birthday OOTD + photo challenge

Well, today is the big day - I'm officially 20! Where does the time go..? I thought I'd share with you my first ever outfit post!

Here in Canada, there is still a fair amount of snow on the ground, but I'm hoping for some warmer weather so I can wear this combo out on the town!

birthday OOTD | marlee and you

My top and skirt are both from American Apparel, and my shoes are Steve Madden. Nothing over the top, which is how I like it. And of course, I'm wearing my favourite colour: blue!

photo challenge | marlee and you
I couldn't be more excited to see what my twentieth year has in store, so I decided to do a bit of a challenge: a photo a day for 365 days in a row, leading right to my next birthday!

I'm not one for selfies, but I might need to change that. I'll be using my stunning blue camera that is completely Marlee-proof (i.e. shock proof, water proof and dust proof - because I'm prone to clumsiness). So basically I'll take a shot of something interesting, or mundane that is going on in my life each day, then I'll compile them all in a years time.

Now it's time to go and eat some cake!



face mask haul

Face masks are a great way to spice up your daily skincare routine. As a rule I try to do a mask at least once a week, to give my face that extra boost of softness and glow. Here I'll feature four different masks that all have different benefits, so you can decide which is best for you!

face mask haul | marlee and you

From left to right

1. Manuka Honey Peel Off (by Montange Jeunesse)
This is a single use packet with plenty of product (enough to cover your neck as well) that I got in my Little Life Box. The soothing honey scent was so relaxing! The special ingredient in this mask is honey from New Zealand which is a natural anti-bacterial cleanser.

2. Peel Off Mask in Cucumber (by Freeman)
I love the smell of cucumber, but I don't quite enjoy it in this mask, however I find the benefits worth it (I light a candle to give my nose something else to smell). This product clarifies and renews the skin, which I think is great for summer! It also contains aloe which is super moisturizing.

3. Clay Mask in Chocolate and Strawberry (by Freeman)
Nothing says spa day like a chocolate facial! This clay mask is for deep pore cleansing and helps diminish the look of pores. Definitely my favourite!

4. Mineral Clay Firming Mask (by St. Ives)
This mask has a nice fresh minty scent and tingles the skin (in a good way). It helps visibly firm and tighten skin, while deep cleaning your pores. I've been using this particular mask for years, it's a classic!

Overall Thoughts and Tips:
- all of these masks made my skin feel softer right away
- I recommend peel off masks for dryer skin
- be gentle when peeling it off masks, harsh tugging at your skin is damaging over time
- always wash your face before applying a mask
- avoid eyebrows when applying a peel off - there's nothing worse than pulling out eyebrow hairs with your mask!
- don't put the product on too thick - it will take forever to dry
- always rinse your face after using a mask to make sure it all comes off (I usually use toner and moisturizer after as well)
- try and do a face mask 1-2 times a week to get the best results!

Are you in the mood for a pamper night now?
What's your favourite face mask?



march youtube playlist: top 5 videos

youtube playlist | marlee and you
Youtube has become a regular part of my day. With school work and essays to do, Youtube videos make for a nice quick break to put a smile on my face before I get back to the grind.

I don't even want to know the exact number of Youtube videos that I've watched in March, because I'm sure that number is quite high.

I thought I'd share with you the top 5 videos that have made my day over this past month, enjoy!

#1: the best Frozen song cover ever!

#2: the cutest little girl!

#3: the perfect summarization of what it's like in Canada right now!

#4: the best way to get pumped up and feeling happy!

#5: the most energetic dance routine that will knock your socks off!

So there you have it! Take a break and get a load of this entertainment!
If you're a student like me, keep your chin up and good luck with exams!

What has been your favourite Youtube video this month?



my signature scent

signature scent | marlee and youI know many of us have multiple body sprays, perfumes and scented lotions -  a whole collection even, but let's be honest... We all have that one scent that's our go-to for everyday.

For the past two Christmases my little brother got me an assortment of Bath & BodyWorks products, all in the same scent: Twilight Woods. I can't get enough of this smell! It's so warm and delicious.

I know describing scents is a rather difficult task, so I'm not going to try and explain it further, but I'm telling you - it smells heavenly.

I'm currently using the shimmer spray, fragrance mist and body lotion on a daily basis. With the spray, a little goes a long way. This bottle has lasted me over a year and I've still got more than a half of it left! Twilight Woods is most definitely my signature scent.

What's your go-to perfume?



10$ beauty bag | ipsy

After my first subscription box experience, I couldn't wait to see what else was out there an try something new! I heard about the ipsy bag and signed up right away.

