Secrets to Clear, Healthy Skin

It kind of baffles me how much money people spend on skin cleaners. Just go to any make-up retailer or cosmetics counter and you’ll find little bottles that will promise to clear and brighten your complexion for an outrageous cost. Sure you may sometimes need a bit of help boosting your skins appearance, but you don’t have to break the bank doing it. My grandmother always had amazing skin, well into her 60’s she was still being envied for her clear complexion and her natural glow; her secret? Tons of water and a coat of vaseline before bed – simple as that. Because of her, my mother had passed on her belief in natural remedies on to me, and now I’m here to share them with you. Whatever the problem, there is a natural remedy for it, and if there isn’t then there is a drugstore equivalent. I understand some people may have severe issues which require dermatological remedies which obviously don’t have any natural equivalent, but if you have regular or slightly flawed skin, then give your wallet a break and try these out.

  1. f5a5e8e0fad4e11dcb642b253107b5d9Water- remember hearing your mom say you needed to drink eight glasses of water a day? Well I’m sorry to tell you, but thats a myth. Sure you need a sufficient amount of water per day, but we all come in different shapes and sizes. Each of us has a different set of needs based on our age, BMI and so on, so why would our water intake be any different? To find out how much water you really need per day, take your weight in pounds and divide it by two, that result is the number of fluid ounces you need to drink per day. Now take that number and divide it by eight (the amount of fluid ounces in a cup) and thats how many cups of water you should  be consuming per day. If you’re not drinking water for its multiple medical benefits, drink it for its cosmetic benefits – and make a mental note to get your priorities in order. c9ba40982f71f63a8ba792fa05c81bb8
  2. Lemons – Breakouts are the absolute worst, they ambush you out of nowhere forcing you to try every lotion and potion to get rid of the pesky things. Whenever I feel a breakout coming on, I rub half a lemon on my face. The citric acid from the lemon goes deep into your pores and cleans out all the junk causing the breakouts. I’m not going to lie to you though, it’s going to sting and it does not feel good at all, but the benefits are fantastic. This will usually be the last step of my night time skincare routine. Leave the lemon juice on your face for a minute or two before washing it off and make sure to moisturize. Although the citric acid does wonders for breakouts, it can really dry out your skin.
  3. Vitamins – I feel like a complete hypocrite writing this because I always forget to take my vitamins. I try to take a C, D and cod liver oil, not only for their health benefits, but the combination of those vitamins creates clear, bright skin and shiny hair.
  4. Olay 4-in-1 daily facial cloths- Sometimes natural remedies just don’t make the cut for specific things91pon3oOQwL._SL1500_ like taking your make-up off at night. I’ve tried all of the make-up removing astringents under the sun, but none seemed to really make my face feel as clean as it should, that is until I tried the Olay 4-in-1 daily facial cloths. As the box says, each cloth has the cleansing power of a cleanser, toner, mask and scrub. The best part of it is that it actually removes water resistant mascara and doesn’t irritate the eyes while doing so. I’ve finally found my go-to cleanser and the best part is its super cost effective.
  5. Trinitae Dead Sea Skincare – As you may already know, my family comes from Amman, Jordan. LiE09j-MMost of my childhood memories of being in Amman when we were visiting my grandma involve going to the Dead Sea. Sure it’s one of the wonders of the world, but the mud and water have so many healing properties. My grandmother used to have bad eczema, so whenever we went to the Dead Sea she would fill up empty water bottles with the natural salt water and use it on her skin and and other cuts or wounds. A couple of months ago, my dad went back for a visit and I asked him to bring me back some Dead Sea skin products because, well, they’re the best. He did not disappoint, he came home with a box of Trinitae products; I got a mask, soap, lotion and bath salts. The best part was the makers of the natural products have another branch of their boutique in Toronto of all places. Now I can buy all of my skincare products locally! The benefits of Dead Sea products are endless from detoxification to purification and even anti-aging. If you’re going to invest in any skincare products, I would highly recommend Trinitae.

Thats about it for my skin care recommendations, it’s not much but it does the trick for me! As always I’ll keep you guys posted about any revelations on the skincare and beauty front, and let me know if you have any natural remedies for your skin in the comments.

