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My humble beginnings as a lifestyle blogger.

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The Body Shop Haul

16/05/2017
Hi friends, thanks for coming to my blog! Today, we’re looking at a few things that I bought from The Body Shop. 


I went in originally just to buy a few body butters, but no joke, when the representative asked me ‘what brings you in today’ I responded with “I’m feeling spendy” and then walked out with $50 worth of products. #oops? Granted, compared to ‘real’ beauty bloggers, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what they spend, but for little old me, that’s what I would consider a haul. A few weeks later, I went back into the Body Shop and then walked out with another few items. Read below for the goodies that I bought (sorry wallet!) and what I think about them.


I originally received the coconut body butter for Christmas, and liked it so much that I went back to buy a few more after I used it- picking up moringa and olive scented ones. 

The cream sinks into your skin quickly, and although it’s body butter, I found it perfect for my hands. They have it as a part of buy two get one for free and they’re $6 a piece. This is now the second time that I’ve bought these hand creams, and I’ll more than likely be back for me! They have a variety of scents including coconut, grapefruit, satsuma, vanilla and the olive and moringa scented ones that I picked up. They’re small enough to bring with you in your bag, but they last a long time as opposed to some travel sized products that you can only use a few times before they’re empty.


The Body Shop starting selling liquid peels earlier this year, another variation of a physical exfoliant, this one containing edelweiss, sea holly and criste marine… #fancyschmancy

They have a few different versions, this one focusing on youth regenerating but they also have their drops of light line which is for discolouration and they just came out with a Vitamin C Glow variation as well which is the one that I would love to try out!

 It’s the weirdest thing, it’s a very thick gel that you put on your face and gently massage and it takes off all of the dead skin cells on you… and you can actually see and feel the dead skin cells coming off! It’s the grossest yet most satisfying thing ever. At first I wasn’t sold on it, but as I used it more and more I realized that this will be a staple in my skin care! I love using it every few nights and my mom starting using it as well. I found that it made a big difference with the size of the blackheads on my skin. I’m not sure if you should or shouldn’t do this, but if you also add in a physical exfoliator then your face is gonna be baby butt soft. I tested it out, so I can attest to that tehehe. 

Masks

Fear not- I didn’t come out of the store without any masks! They had a mini mask set with three masks to try out- at $6 for three masks, I figured why not- and threw it into my basket. The three that I have are the Ethiopian Honey (Deep Nourishing), Himalayan Charcoal (Purifying Glow) and British Rose (Plumping).

I first started off with the Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Face Mask, as my skin was feeling dry and I could do with some more moisture. It was a gel consistency, and it felt as if you were actually putting honey on your skin but not as sticky. The colour looked like honey, which I liked because I don't want my parents coming into my room and being terrified of me when I turned around (anyone else like this, or just me? lol). Taking it off was easy, I used a wet wipe and then just used some cleanser. Afterwards, my skin felt moisturized and soft. Was it good? Yes. Incredible? No. It did what a face mask should have done.

A few days later, the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Face Mask was on my hit list. To start of I was a little taken aback about the scent, not so much because it was super strong but rather because it was slightly minty which I didn’t expect. The mask was gray (like you’d expect) but it also had small pieces/chunks of charcoal in it which I found off putting. It’s a purifying mask, so it dried fairly quickly, and like expected it tingled, but the tingling was quite intense, borderline too much for me to handle. Once it dried off, I promptly attempted to wash it off, and wow was it a struggle. I put on some coconut oil to soften it up and then used baby wipes and it was still really frustrating and time consuming to get it all of my face. Once I managed to get it off my face, I found it to be really purifying and my skin felt really fresh (especially on the cheeks) but the feeling didn’t last too long. The pimples on my skin were slightly smaller and less red, but not as much as I thought they would be. I will say that after moisturizing my skin it seemed very glowy and fresh. Would I try this again? Given how much of a struggle it was to take it off, I’ll pass.

The last mask of the trio was the British Rose Fresh Plumping Face Mask. The texture of this one was similar to the Ethopian Honey mask and the scent was very subtle and nice. It smelt like roses which can be a tough scent to replicate so that it doesn’t smell too fake or strong, it was just right and faded as the mask dried.

I found this mask to be my favourite of the three; very hydrating and easy to take off with water- similar to a thick cleanser. Did it plump my skin? I mean, I guess so? I didn’t realize that my skin needed plumping before using this….

