Tips for Getting Though a Tired Day

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Insomnia is terrible. I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember and I probably always will be. It sucks. It sucks a lot. Sometimes, in spite of practicing good sleep hygiene, meditation, warm baths, tea and medication, a night is still bad. It happens. It’s the worst. Sleepless nights happen to most of us now and then.

Here are my top tips for getting through a tired day when you can’t go back to bed.

  1. Call in sick. Ok, this isn’t really a tip but if you can, use a sick day. That’s what they’re there for. Exhaustion is no less valid a reason to stay home than a cold. It’s not always possible to take a sickie, so the rest of the tips are for those days you just can’t stay home!
  2. Do not drink excessive caffeine, it will just make you feel worse in the long run! Instead, after having your normal amount of coffee have a hot herbal or green tea.
  3. Drink lots of water. It will keep you hydrated.
  4. Keep moving. Get up from your desk at least once every hour or so and do a lap around the office.
  5. Get outside! Take a quick walk around the block. The fresh air will invigorate you.
  6. Avoid junk food. I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired I just want to eat all of the fries. However, junk won’t give you sustained energy. Reach for healthy foods to avoid the junk food crash.
  7. Grab a power nap on your lunch break. Sneak into an empty office or boardroom if you can and try to close your eyes for 15 minutes. It helps!
  8. Focus on simple tasks. A tired day is not the day to tackle a big report or start a new project.

Those are my top tips for making it through a tired day. Have I missed any?

Photo via Pexels

Resolutions

I’ve never been a particularly goal oriented person. I don’t have a five year plan. I don’t make lists and aggressively check off each item. I’m organized but it’s not on paper. I’ve always been a go-with-the-flow person and in some ways that’s a really good thing. I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences because of my willingness to go along with whatever life throws at me. On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if life would be better in some ways, such as my career and finances, if I were more into pursuing and achieving goals.

I don’t really do resolutions – I never stick to them and I don’t see the point of trying to set myself a goal that I know I won’t reach. I don’t need the guilt. All that said, here are some reflections on 2018 and some thoughts on 2019.

2018:

  1. 2018 was the year in which I finally felt that I got my anxiety under control. There were a couple things that contributed to this including getting a good, permanent job and learning that exercising is an excellent tool in managing anxiety. As a result of that I’m sleeping better than I ever have before.
  2. I started writing my blog again. It’s been amazing. I’d forgotten how wonderful the blogging community is. I’d also forgotten how much I love to write.
  3. I read so many books that I loved.
  4. I finally learned that it’s ok to end toxic relationships.
  5. I lost some weight by making some lifestyle changes and I’m feeling better about my body than I have in a long time. I also discovered the body positivity movement and was incredibly inspired by it. It’s helped me realize that losing weight and being slim is not the key to happiness. Being happy and healthy is what truly matters. I realize that may seem contradictory. It is. It’s a work in progress.
  6. I found the courage to talk online about some issues that I’ve always shied away from before, including aging and anxiety.

2019:

  1. I hope to become more involved in the body positivity community and continue trying to be kinder to myself.
  2. I want to approach my 40th birthday with grace and positive thoughts.
  3. I want one more year with my beloved 19 year old cat.

That’s it for me! Tell me, are you a resolutions person? I’m curious!

All Day Every Day

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Based on my blog content you might think that I start each day with a full face of war paint. The truth is, that as much as I love make up, my every day routine is quick and minimal.

Here’s my five minute daily look. I always start with a good base consisting of serum and moisturizer (these change based on the season and my mood). I also never skip primer. Right now I’m using Stila Say All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm. I got it on sale at Shopper’s Drug Mart. It’s ok, but not my favourite. It’s a bit hard to smooth over the skin and smells like paint thinner.

If I’m having a good skin day I use my favourite Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (if you haven’t tried this you should – it’s brilliant) under my eyes, on the sides of nose, and dotted on my chin and forehead. I blend that in with a damp Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which I think is better than the Beauty Blender. Sacrilege, I know. If I’m having a bad skin day I also use a bit of foundation. At the moment I’m using The Ordinary’s Coverage Foundation. It’s really good, especially considering the low price.

I top off my base with a dusting of setting powder. I’m currently using Glossier’s Wowder, which I’ve talked about here. After powder I use a fluffy brush to sweep some bronzer over the hollows of my cheeks. I recently finished up my Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, which is very good. New in is Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, which I will report back on (it smells like chocolate so I think we have a winner).

