Last day of my 2015 No-Buy!

Phew! Time to do a jig!
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I can’t believe I lasted this long!  As much as the New Year is the time to make resolutions and start something new, in hindsight, I think starting a No-Buy is really difficult during January clearance sales! 😛

Lessons learned:
• Shopping my stash is enjoyable
• I have a LOT of makeup
• It gets easier as the time passes (ie. practice not shopping)
• Purging / de-stashing is good for the soul
• There are loopholes 😉

If you want to revisit some of my trials and tribulations during my 2015 No-Buy, check out these posts:

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Beauty Blender Battle

[I’ve had this post in draft mode for ages!  Random timing to post this but no time like the present!]

The Beauty Blender needs no introduction.  These hot pink egg shaped sponges cost a whopping $26 each and have spawned a slew of BB-like sponges.  So is a $26 sponge 26x better than a $1 one?

For years, I refused to succumb to the Beauty Blender.  I resisted and bought the dupes to satisfy my Beauty Blender curiosity.  I simply could NOT justify paying $26 for a flimsy little egg shaped piece of foam.  So I bought some off ebay, and a few from drugstores before I finally decided to get the real thing during the Spring 2013 VIB sale.  I’ve been using my stash of makeup sponges for a while now.  Let’s have a look at how they stack up the the original Beauty Blender:
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L to R [These are arranged from the most airy / porous (L) to the most dense / heavy (R)]:
Beauty Blender (hot pink) – $26 [note: I paid $26 for mine but I see that it’s now $28 – damn that exchange rate!] (Sephora)
MAC Pro Performance Sponge (orange) – $24 (MAC)
Quo Blending Sponge (purple) – $5 (Shoppers Drug Mart)
Sephora Airbrush Sponge mini (teal) – $12 for 2 [bought this during Black Friday sale 2014] (Sephora)
• Blending sponge from eBay (black) – $1 (shipped from China)
Kit Super Blenders (mint) – $12 for 3 (Rexall)

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What I got for Christmas 2015

It’s fun to give and receive for gifts for Christmas! As I mentioned during blogmas, we’re pretty low-key for Christmas which also applies to gifts. I gave my SO coins from the Mint, a cookbook, a top from Roots (no socks! 😉 ), a wooden utensil set from William Sonoma, and other kitchen gadgets.  We gave his family clothes, candles, hand creams, chocolate / cookies / nuts (thank goodness for Hickory Farms!), and of course, alcohol. 😛

And here’s what I received for Christmas (thank you again for these gifts!) – sorry for all the stock photos, post-holiday laziness, ya know:
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Formula X The Two in Iconic and Legend
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Tocca Beauty Piccolo Tresoro Giulietta Body Scrub, Eau de Parfum, Hand Cream Set
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Tarte Fanciful Favorites Deluxe Discovery Set
(my MIL / SIL definitely hit up the Sephora Black Friday sale! 😉 )
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Pear pancakes with blueberry sauce

During blogmas, I mentioned that we have pear pancakes with blueberry sauce for Christmas breakfast.  I received a lot of questions about them, so I thought I’d find out for you what the recipe is!  It turns out it wasn’t a standard recipe found online – it was one that my MIL cobbled together.  And it’s really simple:

Pear Pancake

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 pear, peeled and coursely grated (Bosc is a good variety)

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Happy Boxing Day!

Today is Boxing Day in Canada, which is our version of “Black Friday”.  We get this day off work as a holiday too (I only recently found out that this is not the case in other countries!).  Since Boxing Day falls on a Saturday this year, we get this coming Monday off instead – I also took Tuesday off since I have some leftover vacation days.  This means… extra long weekend and SHOPPING! 😀
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Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to say Best wishes for the Merriest Christmas today!

I hope your day brings you happiness and peace. 🙂
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I also want to thank my fellow Babes in Blogland for such a fun collaboration for the past 25 days! Go wish them all a Merry Christmas:
♥  Ingrid of Curly.Spring.Blossom
♥  Kaily of Hello Kaily
♥  Sharon of Sharon Beauty Prime
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Blogmas Day 24: Who would you kiss under the mistletoe?

It’s finally Christmas Eve! 😀

Today is the final collab Blogmas topic, and again, we have Kaily to thank for this one:

If you could be under a mistletoe with anyone who would it be? [and you can’t say your SO]

Well, ok then! 😉

Instead of listing hunky Hollywood men, I’m going to do something different (would you expect anything less from me?) – I’ll list some lady crushes of mine.  For some reason all of my recent girl crushes have been from spy films released this past year – here goes:

Alicia Vikander
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She appeared in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and at the time the only thing I knew about her was that she was dating Michael Fassbender (they’ve since broken up). She is currently starring in The Danish Girl, and she just received TWO Golden Globe nominations. One of the things I like about her is her voice – it’s so sultry.
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I had to find a still from the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that included Henry Cavill, because… hello nurse! 😛

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Blogmas Day 23: Gifts to myself – Sephora VIB 500 pt perks

I’m a hoarder of Sephora points. Their 100 pt perks are often laughable, and even their 500 pt perks are often not worth it. But recently I came across two 500 pt perks that I felt were worthwhile to finally redeem my points for:
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Urban Decay Urban Vices, and Josie Maran Josie’s Best and Brightest Argan Oil Essentials. I redeemed for the UD during the VIB 20% off sale, and the Josie Maran was during the VIB coupon sale.

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Blogmas Day 22: Favourite past Christmas gifts

This is the tale of the gift exchange between my SO and I, for our first Christmas together. 🙂

We started dating in September, so that official first Christmas doesn’t count since we’d only known each other for 4 months (I think that year I gave him a card and that’s it).  Fast forwarded to the following Christmas, we had been together for just over a year, we were in a committed relationship but not serious serious, ya know?  So we set a dollar limit to exchange gifts – $100 each.  Sounds fair.  So I set out to buy a bunch of smaller presents for him that seemed practical.  I knew that he liked long sleeve t-shirts so I went to Roots and the Gap and got him a few of those:
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(not the exact ones I got him, but very similar)

And at Roots they had these really nice thick sports socks that were the perfect length (he’s picky when it comes to sports socks and doesn’t like the really tall ones or the ankle style):
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(again, not the exact ones – and they weren’t cheap either – around $20 for the pack of 3 pairs)

The total was just slightly over $100 and I was proud of myself for stretching the dollar limit to the max. 🙂

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Christmas Swap with Stash Matters

I received a delivery notice – it could be her parcel to me arriving. Just in time for Christmas! 🙂