Boozy banana berry milkshake recipe | Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    Blackberry raspberry banana milkshake recipe

    The product: Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    When I told you guys that theNotice was going to be expanding into new content this year, I meant it. From lingerie posts to small business reviews, things are getting interesting around here–this emulsifier blender review included.

    Of course, if you hand me any type of open-ended food pitch, I’m going to add booze into the mix every time. Emulsifier blenders are great for making things like icy smoothies, salad dressings, and baby food, but I broke this emulsifier blender in with a boozy banana berry milkshake instead.

    Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    How to make the perfect banana milkshake

    Boyfriend and I have been drinking more banana milkshakes recently than is probably advisable, but we decided to make one more for this post. They’re typically an off-white-on-white-on-white deal, though, so he tossed in a few fresh blackberries and raspberries to give the shake a little colour.

    Boozy banana berry milkshake recipe

    Banana bourbon milkshake recipe

    Boozy banana milkshake recipe (serves 2)

    • 1 banana, sliced
    • A handful of raspberries
    • A handful of blueberries
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 3 heaping scoops of french vanilla ice cream
    • 2 shots of bourbon (ideally) or spiced rum (if you’re out of bourbon and too lazy to go pick some up)
    • Cinnamon or nutmeg (to garnish)

    1. Rinse berries and slice banana. Get excited for impending sugar and calories.

    2. Pulse berries, milk, ice cream, and bourbon together in the Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender until thoroughly blended. Pour into 2 large glasses.

    3. Lightly dust cinnamon on top to serve. If you’re feeling fancy, grate a sprinkling of fresh bourbon on top to garnish.

    4. Enjoy!

    Banana berry milkshake recipe

    My experience with the Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender

    There’s always something special about the first time you use a new appliance. They’re at peak shininess and cleanliness, and it’s all downhill from there.

    It’s been a while since the last time I used a blender for the first time, and this one was a beauty. At 1200W, it’s a powerhouse, with stainless steel blades and 4 speed settings. (Although I take issue with “pulse” as a speed. “Pulse” isn’t a speed; it’s a pattern. And I would know.)

    Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender review

    The Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender has an automatic clean cycle to get most of the gunk off of your blender before it has a chance to dry, and its removable parts are all dishwasher safe. That includes the 2L blender, the 20 oz single-serve cup, and the ingredient plunger.

    (My partner got way too excited about the plunger. Like, bud, it’s just pushing ingredients down. You don’t need to caress it.)

    We’ve already covered the fact that I take issue with how Living with Montel distinguishes settings from speeds, so I’ll just list the buttons available instead. Apart from the power button, there’s Single Serve, Puree, Crush, Soup, Smoothie/Clean, Pulse, High, Medium, and Low. The pre-set functions cover pretty much everything you’ll need your blender for, and then a few more just for good measure.

    Boozy berry smoothie recipe

    The Living Well with Montel 1200W Emulsifier Blender verdict?

    Living Well with Montel is a new brand by Montel Williams. I’m naturally a little wary of new celebrity brands, but you know what? I really enjoyed using this emulsifier blender. It’s a really nice little piece of equipment, and it offers quite a bit of power for a reasonable price.

    Montel’s new 1200W Emulsifier Blender is similar to the Ninja Professional Blender in a lot of ways (which I don’t think was coincidental), and I’m hoping that its motor will hold up just as well. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces with plenty of green juices this summer!

    Availability: $149.99 USD at Living Well with Montel; $93.99 USD at Wayfair.


    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil review, swatches, photos

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil review, swatches, photos

    The product: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil formula

    Despite the name, most lip oils are formulated as film-former bases accompanied by oils for extra moisture. The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil formula features mainly a caprylol glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer, beefed up with castor, sunflower, meadowfoam, coconut, and soybean oils. It’s a 100% natural formula, including the added flavour.

