Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Monthly Reads


july-blog-posts

A beautiful and touching post from Kayli to the women, families, and members of the military.

Taking an international trip soon? Here's a collection of travel scams from around the world

Outfit love! Neon + chevron from Jen, leather shorts from Mo, and a giraffe print dress from Shanna. Swoon!

You know I'm a sucker for weddings, and Kate is engaged! Here's her story of how she found love by going after her dreams.

My newest fave blogger, Juliette, asks the age old question: My sister's husband's cousin isn't my relative... right? This one will make you laugh and cringe!

Poop talk and other things you learn when travelling long term with your man.

You know those days when you just don't want to get out of your pajamas? Now you don't have to! Real Girl Glam shares 3 ways to wear daytime pjs :)

And last but certainly not least, Therese asks - are you crazy enough to change the world? I like to think that I am ;)

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How To Avoid the Comparison Trap

When I wrote last week about how I’m on my Plan B, I wrote that making a certain amount of money isn’t what makes me happy. My happiness is defined by more than my income, but sometimes I can’t help but fall into the trap of comparing myself with others. Not just with money, but also in relation to travels, blogging, wicked skills in writing and photography... I could go on unfortunately.

There comes a point when comparing doesn't do me any good. Instead of getting inspired by what other people have made possible for themselves, I get resentful that I'm not there. Is that an awful thing to confess? Probably. But I can’t be the only one, right?

When I’m getting dangerously close to throwing myself a ginormous pity party and I feel myself spiraling down a path of self-doubt, I remember this mantra:

Comparison is the thief of joy -Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mani Monday: Perfectly Peach

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product-review-covergirl-nail-polish

coral-nails

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Nail polish lovers, I have a confession to make: I'm not a fan of Essie nail polishes (gasp). While they have a fabulous range of colours, I find the polishes to be thin, streaky, prone to chipping, and at $10 a bottle seriously overpriced. I was craving a new polish though and love this colour for summertime. Normally I'm a bit hesitant about drug-store brands, but at $5.49 a bottle I couldn't resist giving this Cover Girl nail polish a shot as I'd been searching for this perfect peachy / coral shade for a while. 

I was very pleased about the quality of this polish and especially how chip-resistant it is! I used a base and top coat plus two coats of colour, then on day three I added another layer of top coat. For those of you who work with your hands a lot, you know how rare it is to stay chip free for so long and my nails are still going strong. These pictures were taken on day four after my manicure and not one chip - absolutely fantastic and such a better value compared to Essie! I'm a happy gal and will definitely be buying this line of nail polish from Cover Girl again. 

Linking up with Glitter and Gloss and Well Shut The Front Door. 

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, ie: I did not receive any compensation for this article. I just wanted to share my review of this product. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What I'm Wearing: Lace Tee and Denim Cut-Offs


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 turquoise-accessories

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Dynamite lace scalloped tshirt & camisole / Silver denim cut-offs (similar) / Danier turquoise crossbody purse (similar) / Caribbean Joe turquoise sandals via Sears / woven turquoise earrings via local artisan

I went to the mall last week and happened to pass through Sears (on my way to the stores I normally shop at, #letsbereal) when these beautiful turquoise sandals caught my eye. "50% off!" the clearance sign screamed at me. Errmm... okay... maybe not screamed as much as announced very conspicuously in the middle of the aisle... anyway for $25 these suckers came home with me and they are the most comfortable sandals I own! Love when that happens. No "breaking in" the toe section or having to deal with uncomfortable straps that cut into my ankles. These sandals were meant to be. As luck would have it of course I scuffed them only the second time I wore them (!!!) but such is life.

On a different note, I threw together this outfit for a day of errands and a casual dinner on the weekend. The turquoise accessories came together without much planning and I'm absolutely loving this scalloped lace t-shirt and denim cut-offs. Such an easy summertime outfit, which I think is key when it's 40 C outside (~100 F) and I'm expected to put clothes on my body.

What's your go-to casual outfit for the summertime?

