Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recent purchases (Sam Edelman Rose Gold Gigi sandals, J.Crew necklace dupes & Beauty Products) and Outfit of the day

Someone needs to keep me away from Winners (TJMaxx chain store)! EVERY time I go there, I come away with amazing items that I don't need but can't resist. My favorite recent find were these Sam Edelman Rose Gold Gigi sandals - on clearance for $18!!! These sandals are usually sold for $65, though they're on sale here for $35.
Sam Edelman Rose Gold Gigi Sandals
I also found this beautiful cream bib necklace that reminds me of the J.Crew Tessellate necklace. Such a pretty statement piece - it's light and easy to wear. The green necklace is not from Winners, it's a $15 eBay dupe of the J.Crew Bubble necklace - it took 6 weeks to arrive and one of the beads was loose (but it was easily fixed) - I think I prefer the quality of this to H&M's version.
J.Crew Bubble necklace dupe and J.Crew Tessellate necklace dupe
Back to Winners purchases - I found a body wash I used to LOVE when I lived in England (the Sanctuary wash from Boots) and Pacifica Body Butters in Tahitian Gardenia and Coconut Crushed Pearl (so fragrant and long-lasting). I also got the postcard-style makeup bag from the CARGO Safari kit. From Shoppers Drug Mart I picked up a new mascara, eyeliner and moisturizer.

I've also acquired a lot of nailpolishes over the past few weeks: The famous Sky from Hard Candy, Tomato from JoeFresh and a yellow Essence polish. In Winners I found 3 Essie polishes for $12 - including Berry Hard, which I've been looking for ever since I saw Bobbi Brown wearing it on TV.

Here's my outfit of the day (we went to a kid's birthday party & ran errands). I wore an Old Navy Maxi dress, American Eagle Denim jacket, Bubble necklace dupe and LV Speedy 25 bag.

My last picture is an item I rescued from my mother - it's a nameplate bracelet she doesn't wear anymore - it's the perfect addition to my arm candy - I love looking down and seeing her name:
Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch, Pandora Bracelet and gold bracelets from my mother and grandmother

Do you have any J.Crew necklaces or dupes? Do you like wearing your mother's jewelry?



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Decor Advice from the Social Home Blog

Doesn't this picture look like it belongs in a design magazine?

Source: The Social Home

Well - it's actually from an AMAZING Canadian design blog - belonging to the lovely and super-friendly Jen. As soon as I discovered Jen's blog The Social Home I fell in love - her DIY projects are unbelievable - and she's so resourceful. Check out her dollar store (!!!) pantry makeover - Martha Stewart couldn't have done it better!

Source: The Social Home

As I clicked through her blog, I got the urge to email Jen and ask her for advice...My Design Project had lost steam - and I had NO idea what to do with my TV room - all I knew was that I didn't like how it looked - and I liked Jen's ideas A LOT.

So BLAH!

I don't usually email bloggers out of the blue LOL - but Jen couldn't have been nicer or more enthusiastic about helping me - what a sweetie! She put so much thought into my decor dilemna - click here to see her virtual redesign and here to see her DIY and sourcing recommendations. Here's a sneak peek of her virtual make-over:

Source: The Social Home

Her posts were just the motivation I needed to get excited about my TV area. My first 2 priorities are finding a large piece of artwork and sourcing some of those gorgeous cushions - will definitely update here when I make progress!

Be sure to check out Jen's blog - it's SUCH a fun read and full of inspiring DIY ideas. She also has an etsy shop called the Paper Society which produces custom labels.

Are you ever amazed by the kindness of other bloggers?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blushes...I've got plenty

For my latest "I've got plenty" post, I'm featuring my FAVORITE makeup product: blushes. I love how they brighten your face and give a glowy, youthful look -  they make SUCH a difference in your appearance. Read on to find out which ones I can't live without:



1) Name: Chanel Blush Ireelle in Utopia (discontinued)
Blush Utopia by Chanel Swatched
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek

Color: Coral-Orange with a few specks of finely-milled shimmer
Comments: Although this blush is no longer available, I had to include it as it was my first high-end blush - and I used it a LOT. The quilted pattern on this blush is uneven because I have to scrape the surface every once in a while! I have the European version of this product - which is baked. Over time a film builds up over the surface and it has to be scraped off...if I ever purchase another Chanel blush, I'll make sure it's a US non-baked version!