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil review

    The Burt’s lip oils are just as super-smooth as promised, and they do feel more like a lip oil than a lip gloss when applied. But I think they could stand to make a few improvements. The oil formula sinks in extremely quickly, and I find myself reaching to reapply quite frequently. I’m used to lip balms lasting 3-5 hours; these last more like 2. The twist-pen applicator can also be inconsistent, so reapplication is a little frustrating.

    Seriously, though: why do companies keep pushing out these twist-pen applicators? Does anyone like them?

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil swatches 2017

    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil swatches: 612 Showering Sunset, 604 Caramel Cloud, 613 Whispering Orchid, 625 Rustling Rose, 621 Crimson Breeze, and 630 Misted Plum

    Burt's Bees Showering Sunset, Misted Plum swatches - tinted lip oil

    Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil review – 612 Showering Sunset, 630 Misted Plum

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil shades

    Burt’s promises “a hint of sheer color” with these lip oils, and they hit the mark on that point. These six shades all look more or less the same when applied, with minor differences.

    My favourite shade of the bunch is the baby pink 612 Showering Sunset (swatched on left), which leave my lips looking really smooth and delicate.

    Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil

    The Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil verdict?

    Burt’s Bees is launching quite a few new lip products this season, making the Tinted Lip Oils just one of many. On the whole, I like these, but they could be better. They offer just 0.04 oz of product, and need to be applied extremely generously if they’re going to last for more than an hour.

    I’d recommend skipping these and saving your pennies for Burts’ other lip launches, because some of them are great. However, if you really want to try a lip oil, these are a nice, natural option at an affordable price point. They’re pretty hydrating (again, if applied generously), and they’re comfortable to wear.

    Availability: $9 USD/$12 CAD at Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, and more.

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    Lady Lash Ltd: Lash Extensions review, photos, comparison

    Lady Lash Ltd edmonton review

    Sometimes, when you’re working on just the right project at just the right time, everything comes together just right. I’ve never felt that more succinctly than I did while putting together my Something Wicked shoot. The Airbnb that I booked happened to be run by a couple whose sister/in-law owns a lash studio, and I got the chance to try out lash extensions for the first time.

    Lady Lash Ltd. is a super-cute Edmonton lash & brow studio that’s run by Nikki Campbell, who is honestly just lovely beyond words. Nikki has ten years of experience as a certified esthetician, and on top of owning and running her own lash studio, she’s also a new mom to a beautiful little boy!

    Lady Lash Ltd extensions before after

    What you need to know about lash extensions

    I was lucky enough to have my first set of eyelash extensions comped by Nikki in exchange for coverage in my Something Wicked post, but I’ll be honest: I didn’t used to think lash extensions were for me.

    I was always intrigued by them, but they seemed so high-maintenance. On top of that, I’ve seen some pretty terrible lashes in my time – really spindly, too-long ones that tug out your natural eyelashes and twist at the root.

    Lash extensions review

    It turns out, however, that none of the myths you’ve heard about eyelash extensions are true. They can look incredibly natural if they’re done well, and they shed naturally with your eyelashes. You’re not supposed to wear mascara with lash extensions and they maintain their own curl, so they’re actually more low-maintenance than mascara and liner.

    To take care of your lash extensions, all you have to do is comb through them daily and wash around them with an oil-free cleanser. That’s it! Just don’t pick or pull at them and they’ll last for 2-4 weeks before you need a fill. (I found they started thinning at 2 weeks and looked a little scraggly by 4.)

    Lady Lash Ltd interior

    My experience getting lash extensions at Lady Lash Ltd.

    I had a set of Classic lashes applied at Lady Lash Ltd. by Nikki herself, and the experience was incredibly relaxing. Lady Lash is basically Pinterest heaven, and the set requires that you chill with your eyes shut for 90 minutes.

    Lash extensions before and after asian eyelashes

    Lash extensions before & after

    Eyelash extensions before and after asian eyelashes

    The Classic lashes are similar in thickness to a set of false lashes with great tapering, and they’re applied in a 1:1 ratio to your natural lashes. The lashes used in the Volume set are individually thinner, but 2-6 of them are applied to each of your own lashes.

