26 June 2014

DIY: Candle Votives


With Summer officially started, outdoor entertaining has firmly replaced indoor entertaining. My mother threw an al fresco dinner party for her colleagues a few days ago and she asked me to help her with the decorating. I wanted to create a simple and elegant lighting solution for when the sun started to set. The solution: candle votives. To keep costs to a minimum, I used things we already had around the house, like the glass jars and twine. The sand was brought back from one of our many family holidays spent in Ogunquit. I bought tea light candles with clear plastic cups, rather than the more easily found metal cups, since they're more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. (Remember, when using candles around food, you want them to be fragrance free so they don't affect the taste of the food!) I'm so happy with how the candle votives turned out, I'm thinking of doing more with larger candles and jars for our next outdoor get-together.








25 June 2014

New Season, New Nails


In the past I've been quite conservative with my choice of nail colours, choosing to stick to classic reds, and neutral pinks. Recently, I've been experimenting with different, brighter colours. I'm fortunate that I work in a casual creative environment where lilac toes and peachy fingers are not frowned upon. In fact, seeing my colleagues' bright nails is one of the things that inspired me to vary my nail polish palette. Though purple toes may not be for everyone, I suggest starting off with colours similar to the ones you'd normally go for. I eased into brighter colours with Essie's Watermelon, a not-too-girly bright pink-red, and Ballet Slippers, a soft, pale pink. Once I was comfortable with those, I moved onto more summery colours, such as Essie's Resort Fling, a peachy-orange, and O.P.I.'s Done out in Deco, a beautiful lilac.

Essie's Watermelon
Essie's Ballet Slipper
Essie's Resort Fling
O.P.I.'s Done out in Deco 

23 June 2014

Tourist in my Own City


Place Jacques-Cartier.
A few weeks ago I found myself yearning for a road trip to escape somewhere new, looking for something different to do on the weekend. But then I had a second thought. I realized that I live in a beautiful, engaging and very interesting city and that I don't take advantage of its beauty and culture nearly as much as I should. So, rather than going away for the weekend, I stayed in Montreal and played tourist around one of its nicest, and most touristy parts - Old Montreal. It felt great to rediscover this part of the city and to see how alive it becomes during the Summer months. I plan on spending more time in Old Montreal during these warmer months. It has plenty of delicious restaurants to try and it's a stone's throw away from the Old Port where there are plenty of activities to enjoy, both during the day and evening.

Montreal's first skyscraper, the New York Life Insurance Building, c.1887.
A monument to Maisonneuve, the founder of Montreal.
Cal├Ęches lined up in front of Notre Dame Basilica.



Bonsecours Market, c.1847.

19 June 2014

Summer Dress




Dress: Reitmans / Blazer: H&M / Wedges: Browns /
Bracelet: Smart Set

When it comes to the warmer summer months I love to wear brighter colours than I normally would during the rest of the year. One of my favourite bright colour to wear is coral. I love the way it looks with a slight tan (yes, this is me with a slight tan!) and how it can easily be mixed with other basic items in my closet, like this navy striped blazer and my classic leopard wedges, making it appropriate for work. Swap the wedges for a pair of skinny strap sandals and a clutch and the dress goes from work appropriate to date night ready!

17 June 2014

3" Shorter




As soon as the first sign of Spring made itself known, I had the sudden urge to cut my hair. There's something about warmer weather that beckons a change and a fresh start.  I knew I wanted to go back to a shorter style, but I wasn't sure how short. I delayed booking an appointment and then once I did it was delayed some more by my hairdresser. This past Friday, I finally got my hair cut. I had three inches cut off and got a bit of colour put in to give me a natural sun-kissed summer look. I'm so pleased with how it turned out that I wonder why I ever let my hair grow out!

For my hair inspiration, check out my Pinterest.

