Wednesday, February 27, 2013

buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.

Even when I try to stop myself from shopping, I don't think it does much good! I have cut back on my spending habits since 2013 began....but I still seem to have a number of new possessions.

Here are some of the things I have added to my collection lately!

One of my friends actually took me to a flea market not long ago....not somewhere I would normally go. However, there was this really cute stall that had everything pink and sparkly you could imagine! I ended up picking up two pairs of earrings for a really great price.

There was a fantastic sale on Abbey Dawn shoes online, and well, I couldn't resist! I am a huge Avril Lavigne fan. I adore her glam-punk style, and these shoes really reflect that. I ended up with a pair of black skull-studded shoes, red flats with mustaches! on them, and a pair of pink sparkly flats with bow and skull details.

Even though I have more pants than any girl should own, I fell in love with these pastel coloured purple pants from Joe Fresh. I love the pattern, and I think these will be super cute to wear in the Spring.

Lastly, my mom bought me this super cute Betsey Johnson bag. It's a clutch, but doubles as a full-sized purse. It's so cute and super versatile. I love it!

So there you have it, my latest additions!

What have you bought lately?

If you haven't yet, please check out my interview with the incredibly talented and life changing lifestyle author, "QuickieChick" Laurel House! 

xo Shannon

Monday, February 25, 2013

love it or leave it?

It's that time again - the latest installment of love it of leave it? is here!

This Monday, everyone is still stirring over the Oscars last night. Who wore what? What looks tanked and which gowns lit up the red carpet? I love red carpet looks as much as the next girl, but I confess, I was far more intrigued by what was worn at the Academy Awards Parties.

This love it or leave it? post is all about Jennifer Lawrence. When it comes to her style, I usually either adore it or totally question her judgement. When she recently attended The Weinstein Company and Chopard's Academy Award Party, Jennifer simply knocked it out of the park.

Everything about this outfit screams chic sophistication. The natural textured hair and the simple makeup compliment the laid-back but up-scale vibe this outfit gives off. The accessories stand out but aren't too overwhelming. That gold bracelet is simply stunning, and the textured clutch and simple brass coloured heels perfectly create interest without taking away from this incredible relaxed tailoring.

The top half of this outfit is slouchy and casual, and just a bit too long, but that peek of skin adds a sexiness that cannot be overlooked. Meanwhile, the cut of the pants is again, relaxed and loose. This cut creates an easy, but polished style. There is nothing about this Academy Award Party outfit that I don't love!

For me, Jennifer's look is 100% love!

What do you think of this Academy Award Party outfit? Love it or leave it?

Also, if you haven't yet, please check out my interview with the incredibly talented and life changing lifestyle author, "QuickieChick" Laurel House! 

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Meet "QuickieChick" Laurel House!

I was mad....really mad. My solution? Work out and push myself harder than usual. But when my workout was over, I discovered it still wasn't enough. I found myself endlessly searching YouTube - angry workout, workouts for anger, workouts to get rid of anger, etc.

....enter QuickieChick, Laurel House. 

A video titled "Stop Being So Angry: Quickie Workout in Bed with Laurel House" caught my eye. I watched the video and did the quickie workout...twice. Afterward, I felt like myself again. All of that anger had melted away!

I wasn't done yet though. I proceeded to go through dozens and dozens of Laurel's videos. Over the next few days, I went through even more, devouring her Quickie workout videos, and relationship and lifestyle advice. Finally, it felt like someone understood my life - the things I want and the things I need help with.

 So, who is Laurel House? 

Laurel House (aka "QuickieChick") is an uber successful author, columnist, and lifestyle expert. Her YouTube videos have over 9 million views and she has published her (amazing!) book: "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget." If that wasn't enough, Laurel has a ton of weekly video columns, including one for Giuliana Rancic’s She has also been featured on or written for just about every website and magazine you can possibly imagine!


With so much on her plate, it is no doubt that her "Quickie" lifestyle tips come in handy. Being a "QuickieChick" is all about changing and embracing your life - now!

After I discovered Laurel's YouTube channel and website, I got myself to the nearest bookstore to pick up her book. Reading it has made me feel more motivated, focused, and in control of my life. She really speaks to the difficulties of trying to carve out your own place in the world...and kicks your butt into gear to make it happen.

In "QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to Life, Love, Food, Fitness, Fashion and Finance on a Less than Fabulous Budget," Laurel asks you to think about whose career you admire. My answer? Hers. She's smart, sassy, and successful. As an aspiring writer myself, I can't help but admire her talent, tenacity, and drive.

I felt so inspired by Laurel's work, I knew that I wanted to profile her on my blog! Amazingly enough, Laurel was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

So, without further ado, here is my interview with "QuickieChick" Laurel House!

How did you decide what topics to include in your book?
I wanted QuickieChick's Cheat Sheet to really be the manual for everything a 20-something chick needs in life. Really, everything that every chick, woman or girl needs in life - but quickly. It's kind of like the cliff notes version to life. Now that the handbook is out, I'm honing in on specific topics that fans have particularly responded to, asked for, and commented on, and I'm really digging into them.

