Category Archives: Random Stuff

Beauty, home, hair, weight loss, health, life hacks, memes, and anything else I don’t want to specifically categorize

Product Review: Origins’ Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask Pods

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Photo taken from: Sephora

Many of you may have heard of the new charcoal masks that are out in the markets these days, promising amazing results for your pores and complexion. Well, luckily for you, I recently bought one to test out and have some feedback for you!

I picked up the  Origins’ Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask Pods from Sephora. I decided to buy the pods because they allow me to use them four times and I can easily throw out the packaging without having to deal with a tube or figuring out the correct amount of product to use.  I’ve only used them twice now because of lack of time and energy. Plus, you’re only supposed to use them once every couple of weeks.

The wow-factor of this charcoal mask is that it left my skin feeling incredibly soft, even and refreshed. The crap-factor is that it did nothing for my pores or so I didn’t notice any “wowing” effect on them.

The first time I tried the mask, it took longer than the 10-15 minutes to dry and using it in the shower wasn’t all that helpful because you’re supposed to soak your face with warm water, apply the mask, leave it for 15 minutes and then rinse off. Seriously, who has 15 minutes in the shower to be sitting with a mask on their face? I mean, a girls gotta wash her hair, scrub, exfoliate her skin/face, shave, and all that other stuff. Plus, being in the shower with it on doesn’t allow the mask to fully dry because you’re constantly getting little sprays of water on your face.

The second time I applied the mask (2-weeks later), I decided to take my shower first, so that the steam would open up my pores and then apply the mask. I let it dry while I was blow-drying my hair and then wiped it off with a cold, wet towel to help close the pores and remove the mask. I think the second time around, I got better results.

But like I said, I didn’t notice an incredible difference in my pores. My face was glowing and feeling gorgeous though!

Here’s my overall ratings: 

Application: Quick, easy and a little messy (5/5)
Smell: No smell! Yay! (5/5)
After application results: Soft skin, even complexion but no effects on my pores (3.5/5)
Overall rating: It doesn’t change your pores but it does leave your skin looking radiant. (4/5)
Would I buy it again: Yes! I love how my face looks and feels. Plus, I haven’t noticed any patchy, flaky dry skin where I normally would.
Would I recommend it to a friend: Absolutely!

Buy it here: Sephora

Here’s some info from the website:

What it is:
An active charcoal mask to clear pores.

What it is formulated to do:
When environmental toxins, dirt, and debris get under your skin, its waste-filtering system gets jammed, pores get clogged, and skin looks cloudy. Nature’s complexion clean-up crew gets to the bottom of skin’s overcast condition and clears the way for it to act its best. Activated charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, white China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities. Skin breathes a sigh of relief.

Getting Hair Summer Ready

The heat is coming, or so I believe it is (clearly not soon enough for North America). But it is eventually, going to get here and so is the humidity. The -40°C temperatures this winter have really done their toll on my hair. My hair feels dry, dull, unhealthy and just boring, although I recently had it hi-lighted.

Bed time healing:

To give some much needed love to my tresses, I’ve made one of my favorite old recipes to apply before I go to bed tonight.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup Mint extract
  • Almond oil

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat almond oil in microwave for 15 seconds, let stand for a couple of seconds to cool
  • Mix 5-6 drops (depending on how tingly you want to feel) of mint extract into the almond oil and mix well
  • Apply to your scalp, working your way down to your roots.
  • Cover with scarf or towel and go to sleep!

When you wake up in the morning, simply wash hair as normal. Give yourself a deep concern conditioning treatment as well; heat your conditioner under hot running water and then apply to your tresses. This will give your hair an extra boost and relax your scalp. Leave conditioner on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing.

To add more shine and to smooth out fly-aways, you can use a couple of drops of almond oil instead of serum. This will add shine and keep your hair protected. Just be careful not to apply to much, or you’ll end up looking like a grease pot.

Top 20 Life Hacks

All over Pinterest and the internet there are hundreds of Life Hacks available to make your life slightly easier. I’ve pinned many of them lately, trying to look for  solutions to make my days a bit simpler. After I get home from work in the evening, I feel so exhausted and don’t want to do anything. But there are so many tasks and chores to do and I have Ni with me, so making sure she sticks to her schedule is a big task in itself.

