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Sunday, 20 August 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Too Faced Love Flush, Riviera Yogourt

I finally, finally bought another Too Faced Love Flush blush in the shade "I Will Always Love You."

I hadn't just hit pan, I had hit the whole pan. There wasn't anything left except a few crumbs.  I have to confess that there is an innate satisfaction in completely using something up and knowing that I have wrung every drop out of it before replacing it.  It was the last one at my local Sephora so I figured it was meant to be and definitely time for a replacement.  If you aren't near a Sephora, you can also get it here.

I have a minimal makeup collection.  I have tried to expand it but, for some reason, I start to feel very guilty and begin to suffer from decision fatigue.  I have a makeup routine that is the equivalent of putting on a daily uniform.  This makes getting ready fast and efficient.  Do you have a minimal makeup collection?  Does having a makeup routine help make your life easier?
Jumping away from makeup, Monsieur came home with the cutest little yoghurt (or yogourt) pots I had ever seen.  Riviera yoghurt comes in chubby glass pots which you can repurpose.  I have to say that it really is the best yoghurt I have ever tasted.  

Monsieur picked up the vanilla flavoured yoghurt.  The texture was so thick and creamy with a delicate vanilla taste.  I usually top my yoghurt with some granola or muesli and berries.  Also, I love the fact that they are made by a niche, artisanal Quebecois dairy.
And that is it for this week!  See you for the next Weekly Roundup.

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 7 August 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Mid Summer Haul at J Crew

Even though I am a fan of the capsule wardrobe, the downside to having one is that items that are on constant rotation get worn out very quickly.  Summer basics like white t-shirts acquire mysterious stains and fabric begins to pill.  Two of my blouses became so worn that holes appeared in spots that were nowhere near a seam line thus rendering them unrepairable.  So, even though it appears as if I am breaking the basic tenets of having a capsule wardrobe whereby you take a step back from acquiring new additions for your wardrobe, with now only a couple of tops to see me through the rest of a hot, humid summer, a dash to the shops was in order.
via jcrew.com
Luckily the summer sales are in full swing.  I picked up a smocked cotton top from J Crew.  I was told that it could be worn either on the shoulder or off.  The blouse does have a habit of constantly sliding off my shoulders so it isn't very easy to wear it on the shoulders.  The loose, flowy fit keeps me feeling cool and aerated but, a word of warning if you are considering this top, depending on what you wear on the bottom, you run the risk of looking preggers.  It isn't called a "Smock" for nothing.  I pair it with tight fitting jeans to compensate for the top's fullness.
A flash of green drew me to the cardigans.  If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you'll know that I love me a good cardigan and the colour green.

via jcrew.com

Cardigans make such a great layering piece.  J Crew has already brought in their new colour lineup which includes a green called "Juniper" for fall but their summer lineup is on sale which included a green called "Warm Jade" which was an ever so slightly more intense green than Juniper (pictured above).  So even though, I was on the lookout for a second top, the cardigan came home with me instead.  Never mind as the cardigan will transition well into Autumn.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe?  If you want me to chat more about a capsule wardrobe, please let me know in the comments.

This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

LBH July Monthly Favourites: Blue Ice Snowball Microphone, Sony Headphones, Stila, Sephora

Time for another Monthly Favourites!  It's a bit of an eclectic mix this time but that's the fun of Monthly Favourites, wouldn't you agree?

I picked up a new microphone this month.  I had a headset that had an attached microphone which was falling apart.  There was a lot of looping back which was irritating and confusing.  I thought that a completely separate microphone would eliminate that issue and settled on the iCE Snowball by Blue.  It is Skype certified.  So far, I am really happy with it.  It is so easy to use.  Just plug it into your computer and away you go!  The headphones that you see are a pair by Sony that I gave to Monsieur a while ago so I am not sure if this particular model is still available but you can find similar ones here.  I am "borrowing" them back from him, much to his chagrin.  They are noise cancelling and come with an adaptor so that you can use them on an airline.  Because they are suitable for travel, they fold down compactly.  I am not sure if Monsieur is getting them back any time soon because I am in love with them.  They are so comfortable and the noise cancelling feature really does work.  When I put them on, it is like my ears are inside a vacuum.  It means I can concentrate on hearing the other person's voice (or whatever I am listening to).
On a different note, I had to pick up more blotting papers.  Sephora discontinued the blotting papers that came in a mirrored compact so I got their latest version which comes in a cardboard envelope.  Blotting papers are a must during the hot summer months.  I am not a fan of piling on the face powder as it just feels icky by the end of the day.  I find that blotting papers do a fantastic job of soaking up excess oil and sweat and taking down the shine without having to add on more face product.
A late addition to my Monthly Favourites is a little treat for myself from Stila.