In my second trip to the Body Shop, I went there knowing that I wanted to look for a serum/oil as my Caudalie night oil was running out. I ended up buying the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil because I remember hearing great reviews about it. It comes in a light pink bottle with a dropper and the smell is really light and simple. Is it good, yes. Amazing? No.. It moisturizes my skin and makes it soft; as it said it would.

I also decided to buy the Tea Tree Oil Targeted Gel Blemish Stick as I heard great things about it and the Body Shop and they had a buy 2 items get a third free. I decided to pick up 2 tree tea oil blemish sticks, one for home and one to go… you never know when you’re gonna get a zit on your cheek and need to fix that, concealer can sometimes only go so far, ya feel? Does it work? Yes and no… it helps, but it’ll still take time. Would I buy it again? On a whim maybe, if I felt like it, but I don't think that I’d feel like I was ‘missing’ something without out.

I found that a lot of beauty reviews are incredibly positive, and I never understand how everything could be so amazing. The Body Shop has some great stuff and some repurchases, but not everything. They also have a points reward card and it’s always nice to know that they don’t test on animals and have a lot of vegan/natural options.

Have you tried anything from the Body Shop that you loved or hated? Let me know!

My First Time Trying Out Barre Class

22/04/2017
Hi friends, thanks for coming to my blog! Today, I’m writing about my first time doing barre class- specifically Barre3, originally from the US which made it's way over to the King West area as the only Barre3 location in Canada. I went to an event set up by Embiria which curates events where you can meet new people, try out something new and then eat afterwards, ending up with a goodie bag at the end (which I forgot to pick up when leaving).

Keep reading for what I thought about Barre 3 and the Embiria event!

Barre


If you’ve never heard of barre (pronounced bar… just so that we’re on the same page here!) it’s a low impact workout that combines ballet movements, yoga and pilates into one. The movements are simple and repetitious but the time passes by and I never felt bored at all, the pain in my muscles was what I was feeling. 

The studio is super bright and open, very clean with hard wood floors and natural lighting. There are lockers in the back as well as a shower and toiletries for you to use. Razors, dry shampoo, bandages, elastics? They got em for you! Shame I didn’t see the set up until after the class was done because I actually lost my hair elastic before class started.

All movements have three aspects, holding the move, small 1 inch movements where you bounce/pulse in that same position and large movements where you do deeper pulses and larger motions. 

I used to think that I was fit, but this workout gave me a run for my money!

Barre class participants experience something called the ‘shakes and quakes’ which is when your muscles won’t stop shaking because they’re being used so heavily. I couldn’t believe how intensely they were shaking from such seemingly ‘simple’ movements like lunges and squats- and without any weights either.

When we moved onto upper body, you had the choice between no weights, or, 1,2 or 3 pound dumbbells. Originally I picked up the 2 pound dumbbell but on a whim decided to use the 1 pound ones, an wow what a great idea. If anyone used the three pound ones- you're an absolute boss. I wasn't able to complete all of the movements, and I wasn't the only one (thankfully!) Many of us had to pause because it was too intense (can I just stress again how this was from a one pound dumbbell!)

The workout has no breaks between it at all, and it’s not aligned so that each song has a perfectly curated set, rather the movements flow in and out of the songs in a more natural motion. At first I wasn’t a fan of it, but then I ended up really liking it because the momentum carries you forward and allows for the time to pass by quickly.

If you decide to sign up for Barre 3, you're also able to go onto their website and take online variations of their classes to do at home, as well as read their blog and gain access to healthy recipes that you can try out.

 After the workout we all picked up salads from a local company called The Goods; vegan, organic, natural, gluten, dairy and nut free.  After salads came acai bowls from Lilo Foods where we were able to add in toppings such as goji berries and coconut slices. This was my first time trying an acai bowl and wow was it good! I even took an extra one home ;) If you've never tried out and acai bowl it really is great, similar to a pudding but not as sweet.

The event was curated by Embiria and I really love the idea behind it as it brings people together, be it that you come alone (like I did) or with some friends to try something new. Everyone that took the class was very friendly and talkative and I didn't feel like I wasn't invited or that I was the odd one out. If it wasn't for this event, I likely wouldn't have ever tried out barre, rather pushing it off as something that I wanted to do, but never got around to. I also got to eat amazing local food and have a chat with other people, as we literally made a circle on the floor and shared mats so that we could talk and eat together in an open and inviting space. 

