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Beauty, Lifestyle, Finance

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Easy Ways to Save Money

23/05/2018
Hi everyone, welcome back to the blog. Although I'm all about that beauty life, the adult in me likes to talk about finances and adulting too! With that in mind, here are some ways for you guys to save money that are more original than the usual tips and tricks that you get (bring your lunch to work, don't buy your morning coffees etc etc.) Keep reading and let me know your thoughts about how to save money!

Easy Ways to Save Money


Shower at the Gym

Listen, I'm not going to stop you from going to your $20 spin classes- I'm a fan of them too. However with that price point, you might as well use it to your advantage. Depending on your living expenses, you might have to pay for water and electricity, so save it by showering at the gym- I do it and I love doing it too. A lot of studios have really luxurious shampoos and conditioners, as well as lotions, razers, elastic bands etc... whatever knick knacks you need to look your freshest, so you can dive into using those. I love getting to experience all of the products that they have, and potentially buying one. There's a really amazing body wash at my spin studio that I keep eyeing.....

Call your Companies

Cell phone, internet, credit cards, you name it, give them a call. The amount of times that I've gotten better deals or better products just for asking is crazy. However, it's important to know when they're not giving you the best deal. For example;

I've been with Fido mobile for a few years and I was paying way too much for my phone... $95 for 5g of data and I would frequently (ahem... always) go over with data, costing me even more. After a number of times of asking for a better deal but not getting anything more than $5 off, I switched to a Telus corporate plan which was $65 for 6G (something along those lines). LOW AND BEHOLD I got a call back from Fido saying that if I switched back that they'd give me 10g for $61 (taxes included)- essentially doubling the amount of data for half the original price that I was paying. You bet your ass that I switched and now I'm happier than a pig in shit.

Moral of the story; don't be afraid to ask, but also don't be afraid to go through the effort of switching and looking for better deals. The information is out there, you just need to take the time and effort to look for it. By calling all of my companies I've managed to save about $150 monthly on my bills. #winning

Open up your Products
This sentence probably doesn't make any sense until you read this section. Essentially, you know how you use up a product and then continue to squeeze the life out of it until you get every last drop? Grab some scissors and cut open the product, you'll be surprised with how much product is still left over- usually 1-2 weeks worth! If you're like me and love your expensive skincare, this is a huge money saver! Some people don't like to do this, but those people are what I would call 'broke and not woke'.

Don't Go Shopping

Find ways to spend time with friends (or by yourself!) that doesn't involve malls or shopping. A lot of people (myself included) tend to shop as a way to feel better when they've had a bad day- it's so easy and accessible to do which is exactly why it's so problematic. Be aware of when you're shopping just because of your mood or because it's so accessible, this also includes online shopping. So very easy to do, but it can cost you hundreds of dollars for stuff that you didn't actually need.

Try to decrease your wardrobe instead of increasing it's size and try to always throw/donate a clothing item when you bring something new into the house. I love to sell my clothes online, or go into Plato's Closet where they will give me cash for my stuff right away.

Look into Online Deals

Actually search for deals and discounts that you can get. For example, if you workout at GoodLife gyms, you can get discounts with tons of different stores, I saved $10 when I rented a car. Look into corporate discounts- I work for a bank and we have so many discounts available.

Before doing some damage via online shopping, always google any types of promo codes that they might be having, or sign up for a newsletter online because you'll frequently get a discount code with the first email that they send- the trick is to unsubscribe so that they don't keep sending you emails.

Work from Home

Ah yes-  wfh. The best. I wouldn't do it every day, but I am able to do it once a week so I try to take advantage of it, and it's amazing in soooo many ways! No need to wake up early, get dressed, you can even do some laundry or cooking/cleaning on the side (ya I do!) but also, you won't be spending money on commuting, coffee runs, lunches, quick trips to winners (my favourite lunch time activity) or after work drinks. If you're able to do so, take advantage of it. If you're not, ask if you can. Just a small ask, you might be surprised with what the answer is.

Do you guys have any recommendations for other ways to save money- I wanted to do something better than 'bring your lunches', 'don't buy coffee' and 'have happy hour at home'.

If you are interested in other finance related posts, check out this one about how to save money and this one about how to start investing. I'll also be coming out with more finance related content, so stay tuned for more!

