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Beauty, Lifestyle, Skincare, Fashion, Finance, Toronto, Investing,

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Ways to Simplify your Life

22/04/2018
Hello my lovelies, I hope you're all keeping well. In today's day and age, we're all about productivity, efficiency, side hustles, meditation etc etc. I know you've seen all the instagram posts about working on yourself- and I totally agree with them. But sometimes the combination of work, commuting, friends, gym, chores etc makes your really tired and you let some things slip to the side- I can't blame you.

Today I'm gonna be telling you about ways to make your life easier- if you're going to put in the effort to do something, you might as well put in the effort to make it easier for yourself in the future.



Keep reading below for my tips on how to make your life easier!

Auto Bill Payments
Bills, bills, bills- not the Destiny's Child kind. Sadly, these monthly little leeches won't ever go away, but you can make them easier. Set up automatic payments to be withdrawn from either your chequing account or credit card  (I choose credit card so that I can get them pointsss fam). Be aware though, because should you be over charged or have additional charges, it's harder to catch and you're less likely to call the company for an explanation or to negotiate the price down. It might take you some time to set it up for everything.. phone, internet, car insurance, rent etc, but it'll save you from thinking/forgetting about it, getting pesky letters in the mail, and potentially paying late fails or negatively effecting your credit score.

Meal Prepping
Grab some wine, good food, maybe a friend or two- and get cooking! This will take at least a few hours, so pick a weekend or a night and commit to it. You're gonna have to figure out what you want to cook, and what ingredients you're gonna need, and then get your ass to the grocery store. Make sure that you have a number of Tupperware containers so that you can save it. This will save you time, mental effort and money because you will no longer 'not have lunch' and then get some pizza or sushi. Depending on what you make, you can also freeze it for a longggg time so that you can pull it out in the future instead of eating the same food for days on end. You can also make sauces and then just cook up fresh pasta/rice when the time comes.

Regularly Scheduled Appointments
Waxing? Nails? Doctor? Massages? Personal Trainer? Whatever it is, figure out a schedule so that you know (like clockwork) when you have to do what without running out of time, forgetting to rebook etc etc. If you get waxed every 4 weeks, make sure that you have it in your schedule so that you know that you won't miss your appointment, won't have to spend time scheduling it or potentially missing out on it.

Create a Weekly Schedule
Something that makes sense for you.. i.e. Monday is laundry, Tuesday is cardio, Wednesday is meal prep, Thursday is weight lifting etc etc etc. Figure out a weekly schedule so that you know what to do that day when the time comes, that way you don't have to debate about what to do when you come home (meal prep, laundry, gym, Netflix?), you know exactly what you have to do. I think a lot of people don't realize how realll decision fatigue is. Every day, you're faced with hundreds of tiny decisions, so by the end of the day, your will power decreases tremendously. You're thinking about what to wear, what to eat, when to wake up, what project to work on today, what kind of coffee you want etc. By knowing what you're doing on that specific day, that's one less decision you have to make, meaning one less potential for a bad decision.

20 Mins a Day
This is all you need to keep your home clean and tidy. Set an alarm every night and do something like washing the dishes, wiping down your tables, vacuuming, laundry etc. 20 mins doesn't seem like a lot, but from Monday to Friday, that's an hour and a half that you don't have to clean on Saturday morning. Of course you can't live off of just 20 mins of cleaning a day (or maybe you can, who am I to judge), but it'll help to make your weekends easier.

This also doesn't have to relate to cleaning, but maybe something else that you want/have to do.. studying, practicing a new skill, meditating, stretching, calling your friends/family to catch up, etc...

What are some ideas that you guys have to make your life easier? Let me know in the comments below and I hope to see you guys soon!

xx Diana

How to Save Money on Ski Trips

18/04/2018
Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog. If you follow me on IG (and if you don't..... then now's the time- hint hint, nudge nudge) you might see that this winter I spent a fair amount of time skiing; two weekend trip to Blue Mountain, one to Vermont and one to Mont Tremblant.

