THE AUGUST PLAYLIST

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I'm clearly very late to posting this as we are well on our way out of August, but this is a taste of what has been on replay for me this month. I'm conflicted as to whether I will continue to use Rdio or Spotify, but am leaning towards Rdio so here it is on that platform. Enjoy.

The August Playlist can be found on Rdio.

ANASTASIA BROW: WHIZ VS. DIPBROW

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The one thing that I won't leave the house without fixing up are my brows. Without a little tending to, they are quite sparse and frankly don't do me any favors. I've tried my fair share of brow products, but at the end of the day Anastasia Beverly Hills reigns supreme. However, being a student means that I don't have a whole lot of disposable income, and with such a hefty price tag, these products can seem a bit unreasonable. I was going through my Brow Whiz like CRAZY and eventually decided to try Dip Brow with the thought that it would last much longer. I'd seen some great tutorials on YouTube of ladies who could get that gorgeous sort of faded out brow using the product, but unfortunately with my lack of expertise and patience I could never achieve the look. It takes a steady hand and a lot more than the minute that I have in the AM to get that perfect Dip Brow'ed brow down, and for the essence of time, Brow Whiz is currently the one for me.

Dip Brow
Pros: Lasts a really long time
Cons: Takes longer to apply to achieve a great looking brow

Brow Whiz
Pros: Precise, easy to apply
Cons: Price

FITNESS UPDATE

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Left - February 2015 // Right - July 2015

The boyfriend and I have a trip to Mexico planned for the end of August, and the prospect of having some time off is terribly exciting, especially since it means beaches and pina coladas. Of course, what it also means is laying out in a bikini for seven days, which like the average twenty-something brings a lot of horror in it's own regard.

Not that I have been lazy per se, but perhaps a bit more inactive since starting my new job. Excuses, excuses, but I find it really hard to get myself to the gym in the afternoon after work. I am definitely a morning exerciser, but I'm trying to make it work. I've given myself eight weeks to get myself back into tip-top shape, or at least back to my post-BBG bod. We are at six weeks out now, and I thought I'd start to give weekly updates as to where I'm at and what I'm doing to hold me accountable.

Workouts: I have a four day split going on right now that I'll likely keep up with for the duration of the next six weeks. Day 1: Legs and glutes; Day 2: Shoulders, Triceps, Abs; Day 3: Chest, Biceps, Abs; Day 4: Back and Abs. I am doing thirty minutes of LISS three days a week and one HIIT session.

Eating: I'm still following IIFYM style eating on a high protein diet. 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. I eat clean for all except one or two cheat meals a week. I like dining at great restaurants, and I'm not about to give that up just yet.

I am slowly but surely learning that you have to trust the process with fitness and getting the physique that you want. It is very easy to compare yourself to others and question why your progress isn't quite there yet, but progress pictures really are the best indication of how far you've come.

SUMMER BUCKET LIST 2015

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Initially setting up our terrace garden plot back in June.

Has anyone else noticed that the summer is flying by?

It has been a very different experience working a 'real' job this summer – my first, in fact. Summers past I’ve been working, but only in a part-time capacity in a very entry level, front line position. I have been doing my summer internship as part of my degree and as I said, the office life is a very different experience than I am used to.

My plans for the summer have gone mostly uncompleted thus far. Little goals like reading more books and making the most of my weekends have ultimately not happened, and I’d really like to change that with the two months that remain before I got back to school in the fall. With that in mind, I’ve written up a little summer bucket list that I’d like to share.

SUMMER BUCKET LIST 2015

Spend a weekend in Canmore.
Grow vegetables.
Make salted honey pie.
Learn how to use my camera.
Host a dinner party.
Read five books.
Make pina coladas.
Go camping.
Get that bikini body.
Have one vegetarian meal per week.
Perfect a capsule wardrobe.
Go to Mexico.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

SUN SAFETY

Sun Safety
It finally feels like summer is approaching in Calgary. We've had more than a few +20C days this past week, and it's no surprise that downtown is littered with people enjoying the beautiful days. My boyfriend and I were joking that summer in Calgary is so lovely, but you have to really appreciate those slight summer days to get through the seven months of winter. And we do. One of the great joys of living downtown is the amount of life that is ejected into the city down here. There are people. In my experience, you just don't see this many people out enjoying the weather, the city. We spent the better part of the weekend down at Prince's Island Park grabbing iced coffees and hanging out. Since we both spend the better part of our weekdays in an office, it's especially important to us to get out on the weekends.

Of course, being out in the sunshine for any extended period of time means that we must make sure to protect ourselves from the sun. June 1 to 7th is Sun Awareness Week and I was inspired by Oscar, a health insurance company in New Jersey and New York, to share some tips on Sun Safety. I have never been much of a tanner, partly because I don't do well in the heat, and partly because trying to match makeup when you have a tan is way too much of an inconvenience for me to bother (all of the important reasons, I know). Despite my somewhat ridiculous reasons for avoiding the sun, there were a few brief summers where you could find me perched on my back porch on a lawn chair slathered up in dark tanning oil. Not long after that, my mother had a stint with skin cancer, and since then we've all been a lot more cautious about protecting ourselves.

My big thing is of course, sunscreen. I apply first thing ever morning after using my Origins GinZing moisturizer. Right now, I'm using La Roche Posay Anthelios Lightweight Lotion SPF 30, which is great because it really is lightweight and can handle having makeup put overtop of it without looking heavy or greasy. I have heard really great things about Kiehl's sunscreens, so that will be my next venture. After applying sunscreen on my face, I follow up with my tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. I love this product because it offers just enough coverage to even out my skin tone, but is by no means heavy. On days when I'm out in the sun, I make sure to apply sunscreen to my body, and it's especially important to reapply if you're outside for long periods of time. Finally, I find that my scalp is very susceptible to burning, so a hat is a must. I've picked up a few good options from Aritzia and Urban Outfitters over the years.

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