Monday 31 August 2015

Topbox Limited Edition: The Kit's Summer Survival

Topbox is a Canadian company which does monthly subscription boxes, as well as a number of limited edition boxes throughout the year. I used to be a monthly subscriber; even though I have cancelled my subscription, I do buy their limited edition boxes, if the content appeals to me.

The content of the Kit's Limited Edition Summer Survival Guide Box did appeal to me, so I bought one. The box shipped mid-August. Honestly, I wish it has shipped earlier so that I could enjoy these products during the summer. By the time I got my box there were only 2 weeks left. 

  • Redken Frizz Dismiss FPF Fly-Away Fix Sheets- Described as "dry like sheets", you smooth one over dry hair to combat fly-aways and frizz. The sheets are in the box and not pre-packaged/individually packaged, which makes me wonder how long it will be before they dry out. Also, the box I have is for fine hair, which my hair is I'm serious to see how well they will work.
    Retail Value: $25
    Topbox Value: $25
  • Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Moisture Rich Body Butter Dual Packs- I love the smell of coconut and I hope this smells good- since it's in a foil package, I don't want to open it until I'm ready to use it. We'll see what this product can do for my extra dry skin.
    Retail Value: $8.96
    Topbox Value: $1.34
  • Avon MagIX Face Perfecter SPF 20- This primer claims to smooth fine lines. I love that it has SPF 20! That alone will make me use this product. It's thicker than any primer I have ever used, but it did make my skin feel smoother.
    Retail Value: $9.99
    Topbox Value: $9.99
  • Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray- I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!! I have been a fan of Evian Facial Spray for years! This product can be used to set your make-up or to keep you skin hydrated- which is what I use it for. This is by far my favourite product, and the one I am most excited about, in this box.
    Retail Value: $15 for two
    Topbox Value: $7.50
  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face Lotion SPF 30- This product claims to provide 12 hours of hydration- which I can't wait to test out- and protection from UVA and UVB. It smells like sunscreen, but wasn't nearly as greasy. It did make my skin feel hydrated as soon as it was applied.
    Retail Value: $9.99
    Topbox Value: $9.99
  • Illumalift Brightening Cream- This is a Canadian brand, which makes me extra excited to try it. This is supposed to be a primer, that minimizes the signs of aging by enhancing collagen production, while brightening your skin. I'm not sure how I feel about this's kind of like a cream blush and you have to really blend it in, or else you have yellow streaks. It does feel light, which I like.
    Retail Value: $33
    Topbox Value:'s a sample size and doesn't say how much is in the sample
  • OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo- My sister actually uses this shampoo, so I'm looking forward to trying it. It claims to make your hair shine, as well as strengthen it.
    Retail Value: $7.99
    Topbox Value: $1.23
  • Saint Cosmetics Eyeshawdow in Lay It Out In Lavender- The packaging is cute, but the colour isn't for me. I would have loved to try one of the other colours they had...basically, any of the other colours would have been more "me" than lavender.
    Retail Value: $24
    Topbos Value: $24
  • Barefoot Venus All Cracked Up Repairing Cocoa Butter Foot Balm- Like the rest of my body, the skin on my feet is super dry and I'm always looking for a product to use on them. I was introduced to this brand by Topbox in another box I got, and feel in love with the brand. Besides the Evian Spray, I am most excited about this product! It smells amazing!! It feels thick to the touch, but it goes on super light.
    Retail Value:$17.99
    Topbox Value:$2.77
  • Rene Furterer Okara Active Light Shampoo- Not only does this product repair damaged hair, but it's especially for highlighted and bleached hair. I don't do either to my hair, so I'm not sure if this product will do anything for me,
    Retail Value: $29.00
    Topbox Value: $2.18
  • Purology Colour Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier for Colour Treated Hair- I am confused by this's a spray that was 21 functions? I did a little googling to try and figure more out; it "primes, protects and perfects colour-treated hair". Uses include leave in conditioner, hair cutting lotion, detanlger spray, hair cuticle sealer, anti-frizz spray, hair shine treatment... I'm still confused. I guess I'll give this a try and see what happens.
    Retail Value: $25
    Topbox Value: $3.73

Total Retail Value: $172.92 (does not include Illumalift Brightening Cream)
Total Topbox Value: $87.73 (does not include Illumalist Brightening Cream)

Don't remember how much I paid for this box, but it was between $30 and $40. Regardless, this box has a great value, almost $90 worth of products. There are a couple of products I won't use, and a bunch I am excited to try. Overall, pretty happy with this box!!

Friday 28 August 2015

Fashion Friday- Flamingos

Happy Friday!! This has been such a long and busy week- I am so ready for the weekend!! I plan to spend it at the beach- just relaxing and getting ready for next week. I can't believe summer is so close to being done...I need a few more weeks of summer.