Thanks for reading

xx Diana

How to Train for a 10K Run

20/05/2018
Hi everyone, if you're reading this post it either means that you're 1- bored af, 2- a huge fan of me and my writing or 3- you've signed up for a 10k run and are trying to figure out the 'proper' way to do it (so that you don't die).

I just completed my first ever 10k run this past weekend and training for it wasn't always the greatest, I struggled at times to even do 5k, and my times were horrendous. Depending on how often you train and how athletic you are, it might come easier or harder for you. No matter who you are, I highly recommend that you start training at least a few weeks in advance for it.

Did you think I'd be looking like a model after doing my run?
NAH

Keep reading below for some of my tips and tricks!

Sign up for a 5K

If you can, look and see if you can sign up for a 5k run and see how it feels. A lot of runs will have different variations of it, i.e. a 5k, 10k and 15k variation of it so if you're feeling errr about it, look into the 5k first. Runs/races happen all the time in Toronto, so don't worry if you don't do your best, there's at least half a dozen more that you can sign up for. If you're interested, I wrote a blog post about how to train for a 5k, check it out here :)

Find the Right Shoes

This is so so important, I have multiple pairs of running shoes at home, and I've trained using all of them to see which one's work best for me. There are different types of running shoes that are made specifically for running, so it might be well worth it to purchase a pair specifically for it. Make sure that you train using those shoes multiple times to make sure that they won't hurt your feet. You don't want to have your feet start blistering or getting cuts in the middle of the run.

Wear the Right Clothes

This includes socks, sport bras, leggings and even underwear. If you have one thing that is bothering you in the slightest- it will throw you off your game and annoy the hell out of you for the entire duration of your run. Runner's nipple is a thing so be careful about that too (especially for men).

Start Slowly

Don't start off running the entire 10k distance, rather work your way up to it. Start off with maybe 3k, moving up to 5k and thens slowly work your way up. Sometimes you'll have good days, sometimes you'll have bad days, but it's important to keep going. 

Find a Way to Stay Accountable

The easiest way to do this is to have a friend do it with you- I'm having the bf do it with me so that we can support and motivate each other. I also use the app RunKeeper which is a fantastic way to track my runs, see how I'm doing and (my favourite thing) is that it gives you 5 minute updates over your music- it gives your current pace, distance and average pace which I love to know. 

Stretch!

This makes a huge difference for your training, you don't want to have sore muscles or tight muscles while you're running. That happened to me in the beginning and it really cut my runs short. Make sure to stretch your calves, hamstrings and hips right before and especially after your run! I can feel such a huge difference (especially in my hips!) when I don't stretch after a number of days.

And there we have it- my tips and tricks for training for a 10k run. At the end of the day, it's a lot of fun and you'll feel really great (both physically and mentally) for completing it. I'm happy to have completed it and I'm going to look into doing a few more runs- hopefully I'll be able to complete a half marathon one day?

xx Diana

New In | Beauty | Fashion | Home Decor

16/05/2018
Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog, today we're doing yet another new in post, this one has a combo of beauty, fashion and home decor. Somehow, every month there's always something new that I need to pick up. I'm not a super spendy person and yet I always have something that I need. I've linked the products down below, but there are some that I haven't been able to find the exact version of- sowwy fam. 




I've tried this out a few times, and although it's good and makes a difference in my skin, I don't see too much of a difference in comparison to The Ordinary Glycolic Acid or retinoid. If you're looking for light exfoliation then this is a great product for you- I didn't find any stinging, redness or burning sensation as a result, and I did have results the next morning. This is a great starting point for acid exfoliation.

I really like the smell of this one! I can't quite pinpoint what it is, but it reminds me of something from when I was younger- it's not necessarily fruity/floral/vanilla flavoured, just an overall pleasant scent that doesn't stay in your hair once it dries. It sprays nicely, however I found that when it dried in my hair, that it left a film on my hands while I was straightening my hair which I really didn't like, however, that could mean that it's protecting my hair. At $13 for the bottle (from Winners) this was more expensive than any other hair protectant sprays that I've used before, so I do hope that it's a good one!

Winners Beauty Box 
I bought this glass box from Winners with floral design so that I can store all of my beauty bits in it, I found that I didn't have a great way of culling everything so that it would be neat and organized. Sure, this isn't the most organized option available, but I'll take it. It also forces me to make sure that I have a small amount of products, instead of continually increasing the size and amount of products that I buy/use. As I got this from Winners, there's no way to link it, however there were 3 different sizes and a number of different patterns/colours.

