Sunday, 24 April 2016

TIPS ON BEING A GREAT CO-WORKER | TARA BERRIES


Most of us have to work throughout our adult years and it is my firm belief that you should love where you work and who you work with. Sometimes that is easy when you have landed your dream job and work with amazing people but that isn't always the case. There are things you can do to make your work-life situation a lot better and that is by being a great co-worker.

Here are my Five Tips on Being a Great Co-Worker:

1. Try to be positive whenever you can. If a co-worker is asking you for advice or for ideas it is important to not shoot their ideas down right away. Give them positive feedback and say what you like about their idea but that there might be a better idea instead. I remember collaborating with a co-worker and when I suggested an idea she shot it down and it didn't make me feel like my ideas were valued. Valuing your co-workers is very important even if you are not friends with them outside of work.

2. Gossip as little as you can. I am used to working with all females and gossip can be rampant when working in that environment. As hard as it is to stay away from the gossip or not to join in, I do my best to not spread any gossip told to me around nor do I ask for the gossip. Gossip can lead to major repercussions at work if it causes problems amongst co-workers and you could be written up for it so try and not gossip at work or amongst co-workers.

3. Be Flexible. Flexibility is key to being a great co-worker because it means that your colleagues trust that you will help with many things and that you aren't rigid in your routines. Being flexible also allows you to gain experience in many things which is great for your resume. I try to be flexible in taking many jobs as a supply teacher and when working at child-care centres I am willing to change routine when complications arise.


4. Be open to feedback. Sometimes when a co-worker gives you advice they are doing it to be nice and to make the workplace a more cohesive environment but sometimes it can feel like they are attacking you. It is important to be comfortable with feedback as you aren't always aware that your actions can affect other people. I remember in teacher's college and we would receive feedback after every lesson we taught and I have to say because of that process I am a much more confident teacher. I took the feedback my associate teachers gave me and implemented it in the next lesson.

5. Take the role of "helping hand".  Oftentimes a co-worker will be leading an event and hosting it and a way to be helpful is to stay for the event and help out and clean up afterwards. When I work at a childcare centre and there is an event going on I try and stay later to help clean up. Co-workers can vary by age at many workplaces and it is important to be aware of the different abilities of your co-workers. If you know your co-worker can't lift heavy things then offer to lift it for them and help your co-workers who require modifications.



As a supply teacher I am often trying to find work and being available as much as possible. I have found that over the years the more helpful and positive I am the more I am called back to a school or childcare centre. These tips that I have shared with you are the ones that have helped me create connections and network as well as make friends in my co-workers. 

Do you have any tips on being a great  co-worker? It would be great if you could share them in the comments.

Xo. Tara Berries

Friday, 22 April 2016

FRIDAY FAVOURITES: #2


Fridays are the best day of the week as they let you reflect about the busyness of the work week and all the things you used to get through it. I recently ran out of body wash so I picked up Soap & Glory Clean Girls. This body wash is my new favourite skincare item as it is so refreshing.


If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am obsessed with Stella & Dot. My current handbag is the Waverly Petite - Fresh Orange/ Natural Linen and I love the fresh spring colour of it. Spring is a great season to bring out bright and colourful items and this bag is my new go to spring bag.


Since I am a huge fan of Stella & Dot it is no wonder that I have already ordered and received a bracelet from KEEP Collective KEEP Collective is a sister brand to Stella & Dot and they are just entering the Canadian market this month (April). Luckily, I was already invited to an online social so I could order a bracelet. Mother's Day is coming up in May and I thought it would be a great idea to order my mom a beautiful bracelet with pretty charms. I really like it and I can't wait to give it to her on Mother's Day.

 My last favourite for this Friday is a media favourite. I have loved listening to podcasts since I was in high school and recently Ingrid Nilsen and Cat (Catrific) have created a podcast called Ladies Who Lunch and it is fantastic. Ingrid and Cat chat over lunch about women and relationships, as well as body image. I highly recommend you check it out on iTunes.  

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments!

