Monday, April 29, 2013

I Finished University!

Last Thursday, something fantastic happened to me- I finished my undergraduate education. I now hold honours bachelor's degrees in both psychology and communications, media, and film. I feel so unbelievably proud, happy, accomplished, and excited (and a million other emotions) to be done that I can't even fully describe it.

Right now, I'm enjoying being finished and focusing on my post grad-goals, which I will be posting about very soon. I haven't fully decided whether or not I will continue my education or not. There are multiple doors open for me, and I may or may not choose to pursue one of those opportunities depending on where life takes me in the next few years. I'm not saying that I'm finished my education forever (Ideally, I wouldn't mind holding a PhD someday!).
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So, did I learn anything?

Absolutely.

My psych degree has taught me so much about the way people work. I'm sure my boyfriend gets sick of me talking about all of the interesting studies I've read, but I can't help it- I love empirically supported research. This degree has also given me so much information in the area of parenting and child development. Obviously, as a parent, I chose to take multiple courses that applied to child development, and I'm so glad that I did. I'm not interested in pursuing it right now, but I have left the door open to further my education in psychology in the future. I absolutely love science, math, and the human mind.

My communications degree had made me extremely media conscious. I'm not sure that before I became a communications major, I ever considered media to be as political or as important as it actually is. I've become more media literate and savvy than ever before, and taken a real interest in advertising, public relations, and current events because of it. Writing has always been a love of mine, and my communications degree really helped me accentuate that- for my final undergraduate paper, I actually conducted my own research on high end vs. low end cosmetics advertising (interesting stuff!). I would love to be able to work in this field someday.

In conclusion, I'm extremely happy to finally be writing this post.
I just want to say it again- I'm a university graduate!
xox

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Late, Late, Late March 2013 Topbox Review

What have I learned over the past few months? I've very bad at timing by blog posts. Every single one of my Topbox posts is done late (sorry!).

Anyways, this month, Topbox offered a few Prive boxes, including an Aveda box. I opted to go with the regular Topbox simply because after years of working on it, my haircare routine is pretty down pat. I really had no use for trying out expensive hair care products. I'm more for makeup and perfume.

Before you dive into the review, please note that I was supposed to receive L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil as one of my samples, but because Topbox was short, they replaced mine with some Clinique eyeshadow. I really didn't mind when they emailed me about the swap, but then I got the box and realized that the eyeshadow duo they sent me this month was exactly the same (shade and all) as the eyeshadow duo I received in my February Clinique Prive Topbox.
I sent the people over at Topbox a quick email, and to my delight, they responded quickly and politely to tell me that they were sorry about the repeat sample, and that my April Topbox would include an extra sample to make up for the mistake. I'll let you know if all goes smoothly, but I'm so impressed with how they handled the situation!

So, this is the March 2013 regular Topbox review:




1. Aveda's Caribbean Therapy Body Cream (Full Size $42): This stuff is totally rich and creamy, which I love. It seems to really moisturize in comparison to some lighter hand creams, so in general, I'm a fan. The only thing that I really didn't like was the scent (see a description here)- it just wasn't for me. I prefer vanilla or floral scents, so for the price, I won't be considering purchasing it full sized.

2. See by Chloe (Full Size $85 for 50mL or $105 for 75mL): In contrast to the Aveda cream, this scent is amazing. It's light, floral, girly, and perfect for summer (see a description here). I might actually purchase the full size, although it's a little pricey.

3. Clinique's Eyeshadow duo in "Link Mink" (Full Size) *In place of L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil*: As I mentioned above, I have received this sample before. You can read my review of this eyeshadow here. Basically, I love it (so I'm happy to have another one)!

4. MaskerAide's Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask ($4.99 for one mask or 4/$19 on Topbox.ca): I actually received another MaskerAide mask in a previous TopBox, but didn't review it on the blog. That mask was great (I can't remember the name!), but I must admit, this one was 100 times better. First of all, the entire concept of these masks is so smart (who doesn't hate applying goop to their face?). Second, the smell of the mask is amazing. Third, the mask is actually as hydrating as you would want it to be. After I left the mask on for the recommended amount of time, I removed it and patted the extra serum into my skin and I honestly cannot stress how good it felt- dewy, clean, fresh, amazing. I'm not sure how well these are benefiting my acne prone skin, but if you like a good mask, I highly, highly recommend MaskerAide for the intense hydration and the lack of mess.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Ways That I'm Currently Trying to Save Money

1. Selling/Donating What I don't Need- Right now, we're moving into a new home and have been really making a point of going through everything we own to donate or sell things that we don't need. Not only have we made a little extra cash by selling things, but getting rid of clutter seems to keep me from purchasing new things, hence, saving more money.

2. Couponing/Shopping Deals/Stockpiling- I've been doing this for years now, and it really adds up. At the beginning of 2012, I started journaling exactly how much I was saving from couponing, and by May I had saved just under $500 in coupons, face value alone (I stopped keeping track after that, sadly). That's not to mention the free products and samples you start getting once you really immerse yourself in the coupon world.

3. Eliminating Redundant Expenses- We pay for the Internet with a large number of GB each month and also have a great cable package, yet we still pay for Netflix. Sure, we watch Netflix, but we could be watching the piles of DVDs we have instead of spending the extra money each month. Think of the redundant costs you have- if you never use long distance, is it worth it for you to have both a home phone and a cell phone? Small decisions like these can make a big effect.

4. Simple Budgeting- I found the Mint App a while ago, and believe it or not, it's helped me save a lot of money. I guess I really didn't realize how much money I was spending on things like fast food until the app laid it out in plain sight for me to see. It's hard to realize how much you spend in a category until it's added up and placed in a visual. It's scary to know that eating out is taking up 30% of your monthly budget. 

5. Stopping Buying Things I Really Don't Need- This is the most obvious one, but the one that we all fault on the most. It's so hard to stop yourself while in the store, or while you're hungry and nowhere near home, but right now I'm really focusing on doing this. I've really taken stock on what I have at home (my clothes, kids clothes, food stockpiles, etc.) to make sure I know what not to buy. I'm tired of seeing my bank accounts wither away on things I have no true use for.
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Currently, Chris and I are going through a transitional period. He works, but I'm just about to graduate from university. This means that while I'm on the job hunt, we need to be extra careful about how we spend. After I can secure a job, we plan on making some big changes to our finances (including more saving, and a lot more paying off debt), so these are just some things that we are trying to do right now, while we come up to this major life transition.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Cake Batter Cookies



It seems that in this Pinterest-loving world, we're all enjoying trying new things in the kitchen and around the house so much more than we used to. This Easter I saw so many amazing food posts, most of which I had already seen on Pinterest. It got me thinking- I should probably do something other than cupcakes. I always do cupcakes. How boring.

I saw this post a while ago on Cookin' Cowgirl, and decided that cake batter cookies would be my item of choice for Easter baking this year. What a great choice they were, seeing as the whole process took me maybe 25 minutes (including baking).


Orginal recipe here, calls for 6 simple ingredients: cake mix, baking powder, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and sprinkles. So easy.


The batter is gorgeous, and even better, they only take 10 minutes to bake.

Before


After


These cookies are so fun, and so very sweet. When I say sweet, I mean sweet. If you think chocolate chip cookies are sweet, get ready for some tooth pain because these are sweet (but still so good).

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Also, I missed my obligatory Easter post, mostly because I was busy actually celebrating Easter.
So, happy belated Easter everyone!

What did you bake this past weekend?

xo

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