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Monday, 9 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Roots Canada Crossbody Bag, Integrated LED Track Light

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  One of the few cons of a capsule wardrobe is that items tend to wear out with greater frequency simply because they are on constant rotation.  I love a crossbody bag because it leaves my arms free and distributes the weight across my body.  Sadly, I noticed the straps on my old bag were getting really worn and it was looking the worse for wear.  So it was a great thrill to pick up this Roots bag this week.


It has so many outer and inner pockets.  I don't know about you but I love pockets.  It is made of woven suede instead of smooth leather so I don't have to worry about scuffs and scratches.  The "Peace" symbol embroidered onto the toggle adds a fun 60's hippie touch.  Monsieur was quite surprised when I brought it home as I have never really channeled the hippie look before but I was really taken with the quality and construction of the bag and the many, many pockets.  With the sudden onset of Autumnal temps, I have been fleshing out my Autumn capsule wardrobe and this bag came at just the right time.  If you want me to write a post about my capsule wardrobe and how I put mine together, let me know!
This weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.  Now, you know when you have hit a rut in your relationship when you spend a long weekend at Home Depot contemplating the omnipresent DIY list...alone.  Monsieur was nowhere to be found.  A ceiling light fixture had stopped working a long time ago and I was determined to tick off my list.  With both of us dealing with health issues and one of us disabled, trying to replace burnt out ceiling light bulbs is akin to asking us to climb Mt. Everest.  I picked out an integrated LED track light.  


The wonderful thing about an integrated LED light fixture is that it never needs its light bulbs replaced!  It is Energy Star certified and should last 50,000 hours. So over the course of its lifetime, there should be significant savings in electricity consumption, not to mention light bulbs being prevented from going into landfill.  Monsieur did lend a helping hand with installing it and, reno rookies that we are, we lived to tell the tale.  I am sure if you had seen us wobbling back and forth trying to attach the wires, you wouldn't have known whether to laugh, cry or run far away.  
And that's it for this week.  Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

This is not a sponsored post.  


Sunday, 1 October 2017

LBH September Monthly Favourites: Le Creuset, Flawless By Friday Honey and Gold Lip Serum, L'Occitane Shea Butter

Time for another Monthly Favourites!  Fall seems to have crept in over night.  Wasn't it just last week that we were having an unexpected heat wave?  Autumnal temperatures always elicit a craving for warming soups and stews.  This is when my Le Creuset cast iron Dutch (in this case French) oven really takes center stage in the kitchen.


I love my white Le Creuset round French oven so, so much.  It may sound odd to say this of cookware but the snow white enamel just looks so pretty.  It comes in a variety to suit your family's needs such as a 5 1/2 quart, 7 1/4 quart, 9 quart and a 6 3/4 quart oval one.
Fall weather means that I have to have a lip balm in my purse and my bedside table at all times as I do tend to suffer from dry, flaky lips.  I have been trying out Flawless by Friday's Honey and Gold lip serum.


Flawless by Friday is a relatively young Canadian brand and has only come to my attention recently.  The lip serum is supposed to have plumping and anti-aging benefits.  I have quite full lips and don't have lip lines (yet) but it is always good to start on an anti-aging regimen.  The formula is not overly tacky or oily and has a lovely, light honey scent.  There is some sort of spring loaded mechanism in the tube because when I twist the cap to open it, it pops upward of its own volition which is childishly amusing to me.  There is a doe foot applicator for easy application.  Tiny gold flecks in the serum reads as a subtle glisten on the lips.  Now if only it had an SPF!
Ages ago, I used to buy small tins of L'Occitane shea butter which I applied on my lips as an overnight treatment.  I would even rub it on my nails to strengthen my weak and brittle nails.  I stopped using it as I am not a big fan of sticking my fingers into product.  However, I decided to return to it again after so many years away from it.


