Book Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Hey guys! Today I want to write a little post reviewing a book that… hasn’t come out yet? It’s the first book in Ally Carter’s new series Embassy Row, and I somehow managed to get a proof copy of it!? I follow Ally on twitter and she tweeted out a link where the first 100 people who signed up would get a proof copy to read so I signed up and a few weeks later a book showed up on my door step! It was all very exciting and cool, and after an entire month of not finishing any books, I was beyond ready to start reading it.

So last night I decided to spend 10 minutes before bed reading it, and then a few hours later it was 1:30am and I had read the entire thing. Oopsies! All Fall Down is a YA Thriller about a 16 year old girl, Grace, who is sent to live with her grandfather who is a high up ambassador for the USA. Grace’s mother had been murdered in front of her 3 years ago, and she’s spent the past 3 years haunted by the memory. To make things worse, everyone else thinks that her mother’s death was a tragic accident, and won’t believe Grace’s story about the Scarred Man who killed her mother.

The book is set in the modern day world, but in a made up country called Adria. I think it was quite smart of Ally to make up a country for the book, as there is quite a political background to the story, being about an ambassador’s granddaughter who goes to live on ‘embassy row’ and all. The story is quite fast paced, with lots of secondary characters and suspense and plot twists. Grace is unlike either of the protagonists in Ally Carter’s other two series (Gallagher Girls and Heist Society); she’s daring, risk-taking, imperfect, and a little crazy (despite her insistence that she’s not).

Overall I really enjoyed the book, and definitely recommend that you check it out if you like books about teenagerhood, spying, friendship, and mystery. It’s coming out on the 20th of January, 2015, and you can read the first two chapters here. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you check out Ally Carter’s other books! I absolutely love both the Gallagher Girls and the Heist Society series – one is about a girl who goes to a boarding school for spies and the other is about a girl who grew up in a family of notorious thieves. Ally Carter is one of my favourite authors because her characters are relatable and interesting and her books are exciting and the kind that you never want to put down. Also they’re about spying and thievery and boys and travelling and secrets and action, and who doesn’t love a bit of that?

One thing I will say about All Fall Down is that it ended on a major cliffhanger, and I’m now in the unique position of waiting for the second book to come out before the first is even out! I don’t know how I’m going to wait so long to find out what happens next :P If you guys have any suggestions for books that I should check out while I’m waiting, leave them in the comments below!

XO Simytoe

**Note: I was sent a proof copy of All Fall Down by Ally Carter for free. This post is not sponsored and I will receive no compensation for writing it. All opinions are my own.

2 Months in London

Hey guys! I’ve officially been in London/England/the UK for more than two months, so today I thought I’d write a little post reminiscing about my time here so far.

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My first day in London, taking the obligatory tourist picture next to a telephone box

Before coming over to London I tried not to build up my expectations about what my life here would be like, what kind of job I would have, where I would live, how many friends I would have, what I would do in my spare time, things like that. Moving to an unfamiliar city where I didn’t know anybody by myself was a new experience for me, let alone moving to a different country with a different culture, so any expectations would have set me up for disappointment. Having only ever lived in Canada, with my friends and family always close by, there was no way I could accurately guess what would happen if I moved out of that comfort zone, so I didn’t even try. I hope that makes sense – that I didn’t want to expect life in England to be like life in Canada, because that would limit how I experienced England. I wanted to be open to adapting to English culture and an English way of life.

Which turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Whenever I skype with my friends from back home they all want to hear about what exciting things I’ve been up to, and I almost feel like a bit of a disappointment. I don’t live in a glamorous flat in central London, I don’t have an awesome job, I haven’t found a great group of friends, I haven’t travelled all over the UK and Europe, and I don’t have a super hot English boyfriend. But I think that the fact that I moved to a different country by myself and set up a life for myself here is accomplishment enough. Before coming over I didn’t realize how different England would be, and how long it would take me to get settled in here.

