Sunday, 1 November 2015

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month




November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2015, something which is a very important subject to me. I reached out to Pancreatic Cancer UK telling them that I wanted to write a blog post about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. They have provided me with statistics about pancreatic cancer and information about their work.

In 2013, my grandad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed. They originally thought it was my grandad's gallbladder causing him to be ill so he was booked in for surgery regarding gallstones.  It very quickly became clear that something more serious was wrong. Unfortunately, the cancer wasn't diagnosed quick enough - a problem which is sadly very common with pancreatic cancer. His health deteriorated rapidly and he died around 6 weeks after being diagnosed. 

About Pancreatic Cancer


* One person dies of pancreatic cancer every hour
* The disease has the lowest survival rate of all 21 common cancers, with just four percent of people living for five years or more after diagnosis, and just one percent surviving ten years.
* Five and ten-year survival for pancreatic cancer has improved very little since the 1970s.
* Around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK. That's 24 per day.
* Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cancer death in the UK.
* Pancreatic cancer is predicted to become the fourth largest cancer killer (overtaking breast cancer) by 2030. 

Pancreatic Cancer statistics quoted from Cancer Research UK

Symptoms

You can find out more about the types of Pancreatic Cancer and symptoms here

About Pancreatic Cancer UK

* Pancreatic Cancer UK is the only national charity fighting pancreatic cancer on all fronts: support, information, campaigning and research. They are striving for a long and good life for everyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
* They provide expert, personalised support and information services, with the ultimate aim of enabling patients to enjoy an extended, happy and fulfilled life, bringing hope to them and their families.
* They fund innovative research that makes the most impact with limited resources and leverages additional investment - and development of new talent - through their own research expenditure.
*Working closely with patients and their families and carers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals, researchers, politicians and policy makers they seek to increase awareness of the disease and bring about change.

For further information on pancreatic cancer visit www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk
To speak to a specialist nurse about symptoms, diagnosis or treatment, call Pancreatic Cancer UK's freephone support line on 0808 801 0707
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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil


When I first heard about face oils I was sceptical. I wondered why anyone would want to apply an oil to their face. I can get an oily t-zone and use a mattifying moisturiser, especially in summer. I remember seeing a lot of mention of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil on Twitter and other blogs.

One day I was in Sephora and saw that they stocked it. There are two types of oils available in the Josie Maran brand; 100% pure argan oil and 100% pure argan oil light. I bought the 100% pure argan oil.

Although there are many other argan oils for the face available, Josie Maran's is 100% pure, unlike many brands. The oil they use is harvested in Morocco and it is free from water, preservatives, parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

I use the oil in the morning and at night as part of my daily skincare routine. I only need two drops to cover the whole of my face and neck. I make sure I use the oil after moisturising as the oil helps to lock in the moisture. I have a few areas of my face where dry patches seem to linger and being in a dry climate doesn't help it. Since using the oil, I have found that the dryness has decreased significantly. My skin also has more of a dewy glow to it and much to my delight it hasn't made my skin more oily at all.

If you haven't yet tried a face oil, I would recommend trying this one. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil is available at Sephora for $16-$96. I bought the 15ml ($16) bottle and so far it has lasted over two months.

Have you tried a face oil? What were your thoughts?
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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever Eau de Parfum


I am a huge Marc Jacobs perfume fan, every one that is released I end up loving. I always get excited when I hear that Marc Jacobs is releasing a new perfume. 1. Because of the scent. 2. The perfume bottles are always so unique and pretty.

Dan surprised me with a bottle of Daisy Dream Forever this week. This perfume follows on from the original Daisy Dream Eau de Toilette that was released in Summer 2014. Because the new scent is an Eau de Parfum it lasts longer and the fragrance is stronger. I love the bottle design for Daisy Dream Forever. It looks elegant and I love the blue colour that is meant to represent blue skies.

