Wednesday, 21 June 2017

From The Archives: Let It Rain

I have a life that I love and I have many, many, many great things going for me. About two weeks ago, there was a very confusing conversation with someone who claimed I was one of his best friends. From there, things went downhill. It was one thing after another- all unrelated, but all negative. I'm pretty tough and I can take a lot...but there was a final blow- someone I thought would always be there for me- that has really gotten to me. All of the situations and circumstances added up and really got to me, if I'm being honest. 

On the weekend, I was able to escape. It's a place I run to, and I had the added bonus of being alone that weekend. Time to be by myself, do what I want, process thoughts, and refocus. The weather, of course, got in the way of my plans. Instead of being at the beach, I was under a covered porch during a thunder storm. 

As I was mesmerized by the storm, I was reminded of situation years ago where I found myself caught in the rain. I was reminded of how much happiness that situation brought me, and realized I needed to stop focusing on all the little things that I could have done differently and start focusing on the small, simple pleasures of life- like playing in the rain. 

Review: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

A number of months ago, I was introduced to Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. I was given the product in the shade of "Sugar Fig". I must admit, at first look, I was not a fan of the colour- I thought it was too dark, too shimmery, and too 'purple' for me. The product sat in my make up draw for a few months before I even gave it try. 
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar FigImage via Sephora

I. Love. This. Product! 
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment has become my 'go to' lip product. The colour is really sheer, so "Sugar Fig" did end up being a good colour for me, but it's also a buildable product- you just keep layering until you get the shade you want. In the tube, the product looked really shimmery, but was perfect on my lips. I have since tried this product in "Tulip" which is a pretty, pink colour. 

What I love about Fresh, besides it being a sheer and a buildable product, is how soft, smooth, and hydrated it leaves my lips! While it isn't a 'long lasting' colour (and it doesn't claim to be), the colour does last a decent amount. The price point is a little high ($30), but well worth it!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hey, It`s Ok
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That it was a rainy weekend. I like the rain, but it got in the way of my beach time. 

To be sad and disappointed that the New York Rangers bought out Dan Girardi`s contract. I love the Rangers, and I loved Dan as a Ranger.

That I have a busy week ahead of my. Everyday for the next week, I have plans every day/night with friends or family. It'll be fun!!

To not understand why Corus Entertainment would but Big Brother Canada on "hiatus" despite it doing well in the ratings and bringing in a younger demographic.

That I have been struggling the past two weeks. I'm constantly telling myself that 'this too shall pass' and to focus on choosing to be happy.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Inspire Me: Choose Happy

The past 10-ish days, at best, have been a struggle. Despite everything that is going and happening, I remind myself of this:

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Legally Blonde Movie Night Checklist

A few months ago, one of my sorority sisters mentioned she had never seen Legally Blonde. My reaction, was a resounding "WHAT?!". How was it possible that she had never seen this movie?!  I told her that we would have to do a screening of the movie.
Due to busy schedules, our Legally Blonde movie night is on our 'to do list'. If we plan it right, we might be able to do an outdoor screening. I outdoor movies- on the side of your house or on your garage or if you don't have a blank wall, on a sheet- make my list of favourite summer activities. 

I was recently inspired to create my own movie night. I knew right away that I wanted to centre my movie night around Legally Blonde. With some help from Pure Flix, below you will find my list of essentials to help create the ultimate movie night in.

Legally Blonde is a light hearted, fun movie with lots of colour- especially pink! I want  the food and drink for movie night to align with this.

First of all, I want my guests to be comfortable! Whenever I have people over for a girls night, I have a strict pajama/yoga pants/comfy clothes policy. Not only do I want my guests to dress comfy, but I also want them to be comfortable, so I pull out all of the pillows and blankets that I own. My guests are free to use what they would like and sit- or lie- where they want.

What's a movie without popcorn? Sure, you can have regular, old popcorn...or you can have birthday cake batter popcorn! This is super easy to make, really yummy, and the sprinkles add a lot fun to your popcorn! While popcorn is a movie essential, I know that a lot of people like to snack on candy while watching a movie, so I like to set up a candy bar. My go-to movie candy includes peanut butter M&Ms, red licorice, Malt Balls, and Peppermint Pattys. I usually ask my guests to bring their favorutite movie candy to be added to the candy bar.

Whenever I have people over, I like to have a signature drink. The signature is usually a pink flamingo. I like this drink as the signature drink for this movie night because it's pink and fits the feel for this screening, plus it can be made as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.

I make sure to have pink paper plates and napkins set out for my guests. I will decorate the food & beverage area with signs related to the movie- Bend and snap, Delta Nu letters, the stylized Harvard 'H'. You can print these out from a computer and either stick them on the wall or fit them into dollar store frames. Just something fun to tie elements of the movie into our night. I'm sure if you search 'Legally Blonde decor' on Pinterest, tons of ideas and how to's will come up.