When I heard that Stila was now cruelty free, I was so excited!  I rushed out right away and got the Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Lionfish which is a wonderful metallic bronze. There aren't that many quality high end brands that are both cruelty free and widely available (the line is carried by both Sephora and Shoppers) so this was fantastic news.  I am really looking forward to exploring Stila's other products and am already eyeing their convertible blush and eyeshadow palettes.  Have you tried anything by Stila?  Any suggestions?

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 24 July 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Zero Waste Grocery Shopping at the Bulk Barn

Quite by accident, I found out that Bulk Barn, which is a national chain of stores selling bulk food, was now allowing customers to bring their own containers.  This is a boon to anyone interested in reducing their waste and the amount of packaging coming in to their home.  Your containers must be in clean condition and plastic and paper bags are not allowed.  You have the containers tared (or weighed) first before filling them so that the cashier is able to subtract the weight of the container from the total weight when you cash out.  I have always found it interesting when I hear of the difficulty of people in other countries in finding stores that sell bulk groceries as Bulk Barn has been around in Canada for many years.  The great thing about Bulk Barn is the vast selection.  There are lots of unusual things like Xylitol powder and hemp seeds on offer.  There are even liquid foods like various pie fillings and honey.  If you aren't in Canada, do you have a grocery store that is similar to Bulk Barn?  Any way, my first trip to Bulk Barn was more of a test.  I bought a handful of pretzels, 0.80 kg @ $5.28 per kg which came to 42 cents (before taxes).  I chose pretzels because packaged snack foods tend to be the Achilles heel for a lot of people trying to reduce their waste.  The process was so straightforward.  No arguing with the cashier about why you wanted to use your own container and trying to explain the concept of zero waste.  My second trip was a bit of a failure as this time I bought 2 handfuls of pretzels, as well as flour.  The pretzels came to over $3.00.  I couldn't figure out the disparity until, after much staring at the two receipts, I realized that the cashier forgot to subtract the weight of the container at the second visit as the receipt didn't show the net and gross weight the way the first receipt did.  So I think the cashiers are still getting familiar with the new system and you have to check your receipt.  I used my vintage French mason jars but you can find similar ones here.  
via Amazon

The great thing about this French brand is that you can get tall ones for storing pasta like spaghetti or linguine and get replacement gaskets as well.

via Amazon

After reflecting over my experience, I have concluded that it is a process that needs to be gradually assimilated into your lifestyle if you want to sustain the practice over the long haul.  At the moment, I am the only one in my household with any interest in it so I don't think I will ever go completely zero waste. Personally, I like to say "reducing waste" rather than "zero waste" as it makes it less intimidating. Because the process means taking your own containers to the store, the trip needs to be planned out beforehand.  I can't expect Monsieur to assist as he has mobility issues so it would be very difficult for him to haul containers to the store.  At one point, we considered getting our groceries delivered when our combined health made ordinary chores like grocery shopping extremely arduous and delivery would, obviously, preclude shopping at the Bulk Barn.  
To be honest, when I first heard about zero waste, I was simultaneously intrigued and repelled.  As with any movement, extremists tend to be attracted to it.  I felt like it wasn't for me and my household.  I mean, I am not going to get into an argument with the pharmacist about why life saving medications are being dispensed in a plastic jar!  If you go on the Bulk Barn website, you will see that they've partnered up with a fairly well known French-American zero waste proponent that I once followed.  When I saw that, I had a bit of a giggle because I remember when she ran a crowdfunding campaign and then immediately after the campaign ended she disabled comments on her blog and began running ads on her website for some time  for...disposable one-use cleaning products.  So, I stopped following her when I realized this zero waste guru had clay feet.  My personal belief is that balance is the key and finding what works for my home and the people in it.   Right now, any reduction in household waste is a good thing and I do have to give tremendous props to Bulk Barn for instituting this new policy.  Do you have any interest in bulk grocery shopping?  What are your experiences with the zero waste lifestyle?