One of my favourite animals is flamingos...I love them! I thought it would be fun to put together a flamingo outfit. It might be a bit overkill, but these pieces are just too cute not to share!

Watch // Shoes // Top // Clutch // Ring // Skirt
I love this skirt from Alice + it combines two of my favourites; a-line skirts and flamingos! It's super cute and I love how the size and spacing of the flamingos. This is such a great skirt!

There are a number of shoes that have flamingos on them and I was so tempted to incorporate them into this outfit, but I decided to go with a more low key and classic pair of black pumps. I went with these Sophia Webster pumps that are solid black on the front but have flamingos on the heel. 

Clearly Kate Spade loves flamingos as much as I do!! The top, watch, earrings and ring are all from Kate Spade. 

To finish off the look, a simple and classic clutch.

I have styled this look so that all of the pieces can be worn together and I realize that most people would not want to wear so much flamingo. If you wanted to add one piece of flamingo into your outfit, it can easily be done. The accessories can be incorporated into virtually any outfit. Pair the top with jeans or a solid skirt-I would go with either black, white or any shade of pink. The skirt can be paired with any solid colour top- again, I would go with black, white or any shade of pink. 

Thursday 27 August 2015

Apartment Sweet Apartment- Reading Nook & The Coolest Chair

It has been ages since I shared anything about my apartment, so I thought I would today! For well over a year, I have wanted to share a little reading nook area that I created. But first, some background.

My living room is odd shaped:

Photo take the day I moved in...hence no furniture.
I did end up finding a bar that I feel in love with and after months of debate, I made the commitment and bought the bar. It will end up being featured on the blog at some point. There was some space beside the bar, but I was happy to leave it empty (and use it to store my balcony table during the winter).
Well over a year ago, we sold my great-grandparents house. Before the sale, family went through the house and picked items they wanted to keep. The rest was sold at a garage sale. I worked the garage sale and I was talking to a couple my age about a sectional couch in the basement.

Couch on the right...also, I loved that carpet!
The conversation was about how you would never find a couch like it these days...nothing that shape and nothing with that pattern. We all agreed it was a really cool, unique piece. After they left, I knew I had to take a part of the couch for my apartment- it was too awesome not to. The question was, which part? I knew what part I wanted (the piece that's front facing in the photo, with the round pillow) but wasn't sure I could fit it in my car or apartment. 

There was an end piece (not pictured) that would be perfect for the corner of the nook beside the bar. Plus, it would make the best reading/lounging chair. I brought the end piece of the couch back to my apartment and did some styling:

LOVE how this turned out!!! The dark piece on the right side of the picture is the bar.
This is the part of the blog where you would find links to where you can find the pieces pictured...unfortunately, there are no links. 

  • Lamp (which needs a light bulb) was purchased from the now defunct Zellers; I bought the lamp while the store was liquidating.
  • Blanket was a gift from a sorority sister. It is so soft and comfy! No idea where she bought it from.
  • The table was actually made by my great-grandfather. I loved it and took it for my apartment, knowing I would eventually find a spot for it.
  • Flowers came from a local florist and they are in a mason jar from my great-grandparents house. I always have fresh flowers on this table. 
  • Finally...the signature piece...Chair is from my great-grandparents. It fits perfectly into the corner, as it is rounded. I do have legs for the chair, but it would still be pretty low and I think I like the leg-less look better. This chair is the perfect place to curly up in read. I do a lot of blogging and work from this chair too. 

Here's a close of the material:
Seriously, where would you find material like this-the actually material, design, colours, texture, everything- these days? And, how awesome is the print?!?
Can you see why I love this space of my apartment so much?!? I'm so happy with the way it turned out and I love that chair; the shape, the size, the material...everything! Love, love love!! Plus, it's nice how much of my great-grandparents are part of this little corner of apartment real estate. 

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Book Club: Chestnut Street
Book: Chestnut Street
Author: Maeve Binchy
Amazon Summary

Just round the corner from St Jarlath's Crescent (featured in MINDING FRANKIE) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy's wonderfully compelling tales:

Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son. Nessa Byrne, whose aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house - and Nessa's world - upside down. Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiancé not everyone approves of. And Melly, whose gossip about the neighbours leads to trouble in the form of the fortune teller, 'Madame Magic'...

No one rivals Maeve Binchy for stories of warmth, kindness, love, loss - and life not always turning out as expected.

What I Have To Say: Let me start by saying, I am a HUGE Maeve Binchy fan and highly recommend all of her books. Maeve, sadly, past away a few years ago. This book, her last, is a collection of short stories and was published posthumously...Maeve's magic was missing; she has the fantastic ability to weave her stories together, to complete them, and, in the case of a short story collection, have a natural lead in.