Easy Garlic Herbed Chicken

I’ve always been a bit timid when it comes to preparing chicken. I’m terrified of undercooking it and making myself or anyone else ill, so I usually just opt for something I know how to cook like fish or beef and leave the chicken to other, more confident cooks. I recently decided to get over this fear and open myself up to the world of poultry. With all the fresh herbs and spices that bloom in the summer months, I realized this may be my last time to cook with the herbs I have growing in my backyard. I ended up making Garlic Herbed Chicken Breasts which tasted absolutely amazing and you know what? preparing chicken isn’t all that bad… you just have to know what you’re doing.

Easy Garlic Herbed Chicken



  • Two Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 springs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme
  • 2 springs of fresh sage
  • 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 lemon


  1.  Preheat the oven to 325° F
  2. heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter, once it starts to foam season your meat with salt and pepper and put it in the pan for about 6-8 minutes per side (until it starts to turn into a nice golden colour).                   IMG_3396
  3. In a bowl, chop garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme and mix together IMG_3397 IMG_3399
  4. Once chicken has reached a golden colour, remove it from the stove and relocate to a cooling rack or baking sheet. Season the chicken with garlic herb mixture. I found that the butter from the skillet really allowed the herbs to stick to the meat. IMG_3395
  5. Cover chicken breasts with tin foil and put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Once chicken has finished cooking, squeeze fresh lemon juice on the meat and let sit for an extra five minutes.


I paired the chicken with a delicious mushroom risotto which I felt really complimented the taste of the fresh herbs. I absolutely loved this recipe and will definitely add it to my list of go-to meals.

A Woman Who Cut’s Her Hair…

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life ” – Coco Chanel

You know those moments of absolute clarity? The ones you get while in a complete state of comfort; when you allow yourself to entertain the thoughts that slip through your mind as you go through the motions of mundane tasks. The ones that momentarily excite you while your head is in the clouds, but you push away as the fog of reality begins to set in – okay now I sound depressed. I’ve recently found myself in a position where I had to really think about my life and where it’s going. I’ve had to make more decisions in the past few months than I possibly ever have and the reality is that some of those decisions forced me to involuntarily compromise my dreams for more realistic feats. They’re the kind of compromises that leave you feeling even more lost than you were before you reached the dreaded fork in the road. I’m not saying I gave up on anything, but any goal takes time and patience and like many people I know, I learned this the hard way.

I finally reached a place in my life where I felt okay with my decisions, where I became happy with myself and learned to count my blessings rather than dwell on the future. I initially wanted to write this post as a fun, lighthearted piece to show my new haircut, but as I stared at the blank screen I knew I had more to say. yes, I cut my hair, yes I love it and yes it symbolized a new beginning in my life; one thats much lighter both physically and emotionally (but mostly physically, that shit got heavy). I really felt like I needed to change something physically in order to match the way I felt emotionally: clearer, lighter and happier. If you’re reading this right now, the one thing I want you to take away from this post is to begin to count your blessings in life. We’re missing out on so much of our lives while we dwell on the future. No you might not be where you want to be in life right now, but as long as you’re doing what you love, you’re making progress. It may be slow but as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day, or whatever.

Anyways, heres my before and after of my hair. It literally looked like a pile of straw

PicMonkey Collage

5 Classic Wardrobe Staples

We’re constantly reading articles and blog posts about the colours and trends that are in for the season, but rarely do we talk about the wardrobe staples. The classic pieces that never go out of style and should be in everyones closet. There are five essential pieces that I think everyone should own, these can be worn every year, every season and will never go out of style; think of these staples as the Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren’s of your closet – classics that stand the test of time. 93787808f66626ee014c1e4d95241830

