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Lip Monthly September 2020

Lip Monthly September 2020

I missed the cutoff date for cancelling the Lip Monthly subscription for the month of September. I think this bag worked out to be between $17 and $20 CAD. Which feels, uh, very not worth it? IDK. This bag arrived the first week of October […]

September Reads

September Reads

Another month, another failed attempt at reading more than one book. I am slacking. Hopefully I can use the back half of the year to catch up on my reading. Does anyone have any recommendations for me? The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor […]

Lip Monthly – August 2020

Lip Monthly – August 2020

I very much love subscription boxes and bags. As a long-time lipstick lover, Lip Monthly has intrigued me for a while. I was finally drawn in by the allure of a $5 bag advertised in an Instagram ad. I am a sucker, yes.

I then went to cancelled and was offered another $5 bag, so I thought I might as well again. My credit card was charged on August 1st, and I received the bag on August 31st.

Here’s what was in the bag:

Laritzy Cosmetics Light Stix in Fuel


On the website, it’s lauded as a highlighter stick. This particular shade lends itself more towards being a blush. It’s okay. I feel like it’s a little too pale maybe? I’m not sure. It’s not really my favourite.

Estate Cosmetics Lip Icing Lipgloss in Extra and Alfredo

$10 each

I just can’t see myself ever using either of these lip glosses. They’re a little thick and gloopy. The pink shade is too pale for me, and the glittery one is just something I would never use.

Jing Ai Vegan Lip & Cheek Glo in Pink Chiffon


This is a nice thing to have I guess. I don’t think I would actively buy it. I do like a duo product, and I think this is a nice colour.

Hikari Cream Pigment Eyeshadow in Fairytale


This is a pretty pigmented shadow. I don’t feel like it’s particularly creamy. I feel like I will use this, but it’s a little more cool-toned than I might usually go for.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed in the bag – even for $5. I was waiting to see what was in this bag before cancelling – which was a mistake. I got it on August 31, and they charge on the first of the month. I did cancel immediately, but I am still getting the September bag – I think. I did email them asking to cancel this month’s bag but haven’t heard back so we will see!

What I’ve Been Making Lately – September 9

What I’ve Been Making Lately – September 9

Mini M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies I couldn’t resist picking up some mini m&m’s at the bulk food store, and thought that cookies would be the best vehicle for them. I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking. I replaced half of […]

August Reads

August Reads

August was a very sad month for me reading. I just couldn’t really get into anything. I tried to read ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ a few times, but just couldn’t really get into it before my borrow expired. Even the one book I’m counting here […]

Blueberry Mojito

Blueberry Mojito

The mojito has been my drink of summer 2020.

They’re easy, refreshing, and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. It may be the unofficial end to summer this weekend, but I’m unwilling to let it go by without a drink in hand. The Blueberry Mojito is the perfect adieu to summer.

I like making cocktails in mason jars. How pinterest of me, I know. I just like that I can twist on a lid, shake, and reduce how many dishes I’m using.

I used frozen blueberries for this recipe. I like to buy them when they’re in seasons and freeze them.

Also, you could probably find blueberry simple syrup at the local grocers, or cocktail specialty store, but it’s super easy to make. I combined 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water and a cup of blueberries in a saucepan on the stove until the sugar dissolved and the syrup became a little thicker. This made a LOT of simple syrup, but I figured I’d use it for other cocktails (blueberry whisky sour, blueberry margarita, blueberry mule!)

You could easily make this a mocktail by omitting the rum!

Blueberry Mojito

Prep Time3 mins
Servings: 1 drink


  • 5-10 Blueberries
  • 5-10 Mint Leaves
  • 1 oz Rum
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Blueberry Simple Syrup
  • Ice
  • Soda Water
  • 1 quarter Lime


  • Add most of the blueberries and mint to the bottom of the glass, use a muddler or spoon to muddle
  • Add the rum, lime juice, and blueberry simple syrup, then add the ice and shake
  • If using a cocktail shaker, pour into your glassware, if using a mason jar with a lid, continue on my friend
  • Top off with as much soda water as you’d like, and squeeze in the lime
  • Add the squeezed lime, and the rest of the blueberries and mint as garnish
  • Impress everyone with your cool and tasty beverage


See all of my food and drink posts here.

Follow me on Instagram to see everything I’m making @hstrong_

My Personal Rankings of the cast of Big Brother All-Stars 2

My Personal Rankings of the cast of Big Brother All-Stars 2

My fandom of Big Brother has come in ebbs and flows in the last two decades. I vividly remember watching season 3 on the little TV in my bedroom at the tender age of 10. I continued to watch for years, but gave up in […]

July Reads

July Reads

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston 4/5 Stars What if the first son of the United States and the Prince of England were in their early 20’s and fell in love during a tumultuous election year? Red, White & Royal Blue explores just […]

My Personal Rankings of the songs on “folklore”

My Personal Rankings of the songs on “folklore”

Taylor Swift saw us in lock down for the past however many months and gave us what we all needed – a surprise new album.