Skiing is something that I picked up last year (after only attempting it twice in middle school) and I feel in love so fast and hard that it made everyone's head spin. Skiing isn't the cheapest sport, when you add in the clothes, travel, lift tickets, equipment and apres skiing, the price can add up real quick fam. With that in mind, I've learned a thing or two about how to save a dollar while ripping it up on the slopes.


Skiing
Mount St. Louis Moonstone- Just outside of Toronto

Skiing
Blue Mountain Hotel
Skiing
Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Skiing
Mount Snow, Vermont
Keep reading below!

Buy Your Own Equipment 
Even if you're not an avid skier, but still want to go a few times a year, buying your own equipment is going to save you a lot of money, when comparing it to renting which costs about $50-$60 a day. On top of that, you need to wait in line, fill out waivers, return the equipment etc etc, and that can really cut into your time on the slopes. Seeing as lift tickets can cost $50-$100 a day (depending on deals, days of the week, time of year and what resort you're going to), you're looking at doubling your expenses just by renting. This isn't to say that you should run and buy the newest skis possible, I'd actually recommend against doing that. You can find tons of used skis, either online, at ski swap events or the annual ski and snowboard show which takes place in late fall in Toronto. I haven't been there yet but I plan on going this year to pick up some new gear!

I bought my skis (including bindings, boots and poles) off of Kijiji for $100 cash in the middle of August. Skiing for twice days already equalled out my costs, so seeing as I ended up skiing about 10 days this year, they paid for themselves many times over. Sure, they're not the newest, they were a tiny bit scratched up and I would have preferred for them to be a little bit longer in size, but for $100? I'll take them! Do your research and you can find something that suits you. 

Pre-Purchase your Lift Tickets
Lift tickets are annoying, and they're really expensive too. If you know that you want to skiing sometime in the winter, look for deals in the fall- you can easily get deals that can be 30% cheaper than the usual rate. If you miss those deals but know that you want to go skiing at some point in time during the winter, purchase them online. They'll always be cheaper than the walk-up rate on the day of. You can also look into any promotions, mid-week specials, corporate/group discounts, hotel hookups etc and see what kind of savings you can get. 

Food
This tip is specifically for if you're doing a weekend getaway, look to get a hotel with a full kitchen (I've made the mistake of a half kitchen before, meaning that there's no oven) or an airbnb. I try to cook every breakfast- eggs, oatmeal, or toast are all great to start the day and are easy to make, even if there' a big group of people. I would always purchase lunch just because I don't want to mission it all the way to the hotel/air bnb, change and then cook. I'm too tired for that and don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. With lunch, you can also do quick food like pizza, soup, pitas etc, so it's not too expensive (unless you go to a bar and start grabbing drinks). For dinner, I'll usually do some nights in, some nights out, varying from a fancy restaurant to a really cheap place.

Make sure to bring snacks with you while you're on the slopes- something like clementines and protein bars are really easy to carry with you and will help to stop you from going inside to purchase a snack/drink.

Alcohol
I love apres skiing, it's really the best but if you're going out, it can really add up. In this case, there's not too much to say other than try to drink alcohol in your hotel, instead of going out, even two drinks can save you $20. Although I've never done it (yet) it's common in ski/snowboard culture to see people drinking on the slopes. I've actually seen someone pull out a bottle of Jack Daniels to split with their friends. That's a little bit intense for me, but there's nothing wrong with a beer or two while you're on the slopes.

Travelling
If you want to travel further to hit the slopes, look into ways to save money. Is it worth it for you to drive, or would you rather save the time and fly? I drove to Vermont and rented a car (with points!) as it was much more fuel efficient than my minivan at home, and I didn't have to put the mileage on my (2004) car. lol. For trips where you're flying, look into using points- you're more likely to be able to use points in case that you're flying to a closer location rather than a further location. Try to book ahead, look for mid week deals and see if flying to another airport will be cheaper.