2) Name: Covergirl & Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Lush Berry
Cream Blush by Olay and Covergirl Lush Berry
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek

Color: Matte orangey peach
Comments:  My most-used blush - as you can tell from the not-pretty product picture! On its own it provides a pretty flush of color - but it's not memorable or long-lasting. However, this blush + any powder blush = AMAZING! It's the secret to all day blushed cheeks - if your blush disappears within a couple of hours - you need this product! I apply it with a synthetic brush and then top it with any of the powder blushes pictured here. As this is a cream product the surface can develop a film - I wipe it down with rubbing alcohol and a tissue - this wastes some of the product - but even with monthly wipes, this blush has lasted me ages! Dupe for MAC's Ladyblush.

3) Name: Bobbi Brown Blush in Pale Pink
Blush by Bobbi Brown Pale Pink
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek
Color: Cool blue-toned pink
Comments: My most-pigmented blush - you only need the slightest dab for seriously bright cheeks! Although I usually stick to warm-toned make-up, I love this shade - I layer it on top of a warm coral blush and it brightens up my whole look. This is the blush Kate Middleton wore on her wedding day.

4) Name: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed
Blush by Tarte Exposed
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek
Color: Bronze-y Pink
Comments: I love this blush - it looks gorgeous on everyone I've seen it on! On paper it looks like a bronzer - but on your skin it transforms into a gorgeous flattering shade - on me it looks like a dusky rose, while it looks pinker on my fairer-skinned sister. It's the perfect blush for a sun-kissed look and works well with dramatic eye makeup or bright lips. Definitely worth trying on in store.

5) Name: NARS Blush in Orgasm
Blush Orgasm by NARS
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek
Color: Pinky-Peach with gold shimmer
Comments: My most-hyped and least-used blush. I bought this because of its cult status - but it's not a good match for me. The color is too light and hardly shows up, while the overdone shimmer does not suit my skin - especially in its current problematic state. I prefer using a matte blush and applying highlighter where needed rather than having shimmer all over my cheeks.

6) Name: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Amused
Blush by Tarte Amused
Left: Swatched on paper; Right: Applied on my cheek
Color: Hot pink
Comments: A warm-toned alternative to my Bobbi Brown Pale Pink blush. It's not really a must-have. Although I enjoy wearing it, I probably won't repurchase it. These Amazonian clay Tarte blushes are meant to be super long-lasting - but I haven't really found that claim to be true. However, since I ALWAYS layer over cream blush - it doesn't really matter - ALL my blushes last all day.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
A) Makeup Brushes are VERY important - the right blush brush can make even a cheap blush look good - while the wrong brush can make even the most high quality blush look chalky and patchy.
   -For powder blushes I recommend this Bobbi Brown brush or this MAC brush.  
   -I'm still searching for the right synthetic brush for cream blush. I currently use this ELF brush and
    have ordered the Real Techniques one to try next.
B) Definitely try using a cream blush as a base for all your powder blushes
C) My must-have blushes are my Covergirl Lush Berry cream blush, Tarte Exposed and Bobbi Brown Pale Pink. PLEASE swatch Exposed in store and tell me if you love it as much as I do!

What's your favorite blush?

DISCLAIMER: I purchased all these items myself (I used my Shoppers Drug Mart points to buy the Covergirl Blush)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fall Shopping Haul: H&M, Old Navy & American Eagle

I went to H&M today and I loved so many of the things I tried on, that I ended up buying way more than I intended to!
First find were these soft button down shirts with elbow patches from the L.O.G.G. brand ($34.95) - I had tried on a similar shirt last year - and kicked myself for not buying it (see second picture in this post) so I didn't hesitate when I saw them again. I needed the soft blue shirt - but this light purple was too pretty to leave behind.
These soft and slouchy sweaters ($24.95) are great for fall - the white one is quite sheer and has printed dots on it (hard to see in the pic) - and since I've been LOVING hot pink, I thought - why not wear it in the fall as well - it's so cheerful and bright!
This navy striped sweater ($29.95) is my favorite purchase - it's 100% cotton and SO unbelievably soft. I'd been wanting a classic navy striped sweater - and this one is perfect! The orange gingham button down (as well as the following 2 sweaters) were purchased online from Old Navy - this bright shirt (more summer than fall I know!) was on clearance for $13!
I'm still thinking about these 2 Old Navy sweaters. The heart sweater is one of Old Navy's many j.crew-alike products from this season (see the j.crew version here), while the red striped sweater is an easy classic style. I don't usually like wearing a lot of red, but it does have a very brightening effect. What do you guys think - keep or return?
My last Old Navy purchase (and DEFINITE keepers) are these black ballet flats for $20 - you guys know how much I love Old Navy flats - so comfy and well-made - I've worn my pewter pair SO much. Am thinking of getting a pair of Tory Burch Revas someday - but until then, I'm super-happy with these.
I also purchased this American Eagle denim jacket - perfect for pairing with maxi dresses. This particular style is quite popular with magazines and bloggers (see Wendy's one here).

