It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . 

Goodness me, I have been a real naughty and haven’t published a single post in December thus far and it’s almost half over!!! Ha, looks like Blogmas isn’t happening this year. 

In my defence, school ended on on the 2nd, and then I had finals on the 5th, 7th, and 10th. But now I have a bit of a reprieve until the 19th when I write my last exam. Regardless of what courses I take or how much planning I do, I always, always, always end up writing an exam on the last day of exam period. Does this happen to any of you???

Christmastime this year was heralded by something that hasn’t happened in my city for years: snowfall. And not just the old 1cm light dusting that is washed away by rain the next day. I am talking about 10cm, covering the ground, people driving like right fools on the roads despite the ice and snow warnings, and snow people on everyone’s front lawns. Despite the fact that I live in Canada, snow is not common in my city, so this was a lovely surprise to wake up to. I wish I was a more artsy photographer but I am hoping to learn some tips and tricks in the new year, and I had to snap a few pictures of the gorgeous white blanket:

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Is it snowing where you live???

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Her

Happy Sunday dear readers 🙂 🙂 Earlier this week, I published a gift guide post featuring some nifty Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men, so today I wanted to share with you some of my Valentine’s Day gift ideas for women.

While women, me included, can think of ourselves as easy to buy for, apparently this is not the case. My friend so informed me the other day that shopping for girls is way harder than the reverse because thoughtful and sentimental gifts can be difficult to come up with. So I rounded up a few ideas of gifts for the ladies in your life this Valentine’s Day.

A Few Beauty Goodies

Picture 22These Sephora Collection Heart-to-heart Makeup Sponges are absolutely adorable and can be used for a variety of applications with streak-free and buildable coverage.

 

 

Picture 23Of all the eyeshadow palettes out there these days, this tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette is one I would love to add to my collection. It features 12 brand-new shades, 9 mattes and 3 lusters, which are paired for lid, crease, and liner use for easy-to-create smoldering smoky and nude looks. All of Tarte’s eyeshadows are highly pigmented and blend really well, with all-day wear.

Picture 24 Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment has been my saving grace during winter months for about three years now when the days have been chilly and my lips need some extra TLC. I started out using the clear shade in the brown case, and then branched out to the tinted ones. These are really great if you want hydration and colour because you don’t have to worry about smearing lipstick or getting more lip balm on the lipstick tip than on your lips. It is formulated with reparative oils and waxes and real sugar, and has a really nice citrus scent. Also, if you don’t want to opt for the gift set route, these lip treatments are available individually.

A What I Love About You Fill-in-the-Blanks Book

Picture 25 It is often difficult to list things you love about someone when put on the spot, like when trying to write a personal note in a Valentine’s Day card, so for those of you out there, this little book is perfect. With 112 pages of prompts, you can simply fill-in-the-blanks and gift it to a best friend or a significant other so they can read about all the things you love about them that make them who they are.

A Handmade Heart Box

Picture 28 If you already have a gift picked out but are looking for a unique way to package it, then this might just be the solution. For any bookworm friends or lovers in your life, this box is perfect for gifting small items like a necklace, and it’s handmade

We First Met Here Jigsaw Puzzle

Picture 29 It is not often that I wish I lived in the United States of America as I love my little Canadian city, but this is one of those times. This item only ships to the US, it is one of the cutest gift ideas I have come across thus far. While you may not remember the exact day you met someone, chances are you remember where you met them, and this personalized 400-piece jigsaw puzzle is handmade around the zipcode provided of that special place. It even has novelty pieces that read “I LOVE YOU” with a heart marking the location. Measures 18″ x 12″ when completed.

Rectangle Dates Necklace

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So you decided to give a necklace to your best friend/girlfriend/random person you’re hanging out with on Valentine’s Day. This necklace is such a neat idea because it allows you to engrave up to 5 special dates on it, like when you first met, your first kiss, your first inside joke, whichever dates are important to you both. While the numbers are in MM/DD/YY format, there are no dashes in between, making them look like random strings of numbers that only you and the other person will know the meaning behind. This idea is pricy at $113 but I just think it is such a unique approach to the cliché of giving jewelry.

A Flatterbox

Picture 32 I first found out about this company late last year when my mother was planning a retirement party for a co-worker. In my opinion, I saved the best gift idea for last because I am so in love with this. First, you select a box type between a transparent acrylic one or a signature one (pictured above). Then you select a card colour and an occasion. This website lists so many already like Birthday, wedding, anniversary, baby shower, graduation, get well, christmas, mother’s day, father’s day, goodbye, just because, etc, but there is an “other holiday” option if yours isn’t listed. Once you have completed this, an email will be sent with a personalized message to all of the “Flatters” you would like to contribute sentiment notes to the box. Alternatively, you can use a provided unique link and send it through email, text, or social media. You do not pay for the box until all of the sentiments are collected and are then printed on their own card. Up to 50 cards are included in the box price, but you can add up to 100 for an additional $15, and even up to 200 for an additional $35. Starting at $49, I think this is simply the coolest gift idea I have ever seen, not just for Valentine’s Day, but for any special occasion. Alternatively, if you do not have enough time to create a custom box for a special event, there are several Grab-N-Go options, where you can purchase the box and then fill in the cards when the box arrives.