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Some funny ‘Canadian’ themed foods found in the grocery store

I remember the first time I went grocery shopping at a Tesco Express, and having a moment of panic when I realized that I had gotten in the self checkout line because I wasn’t sure if the self checkout would be different than in Canada. I remember the first time I got on a bus, marvelling at the view from the second level, unsure if I had to ‘tap out’ with my oyster card. I remember the hours I spent looking for a flat, messaging a dozen people only to get a few responses. I remember going to my first shift at work and being so, so nervous. I remember spending a solid twenty minutes in the grocery store looking for cream for my tea. I remember being so anxious on my first few nights in the hostel that I could barely fall asleep. I remember how everything was so new and strange and I was exhausted all of the time.

And then I think about where I am now. I have a flat and a job, both of which I found without the help of my parents or relatives or friends. I am completely comfortable taking the various methods of public transportation all around London, even at 2am when I’m a little tipsy. Grocery shopping is no longer a huge ordeal where I have to stand staring at the shelves trying to figure out which brands and which products to get. I no longer have to be on high alert every time I walk down the street for fear of looking the wrong way while crossing the street and getting hit by a car coming from the opposite direction. I have the names and numbers of people in my phone whom I can call when I want to hang out, or if I ever needed help. I don’t feel so anxious all of the time anymore. I’ve come so far.

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Casually passing one of England’s biggest landmarks on the way home from work

Back when I was still in Canada, daydreaming about moving to England, I didn’t think about how difficult grocery shopping would be, or how hard it would be to make friends. But I also couldn’t have anticipating how happy seeing the roses still blooming in October would make me, or how magical it would feel riding the bus past Trafalgar Square and Big Ben on the way home from work. I’ve learned so much in these past two months, and my life has changed in ways I never thought it would. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here will bring.

XO Simytoe

Luxury Christmas Wishlist

Hey guys! As I’m sure you all know, Christmas is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about presents! I’ve always been terrible at buying presents for others – I leave it to the last minute and never know what to get for people, so I just end up buying generic things like chocolates and gift cards (lame, I know). But then for some reason last year I got super duper excited about buying presents and made it my mission to spend the time, money, and energy necessary to buy everyone presents that were specific to them and that I knew they would love. I had so much fun thinking up present ideas and shopping for each gift and it was so so so rewarding to see my family and friends actually enjoy and use the presents I bought for them!

So this year I’m already working on my list of presents I want to get for people, and I’m especially excited because I’ll be bringing back goodies from the UK home to Canada! I’ve been on the hunt for things that are unique to the UK or can’t be easily found in Canada, so if you have any ideas leave them in the comments below! So far most of what I’ve come up with is food related (tea, terry’s chocolate orange, cadbury chocolates, british beers, etc) so any suggestions are welcome!

But anyways, that’s not what this post is about! This post is about what I would get myself for Christmas if I had unlimited money which, unfortunately, I don’t, but a girl can dream, right?! ;)

Xmas Wishlist

First up, fashion wise, I’ve got a cozy jumper, a wool circle scarf, and some suede boots. It’s finally been getting a bit colder here in the UK (although yesterday it was 14*C which was a bit crazy!) and for some reason I forgot to pack winter jumpers when I moved over here. This navy blue one from Wildfox looks super cozy and soft, but not too bulky that it can’t fit under a coat! I’ve also fallen in love with scarves in recent years, and I love the look of chunky knit circle scarves for the winter! Aerie always has really nice quality products so I might have to grab this one for myself when I’m back in Canada. I’ve also been on the hunt for a new pair of ankle boots since coming to the UK, as mine from last year were too worn out and salt stained. Unfortunately, I don’t think buying suede boots would be very smart, seeing as the UK is quite wet and rainy, but I think these boots from Rag & Bone are just gorgeous!

I’ve also had my eye on a few beauty products that I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection! Before coming over to the UK I bought myself a YSL lipstick (featured here) and although I really love it, I bought a colour that’s more appropriate for spring/summer. I also really want to try out YSL’s Sheer Candy line, and this bright red would be perfect for the holiday season! Recently I used up my beloved Garnier under eye concealer, and I’ve been eyeing up some higher end products to replace it with. I’ve heard lots of good things about this Laura Mercier concealer, and I think out of all of these wishlist items this is the one I’m most likely to actually buy for myself!

