Archive for category Musings

Writing and wine: My two favourite ‘W’s’

*Warning: This post will contain no pretty photos and a whole lot of rambling. Continue at your own risk.*

I’ve been drinking a bit of wine. And by a bit I mean…like a small glass. HEY – I’m a lightweight now, what can I say? Every so often I have a glass of wine after Elena goes to bed as a nice wind-down after a long day of being a mom, but tonight after a supper of chips and dip (I had a craving!) I’m feeling it more than usual. And I’m feeling chatty after reading a couple good blogs (here and here) and I’ve been meaning to post some deeper thoughts on the whole ‘declutter’ thing for awhile now. What better time to be forthcoming and rambly than after some wine? YES.

I’m sure the topic of decluttering/simplifying is a polarizing subject – either you’re all about it or you’re sick of hearing about it. If you fall in the latter camp, I’m sorry dude…but I gotta do what I gotta do. For me, decluttering isn’t a fad or a way to keep relevant in the blogging world (as it IS quite prevalent lately), but a necessity for a mind that gets anxious easily with too much ‘noise’ – whether it be literally (I DO hate noise), figuratively (clutter and excess stress me out) or mentally (my brain is going 160 km/hr at all times so I try to minimize that constant buzz as much as possible). It’s a paradox particularly when it comes to beauty because I ADORE makeup and skincare and all things cosmetic (HEY my blog is called Beauty Obsessed, whaddya know), but then I get oversaturated with product and the fun starts to sour a bit. It’s a never-ending loop I can’t seem to fully break out of, no matter how hard I try. I’ll be calm for a time and feel like I’ve got a handle on things, and then Sephora goes and has a DAMN SALE and I’m all discombobulated again. Though I have great willpower for many things, a sale on cosmetics gets me EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME.

Though I’ve been slowly purging makeup here and there for what feels like forever, I still have a substantial collection, 80% which doesn’t get used on a regular basis (some items probably haven’t even been worn in the last 6 months). It would be easy to say ‘Well heck, anything you haven’t worn in a while get rid of!’ but quite honestly, I LIKE that stuff and I don’t want to ~petulant voice~. I know the fact that I haven’t used it in awhile may indicate otherwise, but there are various reason I haven’t worn shades that I DO in fact, glean ‘joy’ from – the biggest reason being that I now have a KID and that means I barely wear makeup as it is, let alone most of my 74 eyeshadows (or whatever the number was that I quoted in my post last week). And the shades I still have? They make me HAPPY, even if they just sit there unloved most of the time.

It wasn’t until I read Liz’s goodbye post that I really recognized it’s my thought processes that need changing, not the actual amount of product. I think I’ve reach the point where I like what I have and I don’t see value in getting rid of items just to get rid of them, but the volume of product still stresses me out. Tonight I had an AHA moment (THANK YOU, WolfTrap Syrah) when I realized that the reason I keep wanting to decrease the amount of makeup I have smaller and smaller, even though I now like all the products I have, has been in order to BUY MORE STUFF. I’ve wanted to decrease my collection only for the terrible reason that I want to buy newer, shinier things.


And also – AHA!

And so I’m strapping my ass down and not buying anything new unless I’m really feeling it – that means, no seeing something on someone else’s blog and thinking I NEED it because it’s the new fun fabulous beautiful thing everyone wants; if I perchance happen to see said product IN PERSON and I fall in love, OKAY, but if I just get it in my head I need XYZ because it looks pretty and hence it will look pretty on me, no – just, NO. I want need my purchasing to go old school, back when I bought things organically because I saw them, I loved them, I brought them home. Quite honestly, I am much more susceptible to impulse and needless purchasing online because I can justify it more easily, whereas almost every time if I look at something in store I end up passing on it because it just doesn’t WOW me.

I like this solution a lot particularly because it’s not restrictive [me and restrictions = bad {expensive} times] but I know with absolute certainty that I will buy less if I pick something up only because it caught my eye while I was shopping, and not because I researched the heck out of it, looked at a billion swatches, read all the rave reviews, and then rushed out to buy it because I HAD TO HAVE IT. Of COURSE I had to have it after all that, jesus, who’d be able to resist something after pretty much ensuring it’d feel like the second coming? WAY TO PUT SOMETHING ON A DAMN PEDESTAL, sheesh.

Alright. So that’s where I stand now. Back to basics. I feel good about this, you guys! Gummy summed up the feeling really well when she said she felt ‘frenzied’ at times to buy new things. That’s exactly what’s been happening to me off and on for years – pretty much since I started reading beauty blogs. Information is Power, but also – Information Drains the Shit out of your Wallet. I don’t want to feel frenzied anymore. I want to feel at peace while still wholehearted having fun in the beauty world. I feel like this is possible.

ESPECIALLY after wine. YES.

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect [More Makeup]: An Update

Well, things sure have been busy ’round these here parts….but what else is new? Remember when I was pregnant and I kept saying I needed to slow down, but didn’t? Ha. Maybe I should just accept the fact that I’m always going to be busy doing something, it’s just my nature! Right now, it’s been particularly chaotic – we bought a house (finally!) and moved in October 15th. That it was a quick turnaround from putting in our offer to moving in, and it was made even more intense by the fact that we found a renter for my condo (b/c the market is CRAP and the damn place just wasn’t selling!) and she moved in at the end of September! To get everything packed and cleaned in a super-short time frame was stressful enough, and on top of that I had to do this alone, as Ryan had to go back to work, and I had a wee one to look after and amuse on a 24/7 basis. Wowza! I think I managed to pack one box every 3 days lol. Thank goodness my family came over a couple evenings to help me out, otherwise I would have been completed SOL. Ah well, that part is in the past now! Now I just spend my days unpacking a box here and there and trying to get organized, but at least it’s on my own timeline. For now, let’s talk about makeup, shall we?

IMG_4399Move-in day! :)

As regular readers will know, I’ve been on a streamlining/downsizing kick for the better part of the year (with only a semi-minor regression after Elena was born – new mom retail therapy lol). I’ve always used moving as a great excuse to purge and reduce clutter and this time was no exception. I did a major declutter of my closet back in the spring which was a great move as I’ve found it really easy to get dressed every day with less to choose from, as what’s left are all pieces I love. I replaced some old, ratty items with new, better quality clothing and got rid of anything that didn’t suit my current aesthetic or lifestyle. I’m still working on it but it feels SO good when I open my closet door and see a bunch of items that make me happy. This is what I’ve been working toward with my makeup/beauty hoard and I’m making great headway!

It helps when the new closet is like this one! :)

I’ve been bouncing around ideas in my head of how to approach streamlining my makeup & polish collection in a way that feels good to me. At first I was all about getting rid of anything that didn’t ‘bring me joy’ (a la Marie Kondo), which was easy enough – I let go of those shades that I liked in theory but that didn’t work on my skintone or fit my lifestyle (aka ‘downtown’ makeup that I no longer wear b/c…how long has it been since I went out clubbing!?). Then I purged anything that had outlived it’s place in my life – something I used to frequently wear but fell out of love with. Even after those moves however, I still have a fair amount of makeup, enough that everything would never get used in a lifetime.

