Wednesday 31 December 2014

I Wish You Well, 2014

Dear 2014, 

We were not meant to be. I had high hopes for you...2013 was a phenomenal year and I had plans for you to take over where 2013 left off. It wasn't meant to be. Don't get me wrong, we had some good times together, we made some happy memories. But for the most part, I'm happy to see you go. 

The negative was too negative and greatly outweighed the positive. I'd like to say that I'm happy to see you go- which I am- and that I'm happy to forget you- which I have mixed feelings about. I'm not going to rehash all of the bad...there too much of it and I'm trying desperately to forget it all happened. I'm hoping that 2015 will more than make up for all of the bad and negative you threw my way, 2014. 

You weren't all bad 2014, I realize that. We did have our good moments. 
I had a lot of critics this year, often feeling like a punching bag, but I did have a number of Chamber Award Nominations, including Employee of the Year. 

2014, you brought me a handful of new friends and deeper into a circle of friends- you did pick it up towards the end. You started our relationship off by bringing someone back to me, I am thankful for wasn't what I expected and it has been a different ride than what I am used to and had hoped...but at the end, this person is still here. You also brought me my two fantastic Summer Students, both whom I adore to this day- they left me a file for when I need love and provided valuable suggestions in the Suggestion Box.

I shared a major milestone with you 2014- I turned 30. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated or heard it could be. I had a fantastic trip to Toronto, celebrated with friends and had a relaxing day off from work, had a wonderful dinner with family and saw David Myles, where he told me he had checked out my blog (!!!), and the desserts! The best part of my birthday was my gift- a trip to Cuba (Photos 1, Photos 2 and the highlight of the trip)!!!

With you, I said good bye to my great grandparents house. While this was sad, I had the chance to be reminded of memories made at their house and reminded how blessed I was/am to have great grandparents that I got to know and spend a lot of time with. 
2014, you were the year of two of my dad's political campaigns. Doing one a year is tough, but two? I barely had time for anything else- including blogging, which is why my posts are low this year. It was fun to campaign and go to different events. Of course, I was happy to see my dad elected and had fun at his inauguration.

As always, 2014, you brought me a lot of time spent with Brock Alumni: Hamilton Ti-Cat event, outdoor skating and hot chocolate, Raptors game, President's Forum, wine tasting, beer tasting, trivia night, dinners and drinks, Homecoming.

Blog wise, even though the number of times I posted was significantly down, my numbers went up. I saw significant- and surprising- increases across social media and blog related numbers:

So, 2014, we did have a lot going for us. You were good to me in many, many aspects. But you brought a lot of heartache, frustration, disappointment, struggles... more than I needed and, at times, more than I could handle. While I am thankful for everything you brought me, I am by no means sad to see you go. This break up is official, and I'm trying not to have any hard feelings towards you. The kind thing to say is 'it's me, not you' but we both know, it's you. I'm happy to send you off with a wave and no more than a second thought. I can do better. I will do better. 

2014, I am leaving you for 2015. I'm hoping that 2015 will treat me better than you did. You were, at times, fun and games 2014, but there was no love, very little kindness and even less happiness. I hope you wish 2015 and I well...nothing but the best for us. I will remember you 2014, not fondly, but I know I will think of you from time to time- as much as I don't want to. 
One final request 2014, please, please, please, give me space. Allow me the chance to see how things go with 2015. Give me a fresh start, keep our baggage with you, don't send me off with it. 

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
Write a good one. - Brad Paisley 
I wish you well, 2014.  

Monday 22 December 2014

Inspire Me- Mistletoe

Happy Monday!! I had a fantastic weekend; Friday I celebrated a close friend's birthday, Saturday I went to the market with my dad and got to participate in Christmas at the market-made an ornament, had hot chocolate, saw Santa- before heading over to a friend's farm- they just opened a store on the farm. Sunday was spent with family as we celebrated my grandmother's birthday. 

We are in the home stretch- Christmas is this week, World Junior's start this week and there are only two weeks left of 2014. Today is my first official day of two weeks off!! I've been counting down the days to this much deserved and much earned time off. I'm really only taking 2.5 days off, as our office closes at noon on Christmas eve and doesn't re-open until January 5. I'm looking forward to the time off. 

2014 has been a rough year and I'm looking forward to leaving all of the bad experiences and negativity in 2014. I'm looking forward to 2015 and all of the good it will bring. In the meantime, I'm focused on making the last weeks of 2014 great and really enjoying myself. 
Some inspiration for this week:

This quote is a play on 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'. The idea being, you can be as wild and crazy and out of character as you want, it won't be held against you. You can let loose and have fun. Enjoy life. I full intend to laugh and enjoy the holidays. I'm going to have fun. I'm going to make the most of my time with family and friends and truly appreciate the memories we'll make over the holidays. 

