Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What To Wear: Rainy Summer Days

Rain. Most of the time, people tend to think of rain as an inconvenience or something that makes their whole day seem dreary. I can't lie and say I haven't woken up to a rainy day and wished I could stay under the covers until it passed. For all its 'inconveniences', rain really is a beautiful thing. It's a necessity of life and without it, we would be in serious trouble!
In the winter, dressing for a rainy day involves bundling up and carrying around an umbrella. In the summer, it's too hot to be all bundled up, so dressing for rainy summer days can be a bit tricky. You want to stay dry, but you don't want to feel hot and sticky with too many layers on in the warm, humid air. 

Dressing for rainy summer days generally consists of working with two basic pieces; an umbrella and wellies (or any kind of waterproof boot). These can be dressed up or down, depending on your style and the desired functionality of your outfit. 

For example, a simple dress in a modern print works as an effortless and chic look for a rainy summer day when paired with boots and a monochromatic umbrella. The outfit consists of only a few basic items, which all compliment each other to strike the perfect balance between style and functionality. 

Another great piece that tends to make an appearance on rainy summer days is the trench coat. This is a great, lightweight alternative to heavier coats, and can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. As something that is both functional and fashionable, a trench coat works as the perfect topper to any outfit on a rainy summer day.

Monday, June 29, 2015

What's At The Top Of My Fashion Wishlist?

I am a 'list-girl' and proud of it! It might come off as a bit too hyper-organized some times, but it really helps give me peace of mind. One of the things I most enjoy writing lists about, is fashion! In fact, I've even got (please don't laugh!) a list of things that I hope to eventually add to my wardrobe that I've organized by month and stretches over two years. I call it my 'Shopping List'.

So anyway, today I want to share with you What's At The Top Of My Fashion Wishlist. I'm going to be limiting this post to only one item (I know, gasp!), but I will be including a couple of ways I've imagined styling it. So without further ado, here it is:
ALDO DRIZZONA clucth in bright multi.
I personally think that this clutch is beautiful! I love the turquoise stones and the bright beads! To me, this is one of those special and unique finds that you have in your wardrobe that you can use to punch up just about any outfit. One of the great parts about the clutch is that it's made up of many different colors, which makes it an ultra-versatile piece that you can pair with everything from blue, to green, to orange. 

Because the clutch itself is such a fabulous piece, I envisioned going fairly casual with most of the outfits I put together in my mind. 

The first one I put together here consists of classic jean shorts (American Eagle Outfitters), a bright pink cami blouse (Aritzia), chunky wedges (Steve Madden), and a mint statement necklace (Modcloth). Without the featured clutch, the outfit is still quite nice, but with the addition of the clutch, the outfit really steps up its game. The blend of textures (silk, denim, faux-snakeskin) with the brightly colored stones and beading on the clutch creates a very fashionable look. 

The second outfit I put together is also a variation of classic pieces, compiled very specifically to create a unique and fashionable look. The simplicity of the white tee, paired with rugged denim, pink heeled sandals, and a blue statement necklace provides an effortless look that highlights the intricate beading detail of the clutch. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a nice morning so far!

I don't have a huge selection of old photographs on my computer, but when I came across this one, I knew I wanted to post it! As you can see, the picture was taken on the gangway of an NCL cruise while it was stopped in Barbados back in 1997. What I love about this picture is that it has three generations of the women in our family in it (myself, my mum, and my nanny). It's been quite a few years now since my nanny passed away, and I still miss her everyday. I am so thankful to be able to have pictures like these to look at whenever I miss her most! The women in my family are so strong, intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate. I can't help but feel proud when I see little me, standing there with two of the most inspiring women I know. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Makeup Brushes Every Woman Should Own

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a nice week so far? 

In a follow-up post to How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes, I've decided to put together a basic list of Makeup Brushes Every Woman Should Own. The list is a meant to function as a guideline, and does not represent an entirely comprehensive list of every single kind of makeup brush available on the market. If you're interested in purchasing any of the brushes mentioned in this article, they are all available online from Coastal Scents.

