One of my resolutions for the new year – rather, a plan, since labelling anything as a resolution typically has a negative end – is to simplify my living space through excessive decluttering and through rearranging furniture and other pieces to bring about a more cohesive and relaxing environment.
When I hit Toronto soil approximately this time last year, I made a promise to myself that not only would this be the time that I succeeded, but that I would do whatever it takes to reach my goals. Much like Rocky, I would make this city my ultimate triumph. To do this, I decided that it would take a certain amount of sacrifice on my part. For the most part, Toronto isn’t a cheap city to live in. To do so would mean I’d be giving up a lot of regular pleasures I’d grown accustomed to, but it would all be worth it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the time to share some of the amazing things to happen to me in the last year. It’s true – humanity faced some incredible challenges in 2016 and, at times, it seemed like we were up against insurmountable odds. But, we’re nothing if not resilient and I’m a firm believer that if you want positivity to reign supreme throughout the world, then it’s your duty to first look inward and find the best parts of yourself. If we can’t see the light around us, how can we ever expect to see it anywhere else?
1. If the millennial in your life is anything like yours truly, they’re averaging at least 3 homemade cups of coffee a day (on top of the 2 lattes they get from Starbucks). With that being said, a cute set of mugs is a necessity in any millennial’s kitchen cabinet. The thing I love most about mugs? No one expects them to match. These Kate Spade New York Pretty Pantry Stacking Mugs from Indigo are perfect for confined spaces, with each mug offering a certain amount of uniqueness in colour and their sayings: “All in good taste,” Eat cake for breakfast,” “Out to lunch,” and “Adding the sauce.”
2. No matter what a millennial is doing in their apartment, you can bet at least a couple of selfies will happen. Equip them with the latest and greatest from Polaroid. The Zip Instant Photoprinter allows them to instantly print 2×3″ photos from their mobile phone or tablet in less than 60 seconds using Bluetooth or NFC technology. Oh, and the best part? No ink involved. The printer uses ZINK Magic!
3. Hydration is key. At least, that’s what my mom has always told me. A busy millennial is typically juggling a thousand different tasks at any given times without leaving enough time for the most basic necessities, like water. With a S’Well White Marble Water Bottle from Indigo, the millennial in your life is going to be as hydrated as possible because with a bottle this chic, they’re never going to put it away.
4. Rose, red, white – it doesn’t really matter. A simple set of wine glasses adds a touch of sophistication without completely breaking the bank. These Kate Spade New York Larabee Dot Stemless Wine Glasses from Indigo are perfectly quaint, while still adding a certain amount of flare to any social situatuon.
5. Cooking or take-out? Cooking… or take-out? It’s the eternal struggle almost every millennial faces when they live on their own. You want the savings that come from cooking your own food, but you can’t deny the satisfaction and superior taste that you get from take-out. How about a compromise? Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen, available at Indigo, is the perfect kitchen companion for the food fanatic who wants to cook simply and eat deliciously.
6. Remember those adorable mugs from the number 1 spot? Your millennial is going to need something to put in them. Coffee, coffee, coffee. A Keurig (I have the K200 Plus Series) combines effortless brewing with the satisfaction of a variety of flavours from some of the most popular brands – like Starbucks. Forget about brewing an entire pot of coffee every morning. When you have 10 minutes to get ready in the morning and catch the subway, all you want is a quick cup – usually to go.
7. Laying on the couch or propped up in bed binge-watching The Mindy Project – we all want something soft and warm to cuddle. Don’t we? You won’t find much better than this Faux Fur Pillow Cover from Indigo. It measures 18″x18″. Don’t compromise comfort for style. You cam have both and it’s so easy.
Which of these products would you love to find under your Christmas tree?
My entire life, I’ve been plagued by difficult skin. As a baby, my parents had to use special soap or I’d break out in eczema before the bath was even over. Heading into my teen years, I was treated to a lovely decade-or-so of awful acne. No matter what I did or how much I washed my face, the acne persisted.
As I began navigating my twenties, I started developing eczema on my hands whenever the air was too dry. This was especially true during the winter months. The skin on my hands became so irritable and red that I had to take a prescription for cortisone cream.
All this to say, I truly understand the daily struggles of people who live with skin that just never wants to cooperate. The focus tends to fall on your face because, of course, that’s where everyone looks when they talk to you. But your skin is one of your largest organs and needs to be treated with the same respect and courtesy that you give to your heart or your liver through the foods you eat.
Managing my skin has never been easy. I react in obscene ways to most facial cleansers and anything with a slight scent usually burns my skin in the most uncomfortable ways. A few years ago, well into my twenties, I visited the doctor. He gave me a prescription of cream for my still-unsettled acne and recommended Spectro as an incredibly mild, yet effective, cleanser. I haven’t looked back. Even now, at the teen-plus age of 26, I live by Spectro Cleanser for Combination Skin. It’s as gentle as washing your face with water and yet manages to give you the deep-clean feel of any other product.
Eventually, I fell into a routine of regular skin care. I added the Olay Oil Minimizing Clean Toner with Witch Hazel, applied liberally with a cotton pad. I follow that up with a light coat of Olay Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skin.
Perhaps the most luxurious step of the entire process comes in the form of Life Brand Hydrating Facial Sheet Masks. For those in Canada, you can get 3 for $5 at Shoppers Drug Mart. I only use 1 or 2 of these each week, but the moisture they bring back to my skin is absolutely incomparable.
Ultimately, t’s important to find what works for your skin. Are you prone to excessive oil? Maybe your skin dries out worse than a camel’s crack in the desert. Make sure you do your research, find the products that work for you, and never settle for anything less than the best. Trust me, your skin deserves it.
Disclaimer: I’m no professional. This is just me telling you what I do to treat my sensitive skin. Always consult a doctor before trying new products.