Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Nail Art 2018

Happy Valentine's Week! I hope you have something sweet planned with friends & family. I've got quite a few things in the works. Lots of fun food is in my future. I love Valentine's for all the cute patterns and kitschy items. I'm normally more of a neutral kind of girl, so it's nice to mix it up and go all pink & red!

I've shared quite a few V-day themed nail art. Some of my favourite's revolved around the classic heart motif-see 2017 & 2014. This year, I went with a red & pink floral inspired by the February Paper & Glam planner kit. (I did this same mani in fall floral back in November.) These remind me so much of Strawberry Shortcake!

Really simple nail art. I used two dotting tools. One medium sized and one smaller and four polishes. Red-Zoya Sooki
Pink- Butter London Fruit Machine
Green-Zoya Josie
White-Wet n Wild French White Creme

Are you rocking a Valentine's mani this week?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Books I Read This Month | January

Whenever I start reading a new book, I'll usually snap a pic on Instagram, but I rarely update when I'm finished. Just like I share beauty reviews, I thought I'd start sharing some book mini-reviews. That way you can have a better guess at what you should be reserving at the library or adding on to your Book of the Month-my favourite places to get books!

Never Let Me Go  
Kazuo Ishiguro
I watched the film adaptation of this years ago and had this on my to be read list for a while. I love the mix of a sci-fi backdrop, English countryside, and coming-of-age. Despite the dystopian underpinnings, the story is truly a tale of three friends navigating adolescence, love, loss, and mortality. The movie is a very accurate portrayal of the book, so you won't get anymore explanation of the world, but you do get more of the subtleties of the characters detailed. Recently, I've been seeing people sharing that they are reading What Remains of the Day despite it's original publication in 1989. I'm going to have to give that one a go!

The Essex Serpent 
Sarah Perry
A historical novel with complex characters and neighborly gossip of a mysterious serpent to connect them together. Definitely more about the relationships between the characters than any magic. A mix of narration and letters between friends, lovers, and navigating those stages in between. Despite the story mainly following Cora, a recent widow discovering her newfound freedom, her entourage of friends are given enough page time to really develop and the writing is excellent.

Ali Smith
I read Ali Smith's Autumn, in well, Autumn. So I couldn't resist reading Winter this January. If you enjoyed Autumn, you will love this one as well. But don't expect a sequel. The characters are different but those same good intentions, missteps, mental imagery, and lay-people political discussions. The story is basically the fear everyone has before going to Thanksgiving dinner with extended family.

Claire-Louise Bennett
You never know the character's name or why we are hearing her story. But this plot-less novel sucks you into the daily activities and musings of our lonely character, and you piece together a little the reason why she now lives in a cottage by a pond. The descriptions are detailed and her thoughts are charming in their bluntness.

The Wife Between Us 
Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
This was my Book of the Month pick for December and quite the opposite of my previous reads. A fast-paced thriller with a few good twists. I would describe it as a combo of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. You have a very genuine telling of the experience of someone in an isolating and abusive relationship that looks perfect from the outside and friends' initial warnings that something isn't what it seems. I appreciated that the twists weren't so outrageous (well, maybe the last, last one-sorry, no spoilers) and added to the moral of the story.

What did you read this January?


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Beauty Habits for the New Year

Sharing a few beauty habits that I've incorporated into my routine-some more recent than others. Exploring these ideas might have crossed your mind before too, so I thought I'd share to give you some motivation for 2018 to be the year that you test these out!

Natural Deodorant
Last year, I made the switch to natural deodorant. It took awhile to find a favourite that worked for me. And it took awhile to get used to the change, but now, I regret not embracing it sooner! No irritation, no chemicals, and lots of fun scents. My favourite is the Schmidt's stick versions, keeps it the same as you're used to (I can't quite get the pot to work-I think I'm not getting the right amount?). I love the Rose+Vanilla scent for everyday, and I have the Bergamot+Lime in my gym bag to swipe on before hot yoga.

