Sunday, 28 August 2016


Oh my, where has August gone? We are creeping into the very last week of summer vacation but I have full shifts scheduled this coming week so it already feels like summer has ended. As August comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on all of the little things that made August so special. Getting to spend more time with my nephews was a huge bonus and so was camping at Darlington Provincial Park. Today I thought I would share with you some of the things that helped make August so special.

My skincare favourite for August was the Vitamin E Moisture Lotion SPF-15 from the Body Shop. Typically, I have really dry skin and have to moisturize morning and night but I found that my regular moisturizing routine wasn't enough this summer. I realized that what was missing was SPF-15 because the sun was drying out my skin terribly! I went to do a little bit of shopping and stopped in at The Body Shop and asked what type of moisturizer they had with SPF-15 and the sales associate showed me this one and it works really well! I use it in the morning and my regular moisturizer in the evening. 

My beauty favourite of the month is Too Faced Lash Injection mascara mainly because it is waterproof. Not only do I have chronic dry skin but I also have dry eyes and sometimes need to put eyedrops in throughout the day. Without wanting my eyedrops to ruin my eye makeup I looked for a waterproof mascara that doesn't have any parabens. Too Faced is always my go to makeup brand as it is quality makeup in cute packaging and their mascara never fails me. This is the second tube of the Lash Injection mascara I have purchased and it will definitely be repurchased in the future.

No surprise here, my book favourite of the month is the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. Some people did not enjoy this book but I thought the characters were so lovely and the story was very interesting. It showed an imperfect Harry and I think that made him more human in my eyes. 

My last favourite of the month is this Don't Forget to be Awesome sign that was created by Anchor & Co. Anchor & Co is run by a girl who makes signs and also has workshops for people who want to make their own signs (not really my thing) and I love her signs that she makes. I liked Anchor & Co. on Facebook and they were having an auction for some signs she had made and because I wasn't doing anything I took part in the auction to try and snag a nice sign. The auction was easy, the first person to say "me" on a picture that is posted gets it for the asking price and as soon as I saw this sign, I knew I had to have it. If you know me, you know that I am a huge John Green fan and a saying he uses with his brother and the nerdfighter community is Don't Forget to be Awesome (DFTBA). I have used this saying for almost a decade now and even have DFTBA on a necklace so when I was the first person to get this sign, I was ecstatic!

So those are my August favourites! Thanks for reading. What are somethings you have been loving this month? Let me know in the comments! If you want to never miss one of my blog posts, follow me on bloglovin'.

Xo. Tara Berries

Monday, 22 August 2016

50 Things That Make Me Happy | Tara Berries

As a child I was constantly picked on which made me a pretty miserable child. In reality though, when I am with my friends and family who treat me right I am a very positive person. I try and always look on the bright side of things and it doesn't take much to make me happy. When I was reading Paula's blog Thirteen Thoughts I noticed she did a 50 Things That Make Me Happy blog post and I thought I would do the same.

50 Things That Make Me Happy:

1. Christmas mornings with my family. When we eat breakfast together and open presents it is just such a peaceful time.
2. Staying up and reading a good book through the night.

3. Re-reading the Harry Potter series.
4. Long, quiet car rides.
5. Mornings in Toronto with my best friend.
6. Breakfast at a restaurant with endless coffee.
7. Watching Netflix with friends.
8. Swimming in a pool or lake.
9. Drinks with friends.
10. Chipotle Mexican Grill
11. Spending Time with my nephews.

12. Unlimited bread/bread sticks at a restaurant.
13. Taking an evening stroll.
14. Coming home to my dog.
15. Teaching students.
16. Playing games with my students in the gym.
17. Watching My Bestfriend's Wedding.
18. Cozy scarves.
19. My sister's homemade pizza.
20. Going to Taylor Swift concerts.

21. Blasting Taylor Swift music in the car.
22. Seeing my friends find happiness.
23. Having my hair freshly done.
24. Re-watching Gilmore Girls.
25. Plane rides (surprisingly).
26. A hug from a nice smelling guy.
27. Kayaking on a lake.
28. Butter tarts.
29. Enjoying a Starbucks drink.

30. Calvin Klein underwear
31. Nicely pedicured toes.
32. Hot apple cider in the fall.
33. Purchasing anything from Kate Spade.
34. Having multiple books on my to-be-read list.

35. Watching my friends be successful.
36. Teaching kindergarten.
37. Using my planner.
38. Making lasagna rolls with my mom.
39. Staying up late.
40. Christmas Eve dinner with cabbage rolls and perogies.
41. The leaves changing colour in the fall.
42. Comfy sweaters.
43. Bath bombs.

