Thursday, April 21, 2016

Brass Bee

Spring is here and we have been blessed with some unseasonably warm hot around here lately!

I'm currently working a temporary contract that requires me to be outside, so I've been incredibly thankful.  But sadly, that means I haven't been able to devote much time to my outdoor spaces yet.  In the meantime though, I figured I would bring the outdoors in, in the form of this brass bee. (Although, technically I think he looks more like a wasp, it doesn't sound as good ;) ) 



I saw him at the store where I work and immediately fell in love. I waited about 3 days after he first arrived, checking in every day and then after a couple days off, noticed there were only 2 left and the other one has wonky and didn't sit flat, so I snagged up the last good one and didn't look back! 


When I got home, I immediately placed it on the stack of books gracing my coffee table, and there it's sat since, putting a smile on my face every time I look over.


It's actually quite a large trinket, which I love cause it makes such a statement. Especially since it's very detailed - even the underside has been etched.



I'm not sure if this is where he'll stay as it's about time for me to swap out the seasonal decor and that usually means birds for spring. Maybe I'll do a little play on the Birds & the Bees hahaha? 

I've long been a fan of animals in my home decor for a cute, fun, whimsical vibe.  But am I the only one who also love insects for home decor? 



I'd love to hear what you think ! 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Best Dressed: Oscars 2016

Yay!  It's one of my favorite Sundays of the year:  Oscar Night!!  Per usual, I am excited to share my Top 10 Best Dressed with you tonight. So without further ado, here they are:



1.  Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive
 I may not be in the majority here, but I DON'T CARE.   This dress was an absolute dream and definitely something I would totally wear if I had the opportunity to attend an event of this caliber.  The color was perfection with her skin tone.  The floral appliques are just so pretty. Doesn't help that she's got that long, lithe sinewy body type and this dress was without a doubt made to measure!  I also appreciate that she went incredibly simple on her hair and makeup since her dress was so ornate.  Of course, the perfect way to complement such a feminine dress?  Jewels by Tiffany & Co. of course!  Love it!  I appreciate that Ms. Blanchett always takes a chance and chooses something out of the box and extraordinary.  Haute couture at it's finest!!!

2. Naomi Watts in Armani Prive


Although completely different in style, I'm not surprised that my top 2 for the evening were created by the same designer.  I will also say that I had a heck of a time deciding between the two.  I absolutely LOVED the blue/pink/purple colorway combination of this dress - as everyone knows, I adore color so this isn't a surprise.  But it took such a simple column gown to something absolutely STUNNING. Fuschia lip?  Check?  Bulgari diamonds and clutch?  Check Check!  This gal always looks great in a column gown and tonight was definitely no exception.


3. Saiorse Ronan in Custom Calvin Klein


She says she chose the dress' color in Emerald to honor her Irish heritage and let me just say it's working for her!  This beautifully cut sequined gown looks stunning on the Oscar nominee and what makes it even more special is the cheeky back-side!  I really loved that she paired it with mis-matched Emerald & Diamond Chopard earrings.  My only wish was that her hair was a bit less "beachy..."  I look forward to seeing this up and comer on the red carpet in years to come.


4. Brie Larson in Gucci

The Best Actress nominee was definitely one to watch tonight and I was glad to see that she definitely didn't disappoint.  Joining the ranks of lovely women wearing jewel tones, in this lovely cobalt blue ruffled gown that made me think of a mermaid for some reason.  I love that she paired it with a pearl and crystal belt - most would have worn the dress as is.  The cut was lovely on her and I love a young person in a dress with a train!  Her jewelry was so simple:  a ring, drop earrings and jewels holding back those tresses.  She owned this lovely dress and looked so much more comfortable and confident than she did in the gold dress I loved at the Golden Globes.  She's my top pick for best actress tonight!  Fingers crossed.


5.Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton

This was the first dress I saw, as it  was trending online with multiple comparisons to Belle from Beauty & the Beast, and I have to say, I agree!  The lovely Ms. Vikander floated along the red carpet in this lovely yellow gown that perfectly suited her age.  She managed to look so elegant and comfortable and causally chic all at once.  I really liked the fact that the front of the dress was shorter, which I am sure helped navigate her walk to the stage when she **** SPOLIER ALERT** won for Best Supporting Actress.  Goes to show that dressing like a Disney Princess just might make you a Hollywood Princess as well!


