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TheDianaEdition.com

My humble beginnings as a lifestyle blogger.

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New In Winter Beauty + Fashion

20/01/2018
Hi everyone, this post is a longggg time overdue, but I figured that I would still post it seeing as I haven't bought too much stuff since these.

I bought some goodies (that I still didn't need) and here are my thoughts below!

Maybelline Fit Me Powder
I find that the packaging is a bit too clunky for my liking, and then it was a few days after that I realized that there's a compartment at the bottom that has a powder puff in it (who actually uses that?) so I felt that it had wasted space. In terms of the product, it gives very light coverage but I'm not 100% sure that it actually helps with oiliness, I do put it on my T-zone but if there is a difference than it's nominal. I will continue to use it and will update this space if there is a difference.

The have one version for dry skin and another version for oily skin so that you're able to choose which one suits you best.

I originally walked into the Body Shop with hopes of buying my all time favourite liquid exfoliator however they were having a sale and it was one of the few products that was excluded from the buy 2 get one free sale, so instead I picked up...

Phew what a long name lol. This smells very strongly like citrus scented floor cleaner. The particles are very small within the scrub but they're also quite rough, making it border line uncomfortable while using the scrub. However, once washing it off I found that my skin was not only softer and smoother but it did look more radiant. I'm not sure that I could say that this would be repurchased over the liquid scrub (a HG in my books) however I do think that it gives great results. 

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protection Sunscreen
Sadly, this is only SPF 30 and they don't have any stand alone sunscreens that are higher than that. Seeing as it's winter and I was in need of sunscreen, I decided to buy this. Like above, it smells like citrus floor cleaner. Thankfully the smell dissipates quite quickly and it doesn't make your skin super oily. Not too bad, but I wouldn't repurchase it seeing as it's only SPF30 (so sad).

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer
I jumped on this bandwagon and all of the information that you've heard from literally every beauty blogger is true. It is really good, doesn't cake and covers super well, however it is a pricier product. I would say that concealer would be the one makeup product that I would take to a desert island, so if it's that good, then maybe I will repurchase it. One of the reasons that I got it is because I had a discount; taking the price down from $36 to $23.

I was looking for a pair of sweats like these for a while and then decided to buy these online on a whim. At first I was going to return them when I bought them, but (thankfully!!) I kept them. I wear them all the time, they're super comfortable and seeing as they're not as baggy as regular sweats, I'm comfortable with wearing them out of the house. They're great for layering leggings underneath as well, for those super cold Canadian winters.













Ugg Boots
These were a pricey purchase but I needed new boots and my sister highly recommended these ones. She had the shorter version whereas I opted to buy the taller version... setting me back $418. YUP. $418 for a pair of winter boots. Do I regret it? NOPE. Not one bit. My feet really do stay warm and dry, even in -25 degree weather. They're honestly one of my best purchases and I'm so happy that I bought them in the beginning of the season so that I can enjoy all 2017/2018 long!  EDIT- When I searched for these there's an additional 20% discount that I didn't get (crying emoji)

Have you guys tried out any of these items that I bought? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments and I'll see you guys next time!

How to get your Finances in Order (Part II) - Investing for Millenials

18/01/2018
Allright allright allright, so you've read my first blog post about getting your finances in order, things are going well, you're starting to get the hang of paying down your debt and now you have some more money. YAY good on you, that's an amazing start. So now you have some dollars in your savings account that you don't touch but then you look at your monthly statement and you only received a few dollars and some change as interest. "That's it??" you think to yourself, "That's all I get? I have x amount of savings and the only interest that I'm getting can't even buy me a coffee and a muffin?"

Photo courtesy of bloggersofcanada.com

Well ladies and gentlemen, this is where investing comes into play.

"That's not for me, only rich people do that. I don't have enough money to invest in. That's risky". Whatever thoughts you might have about it are wrong. You don't need to have a lot of money to invest, it's not hard to learn (although it does take time!) and although there is some risk involved, the reward is much better. So are you ready to jump in? Let's begin with the basics shall we?