As for more ‘luxury’ and ‘non-essential’ goodies on my wishlist, I’ve got this gorgeous wallet from Henri Bendel, and Benefit’s advent calendar. My current wallet is a cheap baby blue wallet with little snowflake/star designs on it that I’ve had for years. It’s getting a bit worn out now and I wouldn’t mind upgrading it to a wallet that’s a bit more classic and chic in it’s shape and design. I just find it a bit hard to justify paying $100+ on a little wallet! And then lastly is Benefit’s advent calendar, that contains 24 mini beauty products from their range. I absolutely love the idea of advent calendars, and I think it would be so cute to get little beauty products instead of chocolates!

So those are a few items and products that are on my luxury Christmas wishlist! In reality I’ll probably ask for more practical things for Christmas like books and socks and an umbrella, but maybe I’ll ‘accidentally’ forward this link to my parents or something ;)

I hope all of you are having a good weekend! In the comments tell me what you’re lusting over this holiday season :)
XO Simytoe

The Accidental Low-Buy Project

Hey guys! I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but in my 7 weeks of being in London I haven’t posted a single haul. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t because I’ve been too lazy to take pictures of the wonderful British goodies I’ve bought, but because I actually haven’t bought very many wonderful British goodies. There have been no splurges at Superdrug, or shopping sprees along Oxford Street, or overflowing Primark bags. Crazy, I know.

It’s not like I haven’t been shopping at all – I’ve spent hours searching through the clothing racks at Primark, H&M, River Island, Topshop, New Look, and the like. And it’s not like I haven’t wanted anything – I’ve lusted over boots and jackets and trousers and jumpers and dresses. I just haven’t bought anything. Why? Mostly because everything is really expensive. I’m pretty cheap when it comes to buying clothes, so if I think $15 for a tshirt is too much, then there’s no way I’m spending £15 on one. Before coming over to the UK, everyone warned me that London was crazy expensive, and they were right. It’s especially obvious when I shop at places like H&M or Brandy Melville or Forever 21, which we have in Canada, and see items that I’ve seen in Canada being sold for almost double the price.

I find it especially hard to justify spending £40 on a pair of trousers, or £20 on a jumper when I’m not working full time. If I had lots of money coming in, then I could spend more of it on clothes and makeup and books and things, but right now all of my income is going towards paying rent and buying food, which is a bit more important ;)

The other reason that I haven’t gone crazy at Primark or bought dozens of Barry M products is because of space. I spent the entire summer ruthlessly cutting down the amount of stuff that I owned – giving away lots of clothes and beauty products – so that I would only have things that I actually needed and used. When I came over to England, I only brought a suitcase, my laptop bag, and a small backpack, so I didn’t have a lot of space and I didn’t want to bring anything that I wasn’t going to use a lot. Even now that I’ve moved into a flat and have a wardrobe and drawers and shelves, I’m still hesitant to buy lots of things because I don’t expect to be in this flat for more than a few months. And when I move I don’t want to make 6 trips just to move all of my stuff.

It’s been tough, but I’ve been trying to accept the fact that the next few years of my life will be spent living with minimal possessions. As much as I would love to have 15 different pairs of shoes and a huge collection of nail polishes and dozens of cozy sweaters and 10 different hair products, it’s just not practical. I’m at a point in my life where I’m going to be moving a lot, to different apartments in different cities in different countries where I won’t always have a car, and it will be so much easier if I don’t have to move boxes and boxes of stuff every time.

So I’m only buying things that I actually need and that will get a lot of use, and when I do buy things I’m buying them cheap :P It also helps that I’m flying back home for Christmas, so I’m keeping a list of things that I want to pick up at Sephora or H&M while I’m there.

Have you guys ever tried doing a low-buy type project? Or have you ever had to live out of your suitcase for a long time? Tell me about it in the comments!

XO Simytoe

Visiting the Tower of London

Hey guys! I recently came to the realization that I have been in London for a month and a half and I still hadn’t even seen the Tower Bridge or the Tower of London! Which is slightly ridiculous, as they’re two of London’s most famous landmarks. I had also been hearing about the ceramic poppy display they’re doing at the Tower to celebrate Remembrance Day tomorrow, which I thought would be really interesting to check out. So yesterday I headed over to check out the area and to see the display – and let me just say, I was not disappointed!