That was a lot of shopping - I feel like I got a lot of practical and wearable items - but I also think I should take a break from shopping now!

Have you purchased anything for fall? 

P.S. For J.Crew necklace dupes - check out my post here.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Flipping Through: Stylewatch August 2012

Don't you love flipping through a magazine with friends: pointing out your favorite looks and wishlist items, then tearing out pages for future inspiration? Grab a mug of Green Tea and see what caught my attention in this month's Stylewatch magazine:
 Sofia Vergara on the cover - she always looks so glamorous.

My favorite look from this issue - Gwyneth's classic blazer, soft grey scarf and dark wash jeans. I want to replicate this entire outfit!

Adorable black studded bag from Francesca's (don't think they have stores in Canada) and pretty printed silk tunic from J. Crew.

Elegant leather bag from Zara - pretty good value for real leather in a classic design.

Helpful feature on travel outfits - I like the outfit on the left, but the scarf on the right. I don't think I'd EVER wear those grey sweatpants though!

Cute fall outfit - I like the colors and textures - but I don't think a flared shirt and cropped jacket would suit my body type.

I seriously need to add a well-fitted light grey blazer to my wardrobe. I like everything about this Jack Willis blazer except for the double pocket flaps. And the shoes are too masculine for my tastes...

All images are from People Stylewatch August 2012. Hope you enjoyed flipping through with me!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Anniversary Outfit & Pandora Bracelet

This week hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! We started dating straight after I graduated from university and married 2 years later when I was 24 and he was 25. Hard to believe that 10 years have gone by so quickly - we've had so much fun...lived in 3 different cities (London, New York & Toronto)...got all the traveling and couple-y stuff out of our system... then settled down and started our family.
The greatest gift my hubby has ever given me is his trust and respect - he always turns to me for advice and listens to it above anything else. (He even asks for my input when his friends or colleagues are dealing with personal problems: he says that my advice is "spot on"). Love you hubby - I feel very blessed!
To celebrate our anniversary, we went out for dinner and I got to use my Chanel WOC for the first time. This bag is so precious to me - so I only want to use it on VERY special occasions - and nothing is more special than a 10th anniversary dinner :-)
I doubled up the straps and wore it as a shoulder bag - it had enough room for the essentials (iPhone, lipgloss, blotting papers, mints, mirror, keys & a few cards). I wore my cream lace H&M dress (purchased last year) with a J.Crew belt and F21 necklace.
Pandora pink leather cord with Car charm
I also wore this Pandora bracelet - a joint birthday present from my son (the car charm) and daughter (the pink bracelet). This bracelet means a lot to me because I'm currently learning how to drive (I've had 7 in-car lessons and completed the classroom training course.) I'll be honest - it's not been easy for me, I feel like I left it too late (see #9 here) and I'm majorly lacking in confidence.

But I'm learning for my children - and looking down at this bracelet reminds me to keep trying - I'm not giving up until I have my full licence!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Balenciaga Modelling pics, Shopping at Winners & Pinterest Project

I've been getting so much use out of my Balenciaga bag - part of me only wants to use it on special occasions because it's such a special bag - but that kind of defeats the purpose! Some people asked for modelling pics with the bag - so here I am before taking the kids to swimming class (that's about as glamorous as my life gets LOL!)

Someone also wanted to see my 2 Balenciaga bags together - so here are Mummy & Baby Bals!
Black City & Sahara First Balenciagas
I've also been busy organizing my walk-in closet - I'm trying to make it as functional as possible. I've been finding amazing things at Winners (part of the TJMAXX family):

This jewelry organizer takes no space at all - and makes it easy for me to choose the right necklace for my outfit! Best part? It's double-sided - and I haven't filled up the first side - lots of room to grow...(the top part is a hanger - so it fits right next to my shirts)

I purchased many types of hangers - I'd never seen the gel trouser hangers before - they are perfect for hanging my jeans:
 
Also picked up a shabby chic jewelry display along with some items for my bathroom


And finally - I got a cheerful apron - to make cooking more exciting. Up until now, I'd been using a McDonalds apron that once belonged to my uncle...functional but not pretty!

Well - this has been a picture filled post! I leave you guys with my latest DIY project inspired by Pinterest - nailpolish on keys - no more fumbling at the door!

Do you wear an apron to cook - or am I the only person who ends up with grease stains EVERYWHERE?

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