So, thanks to the lovely COVID-19, most of us have all online classes or at least a majority of online. Nonetheless, we still need to treat this semester like a real and true semester. We still have assignments to do, exams to study for and a future to work towards. So, let’s get into the back to school essentials to make those goals a lot easier to achieve!
Backpack. So, you may not want to purchase a backpack for this semester because of it being mostly online courses etc. BUT, have you ever worked in a coffee shop? A library? At a friend’s house? How do you expect to haul your books and laptop around? You can find this perfect bag here. It’s a super simple bag with all the necessities you need including a smaller bag that can be double as a pencil case or even a travel makeup bag! It also has a super convenient USB port to connect your power bank too (not included).
2. Pens. Okay, how have I lost all of my pens over the years? It’s actually insane. But, this 24 pack of assorted colours actually excites me. Pens get me so hyped for school because I love note taking and this pack is amazing because now I can note take in all different colours making it easier to study!!! Anyways, click here for these colourful babies.
3. Desk Organizer. Let’s face it, we need to organize that mess. If we’re going to be home all day everyday working at our desk, we need to keep it tidy or things are going to get misplaced and then the anxiey is really going to start pumping. I tried to look for a cute and affordable desk organizer because I’m not a huge fan of those mesh black ones (you know the ones). So I found this one for about $40 and it looks SO clean and well kept. It’s perfect.
4. And then if you’re a freak like me, I like everything to match. So I found this matching monitor stand (I use it for my laptop) and it is super cute side by side! They offer a money back guarantee, so these are no joke!
5. Laptop adjustable riser. This is such a great alternative to a desk riser which tend to be super expensive.. If you’ve been wanting to stand more (because it’s better for you), then I suggest trying out this laptop stand adjustable riser. You can use it while you’re in bed or on top of your desk! Stop slouching and create a better posture for yourself.
6. Notebooks are definitely an essential. I have always opted for Hilroy because of the price, but I found some pretty great notebooks for a steal from AmazonBasics. It comes in a pack of 6 and they are all different colours. These are also all hole-punched so you can add them to your binders if needed. You can get all 6 notebooks for under $20
7. Academic planner, how could I forget that? It’s probably my favourite thing on this list. I found this super cute, large workstyle planner for a pretty decent price and it comes in other colours and sizes as well. It has everything from weekly overviews to tabbed months making it easier to flip to. One of my favourite parts of this planner is the space at the top of each month where you can write down your priorities – super helpful.
8. These highlighters are super cute! Not your typical highlighters, these are pastel coloured so your notes look way better and less dull! These highlighters are also chunky, so easy to control and hold as well as they are pretty smudge proof against a variety of different inks!
I hope this list helped with some online shopping as well as prepares you for this upcoming semester! Good luck everyone, let’s kill it. If you use any of the links provided, tag me on IG @sambeanaxox, I’d love to see what you guys pick up!
It can be extremely hard to find skincare and makeup products that work well with oily skin. If you are someone like me, I get so oily to the point where my makeup just slides right off within the hour! But, since using these products it has actually reduced the amount of oil my skin produces, along with not wearing makeup as much and letting my skin breathe. As some you may know, oily skin also means more likely to break out as well because it’s so easy for bacteria and dirt to slide around and adhere to your skin. I decided to compile a list of products that I use almost daily to help keep track of what I use while helping you guys who also have either combo or oily skin.
1. MAKE UP REMOVER: Find one that is oil free. I have used both Neutrogena Night Calming Wipes as well as Nivea Gentle Wipes. They are great and leave my skin feeling good before I cleanse. Although, I JUST received a brand new makeup cloth called Makeup Eraser and essentially it is a reusable cloth that lasts between 3-5 years, and instead of wasting all of these ordinary makeup wipes (which by the way – is the 3rd most wasteful item to date) you just put some warm water on this cloth and it does the rest!! I find that taking off your makeup is truly an essential part to your routine as to not leave any dirt or makeup residue behind. These wipes have been great especially because I have sensitive skin!
2. CLEANSER: Soap & Glory, this stuff is amazing and I love that it also has Vitamin C because that stuff is great for your skin!! I also love that it is also a bit of an exfoliating facial cleanser while not being too harsh. The link I have provided is for Amazon, which is very quick and convenient to order from but I believe that Shoppers Drug Mart sells it for a bit cheaper if you have one nearby. I haven’t seen them at any Walmarts or anywhere else really. Definitely pick it up if you’re in the market for a new cleanser – this one is my ride or die!