What kind of videos do you enjoy filming the most - Quickie Workouts In Bed, or advice and lifestyle videos? 
Lately I have been loving shooting the dating videos. Probably because it's top of mind. I sort of go through phases - sometimes I am all about "Quickie Workouts in Bed," other times I am loving shooting "Daily100s," and then I go through the "Quickies in the Kitchen" obsession. That's one of the things that's so great about covering various different lifestyle topics - I am able to move from one topic to another based on my mood and what's on my mind. As a whole, I LOVE fitness, food and dating. Right now I am working on several books - one on Daily100s, a dating book, and a novel (which I am super excited about!).


What is the best advice you have ever received? What is the best advice you have ever given?
The best advice I have ever been given, and now give is "Ask, the worst they can say is 'no."

Sexiest thing about a guy?
I love a confident guy, a smart guy, a guy with that "wow" factor. Someone who is energetically powerful, commands attention, has experienced life and has endless stories to tell and lessons to teach about it. A guy who is externally very complicated and passionate, but privately very simple and soulful and deep.

Best place to meet a guy?
Best place to meet a guy- doing something you love. I met my boyfriend at a food event. But really, when it comes to dating - diversify. Be open to set-ups, talk to that guy that catches your eye at the grocery store, go online! Lately I'm loving a new online dating site called because it's all about women taking charge or their love life and being the one to outreach to guys (guys aren't allowed to make the first contact). A confident woman is a sexy woman.

Most effective workout move?
Most effective workout move- Plank. It is my all time favorite, absolute go-to. I amp it up with a Daily100- Knee to Nose. It's the ultimate ab-zipper and total body toner.

Best way to get motivated to workout?
The best way to motivate for a workout depends on what motivates you as an individual. It might be a goal, a person, a health concern... but really think about this - When was the last time you regret working out? When was the last time you regret not working out? Same goes for eating unnecessary foods - When was the last time you regret eating that extra piece of cake or pizza? When was the last time you regret NOT eating that extra piece of cake or pizza? No regrets...

Amazing advice from an incredibly talented woman. I just want to thank Laurel again for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. I am so thankful that I stumbled across her YouTube page - the power of the Internet!

If you're anything like me, you are going to love Laurel House. Be sure to check out her website, YouTube channel, or book! You won't be disappointed.

xo Shannon

Thursday, February 21, 2013

luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.

Half of my closet is full of band t-shirts. Every concert I go to, I seem to collect another one. The thing is that, I love them....they reflect a part of my personality. However, sometimes they can be hard to style in a fashionable way!

Since I love my band shirts so much, I wanted to come up with a few different ways to dress up your favourite band tee. If you want to look trendy and chic, edgy and bold, or classically cute, there are always options to rock out. 

Just a side note: If you've been following me on Twitter, then you've probably seen me mention a special blog post coming up. My next post is a profile (and interview!) with someone I am a huge fan of. Find out who, this Saturday!

How do you like to dress up your band shirts?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

if i’m honest i have to tell you i still read fairy-tales and i like them best of all.

First of all, I want to announce the winner of the MsDressy $80 Gift Voucher. The lucky winner is: Anastasia from Natbees' Fashion. Congratulations!!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been trying out some of the products from the Cinderella collection from Sephora. My latest review on this line, is on the Cinderella perfume, So This Is Love...

The bottle is simple but elegant - perfectly suited to any fan of fairy tales and princesses. As for the fragrance itself, I quite like it! The scent is really sophisticated and feminine - certainly a more grown up scent than I initially expected. This fragrance is actually quite different than any other I own, which makes for a nice change. The scent is quite strong and lasts really well, so I would recommend that you apply this sparingly.

Overall, So This Is Love... gets a thumbs up from me! It is a romantic yet bold scent, perfect for a night out.

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

xo Shannon

Sunday, February 17, 2013

we are all two faced.

My favourite eyeshadow palette of the moment? Too Faced: The Return of Sexy Palette.

I was given this set for Christmas, and have been using it constantly since then. This eyeshadow palette comes with three eyeshadow sets (15 eyeshadow shades in total), step-by-step instructions to create the perfect smokey eye, as well as Too Faced Shadow Insurance Eyelid Primer and a Too Faced eyeliner.

I am seriously obsessed with this makeup palette. Why? Here are my thoughts on Too Faced: The Return of Sexy Palette.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance:

I didn't think anything would beat the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. To my surprise, I love the Too Faced eyeshadow primer even more! This has quickly become my favourite. Using a small amount of the product keeps my makeup lasting - without budging - for the entire day. The texture of the product is silky and smooth. The perfect eyeshadow primer!

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner:

If you are looking for a jet black eyeliner that is going to stay put, then you will love the Too Faced eyeliner. I was so impressed by just how black the colour was. I also really loved how rich and creamy the texture of the product was. This liner doesn't budge at all once it's on, so be careful when applying it! There is also a smudger at the opposite end of the liner, which was super handy for creating that smokey eye look. The only drawback to this eyeliner is that you have to sharpen it. I really prefer liners that twist up instead. Overall though, this is a fantastic eyeliner to create a smokey makeup look.

