Sunday, October 27, 2013

i love los angeles. it reinvents itself every two days.

Over the last little while, I've mentioned my upcoming trip to Los Angeles. Well, that time has finally come! I fly out today...which makes me nervous. (I am such a bad flyer. Which makes my love for travel very difficult!)

I confess - I am really excited to get away. My family is going down to watch my dad win an award for his work. Then we are extending the trip by doing touristy stuff like studio tours, going to a TV taping, and heading onto Disneyland for Halloween! There are so many fun things planned.

The downsides to going away? Being away from my boyfriend and getting behind on work. I've been doing my best to get ahead on writing assignments and letting people know about my trip, but I still panic a little bit about everything I'll be missing while I'm gone. I guess I'm just not used to having a break!

So, if you don't see me around for the next eight days or so, it's because I'm in LA! When I get back, I'm sure that I will have tons of stories and pictures to share with you. Have a wonderful week - and a fantastic Halloween!

xo Shannon

Friday, October 25, 2013

every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.

Hi everyone! As you know from my last post, my birthday was yesterday. I booked the day off of work - but sadly spent the day doing writing work, instead. (I have to much to get done before my vacation...eesh!) Even still, it was nice to sleep in a little bit. That was my birthday gift to myself!

I ended up ordering in dinner last night and watching a movie with my family. Later on, my boyfriend dropped by and we played a board game, which was perfect. It was just a nice, relaxing kind of day, even if I did have to work. Since I was so spoiled by my wonderful family, I thought that I would show you some of the birthday gifts I received and how I spent my day. There was nothing that I really needed, so I felt especially spoiled this year!

Here goes...

(Okay, so I'm not 21...but there are extra candles there!)

 (Birthday/Halloween/Going Away present from my cute!)

 (Play Minion Monopoly with my BF on my birthday...he won.)

 (A new CD shelf...complete with a couple of new CDs!)

(My family knows me so well....CDS, TV shows, clothes, and of course, lots of One Direction.)

What is the last gift you received?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday.

When I was young, I always looked forward to my birthday. In fact, fall was my favourite season simply because of my birthday. Now that I'm a little bit older, my birthday is not something I look forward to. I feel like such a cliche, but it's true! Every year, I find my age a reminder of all the things I've yet to do with my life. It can be tough.

The only way to deal with getting older is to have some fun, right? This year, that is exactly what I did. Last Friday, my friends and I had an 80s themed night, where we went out to dinner and a club and danced like crazy! Then, on Sunday, my boyfriend and I celebrated his birthday (which was on October 17th) and my birthday (which is tomorrow, on October 24th). We kept it simple and went to dinner and a movie. All in all, it was a great way to remind myself of the important things in life: the people I love.

Tomorrow, I'll be celebrating my actual birthday with my immediate family. Until then, here are a couple of pictures from my nights out!

When is the last time you went out?

xo Shannon

Monday, October 21, 2013

i've spent my life alone in a room with a typewriter.

Writing is my passion. Without question, it is one of the things in my life that gives me purpose. Not only did I go to school for writing, but I also do a lot of it! My birthday is coming up on the 24th and my boyfriend spoiled me with an early present. Why did I get it early? He wanted me to be able to use it before my trip to Los Angeles. (So sweet!) So, what was my early birthday gift? A typewriter!

It’s not just any typewriter, though. It’s a really old portable typewriter - with a case and an extra ribbon. When I opened it, I was so excited. Not only was I happy about the typewriter itself, I was overwhelmed by all of the support my boyfriend has given me. He truly believes in my dream. Plus, he wants me to write for myself…not just for a paycheck. In that moment, I felt so loved and blessed. It was the best gift I’ve ever received.

I love my typewriter so much. Whenever I use it, I feel this indescribable energy. It’s amazing how a machine can make you feel so connected and inspired. Each day, I’ve been trying to give myself at least fifteen minutes to write something…. anything. With all of the work that I do, it’s good to remember why I do it! I am so grateful to have such a caring and generous person in my life. It is a birthday gift that I will always cherish.

Do you love writing? What do you think of this typewriter?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 19, 2013

create your own self.