I'm going to have the mind frame that whatever happens over these next two weeks, 'will stay under the mistletoe' and not count in the real world. It's been a long time since I've been carefree and I'm looking forward to going back to my 'old ways' and loving life.

Friday 19 December 2014

Thinking of You: December Ipsy

For those of you who don't know, ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription box. For Canadians, it's about $15 a month; $10 for the subscription, $5 for shipping. With the exchange, I end up paying around $20 a month. I really like ipsy, I think they send great bags and I usually love what they send, but I have been thinking about cancelling my subscription- it's not really worth $20 to me, I feel I get a lot of the same products just different brands and after almost two years, I'm just feeling meh about it. Don't get me wrong, I still like ipsy...and I was happy with the bag they sent me: 

Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream Avocado and Argan - The products from this company are natural, organic, gluten-free and most products are vegan free...all good things. The product claims to make your skin brighter, smoother and younger looking...I haven't seen any changes, but I also haven't been using it that long. So, we'll see. This is an eye cream, but I used it on my entire face because is for normal to dry skin. I'm not crazy about the smell, but it did feel good on my super dry skin. This product will be available in January, so I did like the fact that ipsy members got a 'sneak peak' of a new product before anyone else.
Retail value: Unknown...product not for sale yet.
ipsy value: Unknown
Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara- Another mascara...yawn. This product claims to lengthen, curl, volumize and condition lashes. No idea if this is true, I didn't bother to open or try this product. Mascara is mascara to me and I don't even wear (or need) mascara on a regular basis. This is a vegan product and I do like the Tarte brand...just not interested in mascara.
Retail value: $24 for .24oz
ipsy value: $10 for .10 oz
Cailyn Cosmetics Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid- I'm a fan of Cailyn Cosmetics and I was actually excited about this product. I had never tried an eye polish before, so this is a brand new product for me. The colour is really pretty too. It's subtle and something I can wear often. I like the applicator too, it's an easy to use/apply product. As per Cailyn's website, this product can be used with other Cailyn products and turn it into, for example, eyeliner, nail polish or a lip product. I love things that are versatile! 
Retail value: $15 for unknow size (not listed on their website)
ipsy value $15 (???) for .09 oz
NYC Butter Lip Balm in Parfait- This colour is a little too pink for me (of the available colours for ipsy members, probably the best one for me too), but I do like that it leave my lips feeling hydrated- super important for our cold Canadian Winters- and smooth.
Retail value: $4 for .14 oz
ipsy value: $4 for .14 oz
Coolway Boost Repair Treatment- This product claims to repair damage from chemicals and heat, add moisture to your hair, shiny and eliminate frizz. I haven't tried this product yet, so I don't know if it works. It says to apply a generous amount (2-3 teaspoons depending on hair lenght) and I have fairly long hair, so I'll need to use a lot of this product, like the entire sample in one shot. I'm not sure if one time use will be enough for me to see if this product works.
Retail value: $29.95 for 8 oz
ipsy value: $3.75 for 1 oz
Total retail value: $72.95 (not including the eye cream)
Total ipsy value: $32.75 (not including the eye cream)
The only product I'm excited about is the eye polish. Overall, I think this was a decent bag and they sent a lot of great products. I've been subscribing for 2 years and I'm getting a lot of the same products...I've been feeling underwhelmed with ipsy recently (if you are a new subscriber, the products are great). I have been thinking about cancelling ipsy the past few months and I have decided to cancel.

Something I like about ipsy is that you can get ipsy points to earn bonus items- usually 500 or 1000 ipsy points. The 500 ipsy point items get sold out super quickly (like within an hour of me receiving the email) and I have yet to hit 1000 ipsy points. Last month I had over 900 points-so close!- but points expire after a year and in lost over 400 points in less than a month. I realized I will never reach the 1000 point mark- which I was holding out for before canceling my subscription.

Final, final, final ipsy verdict? Great company and product. I really enjoyed my experience for the most part and love the majority of the bags sent to me. ipsy is a great starter subscription, but because they send a lot of the same products- but from different brands- it starts to feel like you get the same products over and over. Even though I am cancelling my subscription, I do highly recommend ipsy!

Thursday 18 December 2014

Politically Correct Christmas Carols

I originally posted this two years ago, but think it's too funny not to share again. The last one is my favourite!!

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Project Pinterest: Glitter Magnets

Back in the summer, I posted about thank you gifts I gave to my Summer Students, including a magnet board that I had made. I've made several magnet board but always struggle with magnets. I had yet to find something cute, something that would work with the board, something easy to make/find and something durable. 

