Best Sephora Collection Holiday Picks Under $50

A Christmas gift from Sephora is a must. If you're on a budget Sephora collection is an awesome option. I religiously buy their eyeliner, lip glosses and make up brushes. The holiday's is a great way to try out their items. You can get affordable sets which you can gift or keep for yourself! Check out my gift guide to see a few amazing Sephora Collection items under $50.


buybuy BABY: Breast Pumping Essentials

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY. All opinions here are my own.
Making the decision to incorporate pumping into your daily life is a tricky one. I applaud moms who are exclusive pumpers. Which means that they pump around six-eight times a day. I pump about four times a day (on a good day) and I feel like I am tied to my machine...but I will do anything for my little baby.

If you're a first time mom and interesting in pumping essentials- you have found the right post!

All of these products can be found at buybuy Baby. If you have any questions: One of their staff members can explain each product to you. They can also let you know what would work for your unique lifestyle before you have your baby. You can even put it on your registry!


Quick and Easy Mom Last Minute Gift Guide

As a new mom, when you ask me "What I want for Christmas?" my answer will always be... "Don’t buy me anything! Just get gifts for the baby." Honesty, It’s more important that she’s good. I can always come second or even third. If you have someone in your life who is like me- it might be hard to find a gift for them that would work into their lifestyle. I am sharing three items that will be perfect for any new mom.

HAIR
I got rid of all of my flat irons. Either they were too old or didn't heat up quick enough. Back when I was pregnant I was gifted with a Conair Infiniti pro 3Q styling tool ($109.99 CAN). I seen it at Bed Bath & Beyond. I'm happy to stay that it has totally satisfied my hair needs. I'm currently protective styling with extensions because of the holidays. 



Diono Radian 3 RXT Car Seat

Safety is number one when it comes to choosing a car seat. When I was pregnant, my husband and I always decided that we would get two car seats. One for his car because he will be driving the most. The second car seat would be for my car or a family member (if they were helping out with the baby). 

A few factors go into choosing a car seat.


First thing is
Longevity:
We were looking for something that is going to last a long time. We have a very tall baby- so anything that is going to honestly take her from infant to onwards is ideal.

Design:
There are some awesome designs out there but wanted something that was black and sleek.

Safe:
This is number one! We wanted something that is sturdy and long lasting. Also because she’s so tiny right now- she needs comfort but style.


I was lucky that I was able to try the new Diono radian 3 RXT ($399.99 CAN).

Five Tips to consider when visiting a new baby

Around this time is when germs are around the most. People are battling colds, flus, fevers and God knows what else. There is a lot to consider before you make the trip out to see your good friend or family member.  Here are five tips to consider when visiting a new baby.

If u have a tickle in your throat.. Don't come
I don’t even care if it’s allergies... Don’t come. If it’s going to make you have to explain yourself to the mother/father- it totally isn’t worth it. What if that tickle isn’t from allergies and it's actually the beginning of a cold. Just reschedule when you feel better.

First Time Mom Must Haves- Third Month

Hello everyone!
We're back with another update. I’m gonna start doing these monthly. 
Hopefully, I can keep up until 12 months!

Ava Rose turned three months on October 23. The most noticeable change is that she loves playing with her hands. From the earlier months, she loved hitting things like toys. Now she’s grabbing them and inspecting them. It's really cute! Also she’s in screaming stage. Which is funny because she only yells when she’s home. Usually when she’s outside she doesn’t really make any noise (AT ALL). Overall, still a very well behaved baby who sleeps through the night.

Meaning that this Toronto mom gets some sleep at night now!
Wooooo!

Now onto the products which have made my 2 -3 month transition easy.

I know how I have shared this on Instagram a while back but baskets are everything! 
I have a basket for everything relevant. 
Basket A is for clothes that are her under shirts, plush toys and bibs. 
Basket B is for her bows, clips and socks. 
Baskets C has her washcloths, burp cloths and more socks!

Postpartum acne is REAL!

I’m not sure how this post will be received but I know there will be one person out there who would/will identify. Let’s talk skin! One thing that isn’t spoken about enough is... Postpartum acne. 
I didn’t even know it was a thing until I researched it.

buybuy BABY: Fall/Winter essentials for your baby

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY. All opinions here are my own.

