Tag Archives: beauty

5 Things That Made My Week

Happy Monday, darlings!  Who’s ready for a beautiful week of sun and fun?  I know I am!  In preparation for that, here are my five highlights for the past week:

  1. My new hair products:  Blonde locks means a more rigorous care regimen, so I’ve picked up some of the good stuff – John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde shampoo and conditioner.  I saw Lauren Conrad using it on a hair tutorial, and I trust her taste in blonde maintenance, so I got the Everlasting Blonde line.  I also got some John Frieda Frizz Ease serum (that’s been a classic since the 90s).  I find that I do need to heat style a bit more now, or else my natural waves end up looking a bit like a glam metal singer, and this serum has smoothed and softened my hair amazingly.
  2. Pedicures:  A little while back, Nick’s mom came to town and we had a fabulous girls day – my first ever, actually!  One of the fun activities was going for a pedicure at Nino D’Arena in Erin Mills Town Centre.  It was my first salon pedi in 10 years, and it was amazing!  I felt so pampered, and my toes left looking super pretty!  It’s been almost 2 full weeks, and my sweet little pink toenails are still looking good as new!  If you’re ever in the area, I’d highly recommend checking them out.
  3. My little Bath & Body Works treats:  Part of the shopping trip was a visit to Bath & Body Works, one of my favourite stores.  I left with a few items, including the cutest little travel hand sanitizer (in Pink Grapefruit Pop scent), as well as an amazing little hand cream for my purse, Vanilla Buttercream.  It smells and looks like frosting, and I love it!
  4. Scoop neck t-shirts:  A basic tee is always good to have on hand, and easy to make work in all occasions.  A basic scoop neck tee that’s nicely fitted is better.  I picked up a couple of these at Wal-mart (yes, really!), and have been loving styling them up and down, plus the pink colour is perfect!
  5. Luke Bryan music:  I’ve always liked country music, but recently I’ve been enjoying it a lot more – something about summertime and generally clean lyrics.  So I’ve been spinning lots of Luke Bryan this week while I’m working, doing chores around the house, and in the car, and it makes me smile.

So fun!  Go ahead, pamper yourself, and turn up some fun tunes this week!



5 Things That Are Making My Week

Bonjour, mes belles!  Hello and welcome to another fun (and blonder) installment of 5 Things That Are Making My Week.  Here’s this week’s Top 5, starting off big with a whole new look for moi!

  1. My blonde hair!  Of course, the biggest cosmetic change of my entire life.  I’ve always wondered how I’d look as a blonde, and I LOVE it!  I think I might have been an inner blonde all along, so this is very fun right now for me, and I feel pretty!  It still feels so different, but it’s really given me a new lease on life, as well as an added boost of confidence.
  2. My shell & circle drop earrings:  I received these earrings as part of a gift set years ago.  Recently, I’ve been wearing them almost every day (I tend to repeat accessories a lot), and the slight shimmer and hint of seaside beauty feels very feminine and delicate.  It makes me think of mermaids and beach vacations.
  3. Sweet Kale Superfood Salad:  I was first introduced to this delicious salad by Nick’s mom, and it’s become a dinner staple for me at home.  Everything is prepped, chopped, and fresh, and it’s so tasty and healthy!  It’s got kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds, a delicious dressing – in short, yum.
  4. Homemade Lavender Linen Spray:  A simple mix in a small spray bottle, (1-2 tbsp rubbing alcohol, 10 drops lavender essential oil, and then water to fill), lightly spritzed all over the sheets, pillow and blanket just before getting into bed.  It’s great for freshening up the linens, and the lavender scent is a beautiful natural relaxing scent to help with sleep.
  5. NYX Stick Blush:  I have the Tulip shade, a nice natural pink.  The blush leaves a rosy glow on my cheeks that not only lasts all day, but that I can also have control over the placement.  For lazy makeup days, I just dab a bit on my lips and I’m set 🙂

I hope you enjoy these little bullet points.  It’s been a fun, fresh week, and I’ve got a fun, fresh new look!  I’ll keep finding out if blondes have more fun, but it’s looking like they might 🙂

What’s making your summer sweet?  New foods, a new look?  I can’t wait to hear what it is for you!

5 Things That Are Making My Week

Hello and waving!  I do hope your week is going well!  We are gearing up for a road trip, and are excited about it 🙂 Here we go with this week’s installment, 5 things that are making my week, this week.