I came across this pin (which originated here) and decided to make glitter magnets! This was such an easy project and turned out fantastic! All of the supplies came from the Dollar Store (making this a very cost effective project too). 
You will need:
  • Magnets (I used the round ones found in the crafting aisle)
  • Glitter glue
  • Sponge brush

How to make glitter magnets:
  • Put a drop of glitter glue in the middle of the magnet
  • Use the sponge brush to move the glue around the magnet until it is covered
  • Let the magnets dry
That's it! Because you are working with glue, you have to 'paint' the magnets before the glue dries. But this was still such a simple project and definitely something I will be doing again. Even though these magnets were made to go with the magnetic boards, I have made some to use on my kitchen fridge and my filing cabinet at work. I get tons of compliments on them and I have final solved the magnet issue for the boards!!

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
That I watched the Girl Meets World Christmas great to see Corey and Shawn back together.

To be taking time off from work. I had yesterday off and will be off for almost 2 weeks over Christmas. It's well deserved and earned.

That I am hoping very, very, very hard for some good news. I'm ready for a change, I just need the opportunity.

To be trying Bowen Therapy. It was suggested to me by a friend to try after my car accident when my healing just wasn't happening. It has done wonders for my pain!! This is something that is actually working! I've done two weeks of treatment (one treatment a week) and there is a noticeable difference in pain and even my mobility.

That I got an advent calendar back in November and still haven't started using it. I need to get on that...

Monday 15 December 2014

Inspire Me: Smiling's My Favourite

Happy Monday!! We are in the home stretch, Christmas is 10 days away! I think I'm in pretty good shape...I just have my mom's present to take care of, I have tons of gifts still to wrap, but shopping is done! Cards have gone out and I decided to pass on Christmas baking this year; time is running out and I decide just to pass on it all together instead of stressing about it. Holiday parties are in full swing and visiting with friends is keeping me busy. 

One of my favourite Christmas movies is Elf and I've already watched it a number of times this year (you can find my other 'must watch' Christmas movies here). So, I thought I would use a line from the movie as inspiration for this week:

It's no secret that I have been struggling and dealing with a lot of negative things recently. It's also no secret that I am (usually) a happy person- always laughing and smiling. In fact, my bio for this blog and all my social media says that I am a lover of laughter. 

With everything that I have had going on, I haven't been laughing and smiling as much as I normally do or as much as I would like. This has not gone unnoticed by those who are closest to me.

This quote is a way to remind me that I like to smile and that smiling isn't that hard. I need to be aware of when I'm smiling, make an effort to smile and eventually, the happiness and laughter that I'm used to, will naturally follow.

When you smile, the people around you smile and eventually your smile will become genuine. The good will overcome the bad. 

Thursday 11 December 2014

Inaugural Fashion- What I Wore

A couple of weeks ago, I had asked a couple of my favourite fashion bloggers to suggest outfits I could wear for my dad's inauguration earlier this month. Some beautiful dresses were chosen and I decided to use Jennifer's suggestion as inspiration. In fact, I actually went to a few H&M's in search of the dress she picked. I couldn't find the exact dress, but I still used her outfit as inspiration.
So, what did I wear?
I wore a similar dress to the one pictured above (from Le Chateau), but in blue. I typically wear A-line skirts/dresses and I thought I'd stick to this style for the inauguration. Black is a popular choice for events like this, so I decided to throw in some colour, which is why I went with blue.
I live in Canada and it can get cold, so I also included an off-white cardigan that I purchased from Target back in the spring.
I own a pair of Ralph Lauren shoes (similar to the ones pictured above), which I wore. I completed my outfit with a simple black clutch, blue sapphire stud earrings, blue sapphire ring and a diamond and blue sapphire necklace.
The actual inauguration was pretty typical; the newly elected official were escorted into chambers by a piper, O Canada was sung, blessings were done, my dad gave his inaugural address (where he told a story from an inauguration 17 years ago- my sister had just learned how to do somersaults and decided to do them down the aisle during the inauguration), everyone was sworn in and introduced their guests, outgoing politicians were acknowledged and thanked, a motion was passed and the meeting adjourned.
After the meeting, pictures were taken in chambers. After the pictures, our family went to my dad's office and hung out for a bit. It was nice to have that little bit of down time as a family and just take in everything that happened in the meeting. We had a few minutes to relax, and go out on my dad's balcony, before heading down to the cocktail reception.
The reception was also pretty typical- wine and food were served, and lots of socializing with people who were there. About 200 people were invited and I only spoke to a small fraction of them, but it was nice to connect with people I haven't seen in awhile and get caught up with old friends.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide

I can't believe that Christmas is two weeks away!! There is so much for the holidays that I love to do but am still working on- Christmas baking and finishing getting my Christmas cards are just two that come to mind. I'm basically done my Christmas shopping (yea!!) but still need to wrap everything. 
I love Christmas shopping, picking out gifts for my family and friends. One of my favourite people to shop for is my little cousin. Every year, I get her a Christmas book and a gift...she has labelled me the best gift giver. I have to admit, over the years, I have given her some pretty cool gifts. I love finding the perfect gift for my family and friends, so I thought I'd put together a gift guide...

