Thursday Plantation- Natural Skincare

Two months ago I was given a PR package of Thursday Plantation 100% pure tea-tree oil skincare products to test out and review. I wanted to give my honest opinion and see how my skin did with this product before standing behind it. After a few months of continual use, I can now say how much I enjoy Thursday Plantation’s natural products and I will definitely be continuing to use them in my everyday skincare routine.

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It is so important to look for products that contain 100% natural tea-tree oil, and Thursday Plantation products are backed by that guarantee. For starters, it should be known that I have very sensitive skin, minor dark spots from acne and the sun and frequently some pretty pesky pimples! I’ve struggled back and forth with my skin for as long as I can remember, and now that I’m in my mid-twenties I’m really searching for any remedies or solutions for my acne. On a scale of 1-10 I would say my skin is between a 4-5 on the severity level, but with casual flareups of some pretty bad pimples that leave even worse scars behind. Luckily the scars that I have are not raised and have not left pin-holes or craters but I’ve really not been happy with the dark marks and dry patches.

I have tried pretty much every prescribed acne medication on the market, except for Accutane as I was a little scared away from that and didn’t think my acne required that strong of a treatment. So off the to drugstore I would go, picking up all of my prescriptions, and then every other type of acne solution (priced low and high) that you could think of.

My biggest problem really I think is my dry skin which I have had my whole life. I seem to find that when I get that under control the acne is a little less prevalent. But, then I sometimes run the risk of it becoming too oily and then I’ve started a home for acne once again.

Thursday Plantation uses the fighting antibacterial powers of  100% natural Tea Tree Oil in this specific line of products to combat acne. Tea tree oil has long been known for treating minor cuts and scrapes, sooth dry flaky scalps, psoriasis and eczema, toe fungus,, and even as house-hold cleaner. The list of its uses really can go on and on.

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The natural 3-step skincare regime is easy to follow and helps in maintaining your healthy skin and new clear complexion. You can smell the natural ingredients and they’re so refreshing (unlike a lot of medicated treatments). The products are so fragrant and familiar to what you would smell in a spa!

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Step 1: Cleanse

The first range of products in the program is the tea-tree oil soap-free foam cleanser. It is strong enough to remove dirt and makeup but didn’t make my face feel clogged or dried out. Without the use of harsh chemicals, this natural cleanser left my skin feeling soft and thoroughly cleaned. The added Chamomile ingredient helps with redness of the skin, something I am personally very prone to. I do however recommend still removing your eye-makeup with a gentle cleanser first.

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Ingredients: Water, Coco-Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Citriodora Oil*, Limonene.- Thursday Plantation 

Tone

Step 2 is Thursday Plantation’s Toner with Tea Tree & Witch Hazel. The tea tree oil acts as an antibacterial agent, while the witch hazel tones and purifies the skin by tightening pores without drying out your skin. I have a heard a lot of good things about witch hazel for helping with redness and inflammation. I use this toner after I’ve gotten my eyebrows threaded, and it helps to decrease the inevitable redness and also little bumps that could surface afterwords. I have found out the hard way in the past that not using a toner, I will get almost little pimple-like dots around the area of my eyebrows that have been threaded. There is also calming lavender and aloe vera that helps sooth the skin.  I love using toner after my cleanser and it helps removes any excess dirt or oil it may have missed! I have just recently added toner into my daily routine and can’t believe I hadn’t been using it until now.

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Ingredients: Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Polysorbate 20, Sodium PCA, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) leaf oil, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Lactate, Allantoin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Limonene, Linalool.- Thursday Plantation

Moisturize

The 3rd step in this skin treatment program is the tea tree face cream with rose hip. The cream itself feels very light weight, however, it does take a little bit for your skin to absorb. I use a daily tinted moisturizer and find it hard to apply if I don’t give the Thursday Plantation cream some time to soak in. Moisturizing your skin is extremely important and is particularly crucial after washing it! While cleansers can help remove dirt and oil, they can also cause your skin to dry out, and for some, dryness causes acne.  Maintaining your skins natural moisture balance is the key to maintaining looking skin!

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Ingredients: Water, Caprylic Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Soribtan Olivate, Cetearyl Olivate, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Citrus Aurantium, Dulcis (Orange) Peel oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Limonene, Linalool.- Thursday Plantation

 

Treat

 The medicated acne gel is in addition to the 3-step process. I don’t use it everyday, just when I spot a pimple that I can hopefully treat by drying it out before it gets worse, or leaves a dark spot.  The gel comes out clear which is great if you want to apply during the day over your makeup! For best results, use a small amount in the morning and at night.The gel works for treating whiteheads blackheads and other pimples. Unlike a lot of other medicated acne treatments I have tried, this one doesn’t have harsh chemicals that burn or irritate my skin causing it to really dry out and starting the vicious cycle of acne brought on by dry skin.