  1. My Neutral Dress Sandals:  I bought a pair of cute sandals for the wedding we attended in Mexico.  They’re sort of a nude/beige croc pattern with some metallic detailing and chunky heels, so they would look nice but be at least a bit suited to the beach just in case.  They weren’t very pricey at all, but I’ve been wearing them all the time since we got back!  They’re fun and summery, but also surprisingly comfortable as heels, so they’ve gotten lots of use this week.
  2. My Pink Gym Bag:  A little while back I bought a gym bag (somewhere along the line, grocery store tote bags just weren’t cutting it anymore for my workout stuff).  I wanted it to be cute, and found this adorable hot pink one by Nike.  It’s cute and roomy enough for all of my stuff without being gigantic, since I do take it on the bus and subway.  It’s really been making me smile this week, and just having it out makes me want to go to the gym more, so that’s definitely a plus!
  3. Virtual Fitness Classes:  Speaking of the gym, I made a fun little discovery on Monday evening.  Nick and I were at the gym, and one of my favourite classes, Sh’Bam (a dance cardio class), was scheduled for 9:30 that evening, but in virtual format.  When I went to check it out, there was almost no one else there!  A few ladies were using the studio to work out on their own, but I was the only one there for the class.  It was actually amazing, since I had almost the entire studio to myself to bust out my moves… which is exactly what I did.
  4. French Women Don’t Get Fat:  I’m rereading this old favourite, in an effort to refresh and clean up our diet.  It’s a fun read, and has already filled me with inspiration for fresh, light eating using whole, natural foods and in-season produce for easy, tasty recipes.  I’d highly recommend it for anyone that wants to read about healthy, balanced eating for life in a painless way.
  5. Bronzer:  In the summer, as I move through various shades of tan and pale, that means playing around with various combinations of foundations and bronzers.  One easy unresearched buy was Rimmel London’s Natural Bronzer, which I got in Sun Light.  It is apparently waterproof (though I’ve never tested that feature out), but it is very good.  It’s long-lasting, looks nicely even, and very very natural.  I’ve been trying for a long time to find a bronzer that doesn’t look orangey on me, and that is also matte, since shimmery face powders make me look sweaty.  This one does all of the above at a budget price, and I’m thrilled with it.

A bit of beauty, a bit of fitness, and a bit of fashion, these are what’s made my week just a little bit sweeter this time around.  Have you tried any of these, especially the classes or book?  And how have you been liking this first weekly feature?

5 Things That Are Making My Week

Here we are, near the end of another lovely summer week, and at the brink of a sweet weekend.  I hope you’ve been having a good week, lovely weather, and basking in the sunshine and warmth.  Here are a few things that have made my week better.

  1. The sights of downtown:  I find that there are two environments that speak to my heart above all others:  tropical stunning beaches, and big vibrant cities.  I’m a city girl, and draw my energy from the buzz and the lights and the gleaming smooth lines.  This week I’m once again amazed at the beautiful skyline of this great city, and the glittering gems of tall buildings that are found within.
  2. Mineral foundation: Mineral foundation has become my staple this season.  I was very skeptical of how a loose powder could ever be nearly as good as a nice cream or liquid foundation, but I have since changed my tune.  I’ve been using Artistry mineral powder foundation in Medium to work with my tan, and it’s been phenomenal!  Not only is it super-light and even, but the coverage is perfect and there’s no orangey tinge to it.
  3. Homemade breakfast sandwiches:  Ooh this has been a morning game-changer!  And believe me, you’ll be hearing more about this soon 🙂  We’ve started making hot breakfast sandwiches at home, and it’s been a fantastic addition to our mornings.  Instead of a hurried half bagel with cream cheese, or nothing at all for breakfast, one of these protein-filled satisfying sandwiches gets me off to a great start, and ensures lighter choices throughout the day, yum!
  4. Lemon scented sea salt scrub:  Every once in a while, I get really into scrubs, and right now is one of those times.  I have this lemony scented sea salt scrub from Arbonne, and I love that not only does it make my skin feel so silky and smooth, but the oils in it moisturize my whole body so deeply when I’m in the shower, I don’t even need to use body lotion after.  Once I run out, I’ll probably make my own with coarse sea salt, some sort of lightly scented oil, and essential oils for aroma.
  5. Minty lip gloss:  In the summer, I usually lighten up my eye and lip colours, and I’ve been in the mood for a lip gloss that has shine, but not glitter.  This simple clear gloss from Bath & Body Works has become a purse staple for me.  It looks great on its own or over a soft wash of lipstick, and the peppermint oil provides both cooling and mild plumping.  This was actually a winter beauty purchase, since it tastes like a candy cane, but it’s proven to be quite the perfect little item for summer as well 🙂

Interesting, it looks like this week I’ve been really into beauty and pampering!  I guess we all have those times when we want to put in just a little extra effort into our looks, and I know it always helps me feel better in my own skin.  I hope you’ve had a beautiful week thus far, and that you have a lovely weekend as well!

