Last Minute Gift Guide

This post is my very first gift guide. This year I didn’t really want much, or need much! As I was perusing the malls and the internet for presents for family and friends I realized I was trying to find meaningful gifts and coming up short, because its hard in our consumer society to find gifts with true meaning and not gifts that we just feel obliged to buy. So I thought I would put together a gift guide of possible (last minute) meaningful gifts for people in your life.

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Want to buy someone makeup? Anything nudestix – these come IN THERE OWN PACKAGING. They come in wee tins with a mirror and a sharpener! You can reuse the tins for anything you wants, tampons, lippies, essential oils you name it! This was also a great brand discovery for me this year, it’s Canadian owned and environmentally conscious.

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Saje wellness anything. Know someone that likes essential oils or wants to try them? Why not get a gift set from saje or any roller ball you think they might like! These are perfect gifts, especially if you know the person well. My personal fave is the immune rollerball. 

Tote bags – tote bags are so fun. I love them. Not that H&M is the most sustainable brand, but they do have some great tote bags, topshop has them, etsy is a hub of tote bags. These are useful for groceries, books, binders, lunches, anything!

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Lululemon align pant…or a gift card. If you don’t know the persons size but have a something in mind for someone you know who likes to workout or enjoys comfortable lounge wear then the Lululemon align pant would be my top pick for anyone who loves comfort.

Stainless steel straws. I have said it once and I’ll say it again, if you have a friend you want who has everything, or a family member that you don’t know what to get or are just looking to gift something that is useful and sustainable, i highly recommend a set of straws.

Mason jars. Need i say more? You can fill these with things or you can just give someone a pack of mason jars! They are useful and sustainable for the environment!

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A reusable water bottle. These are ALWAYS a useful gift, especially for the student in your life or the person on the go or anyone for that matter. Know someone that needs one for work? BUY ONE. You can be fancy and by a swell one or find one at Marshalls or Winners! They sell these anywhere! 

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping?


Things I liked and did in November

This is a bit late, forgive me its been quite the month! It just flew by! This month was really good, but also full of assignments, midterms, etc. Without further ado here are things I liked and did in the month of November.

Personal training. Is this a cheesy and weird thing to say I like? I have really found a groove in my workouts with my wonderful trainer (who my bestie refers to as the real life wonder woman). I have finally started to notice small changes in my body. My goal isn’t to lose weight, my goal is to be able to push ups and be trained for specific testing as well as improve my own workouts. My push ups are getting there, I overcame my fear of box jumps, and my running has improved greatly as have my workouts at the gym myself.

Nudestix concealer. This is such an underrated product. It’s so easy to slap on and go, doesn’t get too creasy and makes you look alive. It also conveniently comes with a container and a sharpener.

The lululemon align pant. OMG. BUTTER. BUTT wait for it ER. I fell into the hype folks. I fell hard. I got two pairs of the align crop, they are absolutely wonderful. Stretchy, high waisted, and sweat proof (sort of). The greenish pair I have i wouldn’t wear for leg day, but then again why do we care so much about our sweat? That’s another story for another day. 

My new balance cross trainers. I bought these in September for personal training. When I was wearing nikes (far too thin for my wide feet) my feet would always be very sore after just a 30 min circuit. When I put these new balance trainers on my feet they were the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Honestly I think because of my lack of findings of good shoes I was avoiding strength training because my feet just couldn’t function. Now, I actually don’t fear having super sore arches or bunions and it’s a blessing.

My fasted 1K. OMG ALL I DID IT. I reached my lactic threshold. I didn’t believe it. I was spent after that. I’m finally seeing improvement and with anyone who is also a runner, you know improving is always difficult.

Lip balms. I don’t know folks, there was a time where I was extremely into matte lipsticks and matte liquid lipsticks but as I’ve grown this year into a busier person I just can’t do the colourpop matte liquid lips, or the Anastasia ones. I do still dabble in my NYX soft matte lip cream and my Too Faced Melted Mattes. But lately I’ve been loving (as I have said before) the Burt’s Bees lipsticks, the Burt’s Bees lip shimmers and this eos shimmer lip balm.

