Moving + Refreshing My Morning Routine

Friday, August 18

Our move is in full swing now. My room is stuffed to the brim with boxes and we are in the midst of planning the road trip to Ontario! It's crazy to think that in two short weeks we will be packed and hitting the road! 

While this is a crazy and exciting time in our lives, it is also beyond stressful, unorganized, and generally, anxiety provoking. I am finding it difficult with all the sorting, packing, and storing to keep any sort of routines that I once had.  On top of that, once we move in, I will be starting a new degree at an unfamiliar university. Talk about stressful! 
To say that I am excited to move in to our new space and start back up with my familiar routines is an understatement! 

The morning routines I use have always been my favourite time of the day. Sure, it's nice to unwind at the end of a day, but how you begin the day can really set the pace for having an amazing, or terrible day. 

For as long as I can remember I have had two types of morning routines, and today I wanted to talk about each of them and how I plan to bring them back in to my life after my stressful move to Ontario! I will be starting school in September, and therefore these routines will help me prepare mentally for long days of learning!

Routine I: The Quiet, Internalizing Approach

My first type of morning route is the one that I find myself using the most often.
This routine involves grabbing some breakfast. My favourite (although not the most healthy) is to grab a banana, oat, and chocolate chip muffin (Noah's mum's recipe - they're the best!) and sit at the table enjoying it. I find this gives me the most relaxing morning and I am able to mentally prepare myself for the day. I can think of all the things that I need to do for the day, or assignments for the classes that I will have. Generally, it just gives me time to reflect, think, and prepare. I am looking forward to these mornings in the new space because we have a little bar area that separates our kitchen from our living room. When Noah and I first saw the place, that was what we were most excited about. We started looking for bar stools immediately, to find ones that we would both like. I have a feeling this will be a great space to take time for myself in the morning and reflect on things for the day to come. There is even enough space that I can bring out my planner and see what is on my to do list for the day, if I have assignments or readings that need to be done before class! Having that little time to myself really helps me prepare for the day. Generally I'm not one to like alone time, but I do really find it helpful in the morning.

Routine II: The Energizing, Externalizing Approach

This routine is one that I will do if I'm feeling a bit more energized when I wake up.  I may spend a bit more pamper time with this routine, spending some extra time on my hair, putting in more effort picking my outfit, making a big breakfast for myself and Noah, or maybe even spending some time applying a bit of make-up. Whatever it is that I'm putting the extra effort in, the main thing about this routine is music.  Whether it's coming quietly from my phone (if Noah is still sleeping), or connecting it to one of our bluetooth speakers,  music in the morning will get me up dancing, singing, and generally feeling good. Getting endorphins rushing in the morning can be great! It can help you feel more awake, happier, and generally can make the rest of the day a breeze! There are some days when I feel really crappy and the first routine just won't cut it. That is another time when I will put on some music and get ready for the day until I'm feeling better.  If you can't head out the door in a good mood, then it will really impact how the rest of your day is, and that can even rub off on others around you. 

Typically the routine that I chose will depend on how I am feeling when I wake up. If I am feeling refreshed and like I got a good amount of sleep, typically I'll go for routine II. If I didn't get a great sleep, I have something during the day that I find stressful, or I'm trying to be mindful that Noah is still sleeping, I will opt for routine I.

Either way, these routines have kept me going in the morning in the past, and I can't wait to use them again in our new place! They really help me mentally, and physically prepare myself for the day to come! 

What type of morning routine do you have?

Baby Soft Foot Peel Review

Thursday, July 27


I am trying to get back in to the swing of posting. It's been so long since I've been here, and I miss it dearly. Between working my butt off to save money, and packing for my move halfway across the country, I've not had much time to sit down and write. I'm hoping that now that work is winding down I'll have a bit more time to write! 

I tried a foot peel out at the end of June and planned to post a review of it. Time got the better of me, and here I am posting it in July! 

I'm sure you've seen the foot peel craze on the internet somewhere. If not, they are these plastic booties that you wear for an hour and the formula inside them make all the dead skin on your feet peel off in a few days. I love a good skin peel. When I was younger (and even now) I loved to peel the skin from a sunburn. I find it very satisfying. Needless to say, when I saw this time of product all over the internet, I knew I wanted to try it! 

Disclosure, there will be pictures of feet and peeling skin, so if those bother you, I'd avoid this post! 

I found this version at Sephora for $25.00. 

When you open the package all that is included is the plastic booties; the information is all included on the packaging. You are supposed to stick your feet in the booties, tape the tops closed, put on some socks, and wait for roughly 1 hour. (You can wait an hour and a half but I chose not too.) As you can see below, my sister and I have the booties on with some socks. 