3. TONER: I absolutely LOVE the Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toner. It is a great product that has truly helped even out my skin tone while helping to contain my oils. Truly an essential! I browsed through Amazon to find you guys a link, but it sells for a lot more on Amazon. The best place to get this toner would either be from Deciem or Sephora, where it is around $7-10 max. Another great toner is from the Inkey List, they are based in the U.S. but are very very similiar to The Ordinary, especially with their affordable price point!
4. NIACINAMIDE: I use Niacinamide about 3-4 times per week and usually at night. I tend to only use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer in the morning to leave my skin feeling light and not loaded with different products. But I use Niacinamide at night along with the rest of my skincare essentials. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Some people use this product daily, morning and night, to clear any congestion, redness, minimize pores and overall balance their complexion. Figure out what your skin likes and build a routine according to that.
5. LACTIC ACID: Currently, I am using the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% by The Ordinary and I only use this in the evenings about 3 times per week. Lactic Acid can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin, but it is great to work up to introducing your skin to different acids. Most people have reviewed that this lactic acid is actually more gentle than the glycolic acid toner, so this is a great introductory product. It is mainly used to exfoliate the skin, help with fading pigmentation and scarring while leaving the skin glowy and healthy. Make sure to moisturize afterwards to lock in any hydration.
6. MOISTURIZER: I am currently curing the Tarte H2O moisturizer and has more of a jelly-like consistency. The full sized product lasts so long because you only need two pea sized amounts for your entire face. A little goes a long way and it makes my skin feel so refreshed, hydrated and moisturized. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on Amazon at all so I have linked it to the Sephora website. It can be quite pricey, but it lasts SO long!
7. FACE MASK: I decided to splurge and get the Summer Fridays Overtime Mask and it is definitely an exfoliating mask – but I need to tell you guys…WORTH THE MONEY. My skin has never felt so smooth and refreshed. I love the smell, the feel of it going on, the massage – everything about this face mask is perfect and I couldn’t be happier. The only downside is the price tag, but so far the bottle is lasting quite awhile because I only do this mask once per week. It has truly made a difference in my complexion, the brightness of my skin and even my boyfriend (you know men!) even noticed how much smoother my skin felt.
8. MOISTURIZER FOR SPOTS: Sometimes I will get really painful pimples that need a different kind of moisturizer to treat and soothe. I have been loving this First Aid Beauty mask because it is more of a cream that helps to calm the spot while providing moisture and relief. The creamy mask helps relieve the appearance of redness, dehydration, irritation, stress, and tightness. The star ingredient, Arnica, is said to have skin-supporting properties that help soothe and smooth. I don’t use it as a full on mask, but rather a spot treatment. I have also heard this does wonders for people with rosacea as well! Give it a try.
9. Rose Hip Seed Oil: I have recently added this organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil to my routine. I tend to use it 2-3 times per week before bed, as it is an oil so not necessarily made to put under or over makeup. The instructions have said to put it on nightly, but I don’t like putting oils on my skin that often yet. It aids in moisturizing, treating wrinkles, brightening and evening out skin tone. Rose hip seed oil is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which overall helps support healthy skin above all else.
10. SUNSCREEN: It is so important to make sure you wear sunscreen especially on your face. But, I have had quite a difficult time trying to find a facial sunscreen that I actually want to wear. I don’t want one that provides a white cast, is oily, thick or just overall feels icky. I received a trial size of this FAB mineral sunscreen and I’m not looking back! This sunscreen does not leave a white cast at all, and when you open it – the sunscreen looks tinted. But, it doesn’t tint your skin really, it feels super smooth to put on and doesn’t leave your skin feel greasy. I love it, and it has spf 30! Sephora has it listed for $45 CAD, but they also have a whole bag called the Fab Four which features the sunscreen, cleanser, facial radiance pads, and an ultra repair cream for $50CAD. I think that’s truly a better deal.
Most likely, I won’t be switching up my routine for awhile as my skin has really loved this one. But I am sure I will be adding to the list and possibly adding different serums. If you are subscribed to me on Youtube you will soon see an updated skincare routine where I show you how I use these products and what order to use them in! Stay tuned for more and if you have any questions feel free to hit my dms!
I have had enough of hearing people rebuttal and try to argue the #BlackLivesMatter with “Ahem, no…It’s ALL lives matter.” AHEM, no. We never said ONLY black lives matter. We never said that white lives don’t matter or that non-black lives don’t matter. We never said that black lives matter more than other lives. We are simply focusing on the issue that is at hand.
A terrible and tragic event happened that cost George Floyd his life. The officer that arrested him and kneeled on his head for over 9 minutes, while he begged that he couldn’t breathe. He begged until he couldn’t any longer. After countless protests and media, that officer has been arrested. But this doesn’t mean the end.