I'm sure we can all relate to being on & off with vitamins-probably since being a kid. I have tried quite a few brands-including all those Instagram trending ones....How I've got my regimen to stick was buying a weekly medicine holder from Amazon (blinged out with some Glossier stickers) and setting my vitamins out for the week. It makes it easy to see if I remembered to take it for the day. You can do a ton of research for what kinds and brands work for you. Personally, I take a vegetarian Biotin everyday (the Trader Joe's brand), and I've been trying vitamins from Hum (my referral code is: 101FD3). They also have great smoothie powders too.

Cruelty-Free Beauty
I started making the transition to cruelty-free beauty when I started this blog. It can be a tricky world to navigate with brands using deceptive legal speak in an unregulated field. But there are a ton of great resources too. I love following vegan beauty and cruelty-free beauty Instagrammers to see what brands they post. You can find people who share anything cruelty-free, just vegan, only natural, etc., etc.  There are so many different brands out there to try, you really don't end up missing out on any products-from high end to drugstore.

 Let me know if the comments what beauty habits you want to start in the new year! 
Or ones you'd highly recommend!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hello 2018!

We are a couple of weeks into the new year, and I am still thinking of my intentions. I am not necessarily of the "new year, new you" mentality, but I am all for self-reflection. Here are a few things I have been thinking about for 2018. I'm sure some new goals will get thrown in the mix and shared here in the weeks to come. Let me know your goals for 2018 in the comments!

My goal for the past few years has been to read at least a book a month, so about 12 books a year. This past autumn, I have kicked my book love into overdrive and doubled my goal with 28 books read this year. Now, I'm going to strive for 36 books. We'll see if I can do it! 

In 2017, we took an amazing trip to South Africa. This year, I want to keep up our international travel as well as add a few stateside trips in as well. Currently thinking about a California road trip and another Asian adventure. I would also love to go on an Alaskan cruise.
One of the most difficult things in adulthood is making and maintaining friendships. You just don't have those built in places to connect and packed calendars further complicate things. I also admit that I am a terrible texter. I've come to terms that that probably won't change, but dear friends, I have a hoard of stationery and a love for brunch-let's hang out.  

They may call it spring cleaning, but I think a lot of people agree that the new year brings a desire to reorganize and declutter. Embracing the less is more attitude, I need to give Marie Kondo a re-read and make a plan of attack on this apartment. I keep daydreaming about building a tiny house or renovating an Airstream, so even though I have a small apartment, I could simplify even more!

One of my goals this year is to sort out a grown-up version of a bedtime routine. I would love to have a relaxing ritual to end the day. Journaling, meditation, a little beauty self-care are all on offer. 


Friday, December 1, 2017

Is the Blog Back?

No. At least, I can't make any promises. All I can say is I'm trying. I never started this to make a business or even for anyone to read. Not diminishing the full time bloggers out there. I just love my day job-it's my calling. Everyone should get to follow their passions. But even if my main focus wasn't this here piece of the internet, it was a meaningful project. I enjoyed spending hours (what ends up being many hours-as above, blogging is workkk) thinking of ideas, taking pictures, and fleshing out some semblance of a story-musings of something in my life.

Until I didn't. I'd think of an idea. I'd take the pictures. I'd even upload them, edit them. But I just stared at the blank electronic page. Unsure of what to say. Unsure of my voice. Did I have anything to say? Did it matter? My finally putting fingers to keys is not a statement of banished doubts. I could immediately get stuck back in that mindset tomorrow and never post again.

My time away from this forum also doesn't represent how I felt in other aspects of my life. Of course, there are days when I don't want to get out of bed or nights when I am restless, anxious, skin crawling and unproductive. But for the most part, I've been enjoying those things I love. But keeping the posts to a snap on Instagram. And maybe an emoji for a caption. It's hard to find the words sometimes, exhausting to find the words sometimes-so I just needed the pretty pictures.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture | The Ultimate Fall Palette

December 1st is still Fall y'all! And even if you are already jamming to Christmas music and basking in the glow of your twinkle-lighted tree-this palette is still perfect for the holidays. I know the Subculture eyeshadows have been making the rounds of some major controversies, but now that that has settled down...I thought I'd share my thoughts and a few eyeshadow looks.