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 17 July 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: e.l.f Eyebrow Kit

I purchased the e.l.f. eyebrow compact this past week and I have to say I am really impressed.  For years, I used Benefit's Brow Zings compact.  It comes with a pair of miniature tweezers which, in theory, seems like a good idea but, over time, I ended up with a handful of the little guys that I just didn't know what to do with.  I always reached for my full size Tweezermans and never the little mini one.  Finally, I stopped buying the Benefit compact and used an eyeliner pencil which was the right shade of ashy brown that disappears into and yet subtly accentuates a dark brow.  The eyeliner pencil lasted me an incredibly long time, however, as I got closer to the end, the more difficult it became to sharpen it.  The tip kept snapping off and I was losing a lot of product.  I noticed that the e.l.f. line was on sale at my local pharmacy and decided to pick up the brow compact.  It really looked like a dupe of the Benefit compact with a dark cream shade and a lighter shade to get a natural ombre effect.  And for the price, it really is a steal.  I use an e.l.f. angled brush to apply it and it is so easy and effortless to apply and blend.  I got mine in the shade Medium.  There was only two shades available at the pharmacy, Light and Medium which really surprised me but a search on Amazon showed that there is a  Dark shade available which I likely would have preferred. No more stressing over trying to sharpen a pencil!

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 10 July 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Banana Bread With Pancake Mix Recipe, Le Creuset Terrine

We had a few ripe bananas that needed using up so, on the spur of the moment, we decided to make banana bread.  When I say "spur of the moment", I do mean that as a quick rummage in the kitchen cupboards revealed that we didn't have any flour, milk, vanilla extract or even a loaf pan to bake it in!  However, I had just brought home a Le Creuset terrine and was really keen to use it ( I couldn't find a white one on Amazon but you can get a classic red one here).  It is such a beautiful piece that I didn't want to just restrict its use to pate.  I do find that a new, beautiful and functional addition to the kitchen can inspire one to be a bit more adventurous, don't you?  So we made a few substitutions to the standard banana bread recipe, basically using whatever we had on hand.  Below is the recipe with the substitutions:


 3 ripe bananas
2 2/3 cup pancake mix (instead of flour)  I used Aunt Jemima's
2/3 cup demerara sugar (instead of white sugar)
1/4 cup soy milk (instead of milk)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
the seeds of one vanilla pod (instead of 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
I didn't have any nuts on hand but you can add 1 cup of chopped walnuts

Mash the bananas.  Mix in the sugar, milk (or milk substitute), vanilla (or vanilla substitute), and eggs in with the bananas then add the pancake mix and nuts.  Pour mixture into the greased terrine or loaf pan.  If you have flour on hand, you can grease and flour the inside of the terrine.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees C.

You will need a 9" X 5" X 3" loaf pan which I didn't have so I used my Le Creuset terrine instead.  The mixture was the perfect amount for it as you can see in the photo above.

The banana bread was delicious!  The texture was dense and firm, very bread loaflike.   The demerara sugar deepened the colour of the bread and gave the top a yummy stickiness without the addition of any caramel frosting.  The molasses in the sugar gave the loaf a rich mellow flavour as well.  And the aroma from the vanilla pod was heavenly.

It was perfectly and evenly baked throughout.  Le Creuset is fantastic for even heat retention which is a boon for baking.  The terrine is a firm favourite now and I know it will be a kitchen workhorse for many years to come.

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Monday, 3 July 2017

LBH June Monthly Favourites: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension, Natural Moisturizing Factors, Hyaluronic Acid 2%

Welcome to another Monthly Favourites!  The standout for me this month is The Ordinary.  I dare say it is fitting that this Canadian company, which has taken the skincare industry by storm, should be my sole favourite for this particular month which leads into a celebration of Canada's 150th birthday.  Woohoo!  150 years young!  Happy Birthday Canada!
Natural Moisturizing Factors Moisturizer appeared in May's Monthly Favourites which you can read about here. I have also written about the Vitamin C Suspension here.  I am still using the Vitamin C as it is good for combating hyperpigmentation caused by long sunny days.  I have cut back on the Moisturizer as I find I don't need as much moisturizer in the summer and added in something new, the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, instead.  Hyaluronic Acid is excellent for hydration as it can hold 1000% its weight in water.  There is a little glass pipette that administers drops of the acid.  I just sweep it over my face in the morning before applying makeup and it is enough hydration for me.  There is a slightly tacky feel to it which some may not like and it doesn't provide a lot of slip if you are one of those who like to throw in a bit of facial massage at the same time as you are moisturizing your face.  However, as a simple serum, it is perfectly adequate.
That is it for June!

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.
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