Top notes: blackberry, grapefruit & pear
Middle notes: wisteria, jasmine & litchi
Base note: white woods

The scent is very fresh and fruity which doesn't disappoint. I love the fruitiness of Marc Jacobs Dot so the fruity notes in this definitely appeal to me. The perfume isn't sickly and is perfect for the summer season.

Daisy Dream Forever is available in a 50ml bottle at Sephora for $88
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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser


After reading so many great things about Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser I have always wanted to try it. Many people refer to it as one of their holy grail skincare products. Unfortunately the cleanser isn't sold in Canada (I hope one day it is) so my mum sent some over to me.

The cleanser is packed full of natural active ingredients (from Liz Earle website): 
Beeswax (cera alba): The beeswax comes from the honeycombs where bees store their pollen. It has skin relieving properties and helps to relieve chapped skin. Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus): The cooling essential oil produced from the leaves and twigs has decongestant properties and is used to ease muscular aches and pains. Glycerin: This helps to aid hydration. Hops Extract (Humulus Lupulus): This herbal extract has toning properties. D-panthenol (pro-vitamin B5): Has a moisturising effect and helps stimulate cellular renewal. Cocoa Butter: Has moisturising effects on the skin. Rosemary Essential Oil/Extract: Is full of beneficial antioxidant properties. Chamomile Essential Oil/Extract: Helps to soothe the skin. 

There are two steps for the cleanser. First, massage some product onto your face when it's dry. Second, wet the muslin cloth with warm water and wash off the cleanser. 

I instantly loved this product. I can understand why so many people rave about it. I put a thin layer on my face and let it sink in for a few minutes then rinsed it off with the cloth. You don't have to remove your make-up before using the cleanser. I found that it removed most of my make-up in one wipe of my face. It left my skin feeling smooth and it looked glowing. I look forward to doing this as part of my skin-care routine as it feels quite relaxing and spa-like. 

It is available in various sizes, the biggest is 200ml. I currently have the 50ml and I have had it for over a month and still have plenty left. 

You can buy Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser at Boots or John Lewis. 



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Monday, 10 August 2015

Blinc Mascara Amplified



A few months ago while I was in Sephora I picked up one of their Lash Stash value sets. In the set you get 5 sample size mascaras and a voucher to redeem one full size mascara that is included in the set. The set included Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara, Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara and Blinc Mascara Amplified.

Blinc mascara was the first one that I tried. I had never heard of Blinc until I bought this set so I wasn't sure what to expect from it. The slogan for this mascara is "stop painting your lashes...tube them!" which I found interesting. 

The brand says: "After almost a decade in development, Blinc Mascara Amplified provides incredible, buildable volume and length, all while offering their signature LifeProof properties of the original Blinc Mascara - smudge-proof, sweat-proof, water-resistant, and flake proof. As with the original, Mascara Amplified coats lashes with a glossy, volumising and extending coat that forms tiny water resistant "tubes" around the lash."

For me, this is the perfect everyday, natural mascara. It builds up easily and doesn't clump. I found that is also doesn't dry crispy and if you want to add an extra coat once it has dried then you can without it looking messy. 

The mascara lasted all day for me (8+ hours) without flaking or smudging. Now onto the removal part which is my favourite... You run your fingers under warm water, rub your lashes gently and the tubes come off. It is so easy and clean to remove, and results in no panda eyes. After using this mascara and removal method, it is hard to go back to a mascara that smudges and runs on removal. It is also very gentle to remove and I found that none of my lashes came out, unlike if I use a regular mascara.

This is a great mascara and I think the tube concept is genius!

Blinc Mascara Amplified is available at Sephora for $30.
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A Little Update + Long Weekend


I realised that I hadn't blogged since the beginning of June and thought it was time to blog again. June and July were really busy months. I can finally reveal that I have applied for permanent residency in Canada and Dan has applied to sponsor me. I didn't want to say anything until all of the application had been sent as there was a lot to do. Overall the whole process is very long so it will be a while until we hear any updates.