And there we have it my friends- these are the ways to I save money when I go on my ski trips! Do you guys ski, or do you have any recommendations for ways to save money, or resorts that you recommend for me to visit? 

Thanks everyone, see you next time 

xx Diana

What to Pick Up at the Sephora VIB Sale

15/04/2018
Hi my friends, welcome back to the blog. In true beauty blogger (bb) style, I've rounded up some of my top picks and favourite Sephora items that you should pick up given the opportunity to save some cash money. If you're a VIB Insider, you save 15%, but if you're a Beauty Insider then you save 10%, not a huge amount, but I'll take what I can get- ya know? The dates run from April 20th- April 23rd, unless you're a VIB Rouge member, when you'll get an extra weekend as well (April 13th- April 16th).

Sephora VIB Sale

Peep below for the goods!

The most perfect glow and light coverage, what more can a girl ask for? They also have a few other variations, with SPF, illuminating and oil free, but the OG one is the way to go. I apply it with my hands which I find is the best way to go, but I've also used a kabuki brush, especially if I want more coverage in a certain area. 


OK this stuff is worth the hype, it really does do a fantastic job of covering up spots and discolouration. I use it for both my under eyes and any pimples that have popped up. You only need a little bit of the product (seriously a tiny bit) and I either use my finger and tap it onto stubborn spots, or I pop a kabuki brush into there to do a more general rub over my skin. Applying too much will cake on your skin, but that's the same as with any concealer or foundation. 


Such an amazing serum, I'm excited to pick it up once I have the chance to do so! I'm not the biggest fan of the texture, but the changes that it gives to your skin and the smell are honestly amazing. It's a product that's been hyped up by a number of people, and for good reason- it helps to brighten the skin, reduce the appearance of scars and dark spots, and can help with acne as well. Caudalie has great products and I've tried out a number of them, so this company is one of my favs.

Replica Perfume

Any perfume really, they all smell amazing but they're on the pricier side of things. My OG is Jazz Club, it's a men's scent but it's delicious, more on the muskier side of things which is how I like my perfumes ( I don't want to smell like I fell into a rose bush). I do want a lighter one for summer now that it's coming up, but this is perfect for the fall/winter months. 


Sephora has started carrying The Ordinary a few months ago, however seeing as I live in Toronto and work in Financial District, I just go to the store directly. None the less, I love the Ordinary... a lot. I've tested out a fair number of products (peep out my best and worst product reviews post right here) and am always changing up what to get from them. These three products are curated ones that I've tried and have great results from. I've also tried their lactic acid, three variations of vitamin c, squalene oil, niacinimide, salicylic acid, the buffet and probably a few more. These three products are the ones that I'd keep buying. Although I like the vitamin c product that I'm using now from them, I am interested in trying out the one form Ole Hendriksen which I heard is fantastic. Who knows, maybe I'll actually pick it up during the sale? 

If you read other beauty reviews, their list is huge- but I'm not going to recommend something that I don't use or don't actually care about.
Let me know in the comments what you're planning to pick up, and any recommendations that you might have!

xx Diana

Empties Haul | What Would I Repurchase? |

08/04/2018
Damnnnn D, back at it again with another YouTube video (and another blog post even though I have at least 12 others in draft status).

Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog! As mentioned, there's a YT video if you'd rather hear/see me than read (just covering all of my bases you know?). Check it out below (and also my YT channel in general)




This is a great product for any zits that pop up, I do see that it helps out however it's not a miracle worker. I want to look into potentially buying the Kate Somerville or the Mario Badescu spot lotion. When my skin breaks out, I always debated between which product to use... either a thin layer of the salicylic acid, or the niacinamide (down below!) None the less, this is great both when you have an active spot, or as an all over product to keep any potential problems from popping up. It does dry your skin though, so make sure to moisturize a fair bit when using this!