Would I do Embiria again? 100% There are so many options for events including yoga, and barre as well as discovery events where you can learn more skills such as creative writing and how to curate a flat lay (which, if you've never done before, seems incredibly easy but is actually super time consuming and hard).

Would I take a barre class again? In theory- yes because I really enjoyed it, felt that bootay burning, and the studio was really nice (it’s the little things, you know?) while having a great event to go to and meeting other people who were also beginners was also a plus. However, I do have a yearly pass to Goodlife fitness and this studio is all the way in the city but I’m out here in suburbia so I don't see myself going all the way out there for a class. If my sister or a friend was interested in trying it out or if there was another similar Embiria event than I would totally do it again.

Thanks for reading- what are your thoughts, have you done Barre before, or gone to a curated event like Embiria?

-Diana


Spring Updates

14/04/2017
 Hi everyone- thanks for coming to my blog! Today, we’re talking about how spring is a great time to change things up in your life.

With the warmer weather and the longer days, spring is a great time to change things up and get out of the winter slump. People usually associate spring with spring cleaning, but there’s more than one way to benefit from the change of seasons. After 6 months of the cold, multiple layers of sweaters, short days, freezing nights, it’s nice when the sun starts shining, the days are getting longer and you’re not freezing half to death.

So, instead of using spring to just clean out your house, read below for the other ways to have it benefit you.




Wardrobe

Inevitably you’ll have to swap out your winter clothes for your spring/summer clothes, but while you’re doing that, have a good purge and see what should be donated or thrown out. You can start looking to see what items need to be replaced, tailored, dry-cleaned or donated.

Grab inspiration from your favourite Instagram accounts, celebrities, magazines, bloggers etc and update your wardrobe with what you like. Flutter sleeves, lighter colours, and cold shoulder tops and dresses are all really popular right now, so if you want to add some trendy pieces to your wardrobe, you know what to buy.

Let me guess, 90% of your wardrobe is black to match your soul (eye roll). Fine fine, you wanna stick with black, be my guest, but (in my humble opinion) I feel like it’s a bit over used. Throw in some colour, you won’t die, and you’ll see what a change white, light pink, blue (pick a colour, any colour) will do for your energy and for how it lights up your face. The simplest change of a shirt or a blazer will completely update your entire wardrobe. I’m currently loving a few blazers from Dynamite after my colleague told me that I should look into them. The mix of flower prints, the navy, the light pink/nude colours… Major heart eyes

A good idea is that with every one thing that comes into your wardrobe, to throw out/donate another thing. That way your closet will never increase in size, but will still be up to date and fashionable.

Here are some of my favourite looks for spring! 

  




Hair & Body

Now that it’s warmer (and everyone is fitting it extra gym sessions for that #summerbod) it’s nice to change up your look. If you dye your hair, change the shade or colour of it, and start to venture outside of your comfort zone for your makeup and nailpolish.  

Even if you don’t want to change anything about your look, now’s a good time to take a bath, deep condition your skin, do some fake tanning, a deep massage, haircut or a facial. Professional facials are incredible, and I would recommend getting one done every season. My favourite place to go is Elmwood Spa in downtown Toronto, if you go four times in a year you become an elite member and get special discounts and promotions. If you don't want to pay for someone to give you a facial, there are always at home options too. You can either buy a face mask from a store (I just bought a sample pack from The Body Shop) or you can make it yourself by mixing together items that you can find in your pantry like honey, cinnamon, avocado, banana, yogurt etc etc.. You name it, you can probably put it on your face. 

Interiors

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, it’s where you sleep, where you relax and spend time getting ready in the morning, so it only makes sense that you would put in a lot of effort to make it relaxing and enjoyable.

You can always change your entire room by buying new furniture, painting your room, and redecorating. If you don't have the time or finances to change everything up, new pictures, bedspreads, or even reorganization of how the room is set up will give your room new life. Even easier than what I mentioned? Just get a bouquet of flowers and plop them on your desk!

I previously had a world map hanging above my bed but I decided to change it up, so I took it down and bought a large frame at IKEA only to debate for a few weeks with what I wanted the picture to be. Ultimately, I finally took the plunge and bought this Kate Moss poster poster called “life is a joke”. I used Pinterest as my inspiration and I found some incredible interiors that included this picture! 