6.  Isla Fisher in Marchessa

I was shocked to hear that this beautiful floral gown ended Ms. Fisher on some Worst Dressed lists.... I whole heartedly disagree. What this dress lacks in color, it makes up for, in lovely floral pattern.  I love with a little silver belt, complimenting the soft colors and detailing in the pattern. She knows how to work that drapey, off-the-shoulder style with aplomb reminding us that this gal knows how to work an ethereal look. 



7.  Tina Fey in Atelier Versace

Okay, so this silhouette is one that Ms. Fey often chooses, but this is the first time I think that she has landed on my list.  Why's that?   Two reasons:   First, that amazingly regal purple!  Secondly, the cut - the ruching on this gown is to die for!  She looks absolutely beautiful.  Pairing it with a beautiful, coordinating Diamond & Saphire Bulgari collar was a stylist's dream, but my only wish was that she had worn her hair down cause she knows how to work a Retro-glam Rita Haywood wave.

8.  Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney

If the list above is any indication, one would say that I love a dress with some sort of beautiful ornamentation - so I surprised myself a little in being so drawn to this dress!  With nary a sequin, floral applique, ruched detail,  in site,  this lovely Tangerine frock relied on it's one-shoulder/cape style and phenomenal cut to bring out all the stops.  Munn looks so lovely in this show stopping color that she even color coordinated her lipstick!   The only ornamentation was that lovely Forevermark serpent cuff that I would LOVE in my own collection!! 

9. Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad

The only other white dress in the bunch - this floral showed off her bangin' bod!   Like her other white-frocked friend Isla Fisher, Ms. Chopra paired her white gown with a silver belt.    This was a risky move as the style of the belt and dress here were quite different, but somehow seemed to work! Maybe it had something to do with the sexy sheerness of this look?  The floral pattern of this dress seemed very exotic and I thought it was a perfect choice for her beautiful skin tone!  I really wish though that she had brought out the Bollywood glam and worn her hair loose instead of in a simple ponytail though.

8. Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace
 
It's very unusual that I chose a black gown.  However this dress had a nice combination of stunning details and Jennifer Garner looks so elegant.  However to be fair, I find she rarely misses on the red carpet.  This one-shouldered look with beading on the bodice, pleated detailing, train and slit made this dress a hit for me!  Diamond earrings and cuffs to add some much needed bling, making this classic Old Hollywood-style glamour.  While I typically prefer long, loose waves with this look, I actually like this pulled back hair due to the fact they gave her a lot of volume!  Also, her best accessory?  That smile of course!!
 
 
Well, that my friends is my round up of the Best Dressed list from this year's Oscars.  What are your thoughts? Did I miss anyone?  Do you disagree?  Who were your LEAST favorites?  I'd love to hear you share!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Springy Coffee Table Vignette

The weather around here has been crazy nice lately.  In fact, I am sitting here with the patio door open today, since it's so nice out.  Unfortunately, the interior of my house is looking a little dis-jointed.  January is always tricky to decorate for since you put away all your Christmas stuff, but leave stuff that seems "wintery".  Then there's a couple weeks in February where it's acceptable to put out Valentine's Day décor, but come the middle of February, you put that stuff out and are left with....... what?

At my house, that meant a sad (toppled over) arrangement of Love Blocks under a cloche on a wood slice, an almost completely burnt out winter-scent candle and a bird bookend I had pulled out randomly a few weeks ago to fill a void... I didn't even think to get a photo since the arrangement was so wonky....


But since the warm weather has appeared and the groundhog said that Spring should be early this year, I figured it was high time to pull some things from around the house and create an arrangement that was a little more pleasing to look at... at least until I can start putting cutesy stuff out for Easter!

 
I had one rule:  everything had to be found around the house.  Until I find a new full-time position, shopping has been put on HOLD!. 
 
Firstly, I should mention that several years back when we moved into the space, our coffee table was re-finished (poorly) by my ex.  As such, via a happy accident, the wooden shelf under the glass-top has been covered by the floral fabric covered canvas ever since and I still love it, but lately have been thinking about re-finishing it properly, so we will see.....
 
 
Anyhow, I decided to do something different and start with a tray as the base for my arrangement. 
Mine is crocodile embossed silver faux-leather that I purchased ages ago at Walmart.  
similar   


 
Next up, I like to use a stack of books.  These are my current faves for stacking and add a little bit of color in the space, but I definitely need to get some thicker/bigger ones in the future.