    Nikki used C and D curl lashes on me, keeping the curlier ones in the centre for a winged out effect. The result was really seamless, and it made my eyes look bigger and more alert than usual.

    Lady Lash Ltd review

    My verdict on lash extensions?

    The best way that I can describe my false lash extensions is that they looked like I had picture-perfect eyelashes 24/7. They required basically zero effort, and no one noticed that I got lash extensions – they looked so natural that everyone just assumed my lashes were naturally luscious and gorgeous.

    (Which, lol. They are not.)

    I LOVE things that require zero effort, and I love looking like a glamazon fresh out of bed, so I super loved my lash extensions. They’re pricey enough that I’m not sure I’d ever maintain them constantly, but I already miss how easy they made my morning routine. I’ll definitely be getting them again–it’s just a matter of finding an excuse to.

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    Something Wicked Ava Collection review | Adventures in underboob

    Something Wicked Ava with flannel review

    It’s that time of year again when everyone is pulling out their beach bods*, but I’ll be frank with you. My body’s still not well enough to go to the beach–which is why I’m bringing it to the blog instead.

    *BEACH BODY: n. The body of a person, preferably live, who goes to the beach.

    One of my goals for 2017 is to expand my blog beyond beauty and sex toys. Today, I’m happy to finally reveal the next natural progression of theNotice: the occasional slip (pun intended) of fashion content.

    Something Wicked Ava half cup bra review

    Something Wicked Ava collection

    theNotice will never be a fashion blog, and I will never be built like a fashion model. But lingerie is for every body, healthy or sick, and the Something Wicked Ava collection was too beautiful not to share. (Look at all that glorious underboob!)

    The Ava Maxi Skirt is hand-pleated out of silk, and it makes me want to twirl around while yelling “fuck the patriarchy” with flamethrowers in my hands. (Although to be fair, that’s basically my #aestheticgoals). The Ava Half Cup Bra is obscenely comfortable, and the little peephole in the Ava Mini Briefs is delightfully cheeky.

    I’d recommend going down a size for the Half Cup Bra, but mine (a 32A, instead of my usual 34A) fits comfortably and snugly.

    Something Wicked Ava mini leather peephole briefs review

    The Something Wicked story

    Unlike most mass lingerie brands, which are owned and run by men, Something Wicked is designed by British designer Leanne Brooke¹. (Take that, Schmictoria’s Secret.) She began at the company in 2012, and is now a partner in the business.

    Everything in the line is manufactured in-house in England, and each piece fits like a dream with hand-rolled hems.

    My one issue with Something Wicked is that, as a smaller company, their size range is lacking. I know Leanne has mentioned that she’d like to do a range specifically designed for larger cup sizes, so I hope it’s something we get to see soon!

    Leather peephole underboob bra review

    How to wear a half cup bra

    If you’re a fan of lingerie as outerwear, the Something Wicked Ava collection is perfect for it. For the bold, the half-cup bra peeks out gorgeously under Parisian-inspired basics. For the timid, the pieces hide away as a confidence-boosting underpinning for any outfit.

    A crisp white dress shirt is my ideal pairing for this style of bra, done up without a camisole. (I have it unbuttoned in this post to show off the Ava.) Pair it with black slacks or ponte leggings and a little flick of black eyeliner.

    The lines of the Ava are pretty noticeable, but they can be hidden underneath your clothes with a little extra care. A fit and flare dress, or anything with a structured bodice, would be a great choice.