44. When I am just about to fall asleep and my cat comes to sleep with me.
45. Making homemade banana bread.
46. A nice glass of wine.
47. Playing Settlers of Catan with my friends.
48. Going to the beach. 
49. Listening to podcasts.
50. Browsing an independent bookstore.

There are many more things that make me happy but these are the ones I will bring up in conversation over and over again. The ultimate dream is to live in Stars Hollow and eat and drink at Luke's everyday but since that can't happen, these things will have to do. All of the photos you see in this post are from my Instagram which you can follow by clicking here. Let me know in the comments what some things are that make you happy and if you plan on writing 50 Things That Make You Happy, leave a link in the comments and I will check it out!

Xo. Tara Berries

Sunday, 21 August 2016


I like reading the story Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman to my students as I think it is a great lesson, that when you have used everything up until it is gone, you can create a good story out of it. I had leftover frozen fruit from when I had surgery and it needed to be used up so I thought I would make strawberry frozen yogurt at the end of a hot summer day. The frozen yogurt was such a hit that it is all gone now and was enjoyed by everyone and I now have a story and pictures to share with you!

2 cups of frozen strawberries
1/2 a cup of plain yogurt
3 tablespoons of honey
A dash of vanilla

How To:

I use a Nutribullet but you can use a food processor or another type of blender. In the blender cup I add all of the ingredients and blend the mixture until everything is mixed together. Check that there are no fruit chunks in the mixture. Then I pour the mixture into a Ziploc bag, seal it tight, and lay it flat in the freezer for 1 hour. After the wait it is good to be scooped out into little dessert bowls or however you want to enjoy it. For added fun you can add toppings such as sprinkles, fruit, chocolate chips, or graham cracker crumbs. I like to enjoy this frozen yogurt treat all on its own. Let me know what type of frozen yogurt flavour is your favourite in the comments below!

Xo. Tara Berries

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Money can be such a touchy subject to bring up because you never know a person's financial situation and for good reason, it is personal. This year was a challenging one as it was very slow in the supply teaching department (unusual circumstances) and I had to purchase a car because the one I had needed to go to my parents. As we all know, summer is not the best time for supply teachers either and I have had to learn a thing or two about saving money and not spending so much.

I remember when I was in university and had very little money and my friends would ask me to do something like go to a Lady Gaga concert or spend the day in the city shopping and I always made it work even when I probably should have said no. I made those fun things work without saving any money so while I was able to go out and have fun, I was always out of money until my next paycheque came. Not a good way to live and when I graduated and started working I was actually saving money and and able to do the fun things that came along with my friends. I don't want to bore you with the teaching profession in Ontario but when I finally managed to get on with a school board it was possibly the toughest year financially and I realized that I have to say no to things if I want to save money. 

With all that said, I am going to list some practical ways I save money both as a supply teacher and as a young person in her twenties.

1. It is okay to say no. Recently a friend asked me to go on vacation and I said yes without thinking. I said yes because I have money in my savings account and I have no plans to go on vacation this year so why not? Then I realized that the trip would have been too expensive and I could have done a longer trip for way less money. I also had to realize that I can't dump the little savings I have on one four day trip, not a good decision. So I had to say no and I don't regret that. I am planning two trips next year and they are worth much more than a quick four day vacation.

2. Stop buying fast food every day! Not only is it detrimental to your health but it depletes your bank account. I love my Tim Horton's every morning and would regularly grab a coffee and a bagel or croissant on my way to work but I had to give it up. I buy the Tim Horton's K Cups and make one every morning with my breakfast. I allow myself one Starbucks drink a week unless I am with my bestfriend, then we go Gilmore Girls style on the coffee.

3. Stop shopping when you are bored. Okay I am so guilty of this especially because I live five minutes from the mall. Whenever I am bored I go to the mall and buy books and clothes which clearly does not help with saving money. I have started to do other things when I am bored like going to the lake and playing Pokemon Go which has minimal spending involved.

4. Your savings account is not to be dipped from for little purchases. I am so bad at this. To the point where I had to take money out of my tax free savings account which lessened the amount of interest (minimum amount was $5000 to get 2% interest) on the account and that was all because I wanted to go shopping. I have learned that my savings account is for big things only like trips to Europe, buying a house, or putting money into an RRSP. My savings account is not for a Lululemon sweater.

5. Online banking is your friend. Online banking is the biggest convenience ever and it allows you to keep track of your spending and saving each and everyday. Gone are the days where you had to drive to the bank and see a teller just to know how much is in your account and we should be using technology to our advantage. By using your online banking you can see how much you are spending on living costs, food, bills, and recreation and you can see where you can cut back in order to save more.

Those are my five practical tips for saving money and I would love to hear about your practical tips. How do you save money each month? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post be sure to follow me on bloglovin' to stay updated!

