Tag Archives: love

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!

 

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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.

Our Trip to Mexico, and the Beautiful Wedding There

Hello sweet friends!  It’s so good to see you again, and to be back here in my little corner of the interwebz.  I ended up taking a little break from posting while we were moving (more to come on that soon), and also we were in Mexico for a week!

It was such a wonderful trip, spending time with great friends in perfect weather, and being able to attend the wedding of two of our dearest friends, Alex and Sarah!  We mainly had a lot of fun in the sun, time by the beach and pool, enjoyed delicious spreads of amazing food, and got some pretty fantastic tans.  We stayed at the Riu Palace Riviera Maya, which was beyond all expectations, and which both Nick and I would definitely recommend.  Below I’ve added a few pictures to give you a little sneak peek of what we were up to.

This was the beautiful beach – doesn’t that just look like it’s beckoning you?

Next, a few shots of the resort itself, which was stunning and palatial.

This was a part of our big group, all ready and excited for the wedding!

And of course… the gorgeous and very romantic wedding, which brought many happy tears to many eyes that afternoon!  Congratulations again, Alex and Sarah!

Nick and I took a quick selfie on the beach while getting ready for group photos…

And here we are with the newlyweds!  

This was a beautiful restaurant that had breakfast, lunch, and steakhouse dinner, and was right on the beach – we loved having lunch here overlooking the water 🙂 

And last but not least, the stunningly beautiful lobby – believe me, this made quite the statement as we walked in!

Oh, just looking at those photos makes me miss it already!  Though it is nice to get back to a routine.  I’ve got more posts coming your way soon, since we’ve been very busy over here in the little pink castle.

My Winter Essentials

Today, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite items this winter.  A few are some of my fashion staples, a few of my beauty staples, and a few items just for fun.  Here goes – my little list of wintery pleasures!

1 – My Long Leather Coat from Danier – This coat is beautiful.  I’ve had it for a few years, and it’s a gorgeous bordeaux shade of lambskin leather.  It’s lightweight, but lined with Thinsulate which makes it extremely warm.  I’m usually a peacoat girl, so this one didn’t get too much use until the extreme cold kicks in.  Once the temperature dipped way below tolerable, this has become my go-to coat in the mornings.  I love the length, which keeps me very well bundled up, and that it’s dressy enough for wearing to the office, but has a few edgy design elements.

2 – My High Heeled Biker Boots from Xelement – If you’ve seen my What I’ve Been Wearing posts, you know that these are the boots I kick on most often on my way out the door.  They’ve got the durable wear and ankle support of motorcycle boots (since that’s what they are), but also a well-designed 3.5” heel that lends itself to ladylike elegance.  The wide heel makes them amazingly comfortable to walk in, and I can easily wear these all day.  They’re also still available here.

3 – Arbonne Shea Butter Hand Lotion – This beautiful little tube is from the holiday collection, and I never leave the house without it.  I’ve found this cold winter especially drying on my hands, and this is one of the few creams that I can actually feel working and seeping into my skin in the best way.  I use it after every hand washing.

4 – Artistry Youth Extend Enriching Lotion – My skin is naturally oily, so I’m very careful about anything too rich on it.  But just a tiny dab of  this lotion on my face at night, and a small pump on my neck and decolletage in the morning and at night has been able to keep my skin soft and supple while avoiding dryness and flakiness.  It’s available here.

5 – David’s Tea Red Velvet Cake Tea & Teal Perfect Mug – I have a deep appreciation for simple things that are beautiful – a well designed lotion package, a pretty mirror, a beautifully designed candle.  The beautiful perfect mug from David’s Tea in their classic teal is one of those things – it makes me smile and feel pretty.  But inside the mug, this particular tea blend that tastes like red velvet cake and has a pretty crimson shade to it as well is amazing.  With a bit of milk or cream and some sugar, it tastes like dessert in a mug – yum!

6 – Zumba classes at the gym – I’ve recently started going to Zumba classes, and I think I’m totally sold on it!  Not only is it super fun and a great workout, it makes me feel so alive and even kind of sexy.  More than that, the fun latin-infused music makes me think of warmer climates and sunshine – I can almost pretend that I’m taking the fun dance classes poolside at a resort 🙂

How are you keeping pretty, stylish and smiling this winter?

 (Photo of boots from Leatherup.ca, photo of Zumba dancer from Zumba.com)

Bring Home Some Romance

It’s the middle of the week, and it’s also 2 days until Valentine’s Day!  Yes, the sugar-sweet, hearts-everywhere, chocolate-covered, rose-scented Hallmark holiday.  It’s secretly one of my favourite holidays, and we don’t usually do anything too extravagant (actually, I usually don’t even care about the very day itself), but I adore seeing the world put on some pink and red and hearts.  So I thought I would share some easy ways to bring some romance into your home.

1 – Candles:  This is a classic staple for romance.  There’s nothing quite like the warm and flattering glow of candlelight.  Kick it up a notch with some pink or red candles, like these red tapers or rose scented tealights, you can even pull out your red or white candles from Christmas!  Why not spend one evening, or even just dinner, with only candles to light your home?  It will feel magical, romantic, and evoke the beautiful mysteries of so many thousands of years of nights when candles were the only way to light up the night.

2 – Sweet posters and artwork: This is the perfect time to pull out your most romantic wall adornments and pictures.  Wedding and engagement pictures are timeless classics, but for a more novel nostalgic spin, how about the sweet posters you maybe had when you were younger?  I have two posters from my university days hanging up – a beautiful black and white shot of the Eiffel Tower, and the entire balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet written out on a black background to form a rose.