First you need to open up a trading/investment account. In Canada there are different types of accounts to trade with, RRSPs, TFSAs, and non registered accounts are your main options. I personally use all three accounts and one of the greatest benefits of having an RRSP is that you can take out money (tax free!) from it in order to buy your first home in the case that thinking about retirement is too daunting for you. Will you be doing one big deposit, or weekly/monthly contributions? You need to sit down and take a good hard look at your finances to decide. Trust me, it's worth it to do it, and the earlier the better.

Do something today that your future self will appreciate.

After the account is opened up and you deposit money into the account, you have to decide what to buy. I won't be telling you what stocks to buy because it's a personal choice depending on a variety of factors. Maybe ETFs are your things. Blue chip stocks? Tech? Marijuana? How much risk are you willing to take and how often will you be checking your accounts? Make sure that you don't put all of your money into the same 'type' of security, you want to make sure to diversify your portfolio. Oh yes, I used that terminology. 

Essentially it means that you want your stock picks to be a combinations of different sectors and industries. This can include a certain percentage in bank stocks, tech, resources, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs etc... If it's too overwhelming, start by picking one stock, buying a few shares of it and then keeping the rest of your account in cash. In a month, check your account and see how you're performing and then pick one more stock to buy.

Diversifying your portfolio is fancy talk for saying;
Don't put all your eggs into one basket.

Does investing take time? Yes.
Will you sometimes lose money? YES.

Here is what's important to know. You'll sometimes buy something, and then you might see that you're losing money. WHATT??! "no no no" you think. "I didn't start investing to lose money". You're correct, you invest to make money. The important factor is that you haven't made or lost anything until you SELL. Once you sell the stock, that's when you officially make/lose money. Think of it this way, if you own a home, and your home is valued at $1 000 000. Do you have $1M? No, you have a home worth $1M. Let's say you go to sell it, but the housing market is weak and the maximum that you can get is $800k. Once you sell your house, you have solidified the price. If you think $800k is too low, you can keep waiting and waiting… Maybe when you wait it goes down to $700k, but you still decide to hold onto it. 6 months later, the market is HOT, and you finally sell it and make a profit of $1.2M. All of the ups and downs didn't matter because you didn't sell at that point. At the end of the day, you sold it at $1.2M so you made $1.2M… even though there were times when it was worth less (or more!) than that.

What matters is the price that you buy, and the price that you sell at, everything else in between doesn't matter. So if you're losing money, don't sell, just wait (of course proceed with caution).

So.. with all of this information… Where do you start? First, set up an appointment to open up your accounts. Once open, there are TONS of learning material, check youtube, online or from your brokerage themselves. I'm actually a part of the client education group with my bank where I help to teach people about investing. Daily videos including topics like how to start trading, how to use the platforms, options, margin, registered accounts etc... I know it all inside out (well most at least)

At the end of the day, learning about finance and learning how to control and manage your own investments is one of the most empowering things that you can do. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you don't invest you're actually losing money because of the rate of inflation which eats away at the purchasing power of your money.

PHEW

There we have it people, how to start investing. Did that all make sense? Did you want me to a third installment where I go into more detail? What's stopping you or what scares you the most? I would love to continue discussing this subject as it's an important one!


Best of Skincare 2017

14/01/2018
Hello everyone, welcome back to my blog. This post comes a little [EDIT- a lot] late however I decided to still post it because I do leave reading/watching there! If I don't mention a category here it's because I haven't found a product that I think is incredible (i.e. blush, bronzer, lipstick etc...). This is a fairly basic/small list consisting mainly of skincare but I do believe and love these products. Let me know if you're tried any of them!