Next I sweep some blush over the apples of my cheeks. I use a different blush almost everyday. It’s one of my favourite products and I have quite the collection. Some of my favourites include Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes and Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes.

Next up is setting spray. I’m currently using MAC Prep and Prime Matte. I won’t repurchase this because the spray is not fine enough and I don’t think it keeps oil at bay any more than any other setting spray.

Lastly, I finish off with a coat or three of mascara (I’m currently using L’Oreal Telescopic) and some kind of lippy. I have pretty dry lips so I most often reach for a gloss or balm, especially in the colder months.

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Photos via Pexels

And there you have it! A five minute face that’s natural, neutral, and work appropriate. Do you keep it simple like me or take the time to do a more elaborate make up look each day?

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

I don’t normally do this kind of post, but I thought it might be fun to try something different. Let me know if you enjoy it! I am honoured that the lovely Kat from Femenish nominated me for the sunshine blogger award! You can find the original post here. These awards are such a great way to discover some new blogs and they are fun to write!

 

Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 more bloggers and ask 11 new questions
  • Notify your nominees

1) If you only had one book that you could read for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

This is such a difficult question. I am a voracious reader and there are so many glorious books in the world. I suppose if I absolutely had to choose it would be Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson.

2) Where would you like to travel to most in the world?

The Farallon Islands. I am obsessed with great white sharks.

3) Heels or flats?

Flats. Sadly I have a bum ankle that just won’t tolerate heels.

4) If you woke up in an alternate universe, would it be Twilight or Supernatural?

Is Supernatural a tv show? I don’t watch a lot of TV.  Definitely not Twilight because I just can’t deal with the corniness so I guess it would have to be Supernatural.

5) What is your favourite charity?

The White Ribbon Campaign.

6) If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?

Piano. I played when I was younger and I just loved it.

7) Would you rather go bungy jumping or sky-diving?

I’ve already gone sky-diving so bungy jumping!

8) If you could have any job in the world, what would you be?

This is another really hard question! Being an archaeologist would be pretty amazing – I’m a huge history buff.

9) Imagine this: you wake up on a desert island, who would be with you? Why would you choose them?

Mr. P&P because he is just my fave. He’s also an excellent cook so I know we wouldn’t be surviving on raw grubs!

10) What is your favourite thing about yourself?

My sense of humour.

11) What are your thoughts on selfie sticks?

They’re ridiculous and a symptom of everything that is wrong with our society.

My nominees:

  1. Jennifer
  2. Tara Joy
  3. Jessica
  4. Kaycie
  5. Marinella
  6. Kirsten
  7. Gretchen
  8. Tracy
  9. Vivian
  10. Christine
  11. Miriam

My questions:

  1. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. What do you find hardest about blogging?
  3. What is your favourite genre of book?
  4. What is your ride or die makeup product?
  5. What is your favourite snack food?
  6. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you choose?
  7. If you could have a superpower what would you choose?
  8. Do you prefer to spend time inside or outside?
  9. What is the number one thing you look for in a partner?
  10. If you could meet one important historical figure who would you choose?
  11. What is your favourite holiday?

Fenty

I find myself reaching for lip gloss more and more as I age and especially in the cold months. My lips are so much drier than ever before and lipstick is just not a good look for me most days.

My most recent Sephora order included the new Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in the shade Fenty Glow which is described as a shimmering rose nude. The claim is that the gloss delivers shine and all three shades – Fenty Glow, Diamond Milk, and FU$$Y – flatter all skin tones. Fenty Glow certainly works with my pale complexion and I think it would be gorgeous on deeper skin tones as well.

The gloss is very long lasting but not sticky. It is shimmery without chunky glitter. What really makes this gloss for me though is the scent, peach-vanilla. It is divine. This gloss is perfect as an every day staple and for throwing in your handbag for touch ups (not that you’ll need many) throughout the day. I cannot wait to try more Fenty Beauty products.

Have you tried anything from Fenty Beauty?

Hourglass

My ride or die makeup products are mascara, blush, and some kind of lippy. I was just telling Mr. P&P the other night that those are my favourites and the ones I slap on if I only have seconds to spare. He was fascinated, I’m sure. Just in case you think it’s cruel of me to bore the pants off him like that, I had just sat through a half hour long retelling of the latest episode of Shameless he’d watched.

