snail mail - penpals

snail mail | marlee and youCall me old-fashioned, but there's nothing I love more than getting mail! Real mail of course, not bills or flyers. I love receiving letters, postcards and greeting cards! Those things always bring me so much joy. This is why I was extremely excited to get my first ever penpal letter in the mail last week! Because not only do I enjoy coming home to something in my mailbox, but I also love sending things to my friends and family!

A fellow blogger, Alyssa, started matching other interested bloggers to become worldwide penpals on her site Ali in Bloom. I jumped at that opportunity because I had never had a penpal, but always loved the idea of getting to know someone that way and making a new friend from afar. I'm interested to see what cool things come from this penpal corespondance!

I'll be leaving in a few days for my month abroad in Germany so I'm getting ready to send multiple postcards to loved ones back home while I'm gone. For most things in life, I don't have much patience, but for some reason, waiting for a letter in the mail is one of my favourite things! I don't know why letter writing has become a dying art. Sure the internet is fast and convenient, but it's much more personal receiving a hand written message that you can physically hold and keep to look back on in the years to come.

When was the last time you've sent something in the mail?

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feel-good movies

movies | marlee and you

Sometimes there's nothing better than just lying down and relaxing while watching a movie at the end of the day! It may just be me, but I find certain movies are always better in the summer. And even though the camp and road trip themed films get me in the summer spirit, there are also some movies that I could watch whenever, however many times and still absolutely love!

I'm sure everyone has their own list of feel-good movies, but here are my top three:

movies | marlee and you

Sister Act
I can't get enough of the soundtrack for this movie! Sister Act has such an upbeat and inspiring storyline that demonstrates how one person can impact so many others to create something truly unique and special... all while singing soulful hymns! PLUS this movie has been made into a Broadway musical - no big deal!

Princess Diaries
Who doesn't love a drastic transformation movie where an everyday girl suddenly leaps past underdog status? Princess Diaries not only has my favourite makeover scene, but two awesome lead actresses as well (Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway).

She's the Man
I can't get enough of the unlikely and completely ridiculous situations in this movie! She's the Man is so over-the-top! I also love the fact that the concept of this movie is based off of my favourite Shakespeare play (Twelfth Night). Amanda Bynes was a childhood favourite of mine, so naturally I adored her movies as well.

I think we can all say that there are a handful of movies we could watch over and over again and still enjoy! My feel-good movies are rather girlie and have totally unrealistic storylines, but I think that's why I love them so much!

What movie leaves you smiling?

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travel hacks: downsizing

travel hacks | marlee and you

I'm officially leaving for Germany in two and a half weeks which is both super exciting and a smidge stressful to think about! There are still so many things to plan and get in order before I go! I've started organizing and making lists for what I'm going to need to pack. I realized I need to downsize lots of items like crazy in order to save space in my suitcase and make things lighter so that I'll have extra room in order to bring back lots of souvenirs for my family and friends!

The majority of heavy items that I pack are beauty products. Things like lotions and shampoos are all heavy liquids that come in large bottles, making my bag weigh more with the risk of having to pay extra for my luggage on the plane. I needed to find some ways to downsize all of these, so I thought I'd share 3 tips I came up with along the way!

travel hacks | marlee and you

1. Collect mini containers for those products that you won't need a lot of.
I saved my sample containers from LUSH to put some creams in (so that I don't need to bring the whole bottle) and then labeled them with stickers so I would know what is inside! You can also buy a whole assorted package of small bottles and carry-on approved containers, but I'd rather save money and recycle by using what I already had.

2. Switch up your face routine.
I typically do a "cleanse, tone, moisturize" nightly routine with my face, but if I'm going to be traveling and on the go, bringing a washcloth and multiple products isn't very practical. I opted for basic facial wipes to use at the end of the day, just to keep it simple. I'll also use up the entire package throughout my trip so I'll have one less thing to bring home with me!

3. Buy the travel/small sized product.
I have very dry skin and use a lot of body lotion throughout the day, but it didn't make sense for me to bring along a huge lotion bottle when I would only use a fraction of it during the month that I'll be away. I purchased a smaller sized bottle that contains half the amount of product as the large one so that I won't be needing to lug a large and heavier bottle in my suitcase with me!

So those are just a few tips I'll be putting to use when it comes to downsizing for my month abroad. Hopefully you can tuck these in the back of your mind for future use! I'll post some more packing tips as I continue getting my suitcase ready!

Do you have any travel hacks to share?

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homemade lemonade

lemonade | marlee and you

Even if life isn't giving you lemons, making lemonade is always a great idea on those hot summer days! As part of my summer bucket list, I wanted to try making lemonade from scratch. The recipe itself is quite simple, but I've never had to hand juice fruit before, so it was quite the experience (and workout for my wrist)!

lemonade | marlee and you


1 3/4 c. Sugar
1 1/2 c. Lemon Juice
8 c. Water

Dissolve sugar in 1 cup of hot or boiling water (I microwaved my water). Stir. Add lemon juice and remaining water into a large pitcher. Stir. Serve over ice and enjoy! 

I don't mean to brag, but this was the best lemonade I've ever had! Maybe it's because it was more satisfying having made it myself, but it could also just be the fact that homemade, fresh things are always the best! Let me know if you give this recipe a try!

What's your favourite summer drink to sip on?

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