So where do I go from here? I’ve considered eliminating even more items, weeding through color stories and keeping only my absolute favourites (check out Liz’s Lipstick Survivor posts for an idea on what I mean), but quite honestly? At this point I really only have shades and products I love. Sure, there are some I love more than others, but for the past couple years, most of the purchases I’ve made have been after much consideration and thought, and I really like these items! It seems wasteful and rash to just eliminate things to achieve some sort of ‘ideal beauty collection’ I have in my mind.


I also don’t want to do a formal ‘no buy’ or restrict myself in some way b/c I’ve tried that too and I know how well I respond to restrictions – by going off the deep-end after a time and buying everything in sight. That’s essentially what happened when Elena arrived, I had been so good for so long and then BAM! I fell off the wagon. Rather than make a strict plan of action, I’m just going to exercise plain old willpower as much and often as I can, but if I feel like buying something or something catches my eye, I’ll get it! I’m pretty good at restraint these days and something that I’ve found particularly effective is rifling through my stash every few days and taking mental stock of what’s there. Then if I’m out and about, I have a much harder time justifying a purchase I clearly don’t “need.”

So here we come to the *good* part (if ‘good’ in your books means making lists, like it is in mine ;)

Tally (pre-declutter [before July 2015] / present):

  1. Primers/Setting Sprays: 6 / 3
  2. Foundations: 6 / 8
  3. Concealers: 7 / 5
  4. Powders: 3 / 3
  5. Bronzers: 5 / 4
  6. Blush: 33 / 18
  7. Highlighters: 6 / 4
  8. Brows: 3 /5
  9. Eyeliner: 22 / 16
  10. Eyeshadow (shades): 72 + 5 palettes (61 shades total) = 133 shades / 72 + 2 palettes (17 shades total) = 89 shades
  11. Lip Liners: 3 / 5
  12. Lip Colors: 56 / 35

As you can see, I’ve done a bit of reducing overall (though – OOPS, I bought MORE lipliners!) and in some cases did a pretty sweet job in bringing those numbers down to a more reasonable level (blush, shadows and lip colors), if I do say so myself. Note that I didn’t include mascaras because I go through them regularly and don’t keep a stock of them around (and right now I only have 1, so that’s kinda boring). Overall I’m pleased with my progress, and just like the pride at seeing a savings account grow, I feel good about seeing these numbers get smaller and smaller and it is a huge incentive to keep up the good work.

So you can probably guess that I’ve held fairly strong with respect to my previous commitments to not incur more of specific categories within my beauty stash. Below I’ve noted my current progress:

1) Base products: I’m really keen to try the Urban Decay Naked Concealer, but I absolutely am holding out until I can get that number down by half first. Despite the fact that I felt like I had A TON of foundation, I was toying with the idea of buying a new one when I was sent the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (liquid & stick). Thankfully, it’s fulfilled my lemming completely and I won’t be in the market for one for quite a while now. I’m currently on a mission to finish up a few that are nearing completion to get that number back down a bit. As for the rest (primers/powders), I’m not really enticed to buy new ones, though I think I might pick up the Becca Backlighting Primer before the wedding next fall, if there isn’t some fabulous new option out by then (likely).


2) Antiperspirants: none bought (but of course, this is the easy one). Had the bright idea to leave one in the car, because I forget to put it on A LOT these days.

3) Nail polish: The number of polishes I own is staying strong at 83 shades. Still more than I’d like, but I can’t seem to let any go – I did in fact get rid of a few more, but then I bought two holiday shades, so… oops. Every few days I go through them again and try and release my death grip on a few more bottles. All I can do is keep trying!

IMG_2739The line on the left are drugstore/shades of which I only own one.

4) Color cosmetics: Bought – Lancome Shine Lover (June), Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Walk of Shame (July), Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in Naked (August), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (August – I caved!), MAC Pro Longwear Lip Liner in Ms Diva (September), and NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls (September), Burberry Wet & Dry Shadow in Antique Blue (October). As usual, lippies dominated HARD. I don’t feel bad about these purchases though, they all make me happy and will get good use (though guiltily I wear so little makeup lately they haven’t yet!). However, I do want to ease up on the lip-heavy purchasing.


5) I’m adding one other category to the list: BROW PRODZ. I bought a Milani clear brow gel and a Stila brow pen in July/August so now I have way more brow products than I personally need or want (a total of 5, which is about 3 more than I think is necessary). Absolutely must use most of these up before I will be inclined to buy more.

IMG_2744Oops, I just realized the Maybelline Brow Drama was in my pre-move empties post, but yet I still have it…probably should toss that now!

Phew! That was a long post. I wish I could just dictate what I want to say to someone and they could do all the other blog work for me – I have so many things I want to write about but so little time to actually write it / take and edit photos / etc. I honestly don’t know how some bloggers with young children do it. I guess most of them have their baby daddy’s around to watch the little one(s) so the momma can do other things. I don’t have that luxury very often, unfortunately :(

Anyway, I hope that even just the act of getting a post out will serve as an incentive to do more posting, I really miss it and I have so much to say on the top of beauty lately! If you follow me on Instagram I try to get a lot of those thoughts out there as they’re a quick snapshot of what’s going on in my beauty life – if you don’t follow me, you should, as I’m much more active there these days!

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From the draft pile: A query for all the Beauty Obsessed out there

[This is one in a series of posts I wrote years ago and never published for some reason. They still feel relevant to me so I thought I’d let them see the light of day, finally!]

If ever asked why I started blogging about beauty, my response is that it gave me an awesome outlet for my obsession and allowed me to connect with others who feel the same.  Being a curious person about the inner workings of people’s minds, I turned that question outward: why are YOU here? If you’re a blog reader, what brings you back again and again (to any blog, not just mine), seeking and absorbing more and more knowledge about the newest products, the best techniques, and the most-loved beauty items out there at our disposal?  Why do you love beauty??  What is it about beauty products that make you swoon?  If you write a blog, what got you started?  What pushed you to stop being an observer and start taking an active part in the blogging community?

blogging-communityImage courtesy –

I’m often trying to understand why it is that I can spend $50 [EDIT: this was the value I used back in 2012…seems low now, which is SCARY] $100+ on cosmetics without batting an eye, and yet rarely seem to (or want to) plunk down the same amount on a (necessary) pair of shoes.  I’m not sure I’ll ever truly figure that out, but I do know that there is something so fun, so artistic, and transformative about makeup that I absolutely adore.  I suppose if I were fashion-minded, I could say the same about clothing.  However, since I don’t have the same skill with fashion as I do with makeup, I can get why I would lean toward something of which I have an innate understanding of versus something that seems to always elude me.  So OK, my eye just works with the face and all it’s nuances – shape, tone, features – versus the body, with its curves and angles.  Got it.  I guess I just love the way you can add a touch of color, and shading, and light to the face and it can look so beautiful and entrancing – and it’s generally the first thing people notice about one another.  Ahh…honestly, I can’t seem to put my love into words, but you know what I mean!!