Anyway, that’s enough waffling, let’s get to the point of this post! Blush. I love blush. I like a bit of colour on my cheeks to add some warmth to my pale complexion.

My current favourites are my Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes. I have three and they are all well loved. I’ve actually hit pan on two of them. The one I’m focusing on today is the newest in my collection and is in the shade Mood Exposure. It’s a gorgeous plummy colour that just warms up the cheeks a touch.

What is really special about Hourglass blushes is that they are mixed with a highlighter, which is what gives the blush that marbled look. They are highly pigmented so I just swirl my brush in the pan lightly and then quickly sweep the powder over my cheeks. The effect is a glowy warmth that lasts all day.

And just in case you need more reasons to give these blushes a try, Hourglass is cruelty free and the products are formulated without the nasties like parabens, sulphates, and phthalates.

So tell me, what are your ride or die products?

Telescopic

Today we’re going to be talking about mascara, or more specifically, my all time favourite mascara. Guess what! It’s from the drugstore and won’t cost you your first born! I think that mascara is definitely something you should not be spending gobs of money on, particularly because it’s only good for about six months.

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black mascara can be purchased at any drugstore carrying L’Oreal products so it’s easy to find.

I love this mascara for several reasons. It is black as can be. It does not smudge. I find that a lot of non-waterproof mascaras tend to end up all over my face by the end of the day, but not this one. The tiny rubber brush makes it easy to grab each lash and makes for lots of length and definition. It’s also great for bottom lashes. One or two coats is more than enough to give you a fluttery lash look without going over the top. You can always add an extra coat in the evening for a more dramatic look. L’Oreal Telescopic is also never clumpy.

The slim brush means you won’t poke yourself in the eye, which is always a mascara hazard! Lastly, I don’t find this mascara difficult to remove at the end of the day. I just use my trusty Garnier micellar water and a cotton pad and the mascara comes off easily enough.

So tell me, what’s your favourite mascara of all time?

Holiday 2018 Gift Guide

Hello my lovelies. As per popular demand I’ve cobbled together a gift guide for you to use (or send to those who need a hint) this festive season. 

For the book worm:
There have been several wonderful books released this year. These are just a few suggestions – feel free to drop me a dm if you want some more.

 1. Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine

This book is definitely among the best that I read this year and I recommend it to everyone.

2. The Child Finder

This book was in my Kobo recommended list and I bought it on a whim. I’m so glad I did. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and I cannot wait until the second in the series comes out in 2019.

3. The Clockmaker’s Daughter

Kate Morton is one of my favourite authors and I was thrilled when this came out. 

For the beauty lover:
Sephora always comes out with great gift sets for the holidays. These are my picks in the under $35 range. 

1. Bite Beauty Four Little Bites Amuse Bouche Lipstick Set

Lipstick lovers will adore Bite Beauty’s comfortable and nourishing formulas. All Bite Beauty products are made with food grade ingredients.

2. Josie Maran Body Butter Duo

I’ve been a long time fan of all things Josie Maran and her body butters are some of the best out there. They are creamy, never greasy, and the scents are divine. 

3. Fresh Destination Sugar

Fresh Sugar Lip balms are another longtime favourite of mine. They are hydrating, smell great, and provide a light wash of colour. 

I’ve also spotted a few things at Shopper’s Drug Mart that I think would be nice for a beauty lover:

1. Fragrance Sampler

These sets are fun. They contain 10 sample fragrances and a voucher for a full size bottle of your favourite! 

2. Benefit Goodie Goodie Gorgeous

Benefit always does the cutest sets. Any beauty lover would be delighted to find this set of bestsellers under the tree.

3. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All Over Miracle Oil Set

I’ve been using the Eight Hour Night Cream for the last few weeks and it is a miracle product if you suffer from dry skin. 

For the homebody:
If you’re someone like me who likes nothing better than to be cozy on the couch with a cup of tea, an cuddly cat (or dog or bunny or parakeet), and a good book then these are the gifts for you.

1. Comfy Pajamas

These pjs look so cozy and, while festive, they can really be worn all winter long (and they’re on sale!). 

2. Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are supposed to be really good for people who suffer with anxiety and insomnia. As someone who deals with both, I think this would make a wonderful gift. 