What have you been liking and doing this last month!?


Running Tips for Beginners

I would like to begin this post by saying that I am by no means a running coach, a personal trainer or a kin major. But I am what my mother would call “a serious runner”. I grew up with my mom running all the time, just doing the casual 16km a weekend no big deal.  Every time I would start running with her I refused to walk and it was so discouraging. So when I started my journey with running last year (approximately 7 months ago to be exact)  I told myself, Chrisinda, start with the walk run plan, don’t start heavy because you will be discouraged. I have had friends ask me “how can you just wake up and run” well folks that is easier said than done. I would like to impart to you my tips for beginner runners.

  1. Dang nabbit you must get the proper running shoes. I can’t tell you the importance of the this. I was running in the completely wrong shoes for the first 5 months of my journey. Sustaining injury after injury. I finally went to the New Balance store with my amazing running friend who is just a gem to the world. I FINALLY got proper advice and shoes I can tell you my feet and bunions are happy.
  2. Realize that running is a mental challenge. I don’t care what people say running is hard. You are the only one running. You are the only one encouraging yourself. You are the only one accountable for going. Running is a great mental challenge.
  3. Start slow. I have tried and tried again to start running and never started properly. I always started going 5K right out of the gate. Ma’am this is not the way to go. I advise going on Pinterest and finding a beginners guide to running and then following it. Trust in the process. YES it will get frustrating just doing the “run 1 min, walk 5” 5 times. BUT this will help you build stamina and endurance.
  4. Running never gets easier. I’m sorry. I hate to break it you you. You just get better at running. You get better at coping with your lungs telling you they are tired, you get better at running. Yes it will improve, and you will have good runs and bad runs. That just how it shakes out, at least in my experience.
  5. Rest days and rewards. Take this seriously. My rest day is Wednesday. I mean this is also my 12 hour day at school so I don’t have time to do anything. Rest days don’t necessarily mean doing nothing, you can lift weights, do yoga etc. Usually I take one day of the weekend off and do yoga. What are theses rewards you may be asking? WELL its sounds odd and materialistic but for example, let’s say I set a goal to run 15Km and if I get to that I can “reward” myself with some new running pants or a new purse. I mean hey this isn’t the best thing for everyone but I think that sometimes having a wee incentive is really what can make you feel good while you are running.
  6. Decide a schedule and stick to it. You will realize as you get further into running, a schedule is great and you will be having to explain to your non running friends that you can’t miss one.
  7. That being said don’t beat yourself about missing a run. Life happens, it happens to me all the time. However, if I can help it i don’t like to miss my long run. My long run is something that I really need to do. Both for stress relief and for training for my career.

Remember, running isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I wanted to impart what wisdom I do have about running. And remember, when you run you get to wear fun pants and colourful shoes. Embrace the pants. Embrace the shoes.


Things I liked and did in October

100% Pure lip caramel in truffle – ah baby. This is beautiful. Its 100% organic, as the name would suggest, and is a beautiful hydrating lip colour. It’s a dark rose shade, my favourite kind of shade. It also smells like cake AND tastes like cake. Isn’t that ridiculous? More like awesome. It’s the perfect fall shade. Bonus, its hydrating and looks fabulous blotted.

 

My Hourglass Ambient lighting edit in surreal light. I just love this thing. It is just the saviour on my mornings when I’m so tired and want a simple, easy peasy look. Not sure if this is still available in Canada.

 

My Pur cosmetics potted disappearing act concealer. Again a simple concealer, and I don’t need to set it which I really like. I can use my fingers and just dot and go.

Oct Faves

Doing my first 10K – Ah. I will say, while this was a great experience, I no doubt experience what is called “runners remorse” which is basically while you finished the race, your time isn’t what you wanted and you feel somewhat down for the day following. However, I was told this was normal and I did run my own race and I did accomplish this.

