Tuesday, August 23, 2016

concert review: wave reunion in niagara falls

Wave hits the stage for their first full show together in fourteen years.

Everyone has that band. The one you listened to constantly and think back on fondly. For me? That band is Wave. For those of you who don't know...they were a Canadian duo from the early 2000s. My obsession was real. I spent most of my high school days doodling their names on my notebook, listening to their music, and going to their shows in Toronto. By the end of their run, I had seen them at least a dozen times. I would go to concerts, mall appearances, television tapings, and everything in between. Seeing them brought me joy. Turns out? It still does.

Wave got back together for a one-off show in their hometown of Niagara Falls. They were the headliners for the second day of the Niagara Falls Beer Festival. Since Wave is a massively important part of my history (I used to draw pictures of them and even ran my own Wave fan website. Oh, memories!) there was no doubt in my mind. I needed to be there. And so the begging began. I immediately phoned my parents and asked them to take me. Why? They used to take me to see Wave back when I was in high school. It was a blast from the past in the best possible way. 

Me before the Wave concert. I went with lots of liquid liner and a smile! 

When we got to the Beer Festival it was not quite what I expected. There were a few people walking around. A few more sitting and drinking. The streets were lined with a few beer taps and food trucks. Then there was a large stage in the middle of a grassy area. This was it? The place of the Wave reunion? Despite the so-so locale.....I was nervous. Anxious. Excited. After all, it had been fourteen years since I last saw them perform. So we grabbed a seat and waited. I could see Dave and Paul milling around before the show. They were talking to family members....then sound people....there wasn't a chance for me to approach. Not that it mattered anyway. I was completely terrified. It was like stepping back in time. I was fourteen years old all over again. Totally in awe of the band that I loved so much. 

Before long they were on stage. The fans went up to the front of the stage and everyone else stayed behind in lawn chairs. With my front row spot....I was in my glory. They sounded even better than I remembered. And they had an incredible set list. It wasn't just full of singles. They played album songs. Songs that had been a part of my life since 2001. The best part? The fact that they played my absolute favourite song, So High. (The one song that Dave sang lead on. Therefore a must listen.) They also played my favourite song from the first album, Until The Record Breaks. It was a seriously stellar set list. 

Dave Thomson rocking out at the Wave reunion show.

I loved singing along to every single song. It is amazing that even after all these years.....I still have all the lyrics committed to memory. They mean something to  me. They matter. The only way the show would have been better? If the crowd had been a little more enthusiastic. There were a few fans there but it was mostly casual listeners, family, and friends. I definitely miss the days of lining up hours beforehand only to get a third or fourth row spot. (What a weird thing to write!) At any rate, the performance itself was wonderful. I was on cloud nine. I felt free and happy. It was one of the best experiences I have had in a long while. Yes, it was an hour and a half of pure bliss. 

There was a little disappointment after the show ended. My mom was not feeling the Beer Festival and demanded that we leave immediately. So I left, disappointed, without meeting Wave. I don't know what I would have said to them exactly. Maybe I would have gushed. Or played it cool. Or maybe I would have made an absolute fool of myself. Who knows? I just wanted the chance to find out. But it was just like my high school days all over again. My parents set the rules. 

Overall though, it was a great experience. While I wish it had ended on a better note....it was still an incredible day. Seeing Wave perform was a dream I had long given up on. The concert gave me the chance to go back in time a little bit. To reminisce. To re-discover my happy place. I will never forget it.

xo Shannon

Sunday, August 21, 2016

score stunning summer style with Stylewe.

It is hard to believe. The summer months have been going by so quickly. We are already halfway through August and the fall season is looming like a dark rain cloud in the sky. I don't know why it is so hard to let go of summer. Perhaps it stems back to my school days. The end of summer meant the return of pencils, books, and classrooms. Even though that is no longer my reality...there is still something bittersweet about the last days of summer.