Xo. Tara Berries

All of the items in this blog post were purchased by me.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

BEST WORKOUT PLAYLIST | TARA BERRIES


FITNESS CHALLENGES & WORKOUT PLAYLISTS

Are you participating in the Fit Girls Guide 28 Day Jumpstart or the Fitkini Body Challenge? Maybe you are completing the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide? Whichever workout you are working on you may need to hit up a good workout playlist. I am completing the 28 Day Jumpstart from Fit Girls Guide and the program requires at home workouts without equipment (I add dumbbells). A major motivator to get through these workouts is my workout playlist! I wanted to share with you the music I am loving at the moment.


Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake is a great feel good song that I just love to incorporate into my workouts. Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae is a new find for me and I absolutely love getting through an Ab Day workout with that song. Stronger By Kanye West is a given for almost any workout and Drunk In Love has me really working on my body. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee is a playback to my Zumba classes I took in teacher's college. Roar by Katy Perry and Wild Ones by Flo Rida (Feat. Sia) are two songs that really empower me to keep going. Finally, a good cool down song is Home by Phillip Phillips which allows me to stretch my muscles before heading to the shower!

If you are looking for a workout playlist you can check out my YouTube playlist here:

I hope I helped give you some Workout Playlist inspiration and please, leave me some of your favourite workout songs in the comments!

Xo. Tara Berries

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Stella & Dot Brand Review | TARA BERRIES


My friend Amanda is an Independent Stella & Dot Stylist and I have been to three of her trunk shows. Over these three trunk shows I have come across so much beautiful jewellery that I thought I would do a brand review. 



Being in my twenties I find myself throwing away the costume/junk jewellery that was collected from my preteen and teenage years. Throwing away my costume jewellery has shown me that I have very little jewellery and being invited to a Stella & Dot party is exactly the thing I needed to purchase some nice items. 


The first purchase I ever made was the Radiance Coil Bracelet which is such a simple piece of jewellery that gives the illusion of wearing two bracelets. It is great for a night out on the town or a dressed up holiday party.

A recent purchase of mine was the earrings called Aurora Stud Pack in Silver. I love the little crowns and the cute geometric shapes of the triangles and rods. 


As you may know, April is Autism Awareness Month and Stella & Dot have a Pave Wishing Bracelet in Gold that I purchased. All proceeds of this item go to the HollyRod Foundation. I love this bracelet so much, I think it is elegant and cute and it is my favourite Stella & Dot purchase so far.

An item I purchased in January was the Westwood Scarf in Metallic Grey. I really like the length of this scarf as it can be a great bathing suite cover up or even tied as a vest. It is amazing the different things you can do with a scarf and this one is the perfect addition to my wardrobe.

When people attend the trunk shows they are somewhat surprised at the prices of the items, maybe they were thinking of an AVON type brand because it is direct buy but it is definitely better quality than anything AVON sells. The reason the jewellery is on a bit of a pricier end is because they use high quality materials and top designers to come up with such great products. Their handbags are made in the same factories as COACH and Prada so you know you are getting similar quality but the price of Stella & Dot is much better than COACH or Prada.

If you are invited to a Stella & Dot trunk show I highly advise going as I love the products. Have you purchased anything from Stella & Dot? If so, which items and do you like them? 

Xo. Tara Berries

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

THE SECRET TO A LIFELONG FRIENDSHIP | TARA BERRIES


Being incredibly blessed with wonderful lifelong friends is a rare thing to find these days. Yet, I find myself being that lucky person who has friends that are always there to encourage, help, and uplift me. I try and do the same things for my friends as they do for me, there is nothing better than seeing a friend's face light up with a smile because of something I did.

People will often ask me how I have maintained my friendships for so long and my biggest tip is to leave things in the past. I look at failed friendships in the past and there were several reasons why those friendships failed but they could have continued had the friend, or myself, been able to put things aside. No one is perfect, not even your best friend and you have to be realistic of that fact when entering a friendship or else you are setting your friendship up for failure.