  1. High-waisted black jeans and/or trousers – I know the high-waisted trend is fairly new for our generation, but in the grand scheme of the fashion industry, high-waisted pants have been around for ages and thank goodness for that – the low-rise trend was a disaster for everyone! I have two pairs of high-waisted black jeans (both from American Eagle Outfitters). Being petite I tend to opt for the “short” length which end just above the ankle, almost like cigarette pants. I think a black high-waisted pant with a slightly shorter length gives a classic look to any outfit, think Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Not to mention they’re perfect for any season.
  2. dfce9ff230f77974758281e75048f171White tops – Everyone should own the holy trinity of white, a tank, t-shirt and long-sleeve top. A basic white top is probably the most versatile garment you could own. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect white t-shirt, but I found the perfect white tank and long-sleeve top at h&m recently. These can be layered or worn alone for a crisp, clean look.
  3. Black Flats – In the words of Marilyn Monroe “give a girl the right shoes 89359b1f81b3f2a731723aeaa47979feand she can conquer the world”. You never realize how much you needed a good pair of black flats until you get them, then you’ll wonder how you’ve gone your whole life without them. The great thing about a good, classic pair of black flats is that they can seamlessly transition from outfit to outfit. Recently, I went to a barn wedding, everything was absolutely gorgeous but I made the mistake of wearing heels, and if you’ve ever danced on an uneven barn floor with heels you’ll know why that was a horrible mistake. Thankfully I had my trusty black flats in my car and was able to continue throughout the night without skipping a beat.
  4. 66c68d40e62320b04c7faf00bca6265dA tailored oversized sweater – We all love the cozy look of an oversized sweater, but some people take the term oversized a little too literally. An old hoodie you found at the back of your closet? thats alright for lounging at home but when you want to go out opt for something slightly more tailored. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but since the oversized trend is in right now, you can find loose, cozy sweaters at any of your favourite retailers and instead of opting for a size or two bigger than you would usually get, you can get something your own size which is designed to be slightly oversized yet flattering. It seems obvious, but I’ve seen many people fall victim to the oversized sweater, you may feel comfortable but you look like you’re drowning in fabric.
  5. A basic pump – when I was first able to start wearing heels, I bought the highest ones I could find. Honestly I looked like a t-rex trying to walk in them, all gangly with my knees bent trying to keep myee63459f18001eade561c441f4f8dfbf balance. I still own a few pairs of those shoes and look at them with a nostalgic cringe every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, a nice stiletto can really pull together a whole outfit, but a basic pump is an absolute staple for every closet. Something comfortable in a neutral colour that won’t make you look like an awkward prehistoric animal.

End of Summer Reads

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to put away the reading list. Actually, I start my reading in the early fall considering I’m spending a lot more time indoors. I have a whole list of books that I’m eagerly awaiting – cause lets face it, whats better than curling up with a good book while the weather outside gets frightful?mindy-kaling-why-not-me

First and foremost, I’m super excited about Mindy Kaling’s new book “Why Not Me?” (out September 15th) anyone who knows me knows that I have a weird obsession with Mindy Kaling, I really feel like Mindy, Taylor Swift and I would make the ultimate girl squad, but that’s a topic for another day. I devoured Kaling’s first book “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)”  in record time. I love Kaling’s quirky yet eloquent style of writing, chalked with embarrassing and heart warming essays and confessions this book makes for the ultimate summer (or end of summer) read. In her follow-up book (voted one of the most anticipated books of 2015) “Why Not Me?” Kaling shares a collection of essays about life, love and finding your place in the world all with her signature, hilarious twist.

31Ou964UF-L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us will find ourselves in the position of hostess (or host) which we all know can be overwhelming. There is nothing I love more than to host a party; I love trying out new recipes, decorating and creating an all-around positive atmosphere to welcome my friends but sometimes it can get to be a bit much. In her new book “Kate Spade New York: All In Good Taste” (out October 27th), our favourite designer will take us through modern-day hosting tricks, hacks and ideas. Kate Spade takes us into her colourful world discussing everything from shucking and oyster to Instagram etiquette at the dinner table, in other words, this isn’t your grandmas rigid Finishing School guide for hosting a party. 51o8wXzdZXL._SX375_BO1,204,203,200_

My third and pick is “Love  Style Life” by Garance Doré (out October 27th). Fashion photographer, illustrator and writer Garance Doré, takes us a step beyond her “visual diary” of a blog and into her beautifully illustrated world telling her unique story while offering quips of wisdom gained from her travels and adventures. Voted by  New York Times Magazine as “The Guardian of All Style”, Doré offers her advice on falling in love, finding your career path and mixing sensible style with high-end pieces.


