pinterest challenge: january '15

Another month, another Pinterest challenge! This January marked my first blogiversary! I can't believe it's already been a whole year! I've got three new pins that I tried out this month and I think my results are pretty decent this time around! I thought I'd practice a nail art design for next month and Valentine's day and I also tried a new cookie recipe and workout (to keep the calories of all those cookies in check)! Take a look at my pin recreations below and follow my boards through the Pinterest box in the left side bar!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (top), My Recreation (bottom)

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and I love dressing up my nails for festive occasions so I thought I'd try and recreate some pretty and pink Pinterest nail art! The lettering was definitely a struggle, but I'm still pleased with my results. I'd say this design is for nail pros... it wasn't an easy job. If you're feeling confident with your nail polish skills, give this pin a try!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Attempt (right)

Winter is baking season in my house! I love having an excuse to whip up something delicious. I saw a Pin for mint chip cookies and thought I'd give it a shot. I was a little disappointed in how mine turned out though... the colour wasn't quite what I expected and there wasn't enough mint in my opinion. Something might have gone wrong seen as my cookies look nothing like the texture of the ones in the original pin! They were still yummy... just could have been better.

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin

My friend told me she tried this ab workout I pinned and that she loved how it used different moves than the typical crunches and planks. I tried it out this week and immediately understood what she meant! It was quite the workout! Let me know which move you like if you do this Pinterest workout!

How was your January?

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Grace's Guide: book review

I follow a number of YouTubers and love watching their videos. One of the first YouTube personalities I subscribed to watch Grace Helbig! I think her videos and silly approach to everyday life things are comical and enlightening. My best friend Daniella and I were super excited to see the movie Camp Takota that stars Grace and a handful of other YouTube celebs... but we were even more excited to find out Grace was publishing a book!

Daniella and I both received Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up for Christmas and finished reading it in record time. I figured I should share with you a brief review of this book's wonders.

Grace's Guide is sectioned off into advice for your professional life, social life, love life and general lifestyle. The format is so casual and almost conversational - it's brilliant! The colourful pages and quirky photos are the best! This is the perfect read when you want to unwind and not have to use your brain for school things.

Fun fact: Daniella and I have birthdays that are a week apart so this year we're doing a combined party. This was Daniella's idea and of course, she jumped right into Grace's Guide and pulled out all the good info from the "How to Throw and Adult Party" section... and we are literally following every step! This is one of my favourite parts of the book! Grace thought of many things (mostly learned through experience) that I never would've considered whilst planning this party! Thanks Grace!

I don't want to give a tonne of spoilers, but I will recommend this book to any teen/young adult searching for a fun read. Grace's humour is not everyone's taste, but I personally thought the whole book was incredibly clever. If you're a fan of Grace's YouTube channel, don't hesitate to pick up a copy of Grace's Guide and take it for a spin!

Have you read any of the recently released YouTuber books?

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my travel make-up bag

Now that winter break is over and done with and school is back in full swing, what's next to look forward to? Spring break/reading week/whatever your school calls it! It's never too early to start planning ahead for your future packing needs. It's been a few months since I've been on a true "traveling trip," but I've done a lot of girl's night sleepovers and all-nighter games nights with friends, so I've developed my own list of essentials for my travel make-up bag. My ipsy make-up bag is nice and small, so it's perfect for tucking in my purse on the go. Check out my make-up essentials below!

1. Waterproof Mascara
The waterproof-ness is just personal preference. Mascara is a beauty essential for me. Even if a full eye make-up look is out of the question, mascara serves as a great product for brightening your eyes and takes only seconds to apply.

2. Acne Spot Treatment
Because you never know when an annoying skin blemish will pop up, it's nice to have a spot treatment on hand! If I'm ever staying over somewhere, I'll bring some of this with me just in case!

3. Primer
Even if you're not putting on a full face of make-up, it's always a good idea to use a primer to smooth out the appearance of pores and create a good base for BB cream and powder.

4. BB Cream
When creating an on-the-go look, BB cream is great for blending your skin tone and adding some glow without the heaviness of foundation!

5. Tweezers
I don't always need them, but they're nice to have on hand!

6. Pressed Powder
Top off that BB cream and give your face a nice matte finish! I have combination skin and pressed powder has become my best friend!

7. Eyelash Curler
Even if I choose not to apply mascara, I still curl my eyelashes to give my eyes a more open and full appearance.