Left - Right: Tapered Liquid Foundation
 - Classic Kabuki
1. Foundation Brushes

After cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, the first step in any makeup routine is foundation. If you use a liquid foundation, you have the option of applying it with either a brush, or your fingers (for a more natural look). The Tapered Liquid Foundation brush is perfect for evenly applying liquid foundation. One of the most versatile brushes is the Classic Kabuki brush, which can be used to apply an even dusting of powder to set your foundation.

2. Blush and Bronzer Brushes 
Left - Right: Large Tapered Powder -
Large Angled Blush

Personally, I would suggest using a separate brush for your blush and bronzer application. The Large Tapered Powder brush is ideal for sweeping bronzer across the high points of your face (cheekbones, forehead, nose), while the Large Angled Blush brush is designed to gently apply a dusting of blush on your cheeks.

3. Eye shadow Brushes 
Clockwise from top left: Medium Shader -
Large Shadow - Classic Pointed Blender
- Classic Crease Brush

Whether you like to wear a lot, or a little, there are a few eye shadow brushes that should definitely be included in your arsenal. The Medium Shader brush is a basic necessity for all-over shadow application. The Large Shadow brush is perfect for highlighting the brow-bone or blending multiple eye shadows. The Classic Pointed Blender brush is designed for contouring and shading, while the Classic Crease brush is ideal for blending shadow along the crease line to create depth.

4. Liner and Brow Brushes

Left - Right: Classic Angled Liner -
Classic Brow/Lash Comb
Finally, I would highly recommend investing in a Classic Angled Liner brush, and Classic Brow/Lash Comb. The angled liner brush is perfect for precision application, which is ideal for creating a masterful eye shadow look. The brow and lash comb is a useful tool for lifting and separating your lashes, as well as defining your brows.

Of course, if you're looking for the most fool-proof way of building a makeup brush collection, there are many wonderful kits out there. However, the main reason I tend to prefer the method of picking and choosing individual brushes is because I have found in the past that many kits tend to include either too many or too few of the brushes I personally like to use. Everyone is different, and for people who like to wear a lot of makeup or experiment with different looks, the large kits can be wonderful! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What To Wear: Beach Wedding

For the final installment of my What To Wear (Wedding Edition) series, I've put together a number of outfits designed to suit a beach wedding. One of the distinct features of a beach wedding is that it is completely outdoors. Surrounded by incredible views of the water, soft sand, and salty air, beach weddings can be some of the most beautiful, relaxed, and effortlessly chic ways to tie the knot.
However, just because the venue is on the beach, doesn't mean it's necessarily appropriate to wear a swimsuit and cover-up to the wedding! Given that the venue is in a more natural setting, you'll want to keep things casual, while still retaining the proper tone of such a momentous occasion as a wedding. Dresses and accessories featured in this post are available online from ModCloth.

First up, I've selected a beautiful watercolor maxi dress, paired with gold sandals, and a gold clutch in a shell-like shape. The colors of the dress reflect the blue/green hues of the ocean, while the pink adds a bright pop of color that is reminiscent of a sunset. With such a beautiful and bold dress, accessories in neutral metallic shades (like gold) compliment the look best.  

Secondly, I've selected an empire-waist floral dress, paired with white wedge sandals, and a bright pink coral necklace. The floral pattern of the dress is reminiscent of a tropical garden, while the pink of the flowers is complimented by the pink of the coral necklace. The laser-cut white wedge sandals are fresh and modern, while adding a glamorous flare to the outfit. 

Third, I've gone with a simple indigo blue linen sheath dress, paired with a gold leaf necklace, and floral print espadrilles. The dress itself is a simple design in a beautiful rich color reminiscent of the sea. The floral print on the wedge espadrilles is an exotic, tropical print that compliments the dress, while the gold necklace adds an element of sophistication and class.