15 June 2014

A Look at my Favourite Skin Care Basics



I love of-the-moment skin care products as much as the next girl, but there's something to be said about those basic skin care products that I keep going back to. To some these may seem like boring, old-news products, but I swear by them and I find myself using them much more than any other product I own. They do exactly what they say they will and they're friendly to the wallet making them, by definition, basics. So without further adieu, here they are:

Nivea Soft

This cream quickly became a favourite of mine because of how moisturizing and soft it is. I use it on my face every evening after I've taken my make-up off and cleansed. It's refreshing and smells nice and clean, which my boyfriend loves. A small amount (about the size of a quarter) is all that's needed for my face and neck so the pot lasts forever. I also use the cream when I have particular dry patches on my body, elbows and feet and when I'm travelling since it's the perfect multi-usage moisturizer. 

Blistex Lip Medex

This lip balm, let me tell you, has saved my lips many times over the years! Like the rest of my body, my lips get very dry, no matter how many glasses of water I drink. I use different Blistexs all year round, but I reach for this one most often. I love the pringly sensation on my lips when I apply it because it really feels like its repairing my chapped lips. Occasionally I combine it with brown sugar and rub on lips as an exfoliator which works like a charm!

Epsom salt

I first discovered epsom salt about a year ago when my dentist recommended it for my shoulder and neck pain I was having due to my TMJ, and I haven't stopped using it since then. Every week I run a warm bath, add 2 cups of salt and soak for 20 minutes. Epsom salt relaxes muscles, relieves aches and sprains and reduces bloating. I prefer the eucalyptus and spearmint scented salts but they also come in a variety of perfumes and perfume-free. It's made a big difference in the way I feel and has helped get rid of my shoulder stiffness.

Lubriderm

As an all over body lotion this is the most moisturizing and non-greasy formula I have found to date. I really dislike when body lotion leaves a greasy film and takes forever to absorb into the skin. This one is quick absorbing and specifically designed for normal to dry skin like the one I have. I'm picky on scents so I'm very happy that it isn't overwhelming.

10 June 2014

The Weekend Edition #1









While most of Montreal was out in the streets enjoying the F1 festivities this weekend, I decided to take a break from the city and head to my parents' condo in Bromont. Fresh country air was just what I needed to relax and de-stress ahead of my busy work week. On Saturday I woke up early and had a long walk in the woods and enjoyed the peaceful tranquility that nature can offer. After my hike through the mountain, and a quick lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. Sunday was mainly spent by the pool with a bit of shopping in the afternoon at the local shops and then more swimming and poolside lounging. It was the perfect weekend and I look forward to spending a few more like that throughout the summer.

6 June 2014

The Striped Boutton-down Shirt



I have a confession: I am a navy stripe addict. When I shop I naturally gravitate towards anything with navy stripes, so it's no wonder this shirt caught my eye the moment I walked into Gap. It not only has stripes, but it has the added bonus of being a button down, combining two classic pieces into one. How could I not fall in love with it? It can easily be dressed up for work with navy pants and a blazer in a bright hot pink, or dressed down for the weekend with jean shorts and a fedora. I know I'll be getting a lot of wear out of it, especially since it is so comfortable and light, perfect for summer!

ps - The shirt is now on sale!

1 June 2014

Caring for your Handbags


Handbag: J.Crew Factory
Products: Aldo Leather and Suede Protector, Tana Salt Stain Remover, Tana Cleat Protective Wax

When it comes to handbags, I'm more of a quality versus quantity kind of gal and I definitely favour classic styles over trendy ones. To ensure that they look great season after season, and in some cases, year after year, I take care of them. I've put together a few tricks that I use to keep my handbags looking new.

1- Use a leather-protector

For delicate leathers or suedes use a leather-protector. I prefer the aerosol kinds, but they also come in a cream, as shown in the photo. You're going to want to spray the aerosol in a well ventilated room, or ideally outside, because the smell can be quite toxic. The protector prevents dirt from sticking and water-proofs the leather in case of rain.


2- Spot clean and spot wax

If you do get your handbag dirty, you can wipe it down with water and a soft towel or use a special cleaning product specifically designed for leather, if your handbag is leather, of course. If your handbag's leather has been scratched and dragged on the bottom and some colour has faded, you can always spot wax that area with a wax that matches the colour of your handbag. This will keep your bag looking new for a long time.

3- Store properly

When your bags are not being used make sure to store them properly. I always fill mine with tissue paper so they keep their shape and form. If your bags came with dust bag, make sure to store you bag in them. And if they didn't? Use an old pillowcase.