IMG_1634Doing a friend’s makeup for the wedding we were in a couple years ago.

Now, as for deciding to blog.  Honestly, I truly can’t recall what spurred me on to start writing instead of just reading, it seems so long ago [EDIT: And it was! I started blogging in July 2009, if you can believe it!!].  I guess I just had this strong desire to start talking to someone about all these awesome products I was buying, and since I don’t have many friends (if any) who share this consuming passion, I thought perhaps I’d be more successful sharing my thoughts on the world wide web.  Even though my current community is fairly modest, I’ve found some astoundingly wonderful people who ‘get it’ and who have given me such comfort – instead of driving my friends crazy with my beauty antics (1 hour shopping trip to Sephora, anyone?), I have fellow readers and bloggers to whom I can relay all my excitement to without fear of being over the top.  And this, beyond anything else, will keep me blogging away, rambling on about the newest NARS launch or best new skincare ingredient, because I can share freely without judgement, and also see through others eyes what’s out there, broadening my beauty scope.  Which is trouble, of course, but also very wonderful at the same time :)

So now, please, I’d love to hear your own stories!!  What entices you about the beauty world, and if you blog, why do you continue to do it?



Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 (or more makeup)

I was inspired by Liz’s post on the type of products she no longer uses, to do a sort of spin-off post in which I detail the products I won’t be buying for awhile – not because I no longer have use for them, but because I really want to try and use up what I’ve got. I’m still aiming for that lofty goal in which my collection is modest enough that I can purchase new items guilt-free, because owning less will inevitably enable me to use up what I have more regularly. Probably an impossibility, but I want to at least put more effort into enjoying what I already have instead of being madly in love for about 3 days, then promptly moving on to lust after the next hot new item. END THE CONSUMERISM CYCLE, dammit.

So, having given you my usual long-winded explanation as to why I do what I do, let’s get to the good stuff. A LIST (of products that are on a purchasing hiatus):

1) Base products (includes primers/concealers/tinted moisturizers/foundations/powders)

IMG_1406All 5 of my concealers, my liquid foundations/tinted moisturizers, and a few of my primers (the rest plus my powders are in my makeup drawer).

I have enough of all of these things; not an overly excessive amount (IMO), but enough that adding any more will just probably mean that some of them will go bad before I finish them all. I don’t usually go crazy over these kinds of items anyway (all but one of my primers and most of my foundations are PR samples or gratis items) except for concealers…still trying to find the holy grail of under eye concealers, but I need to give it a rest for now, as I currently have 5 on rotation, and for me that’s too much. I’ve also been on a mini powder kick, and I have 2 loose and 1 pressed, so I feel I am set for quite a while.

2) Antiperspirant

IMG_1407Clearly I have no allegiance to one brand…

Would you be disgusted to know that I’ve been using the same antiperspirant since Elena was in the NICU? Sooo that’s like…5 months? And haven’t had to replace it yet (eeks!)? I swear I use it {most days} but it seems to be lasting forever. I thought it was near the end so I bought a new one to replace it – twice – and then I discovered I already had ANOTHER backup waiting in the wings already. Plus another oldie that’s been kicking around for ages that I stopped using for whatever reason. So now I have 5 kicking around, which is making me feel far too much like my mother (who used to have hoards of them all around the house; I think she bought a new one every time she went to the drugstore – always finding a new scent or brand that she liked). So yea. I think I’m set for a while.

3) Nail polish

IMG_1422My ‘snazzy’ nail polish, displayed on my bedroom dresser.

IMG_1415The rest of my nail polish collection, housed in a shoebox in Ryan’s closet (there’s no room in mine! lol).

I have been doggedly riffling through my nail polish collection weekly in an effort to pare it down to a more manageable level; to me, if I can’t wear every shade I own more than once a year, then there is a problem. I’m hovering just slightly above 80 shades, and I’d like to cull it down more still to about 75 (in an ideal world, I’d have no more than 50, but there are too many shades I like to reach that goal). So, to keep things in check, I’m adhering strictly to a one in, one out policy. Though I love polish, I find this fairly easy to do, as I feel like I have every shade imaginable anyway. The hardest part is receiving shades for review – I’ve been getting most of the OPI collections lately, and I have to be really ruthless about which ones I keep. I give the ones I don’t absolutely love away shortly after I’ve done my swatches and post so I can’t change my mind, and that’s been working pretty well.

4) Color cosmetics

IMG_1409These are all the color cosmetics in my collection now (save for a Z palette with about 20 eyeshadows in it) – streamlined down to just one drawer, not bad eh?

Ok, this one is going to be a toughie, and I know if I get too serious in limiting myself it’ll only end in disaster (remember this?), so I am giving myself permission to buy color cosmetics that are Limited Edition – but only once a month. Additional exceptions (aren’t there always?): a) I am allowing myself to buy one non-LE item per month as well, b) the Sephora VIB sale is free game (if there is anything left at Sephora, after all the craziness – and also, in keeping with my previous guidelines which dictate that I only pick up one of each type of product), and c) all bets are off during our trip to Cali at the end of December.

After that last rule, it’s clear that basically nothing about my collection will change. LOL!


My name is Latoya and I’m a makeup-aholic.

Are you on any sort of no- or low-buy? How do you justify your purchasing habits (or do you even bother)?



So…I had a baby!

Cutting right to the chase, eh? ;) Well, if you haven’t been following me on Instagram, as the title suggests my sweet little babe has been born (which is why I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks)! If you’re doing the math, you may realize that she (yes, it’s a girl!) was born much earlier than her anticipated due date of March 20th. My impatient little girl arrived on February 6th, exactly 6 weeks before she was ‘scheduled.’ The story is long and convoluted, but to give you a brief synopsis – I was having some serious pelvic pressure/pain earlier in the week, which turned into what I thought *might* be contractions – but of course not having had them before, I wasn’t sure what they would really feel like! I had Ryan bring me to the hospital in the early hours of the 4th, to discover that YES, I was having contractions; but the doctors were keen to get baby girl to 34 weeks, so they gave me Adalat, a drug that stops contractions, and two rounds of steroid injections over a 48 hour period to boost her lung development. After her heart rate dropped several times over the course of the next couple days, they decided that the first day of her 34 week, February 6th, was going to be her birthday. Initially they were going to schedule a C-section for later in the morning, but her heart rate dropped again and it was suddenly game time. At 9:24am, at 4lbs even, Elena Bell Monminie was born :)

IMG_1495I get a lot of comments about the fact that I was wearing nail polish lol…it wasn’t like I painted them in preparation for her birth! Obviously they just happened to be painted :)


Because she’s a pre-term baby (she’s not technically a ‘preemie’ at 34 weeks), she’s been in the NICU since she was born. Once I was discharged, three days after the birth (standard for C-section births), Ryan and I spent the next two days at the hospital, from 8am to midnight, and slept at home for a few hours. Unfortunately, Ryan had to then return back to work out West, so from then on I stayed at the hospital in a parent room – which is where I still am (and where I’m currently writing this post!). It’s not glamorous, and it’s easy to go a little stir-crazy in a dimly lit room with nothing to do and no one really to talk to, but I’m managing! The nice part is getting to spend my days with Elena and enjoy watching her do mundane things like stretch, frown, stick out her tongue…pretty much everything she does is amazing lol. I hit a bit of a wall yesterday and was quite ill, with chills and sweats and a massive headache – I was majorly sleep-deprived and my diet hasn’t been terrific (though my family is doing pretty well at keeping me fed) – but I see the light at the end of the tunnel, as I suspect she’ll be discharged within the week. She’s a rockstar – she’s had nothing wrong with her except for her small size and a bit of jaundice, so at this point she’s off the monitors, being breastfed exclusively (she was originally being fed through an NG tube), and she’s sleeping in the room with me :) Once she gets her weight up a little bit, we’ll be able to break free of this joint!

