May Favourites Roundup

The month of May has been good in terms of newly discovered beauty products and other pretty little things. I wanted to share with you a few of my favourites from this month.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume

Flowerbomb. What can I say…I mean the name pretty much speaks for itself. Flowerbomb has been on my wishlist for quite some time now and I finally decided to pick one up for myself. I adore so many different perfumes, but this by far has to be my favourite. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful scents out there. You should try it out if you haven’t experienced it yet. Mind blowing.  Continue reading “May Favourites Roundup”

We Are Handsome with Geeky-Chic Glasses

Derek Cardigan Geometric Gold Glasses

Derek Cardigan Geometric Gold Glasses

Derek Cardigan Geometric Gold Glasses

Derek Cardigan Geometric Gold Glasses

Throughout the years I’ve shy’d away from wearing my glasses outside. It wasn’t until the last few years, and the emergence of trendy frames that I finally felt comfortable enough to step outside wearing glasses. I have to admit, it has been quite the liberating experience! And perfect for those days when I choose to snooze – I can throw my frames on and run out the door instead of messing around with my contacts.
Continue reading “We Are Handsome with Geeky-Chic Glasses”

Hidden Gems

vintage pitcher as vaseTo celebrate the opening of a new Value Village store in Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto), I was invited back to shop the store and challenge a $50 budget. For those of you who may not be familiar, Value Village is a thrift retailer that offers affordable clothing and household goods in a clean, department store-like setting. If you’ve been following my blog you would recall that last summer I was able to get two outfits (here) and (here) out of that budget.

Thrifting can be a hit or miss, and at times one may end up leaving with the most remarkable vintage find. And that is exactly what happened here.  While my intention was to put together a winter look I simply didn’t have much luck in the clothing department.  So I started wandering the store for inspiration – and boy did I ever find it in the housewares section!

vintage pitcher used as vaseIt all started when I spotted a floral keepsakes box. I already have a few of these throughout my home, and figured another couldn’t possibly hurt. I loved the ‘Live Laugh Love’ motif and knew  this would be a perfect opportunity to challenge a $50 budget on home decor. 

live laugh love keepsake boxAfter having settled on the box as my decor starting point, the next step was to find items that would compliment its’ floral and Parisienne motif. Right away I pictured a white vase full of flowers with artwork to compliment the design of the box. So now came the fun part…thrifting for aforementioned items.

Finding artwork was a breeze – I even scored a framed mirror which had been on my home decor wish list for quite some time. I’m always burning candles so it was a no brainer when I saw these mirrored-glass candle holders. The only snag I hit (which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise) was that I could not find an appropriate white vase. 

mirrored glass candle holders

This glass pitcher (which I’m guessing is vintage based on the detailing) kept catching my eye every time I walked by it, until eventually I decided to forgo the white vase in lieu of this beauty. Best decision I I made that night – I am actually thankful that I wasn’t able to find a white vase or else I would have passed up on this gem! It’s hard to imagine that such pretty items would have otherwise ended up in a landfill, which is why I think it’s great that Value Village teams up with local nonprofit parters to divert more than 650 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year. These reused goods are put into the hands of people who will give them a new life.

flower plaque with mirrored glass candle holders

Well, and there you have it my friends…whether you are looking to just incorporate a few one of a kind pieces into your existing decor, or to create an entire display, $50 at Value Village can take you a long way.
Another really neat thing about my shopping night was that one of the store managers gave me a behind the scenes of the whole process. Aside from accepting donations (for which they offer a discount on their merchandise), Value Village purchases their clothing from local nonprofit organizations. More than 100,000 items are out on the sales floor at any given time, carrying everything from clothing and accessories, to housewares and electronics. Up to 10,000 new items are placed on the floor daily, and any items that exceed their in-store ‘season’ are then further passed down to charities or recycled. Love how everything keeps getting re-used.

xo


All housewares c/o Value Village.

Winter Survival with Pretty and Useful Things

Winter Survival Guide

Ah winter….what can I say? Not my first choice of seasons. Don’t get me wrong, winter can be serenely beautiful…if you’re sitting inside by a fireplace wine glass in hand. But all hibernation ideals aside, winter really doesn’t do my body any favours; I lose my golden glow, it makes my hair static, and when it’s really frigid, my knuckles dry and crack to the point where they bleed. Fun times. Luckily I’ve been introduced to a few new products that are helping me to cope with the winter season that I am rounding up here, along with a few old favourites.

TEA
Lots and lots of tea. I’ve expanded my horizons in the tea department recently, venturing outside of black, green, and my favourite – jasmine tea. All of this thanks to a visit to Teavana while randomly strolling through Upper Canada Mall. The vast amounts of loose leaf teas this store has is insane…anything from specialized tea, chai, to even herbal teas. The herbal fruit teas consist of a mix of tea and dried pieces of fruit and not only smell, but look divine. Passion Tango is the one I am currently hooked on.

passion tango tea in vintage teacup

Winter Survival GuideBOLD LIP COLOURS
A beautiful smile goes a long way in uplifting spirits and fighting the winter blues. And Bite Beauty keeps me smiling for more reasons than just their beautifully bold colours. Bite Beauty lipsticks are natural lip products made with food-grade ingredients which leave me happy knowing that I’m not applying harmful colours onto my lips on the daily (a reason that I avoided lipsticks for many years). 