                             





Daily Routine

Humans are creatures of habit, so once you develop a routine it’s hard to break it. . However, now that the days are getting longer and aren’t as cold, it's a good time to look at what you do and when you do it. Can you do things on a different day or a different time? It might allow for you to meet new people, make time for all of those things 'that you don't have time for' like working out, cleaning, and figuring out your finances. The sun is rising earlier so can you wake up earlier? Start eating breakfast and take more time for yourself, it'll help to change your mindset and keep you motivated and creative. 

These are some ways to help you out, not just when it's spring, but whenever you need a change.
Let me know your thoughts about what you like to do and how you do it!

-Diana


Toronto's One of a Kind Show

04/04/2017
Hi friends, thanks for coming to my blog! 

If you’re not from Toronto, or if you’ve been living under a rock (I kid, I kid), The One of a Kind Show ran from March 29th to April 2nd at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. 

What is it? The One of a Kind Show (or OOAK) is a collection of artisans from across the country that come together to showcase their handmade products all within one venue. It allows for us to "support the handmade revolution” which is one of the catch phrases of OOAK and buy from local artisans instead of spending money at large corporations.

I went to the show on Friday afternoon after taking the day off of work (I gave myself a long weekend ye yee) with a good friend of mine.  Read below to see where I spent my money!



I went in to the show knowing very well that I wanted to add another piece of jewelry to my collection. I found exactly what I was looking for at one of the first booths that I went to called Lanabetty. The owner Lana was very friendly, telling us her story about how she started making jewelry as a hobby and then it developed into her full time career. If you want justification as to why supporting local is better, Lana explained how when she first started her company, she would get so excited about selling something that she would hug the buyer. So what do you think that me and my friend did once we bought something? We gave her a hug and it was really nice to be able to support someone who put their heart and soul into their company. The ring that I bought is as simple as it gets, just a thin twisted gold band, but that’s exactly what I was looking for. I couldn’t find one that fit my finger, so she resized it for me to fit perfectly. Talk about great service!

Next, we stopped on over at a booth called Demo Soap that was selling bath items like bath bombs and soap. What drew me to buying some bath bombs was how fragrant they were! They had a large collection of different scents so me and my friend each bought (the same) three scents; rose, grapefruit and yuzu (a Japanese fruit similar to a lime).  It was $5 each, or 3 for $12 and you can breakup the bath bomb in half because it’s so large, so (pricewise) it was a great steal! I haven’t used any of them yet, but I’m excited to relax in my bath with one of these after a long day or an intense workout…. I’m just imagining how incredible it’s going to smell once I throw it in a hot bath. I’ve never used a bath bomb, so I’m also excited to see what it’s like to use one and add it to my bath routine.

We stopped off at a tea stand called Clearview Tea, where a mother-daughter duo from Creemore ON were selling their organic tea. My friend promptly picked up two packages of the organic ginger tea (she’s Persian and she swears by ginger for everything!) whereas I decided to buy a black tea with rose petals and vanilla flavouring called Ivory Cable Knit Sweater. The name of the tea alone makes me feel so cozy and warm, so I’m sure that when it gets colder in the fall and winter that I’ll be drinking even more of it. The owner said that they’re opening up a store soon in Creemore, which is on the way when you’re driving up to Blue Mountain to do some skiing, so I can see myself stopping off to pick up some more tea when winter comes and I’m going to tear the slopes up!

Next up, another bath item store based out of Burlington ON called The Soap Bar Organics. There were sooo many options for different types of soaps to buy, but I was able to hone in on one particularly. I didn't buy it for myself, rather my dad who is the real OG when it comes to using charcoal as soap and shampoo. He literally made it himself from the charcoal that he used to cook food with as a kid (#thatyugocountrylife). Anyways, the soap is pine tar (sounds appeasing right? Nothing else I’d rather slather my body with than pine tar!) and it smells like a mix of charcoal and Irish Spring (that green shitty bar soap that all older men in their life use and is drying af). Ya… that one. I really enjoy the scent of this soap as I do prefer muskier scents and Irish Spring is a scent that reminds me of my dad. Although I haven’t used it yet, I’m sure that if you have any old school, all natural, mountain men in your life, this is the soap for them.  It’s vegan, GMO, SLS, paraben, preservative and petroleum by products free, so you could say that this is as organic and natural as it gets.