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Ingredients: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil) 20% w/w, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) 0.5% w/w, Water, Carbomer, Polysorbate 60, Isopropyl Myristate, Triethanolamine.

Face Mask

I was also given a reusable mask, and a bottle of 100% tea tree oil. For my mask, I followed the easy instructions provided in the kit, but feel free to get creative! I added a few drops of tea tree oil, and a little bit of raw honey (antibacterial agent) to distilled water and soaked the reusable mask in the treatment. I added a little bit of fresh lemon juice (helps brighten skin). You can look up other face mask solutions that include tea tree oil in them! The smell is so refreshing and relaxing, it’s very calming. Apply to your skin and leave on for approximately 15 minutes. Upon applying the mask, I noticed a little bit of a burning sensation around my eyes, so I simply shifted the mask away from my eyes and it was fine. After removing the mask my skin felt so soft, and not dried out or stiff at all! I did a quick rinse (with water only) and then patted it dry with a clean towel.

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Ingredients: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Leaf Oil) 100% v/v.- Thursday Plantation

So far I am really happy with the results of this product. The product is easy to find in local stores like Walmart, Loblaws, Rexall, well.ca, natural food stores, etc. The best part is, buying these won’t break the bank. Each of the products range in price, and are all under $20.00!

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Lavender Fields Forever

On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, my boyfriend and I were looking for something to do after heading back from brunch in Hamilton. His mom suggested we check out the beautiful lavender fields at Weir’s Lane Lavender & Apiary in Dundas, Ontario, and boy am I glad we did!

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There is really something so romantic about lavender, especially when you catch it in full bloom!

Dundas Ontario is known for it’s sprawling hiking trails and breathtaking waterfalls (Tew’s Falls and Webster’s Falls). You can now add Weir’s Lane Lavender farm to your list when you visit!

“Weir’s Lane Lavender & Apiary (WLL) is a lavender farm located 40 minutes west of Toronto in lovely West Flamborough (part of the city of Hamilton, not far from Dundas and Ancaster, at 223 Weirs Lane).  We started our lavender farm in 2010 and opened the farm store in 2011.  Currently, WLL grows more 5000 plants, has 200+ hazelnut trees, and maintains several bee hives. WLL provides farm tours where you will learn much about the growing of lavender and the keeping of bees.  Enjoy 10+ varieties of Lavendula Angustifolia (dubbed True or English) and Lavendula Intermedia (dubbed Lavandin or French) families. “- Weir’s Lane Lavender 

I don’t think I’ve ever really given lavender much appreciation before seeing rows upon rows of both French and English lavender. When we went (back in the beginning of July) the lavender flowers were in full bloom and put on quite the show.  This was a good time to go and the colours were vibrant and all of the buds had bloomed at this point! When we pulled up to the farm we were directed by very friendly staff to the front field and were even shown the difference in look and smell of English and French lavender.  We visited around 3:00, and the farm closes to the public at 4. It was a little busy at this time but I think it was less busy then going earlier.

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The views and the smells were absolutely breathtaking and made for one of the best backdrops I’ve ever had for my photographs!

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I could have sat here for hours just taking in all the beautiful sites and smells of the fragrant lavender.

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We then headed around back where there was more lavender and tons of opportunities for pictures! Opportunities are available for professional photographers to reserve time to  privately photograph without the public in the background for special events like engagement shoots, weddings. Please visit their website for details.

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I really wanted my outfit to pop in a sea of purple and be fresh and summery– I think it did just that. I went with a lemon printed dress and straw tote bag. Of course, it would’t be a summer outfit without a large straw hat. I just loved the saying on this hat and thought it was perfect for the occasion. I finished off the look with a pair of matching yellow sunglasses in keeping with the fresh look.

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Located inside is the shop. It sold everything from  lavender plants, dried lavender to essential oils and culinary lavender and honey (also harvested on site).

I am so glad we were introduced to this gem and will definitely be coming back next year for another beautiful visit!

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Wearing: Winners Dress & Hat, Sears Canada Bag, Quay Australia Sunglasses

Thanks for visiting, come back soon!

xoxo,

Sara

Flamingos & Frills

Just for the (frill) of it, I decided to mix two of my favourite things: flamingos, and frills. The result…a super adorable girly look that can either be dressed up or dressed down!