We booked a last minute trip away to Kelowna, BC, for August long weekend. It was my first ever road trip and it took about 7.5 hours. Luckily the scenery through the mountains makes it a wonderful drive, there's always something beautiful to look at.


Kelowna is famous for its vineyards, lakes and fresh fruit. Over the weekend the temperature was mid 30's, the highest being 37 degrees. We visited Mission Hill Winery  but by the time we got there, the 1 hour tours were already filled up. We stayed and tried some wine, for both of us to try four wines it cost $16. I am not a big wine drinker and the only wine I liked was an Icewine which cost $100 per bottle, typical haha. The fruit here is so delicious and cheap. We got a whole punnet of cherries and a punnet of 12 peaches for about $12 altogether. I am going to make a peach crumble this week as there are plenty left over!


We did a 7 mile cycle through the Myra Canyon Trestles. Myra Canyon used to be an old steam train railroad but they reconstructed the bridges so they could be used for hiking or cycling. It is really high up but has spectacular views of Kelowna and I would love to do it again.

I hope everyone else had a great long weekend.

Make sure you stay up to date with me on Instagram!
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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

What I Like To Do To Relax


I am someone who can get stressed and anxious easily, which has been happening recently due to circumstances which I will reveal soon. I know that other people go through these feelings too and it is important to take a step back and to try and relax. These are some of things that I find help me relax...

1. Pamper
When stressed it's important to have some 'me-time.' I like to have a bubble bath with a product from Lush and put a face-mask on. My favourite face-masks to use are Origins 'Clear Improvement' and 'Drink Up.' 

2. Exercise
The endorphins that come after exercising always make me feel much better and relaxed. Sometimes when I am stressed I don't want to exercise but I push myself to because I know that I always feel happier afterwards and no one ever regrets working out. Yoga and Reformer Pilates are my go-to exercises right now. I have joined a studio that has a great community of people, classes and instructors. 

3. Listen to music/Podcasts
Something about music always helps me relax. Spotify has a great selection of playlists and the ones I enjoy listening to are: 'Atmospheric Calm' '100 Most Uplifting Songs' and 'Totally Stress Free.' This is my own 'relax' playlist. Podcasts are something that I never listened to until I discovered the series 'The Anxiety Guru' by Paul Dooley. Paul's podcasts are full of information of how to deal with anxiety and stress in different situations - they are also free.

4. Read
I love reading and I find that getting lost in a good book distracts me from what I am stressed about. Books that I have read recently and enjoyed are: 'The Girl On The Train', 'Before I Go To Sleep' and 'Already Home.' 

What do you find helps relieve stress?
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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Typography


I am a big fan of typography and art print and think that they are nice little motivators. Some of my favourite Instagram accounts are typography ones. These prints are all from Chapters, although Winners has some for much cheaper.
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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Mexican Quinoa


I used to always see people saying how good quinoa is and I thought they were exaggerating but it is good! Dan and I have become a little obsessed with quinoa recently and there is so many different ways to have it. This mexican quinoa recipe has been one of my favourite meals so far.

What you will need
Olive oil
1 white onion
1 pepper 
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
14 oz tomatoes
19 oz black beans, rinsed
1 cup of sweet corn
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle powder
Juice from 1 lime
Salt & pepper

Optional: you could add meat to this recipe but we had a vegetarian option

Heat the olive oil
Add onion, garlic pepper and jalapeno - cook until sauteed 
Stir in the quinoa, vegetable broth, tomatoes, corn, black beans, chilli powder, cumin, chipotle powder and season with salt and pepper
Bring it all to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked (it takes about 20 minutes)
When all of the liquid is gone add the lime juice and serve
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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Chapters Wish List


Chapters is one of my favourite stores in Canada. Aside from being a book store it also sells really nice homeware and accessories. These are just a few of the things that I have seen that I would put on my wish list.
1.  Canada mug 2. Love knot necklace (I love the concept of it) 3. Aqua satchel  4. Kate Spade accessories tray 5. Sweet Dreams bath minerals
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Friday, 1 May 2015

Five Favourites // Eleven


Since I have started working out again I decided to get some new clothes. Both of the tops are from Winners and the yoga pants are from Lulu Lemon.


