SKINCARE | Stoic Beauty Hydration Duo Bundle Featuring Thalassa and Agathos #LunarJanuary

Stoic Beauty Hydration Duo Bundle

Press samples

For the last three years, I have tried to be more mindful of what beauty products I use in an effort to both reduce just the sheer amount of STUFF in my office and support more Canadian brands. This has actually been quite refreshing to do as I have discovered some beautiful brands with thoughtful ingredients and formulations. I think I first spotted Canadian brand Stoic Beauty on someone's IG unboxing and filed it away as one of the brands I would need to get to at some point as I have made it a point to not buy any more unless I use something up! It keeps me honest! Lucky for me, I still blog enough to be on press lists (haha!) and I was given the opportunity to try out the new for Lunar New Year Hydration Duo! 

NAILS | Year of the Rabbit #CBBxManiMonday

Year of the Rabbit Lunar New Year Nail Art
Press sample

For those who celebrate, Happy Year of the Rabbit! I had a fairly productive weekend doing house things on Sunday (I always work on Saturdays) with my husband. Now, that we have our couch and ottoman, it is much easier to visualize where other elements will go so we spent yesterday looking at rugs, console tables and a bar unit. I should mention that I really hate looking at larger house things like this as I am much more the accessories person, but mentally if I know I only have to focus on it for a couple of hours once a week for the good of improving our space, I will!

SHEET MASK | SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask #LunarJanuary

SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask

Purchased by me

Firstly, Happy Lunar Year and Year of the Rabbit! Next, you have my word that this is a sheet mask that not discontinued as I seem to keep talking about sheet masks that you can no longer find! I find it so strange that sheet masks are not like regular skincare products that hang around for awhile. Some sheet masks I have reviewed are gone within the year and I have no idea why! The SNP Peptaronic Ampoule Mask is a fairly new one as I believe the SNP Prep series only launched last year, so maybe it won't get discontinued until next year ;-)

LIFESTYLE | Five on Friday - Jan.20th - New Couch, New Book, Cream Pony, Work Catch Up and Paris


We got a new couch! We have been looking for a couch for, I kid you not, 5 years. Our old couch was so beaten up after getting clawed by cats that we were on the hunt for something nicer (it was a cheap $500 couch that worked when we first moved in together) that would withstand cats and look more chic. We finally committed to a couch and ottoman from EQ3 during their Black Friday sale last November. The ETA for both items was 14-16 weeks so we braced ourselves to expect a new couch closer to Spring, but instead we got the call that it was arriving last week! We got some extra cushions and now the search is on for a rug because with our current layout, it still looks like we have just moved in. 

NAILS | Magenta and Gold Half Moons #CBBxManiMonday

Magenta and Gold Half Moons Nail Art
Press sample

Last year my husband and I started using our Sundays off together to either spend quality time together like go to the movies or have brunch OR work on getting stuff done around the apartment which is what we did yesterday! We stopped using our Sundays for productive things over the summer when a lot of it was just me having to go through beauty things and my husband couldn't really participate. We finally ordered a new couch in early November 2022 from EQ3 on one of our Sundays out and because we were told it would be a 4-5 month wait, we halted the interior decorating since so much of what we wanted to do focused on the couch colour and size. Lo and behold, our couch got delivered this past Friday well ahead of schedule so that meant we could go pillow shopping! Now, we look like actual grown ups with real furniture and it also makes me happy that the cats are loving the new furniture too. They love sitting on our new ottoman and running all over the couch. No sharpening of the claws has happened yet!

SHEET MASK | 23 Years Old Rose Gold 24 Mask #LunarJanuary

23 Years Old Rose Gold 24 Mask
Purchased by me

Here we are halfway through January already! I got to take a couple of days off this week thanks to a few vacation days that needed to be used up (in retail you are not allowed to go on vacation during the peak shopping times from Nov-Dec) which was nice and a much needed break. I am still not quite back mentally where I would like to be, but I have been devising a strategy for how to deal with stress and anxiety in the workplace as I have realized that the only that can change is me. My environment will always be one way so I either need to adapt or get out and I don't feel like doing the latter (though I constantly toy with the idea of becoming a LEGO "Brick Specialist").

NAILS | Layla Ceramic Effect Red Jelly Flakie CE53 Swatch

Layla Ceramic Effect Red Jelly Flakie CE53 Swatch
Purchased by me

I have been going back to my nail polish stash and looking and so many of the beautiful untrieds in my collection that thankfully are still usable! I definitely went crazy in the first few years and basically got every colour in every finish and tried to stay on top of the latest trends, but over the last 5 years I have noticed that there haven't been a lot of truly innovative changes in the nail polish world and it's really the same colours over and over again. Maybe a little darker, warmer, brighter, but nonetheless the same. I feel like 10 years ago, there were some really different nail polish finishes out there like the flakie! The flakie is still one of my favourites and gets me every time I see one!