Thankfully, summer style is here to stay. There are still plenty of opportunities to wear gorgeous seasonal outfits. From backyard barbecues to outdoor concerts, days at the mall, and everything in between. (I am already thinking about what I will wear to the CNE.) I plan on making the most of every single opportunity to dress well. Guess what? You can, too. There are plenty of stunning pieces to choose from over at www.stylewe.com

Their selection of Summer Dresses is spectacular. Talk about variety! There are dresses for special occasions, dresses for girls night out, dresses for daytime, and well, anything else you can imagine. As far as I am concerned? Nothing is better than a gorgeous dress on a beautiful summer day. You can get inspired by checking out the gorgeous designs on the Stylewe Pinterest page at: https://www.pinterest.com/stylewe/ Or you can check out a couple of my favourite summer pieces below. I have chosen ones that made me smile - and screamed summer style!

Summer is a magical time. It is full of sunshine, special events, and of course, amazing style. To find out more about Stylewe be sure to head to their website. Or you can check out their Twitter page at: https://twitter.com/stylewe

Which dress is your favourite? What do you love most about summer style?

xo Shannon

Friday, August 19, 2016

new in: forever 21 accessories

Khloe Kardashian rocking a nineties inspired choker.  

Honestly? I was a little hesitant to get on board with the choker necklace trend. There is one simple reason for this. I have been there done that. Back in my elementary school days....everyone wore chokers. They were plastic and stretchy and an absolute must have accessory. I remember feeling so cool whenever I put on my black plastic choker. It even had a ying yang symbol hanging off of it. (Remember, this was a very long time ago. Long enough ago that ying yang symbols were also the epitome of cool.) Unfortunately? I do not have particularly fond memories of my time in elementary school. I was bullied, teased, and torn down every single day. Not exactly a time and place I like to think back on frequently!

So when I saw the resurgence of choker necklaces....I was suddenly transported back to those days of yore. It was not a pleasant experience. Which is why I was so willing to forgo the trend altogether. Until a recent shopping excursion. I was perusing the wall of accessories over at Forever 21. Then I saw it. The most beautiful pair of choker necklaces ever. They immediately caught my eye.

My new favourite accessories. Choker necklaces from Forever 21.

Talk about gorgeous. What do I love about these necklaces? What makes them so special? These were no ordinary necklaces. And they certainly weren't made of cheap plastic. The combination of the two pieces together is unexpected and bold....and the fact that they can be worn separately as well is an added bonus. I love the velvet band on the first choker. It is reminiscent of the 90s but the pendant gives it a great modern twist. Then there is the second necklace. That pendant just called to me. I love the unique design and the combination of shapes and details. It is a stunning piece that simply begs to be worn.

Yes. I was hesitant about the choker trend. At first it brought back not so fond memories. Now? I have fallen in love with a couple of gorgeous accessories from Forever 21. They are beautiful enough to make me re-think my no-choker stance,

What do you think of these pieces? Have you embraced this trend?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

YouTube: Niagara Falls Outlet Haul

Niagara Falls. It is a place I did not expect to be more than once this summer. You might remember my post from a little while back about my time there. If you missed it, be sure to check it out here. It was a wonderful experience full of music, sightseeing, and shopping. (I will discuss the latter a little later on in this post!) The last thing I anticipated? Heading back to Niagara Falls again this summer. But it seems that circumstances are drawing me back to the magic and mist.

When I was in high school....a long long time ago...there was a band that I absolutely loved. And still do! They were called Wave and they were fantastic. I remember my Dad taking me to see them over and over again. We saw them at malls, at TV show tapings, concert venues, and everywhere in between. So when they announced their one-off reunion show in Niagara Falls? I simply had to be there. The moment I found out, I called my Dad in a panic and begged him to take me.

It was back to Niagara Falls for me. That is actually how I spent this past weekend. (There will definitely be a post about that experience later on this week. Look out for it!) Since Niagara Falls is on my mind lately....I decided to film a special video for my YouTube channel. It is a haul of the items I picked up during my last visit. My husband and I went to two different outlet malls. Which is always a dangerous thing to do as a shopaholic. We went to a lot of great stores, like Guess, Bath & Bodyworks, and Hot Topic. To name a few!

