Instagram Backdrops You Already Own

Do you ever open up Instagram and see an account showing off their shopping loot and it looks picture perfect like a page from a magazine? The perfect Instagram pic. The next time you go out shopping you remember that picture, so when you get home you arrange all your goodies on the table and take a few snaps! You take a look at your pics and all you see is a pile on the table. What gives?

I’m an introvert so I don’t have too many pictures of outings on my Instagram page. To break up the usual selfie, cats, garden photo reel that is my page I like to throw in the odd picture of objects; such as coffee/tea breaks, food, books, and things I bought that I think others might like.

As you can tell, that picture above is pretty boring. If you had no interest in the book you would keep strolling, not feeling intrigued at all.

This picture on the other hand probably did a better job at getting your attention. So what did I do that was so different? Did it take a lot of time and attention? Did it cost any extra money? The main difference here is that the book is in a well lit area, accompanied by attractive objects that don’t take away the attention, and it has a comforting backdrop.

A backdrop can make or break your picture. I recently decided to look up how to make a DIY backdrop so I had something to display my shopping hauls on and was astonished by how much was required to spend on craft supplies to make one.

If you have items you are trying to sell then it makes sense to eventually purchase the supplies to make a professional looking background. Myself on the other hand, if I just got back from Sephora or the bookstore than I can guarantee that I went over budget and will not be spending another $30 or more for something cute to lay my loot out on just to get some extra likes.

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What if I told you that you didn’t have to spend a dime to get a backdrop that will make your pics look praise worthy? It’s true, you just need to get creative and take a look around your belongings.

Once you have decided what the subject of your picture is going to be you need to figure out what kind of theme you would like your backdrop to have. (Maybe something knitted to show off your new winter socks and the book you’re going to read while curled up in them, or a pastel colour with florals to show off your new spring nail polish colours.)

Once you know what type of display you want your backdrop to have take a look around your place to see what you have that suits the colour or pattern you want to show off your subject on.

The following items are some ideas of things you could use:

  • Throw pillows
  • Decorative blankets
  • Placemats 
  • Wrapping paper
  • Patterned/textured shirts, dresses or skirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Textured counters
  • Lace table runners
  • Patio stones
  • Floor mats/rugs
  • Foot stools
  • Bed sheets
My favourite thing to use as a backdrop are throw pillows. I have so many around my house so I feel like theres always something different to work with. The picture above of The Hypnotist was taken on a furry throw pillow.

A backdrop isn’t the only thing that makes your picture stand out. As you can tell the picture above has a backdrop but is still stuck in the Plain Jane category.

Wow, what a difference! A few items placed around your subject makes it look a lot less lonely. I added items from my beauty bag to give this book picture some girly vibes. I also made sure to have better lighting this time around. Play around with filters and effects too, each one is different and you can create some very unique content with them.
In the picture above I used a white foot stool against a gray wall to show off this haul of bath products. I played around with filters until I was able to bring out the colours of the brighter objects and darkened the wall to keep attention on the colours. It created a very eye catching effect. The photo editing app I use is called Photoshop Express, which I found in the Google Play store for free. (I should also mention that I am not affiliated with any product or service that I have mentioned or photographed in this post. I only mention them because I like the products)

When you have your items arranged on their chosen backdrop don’t worry about having the perfect shot. Just shoot a few good clear pictures and then crop the picture so it looks like your backdrop is the background that your items are sitting on.
For this picture of some of my favourite beauty products I used a crochet skirt for the backdrop. I cropped the picture and played around with some filters until I created something worthy for an Insta story. 
As you can see it’s easy and the possibilities are endless. Try it out and leave me the links to your pictures in the comments below.

8 Things To Do On Sunday So You Feel Refreshed For Monday

One simple joy in life is a lazy Sunday. There’s no alarm to wake me up from my cozy slumber. There’s time to make an indulgent breakfast with all the fixings. There’s no rush which makes it the perfect day for self rejuvenation.

If you work weekends maybe your Sunday is a Tuesday or Thursday. Whatever day of the week it falls on for you, it’s the most essential one for taking care of yourself.