I saw this card at Indigo and thought it was appropriate for all of the bloggers out there ;)


The Nutella latte from Deville cafe is one of the best things I have ever had. Coffee + Nutella = heaven.


One of the classes I have started doing is reformer pilates. These grip socks are great for the class...they did feel odd when I first put them on though.


I have had this album on repeat. I love the film and the soundtrack is just as awesome :)

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Volume Beauty Bar


Coming over here meant I had to find a new hairdresser. I dreaded finding a new hairdresser as I am really particular when it comes to my hair. Dan suggested Volume Beauty Bar as he goes to their barbers/beard salon, Chin Whiskey,  and loves it. I read some reviews of Volume Beauty Bar online and decided to go for it. I booked my appointment with Lindsay after seeing her Instagram and how awesome her haircuts are. When I saw her Instagram I knew I wanted to go for a different style.

When I arrived for my appointment we had a quick consultation to decide on the length and colour I wanted to go for. I loved the balayage look that I saw on Instagram so I wanted something along the lines of that. My roots still have to grow out a bit for it but we began the process. Lindsay used an ashier blonde on the bottom of the hair and left the roots to grow. We decided to cut my hair so it falls on my collarbone. 

My hair was backcombed and then the dye was applied. The dye was then washed out and a toner applied. After that a treatment was applied to my hair and wasn't washed out. 
The cutting then began. My hair was quite long so a few inches were cut off but I was excited about having a new style. Lindsay tidied my fringe up and blended it into the cut. She then blow dried it super messy and waved it using a flat iron. I love the end result and hope that I can style it the same at home!

If you are in Calgary, I really recommend Volume Beauty Bar and Lindsay. If you decide to go and book an appointment with Lindsay, mention that you were referred to her by me (Katie) and you will get 20% off your price. Let me know if you go and how it turns out :)
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Friday, 10 April 2015

Differences Between Canada & The UK



Food
The bad:
I had always been told that bread is sweeter in North America and I thought that people were exaggerating...but it is. It is quite a strange taste and it took me a while to get used to it. The plus side is that it seems to last longer than bread in the UK.
I am still trying to find a peanut butter that I like and I have been here two months. I can't find the right balance of sweet and salty. It's either too sickly sweet or too bland. I used to buy Whole Earth peanut butter in the UK and I wish it was available here.
In Aberdeen Dan and I used to go to Light of Bengal quite very often for an Indian. It honestly is the best we have had. We knew we would struggle to find one the same in Calgary but we thought we would give it a try. We did and I think it was the worst thing we had tried at a restaurant...in the UK, a Tesco's Indian ready meal would be better than what we had. We are going to venture into trying Thai curries since we can't find Indian that we like.

The good:
There's such a huge selection of cuisines here compared to in Aberdeen and it is amazing. Our first few weeks here we basically lived on Greek and Lebanese. We've also had Japanese, Thai, Italian, BBQ, French, Vietnamese and Mexican. One of my favourite places to eat is Mucho Burrito. Essentially is it 'fast food' but you see them making everything there so it is fresh and so yummy.
Diners are a big thing in Canada. It's so nice to have somewhere special to go for breakfast. My favourite diner is OEB. Their menu is amazing and the food is so worth the 40 minute wait outside.
Fruit here is much cheaper than back in the UK. You get a lot for your money. The fruit over here also seems to last longer which is good.