8. Tinted Lip Balm
Add some moisture AND colour to your lips with a tinted lip balm to finish off your travel-make-up look! I love my Naked Bee tinted lip balms from my blogging buddy and penpal Kelly! They're a great way to add a pop of colour and some class to my overall look!

What's your go-to travel make-up product?

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how to beat the winter blahs

I'm sure extended amounts of snow, grey skies and short days are no one's favourites! I don't know about you, but I'd be okay if winter ended soon. We had a green Christmas, then got a big dump of snow the next week and it's been freezing ever since. Sometimes winter can get you down, so I thought I'd share some ideas to brighten your spirits and get some life back into you!

beat the winter blahs | marlee and you

1. Drink it up!
I like to think a nice hot drink can serve as a warm hug on a cold day! Sometimes all I need is a good cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to give me a pick-me-up. Try experimenting and with different tea flavours or buy a fun flavoured creamer for your morning coffee!

2. Soak it in!
Another option to get you all warmed up and relaxed is to take a bath! Baths aren't as popular as they should be. No one seems to have the time to just relax and soak. Do yourself a favour and buy a fun LUSH bath bomb, put on some calm music and have a moment to yourself - you'll feel less "blah" and more energized in no time!

3. Sweat it out!
How are those New Year's resolutions holding up? If you made any sort of commitment to become more fit, stick with it! Working out can give you that pep you need to get through a long, tough winter day! Get some fit-spiration on Pinterest or try working out with a buddy!

I know these aren't the most profound tips, but sometimes we just need a reminder to do something for ourselves, relax and get energized. Winter can be gloomy, but there are lots of ways to keep positive and motivated. Maybe try and find a cool new hobby? The options are endless!

What gets you energized when you have the winter blahs?

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2015 reading challenge

If you weren't already aware, I study languages at university, including English Literature. I'm constantly having to read books, articles and poems for class that by the time summer roles around, I don't want to read another page of anything ever again. It didn't take long before pleasure reading didn't appeal to me anymore - which I'm trying to change!

My friend introduced me to the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge and I'm totally up for, well, the challenge! I definitely think I can successfully read all of the following by the end of the year! Here's the list of books to read from the Popsugar site:

reading challenge | marlee and you
-A book with more than 500 pages
-A classic romance
-A book that became a movie
-A book published this year
-A book with a number in a title
-A book written by someone under 30
-A book with nonhuman characters
-A funny book
-A book by a female author
-A mystery or thriller
-A book with a one-word title
-A book of short stories
-A book set in a different country
-A nonfiction book
-A popular author's first book
-A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet
-A book a friend recommended
-A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
-A book based on a true story
-A book at the bottom of your to-read list
-A book your mom loves
-A book that scares you
-A book more than 100 years old
-A book based entirely on its cover
-A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't
-A memoir
-A book you can finish in a day
-A book with antonyms in the title
-A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
-A book that came out the year you were born
-A book with bad reviews
-A trilogy
-A book from your childhood
-A book with a love triangle
-A book set in the future
-A book set in highschool
-A book with a colour in the title
-A book that made you cry
-A book with magic
-A graphic novel
-A book by an author you've never read before
-A book you own but have never read
-A book that takes place in your hometown
-A book that was originally written in a different language
-A book set during Christmas
-A book written by an author with your same initials
-A play
-A banned book
-A book based on or turned into a TV show
-A book you started but never finished

At the end of the year, I'll post which books I read for each specification!
Are YOU up for the challenge!?

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happy new year!

It's already the third day of this new year! Happy 2015!! I'm so excited for what this year will hold! I just watched the movie New Year's Eve again, and I always love watching it - it gives some good encouragement to have hope for the new year. I don't usually do any resolutions, but I thought I'd give a few ideas for attainable goals for the new year that I'll be aiming toward this time around.

-have a lazy day every week (one work-free day to relax and spend time with family)
-write out weekly to-do's to keep on top of school work (weekly goals are important too)
-chose to be active in everyday things (like taking the stairs and packing healthy snacks)
-train to run another 5k race (I did it before, I can do it again!)
-make an effort to spend more quality time with loved ones and friends

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings toward New Year's resolutions. Whatever your stance is, I hope you find a way to make the most of the year ahead!

What are you most looking forward to in 2015?

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