I’ve compiled my Top 20 Life Hacks here for you.

  1. Delete your cookies before searching for airline tickets; prices go up if you constantly visit the same site.
  2. If you can’t find a candle or flashlight, burn a crayon instead; it will burn for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Instead of hitting backspace multiple times to correct misspelled words, erase the word by pressing CTRL + Backspace.
  4. Eating more spicy foods will fool your taste buds into being more satisfied with smaller amounts., resulting in some weight-loss.
  5. To get the built up residue from your shower head, tie a baggy of vinegar around it. Leave it there over night and it will clean everything off with no work on your part.
  6. Put coffee in an ice tray and freeze it. When you make an iced coffee, it won’t get watered down.
  7. Spraying Febreze on ants will kill them on contact and will make your home smell amazing.
  8. Put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave pizza to keep the crust from getting chewy.
  9. Blink fast for a minute. Tired eyes help you fall asleep faster.
  10. To tell if an egg is fully cooked or raw, just spin it. If the egg wobbles then it is still raw and if it easily spins, then its fully cooked.
  11. When doing your nails, use Elmer’s glue around your nail, let it dry and go crazy with paint and then peel off the glue.
  12. Download music legally: copy a YouTube URL with the song you want. Go to youtube-mp3.org and enter the URL & press “convert” and download!
  13. How to remove permanent market: Clothes & skin: hand sanitizer. Carpet: white vinegar. Walls: toothpaste or hairspray. Wood: rubbing alcohol.
  14. Cornstarch will untangle all kinds of knots. Rub some into a knot in shoelaces, chains, strings, etc. and watch as it comes apart.
  15. Turn toaster on its side, slide bread with cheese on it in and get a grilled cheese
  16. Recycle Mio bottle for salad dressing. Peel off label, pop off top, wash and fill. Great size for lunch boxes and it doesn’t leak.
  17. Rub Vaseline on your pulse points before spraying perfume to make it last longer.
  18. Microwaving a lemon or fruit for 15 seconds will double the juice you get from it.
  19. Use Bounce sheets to get dust off almost anything and tame static hair with it too.
  20. For cracked/dry/sore feet, mix 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup Listerine, 1/2 cup baking soda with warm water. Soak for 15-30 minutes and dead skin will rub off with a wash clothe.

Avocado Face Mask

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I’ve been looking for a reason to use the ripe avocado that’s been sitting in my fridge for the last couple of days besides the obvious one of eating it. So I decided I would work my Indian magic and create a face and hair mask.

Here’s what you need:
1 Ripe avocado
1 cup Yogurt
3-4 tbsp honey
3-4 tbsp lemon juice

Here’s what you do:
Mix ingredients in blender until a thick paste forms. Apply to face and neck and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with cleanser and moisturizer face. Apply to hair and scalp, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30-45 minutes. Rinse and shampoo and condition as normal.

Here’s what it does:
Avocados are rich in vitamin c and e and antioxidants and fatty acids; which help rejuvenate and moisturizer skin and hair.

Honey is so healthy for you, it’s a natural antibacterial, full of antioxidants; which helps treat and prevent acne and helps slow den aging. It also moisturizes and clarifies clogged pores.

Lemon juice helps minimize pores, brown spots and acne scars and also brightens the skin.

Yogurt full of proteins, vitamin d, calcium and probiotics helps brighten, tighten and rejuvenate dull skin. It also soothes and treats dark skin.

So next time you’re looking for a rejuvenating and refreshing mask, don’t look too far. You’ve got all the ingredients in your fridge. You’ll look and feel relaxed and glowing and save a chunk too!

Home Sweet Home: DIY Fabreeze

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If you’re like me, you love your linen, carpets, cushions, and even curtains smelling fresh and clean. A quick way to freshen up your place is to spray Fabreeze but it’s also the costly way to freshen up your place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fabreeze and Lysol fabric fresheners. But the bottle doesn’t last long and can really take a toll on your wallet.

So, I made my own fabric fresheners. They’re cheap and smell great! I use 1/2 cup Fleecy fabric softener and 3-4 cups water. In a bottle add fabric softener of your choice and water and mix well and there you have it, homemade fabric refreshening spray!
Alternatively, you can use scented oils. I’d just be worried if the oil would stain certain fabrics or surfaces, so I stick with fabric softener.