When I first saw the color scheme of this bad boy, I had to have it. Did I know how to rock an orange or teal eyelid? Hell no-but who could resist these peacock feather, rich hues? I'd figure it out...and then, I read some reviews...which led to hours of YouTube videos of people tearing up this palette. If I was already worried about pulling off the bold shades, a troublesome formula wasn't going to help. There were a few reviews citing no concerns, so I crossed my fingers and purchased.

And I love it. Not that the critiques are unfounded, they are super pigmented shades, but I haven't experienced much of the complaints myself. I use the lightest amount-no swirling here-and plan the shadows accordingly. You can't blend a blue into an orange. But you can lay down some complementary shades for some badass contrast. Below are a few looks I've photographed if you need some inspiration!

Pumpkin Spice

Peacock Feather

Moscow Mule

Camo (& a cat)

If that Beauty Insider Holiday Reward is burning a hole in your wallet, definitely check Subculture out. It will make the perfect holiday gift for your trendiest make-up loving friend or as a treat for yourself to be holiday party ready. And if you end up being in the anti-Subculture camp-I'm sorry I steered you wrong. It was worth the shot.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Plan with Me | September 2017

Hello September! It's my favorite time of year! Fall feels like fresh beginnings. It's also my birthday month which, for me, is  a time of thinking through new goals and future adventures.

I decided to mix it up from my usual planner and test an Erin Condren Life Planner. I have heard so much about these planners, but the style didn't seem quite for my neutral loving self-until the neutral version came about as well as the hourly layout. My personal Filofax was great for jotting down an appointment and keeping a few to-do's, but lately, I have been wanting to take a bit of a deeper dive into my time and seeing what I can make from each day.

Additionally, I wanted to live more in the present and celebrate the little things. I had been following Paper & Glam on YouTube and on Facebook for a while, and finally made the jump to ordering some stickers. Couldn't resist the fall colours and the cutest of icons to make even cleaning dishes look glam!

Erin Condren $10 off code |  referral link
Paper & Glam Stickers  |  Shop 

Hope you enjoy this plan with me and the start of a new season! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

GRWM | Everyday Make-up

I'm on a video roll! Today, I thought I'd share a "getting ready with me." Just an everyday look with my go-to products!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance 
Milk Make-up Highlighter 
Wet n Wild photofocus Foundation in Nude Ivory 
Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light 
Too Faced Brow Envy 
Wet n Wild Eyeshadows in Nutty, Brulee, & Panther 
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit 
Physician's Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner 
Tweezerman Rose Gold Eyelash Curler 
Physician's Formula Kohl Kajal Eyeliners 
Julep With a Twist Lash Boosting Bamboo Mascara 
Bite Beauty Fig & Rose Gold Lipstick


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Video | Power Hour Clean with Me

My apartment needed a little pick me up. I loveee watching "clean with me" videos, so I thought I'd try making one.

Cleaning Supplies | 
I buy all my cleaning supplies from Target. I love Method brand and Mrs. Meyers.
Diffuser & EO | Muji
HelloFresh Referral Link 

Thanks for watching!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review | Onzie Flow Yoga

I had been in real need of some new yoga outfits. My current workout wardrobe was constantly being rotated in and out of the laundry. I had been following Onzie on Instagram, and a few yogis who seem to always be repping their stuff. I loved how many neutral colored yet bold designs they featured. They are high quality with a price tag that's way more affordable than brands like Lululemon. Think $50-60 dollars per item. Every so often they have a discount code which is when I ordered. You can also find their stuff on which is where I ordered to get the Petunia print that was off season. I have also seen Onzie at Nordstrom Rack-the difficulty there is finding your size.

These photos are some real awkward timer shots, but I hope they give you a sense of the fit and movement of these pieces. I really can't wait to order some more. The fabrics are super luxe with edgy design details. They also passed the hot yoga test with regards to moisture wicking. I will say I prefer wearing the Ballerina capri in a non-heated, not so sweaty sesh as the fabric has a more cotton/sweatpant feel (despite not being cotton-they are just more cozy feeling). It showed a bit of sweat marks during class though instantly were dry after leaving the room. I also realized I prefer long pants for hot yoga, so I am not slipping when holding my shin or ankle (trikonasana). The high rise legging are perfect for that since they are long, skin tight, but super movable. They are so sleek, it's almost like water. The bra is full of details with the darting, high neckline with chest cut out, and X back. They have so many awesome strappy selections. And speaking of straps, I just love the lace ups on the side of the ballerina capri. I ordered an XS in the pants and a S/M in the bra.