Cutting back on my shopping habit is always difficult. Believe it or not though, I've actually been doing a pretty good job of it. I haven't done any clothes shopping since my Phillip Lim haul from Target. For me, this is unimaginable! I thought that I would take a moment now to show you some of the other pieces I bought that day. You know, the ones that weren't from the acclaimed designer! I chose some basic things that I needed for my wardrobe. They may be simple, but I love them just the same.

The first? A super cute sweater. This was a must, because I don't have a lot of sweaters or long-sleeved pieces in my closet. With the cold weather quickly approaching, I need to find ways to stay warm! What I love about this sweater is that it's comfy - but the colour is beautiful and that bunny print is so adorable. I simply couldn't resist!

The next piece was a flowy, floral blouse. It is a little more boho chic than I am used to wearing - but I kind of like that it's different. I have so many blouses in my closet....but none are anything like this. I am excited to see how I will wear it this season!

Last up is my absolute favourite piece of the moment. I love a great pair of jeans...and these are amazing. They have polka dots and fantastic ripped details. I love them. Since buying these skinny jeans, I've worn them a lot. They just go with so many different pieces!

What do you think of these pieces? Have you bought any clothes recently?

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fight Stress at Your Yoga Studio

Hi guys! I just wanted to take a minute to introduce today's guest post: It is all about yoga. Yoga is something I've had an interest in for a while now. Though I'm certainly not flexible, I love the idea of relaxing and focusing your mind and body. I've tried doing some of the poses at home - but I've never gone to an actual yoga is definitely on my to-do list! I hope that you enjoy this guest post: 

Stress can affect nearly every aspect of your life, from your weight and health to your overall happiness. It can even make you less productive at home and work. It can also lead to heart disease, stomach problems, and much more. Deep-breathing meditation and intense stretching techniques can help you quickly relieve stress in a healthy, natural manner. Your Portland yoga studio can help you to release your stress, focus on the positive things in life, and so much more.

Lose Weight

While helping you achieve a clearer mind and spirit, regularly practicing yoga can also help you achieve a leaner, more toned body. Yoga is a great low-intensity workout, which can help you to lose weight over time. Stress can also make you gain weight, especially around the belly, so fighting stress in a natural manner can help you to more easily lose weight. Yoga can also help you improve your flexibility and balance.

Stretch from Home

During your next yoga session, try to remember some of the stretches and attempt to replicate the breathing exercises from home. This will help you to further the benefits experienced during the class. Whenever you are experiencing severe stress or anxiety, make sure to breathe deeply and focus on relaxation and clearing your mind. If possible, try to set some time aside at least several times per week to just relax and focus on positive things that make you happy.

Call Your Yoga Studio

Most yogis find that Ashtanga, Satyananda, and Hatha yoga classes are the best choices for those who just want to get a good stretch or deep-breathing session. Make sure to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Achieving a deep, meaningful stretch is the purpose of yoga, but it is important that you don’t push past the point that you feel comfortable.

Call your local Portland yoga studio to determine what classes they offer and which one can help you to most easily, quickly relax. Look for a class that has stress relief and deep breathing in mind, above all else.

Do you practice yoga? What do you love most about it?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

i'll paint you moments of gold, i'll spin you valentine evenings...

I am a David Bowie fan. This probably won't shock anyone who knows me, since I am often seen sporting one of my (super comfy and cute) Bowie t-shirts. While some people became fans by falling in love with his iconic albums, I became a fan as a child watching the movie, Labyrinth. I remember my dad and I watching that movie over and over again - and my massive crush on David Bowie as The Goblin King. As I grew older, I started to listen to his music (outside of Labyrinth). Once again, I fell in love with his unique sound and adventurous use of imagery.

When the AGO in Toronto announced the David Bowie Is.... exhibit was coming, I was so excited. But I couldn't justify spending the money on the travel and ticket price. (I've been trying really hard to save money, lately!) Then, my very sweet and wonderful boyfriend heard about the exhibit. He decided to spoil me and take me on a special date in the city. It included the David Bowie exhibit, dinner at our favourite place, and a little bit of shopping. All in all, the day was perfect! I was so grateful to spend the day with him - and for a day without working!