There are lives that have been taken that we should also not forget. Tragedies are happening in our own backyards. People have become afraid of police, afraid of government. Who do you call when the police are the ones murdering?
There truly isn’t any words that I could write that would be enough to explain my sadness and condolences. I am horrified and angry at our corrupt government and world. Racism is still very VERY real. The colour of your skin should not make a damn difference but it does. When I get pulled over, I am scared of getting a speeding ticket. When POC get pulled over, they are scared of getting killed. That is the difference.
We must use our privilege and SPEAK UP. Don’t just repost an instagram picture and call it a day.
I can’t thank you enough for the roof over my head, the food in my belly, the clean clothes, the toys, the hugs, the kisses and the laughter. You have given your all being my mom. Through every obstacle and challenge, you always seem to push through and you have shown me what determination means. You have shown me what strength is. I couldn’t name a more genuine, kind hearted, selfless and strong woman than you. I hope one day, when I have little ones, that I will be at least half of the mom you are to me.
Mom, I love that we have so much in common. I love playing games with you, watching our favourite tv shows and gossiping about the latest news. Even though I am grown, I am still your little girl and I will always be a mamas girl, especially with an amazing one like you.
From teaching me to walk to teaching me to drive, you have kept your patience (and obviously lost it sometimes too hehe) but you have always encouraged me to keep on trying. I keep your encouragement with me every single day.
When I have a hard day, or feel so anxious I can’t stand it. I know who I can call. I know that you will always be there, to comfort and to make me laugh. Through the breakups and the bullies, you have always tried your hardest to protect me. You never fail to remind me that I am beautiful and stronger than the words others say. You have always been the mama bear everyone wishes they had.
Mom, you are my best friend and I am so incredibly thankful for you. I love you with all my heart.
This whole pandemic has not only set off a whole realm of loneliness for a lot of people, but also a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. If you find yourself unsure of what to do with your life, unable to sleep or sleeping too much, feeling restless – IT IS OKAY. A lot of us have been go-go-go with our jobs, family, relationships, school, side hustles etc. It is totally okay to feel uneasy with how the world is right now. It is not easy for anyone. One of the good things about this isolation period is that the whole world is doing the same thing. Most of us are laid off, at home, unable to see relatives or friends, unable to do our usual routine. It is extremely probable that the pandemic has caused people increasing anxiety, and for people diagnosed with anxiety already – a pretty hard time. “People often don’t realize that their difficulties with focus, memory, sleep and relationships can all be related to anxiety,” says Amelia Aldao, clinical psychologist and founder of Together CBT in New York City. I am here to tell you IT IS OKAY.
So, let’s take a deep breath for a moment. This pandemic is probably going to last a bit longer than we all would like it to and what we need to do is come up with a new routine. Or, if you’re not into routine – just different things to do throughout the day to ensure that we don’t get tangled in all of that anxiety and stir-craziness.
The first thing to do is to limit the amount of news you watch. I know it is a horrific time and that is all that is blasted everywhere, but limiting this is truly what will be best for your own sake and mental health. I am not telling you to completely block it out and act like nothing is wrong, but to limit the amount you watch/read.
Continue with a SCHEDULE/ROUTINE. If you are someone who is normally structured and organized, don’t think of this time as a free-for-all. Keeping a steady schedule despite the circumstances will ensure that you are staying sane and busy.
Which adds to my next point, KEEP BUSY. This can be done in an unlimited amount of ways. Take a bath, journal, draw, paint, garden, work-out, watch movies, get started on a new tv series, read a book or two or three!!!, call up a friend etc.
Wake up and go to bed at your normal time. This one has honestly been one of the hardest ones for me. My sleeping schedule has been out of whack and that causes me so much stress because if I go to bed late, I typically wake up late and then I’m upset that I wasted ___ # of hours of the day. Wake up early still and go to bed at a reasonable time!
If you work from home – try not to overload. With this stress and anxiety, it can become overwhelming and chances are your memory and work ethic is not what it was. Break up tasks, give yourself breaks, drink lots of water and feed yourself properly.
Which goes again, feed yourself properly. I know that because the routine is off, sometimes we may forget to make breakfast or lunch, or maybe just hydrate properly. Try to truly make an effort to nourish your body and eat properly (bonus if it’s healthy!)
Pick up a new skill/hobby. When is the last time you painted? What about gardening? Working out? Is there a task that you’ve been putting off such as painting the basement, redoing the deck? Take this time to do the things that you weren’t planning on doing before while you have the time.