There is a difference of putting negative things in the past and being taken advantage of and that is something I find I have a hard time with. There are my obvious best friends who do not take advantage of me, ever but I have my outer circle of friends who I see a lot of but don't consider close, those are the ones who take advantage of me. These friends know that I have trouble saying no to things and sometimes they take my kindness of being naive.

I know the biggest thing for me to do in order to prevent being taken advantage of is to say no to things I don't want or care to do. I also know that some friends I need to take a break from as they are constantly taking advantage of me. I always end up leaving a hangout with them and wondering what I have gotten myself into and I know that isn't a good sign in a friendship.


As a person who always tries to find the good in people, that can be a really great quality except when I end up making excuses for the bad things in people. I will often say things like, "Yeah that person puts me down and makes me feel insignificant but they are reliable." I think it is my way of trying to justify why the friendship is still existing when I should just accept that the friendship needs to end.

Ending a friendship is not an easy thing to do and is not something I ever make a point to do (hence the being taken advantage of) but sometimes it just happens. I have had friendships just end mutually because we had created different friend groups and I have had friendships end in messy words were feelings got hurt. I still hold the good parts of those friendships dear to me and I learned from the bad parts of those friendships.




I am not one to have a lot of friends but I am one to have several very close friends who I try to communicate with as much as I can. I am not the girl who has their phone glued to their hand all of the time so when I text a friend, it is because I am truly thinking of them. I have friends who live in Montreal, Mississauga, and Toronto so I try and text message, phone, or FaceTime them every once in awhile to see what is going on in their life. I visit my best friend in Toronto often and he will visit me and I am always willing to travel to see my friends.

What is the secret to your lifelong friendship? Have you had friendships end? Was it a bad experience or was it mutual? Tell me a great story about your best friend (I could write a blog series titled, "REASONS WHY MY BEST FRIEND IS AWESOME").

Xo. Tara Berries

Sunday, 10 April 2016

BEAUTY REVIEW: YOUNIQUE MOONSTRUCK MINERALS LUCRATIVE LIP GLOSSES | Tara Berries




My friend Amanda had an online virtual party for Younique, a direct buy makeup brand that uses natural, high end ingredients. Amanda raved about their lip products, saying they last a long time and they have great pigmentation. So I ordered three of Younique's Moonstruck Minerals Lucrative Lip Glosses in Lavish, Loveable, and Luxe.


The packaging was very high end and I liked that there was a small mirror on each lip gloss container to help with application. Amanda was right, the colours were highly pigmented. I chose Lavish because I wanted a nice red lip gloss for a night out, Loveable for a nice daytime look to match the pink tones in my skin, and because I love the nude makeup look, I chose Luxe.

As you can see, Lavish (red) is the most pigmented and is the perfect gloss for a night out with some friends. Loveable (pink) is not as pigmented as I would have liked but adds a nice pink shine to my lips and would pair with a really soft pink lipstick. Luxe is by far my favourite as it is goes with my everyday nude makeup look and I pair it with eye shadow from my Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. My favourite thing about these lip glosses is that they last a long time and the glosses aren't sticky. I don't like when lip glosses clump at the sides of my mouth or when my hair sticks to my lips and those problems are not things I worry about when wearing the Younique Moonstruck Minerals Lucrative Lip Glosses.


This is a photo of me wearing Younique's Moonstruck Minerals Lucrative Lip Gloss in Luxe. It pairs well with my nude makeup look and works for everyday wear. Have you tried any products from Younique? If so, let me know in the comments. If you have a beauty recommendation, let me know!

Xo. Tara Berries


Friday, 8 April 2016

Friday Favourites | Tara Berries


This is my first Friday Favourites blog post and I wanted to share with you some of the things I have been loving this past week. Firstly, I am currently reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen and it is closely becoming one of my favourite Austen novels. Pride and Prejudice is still my favourite but I really like that the reader can grow with the main character, Fanny.

Also, tonight I will be attending my third Stella & Dot trunk show, my friend Amanda is a consultant and she has made me fall in love with their brand. I always wear their Westwood Scarf in Dove Grey Metallic. I can't wait to go tonight to the trunk show and see what is in their summer catalogue.
It is no secret that I am in love with my FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera but I have been letting my nephews take photos and they have been going wild with that  camera.