And now, a photo-palooza!

IMG_1514So glad that NG tube is out now!

IMG_1565She had to wear a little mask while under the phototherapy lights to protect her eyes – made it look like she was in a tanning bed ;P

IMG_1541Alert and awake!

IMG_1519This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. She does this all the time!


IMG_1616You can really get an idea of how small she is in this photo (and how cute!).

IMG_1635They have these awesome tube tops you can stick your baby in while you wear them to get skin-to-skin contact, which is super-great for mom and baby. Love this so much.

IMG_1648Her ‘superman’ pose after a good feed lol

IMG_1680Here’s a clearer face shot…it’s still hard to capture her cute though!

So I just heard today from my nurse that it could be that baby girl is discharged today or tomorrow! This is very exciting news :)  It will be much easier to get back to posting once I’m in my own space again – and unsurprisingly, my cosmetic routine has been next to nothing, so I’m lucky if I wash my face once a day and shower every three (scandalous, I know!). I’ve left the hospital only twice – both times to go to baby showers that friends and co-workers so graciously changed around to suit my schedule – so I’ve only worn makeup twice in the past 19 days. That is most definitely a record for me! The only thing I’m religious about using is lip balm and hand cream – it is DRY up in here, my friends, and you’re required in the NICU to wash wash wash your hands constantly; needless to say, my hands are a MESS. Ah well, soon enough we’ll be out of here. Everyone keep your fingers and toes crossed for us, will you? It’s time to go home.

IMG_1688Just took this one yesterday…I’ve never taken so many photos of the same thing in my life! (oh wait, I write a beauty blog…erm, still think I’ve taken more photos of her than I ever have for any one post!)



Pregnancy Update: 2 months to go!

Lately it seems that a fair number of us bloggers, as well as blog readers, are getting a little worn out with the same old thing; the same old beauty reviews just don’t seem to cut it: we want something to inspire us and to pique our interest. At least, I know I do! I love all things beauty just as much as ever, but reading about it is starting to get a bit boring, and writing about it can sometimes fall into a routine. While I do have a few ideas I’m hoping to post on over the next couple months, I’m also interested in posting more personal things as well – especially with everything going on, it’s near impossible to keep this as a beauty-only space, and once the baby comes I suspect that will only increase. I still intend to focus on beauty primarily, but I’m going to start injecting a good dose of *life* into my writing, too. ‘Write what you want to read about’, is the motto I’ve always used to generate blog content, so nothing’s really changing, I guess!

This past weekend I spent HOURS working on the baby room. I hesitate to call it a ‘nursery’ because that sounds much more formal than I’d like, and more put-together than it’s ever going to be. As we’ve STILL got the condo on the market (since June – GAH!), we’re still holding out hope that we will sell in the next couple months – but it would be a damn near miracle if we sold and were moved into a new place before the baby comes. So, it seemed a good idea to at least set *something* up for the baby, and since we had this empty spare room, well…it wasn’t a big deal to do so.

Back in November, I painted the spare room – which was a hideous honeydew melon shade left over from the last owner (since we never used the room, I hadn’t bothered re-painting it) – to the same neutral tone that’s throughout the rest of the condo. It was partly strategic, as I hoped it would help sell the place, and partly in tentative preparation for the baby.

IMG_1306Green walls, pre-paint – I know it may LOOK like a nice shade in these photos, but trust: it was NOT.

IMG_1305Gettin’ er done! 

IMG_1311 IMG_1310Et voila! Hooray for normal-colored walls :)

Shortly thereafter, we bought the crib and dresser, but the room was still completely undone, with boxes and piles of other baby bits and bobs taking up space.

IMG_1326All we had at this point were these items plus the car seat.

A couple weekends ago, a friend of mine came over to shoot a few photos of Ryan and I and ‘the bump.’ When she arrived, she suggested that we take a few photos in the baby room first before heading outside to take photos of he and I. Of course, having NOTHING done in the room at all, that idea went by the wayside – but it was an excellent catalyst to get me moving and get started on making the room more baby-friendly (and cute!).

IMG_1349This was the only decorative non-furniture item in the room when she arrived…

IMG_3562…nonetheless, she still made it work!

I am by no means a creative or stylish person when it comes to home decor. While I know what I like (and don’t like), and I think I have good taste, putting things together is definitely out of my comfort zone – I find it very challenging to imagine what might look good without seeing it already complete in front of me. I often defer to either my mother, or my interior designer friend – both extremely talented in this arena – and rarely buy much for the home because I’m too scared to take a chance and make a bad decision. However, with encouragement from my mom, I went ahead and took a few ‘risks’ (which weren’t, in fact, that risky, but hey – gotta start somewhere).

First, I had to begin with a color scheme. Preferring to not know the gender didn’t make a difference in my choice, as I’m not one who would go for an all-blue or all-pink room anyway. I know yellow is often the default for gender neutral rooms, and some people balk at the shade for that reason, but I like the bright and sunny nature of yellow. I decided to pair it with gray because the two shades go so well together, and I plan to add some splashes of aqua in there as well for fun.

IMG_0217My first purchase (with my mom’s help) – a yellow lamp :)  The stuffed rabbit was a gift from my mom early on in the pregnancy.

IMG_0214First solo risk-taking was purchasing these curtains – I wasn’t sure, but they were affordably priced, and I quite like them! They’re fun and playful. The shelving below was also a economical purchase – I had to put it together myself, which took some time. Once I can find the right shade of storage containers, I’ll stick those in 3 of these squares.

Then, I needed a theme. Several months ago, I had seen a nursery that had prints of baby animals on the wall, and I absolutely loved the way it looked. While perusing Etsy, I found a seller who had prints of all different types of animals – barn animals, forest animals, ocean ones, etc. – that were so darn cute (and affordable!) that I had to put in an order. The prints are electronic, so once you’ve paid, you receive a PDF & JPEG copy of each print you’ve purchased, which you can then get printed off like a photograph. I opted for 6 prints, which I put into white frames – 4 small frames, which I picked up from the Dollar Store, and 2 large frames which I bought from Target. After measuring and checking and measuring for what seemed like AGES (and in fact, it was ages…it’s hard doing that stuff with only one set of eyeballs!), I managed to get them up, and DAMN if they don’t look great! EXACTLY what I was aiming for :)

IMG_0220GAHHH so freakin’ cute! We went with all safari-type animals – I particularly love the monkey :)

The Dollar Store frames were designed only to sit on tabletops, so I had to do a little DYI with hanging apparatuses, another time-consuming endeavour. Well worth the effort though; I’m really pleased with the way this turned out! I purchased two framed canvas prints from Target as well, which had NO hanging mechanism at all, so the hanging process for all was a bit cumbersome. Still – decorating success!


