OOTD: The Black Dress With a Twist

Good evening ladies!  I hope everyone had a great day today.  I had an incredible and inspiring day.  I will talk about this more in a separate post because it really deserves its own post. I am working on an event right now with children who are cancer survivors and they and their families have really made me see life in a new perspective. They are so strong, brave, positive and inspirational. Like I said, I will share more in another entry once the event is over, but I feel so amazing right now just from getting to know these families and feel their positive energies and spirits.

Today I wore a new dress today that I got at Palais Royal. I honestly hadn't shopped there before last week. I was at the Beauty Bar event with Napoleon Perdis and decided to check out the clothes once I had finished my interview.  I was surprised to find this cute black dress on sale for $39.99.  I also got an additional 30% off of that price so it came to $30.02.  It originally retailed for $74. It feels and fits great. I am really happy with it!

Dress- Palais Royal
Shoes- Jessica Simpson
Belt- Tory Burch
Sweater- White House Black Market
Bag- MbMJ

Have you ever shopped at a store you initially wrote off and then discovered they actually had some really cute stuff? Please comment and let me know!




Cardio Fail & An OOTD

I AM SO OUT OF SHAPE! Yes, that deserved to be in all caps.  I was all confident about my fitness since starting Pilates again, but my utter and total lack of endurance has made cardio extra hellish for me.  I tried to use my elliptical today and made it to just about 15 minutes before I thought I'd literally plop over and collapse.  I did some strength stuff after that (thank goodness for YouTube videos on the iPhone) but I didn't get the greatest workout since I could barely breathe.

I guess it's going to take some time to get into the swing of things when it comes to cardio.  It's always my least favorite part of working out. I'd rather do twice the strength training and NO cardio at all if it would get me the same results.

So basically today's realization was that no matter how many crunches and other awesome pilates moves I can do, I am clearly out of shape since I got winded after two minutes of being on the elliptical. Phew.

I was feeling uninspired today so I wore pants. I always wear pants when I have one of those "I don't feel like dressing up" kind of days.  I did wear my new top from Forever 21 though and I love the neckline on this one. So pretty!
Top-Forever 21
Pants- Express
Shoes- Aldo
Sweater- White House Black Market

Does anyone else have a hard time with cardio like I do?  What are some tips to make it easier? Please share them in the comments below!



We Got An Elliptical, Some OOTD's & OPI's "Midnight in Moscow" Polish

Hello ladies!  We made it through another Tuesday!  Today was an exciting day for me because we got an elliptical machine! The wonders of Facebook connected me with a friend who was selling hers and so we got this lovely elliptical for just $100.  It's so essential for me to get cardio since I quit the gym so this will be perfect for me.  It's not a fancy one like they have at the gym, but it will serve its purpose for me. Here it is in our second bedroom:

It even has a fan which is great! I must admit that cardio is my weakness. I hate it. But I figure I can watch some of my YouTube subscriptions or flip through Us Weekly while I'm working out in the comfort of my own home. Do you have workout equipment at home?   In addition to this elliptical we have a bunch of other things in our home gym and you can check those out here.

Here are my outfits for the past two days!

Shirt- Forever 21
Necklace- Forever 21
Skirt- Banana Republic
Shoes- Me Too @ DSW
I also snapped a shot of my nails this week too because I tried a new dark color introduced to me by the lovely Candice- OPI's "Midnight in Moscow." It has quite a pretty sheen to it but not obviously metallic at all.

I LOVE to wear dark colors in the fall and winter almost exclusively!  My next one to try is a light gray color.  I've never worn a color like that so we'll see how it goes.

Today's outfit was a dress I got at Marshall's a couple of weeks ago for $29.99:

Dress- Marshalls
Shoes- Jessica Simpson
Bag- MbMJ Hillier Hobo in "rosie"
Hope you are all having a great week so far!  Before I go, I wanted to share the article I wrote about the Napoleon Perdis event I attended last week.  You can read it here, on CultureMap.