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Yet another flamingo print top! I just can’t stop, and I couldn’t resist the urge to scoop this one up from J-Crew (similar styles available). I always size down in clothes from J-Crew as I find they are very generous with their sizes. Since this is a comfy tee, I went with an xs, it’s loose yet still perfectly fitting! The fuchsia pink watercolour design and flamingos that form into a heart sold me right away. Priced at just $20 on sale how could I say no? I paired the top with a matching flourscent pink button down cardigan also from J-Crew (old style, similar here) to really tie together the look! With it being so warm outside and cold inside the office, adding a light, matching cardigan is the ultimate summer dressing hack!

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These gingham print frilled trousers from Top Shop were also spotted on Miley Cyrus during the One Love Manchester benefit concert.

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I have received so many compliments on them and with their loose fit and high waist, they are comfortable for everyday wear! I managed to score them, and the matching jacket (not pictured) majorly on sale during a promotional period online at Hudson’s Bay I got both pieces for under $50 (regular $80+ each).

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What’s a flamingo themed outfit without matching shoes? I ordered these online from ASOS for half price ($27.00)! I love the little detail of the flamingo with the sparkly gold hearts! It has a small heel so they’re comfortable but also gives you that little added height.

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Since I had both a loud print pant and top, I went with minimal accessories. I opted for a marble cat-eye lens sunglass (Quay Australia). The cay-eye, a popular trend in the 50’s and 60’s has made a big comeback in a very big way, and I’m loving it! These are my favourite brand of sunglasses right now, and while I usually order them online from ASOS when they go on sale, I managed to score these from my local Winners for only $16 (they’re listed at $81 on ASOS.) In keeping with the bright pink theme, I went with a matching Kate Spade purse for an added pop of pink (because you can never have too much pink, ever!)

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And of course, the cutest little addition to my outfit- my new Iced Tea Press from David’s Tea. This style is sold out online, but you can call your local store to have them check the irstock! It’s currently marked down from $30.00 to $19.00 and I’m already obsessed!

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Motel Hamilton- Restaurant Review

The new (and adorable) little Sister to School Toronto is Motel Hamilton. After some major construction, transformation, and face-lifting, Motel Hamilton officially opened its doors on June 9, 2017. It is slated to be, if not already is, one of the hottest brunch spots in Hamilton. With its Palm Spring’s decor, delicious food and drink menu, you will forget you’re only about an hour outside of Toronto.

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If you’re looking for a new place for brunch/lunch in the Hamilton area, go check-in to Motel, you’re sure to enjoy your stay, I know I did!

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When you pull up to the restaurant, you will see the adorable little pastel pink MOTEL sign, and until you walk in (or peak in the window) you wouldn’t really look twice at it. The second you walk in you are instantly hit with Palm Springs motel chic, the smell of delicious food, and the enthusiasm and smiles of the staff!

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Before all the hype began and bloggers and foodies from allover began flooding into Motel Hamilton I was lucky enough to visit shortly after it first opened. Lucky for me, this meant it was less busy, making for optimal photo-shooting time.

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The pastel pink walls, palm leaves, and little motel details really transform this restaurant into a work of art!

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An old pastel pink rotary phone sits at the “front-desk” otherwise known as the “lobby bar”.

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Neon lights are popping up all over the place lately, I love the quirky little detail and homage to a real motel of this one!

We were seated instantly and started off with drinks. The speciality drink menu  (The 5 O’cocktails)  isn’t extensive, but the regular drink menu has everything you would need and more. The cocktail menu drinks run at $12.00 a glass or “Motel-sized” for an extra $2.50. Of course, seeing the Flamingo Sangria I knew immediately I would be ordering that. My boyfriend went with a twist on a classic Caesar and got the Bacon Bourbon Caesar. Once we received our drinks I began taking some pictures, because who could resist photographing cocktails like these?

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Since it wasn’t too busy, one of the staff asked if we’d like to move over to the white table as it was “better for pictures”. I couldn’t have agreed more, and immediately jumped at the opportunity. I was glad he did because my plated food pictures turned out 100% better because of it. There’s something about food on a sleek white table that really grabs the attention to your followers and is proven to be visually more effective.

THE DRINKS

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I’m not a fan of super sweet/sugary cocktails but this sangria had just the right amount for me, with a good mix of bubbly!

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I seriously could have stayed and ate (and drank) here all day, the decor was serious goals!

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Taking a sneak peak at the decor before hand on Instagram, I knew exactly what I was going to wear! I’m a huge fan of themes, so when I saw the pastel perfection and Palm Spring’s decor at Motel Hamilton ,there’s no way I wasn’t going to incorporate palm leaves and flamingos (always) into my outfit! One of the staff members even complimented my outfit and said it was matched perfectly with the decor (success!)

