Sunday, May 28, 2017

live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.

Life is rarely slow, quiet, or boring. At least in my experience. It seems there is always more to see and do...and I like it that way! (Though, I confess, a bit of downtime would be nice every now and then). Over the last couple of weeks, my schedule has been packed. Between work, writing, my blog, YouTube channel, and all of those pesky at-home's hard to imagine being able to squeeze anything else in. Yet, I've managed to do it. Here is a little peek at my life lately.

The Bodyguard Musical. Musicals are a serious love of mine. Sadly, I don't get to see them very often. I'm more likely to be found watching a movie musical or browsing YouTube for Broadway clips. Luckily, I was able to see a live performance recently: The Bodyguard Musical. A friend of mine was able to get a good deal on a pair of I away we went! I didn't know quite what to expect from the show. Honestly, I'd never even seen the movie. All I knew was that the soundtrack ruled.

Our seats were pretty close to the back but it was easy to see everything thanks to the elaborate costumes and oversized set pieces. So, how was it? I had a great time. The musical numbers were everything you'd expect and more. It felt like being at a Whitney Houston concert. I found myself getting completely and totally lost in the music. The rest of the production was good as well, but the songs (along with the uber talented cast) were most definitely the best part of The Bodyguard Musical. It was a fun day out, for sure!

Blue Jays Game. It just isn't spring/summer without going to a baseball game! Though my husband and I usually wait until the summertime to check out a game, a friend of his from work suggested we go. So we did! It was a long day (because I worked that morning and then went to the game that night) but a good one. Our team won, we ate dinner at my favourite restaurant, and got a giant bucket of popcorn. Not a bad way to spend a Monday evening.

Writing. In addition to all of the extra activities that have been keeping me busy... I've been doing a lot of writing lately. This is without a doubt my biggest passion. For me, writing is fun and rewarding. So, here are a few of my more recent articles. Check them out if you get a chance!

In the words of Ferris Bueller, "life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." While it definitely feels like life is moving faster and faster these days....there are plenty of exciting events to appreciate along the way.

What has been keeping you busy lately?

xo Shannon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Short on Time? Pamper Yourself In 10 Minutes or Less

Every magazine article goes on and on about the importance of spoiling yourself. They list spa days, massages, lunch with friends, and a million other time consuming activities. What about the days when you have a crazy busy schedule? Should you give up on that oh-so-important you time? Of course not. Here are a few fabulous activities for the busy gal who needs a break...

Get Your Heart Pumping. Okay, working out might not seem like an ultra pampering experience, but it is a great way to get moving, nurture your body, and boost your self confidence. While a sweat session at the gym may not fit into your schedule, a five to ten minute workout will. There are tons of great options, from this HIIT routine on YouTube to the new Jillian Michaels 10 Minute Body Transformation DVD LINK. Take your pick!

Show Your Skin Some Love. Sometimes, your skincare routine feels complicated and time consuming. But it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of ways to pamper your skin on a tight schedule. Try popping on a Biore pore strip (this can be worn while you work or get other tasks done), a full face mask (usually these stay on for about ten minutes), or a quick and easy peel off treatment. Give your skin a little something special.

Take Time to Go Zen. Meditation has a number of positive health benefits (including reducing stress levels, helping you connect, and boosting feelings of happiness). So, take time for a five minute meditation. There are apps to help with the process and guided meditations on YouTube. Another option is to simply sit in silence for a few minutes to rest and rejuvenate your mind.

Make Your Hands a Priority. Really short on time? Not to worry. There is a super quick way to give yourself a little TLC. Put on a summer scented hand lotion. Wait a minute for it to absorb completely and then continue on with your day. The scent will instantly transport your mind to that blissful state of vacation mode. A quick spritz of body spray or perfume can work wonders, too.

Everyone needs a little time to rest, relax, and pamper themselves. So, give one of these time-effective tricks a try. You'll feel better in no time.