I loved all of the stories and learning about the people of Chestnut Street. Her characters are always so relateable and it's so easy to get drawn into their lives. The let down in this collection, is that the stories didn't have a final end...lots of questions unanswered and a desire to find out what happens next...except there was no next. Moving from one story to the next was also a bit disjointed.

Final Verdict: As a Maeve Binchy fan, I will re-read this and recommend it, but only to people who are familiar with her work. If you haven't read Maeve Binchy before, do not start with this book- it doesn't showcase her true abilities as a fantastic and celebrated author.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be sad that summer is almost over...2 more weekends and Fall will be in full swing.

That I have had the opportunity to spend some great quality time with friends this month. Girls who are supportive...and make me laugh. 

To have had some cool experiences this summer- PanAm Games and the World Dragon Boat Championships. 

That I totally got spoiled by Lindsay, my Pretty Little Beauty Swap partner!!

To be looking forward to my massage after work!! My back and shoulder- injuries from my car accident in October- have been put me in borderline unbearable pain for the past week. 

That I have decided on who I would like to bring as my gala date...hopefully he says yes. Fingers crossed!!

Monday 24 August 2015

Pretty Little Beauty Swap-Reveal

My dear, sweet friend Justine hosts a fantastic swap; Pretty Little Beauty Swap. There are so many bloggers that love subscriptions boxes (me being one of them) and we've all received items in the subscriptions boxes that are great, but not great for you. This swap allows you to pass on items that just weren't for you- either a product you don't use or a colour that's not right for your complexion or a product that you have a million of and just won't end up using. It's a great way to pass on products and share favourite products with another beauty-loving blogger!!

One of me favourite part of this swap, is that I am always paired with another Canadian!! I love meeting new bloggers, especially Canadian bloggers. For this swap, I was paired with Lindsay from The Flynnigans and she has quickly become a new friend! We would would have loved to meet up in person to exchange our packages, but summer activities kept that from happening.

Lindsay absolutely spoiled me!!
Balea 3-1 Cleansing Cloths- I LOVE Balea face and hair masks (which I sent Lindsay!!), as well as foot scrubs. I have never tried their cleansing cloths, so I'm excited that Lindsay sent them to me! I use cleansing cloths all. the. time. One of my 'must have' beauty products for sure. 

e.o.s. Lip Balms in Summer Fruit, Blueberry Acai and Sweet Mint- I also sent an e.o.s. lip balm to Lindsay...and these are another one of my beauty 'must have'. I was actually introduced to these by another Pretty Little Beauty swap partner and have used them ever since! I'll be keeping one at my desk, one at home and one in my purse, and these are three I haven't tried yet!

Rimmel London Volume Flash Scandal Eyes Mascara- I have known about this brand for years and years, but have never tried any of their products! I am always on the hunt for a great mascara, so I'm excited to try this!!

Anna Sui Lip Balm- First of all, super cute packaging! Another product I haven't tried...but I'm excited that Lindsay sent it! I'm basically addicted to lip balm.

Coach Purfume- This smells amazing!!! Plus this is the perfect size to keep in my bag.

Maybelline Eyeshadow in Sunlit Bronze- I love this palette!! This is perfect for me and something I will definitely wear! I'm not one to wear a lot of colour when it comes to eyeshadow and tend to stick to neutrals and bronzes. 

Vaseline Intensive Care Dry Skin Repair- Thanks in part to Ontario weather, I have the driest skin ever. I'm constantly applying moisturizer and on the hunt for moisturizer that will work. I just put some on, and my skin is feeling some relief.

Lindsay also sent the cutest card with the sweetest message! Seriously, I love this girl!!!
To see what I sent Lindsay, check out her reveal post.  

Huge thanks to Justine and Chelsea for hosting! Click here to see the rest of the link up.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

4 Years Ago...

Four years ago today, my grandfather died. It was the single most heartbreaking experience I have ever had. I think of my grandfather on a daily basis. I miss him more than words can ever express. As his first grandchild, we shared a special bond. I blessed to be in a position to spend a lot of time with him during my life. My grandfather was my world. I had so many happy and fond memories of him.

The day of his funeral, he provided me (and my siblings and cousins) with one final happy memory. His actual funeral, the luncheon that followed, and the visits to my parents house were all...sad, full of duty and "what we should do". But that night, the five of us (siblings and cousins) spend hours together remembering grandpa; how much we loved him and how much he loved us.We all agreed that night, that grandpa was bringing us together. We celebrated grandpa and all that he gave us.

My grandfather was a fantastic man; he founded his own company, which is still in operation. He was active in his Church, business and municipal communities. He was an avid artist, golfer and tennis player. He was an entertainer.

Grandpa was a loving husband, devoted father, cherished grandfather.