 

My reusable cotton rounds – I have recently stopped purchasing cotton pads at the store in plastic packaging and made my own out of cotton yarn (I think its cotton, who knows) as well as old beach towels. Since I don’t wear foundation and I only use witch hazel in the morning these work perfectly for me. I also remove my makeup using oil cleansing which requires a cloth. Sustainable and a fun thing to make on a lazy Monday night!

 

Reusable netting bag – I LOVE this bag. Its lit. Honestly like how can you go wrong? I ordered this off of Amazon during the summer and it’s the best 12.99 I’ve ever spent. I’ve noticed my plastic bag consumption drastically drop and I’ve also noticed the looks I get from certain retailers when I say “no bag thanks” I sometimes get an odd look. At places like Lush this doesn’t happen, but at places like Marshalls or winners I get some odd looks from the cashier.

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My naked running crops from lulu. These crops are darling. They are the “naked” sensation, which Lululemon coined as a term for pants that feel like you are wearing nothing. I also fell over when I saw the price, $128 are you kidding?! But the girl convinced me to try them on and that she loved running in them. Well ma’am you look like you are in lit shape so I’ve been convinced. Love at first site. LOVE. I got these in the summer so they were perfect for then and are still perfect for the fall weather.

 

Spiralizer. This month I attained a spiralizer. AMAZING. It has changed my food game completely. Spiralized zucchini, lentil pasta and homemade pasta sauce, such taste. If you are considering one I highly recommend it.

 

What have you been loving this month?!


My First 10K race

Well folks. I did it. My first 10K race done.

Let’s go back to the beginning starting with my arrival at the park. I get there and line up with all the other 5K and 10K trail racers.  These other 10K people looked rather serious and were wearing trail runners. By golly at this point I knew I made a terrible mistake: not by choosing to do a 10K but by blindly choosing the trail race which in turn was an actual trail.   AN ACTUAL HIKING TRAIL opposed to a well manicured trail like the boom camp trails.

So I begin the race, of course too fast since the adrenaline was flowing. At first it was fine and we did some of the race on the road and I thought “okay not so bad”. However, once we got to the actual trail I knew from that moment I was going to take a lot longer than usual. The other racers were just flying, albeit that was the 5K people, meanwhile I was trying not to trip over everything in my wake.

When I got to the turn around the very nice girl thought I was doing the 5K and pointed me in the wrong direction, it’s all good though. Honestly this was my first race and I wasn’t going for any certain time.  Once I got through the first 5K I knew that this trail was for actual trail runners, meanwhile I have been training on the road, you know nice flat surfaces. NOT THE SAME PEOPLE NOT THE SAME.

Alas, I finished the race. Albeit last in the 10K trail category but you know what? I ran my own race. As my mother says, at any race you just run your own race regardless of those around you. This was a great challenge and it was a great mental one. After missing the turnaround I wasn’t angry, I was focused on finishing and running my own race.

At the end of the day I complete my first 10K race by myself at 22 years old. Maybe that’s not an accomplishment for some people, but with how unhappy my lungs have been as of late, this is something that I’m glad I impulsively signed up for one night in my bedroom and got the chance to have a nice Saturday adventure.


My Current makeup routine

Well with the school year in full swing I find myself a busy bee buzzing around my apartment, school, meetings, the gym/outdoors to run and training, I am finding my mornings a bit less free then they used to be. I thought I would do a bit of a different post and run you through my makeup routine as a busy student!

My makeup routine has changed slightly from last year. A) its been extremely hot here, like 38 degrees and I just can’t be bothered with foundation, so that shaves off quite a few minutes of my morning routine. B) I work and/or run in the morning and/or have class therefore I have been choosing that extra 10 mins of sleep instead of doing my typical bold eye shadow looks I did during the summer and also all last year.