Hope you are all enjoying the end of summer,

Xo. Tara Berries

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


Let's be real here, I am soaking in as much of the summer as I possibly can. The school year is about to begin and that will mean my schedule will become a whole lot more hectic with supply teaching. So this past Sunday I decided to give myself an at home pamper session and I thought I would share my routine with you all.

The first thing I did on Sunday night was pour myself a glass of Riesling (I am pretty sure this was a Christmas gift of some sort) and it was delicious.

Next, I decided to have a warm bath where I watched some Gilmore Girls on Netflix and drank my wine. I went to the Enniskillen General Store a few weeks ago for their Buttertart Festival and I picked up two bath bombs. I used one of the bath bombs in my bath and added more Epsom salts. As soon as I dipped into the bathtub I could feel myself instantly relax. I scrubbed my feet with a pumice stone to take away the dead skin which appeared from wearing sandals all summer long. Upon getting out of the bath I moisturized myself with a moisturizer from Bath and Body Works.

Since it is summertime and my feet are horrendously calloused I went and purchased the Peppermint Intensive Foot Repair from The Body Shop to moisturize my feet. The salesperson at The Body Shop told me I could store the repair cream in my refrigerator and I did just that. The coolness of the cream instantly soothed my feet from weeks of wearing my birkenstocks. 

I thoroughly enjoyed a night of pampering myself and it was nice to prop my iPad up on the corner of my bathtub and just relax watching Gilmore Girls (such a great show). What products do you use when pampering yourself and which show do you watch on Netflix in the evenings? I hope everyone is having a great week!

Xo. Tara Berries

Saturday, 13 August 2016


While summer doesn't technically end until September 21 we all know the end of August is the "unofficial" end to summer as school begins after Labour Day weekend. I am a supply teacher and that means my year becomes busy closer to the end of September as most teachers like to be in the classroom the first couple weeks of school to establish classroom routines and expectations. I do like to be prepared for my first call to come on the first week just in case that happens and I also work for a child care centre so that also means I could be called in anytime so I purchased my planner for the year. 

Personally, I like to keep track of the hours I work, whether it is a half day, two-thirds day, or a full day and whether I work for the school board or the child care centre. Having a planner to write it down in is the best way for me to keep track of it all, especially during the busy months. The planner that I purchased for this school year is the 2016-2017 Ban.Do Classic Agenda, Party Dots. I chose this planner because it is hardcover so it will last all year in my handbag, it has a monthly view and weekly view, a pouch for receipts or important information, and it has its own unique stickers at the front. The only downside to this planner is it uses American holidays which is a bummer because I bought it in Canada and I would like Canadian holidays (mostly the same as American but not all of them are).

When I was at Chapters I also bought a matching Kate Spade tumblr. I am always drinking water and I refuse to buy bottled water (total waste for the environment). I like that this tumblr has a lid and straw so I can take it with me wherever I go and it looks stylish with my planner and my Kate Spade tote.

I ordered stickers from Love Your Planners to add to my agenda when planning out my week. I bought hydration, workout, vitamin, blog post, photography, and reading stickers. The blog post and photography stickers will definitely come in handy when planning out my blog posts come the school year. The vitamin stickers and reading stickers should just help remind me to read and take my vitamins. 

Do you have a planner? If so, which planner do you use (I would love to spend money on an Erin Condren planner but I can never justify it) and how do you make it work for you?

Xo. Tara Berries

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Ah summer, a time to sit out on the deck and get lost in a really good book. I wanted to share with you some of the books I have been reading this summer. I enjoyed all three of the books I am going to review for you today.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: Me Before You was a gripping novel that had me frustrated, sad, and happy all while reading just the one book. I have yet to see the movie as I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. I have heard After You, the sequel is also a good novel and I will hopefully be picking that book up soon as well.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany: In case you didn't already know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. So when I heard that there would a play written about the next generation of Potters, Weasleys, and Malfoys I was thrilled! I have been reading fanfiction on the next generation characters since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007 so I was ready for this play. I know a lot of people are criticizing the play saying it reads like fanfiction and I will admit, some of the plot line was a bit far fetched but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and if you are a Harry Potter fan I do recommend checking it out. 

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin: Remember Something Borrowed the book that was turned into a movie and it made everyone look twice at the other woman? Well I have been a big fan of Emily Giffin ever since reading that book when I was in high school (almost ten years ago) so when my sister suggested I pick up First Comes Love I was all for it. I related a lot to one character in this book, Josie, who is a teacher and is always at odds with her sister. First Comes Love was a great read and I recommend you buy it if you like realistic characters.