This new album gives us a stripped down version of the pop star Taylor Swift that we’ve come to know over since the release of 1989. The sound leans heavy into the indie/folk genre. “folklore” expertly highlights Taylor’s songwriting and story-telling.

It feels very different than “Lover”, but it’s great to get this kind of range of music within a year. It feels like Taylor’s country past and pop future are coming together in this album.

Here are my rankings of the songs on “folklore”:

1. exile (feat. Bon Iver)

I love love love this collaboration with Bon Iver. I think it highlights the style Taylor was going for in this album. It’s a cool way to see the two sides of a breakup. The bridge gives me chills every single time. I love these two voices together. It took a couple listens of the album for this song to become my number one, but it’s cemented there.

Favourite Lyric: I can see you starin’ honey, like he’s just your understudy

2. the 1

Is it ironic that “the 1” is my number two favourite song on the album? I think it’s a really great song to start it all off. I find it a really easy-listening pop song. It was my favourite on the first few listens but it got dethroned for exile. I was shocked to hear Taylor Swift swear on the first line of this new album. That’s when I knew we were in for something a little different.

Favourite Lyric: I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit

3. betty

Oh damn, do I love ‘betty’. This song feels very much like early Taylor Swift. I feel like it would fit perfectly on “Taylor Swift” or “Fearless”. I love the way that “betty” connects with a few other songs on the album, tying together three different perspectives.

Favourite Lyric: Betty, I know where it all went wrong

4. peace

This song feels like a dedication to Taylor’s current boyfriend. It’s a declaration that it won’t be easy being with her but it will be worth it and she will fight for them. I just really like it!

Favourite Lyric: The devil’s in the details, but you’ve got a friend in me

5. cardigan

The lead single off the album comes in the top of my rankings. That hasn’t been the case for the last few albums. It doesn’t feel like it’s out of place, which I felt like “Me!” did on “Lover”. I love the cardigan imagery, I think it’s a cool metaphor.

Favourite Lyric: And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite

6. august

I love a song about summer that feels like a fall song. This song about young love also feels like it fits seamlessly in with the trio of songs centered around “betty”, but I don’t actually think it’s part of it. “august” also feels like some early Taylor.

Favourite Lyric: August sipped away like a bottle of wine

7. the last great american dynasty

This is the perfect song for history junkies that love mostly correct facts. The song covers Rebekah Harkness’ interesting life. A fun detail is that Taylor now owns the Rhode Island house that Rebekah owned with her husband. She makes parallels between herself and Rebekah in the song.

Favourite Lyric: She had a marvelous time ruining everything

8. my tears ricochet

I always think I don’t like this song as much as I do because I find the title a little weird. The chorus on this song is one of my favourites on the album. It build and it builds, and then I am just a tad disappointed my the “my tears ricochet’ part. IDK.

Favourite Lyric: I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace

9. this is me trying

This song feels like Taylor getting really honest with us about herself in a way that I don’t feel like we’ve fully gotten in the past. I love the echo-ey and haunting vibe that this song has. It gives it a little more intrigue than some of the other tracks.

Favourite Lyric: I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting

10. illicit affairs

This is another song that feels like classic Taylor with the plucky guitar and a focus on the lyrics, but it’s more mature. Talking about an affair is something Taylor would have never done in her first few albums – unless she was on the receiving end. It’s a nice-sounding song.

Favourite Lyric: And you know damn well for you I’d ruin myself

11. hoax

Hoax is the start of the trio of songs that I don’t find particularly memorable. It’s hard for me to even think of the melody or any of the lyrics. It’s an interesting choice to the end the album with.

Favourite Lyric: Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in

12. invisible string

This is a nice little song about fate in finding your partner. I like it. It sounds nice. I just don’t think it’s particularly special or memorable.

Favourite Lyric: A string that pulled me out of the wrong arms, right into that dive bar

13. epiphany

When I think about epiphany, I truly can’t remember anything about it. Even listening to it I think it’s just fine.

Favourite Lyric: Somethings you just can’t speak about

14. mirrorball

This is another song that sounds like classic Taylor, but not in my favourite way. It feels a little bit bland and uninspired, and I don’t think it’s a song I will return to often.

Favourite Lyric: And I’m still a believer but I don’t know why

15. mad woman

This very much feels like an extension from ‘The Man’ on Lover. It goes into how a woman is less able to speak her mind, fight back, or get angry than a man. Sure, I’m behind the message, but it is just kind of a boring song.

16. seven

On the first listen through the album I liked “seven” a lot more than I do now. Also, actually listening to the lyrics it’s a pretty sad song, and not just in a breakup way. I don’t think I will return to this song often.

Favourite Lyric: Love you to the moon and to saturn

Check out my personal rankings on all of the songs on “Lover” here.

What I’ve been making lately – July 21

What I’ve been making lately – July 21

Aloo Matar In an effort to make some more meat-free, filling dinners, I thought I would try out this Aloo Matar recipe from Vegan Richa. I loved the idea of a thick, potato based curry. It definitely took me longer than 30 minutes. Most recipes […]