Try it out and let me know how fresh your home smells!

Home Sweet Home: 5 Decorating Ideas Under $100

A couple of months ago, I posted about my cleaning schedule and being on top of “seasonal cleaning”. If you’ve kept to a schedule, then seasonal cleaning should be easy. The fun part of seasonal cleaning is that post-cleaning decorating.

After the home is all nice and clean, it’s time to reorganize your accessories and switch out the previous season and refresh the home with a new seasonal theme. Switch out the curtains, the picture frames, the cushions, candles, mats and mini accessories.

For under $100 I’m going to walk you through redecorating the season. In this case, Fall and Winter. We’re hitting up the dollar store, Walmart, Target and some local stores here in Toronto for cheap finds and gorgeous accessories. Dare to take this challenge with me? Lets go! (Sorry, I didn’t get time to take photos, will include them over the weekend)

  1. Change up those picture frames  and switch the photos in them, or get really creative and redo a wall by adding a bunch of different size pictures and frames to make a massive piece of family photo art on your entrance wall. You can find cool frames in all sorts of colors and shapes at the dollar store for under $3 each and Walmart also has an amazing collection of sizes, shapes and colors. My entrance way has a nice console table, but the wall is bare. So, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve hunted through a couple of different dollar stores for per-framed art/photos, different sized frames and have put them up to make a massive collage of my family and friends.
  2. Summer is over (sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s true), so switch up your curtains with some beautiful warm colored ones to give your home a nice cozy feel. Walmart and Target have a great selection of gorgeous colors for a great price. Because I have a little munchkin who loves to put her dirty hands on anything light-colored, I opted for dark purple ones that contrast amazingly with my blue carpet. I’ve also redone my curtain rode by moving it up very close to the ceiling – lots of interior designers say that by moving the rods higher to the ceiling, you give the illusion of taller walls. It definitely worked!
  3. Painting an entire room isn’t always feasible (especially with little munchkins). But an accent wall is a cheap, easy and quick way to make a huge impact. Pick a color that compliments the rest of your accessories and opt for one shade brighter. Unfortunately, I have decided not to paint because we might be moving within the next 6-months or so and D just doesn’t want me “wasting” money right now, when I’ll probably want to paint the new apartment anyway. If painting is not an option for you either for whatever reason, you can wallpaper your wall or as I read on Pinterest recently, use fabric to decorate. Here’s the pin for more details.
  4. Update mats, curtains and towels in your kitchen and bathroom. You can find great stuff at Walmart and Target. But if you’re really looking to budget yourself, then try driving around and look for those one-off home accessories stores. You’ll find great mats and curtains at a reasonably cheap price compared to the big brand stores. I chose dark purple mats for my bathroom and contrasting purple and beige ones for my kitchen. They look fantastic and really give the place a cozy feel.
  5. Adding accessories. Accessories can be ex-pen-sive! But if you’re smart about it,  you can find some really great stuff at the dollar store to craft or at the local Value Village (GoodWill) shop. I opted to purchase some mini-plant holders from the dollar store. I added some fake mini flowers to the pot and stuck a big candle in the middle and place 3 of them on my dining table.

My total seasonal re-decorating cost me $97.60, leaving me enough for a coffee! That’s a hundred dollars well-spent, especially when you have friends or family over and they’re amazed when you tell them about your cheap finds and how you put on the creative hat and wow-ed up your place on tight budget.

Home Sweet Home: Keeping Your Home Fresh & Clean

Spring is here or so it’s supposed to be and it’s that time of year to clean, clean and deep clean your home.

I hate spring cleaning. I hate having to do a deep cleaning once/twice a year that is going to take me 6-8 hours to complete. So, I’ve worked out a schedule for myself; daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally to make sure my house always looks fresh and clean. My schedule makes the whole “spring cleaning” seem like a breeze. Matter-of-fact, I really on change the bathroom, living room and bedroom accessories to give my home a new/fresh look and the seasonal stuff isn’t hard to do, because everything else constantly gets gone.

Here’s my schedule and what I do during each instance:

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Share your tips and secrets for maintaining your home and keeping it looking amazing with me and maybe I’ll feature you in one of my posts!