3 – Flowers: Obviously.  Since I’m frugal, I have a few red silk roses that I keep around, and I make them the star of the show this time of year – they bloom beautifully every time, and for no extra money out of pocket!  Just put some silk blooms in a pretty vase and you’re set for a centrepiece.

4 – Romantic accessories:  Do you have some throw pillows or decorative blankets in romantic colours, or with sweet phrases and patterns?  Or pretty mugs that say things like “Good morning, beautiful?”  Grab them and enjoy the extra little bit of love they add!

5 – Love garland:  This was an idea I just came up with the other day, when I was taking down my Christmas card garland at the end of January (I know).  I decided to use the ribbon and make a heart-shaped spiral.  I have heart-shaped post-it notes, so I made one for the centre that said “Love”, and then thought how nice it would be if Nick and I wrote out some things we love about each other on heart post-its and stuck them to the spiral.  This is super easy and fun, and you can do it with kids too!  It’s a sweet reminder to see the love in the details.  Of course, leaving notes like this is always nice, like in a loved one’s lunchbox, or on the bathroom mirror (in lipstick if you’re feeling sassy).

Are you bringing some Valentine’s love into your home?  Let me know what ideas you have 🙂

 

 

On New Beginnings & Resolutions

So, here we are, almost halfway through the first month of the year.  How are you doing?  Already sick of this winter and ready for some warm weather?  (I am frantically waving YES to that)  Still keeping on track with New Year’s Resolutions?  If you have, congrats!  It takes about 21 days to make or break a habit, so you’re in the home stretch now.  If you’ve fallen off, just start up again, no one’s keeping tabs on you 🙂

Even though I’m no fan of winter, I do love the renewal that this time of year brings.  New hopes, new dreams, a fresh start.  And don’t we all need that, as we move through the seasons in our life?  I remember when I never understood seasons in life, thinking to myself wouldn’t it be better if we could just get everything we need together, and then that would be it?  But alas, I was much younger, and much less wise (not that I’m really that wise now, but still) when I thought that.  I’ve realized recently just how true the concept of seasons rings in our life – not just what happens in the weather, but how we as individuals and groups have times of emergence, growth, maturity, decline, rest, and renewal.

With that in mind, here we are.  What will this year bring for you?  What will you bloom into?  And perhaps more importantly, what will this year unveil within you?  I believe that within all of us there are seeds and glimmers of greatness, but we have to tend to them, or else they are lost.

I have many goals for this year.  I do enjoy setting big goals and big dreams.  Some, predictably, are in the areas of wellness, money, organization.  Some are more related to my inner growth and nurturing, such as prayer, reading, and creative outlets.  Although I currently don’t really buy into setting a word for the year, I do like to choose themes.

For 2015, my themes are Beauty and Refinement.  When I was a little girl, I had a natural tendency to find beauty everywhere – around me as I was walking, in a story, in a song – and since I was so delighted by all this beauty, I also wanted to spread beauty wherever I could – whether putting together pretty outfits, decorating a room or a cake, or writing poems.  Over time, I’ve quieted that ability of mine, and this year I want to nurture it again.  To find and see the beauty all around me, and to spread and reflect beauty everywhere I can, that is what I mean by the theme of Beauty.

For Refinement, I find myself longing for a simplifying, an optimizing, almost a cleansing within my life.  I want to not only acquire good habits, but let go of those no longer serving me.  I want to strive for quality, and for choosing things that make me fully happy, not “it’s okay, but it would be nicer if….”.  With both of these themes, my intention is to go beyond my external interactions, but also within myself – to nurture and further reveal the beauty that I have been given, and to allow refinement to take place within myself, becoming a purer, more whole version of myself.

Where are you at this year, dear friends?  What is resonating within you?

(Image from http://viage.tumblr.com/post/26061220942)

 

Easy Date Night – Indoor Picnic

Is there anything sweeter than love and romance? Well, chocolate, I know.  But really, nothing compares to a romantic evening spent with the love of your life.  Getting dolled up, going out for a delicious candlelit dinner, lingering over cocktails while enjoying each other’s presence, or an evening of dancing…. ahhh, such sweet, loving bliss – at least until the bill arrives.

I know I’m not the only one to experience this, seeing the plethora of articles devoted to solving this problem – “Easy Cheap Dates”, “25 Free Summer Date Nights in Your City”, and so on.  What we have done a few times is reliable, romantic, and free!  I don’t know if this idea simmered in my subconscious while reading the aforementioned articles, or came to me one day when I was sick of eating dinner on the coffee table, since the itty bitty castle on the 26th floor didn’t have room for a proper dining table and chairs.  So the idea occurred to me all of a sudden – indoor picnic date night!  This is also a great idea to try right now, when the weather gets cold, and you can easily cozy up with your sweetheart.

The simplest way is transforming normal dinner into romantic indoor picnic.  This was exactly what I did – make dinner as per usual (I think it was pasta, or maybe homemade pizza), spread out a blanket on the floor, set out cutlery, napkins, maybe turn on some romantic music, and light a candle or two.  Serve dinner already plated, and set the extras on the coffee table for seconds.  Done!  The change of scenery and pace totally set a romantic mood, and that evening, we lingered over dinner, laughing, feeding each other, it was perfect.

Want to take it up a notch and have even more romance?  Make dinner together, and maybe try something special.  For example, our second Valentine’s Day as a married couple.  I planned out the menu ahead of time, and we had filet mignon with caesar salad and sweet potato fries.  I put on the romantic music as we started cooking, and making dinner together in a tiny kitchen is already a fun and sweet couple experience.  Dinner was ready in record time, and we were already relaxed.  I set out the dishes on the coffee table like a buffet and poured two glasses of wine (homemade!).  This makes such an easy date night, and the only cost is what you already paid on groceries.

What are your favourite cheap/free date nights?  Share in the comments below!