Check up on friends and family. Although you may not be able to go and visit, or maybe you can if you stay 6 feet apart (do not come for me if they change this rule!!!) A simple facetime call can help to stay connected while also checking up on your loved ones. We all need checking up on, especially if we are struggling through this. Take a few minutes and call that person (or multiple people), they will really enjoy your company.
YouTube. I have been catching up on some of my favourite YouTubers lately and I am really enjoying it – especially because there are a lot of them who have decided to post daily vlogs, which gets me excited to watch and gives me something to do every day. Or, if you’re feeling creative – make your own YouTube channel and get recording!
Get yourself ready. I have found that whenever I get out of bed, take a nice shower and do my hair/makeup – I feel way better. I feel like “hey, at least I did that today!”
Take some online courses. Ever heard of Shaw Academy? They have a variety of online classes that you can take that range from marketing, social media and graphic design to beauty, music, finance, photography and more! They are doing a free trial and then if you’d like to continue afterwards it’s $69.99 CAD. It’s interactive, they have Q&A sessions, quizzes, assignments, and unlimited access to all of their courses – so if you wanted to take photography and finance, you can totally do that. Also, this is not an ad, I just really enjoyed their platform. Of course, there are many other platforms that do relatively the same stuff for online courses.
Stay safe, healthy & sane everyone.
Ps. Quick reminder to follow my blog to stay updated on new posts and also wash your hands 🙂
It came up when I was talking with some friends and the different types of birth control. I had seen others have used it and there were so many pros and cons, and horror stories. But, there were also success stories. I had researched it for months and then finally decided to talk to my doctor on my next visit. I told him that I was debating either an IUD or the Depo Shot…He advised me to see a gyno and booked me an appointment. It took about a month or two to get an actual appointment, but then it all happened very quickly. I went in for my consultation and asked about side effects, which of course there were including cramping – but for me, I have always had terrible cramping during my periods and if this even lightened it a little bit I would be happy. Also, she told me that the Kyleena is her favourite form of birth control and she recommends it to everyone. The main reason was convenience for most but also the fact that it worked at a rate of over 99% effectively. That means less than 1 out of 100 people who have an IUD will get pregnant each year. There also was a possibility of lighter periods, and eventually not having a period. I was locked in.
So, I went home that day and sat down at my laptop thinking…It’s going to hurt. I’ve heard horror stories of girls having surgery to remove it because it was excruciating pain. I typed every single thing I could think of into the search bar. Do IUDs hurt? On a scale of 1-10 what is the pain level of an IUD? What is the chance of an IUD going wrong? Let me tell you…Google is not always your friend. My stomach dropped and I felt very faint, I don’t know if this is right for me. I got scared. But I didn’t cancel the appointment, this was a one and done kind of deal. It lasts for 5 years, and the insertion will probably hurt but it’s just once. I kept trying to reassure myself. I went and picked up the prescription from my local Shoppers Drug Mart and it came in a HUGE box. I didn’t open it. It was really expensive too, luckily I had a bit of coverage from being in school. Eventually the big day came around. My boyfriend drove me to the gyno and sat outside of the office and waited for me. One of the doctors came in to calm me down, as she could tell I was tense and proceeded to tell me that it is going to hurt a lot, to be prepared for it and when it’s over not to sit up right away because I will most likely faint. Was that really her way of calming a patient down? I thought it was ridiculous and I wish she never came in. I took a deep breath and laid on table, they had a picture taped to the ceiling of some clouds and I tried to focus on that until my gyno came in. She finally did after a few minutes (felt like a lot longer) and she smiled and said “ready to go?” and honestly, she was genuinely calm and collected and that soothed me a LOT more than the other lady. She told me it’s not a big deal, it won’t hurt a lot and she’s done this many times before. It will just feel like a bit of cramping, no worries. When it finally came down to it, it didn’t hurt a ton. My pain tolerance isn’t very high and she was right – it felt like cramping because my body is trying to understand where this foreign object came from. It was nothing like what Google said. Nothing like what the previous doctor said. Nothing like the horror stories. I brought my boyfriend because I felt that after the appointment I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home, but I was perfectly fine! I strolled out of the office and thanked my gyno. I ran out to meet my boyfriend and he asked me how I felt, and it was no big deal. I am protected for 5 years (or whenever I would like to have it removed if I want it before that). My advice to any girls going to get theirs is to not let your mind trick you and scare you, because the truth is you really have to relax your muscles and if you tense up that is what will hurt you. Just relax and breathe. Like always, I would like to put a disclaimer that you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor first to see if this is right for you. All experiences are different and I just wanted to put my personal experience out there!