Next up, I've selected a bright pink chiffon sheath dress, paired with rose-gold wedge sandals, and a mint statement necklace. The light, airy design of the dress is perfect for a beach wedding, while the rose-gold wedges and the mint statement necklace work together to complete the look.

Next up, I've selected a beautiful jade halter dress, paired with floral print wedges, and gold shell earrings. The rich color of the dress is reminiscent of the sea, while the gold shell earrings and tropical floral print wedges provide stunning accents to the look.

Finally, I've gone for a slight twist on a classic nautical look, with a navy and white striped dress, black wedge heels, and a bright yellow statement necklace. The specific design of the stripes on the dress create a natural hourglass shape, while the black wedge sandals add glamour to the look. The bright yellow statement necklace provides a fun pop of color that perfectly compliments the effortless nature of a beach wedding. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

What To Wear: Mother-of-the-Bride

Weddings can be both incredibly joyful, as well as highly stressful. Aside from the bride and groom (and officiant), the mother-of-the-bride is arguably the person with the most important role to play. As mother-of-the-bride, the duties may seem endless, and emotions may be overwhelming at times, but the love and support you bestow on the newly-wed couple is a truly invaluable blessing. 

When it comes to what to wear on your daughter's big day, things can get tricky as you try to dress according to color-scheme, while striving to avoid looking too matronly. 

So, in the second installment of my What To Wear (Wedding Edition) series, I'm offering up suggestions for mother-of-the-bride (formal) dresses designed to compliment 5 different body types. In this post, all dresses are available online from Anthropologie BHLDN
From left to right: Column - Hourglass - Pear - Inverted Triangle - Oval
First up, I've selected a rose gold column dress with delicate beading, draped sleeves, and a blouson bodice. The dress is a classic, sophisticated design in a fresh color, with elegant beading that invokes grace and glamour. The blouson bodice creates shape and enhances curves on a column body type, without being too revealing or too bulky.
Body Type: Column
Secondly, I've selected a convertible dress with a sweetheart neckline and a gold-flecked lace bodice. The dress can be adjusted with a number styling options, although for an hourglass body type, I would suggest going with cap-sleeves. The sweetheart neckline embraces your curves instead of hiding them, while the tulle skirt and cap-sleeves create balance for an elegant look.
Body Type: Hourglass
Next up, I've selected a classic tulle dress with a lace cap-sleeve topper. The gold-flecked lace topper draws the eye upwards, while providing balance with the fullness of the tulle skirt. The dress and lace topper are elegant, yet modest, with perfect balance for a pear shaped body type
Body Type: Pear
Next up, I've selected a wrapped-bodice, tulle dress with lace straps for the inverted triangle body type. The dress embodies elegance and sophistication, without coming across as too much. The wrap-front bodice embraces and supports your curves without covering them up, while the full skirt balances out the look. The lace straps provide a delicate touch, which compliments the texture of the tulle. 
Body Type: Inverted Triangle
Finally, I've selected a beautiful taffeta dress with a full skirt and a lace sequined bodice. The dress is the perfect mix of modern sophistication and classic grace, perfect for an oval body type. The intricate detail of the bodice draws the eye upwards, while the full skirt provides balance to the look. *Bonus: The dress has pockets!
Body Type: Oval

Friday, June 19, 2015

What To Wear: Outdoor Wedding

We are officially in the heat of wedding season! If you happen to be one of the lucky individuals who has received an invitation (or many!) to a summer wedding, congratulations! Attending a wedding can be a lot of fun, and celebrating the love and union of two people is a joyous occasion! 

When it comes to figuring out what you're going to wear to the wedding, things can get a bit tricky. You don't want to look like a bridesmaid, and you don't want to upstage the bride. You don't want to be too formal, but you also don't want to look too casual. Then you have to consider things like venue and weather. Will the ceremony and reception be entirely outdoors? Is the forecast predicting rain? Even as a guest, weddings can be stressful! 