IKEA Duvet and Covers
This post isn't anything too special however I'm so excited that I have a new duvet and covers (white obvi #basicblogger) and I really feel like it's a small step towards making my room exactly how I want it to be. I've never been one for interiors but I'm started to put in the time, money and effort for it and it's so true that it's well worth it. Now I want to look for a nice statement pillow. I'm thinking a pink fluffy one? If you guys have any recommendations for stores where I could find great pillows- let a girl know.

H&M Purse
I have one really large black purse from Primark that was perfect for carrying my laptop to work or for overnight stays because it was huge. However, there's only one strap that's mid length in size, so I found it painful to carry (especially when I have my laptop in). I stepped into H&M while carrying my Primark purse, and then subsequently found this H&M one which had both a short and long strap, so I promptly purchased this one, moved all of my stuff over from the old bag to the new one, and then asked the H&M cashier to throw out my old one lol. (Anyone else do that?)

The purse itself is kinda on the bucket bag style, just a really big bag where you can tighten the top of it, it comes with a small pouch to put some makeup or little knicks and knacks in. It's not the greatest bag, but it'll do for now. 

H&M Tights (not pictured... it's literally just a pair of tights!) lol
Working in a corporate job, I wear my fair share of skirts on the regular, so tights are a necessity once the colder weather sets in. It was recommended to me by one of my managers that the tights from H&M are really good and durable, and I 100% agree. At $8 for a box of 4, they will last you a fair while before ripping, their slightly thicker and they're a nice nude colour (not too light, not too dark either). I've bought these many times over the years and will continue to do so. 

PUMA Sports Bra

Can we take a second to praise Winners? I absolutely love winners and find that I can find really great stuff (peep above with the beauty box that I purchased). This sports bra is super cute and I love the fact that it has a high neck line. The back is a little bit on the lower side, but it has some straps in the middle to keep the two sides together, although I'm debating cutting this off because I'm not sure that I'm in love with that lewk.

I'm a huge advocate for sunscreen and I decided to venture out to purchase a mineral sunscreen instead of chemical (I recommend that you look into the differences, and I'll be writing up a blog post about this soon). This sunscreen doesn't have a lot of scent to it which I like, however, because it's a mineral sunscreen you really need to commit to it and rub that ish in. It leaves a bit of a white cast so I usually mix it in with my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer (although this doesn’t decrease the amount of rubbing that you have to do). It leaves a slight white cast so I always make sure to follow up with a bronzer so that I can warm up my face. Once rubbed in, I don't find it to be sticky, tacky, greasy or any other negative side effects that usually come with sunscreen. I'm quite happy with this sunscreen and can see myself buying it again

There we have it, some of the new goodies that I've brought into my life so far. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and I'll see you next time. 

xx Diana

How to get out of a Rut

13/05/2018
Am I a blogger if I haven't wrote this post? It really is such a cliché blogger post, but for good reason. Everyone goes through highs and loves in terms of their life, creativity, productivity etc and when you're in a low point, you're just chillen and all you can think about is how much of a funk/rut/mess you're in while you're waiting for it to magically disappear. Sometimes it does; it'll take it's course and start to disappear, but sometimes you can't wait that long, especially if you're doing something creative or if your job depends on it. With that in mind, here are some ways that you can help to get yourself out of a funk-a-runk. 



Go Online

There's so much content online- instagram, youtube, pinterest, twitter, whatever you want, you can find it. Colours, quotes, thoughts, outfits, beauty, art, there's a world out there- you just have to find what speaks to you and what can help to motivate and inspire you.

Get Offline

Ok yes, the point above says to go online, but also there are times when you just get into a black hole and think that your content will never been as good as anyone else's, everyone's doing better than you and they're all cranking out new ideas and content left, right and centre. Sometimes it's great to leave your phone and computer at home and just spend the day offline, especially when it's with the company of friends and family, which takes me to my next point...

Socialize
Be it with friends, family or strangers, having conversations with others- socializing can help for you to gather new thoughts and ideas as well as refresh you. Deep conversations, light conversations, jokes and everything in between- being around people will help for you to see things in a different light and get out of your head. I find that one of my downfalls is that I stay 'in my head' too much- and a lot of people are the same. 