I still love makeup. I love watching tutorials, doing smoky eyes and wearing bold lips but lately I have been going for bronzer in the crease and a light lip gloss or a tinted lip balm and of course highlighter (when am I not wearing highlighter)

I love this multi use palette by Hourglass (it cost me an arm and a leg and is also not available anymore) but it was totally worth it. I use it on my eyes and cheeks so it doubles as all the things. I have also been using a cream highlighter the one from the Body Shop mainly because I’m trying to use it up but also because its beautiful and melts into the skin quite nicely. I also use the gosh illuminating primer – to be honest I don’t see a whole lot of illumination from it but it does even out the skin quite nicely without feeling heavy at all on the skin.

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I have then been loving this Pur concealer that doesn’t seem to crease or settle in fine lines. Its convenient and I also don’t need to set it which is one less step in the morning.

Eye products

As for eyes I used the same multi use palette and then throw the highlighter across the lid. After this I go in with my two brow gels (a bit excessive I realize). I love the Essence clear brow gel so far. I used to use their tinted one but for some reason I thought I would try this Annabelle one, however the brush is a bit big and the colour isn’t as precise as the Essence one so I’m going to use it up but likely repurchase the Essence make me brow. I also started foraying into natural based mascaras. This one pictured in the Physicians Formula organic wear mascara, it is a really good starter natural and organic mascara in terms of price and ingredients. I really like how it makes my lashes feel and how well it combs them out and fans them. It does smudge but not to an extent that I’m unhappy with it. I look forward to trying more mascaras from them! I was noticing using other mascaras my lashes were literally falling off so I thought, okay I want to do something about this. Really glad I made the switch.

 

Lippies

As for lips, its been a real lip balm, gloss or lip liner/lip balm combination. Easy peasy lemon squeezey. I have been loving that trendy, clear glossy look and the elf beautifully bare lip tint is right on trend – it changes colour with your pH and makes a custom pink lip shade. Who knows if it actually does that but I like the finish. I also recently purchased the Fenty Beauty lipgloss and its beautiful.

What is your go to school/busy time routine? What are you favourite products?

 


A shoe update

Well, in case you were wondering, running has become a part of my life that is a habit, like brushing your teeth or wearing your retainer or wearing red lipstick, as I said a habit. I wanted to make a post about the three pairs of shoes I have used on this fun journey to discovering how many blisters my toes can get the more I increase my mileage. Supportive running shoes – this is something that all runners need. Running is a very cost effective sport despite the cost of good runners, if that makes any sense. You can buy crops at a an inexpensive cost at winners, on sale at running room etc or even wear a simple pair you found at the thrift store, shoes are not the place to skimp people. My journey with shoes has been quite the time. I have had a hell of time finding the right shoes.

First my foot type: high arches, bunions, neutral foot.

I used to run in Asics back in the day when I ran in the summers with my mom and those hurt my knees. So when I started running this year I was running in the Nike flyKnit Zoom – I started running on the treadmill and had no pain in these shoes at all. But as soon as I began running outside I could quickly tell the cushioning wore off.

Then hit the winter. Yes folks, I still ran outside in the freezing winter, snow, sleet, wind and all. I thought that because the flyknit’s worked out so well that I would order the Free Run Distance shield that were indeed waterproof but after about 2 months of running in them I sustained my injury. Then not being able to walk so I had to take a month off. BRB while I cry and become a nightly foam roller.

Before I left for Europe I went to running room. Ugh. Where do I begin. The guy there: a: told me my arches weren’t my problem but it was my ankles…like okay….sure…i mean they aren’t the strongest but alrighty sir you are supposed to be the expert. (WRONG I WAS). I bought the mizuno wave rider 20 which I am now finding out IS A NARROW SHOE like alrighty. My bunions have never had quite the pain they had in  these runners. Literally, I would run down the street and my bunions would already be in pain. I know I will never be pain free but this? This was just getting out of hand. Even when I used to skate, my feet NEVER hurt this much.