So, in the first installment of my What To Wear (Wedding Edition) series, I'm offering up suggestions for how to dress for an outdoor wedding. All dresses and shoes featured in this post are available at Le Chateau
First up, I've got a bright fuchsia pink dress, paired with pink floral pointed toe pumps, and gold dangle earrings. The bright dress in a classic shape is bold, without drawing too much attention, while the floral heels add a fun and feminine flare to the look that's perfect for a garden wedding.
Secondly, I've got a rich purple chiffon strapless dress, paired with white ankle strap heeled sandals, and a chunky pearl necklace. The look is very classic and elegant, with the richness of the purple dress being offset by the delicate nature of pearls and white sandals. 
Next up, I've got a metallic look, featuring a rose gold sparkle dress, gold wedge embellished sandals, and a gold evening clutch. The look is elegant without being too fancy, while the mix of the rose gold dress with the yellow gold accessories is modern and fun. 
Finally, I've got a bold play on a classic silhouette. A black dress, paired with bright pops of color like fuchsia pink plays to the excitement and fun of a wedding, while maintaining the sophisticated tone of the look. 

Considering the venue is outside, you're going to want to focus on simplicity with a twist, while always maintaining your own comfort. Low heels, preferably wedges are a good choice since you won't have to worry about them getting stuck in the grass. Classic shapes with fun accessories offer a fun twist on traditional styles. After all, you're at a wedding! So have fun!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Volunteering in South Africa

Now that June is well on it's way and my birthday has come and gone, I've had time to reflect on some of the major milestones that have taken place in my life this past year. In addition to having gotten engaged (Eeeek! Yay!), Ryan and I have also lived in three different Canadian cities over the year (Vancouver, Kingston, and Ottawa). On a more personal note, it's also been over a year since I graduated from UBC, an achievement I celebrated by going to volunteer in South Africa for two weeks. Looking back, I feel so profoundly grateful for all the love and support in my life, and I am humbled by the generosity and kindness I've been shown time and time again. 

When I decided that I wanted to volunteer in South Africa for two weeks last year, I remember feeling a powerful urge to do something selfless and productive. There are so many incredibly important causes worth supporting in the world, and it can certainly feel overwhelming when you're trying to decide what to do. For me, I felt that my efforts would be best employed by helping nurture animals. I wasn't specific about where, or what kind of animals I wanted to volunteer with, I just knew that I wanted to connect with, and be immersed in nature. 

*Edit: May 2014
I ended up getting offered a position as a volunteer at the Bambelela Wildlife Reservation, located in Bela Bela, South Africa. The reserve works with all kinds of wildlife, although they are most recognized for their work with vervet monkeys. Interestingly enough, before I went to South Africa, I have to admit, monkeys were probably my least favorite animal. However, it didn't take me more than a few hours after arriving at the reserve to change my mind for the better! 

Volunteering in South Africa was a challenging prospect for me. As someone who doesn't enjoy flying (at all!), going from Vancouver to Johannesburg was the longest trip I've taken to date. As I previously mentioned, I was set to work with monkeys, an animal I wasn't especially fond of until my trip. Then there were the usual challenges involved with going half way around the world to a completely new destination, entirely by myself; I was nervous, excited, and very anxious.

Going to South Africa and working so closely with the wildlife (specifically the vervet monkeys) was an incredible experience. The full-time workers at the reserve were some of the most generous people I've met, with an incredible passion and respect for nature. The work we did every day always left me dirty and exhausted by the time the sun went down, but it was always worth it. Having grown up in Canada with so many luxuries, there were many times when I struggled to fully comprehend and process much of the suffering I saw in South Africa. Animals who were horribly disfigured and emotionally compromised as a result of human maltreatment, sprawling slums, and visibly sick and weakened people. These were all things I knew to expect, but was still shocked and saddened by when I encountered them first hand. Despite this, I remember feeling uplifted by the hope and joy I encountered from people proud of their land, and the tireless work of those striving to make it a better place for people and animals alike. 

