Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fall 2015 Makeup Trends

This fall, it's looking like things will be going the classic route when it comes to makeup trends. Think berry-stained and red lips, simple black liner, and warm blushed cheeks.

In terms of fashion, a 70's revival is taking place across the fashion world this season, which translates to simple, effortless makeup looks. I'm going to be completely honest right now and admit that I am not a huge fan of 70's style. Of course, there are some elements that I do like, but overall I find it tends to lack the femininity and structure I enjoy I typically enjoy in fashion.   


Rich, dark hues in berry and red shades are perfect for fall. 

Suggested lipsticks and stains:

* MAC Lipstick in Diva $20.00 

* NARS Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte $32.00 

* Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry $11.00

* Josie Maran Lip Stain & Shine in Berry Bliss $22.00


Sweeps of black liner accentuate and define eyes for a classic look.

Suggested eyeliners: 

* Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink $25.00

* Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner in Black $8.00

* Tarte Skinny SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Liner in Onyx $19.00


Create a soft flush with warm shades of pink blush.

Suggested blush:

* Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty $28.00

* Revlon Powder Blush in Haute Pink $12.00

* Dior Diorblush Cheek Stick in Cosmopolite Rosewood $34.00

Monday, August 24, 2015

From Summer to Autumn

With only one more week left in August, it looks like summer is finally coming to a close. Overall, I would definitely say it's been a lot of fun, with plenty of warm sunny days and lots of great memories! After all, I got married this summer, so obviously it was a very special one for me! 

But alas, every year summer can only last so long before the leaves start to turn, the weather cools down, and the kids go back to school in the fall. Even though I'm no longer a student, I still very much enjoy the idea of "back to school" shopping, although for me, it's more like "time for autumn" shopping instead.

When I was younger, I used to beg my mother tirelessly for an entirely new wardrobe full of the latest styles every time we went back to school shopping. Now that I'm comfortable with the knowledge that having good style doesn't necessarily mean being trendy, I am much happier continuing to build on my more classic wardrobe by working in versatile and timeless pieces here and there.

Now, in terms of making an effortless transition from summer to autumn, it's important to know what to store and what to buy. 

*shorts (denim, twill, cotton..pack them all away until next summer)
*brightly colored tops (anything in aqua, lemon yellow, coral, or magenta
*linen (linen pants, tops, skirts, and shorts..appropriate for beach weather only)
*swimsuits and cover-ups (no longer acceptable as casual wear)
*sundresses (sadly, as pretty as they are, you'll have to put these away until next year)
*sandals and summer hats (no need for straw hats and flip flops anymore)

*denim (medium to dark wash, least one pair of skinny jeans, and one pair of boot cut jeans)
*fall colored tops (oxblood, plum, hunter green, navy, mocha, black, and charcoal grey)
*prints (herringbone, tweed, nautical stripe, fall florals
*knit sweaters (relaxed, chunky, can't go wrong)
*scarves and boots (cozy knits in fall colors and stylish yet functional boots in sturdy leather)
*jackets and blazers (perfect way to top off your look and keep warm as the weather cools)

Making the style transition from summer to autumn isn't quite as daunting as it may seem. Many pieces already in rotation throughout the summer can be adapted to the cooler weather by adding layers and accessories. 

For example, a blue and white striped summer dress can make for a stunning fall look when paired with the right accessories!

Similarly, that perfect summer chambray dress can be worn with a classic tartan cape to create an effortless fall look.

*Featured outfit combinations available from ModCloth

Friday, August 7, 2015

Apartment Viewings

As some of you may know, Ryan and I will be moving at the end of September. We will still be in Ottawa of course, but we won't be staying in the apartment we are currently living in. After the ordeal that we went through when we moved into our current apartment (in short, we moved from Kingston to discover an apartment that was not at all ready to be lived in), we are both really eager to find a place we are happy with and excited to move into.  

After living on the outskirts of downtown, we're really set on finding a place in the heart of the city, preferably in the Centretown/Golden Triangle districts. Considering it's just the two of us, we are only looking for a one bedroom unit, although at one point I was even considering bachelor units based on the price of some of the apartments on the market.
In the past two days we've been shown 3 different apartments, all with essentially the same layout, but still very unique from each other at the same time. Our apartment wishlist is fairly simple, and I'll share it with you below:

-Downtown location and close to public transit
-Smaller building (no high-rise style apartments!)
-Wood floors (no carpet)
-1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and an average sized kitchen
-Clean and spacious 
-Within walking distance of at least one park
-Within budget and preferably pet-friendly 

In front of our apartment in Kingston! Wish we
could find something like that here in Ottawa!
Of the apartments we've seen so far, we liked two of them enough to consider submitting an application, although there have been a few hiccups already. One of the buildings is a beautiful older building that used to be a school house. The unit is great, except that the bedroom is incredibly small. Comparatively, the other apartment we liked is in a slightly larger building with less character, but the size of the rooms is larger. We're still looking around and setting up more viewings, but we are really hoping to have a decision within the next two weeks! Wish us luck! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Feature Destination: Cuba

Even though it's the middle of the summer, for some reason when I woke up this morning, I felt compelled to write about vacationing in Cuba today! I was fortunate enough to have visited the island with my family, and I can honestly say that it was a truly amazing and memorable vacation! It's been quite a few years since we were last there, but I still have plenty of memories to share. 

I can still remember the exact feeling of excitement and wonder I felt when we first arrived in Havana in 2003. Even though Cuba was certainly not my first experience in the Caribbean, it felt like a whole other world. I remember feeling like we had come to a country that was frozen in time, and it fascinated me!
There was something magical about the architecture of the city, the old cars that lined the streets, the music that filled the air, and the sultry heat and passion of the Cuban people. It's mesmerizing and beautiful in a entirely unique way. If you're at all interested in history, you will absolutely love the old city of Havana. 

The well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and the old American cars from the 1950s are just some of the incredible sights throughout the island. If you're interested in seeing some of the nightlife, a visit to Cuba is simply not complete without checking out the infamous Tropicana, where you can watch a fantastic cabaret show. During the day time, a trip to the Museum of the Revolution, situated in Old Havana, is a great way to brush up on some of Cuba's fascinating history. 

When I visited Cuba with my family, my parents made sure that we would be able to not only enjoy a relaxing vacation at the resort, but also get a chance to see the city of Havana itself. The tour we took of the city was incredible, and I remember very clearly how interested I was in everything we got to see, taste, and smell. Whether it's taking a tour of a cigar factory or simply walking around the square and admiring the city and its people, a visit to Havana is an absolute must for anyone going to Cuba. *On a side note, we also took a city day trip in the Dominican Republic and it was nothing compared to Cuba!  

Now, when it comes to where to stay in Cuba, there are plenty of wonderful options to choose from. My parents arranged for us to stay at Melia Varadero and it was amazing! It was truly an incredible resort with plenty of amenities and direct access to the beach. My younger brother and I really enjoyed the swim-up bar, where we drank copious amounts of Coca Cola and (virgin) pina coladas! 

The resort is all-inclusive, which makes it an ideal choice for families, and there are plenty of activities for people of all ages. The rooms are spacious and clean, although I doubt anyone would want to spend too much time indoors with all the great things to do outside! I would absolutely love to visit Cuba again at some point, and I can't imagine staying anywhere other than Melia Varadero!