Monday, 30 June 2014

To all my Canadian girls, I hope you had the happiest of Canada Day Weekends! Tomorrow is the big day, and no matter how you're celebrating here is some red & white outfit inspiration to get you into the spirit of things. American friends don't despair, add on a blue accessory or nail colour and you're good to go for July 4th!

Throw on a dress that will leave you with room for dessert and has some cut outs to keep cool. Accessorize with a statement belt and metallic accessories to keep things casual and cute.

Shorts | Sneakers | Sweater | Necklace
Wear comfortable shoes in case you need to walk or climb to the best seat in the house. A sweater is always a good idea when you're going to be out and about once the cool summer night settles in. Don't forget a blanket or towel if you think you're going to be sitting on the ground!
Whether a bikini or full piece is more your style, now is the time to treat yourself to that beautiful new suit. A breezy beach coverup is perfect for when you want to head into town or go for lunch or dinner. Floppy beach hats are the perfect way to add practical glamour to your beach or pool attire. Grab your favourite sunnies and your SPF and you're ready for a day beach or poolside.

How are you spending Canada/Independence Day?

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Friday, 27 June 2014

How sad is it that June is already almost over? Thank you for all your birthday wishes on Wednesday's post - you are all so sweet! Since I haven't done one of these posts in a while, I figured I would catch you up with some of the things that I have been coveting lately.

Not pictured above but definitely worthy of a mention, I am loving finally being able to work from my Zero Gravity Chair in the backyard on Fridays. If you don't know what a zero gravity chair is, you need to get yourself to the Home Depot and pick one up before the mad rush of July sweeps them out of stock for the rest of the summer. You can thank me later. Second, I am absolutely over the moon about my new camera and I think you are too! Alright let's get cracking.
I've talked about purple shampoos before, but if you haven't gotten the message let me reiterate. If you are a blonde that prefers your colour on the ashier side, you need one of these in your life. In the past I've used John Frieda, but Light Blue Shade is not only cheaper, I think works better. It has a lot more blue to it and it's super pigmented, so use once per week is plenty. I've had people ask if I got my hair redone after using this shampoo - it's incredible!
This Lavender Lemonade candle I got from Target isn't the most powerful one I own, but boy does it smell good. It is the perfect fresh smell for the summer. I featured it in my Paper Night Essentials a while back, but I have been loving burning it before bed to really help me settle in for the night.
Now that summer's here I'm getting all up into my faux tan routine. This Sugar Crush Scrub from Soap & Glory is my favourite part of the whole experience because it smells just so damn good. If you're a Coke with lime fan, you need this in your life. It actually manages to capture the smell of carbonation, how is that even possible?
Ralph Rocks is my all time favourite summer scent because it reminds me of two of my favourite people. My roommate in uni gave me my first bottle of this when we were packing up to leave school for good, and the first summer I started wearing it was the summer I met Tyler, d'aww. It reminds me of some great times and also smells super fruity and delicious. You can read more about my thoughts here. I think they may have discontinued it, sadly, but I'm still able to find it in little perfume boutiques and online.
And finally, my favourite summer discovery is this Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster from Clarins. This was also featured in my tan talk, so you can go learn more about it there but I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to slap on the SPF but is wary about using their body faux tan products on their face. I think I will be buying this every summer for the rest of my life.

What have you been loving lately?

Linking up to Amanda for Friday Favourites, The Grits Blog, Meet Me on the Brightside & Make Me Up Mia!

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Even though technically my birthday isn't until tomorrow, I celebrated with my family this past Sunday. We were blessed with beautiful summer weather for a relaxed backyard BBQ, a perfect ending to a weekend spent relaxing at my cottage.

Dress: Garage | Cardigan: TJ Maxx | Necklace: Forever 21 | Sunglasses: Forever 21 | Nail Polish: JulieG 9 to 5

This lady right here is who I have to thank for passing down her love for fashion. My grandma is in her eighties with a more active social life than I've ever had, and still always looks so elegant and fabulous. I just love her to pieces.

We topped off the night with some delicious cake, Oreo birthday cake ice cream sandwiches (which yes, are exactly as delicious as they sound) and of course, a cup of tea. I couldn't ask for a better way to close out the weekend. But seriously, you have to try those ice cream sandwiches.
What is your favourite way to spend a summer weekend?
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Monday, 23 June 2014

I am back with my 5 Faves series and hitting up the nail polish category today to celebrate the first week of summer! Let's just go ahead and jump in.

