Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Monthly Reads


Pictures and stories from Chelsea's motorcycle trip across Cambodia! This post had me reminiscing about my moto adventure in Vietnam. I can definitely relate to the sore butt thing!

Christine discusses the daily practices she incorporates into her lifestyle to contribute to her happiness project. I really connect with her commitment to do what makes her happy instead of listening to what other people say should make you happy. This one hit home.

A Breaking Bad guide to backpacking in Australia [gifs]. So funny! PS How good was this week's episode!?

Erika introduced her new linkup "Grad-itude 101" which is focused on recognizing the good things in life through positive thinking and action. This week she wrote about feeling abundant, a short but sweet thought-provoking read.

40 really cool maps of the world.

I love the simplicity of Christina's outfit and especially her Celine purse!

Jen looks super cute in her carpe diem sweater.

Earlier this month I wrote about remembering to live in the present and acknowledging the good old days. Rachel touches on a similar topic about her struggle to live in the moment.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mani Monday: Bright and Shiny

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Avon nail polish in bronze metallic

I received this mini metallic nail polish in a trio gift set, and must say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of these Avon polishes. It's a textured look but smooth to the touch and two coats weren't even necessary (though as I mentioned last month, I always do two plus a top coat). I thought this was a fun, bright, and shiny manicure to finish off the last week of summer. It seems like so many of us are already transitioning to fall with a deeper and darker colour palette, but I'm not ready just yet and want to embrace the last bit of summer. Hope you had a great Monday and if you've got a manicure to show off, share it with me on Twitter, I'd love to check it out!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Here's to The Good Ole Days

As I’ve been catching up on my blog reading this week, I can’t help but notice all of the “Fall Fashion! Back to School!  End of Summer” type of posts. Umm... when did that happen? 

Last week I was playing soccer, as I do every Monday night with my summer league, but by the end of the second half the girls and I were squinting to see the ball because all of a sudden it was dark at 8 pm. The season is coming to a close, but this time, this summer, it feels like something more. 

Autumn is my absolute favourite season. It’s when we chose to get married. It’s the beginning of the school year (for Canadians at least). It’s when I can whip out my favourite wardrobe items, like blazers  and boots and scarves (oh how I love scarves! I have about 15, no joke), and layer my outfits without dying from the heat.

So while I’m certainly looking forward to the next season approaching, there’s a part of me that feels like with the end of this summer it’s almost the end of a chapter for Matthew and I as well. Like when we’re old and wrinkly we’ll look back on this time and say to each other, “Hey hunny – remember those three years we spent in our ghetto-fab one bedroom apartment in Ottawa, never further than 10 feet away from each other, plugging away at full-time school and work, drinking way too much wine and eating way too much cheese, having slumber parties in our living room and watching movie marathons on the weekends? Remember the good ole days?”

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Goofing around at a picnic in the park on the weekend

Friday, August 23, 2013

That Time I Put Coconut Oil In My Hair

Over the past few months it seems like I've been stumbling upon article after article raving about the beauty-related benefits of coconut oil, most popularly discussing its use as a conditioner. So on a lazy Saturday when I had nothing better to do when I was a super motivated blogger on a quest to help my readers, I decided to give it a try. 

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First of all, for anyone interested in using coconut oil, you should be able to pick it up at your typical grocery store. I went searching at Superstore (a Canadian chain) and eventually found Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in the health food section. It took me a while to find it, seeing as how I am the furthest thing for a "health nut" and rarely wander into this area of the store, but there it was, my extra virgin preservative-free coconut oil, waiting for me next to Larabars and gluten-free pasta. (Clearly I grabbed the coconut oil and ran.)

After I shampooed my hair in the shower, I reached for the tub and thought, "Errr... what do I do now?" You think it'd be self-explanatory, right? Not quite. Depending on the temperature, coconut oil will either be in solid or liquid form. If it's solid, scrape off a little bit with your fingers and rub it around in the palm of your hands to heat up the product. If you're like me, loving surviving through the heat of summer without air conditioning, your tub of coconut oil turned liquid as soon as you left the grocery store and won't solidify until October. In that case, mix it around a bit then pour the tiniest amount of oil in the palm of your hand.

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This is how much I *should* use with my medium-long hair

Friday, August 16, 2013

It’s Friday and I’m Just Sayin’... Baby Bump Edition


It’s time for the second edition of It’s Friday and I’m Just Sayin’ and today I’m talking about baby bumps. Excessively cupping them to be more specific. Between celebrities on red carpets, people online, or those I see in real life, for some reason I keep seeing pregnant belly cupping all around me and for some other reason people think this is so cute and stinkin’ adorable. 