winter survival for lips

LIP CARE
I cannot even tell you how often I reach for my lip balm on a daily basis. Working in an office with dry and cool temperatures doesn’t help either, so I am really grateful to eos for sending me their  lip aid kit – which has been just that – first aid for my lips during the dry winter months. Aside from just being a fun product thanks to their cute and colourful containers, eos lip balm leaves your lips not only soft and supple, but full of yummy flavour. A winter beauty hack of mine is to apply a very thin layer of moisturizing lip balm on my lips before adding lipstick.

winter lip care

A CUTE PHONE CASE
You may have seen on my Insta stories that I shattered the screen on my phone not too long ago. I think the stress of the holidays took its toll on me because at one point I was dropping my phone on the daily. Not even kidding…until finally one day my poor iPhone just did not survive the drop. Thankfully my friends at Arla Cases let me try out one of their cases (with which the delivery of coincided with my replacement phone to the exact day)  and I’m happy to report that I have not dropped my new phone since. I’m notorious for waiting months before getting a case or even screen protector for my phone, but there really are no excuses when hundreds of cute designs are available online. It wasn’t easy to narrow it down to one, but after seeing this cowskull with roses designs I had eyes for no other. So far I love it (the gorgeous design is a no-brainer) but I truly appreciate the fact that my phone actually has a ‘grip’ to it now, and isn’t slipping out of my hand all the time. If you are looking for a case for your phone check out the Arla Cases site and use promo code XOXO15OFF to get 15% off your order.

arla cases cow skull with roses case

arla cases cow skull with roses case

MOISTURIZE ON THE DAILY
Which is exactly my routine. I’m always on the lookout for products that contain as little harmful substances as possible, so a special thank you to eos for letting me try their new line of skincare products. This line is loaded with shea butter, avocado, and all sorts of vitamins to not only help nourish dry skin but also to provide it with nutrients that it craves. Especially loving the hand cream, which is perfectly compact and prevents my hands from drying out and cracking. Also of note is the shaving cream because it’s almost next to impossible to find one that isn’t made up entirely of harmful ingredients. Instead, this one contains vitamins, green tea and grape seed extract along with the aforementioned shea butter and avocado. The shave cream allows for a wet or dry shave and leaves my legs noticeably smooth and nourished – it’s as close to summer skin as I can get in the wintertime. And with great skin like that, who wouldn’t want to show it off? Which leads me to my next fave…

winter skincare survival

winter skincare survival
WEAR YOUR SKIVVIES

Loungewear in this house has taken on new meanings with the emergence of bralettes and, well…skivvies. On any given weekend my typical loungewear consists of a bralette, loose rocker tee (if any), skivvies and over the knee socks. To date, my bralette collection consisted of Nasty Gal only pieces however I’ve been crushing on a few For Love and Lemons pieces recently, and my boo surprised me with one. Needless to say it has quickly become a favourite, and I’m looking forward to expanding my Fore Love and Lemons collection more. 

bralette with girl painting and candles

bralette with candle and wooden box
lace flower detail bralette What are some things that are helping you to survive the winter season? Let me know, I’d love to hear it!

A special thank you to Bite Beauty, eos, and Arla Cases for sending me their lovely products to try out.

xo

 

2016 Reflections

I’ll start this post by wishing you all a wonderful and Happy 2017! Secondly, I must apologize for being MIA for the past couple of weeks; the weeks leading up to the holidays were a bit chaotic to the point where I was more behind than ever. The day job was totally kicking my ass, and then to make matters worse I spontaneously decided to migrate from Blogger to WordPress (yes, I was still on Blogger!). This task had been on my to-do list for over a year at least and I decided last minute (on the 26th) to make the switch to start 2017 off the right way.

And so here we are, a brand new year ahead of us and a time for reflections on the past year in an effort to identify areas where opportunity to improve may exist. 2016 surpassed any expectations I had as a blogger; I was fortunate enough to meet some fellow bloggers from Toronto, attend fun events, and I had the opportunity to work with some beloved brands that I could’ve only dreamed of a year ago – I’m very much looking forward to 2017 and the journey that lies ahead.

Reflections of 2016

One of the biggest struggles that I faced throughout last year was how to be myself online. Seems  simple enough, but when you have to fully put yourself out there and expose yourself to criticism we tend to hide behind what’s safe. When I first started blogging, I avoided all social media like the plague, and even went out of my way to ensure that no one would find me locally. Looking back on that now, it seems rather silly and I realize that was probably one of the biggest blogger mistakes I could have made, but I cannot have regrets as I was being true to myself at the time. Even as time progressed and I became more comfortable with blogging and social media, I made it a point to keep as much of my personal life out of the blog, in an attempt to keep it ‘clean’ and ‘professional’ however I quickly realized that I was losing myself and creating the same parameters that keep me confined at my day job. Strangely enough, I had even drafted a blog post about this same topic previously as it had been causing me a bit of anguish, but never published it because of aforementioned reasons!

Ultimately, after many deep discussions with my Love, the most beautiful thing occurred to me the other day. I have learned and come to accept that we are all individuals beautiful in our own unique  ways and we each have our own journey. Other people’s journeys are not always meant for us, we are meant to experience things in our own special way. And most importantly, there is nothing wrong with that! Selling out and pretending to be someone I’m not in the hopes of scoring more attention or even to gain opportunities has never been my thing, but I can definitely learn how to be more comfortable in my own skin and have confidence when being transparent with my life.

Before I conclude this post, I did want to thank each and every one of you that has been a part of this journey with me! Thank you so much for being a part of my blog, social, and life! So here’s to 2017 and a New Year of being yourself, loving who you are, and not being afraid to share that with the world!

xo