Not a good pic, but the reason I haven't posted this post is literally because I didn't have a picture
Missing: The Ordinary's Moisturizer 

 I picked this up in November after watching Gothamista on YouTube talk about how much she enjoyed using it. Seeing as it was a good price, recommended from a beauty guru and I was out of cleanser, I decided to pick it up and loved it right away. It's not the greatest at taking off makeup, however for someone who wears nominal makeup, I think it's just fine. It's incredibly moisturizing and I like the fact that it isn't foaming (personal preference), and created by dermatologists.

I've been using this since the very beginning of the year, having repurchased it two (or was it three?) times. It's a clear thick serum that starts to pill as it takes off the dead skin cells and it's so gross but also so enjoyable because as opposed to a physical exfoliator, you can actually see and feel the dead skin cells come off and it isn't abrasive at all, it's a very gentle way to exfoliate. 

Yup, The Ordinary's moisturizer is top of the line. Perfect, no frills, moisturizing and affordable af. I've bought this continually since the summer and will keep going back to it. I think it'll be quite hard for me to switch away from this product seeing how good it is, especially for that price.

Skin Treatment
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
This is the first time that I started using retinol on my skin but holy crap I get it. This one from The Ordinary doesn't make my skin sensitive at all and the next morning I can see and feel a difference. My skin is softer, smoother, has better tone and the pores are smaller. I use it once-twice a week as I don't want to make my skin too sensitive.

A great runner up is The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% treatment, which helps anyone with acne prone skin as it helps to control oil production. The consistency is strange, a little bit on the goopier side and it can pill if you add to many products on top of it so I'd recommend using it at night and not layer too many products.

Eyebrow Tinting
Although this isn't a product, it's more of a beauty treatment, I love getting it done. It's quick, cheap and effective, allowing me to skip doing anything to my brows in the mornings. If you have fine/thin brows this might not be as beneficial to you however for those of us with brows that are on the lighter side, this is an amazing addition to your monthly routine. I highly recommend getting it done, and for only $15-$20, lasting 1-2 months it's a great deal.

And there we have it, some quick favourites of the year! I know that this is quite a small list but hey, I'm not a beauty guru!

See you guys next time! 

How to get your Finances in Order (Part I)

11/01/2018
So you wanna be rich? Ok maybe not rich, but you want to have an good life? Own your own home, send your kids to a good school, go on vacation, retire well? But also you want to go out with your friends, go to concerts, buy those new shoes and eat avocado toast? (lol jokes you won't ever be able to afford a house in this city). *eye roll*

This will be a two part blog post because I feel that although financial posts are great, they always miss out on investing. YES you heard it right. Investing. *crickets* I know... what blogger talks about investing? No one. So that's what I'm gonna be writing about. But you need to walk before you can run, right? So to start off with part one, I'll be giving you some tips about how to save money and pay down debt.

If you want to read part II of my finance post, click here

Photo courtesy of *bloggers of Canada* 


As an FYI I work in banking and thus have aquired a fair bit of knowledge about finances, I also had to complete financial exams including my CSC, CPH and DFOL which helps with when I’m explaining investing :)

SO, where to begin? First you need to know how much are you bringing in and how much you're spending. If I asked you how much you make, would you be able to tell me off the top of your head? How about your rent, phone bill, hydro, and savings accounts? This is step number one, you need to know about your finances before you can figure out debt and savings.

Next, look at how much you're spending. Don't just guess it, take out your credit card statements and bank account statements and see how much you're spending on. Don’t just look at  one month, but a few months so you can see how much you spend on average, taking into consideration things like birthdays, weddings, car maintenance, vacations, concerts etc... fhese are things that don’t happen on the usual and as such you don’t tend to add them into your budgeting and expenses.

And then, you crunch the numbers. How much do you spend on dinner and drinks? Coffees? Clothes? Interiors? Did you really need to spend all of that money? Actually though?

This is an important lesson, just because you have the money doesn't mean that you should spend it. Repeat it again. Just because you have money doesn't mean that you should spend it.  Learn to enjoy seeing your bank account grow on a regular basis. It's a wonderful feeling. 