Motivation Mondays: ET Canada's Angie Smith Shares Beauty, Fashion and Fitness Tips &Tricks

I'm very excited to bring you an awesome Motivation Monday!  Today, I'm featuring Angie Smith.  She pretty much has my dream job-  she's a Fashion Producer on Entertainment Tonight (ET) Canada!

I first met Angie when I worked at a tanning salon where she was a client.  She was always so nice, positive and energetic when she came in and I remember even back then asking her for career advice.  She's just such a sweet girl and I'm thankful she was able to share these tips with us despite her very busy schedule!

Here's a little bit of her bio from ET's website:

From the front row of international runway shows to interviews with some of the hippest designers, Angie Smith has covered fashion from all lenses.

Although "Canadian Made" is one of her favorite phrases, Angie has been lured by international brands to shows across the world. From Bahamas Fashion Week to the runways in Barcelona, she has transformed the fabulous runway fashion look into realistic attainable pieces for the modern day fashionista. She has been featured on Slice's The Mom Show, helping moms wake up their tired wardrobes.

Angie has interviewed fashion powerhouses DSquared, Lauren Conrad, Nicole Richie, Guido and Mary, Lucian Matis, Nada and even elegant media mogul Barbara Walters.

With her journalistic background, she has exposed the beauty fashion secrets of international models Coco Rocha, Irina Lazareanu, and Camila Alves. Angie also had the opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with fashion model Simona McIntyre whose mother's battle with cancer forced her decision to leave modeling to go back to school.

Angie has been modelling professionally for 11 years with international agencies, landing campaigns for Nike, Bacardi, L'Oréal Fashion Week, various magazines and runway shows.

Angie Smith has a Masters of Journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in Media and Information Technoculture. She has freelanced for various media houses such as Canadian Geographic and CG Kids and completed internships at CBS in New York for 60 Minutes and 48 Hours Investigates.

What an impressive resume!  Not only is Angie beautiful on the outside, she's beautiful on the inside too and on top of that she's incredibly smart. 

Here's her interview:

1.  You work on television- what are some of your best on-screen beauty tips? (this can be anything from makeup, hair, how to stand on camera...anything you can think of!)
On an average day, I shy away from foundations and hair products, but on camera you can never use enough.  I have frizzy hair.  So Frizz-ease finishing products and Moroccan Oil really helps to define waves and finish off looks.  And on camera, you want to seal the deal.  And a clean, even complexion is key so a smooth foundation helps to hide shadows.  Also, a lighter tone under the eye helps to brighten that area and widen the eye.

2. Where is the most interesting place you've ever traveled? 
Traveling to Cambodia with World Vision was one of the best eye-opening work experiences.  I've been to a lot of places and done many things that often are replicas of events we have in Canada or the United States.  But visiting families who live day-to-day and take pleasure out of every little thing...it was heart-wrenching and put a very different perspective on what I do and how I live.

In terms of Entertainment work, Amsterdam and Aruba have been my favorite places.  I love the food, the heat, the energy...

3.  What are your favorite things to do to stay in shape?  Describe your typical weekly fitness routine...
I'm enrolled in Booty Camp Fitness, which is a twice a week boot-camp fitness course.  It's one of the most motivational and exhilarating routines I could recommend to anyone.  You're not only competing with yourself to keep up but you've got a drill instructor and other women in your peripheral vision that keep you pushing onward for a full hour. And, I'm not going to lie, I have Reebok easytone's that I try to wear everywhere I walk. I'm not kidding - these shoes sculpt and tone. I don't have the best diet - I like fries (Poutine).

4. Where do you love to shop for clothing? What items should every girl have in her closet?
I am a huge fan of FCUK for every day wear and online shopping. For red carpets, I enjoy certain lines - Nada, Greta Constantine And Romana Keveza.  Denim - it's Guido & Mary, Fidelity, Sevens, True Religion - I have a shapeless frame so I try to create curves.  For must-haves, girls have got to have that ONE pair of go-to sexy shoes that make you feel incredible no matter what has happened in your life.  Perfect-jeans, a killer navy cardigan, an updated nail polish (Like Essie's Merino Cool), fun socks (you always have to remove your shoes so funk up your look with personality no matter your age) and a functional hand bag. 

