Tuesday 28 February 2017

Hey, It's Ok!

With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I did not watch the Oscars. I'm not the least bit interested. Besides La La Land, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone...I can't tell you any other movies, actors, or actresses that might have been nominated. And I don't even know if the above mentioned were nominated. 

To be counting down the days until Big Brother Canada starts! I love this show and I can't wait to watch this season! It looks like it's going to be an all-star season with teams. It also looks like it will only be airing two nights a week instead of three...sad. 

That I do not like How To Get Away With Murder ended their season. I was so sad that Wes was the one who died. What I especially don't like is how they blamed everything on Wes! He was a good guy who ended up in unfortunate circumstances, but he was not the monster they made him out to be. 
To, after the record breaking seasonally warm temperatures we had last week, not be looking forward to the snow, rain, and cold weather that is in the forecast for the next week or so. I want the sun back!
That I got a trip to Quebec City for my birthday! I'm not going until July, but I am looking forward to it. I've never been, but I know a lot of people who have and they all say how great it is.

Monday 27 February 2017

Inspire Me: Story Of Your Life

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! My weekend, although low key, was exactly what I needed.

I think this is a good reminder for all of us from time to time- We are the authors of our own story. While we do not have total control over everything that happens, we do have control over how we act and react, and how a situation plays out. We also have control over the 'characters' in our life story. If they do not move your life forward, write them out. 
At times it can be hard not to let others influence you and the direction of your life. Others are not writing your story, they might contribute, but they are not the author- you are. 
For a long time- years- I was letting people hold the figurative pen to my life story. I was miserable. So. Miserable. I had friends who were worried about me and encouraged me to find a better situation. I didn't...I stuck it out...I hoped things would change, get better. Of course they didn't- these were toxic people (yes, multiple people) I was letting shape my story. 

I eventually found myself blindsided by these people. As the situation unfolded- as horrible as it was- I found myself feeling relieved. I saw an escape and I took it without looking back. With everything that they did to me, they were still trying to pull me back, control me. You could say this was a major plot twist.
It did change the direction of my life...that situation set me free, I realized I was free, and I took a death grip on that pen of life. I did what I wanted, I made choices, I said yes to somethings and no to others. I went from being a character in my life story to the lead author. 

Sometimes we give the pen to someone else to hold- sometimes unknowingly. It can be tough to get the pen back. Do what you have to do to get it back. You are the only one who can turn your life story into a bestseller.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Book Club: A Hundred Summers

Book A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: A Hundred Summers
Author: Beatriz Williams
Indigo Summary:

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancĂ©—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever…

What I Have To Say:
This is a book that had been on my reading list forever and I finally got around to reading it. The chapters alternate between 1932, when Lilly and Nick first met, and 'present day' 1938, where the summer portion of the book is set. For this book, I liked the alternating time periods, as there was a six year lapse that didn't really have anything to do with the story. It also keeps the reader engaged and wondering what happened in the past to get to the 1938 present situation. The characters are well developed, and Lilly is likeable. There is depth to the plot and it flows well, which keeps you wanting to read. The plot lines and character relationships keep things interesting but are not overwhelming that you can't keep track of them. 

The storm of 1938 is a storm that actually happened. While what happened to Lilly et al was fictionalized (including the community they live in), the storm portion was based on real events- which is crazy! I can't imagine living through that or even being calm enough to figure out my own survival. 

Final Verdict:
Highly recommended! This was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! My first instinct is to say that this is a great beach read, but I did enjoy being transported to a beach town in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter. I'm looking forward to re-reading this book soon. 

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Put A Bow On It February Deluxe Box Review

Put A Bow On It is a Canadian, monthly, lifestyle subscription box. I had subscribed to this box in the past and decided to give them another try. They offer two boxes, Premium (which I reviewed last week) and Deluxe, which I am reviewing today.