Once I cleaned out and/or found a home for most of the straggling bits kicking around the room, things started to look a lot better. Once we have a mattress and sheets etc. for the crib and a rocking chair, I think we’ll really be in business! I’d also like to have a floating shelf above the dresser for a couple last decorative items.

IMG_0212Still untidy and unfinished-looking without a mattress, but it’s coming along!

IMG_0215 IMG_0224

Overall, it was a fun way to spend my weekend. Despite some of the extra work I had to put in, even though there’s not much going on in the room, it is still satisfying to see it coming along, and to have finally made some solid decisions on decor by myself. It’s something I do very rarely, but I feel just a wee bit more inclined to do this more often – I always wish my home looked a bit more put-together, so…baby steps! (pun not intended, ha)

Aside from the baby room, things are well. I’m in the single-digit week countdown now, and I’m still feeling pretty good – my energy hasn’t waned yet (clearly, if this post is any indication!), I’m sleeping fairly well most nights, and no major aches or pains. The only thing I’m struggling with is some pelvic pain, which happens when I walk – it’s manageable for short distances, but anything longer than 15 minutes and I’m left with residual pain and major stiffness, which is a bummer. I’ve upped my prenatal yoga to twice a week, but I’m going to have to figure out some other kind of cardio I can do aside from walking – perhaps the recumbent bike? I’ve been thinking about going swimming, but that would require me to a) buy a maternity swimsuit, and b) get wet and then go outside in the cold. Also, chlorine and my eczema are MAJOR ENEMIES so it might not be the best choice. I’m sure I’ll figure something out!

One last thing – it is CRAZY how fast you start growing once the baby starts to put on fat in preparation for the birth. Here’s a shot of me at 29 weeks…


…and then again at 31 weeks (this pic was just taken a couple days ago):


DUDES. That is frickin’ NUTS!! I feel like every day the baby gets exponentially bigger. I’m getting more slow-moving by the day as a result, too. I find it quite humorous most days, though I’m still not used to having to slow down so much. You should SEE the process I go through to get out of bed. Sad state of affairs LOL.

Here’s a shot I took today (which is far cuter than these bare belly shots) – just for good measure:


My mom hooked me up with a TON of maternity clothes for Christmas, this dress being one of them. It makes it SO much easier in the mornings to get ready when you have a handful of things that fit!

So that’s the full update! Sorry for the novel, I guess I had more to say that I realized ;) All this baby stuff is so fun, and the reality of everything gets closer every day, so it takes up more and more brain space the closer we get to the big day. It’s become more real – and SURREAL – each day that passes. I’m feeling a bit of nerves with the excitement, but I also know that everything will be just fine – it will be hard at times, and exhausting, and I’m certain there will be tears and frustration, but I’m just as sure that there will also be some of the most joyous moments of our lives. BRING IT ON.

Me and Baby, Jan 10 2015

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I’m Resolute: My goals for 2015

So.  Resolutions.  I got ’em.  Somehow I missed sharing them with you the past couple years (or at least I’m just stunned and can’t find the posts – it’s possible), but this year I’m on the ball and excited to share them with you!

There seems to be two camps when it comes to resolutions – those who do them religiously, and those who never do.  I totally get the school of thought that one just strives to improve themselves throughout the year and hence has no need to set goals specifically after the New Year.  However, when you are someone who loves lists as much as I do, any excuse to make a new one is always welcome! :)  I am always working toward the best version of myself, but I also love the idea of starting fresh, so these factors are why every year I look forward to laying down my goals as a way to start the year off on the best foot.  This year, as an extra incentive to stay on track, I plan on writing an update post each month to share with you my progress (or any setbacks).

IMG_0179My fab new notebook in my fave shade :)

And so.  Witness my top resolutions for 2015!!

1. Streamline and reduce makeup collection.

But of course this is a goal. As per my cosmetics tally noted on ‘My Beauty Stash’ page, I am above my comfort level in several areas of my makeup and nail polish collections.  The ‘max’ quota numbers are somewhat arbitrary, but I wanted to choose within each category an ideal number of products to which I can aim toward and feel at ease with what I own, instead of stressed out that I’ll never use it all (which will still undoubtably happen, but I can dream!).  In some cases, I just felt like a larger number of products in a category seemed just plain silly (how many foundations do you really NEED?); in other areas, I felt like I would never make good use out of the shades I DO love if I have more than I can reasonably wear regularly (i.e. lipsticks/lipgloss/nail polish).  In truth, I just really want to feel excited and guilt-free about buying a new pretty now and again!

IMG_0181Just a small portion of my current collection – my current rotation :)

You’ll notice below I didn’t give a goal number for eyeshadow……..dudes, I have like a billion, and I’m never gonna use ’em all up ever in life, so there’s no point setting an impossible standard! Mainly I just want to ensure that the shades I’m keeping are getting used, so that’s my true goal there. Blush is a similar conundrum – if I ever finished one I think I would call myself the ULTIMATE BLUSH CHAMPION – but I think 30 is a reasonable number (in makeup fiend terms, anyway) and I still have a couple spots left!!  Also, I hope to continuously weed them out as I determine shades or formulas not well-suited to my skin tone / type.  To make way for new ones.  OF COURSE.

And so, here are my goals in the makeup reduction effort:

– Primers: 3 + 1 sample, 1 eye primer / Goal: 2 + 1 eye primer
– Concealers: 5 / Goal: 2
– Foundation: 4 + 1 travel size / Goal: 2
– Highlighters: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Bronzers: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Mascara: 4 / Goal: 2
– Eyeliner: 24 / Goal: 15
– Lip Color: 51 / Goal: 30
– Nail Polish: 103 / Goal: 75

I’ve actually made considerable headway with most of these categories since last year…the tough ones are going to be eyeliners, lippies and nail polish. Erm…wish me luck??

2. Spend more time enjoying things I own and less time seeking out newer, ‘better’ things.

I think we all come up against this challenge one time or another, especially as beauty bloggers. I’ve been improving with this over the past year, but sometimes I still get caught up in the trap of needing something new just because it’s NEW, and not because I need to have it. It’s like our attention spans keep getting shorter and shorter…and it can get quite ridiculous, really. My biggest saving grace is that I hate clutter and I get anxious with too much STUFF kicking around, so I purge relatively often. But I still own items that I felt like I just HAD to have, but yet I haven’t even used all that much, and that’s a damn shame. This year, I vow to give things I acquire a fair shake before rushing off to buy something else that catches my eye.