This is my first fall/winter with my new baby and I’ve done so much research to get both of us ready. Keyword: US. As adults, we can put on several layers of clothes and have the ability to take them off throughout the day (depending on how hot we get). Obviously, babies don’t have the same opportunity because they can’t regulate their own body. We constantly have to keep checking their heads, hands and arms for clues on how they’re feeling. Here are some tips and tricks that I have researched and learned to get your baby throughout the fall/winter season.

First Time Mom Must Haves- Second Month

I made it! I have a 8 week old baby girl. 
I'm so grateful that I was able to get EVERYTHING I needed for her before she arrived. 
There a few products that honestly have gotten me through the month. 
Truthfully- I don't know how I would have done it without these products!

Skin Care
When I was in hospital, it was really important for me to use my own skin care products on baby girl. Especially in the early days. I did a lot of research and ending up picking: Live Clean Baby! 


It’s vegan and super gentle on her skin. I have/tried almost everything from the line. I’d recommend trying their travel size kit. It was perfect for my hospital visit. My favourite product? The Non- Petroleum Jelly! I need a massive tub of that for Ava Rose!

UPDATE: She's here + Best advice for surviving your first month of motherhood

She’s here! I’m so excited! She’s absolutely beautiful! Everything I could’ve ever wanted and more. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to talk about my birth story. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to go. But there are more things to celebrate....Like a healthy happy and beautiful baby girl. One that smiles and kicks every morning. Ugh she’s so perfect!

One thing I will tell you if you are having your first child is that a STRONG support system is very important. In the delivery room, I was able to have my mom and my husband for moral support. ***I know some hospitals do not allow you to have more than one support person*... but if you can add people who will encourage and help you make decisions- I would do it. Now after it’s all said and done- it’s really important to lineup the proper AFTERCARE for at least a month. 

buybuy BABY: HALO Bassinest for Newborns

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY. All opinions here are my own.

As a new mom, the decision of where your baby should sleep is one of the most important ones. There are a lot of options out there! 
  • Do you want to put the baby in the crib?
  • A bassinet?
  • Or do you want to co-sleep?
Honestly researching all of them can make you go crazy! 
They all have their pros and cons.

When researching I had to think about what I wanted:
  • I wanted her close to me.
  • In her own space (but within fingers reach).
  • Something mobile! Whatever it might be -to be able to move to the other side of the bed (In case I want to put my husband on baby duty).

Currently Obsessed: Maybelline New York TattooStudio™ Waterproof Eyebrow Gel



It’s been a while since I posted a currently obsessed product! During my pregnancy, I used very few products. Girl... but the ones that I used- I loved! I literally ran them into the ground. I need to stock up ASAP.

At the moment, I don’t really wear a lot of make up. Newborn life has taken over (there will be an update on that soon).... but one of the number one things that I need decent if I leave the house is my brows. 

A few Months ago Maybelline sent their New York TattooStudio™ Waterproof Eyebrow Gel over. Have you seen the commercials?

Pregnancy Skin: First and Second Trimester - How I battled it!

I’m not gonna lie, I was able to hide my pregnancy for so long because I hardly had any changes. I was one of the lucky ones in my first trimester and second trimester: Amazing skin. I truly did not start showing until I was about 6 months or so. At about 7 months is when the real skin changes started to occur. Some people are probably going to tell me that I’m overreacting but that’s when I started to get dark patches and occasional pimple flare up.... on odd parts of my face.

 Think about it... if you’re not used to something and then you wake up and it happens out of nowhere... it’s totally overwhelming. This is ALL hereditary.
If your mom had all those pregnancy issues its totally going to happen to you.


Three ways to get an affordable cute nursery

I’ve never thought that having a baby nursery was that big of a deal. Until I came on Instagram! There is so much inspiration. So many things that can make a space unique. At the moment baby girl will be spending her first few months with my husband and I. We have spare bedrooms but I feel like they’re a little bit too far away from both of us. Across the hall is TOO far! So my task was to change up one portion of our room so that it can be a little oasis just for her. Here’s the thing my husband and I probably will be moving within the next six months and I did not want to put in too much money into something that I’m probably going to have to disassemble and start over in the next few months.