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Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm On My Plan B

Not that kind of Plan B. The “Plan B” in my life plan, if you will. After Plan A didn't quite work out, there was a good chunk of time where I felt defeated for not making it work like how I'd originally planned. Was I a failure? Was I the only one feeling this way?

Apparently not. Many Generation Yers (those of us born from the 1980s to 2000), abandon our Plan As by our mid-twenties. It took a while for me to realize the importance of changing the way I framed this issue in my mind. I remember thinking, “Maybe this time it’s good to be a part of the majority.” I’ve always been open to change and excited for new opportunities. "It's okay that I'm going down a different path. Not everyone gets it right when they’re making career goals as a teenager," I told myself.


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Friday, July 12, 2013

It’s Friday and I’m Just Sayin'...

I don’t know if any other visible minorities can relate, but I get asked “Where are you from?” ALLLL  the time. Usually I cheekily answer, “I’m from Canada” like I have no idea what they’re getting at. It’s almost always men who ask – guys at the bar, food and shop vendors, randoms I meet while out hiking... take a peek at this video below and tell me whether this has ever happened to you.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tutorial: 6 Easy Steps for Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Ok, I’ll admit it, I used to be really bad about cleaning my makeup brushes. I used to go months and months (and months... alright, you get the picture) without cleaning them. It was just one of those things that always got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. In the past few years though I have been much better about cleaning my makeup brushes, especially when I realized how easy it was! And bonus - I’ve definitely noticed a reduction in my skin breaking out.
 
Think about how often you use your brushes, where you store them, and all the gunk that eventually piles up on them. Considering how expensive brushes can be (I pay between $12 – 40 for mine), maximizing the length of the brush life is important.
 
Today I’m sharing a quick and easy tutorial for cleaning your makeup brushes. I follow should follow this every week but let’s be honest #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Every other week is more like it :P
 
Step 1: Gather your dirty brushes (duh).
 
dirty-makeup-brushes

Step 2: Gather your tools – 1 or 2 hand towels, a small bowl, and makeup shampoo. I use Sephora and I’m happy with it, but you could also use water and baby shampoo or water and unscented soap too.

how-to-clean-makeup-brushes
 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

5 Dos and Don’ts for Attending a Wedding

I’m so excited to not only be attending, but also standing up for, my best friend in her wedding this weekend. Follow me on Instagram to get some behind-the-scenes pictures (but don’t worry, I won’t be committing Don’t #5 below). Since we’re right in the prime of wedding season, lots of us have probably been invited to a wedding or two this summer. But what happens if you haven’t been a guest at a wedding before or maybe it’s been a really long time (like back when you were a teenager)? For those of us who want to avoid offending the bride and groom, I thought I’d share some modern wedding etiquette tips.

wedding-cake-topper-fishing
Photo copyright of Dave and Charlotte Photography
5 Dos and Don’ts for Attending a Wedding

Thursday, July 04, 2013

What I'm Loving: Date Night

Oh what a weekend (plus some)! I've previously talked about how my hubby M is American, and with me being Canadian, we tried to take an "unofficial" extended break to stretch our national independence days into a full week of holidays. (By unofficial I mean really it's a fallacy in our minds but we still wake up every morning and go to work and school like the dutiful employee/student combo that we are.) This week has been a short but busy one sandwiched by two amazing weekends. Over the past couple of days my sister and cousins visited from out-of-town and it was such a pleasure getting to spend time with them in our neck of the woods and show them around Ottawa. This weekend we are meeting up with a bunch of friends and hoping to visit Ottawa Bluesfest to catch a couple of great shows. 
 
So in the spirit of summertime and fun loving, I'm sharing some chic outfit inspiration that would be perfect for a lil date night. I'm a huge fan of a structured white blazer and think the playful purple dress is accented just right with pops of bright colours in the statement necklace, lipstick, and nail polish.

Outfit for Date Night
Click here to see where you can purchase these items

What do you think about this outfit? Are you a fan of pairing bright colours together?
 
PS: A belated but very Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers out there!
PPS: A Happy Independence Day to my American friends as well :D
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