Monday, May 20, 2019

Cottage Essentials - What to Pack for the Cottage

I was just at the cottage for the long weekend and as I was going through my products, I thought I would share what I brought and what I think is essential for a cottage weekend.

I rarely style my hair when I'm at the cottage so I love to spritz some Matrix Rough Me Up - Salt Infused Spray. It adds a little bit of texture and a little wave to my hair. Perfect for when you don't want to do much, but still look somewhat put together.

Another hair product I always bring to the cottage with me is John Frieda Frizz Ease. I like to use this after coming in from the dock. Especially if we are heading out to town I like to add a little to my hair for those frizzy flyaways I usually get when I'm out at the dock.

When I'm at the cottage I wear little makeup so this Clinique Pep-Start - pout perfecting balm is great. It's a balm with a nice touch of colour. Ideally I would love this to have SPF in if anyone knows a great balm with an SPF and a bit of colour, let me know.

Speaking of SPF I usually like to bring a few options with me. I just recently tried out the Neutrogena Hydro Boost sunscreen in SPF 50 and love it. It's super hydrating and gentle on my skin. I even applied it to my face one day and I had no bad reaction. I'm thoroughly impressed with this sunscreen.

Another favourite is the Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport in SPF 30. Whenever I know I'm working out in the sun or doing a lot of activities that day I usually grab this and can count on it for being lightweight and protecting my skin.

On to my face SPF! I have always been a mineral sunscreen fan for my face. This Clinique Mineral Sunscreen in SPF 50 is fantastic. I think it does a great job at protecting my skin, with no irritation and being a great base for my makeup. In the past I've also used the Skin Ceuticals and Kiehl's mineral sunscreen for my face and have also loved those. 
Whenever I'm at the cottage I know I'm usually going to be outside the whole day which is why I start off with the mineral sunscreen and then apply my tinted moisturizer after. The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer is my latest obsession. On regular days I just apply this without the mineral sunscreen because this tinted moisturizer has SPF 30. However, when I'm at the cottage I like to make sure I'm not missing any spots on my face so I apply the mineral sunscreen and then my tinted moisturizer. Although I wear this tinted moisturizer as my base most days, it really is perfect for the cottage because its lightweight and no fuss. It gives a nice glow and even complexion and thats all I need.

After sitting and playing in the sun all day going from the water to the dock, it can take a toll on our skin. Obviously I try to wear SPF all the time but sometimes I can get the odd burn which is why I like to pack the AvĂ©ne After-Sun Repair Creamy Gel. To be honest even if I don't burn but have been out in the sun all day I like to use this after the shower at the end of the night. It's very soothing and cool and feels amazing on my skin. 

Now for the more random but necessary things for a cottage weekend.
Slides!! Last year I didn't have any slides and I kept stealing everyones shoes to head down to the dock. I find I'm constantly going in and out of the cottage so having slides is crucial. The furthest you go is the dock so you need something comfy, breezy and easy to slide on. Already this weekend I used these the entire time. 

Slides: Roots

Hats, comfy sweaters and track pants are a must for a cottage weekend. Whenever it gets chilly at night or in the morning you will want to snuggle up in a big comfy sweater and track pants. If you are sitting out by the fire you will want a sweater and track pants so you don't get attacked by mosquitoes. When it gets a bit windy down by the water you will need your sweater. Waking up early while it's a bit cool out to drink coffee on the will need your sweater. Many, many reasons why you must pack a sweater or two. Make sure they are big and comfy!!

Sweater: Roots

Making sure you have hats is a no brainer for the cottage. Not only is a hat protecting me from the sun but usually my hair has not been brushed or styled all day so a hat just makes my crazy lake hair look a bit better.

Hat: Roots

Lastly, a great beach bag. There are some days I will throw a few things in a bag and stay down on the dock all day. Having a large beach bag is so convenient so you aren't juggling all the things you need at the dock for the day.

 I know bug spray may be a common one I didn't include but if I'm out late by the fire I just cover myself up from head to toe. Bug spray just smells and feels nasty on my clothes and skin so I try to skip bug spray as much as possible. 

There are definitely some things I'm missing so let me know what are some of your cottage essentials!?

-Sydney Hoffman

*Some of these links contain affiliant links and some of these products mentioned have been gifted to me.*

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Easter Decor

If you have been following me for some time you know I LOVE the holidays, so of course I decorated my condo for Easter. Out of all the holidays I have the least amount of Easter decor, so I headed out to one of my favourite stores for decorations - Michael's and picked up some new pieces for my place.

Bows are from Michael's. I just took some string and tied them to my stools.

Little bunnies are from Dollarama. I made this cake and literally threw mini eggs all over the cake. The cake stand is from Party City. 

The egg is from Michael's. It actually comes in a giant egg you can break apart into three eggs. Vase was from the Hallmark store.

I found this egg wreath while thrift shopping but I found a similar one at Michael's.

Stools are from Structube. I bought the 30' bar stools.

 Both pillows are from Michael's and my white fluffy throws are from Homesense. 

My plant behind the couch is from Ikea and it is called bird of paradise.

I will be posting a lot this month of my home and decor over on my Instagram @syd.hoff make sure to check them out!!

-Sydney Hoffman

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Shein Bathing Suit Review

I always get a ton of questions about my bathing suits and where I get them from. Whenever I mention that the majority of them are from Shein everyone wants to know more about the brand and if they are a trustworthy company. Shein is a brand from China that ships worldwide. Everyone is always skeptical of the brand because of the large selection and cheap prices. I don't believe all reviews for the website are wonderful if you were to look them up online but here is my honest review...

1. Selection 
I've truly never had any crazy issues with Shein. I order a lot from them. Yes, I love how cheap the prices are but I also love the fun selection they have for everything. My love for the website started with bathing suits. I was wanting bold, fun, colourful bathing suits and I thought most bathing suits online were so boring. When I stumbled on Shein I wanted every bathing suit. 
Bathing Suit: Shein

2. Quality
When it comes to bathing suits I think the quality is great. Don't expect next level quality, but I think it's totally comparable to most brands. I have well over 10 bathing suits from them and I've never had issues. I've also never had issues washing any item either. I even wore a full piece white bathing suit thinking it may go see through when I got it wet..but it passed the test!!
Bikini: Shein

The fit is the only thing that can be a little tricky. I love to read reviews for each item because people will give their honest opinion and let you know if the product fits big, small or true to size. I still order my regular size small and for the most part everything has been fine. My last order of bathing suits I did decide to order medium because I did notice some smalls were a little tight (they still fit) but I wanted to be super comfy and medium was great. If you are tall lady like me (I'm about 5'9 - 5'10) most of the dresses and skirts are going to be way too short. I try to stay away from skirts and dresses. 
Bikini: Shein

4. Shipping
I think within the last year Shein has majorly stepped up their game with everything. When I first started ordering from them my packages would honestly take a month to arrive. Now I find them totally comparable to most brands. I believe my last shipment took 11-12 days. If you want something for a trip I would still give yourself some extra time just incase. Most of my orders have been under $100 and I get regular shipping and I've never had to pay Canadian duties. However, my last order was over $100 with express shipping and I did have to pay $30 in duties. I wasn't sure if it was the price or the express shipping that was the reason for duties, but just be aware of that!
Bikini: Shein

I believe those are the majority of questions I get asked. If you have any other questions feel free to comment below or private message me on Instagram at @syd.hoff

-Sydney Hoffman