My fourth and final pick is one that is already out but I have yet to read, “My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang and Seduction in The Great City on The Seine” author and former Vogue and
Harpers Bazaar editor Kate Betts shares her memoirs of being thrown into the Paris fashion scene in the 80’s. As a fresh college graduate, Betts dreamed of becoming a foreign correspondent, after moving to France and taking odd jobs to pay her dues, her dreams finally came true. This inspiring book takes us behind the scenes of Betts career showing the struggles and rewards of working hard at your craft.

Now onto thing’s I actually have read. I just finished Emily Giffin’s new book “The One and Only”. It took me a little while to get to this book since I’ve been drowning in essays, exams and readings for the 200px-Somethingborrowedpast couple of years and I wanted to wait till I finished all of my necessary school work to really enjoy this book. I’ve yet to be disappointed by Giffin’s books but I found myself a little lost during all the football talk (more on that later). I first heard about Giffin when a friend of mine told me about the book “Something Borrowed” she had said her sister has already bought five different copies of the book because she keeps lending them out and never getting them back. I’m sure by now most of you have either read the book or seen the 2011 film adaptation staring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin. My friends and I were so obsessed with this book that we went to the film opening night rocking “Team Darcy” and “T18465837eam Rachel” shirts, cheesy I know, but surprisingly we weren’t the only ones. I was team Darcy all the way, I don’t care how self absorbed or shallow someone is, you simply do not go for your best friends fiancee! Anyways, from there I went on to Giffin’s “Something Blue” (which picks up where “Something Borrowed” left off but from Darcy’s point of view), and I was hooked, I’ve read all of Giffin’s novels which take on challenges between relationships – weather through spouses, best friends or family. She writes stories for women, about women and that’s why she will always be my favourite modern-day novel writer. “The One and Only” takes place in a quaint town in Texas where the residents live and breathe football. I kept imagining the story to the backdrop of the show Friday Night Lights, but instead of following the drama of 30 year-old’s playing 16 year-old lovers, we’re introduced to Shea, a woman thrown into the middle of a tragedy thats shaken up the whole town; a tragedy which forces her to reassess her whole life. The book takes us on Shea’s journey of self-exploration through careers, romance, friendships  and connecting with estranged family members.  The thing I love about Giffin’s characters is that they are realistic. **Spoiler alert, if you plan to read this novel you can stop reading this post now** Though Shea’s world is shaken up when her best friend’s mother passes away, she doesn’t agonize over her own distant relationship with her mother, rather it shows her growing resentment for the women who tried to provide her with everything she didn’t want in life. If you’re looking for a page-turner to throw yourself into, I would highly recommend “The One and Only” or any of Giffin’s novels for that matter.

Happy Belly, Happy Life

I feel like i’ve become a foodie as of late, I love trying new foods and testing out new recipes and although I’ve never been one to calorie count it can all get a little much, especially with all the rich sweets and savoury summer treats. Every now and then I like to toss in a bit of a “detox dish” to balance out the rest. It just makes you feel better about all the other junk you might be putting into your system. The other day I made a detox salad with fresh, crispy veggies and a homemade vinaigrette which turned out absolutely amazing so I wanted to share the recipe with you guys. It’s super easy to make and all the delicious ingredients will make you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. It’s also packed with proteins and healthy fats to keep you feeling full longer. I really liked this salad and I hope you guys do too.

Detox Salad

  • 2 cups of kale
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (I put it all in my magic bullet for about 30 seconds) and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Add the kale, cabbage, broccoli and carrots to a large serving bowl.
  3. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss until everything is coated.
  4. Add the parsley, diced avocado, sesame seeds and walnuts and toss again.
  5. Enjoy!


Honestly, because of all the protein in the salad, I could have easily had it as my main entree, but instead it was served on the side with a t-bone steak, steamed broccoli and sautéed mushrooms -anyone else starting to get hungry?IMG_3247

I usually get most of my recipes online (mostly from pinterest which is where I found the recipe for the detox salad) but I recently decided to expand my horizons and invest in a cook book; I’m basically pulling a Julie and Julia. I got the book “20 Dinners” by Ithai Schori (a photographer) and Chris Taylor (an indie rock musician). The book takes you through 20 different dinners -5 per season- from beginning to end starting with delicious appetizers, entrees and main meals and even suggests beverage pairings. I can’t wait to expand my culinary chops with some of these recipes and I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted!