First of all, walking over the Tower Bridge is so surreal. The towers are quite big and impressive looking, and the view of the Thames is really interesting as well. As for the Tower itself, I didn’t go inside as I figured it would be quite busy, but it was still really cool to see it from the outside. I love reading historical fiction books, especially ones about the Tudor era in England, so it was a bit strange to wrap my head around the fact that the Tower I had read about in so many books was the same building that I was standing in front of. I definitely want to go back sometime to take a tour of the inside and learn more about its history!

And then there was the poppy display. For those of you who don’t know, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, so the Tower of London has set up an art installation titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” in the moat around the Tower. The installation is made up of 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for every British fatality in WWI, and you can read more about it here. Although the walkways around the moat were extremely busy and filled with people, the installation was still awe-inspiring.

Seeing such a huge area filled with red poppies in a sea-like pattern, and then thinking about how each of those poppies represented a soldier who had died in the war really made me stop and think. It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives and to forget about historical events and the people involved in them that allow us to live the way we do now. I think the intense and loud visual of the bright red poppies does a really good job of forcing people to notice and to remember.

Below I’ve put some pictures that I took yesterday, although they don’t quite do justice to the installation! Enjoy

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Nice little shout out to Canadian soldier John McCrae

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XO Simytoe

October Favourites

Hey guys! I can’t believe October is already over! I’m not sure about the rest of you, but for me October has just flown by – I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that September is over! For this month’s favourites I have a random assortment of beauty, fashion, food, and entertainment things to share with you all, so let’s get started!

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Beauty

Olay Age Defying Instant Hydration eye cream: I bought this eye cream a few months ago because I had never used one and this one looked pretty good! I don’t have issues with puffiness or wrinkles, so I picked out an eye cream that mainly focused on hydration. As this is my first ever eye cream, I don’t really have anything to compare it to, but I really like it! It goes on really easily, it sinks in pretty fast, and it leaves my undereye area feeling really hydrated!

Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer in Pomegranate  Peony: It’s no secret that I love pretty much everything from Bath & Body Works but I have a special weakness for their hand sanitizers! Something about a cute little bottle full of delicious smelling gel that cleans your hands just makes me really happy. This fragrance is really light and floral and probably better suited for the spring, but I’ve been loving it this autumn anyways!

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Fashion

Garage super skinny jeans: I’m not usually a huge fan of jeans – it’s really hard for me to find jeans that fit my long legs & smallish waist, and I just find them so much less comfortable than sweats or leggings – but I’ve been wearing mine a ton during October. The jeans that I brought with me to London are my two pairs of skinny jeans from Garage (same style but different washes) that have been my favourite jeans since I got them in 2011. I still have to wear a belt to keep them from falling down, but they’re long enough and they’re so comfy and easy to move in! Plus they look a lot more polished and put together than sweatpants ;)

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Food

Peanut butter: I have eaten so much peanut butter in the past few weeks, it’s slightly ridiculous. Apples with peanut butter has been one of my favourite snacks for years, and I’ve also been having a lot of peanut butter toast and pb & honey sandwiches recently. Last year when I was at university my roommate had allergies so I couldn’t eat any peanut butter, so I think this month I’ve just been catching up ;)

Macarons: Somehow I hadn’t ever tried macarons until this month. I don’t know how this happened, but when I met an acquaintance for tea at Ladurée, which specializes in macarons I knew I had to try one! I ordered two salted caramel mini macarons and ohmygoodness they were amazing and heavenly. So amazing that a few days later I went back to the shop and spent over $25 on macarons that I ate within a matter of days. They were absolutely delicious though, so I don’t even regret it.

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Entertainment

Hoodie Allen People Keep Talking: One of my favourite rappers, Hoodie Allen, released a new album this month and I’m kind of in love with it. There was a solid week in the middle of October when his album was the only thing I listened to, and I had it on repeat practically all day every day. If you like rap and haven’t heard of Hoodie, you should definitely check him out!