Too Faced Eyeshadows:

As you can see from the swatches above, this palette is all about shimmer! If you're not a fan of shimmer, give this a miss. If you love shimmer and smokey eyes, then this is the perfect eyeshadow palette. I love that the shadows are separated into sections - gold shades, purple shades, and warm greys. Each set is defined as either: The Ingénue, The Icon, and The Bombshell.

Each of the shadows is quite pigmented, shimmery and really pretty. I am a big fan of the champagne coloured shadow in The Bombshell set, as well as all of the golden shades in The Ingénue set. 

There is fallout with these shadows if you don't use a primer, so definitely make the most of the Shadow Insurance primer that comes with it.

Overall, I am a big fan of this set. The eyeshadow colours look so beautiful, and the eyeliner and eyeshadow primer are fantastic. This palette really is the return of sexy! 

Have you tried the Too Faced: The Return of Sexy Palette? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Friday, February 15, 2013

anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day this year?

My Valentine's was nice and low-key. Since my boyfriend isn't big on the holiday in general, it was up to me to take the reins. All I wanted was to spend the night with him and show him how much he means to me. So, I cooked him dinner - a heart shaped pizza! I spoiled him with food (even though I am not the world's best cook). Everything actually turned out pretty well. It was all the romance I needed! 

As for the picture posted above: It has been saved on my computer for ages, and given the time of year, I simply had to post it! I love that fairy tale moment, her big poufy dress, and of course, that perfect kiss. What scene could be more romantic?

And, since I am in an especially romantic mood at the moment, I leave you with a quote from my favourite poet.

"Familiar acts are beautiful through love."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

What are your plans for the weekend?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

As a child, I had an idealized version of what love was. Love to me was full of beautiful dresses, handsome princes and perfect fairy tale endings. Like most little girls, I fell in love with the idea of love.

By the time I reached my teens, I no longer believed that love existed for me, but my faith in that idealized romance never wavered. I fell in love with celebrities and love songs meant for other people. Love was the answer to a question I never had the nerve to ask.

I still believe in that idealized version of I have found someone who makes me feel loved and cherished every single day.

Whether you're single or attached, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Here are some of my favourite romantic pictures to get you in the mood for the holiday:

Happy Valentine's Day!

xo Shannon

Saturday, February 9, 2013

not on one strand are all life's jewels strung.

I confess - I am never, ever, organized. Despite this, I keep trying to tidy up every aspect of my life. From my closet to my jewellery, I am tackling my disorganization one step at a time.

For Christmas, my parents gave me a jewellery chest. I was thrilled to receive it, because prior to this, my jewellery was poorly sorted into old jewellery boxes. Finally, I am starting to get one aspect of my life organized!

The jewellery case has a top that opens to store rings, as well as a drawer for earrings, and four other drawers for bracelets. The case also has sides that pull out to hang necklaces. (I confess, I haven't begun to start organizing my necklaces yet!)

Basically - I love this jewellery chest. Even though I haven't finished putting all of my jewellery in it...I will! Already, it is so much easier to find what I am looking for. Here is hoping I can get the rest of my room organized as well!

I also have a new addition to my jewellery collection! I was spoiled by my boyfriend for our anniversary, and he gave me this gorgeous heart link bracelet. It is perfect and totally suits my style. I just love it!

How do you keep your jewellery organized?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the $80 Msdressy Gift Voucher!

xo Shannon

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

man may have discovered fire, but women discovered how to play with it.

Who else is loving the CW's newest TV show, The Carrie Diaries?

I have been eagerly awaiting the episodes since the show was announced - the books were fantastic and so well written. It's fascinating taking a character we already know, and showing them in a whole new way. Viewers get to see how the iconic character of Carrie Bradshaw became Carrie Bradshaw.

I tend to prefer the book over the TV or movie versions, but I am loving this show so far! There are some differences between the books and the TV adaptation, but the integrity of the story is still there. The characters really make this show stand out. I love taking a peek into Carrie's world.

What am I loving most about the show? That fantastic 80s wardrobe! I love the fun, bright energy this decade exuded. Carrie has had one showstopping, 80s infused outfit after another. The bold colours and prints, mixed with Carrie's eclectic fashion sense has made The Carrie Diaries a joy to watch.

Get inspired by fearless and fun 80s fashion with some of these outfits from The Carrie Diaries!

Are you loving the fashion on The Carrie Diaries?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the $80 Msdressy Gift Voucher!

xo Shannon

Friday, February 1, 2013

either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

It seems that life is always busy. Lately, it's been a good kind of busy, though. In addition to working at my regular job and trying to be more social, I've continued to make my freelance writing a priority.

With that said, I wanted to link to some of my recent published articles. If you have a chance, I would love for you to check them out!

The Uncustomary Book Review: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated

Hairstyle Stars: My Author Page with links to all of my articles for the website, including Beehive Hairstyles, Easy Updos with Braids, and Rockabilly Hairstyles.

What has been keeping you busy lately?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the $80 Msdressy Gift Voucher!

xo Shannon