I discovered the Queen Helene line of products about two years ago when someone I followed on instagram shared a photo of themselves wear the masque and the resulting commenters raved about how much they loved the line and how affordable it was. Effective and affordable? Yes.

I've used other exfoliating scrubs in the past but for the last two years Queen Helen's Mint Julep Natural Facial Scrub has been my go-to. My mandatory. I love it and largely attribute it to why my skin has been virtually blemish and zit free for the past two years. I use it almost daily, in the evenings, and just a little nickel size goes a long way; one tube lasts me maybe 4-5 months. I slightly dampen my skin and apply it in a circular motion. I work it in for 30 seconds before rinsing off and my skin feels clean...even if I've been outside all day. I sometimes worry what if it's discontinued and then plot how I would stock pile as many tubes as I could so I'd never have to go without it. I buy it at Sally's but perhaps it's available other places too? Bonus? It's like, $6. So good.

+MANDATORY is a new on-going series where I share products/items that I absolutely love and would rather not have to go without.

How to get the wax out of glass candle holders

Okay, so I assume everyone and their mother already knows this little "trick" but when I discovered it a few years ago I had one of those "oh my goodness how didn't I know this?!??" moment. So I thought I'd share. Just in case you don't know. If you don't know - ain't no shame in that.

So everyone buys candles that comes in pretty glass containers. Heck, I buy candles based on two things: the smell and how pretty the glass holder is. It doesn't have to be ornate, I actually tend to prefer containers with no decoration or very simple decoration (and if the container has an ornate design but smells wonderful I probably won't buy it). But what to do when the candle burns out? I used to hate getting rid of those pretty glass containers but seriously, I wasn't about to sit there and dig the wax out. So when I read a tip a few years ago on how to get the wax out, easily and cleanly, I tried it…and it worked perfectly. Now I do this little trick every time a candle has burned out. What's the trick?

Put it in the freezer overnight.

That's it. The next morning you can easily take the wax out in one piece…leaving you with the container to use for whatever you please!

What do I use them for? Collecting loose change for the laundry, to hold pens, two smaller ones are kept in my medicine cabinet - one with q-tips the other with some makeup brushes & my trusty tweezerman. Another holds my nail files…Really, what can't they be used for?

There you have it. Easy peasy. Don't say you never learned anything reading my blog.


Feeling…exhausted. I don't know why I've been so tired lately but I have been. Actually, I do know. Lots of work on lots of different things and not enough sleep. That should do it.

Reading…lots of different books about starting your own business. I plan on reviewing some of them soon so if that's something you're interested in...stay tuned.

Listening to…hmmm, I suppose I listen to quite a lot of talk radio lately as I commute to and from work. Helps me stay informed and up-to-date with what's going on in my city and the world.

Working on…winter-fying my apartment and getting the guest bedroom tidied up and organized before the snow arrives. And starting my own business.

Eating…white cheddar popcorn. I go through phases with my snacks and this is one I'm currently enjoying.

Anticipating…putting up Christmas decorations. I don't know why I'm so excited to decorate this Christmas but I am. It'll definitely be happening some time this month. Sooner than later.

Watching…90 Day FiancĂ©, Breaking Amish, and very soon Real Housewives of Atlanta - clearly I'm all about trashy reality TV.

Loving…my new candles from Bath & Body Works - Twisted Peppermint and 'Tis The Season. Smell. So. Good. They're also seasonal so get them now!

Dreaming of…a trip abroad. I'm really hoping to make one happen early in the new year - perhaps a return to India? Or a first time exploration of Ethiopia or Portugal or Spain? Or maybe somewhere in South America…

+post inspired by Christy over at Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes

I'm fairly certain Fall is over.

What have I been up to for the past three weeks?

+ Getting sick. I'm pretty sure I had the flu or something that had me beat for about three days. Totally sucked. And then my allergies were terrible and a whole other thing to make me just feel blah in general.

+ Not going to the gym. Between being sick and then busy at work, October was a terrible month for me and the gym…but last week I started up again and it felt so good to be pushing myself, my body, my muscles…I love love love my gym and plan on sharing more about gym stuff in a future post.

+ Making small updates around the apartment in preparation for Winter. I changed the light coloured curtains in my bedroom to these dark lightly patterned ones (on sale!) and added an Indian cranberry coloured coverlet to the foot of my bed and I really love how cozy the room now feels. Perfect for the colder months that, I'm afraid, have finally arrived.

+ Reading! Like, actual books! I went ahead and got myself the Kobo eReader I've had my eyes on and I truly am reading more. I got the most basic model with no fancy extras; I only wanted to be able to do one thing on it - read books.

+ Long distance co-planning my best friend in New Jersey's baby shower! I'll be heading down there for a few days at the end of the month and couldn't be more excited to celebrate with her.

+ Daydreaming about taking a vacation abroad. It's been way too long since I've gotten on a plane and stepped off somewhere where the culture and language was different than my own. I've been frequenting Kayak Explore way too much, plugging in a random budget, and just seeing where - anywhere it doesn't matter - I can take off to. Hopefully it'll happen early in the new year.

+ Watching How To Get Away With Murder. Have you all been watching too? So. Good. I have no idea what's gonna happen or where the storyline is going to go but I can't wait to find out.

+ Working on my little startup that has a name (that I'm not going to share just yet). Slowly but surely, progress is being made.

What's been keeping you busy lately?

Full Steam Ahead

Since deciding that I'm going to start my own business my days have been beyond full. When you work full-time 9 to 5, 5 days a week, and decide that you're going to start your own business, you've got to find the time in there somewhere to get things done for yourself. Which means after getting home from a long day of work I've been easily putting in another 2-3 hours each night on my own little venture. 2-3 hours doing what you ask? A lot of that time is spent googling the answers to questions that I don't know. Because I make no qualms about the fact that I don't know a lot when it comes to any of this. Using google to do research. Tons of research on how to start your own small startup, the industry I'll be entering, on legally starting a small business in my province...I've been sending lots of emails too. Emails to people/organizations asking more questions or to be pointed in the right direction; every time I get an encouraging positive email back in's so exciting and a little nudge to keep going forward. I've been spending a lot of time too jotting down notes and ideas; I have a little moleskin that is quickly being filled with questions I need to find the answers to, things I want to learn more about, attributes I want my little startup to have, and ideas. I came up with a name for my business rather quickly so I also bought the .com, and took all of the social media handles - because it would suck if I waited and someone else got to it in that time. Below are some articles I've read relating to starting your own small business that I found to be particularly good reads - I thought I'd share them.

In other news, as you can see from the photo above, my little apartment is slowly progressing. Did I ever mention that I bought this huge fiddle leaf fig tree? It's 9 or 10 feet and leaning and kind of amazing. It lost a ton of leaves transferring it to my apartment so I'm hoping it'll recover. I had it in the corner near the dining table and while I quite liked it there it wasn't getting the most sunlight - I'm not sure exactly where else to put it so it's kinda just been plopped into this spot - directly across from the window. I'm not crazy about it there but...we'll see.

Thanksgiving Day is on Monday here so it's a long weekend. For the first time in many, many, years my family will be celebrating it all together; I can't tell you how nice that is - I have a lot to be thankful for. If you're in Canada have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend - if you're not, have a lovely regular weekend :)