5 Things That Are Making My Week

Happy Wednesday!  I hope your week is going well 🙂  It’s been a good week here for us, as we continue to settle into a rhythm for the summer.  I love when the days are long, and the evenings stretch out with slow, relaxed sunsets.  I’m trying out a new recurring feature here on the blog, and I’ll be calling it 5 Things That Are Making My Week, I hope you enjoy it!  Here we go with this week’s Top 5.

  1. Big pots of coffee:  When we moved, our Keurig started acting a bit fussy, so we went out and got a good old fashioned coffeemaker that makes a pot at a time.  I’ve been loving it!  We put the pot on in the morning, which makes our home smell delicious, and then have lots of coffee ready whenever we’d like.  Right now, I’m really liking Lavazza coffee with just a bit of raw sugar and cream.
  2. Bright pink nail polish: Of course, this is my signature nail look (you might remember that from this post, where I discussed my intentionally reduced manicure options).  This past little while, though, I’ve been really liking how the bright pink looks with my tanned skin – it makes me feel very pretty and the pink makes me smile every time I look at my tips!
  3. My pretty water bottle: Nick and I picked up some cute durable water bottles to use, all in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable bottled water bottles that we go through.  This little cutie with a blue top and a bright geometric pattern holds 1.5 standard bottles, and is adorable!  I’ve even added little flags on the side to help me gauge my water intake as I go about my day.
  4. Lemon tea: Something about tea makes me feel so healthy and serene, especially herbal and green tea.  So I’ve been trying to make tea more of a daily recurrence in my life.  Recently, I’ve been really enjoying the Lemon Thriller tea by President’s Choice, which tastes just like a pure lemon tea, really beautiful.
  5. To Do & Done Lists:  I make daily To Do lists, so that’s nothing new.  However, I’ve started also writing out Done lists next to those, and noting down items that I did throughout the day.  Here I focus on things and activities that I intend to do, but don’t necessarily come up on my To Do list – things like reading, listening to great audios, eating an actual breakfast.  I’ve been really getting into this because I tend to be a bit overzealous with my To Do lists, and this gives me a better perspective on my day, and shows a more complete picture of what I accomplished any given day.

What little things have been making your week better?  And what do you think of this as a new feature?  I’m pretty optimistic, since even just thinking of the items to put on my list puts me in a much more grateful and thankful mindset as I think about my week.

My Beach Bag Essentials

I love summer, it truly is my favourite season.  I adore the warm weather, the flowers, the long hours of sunshine, but one of my most favourite parts of summer is going to the beach.  Whether it’s a tropical paradise (like we visited last month), or even just a day trip to Wasaga Beach, I feel most at home with sand under my feet and a sea breeze running through my hair.

I’ve even adopted one of Lauren Conrad’s tips from a while back and keep a bag always ready for summer fun, so that I’m always set for a spontaneous trip to the beach!  Of course, that begs the question, what to keep in your beach bag?  Well, here below I’ve curated my list of beach bag essentials, pulled mostly from what I actually had on hand in Mexico!  Check it out 🙂

The Essentials (clockwise from the top)