Want to see what came home with me? And to check out the special souvenir we made? Then be sure to watch my latest video on the creation of beauty is art. 

Shopping is always a lot of fun. So is travelling. If only every day could be full of both!

What did you think of this haul? Have you travelled recently?

xo Shannon

Sunday, August 14, 2016

my top five favourite exercise dvds

I am the queen of exercise DVDs. Don't believe me? I have a shelf of workout videos to prove it. Low intensity, high intensity, yoga, cardio, and everything in between. If you can imagine it? There is a video for it on my shelf. My foray into fitness began about five yeas ago. I found a video called, "Target Toning For Beginners" by Cindy Whitmarsh. Her positive attitude made me feel like I could do anything. That working out was important.

After that? I found more of her videos. Then I branched out a little, trying anything and everything I could get my hands on. See, I tend to get bored. So I like a lot of variety with my workout. It keeps things interesting and pushes me in new ways. Which is why in addition to the shelf full of workout DVDs I own....I also peruse YouTube rather frequently.

It was after throwing out my back that I found Jane Fonda. Sure, her videos are legendary, but I never thought to try them out. I didn't figure that I was an aerobics kind of person. How wrong I was. I found a video of hers that offered a light aerobic workout with lots of stretching - exactly what I needed for my recovering back. Somehow, I discovered a new passion. I genuinely love to do aerobics. (Even though I can never quite nail the moves.) I actually get excited to come home from work and pop in a Jane Fonda DVD. Exercise suddenly went from something I did to something I wanted to do. It was quite the revelation.

That feeling is what inspired this post. Seeing as I have tried an awful lot of workout DVDs....I bring you the very best. Here are my top five favourites.

  • Jane Fonda's Prime Time Workout. Let's start with a good one. The best one, in my opinion. Jane Fonda's Prime Time Workout (which you can watch on YouTube) has a little bit of everything. There are toning exercises, a ballet themed section, aerobics, floor work, and a full body stretch. It gives you a complete body workout - and it's fun! This workout always makes me feel good. 
  • Jillian Michaels Kickbox Fast Fix. Another one of my fitness gurus is Jillian Michaels. I am such a huge fan of hers. While I own just about every DVD she has released...this is one of my favourites. The kickbox moves are easy to follow but ultra effective. She blends cardio with strength and toning in this video. Plus there are three different workouts that target different parts of the body. That gives you noticeable results in no time. 
  • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. There are many reasons to workout. Sometimes? I work out to get active and feel good. Other times? I am more focused on getting fit and dropping excess weight. If the latter is true...I always reach for the 30 Day Shred. This 30 day program from Jillian Michaels delivers. By the end of the month? Your body will be ultra toned. Be warned: this workout program is not easy. But it definitely works! 
  • Jane Fonda's Lean Routine. When I have the apartment to myself? There is one workout I absolutely have to do. It is the Lean Routine by Jane Fonda. This is 80s style aerobics at its best. It is over an hour of intense aerobic workout. Here's the thing. The outfits are wild, the dance moves are dated....and you will have an absolute blast. By the time the hour has passed? You will be dripping with sweat. It is challenging but fun to do. (And you can check it out on YouTube!) Something else I really love? At the end of the workout there is a full section on healthy eating. 
  • Jane Fonda's Light Aerobics and Stress Reduction Program. This is the one that started it all. The workout that helped me recover and strengthen my back. This video has some fun aerobics (complete with super stylish 80s outfits) as well as tons of stretching. This is amazing if you are feeling sore or are dealing with an injury. After the hard work has been done? It is time for the stress reduction part of the program. This is super effective. Sometimes, I watch it at the end of a long day. By the time the video ends? I feel relaxed, at peace, and ready for a good nights sleep. Give it a try

Honourable Mentions: Skinny Bitch Bootcamp, Bob Harper's Inside Out Method (note: this workout is brutal. It is the perfect way to kick your workout routine up a notch), Pussycat Dolls Workout, Tracy Anderson's The Method, and Jillian Michaels Body Shred Program.

