Optimum Points Redemption Haul Again

It’s been a while since I last redeemed my Optimum Points. It’s funny to think that only a couple of years ago, I got super excited because I’d finally hit the top tier for the first time ever.  Since then, I’ve hit that level several more times.  It’s that Optimum app, I tell you!  😀  This points redemption event is a bit bittersweet because the Optimum Points program as it exists now will be gone by next February (read more about it over at fivezero’s blog).  I wonder if there will be another redemption event before then. I wasn’t going to take a chance though, so I depleted most of my points at this event. I got:

I should mention that I went to Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) after I’d had a couple glasses of wine so some of my choices weren’t the most sound. o_O

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Black Friday Fashion Hauling Fall / Winter 2017

The majority of this was purchased on Black Friday but I did buy a purse in early November. I’ve been wanting a larger purse for Fall but I have a very specific list of features that I want in a purse:

• Zipper closure
• No magnets at all
• Convertible / adjustable strap
• Flat, not rolled, strap
• Large enough to hold a notebook
• Leather (does not need to be black)
• Work appropriate

I had my work cut out for me! After consulting friends, visiting stores, and online research, I landed on a satchel style from Fossil, called Sydney Satchel:

I toyed with getting the red colour…

Fossil offer many different satchel styles (I debated between Rachel, Fiona, Kendall, Emma as well) but the Sydney Satchel checked all the boxes for me. And of course, wouldn’t you know it: this style was only available online (but on sale! And according to online sources, it’s discontinued) so I took a chance and ordered from the US site – this added to the cost with shipping and import duties, and I ended up paying C$215 in total.

My actual Sydney Satchel. ❤

After receiving the purse, the only feature I didn’t love was the adjustable strap – it’s notched / buckle rather than a sliding mechanism, which means 1) the notches never adjust short enough for me 2) I’m left with a long tail at the shortest setting. Plus, I wanted the sliding buckle so that I can make the strap shoulder length or crossbody – so the hunt was on for an “after market” replacement strap. Most of the straps I could find were either synthetic, very rustic handmade looking, or overpriced ($50+ for a strap, are you kidding me?) – I finally landed on one from this seller on eBay and it’s fantastic! I chose the 1″ width strap, here’s what it looks like compared to the original one:

Original Fossil strap on the left, the replacement on the right. In the photo of my actual purse above, the strap shown is the replacement one, with the length adjusted to shoulder length.

My budget for the purse was $500 so I was happy to come well below it! The rest of my haul are clothes…

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Black Friday Haul 2017

I succumbed to beauty deals on Black Friday, after all. I didn’t go into Black Friday with any plans (I had taken the day off work) and wasn’t particularly keen on any of the previewed deals shown online. I woke up super early and arrived at the mall even before 7am – I was surprised that there were quite a few shoppers at the mall this year compared to last year. I keep hearing about the death of bricks and mortar stores, in addition to the decline in the enthusiasm for Black Friday sales. But based on my non-scientific observations, it was busier, especially so early in the morning.  Here’s what I hauled:

I’m pleased to say that the majority of the items are for replenishment purposes. Of course, some were absolute impulse buys. 😉

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Sephora VIB Sale Fall 2017 Haul

Finally, I’m posting about my Sephora VIB sale haul! I had early access so I was able to start hauling on Nov 3rd. After the first window of shopping, this is what I ordered:

As mentioned in my shopping list post, I really did not need many things. The ONE item that I really wanted, the Surratt Beauty Artistique Cheek Brush, became out of stock right when the sale started on the Friday!!! I was so annoyed! 😡

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Trash Stash: August to October-ish 2017: Part 2 (Body and Hair Care, Makeup)

Here’s the 2nd part of my slacker Trash Stash:

Bath products are fun to photograph since they’re more colourful. 🙂

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Trash Stash: August to October-ish 2017: Part 1 (Skincare and Sample / Travel Sizes)

You guys, I have 3 months’ worth of Trash Stash to share with you! I wanted to post this last week but we were in the middle of refurnishing our place and we didn’t even have dinning room table / chairs or a couch. But there’s no excuse that I left this for 3 months… I have no one to blame but myself! 😳

I didn’t even bother trying to fit everything in this shot. 😛

I understand if you may want to go for a coffee break while reading this post. I’d just be happy if you read the beginning and the ending like I used to do with each chapter of Harlequin Romance novels! 😉 I’ve broken my Trash Stash into 2 posts to reduce the length – here goes:

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Sephora VIB Rouge Sale Shopping List Fall 2017 Edition

Hey! I’m back. 🙂 Just in time for the Sephora sale. In a way, this is a bit of a cheat post since it was much easier to prepare than a review – ease my way back into blogging, right? 😉 If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I was on vacation for a portion of my time away from the blog. Here are some more of what I did in the past month:

• Visited some cities in Alberta (Calgary, Banff / Canmore, Jasper and Edmonton) – the Canadian Rockies are truly incredible and I highly a recommend visit! ❤

• Attended my first “by invite only” L’Oreal warehouse sale – don’t get excited, since I was on a No-Buy I didn’t get makeup, but my friend went nuts for the $1 nail polishes. I got several bars of Kiehl’s Coriander exfoliating soaps which were limited edition from Christmas – yay! (Kiehl’s Coriander is one of my all time favourite scents)  The most interesting part of attending the sale was seeing all of the brands that L’Oreal owns (besides L’Oreal): Maybelline, Essie, NYX, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, Urban Decay, YSL, Givenchy…

• Went to Canada’s Wonderland (amusement park) to ride the roller coasters – our favourite rides were Leviathan and Behemoth. Fall is the perfect time to visit since it wasn’t too hot and the line-ups weren’t long.

• Donated blood – it’s been years since I last donated because I almost fainted the last time. This time, everything went smoothly, although I did develop a large bruise that’s the width of my arm afterward. :/

• Cleared out old mementos, photos, clothes – just stuff – from our storage locker – there were some hilarious gems… ah memories 😀  We’re doing some significant refurnishing soon so we need to make room – new couch, dining room table / chairs, shelves for the spare bedroom, etc.

Finally finished the entire series of the Sopranos. It took us about 10 months to get through all 6 seasons (more like 7 seasons since season 6 was split into part 1 and 2). I’m not a fan of this show – I did not like the characters and the story line was only mildly interesting. I was so happy to be done with this show. Guess what? Now we can order Netflix! 😀 😀 😀

It feels great to be typing up a blog post again. At this point, I can’t promise that I’ll be posting as frequently as I was previously, but I’ll try my best! 🙂

Onward to the Sephora VIB Fall sale!

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Taking a Break

Image source.

Happy first day of Fall / Autumn! 🍁🍂🍃 It’s been unseasonably warm here (weekend high is 32ºC / 90ºF) so it doesn’t feel like Fall / Autumn at all.  What’s the weather like where you are?

I didn’t think I’d be announcing another break so soon but lately I’ve been unmotivated to blog.  I also feel guilty about not blogging. My post frequency has diminished recently and it’s due to several factors: more social activities, starting a new job, and generally being less interested in beauty stuff.  Wait, what? Not interested in makeup?!! 😮 I know, it’s strange to type that out, but I just have nothing to contribute relating to beauty stuff right now. 😳 Maybe it’s a phase and I’ll get back into it, who knows – has this happen to any of you?  I decided instead of feeling obligated, I’m going to give myself permission to take a break.  I do still enjoy reading and commenting on your posts, but I won’t be contributing to my blog for at least a month to gauge how I feel after that.  Thanks for your understanding! 🙂

China Glaze Shades of Nude Collection

It’s been a while since I’ve done a nail post! Today I’m showcasing a collection that was released for Spring this year, but I personally think a good nude collection is season-less. 😀 I’ve got 3 of the China Glaze Shades of Nude Collection to show:

• Minimalist Momma (sand beige creme)
• Fresher Than My Clique (mushroom taupe creme)
• Kill The Lights (deep mauve creme)

I received these China Glaze polishes from Nail Polish Canada (NPC) to review.

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June and July 2017 No-Buy-Low-Buy Accountability

I hadn’t planned on being MIA last week but it was my final week at my old job and it was so busy!  I ended up having a lot of social engagements last week (goodbyes) – being out every night makes it difficult to blog!  Things likely won’t settle down until after Labour Day weekend…

This post is a combined June and July accountability (I know, I’m so late with this!)  June was a No-Buy month whereas July is a Low-Buy month.  My budget for July was originally $200 but since I slightly overspent back in April, I had to subtract off $1.70 from my budget, leaving me with $198.30 to play with.

I was able to stretch my budget by supplementing with gift cards – plus, I received some birthday presents! 😀

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