Lipstick of the Week: Grace by Hourglass

I would definitely consider myself a strong lip rather than bold eye kind of person when it comes to make-up…but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good smoky eye from time to time. And, as we all know, the only possible pairing for an intense eye is a subdued lip. You’d think a basic nude lipstick would be an easy thing to obtain, but I found it next to impossible to find the perfect shade — all the ones I tested out were too pale, too chalky, too golden… And then Grace, this little Hourglass freebie from Sephora, came into my life and it was exactly what I was looking for. Described as a “peachy beige,” it’s the perfect nude shade for fair skin.

The Lowdown on Grace
Brand: Hourglass
Product Type: Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick
Shade: “Peachy beige”
Price Range: $35 / $$$
Vibe: Sleek, neutral, polished

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Thursday Travels: Death Valley

One of the most memorable things we did on our Vegas vacation last year was take a day trip out to Death Valley. It’s an incredible place to visit — silent, sparse, and more than a little eerie; a total sensory cleanser after the bright lights of the city, and only about a two hour drive away. Amazingly, it actually rained for part of the time we were there (apparently they hadn’t had a drop of rain for the past seven years!), and even when the skies cleared, it wasn’t quite as hot as we thought it would be (kind of late 20s Celsius, when temperatures at that time of the year typically climb well into the 30s).

I don’t really have too much else to say about our trip there, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. It’s definitely a worthwhile trip to take if you’ve got a day to spare when visiting Vegas — the sights you’ll see are truly unforgettable.

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Dare to Flare

While I definitely consider myself more of a dress/skirt kind of girl, I occasionally like to shake things up now and then with a look that’s a bit more out of my comfort zone, like these retrotastic flared jeans paired with a loud, printed shirt. I’ve always been drawn to a good pair of flares though, and, given that roughly 70% of the music on my iTunes is from the ’70s, this get up didn’t feel like too much of a stretch for me.

IMG_5473IMG_5477IMG_5478IMG_5479IMG_5474IMG_5482IMG_5509Jeans — Zara (similar here)
Shirt — Gap (similar here)
Sunglasses — Céline 
Boots — Steve Madden (similar here)
Lipstick — Velvet Teddy by MAC

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Lipstick of the Week: Ruby Woo by MAC

You’ve probably heard of this week’s lipstick, Ruby Woo — it’s reached cult classic status, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s just such a classic red red that looks good on every skin colour (though it’s especially great for those with cool undertones, as it’s a very blue-based red). 

Ruby Woo is definitely one of my all-time favourite lipsticks now, but it wasn’t always that way… When I first started wearing it, I didn’t realize that you need to wear some sort of primer underneath, so after a few hours I’d be left with really flaky, chalky lips. Thankfully, I know better now, and always apply a thin layer of clear balm underneath (any basic chapstick will do as long as it’s untinted).

The Lowdown on Ruby Woo
Brand: MAC
Product Type: Retro Matte Lipstick
Shade: “Vivid blue-red”
Price Range: $20 / $$
Vibe: Classic, iconic, timeless
Celebrity Fans: Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, Dita Von Teese

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Super Easy Fish Tacos

fish-tacos

These babies have so much going for them: they taste amazing and also happen to be a cinch to make! I tore this recipe out of Cosmo (it caught my eye with the heading “How to Eat When You Hate to Cook”) and recently tested it out…and it was a hit! A big hit. I’ll definitely be making these again soon…

Here’s my adaptation (makes 4 tacos):

Ingredients
-frozen fish sticks (4) or fillets (2)
-3 tbsp sour cream
-2 tbsp mayo
-2 tbsp lime juice
-1 tbsp hot sauce
-1 tsp minced garlic
-2 cups packaged coleslaw/cabbage mix
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 avocado, diced
-4 6-inch tortillas

Directions
Bake fish sticks/fillets according to package instructions. When they’re ready, slice up into bite-size pieces.
Whisk sour cream, mayo, lime juice, hot sauce, and garlic, and toss with the coleslaw mix.
Divide the pepper, avocado, coleslaw mix, and fish into tortillas.
Enjoy!

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Grey Lace and Lots of Neon

I love pairing something a little on the dressier side with a more casual item, and this outfit is a case in point: a formal grey lace pencil skirt with a slouchy neon tee (topped off with a big, bold necklace for good measure). And with just a few simple adjustments, you can easily change the feel of the whole outfit — leave the t-shirt loose for a more laid-back vibe, or tuck it in for a look that’s a bit more professional.