Weather
Before I came to Canada everyone warned me how cold it was going to be. The difference between here and Aberdeen is amazing. Aberdeen is a cold, damp, cloudy and windy city. While Calgary is dry and mostly sunny. Calgary has on average 333 days of sunshine in a year which is such a change from Aberdeen. The sunshine makes me so happy. Even when it is snowing, if it is sunny, it is bearable. It has only rained properly once or twice since I have arrived. Another advantage to Calgary is the chinooks (hot winds that come from the mountains). There has only been one day since I have arrived where I felt so cold it actually hurt. In winter chinooks happen every few weeks. It'll go from -15 degrees to +20 degrees in a few hours. I remember when Dan first told me this, I thought he was making it up just so that I would come over in winter but it's true ;)

Sales tax
In the UK, taxes are automatically included in prices. So what you see is what you get. In Canada it's a bit different as sales tax isn't included. When you go to buy make-up, it'll say the price on the tag ($5) but then when you go to up to the cash desk and they scan it the tax is added on. In Calgary they add 5% on to the price. This took me a while to get used to. The first time it happened I thought I got over-charged, haha.

Driving
I don't drive over here but even I notice the difference from the UK. Aside from the obvious, that they drive on the right, the whole road infrastructure is different. In Calgary you can turn right on a red light as long as no pedestrians are on the road. There's barely any roundabouts here...I actually can't remember if I have seen any. The thing I hated most about Aberdeen was the roundabout on Anderson Drive. They have highways everywhere and traffic flows so quickly and smoothly. Also parking spaces are HUGE compared to UK spaces.

Blocks/Streets
I had no idea what "a block" was when I arrived here. Dan explained it to me and I didn't understand. In the UK "blocks" don't exist. After sitting looking at Google Maps and seeing the grids I finally understood.
In Canada if it's a "street" it goes north/south and if it is an "avenue" it goes east/west and that's it. In the UK it can be confusing as there could be "... gardens ... square ... crescent ... place etc."  The only time you might get these names in Canada is in smaller suburb areas, aside from that it doesn't happen.

Size and selection
Everything here is bigger and there's more of it. The first time we went to Superstore I was so excited by the amount of different shower gels. There's so many different scents. They also come in huge bottles, it's actually hard to find a small sized shower gel. Bottles of juice and water are big here too. There seems to be more of everything here and I love it.

Shops
It's been fun discovering new shops. There's Bath & Body-works, Sephora and Victoria's Secret that everyone always raves about. But some of my favourites are Aerie, Chapters/Indigo, Pottery Barn and Shoppers Drug Mart (like Boots). Winners and Homesense are great for bargains. They're Canada's version of TK Maxx.  Stores such Topshop, H&M and Zara are available here which is good. The one store I do miss is River Island - their jeans are my favourite.


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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Five Favourites // Ten


Dan got me a Nexus 9 tablet for my birthday and I love it. I had never used an Android product before so wasn't sure what to expect. I had always been an Apple gal. They say "once you go Mac you never go back..." or something like that. Anyway I can now clarify that is not true. My Nexus is so fast and the battery lasts for days. Google Play Books is awesome. I have only had my tablet for a week and I am onto my third book. So far I have read The Good Girl and Before I Go To Sleep. I am currently reading The Girl On The Train.


This was a cocktail menu at a restaurant we went to in Montreal. I thought it was cool. They used an old book and stuck the menu onto the right side pages.

Got this little buddha from a boutique shop in Montreal. Yellow is one of my favourite colours. The buddha means "be selfless."

 I had been pondering over this Guerlain  perfume for a while and finally decided to get it. It is gorgeous. The notes are: green, rose, jasmine, black cherry, orange blossom, apple, black currant, white amber, white musk and patchouli. The main scent I get is the black cherry. It smells really elegant. I am also a big fan of the bottle design.

We went to the botanical gardens in Montreal. It was a bit too chilly to walk around the gardens so we went to the butterfly exhibition. It was so mesmerising. There was hundreds of butterflies flying everywhere. There's a quick video on my Instagram.