  1. Vanilla Bean Noel Hand Soap from Bath & Body Works for co-workers/acquaintance/hostess: We all have a list of people that we want to give something small too and this is my go to gift. It's something everyone can use/needs and the seasonal scents are perfect for the holidays, the price point is great (6 for $24) and it smells amazing!
  2. A Porcupine in a Pine Tree for kids: This is a book that I've gifted to my cousin, and she loves it!! It's a unique and Canadian take on the Christmas classic, The 12 Days of Christmas.
  3. Glow Sno-Man Kit for kids: I'm actually giving this to my cousin this year and hope she will love it! Another unique gift for kids on your gift list, this encourages creativity and playing outside. Snowman will stand out during the day with colours and at night while glowing in the dark.
  4. The Kit's Essie Holiday Collection from TopBox for moms, sisters and beauty lovers: Essie is one of the top nail polish lines and this gift includes 3 full size bottles, 6 mini bottles and a cashmere bathrobe. I know a ton of ladies who would love to see this under their tree- including my sister!
  5. New York Rangers Cufflinks for the man in your life: As a New York Rangers fan, I would love to gift these to the man in my life, but I know he would prefer to get Batman Cufflinks instead. There are so many styles of cufflinks, that it's easy to find the perfect pair for your dad, brother or significant other.
  6. Hudson's Bay Company Multi Stripe Point Blanket for everyone: Hudson's Bay Stripes are iconic and these blankets are stylish- finishing touch to any room- and perfect for keeping warm or snuggling under to read or sip hot chocolate. I gave my dad one last year, and he loves it.
  7. Beef Lovers Collection from Hickory Farms for the person you don't know what to get: Cheese, meat, crackers, spreads, shortbread cookies...anything from Hickory Farms is delicious!! We all have someone on our list that we just don't know what to give them. Hickory Farms is popular with everyone on my list. With different price points and tons of options, you will find he perfect gift for your brother or parents of a friend (aka the people in my life who will be getting a Hickory Farms gift this year).
  8. Olympic Collection Red Mittens for Canadians: Since the Vancouver Olympics, a new pair of mittens are released every year with proceeds going to support our Olympic athletes. These mitts are super warm, comfortable and great quality- and only cost $10. All Canadians know about these mittens and there significance- plus how important it is to have warm mitts for Canadian winters- making them the perfect gift for all Canadians.
  9. Digital Photo Frame for the long time person (family member, friend) in your life: While the digital frame is a great gift, the real gift is what you load on the frame. My mom mentioned a couple of weeks ago that there are no photos of her and my dad- load it with photos of them throughout there relationship. My dad mentioned that he wanted to get a couple of photos from election night- I reached out to a reporter and family and friends who spent election night with us to get photos that my dad might not have seen yet. I've known my best friend my entire life and have given her so many gifts over the years, why not photos from shared experiences? It's the thought that counts, and what's more thoughtful then pictures and memories?

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
That I have watched Elf more times than I can count in the past two weeks. It's just a really great Christmas movie!!
To need some good luck. I've had a lot of negative things happen the past few months...I just need some good.
That I think I'm done my Christmas shopping!! I need to pick up gifts for my parents (I know what I'm getting them, just need to get it)...but I think that's it.
To looking forward to the World Juniors later this month!! Most people love December because of Christmas, I love it for WJC- which are being held in Toronto and Montreal this year!!
That I'm beyond lucky to have such great and supportive friends.

Monday 8 December 2014

Inspire Me- Better Than You Ever Imagined

Happy Monday!!! Things have been quiet around the blog, but I've been keeping busy. I had a fantastic weekend spent with friends- a Girls Night Out/Christmas Party and a movie night where we watched all 3 Austin Powers movies. It was nice to spend time with so many friends. I was in a car accident almost two months ago and am slowly recovering- lots of pain and soreness, but nothing too serious. My dad's inauguration was last week- it was pretty typical but still fun. 

Professionally I've been busy too. Lots of meetings and events, and of course long days in the office (including today). I've been struggling to keep a work life balance and have been burnt out since February. I constantly feel like I'm drowning, not even keeping my head above water, so to speak. There have been a lot of changes- not improvements- over the past 13 months and there are more to come. I'm desperately trying to stay positive, keep things in perspective, move forward and make changes. Every time I see a glimmer of light or a door start to open, it quickly becomes dark or the door slams shut. It's discouraging. It's frustrating. 
This weeks inspiration is one I've shared before, but it holds true:

I have my dream job and for a few years, it was everything I imagined it would be. Then, the above mentioned changed happened. As time went on, it was a downward spiral of negative, very little good. 