I also picked up a purse sized tube of that perennial favourite, 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream and a couple of soaps as well.
Are you looking forward to Fall?  Any seasonal changes in your routine?

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



Sunday, 17 September 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors, Aerolatte Milk Frother, Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Percolator

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  You've heard me bang on about The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors.  I love the no nonsense moisturizing capabilities of it and I love its price even more.  However, I don't love the fact that I have to buy a new tube every few weeks.  At 1 fluid ounce, it just doesn't last for very long and it was constantly selling out at my local store so other customers were probably going through their tubes just as quickly.  At my last visit, it was a welcome surprise to see that a new larger 3.3 fluid ounce tube was being introduced.


It is only a couple of dollars more than the original smaller sized tube so it is still a great deal.  
This week I picked up a battery operated milk frother for Monsieur.

via Amazon

The Aerolatte Mooo comes in a cute black and white cowhide pattern although if the cuteness factor is too much for you it also comes in chrome, and black,  I got the travel version but it is also available with a stand in black here, and in blue here.  Now Monsieur can whip up some crema for his morning coffee.  Speaking of his morning coffee ritual, Monsieur uses the Bialetti 9 Cup Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker.

via Amazon
It is also available in a 6 cup size, a flashy 6 cup red, and a very Italian 6 cup tricolour.  The great thing about this brand is that you can get replacement parts for it like the handle, filter and gaskets and even the funnel.  When so many things these days are disposable and unrepairable, it is nice knowing that this simple appliance can be repaired.

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




Sunday, 10 September 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: H & M Mini Haul, Breville Espresso Knock Box

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  In an effort to use up my H & M coupon which was expiring, I steeled myself for the miles of inventory and loud music and went back to H & M.  There is no doubt that it is a little tricky looking for basic clothing that is immune to trends in that emporium of fast fashion so I fell back on a staple piece in my capsule clothing wardrobe which is the cardigan.


I picked up a cotton cardigan in navy instead of black which is what I meant to get as I wasn't quite ready for the starkness of such a winter colour.  Also, I noticed that sizing varies wildly between colours.  A large navy can fit like a medium yellow and a medium navy can fit like a large black.  Sometimes the sizing can vary within colours and shipments as well.  So it is worth your time to try a few of the same size and size up or down as well before giving up.
I picked up a pair of H & M tweezers for Monsieur as he is always "borrowing" my trusty Tweezerman tweezers.  Funnily enough, he likes the H & M ones better because they are slightly wider so more suitable for his man hands.  I hunted around for more grooming tools but there wasn't much else.  I was really surprised to see the tweezers and, if there had been other tools on offer, I would have definitely been interested in purchasing them.
As well, I pick up a nail polish in "Ice Cold Milk" which I thought be good for French manicures or an allover clean look.  It was a bargain $2.00!  For that price, I might go back and pick up a couple more.  Last but not least, I picked up a concealer in Soft Sand.  It was $3.00.  I wanted to do a bargain price comparison between H & M and e.l.f's concealer in Fair.


They both have a similar feel and texture and dry down to a dewy finish.  I like H & M's doefoot applicator a lot better as it is bigger, softer and plushier.  H & M has a wider range of colours so it is easier to find one that is a good match for your skin tone whereas e.l.f only comes in a maximum of 3 shades.  They both last well without creasing.  Overall, I would choose H & M's concealer over e.l.f.
The final entry for this week's Roundup is the Breville Espresso Knock Box.

via Amazon

For years, Moniseur, who is a fierce coffee fiend, would knock out the coffee puck against the side of the kitchen sink.  To my horror, there are now innumerable chips to the very expensive granite counter as a result (sob, sob).  And then I discovered the Knock Box!  It is a stainless steel bucket with a bar across the top for tapping or knocking out the coffee grinds.  Ha!  I didn't even know that knock boxes were a "thing"! If you spend any time in a coffee shop and wonder what is that "knock, knock" noise that the baristas keep making, they are tapping out coffee grinds into a knock box.
And that is it for this week!

