'm getting a little older, I'm a little more aware of what I'm putting on my face, and while I love scrubs, I'm getting a little bit more wary due to the fact that scrubs can make your pores bigger. That I do not want! I have enough issue with that.

The Product

The first thing that I noticed is that you can't feel the "scrub" part of it. It feels almost smooth going on, and as I cleaned my face I noticed that "scrubby" nature of the cleaner come through. I couldn't tell if it was dry skin coming off that was making it more "scrubby" or just the green tea grit.

St-Ives-Green-Tea-Scrub-01

After rinsing off my face, the next thing I noticed was that this visibly cleaned my pores. It feels really nice going on, and when washing it off it feels like it has this cooling effect on my skin.

The Packaging

St-Ives-Green-Tea-Scrub-02

This is slightly different from the one that is on the shelves (that I've seen) in Toronto - I'm not sure if it's because Natalie is from Montreal or they changed it completely again. Either way, it's extremely clean looking. I'm actually a fan of how the new one looks as well, but it's an easy to use container, and the lid doesn't get gunked up with product either. This might last me forever since I only use a pea sized amount, and it's a big tube.

The Verdict

I'm extremely happy to have added this to my almost daily routine. I even encouraged my mom to try this one out, since she uses the apricot scrub and was looking for something new on her face. Definitely recommend this one since it's definitely more gentle and still extremely affordable!

How do you enjoy St Ive's products? Any other suggestions for scrubs to try? 




Monday, September 8, 2014

Life :: How Do You Meet New People?

With more and more people trying to find friends after university, where do you go? The Internet. Sites like Craigslist, Girlfriend Social, and Meet Up are a few that have sprouted to fill in this gap.

It's like online dating but for friends. It might seem odd, and I've gotten my fair share of raised eyebrows when I tell people that I've been meeting people online, and that I've met some really cool people online.

Maybe its because I'm already so used to talking and meeting people online through Twitter and here, that I'm "immune" to the weirdness of it all, but I've never really had a second thought about finding new friends through the Internet. I just knew that I was missing an integral part of my life through strong female friends, and I was ready to start looking for some.

The three sites that I've used are Craigslist, Girlfriend Social, and Meet Up (as the most recent addition).

Craigslist

Craigslist

Pros

This is probably the easiest one to use. You don't have need an account, and you can narrow it down to your location fairly well. Added bonus of being able to search for other things as well. I found that there were definitely a lot of females on this one, and it's a little addictive looking at posts. This one is usually a little more time-sensitive as many are posting about going out that night or the next, so it's a good one to check before the weekends.

Cons

While there are some winners, there is also a lot of crap. There are a lot of sexual encounters (even in the strictly platonic section!) or everyone is looking for drugs. Definitely requires just a bit of weeding through. While I've never had any issues with unwanted male interactions, or stalkers, this one has a little bit of a higher risk factor.

Girlfriend Social

Girlfriend Social

Pros

Since this is a site that requires you to create an account and login, it's slightly more secure. You have to be a female to join, and it allows even more of a narrowed city search. This one is the most like a dating site, where you create a profile, and it pushes possible matches at you. Again, like CL it can be slightly addicting, but this is the one that I use the least.

Cons

I'm not quite a fan of the dating site style set up of this one, it's a little bit more confusing, and a little bit harder to navigate. This one almost feels a little more "judgemental" since it's like Tinder, and you just flick through pictures and brief captions while "Yay" or "Nay"ing them.

Meet Up.com

MeetUp

Pros

They have an app! I mainly use the app to do anything, it's extremely easy to use, and the nice thing is that there is no pressure to choose a single person. You join a group that's close to your location [or however far you are willing to travel], and then choose something that you're interested in. It's probably the most user friendly of the ones I use, mainly due to the app. I haven't gone to any of the meetups yet, it's nice because they are generally group things, and the groups that I've joined do put a cap on how many people can go, usually under 10 so it's not quite as overwhelming. I am going to one next week, so I'm looking forward to doing that.
You can also create your own, and I might be interested in doing that, although it might be easier to suggest ideas to an already formed group.

Cons

As I haven't gone to any of the meetups yet, I don't quite have any feedback or cons to add to this one yet. Will do an update!

Do you think that events and websites like this are extreme? I know that I'll get an eyebrow raised every time that I talk about it, but since I've been doing it, more people are just accepting it [probably while calling me crazy and weird behind my back ;)] but do you think that going online to find friends is crazy? Although, I might be asking the wrong crowd of people ;) Bloggers rule! Haha. 
  



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Movies :: Upcoming Movies 2014


It's the official start of TIFF 2014 season, and in honour of that, here are some movies that I'm dying to watch! Some are from TIFF, others are just upcoming that look great.
Theory of Everything (TIFF)
    Into the Woods
A Letter to Momo
Home
Love, Rosie
 
Before I Go To Sleep
 
Beyond the Lights
Laggies
 
Imitiaton Game
 
Foxcatcher (TIFF)

I love the movies. I love that they can literally take you anywhere and feel something. They can comfort you like an old friend, or inspire you to try something new. Discovering a new favourite is always fun, and I enjoy being the one who can quote almost any movie. 

Any ones that you're interested in?