If you're looking for a classic neon pink to live on your toes this summer, Colour Club Jackie Oh! is my favourite of the bunch. For a neon it lasts surprisingly long on both my fingers and toes, which is what gives it a leg up over other neon pink's that I have tried in the past. For a drugstore option that is a bit less vivid, I love Revlon Coral Me Wild - a beautiful creme formula that sits between bight pink and orange.

On the coloured end of the spectrum are Essie First Timer and Bikini So Teeny. If you're lover of the minty green family, First Timer somehow manages to be both bright and pastel at the same time. This polish is currently living on my toes and I am loving it! Bikini So Teeny is a cult classic periwinkle colour that works beautifully on the fingers or toes. It is quite eye-catching, and I always get compliments when I wear it!

And finally, to balance out the brights a bit, a nude polish is a great way to showcase a killer tan. I was on the hunt for the perfect nude for ages, and recently found the perfect polish to compliment my cool-toned skin is Essie Topless and Barefoot.

What's your favourite colour to rock during the summer?

Linking up with: Agape Love Designs & Wink for Pink  

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Friday, 20 June 2014

While eyeshadow may not be everyone's cup of tea, I believe that you can't go wrong with owning at least one neutral do-it-all eyeshadow palette. A perfect palette in my eyes checks off the following criteria: compact and easy to take for travel, mixture of textures/finishes, and contains a good range of light to dark shades. Pick up one of these palettes and you can easily customize your look for every occasion. So what are my favourite picks and why? Let's get into them.

My pick for favourite warm neutral palette has to go to the original Naked palette from Urban Decay.  

I know this is talked about ad nauseum all over the internet, but it seriously is my most used palette. Probably my most used eyeshadows in general. Here are a few of my favourites swatched.
My pick for favourite cool neutral palette is a much more recent find, at least for me, on my last trip to Ulta

I've been looking for the perfect matte cool brown and the NYX Love in Paris - A La Mode palette not only had two of them, but also had a bunch of other shades that would be perfect for a cool toned smokey eye. It's super compact and under $10 so I see myself traveling with this quite a bit. Here are a few of my favourite shades. 

What is your favourite go-to palette? Stay tuned for more about my favourite single shadows next week!

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Last night we had some huge storms roll in with threats of hail and tornadoes. Thankfully, it only lasted for an hour or so in my area, and the sun was out again in time for sunset. I hope anyone reading this from the GTA is safe and sound!

I can't be the only one who loves the smell of the air after a storm right? I had to bust out the rain boots and anorak and take a walk. What better time to take my new baby out for a spin and snap what I wore!
Dress: Old Navy | Coat: Aritizia | Boots: Winners | Belt: Thrifted | Necklace: Ebay
 I can't get over the quality of the photos. I'm so excited to keep learning all about what this new camera can do! Any tips or tricks from you photography buffs out there?

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Between the summer heat and humidity my dry, flat, naturally curly hair sometimes needs a little extra TLC to stick to the style that I want. Here are some of the products that have become staples in creating great summer hair days - with or without the heat styling.

I prep my hair to fight the humidity with John Frieda Frizz-Ease  Hydrating Conditioner - my absolute favourite for the summer not because I see visible results, but also because smells amazing. Once out of the shower I skip the towel and put my hair up in a t-shirt to help cut down on frizz.

Lately I've been testing out the Living Proof Full Thickening Cream and have been loving it! It can be used without heat styling for natural volume, and doesn't leave my hair feeling crunchy. Finish off with the Alterna Kendi Oil to help speed up drying time and smooth down flyaways, and I'm ready to style.

My hair is naturally curly, so if I'm cooling it on the heat styling and going the natural route I love using a little bit of the Marc Anthony Curl Cream while my hair is still damp to help define my curls and keep the frizz at bay.

If I'm going the straight route, I love my L'Oreal Hot Straight styling cream. It is a heat protectant that also really helps to block out humidity and keep my hair from curling up throughout the day - even in damp conditions. I've been using this stuff consistently since high school and it's still one of my all-time favourites!

Like during any other time of the year, to keep my hairstyle going strong for days without shampooing I always use my Batiste Dry Shampoo. I've been testing out a bunch recently and still have to give it to Batiste as my absolute favourite.
If I find my hair is starting to look deflated and limp I use the Got2B Powderful volumizing powder to help boost it up a bit. Be warned: a little of this goes a long way, and it can make your hair feel a bit gritty, but I absolutely love it for being able to skip the backcombing!