If you’ve gone through the entire show and want to rest your feet, there’s a stage where they have fashion shows that you can watch at designated times with different themes and announcers.  Across from the stage there’s a café where you buy and munch on some coffees and goodies. On the other side of the café is a bar where you can try some fancy drinks, so you can take your pick!!

Due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. a heavy brunch with too many sugary drinks making me nauseous) I decided to head home (my wallet sighed a sigh of relief) and thus didn’t go through the entire show. There are a few things that I wish that I went through such as the food aisle (there were specialty chocolate bars that I wish I saw) as well as more skin products and some succulents. However, fear not! There is also an online version of the show where you can shop from the comfort of your bed if you missed out. 

Overall, I had a great time! I went on a Friday early afternoon and although it was busy, it wasn’t incredibly crowded. Later in the day or on the weekend likely would have been much busier to the point where it was uncomfortable to look around. They have the One of a Kind show twice a year- in the spring and for Christmas, so I’ll be back to revisit some of the same artists and some new ones as well. The people that I met were so nice and down to earth, and their products are made from great quality, many times organic or all natural.

Have you guys been to this one or one in your city? What goodies did you pick up?

Thanks for stopping by, let me know your thoughts below!

30 Facts About Me

30/03/2017
Hi everyone, thanks for coming to my blog!

 I figure that a few of you have read my posts and follow my Instagram and although you know a little bit about me, who am I really? So I figured that I would give you 30 facts so that you can get to know me better. And can I just say, 30 facts is a lot to think of about yourself. By the time 20 came around I was scrambling for ideas! 



1-    You pronounce my name Dee-Anna but spell it Diana. The confusion is real

2-    I’m full Serbian, 1st generation Canadian

3-    Born and raised Torontonian

4-    I speak 4 languages (Serbian, English, French and German) and am currently learning my 5th (Spanish)

5-    I studied at the University of Toronto (St. George campus) and majored in history (mainly European) and minored in French and German

6-    I worked at a bakery since I was 14 and continued working there on weekends after I started my full time job at the bank

7-    I’m 5’9 and one of the few Serbians who has strawberry blonde hair

8-    I enjoy going to the gym and usually go between 1-3x a week
8.a.     My favourite workout is body combat, but I also do the occasional body pump or yoga

9-    I have an older sister who lives in Boston and is finishing up her Graduate degree in Optometry
9.a.     She’s only 18 months older and yes we are the same size and share our clothes and shoes #twinning

10- I love adventure and don’t mind spending money on fun stuff. ATVing, edge walk, skiing, front rides on rollercoasters… I love it all

11- I love reading, specifically non fiction books. One of my favourite books is the autobiography “Open” by the tennis great Andre Agassi

12- I’m a morning person and I love getting up before the rest of the world. Granted, always getting 8 hours of sleep helps. I guess I got used to it because of the early mornings that I endured while working at the bakery

13- I don’t like beer (although I do occasionally try it so that I can expand my palette)

14- I’m a huge tea drinker, originally starting off with just chamomile tea, but now I try out all different kinds (although I’m not a fan of fruit teas)

15-I love drinking cappuccinos and lattes, and I’m currently addicted to flat whites

16- I don’t like tomatoes

17-I don’t like when the yolk in my eggs is runny

18- Some people would say that my style is boring; I prefer to use the words simple and classic

19-I can’t play any instruments

20- Insta stories over snapchat allday errday

21-My favourite stores include Club Monaco, French Connection and Winners, but if I had to pick one, it would be Winners

22- My favourite music is house/electronic, and I love going to summer music festivals and concerts

23-I talk really fast and used to mumble a lot (I still do when I get excited or nervous!)

24- I’m brutally honest (sorry not sorry), some would call it heartless

25-I don’t understand why people are so obsessed with dogs? (Proving my point above lol)

26-I can talk your ears off

27-I don’t have any pets however I wouldn’t mind getting a cat J

28- My feet have the highest arches you’ll ever see in your life

29-I only have my ears pierced and don’t have any plans for any additional piercings or tattoos and have never died my hair (or want to atm)

30-My goal in life is to own a home where I can tan outside naked without anyone seeing me
a.     I hate tan lines

Anddd there we have, some facts about me! 
Do we share any similarities or differences? Let me what your thoughts are or if you have any questions, I'll be more than happy to answer!

Thanks for stopping by :)


Thanks again for reading J