Finally, I like to have a little gift for my guests so that they can remember the fun night we had. I like to give something practically and that they will use. I tend to gift drinkware to my guests- they can use it during movie night and then bring it home. You can usually pick up cute glasses at a dollar store or on etsy.

There you have must haves for a Legally Blonde movie night!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Grandma's Chair

A couple of years ago, I shared a post about this chair that I got from my great-grandmother's house. When I was looking for my condo and getting ready to move, I knew that my new place would have to be able to accommodate this chair. Lucky, the chair would have been a great fit for the living room of my condo, as well as my bedroom- which is where it currently is.

I love the chair- the shape, pattern, and the memories associated with it. 

My great grandfather passed away in 1998, when I was in grade 8, so I have a lot of memories of him- so much of my childhood was spent at his house. My great grandmother- who is turning 90 later this month- moved out of their house about two years ago. 

I received a number of items from their house before it was sold, but this chair is by far my favourite. My sister also got a chair from my great's a furry, pink chair, with little ball/tassels. So 1960/1970's, but so amazing!
My great grandmother is a woman of beauty- her physical appearance, her inner soul, and her (former) home. Grandma will do anything for her family, making us all feel so loved. She is an Italian woman, so there was always food- pasta, salami, stuffed peppers, vegetables from the garden, chicken, bread, homemade cakes and cookies... Whatever you wanted, grandma had and would give to you. 

This chair brings me back to her home, my childhood, teenage years, and 20's. Family meals, sleepovers, sick days from school, chats over coffee, brunch after mass on Sundays, running in the garden (where we were not allowed to play), trips to the playground, afternoons on the sun porch, making wine in the garage and salami in the basement. 

I had a very happy childhood, and I know that I am incredibly blessed that my great grandparents were part of it.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Hey, It's Ok
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have spent Saturday at Point Pelee, the most southern point of (mainland) Canada! I will eventually get organized enough and share some photos and video from that trip. 

That I had a blast in Ottawa!! I toured parliament, met Jon Montgomery (host of Amazing Race Canada) and got to wear his gold medal, spent time with colleagues, and wandered around Byward Market. Again, I will eventually get organized enough to share more from that trip.

To be disappointed in the organizers of the Harry Potter Festival that was to take place in Goderich. They are not being transparent with what they are doing and where money is going, they made significant changes to the festival- It's no longer in Goderich, or a three day festival, changes have been made to programing, they do not (at the time of this writing) do not have a signed contract with the venue, changed the name of the festival, and they are refusing to refund (or compensate) tickets. Very poor planning and customer service.

That I need to remind myself that not everything is meant to last forever...a reason, a season, a lifetime.

To be counting down the days to the weekend- where I will be spending my days at the beach!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Inspire Me: Stay Positive

After the all that happened last week, I needed to be reminded of will be my focus for this week. 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Inspire Me: Imagination

One of my all time favourite quotes, something that I remind myself of on a regular basis, and a thought that will be the focus for my week:

Friday, 2 June 2017

Currently- June Edition

Another month, another 'Currently' list!
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I have been a Chelsea Handler fan since she was on Girls Behaving Badly. I am loving her show on Netflix. 

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 The Handmaid's Tale is the June selection for my Book Club. I read this book in high school, and I'm hoping- because I don't have to read it for school- that it'll be easier to read this time around.

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I have been on a podcast kick the past few months. This is one of my favourite podcast- so funny!
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 I have been drinking a lot of water the past few weeks. I've always liked water, but I'm trying to be more aware of how much I drink- trying to stay super hydrated and make some lifestyle changes. 

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 I could eat breakfast foods all day. Eggs Benedict is one of my favourites and something I have been eating a lot of recently. So good!
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The onset of Summer makes me nostalgic for my Summers spent in Muskoka. I am desperately wanting to spend some time with some of my favourite people in this beautiful part of Ontario. 
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 I am super late to the party on this, but I am totally loving coconut oil! Coconut is one of my favourite flavours, and we are all well aware of the benefits of coconut oil. I've started adding a teaspoon to my morning smoothie and using this in place of oil/butter in my cooking and baking. So good!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Canada 150

Today is June 1. The start of a new month, the last month of school. the official start of summer. 
Today is also the one month countdown to July 1. On July 1, 2017 Canada- my beloved country- will be turning 150. Canada, as a country, is still pretty young and we have done a lot in our 150 years. 2017 has been- and will continue to be- a year long celebration. 
On Canada Day, I will be in my hometown celebrating this milestone. There are some fun things planned and I'm excited to participate and be part of the celebration. I will be sure to share the day via Instagram, and (eventually) here, on the blog.
From coast to coast to coast, there are so many different things planned to celebrate Canada 150. There are too many great things happening to list, but I wanted to share a couple of my favourites. 
ParticipACTION has created a list 150 activities to get people moving. What I like about this list is that the items have been selected because they represent Canada and Canadians.   