5. What are you top 5-10 makeup products? The ones you absolutely couldn't live without!
Very Black Waterproof Mascara
Mac Eyeliners (Teddy, Smoulder and Tarnish)
Benefit Bronzing powder for contouring
Cargo Bronzing cream (it's like tan in a bottle...amazing)
Sephora eye brow sculptor
Sephora eye shadow pencils (especially maroon)

6. What are your favorite hair products? 
Frizz-ease finishing cream to finish a look
Moroccan Oil (before blow-drying
Frizz-ease moisture defense hair spray to hold a look in place
Marc Anthony shine gloss
7.  You've met a lot of celebrities through your job- which celeb's style do you admire most?  There's a difference between admiring and channeling.  I admire celebrities who have a definitive personal look and it's indicative of their personality.  Katy Perry was a great interview -- she has a quirky, funky look.  She throws on wigs, bright lip stick, leopard print...and somehow it all works.  Would I wear it...ummm....no comment.
8.  Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my Master's degree. And I still hope to get my PhD.

9. Shoes or bags- what do you love more?  Shoes, shoes, SHOES!

10.  Do you follow a skincare routine?  Which products do you love to use to take care of your skin?
I love Kirkland makeup remover wipes.  They feel great on the skin.  Following that, it's Aveda face wash and moisturizer.  It smells as earthy and fresh as it feels.

Thanks Angie for inspiring us this Monday!



Beauty Products Haul & 1000 Plus Subscriber Contest!

Hello ladies!  I had a wonderful Sunday morning that started off right with a Pilates Ball class, a skinny vanilla latte and sausage, egg and cheese artisan breakfast sandwich from Starbucks (love!)

I then headed over to the Galleria Mall to use a Victoria's Secret coupon I got in the mail.  I got one that was $10 off of any bra and a free PINK ruched panty.  While there, I also remembered that I had a coupon in my email (thank God for iPhones!) that was for 8 pairs of PINK panties for $25.  Yay!  Right now they have a promotion where you get 7 PINK panties for $25 but if you are a member of PINK NATION you get 8.  You can sign up for PINK NATION here.

Here's a sampling of the designs I picked:

Pink and girly, of course!

...And now, I just have to share the BEST BRA EVER.  I have the black version of this bra and I have to say it is the best and most comfortable bra I've ever worn in my life. The fabric is like a very soft jersey/cotton- not the shiny material most bras are made of.  It is padded, but IMO, not extensively, just enough for shape and a small boost in size. I used my $10 OFF coupon to buy the nude color in this style bra because I wear it so often I needed another one. I feel kind of weird showing pictures of bras here, but this is too good not to share. I seriously cannot rave enough about it.  This is what it looks like:

It comes in a variety of colors too.  It's officially called the Body by Victoria Push-Up Bra and you can BUY IT HERE

My next visit was to AVEDA.  Remember when I talked about attending the Simon Fashion Now runway show a few weeks ago?  Well we got these incredible swag bags full of goodies, samples and coupons.  I think some people don't take the time to examine and use their coupons- but they really should!  I got a bottle of one of Aveda's fragrances for FREE ($20 Value) and I even got to pick the scent I liked best. I picked number 7, which is a sort of citrusy/minty combo:

The scent is really delightful.  I might be addicted already. I think they are scents derived from essential oils. I cannot wait to wear this scent! 

Then, I headed over to Bare Escentuals where I had another coupon from my swag bag to use!  It was for a free powder sample and $10 off of any product!  I got the eyeshadow in "Nude Beach" which comes highly recommended by one of my favorite YouTubers LisaLisaD1.  She is one of the sweetest YouTubers out there with such a positive spirit. I definitely recommend subscribing to her because she reviews so many products and is just always so happy and full of life.