Top Picks: Lipsticks

There is nothing I love more than lipstick, if I were stranded on a desert island and got to bring one thing with me it would be my lipstick bag (if i’m dying anyways might as well look good while doing it). As you can imagine I’ve tried most lipstick brands from high end to drugstore- some I absolutely loved and some…not so much. I’ve compiled a list of my all time favourite lipsticks for you guys for the next time you decide to go out and give your lips some love.

5. Chanel – This iconic brand remains a staple in the world of fashion and beauty for obvious reasons; When you’re buying Chanel, you’re buying quality.The most popular lipstick line from this brand has to be Chanel’s Rouge Allure. According to the Chanel website

“The next generation of ROUGE ALLURE dresses lips with unmistakable attitude. A new formula with concentrated, ultra-thin pigments offers radically intense, long-wearing colour with full coverage and a satin finish. Leaves lips supple and protected with lasting comfort.”

Obviously, this lipstick is not on the cheaper side, running at $36 per tube. It goes on beautifully and is carried in an array of colours to suit every skin tone – you feel glamorous just wearing it! If you’re someone who doesn’t have time to reapply, then this lipstick is not for you. As gorgeous as it is, the pigments don’t last very long and need constant touch-up’s. For someone who is on the go, this might not be the right choice for you.


4. M.A.C – As any M.A.C lipstick enthusiast knows, the most iconic, must-have shade of the brand has to be “Ruby Woo”. If you’re looking for that perfect red lip, look no further. Voted as one of the 10 best lipsticks according to Vogue, Ruby Woo offers that pop of colour you’ve been waiting for. According to the M.A.C website

“[This Lipstick is] Formulated to shade, define and showcase the lips.”

This lipstick is a little more affordable than Chanel, running at $20 per tube, but it’s one that I think every lipstick lover should own at least once in their life. Disclaimer, this lipstick does go on a little dry so exfoliate your lips with a sugar scrub before applying to give you a nice, smooth finish.

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3. Neutrogena – I know what you’re thinking, following up Chanel and M.A.C with a drugstore brand, but trust me on this one. The Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick provides the moisture and pigment you’ve been looking for in a drugstore brand. Sure it wont give you the drama you might get from higher end brands, but its great for daily use. The Neutrogena website says

“NEUTROGENA® MoistureSmooth Color Sticks instantly moisturize lips, while continuously conditioning them so they are softer and smoother in just 3 days with nothing on them. Made with fruit extracts along with mango and shea butter, the balm-like formula glides on easily, providing a sheer wash of moisturizing color that lasts for hours. In addition, the twist up package allows for perfect application each time – with no sharpener needed.”

Not only will it moisturize, but it’s super cost-friendly (running at $8.49 a tube) you can experiment with all nine of their shades.


2. Make up For Ever – I picked up Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Intense lipstick on a whim one day while perusing the isles at Sephora. I fell in love with all of their shades and wanted to try one out, and I was not disappointed. The lipstick goes on smoothly and highly pigmented, giving you exactly what you’re looking for in one stroke. Coming in 50 different shades, you have a lot to choose from. According to the Sephora website

“The Rouge Artist Intense is a lipstick saturated with pigments for an intense result. Available in 50 shades with 3 different finishes, it will suit your everyday mood. Natural or sexy, the Rouge Artist Intense lasts all day and leaves your lips soft and moisturized.”

Each tube of Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick costs $23 and can be found at any Sephora store.

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  1. NARS – The number one spot goes to my all time favourite lipstick, the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. I talked about this lipstick in a previous post; like the M.A.C lipstick, this pencil goes on extremely dry so you have to exfoliate before you wear it for the best results, but this is the longest lasting lipstick I have ever had. It honestly lasts all day long with minimal touch ups, it can even last through meals! According to the NARS website

“The application of a lipstick combined with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo crayon design. Lips are instantly saturated with rich pigments and a velvety matte finish. The long lasting, non-drying formula is enriched with emollients for a creamy texture, while a combination of unique silicones ensures long-lasting, seamless color for hours. Use for lining, all-over lip color, or pairing with another lip product.”

Each pencil runs at $26 and is well worth the money since you barely have to touch it up, it can last a long time. I bought it in the shade “Cruella” which is an extremely dramatic, bold hue perfect for a night out. I’ve even started using it paired with my Make Up For Ever lipstick for a more intense look.

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