While our family has been blessed in so many ways and been given so many privileges, my grandfather always taught us that it's not what others can do for us, but what we can do for the communities we belong to. We are a simple is our responsibility to be humbled and give back.

"Noted illustrator, author and man of letters."

Forever remembered, forever loved.

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be excited that Jarret Stoll is a New York Ranger!! I love him as a person, I love him as a hockey player and I love that he's now a NYR!!

That I miss reading. I used to read every day, and now I only read on some weekends. Sure, I read magazines, newspapers and online articles...but I miss reading books, getting lost in a story.

To want summer to last forever. It has gone far too quickly and I feel like I haven't done a lot of things I've wanted too.

That I am truly blessed in some many ways. I realize this...even if I don't have everything I want, I still have a lot more than most.

To have discovered peanut butter Lindor chocolates. Soooo good.

That I love spending time with my cousins. I have A LOT of cousins...even if I don't get to see them all the time, I love the time I do get to spend with them. 

Friday 7 August 2015

Friendly Resolution- July

I'm not big on New Year Resolution, because let's be honest, most of us rarely stick to them. This year, I decided that every month, I would make the point to connect with two friends that I haven't seen recently (at least 3 months).

I'm a little late in posting about July, but here it is:

R- We are former co-workers turned friends. We worked really closely together and just 'clicked' on both a professional and personal level. I saw her back in January and text on a pretty regular basis. I got a text from her saying she'd be in the town of my second home and wondered if I was up for a visit- which of course I was!! It was so great to see her and catch up!!

L- My university roommate!! We text and chat on the phone all the time. We live roughly an hour from each other but, sadly, I haven't seen her in about a year! We summer about 30-45 minutes from each other, so she came into town- we do this every summer, at least once. We went to a new restaurant, sat on their patio and had drinks, before heading back to my place, where we had a bonfire with my brother and his girlfriend. I LOVE spending time with her and I was so excited to see her!

M- My brother's girlfriend and not technically my friend, but I'm counting it. I haven't seen her since last summer, where we spent a couple of hours together with the rest of my family. I got to spend a weekend with her and my brother, and had the chance to really get to know her. I've always liked her, but after spending so much time with her, I REALLY like her. I'm looking forward to seeing her again soon, hopefully. 

G- Another former co-worker turned good friend.  I actually see her every couple of months for dinner. We really make the effort to see each other on a very regular basis. I know I have seen her several times this year, but I looked back in my Resolution posts, and she wasn't mentioned, so I thought I would add her here. 

I met my goal of at least 2 friends... the spirit of this resolution is to build and enhance my friendships and to really connect with people. And connect I did. I connected with my brother during the weekend we spent together (different dynamic without our parents and sister being there), I connected with a number of volunteers-people I saw on a daily basis for a few hours a day- during Pan Am. I connected with some Brock Alumni in the Niagara Region during an Alumni meeting.

All in all, pretty happy that I was able to stay on track with this goal! Looking forward to connecting with more friends in August!!

January // February // March // April // May // June

Thursday 6 August 2015

Fave 5: Edition 3

1. Hot Track:
Kick The Dust Up by Luke Bryan
Love Luke and love this song!

2. Hair Hero:
Photo via
This product keeps my hair frizz free...a serious problem with my curly hair and the humidity of Ontario summers.

3. Skin Care Must:
Patagonia Body Butter 1oz.
Photo via
 One of the few products that can offer my super dry skin some relief. Bonus: It smells divine.
5. Local Haunt:
Photo via
Hive in Bayfield, Ontario is one of my favourite stores. Fashion, jewelry, home decor, garden accessories and so much more...I can spend hours in this boutique.

5: Signature Scent
Photo via
One of my favourite perfumes...I wear it all the time.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

From The Archives: Yogurt Dots

A couple of years ago I came across a great snack that is also super easy to make. It's on of my favourites so I thought I would go into the Archives and share with you my recipe for Yogurt Dots

With so many different yogurt flavours available, this snack can be made in a variety of flavours too. It's healthy, delicious and takes minutes to prepare. I usually have a container of yogurt dots in the freezer. They are a great snack for basically every occasion!

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry
That I had the best weekend!! On top of Monday being a holiday, I spent Saturday with cousins at the cottage...a total throwback to every summer of my life. I love spending time with my cousins and I love the cottage. I'm looking forward to a repeat this upcoming weekend!!

To be sad that Chris, of Steven & Chris (a show on CBC) has died. I loved the show and I loved Chris. This is such sad news...a life ended way too soon.

That I like having fresh flowers in the house. They brighten a room up, they smell good and they make me happy. On that note, I need to go buy some flowers. 

To miss my friends. Life has been really busy, things have happened and circumstance changes...but I still miss my friends and am trying to see and spend time with as many of them as possible.