The gel stuff inside smelled very fruity (I'm assuming thats from the fruit extracts) and was very slimy. It was the weirdest sensation putting your feet in a plastic bootie full of slime. 
Over the hour that I sat in the booties the gel got colder and colder, which wasn't uncomfortable, just odd. It didn't get tingly or irritated which was good, as I was worried the gel would irritate my sensitive skin!
Finally, after an hour of sitting in the booties the instructions say to wash the gel off your feet and the dead skin will begin peeling in 4-5 days. 

First of all, I knew going in to this that my feet wouldn't peel the first day that I wore the booties. However, this did not stop me from checking immediately after I removed the booties and washed my feet. There was nothing happening. It was a little disappointing since I had just invested the hour waiting for the gel to work its magic! 

The product was true to its word though, nothing starting happening until day 4. The toes and upper part of my foot began peeling but it was very minor. I was hoping for something much more significant. This is what it looked like on day 4.

By day 5 I was getting a little frustrated that nothing was happening. I hopped in the shower and hoped that maybe today would be the day that everything started happening. It was. 

After I got out of the shower I could feel the skin on my feet snagging at the towel when I went to dry my feet and when I went to put my clothes on. Another weird sensation but I was excited to take a look at my feet! This is what I saw when I looked on day 5: 

Most of my upper foot was peeling and finally the heel was starting to peel as well. That was a glorious day for peeling the dead skin off. 

Now my overall opinion of the product: 
I'm not sure if this is safe for your body. To have to wear booties for 1 hour with some gel formula to make the dead skin on your feet peel doesn't seem like the healthiest way to shed dead skin. 

I also wasn't as impressed with the amount of dead skin. I imagined that there would be more, and that it would happen faster. It may just be that I'm an impatient person, though.

Overall I enjoyed the process, but I would not purchase it again for $25.00. 

Would you ever purchase a foot peel?

Big Life Changes

Monday, May 29

Long time no see. 
I know it's been a while since I've made any effort to post anything but I think it's warranted. Let me fill you in: 

To start everything off, I am still working two jobs, which basically means I'm working full time. I have to travel an hour both to and from work four days of the week, two days car pooling and two days by myself, which means a lot of miles put onto my car. 
My car, a 2005 Chev, finally wouldn't make it back and forth to the city safely after months of travelling back and fourth. This meant it was time for a new car. 

Noah and I spent all of May trying to find a new car.  We test drove a few but non were exactly what we were looking for. We wanted a car that was newer than my 2005 but not brand new. We didn't want something that would break our bank accounts every month. After a month of looking, we finally settled on a 2012 Honda Civic. It's a lot nicer than our old car and it's a lot safer too. 

Then, the same day we finally got the car, I found out I was accepted to graduate school! 
I didn't really think that my application would go through this year. I had so many other friends get rejected the first time they applied  to their respective programs that I just expected to be rejected too.  I had already planned to re-apply in September. Turns out, that wouldn't be the case for me. 
This program is half way across Canada, so needless to say, we'll be moving in the near future. 
Naturally, my life is in a lot of upheaval right now. Between saving money, packing, and getting everything ready for the move I also need to get back in to the mindset of school. It's been a year since I was in university so I am a little out of touch with that mentality.

I'm not sure how consistently I'll be posting in the next little while. Summer is one of my favourite seasons to write but since I'll be moving I'm not sure how much time I'll have for leisurely posting. 
I'll try my best! 

Heres to exciting new adventures!  I hope to bring you along on the journey! 

Body Image | Facing Fears

Friday, April 7

I was never 100% comfortable in my own skin. I've gotten a lot better as I've gotten older, but it has taken time, patience, self reflection, and love.
Sure, there are things I wish I could change, and I am working on eating better and drinking more water, but changing a body that has had twenty three years to mould will take time.

My self confidence is another one of those things that is taking some time to improve. When I was younger I never complimented myself or my figure. I always could pick things about myself that I thought needed changing. Even now, I am trying to work away at getting a slimmer tummy area.

We have these beauty standards that are all around us, and while I'm trying to work on loving myself regardless of beauty standard, it's a difficult road to walk.

I was recently inspired by Dia&Co, who are working on getting women to face their fashion fears. This is an issue that I really wanted to get involved with, as it not only impacts me daily, but many other women throughout the world.
Now Dia&Co are a subscription in the US for plus sized ladies. They have some beautiful stuff and I can't wait until they ship to Canada so that I can put an order in! They are trying to get women to have more confidence in things that they want to wear - to not be scared of a style or colour that others might think detracts from their inner beauty. I for one, am all for this movement! 

For this post I did something that I don't normally do - I went into a store and picked clothes to try on that I normally would never bring into a fitting room with me.

I picked things that I didn't think would suit my body type, or things I didn't think would look right on me. I tried each piece on, and snapped a dressing room photo. To top that off, I didn't edit the photos any for this post. There is something liberating about not worrying about fixing things in photos. 

