Thursday, May 29, 2014

Skincare: What Cleans My Face?

Since my makeup days are over, I've been hoarding and trying new skincare products all the time. With extensive research, I really found myself interested in seeking for natural and organic skincare lines that have ingredients that I can identify myself. My first skincare routine post on this blog received a lot of love, so I decided to share a series of posts of what I'm currently using. Here are the cleansers that I've been loving recently:

This was the first facial wash that I ever tried that is oil based. It includes coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and castor oil. What I really love about this cleanser is the scent - peppermint and lemongrass are such an energizing combination; the scent that is perfect for early mornings to help wake you up. I usually apply this straight to my dry face, massaging it all over my face (the vegetable glycerin base makes the product look very white on dry skin), and then I slowly incorporate some water to create a lather on my face before wiping everything off. This cleanser doesn't just wake me up in the morning, it really wakes my skin up, making it look and feel brighter, cleaner, and healthier. 

This is a sample I got from the owner. It's really similar to the concept of the oil cleansing method, as the main ingredients to this facial wash are sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil. The difference between this facial wash and the oil cleansing method is the other great nourishing ingredients that it has - such as vitamin e and essential oils. It's extremely gentle and very moisturizing for my dehydrated skin. I usually apply 2-3 pumps of the cleanser straight to my dry face, taking a few moments to really rub it all over my face. Then, I would take a hot damp face towel to drape it over my face as a "steam" to open up my pores to really allow the oil to sink in. After about 30 seconds, I'll slowly wipe off the cleanser. A big plus is the scent - very light and relaxing...perfect for ending your day! 

This cleanser is great for all skin types. A foaming cleanser that will not strip away your skin's natural oils. In fact, it does a great job at cleaning your skin from environmental factors and fighting blemishes, as well as rehydrating your skin with Grape Seed Oil. I visit my boyfriend every couple of weeks and this have been in my toiletry bag every time I pack up. It's in a plastic bottle, so it's super light and I don't have to worry about the container potentially shattering and spilling all over my bag. Also, it's easy to use - the foam makes it extremely easy to rub over my face and wipe off with water and hands. Overall, a great cleanser that will not throw off my skin, even if I only use it for a few washes when I'm on the go. 

All three of these brands are based in Toronto - local and organic! Just what I love! The oil-based cleansers are great for keeping moisture in my skin; the last thing I need in a skincare cleanser is for it to be oil striping. This whole combination is helping my skin cope with my diet change and environment change as I settle back home. Have been making my skin feel and look great - a big plus for going bare face everyday. Definitely cleansers that I will be repurchasing and recommending to others. 



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Food: Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

Just as I said in my new years resolution, I'm trying my best at eating healthier and changing my food habits. I've made tons of changes this year so far, but I know this summer would be an easier time for me to explore recipes and options.

Just the other day, my boyfriend's grandma made a loaf kind of cake and I knew a jam would be perfect to go along with it. I remember seeing other articles on chia jam, but this is one quick one I assembled myself in the kitchen the other day.

Homemade Raspberry Chia Jam

1 Cup of Raspberries, Fresh or Frozen (make sure it's thawed!)
1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds
1-2 Tablespoon of Honey

In a small bowl, using a fork, mash up the raspberries.
Add the chia seeds and mix well. 
Mix in the honey. Some berries, especially frozen, tend to be quite sour and depending on individual preferences, the amount of honey will differ among everyone. 

Tasty and healthy raspberry chia seed jam. Can leave in your fridge for the week.




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Food: Spinach and Banana Smoothie...and VEGA ONE!

Sooo, it's been a while - and a lot have happened in that while.

April in a nutshell:
  • I finished all my papers, presentations, and final assignments for second year!
  • I fell down the stairs and sprained my foot...pretty badly. Late night ER for 4 hours was not fun. I can't forget to mention how much I HATE crutches!
  • My relatives from sunny California came for a visit - yay to family time! 
  • My exam schedule was the worst. It was completely spread out and I pretty much had about 6 days in between my exams and days with back-to-back exams. So, I wrote 5 final exams and am now OFFICIALLY FINISHED WITH MY SECOND YEAR OF UNIVERSITY. 
  • I started a new part-time job and am pretty excited for the rest of the summer!
  • I moved my whole life back to Toronto for the summer.
  • I started an internship at another local business as well.
  • Back to pilates and yoga...on a consistent basis. 
As busy as April sounds and a good start for the rest of the summer, I'm back to blogging! 

I've been hearing lots of good things about Vega One through other bloggers and from a recommendation of a good friend. I hopped on the bandwagon as well and decided to order a small tub of it to test it out. With my sprained ankle, I ended up ordering it from (just a quick note - they have the fastest shipping ever!). Probably because I didn't have a blender at school, I've been really into making smoothies the last few days that I've moved back home. My friend introduced me to the spinach and banana smoothie and I've been loving it. To test the Vega One protein powder, I just add some into the smoothie. Since I've just started testing the Vega One protein powder in French Vanilla, I can't really give a full review of the product yet. But, so far, I'm really liking the taste of it. I've only been adding about a quarter of a scoop of it into my smoothies so far, just so my body can slowly adjust to the additional supplements! 

Spinach and Banana Smoothie 

1 cup of almond milk (you can use whatever milk you want!)
1 banana
1 HUGE handful of spinach
1/4 scoop of Vega One Protein Powder in French Vanilla

Put the almond milk, banana, and spinach in the blender and blend till smooth. 
Add the protein powder and make sure you blend at a slower speed to ensure it doesn't clump up in one area. 
Once it's well blended, pour it into your favourite cup (or mason jar!)