The exhibit itself was a complete sensory experience. It blended art pieces, memorabilia, costumes, and music. Parts of it were a bit too extreme for me and I felt a little bit, well, un-artistic! But there were other parts of the exhibit that were just astounding. Looking at costumes surrounded by live concert footage and was overwhelming. It really felt like you were there, experiencing Bowie live. The highlight for me, more than the costumes, more than the hand-written lyrics, was the crystal ball from Labyrinth. That iconic piece of my childhood was literally right in front of me. I could hardly contain my joy and excitement. It was a moment that I will never forget. And the fact that I shared that moment with the most important person in my life? It was truly magical.

We couldn't take pictures in the exhibit itself, but here are a few of my pictures from our day in the city:

Are you fan of David Bowie? Have you been able to visit the AGO exhibit?

xo Shannon

Sunday, October 13, 2013

you can tell a lot from a persons nails.

Nails, nails, nails. I'm still getting used to this whole getting-to-wear-nail polish-at-work thing. The novelty hasn't worn off yet! Having my nails done just makes me feel more elegant and put together. Does anyone else feel that way?

With that said, it can only mean one thing. Yup, it's another nail post! This time I went with a medium grey colour. Why? I have a wedding to attend soon, so I didn't want something that would clash with my dress. Also, I wanted a deeper shade to really embrace fall colours. Since I'm not allowed anything too dark or bold (sigh), I thought this was the perfect solution. I am really happy with how it turned out, though!

I confess: One thing that is really exciting me about my trip to LA at the end of the month? I can paint my nails any shade I like! I'm debating over whether I should wear something super bright and bold or really dark and vampy. Any thoughts?

What colour are your nails right now?

xo Shannon

Friday, October 11, 2013

one day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

Things feel a little bit hectic lately. It's always a juggling act, but with my upcoming vacation to Los Angeles in a few short weeks, I'm desperately trying to get ahead. (Yes, I am going to visit LA in a little while, but more on that later!) But - I know that I need to just keep my  head down and stay focused. It can be challenging, though. The last couple of weeks have been a little more difficult than usual to be as productive as I want and need to be.

On a more positive note, however, I have been writing like crazy. So, I thought that I would share some of my more recent articles with you all!

Halloween Makeup Tutorial: Pin-Up Girl
Miley Cyrus' Biggest Fashion Faux Pas

Jada Beauty:
Get Ready Fast: Quick, Pretty Hairstyles
Celeb Looks Stolen From the Runway: Fall 2013 Hair Trends
Achieving Celebrity Hair at Home

Hairstyle Stars:
1920s Hairstyles from The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey
3 Cute Medium Layered Hairstyles
3 Hot Curly Hair Highlights
The Best Products for Thin Hair

Beauty O'Holic: 
New Product Review: Cover Girl Creme Whipped Foundation
Geek Chic: Novelty Tees
Girls Night Out: Dramatic Evening Makeup

There you have it! Those are just a few of the articles I've written lately. I'd love if you checked some of them out and let me know your thoughts.

How has your week been? What has been keeping you busy?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

there are hundreds of bees in the purple clover.

There's something about Keira Knightley. Not only is she talented and beautiful, but she always looks stunning on a red carpet! A little while back, she completely wowed at her TIFF movie premiere. There was something about her makeup that made me positively speechless. The purple shade, the bold brows...perfection!

Here are a couple more pictures of her gorgeous gorgeous makeup:

Since I am totally in awe of her red carpet makeup, I thought I would attempt to re-create it. I really wanted to focus on that stunning purple eye shadow - I can't get enough of it! While I'm no Keira Knightly, I thought it was worth a shot!

My Keira inspired makeup look turned out something like this:

Products Used:
Cover Girl Cream Whipped Foundation, Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, Cover Girl Powder, Too Faced Return of Sexy Palette, Joe Fresh Stone Grey Eyeshadow, MUA Brown Eyeliner, Benefit They're Real! Mascara, NARS Deep Throat Blush, Maybelline Colour Whispers.

What do you think of Keira's red carpet makeup look?

xo Shannon

Monday, October 7, 2013

i just feel my best when I'm all glammed up.

Okay, I love perfume. I love it! This is probably why I have such an extensive collection. The way I look at it is, perfume is like fashion - you have to wear what suits your mood. Not long ago, my boyfriend and I were running an errand and I noticed the Kim Kardashian Koffret Kollection was on sale. Since I am such a huge fan of the Kardashians, I simply couldn't resist picking it up.