Go for a Walk

There have actually been studies that show that walking does make you more creative- so it's true! Get that blood flowing, be it via a walk, bike ride, pilates class or yoga, it's good to get moving- especially seeing as we're so sedimentary during the day. It'll lighten your mood and you might be able to make new friends and think of new (fitness related?) ideas as well. If you're interested in the best ClassPass Studios in Toronto, check out this post that I wrote just recently about it!

Organize and Get Shit Done

I find that one of the reasons as to why I'm feeling in a rut is because my room is a mess, I have deadlines and papers and appointments and things that are piling up that "I should do" and yet I never make the time to actually do them. Set aside a few hours (or minutes) to start checking off your to-do list, one by one. If you need help, check out this post on how to have a productive Monday!


Hopefully some of these ideas will help for you to start feeling like yourself and on top of stuff!
What do you guys think, what recommendations do you have to help get out of a rut?

Thanks for stopping by!

xx Diana

Skincare Empties

09/05/2018
I literally (like actually though) just filmed and wrote a blog post about my empties, and yet here I am again, it's crazy as to how many products one individual can have and yet we can always justify more? I'm trying to decrease the amount that I have because I feel like it's getting a little bit out of hand.. Anyone else? Maybe that'll be my next project, trying not to buy anything beauty/skincare related. Anywho, keep reading for my thoughts about the products that I've used up and my thoughts about them!



The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect SPF 30 Sunscreen


Not the biggest fan of the scent (smelt like detergent) however it does what I need it to do and the scent dissipates fairly quickly. Yes I use this on the daily and I don't feel as if it's super greasy, however I feel like it's too small for my liking, so I won't be repurchasing this any time soon. I'll buy buying another sunscreen instead, so recommendations are welcome!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Glow Exfoliating Cleansing Face Polish

I picked this one up because it was on sale, whereas the usual love of my life (Vitamin C liquid peel) wasn't (and yes it did break my heart slightly)- although this is a good product, I wouldn't say it's amazing. You need to go gentle with this one as it's quite abrasive, but I like the fact that I can use this while in the shower, whereas the liquid peel can only be used on dry skin. I use this on my bikini line sometimes and I do so an immediate benefit, but again, I'd much rather use a chemical exfoliant over a physical one. If I want a really deep exfoliation, I'll use both the physical and the chemical exfoliant, although be careful if you have really sensitive skin as the combo of the two can be quite rough on your skin, but it'll also make your skin soo soft. So no, I won't be repurchasing this one, but I don't regret buying it.

Vita Liberata Gradual Self Tanning Lotion with Marula Oil

This gave a really good gradual colour that I could see a few hours after applying it to my body. It wasn't streaky (although I've had my fair share of botchy applications…. My fault) and I love how easy it is to apply, with no scent! While writing this I just read the reviews on Sephora and there's actually a fair bit of negative reviews... one of the main things that I see is that people say that it's not a gradual tan as it develops fairly quickly, which I can agree with, but I don't hate it. 

The Ordinary Retinoid 2% (Not Pictured)

This product is my first time dabbling into a retinoid and I really like it! It makes a visible difference in my skin overnight and I don’t have any irritation what so ever, when I go to repurchase this, I'm going to grab the higher retinoid variation (5%).  I use it about once every week or so, and I like the fact that it's housed in squalane because it also adds some moisture into my skin. I love the oil life. 

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension in Silicone


This is the third (or fourth?) vitamin C product that I've used from The Ordinary, and although it's the best one that I've used from them, I still don't think that I'd repurchase this one. I want to try out Ole Henrikson's Vitamin C Truth Serum and see if there's really a difference between the products. I use vitamin C every morning before my moisturizer and sunscreen because it's an antioxidant, and because it's really good in protecting your skin against sun rays (side note, I'm in the process of writing two blog posts about sunscreen, sun care etc etc, so stay tuned for that!) 

The product is housed in silicone so it feels like a primer when you put it on- very slippy on the skin, but it rubs in quickly and easily and has very little smell to it. It's a great starting point if you're thinking about adding in vitamin C into your skincare but don't want to shell out the big bucks for it.