Share your own suggestions in the comment section below!

xo Shannon

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

review: katy kat pearl lipstick

Makeup and music are two of my biggest passions. There is nothing better than putting on a great song and getting glam! In the past, I have tried more than a couple of Katy Perry's Katy Kat Matte lipsticks. (Take a peek at my Try On Video if you missed it!) Recently, she collaborated with Cover Girl again to release a line of Katy Kat Pearl lipsticks. There were a few different shades to choose from (including a light blue that was super intriguing) but I wound up with Purrty In Pink, a super soft and pretty pink shade.

The packaging is slightly different when compared to the original Katy Kat Matte and the Katy Kat Pearl lipsticks. While the original came in a matte white container with black writing, the Pearl collection has shiny black casing and holographic lettering on the front. It was a pleasant surprise that they took the time to tailor the packaging to the product rather than re-use the same style.

Now for the colour and quality. This shade is very pretty and romantic - and it has that gorgeous pearly finish. The best way to describe this lipstick? Think of it as a your-lips-but-better kind of shade. The texture is smooth and moisturizing (more so than the matte line) and is ultra comfortable to wear. Cover Girl definitely impressed me with this one!

Here is a makeup look that I created using the Katy Kat Pearl lipstick in Purrty In Pink....

This is a colour that I can see myself wearing often. It is romantic, flirty, and totally perfect for the spring season. And just in case you missed is my latest YouTube video!

Have you tried anything from the Katy Kat Pearl line?

xo Shannon

Monday, May 22, 2017

victoria beckham for target

Growing up, my favourite Spice Girl was always Posh. She was just so cool. While the other girls in the band had loud and over the top personalities, Posh Spice exuded a quiet confidence that I admired and aspired to. In the years since then, Victoria Beckham has remained a source of inspiration in my life. From her red carpet poise to her daring designs and incredible family life...she really seems to have it all.

Though I've been a fan of Victoria for most of my life, I never actually thought I'd be able to wear any clothes from her line. There was both price and size to consider, after all. (Many years ago, her denim line launched. She stopped by my city and in order to meet her, you had to buy a pair of jeans. Problem was, they didn't run big enough for me to fit into. Long story naturally skinny sister would up with a pair of designer jeans.) Then she teamed up with Target.

You would think my long-time dream was finally coming true. Wrong. I live in Canada and as you may recall, Target closed down all Canadian stores a while back. My dream seemed to be dashed once again! Until I went to visit my mom. Sitting on the couch waiting for me were two pieces from the Victoria Beckham for Target line. She'd ordered them from eBay to surprise me. Thanks, mom!

The first piece was a beautiful floral dress. It is absolutely perfect for spring and summer. With a gorgeous black background and lots of white, pink, and yellow flowers scattered throughout, everything about this dress is fun and flirty. What I love? The shape of the dress is ultra sophisticated and classic. It has a scooped neckline and a black band to accentuate the waist.

The second piece is a soft pink loose fitting dress. It has bold white cuffs and a gorgeous white collar. Obsessed! The collar itself has a super cute design detail, with a bunny rabbit on either side. This piece has absolutely everything I could ever want from a dress: a pink colour and a bunny print.

While I have only seen pictures of the rest of the line....I can say with certainty that the pieces I own from the Victoria Beckham for Target line are incredible. They absolutely met my expectations in terms of quality and design aesthetic.

Do you have anything from this line? What do you think of these pieces?

xo Shannon

Saturday, May 20, 2017

review: laura mercier secret brightening powder

Every beauty addict has a wish list. Mine has gotten pretty lengthy over the years, with everything from high-end blushes to limited edition palettes making the cut. One product that has topped the list for ages? A setting powder from Laura Mercier. I've heard rave review after rave review about the translucent powders and setting powders from this line. Every blogger goes on about the quality and effectiveness. So, of course, it peaked my interest.