Soooooo I had to find ways to do it all on a budget and make it effective! I posted a picture of it on Instagram and got really good response so I thought you know what this blog post might help someone.


Are you a new Mom? Check out buybuy BABY

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY. All opinions here are my own.

As a new mom, I won’t lie preparing for the first baby is overwhelming. I can only imagine if I was having multiples! I’m a natural born planner. I’m basically the type of person that wants to be prepared for everything. I am currently 8 months into my journey and I can tell you babies require a lot and sometimes the smallest things can be overlooked. That’s why it’s always good to have a knowledgeable support system around you.

When it came to picking products for “Baby A-R”... I’m not going to lie - I didn’t know where to start. It’s almost like every day something new comes out and you debate … “Do I need that instead”. After speaking to my sister-in-law I found out about buybuy BABY.
This is all before getting the opportunity to work with them.

buybuy Baby in Canada.

Maybelline Super Stay 24H Foundation + SWATCHES

A few questions:
- How do you feel about all these new foundations that are now coming out for darker woman of colour?
 - Do you feel like it’s too late?
- Do you feel like this is the perfect time? 

For me, I’m just happy to be included. I know that sounds super corny but I’m happy that I can branch out try other brands and also help you save a bit of money in the process. 

*********

This is such a overdue post. I started writing it with three foundations but stopped. Mostly because I got my hands on a fourth Maybelline foundation. Which you know always changes everything! If you’re looking for a drugstore option try Maybelline Superstay Full Coverage foundation ($14.99 CAN).



Five Babymoon Essentials

I’m not gonna lie when you’re pregnant you kinda have your own system going on. You know what you can eat, you know what smells you can tolerate and  what products you need to get you through the day. Without one... a meltdown can occur! Trust me.. I can attest to it!

If you follow me on Instagram you will see that I went on a babymoon to Viamede Resorts (located in North Kawartha). It was the perfect getaway from my busy life! More on that soon (a lot of pictures). I want to share with you all products that got me through my extended stay.


Hydrate your Skin + Palmer's Coconut Oil Giveaway

Spring is here! 
I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this! 
Seeing sunlight past 6:30pm! It's the small things :)

Although this wasn't the worst Canadian winter. It was still quite draining.... AND I feel like it's going to take a while to snap out of it.

This is definitely where self-care has to come in and boost my morale.

First place I'm starting is with my skin!

Palmer’s sent over their new Coconut Oil Formula products back in the beginning of the year. I don't know about you but the brand has been a staple in my house for years. The old formula was great but this new one is a total upgrade. Really what your skin needs! 

Change is coming! Guess What!?!

This Blog has been around in some of the best and worst times of my life. The best times of course being that I started it when I just finished college ad needed something to occupy me. I had a great boyfriend at the time (my husband). Also I also got my first REAL job (that I still have now).

This was all at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009- Fast forward to now where does this blog has seen me be a fiancé and get married. And now on the way to becoming a mommy.... YES! You heard me!

A BABY will be here soon!

There are many people who have literally followed me along each milestone and I am always going to be extremely grateful. THIS is just as a heads up because I will be posting quite a bit of baby content on my blog as well. 

NEW Make Up For Ever Products 2018

Guys! Make Up For Ever is at it again! I can’t keep up with all these great products that are coming out this year. I was lucky to get my hands on three of them!! Look at them in their glory and let me know which one is your favourite in the comments section!

First up:
There are 121 vivid shades and five different finishes.
You get pigmented eye shadows that you can mix and match. Plus 12 hour wear.


Five Ways to Get a Wardrobe on a Budget from buy/sell groups online

Let me start off my stating that I'm not employed by any social media platform like Facebook BUT if there is a deal online.. be sure that I'll find it! *TWO SNAPS*

The rise of Facebook groups.

Did you know that your next outfit might be on facebook? Hear me out! 
Have you ever checked out the Marketplace or a FB clothing group? 

Introducing Nude by Nature in Canada- Swatches on DARK skin

I love discovering new brands. Especially when they’re going to be in places that I frequent. Shopper’s Drug Mart just got an exclusive new brand called Nude by Nature.
They’re Australia's #1 Mineral Makeup brand.