I have heard many people talking about Baby Doll by Hollie Overton so that might be next on my to read list. You can follow me on goodreads by clicking here. If you like this post you can also follow me on bloglovin' to never miss a new Tara Berries blog post. Let me know what you are reading in the comments below and thank-you for stopping by!

Xo. Tara Berries

Monday, 8 August 2016


Picture a sandy beach with a beautiful green picnic area and a park along with trails for walking and cycling. Would you believe me if I told it was just outside of Toronto, in Bowmanville, Ontario? Well it does exist and it is located at Darlington Provincial Park where I went camping with my friend Crystal. 

If you knew me then you would know that I am a city girl. I am the type of girl who has a Starbucks drink in one hand and my Kate Spade tote in the other and I have no problems figuring out public transit in Toronto. So it was surprising when I said yes to a camping trip We had originally planned to camp at Emily Provincial Park but it was full and we decided that Darlington would be a good place to check out. 

The surprise of how much I enjoyed being at Darlington Provincial Park was clearly evident. I had no idea that my work was less than ten minutes away and my house was about twenty minutes away. I really felt like I was in the wilderness. We set up our tent and took a walk to the beach and through a trail to know our surroundings. We found a little environmental hut which had local wildlife on display. There was a painted turtle called "Moaning Turtle" which I especially appreciated as a Harry Potter fan and there was a snapping turtle called "Boxer." 

I am just learning how to use my Nikon D4300 and that is why my photos aren't the best. I posted the least blurry ones. If you have any good suggestions on photography tutorials please leave them in the comments! I was unable to get pictures of the camp fire because it was dark by the time I was ready to take pictures but I loved roasting hot dogs and then having s'mores afterwards. The next morning we made toast and eggs and instant coffee (the coffee was a bad idea). 

Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Darlington Provincial Park. Special times with good friends is what I really appreciate but also getting to spend time in a place that is local to me was also really neat.

Where is your favourite place to go camping? Let me know in the comments!

Xo. Tara Berries

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


Hello friends, I am sure you can agree with me that summer needs to slow down a little bit. How is it August already? The first three weeks of July I was working on a project that left me busy and inside most of the day. Now I am able to enjoy my summer but it is half gone! Despite it being August summer is still here and that gives me time to work more on my blog. I want to spruce it up and have it ready to go for the busy month of September. Here are my four goals for making August a productive month:

1. Blog twice a week: June and July were busy months for me and my blog was left in the back of my mind. Now that I have more free time on my hands I can continue to focus on making my blog better. Having the goal to blog twice a week will give me that push to create more content and to communicate with more bloggers.

2. Buy my own domain: I love blogging so much and I think I can really take my blog to another level with its own domain. Having my own website will hopefully give me more credibility and I will be able to partner with more brands.

3. Workout twice a week: On a personal note, I typically workout twice a week and walk most days (thank-you Pokemon Go) but it is always nice to have it as a goal and write it in my planner. Buy working out I find I am less stressed which will come in handy for the upcoming school year.

4. Read more books: I am currently reading two books right now First Comes Love  by Emily Giffin and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I plan on writing a blog post reviewing the two books in the future. I want to keep up my reading because I am a huge bookworm. I feel that when I read more I am much happier as a person because books allow me to escape, even just for a little while, to another world.

What are your goals for August? I would love to read about them in the comments or link to your own August Goals blog post.

Xo. Tara Berries

Monday, 1 August 2016


Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks you will know the world of Harry Potter has been very active! There is a two part play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that has just been released in London's West End and the screenplay has been published for all to read. Basically, it is the story of Harry Potter and his children when they are in Hogwarts. I am reading it so far and am loving it! If you have read the series and are hesitating to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, please read it! Give the play a chance, it only adds to the series and doesn't take away from anything.

If you think it was just a play that was getting us all excited, think again! There will be a movie titled 
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them released this fall and the screenplay is written by Jo Rowling herself. This movie is said to bring the wizarding world over to North America. In the Harry Potter Book series Harry's textbook for his Care of Magical Creatures Class was titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for which Jo Rowling wrote the textbook and published it years ago. 

With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them coming up, Jo Rowling has been very active with posting content on Pottermore. Rowling released the magical school that students from North America would attend (Ilvermorny) and created a sorting quiz for readers to find out which house they would be in if they went to Ilvermorny (I was sorted into Pukwudgie).
Also, capitalizing on the adult colouring book craze, the publishers of Harry Potter have released Harry Potter colouring books for adults. I had surgery in November of 2015 and my best friend bought me one so I wouldn't be bored during recovery. The pictures are stunning and I love watching Netflix and colouring in the book when I want to relax a little.

Are you a fan of Harry Potter? If so, have you enjoyed the extra things that keep coming up since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Are you excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?  Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Let me know in the comments!

Xo. Tara Berries