If you're considering going to South Africa, whether it's for work or pleasure, I highly recommend it! While you're there, be sure to stop by Bambelela to see the monkeys! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Outfit of the Day + VS Body Sprays

Happy Wednesday! 

It's been a pretty great day so far, complete with sunshine and warm weather! Ryan and I went downtown this morning and he bought me a few Victoria's Secret body sprays. We didn't linger in the store for too long, but I did get to test out almost every scent they had on the shelves. The three body sprays that I picked out are: Love Spell, Love Addict, and Pure Seduction. A lot of the other scents I tested were either way too strong (like sniffing a bottle of acetone! No thank you!), or smelled like sunscreen. Everyone has different preferences, and even if it smells nice in the bottle, it might sit differently on your skin. In any case, those are the three that I selected and I couldn't be happier! You can buy them all online here!

Love SpellA flirty, floral fragrance. Hypnotize in Love Spell, a vibrant, irresistible blend of lush cherry blossom and juicy peach. 

Love Addict: The fruity fragrance you can't get enough of, infused with conditioning aloe vera and calming chamomile.

Pure Seduction: A flirty, floral fragrance. Entice in Pure Seduction, a passionate romance of succulent red plum and sweet freesia.

And here's the outfit I wore today! I didn't want my look to be too casual, so I opted for a light and airy dress in a modern geometric print, paired with a denim jacket, and a few accessories. 
Dress: Old Navy / Jacket: American Eagle /
Belt: Anthropologie / Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren

The simple elegance of a print dress in a neutral color (in this case, black and white), is effortlessly complimented by classic accessories in different textures (like denim). 

The crescent moon necklace I'm wearing was a birthday gift from my parents and it has a beautifully engraving with the words: "I love you to the moon and back". Thank you again for such a beautiful gift! 

Hope everyone is having a great day! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Weekend Recap: Birthday Edition

Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! 

I turned 24 on Sunday, and got to spend it celebrating with my family and friends in Kingston! Ryan and I left Ottawa first thing in the morning on Saturday, and arrived at our destination just before lunch. We were only there for 2 days, which flew by far too quickly, but we still had a really great time! I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and loving family. 

Ruby with her stick!
So after we had lunch at my parent's house, we got a chance to stretch our legs a bit more when we took the dog for a walk. Ruby isn't the first dog my parents have owned, but she's far and above my favorite! I just love her so much! 

After having a quick dinner, we all headed out to see Jurassic World, which premiered on Friday. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing! I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole film! I don't want to give up any spoilers by discussing the movie too much, but let me just say, as a devout Jurassic Park fan, you will not be disappointed by Jurassic World! It has been, by far, the most entertaining movie I've seen in a very long time! If I get my way, Ryan and I will hopefully be seeing it again before it goes out of theaters.

On Sunday, Ryan and I woke up fairly early to make bacon and eggs, and have some of the raspberry danish at my aunt's house. After getting ourselves organized, we walked over to my parent's house, and then headed downtown to one of my favorite Kingston restaurants, Phenom Penh. I had number 19, which is a tofu and rice dish with a mildly spicy peanut curry sauce. My other favorite is number 10, which is a mildly spicy dish with shrimp and chilies. From what I saw and sampled of Ryan and my family's selections, you really can't go wrong with anything you choose! 

Unintentional coordinating outfits + a beautiful pink centerpiece! 
After eating, we headed back to my parent's house for a bit of down time, while I met up with two of my oldest friends, Jennifer and Patrick. We got free drinks at Starbucks (completely unexpected!), and spent an hour walking around downtown, catching up, and talking about my engagement and wedding plans. It was so great to see them, and I really cherish our continued friendship after so many years!