Hudson's Bay, a truly iconic and Canadian company, is doing the Grand Portage. This is a limited edition collection, where proceeds were go toward completing the last 2,200 kilometers of the Great Trail. The Great Trial, is a cross-Canada network of recreational hiking trails. They are literally connecting all Canadians. 

The Canadian Government has gifted Canadians with a Parks Canada pass. This gives Canadians free admission to all National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Marine Conservation Areas. I have already visited Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake and I'm hoping to use my pass to visit Laurier House in Ottawa later this week, and I'm planning a trip with a friend to Peelee Island in early June. I'm looking forward to exploring.

I have also been selected by the National Ballet of Canada to participate in their 150 Pointes project. I was so surprised, and honoured, to be selected! I'm working with a couple of different people to really showcase my 'pointe' in Canada. 

There are so many fun, interesting, and cool things going on. I'm really trying to embrace and experience as much as I can.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Book Club: He Will Be My Ruin

Book He Will Be My Ruin: A Novel by K.A. Tucker
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: He Will Be My Ruin
Author: K.A. Tucker

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.
What I Have To Say:
There is so much to this book! Right off the bat, you are drawn into the story- I'm talking the first couple of pages. K.A. Tucker wastes no time. Maggie arrives in New York to pack up Celine's apartment and to get the police to investigate Celine's death as she's convinced it wasn't suicide. As Maggie packs up her friends life, and with the help of a private investigator, she learns more and more about Celine and some of the people in her life.  
There is a plot twist near the end that I did not see coming, and basically everyone in this book has some secret that they are keeping- not everyone is who they seem- and there are a number of characters that would have motive to kill Celine. Basically, at the end of every chapter, I thought someone different was the killer. 
The plot is engaging, the characters well defined, and multiple story lines are easy to follow. Everything- items found, characters introduced, situations created- serves a purpose to the story and moves the plot forward.

Final Verdict:
I. Love. This. Book. LOVE. I read this book last year, when it first came out and loved it. This book is hard to put down- you'll want to read just one more chapter because you'll need to know what happens next- everyone I know who has read this book, has said this. When I joined my book club, I knew that this was the book I was going to pick when it was my turn. My book club was a fan- some members loved the book so much that they want to read more by K.A. Tucker! 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Hey, It's Ok
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I got to spend some time at the beach this weekend! The water was a bit cold- only went in up to my knees- but it was beautiful, sunny, warm, and had a light breeze. Perfect beach weather!

To be ready for my trip to Ottawa later this week! It will be a business and pleasure trip, with some fun things planned. I'm really looking forward to visit our Nation's Capital. Want to know what I'll be up to? Follow me on Instagram to see what I get up to, including some 'behind the scenes' stuff. 

That I want the Nashville Predators to win the Stanley Cup. If the Rangers can't win the Cup this year, then I want a team from the West to win. Besides, I don't have anything against, why not?

To be ready for Big Brother 19. I hope that they have some decent houseguest who are ready to play Big Brother. Also, I'm happy that Kevin won BBCan5...I really liked his this season and thought he played a great game- he deserved to win.

That I'm not sure what to think about the female only Wonder Women it odd, sexist, empowering, or a great marketing ploy? Whatever it is, I don't think people should be making such a big deal about it.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Friday, 5 May 2017

Fashion Friday- Kentucky Derby

Happy Derby Weekend!! I LOVE Kentucky's one of my favourite days of the year! My family is a horse racing family, so watching the Derby is something I have done my whole life. Going to Kentucky for the Derby is on my bucket list- I would love to experience Churchill Downs in person!
This year, I will be cheering on Always Dreaming from the comfort of my home, but if I was at Churchill Downs, I would be wearing something like this:

Earrings // Hat // Necklace // Watch // Clutch // Shoes // Dress // Sunglasses
The great debate over when you are creating your Kentucky Derby outfit is do you start with the dress or the hat? Personally, I start with the hat! While technically a facinator, I built my outfit around this Christina A. Moore hat. I loved the shade of blue, the blue/black combination, the netting, the feathers...basically everything! 
I really wanted the hat to be the focal point of this outfit, and thought I would pair it with a white dress or a simple yellow dress. Then I came across this Isabeau Dress by Lilly Pulitzer and thought this shade would go well with the blue in the hat. What makes this dress work with the hat, even thought it has a bright colour, is that the cut, style, and lace detail of the dress is simple. I love how feminine this dress is- definitely something you would spot at the Derby!