The collection included small versions of four of her fragrances: Kim Kardashian Signature, Gold, Glam, and Love. Since I hadn't tried any of her perfumes before, this was the absolute best way to test them out! Overall, I really loved the scents...though, I confessed, I did have my favourites.

Here are my thoughts! The Kim Kardashian Signature scent is a really pretty blend of floral and woody smells. It is feminine and sophisticated and it is just perfect to wear out on a date night! Kim Kardashian Gold is easily my favourite from this set. It has this air of luxury and sophistication. I like to wear this one to work because it makes me feel bold and beautiful - even in a uniform. Kim Kardashian Love is the ideal scent for an evening with the boyfriend. It is ultra floral and beautiful. It is the kind of scent that just makes you feel good about yourself. I love it! And lastly, Kim Kardashian Glam is definitely a great scent to wear out with the girls. Dinner or an evening out drinking and dancing? Choose this one! It's fun and flirty and super pretty.

So, those are my thoughts on these amazing Kim Kardashian perfumes! My favourite is Gold for sure, but the others are all fantastic as well.

Have you tried these Kim Kardashian fragrances? What do you think of them?

xo Shannon

Saturday, October 5, 2013

with me it's always about first impressions.

There is always something fun about trying out a makeup brand you've never used before. I recently picked up a few products from Essence and simply had to share my thoughts. What did I buy? The Essence All About Matt Powder, Essence blushes in Life's a Cherry and Sweetheart, and the match2cover! Cream Concealer.

Ready for some reviews? Here goes!

Let's start by taking a look at the Essence All About Matt Powder.

I picked this product up on a whim. Even though I have really dry skin, my forehead tends to get really shiny as the day wears on. So, I have been on the look out for something to remedy that problem. I find that the powder I normally use for my skin can look cakey around my forehead area. When I saw this matt powder from Essence, I thought...what the heck! At such a reasonable price, it was worth the gamble.

What did I think of it? So far, so good! This is definitely a good mattifying powder. It doesn't make my skin look nearly as cakey as any of the regular powders I've tried. That being said, it's not perfect. I find that I need to re-apply every couple of hours to really get rid of shine. If you have oily skin, this probably won't work well for you. If you're like me and just have one trouble zone to take care of though, you'll love it.

Next up were the Essence blushes in Life's a Cherry and Sweetheart. 

 Life's a Cherry is on the left and Sweetheart is picture on the right. As you can see from the shades (and the swatches!) the colours are super pigmented. I was actually so surprised at the bold colours, considering how little these blushes cost! They have a really silky and smooth texture and the colour just glides right on the cheeks. Honestly, I was so so impressed by these. Great bold colour and a fabulous texture. The only negative about these blushes? The limited colour selection! I've only managed to snag these two shades and as far as I know, there are only four available. Such a shame!

And the last Essence product I tried? The match2cover! Cream Concealer.

For the last while, I've been on the hunt for a great cream concealer. I have a lot of liquid concealers but actually no cream ones. Since I don't get a lot of sleep (thanks to working way, way too much), I am all about concealers. I need to keep those under-eye circles in check!

My thoughts? This concealer palette is fab-u-lous. It has a really thick consistency and does a great job of covering the under eye area. Plus, surprisingly it didn't crease at all throughout the day. What's really great? The fact that there are two different shades included. The darker shade covers so well and the lighter shade really highlights the area. Such a perfect combo! I was really impressed.

So, there you have it! My first impressions of a few Essence products. Overall, I was happily surprised. Great quality at an even better price. How can you go wrong?

Have you tried any Essence products? Which ones are your favourites?

xo Shannon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

i have always had a relationship with clothes.

Before I get into today's post, I did a guest post for Feast. Fashion. Faves. the other day. It was a dramatic fall makeup tutorial - and I'm super happy with how it turned out! You can check out the post here if you haven't seen it yet!

Now, back to business....

By this point, you all know about the Phillip Lim for Target collection. (And you've probably all added a few of these gorgeous pieces to your wardrobe by now as well!) Even though this is a little bit late, I thought that I would share my experience.