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






Monday, 28 August 2017

LBH August Monthly Favourites: Aroma Aria Hand Soap, Kate Spade Tote

Time for August Monthly Favourites!  For what seems like forever, I have been lusting after the vintage apothecary vibe in the bathroom exemplified by dark glass jars and bottles.  I even went so far as to consider ordering dark glass pump dispensers online and contemplating Aesop's Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash.  Imagine my delight when I spied two bottles of hand soap at my local Winners in the requisite dark brown glass.


One was a lavender scent and the other, mango agave.  The lavender is incredibly heady and the mango, sweetly fruity.  I love the fact that they come in refillable glass bottles.  The price was a very easy on the wallet $6.99 for 473 ml.  Winners is like the Canadian version of Marshalls.  You never know what you'll find on the shelves.  I have never heard of Aroma Aria before and have never seen it anywhere else so I have no idea if I'll find it again at Winners.  They are made in the U.S. so, if you are in the States, perhaps you will have an easier time locating it.
Next up is my Kate Spade tote.  I received it as a gift a couple of years ago (you can find similar versions here and here) but have used it a mere handful of times since.


Then it struck me that Summer was waning and I really should bring it out from the depths of my closet and just enjoy it.  The thing about having a capsule wardrobe is that it teaches me to appreciate what I have. What is the point of having lovely things if they aren't being used and appreciated?  The tote is a cream colour so, theoretically, I could use it past Labour Day but I think that light coloured accessories just come into their own during the strong light of the Summer months.  
And that is it for August!  Short and sweet as my car began coughing and sputtering in the most doleful manner and, faced with an unexpectedly large hit to my wallet, I had to curtail any errant shopping impulses.  
Let me know how your Summer is going!

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




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:

BANANA BREAD RECIPE WITH 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

Instructions:
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.

Friday, 30 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 30: Last Day


It is the last day of the Wellness Challenge!  Woohoo!  Honestly, I can't believe I made it to the finish line. Truth be told, there was a point where I thought to myself, "I can't believe how many bad habits I've accumulated.  How am I even standing up?"  I also wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I wasn't even sure I would be able to keep blogging for 30 days straight.  In a way, throwing out a Challenge into the blogosphere was a way to challenge myself, of keeping me honest.  If you have been following along as a lurker, multiple pats on the back all around!  I bet you thought there would be a huge revelation on the last day.  Well, not really.  On the last day, I think we all deserve a free pass, a day of freedom where we get to feel free of stress and worry, a day where we revel in feeling comfortable in our own skins.  I just wanted to add that all the suggestions posited during the Challenge were exactly that, suggestions.  Each suggestion was like a symbolic apple a day.  It is up to each of us to pick and choose what works in our own lives.  Thanks so much to all of you who silently followed along!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 29: Reusable Glass and BPA Free Food Storage Containers

For the second to last day (!!) of the Challenge, I would like to chat a little bit about food storage containers. I have been slowly weeding out my collection of plastic containers.  We know so much more about toxins leaching out of plastic into our food and once the veil of ignorance has been pierced, there is no going back.  Even Monsieur has come on board and absolutely loves using glass containers for storing leftovers.

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I really like this 22 piece set by Rubbermaid as it is dishwasher, freezer, microwave and oven safe.  Some glass containers are not able to go into the microwave so, if you use the microwave often, this is a feature that you will want to look for.  The lids snap to bases, other lids and nest inside each other for easier organization.  How cool is that?
This one by Glasslock is oven safe and microwaveable.  I like the fact that it is airtight and leakproof.  Like the Rubbermaid set, it is BPA free and, bonus, recyclable.

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Of course, I forget Pyrex, the granddad of all glass containers!  

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The glass is preheated oven, microwave, fridge, freezer & dishwasher safe and the lid is BPA free.
Of course, heavy glass is fine for storing food at home but it is too much to expect a child to lug a heavy glass container to school.

