pinterest challenge: july '15

Nothing like some food, a nice workout and something crafty to top off a wonderful summer month! This time around for my monthly Pinterest challenge, I was rather successful! These pins have been on my board for quite some time now and I'm glad I finally got myself to do them! That's the whole point of this monthly challenge - to steer clear of the pin-and-forget mentality and to get out and just do it!

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

One of my all-time favourite foods is pizza. I love pizza and practically every variation of it (calzones, bagel bites, pizza pops) but I wanted to try this recipe for when I have my typical pizza craving and want to make a pizza equivalent at home. I've made pita pizzas before, which were a huge success, but I liked this quick element to the pizzadilla idea. It literally takes three minutes on the stove and you've got instant pizza delisiousness! I also love pizza sauce, and dipping the pizzadilla in sauce was a great decision!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin

I've been trying to switch up my workout routine by focusing on different muscles each workout. I always find ab exercises difficult and most of them irritate my back. This pin was a new oblique exercise and I found it very effective! I don't own a workout ball like the one on the picture, but Cory does, so I've use his. BUT you don't even need the ball to do this move - keeping your legs straight and together has the same effect and is even more challenging. I definitely recommend trying this pin if you want to strengthen up your core!

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

I originally pinned this idea because I was pin-spired by the finger painting technique! What a fun and visually appealing way to paint and decorate something! I bought a bunch of big canvases from Michael's when they were on sale and I've been wanting to get crafty ever since. Although I didn't exactly recreate what is featured in this pin, I did what I intended to do when I pinned it in the first place: success!

Have you put any pins into action this month?

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july favourites '15

Wow this summer is flying by! I can't believe I'm already rounding up my monthly favourites again! July has been full of fun with friends and family PLUS the fun of snagging a summer job! I've celebrated someone's birthday, gone on coffee dates with friends, checked out a local summer festival, did a fun run, had a fish fry, saw a movie - it's been none-stop fun! Check out what I've been loving this month...

july favourites | marlee and you

LUSH Charity Pot
As I just mentioned, I got a job! I'm working at a local frozen yogurt shop (any girl's dream)! It took only one shift to notice how often I need to wash my hands and use cleaning products throughout the day, which of course has caused some sensitive/dry skin issues. I've been bringing my LUSH Charity Pot lotion to work with me to rehydrate my hands during my shifts and it's working great for me!

instax mini 8 camera
I brought my new mini poleroid camera with me on my recent road trip and have been using it to capture memories all summer! I love taking pictures and this camera provides a cool new way to save these moments! The instax cameras come in all kinds of colours and you can even get cool photo refills that have coloured borders instead of the simple white. I've got a bunch of poleroids hanging in my room now and they're also so easy to add to a scrapbook page or album. The best part is that it's instant instead of having to go and get your pictures printed!

3D Minion Goggles
My chummy and I are major minion fans! We've loved everything Despicable Me ever since the first movie came out - we both have matching minion shirts! That is why we had to go see the latest prequel, Minions, together and see it in 3D AND get the amazing 3D minion goggles! I absolutely loved the movie and now I have super cool goggles for whenever I'm feeling particularly despicable!

What have you been loving this month?

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5k foam fest fun

We did it! This past Saturday my friends and I completed the 5k Foam Fest Run! As some of you may know, I've been running all summer to prepare for this crazy fun event, and let me tell you - it was totally worth it! This run was truly like no other, featuring obstacles all up and down a piece of my home town that has some rather steep hills! This event was unforgettable and what made it extra special was getting to do it all with friends! Yes, I had some stiff muscles the day after, but that made it all the more rewarding!

5k foam fest | marlee and you

Here you can see the MC that got everyone pumped up before their heat time! There was a bit of a pre-run dance party happening and you could feel the energy in the air! There are also two obstacles above: a giant slip-and-slide and the "Body Washer" obstacle which was an absolute blast! My favourite obstacle was the "Lily Pads" (below).

5k foam fest | marlee and you

That first photo is me photobombing my two friends after they wiped out on the "Timber" obstacle! Next is Cory owning the "Lily Pads" as he literally ran on water! And of course, our victory group photo taken right after we crossed the finish line! We all got medals and a Foam Fest t-shirt PLUS  a refreshing popsicle to cool us off after our run! We all appreciated the "shower" station where we got to hose off our foamy/muddy selves before packing up and heading home. We finished our day with a nice pool party before the rain came - couldn't have asked for a better day! So many memories were made!

Have you done a fun run this summer!?