It was very very early in the morning when my mom, my sister and I lined up outside of our local Target store. Despite how early we got to the store, there were still fifteen or so people in front of us in line. We spent the wait looking at pictures of the collection on my sister's phone - and coming up with a strategy. Each of us knew exactly what items we were looking to grab. Me? My mission was the BOOM! sweater dress. It was all I was after!

Once the doors open it was a mad rush of people. Girls were running, grabbing, pushing, pulling, was complete and utter madness! Between my mom, sister, and I, we were able to get a lot of really amazing pieces. I did get that fantastic BOOM! dress - sadly in the wrong size. But beggars can't be choosers. I bought it anyway! Thankfully, I was able to nab (almost) everything that I was after.

Ready to see what Phillip Lim pieces I picked up?

Phillip Lim 3:1 bag, BOOM! dress, sweater, top, scarf, and pajama set. 

First up, this gorgeous mustard coloured bag. It comes with a detachable strap (which I tend to take off) and is super versatile. It comes in such a great fall colour, so I find myself using it an awful lot. Already it has become one of my all-time favourite bags!

Now, for the BOOM! dress - my absolute favourite. I just love the fun, bold design and how comfy and stylish it is. I cannot get over how gorgeous it is! I really wish that I was able to get it in a smaller size, but I am glad to have it at all, to be honest!

Next up? The bedazzled navy sweater! What I love about this piece is how simple it is. It is a super warm and comfy navy sweater, but it has just a hint of fun with the bedaalzed neckline. It's is a great way to stay warm and look great.

The next Phillip Lim item I bought turned out to be my favourite piece - even though I didn't think it would look good on me. I adore the colours, the print, and how comfortable and flattering it is. Here is the stunning animal print blouse!

The scarf had the same BOOM! print that the dress had. I haven't had a chance to wear this one yet, but it's so beautiful that I'm sure I'll be wearing it constantly this fall season.

And the last addition to my wardrobe? The animal print Phillip Lim pajamas! They are super cute and really comfy too. I just love wearing them - they make me feel like a million bucks.

Did you buy anything from Phillip Lim for Target? What do you think of these pieces?

xo Shannon

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

five minute makeup inspired by: miley cyrus

Love her or hate her, Miley Cyrus has got everyone talking. Her raunchy new look and sound is grabbing headlines all over the world. Whether that's a good thing or not still remains to be seen. But with a #1 single and a hotly anticipated new album, I'd imagine she's not complaining.

I'll admit - I've been a Miley fan since she was on Hannah Montana. While her new image is certainly not something I can totally get on board with, I guess I would still call myself a fan. Which is why when I saw the music video to Wrecking Ball for the first time, I thought more about the song than the fact that she was, well, naked on a wrecking ball.

Another thing that struck me about the video? Her makeup. It was so simple, yet so powerful and striking. I knew the moment that I saw it that I wanted to re-create it. While subtle eyes and a bold lip isn't my go-to look, I couldn't resist. Not only is this makeup bold and striking....but it's super quick and easy!

So, before I go through the steps to creating this five minute makeup, here is my re-created Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball look:

Products Used:
Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation, Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer, 
Revlon Photo Ready Powder, Blinc Cosmetics Eyebrow Mousse, 
Urban Decay Naked Palette, Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blush, 
Benefit They're Real! Mascara.

Creating this look really is simple....honest! From start to finish it took me about five minutes. Here is how I did it:

I started by going through my normal foundation routine (moisturize, prime, apply foundation, apply concealer, and powder the face). Once that was done, I focused on the eyes. I used a matte eyeshadow just slightly darker than my natural skin colour all over the lid. Then I took a light shimmery shadow and applied that lightly on the brow bone and on the inner corner of my eyes.

Next, came the mascara. Since this was such a natural eye look, it really was all about the lashes. I applied two thick coats of mascara to get the length and thickness this look needs. On the cheeks, I dusted a very natural-looking peachy coloured blush just on the apples.

The real drama of this look comes from the lips! I went for a super bright and bold red lipstick shade. I used a red lip liner around my lips for a little more precision and then simply applied the red lipstick directly onto my lips.

And that was it! Creating this Miley Cyrus makeup look was really easy but it had just the right hint of drama. I definitely encourage you to give it a try!

What do you think of this Miley Cyrus inspired makeup look?

xo Shannon