They say that every good vignette needs something living, so I added this sweet little out of bloom orchid.  I swapped out it's terracotta pot for a green glass that used to be a candle jar.

 
 
Up next was something decorative.  Since I was trying to keep things Springy, I chose this bird bookend.  As there were already a few colors at play here (pink and green), I decided to keep everything else neutral, so the bright white was perfect, although, maybe a tiny bit too large for the books.... oh well I still like it!
 
 
** One tip I always make sure to do is check the arrangement from the back side as well.

 
 
All my coffee table arrangements need a candle and I couldn't think of anything more suitable for this arrangement than a "Crisp Cotton" scented candle in a plain glass jar. 

 
Since the tray was pretty large and I had the room, I also added the pewter pear in front of the candle since that jar wasn't decorative.

 
 
My coffee table is actually pretty large, so even after the tray, there is still another full side to do but since there was a lot going on, I kept things simple with a large, rope-wrapped mercury glass ball to reflect the light streaming in during the afternoons.

 
 
Here's a look at the grouping:
 
 

 
 
I actually spaced them out a fair bit after the photos were taken to properly fill the table top but I think it's a fun little arrangement for this in-between/off-season time when I don't really have a holiday/theme going on.  Plus I am sure I will tweak it and add to it throughout the month, as I always do.
 

 
How are you decorating right now?  Are you longing to inject some color into your space as well?  Is the warm weather making you think tropical?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Roman Numeral Ring

I've been pretty much wearing this ring every day since I got it!


If you haven't checked out Olive & Piper yet, you need to go NOW!!   They have some of the prettiest/cutest stuff around, the quality is wonderful and the pricing is super reasonable!

 
They also have a bangle which I am seriously considering as well....  There's something just so classic and timeless about this style!
 

 
 
 
I accidentally ordered this ring small and it really only fits on my Wedding Ring finger, which is fine but I've had a few people ask me about the meaning, assuming it's a wedding band.  It's obviously not, but I absolutely LOVE the idea of doing that - putting the wedding date in Roman Numerals!!!
 
(excuse the ugly hands and the fact that I badly need a mani...)
 
 

 
 


 
The light was really nice today so I had a ton of fun taking photos of this pretty piece!!
Unlike a lot of my other pieces, this one isn't too girly and was super fun to shoot!
 
What are your favorite every day jewellery picks?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MIA: Where I've been

Hi All! 

Just a quick little hello to explain my sporadic posting and absence. I lost my full-time job earlier this month, and needless to say, have been beyond stressed as I go through the arduous process of looking for a new job.  

I've been incredibly fortunate that my part-time job at the store has been able to yield be quite a few extra shifts and I've picked up some private contract admin work (which I do throughout the year usually) to also keep me busy and Financed til I find something permanent.  However, I'm beyond tired.... Working long hours on my feet has taken its toll this past month and I'm not as young as I used to be. 

Lastly, I took a bit of a spill on some ice last week and seem to have done a bit of damage to my leg. At first it seemed a bit bruised is all, but a week out, it doesn't seem to be getting better and I'd date to say that perhaps I'm a little worse.... So I'll be popping over to the Doctor's in the next day or so to get it properly looked at.

In the meantime, I am currently working on 3 separate beauty product review campaigns so I'll be working on getting those posted over the weekend and shooting some other content,  since I finally have a few days off. So please make do with some photos of Finley as I prepare some fun stuff for you!!

thanks for your patience! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Product Review: Nutrience Sub Zero Grain Free Dog Food

A few weeks ago, we were sent a sample of Nutrience's new Sub Zero Grain Free Dog food to test out and review, courtesy of the fine folks over at Chick Advisor .  It was our first time receiving a product that someone other than myself would essentially be reviewing and we were excited!


 
 
As with any new foods that you bring into a pet's diet, all changes should be done gradually, so as not to shock their digestive systems and cause any tummy troubles, so we started out by gradually adding little bits to her regular food.  She loved it, and actually took the time to pick through the food to find the tiny bits of "new" food, which she obviously thought was a delicious new treat.

Having a look at the ingredients, you can see that the first 13 ingredients are meat!!!  How crazy is that??  Followed up by an assortment of animal safe veggies!! I was a little envious - the girl was eating healthier and better than I was!!!  I felt good, knowing that I wasn't just giving her mostly "fillers" and that she was enjoying real food.
(okay, so I realize you can't really read this.. but I promise you, it's GOOD!!)