Alas, my wonderful friend took me to her family friend that works at New Balance. New Balance was a brand I had discounted, for political reasons but also because I thought they just made street shoes and never thought of them as a running brand. But the experience at the store was wonderful, I went on this fun contraption that told the lady I my foot type, and pretty much all the information from my feet. Spot on – high arches, bunions, one foot a half size bigger. The woman there is also a bunion sufferer and recommend the best shoes I’ve ever worn.  Honestly. They are ridiculously comfortable. As someone with bunions the mizuno was way to tight on the arch and had minimal cushioning on the front part of my foot. My New Balance are specifically made with cushioning on both the front and back part of the foot as well as ample arch support so the bunion doesn’t absorb all the shock when you run. They also come in wide width – a blessing really.

 

You best believe I will be purchasing another pair for my winter running. Advice for anyone interested in running: go to New Balance. This has been by far my BEST experience looking and purchasing a pair of runners. Whatever your feelings towards the company, their employees know their stuff and are WILLING to listen to you.

 

I hope you enjoyed my kind of review/advice on runners and that this can help you pick the best pair for you.

 


Summer Essentials

Hello all, as a second post this fine summer I thought I would take you through my summer essentials! Also if you notice I didn’t write down spf or sunglasses that cause I feel like these are implied and actual essentials. These are my “essentials” like you don’t need them but they are nice have yah know?

Burt’s Bees Lip gloss crayons: These bad boys are AMAZING. I work in a very casual office and I feel like these are the perfect thing for my casual work style. YES I still do the bold matte lip and sometimes even a liquid lip to spice things up but these are a great everyday thing to slap on and not worry about fussing with my lip line 😉

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Mom jeans: oh yes you read that right. I have discovered that shorts are just not my thing. I like soft shorts and FINALLY found pairs that were long enough whilst on my European journey. BUT I am no longer afraid to say: I love jeans. Specifically mom jeans. I have four pairs. They go with everything, crop tops, tank tops, t shirts, buttons up. ALL THE THINGS.

Lip balm: also a winter essential, really a year round essential. A good lip balm is where its at if you wear lots of lipstick.

Dry Shampoo. This is a life saver. My hair gets super greasy, so I like to dry shampoo before I style it in the morning, even if it is freshly washed from the night before cause it doesn’t get as greasy near the end of the day.

Cream eyeshadows. I do like to wear eyeshadow everyday, but sometimes I find powders can be a bit too much if I’m sweating like a mamajama. I like to do the one eyeshadow look during the summer. Especially since I do work everyday and sometimes the morning is limited and it’s a time crunch. A one swipe and your done is one of the easiest things that make you look like you spent forever on your eyes.

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Highlighter. UGH my bae (and I don’t use that world lightly), my boo, my muse. They just add a glowniess that you see in the magazines. They are also widely available. If you are on a tight budget, the elf baked highlighters are a great option, as well as anything from wet’n’wild or the essence pure nude highlighter. If you want to foray into the high scale at the drugstore I love the physicians formula shimmer strips and thanks to my wonderful Aunt I also enjoy The Balm Mary Luminizer which gives you that J’Lo glow.

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Some good reading material. Now, as many of you know one  of my new years resolutions was to start reading more. But, alas because of such a busy school I did not exactly get to that. But, through work we had this huge book sale and I attained 10 new books that I want to read all of this summer. Currently I’m reading “Somewhere in France” by Jennifer Robson. A cheesy romance novel set in World War One but nonetheless has been an good read so far.

Having fun and enjoying the lazy days. Not a material essential but an essential for me. My school year last year was busy, with work, class, council, and my training schedule its often hard to find time for yourself. The summer is a time to recuperate and do things that you otherwise may not have not during the year. For me, its not having to rush while I’m running errands, cause I’m not rushing back to homework or readings.  Its also being able to go running after work and not feel the need to rush myself because I have no homework and very little duties to do other than wash my dishes.