3. On that note…spend less time thinking and more time doing.

Oh man, I’m really bad for this. And not in the way you might think – I don’t get too wrapped up in thinking about doing something but never getting around to doing it; moreso, I just spend a lot of time thinking, period. That’s all well and good, but sometimes I need to get out of my own head (it can betray me sometimes), and just enjoy a moment, or let things go and stop analyzing every damn thing. This is the reason I did my degree in Psychology – I love to understand how people’s brain’s work, and why we do what we do…I want to understand so that I can continuously open my mind, refrain from judgement and be as accepting of people as possible. Probably I do this too because I want that behaviour and thought process to be reciprocated to me; everyone wants to be understood, I think on some level. But DANG if I don’t do it a bit too much, is what I’m sayin’ lol. So, this year, I’m going to try and be accepting without overthinking it too much…it’s like thought OCD, I keep thinking the same things over and over and it’s just kind of silly at times {now maybe ya’ll can see why I ramble so damn much all the time lol}.

4. Take at least 30 minutes a day to do something good for my body.

Since I’ve still got around 3 months left of the pregnancy, and I don’t know what things will be like once the baby comes, I don’t want to give myself a seriously structured fitness and health regime (I don’t really do that, anyway – I’m too into moderation for that) – but I do always like striving to be my healthiest self. I wanted to get out for a walk every single day since becoming pregnant, but that hasn’t happened and I don’t want to set myself up for failure – sometimes I’m honestly just too busy/tired/whatever to get it done. But I DO have 30 minutes every day to do SOMETHING good for myself – be it a walk, taking the time to make a healthy meal, or sitting down and writing in my journal for 30 minutes. So I’m committing to that and I know I will stick to it. There’s just no room for excuses!

IMG_0176Two books I received at Christmas….my family knows me well.

5. Relax with uncertainty. 

This is something else I struggle with a lot. It’s funny, because in many ways I’m very cavalier and unconcerned with the future – I haven’t been reading countless books on how to raise a child (in fact, I haven’t read any), and my general outlook on life is that things usually work out for the best, so why worry? My issues with uncertainty aren’t situational, but rather interpersonal – I’m always wondering if I’m doing the ‘best’ thing in my relationships (romantic, friendly and familial) and worrying that if they aren’t perfect, they’ll fail. I’m always thinking about how we can improve, how we can relate better and be better to one another. This all sounds well and good, but it tends to leave little room for error – any perceived failures on my part or the person involved and I start to question our relationship and it’s tenacity. You start to see the problem now…it’s like I want to control every interaction so that it only involves positivity – differences in opinion, disagreements, and conflicting behaviours leave me feeling unsure about the relationship as a whole. An unrealistic view, yes, but a hard habit to break. This year, I am determined to relax in my relationships and see any difficulties (within reason) as an opportunity for growth. I’ve only recently come to this realization, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge, but one that I think will benefit me significantly.

And that, my friends, is my resolution list for 2015! I feel quite good about it, and like these goals are both challenging yet achievable. I always love a fresh start, so I’m keen to get cracking!

Have you made any goals/resolutions for the New Year? Can you relate to any of mine?

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Yüli Skincare: An introduction and review {plus a story}


I’m going to preface this post first with a disclaimer – it’s going to be a review, yes, of some wonderful products from Yüli, an organic brand that I’ve fallen head over heels for. But I am going to share a little story with you first that is personal and a bit sad, and I don’t want anyone to feel duped or like I lured them in with a promise of review only to drag you into something else entirely. These products have a close link to my story, and I can’t share one without the other. I hope you don’t mind! (if you do, that’s completely OK – just scroll down till you start seeing pictures to get the scoop on the products!)

Back around Christmastime in 2013, Ryan and I made a huge decision to start trying to have a baby. We had been talking about it for some time, but were trying to wait until ‘the time was right.’ Of course, most of you know that there never really is a right time for these things, so one day I told him that I thought we should just go for it, and of course he was 100% on board (I think he was just waiting for me to make the call lol). I went off the pill right away, mid-pack (stupid!) and off we went. We figured it would take some time before anything happened, and so we weren’t feeling any pressure or stress, which was great. It was just exciting to know that we were taking this next step in our lives together.

To our complete surprise, in early February I started feeling a bit different leading up to my period that month. I was having some cramping, which never happened to me pre-period, and I was dead tired every night, falling asleep by 9pm. When the date my period should have started came and went, I had Ryan grab a pregnancy test from the nearest pharmacy, and with a bit of trepidation I took the test the next morning alone before he got out of bed. I was nervous because I was hoping hard for a positive result, but felt that it was too good to be true. Amazingly, it was positive. I bounded into the bedroom, woke him up, and cried ‘We’re pregnant!’ Sleepy and stunned, Ryan took a second to recover, before he broke into a huge smile. It truly was one of the best days both of us had ever had.

Over the next couple weeks, we shared the news with our families and reveled in our future. We planned, we chose names (seriously!), we basked in the excitement. I would ride the bus home and daydream about how I was going to be a mother soon. It was a time of bliss and contentment.

Two weeks into the pregnancy (which seemed like ages, especially when most people didn’t know our secret), I started having some mild spotting. Immediately I was googling what that could mean and hoping that it was nothing. The second time it happened, Ryan called the Nova Scotia nurses line, and they walked us through some questions. Naturally, they didn’t default to panic mode, but they suggested I see a doctor or go to the hospital in the next couple days to be sure.

The next day, a Monday, I went to work feeling fine. After about an hour, I went to the bathroom, and was stunned to see blood streaming out into the toilet. In shock, I left work without speaking to anyone, and called Ryan and my mom in a tearful panic, saying I was heading to the hospital Emergency unit, where they met me a short while later. After waiting hours to be seen, and having my hope rise when one doctor told me after her preliminary examination that things seemed fine, only to have it plummet when I had an internal ultrasound, after which I started bleeding profusely, the crushing results were that I had had a miscarriage.

If any of you have had bad shit happen to you in your life (which is likely all of you), you can imagine our heartbreak. Without going on and on about it, it was a tough time, made especially tough because you’re falling from such a high. But, life throws you a curveball sometimes. Ryan was extremely supportive, and we got through it, as you do. I’m not trying to minimize it, because it was one of the hardest things I’ve endured in my life, but miscarriages are common – probably more common than some realize – and of course now being pregnant again and with things progressing nicely at 25 weeks, it all seems hazy and the pain has dulled considerably. However, I know that its not as easy to move past for some, and to you my heart truly feels for your pain. I hope if you’re in the early days of that experience, that you feel hope that things usually work out eventually.