Top Ten Island Honeymoon Essentials

I was asked by one of my good friends what would be my top ten Island honeymoon essentials for an island vacation. I had a LONG list of items that you would usually forget or overlook when packing. I thought this would be perfect for the blog since I haven’t done a honeymoon essential post since 2015. 

If you’re prepping for your honeymoon and stumbled on this post - get a piece of paper out and let’s go. Or just screenshot. Haha! Whatever works.

Five things that I wish I knew about Lash extensions

I know I'm totally getting annoying talking about my lash extension experience.... But I really miss them! Currently.. saving money is the goal. So things will have to be sacrificed. There is a lot that I wish I knew before I became so addicted.



Sally Hansen Beautifier Collection by Complete Salon Manicure

My next few posts are REALLY going to have a self-care theme. Mostly because I've been severally lacking. I know.. I know! I totally need to do better but with daylight saving time here. I see more opportunity to do better.... Starting with my nails!

Thankfully I have the Sally Hansen Beautifier Collection by 
Complete Salon Manicure ($7.97 CAN) collection to get me started.


GUEST POST: Three Gym routines that you should start doing in 2018

Get it right and get it tight! 2018 is your year to step up your fitness game. If you're new to the gym, or if you're an avid gym attendee check out my 3 suggested gym routines you should start doing in 2018! For more fitness routines and for some fitness motivation be sure to follow my instagram account @simplyeseeri. Now let's workout!

Maybelline- Total Temptation Makeup Collection + PICS

As I state almost every day(tears), I have given up wearing lash extensions until 2019. I’ve pretty much been wearing them straight on and off since the middle of 2015 (when I got married). 

I’m not gonna lie I miss how easy and effortless it was getting ready in the morning or having to attend an event was. I hardly had to do anything. I'd fix my brows, eyeliner, find good lip colour and I was set. But personally.... it all comes down to having to spend quite a few dollars a month. Which ends up being $1000+. I could go on a vacation with all that cash! 

Anyways back to the point, I have been on the hunt for a good mascara for a while! One brand that always is on top of the drugstore lash game is ALWAYS Maybelline. If I’ve ever been in bind "lash wise" I was always able to go to Shopper's Drug Mart -find a Maybelline mascara that works. 

Today's mascara of the day is from their Total Temptation Collection-Total Temptation Mascara ($7.96 CAN Walmart). First off !!!! Let me say this brush is REALLY really nice! I know for a while we could not get away from seeing plastic bristles on every mascara wand. Which I’m still a fan of but nothing beats a good old-fashioned bristles.


NYX liquid suede Brown girl friendly swatches

As a woman of colour, finding a good nude used to be the biggest hassle. People would either give me a colour that was extremely light or unflattering for my skin tone. Or I would get a colour that is too dark and did not complement me. One brand which has been making awesome browns lip colours for all skin tones is NYX. Plus you can find it at your local drugstore! You do not have to make a special online order or wait till IMATS to get what you want anymore. All you have to do is hit up Shoppers Drug Mart to test out some samples or find great Canadian beauty blog (like myself) which for the swatches and names that you should look out for.


BITE BEAUTY Agave three-step lip regimen

I’m putting it ALL out there.... this is the driest winter EVER! I literally have a humidifier going off 24/7 but I’m still having some lip issues. When I practice "good" lip care, honestly everything is perfect. But when I’m having an off day-everything goes LEFT.
But finally I have three products that do the job!

You always have to ask yourself what’s your main goal with EVERY beauty product. Mine is kissable and presentable lips. Okay forget kissable.... Presentable is key right now! I want to be able to wear my matte liquid lipsticks without any peeling! I want to be able to carry on a conversation without wondering if the person is staring at my lips! I know not alone out here! I’m so happy that I had opportunity to try out some extremely popular products from Bite Beauty. I actually shared the products on Instagram and had a reader tell me that she’s been trying to get her hands on all three products for a while but it’s always sold out at Sephora.


Let me show you all the three-step series that currently keeping my lips hydrated!