What is your summer styling secret?

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Friday, 13 June 2014

This year for my birthday I am treating myself to a Canon Rebel T3i, and I couldn't be more excited! My camera has been on the fritz lately so it was about time to take the plunge. For the rest of my family, they often like to have a wish list to help guide them to my head space of the moment. So here it is, what I've been coveting lately.

I have a similar silver version of this necklace from Baublebar, and it is one of my most worn pieces of jewelry. A rose gold version would be a great addition to my jewelry collection - timeless but modern at the same time.

Although I do have a gym membership, I've been running more outside while the weather is nice. An arm band for my phone would be the perfect addition to my running gear, and a set of weights would be nice to have on hand at home.

Veronica Mars was my favourite show during high school, so I was over the moon when I heard they were finally making a movie. I have all the seasons, now I would gladly support the movie in my collection. Anyone else a fan?

Finally, a remote for my new camera would be something I would eventually be buying for myself, so why not throw it on my list as well.
I can't wait to spend my 24th with my friends and family, but I'm still trying to decide what I want to do to celebrate! Any suggestions?

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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

As someone with normal to oily skin, powder is an essential part of my daily makeup routine. Years ago I fell in love with the Maybelline Dream Matte Powder and all was good in the world, until they discontinued it. Don't you hate it when that happens? #FirstWorldProblems I originally replaced it with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, but was always curious about the Dream Wonder Powder that had replaced my beloved in the line. Well, I caved, and here is what I think.
PROS: I bought it in the colour Nude, and it seems to be a good match for my skin tone. This powder doesn't provide a ton of coverage, but in comparison to the Dream Matte version there is a bit more pigment. Would I use this as a replacement to foundation? Probably not, but I have used it with concealer and it does help a little bit to even out the rest of my skin. I really do like the finish it gives to the skin - it takes away shine without being too dry looking. It ends up looking very natural. 

I love that the packaging is much less bulky that the Dream Matte version was. It makes for easy transportation, especially since it comes with a nice sized mirror.
CONS:  I'm not sure if you will be able to see from the image above, but my one gripe with this product is that it can get pretty messy. It's an extremely soft texture, so when you swirl a brush it disturbs a ton of product and has the potential to get everywhere. It does come with a sponge, and while that does help with the issue, I just personally prefer using a brush with my powders. 

I don't usually tend to need too much in the way of touch ups throughout the day, but if you have very oily skin I'm not sure this would hold up for a full working day.

THE VERDICT: All in all I do like this powder, but it doesn't blow me away. For now it will live in my purse for a touch up powder if needed, but at least for the summer the Rimmel Stay Matte will be my setting powder of choice. I could see it working well for people with Combo-Dry skin or for winter use though!

Have you tried this powder? What do you think?

Love Always Nancy J
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Monday, 9 June 2014

Is it just me or are Dad's extremely hard to shop for? Father's Day is around the corner and every year I am scratching my head trying to come up with something that I hope my Dad would love. Everyone has their own unique tastes, for instance this is probably what my Dad really wants for Father's Day: 
Yep, that pretty much sums up my Dad. 
But if you are looking for some inspiration, hopefully some of these ideas will appeal to your Dad's unique personality. 
The chill dad: Pick him up a tv series so he can sit back and relax 
The handy dad: a Home Depot gift card will help fund his next big project
The techy dad: Google Chromecast lets you wirelessly connect your laptop or mobile devices to your tv, remote free.  You can also check out my favourite tech accessories for more ideas.
The sporty dad: Sign up for a sporting event that you can do together!
The fashion forward dad: Bright patterned socks are becoming quite a popular way to bring a bit of a fashion statement to the office.
The gourmet dad: A set of grill sauces or rubs to experiment with all summer long.
The intellectual dad: An audible subscription, or if they are more of a physical reader an ereader gift card (or device), give them the freedom to pick something they know they'll enjoy!

What are you planning on getting your Dad for Father's Day?

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Friday, 6 June 2014

As temperatures have been rising,  I've been steering more towards a lighter, fresher looking everyday face. I'm linking up with the lovely Amanda today to show you the products I've been using to achieve my favourite everyday look for spring!

Garnier BB Cream for Combo to Oily Skin is a great light base that still provides coverage and lasts all day. This will be an absolute staple for me all spring and summer. If I happen to have anything that needs a little more coverage, I use my Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in light, and set it all with the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. This is the perfect summer setting powder because it requires zero touch ups from me throughout the day. 