The past 13 months, and everything that happened, are in my past. I knew the changes were coming, but I was told they were going to be good...I was optimistic and even excited. Things didn't pan out the way anyone thought. 

In my case, things were actually worse then I ever could imagine. I was the punching bag and the sacrificial lamb; people were quick to throw me under the bus, risk my reputation and credibility for "the good of the organization". While the work that I do is VERY important, it wasn't seen that way. Me and my work were constantly pushed aside and not taken seriously. 

I can dwell on everything that has happened in the past year or I can move on. The past year was nothing like I had imagined, hoped or lead to believe it would be. 

But I know that something better is coming my way...I know that I won't be stuck in this situation forever...I know that my future will be better than I have ever imagined.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

6 Reasons I Love Influenster

There are many things in life that I love...the beach, New York Rangers, cheesecake, naps, a good book, just to name a few. I also love Influenster. Influenster is a really cool online community were members can share product reviews and experiences. Members also have the chance to qualify for a VoxBox, where they receive full size products to test and review- more on that later.
There are a lot of reasons to love Influenster, and here are 6 reasons why I love Influenster:
1. Influenster Canada- As a Canadian, this is a HUGE deal to me and something that I really love. Influenster has programs designed specifically for Canadians. It can be frustrating to be given a product to test, that you love, and then find out that it's not available in Canada. Never a problem with Influenster Canada...what you test, you can easily find in stores.
2. Influenster Instagram- It is custom for everyone and everything to have social media accounts, especially if the concept. like for Influenster, is an online community. Their Instagram features photos of members with products they are trying, staff around the office and other fun pictures. Their Instagram account kind of reminds me of Kate Spade's 'Things We Love' book. So fun to look at and just make you happy. Their Pinterest account is also pretty good...where they also have an entire board dedicated to Canada.
3. Influenster VoxBox- Who doesn't love receiving mail??? Especially if you are getting full size products to test??? VoxBox are packages that can include a single product or an assortment of products, that you can test out and review. I've had the opportunity to try out a number of products because of Influenster, but two of my favourites (and now go to items) are imPress Press On Nails and Montagne Jeunesse Clay Masks.
4. Influenster App- Truth be told, I haven't had a chance to download and try the app yet- but that happens when you don't have a smart phone or a phone with a data plan. But, let's face it...everything is better with an App.
5. Influenster Review Pages- The Review Pages are a great way to find out about things- products, books, movies, stores, name it- before you try them. You can see ratings and read reviews, but you also have the opportunity to ask questions and have other Influensters answer them. Tons of information...great way to try new things and avoid potential disappointment.
6. The Hub- The Hub is Influenster's blogging platform. Members have the chance to guest blog or be featured, but The Hub also has new product information, tips and tricks, word of the day and other fun articles- Starbucks Secret Menu, #TBT Team Influenster Edition, Games To Play While Traveling.
The above 6 points are just a few reasons to love Influenster. Trust me, there are a TON more. If you haven't already checked out- and joined- Influenster, what are you waiting for???

Friday 28 November 2014

Inaugural Fashion: Jennifer

This week, I have shared ideas of what to wear to my dad's inauguration, as suggested by fellow bloggers. Today, I'm excited to share what Jennifer from Southern Living: Preppy Style came up with! Jennifer is hands down one of my favourite bloggers and I couldn't wait to see what she was going to suggest!! Here's what Jennifer came up with:

Melissa recently asked for some fashion styling help for her father's upcoming inauguration. I am flattered that she asked me for such help and I had a fun time picking out a few selections. 

As the wife of a government official, I know all to well the dress code for such political yet very exciting events.  And Melissa knows that I like to air on the conservative side of things for such events.  This doesn't mean you can't have the "pow" though!

I asked a few questions of Melissa; if the inauguration would be indoors our outdoors, if there would be a party thereafter, what type of party and if she would have access to a dressing room to change into a cocktail attire.  One never knows and the questions have to be asked.  

Since Melissa is in Canada and the event will be indoors, I chose the following for the inaugural event.  This is a more business-type event and therefore, I went with a dressier business outfit.  I LOVE this dress from H & M.  I actually have this dress and for the price, the comfort, fit and quality is really outstanding and unexpected.  $34.95!  The blazer is also from H & M for $49.95.  These are classic items she can wear again and again as Melissa announced to me some other very exciting things happening in her life where she might need such staples in her closet.  I do not own this particular jacket but I do have other H & M jackets and whenever people find out where I purchased by dress suits, they are always pleasantly surprised. I completed the outfit with classic pearls, simple bangles and some fun J. Crew pumps for the "POW!"  After all, Melissa is the honored guest standing beside her father so she should ONLY look slightly better than him!  *wink wink*

What I also love about this pairing is that Melissa can remove the jacket and voila!, instant cocktail dress.  Business to cocktail in two seconds flat.  And should it be a chilly atmosphere, she can easily put the jacket back on and still be cocktail attired.  The jacket is dressier, in my opinion, then a regular business jacket and can help her transition from one event to the next. 