Lord of the Rings movies, non extended edition: LOTR have been my favourite movies since I was a kid, but I’ve kind of been especially obsessed with them over the past year. I think since last Christmas I’ve had at least 6-8 marathons where I’ve watched all three movies. Slightly crazy, I know. Our family has owned the special extended edition box set for years, so whenever I watch the movies, that’s the version I watch. So when I saw the non-extended edition on sale for $10 this summer, I bought myself a copy. And then when I was packing to come to London, bringing one dvd case with 3 dvds made a lot more sense than bringing 3 boxes with 4-6 dvds each. So over the past week or two I’ve been watching the movies, an hour or two every few nights. It’s really, really strange to be watching the non-extended edition, as there are entire scenes missing, and some of the dialogue is different, but I’ve still really been enjoying it! Curling up with a nice big cup of hot chocolate and watching a bit of my favourite movies has been a great way to wind down before bed :)

So those are some things I’ve been loving this month! I know that there wasn’t a whole lot of makeup or beauty products, but I have been mostly using the same products that I’ve been using forever, which I didn’t think would be that interesting for you to read about!

I hope you guys have all had lovely Octobers, and that you’re all excited for Halloween tonight! I don’t really have any plans so I’ll probably just end up watching some more Lord of the Rings while eating candy that I bought myself :P What are you guys doing for Halloween? Tell me in the comments below!

XO Simytoe

Sweater Weather Tag

Hey guys! Today I’m going to be doing the Sweater Weather Tag that I’ve seen floating around this fall. I wasn’t exactly tagged to do it by anyone, but I’m going to be a rebel and do it anyways ;)

1. Favorite candle scent?

To be completely honest, I don’t really know! I didn’t bring any candles with me to London, and I haven’t gotten around to picking up any for my flat here, so my life has been empty of candles for the past month :( When I was still back home in September, my favourite candle was London Calling by Bath and Body Works. It smells deliciously of tea and lemon, and was very appropriate at the time, as I was getting ready to leave for London!

2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

Definitely tea! I don’t like coffee, and although I enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate every once and a while, tea is definitely my favourite hot drink! Recently I’ve been drinking a loooot of tea – at least 3-4 cups a day, and I think even up to 6 cups one day!

3. What’s the best fall memory you have?

Gah this one is hard! I don’t think I have any particular fall memories that really stand out for me, but I’ve always loved jumping into leaf piles, so I have a lot of happy memories of that!

4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?

I don’t really wear either of these trends, as I usually keep my makeup fairly simple and natural, but I think I’m going to say dark lips. I feel like winged eyeliner is popular year round, while dark lips are definitely more of a fall/winter trend. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a dark lip, but I think that it looks amazing when paired with a cozy fall outfit, so I may just have to go pick up a dark lipstick to try out! If you have any recommendations for what brands / colours I should check out, tell me in the comments!

5. Best fragrance for fall?

Fragrance as in perfume, or a smell in general? Since I’m not a huge perfume person, I’m going to go with the latter! I really love the smell of leaves in the fall, like when you’re walking through a forest or park and the air is just filled with the smell of leaves <3 Oh and also the smell of a fireplace burning is also really comforting! Oh! Also! Maple syrup being made! Around where I grew up there were a lot of maple sugar bushes, and sometimes we would go and the smell of maple sap being turned into maple syrup was just heavenly!

6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?

Definitely mashed potatoes and turkey. I just love mashed potatoes all of the time because they’re so delicious! As for turkey, I used to only ever eat the white meat, and I didn’t love it, but then I tried the dark meat and omg it’s so much better! It’s so juicy and tasty and ahhh now I’m craving turkey :P

7. What is autumn weather like where you live?

Back in Canada, autumn weather is cold, I guess? Once the leaves start falling the temperature drops as well, and it’s time to bring out the jackets and long pants and boots! This week in my hometown, the daily high temperature is supposed to range from 3-9*C, and it’s going to be fairly cloudy and rainy. Thankfully, I’m not living there this year, and autumn in London is looking to be a lot nicer! This week in London the daily high ranges from 13-18*C, which I am very happy about! I don’t like the cold :P

8. Most worn sweater?

My most worn sweater is definitely my oversized blue cardigan that I got from a thrift shop in the men’s section. It’s so comfy and cozy and warm and I just love it <3 You can see me wearing it in my travel outfit post.

