2015 - It's been real, 2016 - here we come! Happy New Year

Be warned, what follows is a rather sentimental New Year message. I am a sappy, sentimental person. If you do not like such emotional expressions, feel free to x out! I won't mind. You've been warned!

Happy New Year!!! To any and all who read this, I hope 2016 brings you joy, good fortune, everything you desire from it and more!

I hope 2016 is your year, lovely reader. I hope a year from now, we all say "Whoa! This year was amazing!" I hope those desires you've carried in your heart for what may feel like ages now finally come to fruition and your dreams come to life. I hope this year is nothing but amazing for you.

Also, I hope 2016 brings with it, peace to our world. There's so much fighting, so much negativity, so much hate. I hope in 2016 we all stand together and bring positive change to our Earth. I hope we put an end to the needless hatred and misery or at least make progress in the right direction. There is enough room in this wide world for all of us to grow and prosper and realize our dreams. Why can't we all just be nice and get along eh? Negativity doesn't seem to be working out, let's give kindness and generosity and love a try, what say you?

What are your hopes for 2016? :-)

Gratitude Box for 2016

In my never ending quest to cultivate more positivity in my life, I’ve been toying with the idea of having a gratitude jar or box for quite a while. I’ve seen countless posts on pinterest from people who made positivity jars or gratitude jars. Basically, you decorate a container of some sort and every day you write one thing that you’re grateful for and toss it in (this can be anything at all, your family, your friends, an ice cream cone- whatever your heart pleases!)

At the end of the year, you take out all the notes and read through them to revisit all the beautiful moments you were grateful for the past year. For 2016, instead of making resolutions and not keeping them, I decided to take on this little project and see where it goes. The posts I’ve seen online typically use mason jars or some glass container for their notes but because I’m a worrier and I have little siblings, my mind immediately wonders “what if it fell and broke?”  

So for my gratitude project, I actually chose a box to put my notes into. It’s sturdier and quite a bit bigger. I’m a rambler so I’m going to have long notes and 365 of those will take up some space! I picked up my box from Michaels and my idea of decorating it was putting a little label in the handle that says gratitude box. That counts right? (lie to me and say it counts ^_^) It’s a very pretty little box with a vibrant red lid and covered in a London-esque theme, so it doesn’t really need decoration. My gratitude box is for 2016 but I couldn’t wait for the new year so I started it a few days ago because why not right? It’s never too early to start being grateful for the good things in life.

Every night before going to bed, I sit before this box and think about my day. When I’ve selected a moment (or few) that I’d like to express gratitude for, I grab a pen and write it all down. As I mentioned, I’m a rambler so I go on for a while and just write down whatever comes naturally. Then I fold it up and place it in the box with its little fellow notes and head off to bed. Even though I’ve only been doing it for a few days now, I can't help but notice an immediate upswing in my mood when I do this little exercise every night. I go to bed feeling very peaceful and content, I’m quite enjoying it! It’s also starting to shift the way I perceive things. When I have a negative experience, instead of complaining about it, I find myself feeling grateful because it could definitely be worse. I suffer from anxiety (which comes and goes) and this little project has also helped me deal with it when it rears its unpleasant head. On the whole, I thoroughly recommend doing this. It takes barely five minutes every day and the benefits are so worth it. 

I thought I’d share my little project with you, lovely reader, and possibly motivate you to start one of your own. It’s a fun little exercise to do with children or by yourself every night to remind yourself just how good you have it. It’s so easy to get caught up in tiny insignificant worries and make enormous, intimidating mountains out of them. We forget all that we have going for us and focus only on the minor disturbances. It’s important to take a step back every now and then and appreciate all that we have. 

I’d love to know what you’re grateful for today, tell me in the comments! :)

P.S. In the interest of honesty, this is what my box usually looks like with a pen and scraps of paper thrown right in so I don't have to hunt for them. I took them out for the picture above to make it look a bit neater and more aesthetically pleasing. Oh what shallow creatures we humans are! 

Review - Lancome Energie De Vie Dullness Relief & Energy Recharge Daily Lotion

Ok whoa! It’s been ages since I last posted! What?! When did that even happen? *looks around furtively and whispers* lets pretend it didn’t happen ok? Ok! To be honest, I lost motivation for a while but something about blogging keeps calling me back so here I am and ready to go!

Today’s post is a review of the Lancome Energie de Vie Dullness Relief & Energy Recharge Daily lotion… which is really fancy talk for toner y’all, although the fancy version does make me feel all Parisian and chic like I have my life together and eat madeleines or something at quaint little caf├ęs, when really I’m curled up on a couch at 1 in the morning typing this out and wondering if Kit Harrington really isn’t coming back to GoT (how COULD they?!)…but I digress.

My apologies for the shoddy photography guys

Why I Bought It

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant about the entire Energie de Vie line when it first came out because the initial reviews I read didn’t seem stellar or anything and an ‘energy recharge’ has never really been on the list of things that I feel my skin needs. I got sucked in though, when I read a review saying that the toner helped with skin texture, which is something my skin has struggled with for years. I have these dry patches on and around my nose that are always kind of rough and bumpy in texture and no amount of exfoliation can get them to be smooth for more than a day so I’m always on the lookout for anything that claims to help with skin refinement/texture.

Scent/Consistency/Color/All that fun stuff

I’ve had this toner for almost a year now and use it at least once a day, usually as part of my nighttime routine. The initial reviews I read before buying it noted that the products in the Energie de Vie line have a strong and unpleasant scent. Personally, I think some of the other products from the line do smell a bit fishy (literally!) but this one didn’t bother me at all and I’m the kind of person who refuses to buy a product if the scent is off putting no matter what miracles it might work for my skin. To me, this smells slightly of cucumbers and…hmm, I’ll report back once I’ve gone and sniffed it again. The actual toner is a clear color (yes I did think it would be green, you have to admit that would’ve been cool) and slightly thicker than your average toner.

Let me know if you'd like a closeup of the ingredients!

How I use it

I always apply this at least once, as part of my nighttime routine and occasionally use it in the morning as well. Unlike most toners, this special little potion isn’t meant to be applied with a cotton ball/pad. Instead, you’re supposed to gently press or rub it into your skin with your fingers. Honestly, I’ve tried it both ways and it was fine either way but I do prefer it with my fingertips. Maybe it’s because it’s a bit thicker but I seem to need more of it if I apply it with a cotton ball.

When I first started using it, I noticed a difference within a few days. My skin texture seemed a lot smoother, especially around my nose area aka my problem spot aka the bane of my skincare journey. Overall, my skin seemed a lot healthier and glowier too, which I loved. Over time, the red patches on my cheeks left behind by acne started to slowly get better and my skin tone looked more even, which I hadn’t experienced in years! I was absolutely in love. Just for kicks and giggles, I would sometimes go a few days without applying this but keep everything else the same just to see if it really was doing anything (also because sometimes I’m too lazy to even put on toner after washing my face and just slap on some moisturizer before bed) and I would always notice a difference in my skin texture and radiance levels (I like to maintain a general radiant glow at all times, as one does). My skin just wouldn’t feel as healthy when I wouldn’t use this and the texture issue would slowly crop up again. After that, I made sure to always apply it every night in order to maintain my results.

Fast forward a few months and I think my skin has started to get used to this now but I don’t think we can blame the toner for that since my skin tends to get used to any product I use for an extended period of time. Anyone else have this issue too? Or is my skin just freaky that way?

Overall, I'd say this is a gem of a product and definitely worth a try! Let me know if you've used it and how it turned out!

Happy Holidays!