4. David Yurman Bracelets Here and Here

Now, let's say Melissa does want to make that change to more formal cocktail attire.  She does have access to a dressing room, so this is a possibility. In that case, we have the following.

When I'm styling myself (or in this case, others), I like to start my search with the creme-de-la-creme of fashion and with this session, I started with Neiman Marcus and Van Cleef and Arpels.  Hey, one can dream that one day I'll own a pair of $48,000 earrings but for now, we'll have to Spy It, Buy It.  If Melissa can afford them, well then she's my new bestest friend!

I spied this gorgeous, yet conservative, cocktail dress by Adam Lippes for $1,395.00.  I love the simple black conservative LBD (a/k/a little black dress) but the lace overlay gives it that "POW!" Melissa needs when standing by Daddy.  The shoes, who doesn't want a pair of "Red Bottom Shoes?"  Strappy with a little sheen and very tasteful.

Also, my biggest fear at a cocktail party where everyone is usually standing and travel mingling, is that someone will bump into me with a red glass of wine with red wine subsequently being poured all down my dress.  With a black LBD, this is not as much as a disaster as it seems and Melissa can quickly recover and return in the case of disaster.

Taking the inspiration and pairing it down to a much more affordable cost, I found this gorgeous dress at Nordstrom for $158.00.  And with a staple like this in her closet, there's bound to be many places she can wear this beautiful LBD.  The shoes are Ivanka Trump at Nordstrom and again are very tasteful for any LDB or any dress of any color for that matter.  Melissa is sure to get lots of use from these shoes.

The earrings are a little more on the pricey side however, Melissa could easily find some costume jewelry at her local department store that will dress up the cocktail dress and provide just a hint of "POW!" 

The only thing about this styling is the shoes versus pantyhose.  I am a Florida girl styling a Canadian with open toe shoes in December.  This may not be a good option for Melissa.  As an alternative, a simple black pump would suffice and most likely, Melissa already has these in her closet!

Melissa, I can't wait to see what you wear to this special event!  And congratulations to your entire family on this new role, what an exciting time for you all!

First of all, how great is Jennifer??? Second of all, how gorgeous are the outfits she came up with?!?!? I defiantly headed down to H&M and was on the hunt for that dress!

Thanks Jennifer for your help!! To see more of Jennifer's style (and her two adorable little girls), you can visit Southern Living: Preppy Style.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Inaugural Fashion: Kathleen

It may have been mentioned once or twice that my dad is a politician. There was an election recently, which means I have an inauguration to attend! My life has been so busy and hectic the past few months, that I wasn't sure when I'd have time to figure out what to wear to the inauguration. So, I decide to reach out to some of my favourite bloggers and ask them to help.

One of those bloggers is Kathleen from Carrie Bradshaw Lied. I've always loved Kathleen's style and knew I just had to ask her for some style inspiration for the inauguration. 

When I reached out to Kathleen, she explained that she had a lot going on and wouldn't be able to style an outfit for me- which I completely understand. She did however

Kathleen suggested these two beautiful dresses from Nordstrom. Kathleen suggested, and I agree, that they are sophisticated, elegant and can be worn again for another special occasion.

Both of these dresses are beautiful and would be perfect for the inauguration!!

Thanks so much Kathleen for the dress suggestions! For more of Kathleen's style, check out her blog, Carrie Bradshaw Lied.

Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo

Happy Wednesday....half way through the week and I'm exhausted!!! The countdown to Christmas is on, not just because I love the holiday season, but because I'll also get some much needed time off of work!!!

It is well documented that I am a HUGE David Myles fan. He released a Christmas album this year, and while I love all of the songs on the album, this song is quickly becoming a new favourite:

Santa Never Brings Me a Banj0 by David Myles

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry
That this is the last week to enter the $1650 cash giveaway!!! You can enter here
To be nervous excited about the Chamber Awards tonight. We have 6 nominations in total, including Best Non-Profit and I'm humbled to have been nominated for Employee of the Year. Fingers crossed that we win something.
That How to Get Away With Murder (the TV show) is insane!! Last weeks episode, the night of the bond fire, blew my mind! I can't wait to see what happens next!
To be hoping very, very, very, very hard that I get a good news phone call this week. Preferably today. 
That I'm counting down the days until Christmas...between vacation days, our office being closed and the holidays, I'll have a week and a half off. It's much needed.

Monday 24 November 2014

Inaugural Fashion: Sydney

It may have been mentioned once or twice that my dad is a politician. There was an election recently, which means I have an inauguration to attend! My life has been so busy and hectic the past few months, that I wasn't sure when I'd have time to figure out what to wear to the inauguration. So, I decide to reach out to some of my favourite bloggers and ask them to help.