My friend Kylee introduced me to the brand Thirty-One and I bought this Lunch Break Thermal in U R U Swirl Dot with the breast cancer symbol in support of breast cancer awareness. This lunch thermal is the perfect size to put a container in the proper position so it won't leak and it fits all of my lunch. I like the large strap so I can carry it over my shoulder. 


Finally, I made these delicious nachos with a friend and they were amazing! Much healthier than the ones you get at a restaurant and it was fun to make at home.

Those are my Friday favourites, I hope you like them. Have you been to a Stella & Dot trunk show? Have you ever ordered from Thirty-one? Let me know in the comments what you thought of those brands! Have a wonderful weekend. 

Xo. Tara Berries

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

FIVE WAYS TO WORKOUT FOR FREE: TARA BERRIES


Being a supply teacher means that I can't always afford a gym membership. Instead of paying a monthly gym membership I have found some creative ways to get a decent workout at home. Here are my five ways to workout for free:

1. Walking/jogging/running: I luckily live near two high schools with tracks to jog around but in the winter months I try to get out and walk around my neighbourhood. Being outside in the fresh air is a great way to get me to feel better.

2. Nike Training Club: While I do get outside a lot to jog around the track or take a walk in my neighbourhood, I also think it is a good idea to get some strength training in. Nike+ Training Club is a free app for iPhone and Android which has Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced workouts. If you want to get lean, get toned, get strong, or get focused they have a workout for you. You can also sync your playlist to your workout and there are demonstrations for each exercise move.
3. YouTube Workouts: Whether you are doing a Blogilates workout or a Tara Stiles Yoga routine they are all free! I am always nervous about attending a Pilates class but I don't need to worry because I can do a Blogilates workout for free online. I love turning on my Smart TV and putting on a workout video.

4. Dancing: Dancing to a playlist on my iPod is one of my favourite feel good things to do. Not to mention that after dancing around my bedroom I feel so great from the endorphins! I am a terrible dancer but dancing in my bedroom means no one even knows I am doing it.

5. Shopping: No, this is not a cop-out...have you tried shopping all day? If you are busy shopping all day on the weekend, don't fret, you've been walking all day! Shopping is one of my favourite workouts because you have purpose for being on your feet all day and you can enjoy your purchases when you are finished.


What are some ways that you like to workout at home? I would love to hear an exercise tip in the comments! I hope I gave you some different ways to workout at home. 

Xo. Tara Berries

Saturday, 2 April 2016

EVERYDAY MAKEUP ROUTINE FOR SUPPLY TEACHING: TARA BERRIES


Being a supply teacher I get calls last minute, meaning I have very little time to prepare. I like to always have my lunch packed and my clothes laid out the night before just to give myself that extra time in the morning to do my makeup and grab some breakfast before heading out to a school.

I start by priming my face with COVER FX Calming Primer and move on to the COVER FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation. The reason I like COVER FX is because the skincare line is soothing for people dealing with hyperpigmentation or rosacea.

I then go towards the eyes and use BENEFIT'S Fake Up to cover up my dark circles. I then use BareMinerals Warmth All Over Face Colour and the BareMinerals Clear Radiance. I like to use the Warmth all over Face Colour for a nice bronze finish to my face and the Clear Radiance to give my face a bit of a glow to it. I was given these two items for Christmas and I have to say, they have become my favourite.
I then use the colours on my COVERGIRL trunaked roses eyeshadow palette for my eyes. I love the colours especially the sparkly rose gold colour. I finish off my look with a bit of Two Faced Baked Blush and MAYBELLINE'S The Rocket Waterproof Mascara



There you have it, my everyday make-up routine. This look normally take anywhere between 10 minutes to complete in the morning. If you have any suggestions or tips for me I would be glad to hear them. What type of products do you use for your everyday make-up routine?

Xo. Tara Berries

DISCLAIMER: All of these products were purchased and paid for by myself or were given to me by a family member for a present. None of these products were given to me for review.