Whenever I read blog posts about finances, the first thing I see is to quit buying a daily coffees and lunches at work if you want to save money. That's correct, I'm sure we can all agree on that. But also let's do some math... $5 a day for coffee and a snack is $25 a week. Great, $25 is a good chunk of change. But then your dinner with some drinks on Friday costs you $50, $60, $70, $80?? Add in an uber or public transportation. That one night has now cost you 2-4 weeks of daily coffees. So yes, you can cut out your coffee.... or you can cut out the big expenses... The $50 shirts, the $200 front row concert tickets, the additional makeup that you don't actually need... See what big purchases can be cut out because that will make a bigger dent than a $5 daily coffee. If you can also cut out the coffee then that’s a bonus, if you can only cut out the coffee, then it’s a step in the right direction.

Another great tip is to call all of your companies... credit cards, phone, internet, insurance etc... and see if they can cut your price or offer you more. Don't be afraid to call back and don't be afraid to call again a few months later to negotiate another deal. It's annoying, you hate it but honestly..... do it, you'll be able to cut your expenses by a big chunk!

So, now you know how much you make, how much you spend and ways that you can cut back. Next is to tackle debt. If you only have one credit file/one loan then this is easy, pay it off as fast as you can, make more than the minimum payment and don't use it. You can always call your credit card company/bank and ask for them to decrease the amount of available credit... that way as you pay it down you'll have less credit available to use. 

If you have multiple credit cards/loans, you can look to see to consolidate them together which might make your payments easier because it's just one that you have to pay for. If you have multiple credits, you can either tackle off paying the one with the highest interest first, or the one with the lowest balance. Personally? I would recommend paying off the smallest debt first because that way you can use that payment towards another debt until it keeps snowballing. You can even look into transferring your credits into one, a lot of times they'll give you a benefit if you consolidate everything together.

And there we have it, the first part of my two part finance post. Next up? I'll be discussing different types of accounts and INVESTING. Oh yes oh yes, I'm going there, investing. All of the basics that you need so stay tuned for that!

Let me know in the comments below what the easiest way is for you to save money.

See you later :)

2018 New Years Resolutions

03/01/2018
Hello my wonderful friends, thanks for coming back to my blog! I've been putting out tonsss of content these past few weeks which I'm really happy about. It probably has to do a lot with that fact that I've had time off of work because of vacation days and Christmas/New Years break. Although I won't be posting as much now that the holidays are over, I still plan on posting consecutively. I already posted 25 original ideas for New Years, however here are some of my goals for 2018 that I want to focus on. Keep reading below for my goals and let me know your thoughts below :)



Live a More Environmentally Friendly
Less F21, H+M and Zara and more quality brands, Club Monaco, Aritzia, adidas, Nordstrom etc. In terms of food, less meat and more eating local eats, especially in the summer when I can shop at local farmer markets. A lot of people think that going vegetarian/vegan is environmentally friendly (and it is! Don't get me wrong) however I remember learning in my food and geography class (good old university requirements) that even more environmentally friendly is to eat within a 100km radius of where you live. Eating local dairy, meat and vegetables is much more environmentally friendly than eating bananas and mangos that have been shipped from Latin America or Asia, especially when you eat seasonally.

Spend less money on things and more on experiences
More concerts, ski trips, travel plans, fun nights out etc... Less coffee and snacks, makeup, clothing, manis/pedis, ubers, and less wasted money. This year I plan on going on three ski trips (Blue Mountain, Mt Tremblant and Vermont/NY) as well as a few day trip to local ski resorts. In the summer I want to have a Euro trip and go to a number of music festivals (both in Toronto and elsewhere). I want to go to Montreal and NYC. Vancouver would be nice too. I also wouldn't be against going down south to Arizona/Florida/Cuba. And why not? Why should I not do these things? What excuses are holding myself back? Thankfully I have the money and time to do them. I'm hoping that when 2019 comes around (which will come around so fast!) that I'll be able to have all of these trips under my belt. 