This product is a great start, especially for those with acne prone skin. This product helped to get rid of the little bumps on my forehead, and it's recommended to use during the day, especially if you have oily skin because the product also helps to control oil. However, there are two problems that I run into when I try to use this during the day. Number one is that this product doesn't mix with vitamin C- something that I use evert morning, and number two is the fact that it pills... a lot. When I add in moisturizer, sunscreen, bb cream etc it pills a lot, to the point where you can't even use any products. As such, I'd recommend using this at night. Would I buy it again? No, but I think it did a great job while I was using it (and it's also a much cheaper dupe for Glossier's Super Pure serum)

When I purchased this product I originally loved it! It heats up when you put it on your skin so that it opens up your pores, it's a clay mask yet I found that it didn't dry out my skin, however after using it a few times I realized that it's not as great as I originally thought it would be. Firstly, although it heats up, the heat only stays for a minute before it cools back down. You can rerub it into your skin and it will warm back up again, however when you wash it off it does leave a bit of a white cast, so you have to wash it off twice. Overall I found that it did a good job but nothing amazing, so I won't be repurchasing it again. 



I always try to use an eye cream with SPF in the morning, but there aren't too many options for eye creams with SPF. None the less, I purchased this one and it was ok. I didn't find it super moisturizing and I found that when you squeeze out the product, there's first a bit of super watery product that comes out (I assume thats separation between the sunscreen and the moisturizer?) before the actual product comes out. I would think about buying this if it was more moisturizing, but alas, it is not, so I shall pass. Any recommendations are appreciated down below!


I liked the fact that this was a gel product, I used it primarily at night and it was quite hydrating, although too much of the product did cause it to pill. I can't say that I saw too much of a change, but that's also because I get a full 8 hours of sleep and I don't have naturally puffy/dark under eyes (thank mom and dad!)

Those are my thoughts! What do you guys think, do you have any suggestions for products for me to try out? Let me know in the comments below!

Love you long time xx

Diana

Best ClassPass Studios in Toronto

28/03/2018
Hi friends, thanks for coming back to my blog! Today I'll be discussing the best ClassPass studios in Toronto. From barre, to spin to reformer pilates, I've done a few classes and here are my thoughts on them. If you don't know what ClassPass is- it's an app where you pay a monthly fee (and choose what subscription you want) and then it allows you to visit different studios at a much cheaper price then going to individual studios.

Keep reading below for more info!

ClassPass Studios in Toronto




Barre 3
Barre3 was the first time that I took barre, back in April and I wanted to go back. The studio is bright and airy with a shower and toiletries that us ladies need. The class is intense, you really feel the burn and get the shakes and quakes really fast. You work up a sweat and I love how the moves are simple but effective. This class is a full hour long which I'm not the biggest fan of, and sometimes the class can get a bit tight because it's not necessarily big enough for everyone there. The change room doesn't have enough lockers for everyone so just be mindful of that. Otherwise, I love this class and can't wait to come back for more.



Purebarre 
Purebarre, located in Queenwest was the second barre location that I visited. The class was 50 minutes long and the instructor came to introduce herself to me which was very kind. She knew everyone in the class and would consistently give positive affirmations.
The studio itself wasn't my favourite- the walls and carpet were a very generic beige colour, the lockers were small and there were no locks on it.
The class moved incredibly fast and a lot of times the instructor wasn't actually showing us the moves, just explaining them while walking around, so you really have to listen to what she's saying. I will mention that there were some very original moves that were included that burned the next day. In the middle of the class we stretched out before continuing the workout which I thought was strange. I went back another time and again, although it's a good workout, it's not my favourite and I don't see myself coming back here again for another barre class.