Top off the cheeks with Benefit's Coralista Blush - the perfect summery coral with just a tiny hint of shimmer - and the face is complete.

My go-to bright eyed eye look has been pretty simple. I start with MAC Ricepaper in the inner corner and on the first two thirds of the eyelid, and place MAC All That Glitters in the outer corner for some dimension. Adding a super thin line of my Femme Couture Liquid Liner in Java helps to define the eye before curling my eyelashes and adding a ton of my favourite mascara. If you've been around these parts for any length of time you will probably know that has been Jordana Best Lash Extreme for quite some time.

And there you have it - a routine that leaves me looking bright and awake and is able to last through a full day's wear.

Do you change up your daily routine for the seasons?

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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

As a June baby I live and love the start of summer – it may still be twenty odd days away, but it’s good to have something to look forward to right? 

1. Run a race. Is it cheating if I already have this planned? I’m participating in my very first race this Saturday and I admit I'm a little nervous. I’m not naturally a runner but I’ve been making it a priority over the past few months, and I must say I am pretty proud of myself for keeping it up. Wish me luck!

2. Take a vacation.  I haven’t been on a real vacation since last August, and I’m looking forward to traveling somewhere this summer. It’s in the works! (Update: I finally fulfilled my dream to visit the Harry Potter theme park in orlando!

3. Have a picnic. What could me more summery than sitting in the grass and eating a PB&J sandwich? I'd love for this picnic to take place on Toronto Island, but I'd settle for a good picnic anywhere. (Update: Read all about our adventure here!)

4. Go on a hiking/camping trip. Last month Tyler started watching “Naked and Afraid” and had the greatest urge for us to go wilderness camping without any equipment. That idea got shot down fast, I am much too high maintenance for sleeping in the dirt.  Regular old camping with tents and sleeping bags? I’m down for that. (Update: Not so much of the regular old camping happened this year)

5. Take more outfit photos. I have been seriously slacking on this and it’s time to get my butt in gear while the weather is nice. I know the summer will go by like a flash and it'll be back to hibernation weather in no time! (Update: Total win! Check out all of my fashion posts from the summer here)

Hopefully by keeping the list down to five things I'll be able to accomplish them all. What's on your summer bucket list?
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Monday, 2 June 2014

So long May, time to make room for the best month of the year, am I right? Not only is it my birthday month – June means the best possible weather, lighter traffic, and BBQs galore. I just can’t even wait. A new month means its time to root through my trash and see what I managed to finish up over the past month. Not a ton but let’s get into it.  

I got down to the very end of my beloved The Keys candle from Bath and Body Works this month. It smells beachy and wonderful and was a staple during the end of the super harsh winter to keep me in the spring mindset. I bought a backup of this that is waiting in the wings in case it got taken off the shelf, but it is still available as part of the destination themed candles at B&BW.

Remember when I talked about how much I dislike thick, sticky moisturizers? Well it is basically a miracle that this bad boy got finished because this Blueberry Body Butter from The Body Shop was probably the king of all the sticky body creams. When I decided I really just needed to finish it off I started using it as a kind of pre-treatment for the days I was self-tanning. I slathered it on an hour or two before I hopped in the shower and scrubbed it off, and my tan would be even and my legs would be super soft. I wouldn't buy it again just for this purpose, but I'll definitely try the method it forced me to use with other lotions!

This spot treatment was featured in my skin care routine post, and even though it is slightly expensive and hard to find in Canada I will probably always have a bottle of this on hand. The Mario Bedescu Drying Lotion is a two-phase spot treatment that seriously works at drying up white-heads overnight. It might not completely disappear with one use, but the size and appearance of the little buggers are visibly improved. It doesn't look glamorous, but it does its job!

The John Frieda Go Blonder range was something I originally bought when I was at uni, and was a little more budget strapped when it came to getting my hair done. In the process of clearing out all of my excess hair products I used up the Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo, and honestly I'm not sure if I used it frequently enough to see a difference. Either that - or it really doesn't do much. Either way I wouldn't repurchase.

That's all folks! Have you tried any of these products and had a different experience than mine?
P.S. Home girl could use some advice on how to make the Blogger scheduling function work -  why is it that my posts never seem to get out of the draft folder when I set the publish date/time? If you're a blogger, help would be appreciated!
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