Feelin’ Vampy

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I like having my nails painted, but hate painting them, so usually I just leave them bare. This week, however, I got fixated on the idea of painting my nails a deep, vampy red and found this Rimmel polish in “Red Award” that was exactly what I had in mind. I think this colour will serve me well this holiday season.

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To Listen to: Serial

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I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but have you been listening to Serial? It’s a National Public Radio produced podcast that tells, week by week, the true story of the murder of Hae Min Lee in Baltimore in 1999. It’s fascinating and so well done (that theme music!) and has developed a bit of a cult following.

I love these funny charts for people obsessed with the show. And here is an interesting article about the show. And here is a place to discuss it, just in case you develop a bit of an obsession.

Have you been listening?

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Listen Up, Wine-Drinkers

You know how sometimes you want just a glass of wine after work or with dinner or while watching TV in the evening, but if you open a bottle, you have to drink more than one glass because once the bottle’s open, it’s a ticking time bomb, so you manage to drink half the bottle and feel kind of drunk and don’t sleep well that night and then the next day, the rest of the bottle is sort of sour and you try to drink it, but it’s kind of awful, so you have a small glass and then dump the rest down the drain and feel sad about all that wasted wine?

Well, do I have a solution for you!

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Boxed wine! Three whole litres that, once open, lasts six weeks! I’ve been drinking one glass after work almost every day and it’s the best.

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Moroccan Souvenirs

I didn’t buy much in Morocco, mostly because shop-owners were super aggressive, over-charged for everything, and would not leave you alone if you stopped to browse. However, Kevin and I did manage to pick up a few souvenirs, all of which I’m sure we were overcharged for.

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While Morocco is known for its mint tea, I could not bring back fresh mint. Instead, Kevin purchased a blend of dried herbs that make up “Berber tea“.

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Of course, Morocco is known for its argan oil, so I had to pick up a wee bottle. I got it from a dubious women’s co-operative and doubt its authenticity as many places will sell fake argan oil to tourists.

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And finally, my favourite purchase, these lovely ceramics that I picked up in Fez and am so so glad I got home in one piece. They will make excellent snack vessels.

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To Watch: The Knick

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Anyone watching any good TV lately? Kevin and I watched the first two episodes of The Knick on our flight back from Morocco and now we’re hooked. It’s directed by Steven Soderburgh and centres around The Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 20th century. It’s so fascinating to learn what medicine and surgery were like a hundred years ago. Highly recommended.

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Toners, What are They Good For?

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I’ve only really developed a proper skin care routine in the last year. Before that, I washed my face with Ivory soap morning and night, put on some SPF during the day, and that was that.

I forget what the impetus was towards developing a better routine, but I’ve since added a morning toner, evening serum, and night cream. I’ve also changed from Ivory soap to a dedicated face cleanser and usually do a double cleanse at night.

There are still certain steps in this routine that, according to skin care ‘experts’, I am lacking. I don’t exfoliate, use a serum during the day, or use a dedicated eye cream, because I just don’t know if these are worthwhile steps. I feel similarly about toner.

Apparently toner helps re-adjust your skin’s pH level after cleansing and adds a bit of moisture back into the skin. Honestly, I don’t think toner does anything. I can go without it and see no change in my skin. However, it is a step I’ve come to really like. I use rosewater and find spritizing it on in the morning is super refreshing.

Of the two brands of rosewater I’ve used, I prefer the Thayer’s as the smell is less perfumey than the one from the Heritage Store.  However, the Thayer’s does not have a spray top, so I need to decant it into another vessel. Not a deal-breaker.

Do you use a toner? Do you find it makes any difference to your skin?

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Morocco via Instagram

I am back from my trip to Morocco! It was quite the experience, and I’m still trying to figure out how to put it into words. For now, here are a few instagrams from the trip.

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Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque. The third largest mosque in the world.

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The medina in Marrakesh. Step in and get lost instantly.

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Ait Benhaddou. An old fortified city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Riding a camel in the Sahara desert. Super touristy, but one of the highlights of the trip.

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The tannery in Fez. Smelled terrible.

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The beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen. Almost all the buildings, walls, and stairs in the medina are painted blue.

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And a bonus, non-instagram pic of me in the desert.

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November Intentions

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My husband and I are currently in transit, somewhere between Europe and North America, making our long way home after our Morocco adventure. It was quite the trip and I can’t wait to share photos and stories. But for now, I thought I would take a page out of a favourite blog and start doing monthly intentions. So, without further ado, these are my goals for November.

Meditate (at least) three times a week. I have some anxiety issues and find mediation really helpful for slowing down my constantly racing mind. Next month, I’d like to try to do it everyday, but I’m hesitant to make a goal that lofty, so three times a week seems do-able.

Exercise (at least) once a week. Another thing that helps with my anxiety and another thing I should be doing every day. I know this isn’t much, but it’s a start. I go through phases with exercise where for a year, I’ll exercise regularly, and then for another year, I’ll slack. I feel much better physically, emotionally, and mentally when I’m getting regular exercise so this month it’s about slowly getting back into it.

Schedule recurring deposits into my savings account. Just a matter of figuring out how much I can afford to contribute every month and just doing it. Then I won’t have to think about it and before I know it, I’ll have enough money to retire! ;)

Buy a belt. This seems so easy, but it’s something I’ve been putting off forever. Writing it down will make me accountable.
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Instagram Favourites

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Instagram has become my favourite social network. I love being able to quickly share a snapshot of my day and to get a peak into other’s lives as they do the same.

I try to keep those I’m following to a mangeable level, but it’s hard not to stock my feed with friends, strangers, and celebrities.

Here are a few of my favourite instagrammers:

Though I’ve never made any of her recipes, I love Joy the Baker‘s blog. She’s super funny, down-to-earth, plus she has a way with food styling.

The owners of local stationary shop Tiny Feast have an instagram account dedicated to their dog, Sammy who is small, foxy, and super adorable. I think he’d make a good pal for Oscar.

Nothing but cute cats. Is there more to say than that?

Ashley is one of my favourite beauty vloggers. She often focuses on natural or green products and pretty much seems like the nicest person ever. Her instagram often features beautiful things arranged in a beautiful way.

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Review: Schmidt’s Deodorant

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I heard that Schmidt’s deodorant was among the best of the natural deodorants, so it’s the first one I’ve tried in my quest to find a chemical-free option.

I have hyperhidrosis (i.e. I sweat a lot), so the best I can hope for with any non-prescription product is that it will keep sweat at bay and prevent odour. The Schmidt’s deodorant does exactly that.

I picked up the Bergamot and Lime for myself and the scent is lovely, though I wish it smelled more like the former than the latter. I got the Cedarwood and Juniper for my husband, but the smell is definitely something both sexes could get away with.

The one downside of this deodorant is in the application. It comes in a tub, rather than in a traditional roller, and you use it by scooping up a little of the product with the included spatula, warming it up between your fingers, and then slathering it on your armpits. It takes probably three or four times longer to apply than traditional deodorant, but 2 minutes really is not a huge inconvenience.

Next on my list of natural deodorant to try: Lavanila and Siglarr brands. When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I might even try to make my own.
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