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Now before you get all huffy on me, let me say that I recognize belly cupping has its purposes. Instance #1: A 10 pound being is growing inside of you and that shit can get heavy! Sometimes you just need a little extra support. Instance #2: You and your man are taking maternity photos and it’s a super cute moment you want your photographer to capture. Instance #3: You’re in the privacy of your own home / presence of your friends and family / it’s your baby shower and everyone’s fawning.

But celebrities who complain about keeping their personal lives private then turn around and exploit motherhood as a career when convenient (ahem... Jessica Alba)... or women who take every single opportunity to remind you that they’re pregnant and simultaneously rub their baby bumps while filling you in on the latest details that you weren’t sure you wanted to know in the first place when you were just trying to get some H2O at the water cooler... that’s a little weird. 

And while we’re on this topic, at which point do pregnant women decide that all time must be measured in weeks? Is there a hormone that’s released in the first trimester that causes women to forget that greater units like months and years exist? Did you ever describe things in 38-week or 21-month increments prior to becoming pregnant? Didn’t think so. 

Look, we get it. You didn’t have an extra large hamburger at dinner that’s sitting uncomfortably in your stomach and accidentally making it protrude in a perfectly round bump. You’re preggers and you want to highlight your growing tummy and declare to the world that a baby is on the way! If you’re the guy, maybe you’re really proud and want to show off exactly how far your sperm was able to swim. 

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Images via WENN
But if your baby bump is cuppable, it’s probably quite conspicuous, meaning we know it’s there. Not exactly a secret anymore! There’s no need for the super obvious gentle resting of your hand just so to highlight a bump that is most definitely not related to bloating the miracle of life growing within. 

I’d love to hear what your take is on this! Leave a comment below and join in the discussion. After all, it’s Friday and I’m just sayin’...

Linking up with Heather from Fiery and Opinionated. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hoi An: My Favourite City in Vietnam

Three years ago today I was absolutely loving life in Hoi An, Vietnam. I was travelling south from Hanoi (a city that I was not a fan of) and planning to meet a friend in Hoi An, a friendly, majestic little town that I’d heard and read so much about. It would be a nice change of pace from the big smoggy city where I’d already been scammed twice

A pleasant surprise waking up to this beautiful view of Central Vietnam
I took a sleeper bus down the coast of the country and remember feeling a bit nervous as the bus was clearly overpacked yet I was alone. Foreigners paid full price for tickets (getting a proper bed/seat to themselves) but locals were picked up along the way and were relegated to the aisles to lay out for the ride. All the other travellers seemed to be in pairs or groups, but there I was by myself, backpack straps tied around my legs and trying to catch a few hours of sleep. It was one of the few instances that I wore my money belt.

A Vietnamese sleeper bus. And yes of course the toilet is broken for an 18 hour trip

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Life Lately

Lately,
I’ve been thinking like a blogger. This weekend I instagrammed my food – twice! – before eating it. I use instagram as a verb. I use hashtags when I write (see below). I get blog post ideas and must. write. them. down. immediately. Even if that means breaking traffic rules or jolting from my sleep to scribble them down in the middle of the night. 

I’ve been making small strides as a blogger but I’m still pretty happy with my progress. I hit 70 followers on Twitter this weekend and no I’m not being facetious when I say that I’m proud of that. (But yes I did shamelessly just plug my Instagram and Twitter accounts.) Exactly five of those followers are people that I know in real life. That means I made 65 online connections in the past four months of blogging part-time. Remember when I talked about recognizing small accomplishments? 65 followers in four months of blogging averages out to four new connections a week. Small but measurable steps! Chiara from The Indie Chicks personally invited me to guest post on their site and let’s just say that’s kind of a big deal for a newbie like me! I’ll be submitting some guest post ideas this month and am very excited.

Lately,
I’ve been reading a lot of books. Getting sucked into non-fiction travel memoires – particularly Love with a Chance of Drowning and The Lost Girls. Love with a Chance of Drowning was my favourite out of the two. A solid 9/10 as far as memoires are concerned, it tells the true tale of Torre DeRoche as she decided to follow her lover of nine months on a year-long voyage across the Pacific Ocean on a 32 foot long sail boat. Light-hearted, funny, and engaging, I devoured this book in less than 24 hours.
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