I hope that these gift ideas have given you some inspiration for what to get your friend, significant other or, in my case, my cat. Click on any of the images in this post to be redirected to the website from which you can purchase them, and let me know in the comments below if you decide on any of these gifts. Also, please share other ideas you come up with 🙂 🙂 

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Him

Hello there lovely readers 🙂 🙂

With New Years almost a month behind us (how is that even possible???), another holiday is fast-approaching: Valentine’s Day!!!

For me, Valentine’s Day usually consists of hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner party with heart-shaped desserts and take out. And, of course, a Secret Valentine gift exchange. I find it quite easy when I draw the name of a female friend, but for male friends, and undoubtedly for boyfriends or other male significant others, it is much more difficult to pick out a present. Thus, I wanted to create this little gift guide to give you some inspiration.

Tommy John Underwear

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I know underwear is traditionally a female gift idea for Valentine’s Day but hear me out: Tommy John has the best mens underwear, undershirts, and socks, along with t-shirts and loungewear. The underwear comes in a variety of styles like boxer brief, trunk, square cut, brief, and boxer short, and is available in a number of colours (Valentine’s collection available February 2). I had never really thought mens fashion could be uncomfortable. I mean, women are the ones who wear dresses and high heels, but just picture a man trying to comfortable fit a pair of bulky boxers into a pair of skinny jeans. Not a pretty picture. All of Tommy John’s products are made with patented silky smooth and non-pilling fabric that is designed to stay in place when playing sports, working at the office, or lounging at home. With a best pair guarantee, 15% off upon subscribing to their mailing list, and free 3-day shipping upon spending $50 or more, Tommy John underwear and other items are definitely gift ideas I am going to hang on to.

Warby Parker Sunglasses

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Warby Parker has so many colours and styles of sunglasses to pick from, that it should be easy to find a pair someone might like. I picked out the Preston sunglasses in Whiskey Tortoise because I think they are a great modern take on the traditional eyeframe shape, and apparently this style suits narrow faces, which tends to be difficult to find. All Warby Parker sunglasses have Akulon-coated screws to avoid those moments when your sunglasses break on vacation and you’re forced to resort to the old method of using your hand to shield your eyes from the sun. They are also cut from a single sheet of acetate so that the colour parity is consistent. I find this is really important with tortoise sunglasses because any changes in pattern or colour are really noticeable. And, you know, these sunglasses have 100% UV protection, which is always useful.

A Yankee Candle

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So maybe your candle will be for a special someone and not your cat, but you get the idea . . .

More and more, candle companies are introducing new scents and packaging to appeal to the male demographic. Yankee Candles has such a wide variety of sizes and scents, and they now offer the option to create a personalized candle. Simply select your candle and fragrance, then upload a photo of you and your friend or significant other and customize the label. Some really nice scents for men are Balsam & Cedar, Sun & Sand, Black Cherry, and Midsummer’s Night, While I used a photo of my cat as an example, I think this would be such a cute idea if I draw the name of one of my male friends for this year’s Secret Valentine gift exchange because it is both memorable and useful. But act fast, because only orders placed before February 5th will be processed in time for Valentine’s Day!!!

An “Ussies” Photo Album

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While selfies might be all the rage, so are the lesser termed “ussies.” You know, those photos you take with your significant other or a whole group of friends where one of you holds a camera way above your heads and you all squish together to fit into the frame. Or, now that I think about it, those photos approached civilly with one person simply holding out a selfie stick that could smack someone in the face at any moment. This photo album would make such a nice gift, especially if you gift it already filled with ussies.

Cologne or Eau de Toilette Spray

Finally, the classic mens gift: cologne. One of my favourite fragrances for men is Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Eau de Toilette Spray. With grapefruit, mint, and blood mandarin among the scents included in this spray, I find it to be so fresh yet spicy, and long-lasting. Plus, this spray comes in three sizes (1.7 oz, 3.4 oz, and 6.8 oz) making it fit most budgets, and offering the chance to gift a new fragrance or an old favourite for at home or on-the-go use.

 

I hope that these gift ideas have given you some inspiration for what to get your friend, significant other or, in my case, my cat. Click on any of the images in this post to be redirected to the website from which you can purchase them, and let me know in the comments below if you decide on any of these gifts. Also, please share other ideas you come up with 🙂 🙂

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Blogmas Day 20: Favourite Christmas Lipsticks

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Happy 20th day of Blogmas everyone!!!

With Christmas Day only 5 days away, many of you will be spending the remaining days planning and hosting a Christmas party or attending one. So today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite holiday lipsticks to give you some lipspiration of the festive Christmas colours that could adorn your lips at Christmas parties!!!

Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte lipstick in Matte Crimson

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BITE Beauty’s Matte Crème lipstick in Mulled Maple

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NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

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Clinique’s Different Lipstick in Heartfelt

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Clinique’s Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape

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BITE Beauty’s Matte Crème lipstick in Sugared Maple

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Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte lipstick in Matte Plum

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 What festive lip colours are included in your holiday makeup looks???

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette giveaway here!!! Giveaway ends December 24th at 11:59 pm PST!!!

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Blogmas Day 5: Writing Out Christmas Cards

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Happy fifth day of Blogmas all!!!

One of my favourite things about getting in the Christmas spirit is sending Christmas cards to family and friends. I love going through stationary stores and picking out the cards I am going to use each year, and writing out personal messages to everyone. I know snail mail is going out of style, but there is something really special about mailing actual cards, not just firing off a quick email.

This year, I went with these pale pink cards with gold ornaments on them. I picked them up from Chapters a few weeks ago, but now they’re on sale, so if you’d like some, click here. Each box set comes with 15 cards and envelopes, just enough for everyone in my family, and an extra in case I accidentally mess up on one. Writing in pen looks so much better, but it’s so easy to mess up!!!

So how about you: Do you send out Christmas cards???

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Blogmas Day 4: A Christmas Miracle

blogmasbannerGood morning everyone, and happy fourth day of Blogmas!!!

Today I wanted to do a bit of a different style of post, and talk about something that is really important to me: my family.

Earlier this year, my aunt was told that one of her kidneys was riddled with tumours that were thought to be cancerous. After seeing my grandmother through intense cancer surgery and recovery two years ago, my family was in pieces over this. The doctors believed that the tumours had formed inside her kidney and were pushing their way out, and it needed to be removed as soon as possible.

My aunt called to tell us this news, along with the harsh reality that 95% of cases seen like this involved cancerous tumours, and these tumours had a nasty way of spreading to other organs.

She was scheduled for surgery in January, but thanks to a last-minute cancellation, she was able to go back in November. She has now been at home recovering for several weeks, and last night we got the call that the hospital had tested the removed kidney and figured out what was wrong.

It turns out that my aunt was among the lucky 5% whose kidney was not overrun with cancerous tumours. Instead of pushing out from the inside, these benign tumours had formed around the outside and started pushing their way in. While the kidney still needed to be removed, this meant that my aunt never had cancer.

This is my Christmas miracle. Knowing that my aunt did not have cancer, and therefore would not have to worry about it spreading to other organs, is all that I needed for Christmas.

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Image from quotesgram.com

So often I, like many other people, get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and forget what Christmas is truly about. In the words of Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch, “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

So while so many of us are out shopping for presents, decorating our homes, and stressing over what to make for Christmas dinner, I hope that we can pause for a moment and think about the things we are thankful for this year. Learning that my aunt did not have cancer is a Christmas miracle, and I am so grateful that she will be here this Christmas and hopefully many more Christmases to come.

Now it’s your turn: What is one of your Christmas miracles, from this year or previous years???

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Blogmas Day 1: 25 Reasons Why I Love Christmas

winter-christmas-lights-backgrounds-3Happy December 1st all!!! Today marks the first day of Blogmas, where bloggers everywhere begin their daily holiday blogging leading up to Christmas. Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite holiday, and I love the idea of blogging every day and sharing Christmas with all of you. To kickstart this, I wanted to share 25 reasons why I love Christmas, one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day:

  1. Family dinners and gatherings
  2. Christmas specials air on TV
  3. Town Square Christmas tree light-up
  4. Christmas Lights Across Canada event
  5. Festival of trees
  6. My hunt continues for the ultimate obnoxious Christmas sweater
  7. Mailing out Christmas cards to family and friends
  8. Curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace
  9. Christmas baking with my grandmother
  10. Drawing names for buying presents for extended family
  11. Christmas craft fairs
  12. Putting up Christmas lights
  13. Picking out and trimming the Christmas tree
  14. Decorating the house
  15. Battling the holiday mall madness to shop for presents
  16. My grandmother’s homemade Nanaimo Bars
  17. Gingerbread everything
  18. Christmas movie marathons
  19. Putting Christmas playlists in the car
  20. Getting crafty with some Christmas DIY ornaments
  21. Participate in charity drives or volunteer during this time of giving
  22. Wrapping presents with special paper, bows, and ribbons for each person
  23. Spending Christmas Eve night looking at Christmas light displays
  24. Having my mother read me ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed on Christmas Eve
  25. Spending Christmas Day at my grandparents house, opening presents and eating turkey

What are your favourite things about Christmastime???

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Getting Ready for Blogmas!!!

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Hello there readers!!!

I have been AWOL for the past week due to the end of school approaching faster than I would like to admit. With only this week to go, I am four days and five tests away from being off for Christmas vacation . . . well, until I write exams, but those are different. At least I can eat Christmas cookies while studying for them.

Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in Blogmas, blogging daily from December 1st to Christmas Day. Stop by to read posts about all kinds of Christmasey things, from makeup looks, to baking, present wrapping, to even some neat DIY gift ideas.

Are you doing Blogmas this December??? Let me know!!!

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