As adults, we often get so busy with work and wrapped up in everything we need to do in life that we tend to neglect our own well being.

Unfortunately, if you work a full week by the time your weekend arrives there’s so much to do that you can’t always devote an entire day to a lazy Sunday, so you should at least try to give yourself the evening.

Today I’m going to share some ideas with you on things you could do Sunday evenings to help yourself feel refreshed and rejuvenated on Monday morning. The following post contains affiliate links, which means any purchase made supports this blog at no extra cost to the customer. See more here.

1. Make a List:
Write down a list of everything you would like to accomplish during the week ahead. Whether it’s a recipe you want to try one night, a household chore that you keep putting off, or a goal you have at work for the week. This is one little step in creating productive habits and will help you feel more organized going into the new week. How cute is this little planner by Bliss Collections? 

Bliss Collections Blush Floral Daily Planner Tear-Off Pad, 50 Undated Sheets, Desk Notepad, Calendar, Task Planner, to-Do List, Productivity Schedule Organizer, Water Tracker, Meal Prep, 8.5×11

2. Comfort Food Is A Must
No Sunday evening is complete without a comfort meal to warm your belly. It could be an old fashion spaghetti dinner or takeout from your favorite restaurant, whatever it is pick something that’s more important for your soul than your diet. You have the rest of the week to eat sensibly.

3. At-Home Spa Night:
Never underestimate the feel-good power of a bath. Light some candles, grab your favorite bath bomb and fill that tub up. Get your pretty self in that water and unwind for a while. 
You should also go see what’s in your kitchen cupboards and whip up a facial to bring out your best glow. You can find so many ideas for one in one of my other posts:

15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin

Give yourself a little foot rub, or have your significant other do it for you, and unwind for the night.

4: Catch Up On Some Reading:
What’s a drink that helps you unwind? Red wine? Chamomile tea? Whatever it is go pour yourself a glass of it, get under a nice cozy blanket and pick up one of the many books in your “to read” pile. A good book is like meditation for your mind.

Check out the following books to add to your Sunday nights collection:

5: Netflix and Chill:
Time to slip into something more comfortable, grab the remote and catch up on your favorite TV series (or finally watch some of those movies you’ve been meaning to check out). Sure, it’s not the most productive activity, but it’s important for your well-being to have a timeout. Put your feet up and escape reality for a few hours. Don’t forget to bring snacks!

6: Practice Yoga:

Do something good for your body and stretch it out without wearing yourself out. Practice a few yoga poses and have yourself feeling relaxed for a good night’s sleep so you can kick Monday’s ass.

If you’re new to yoga consider the Everlast Yoga Essential Kit to get yourself started.

7: Create Something:

Put on some of your favorite tunes and let those creative juices begin flowing. Whether you draw, write, paint, play music or just want to try out some DIY projects you found on Pinterest, get to it!
If you’re not the creative type write down some thoughts in a journal. Talk about any events that happened this past week and how you felt about them. It will help clear your head.

8: Get Outside:

Put on some comfortable shoes and take a walk. Fresh air and exercise are essential for your well being. Visit some of your favorite local scenic spots. Enjoy the moment and take some gorgeous nature photos.

However, you like to unwind, make sure you spend the last few hours of your weekend doing so. It is so important for your well being to take time out and just relax. Your Monday will suck a little less if you go into it feeling well-rested and rejuvenated.

What are some of your favorite ways to unwind at the end of the week? Comment below!

The Best Natural Remedy For Cleansing Pores

I can’t deny that I am guilty of quite a few not-so-skin-friendly habits. I love to wear makeup, especially highlighter on my cheekbones (and everywhere else because a girl needs to shine!) and liquid lipsticks (which tend to clog pores around the lips like crazy).

Oh and I also have a horrible habit of touching my face and always seem to fall asleep with my hands on my face.
 Ugh…all that oil is just asking for trouble.