The first blogger is Sydney from Summer Wind.I've always admired Sydney's classic style and knew she would be a perfect blogger to reach out to and ask to help inspire my outfit for the inauguration.

Sydney suggested this beautiful Elizabeth McKay dress:

I love this dress and can understand why Sydney picked it! It's classy and conservative- which is key for an inauguration- but the little bit of sparkle keeps it fun and age appropriate. 

Sydney actually owns this dress and featured it in a recent blog post; You can go here to see how she styled it.

Thanks so much Sydney for the style suggestion! For more of Sydney's style, check out her blog, Summer Wind.

Inspire Me: Why Not?

Happy Monday!! I can't believe that we are in the last week on November and that the Holiday Season is essentially here!! I have a busy week ahead of me; Christmas Dinner with my Sorority Sisters, Chamber Awards, work meetings and a kinda farewell lunch for a co-worker (she's leaving our office and moving to another one). There are some fun things coming up, but it will also be an insanely busy work week for me and I'm not looking forward to it.

In reflecting on the past little bit and knowing where I currently am in life and currently dealing with, I thought this quote would be great for this week's inspiration:

I'm finding myself, recently, in a position with I am being questioned on everything that I do...and I'm being questioned on personal things, that have nothing to do with my professional life, nor do they interfere professionally. I'm really bothered by it; I'm feeling disrespected and my invasion of privacy, and I'm feeling pressure to change who I am as a person, which I refuse to do. 

All of the questions and negativity has made me evaluate my life and my priorities. There are a lot of people who discourage me and question my actions. When they ask why, they are trying to create doubt, lower my self esteem and make me question and second guess myself. 

To all those people who ask me why, I ask them why not? You'd be surprised how many people are unable to answer 'why not?'...and if they can't answer that, if they don't have a valid reason for me not to do something, I tell myself that their questions and opinions don't matter in the situation. There is no reason for me not to do it.
Even if I am the one questioning myself, asking myself why, I then ask myself why not? And if I can't answer or come up with a reason not to do it...I know that I have no reason to doubt myself. I move forward. 

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
That you still have time to enter the $1650 cash giveaway!!! You can enter here.
To need a break. I am so overworked and tired, it's ridiculous.
That I'm excited to see Royal Wood tonight!!! I love his music and he puts on a great show! It should be a fun night out.
To want the snow to go away. It's only been two days, but I'm over it.
That I am going to continue to laugh and be a happy person, even if my supervisor doesn't like it.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Remeberance Day- Lest We Forget

Remember the sacrifices that our brave men and women have made fighting to give and preserve the freedom we share today. With bravery and strength they serve.
In Canada, today is Remembrance Day. This is the day that we honour and members of our armed forces; those who have served, are serving and, especially, those who have fallen. Canadians wear poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day.Poppies are worn from the last Friday in October until November 11, Remembrance Day. It is actually a sign of disrespect to wear poppy outside of this time frame (with a few exceptions).

Remembrance Day this year, to me, has more meaning as Canada honours and remembers Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was killed on October 22 while on duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Museum, and Patrice Vincent who died October 20 in the parking lot of a federal building in a suspected terrorist attack.

There is a section of highway in Ontario, which has been named the Highway of Heroes. All of our fallen soldiers travel this stretch of highway and many Canadian line the overpass to pay their respects. It's a very moving tribute and a way for Canadians to say one of their final 'goodbye' and 'thank you' to our fallen heroes. 

Highway of Heroes by The Trews
Lest We Forget.

Monday 10 November 2014

Inspire Me- Expiration Date

Happy Monday!! I had a great weekend. I was able to leave work early on Friday, which allowed me to come home and rest- I was in a car accident a few weeks ago and am in constant pain with my neck, shoulder and was good to rest my back for a bit before starting my weekend. I spent the weekend in my hometown; so lots of time with family. 
I had a great talk with my dad on Saturday...he's going to 'assign' me a really fun, daunting, exciting project. I can't say too much about it yet...but I'm looking forward to the challenge! 

Sunday was a brunch that went on for hours with one of my really good friends. She's getting married this summer, so it was fun to hear about her wedding details. Home to rest for a bit before heading off to a wedding show with her and her mom. We were at the wedding show mostly to look at the dresses...she saw three that she really liked. 

I ended my weekend by stopping by a friends' art gallery Sunday night. I had a nice visit and chat with him and his girlfriend. They are such a great couple, perfect for each other. 

This week is going to be a busy week for me, with a number of long days. I have a HUGE event for work on Friday. It should be a funny event, but I'm not confident in it...there's a lot of unknowns and the committee is a bit...of a learning experience. Fingers crossed that everything will go according to plan and that we raise a TON of money.