Ballerina Capri in Stone

(I feel like I am in a Thinx ad...)

Open Heart Bra in Black 

High Rise Yoga Leggings in Petunia

(Both the fox & I are headless)

What are your favorite styles or prints from Onzie?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Birchbox | August 2017

My August Birchbox arrived! I loved the summer sunset design, so I had to bring back the nail art. I have matched my mani to my box a few times- (The first time here; and here; and here) I can't believe that was two years ago! Anyway, back to 2017, here's the box & the nails!

I picked the curated box this month. I love a good mask, and this one came with the pur-lisse Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask and a hair mask, Living proof Restore Mask Treatment. I also have had the amika Bombshell Blowout Spray and enjoyed it and the color of the Stila liquid lipstick looked gorgeous.

With that said, after 5 years of subscribing, I have canceled my subscription. I was tempted to when they had changed the point system but kept going to see if it would still "spark joy". And after a few months, sometime not even sharing the box, even on Instagram,  I realized it was time to try something else. I was just receiving too many of the same brands over and over again, and ones I couldn't use because of their stance on animal testing. That doesn't mean I'm done with monthly beauty boxes! I have decided to try out Petit Vour. It just seems to be a better fit for my beauty profile. I will still order from the Birchbox shop-they have a great mix of beauty and lifestyle products, promos and gifts with purchase, and I love their limited edition boxes. I am just ending the surprises.

Let me know what beauty subscription boxes are your favourite!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sephora Favorites Skin Super Foods

I was able to score this here beauty. All the heart eye emojis...It's been quite difficult from what I hear online, but lucky for me, the city is full of Sephoras. I was ready to do my thang and take pictures and write a post. And then, I had a little sense of adventure and decided to try my hand at making another YouTube video. I mean at some point it has to click and get a bit easier? Anyway, hopefully you enjoy, and it helps in case you are thinking of making a mini road trip to get the Skin Super Foods set!

Tarte Maracuja Oil
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Josie Maran Cosmetics Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask *Not cruelty-free
Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask
Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Mask
Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish
Kopari Beauty Coconut Melt

Have you picked this up? What are some of your favorite products from these brands?


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Another little Glossier haul

Super excited for these new little things. I tried everything right away, but some things I need a few more go-arounds before I can make a proper review.

My main focus was trying the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint and the Stretch Concealer. I was running low on my usual skin make-up items and wanted to have something in a more natural skin finish. The light is a perfect match. The Skin Tint is just that, a lightweight-basically water-like-hint of color. The Stretch Concealer is full coverage but keeps a dewy, natural finish. I need to try these out a bit more before I can reach my final verdict.

I love my skincare, especially masks, so I had to pick up the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Detoxifying Face Mask. It reminds me of the old-school face masks-you just need the cucumber slices. I didn't think I needed another lip balm product, but a balm dotcom sneaked in my order. I went with coconut, and I have to say it's my new favorite thing. Plus, the packaging is great.

What's your favorite Glossier product?


Monday, July 31, 2017

Beauty Field Trip | Glossier Showroom

I made a little order from Glossier  some time back. I was super intrigued by the brand and was excited to test out some of their cult products. But like any beauty addict, I wanted to try more. I figured I'd take advantage of my NYC location and visit the showroom to swatch some things before purchasing. My first mistake was going on a weekend-there was a pretty long line, especially considering the summer heat. But once on the penthouse floor, it was fun to explore the Instragram ready space.

At least with the line system, it wasn't too crowded on the floor, so you could take your time deciding on the shades you wanted. I was eyeing up the foundation and concealer, so I definitely wanted to check the color match and feel the texture. I also ended up with a few other things-stay tuned.