Have you heard of ipsy? It's this monthly glam bag subscription that sends you a new make-up bag full of products that were custom picked just for you! You make a profile and fill out a questionnaire so that the ipsy beauty experts can choose which items would be perfect for your style.

ipsy glam bag | marlee and you
Example ipsy Bag (Source)

I love this concept as opposed to other subscription boxes that are a complete surprise with what you get. With ipsy, you're sent 4-5 different products in each bag that have a combined value way higher than $10 - you definitely get bang for your buck! (Heads up, it's closer to $15 in Canada for shipping). There have been some months where members received over $50 worth of products! Just check out some of the reviews on youtube!

ipsy glam bag | marlee and you

The website was really easy to navigate, and there are neat forums and ways of sharing what you receive. Each month tends to have a theme throughout the products. March's was a destination theme because of spring break. I'm hoping the April one will have to do with Easter, because that's my favourite holiday ever!

So, after all that, who wouldn't want to join?
I've got your referral covered too! Just click HERE and wait (that's the worst part, the waiting) until your marvelous package appears in the mail mid month!

Also, new subscribers tend to get waitlisted because this beauty bag is so popular. BUT there's an easy way out of it! Just follow their easy jump-the-waitlist steps (which is basically just liking them on facebook) then you'll be on the mailing list for the following date. It's as easy as that!

So there you have it!
Have you tried ipsy?



my thoughts on hair | the big chop

marlee and you
That's right. The big chop. It happened, and I have no regrets. I know of many people who have chopped off their hair lately. For me though, it wasn't for esthetic reasons. This post might be lengthier than most of what I feature on this blog, but I encourage you to take a moment and read what I have to say...

There are some events life throws you that make you take a step back and reflect. For me, one of those moments happened shortly after last Thanksgiving when my twenty-year-old cousin got diagnosed with cancer. It was a huge shock to my entire family.

Very few people have not been effected by cancer in the life of someone they know and love and I'm sure everyone reacts differently. For me, it was hard to accept, then after time, I started thinking how I would react if I were in my cousin's position. Would I be able to keep a positive outlook like he has? 

As vain as it may sound, one of the most heartbreaking thoughts that came to my mind was the possibility that I would lose my hair if I became sick like that. Why was hair something I cared so much about? Well, I didn't quite know, which made me ponder that concept more.

Why do we hold such value in the physical appearance of things like hair?

After examining my own life, it didn't take long for me to decide that I wanted to donate my hair. Why hold on so tightly to something that should truly be of no value to me? I wanted to give the gift of hair to a young girl who needs it way more than I do.

hair donation | marlee and you
Gone with a swift snip
Yesterday I went into a salon and did the big chop. I waited until that specific date because it was my cousin's 21st birthday and I wanted to do this in honor and celebration of that. Within seconds, the long hair that had been a part of me for countless years, was cut off. I was so excited, I couldn't stop laughing and grinning! I have never felt so emotional sitting in a chair at the hairdressers.

I'm sending in two thick ponytails to an organization that will make my hair into a custom wig prosthetic which will be given to a child cancer patient in need (free of charge to them).

before and after | marlee and you
Before and After
Just to make it clear, I'm not writing this post to get praise or show that I did something huge. After all, it takes close to ten hair donations to create a single wig! What I've done is truly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I just wanted to try and encourage you to think of the things that you value most. What if you could give that valued possession to someone more deserving? It doesn't have to be hair. It could be quality time, anonymous donations, volunteered services... anything really.

I challenge you to reach out of your comfort zone and do something selfless.
Life's short - make the most of it!



little life box | march '14 unboxing

I had never heard of subscription boxes before I started blogging. I love the idea of signing up to get a box full of surprises once a month. Naturally, I wanted to order every possible type of box out there, but I chose the Little Life Box to be the first one to try. It appeared to have a bit of everything that all geared towards healthy and green living, which is of personal interest to me. Check out what the March box was packed with!

Little Life Box | marlee and you

I love how this box was presented. The tissue and adorable postcard inside were definitely put together with care. There were also little papers that described some of the products, which were really informative and helpful.

The March Box Samples and Products:

Little Life Box | marlee and you
Tasty Snack Samples
Gluten Free Crackers:
This snack-size package of crackers was absolutely scrumptious. Yes, I couldn't resist, I ate them as soon as I could. They are gluten free with an olive oil and herb flavour. Very simple tasting and I would recommend them for dipping (in hummus perhaps). This product is all natural, gluten free, kosher and made with no preservatives.

Bounce Energy Ball:
A delicious and dense protein/energy bar in a coconut and macadamia flavour. I love coconut, I'm definitely considering purchasing a pack of these. They're the perfect snack for after a workout or when you need a pick-me-up. This product is gluten free, very high in fibre, full of protein and is made with no artificial additives.

Little Life Box | marlee and you
Assortment of different drinks/mixes to try

Teechino Coffee Alternative:
This sample is a hazelnut flavour, which I can't wait to try. Teechino is an organic, herbal coffee that is caffeine free.

Q Energy Drink Packets:
An energy drink powder to add to water that is full of vitamins and electrolytes. It's great for your health and immune system. I received the lemon-lime flavour, which tastes nice a fresh. I'll be keeping these for when I feel like I'm getting sick, or am feeling like I need a boost of healthy energy.

3 Teas Sample:
This tea is organic lemon green flavour, which I'm curious to try. I love different teas, so this brand might be my new go-to.