Blogger Basics: Three Quick Basic SEO Checklist Questions

I hope that you guys are loving my blogger basics posts. I think that I'm going to start doing them every two months. I got a really good response to the first one: Three basic video/photography tips that you should knowOn Instagram, I asked what should be the next topic. One topic that kept on coming up was SEO. It's probably one of the most valuable tools that MOST bloggers don't use.

Guest Post: Aura Mugler Eau De Parfum

Last month, I attended the latest fragrance launch by the Mugler brand called Aura Mugler. The event space was transformed into a serene forest escape. There were stations setup throughout the venue that invited attendees to try out Aura Mugler, it's associated products, have faux tattoos of the bottle applied and even have your makeup touched up! It was a great event that allowed attendees to immerse themselves into the scent.


Smashbox Bawse Deep Red: Always on Liquid Lipstick & Swatch

This statement is going to be weird to some people... but as a woman of colour I was very afraid of red lipsticks. I remember when I was experimenting and my mom used to tell me that those were not her favourite colours on me. If I listened to her I would’ve probably stopped wearing them but you know my social media family out there always told me that it looked great!
So I continued to try more colours.

Let me start off by saying liquid lipsticks over traditional lipsticks any day. This was my first time trying anything from Smashbox in a while (like 2010).

So I was excited to try out the Always on liquid lipstick in Bawse ($28.00 CAN) ** (which I received in a goodie bag from a blog event in 2017).

Fashion: Seasonal Transition Pieces

I hope that you guys of all recovered from the holiday madness. I’m trying my best to get better from a cold (sad face). I have a question for you! How do you transition your clothes to be workable for all seasons? For example, you’re not going to wear a skirt in -40 below weather... Yes that was actually the weather here two weeks ago. Canadian problems!

Here are four key pieces everyone should have in their closet

Long Kimono Dusters
These are literally something that I wear 24/7- 365 days. They’re comfortable and can be found almost anywhere. You can get them in a variety of sleeve types! I have no sleeves, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves and of course long sleeved. You can easily dress it up by wearing your favourite little black dress or even a one-piece jumper. Appropriate for all seasons! Check out Nordstrom for some unique pattern pieces like this one.

My Spiced Life Contributor: Eseeri

It's 2018, time for a new contributor on the blog. I love having contributors because:
 -It exposes you all to new people. 
-Helps me share more content.
- Fun to see a new prospective!

Eseeri is a Canadian beauty and lifestyle blogger. She's been blogging for a few years about all things related to beauty, health and fitness, and travel. Her passion for developing lifestyle content stems from her drive of being the best version of herself and she encourages her readers to do the same by sharing helpful tips on travel, and healthy lifestyle habits. 

In her downtime she loves traveling, reading inspirational books, connecting with friends, scouring social media for inspiration, recording YouTube videos and of course shopping!

MySpicedLife: Best of 2017 Beauty

I truly cannot believe how quickly 2017 has come and gone.
I’m not sure if it was the best year beauty wise but I did find some gems along the way.
Please let me know if you have tried any of these products below!

All of these products deserve the "MySpicedLife: Best of 2017" stamp of approval. 

High End Skin Care: Is It Worth the Splurge?

“Good” skin comes at a cost – no surprises there. Skincare is one of those things where we have so many options and hacks to help get us to that flawless face. At the same time, it can also get confusing when trying to figure out what is worth the splurge.

The general consensus is that for the following items (providing you have no major skin care concerns), you can scale back and save on as they contain the same basic ingredients that will still get you the results you need:
 Cleansers
 Toners
 Day moisturizers with SPF
 Lip balms
 Eye creams

When it comes to serums, night creams and face masks, we should expect to spend a few more dollars as these products are meant to penetrate deeper into the skin and are packed with highly concentrated ingredients that target your skincare concerns right at the source. I decided to put this to the test with a few pricey products. Although I am a skincare fanatic, I was skeptical on whether these products would be worth the spend.


Let’s find out!

Protect Your Blog + Be Stay Cyber safe on your social media accounts

On this day in 2014, I woke up to write and discovered my blog was gone! A bit of a back story, someone tried to hack my blogger account. So as a precaution, blogger put my account on hold. I had to jump through hoops to get it back... That day I vowed to upgrade my passwords and become more conscious what I post online.


There are 4 tips to keep you cyber safe as an influencer.