Studio Lagree
This class is my favourite. A short 50 minute class where you use the reformer machine (looks like a torture or sex machine). You increase/decrease the tension of the carriage (the slidy thing in the middle) and you do s l o w and controlled movements. It seriously burns and it's a great full body workout. I included it in my monthly favourites and I'm really close to buying classes for the studio because I like it that much, it's just expensive af. The changeroom is tiny so be prepared for a squeeze when you're coming/going from classes however it's conveniently located in King West.



The 6ix Spin Studio
Lights low, beats high is their motto. I love the fact that during the class the instructor (I had Adam.. HI Adam!) would turn off the lights so that you could concentrate on your ride and not worry about others next to you, especially if you're a little bit of a slower rider. The music changed a lot, ranging from 2013 pop, to The Greatest Showman music to intense house music. It might be a good or a bad thing depending on what kind of a person you are. I liked how at the end of the class he said for us to smile at our neighbour and congratulate them for a job well done :) (I love those types of classes). They have two showers to use and I like the products (not sure where they're from as the bottles were with logos from the studio). Overall a great place and I plan on coming back for more!



Rocket Cycle
This studio isn't actually on Class Pass but I figured that I would add it in because it is a great studio. It's the first time that I ever tried out a real spin class and I thought I was going to die ( to the point where the instructor stopped and came over to me and said to slow down). Small locker space but their bathrooms are amazing, such interior goals. I have gone back a few times since however I think that I'd pick 6ix Spin over RC (sorry).



I plan on keep using ClassPass so if you guys have any great recommendations for Toronto studios then please let me know down below in the comments! I hope to create a part 2 of this class once I try out more classes in the city.

xx Diana

How to get your Shit Together

24/03/2018
I originally started writing this post back in November, and then I came back to it in February, so I should probably take my own hints?

None the less, it really is true that no matter how old you are, you never feel like you have your shit together, or at least that's what I feel like. I go in and out of times when I feel like I'm invincible and on top of everything, to times where my to do list keeps growing and keeps getting pushed to the next day, week.. potentially month?

None the less, here are some things that I do to try to keep on top of everything and not lose my marbles.

Keep reading below for my thoughts!



Write it Down

If you know me, you know that I carry my moleskin with me everywhere. I love it, it makes me feel smart and chic (and productive). This is where I write down my appointments, to do lists, gym classes, thoughts etc etc. It's also a great thing to pull out and use on the subway/train in the case that a random stranger starts talking to you and doesn't stop so you want to ignore them.

In the case that you prefer your phone, feel free to use that to have a way to document your stuff. Don't think 'I'll write it down later' because that's as good as saying 'I'll remember to do that'... we all know that we won't.

 I also love using my bullet journal for more long term goals, writing down how often I work out and what I'm looking to accomplish for the year, or I might use a regular journal for blog and YouTube ideas. Figure out what concoction of journals/your phone/agenda works for you and stick to it, keep it on your desk or in your bag so that you're more likely to use it because you see it all the time.

Plan it Out

Give yourself ample time to do anything... vacations, appointments, your grocery list and meal prep, plans with friends etc. Stop being so last minute with everything, see what your calendar holds and what you have time for. Don't be afraid to make the executive decision to cancel plans, to go home early, or to not go out with friends because you have other 'adulting' things that you have to do. If you have plans to clean your house in the morning, go to the gym and do meal prep, then actually do it. You'll have peace of mind knowing that everything is done and that you don't need to worry about it later. We all know how stressful it can be to have some gnawing in the back of your mind- do it.

Finances
Yup yup yup, this is included in the whole 'get your shit together' scheme. How much debt do you have and how can you pay it off? What's your budget and how much are you spending monthly? Do you have investments or retirement plan? I know, it hit you like a ton of bricks, but that's why I've created two blog posts about how to get your finances in order.. part 1 is for debt reduction and budgeting and part 2 is for investing (stock, bonds, mutual funds- oh my!)

Bills
Anyone else feel like life can be counted in bill cycles? Phone, internet, rent, water, gas, hydro, insurance etc etc etc etc etc. The list never ends. To make life way easier, spend the time now to automate all of your payments and make your bills electronic as opposed to paper.
Feel like you're paying wayyy too much for your bills? Give your provider a call and see what they can do for you.