I am sorry for putting you through stress and anxiety. I am sorry for the shaking and the tears. I did not know that you were strong enough. I didn’t have faith that you could do better than this. I trained your brain to believe this was love, to hold onto it so tightly your knuckles ached. Nobody else could love you. I let you become so small, fragile and weak. Unsure of your own opinions and own thoughts, constantly over thinking your own values and who you were until you became so lost. I allowed you to be brainwashed with “I’m sorry” and “You make me act like this” and “I love you”. I allowed the cruel words to be spit at you, I allowed you to break. But that’s what I had to do, these things are what helped you grow. You grew and became strong, you realized your worth and you left, because you ARE worthy of love and kindness. I am sorry that it took you so long to come to terms with it, but you found it on your own. The tears are dry now, you are okay. I will never allow a man to step on you again, to spit at you, to yell and scream. You are not small.
I have learned to love you, even on bad days. The mirror is your friend, you are wonderful and happy and full of life now. Keep it. Hold onto this. This is love, self-love.
Now, I am writing this as a happily taken girl, so there will be a *little* bit of bias here and there.
To start the conversation, why is Valentines a holiday? Well, this day is known for its romance and celebrating a couples love through gifts, dates, flowers etc. to name a few. But in reality, Valentine’s day and where it came from is actually quite morbid. It’s history revolves around Christianity and Lupercalia which is an ancient Roman fertility festival (what?!) that is held from February 13th to the 15th which is said to be the reason why Valentine’s day is the 14th. What happened was that each teenage boy would draw a name of a girl to be paired with for that year and the women were obligated to be with that boy under the Roman law. These relationships often led to marriage. Other stories are much more disturbing and the Romans would sacrifice a dog and a goat for purification and fertility. Then, the women were said to have been slapped with goat hide as it was believed to make them more fertile (hence the Lupercalia) thus leading into the name drawing and marriage.
Aren’t we glad to be living in the grand year of 2020 where women (in most countries) are now free to make their choices of whom to marry and when?!
Personally, Valentine’s day is seen as a joke to many but I still love the day and commercialization that society has put into it. I am a sucker for a sappy card and flowers…dinner date nights??? Count me in.
‘Tis the season for gift giving and gathering around the Christmas tree. It is a wonderful time of year. Now, I know if you’re like me – I care way too much about what gifts to buy and also trying to save a few pennies whilst doing it. It is quite the difficult task, especially if you just end up going to the shopping centre without a plan in mind. Here’s a few gift ideas for that special guy in your life, you can mix and match them to suit your man!
Let’s Talk About DIY Gifts…
So, it is totally up to you what kind of gift to get your partner. But, personally I like to be a *sappy* girlfriend and go for the DIY presents, or at least DIY ideas per say. To pull on those heart strings, think back to what you and your partner do together. Do you two play cards together? Do you love board games? Scrabble? What about physical activities like skating? When thinking of what to get them, try to focus on something you both love or have in common to do your DIY gift. A few examples could include:
Gifts Based on Interest
Then, try to think of what he likes. Is he a sports guy? Does he love finance? Maybe he’s a movie fanatic or video gamer? Here’s a few examples of some gifts based on interests:
Overall, you can mix and match these for Christmas, Anniversary, Valentines etc. The point is to know your guy and think outside of the box. I hope these ideas helped!
You are so so appreciated and loved. I may not express it enough in words, but I see you.
When I struggle to climb out of bed or go to work or go to the gym or even just take my vitamins – you are there to help me. You lift me up, you pull me out of bed with love and kisses, you inspire me to be better and to work hard. When my days are roughs and my brain plays tricks on me, you are there to comfort. To hold. Thank you for being so genuine, thoughtful, kind and gentle with me.
To the one who carries my groceries, who helps me do laundry, who takes turns washing dishes. You make everyday tasks so much easier. You are a help. These things that may seem little to you do not go unnoticed.
To the one who buys me coffee when I’m behind you in the drive thru, thank you for setting my heart on fire with only a dollar. You excite me and surprise me in the weirdest ways.
To the one who sings with me in the car, belting out the words to Shallow and rapping along to Childish Gambino and Hopsin, I have so much fun with you. Our crazy (and totally extra) dance moves are what make my smile go all the way up to my ears. The little kisses on my hands as you drive with your other one. I love being myself with you. I love being happy.
I thank you for bringing me so much joy and fun and laughter. You are always there, in the low times and the high. I appreciate you & the small things you do, they never go unnoticed.