A Wee Running Update

Well folks, its been a hot minute since I have written on here about running. Well, in March, March 4th to be exact I got injured. The outer part of my foot was so sore I could hardly put weight on it. I waited a week, ran again, re-injured my foot even more. I waited another week, ran again and re-injured it again. At this point I could hardly walk. I was hobbling around like a potato and rubbing my foot on a golf ball twice a day, stretching and foam rolling. Which thank goodness cured my injury but at this point I knew it was time for new runners. But as one would guess this happened at an optimal point in my life, exams were coming, I got a cold, one week turned into three, by the time I got new runners it was time to prep for Europe and to be honest I was slightly demotivated as I knew the first run would be a wee challenging, to say the least.

Alas, after my European adventure and a week of the post travel cold and jetlag I got back on the horse (or the sidewalk I should say). WELL my allergies are angry as it is, my lungs are angry that I have allergies, and my bowels are getting used to a healthy diet again so yah know. The first run wasn’t bad but it wasn’t awesome either.

Now, when I had the injury I did workout. I did upper body strength, endurance workouts and body weight training. BUT nothing compares to the motion of running for my lungs. Running is one of those sports that to me is hard. Its harder than doing a 3 and half minute free skate, its harder than synchro, and its hard to stay motivated because there are literally no external consequences. You are literally the only person who knows you didn’t run.

Its hard. That is what I will say. My lungs are the type that MUST at least twice a week run so they don’t lose full ability to run at their fullest capacity. As you may or may not know,  running has a totally different effect on my lungs than biking, circuit training and the 30,000 steps we did a day in Europe!

My first week back and up to now have honestly been really hard. Little did I know, after reading some Pinterest blogs, that running in the heat can take your body weeks to get used to. So I don’t feel too bad that my time has slowed down by a full minute.

I have now started a new Nike running plan on my sophisticated app because frankly, its pretty boring to the same monotonous run day after day so these include benchmarks, recovery runs, and long runs. Ah exciting times I lead in my life. It’s the little thing folks. I hope everyone has enjoyed this fun update and stays tuned for some more.

ps. featured image is my new mode of running transportation the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 runners in the fitting shade of blue

 


De-Stressing During Exams

HELLO HUMANS. I have seen on social media several people several stressing over exams and studying at all hours, and worrying about their marks so I wanted to do a blog post outlining a few ways that you can destress.

Find a hobby that is actually fun. No don’t go to the gym if that doesn’t make you happy like people tell you to do, try something else. Try colouring, trying reading a book (and a gasp because who reads for pleasure nowadays), or just try  a new fun makeup look! My personal fave hobby is the art of the crochet, currently I’m making a toque with a pompom. My other hobby is pool but you know since I don’t have a pool table the art of crochet will do.

Take a step away from studying. Okay, I get it many folks study ALL DAY for like 8 hours and need certain grades to get into certain programs. I mean if it works for you then by all means continue doing you but for me I find I do better on exams if I don’t study all day leading up to the days of the exam and all day before. Yes I am in a different, more concept based program, but I find that studying 2-3 hours a day and planning out which lectures I want to study makes me retain the knowledge better. So I suggest (obviously I’m not a professional) to take a step back from studying and also to take a look at the bigger picture. YES grades matter for many programs, but when you are older, and in an actual career its not going to matter if you got a 65 in a class, what is going to matter is that you actually learned something that you can apply to your future.

FaceTime your pet. Okay so not everyone has a pet they can FaceTime, some of you might be pet-less, others might have a pet at school with them (lucky butts).   But I find that FaceTiming my wee Buttons is so amazing, because her very virtual presence puts me at ease and I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH. Again another picture of my cat.

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Have a pamper night. I’m not going lie I have recently gotten very into face masks. I used to think they were a sham but honestly they are so relaxing. I did an at home facial recently and it was the best damn decision I made all week. I recently got the Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti-stress mask that is an amazing refreshing mask!

And remember fellow students, exams are not representative of your intelligence and your worth, you can get through this.