The Deluxe box is $36/month plus shipping. You will get 4-5 items a month that are lifestyle related and that fit the theme for that month. The Deluxe and Premium boxes have different themes and items. The theme for the February Deluxe box is Love and is said to have a retail value of $61.00
  • Votive Candle Holder & Candle This holder came in 4 different colours, and I'm glad that I got red- It's my favourite colour! In general, I'm not a fan of candle holders...to knick-knack-y/dust collector for me. With that said, it is pretty and I'm trying to think of another use for it. 
  • "If You Can Read This, Bring Me Some Wine" Socks How adorable are these socks?! I am not a fan of socks...I prefer bare feet and being able to wiggle my toes. Every once and awhile I do wear socks. Looking forward to wearing these!
  • Cherry Pick Double Pearl Earrings- Matte Black While...this exact same product, but in white, was in the Premium box. This is the first time, I believe, that Put A Bow On It has had the same product in the Deluxe and Premium boxes. I was disappointed to see a repeat product, but I do like the black earrings better than the white earrings. These are labelled as "pearl" earrings, but they are actually black ball earrings. 
  • Gold Feather Stemless Champagne Glasses- Set of 2 I. Love. These! I had never heard of stemless champagne glasses, but these are great! I'm excited to add them to my bar!
I don't necessarily think that subscriptions boxes need to have a crazy value, but I do think that the value of the box should at least equal the price of the box. I know the product cards (which does not list individual prices) says the box has an $61 value...I have a hard time believing that. I think, at best, this box has a $40-$45 value. I'm ok with this, because that's about what I paid. 

A lot of people prefer the Premium Box because of the 'higher value'. I actually prefer the Deluxe box- at least for February, I thought the Deluxe box was a better value and contained better items. I'm not really sure how the items fit the "Love" theme, but I still think there were some great items this month!

As a Canadian, I really want to support this Canadian Subscription and I really want to love it. for March, I canceled my Premium subscription and am just subscribe to the Deluxe. I'm going to try it out for a couple more months and see  what happens.  

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Hey, It's Ok

With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have had a relaxing Family Day Weekend. Spent time with my parents and sister, and got to see a bunch of my cousins too!!

That I am looking forward to pottery painting with friends tonight! I did it last year with a different group of friends and had so much fun! I'm not sure what I am going to paint tonight...but I know it'll be fun!

To be obsessed with the TV show Tiny House Hunters.Some of those houses are so small. It's fun to see how they maximize the use of space and all the different characteristics of the houses.

That I had a fantastic birthday last week! Spoiled by friends and family, relaxing spa day, and a delicious dinner. I really couldn't have asked for much more.

To be loving the beautiful Spring-like weather we have been having!! Loved being able to spend so much time outside the past few days...plus all of the sunshine!!

Friday 17 February 2017

Fashion Friday- Knits

I have been seeing tons of pins on Pinterest recently about curated closets, and must have pieces. I thought it might be fun to share some of my wardrobe staples. Over the next few months I will be sharing pieces that I think everyone should have in their wardrobe. This week, we are talking about knits!

Classic Cardigan //  Crew Neck // V-Neck // Cashmere // Open Front Cardigan // Comfy
When I am buying clothes, I like to pick pieces that are versatile and can be worn at different times; at the office, girls night out, dates, weekends, days, nights, etc. With the exception of the comfy, cozy sweater, all of the knits are pieces that can be worn in a variety of settings. Even though it's not as versatile as other knits, I think it's a good idea to have that comfy, go-to knit for lazy days, super cold days, or days where you just want to wrap yourself in something warm.
Knits can be done in neutral or bright colours. Personally, I own several cardigans in different colours, and I wear them to add a pop of colour to my outfits. I also have neutral cardigans to go with and offset my colourful outfits. 

I have listed two kinds of cardigans- classic with buttons, and an open-front/draped cardigan. Open front cardigans are so flattering on different figure types. Both cardigans give outfits a different feel, which is why I think wardrobes should contain both. 

Tops //

Thursday 16 February 2017

The Storm In My Heart Has Settled At Last

Earlier this week, I was listening to some old playlists and came across this song, which I have since been listening to on repeat; I forgot how much I love it!!

Whole To My Half by Measha Brueggergosman feat David Myles

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Put A Bow On It February Premium Box Review

Put A Bow On It is a Canadian, monthly, lifestyle subscription box. I had subscribed to this box in the past and decided to give them another try. They offer two boxes, Deluxe (which I will be reviewing next week) and Premium, which I am reviewing today. 