I called bell and was able to increase my internet at home to unlimited, and they put down the price of my home phone/internet down by $20.

I switched away from Fido to Telus where I would pay $40 less but get more, to which Fido called me back and offered me an even better deal- 10GB of data for $61 a month. Waattttt

Sure it was super annoying to call the companies, but well worth it in my opinion.

Get over your Excuses

You can either have excuses or results.

This is one of my favourite quotes, because it's true. I'm sure everyone knows about those people who talk about getting fit and loosing weight, and then never go to a gym, eat really badly, drink a lot and yet they still complain? Like BRO pick a side. Either do it, or don't... but don't sit there thinking that it'll magically happen even though you don't make any changes.

At the end of the day, everyone is going to go through ebbs and flows of forgetting things, messing up and being stressed, however these tips might allow for you to be less likely to have that happen to you.

What do you guys think I'm missing in my list? Is there something that you guys think should be done in the case that you want to 'get your shit together?'

Let me know in the comments below!

xx Diana

How to Become a Morning Person

21/03/2018
Hello my friends, how are you guys all doing? If you know me, you know that I worked at a bakery throughout highschool and university and as such, had to deal with some early mornings. Starting work at 6 am while I was still a highschooler/university student was nottt a fun time. None the less, they've taught me how to get up early and I am now officially a morning person. Some people don't get it, but if you know, then you know... ya know?

Waking up early is amazing and I do believe that it's such a beneficial thing to learn and it's such an amazing feeling to finish a bunch of stuff on your to do list before other people have even had their first sip of coffee.

With that being said, being a morning person isn't for everyone, but if you're able to do it than I highly recommend it.

Keep reading below for how to become a morning person!




Don't Press Snooze

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news and I know that you guys have heard this before, but it's true that you shouldn't press snooze, it makes it so much harder to wake up. Once that alarm rings, force yourself to open your eyes and get your day started. You don't have to hop out of bed, but at least start opening your eyes, stretching, turning on the lights etc... I know that people say that starting your day off on social media is wrong, but that's the first thing that I do because it allows for me to open my eyes while I'm still cuddling in bed but don't feel sleepy because I'm on my phone.

Find Something to be Excited About

Don't wake up early just for the sake of the waking up early. Do it because there's something that excites you, an amazing breakfast, a youtube video that you want to watch, or even something as simple as having some time to yourself. Personally, I enjoy going to the gym so I wouldn't mind going to a pilates or barre class before work because it's the most amazing feeling when you're done 8 hours at work and you finished your workout already. Girlll it's the best.

Enjoy your Breakfast

Take the time to actually enjoy your breakfast. I love breakfast and eat it every day, I find it strange that there are some people who don't eat breakfast in the morning, how do they focus, doesn't their stomach growl, don't they get hangry? Anyways, by waking up early you'd be able to make a breakfast that you like, and then enjoy eating it with some coffee/tea before the day hits you like a ton of bricks.

Prepare the Night Before

There's something called decision fatigue which I completely agree with, so do you best to plan the night before things like what you want to eat, wear,  makeup etc. I find that it makes the morning 30x easier than if you were to decide everything in the morning, when you're cold, hungry, tired and without any coffee. With that being said, figure out your outfit and put it on your desk so that you don't even have to think about what to wear. Decide your hair and makeup so it's less time wasted after you wake up.

Turn on the Lights and Open up the Blinds

If you guys live in Canada or any northern country, waking up early when it's dark and coldddd makes things a tad bit harder. Open up your blinds so that you can let in some (any) light and turn up your lights. Sure it's uncomfortable at first, but I never said that it's easy.
*shrugs shoulders*

What do you guys think, what are some of your tips that you have to share about how to become a morning person and how to wake up early. Let me know in the comments below!

xx Diana