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THE FOOD

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In keeping with traditional brunch, I went for the Charred & Smashed Avocado Croissant (because, avocado, always!) It came with a side of tasty kale salad! The croissant was very fresh, and the eggs were perfectly cooked. They even stayed good after all the pictures I had to take of my food first!

My boyfriend, being the boy that he is, went for the ultimate match made it brunch heaven, chicken and waffles. The waffle was topped with vanilla honey butter, a sweet and salty sauce, and buttermilk fried chicken. While I’m not a fan of waffles, fried chicken has a large part of my heart, so I tried some of his. It was perfectly spiced and battered with undoubtedly moist chicken!

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The food was so yummy and so visually appealing that they basically photographed themselves!

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HELLOOOOOO PINK WALLS!

I would without a doubt recommend this restaurant and can’t wait to go back and visit again!  There were lots of items on the menu I had my eye on, saving them for the next time knowing I would be back.

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Thanks for stopping in!

Head over to my  Instagram to follow along my tasty and fashionable journey!

xoxo,
Sara

Flamingo Friday

Today’s edition of Flamingo Friday features all things Zara!

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I had my eye on this bag for a while, it’s the perfect Clare V dupe without breaking the bank. I actually managed to scoop it up  before it sold out when the Zara summer sale started! It’s so spacious and goes with just about anything. The bag has a removable long shoulder strap, or it can be worn as a tote.

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My sister picked out these Zara shorts and t-shirt and shorts for my birthday (she knows my flamingo obsession really well!)

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I mean, come on, a giant fuzzy flamingo, this shirt couldn’t be any more me if it tried!

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I finished off this look with a pair of pale pink mules (Winners- $29.00)- these have seriously become my go-to shoes, they go with everything and are the perfect height! I added a  pair of clear, cat-eye Quay Sunglasses (asos- $24- now sold out- also available here)

Thanks for visiting!

 

xoxo Sara

If Summer Were A Dress

Summer has met it’s match. This dress embodies what summer style is all about: floral prints, white, breezy, flounce material. You’ll feel as carefree and effortless as you look in this adorable dress from H&M.

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Put a meadow on your dress and twirl into summer!

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In keeping with the effortless summer-chic, I tossed my hair up into a messy bun (one of those messy buns that actually worked out for once!)

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Dress (great deal!), |Earrings- Hudson’s Bay (similar here),|Peep-toe slides- Winners (similar here),|Sunglasses (Quay Australia)- (available on ASOS,| straw clutch bag- Winners (similar here).

Are we friends on Instagram yet?

xoxo,

Sara

 

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Don’t go bacon my heart!

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These sweet and salty cupcakes are sure to please any crowd! I whipped up a batch of these for Canada Day, since they included two Canadian classics (maple and bacon!) The moist maple cupcake, topped with vanilla icing with a drizzle of maple syrup and bits of crispy bacon will have you wanting more and more!

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You eat bacon for breakfast, so these are basically a breakfast item right?

The bacon dessert trend hit the food scene a few years ago and continues to be added to a number of sweet treats, so I decided to take a run at it! Maple and bacon have always been a match made in heaven, so there were high hopes for these cupcakes!

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Making these cupcakes was my very first encounter using bacon in dessert. I was excited to hear and see what everyone thought of them. The reviews were good and everyone loved them!

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PREP TIME
20 mins
COOK TIME
18 mins
TOTAL TIME
38 mins

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 box of white cake mix (I cheated because hey, these recipes are perfected so why mess with a good thing?)
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil- use half, half bacon grease
  • bacon grease (grease from cooking bacon in a pan)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional: 1 tsp of maple extract

Frosting:

  • 2 containers of white frosting (also cheated on making this from scratch)
  • 2 Tbsp of maple syrup

Topping:

  • maple syrup, to drizzle over cupcakes
  • 6-8 crispy bacon strips cut into small pieces
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. (I used Canada Day themed ones on this occasion)
  2. Combine ingredients as stated on the box + the bacon grease, and maple syrup (and maple extract if you’re included that.)
  3. Start pouring mixture into cupcake liners filing just over halfway.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes.Take out of the oven and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting! (important step or you’ll get runny icing– speaking from experience.

Frosting:

  • Transfer your maple frosting into a piping bag using the piping tip of choice.
  • Crumble crispy bacon on top and drizzle with maple syrup!
  • Add festive little touches like Canadian flags, etc.

VOILA!

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I will definitely be making these again, they were super simple and stayed really moist from the bacon grease added to the mix!

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