SunWarrior Protein Powder:
This raw and vegan protein powder in vanilla is the perfect addition to your health shakes. It's great for workout enthusiasts to help build back muscle. This product is also gluten free.

Enerex Greens:
This gluten free drink mix is packed with nutrients and superfoods that will boost your energy without caffeine. It's also supposed to help with digestion and mental alertness. Another great addition to healthy smoothies or shakes!

Little Life Box | marlee and you
Drops and Spray
Orange Naturals D3 Drops:
This is a great product to keep you healthy through those long winters when most of us are vitamin D deficient. You just add a drop into a drink, for example, and you get your daily amount of vitamin D. How simple!

ChlOralfa Breath Freshener:
I've never really used breath sprays, but I like this one. It isn't too intense and it tastes great! This product uses peppermint essential oils and is also disinfecting. I'll be tossing this one in my purse to keep with me when I'm on the go.

Little Life Box | marlee and you
Beauty Products
This is a bath pouf by EcoTools. What I love is that it's made out of 100% recycled material. Both the packaging and pouf itself are recyclable - great for being green!

Lotus Aroma Bath and Shower Gel:
This product contains natural essential oils and smells amazing! I can't wait to use it. The lavender scent is perfect for relaxing.

Montange Jeunesse Face Masque:
This is a peel off face masque that is vegetarian approved and has not be tested on animals. I'm looking forward to using this - I love face masques!

Box Facts:
- offered in Canada (will be available in the US in the upcoming months)
- contains 12-15 samples/goodies in each box
- $19.99 for one month (plus additional costs)
- products that promote health and a sustainable lifestyle

My Thoughts:
I'm really pleased with all this box had to offer. I've heard of other subscription boxes arriving very late into the month, but I got this one within the first week of the month! The product descriptions were also really useful. I'd definitely get a Little Life Box again!

If you want to sign up for next month, click here!

Have you tried any subscription boxes?



two-cupcake recipe

cupcake | marlee and you

I found a recipe that makes cupcakes for two on the site How Sweet It Is. This recipe is perfect for when you want to satisfy a sweet tooth craving and don't want to make two dozen cupcakes. I thought this idea was genius, so I gave it a try! I did end up making a few alterations to the cooking time, and my cupcakes weren't as light a fluffy as the one's from the website, but I think they were a success anyway!

cupcakes | marlee and you

Cupcakes for Two

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.
*I added at least 5 minutes to the cooking time, be sure to check that your cupcakes are baked through with a toothpick

I made these for my boyfriend and I as a yummy dessert and "frosted" them with a piping bag of Nutella. So yummy!

Give them a try!



DIY dream jar | inspiration

Earlier this year I shared my resolution for 2014, which is to be inspired. As part of keeping up with this new and more positive daily attitude, I started my own little dream jar!

dream jar | marlee and you

The idea behind this is for me to write down future dreams (whether they could come true tomorrow, or 20 years from now) on a piece of paper, fold them up, and keep them in a jar. At the end of this year, and every year to follow, I will open up the jar, read each paper, and remove the ones that I have achieved to post them on my inspiration board to remind myself of what I've accomplished.

dream jar | marlee and you

If you want to do this for 2014, all you've got to do is find a jar (I used a mini mason jar I found around my house) and label it if you wish. I cut a slit in a piece of paper to top the jar, but you don't have to do that step. Then cut some strips of paper, colourful or not, and keep them close by to write down your dreams, goals and aspirations as they come to you.

I keep my jar in a place where I see it countless times a day. It's a great reminder for me to keep dreaming, but to also strive to reach those goals I've already set.

What's one thing you've always wanted to do or achieve?



LUSH favourites and review

On a recent trip to my local Lush shop I picked up a few treasures. I love love love the environment in that store! The staff are so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. My favourite thing about Lush products is that they're animal cruelty free, and are also made of really basic ingredients. Everything in that store smells amazing! Today I'm going to share my four Lush faves at the moment. I chose to feature a bit of everything - enjoy!

Lush favourites | marlee and you

First off, I got two cute little samples of the Karma Kream hand and body lotion as well as the Happy Hippy body wash. I love the feel of the lotion, and even though it isn't a scent that I overly enjoy, it works great! The body wash is such a fresh scent, very citrusy and bright. The best thing about these two products (and the majority of things at Lush) is that you only need a teeny tiny bit of products for one use.

Next! What's a Lush trip without getting something for your baths? I got a delicious smelling bubble bar in Yuzu Cocoa. I love tonnes of bubbles in my baths and I know a lot of people get a few uses from one bubble bar... I will be splitting mine in two, so I can get loads of suds on both occasions.

Lush favourite | marlee and you
Finally, the Ocean Salt face and body scrub. Such an awesome exfoliant with a gentle scent and great texture that leaves my skin super smooth! I'm currently using this product mostly on my face, but you can literally use it anywhere and get great results.

Lush products are a great way to pamper yourself this weekend!
What are your favourite Lush products right now?