Again, I wanted the hat to be the main part of this outfit, so I kept the accessories simple. Kentucky Derby is an all day affair- even though the actual race is only two minutes- and you are outside on gravel, dirt and grass, I opted to go with the Palm Beach Sandal by Jack Rogers. Classic, comfy, and perfect for Derby! This Rose Dial Metro watch by Kate Spade is an homage to the Kentucky Derby's nickname- Run for the Roses. The Straw Derby Clutch by Vineyard Vines was designed specifically for this year's Kentucky Derby, so of course I had to include it in this outfit!

This is an outdoor event, so you do need to dress for the weather. The perfect Derby day is of course sunny and warm, so I didn't incorporate rain or outerwear in this outfit, but I did include these Bayleigh Sunglasses also by Kate Spade.

I don't think a ton of jewellery is needed for any Kentucky Derby outfit, but if you insist on wearing some, keep it classic with a pearl necklace and pearl studs.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Currently- May Edition

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 One of the best times of the year- NHL Playoffs! I am watching, cheering on my team (GO RANGERS), and following the teams in my bracket.
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 The May pick for my Book Club. I have been wanting to re-read this book since I read it last year, and I am so excited to finally have that chance and to introduce my fellow Book Clubbers to one of my favourite authors- K.A. Tucker!
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 I have been listening to more and more podcasts at work. Brie, one of the co-hosts of The Constant Struggle, is someone I have known since I was a kid, so of course I am listening to her podcast all day, every day. 
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 Warm weather calls for frapps! Non-fat, unsweet, no whip green tea frap with a scoop of java chips and a pump of good!!
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 I have been eating french toast recently. I blame my sister, who recently made me some, after years and years of not eating it. 
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The past few weeks, I have been craving adventure recently. The warm weather makes me want to get out and experience life! I am itching for new experiences and memories. 
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For the past few weeks, I have been doing a weekly yoga class. It has been so great on so many levels and I'm looking forward to keeping it up for weeks to come. 
July // August // September // November // December // January // February // March // April //   

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Book Club: My Secret Sister

Book My Secret Sister: Jenny Lucas And Helen Edwards' Family Story by Helen Edwards
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: My Secret Sister
Author: Helen Edwards & Jenny Lee Smith

The powerful story of two sisters separated at birth, one abused and one loved, and their search to understand their past.Helen grew up in a pit village in Tyneside in the post-war years, with her gran, aunties and uncles living nearby. She felt safe with them, but they could not protect her from her neglectful mother and violent father. Behind closed doors, she suffered years of abuse. Sometimes she talked to an imaginary sister, the only one who understood her pain. Jenny was adopted at six weeks and grew up in Newcastle. An only child, she knew she was loved, and with the support of her parents she went on to become a golfing champion, but still she felt that something was missing. . . Neither woman knew of the other's existence until, in her fifties, Jenny went looking for her birth family and found her sister Helen. Together they searched for the truth about Jenny's birth - and uncovered a legacy of secrets that overturned everything Helen thought she knew about her family. Happily, they also discovered that they were not just sisters, they were twins. Inspirational and moving, this is the story of two women brave enough to confront their past, and strong enough to let love not bitterness define them.
What I Have To Say:
The majority of this book focused on Helen and Jenny Lee's life prior to them meeting, which is fair considering that they were middle aged by the time they met. Jenny Lee's story line was pretty...boring. She had a great childhood and family life, and she recounted her journey to becoming a pro-golfer...but there was no real plot or anything to keep you coming back. Helen had a lot more going on; the abuse and neglect from her parents, her relationship with her brother and his girlfriend/fiancee/wife, constantly moving, different jobs, etc. There was a lot going on and Helen had the more dramatic and dynamic story line. It was really interesting to read about Jenny's search for her birth family and all the info she and Helen uncover. 
Final Verdict:
While this was a best seller and were parts were engaging, this book felt like a lot of it was written for the sake of the story or to create coincidence between the sisters. This was the April pick for my book club and overall it was well received. There were aspects that I liked, but the story seemed forced and amateurishly written. I would suggest reading the description, and it if appeal to you to give it a read. I'm meh about this book and likely won't recommend it to anyone. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

From The Archives: Bedtime Stories Baby Shower

A number of years ago, I hosted a baby shower for a co-worker/friend. The theme was Bedtime Stories. As an event planner, I get to host, design, consult, plan, etc on tons of events throughout the year. This baby shower was one of my favourite events that I worked on. 

Since it's been so long since this baby shower took place, and because a number of my friends have either just had babies or are pregnant, I thought I would go into the Dreams and Colour Archives and share the posts related to the Bedtime Stories Baby Shower!
Theme & Invite
Food & Drink
Book Recommendations & Gift Ideas
A Special Keepsake

This is a really fun, classic, gender neutral baby shower theme...I would love to host another shower with these theme!!