Fitness has become an integral part of my life. Though I certainly don't look like a personal trainer....exercise has brought me unexpected fulfillment. What an amazing gift.

What is your favourite workout DVD?

xo Shannon

Friday, August 12, 2016

FOTD - dramatic night out look

Most of the time? I am getting ready in a rush. My makeup is hastily thrown on in the morning before work. Or something simple is applied before heading out to run errands. There is not exactly room for creativity in those circumstances. It is more of a hurry up and slap something on experience rather than a ooh what colours should I use today kind of experience. Then....every so often....there is time. Time to get ready, to envision the perfect look, and let inspiration guide me. This happened last weekend. Some friends and I were meeting up for dinner. So, I set aside a full hour to do my makeup - what a luxury! 

The photo above is my Face Of The Day. This is the makeup look I wore out on that evening. I paired wavy hair with a rust coloured tank top, a simple pair of jeans, and some glittery accessories. Then there was the makeup. (Which is always my favourite part.) I wanted to do something a little more dramatic but still veering on the neutral side. So I used my Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes palette to create a soft and smokey matte eye. I started with lighter colours and built up the intensity until I was completely satisfied with the end result. 

Then it was time for liner. Since I wanted this to be a little more dramatic....I opted for my beloved Hard Candy Walk The Line Liquid Eyeliner. This stuff is ultra black, easy to use, and lasts for ages. Though it took me ages to get the winged liner exactly how I wanted it, the end result was pretty fabulous. After that it was time for a bit of my CoverGirl Super Sizer mascara. (My obsession for this stuff is real! I love it.) I went for my Annabelle bronzer on the cheeks and then my Kylie Jenner Lip Kit in Dolce K on the lips. With a subtle highlight and contour and a little definition on the brows....I was ready to head out. 

So there it is. My Face Of The Day. Let me know what you think of this look! 

xo Shannon

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

my first piece from kendall + kylie

It is no secret. I cannot get enough of the Kardashian/Jenner family. This might be an unpopular opinion to voice (friends and co-workers roll their eyes when I so much as mention them) but I have always been the type of person to like what I like. I see no sense in guilty pleasures. It something or someone speaks to me...that is it. I love it. Which brings me to today's post. Recently, I took a little shopping trip with my parents. It started off with a few essentials at IKEA and ended up at a nearby mall. We popped into a department store and I immediately spotted a section full of Kendall + Kylie clothes. There were gorgeous dresses, jumpsuits, and sweaters. It was style overload.

Then my eyes spotted a coral-pink top. It was slightly cropped with a unique hemline along the bottom. The colour was gorgeous, the style was simple yet exciting, and I could not stop looking at it. Until I saw the price tag. It was marked at over $100. Yikes. Seeing the 25% off sign....I decided to try it on. Just to say that I had tried it on. Only once I tried it on, I fell in love with it. The top was gorgeous and fit perfectly. I felt like a million dollars. Suddenly, I found myself rationalizing why this top should come home with me. Why I needed to buy it. (Any shopaholics relate to this? Please tell me that I am not the only one.) Long story short? I found myself at the checkout.

Then a magical thing happened. A wonderful magical thing. When the cashier went to scan the tag...it wouldn't scan. She tried again. Nothing. So she wound up just punching in a number. $30. I stood there in shock. I asked her if the price was correct and she said yes. So, I paid $30 for a top that would have cost me far more. I definitely scored an amazing deal on this Kendall + Kylie piece. It is absolutely beautiful - and I cannot wait to wear it.

It was a wonderful day out. Not only was I able to spend time with my parents....but this gorgeous top made its way into my wardrobe. It was exciting to say the least.

What do you think of this piece? Do you own anything from Kendall + Kylie?

xo Shannon