 
As she has always had a sensitive tummy, I'm always a little hesitant with new foods that might cause any upset, but she seemed to do just fine despite/because of the added protein and fibre in her diet.  I didn't see any issues, so that made me a happy dog mama!

One of the biggest changes that I did notice was in her coat! She was noticeably softer to me - and to three visitors I've had lately!  It's been reported in humans that gluten is a big contributor towards hair and skim problems, so it wouldn't be surprising that it would also apply in animals.  Finley's fur typically can be described as pretty bristly, but I definitely felt an improvement, which I feel no doubt is due to Grain-Free food!

Thankfully, Finley always has a high-energy, pleasant demeanor, akin to a puppy, so I never really see if changes in her diet affect her mood, we didn't have any negative changes, so I take that to be a good things - especially as she gets older!

There were some nights where I accidentally just fed her, her regular old food by mistake and she let me know her discontent by whining and nudging up towards the counter where the Grain Free bag was kept. If that's not a sign that she liked it, I don't know what is....

Now, I'll be honest here and say that the price point on this food, well, it was a little high.  The 2.27 kg bag that we tried out was valued at $31.99.  We regularly buy one 13.60 kg bag of her regular food per month.  Doing the math, if we were to purchase the same amount, it would cost us almost $200 a month!  However, since the kibble is actually smaller, we'd probably go through the bag faster, so I'd guesstimate closer to $250.00.  That's almost four times as much money..... Yikes!
While I do realize that the added costs come from the fact that what we are paying for is better quality product, it is a little shocking, and to be fair, the only drawback to this product that I can find.

Overall, I think this food was excellent.  It met Finley's approval in terms of taste (obviously) and seemed to agree with her stomach and had some positive affects on her coat, and I'm sure many other areas that weren't immediately apparent in such a short amount of time.  While I am not sure the cost to make the complete switch would fit in my current budget, we might be purchasing a small bag from time to time, to continue adding supplementary to her current food since she likes it so much!  I also certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend this food to anyone - but looking or not, for a Grain Free product.


**





While we were provided the sample bag of food complimentary for review purposes, we were not compensated in any manner for providing a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Love Letters: Valentine's Decor

As a single gal, I don't really make a big deal of Valentine's Day.  However, as a blogger, I like to add a little sprinkle of pretty things around the house.  But as it's just me around here, unless I have guests, I don't like to spend a lot of money on decorations so....

While I do decorate, anything must be super inexpensive and  I refuse to do anything TOO CHEESY.  So, I like stuff that is pretty and feminine with just a touch of romance that still fits in nicely in my home.  
 
There are just over two weeks before Valentine's so I'll be sharing my inexpensive and non-cheesy Valentines Decor ideas with you between now and then, so here's hoping you find some Inspiration!!


Michaels had these cube wooden blocks that somewhat resemble Scrabble pieces and I just sort of fell in love (no pun intended) with them.  While I knew they were probably something I could make super cheap and easy, they were like $3.00 each, so I figured it just wasn't worth the trouble to cut and paint or cut out vinyl for them... Call me lazy!


I bought the Letters to spell out "Love" and then started thinking of other words that would be fun to spell out.


 So I also added anothe letter, te "N" to my cart cause I can simply swap out the "V" and Move things around and I have "Noel"! 

Smart right?  Anytime I can use decor items for more than one holiday/season, I consider that a win!!!

 

When I got them home I played around a little more....  I'm a big reader so I also enjoyed this !


Of course,now that I had these fancy word-spelling blocks, what was I going to do with them?  My original plan was to put them atop a stack of books on the coffee table, but they were much larger than the vision in my head and while cute, I felt I could do better!
 

So after some brainstorming, I decided that if I stacked them instead of lay them, I could go another route and came up with this cute display under a cloche.


Since the base that came with this cloche is rather tall and makes the whole thing almost 3' tall, I usually opt to use this wood slice as a base instead.  I love the rustic/romantic combination and it adds nice texture to everything!
  While I like the unfussy simplicity of it,  I'm starting to wish I had some of those battery operated mini string lights to stuff inside as well now.... And really make things sparkle.... 
Hmm I'll keep you posted on that! ;) 



So far, the cloche is solo on this side of the coffee table as I think up a few more cute ideas.  Any suggestions on what to add to make this a fun little vignette? 

 
What do you think of my simple cloche?  I may have to spring for several other letters!!