Have you guys used any of these or have any dupes for them? Let me know in the comments below!
Xx Diana

Ways to use your Daily Commute to your Advantage

06/05/2018
 Ah yes, commuting to work. Walk, bike, planes, trains, and automobiles, you name it, we all somehow have to get to work (unless you work from home then nvm, this post isn't for you). It's so easy to just sit there and zone out, listen to music, or fall asleep. However doing that every day is a tiny bit of a waste of time, so we might as well seize the day (at least the commute) and make it work to our advantage. Here are some ways that you can do that!

Ways to Use your Daily Commute to your Advantage


Podcasts
Podcasts are such an amazing tool to use, there are so many and they can get really addicting. From ones about beauty, to Ted Talks, to My Favourite Murder (warning, very addictive but also nauseating, so don't binge on them because your mind will be warped for a few days afterwards), you can find anything that suites your fancy. It'll allow you the benefit of learning without all of the effort of reading. 

Reading
Crack open that book that you've been meaning to read for months and actually read it. I find that reading really makes my commute zoom by, sometimes not even wanting to get to my destination because I'd much rather keep reading. Fiction, non fiction or anything in between, it doesn’t matter. Currently I'm dabbling back into fiction (for the first time in years!) with a good old Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

Plan it Out
Write out to do lists, schedule in appointments, fill in your calendar with dates and reminders so that you're prepared and ahead of the game- birthdays, events, movies, dates, bbqs, whatever it is, write it in and plan it out so that you stop forgetting things 

Journaling
This might be a bit personal to do but just don't start crying in the train and you'll be ok. Get down your thoughts and ideas as they come and go. I used to journal a lot more (NTS- get back on it) and I really enjoyed it, my thoughts could go wherever I wanted and I didn’t have to worry about what I said because no one would read it.

Phone Calls
You know how you always have to make a call? For appointments, companies, friends, family etc etc, well if you commute (especially if it's in the car or walking!) this is the perfect time to do it. By the time you finish your call you'll be home (or part of the way home) and boom that makes it a two for one. 

What do you guys do in order to have a productive commute in the mornings and evenings? Let me know down below in the comments!

Xx Diana

Summer Beauty Updates

02/05/2018
Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog! Now that spring is in full swing, summer will be coming by shortly which means beach hang outs, music festivals, picnics and patios. It also means bare legs, crop tops, bare backs and deep V necks. With that in mind, it's time to start getting summer ready, so keep reading about ways that you can get your skin and body ready for the hot hot heat.

Summer Beauty Updates


Exfoliate
Rub off all of those old dead skin cells and reveal a smooth, glowing body. You can create a sugar/coconut oil scrub to use on your body, and then use something gentler for your face, such as a a chemical exfoliator like glycolic acid. You might have to exfoliate multiple days in a row to really get that soft glowing skin, and don't forget to do it on the regular, especially since you'll have sweat, chlorine, sand and sunscreen caked onto your skin.

Moisturizer
Crazy as to how dry and ashy your body gets once you ignore it for the entirety of fall and summer. Now is the time to slather on that moisturizer, one of my favourite's is from The Body Shop- the body butter is great without being too thick or thin, it sinks in quickly and adds a light scent. They have a lot of different scents, although my favourite holy grail scent is olive- very light without conflicting with other scents on my body like perfume or hairspray. 

Self Tanner
Does anyone else get scared when they see how pale their legs are once they put on the first pair of shorts? That's when you gotta pull out the self tanner. There are so many different variations, lotions, mousse, gradual, overnight, in shower etc etc. Personally a prefer a gradual self tanner, although I'm not great at applying it every night (or on a somewhat regular basis) and I like the Vita Liberata gradual tanner (although some people question the 'gradual' aspect of it). The product gives me a good natural colour that I'm able to see the next morning without looking orange.

Sunscreen
Protect your skin! After using both tanner and bronzer you don't need to tan (or burn!) to get golden so make sure that you put on sunscreen. Although moisturizer or even makeup with SPF is better than nothing, it's still not the same as a stand alone sunscreen. I highly recommend that you start adding in SPF into your skincare- especially now that summer is coming.

Bronzer
Even with self tanner, sometimes you might feel that you're missing a bit of glow- that's where bronzer comes into play. It's quick and easy to apply, you can get variations that are more matte or more sparkly/glowy and pile it on like no tomorrow. You can help to contour your face (and boobies) with the help of bronzer.

What do you guys think? What are some of your summer beauty needs?