My End of Year Favourites – Advent Calendars, iPhone Bling and Living in the Moment.

What a year!  Happy 2019 everyone. Today, January 1st is a quiet day; Partially cloudy, the sun casting a pale white light from the SouthWest.  We slept in,  walked over to our local brunch spot and spent the afternoon lazing around, finishing off the last of our Christmas chocolate.  I feel like my entire body has relaxed, my breathing is deep, effortless. A new day. A new year.

Not one to make unattainable resolutions; I think I’ll just continue to focus on the things I enjoy:  My Herbal studies, Yoga, Meditation, Spending as much time connecting with Nature, Witchcraft and loved ones.

These are the things I enjoyed throughout November and December.

Amazon Prime Wardrobe

Amazon launched Prime Wardrobe earlier in the summer.  With your Prime subscription,  you can now shop online, order up to 8 items of clothing and once received, you have 7 days to try your pieces on and decide which you’ll keep or which you’ll return all without having to pay a cent until you choose what you will be keeping.  I love this option because as an online shopper myself,  there’s nothing worse than having bought an item that doesn’t fit then having to pay for return shipping. With the case of Asos.com to whom I’ve been a loyal customer for many years, my last order came with a hefty import charge. Luckily everything I ordered fit because after taxes, shipping and import, I’d already paid more than what the item was worth.

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Beauty Advent Calendars

If you’re watching your waistline or like me, know that your stocking will be filled with chocolate regardless, these adult version advent calendars give you all the excitement of opening a surprise gift every day and are zero calories.  In September for my bridal shower, my sister in law gave me the L’occitane en Provence beauty calendar. Then I used a gift certificate to purchase the ArtDeco beauty calendar.  I felt like a kid every morning in December, running over to my study to see what treasures were in my calendar for the day; body lotions, lipsticks, bath fizzies, eye shadows.  I’m now a loyal follower of ArtDeco Cosmetics and am very impressed by the quality of the full sized products I received.

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Origins Salt Suds Shower Gel

This shower gel smells really minty without the cooling effect many products with menthol give you.  Origins Salt Suds is infused with essential oils of Rosemary and Spearmint and as soon as I open the cap during my morning shower, the fresh minty scent hits my brain and I feel awake and energized.  Sold at Shoppers Drugmart Beauty Boutique and online.

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Lise Watier Trio (Cleansers and Toner )

This Holiday Season, Lise Watier launched a box set including an oil based face cleanser, perfect for melting hard to remove makeup (like mascara), a foaming cleanser (double cleansing is the way to amazing skin) and a rose scented gel toner.  I’ve been using them for 2 months now. I keep the cleansers in the shower where I like to remove my makeup before bed.  They smell amazing and leave my skin squeaky clean without over drying.

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Crystal Phone Case

I came home one day after work to a brand new iPhone 8 from my husband.  I’ve never wanted a cel phone and have gotten on perfectly well without one during my 43 years but I will admit, there have been a few occasions where I needed to find an address or make a call and have been caught without a phone.  Because I’m not used to having a phone, it spent the first 2 months sitting on the nightstand charging. I couldn’t remember to bring it with me.  After thinking of how to get used to using it and carrying it, I thought:  A beautifully sparkly case is the only way!  so I went to my local shops and came home very disappointed with my options. So I googled “blinged out crystal phone cases” and found Lux Addiction.  They get me.  All their custom made cases are encrusted with gorgeous crystals in every colour imaginable.  They’ll put your name on it, they’ll cover it in hello kitty, sparkly cupcakes, you name it, they’ll do it.  I stuck to a “classic” crystal case that changes colour when you move it around in the light.  No matter what your heart desires however, each case is $65. Now I never forget my phone.  It’s so pretty!

https://www.luxaddiction.com/

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Christmas Books

I love collecting Christmas books and pull them out each year and on to the coffee table on December 1st.  Some are story books, others filled with festive recipes, many of which I’ve tried and A very New York Christmas; each page featuring a Christmas ornament hand painted by artist Michael Storrings and sold every year at major department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Saks 5th Avenue.  For my birthday this year I received The Christmas Wish, a book I’ve had on my Amazon wish list for 2 years.  The book is written by Lori Evert.  Her daughter Anja stars as the main character with adorably photoshopped pictures of her adventures in the cold north as she pursues her dream of becoming one of Santa’s elves.

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Eckhart Tolle – Living In The Moment

As someone who has struggled with anxiety most of my life, laying awake at night for hours trying to shut my brain off is nothing new.  This is why my daily meditation practice is so important.  It brings me back to the present moment, focusing only on where I am, what I see around me, what I hear and observing my breath: in and out. If you find yourself dwelling on the past or fearful of what might happen in an uncontrollable future you will benefit greatly from Eckhart Tolle’s teaching and living in the moment.  If you haven’t read The Power of Now then listen to his chats on youtube.  This is something I do when I find my poor brain reeling.  His voice is so slow and soothing too, you’ll feel relaxed and centred in no time.

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