  1. The Bag – it seems fairly obvious, but make sure you pick out a good beach bag.  I like a fun, light, sizeable one that has at least one zipped pocket for more valuable/delicate items, and is beachy but gender neutral.  I want Nick to feel okay carrying it as well as me, so this is where I might skip the neon pink.  I think this one was from Giant Tiger.
  2. Beach Towels – pick out some nice beach towels.  I look for ones that are nice and big, fluffy and thick, and brightly coloured.  These cuties were from The Bay’s Distinctly Home collection.
  3. Sunscreen/Suntan Lotion & After Sun Lotion – nobody likes the lobster look, and the beach breeze can be pretty drying.  We like to keep a few options on hand, from SPF 8 to 50, as well as a soothing aloe lotion for afterwards.
  4. Sunglasses – one of the few actual accessories you’ll wear with a swimsuit, and it’ll help protect your eyes from squinting!  I picked up this pair at a drugstore, and have loved them since.
  5. Sun Hat – a nice wide brim that covers your face helps prevent burns, and looks cute!  I picked up this big floppy one in Mexico!
  6. Swimsuit – in the photo above, I’ve got a cute pink bikini from Ardene that I took to Mexico. For a sweet one-piece, here is the really cute vintagey looking nautical one I found online at Naja – a socially-conscious lingerie company that looks to empower women through their bras, panties and swimsuits – and it’s made from recycled plastic bottles!  Genius!  Also worth noting, if you go and subscribe to their mailing list, you get a 10% discount.  Definitely worth a look.
  7. Cute Coverup or Dress – crucial for if you’re venturing off the beach in search of food, or if you’re attending any fun post-beach day activities.  I got this pretty blue coverup on a trip to Aruba, and I love to wear my breezy white dress from H&M on beach days.
  8. Reading Material – whether a fun novel, or a great book on a topic of interest, a beach read is always a good idea.  Right now I’m loving The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and French Women Don’t Get Fat.
  9. Cleansing Cloths & Hand Sanitizer – for when you just need a quick refresh, these are fantastic.  I just picked up some really simple wipes from Rexall, and a small bottle of One Step.
  10. Deodorant & Body Spray – it’s not really cute, but sweat happens, especially in the hot sun, and some of your deodorant likely gets washed away if you go for a dip in the water.  So be ready and have a stick on hand to swipe (like this Dove Visibly Smooth, which minimizes the appearance of hair and has a wild rose scent) and a fun body spray to scent yourself sweetly and subtly.  I’ve been loving Bodycology’s Sweet Love with rose and whipped cream scents, especially since it layers nicely with the perfumes I like as well.
  11. Lip Balm – sun and wind can wreak havoc on your pretty lips, so keep them well protected and hydrated.  I’m loving eos in Strawberry Sorbet!
  12. Camera – of course, usually this is a part of your smartphone.  But sometimes, I like taking along a dedicated camera instead, like this old Canon Elph we have.
  13. Wristlet – or a small clutch, perfect for grabbing just your basics (wallet, phone, keys, makeup) if you’re heading out on the town afterwards, and it keeps those valuable items protected from water and sand.  I really like this Aldo clutch that I got a few seasons back.

And now you’re all set for a day at the beach!  As well as the potential of a fun summer evening afterwards 🙂  What are your go-to items for your beach bag?

Easy Curls for a Hint of Polish

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope your week is off to a beautiful start 🙂

Today I’ll be sharing a hairstyle that I’ve started doing recently.  Now bear in mind, I do not have very much experience with a curling iron.  I spent most of my childhood and tween years with pin-straight hair that I would try to curl and wave using sponge curlers (it never worked), and then around age 14-15 my hair decided to go curly – which is when I started to play with the straightening iron.  Isn’t it funny how we seem to always want to change the way it is naturally?

Happily, my curls loosened into pretty loose mermaid waves over time, and so now I barely ever do anything to my hair.  With the length and the fact that it is a thick mane with a lot of hair, more than 95% of the time I wash it, add a bit of serum or sea salt spray, and leave it be.  Very occasionally I will straighten it, and I had pretty much never used a curling iron myself until recently.  I figure many ladies spend a lot of time perfecting undone bedhead waves, so I just embrace the natural look.

However, even with that I still wanted to change it up every so often – especially with all the pretty Pinterest tutorials out there.  So without much more rambling, I’ll show you how I very easily (and/or lazily) curl my hair when I want a more polished, defined curl. Keep in mind this is best for if you have a lot of stubborn hair, like me.  Check out the video below, and I’ve also written out the steps.

  1. Using a wide toothed comb or brush, gently brush out dry hair.
  2. Section hair into 6-8 sections for curling.
  3. Take one of the sections, spray with water, and comb again.
  4. Curl the hair on the curling iron away from the face.  Hold in place once all rolled up for 45-60 seconds.
  5. Gently release the curling iron, and use a bobby pin to hold the curl in place.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with all the sections.
  7. Once all curled up, mist lightly all over with hairspray.  Allow all curls to cool and spray to set.
  8. Carefully take out the bobby pins, shake out your tresses, and mist again with hairspray.  All done!

And there you have it!  Simple easy curls for lazy girls with thick wavy hair.  I was playing with my hair over the holidays when I discovered this method, and it’s worked for me everytime!

How do you like to style your hair?  Do you usually work on it, or just let it do its thing?