IMG_5334IMG_5439IMG_5403IMG_5401IMG_5328IMG_5333T-shirt — J. Crew
Skirt — Jacob (similar here)
Necklace — Banana Republic (similar here)
Shoes — Steve Madden
Sunglasses — Aldo (similar here)
Lipstick — Love It by Lancôme (similar here)

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Lipstick of the Week: Violet by BITE

Alongside orange, another lip colour I’d been wanting to try out this summer was purple. And by purple, I mean more of a summery, magenta-y shade as opposed to purple purple or berry. I’d been obsessing over BITE’s Violet for ages (it was my go-to sample at Sephora), but I just couldn’t commit to buying the pricy full-sized tube. I knew they had a smaller two-in-one size for a more reasonable $15, but sadly they were sold out everywhere. So you can imagine my delight when my sister Claudia was able to snag one for me at a Sephora in Calgary when she was there a month ago! [Note: I originally wrote this post last year, for my old blog.] Not only is Violet now one of my favourite shades to wear these days, but Palomino, the other colour in the tube (a deep pinky red), is gorgeous too. BITE is a new brand on my lipstick radar, but this Toronto-based company is good. As well as being non-toxic and paraben-free and all that stuff, their colours are rich, vivid, and highly pigmented, which I love (there’s nothing I hate more than a wimpy, watery lipstick). Highly recommended.

The Lowdown on Violet
Brand: BITE Beauty
Product Type: Luminous Creme Lipstick
Shade: Magenta violet
Price Range: $28 / $$ (the 2-in-1 version is $15)
Vibe: Fun and a little bit daring and different

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Vancouver Adventure: Main Street

A week or so ago, Vicky and I paid a trip to the Main Street area — a part of Vancouver neither of us had ever been to before. It was a grey, drizzly day but we still managed to have fun exploring (and eating… So. Much. Eating).

IMG_0788We had a tasty lunch at the Wallflower Diner, an eclectic little place that caters well to those who are gluten-free and/or vegan (as well as those who are neither, like me).

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{The fairy lights were an inviting touch on such a grey day}

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{Vic had a gluten-free vegan hummus melt and I went for the crispy chicken wrap}

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{It was good, but be warned — it’s SPICY!}

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{One of the surprising highlights of the afternoon was seeing this dude casually carrying a Paul Frank umbrella. What a total #tbt to 2003}

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{This clothing emporium has a vast amount of cool, reasonably priced items — well worth checking out!}

IMG_0805IMG_0802For dessert, we decided to head down to Cartems for donuts…

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{Such a cool interior — we loved the high ceilings and the bright, airy feel of the place}

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{The gluten-free options for Vicky were sadly slim when we went (she had that fun-looking donut on the left), but my blueberry fritter was delicious}

Our last foodie port-of-call for the day was the legendary Earnest Ice Cream. I’m not the biggest ice cream connoisseur myself, but Vicky (who is) loved it — she highly recommends the Blueberry Lavender flavour.

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Beachy Vibes

I’ve come to the realization that a beautiful print is often what draws me to a certain item of clothing. I know some people prefer the sleek crispness of solid pieces, and while I often opt for such items myself, the clothes I get most excited about are the ones with some sort of eye-catching pattern. Stripes, dots, plaids, florals…it’s all good in my books. What can I say, I’m a print-cess!

I love the folkloric embroidered pattern on this J. Crew dress — it’s a little bit boho, a little bit preppy, and so, so summery. I played up the nautical vibe with bright red lips and nails, my favourite red ribbon espadrille wedges, and a little wicker clutch; when the evening started to get chilly, my trusty khaki jacket made an appearance.

IMG_5151IMG_5166IMG_5178IMG_5229IMG_5173IMG_5157IMG_5192IMG_5210IMG_5195Dress — J. Crew
Jacket — Talula at Aritzia
Shoes — Steve Madden (similar here)
Sunglasses — Aldo (similar here)
Clutch — J. Crew (on mega sale!)
Earrings (clip-ons) — Claire’s (similar here)
Ring — Suzy Shier circa 2004
Lipstick — All Fired Up by MAC
Nail polish — Pillar Box Red by Butter London

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Cinnamon Honey Yoghurt with Fresh Fruit

yoghurtFun fact: I am not a breakfast person at all (which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I’m also not a morning person). However, I’ve been trying to up my healthy eating game of late (another thing that’s not my forte), and I feel that my usual cup of coffee and piece of chocolate isn’t going to cut it anymore.

This yoghurt and fruit layer concoction I came up with makes for a surprisingly satisfying breakfast (or even a snack at any time of the day). Here’s how I made it:

-Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of plain Greek yoghurt with honey and cinnamon to taste (I used about 2tbsp of honey and 1tsp of cinnamon)

-Layer the yoghurt mixture with fresh fruit of your choice (I went for blueberries and raspberries)

-Add your toppings (I recommend sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, and shredded coconut)

And there you have it! An easy, healthy, and filling breakfast that’ll keep you going throughout the morning.

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