With all of this I still manage to have fairly clear skin and keep my breakouts to a minimal. I have a little mixture that I use before cleansing my face and the main ingredient is something that’s probably sitting in your cupboards right now. (If not you can pick it up at your local super market for under $2)
That’s right. It’s baking soda! This stuff right here is amazing for treating breakouts because of it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Baking soda will open up your pores and eliminate bacteria. This is why I recommend using it as a pre cleanser before applying a face mask, it will be easier for the mask to draw dirt and oil our of your pores. 
What you will need: 
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp water
Mix thoroughly to create a paste. Remember to always do a spot test to make sure this doesn’t irritate your skin. 
If you really want to give your pores a deep cleansing you should start off by dampening a face cloth with warm water and letting it set on your face for a minute or two until the cloth cools down. The steam will help open up your pores giving you a head start.
Now you will want to apply this mixture by thoroughly massaging it onto your face being careful to avoid your eyes and mouth. Give it an extra rub in areas where you have more stubborn blackheads. 
(Important to know: This mixture is for deep cleansing so it is recommended you only use it once or twice a week so you don’t end up stripping your skin of it’s natural oil.)
Once you have applied the mixture to your face use a damp cloth to dab off any mixture that made it’s way onto your lips. That stuff won’t hurt you, but it tastes awful. 
You might notice a tingling sensation, that just means the mixture is working. 
Now let it set for 3-5 minutes or until it’s dry all over. If you have a store bought mask go sit down and have a break for a few minutes. If you’re planning on making a diy face cleansing mask now is the time to mix it up. 
The mask that I am making this time around consist of:
1 tsp green clay powder 
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp rose water 
If you don’t have these ingredients don’t worry. Check the link below about natural ingredients for skincare and find the perfect mixture for what your skin needs.
Once the baking soda mixture has dried wash it off with warm water so you keep those pores open. We want to get all that guck out of them! 
Now apply your face mask of choice and let it set for approximately 15 minutes. 
Once your mask has set wash it off with cool water to tighten those pores. That will make it harder for dirt and bacteria to get back in there. Now follow up with your usual moisturizing routine. 
I start off by rubbing some rosewater on my face (as an all natural toner alternative) and moisturizing with Tarte Maracuja oil. I love this particular oil on makeup free days. It hydrates my skin without clogging my pores. 
Tarte Cosmetics: Maracuja Oil  (it is on the pricier side but it’s amazing and you only need a little bit at a time so it’s really worth the buy in the long run)
I was incredibly happy with my results from this mixture. My skins feels refreshed and has a healthy glow to it. 
Give it a try and let me know in the comments below how it worked out for you! 

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15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin

Home remedies are amazing for two particular reasons:

1. They’re safe and use natural ingredients. 
2. They’re incredibly budget friendly.
Do you ever notice a breakout starting late at night? Or maybe a dry patch of skin first thing in the morning before you get a chance to go out. If you don’t have the beauty products on hand to deal with these situations there’s a good chance you can find something in your kitchen that will do the trick. 
I love kicking back with a face mask and have discovered many items I keep in the kitchen also help with fighting breakouts and nourishing my skin. It has saved me quite a bit of money too.
Today I’m exploring 15 different items from the kitchen that are beneficial for your skin. Although most of these items have several beneficial factors for your overall health, I am just focusing on topical use and skin care benefits. 
If you don’t already have these items at home they’re affordable enough to try out. You may even ditch some of your regular skincare products for these alternatives. 
1. Honey:

Honey is my favourite natural skin care solution. I use it as a base for pretty much every face mask I make at home. Honey has anti-bacterial properties which fight acne and unclog pores. It also soothes and moisturizes the skin bringing out your natural glow. We also can’t forget that it tastes amazing!
2. Rosewater:

Rosewater isn’t a common ingredient for most households, but it’s affordable and wonderful so make sure to add it to your grocery list. 
Seriously, I replaced toner with rosewater for my daily face cleansing routine and I haven’t looked back. My skin feels so softs and smooth, my cheeks have a natural glow, and it smells amazing. 
Rosewater is full of anti-inflammatory properties. It helps fight acne and maintain your skin’s ph balance. I am in love with rosewater. 
3. Olive Oil:

Olive oil is a versatile beauty. It works it’s way into pretty much any dish (I love butter, but olive oil is so much easier on the stomach) and it’s also great for your skin. Dab a bit of olive oil on a cotton ball and use it to remove that built up makeup without worrying about clogging your pores. Olive oil is a naturally intense moisturizer which is great for extra dry skin and soothing rashes. 
4. Turmeric: 
Turmeric is a staple in many curry dishes, but I’m not here to talk about cooking today. This beauty of a spice has some amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for fighting breakouts, reducing acne scaring and healing wounds quickly. It’s also full of antioxidants that bring out your natural glow. 
5. Oatmeal: 
Oatmeal is nice and soothing for your skin, but if you want to use this as part of a face mask make sure you put a strainer in your sink before you rinse off. Oatmeal is a great exfoliant that is easy on sensitive skin. It hydrates and nourishes your skin, which is a nessessity during the winter months. I like mixing plain oatmeal with milk and honey to soak my hands in for roughly 15 mins. They feel so soft and hydrated afterwards. I also just dump the oatmeal into the compost bin to avoid clogging the sink. 
6. Yogurt:

Plain yogurt is an excellent base for a face mask. It naturally reduces wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps blemishes fade quicker. If you have any yogurt that’s recently expired don’t toss it, make a face mask instead. 
7. Lemon:    
Lemon is a natural cleaner. It’s anti-bacterial but also gentle on the skin. Lemon is great for killing bacteria and drawing out oil that causes blackheads and breakouts. Test a bit of lemon juice on your skin first just incase you have sensitive skin. If it doesn’t burn apply lemon juice straight on your black heads. If that is too strong for you, mix some lemon juice with either honey or yogurt and apply to affected area. 
8. Garlic: 

This one might be the stinkiest one on the list but if your pores are clogged and you need a strong natural anti-bacterial source to come to your rescue garlic is the one. On top of thoroughly cleaning out your pores, garlic will also reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.
9. Banana:

If you’re reading this and only have one banana left and you’re wondering “Do I eat it or make a beauty product out of it?” You can rest because the inside of the banana peel will do the trick. If the winter weather has your skin feeling dry and flaky banana is perfect for moisturizing dehydrated skin. It is a great exfoliator that removes excess oil and smoothes out dry skin. You can either rub the inside of a banana peel over the affected area or mash up part of a banana and mix it with other ingredients on this list to create a nourishing face mask. 
10: Avocado:

Avocados are hella delicious, and a healthy fat. Eating them can even help out dry skin. If you ever use half and have the other half of one spoil before you got the chance to smash it up on some toast, than put it on your face or any area where you have dull skin. Avocado will hydrate your skin without leaving an oily residue, while also healing dry, flaky, irritated skin. If you never have leftover avocado to spare than avocado oil will do the trick as well. 

11. Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is definitely one of my favourite scents. The honey cinnamon face mask mixture is my go to beauty hack because not only does it smell amazing, but it cleanses and nourishes my face just as nicely as a store bought mask. 
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and fights acne causing bacteria. Perfect for cleansing those pores. 
12: Egg Whites: 
The egg white face mask has been a favourite of many because it’s been known to draw out dirt and oil while shrinking and tighten pores. Just mix egg whites with lemon juice, apply to face for approximately 15 mins, and rinse off. 
13. Pumpkin:

For this one I would recommend using canned pure pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is amazing because it penetrates deeply into the skin leaving it smoother and more radiant. It softens and brightens your skin which is perfect for these dull winter days.
14: Mint: 
If you don’t have a mint plant in your garden this is the year to add one. Not only are there several health benefits from mint, but these plants also repel certain insects and rodents.
Mint is great for your skin because it kills acne causing bacteria and tightens your pores. It leaves skin feeling refreshed and toned. Mix some mint leaves with honey for a refreshing face mask. 
You can also use mint to soothe itchy bug bites.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial source that fights stubborn acne. It is great for exfoliating and toning your skin. Another use for apple cider vinegar is to mix it in bathwater to soothe a sunburn.

Now it’s time to raid your cupboards or update your shopping list so you can treat yourself to a refreshing face mask with all natural ingredients.

What’s your favourite combination for diy face masks? Comment below.

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