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my "unplugging" experience

unplugging | marlee and you
One of the to-do items on my summer bucket list this year was to unplug for a day. I tried doing this last summer, but had a difficult time being able to completely distance myself from the internet, my phone and TV for a day. On my recent RV road trip, I "unplugged" fully for one whole day and partially for the entire trip. This was a really positive experience! I enjoyed certain elements of my day and learned a lot about my dependance on technology.

When I was unplugged, I found I had more time to do things. It was hard at first because all I wanted to do was check my phone and see if I had texts or what was new on instagram, but as soon as you actually turn your phone off and leave it somewhere out of reach, things get a lot easier. I noticed that I constantly use my phone to check the time. I know a lot of people do that, but it was especially nice while on vacation to just forget about time and go with the flow of the day.

I kept my phone off for the majority of the trip aside from the times when I texted my mom updates about my day. The lack of technological distractions lead to some awesome conversations with people and my desire to stay unplugged grew.

The biggest benefit from consciously trying to avoid my cellphone was the fact that I now don't depend on it as much. I've been home from my trip for almost two weeks now and I still find myself wanting to avoid constant cell phone checking and facebook scrolling. I actually spend less time online and more time reading and enjoying my hobbies distraction free. I know unplugging while I'm away camping might not count as a true unplugging experience because I was away from most of life's conveniences, but it's inspired me to be more present in everyday life. This won't be the last time I unplug!

Could you live without your cellphone?

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sephora haul

Ladies and gentlemen, I have officially shopped at Sephora! Yes, I've been a time or two before, but those times were to simply buy a specific product and call it a day. This time I shopped around, talked to staff and signed up for a Sephora points card - things got serious! I went in to find some sort of brow product. I love my eyebrows and bold brows are currently a trend, so I thought I'd try to find something to accent one of my favourite features. I also wound up with some samples, my Sephora insider birthday gift and a hair product!

sephora haul | marlee and you

I settled for a Sephora brow kit that includes a double-ended brow brush and angle brush, tweezers, brow gel, and a retractable brow pencil. The kit comes with a step-by-step guide (perfect for a noob like myself). My favourite product in the kit is the gel, which you use to finish off the brow look. It adds a bit of shine and keeps things looking tidy... I'm not sure how else to explain it without actually showing you! But don't worry, I'll be posting soon with a before and after brows post!

When I was going through the checkout aisle, a particular product caught my eye: the Bumble and Bumble heat/uv protective primer! My hair stylist always comments about my need to use heat protector and I think this product is my solution. It smells amazing and it's easy to use! I signed up for the Sephora points card which is similar to most points cards at stores: you spend money, get points, then cash them in for free products. Sephora gives a birthday gift to members every year and since my birthday had already passed, I got my gift that day, which was two Nars lip pencils in a gorgeous pink and red shade - score! I also got some samples for a rose scented hand cream. The Sephora staff members were super helpful and friendly. This trip was an absolute success and I will definitely have more Sephora hauls coming your way in the future!

What's your favourite thing to buy at Sephora?

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northern adventures: my road trip recap

Well folks, I'm finally home sweet home after two long weeks of road tripping through northern Ontario! Cory's family rented an RV for the six of us, so things got pretty cramped at times but many memories were made! I'd never been far outside of southwestern Ontario, so there was lots to see and do along the way! We drove three days and camped two nights before we arrived at our destination. The provincial parks we camped at were gorgeous but FULL of bugs! I thought the mosquitoes were bad in my home town, but they don't compare to northern mosquitoes! Let's just say after the first night of camping, I lost count of how many bites I got! Check out some of my snapshots from the trip!

road trip recap | marlee and you
Kakabeka Falls - Looks "Dirty" Because of all the Iron!

road trip recap | marlee and you
My First Catch! - First Time Fishing and I Caught a Walleye

road trip recap | marlee and you
Sunsets on the Water

road trip recap | marlee and you
Monstrous Dragonflies

road trip recap | marlee and you
Bannock Shack
We all tried some Bannock from the Bannock Shack in town! Bannock is basically a special type of bread that is really soft and greasy... definitely difficult to explain, so I encourage you all to try some!

Our entire trip was a huge success and I could never be able to fit all my stories and hundreds of photos into one post. Most memories are the kind where you just had to be there! I thought I'd finish up writing here with a bit of advice for road trip enthusiasts: plan ahead so you know all the cool places to stop, sight see and try cool foods. We stopped at monuments, the official time zone change spot, sculptures, cool souvenir places and the list goes on! Also, never let weather and other uncontrollable happenings get you down - enjoy the ride! And of course, ALWAYS bring a camera! Make sure those batteries are charged because you never know when something awesome (or hilarious) will happen... like your truck getting stuck in the ditch, for example! (Yes, that actually happened).

Do you have any summer road trip plans?

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