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I like this BPA free plastic set, above, by Rubbermaid because you get 42 pieces and a variety of sizes.  As with the glass version, the lids snap together and to bases.
This BPA plastic set by JLY Canada, below,  has compartments and is stackable.

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Containers are great not just for leftovers and lunches but for meal prepping and menu planning.  This set below by Fit4Life is BPA free and microwaveable.

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Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought!  Come back tomorrow for the last day of the Challenge and celebration time.

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


  



  

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 28: Choosing The Right Task Lighting For You


via Amazon
Back when I was a poor student, I rented the attic room in a boarding house.  Because it was the attic room, the rent was slightly less than the other rooms.  At the time, I thought I was getting a great deal.  I had the whole of the attic to myself.  It wasn't until the end of the school year that I realized that I had not gotten such a great bargain after all.  There was only one tiny window at one end.  The room which was panelled in dark laminate and had dark carpeting was in perpetual gloom even if all the lights were on.  I would get severe headaches after long bouts of sitting at my desk.  Eventually I realized the headaches were caused by the constant squinting.  With all the studying I was doing, I ended up permanently damaging my eyesight.  Ever since, I have been quite anal when it comes to proper task lighting.  So for Day 28, I want to chat a little about proper lighting in the home.  Broadly speaking, there are 2 types of lighting, ambient and task lighting.  I live in a condo and so changing ambient lighting which usually involves ceiling lighting is not really an option.  This challenge is about relatively easy, doable changes so I am going to focus on task lighting which usually involves desk lamps or lighting for specific tasks.  First, think about your desk or work space and whether you believe it to be adequately lit for the tasks you perform at that area.  Do you work there during day or evening hours?  Simple tasks performed for a minimal amount may only require a decorative table lamp that gives off 360 degree light.  However, if you are there for long periods of time, a desk lamp that shines a light focused on your work space or electronic devices might be better suited to your needs.  You may also wish to think about adjustability. OttLite is a highly respected brand and the OttLite Executive Desk Lamp pictured above is an example of a desk lamp designed for task lighting. A rotating shade and and height adjustments mean you can angle it to suit your lighting needs.


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There are so many styles to suit all sorts of needs.  I like this OttLite because it comes with a space saving craft organizer.

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I really like this sleek Turcom LED Desk and Table Lamp as it has a USB port, it's dimmable and has a touch sensitive control panel.  The fact that it is LED leads me to another consideration and that is the type of light bulb that the lamp uses.  Ask yourself whether you want the yellowish light of an incandescent bulb or the cooler light given off by an LED or CFL lightbulb. 

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There are so many styles ranging from traditional to contemporary to choose from, it would be impossible to cover them all.  I am sure we are all familiar with the traditional banker's lamp that is often placed over a piano.  I like this modern interpretation by OttLite pictured above.
I hope this has given you some ideas to tweak your work space so that you are able to work with greater ease and comfort.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 27: Picking the Right Office and Desk Chair for You

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At first glance, you would not think that the furniture in our homes ought to be included in our drive towards wellness.  Several years back, I was involved as a passenger in a car accident.  Cue months of physiotherapy and I soon came to realize how important it was to have furniture, especially office/desk chairs, that suited my needs.  Even though I am now recovered, I still think that proper office chairs for working long hours at a desk is a necessity.  They help support the back and legs and stave off fatigue and cramping.  The one pictured above is a gaming/racing style but don't be put off by the name of the style.  Gamers spend a lot of time in a chair so a comfortable chair is a must.  Look for terms such as "ergonomic" and "adjustable."  You want a chair that has as many adjustable features as possible so that you can customize it to suit your body.


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There are so many styles available and they need not be the stereotypical bland desk chair of old.  I like the one above as it has a mesh back so, visually, it has a lighter look.  Bonus is that the mesh back helps keeps you from feeling overheated.