9. Must-have nail polish this fall?

My nails have (surprisingly) been bare for the past few weeks, but I’m looking forward to pulling out 350 Wined Up from Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri line. It’s a lovely shimmery wine colour that I featured in my Holiday Nails x4 post last year.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?

Definitely jumping in leaf piles! As I mentioned before, jumping in leaf piles is one of my favourite things to do in the fall, whereas I’m not a huge football lover.

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?

Usually I would say leggings, as they’re super comfy, but recently I’ve been wearing skinny jeans a lot! I find that people in London dress a lot smarter than in Canada, so I’ve been inspired to switch my regular leggings or sweatpants for skinny jeans. Which still isn’t super smart or anything, but it’s progress!

12. Combat boots or Uggs?

I’m not a huge fan of either of these styles, but I’m going to say Uggs because they’re comfier and warmer!

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?

Personally I don’t really like the taste of pumpkin, so I’ve never tried a pumpkin spice latte or anything, so I don’t know if it’s worth the hype. I think I’m just going to stick to my chai tea lattes <3

14. Favorite fall TV show?

I haven’t really been watching much TV lately, so I don’t have a favourite fall TV show! Although Agents of Shield has started up it’s second season recently so I definitely need to get on watching that!

15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?

I don’t really change what I listen to based on the seasons, so I can’t really think of any songs that feel really ‘fall-y’ to me :/

So there you have it, the Sweater Weather tag! I’m not going to tag anyone in specific, but if you want to answer these questions then post a link to your post in the comments so I can read it!

XO Simytoe

 

Inspiration

Hey guys! Recently I’ve been feeling a bit lethargic, so I thought I’d write a little post about how I’m trying to motivate and inspire myself!

I don’t really know how to describe it, but I find that I just feel very ‘bleh’ in the mornings, and I have a hard time getting out of bed and I don’t often feel very excited about the day. And then once I do haul myself out of bed, I’ll spend an hour or two making breakfast and catching up on social media and watching youtube videos. And then by the time I’m dressed and ready to be productive for the day, it’s already past noon!

As someone who religiously writes and completes daily to-do lists, and who enjoys getting things done and having productive days, I was a bit confused as to why it was suddenly so hard to get myself going in the morning. After pondering it for a bit, I think it comes down to not having a routine. This is the first time in my life I haven’t been at school or at work or on vacation, so I don’t really have any previous experience to tell me what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing. Now that I’ve moved into my flat, I’m mostly focused on finding a job, and when my main ‘to-do’ for the day is job hunting online, it’s a bit hard to build a daily routine.

However, I’ve found that my favourite days of the past few weeks have been days when I’ve had to go outside. The simple act of going outside – to hand out cvs, do some grocery shopping, or even for a walk around the neighbourhood – seems to just magically brighten my day. That first breath of fresh air never fails to put a smile on my face, and the neighbourhood around me is so interesting and gorgeous (so many old houses! and rose gardens! and parks!) that I feel inspired every time I walk somewhere.

So I’ve started a little routine of going for a walk every morning. I’ll get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and head out the door. It’s a great way to get some exercise, to explore my new neighbourhood, and whenever I return to my flat I’m always in a good mood and ready to be productive for the day! Plus I’ve found it’s a lot easier to get out of bed when I’m thinking about all of the gorgeous houses I’ll see on my walk, instead of all of the job applications I’ll have to fill out :P

On one of my more recent little walks I decided to take my camera along, so I have some pictures to share with you!

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What are some ways that you motivate and inspire yourself when you’re feeling down? Tell me in the comments below!

XO Simytoe

Aveeno Positively Radiant Review

Hey guys! Today I’m going to be writing up a little review of a few skincare products that I’ve been using for the past few months.

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Aveeno’s Positively Radiant line is a drugstore skincare line that aims to ‘naturally even skin tone and texture’ as well as ‘leaving your skin looking radiant’. Their products are alcohol free, oil-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic, and use soy extract to deliver the promised benefits. I picked up the toner and daily moisturizer from the line and have been using them for a while so I thought I’d share my opinions on them with you guys!