For starters, here is what I walked in wearing - Dark jeans, top and cardigan: 

Then I tried on a cat print t-shirt. Normally I love cat print clothing items, but I find that I don't wear them unless I am at home, because usually the print is tacky. I picked this to try on specifically because I knew it was a tacky print. 

Next up to try on, a bright yellow blouse. Now the reason that I picked this shirt to try on was for the elastic band on the bottom of the shirt. I am in love with the colour, but usually tops with that elastic band on the bottom detract my attention, simply because they look odd on my stomach. I don't find they fit very well and are very unflattering. Regardless, I picked it up to try on, partially for the colour (which is one of my favourite colours) but also because I knew I would normally put this back on the rack. 

I've heard from many sources that horizontal stripes are not good for people with larger bodies. So naturally I picked up one to try on. I loved that the top was different. Normally I wouldn't even look twice at this item on a rack, but when I put it on I actually really liked it!

Ahh, Shorts. It has taken me a long time to come across a pair of shorts that I don't hate. These are not that pair. I don't own many shorts for a couple reasons: 1) I'm picky about their fit, length, and quality and 2) I just don't find them flattering on my body.
Nonetheless, I picked a pair to try on. I didn't like them, but at least I tried. 

They just make my behind look so odd and frumpy. It will be a glorious day when I find nice shorts. 

To keep up with the horizontal stripes, I picked up a tee fabric dress. I liked the colour, although I picked it because I felt like it would wash all the colour off of me. Once it was on, I also noticed that it was not flattering in my tummy area at all. However, I liked the colour, and it was very comfortable. 

Another of the same type of dress, with a little more flow. This was a piece that I really liked. White is another colour that makes me look paler than I already am (it is possible, somehow). 

I have always wanted a romper. I have yet to find one suitable for me, but I tried this one on anyway. I loved the bow in the front, but I always find that they fit my waist and leg area funny. I usually disregard rompers when looking through racks because I just assume they will all fit the exact same way. 

And finally, I tried on a piece that had a print that I did not like, and a style that I did not understand on the rack. It did not fit and made me very uncomfortable. I really liked the colours, which was why I picked it up. I was feeling bold and adventurous when I picked it up. Trying it on was an experience, but I will gladly say that I was not a fan of this choice. 

I came to the conclusion that sometimes it is hard to change your thinking, but it is possible. I went into the store thinking that this would be awful, and that I would be discouraged by trying on things that I already didn't think would work on my body, but in the end I actually enjoyed the process, and found some things that I really liked! 

I am a strong believer in doing what makes you happy, and I think that also extends to wearing what makes you happy. If you enjoy wearing high heels, then hats off to you - wear them with pride! If you like matching bright prints with black and white stripes, be my guest! Put things on your body that make you happy, because at the end of the day, it is your body no one else's. You've only got one, so try to be happy that you are able to wear things that you enjoy!

Interview Questions for Graduate Studies

Friday, March 24

Job interviews can be very scary, so naturally an interview for your graduate studies application is down right terrifying. I'm hoping that I'll be hearing back soon that I have been selected to attend an interview for my master's application. (fingers crossed!) 
I thought that I would do some research and figure out some things to be aware of for graduate studies interviews, in case I get a chance to attend one!

Some things to consider:
- These are things I've read regarding Psychology interviews, but I'm sure they can be modified to fit other programs or even job interviews.
- I am not an interviewer, therefore I cannot confirm 100% that these are what someone will ask you, or what you should ask the interviewer. These are just things that I found that I thought might be helpful. 
- I am seriously considering using all of the things I will include in this post.

Things you could be asked in a Psychology Master's interview:
- Your goals, and experiences that have prepared you for the program you're applying to
- Factors that have drawn you to their particular program and school
- Ethical dilemmas/difficult decisions that you will have to solve (There might not be a right answer either; they will be looking at your thought process, and ability to see many aspects of a problem)

Things you should ask in a Psychology Master's interview:
- If you complete this degree/program, what additional steps will you need to complete to become a licensed practitioner?
- What support is available for helping you find a practicum/internship placement (if applicable)?
- How will this program prepare you for a PhD program, should you decide to pursue one?
- Ask your potential supervisor about their mentoring style and how often they meet with their students

Some other tips I have read: 
- Turn your interview in to a discussion: about about research you've done and ask about their research. Talk about the aspects you're interested in and ask questions about the things you are unsure of
- It might be a good idea to look at recent articles from the staff at the university of the interview if you do not have a general idea of the topic you want to research while there, or do not have any supervisors lined up
- After the interview has been completed, send a thank you email. This shows gratitude. I have read that you can inquire about when it is expected to hear back about acceptances but make a point not to pester! 

There are lots of resources online to help you prepare for an academic interview or a prospective job interview. Hopefully some of these will help you if you're asked to attend an interview!