Live Healthier
I started decreasing the amount of coffee that I drink, swapping it in for tea instead, not because I don't like the taste of it, but rather because I find that I'm not tired and don't actually need it. As well, limiting alcohol (something that I find to be quite easy in the winter... the summer's a different story though), taking my vitamins consistently (I've been doing that for a few weeks already) and the ever so classic go to the gym more often. Last year I started weight training and it's done amazing things to my body. This year I'm hoping to continue with weight training as well as continuing with weekly yoga and adding in more classes. I resigned up for classpass because I genuinely enjoy going to studios so I'm hoping that I can do that in addition to weight training and yoga. I really love barre classes and I also hope to add in some pilates on the reformer machine.

Cook Through a Cookbook
I've always wanted to do this! Buy a cook book and attempt every recipe in it, from front to back. Not only would it help to teach me how to cook and experiment, but it would also expand my food palette because I'd be forced to eat foods that I wouldn't normal eat. I'll probably take my time to choose a cookbook but it would be great to try out.

Let me know in the comments below what some of your goals are for the year! Side note- if you're interested in finance, I'll be doing some blog posts/YouTube videos about finances/investing.

See you guys next time !!


Reflecting Back on 2017

31/12/2017
Hello everyone, and Happy New Year to you all :)

I decided to write up a more personal post about all of the great things that have happened to me in 2017. It's easy to forget all of the good or to focus on the bad, and all years aren't without their ups and downs, however 2017 was still a good year for me.

I've also linked related blog posts in each of the subtitles if you want to grab a quickie read!

New Years in Montreal (froze to death)

Although it wasn't the greatest of trips (cold, expensive, a friend bailed during the last minute) I enjoyed spending some time in the city (the first time in about 5 years!). I walked up Mont Royal on a gorgeous sunny New Years day, I went to Beauty's for brunch twice (SO good), walked around the old town for a while and did some shopping too!

I had a blast going with my boo to Mexico- a short trip of only 4 days but it was great to get away from the cold, tan my buns, drink unlimited G+Ts, eat my body weight in nachos and guac as well as swim in the ocean and go dune bugging before jumping into a cenote! So much fun and I'm excited to visit Mexico again- so much to do and see (and lots of guac)

In December of last year I went to Blue Mountain and skiied for the first time in about a decade and fell right back in love with it- even buying my own skis! I went back to Blue in March and have already gone skiing this December with plans to do at least 3 more trips.

Thankfully I work in a business where growth and changing positions are the norm and thus I always have opportunities to change my job when the time is right. In November of 2015 I jumped at the chance to get a higher paying/higher level job before quickly realizing that I hated it. I dreading going into work on the daily, I would run out right when my 8 hours was finished, I was bored, disinterested, not performing well and genuinely unhappy. In August of this year I was able to post out and received  my current job, where I'm significantly happier. I've been told that I look happier now that I have a different job and although the commute is longer, I received no pay increase and it was technically a step down in the ladder, I don't care and would do it again in a heartbeat.

I Started Blogging!

One of the biggest benefits of the point above about the job that I hated is that I officially launched my blog! I jumped in, clicked post, started an instagram, twitter, blog, pinterest etc etc etc and have now been blogging for close to a year (wattttt). You know that come one year from my post that I'm gonna be doing "What I've learned in my first year of blogging" post."

Became Comfortable with Driving

I was super late on getting my driver's license.... SUPER late. Although I still have one more (pesky) exam that I need to complete before I have my full license this is the year that I'm able to jump in the car without stressing about driving, what intersections am I crossing, do I have to make any left turns, what about the highway? I'm confident in my driving (and your girl has also kinda learned how to parallel park... in a minivan) #soccermom

Working out Regularly and Adding in Weights

I always knew that weights are necessairy and healthy to add into your routine, but let's be real here.. starting weights can be scary. You're not sure how to use the machine, you feel like your weights are measily realative to other people and (the main thing) is that you feel uncomfortable figuring it all out in a male dominated gym. However I pushed through and the gym is now an important part of my life. I've resigned up for classpass so I'm excited to add in barre, pilates and maybe another form of workout to my routine as well!