The Premium box is $64.95/month plus shipping. You will get 4-5 items a month that are lifestyle related and that fit the theme for that month. The Deluxe and Premium boxes have different themes. The theme for the February Premium box is XOXO and is said to have a retail value of $83.00

  • XO Mittens These fit the theme, and are perfect for a February box. They are fleece lined, so they are also super warm. 
  • Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment I have seen this product in Sephora and it claims to moisturize, protect, and smooth lips, and offers sheer coverage or buildable colour. While I was happy to see this product, the shade I received is purple and not for me. 
  • Cherry Pick Double Pearls Classic Earrings I will admit that I was super disappointed to see this item; I received the exact same item in another Canadian lifestyle subscription box a few months ago. Since they are double-sided, you can wear either smaller pearls or bigger pearls. I will be gifting these to a friend.
  • Cherry Pick Layered Up Double Necklace The necklace is pretty and I do like it! I know some people will like getting necklace and earrings from the same company, but I would have preferred to different brands. I also would have preferred receiving only one jewelry item.With that said, I do like the necklace a lot more than I like the earrings. 
I have mixed feelings about this box. I want to like it because it's Canadian and a lifestyle box. I also like that they have different themes each month, and the products usually fit the theme. I'm not sure how the two jewelry pieces fit the XOXO theme. I don't necessarily think that subscriptions boxes need to have a crazy value, but I do think that the value of the box should at least equal the price of the box. I know the product cards (which does not list individual prices) says the box has an $83 value...I have a hard time believing that. 
This box left me feeling a little underwhelmed...even disappointed. I know there are a number of bloggers who love the Premium box, but it's not for me.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Hey, It's Ok

With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be celebrating my birthday today by taking the day off, going for a facial, and then dinner with a friend. I am looking forward to a relaxing day. 
That, after all these years, it still bothers me that Valentine's Day still overshadows my birthday. It really sucks.
To not be "celebrating" Valentine's Day. It's an overrated "holiday". 

That I am looking forward to some travel plans I have set for later this year. I will be traveling within Canada, but they are going to be interesting, fun trips.

To be looking forward to a long weekend this weekend. We always spend Family Day Weekend at our second home. I haven't been there since Christmas, so I'm looking forward to being in town!

That I love Flamingos. Love them. My bathroom is being decorated with flamingos. I had had a couple of friends incorporate flamingos into my birthday gifts.

To be excited that KA Tucker (my favourite author) has not one but TWO books coming out this year!! Until It Fades will be released May 2 and Keep Her Safe will be released on August 1.

Monday 13 February 2017

Inspire Me- Friends You Roll With

Happy Monday and Happy Galentine's Day!! I really love and appreciate my Gals. I am so lucky to have amazing people in my life who love and support me- unconditionally, no questions asked. I appreciate the friendships I have and have spent the past couple of years investing more time and energy into my friendships that mean the most to me. 

This quote was shared with me by a friend of mine back when we were in university. I frequently think of this quote, especially if I am dealing with some adversity- no matter how big or small- and all of my friends that make me stronger. 

I am so thankful for each and every one of my friends who has joined me on this crazy journey called life. Especially those one who have mixed me drinks and danced on the tables with me.

Thursday 9 February 2017

From The Archives: 30 Things In 30 Years

With my birthday next week, I can't help but reflect on birthdays past. I have had a lot og great birthdays, and a couple of not so great birthdays. My 30th birthday stands out not only because it was a milestone, but because it was a month long celebration. I did something to celebrate, with so many different people. 

I remember doing a blog post on 30 things I had accomplished in 30 years. Looking at that post, which you can find here, I am reminded of a lot of really cool, fun, and once-in-a-lifetime things I had the opportunity to do. 

In the three years since, I have continued to do and accomplish a lot. I am proud, thankful, and blessed for the life I have. I am also thankful for the people who have helped me build it, supported me along the way, and experienced life with me. 
I started to compile a list of things I have done since I turned 30- but that's a post for another time. 

Wednesday 8 February 2017

That Made Me Who I Am

This is one of my current favourite songs. It's fun to sing and dance around to. Plus, it's kind of applicable. We all have an ex that broke our heart, but that break up actually made us better...maybe even improved our lives.