A while back, I was at Sephora when I noticed a smaller sized version of the Secret Brightening Powder. Instinctively, I thought, what the heck. I took the plunge. Since my under eye area could do with a bit of brightening lately, this seemed like the perfect solution. Leaving the store, I felt giddy, practically bursting with anticipation. Would it work? Be worth the money? Live up to the hype? Here it review of the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

Packaging. There is one area where high-end products consistently beat drugstore products: packaging. That higher price point means there is a little more attention paid to the outer shell. This is certainly true with the Laura Mercier powder. I have a few loose powders floating around my makeup collection already - and they are all in cheap plastic. The brightening powder packaging is far more luxurious. The cap screws off easily and the materials are noticeably sturdier.

Quality. When it comes to the quality of the product...there is simply no denying it. The powder is super finely milled and very soft to the touch. Every time I use it, I'm shocked by how fine the powder is. So gorgeous! The product applies easily, feels lightweight, and leaves the skin feeling smooth. This is definitely a wonderful product.

Effectiveness. Now to talk about the effectiveness! Does it really work? Yes. I used it on one side of my face and followed my normal concealing routine on the other side. The difference is noticeable. The under eye area is brightened, smoothed out, and lifted. Take a look...

Laura Mercier is a brand I love. Even though my wallet doesn't! There are so many beautiful items in their collection....and this powder is easily one of my favourites.

Have you tried this? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Thursday, May 18, 2017

a woman makes an outfit her own with accessories.

One thing I could never get sick of? New accessories. There is something so exciting about a piece of jewellery that is all shiny and new. This statement is even more accurate when that piece of jewellery is a gift from someone special. Recently, I was over at my best friends house, when all of a sudden, she jumped out of her seat. There was something she wanted to give me before she forgot. It was a beautiful choker necklace with an assortment of hanging crystals. I was so surprised and grateful.

According to the packaging, the crystals represent Wealth (citrine), Love (rainbow quartz), Luck (tourmaline), Wisdom (lapis lazuli), and Power (rose quartz). Basically, you choose the crystal you want and attach it to the black choker. I am absolutely obsessed with this necklace. It is super versatile - and I can customize it to my mood and outfit. I love that this is bold, on trend, and radiates positive energy. I've been steadily adding chokers to my collection over the last little while....but this is by far my favourite.

Want to see what it looks like on? This is the Blackheart choker, featuring the stone for wisdom. That one is my personal favourite thanks to the beautiful colour and shape.

This choker necklace is beautiful, fashionable, and makes me feel like a million bucks. That is ultimately the goal of any this is a serious win, in my books!

On another note, my latest YouTube video is up. I was finally able to put together some highlights from my Las Vegas vacation. Take a look!

What do you think of this necklace? Do you like the choker trend?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

inspired by: spring style

Me? Inspired by the spring season? You bet. This winter seemed like an endless sea of snow, slush, and chilly temperatures. It is only now that it really feels like we have put that long winter behind us. The sun shines brightly (in between those spring showers), I have this strange desire to clean and organize my apartment, and my love of fashion has returned full force. Ahh....what a beautiful time of year to be alive.

To celebrate this beautiful season in bloom (pun intended), I decided to create a look that perfectly sums up my idea springtime outfit. It features a fun and flirty dress as the focal point, with a bold print, a splash of colour, and a trendy mesh detail along the neckline. Since the dress had that stunning yellow going on, I decided to bring that down to the shoes, opting for a flirty cut pair of yellow flats.

Colour is everything during the spring months, so I played that up a little more by incorporating a pastel pink purse and a coral toned lipstick. The rest of the accessories were decidedly more neutral but still super glamorous and pretty. I chose a retro-inspired pair of black sunglasses and a pair of black Hermes earrings. To finish it all off? A beautiful champagne toned highlight for to create gorgeous glowing skin. Talk about the ultimate spring outfit!

This is a more elevated example of an outfit I would put together. I love a good springtime dress, pastel shades, and subtle pops of colour. They just make you feel good. Especially when the sun is shining and the world feels a little more carefree.

What do you think of this outfit? Are you excited for spring?

xo Shannon