Starting Yoga
Continuing on the point about the gym above, I've started adding yoga into my routing since the summer. About once a week I take a yoga class and I love how it makes me feel and it's been really good for my body. Before I passed off yoga as silly, thinking 'it's just stretching', but I'm sure that you can agree that it's not 'just stretching'. It wasn't until I started practicing yoga on a regular basis that I realized all of the positivity that it brings to me!

This might not seem like a big deal to most people but it is for me! I spend most of my time at home within my room and it no longer suited my needs. The corner desk was way too big and I barely used it, and I was no longer a fan of the artwork or the standing dresser that we had. Throughout the year I bought a new desk, changed the light fixture (let there be light!!), bought a new picture to hang (hello Kate Moss), and just bought a new dresser. This has resulted in significantly more space within my room as well as me using my desk a lot more instead of using my computer in bed.

My Sister Graduated and got a Job

This isn't directly related to me but it's had a huge positive impact on my family. My sister completed optometry school in the states and not only was it incredibly stressful, hard but also expensive. After 4 years undergrad and now 4 years graduate my sister (and the whole fam) were starting to get real antsy about her finishing up school and starting to work. I'm glad to say that we went to her wonderful graduation in Boston and she started working in NY state this summer. (I'll be visiting her to do some skiing this year as per my note above!) ;)


Isn't life crazy when you look back at it? How quickly a year has passed and all of the things that have happened? Although this looks at just the highlights I won't say that I haven't had any lows, medical problems in the family, frustrations with (still) living at home, internal struggles of being a new blogger in a sea full of established ones... The list goes on.

Happy New Year, I hope you have health, happiness and prosperity :)

25 Original New Years Resolutions

28/12/2017
Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by! I hope you all enjoyed time with your friends and family, eating tons of delicious food and taking midday naps J Now that Christmas is over I’m sure you’re all getting excited for New Years. With that comes the resolutions and I love this time period, I think it’s exciting and everyone has the best of intentions. Even if your resolution fails (like it does for most of us tbh), it’s still a jolly old time. So in the case that you want ideas for 2018 (OMG wat 2018 already??) that are more original than lose 10 lbs (eye roll).


Let me know in the comments below what your resolutions are!



Looking back on 2017.... For 2018 I'm hoping to do a lotttt more skiing ;)

       i.         Cook through a cookbook
     ii.         Try out a different fitness class on a regular basis (hello class pass! I just reactivated mine and am going to barre class on Sat- YAY!)
    iii.         Take a continuing education class
    iv.         Read on a regular basis
     v.         Start investing (don't worry, I'll be making some blog posts/youtube videos about how to start investing)
    vi.         Get your creative juices flowing
  vii.         Declutter your closet and donate/sell whatever you don't wear
 viii.         Spend more time outside (yes even when it’s -30 or +30)
    ix.         Switch out coffee for tea
     x.         Take your vitamins
    xi.         Stop procrastinating
  xii.         Write it down
 xiii.         Actually wake up early
 xiv.         Use up products (beauty, tea, clothes, pens etc) before buying new ones
  xv.         Start growing a garden
 xvi.         Learn how to plan ahead
xvii.         Invest.. in yourself, your skin, your hobbies, your home
xviii.         Put in the effort to become more cultured.. books, museums, documentaries, podcasts
 xix.         Live a more environmentally friendly life
  xx.         Walk more
 xxi.         Drink more water
xxii.         Donate blood (this idea was taken from Rachellea on YouTube) however it’s something that I feel strong about and try to do on a regular basis. Currently I’m eligible to do it as of Jan 31st and I really do mean it when I say that it puts me in such a good mood afterwards) J
xxiii.         Wear sunscreen everyday.
xxiv.         Spend less time online
xxv.         Do that thing that you’ve always wanted to do but just never got around to doing