So. The REASON I’m telling you all this is because after the miscarriage, my skin went completely whack, and I had to pull out the big guns to do some damage control. First, let me show you what happened after my hormone levels spiked and then came crashing down in such a short time frame:

IMG_1021 IMG_1022

I know that for anyone who has struggled with acne, this may seem like small potatoes. First, let me say that it was worse in person – and also understand that when you go from having essentially unblemished skin your entire life, to this, the frustration and dismay is considerable. This occurred one month after the miscarriage, almost overnight. For about 6 weeks afterward, nothing I did to my skin seemed to work on these breakouts – though I was very gentle with my skin (I don’t think bringing out heavy artillery when your skin is reacting like this is helpful), I was diligent in cleaning and hydrating with a simple moisturizer, and wore little makeup, to no avail. And my skin was just a small piece of the body breakdown – my hair fell out in copious amounts, my periods were different (I have always been a 28 day gal to a T), and my mental state was off (I felt angry a lot). For someone who is quite healthy, I found the physical ramifications almost more difficult to deal with than the loss itself.

After about 2 months, my body started to come back to normal – or at least, a new ‘normal’, for me – but I was left with some ‘souvenirs’ of the experience:

IMG_1036 IMG_1037

The scarring was almost more noticeable than the acne, as it was much darker in color and required a lot of work to conceal. IT SUCKED. As you do when you’re a beauty blogger (or an aficionado of beauty in general), I did a bunch of research to see what I could use against these unsightly remnants of my hormone roller coaster. Somehow, I came across the brand Yüli, an exceptional skincare line based on the use of cutting-edge green biotechnology. I’d seen a few posts particularly on a product called Cell Perfecto PM, a corrective serum designed to “fade hyperpigmentation, correct dark spots and discoloration, and heal acne scars and sun damage for a brighter, smoother, more even complexion,” where the user seemed to achieve great success – I was sold.


Yüli products are not cheap. The Cell Perfecto PM set me back $98US for 1oz. But at this stage, I was desperate for anything to work. As the brand offers a shipping discount ($8 off) when you purchase $150 or more, I also picked up one of their Elixirs, Panacea ($68 for 3.4oz), a rebalancing, clarifying and hydrating toner mist suitable for normal, combination, oily or blemish-prone skin.

Yüli Cell Perfecto PM Yüli Cell PerfectoI’m not sure if you can see, but there are little bits of sediment in the serum, which is just some of the time-released actives – this does not feel gritty on the skin AT ALL.

As Yüli mixes their product fresh to order, it took about a month for my products to arrive – at the beginning of May, right before our trip to Florida. I was so eager to get cracking, I brought both with me, packing the beautiful miron glass bottles with care. Immediately, I could tell that these products were special – my skin was crazy-soft overnight, and felt supple and hydrated. As there were no essential oils used in either product (a rarity in the organic/green beauty world), I experienced zero irritation from either, and it gave me peace of mind every time I used them. The serum is of slightly medium density – it doesn’t feel heavy, but you only need a few drops to cover your face. I apply it especially sparingly to my forehead as if I use too much I can wake up with a slightly greasy feeling there.

Ingredient list for Cell Perfecto PM: Bioregenerating Botanical Infusion (Botanical Glycosides, Sea Minerals Complex), S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, M. integrifolia (Macadamia) oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, C. inophyllum (Tamanu) oil*, H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil*, A. uva-ursi (Bearberry) extract*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, G. glabra (Liquorice) extract*, C. asiatica (Gotu Kola) extract*, Renew Minerals Complex (Methysulfonylmethane (MSM)* Derived from Pine Lignin, Phytosterols derived from Flax), A. linearis (Rooibos) extract*, B. carterii (Frankincense) extract*, D. carota (Carrot) seed extract^^, G. lucidum (Reishi) extract*, L-arginine, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), L-Gluconic Acid (Derived from Kombucha Tea Ferment).

After using the two products for a month, I saw a visible difference in my skin. While the Panacea Elixir was refreshing and helped keep any new breakouts from forming (and quite honestly it just feels lovely), it was the Cell Perfecto that truly won my allegiance to the brand. After that mere month, my acne scars had faded CONSIDERABLY – so much so that using just a foundation covered them easily. After two months, my acne scars were completely healed without a trace. I know that acne scars do fade over time, but with darker skin like mine it usually takes about six months or so. The speediness in which I experienced this fading in unheard of for me! I wish I had taken photos of the evidence, but unfortunately (VERY fortunately), I got pregnant again at which point my brain kind of ~blipped~ and I completely dropped the ball. But if you look at some of my posts from that time [such as this one (six weeks after starting the product), or this one (two months after)], you’ll notice that there’s no scarring to be seen (and I’m fairly certain I’m foundation-less in both). HOO-RICKIN’-RAY.

Ingredient list for Panacea Elixir: D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia (lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat^, H. italicum/L. angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat*, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale(watercress) extract*, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver.

To say that I’m a Yüli convert is probably an understatement. Since trying those two products, I’ve picked up a few more from the brand – a replenishment of the Panacea Elixir, plus a 1.7oz of the Cocoon Elixir ($36US) and a jar of the Pure Treatment Mask ($65US). The Cocoon Elixir is just as lovely as the Panacea, and perfect for winter with it’s soothing, healing and hydrating qualities. The Pure mask is your typical powdered clay mask which requires you to add water or your medium of choice to activate it’s detoxifying and repairing properties. I use this every couple of weeks to really clarify and refresh my skin, and it’s quite lovely. As it’s so finely milled, you need only the smallest amount to cover your whole face, so this will last me ages I’m sure.

Yüli Pure MaskYüli Pure MaskClose-up shot of the Pure mask – yikes, look at the gunk coming out of the pores on my nose!

I’ve already got my next purchases planned from the brand – a full-size of the Cocoon Elixir (I’m in love!) and their Halcyon Facial Cleanser, as I’m in need of a new face wash. I’d also like to try another serum – I’m *just* finishing up the bottle of Cell Perfecto after using it almost every single night for the past 7 months (!!!) – and I’m considering buying Liquid Courage, a concentrated antioxidant serum (though the price is a little terrifying at $125 for 1oz). I’m fully committed to trying every single product from the brand, which is entirely possible given it’s perfectly-sized capsule collection.


Yup, I definitely have an addiction.

Have you tried anything from Yüli? Have you ever experienced a severe hormonal breakout?

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What I did this summer: Recap and Update!

As summer has now come to an end (sorry guys, I know it’s hard to accept!), I find myself reminiscing about the past season and feeling quite content  that I really made the most of it this year. While I generally have a wonderfully fun-filled summer season every year, this one in particular felt very satisfying. I suspect that due to the lack of weddings (only one as opposed to the usual five or six!), I had an unusual abundance of time in which to spend on my own pursuits.

Because this summer was one of my favourites, I thought perhaps it might be nice to share some of the things I got up to and sort-of re-live the whole season in all it’s glory, all over again :)  Get comfortable, because photos abound!

This summer, I:

1) Traveled to Orlando, Florida

IMG_2294The gals :)

IMG_2271…and the gents (lol)

IMG_2314Driving down Daytona Beach!

2) Went away to Country Stiles B&B for my mom’s birthday

IMG_2376Country Stiles B&B in Amherst, N.S.