My mum had the table set up beautifully in pink and gold (the color scheme I'm leaning towards for the wedding), with a lovely rose and peony centerpiece. We had chicken, sausages, mashed potatoes, and salad. Generally speaking, I tend to prefer pie instead of cake, so we had three options for pie: coconut cream (my mum's own recipe!), lemon meringue, and my current favorite, strawberry rhubarb! My aunt Elizabeth also brought a really decadent lava cake that everyone thoroughly enjoyed! We also got to enjoy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, courtesy of my aunt Brenda! After dinner and dessert, I opened my gifts (all so lovely and thoughtful!), and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and spending time with family. As it was a Sunday night, we didn't stay up too late, especially since Ryan and I had to catch the train back to Ottawa first thing Monday morning. 

Thank you to everyone involved in making this weekend so wonderful, and to all my family and friends across the world who shared their love and birthday wishes!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Color Profile: Pink

Pink! Few colors are nearly as notorious or controversial! For some, pink invokes feelings of excitement and femininity, while for others, it only serves to repulse them. I won't get into a lengthy discussion of colors and gender association, but I think it's fairly well understood, that pink has been (and continues to be), for the most part, associated with girls and women. 

The color itself, is quite beautiful, blending the purity of white with the intensity of red. There are a number of incredible shades of pink to choose from, including everything from blush to magenta. The more bold the look, the brighter the pink! One of the things I personally enjoy about the color pink, is that (depending on the shade), it is highly versatile when it comes to accessories. For instance, if you're wearing a light pink shade like rose, I would recommend wearing silver or pearl jewelry. If you're wearing a brighter pink shade like fuscia, I would recommend going with yellow gold or turquoise jewelry.  

Much like purple, the color pink is versatile and can be worn dressed up or dressed down. I tend to opt for soft, light shades of pink if I'm looking for a more dressed down look, while going with brighter, more vibrant shades of pink for a more dressed up look. Generally speaking, the more the color is featured in the look, the more dressed up it will be. For example, wearing blue jeans, a neutral top, and bright pink heels, looks more casual than a bright pink dress with only a few accessories. In terms of coloring, pink can be flattering on warm and cool toned skin, as well as women with blonde, or brunette hair. There are underlying tones in every shade of pink, that determine whether it's warm or cool. Being able to identify between the two will help determine which shades will be the most flattering.

If you're looking to incorporate the color pink into your outfit, but you're not quite sure how to style it, I would suggest keeping things simple. Start out with a few pink pieces that you can pair with soft neutrals like white or ivory. For example, try pink shorts with a simple white t-shirt for a pretty take on a classic look. Alternatively, denim and chambray offer a cool textural contrast, while stripes provide a unique complimentary addition to your look. Considering pink is such a beautiful color to play with, the most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun with it! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How To: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Something that most of us tend to neglect, is brush care. We use our makeup brushes (nearly) everyday, and yet they often don't get the proper TLC they need. 

After frequent use, makeup brushes become caked with makeup residue, oil, and dead skin cells, which create a breeding ground for bacteria, that you, in turn, end up putting right back on your face. Gross right? Well that's exactly why you're going to want to step up your brush cleaning game!

The general consensus suggests that on average, you should clean your brushes once a month. However, if you use your makeup brushes quite often, I would recommend increasing the frequency to bi-weekly. 

There are a number of brush-specific cleaning formulas out there, as well as many DIY or multi-use products that also do the trick. Here are my top three recommendations in each category: 

1. Brush-specific 

BlenderCleanser by BeautyBlender $9.95 

2. DIY 

In 1 warm cup of water, mix 1 tbsp of vinegar, and 1 tbsp of dish soap.