This eyeshadow is so beautiful and shimmery and the perfect shadow for wearing on its own to give eyes sparkle in a subtle way:
I will post photos when I wear it!

I also stopped in at Ulta today where I picked up a few products.  I had run out of my Pureology Essential Repair shampoo so I picked up the volumizing formula which IMO has the best scent of the entire line (kind of minty and earthy- sort of like Aveda products). I also picked up a can of Neutrogena's spray tanner and some Redken All-Soft Treatment.

I visited a few more stores (Charlotte Russe- which had some really cute stuff, but I resisted; J. Crew, Zara)  and finally SEPHORA.

For the last few weeks, my Sephora has always had at least 5 Urban Decay Naked Palettes in stock. But not today. Ulta didn't have it either.  Sigh. I waited too long.  I might wait and get it at the F&F if they have it then.

I did end up picking up another NARS Laguna Bronzer though, because I'm running low:

I also got the Benefit packet as my Sephora VIB gift this time around: 

It comes with a mini High Beam and Posie Tint as well as 2 Bad Gal Lash mascaras!  I can't wait to try High Beam because I've heard such great things about it (uh, not that I need another highlighter...)

and finally....

I got a $25 Sephora Giftcard...not for myself, for ONE OF YOU!  To celebrate more than 1000 subscribers and the new template, I decided to pick this up so one lucky winner can get something they've been wanting from Sephora.  I always get SO stressed out when I try to pick stuff out for contests because everyone has different skin tones, hair types etc. So I decided a gift card was the way to go!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to my wonderful readers who have made this blog such an amazing experience for me!  Here are the rules to enter:

1.  You must be a follower/subscriber of this blog

2.  Please only one entry per person.  You can write "enter me" into the comments and PLEASE INCLUDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN!

3.  The contest ends next week- I will accept entries until FRIDAY OCTOBER 1st at Midnight CST.

4.  I will announce the winner on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2nd and will choose the winner using random.org

Thank you again to everyone who has supported this blog and has been so wonderful throughout this last year!  Good luck everyone!



Rock Climbing Adventure (w/ Video!) & Our Wedding Album from MyPublisher.com!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post,  H and I went indoor rock climbing today!  It was really fun and SUCH a challenge. I couldn't do any of the walls that were inclined towards me.  I could do the straighter up ones though. H actually told me he was really proud of how well I did.  It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  We brought the FlipCam with us and I just had to share this hilarious 20 second video with you ladies! 

LOL! I am such a dork! I just fell right off on that try!  Here's H and I at the end of our session! I definitely recommend trying rock climbing if you have an indoor center located near you!

...and here's what I wore on our little adventure!

Hot pink sports bra- Old Navy
Tee- Zara
Tights- LuluLemon Wunder Under Pintuck
Flip flops- Old Navy
Jacket- LuluLemon

Onto another topic: After getting our wedding photos back, I took advantage of MyPublisher.com's 40% off deal and made deluxe albums for us and for Kevin's parents.  They turned out so beautifully and I wanted to share our album layout with you ladies in case anyone was interested to see how they print.  The albums are very high quality with thick covers and gorgeous, thick, glossy pages.  We are extremely pleased with how it turned out and it was so fun to pick the photos and design each and every page to our liking.  We are also getting an album from our photographer but I wanted to also have one that I designed myself because I am crazy picky. I 100% recommend this company for album printing.  Their customer service is incredible. I used both the live chat and called their 1-800 number and got outstanding service and all of my questions answered!

Hope you had a lovely Saturday! I think I'm going to go to Sephora tomorrow. I think I've finally caved and might go ahead and get the Urban Decay Naked Palette. I just love neutrals...it seems like a no-brainer that I should own this product and ever since seeing Tiffany D's tutorial using this palette it's been on my wish list:. Here's the video I'm referring to:

Do you own the naked palette? Let me know in the comments below!


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