    Something Wicked Ava leather suede set review

    Get the look


    Something Wicked Ava Half Cup Leather Bra (£135)

    Something Wicked Ava Mini Leather Peephole Briefs (£95)

    Something Wicked Ava Maxi Skirt (£229)

    Uniqlo Easy Care Slim Fit Broadcloth Long Sleeve Shirt ($29.90 USD) / Women’s Supima Cotton Stretch alternative ($29.90 USD)


    Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion in 01 Golden Pink ($39 USD/$48 CAD; review)

    Make Up For Ever Acrylip Lip Paint in 501 Eggplant ($18 USD/$23 CADreview)

    Estee Lauder Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding ($30 USD/$34 CAD; review) — last photo only

    Cozzette S125 Oval Powder Brush ($30 USD; review) — on sink edge

    Solotica Natural Colors Mel/Honey ($94.99 USD; last seen here)

    Lash extensions by Nikki at Lady Lash Ltd. ($140 CAD)


    Candace & Danny’s Place, which I would love to return to! They have such a great space, and they’re just the sweetest couple. (Plus: bonus points for having a super friendly rescue pup.) Book with my Airbnb referral link here.


    Bryan Tran and Janelle Holod at Affinity Photography

    Edits and styling by Rae Chen


    Aroma Foundry essential oil review, comparison, DIY ideas

    Essential oils - saje dupes review

    There’s a label on the bottom of each Aroma Foundry box that lists the following: “Good for all-natural buffs, environmentally conscious, when guests visit, and smelly rooms.”

    Each item is totally true. I’ve been doing my best to make our home homey just with essential oils, and it’s been going really well so far. My eucalyptus oil blend keeps everything squeaky clean, while my Aroma Foundry diffuser blend (DIY recipe below) makes everything smell fresh.

    (Yes, even the bathroom.)

    Essential oils sourcing

    How each oil compares

    It can be tough to buy your first set of essential oils, and one of the things I’ve always struggled with is knowing how different oils compare. I haven’t been able to find an easy, comprehensible list, so I decided to make one for you!

    The most important thing to do when buying essential oils is to buy from a reputable company. Watch out for labels that don’t say “100% pure” or “essential oil,” and if you’re buying in person, smell the testers. Do they smell “oily” or rancid? Are they bottled in glass or plastic? Is it tough to tell one oil apart from the next just by the fragrance?

    I really like Aroma Foundry because each oil is really high-quality and lists its country of origin clearly. If there’s something that you can’t find at Aroma Foundry, I’m also a fan of Thursday Plantation and Mountain Rose Herbs.

    Lemongrass, Citronella, Bergamot review comparison vs

    Bergamot vs lemongrass vs citronella essential oil comparison

    Bergamot doesn’t really fit into this category. It’s a deep, hearty scent, and it smells like a floral rendition of bitter citrus. In small amounts (like in Earl Grey tea), I really love bergamot.

    Citronella is very lemony, like lemon cleaner and butter. Most cats dislike the smell of it enough that  they’ll avoid any areas scented with it, so I may try using this as a cat repellant on some of my textiles!

    Aroma Foudry’s quality of lemongrass is really lovely. This essential oil smells like grassy lemon candy.

    Peppermint, spearmint review comparison vs

    Spearmint vs peppermint essential oil comparison

    Spearmint smells a lot sweeter and softer than peppermint, like green spearmint gum. Peppermint is a lot spicier, like regular white mints.

    Fir, cedarwood review comparison vs

    Cedarwood vs fir essential oil comparison

    Cedarwood is often used as a fragrance base for all-natural perfumes, but it’s one of my least favourite EO smells. It smells like a wet, bitter sauna–some people love it, but I’m not crazy about it.

    Fir is easier on the palate, and smells almost mentholated. It smells like a very fresh, minty pine tree.

    Mandarin, lime review comparison vs

    Lime vs mandarin essential oil comparison

    Finally, mandarin is citrusy and a little bitter, like the rind of a mandarin orange. Lime, on the other hand, is hella limey and very strong. I was really impressed by the quality of this one – it has fantastic throw and smells so pure I’m surprised it’s not artificially enhanced.

    Aroma Founddry review t

    My DIY home fragrance blend of choice

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