3. Multi-use products

Johnson's Baby Shampoo $3.95

No matter what kind of cleanser you decide to use, it's important to take into consideration the delicate nature of the bristles, which require special care when being washed as to avoid changing their shape. Once you've got your formula set, let your brushes soak for about 5-10 minutes. Gently run them under warm water to help wash out any residue, followed by cool water to settle the bristles. Avoid the barrel of your brushes, since if it gets wet, it can cause the bristles to loosen and fall out. If the brushes are extra cakey, a drop of olive or almond oil will loosen things up. Some people suggest gently blow drying your brushes to dry them, but I would strongly advise against this! Instead, place your makeup brushes flat on a sheet of paper towel, in a cool, dry place. They should be clean and ready for use in about 8-12 hours. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

LookBook and Pinterest

Good morning! I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Mine was very relaxing, so I feel well rested and ready for the week ahead. I got to spend some great quality time with my fiancée, as well as do almost all of the household chores that I had on my to-do list. 

I also did two unexpected things over the weekend...I joined Pinterest (finally!) and made a LookBook account! I'm still in the learning process, but I'm very much enjoying both sites so far! 

On Pinterest, I've created two albums so far, one for Home and Decor, and the other for Wedding things. You can take a look at those here!

On LookBook, I've uploaded one look so far, but I'm really looking forward to adding more. I'm so impressed by how supportive and friendly everyone has been so far! Check out my profile here!

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 5, 2015

River Walk

The other day, my fiancée (I love being able to say that now!) and I went for a walk along the river by our apartment. It was beautifully warm and sunny, so we headed out just before lunch to walk along the path by the river. 

I can definitely be a bit of a romantic at times, so I wanted to walk by the spot where he proposed to me last Saturday. Ryan was happy to oblige me, so we set off to return to our special spot on the path by the river. What I didn't expect, was that we would be lucky enough to see the swans again! This time though, we had our camera ready to snap a few photos of them! 

Beauty, Grace, and Love

I know it might sound a bit silly, but I can't help but think that seeing those swans on both occasions that we went to that specific spot, has got to be some kind of good luck or blessing of some sort! Of course, it's probably just a nice coincidence, but we still enjoyed it none the less. 

They weren't shy about swimming right beside us!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Throwback Thursday

This week I'm featuring a photo from about fourteen years ago. It was taken in my littlest brother's room, which certainly looks much different now than it does in the picture.
This dress was so fun and airy!
 I also loved the bright pink color!
Ever since I was a little girl, I absolutely loved to dress up and play around with clothes, accessories, and makeup (check out the lipstick and heavy pink blush!). I've always been a very creative person, so experimenting with fashion and beauty proved to be a really fun outlet for me. I didn't get it right all the time, but I always enjoyed dressing up and putting different looks together..and after years of practice, I absolutely still love it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Beauty Products + Expiration Dates

 I was on BuzzFeed the other day, and came across a really interesting article about beauty products! I've seen plenty of other articles covering the same subject, but for some reason, this one really stuck out for me. 

Essentially, the article explains that instead of trying to remember how long your lipstick or mascara is good for (is it four months or six?), you can actually check for yourself on the product packaging. This way, you'll be able to know once and for all whether your MAC eye shadows really will last longer than your Revlon ColorStay quads. The trick is, you have to find the icon that indicates how long the product is good for. On most products, it resembles a small, slightly open jar, with a number in front. That number represents the number of months the product is guaranteed to be good for. Unfortunately, not every single product on the shelves has a clearly visible expiration icon, but luckily, most do!
Dior BB cream (12 months), Tarte Amazonian
Clay blush (12 months), Nars lipstick in Roman Holiday (24 months)
I know a lot of people who will use their makeup and beauty products after the suggested expiry date, and in some cases, this is perfectly fine. What you need to be careful about, is using your makeup products long after they've expired! If your blush expired last month but you still have a fair bit of powder in the compact, and it's not causing any skin irritation, I don't see anything wrong with using it. However, if you're using mascara that expired a year ago and is clumpy and dry when you pull out the wand, you really need to toss it! Ultimately, the most important thing to take into consideration is how your products are reacting with your skin. The expiration dates on your makeup are there to guide you, but if you're having trouble with any products at any point, it's always best to let them go. 

If you're interested in checking it out the original article on BuzzFeed, I've posted the link here.