 Shout Out To My Ex by Little Mix

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Hey, It's Ok

With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I was selected to participate in #150Pointes!! This is a project initiated by the National Ballet of Canada to celebrate their 65th anniversary and Canada's 150th anniversary. I am so incredible excited and honoured to have been selected to be one of 150 people/groups/organizations selected for this!!

To not have watched the Super Bowl. I really am not interested. Not. One. Bit. I don't care about the game, the half time show, or the commercials- most don't even air in Canada due to broadcast regulations. 

That I am looking forward to my birthday next week. I have some things planned for the day. It will be low key, but I will be celebrating and doing things that I want to do. 

To finally be unpacked and organized from my move. It took me two months, but I did it. Everything is out of boxes/bags. Now I can focus on decorating and buying items that I need to make my place 'mine' and a 'home'.

That I am done with winter. I am done with the snow, cold, and sun-less days. 

Monday 6 February 2017

Inspire Me: You're Not Going That Way

Last week, I saw a tweet that contained a link to something that I was involved in a few years ago. Against my better judgement- and repeatedly telling myself it was a bad idea- I clicked on the link. I read. I wouldn't say I was happy. I clicked on another link- again, after telling myself it was a bad idea. I was in the spiral of clicking links and becoming more and more unhappy. My clicking and reading did eventually lead to a discover that brought me a little joy. Overall, I was still unhappy with what I was discovering. 

As I was preparing to write this post, I found this quote a friend had sent me a couple of weeks ago:

This was a something I obviously needed to be reminded of. I'm not going back. Not only did I move on years ago, I am in a MUCH better place.  A happier, healthier, more fulfilling, much appreciated place. 

I should quit looking back and focus on the path I am on, the direction- forward- that I am going. Things are really great and I can see some of things that are on the horizon. Those upcoming opportunities are going to be really positive for me. 

I am going to continue to only look in the direction I'm going.

Friday 3 February 2017

Fashion Friday- Tops

I have been seeing tons of pins on Pinterest recently about curated closets, and must have pieces. I thought it might be fun to share some of my wardrobe staples. Over the next few months I will be sharing pieces that I think everyone should have in their wardrobe. I'm going to start off at the top with tops!

Button Down // Silk Blouse // Chambray // Polo // Shell // Tee
All of these tops can be transitioned from day to night, professional to fun settings. I personally like colour- which is why I selected a pink button down instead of the classic white- but I also think it's important for me to have neutral colours as well. With the exception of the shell top, it's also a good idea to have the tops in both short and long sleeves- especially if you live somewhere that experiences multiple seasons. Not pictured, but equally important, are tank tops; great for layering and a must for summer weather.

Thursday 2 February 2017

Currently- February Edition

New month, new Currently list!

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 I am always late to the game when it comes to Netflix's because I am not good at binge watching anything. I am really enjoying The Crown...it's as good as everyone said!

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 A Hundred Summers has been on my reading list- and book shelf- for months! Looking forward to finally reading it!

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 I don't know what it is, but I'm finding that I am really liking the Chainsmokers music and have been listening to them a lot recently. 

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 I was in a car accident a few years ago and have made muscle issues since then. I go for a massage every four weeks to help manage the pain. I haven't been in 8 weeks and I am in so much pain. I do have a massage booked for this week, so hopefully that helps. 

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 Thanks to Family Day, we have a long weekend in February. I am planning what to do for this long weekend. 

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 I really want to host a Galentine's Day party this year...but I don't think I am organized enough to do it. 

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These are the best cookies ever! They aren't available in store- which is good, because I probably wouldn't eat anything else. 


Wednesday 1 February 2017

Book Club: A Man Called Ove

Book A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman

Indigo Summary: 

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...

What I have to say: 
This book was the January pick for my book club.I had a hard time tracking down a copy of this book- it was sold out everywhere, which made me think it was going to be good! The story starts at slow was a bit hard to get into. You start by following the day to day life of Ove, I wasn't sure what the actual story was. Once you get a couple of chapters in, it's an engaging book with likeable characters, and a range of different characters. We see Ove in present day, and we get to see Ove in the past; learning about experiences and situations that shaped him. We also get to see how the characters in the present day shape and change Ove.
Final verdict: 
Highly recommended! Starts slow, but stick with it. This is a heartwarming read, well written too!