For my birthday we went to Barocco restaurant. It was delicious and the menu was so unique. To start I had crab tartine with cavier. Main: sea bream stuffed with spinach and black truffles with beets and gnocchi. Dessert: goats cheese and lime cheese-cake. It is Jennifer Lawrence's favourite restaurant in Montreal too. Even more reason to go!
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Friday, 20 March 2015

Sephora + Pantone Colour IQ


In the UK I found it really hard to get the correct foundation colour matched for my skin. Under the Debenham's store lights the colour would look great but then I would step outside and I would be orange. I went along to Sephora last week to get matched using their Pantone Colour IQ matching system and I was super excited about it.

What is Pantone Colour IQ?
The Pantone Colour IQ is a device that takes an image of the skin and then analyses it to find a foundation shade that matches your skin. It eliminates skin texture and undertones which can sometimes affect the colour match. It doesn't take long to do (about 5 minutes). Make sure when you go to get matched you wear no make-up so you get an accurate match. They test areas on your neck, cheek and forehead.








Results & Matches
After your skin has been matched you will get told your skin shade. My shade is 1R04, which as you can see from the chart is in the fourth row and fifth from the left. Looking on the chart the shade looks quite dark but it matches my skin perfectly. After being told my code I was then shown my matches on an iPad and was given the option to email them to myself. I had 20 matches which is quite a lot. I took samples of Clinique Superbalanced Makeup and Lancome Teint Miracle. I find that Sephora are pretty generous with their samples which is nice.

Have you used the Pantone Colour IQ match? I'd love to hear your opinions.

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin'
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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Five Favourites // Nine

Going from the dullest city in Scotland (Aberdeen) to the sunniest city in Canada (Calgary) has been the best. On average Calgary has 332 days of sunshine in a year and Aberdeen has 250 days of rain per year... It's amazing what a difference sunshine can make :)

I love Ikea candles. We got 7 for $15 which is such a good bargain. This one smells of a spa and is my favourite scent.

I raced through both of the seasons of Orange Is The New Black and loved them. Based on a true story, the memoir is really good too. I can't wait for the third season to start in June.

I will never get bored of the skyline view here. It is so pretty at night time.

Saw this sign last night. A little bit of home from home... :)
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Mango and Feta Salad


Last night for dinner we had chicken stuffed with feta and spinach. I decided to throw together a different salad rather than the usual one we have. I settled on mango with feta and it was really good.

For the salad 
Chopped mango
Chopped green pepper
Cherry tomatoes 
Lettuce 
Spinach 
 Feta cheese 

For the dressing 
2 tbsps fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil 
Salt & pepper 

Let me know if you try this!
And don't forget to follow me on bloglovin'
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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Five Favourites // Eight

I bought this really cool journal from Chapters. It has calendar dates for five years and every day you write down something that happened. I keep it by the bed and at night write down something good that's happened that day. You can get it on Amazon.

I love this lantern that we got from Pottery Barn. It's rustic and fits in so nicely with the fireplace.

Dan and I love going to Teavana and every time we go we try to have a different tea. This is my favourite tea... I know it looks like pepto-bismol but it tastes sooo good.

I've got back into routine of having avocado at breakfast. It is so yummy.

I discovered a free app called Calm which I am currently enjoying. I use it when I need to concentrate or relax. It has different relaxing outdoors noises such as the beach, rainforest and mountain lakeside.
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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Five Favourites // Seven

Dan surprised me with a night at the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. The building looks like a castle and has huge grounds which are great to look around. We had a lovely view of the lake and mountains from our room.

We did Johnston Canyon trail walk when we were in Banff. There's a lower walk and an upper walk which takes you past waterfalls and caves. We only did the lower walk because it was pretty icy but plan to do the upper walk in spring. It reminded me of a real life "frozen."

I bought this herbs growing kit from Chapters for Dan. We always use herbs when cooking and he mentioned he wanted to grow some. This kit contains oregano, rosemary and thyme. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I've started using Porefessional regularly again and I remember why I used to love it so much. It is my favourite primer and makes my foundation go on so well.

I got this bag from Winners (Canadian version of TK Maxx). I was needing a bigger bag and this is the perfect size. I also love the colour. Oxblood purple is one of my favourite colours.
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