SHEET MASK | Neogen Pink Cactus Liftmax Knit Mask

Purchased by me

I have mentioned numerous times that my goal is to eventually blog about every cool sheet mask that I have picked up over the last 5 years and I was very much on track to do it last summer until Hugo died. I took a break, but when I tried to get back that same energy, boy was it hard. It has been been 5 months and that motivation and energy I had before has been elusive, but I have not stopped trying! I look at my collection of masks and I'm like "These are so cool! I have to let everyone know about them!" With #LunarJanuary, I am seeing what I can get done and not beating myself up about it if I can't pump out 20 posts this month (I have to do 14 more so not sure if that's doable with how busy I will be next week!). One of the sheet masks that has been on my list to share with you all is an oldie, but SUCH a goodie! 

NAILS | Yet Another Glitter Gradient with the Shade Cosmetic Proof (?) #CBBxManiMonday

Indie Polish Cosmetic Proof Glitter Gradient
Purchased by me

I am tired and it is only January 10th. I know my last post started off pretty much the same way, but I feel a constant sense of anxiety (really targeted at a specific thing) and I am acutely aware that I should not let myself feel stressed about it or dread going to work which makes me even more mad at myself for feeling this way. We also have a big corporate visit next week where I need to have my game face on which always tires me out. I think I just need a solid two week vacation doing absolutely nothing! I also had to take Huxley to the vet early this morning because he has been overgrooming his crotch to the point of creating a lesion and we wanted to rule out any urinary issues. I am on "cat crotch watch" for the next three days as we have some topical steroid ointment for him so I am hoping it starts to heal nicely.

SHEET MASK | SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask #LunarJanuary

SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask

Purchased by me

I will be honest. It is the first week of 2023 and I feel like I never had any sort of break even with a quiet NYE and NYD. I have only worked four days so far and I feel like I have been beaten with things to do despite leaving my desk fairly pristine on Dec.30th and it's mainly because everything that "could wait until next year" that I couldn't do anything about has arrived. I am also finding work very challenging and difficult to navigate at the moment. I know that sounds cryptic, but this is a blog that everyone reads and while I could just keep it all to myself, I think anyone can relate to things at work feeling overwhelming sometimes. Thank God for my sheet masks, right? Although, I have found that because I do sheet masking so often now, they have become more routine than relaxation so I think I need to find a new way to vent. Maybe this is a post for another time!

LIFESTYLE | Reflecting Back on 2022

Maybe it's who I follow, but I have come across a number of people who have said that 2022 was a tough year and though I am trying to resist falling into the trap of "Good riddance to 2022 and bring on 2023!" we all know what happened when we thought that about 2019 going into 2020. It's no surprise that I find it hard to characterize 2022 as anything other than the year we lost our beloved kitty companion Hugo, but I really wanted to look closely at the rest of the year as bad and good things will continue to happen on our individual life timelines and whether they happen on the calendar year, fiscal year, or however you want to organize time, I don't want to say that one year was bad so the next year must be good. The next year will just "be" and I can choose to add some things to it or circumstance will spice it up for me. Whether I like the taste is another issue, but as I turn 40 this year, I will probably throw more caution to the wind and open myself up to new experiences!

NAILS | Reverse Glitter Gradient #CBBxManiMonday

Shu Urmura Yazbukey Daring Burgundy 

Press sample

You have no idea how long I have been wanting to wear this polish! I have left it out purposefully for I want to say a year because I just knew it would be a gorgeous colour. The Shu Uemura x YazBukey collaboration came out in 2015 so I have had this polish a long time without ever trying it, but the formula was perfect and I actually thought this would lean more on the magenta side as I wanted to do this year's Pantone Colour of the Year - Viva Magenta, but when I looked at the name of the polish "Daring Burgundy", I realized it would be much darker than I thought!  

SHEET MASK | Dr.Jart Cryo Rubber with Brightening Vitamin C

Dr.Jart Cryo Rubber Brightening Mask

Purchased by me

Happy New Year and Happy first #SheetMaskSunday of 2023! I had intended on using this mask two weeks ago, but when the temperatures went into the double digit negatives, I held off as the Dr. Jart Cryo Rubber masks lower the skin's temperature and I didn't want that! Normally, I embrace the coolness, but the week before Christmas was just too cold for my face to handle!