IMG_2385Party games! That’s my momma on the left ;)

IMG_2399The birthday girl

IMG_2440Blowing bubbles at Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the way home

3) Spent a few hours with the pup (aka our 6 year old chocolate lab Ally) at Martinique Beach in Nova Scotia (about an hour away from where we live)

IMG_1088Ryan and Ally

IMG_1090“Throw the stick, throw the stick, throw the stick”

4) Attended a wedding at Hatfield Farms (conveniently located 10 minutes from my house)

IMG_1091It rained for a moment…but then a beautiful rainbow came out!

IMG_1105Let me tell you, riding a mechanical bull is EFFING HARD WORK

5) Had a huge laugh watching co-workers get soaked participating in a charity dunk tank during Public Service Week (an annual event for federal public servants such as myself)

IMG_1122Fun costumes abound! 

IMG_1118Turn out was awesome!

6) Celebrated our anniversary :)

IMG_1125Unfortunately not in person…but in spirit (with beautiful flowers!)

7) Had a weekend away indulging in a lot of wine, laughs and beautiful scenery with my mom at Liscombe Lodge in Nova Scotia

IMG_2988Our spectacular view

IMG_2991And more…

IMG_2996…and more…

IMG_3008…keeps going…


IMG_3018~sigh~ Utterly wonderful!

IMG_3022Some neat abandoned ships on our way home. 


8) Made two lots of strawberry jam to give away as gifts (and one lot of raspberry – my fave!)


9) Saw the AWESOME Canadian band July Talk (amongst other acts such as Death Cab for Cutie and The Killers) at the Big Red Fest in P.E.I.

IMG_1141July Talk with good ol’ Matt Mays

IMG_1138Leah Fay is magnetic…that girl has stage presence! 

10) Bought some Hakuhodo brushes! (they’re lovely!)

IMG_3033Top to bottom: medium pointed Yachiyo brush, J142 brush, G5520BkSL brush, and the G5512BkSL brush

11) Watched a beautiful sunset and enjoyed nature with my mom and my uncle’s family at the Shangri-la Cottages in Noel, Nova Scotia

IMG_1151IMG_3040IMG_3042IMG_3041IMG_3044My mom and uncle

IMG_3049IMG_3051IMG_3059IMG_3061My wee momma ‘playing’ in the mud

IMG_3068My aunt being her sweet and hilarious self

12) Stood in crazy line-ups to eat at this years’ annual Halifax Food Truck Party….so worth it!


13) Started a new tradition when I made hashbrown casserole for my friend, who’d never had it (we literally have HBC Fridays now lol)


14) Played my hand (and lost as usual) during my friend’s family’s annual washer toss tourney

IMG_1160Ally lazing about in the middle of the tourney haha

And finally, the biggest event of them all was that we:

15) Created a new member to join our little family in March 2015!!

IMG_3705Our first baby gift :)

I’ve been dying to share the news with all of you, but obviously had to wait ’til the time was right. I’m 14 weeks along now – will be 15 weeks tomorrow – and things have been pretty easy so far, truth be told. Zero ‘morning’ sickness, and mostly just had the regular tiredness that comes along with the first trimester. I’m starting to experience some back pain, but all in all its been very stress-free and relaxed. I’ve been very fortunate! It definitely makes me love being pregnant that much more :D

So, aside from a very busy summer, this is another big reason why I haven’t been posting as often. Bedtime comes early! ;) And because I’ve been super busy with work, taking French lessons, working extra shifts at Clinique, and trying to get this darn condo sold, my spare time is often spent VERY low-key – mostly just reading and sleeping (lol). I’ve also started taking prenatal yoga classes once a week, which will be awesome but DAAAAAMN I’m not very good at slowing down, huh?

Now that I’m starting to get a bit of my energy back, I’m hoping to post more regularly. I haven’t been buying many cosmetics due to saving for the new house and in preparation for the baby, but I have my ‘Operation Reduce‘ that is still on-going, and I’m working on a couple new ideas to talk about. And every so often, I do pick up a treat ;)

Overall, life has been pretty amazing these past few months! I can only imagine it will continue as we start on this new, exciting adventure. I’m so totally ready (as much as you can be, I suppose)!!!  I hope all of you have had equally wonderful summer holidays – don’t forget to think back on all the fun you had, once the weather turns and you’re cursing the bitter cold! Maybe those memories will sustain you ’til next year ;)

How was your summer? Do tell!


A life update!

Hi guys ~waves~ I have been seriously absent the last while! I don’t like to do the whole apology thing, because this is a blog and it’s supposed to be fun and not stressful – we all have lives, after all – but I did want to give a little insight as to what’s been going on with me lately (because again, this is a blog! :)).

February was a month of emotional roller coasters. I’m not prepared to tell all just now (in time), but suffice to say there was exciting new sandwiched between two traumatic events, and wrapping my head around all of it has really taken up most of my brain space. On top of it all, my bf – who was working in Newfoundland if you recall – has been off work since December, waiting to hear when he would get sent back to NL for the 2nd phase of the project he was working on.  Recently we got word that it didn’t look likely that he’d be going back, which means he was going to be looking for a job again. Funds have been pretty tight over the last few months, so to discover that he kind of was waiting in vain was, to put it plainly – SHITTY. And then last week, both the car and the washing machine conked out.  YAY!  So many *fun* things to deal with, right?  UGH.  While we’ve been trying to stay positive about it all, some days it’s just like ‘OK dude, some GOOD news, please!!’  And my skin due to all the stress is an absolute disaster.

IMG_2036Broken old crappy thing. When I went to run it last, it made a screeching sound and started to smoke :(

Happily, a couple days ago things started to turn around (I hope!).  He got a call from someone connected to the same company he was working for in NL, who had an opportunity for him to work out West – a similar set up to NL where he’d be working a number of days away, and then would have a handful of days home. Obviously it sucks that we’ll be doing the long-distance thing again, but it’s work and it won’t be forever. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?

So, to celebrate (?) we bought a washing machine, and today we’re going looking for a new car. It lifts so much weight off your shoulders to pick off the stressors one by one. Hopefully as things improve, so will my skin – having never lived with acne, I honestly don’t know what to do with it, and I’m worried if I try and tackle it too aggressively, it’ll just get worse. So I’m trying to keep my routine simple, and wash my face as soon as I get home so that its not covered in makeup for longer than it has to be. Until it clears, face shots on the blog will be next to none, so here’s hoping it goes away soon!

Haier Washing MachineNew washing machine on it’s way!

And that’s my story in a nutshell.  I hope to share more of the details with you at some point, but right now is not the time. I’m going to try and get my focus back and start posting more regularly again – I guess if Ryan is away at work I’ll have more time on my hands as well, so no excuse ;)  In the meantime, I hope you can bear with me! I know we all go through tough times so I’m not going to add more stress by worrying about not posting and all that jazz, but I did want to share why I’ve been semi-absent. Life, eh?

I hope everyone is well and that spring is starting to really show its face for you all! Here, we had a huge snowstorm Wednesday (almost all businesses were closed, even the grocery stores!) so yea…no spring here yet lol. As usual we’ll probably just have a lot of rain and then dive headfirst into summer. C’est la vie!

March 2014 Bedford, Nova Scotia It’s really warm and wet here today so the snow is melting and sun is peeking out!



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