3. Nest Candle Set

I’m a total candle addict and Nest do some of the most beautiful scents on the market. This set would be a lovely way to introduce a candle lover to the brand. 

For the jewelry lover

1. Mejuri Zodiac Necklaces

Mejuri makes beauitiful fine jewellry pieces at fair prices. I have a ring and earrings from them and wear them daily. 

2. Sarah Mulder Stargazer Necklace

Mr. P&P kindly bought a Sarah Mulder necklace for me a few years ago. I wore it everyday at first and it’s still one of my favourite pieces. I’ve had my eye on this necklace for ages. 

3. Sarah Mulder Changeling Earrings

I think these earrings are unusual and very pretty.

Phew! So there you have it friends! Feel free to message me here or on Instagram if you’re looking for further recommendations!

This post contains Amazon Associates affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn a small amount of money if you make a purchase through my link without any extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Poutine and Prada!

To a Tee

For years and years I was on the hunt for the perfect tee shirt. I had a vague list of qualities in mind including soft, thick, dryer friendly, hitting at the top of the hip, and made with natural fibers. I spent a fair chunk of change on a lot of almosts. I know it seems like such a basic thing, but a good tee shirt is a real workhorse and a solid wardrobe basic. 

Well kittens, I’ve done the leg work for you and tracked down the perfect tee shirt. The perfect tee is made by Kuwalla Tee (too cute, I know). They are a Canadian company (yay!!) and their items are created from mostly natural fibers with the health of the environment in mind. 

From the Kuwalla Tee website:

Kuwalla|Tee was inspired by our frustration of cheap 3 packs and our love for basics. In May of 2012 we launched our first premium 3-pack cotton tees and have since grown into a ready-to-wear clothing label, focused on delivering the best quality basics on the market. By using only the best materials & fabrics, we design ‘essential’ items that are timeless and comfortable for everyday.

Our mascot, subtly embroidered on all our garments, stems from our love and respect for Mother Nature. All our products are created with the well being of our environment in mind, trying to minimize waste wherever we can. Our 3-packs are packaged in recycled fabric salvaged during the production process. Give our package a feel and you will be sold forever.

I have six. Two black, two white, and two grey. I have three medium and three large. That may seem excessive, but for me it’s the perfect number.

I wear my tees under blazers for the office, tucked into pencil skirts, as a base layer under wool sweaters, on the weekends with jeans and flats, in the summer with shorts, and even dressed up with statement earring and heels for a night out. 

These shirts are easy to wash -I just throw them in with the rest of my clothes, wash in cold water, and tumble dry on low. They get better with every wash and are not prone to pilling. They are also thick, which, for me is a must because I just don’t think anyone needs to see my granny bra. Ya feel me?

What’s the workhorse in your wardrobe?

Knix

Today I want to talk about something a little different from my usual content – periods. Yup.

I learned all about how toxic pads and tampons are many years ago. I’m not going to go into great detail about that because Google. Trust me when I say though that they are bad news. Bad news for your body and bad news for the environment. For those reasons I decided to make my periods waste free.

For about 15 years I’ve been using the same set of washable pads and I love them. I bought them on eBay for about $20. They are made of fleece and they have snaps on the wings to hold them in place. My wallet is happy, my body is happy and the planet is happy.

I’ve also used the Diva Cup for many years.

Enter Knix. I’ve now rounded out my collection with period underwear. Genius. I invested in five pairs (full disclaimer – I ordered from the Teen section because it was a bit cheaper) and I’m so glad that I did.

From the Knix website:

“Find yourself asking, “how do period panties work?” Well, a super-absorbent pad with leak resistant backing is built into our seamless underwear. But its so thin, you won’t even notice it’s there.”

I find that I can wear a pair all day with no problems. If you have a heavier flow I still think that the underwear (I just can’t with the word panties, ugh) are a good investment because they provide back up for leaks. You can wear them over night as well. I think we’ve all probably wrecked some pjs over the years which is just the worst. No more friends, no more.

The underwear are machine washable. I just throw mine in with the rest of my laundry, wash in cold water and hang to dry. Simple pimple. They come individually packaged in reusable pouches which are super slim and great for stashing in your purse. Best of all? They look like normal underwear. Knix is the next best thing to not having your period.

Would you try period underwear?