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Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Toner

I’m going to come straight out and say that I don’t love this toner. I use it every night after taking my makeup off with a cleansing wipe, and I just find that it doesn’t really do much. It just feels like I’m wiping off any remaining dirt or residue from my face with some nicely scented water. I would even say that this toner leaves my skin feeling a little tight after I use it. I also haven’t really noticed any improvements to my skin tone. That being said, I already have fairly good skin, so there isn’t really much to improve on. My skin is normal to dry, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this toner to people who have dry skin, but it might be more effective for people with combination or oily skin! Either way, I definitely won’t be repurchasing this once I use it up.

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Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 15

Fortunately I like Aveeno’s moisturizer a lot more than their toner! I’ve been using this as my daily moisturizer since the summer, and I’m quite impressed with it. I picked it out because it had SPF 15 which was important for me as I was working outside a lot and wanted extra sun protection for my face! I find the formula quite lightweight and easy to apply, and it sinks into the skin fairly quickly. It does smell a bit like sunscreen, but I guess that’s to be expected!

The finish it leaves on the skin is quite dewy and I find it does a good job of giving you that healthy, ‘fresh faced’ kind of look. As far as how good of a moisturizer it is, I would give it a thumbs up. I haven’t had any issues with my skin being dry since I’ve started using it, and I don’t usually moisturize in the evenings so it keeps my skin moisturized for about 24 hours. Now, of course, I don’t have particularly dry skin to begin with, and I’m not too sure how well it would work for oily skin, so all I can tell you is that it’s been working well for my skin! Overall I think it’s a good, solid product. It hasn’t done anything magical for my skin, but it does it’s job well! When this bottle runs out (which probably won’t be for a while, as I still have about half!) I will probably want to try a new brand, but I wouldn’t have any reasons to not repurchase it.

I hope these reviews have given you a better idea of whether or not Aveeno’s Positively Radiant line would be something that you might like! If you’ve tried any of the products from the line tell me in the comments below :) Also tell me what your favourite toner is, as I need some ideas for when this one runs out!

XO Simytoe

Fall Fashion Wishlist

Hey guys! Somehow I’ve managed to not buy any clothes since coming to London, but that is soon going to change as I’m going shopping tomorrow! So I thought today I’d do a little bit of brainstorming to figure out what sorts of things I want to pick up. Enjoy!

Fall/Winter Jacket

The only jacket I brought over from Canada is my bright red skating jacket that is too warm to wear outside right now! Also it’s super casual, so I want to pick up a slightly smarter jacket that is light enough to wear when it’s warm outside, but that I can layer stuff under.

Trousers

Shockingly, I’ve never owned a pair of pants(trousers) that weren’t either jeans, sweatpants, leggings, or yoga pants! Partially because everyone in my school dressed very casually, and partially because I have such a tough time finding pants(trousers) that fit my long legs! But hopefully I’ll be able to find some here in London!

Fall Jumpers

Since jumpers are so big and bulky, I didn’t really have any room to bring any in my suitcase! So I want to pick up some nice cosy ones for the upcoming winter :)

Ankle Boots

My beloved ankle boots were another item that sadly had to be left behind in Canada, so I’m looking to pick up a new pair! My old ones were suede, but I’m thinking I should probably pick up something a little more rainy-weather appropriate :P

Fall/Winter Tops

I think I might have been a little sleep deprived or something when I was packing which clothes to bring to England, as I’ve seemingly mostly brought tank tops and tshirts! Which are no good for the upcoming cold months, so I’m going to have to stock up on some longer sleeved tops.

So those are the main things that I’m going to be looking for when I’m out shopping tomorrow! I’m planning on going up to Oxford Street, where there are loaaads of shops, and I’m so excited! I can’t wait to go shopping in Primark, Miss Selfridges, New Look, and all of the other British clothing stores!!!

What are some of your favourite stores to shop at? And what trends / items of clothing are you loving for the fall? Tell me in the comments below!

XO Simytoe