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They don't have to come in standard issue black either.  This white Eames replica aluminum chair has a wonderful modern contemporary look to it.  At the very basic level, height adjustment is key.  Ask yourself whether you require head support or adjustable versus fixed arm rests, padded versus hard arm rests, fixed or adjustable back.  Functionality first, then looks.
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And this luxury executive chair by HomCom even has a retractable footrest!

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Years later, I still use my ergonomic chair every single day when working at my desk and would never dream of using any other type of chair.  So for me, I consider it another "lifetime haul purchase" that was made mindfully and intentionally.

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Monday, 26 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 26: Haircare for Sensitive Skin Live Clean Hypoallergenic Shampoo and Conditioner


For Day 26, I wanted to talk a little bit about haircare.  For years, I washed my hair every day.  I just assumed that I had a schizophrenic scalp and hair where it was dry and itchy yet got greasy very quickly.  I tried expensive salon brands, drugstore brands and organic brands from the health food store, to no avail.  I didn't realize that by washing it every day, I was stripping it of body oil which caused my scalp to react by producing more oil.  As well, back then, hypoallergenic, perfume free body products were almost impossible to find.  Now they are so much more readily available.  The Live Clean Sensitive Hypoallergenic Shampoo and Conditioner featured in my September, 2016 Monthly Favourites but they deserve another mention as, months later, I am still using them.  I love the fact that they are perfume free.  Increasing numbers of people are being struck by severe environmental sensitivities such as reactions to perfume and more and more employers and public places such as hospitals are banning the use of fragrance.  Personally, I don't want a lot of clashing, competing fragrances on me.  Of course, I am just writing about what I use and what works for me.  I am sure that there are a lot of lovely haircare products out there that smell delicious.  Monsieur, for example, loves slathering himself with all sorts of smellies.  The more, the better!  I buy my Live Clean products at Shoppers.  I have noticed that the Hypoallergenic ones are more likely to be carried in the larger Shoppers.  It is really heartening to find quality hypoallergenic products at a reasonable price that are readily available in a national chain store.
For a deep conditioning mask, I have tried olive oil.  It leaves caramel brown highlights in my hair.  And for toning the scalp and treating dandruff, apple cider vinegar works a treat.  These items are commonly found in your kitchen and are inexpensive solutions.  Have you tried any natural remedies?  I haven't been brave enough to try baking soda as I have seen one too many photographs of oily dandruffy Gorgon-like heads of hair to be tempted.  Although if you have tried baking soda, please share your experience!

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 25: Natural Latex Pillows

On Day 2 of the Challenge, I wrote about better sleeping habits.  So for Day 25, I want to write about a particular method I implemented to help me get better sleep.  For much of my life, I have either used feather pillows or polyester fill pillows.  The problem with feather or down pillows is that while they fluff up wonderfully, they are not machine washable.  I started waking up in the morning with my sinuses completely clogged up and feeling like I was being suffocated.  I discovered that I had developed an allergy to dust and dust mites.  So I switched to polyester fill pillows.  Even though the label said machine washable, inevitably, they would come out misshapen and lumpy.  After a bit of research, I switched over to natural latex pillows.

via Amazon
Unlike memory foam, there is no issue with offgassing.  And unlike polyester fill pillows, I don't ever have to worry about it becoming misshapen or lumpy and trying to fluff it up as, similar to memory foam, it retains its shape.  The vents prevent the sleeper from feeling hot and it is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.  Natural latex is made plants (commonly rubber plants or bamboo) so is eco-friendly.  This is good news if you are hesitant about using down or feathers.  I am in love with my natural latex pillows and Monsieur is sold too.  For me, they really do qualify as a "lifetime haul" purchase that was made intentionally and mindfully.

Can you believe we are nearing the finish line?  Already, I feel like celebrating!  Any suggestions to throw into the ring for the last few days, speak up now!

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