It's going to be a very busy and very stressful week, so I will definitely need some inspiration:

This quote is such a great reminder. How many of us have dreams or goals that we start to pursue and give up on when things don`t go our way or we get too frustrated? I know that this has happened to me on more than one occasion.

It's so easy to have things fall apart and give up on our dreams. We need to remember that just because things didn't work out the way we wanted them too the first- or second or third or...- times, doesn't mean that it will never happen. 
Dreams and goals don't expire. You just have to keep working at them and keep believing until you accomplish what you set out to do. 

Take a deep breath. Try again, Eventually it will work. 

Things will work out the way they are supposed, when they are supposed too.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Book Club: Ten Beach Road

Book: Ten Beach Road
Author: Wendy Wax
Amazon Summary: 
Madeline, Avery, and Nikki are strangers to each other, but they have one thing in common. They each wake up one morning to discover their life savings have vanished, along with their trusted financial manager- leaving them with nothing but co-ownership of a ramshackle beachfront house.

Throwing their lots in together, they take on the challenge of restoring the historic property. But just as they begin to reinvent themselves and discover the power of friendship, secrets threaten to tear down their trust-and destroy their lives a second time.
What I have to say: 
I have no idea how this book ended up on my reading list or where I first hear of it. This book enjoyable, easy to get into and beach-y read. It was a bit predictable reminded me too much of Trust Fund Babies.

Like Trust Fund Babies, this book brought three completely different women together after their money and financial manager have gone missing. The women work together to overcome a challenge, while dealing with 'secrets' in their personal life, and the animosity grows to close friendship. In both books, there is a minor romance plot line and the financial manager even has a secret connection to one of the women. 

Even with a different setting and a different challenge to overcome, it was too similar. If I hadn't read Trust Fund Babies first, I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. Don't get me wrong, it was good book...just don't read it if you've already read Trust Fund Babies.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

October Topbox

Beauty subscriptions boxes are a favourite of bloggers and I am no exception. It's a bit harder for Canadian bloggers, because not all subscriptions boxes will ship to Canada, or the shipping charge is the same or more than the actual subscription box, etc.
I have been a dedicated subscriber to ipsy for almost two years- since it was first launched in Canada- and I do think it's great. But I've been feeling kind of meh about it and wanting to try something new. 

Topbox is a Canadian beauty subscription box. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about Topbox, which is why I hadn't subscribed. A couple of months ago, I did try one of their limited edition boxes, and was pretty happy about the value and products, so I thought I'd give the monthly subscription a try.

Topbox is around $14 month, including shipping, and you get 4 samples. You can choose regular packaging or 'environmentally friendly' packaging, which is a reusable organza bag. Also, each month you can create a 'wish list'. Basically, you have the option to keep the products picked that month (which is a surprise until you receive them) or trade it in for something else- 10 perfume samples, two full size Elizabeth Arden products, etc- for the same price. You can add as many options to your wish list as you'd like, but you're not guaranteed to get what you pick. I also like that Topbox includes a card with a description and price of the product and where you can buy it.

For my first Topbox, I was pretty happy. Here's what I got:


  1. Bioderma Sensible H2O Micelle Solution: This cleanses face and eyes, and removes water resistant make up. It's for normal to dry skin, and it did leave my super dry skin feeling a little bit hydrated and soothed.
    Retail Value: $21.95 (250mL)
    Topbox Value: $8.78 (100mL)
  2. Lancome Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl: This is an "eye-illuminating youth activating concentrate". So, basically, to make the area around your eyes look youthful and eliminate wrinkles. No idea if this works, but it can't hurt. I like the applicator it came with and I am a fan of Lancome products to begin with. It was also nice to see a "high end" brand.
    Retail Value: $88 (20mL)
    Topbox Value: $22 (5mL)
  3. China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Seas the Day: This is a really pretty colour! I wasn't sure I would like the colour, but I do. It had a nice shiny finish and apparently, uses China Clay, which is a nail hardener.
    Retail Value: $10-12 (14mL)
    Topbox Value: $10-12 (14mL)
  4. Benefit Cosmetics they're real! push-up liner: This is the only product that I will not use...but I don't wear any eyeliner, ever. It's a "lash hugging gel liner in a pen". Since I know nothing about eyeliner, no idea if this is good or not.
    Retail Value:  $27 (1.4g)
    Topbox Value: $1.92 (0.10g)
Total Retail Value: $146.95 (I'm using the $10 price for the nail polish)
Total Topbox Value:  $42.70 (I'm using the $10 price for the nail polish)
What I paid: $13.56

The value of the box is great, compared to what I paid. I'm pretty happy, especially since I like and will use 3 of the 4 products.  For now, I'm going to keep the monthly subscription...I can't wait to see what I get this month!