Tuesday, November 29, 2016

taking a bus shopping trip to the usa

Oh, how I love to travel. And shop. Put the two together and you have one seriously unforgettable getaway. Which is precisely why the bus trip my mom and I took to the USA (specifically Erie, Pennsylvania) was so memorable. It all started very early on a Friday morning. We were up and waiting for the tour bus before 6:30 am had rolled around. We joined a large group of shoppers and drove for a couple of hours before stopping at the Canadian Duty Free. Then it was time to head over the border (where we were stopped for Remembrance Day as it was close to 11. We actually saw all of the border workers come together to stand in silence. Pretty amazing that even the border shuts down out of respect). From there? It was lots of driving, going over instructions, and planning out our day.

The first shopping stop was at Millcreek Mall. We were given a few hours to get our shop on before dropping our luggage off at the hotel and coming back for round two. It was a fun first day though there were certainly some high and low points. The good? Five Below (what an amazing store), Fuddruckers burgers (it was so good it was seriously mind blowing) and spending time with my mom (I love being around her). The not so good? Ulta (no Kardashian makeup....heart broken). By the time we got back to the hotel it was 9pm. We barely had time to watch a show and plan out the next day before we went to bed.

The second day was spent at the Gove City Outlet. Oh my! What a day that was. There were so many stores it was totally overwhelming. We found awesome things we would never be able to find in Canada (like the brand new Paris Hilton perfume) and Christmas gifts for a great price. My mom was even able to pick up some Michael Kors purses for incredible prices. It was a jam packed day full of shopping, shopping, and more shopping. After we all loaded back onto the bus we stopped at Cracker Barrel to eat dinner. I had never been there before so it was a really cool experience. The food was tasty and the gift shop was incredible. I wound up buying the Reba McEntire holiday CD that was exclusive to the restaurant. Neat!

The day didn't end there. Oh no...it was off to do even more shopping. We were dropped off in a plaza that had a few different stores but my mom and I were after Kohls. Why? Lauren Conrad. I absolutely love her and have since Laguna Beach. So I was eager to get my hands on something from her clothing line. I have seen pictures online for years and years but was never able to buy them myself. Everything was so beautiful and it was a super exciting experience. (Even if people thought I was crazy for taking pictures of the Lauren section.) I wound up buying a sweater and a couple of gorgeous accessories. Then we went back to the hotel to rest up for the next day of shopping.

It was another very full day. We were downstairs at 6:45 am to put our luggage on the bus, grab breakfast, and get going. The first stop was Wal-Mart (which had some seriously amazing Christmas stuff) and then Target (which is basically my favourite place ever). Then we drove back to the border, went through customs, and headed back into Canada. It was a long drive back but we stopped briefly to stretch our legs and grab food. Eventually, we were back at our original drop off point with very heavy suitcases and very empty wallets.

Honestly, it was a really wonderful weekend getaway. My mom and I had a blast shopping, talking, and being together. It was definitely something I needed...even if my bank account doesn't agree! These are some of the things that came home with me (minus gifts for my loved ones). There were ugly Christmas sweaters, movies, t-shirts, CDs, perfumes, holiday items, and well, a lot more. Take a look.

There is no doubt about it. This was by far my most memorable shopping trip. I had never taken a bus trip like this so it was definitely an interesting experience. The best part? Doing something totally out of the ordinary with my mom. I know she had a good time as well so that makes it even better.

Have you done any shopping lately?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 27, 2016

miss piggy: love it or leave it

Some people have style and some people define style. Miss Piggy is certainly the latter. She has never been one to shy away from fashion risks. Throughout her career, she has worn just about every colour, print, pattern, accessory, and hairstyle there is....with varying results. But no matter what, this iconic actress/singer/frog lover has inspired us all. Most recently? She participated in the 90th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with Tony Bennet. Rehearsals took place on Wednesday and Miss Piggy stepped out wearing a bold dress, purple gloves, and a pair of pearls. So....was it a love or a loathe?

What I Love: If anyone can pull off these bold colours, it is definitely Miss Piggy. I adore the combination of pink, fuschia, black, orange, white, and green. All of the colours paired with that dramatic swirling pattern shouldn't work. On most people it would look dizzying or over the top. Yet on her, it does. Everything about this dress is fun. It is also pretty daring! That plunging neckline shows off just enough - but Piggy stays classy with those gorgeous purple gloves and that stunning pearl necklace. It was a fabulous combination.

What I Loathe: There is no doubt about it. Miss Piggy is a style icon. The only thing I did not love about this outfit? The fact that we will never know what shoes she was sporting! My guess? Something with a high heel and tons of glitter.

I hope you enjoyed this holiday-themed Love It Or Leave It! A little unusual, sure, but fashion inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere. (And anyone!)

What did you think of Miss Piggy's parade outfit? Love or loathe?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 24, 2016

pros and cons of the morphe 35W eyeshadow palette

Eyeshadow is my weakness. It has been for a very long time....which is odd, considering I never used to wear it. My early makeup looks were reserved to eyeliner and mascara only. Eyeshadow seemed too complicated. Too overwhelming. Then I started watching YouTube tutorials and suddenly, eyeshadow became my most loved beauty product. It amazed me just how versatile it could be. Eyeshadow was an exciting path to self expression and creativity and I fell madly in love with it.

So, when the Morphe 35W eyeshadow palette came into my life...I had high expectations. Not only had I heard positive things about the brand (courtesy of YouTubers and fellow makeup addicts) but the colours looked stunning. It was full of warm browns, pretty peaches, golds, and purples. All of my go-to shades. Were my expectations met? Yes and no. This is my take on the Morphe palette.

To begin, take a peek at the inside of the palette. There are a ton of beautiful eyeshadow shades.

  • Colour Selection. One thing that I adore are the many shadows available in this palette. There are thirty five eyeshadows altogether, with a row of lighter colours on the top row, medium and metallic shades on the second row, tons of pink and peach shades on the third row, browns and purples on the fourth, and dark dramatic colours on the fifth. The selection and range is fantastic. Plus, there is this incredible burnt orange shade that reminds me so much of my beloved Squash lipstick! 
  • Variety of Finishes. It is always nice to have a little variety. Not just in terms of the colours themselves but the finishes. The 35W palette has a wonderful variety to choose from. Some shades are matte, others are shimmery, and some are full out glittery. No matter what type of look you are going for - you can create it with this versatile palette.
  • Quality and Pigmentation. It's true. These shadows are pretty great. It certainly lives up to the hype when it comes to overall quality and pigmentation. While there are some issues (which you will see in the con list) this is certainly well worth the money. The shimmery shades are smooth, buttery, and ultra pigmented while the matte shades are soft and buildable. 
  • Simple Packaging. Sometimes, I want elaborate packaging. Other times, I want a product that works well and is easy to store. This palette falls into the latter category. It comes in a black plastic case that is sturdy, strong, and simple. It is easy to store and take with you if you are travelling. 
  • Consistency of Shadows. This palette is full of wonderful eyeshadow shades - ones that are so smooth and pigmented. Unfortunately? This is not true of all the eyeshadow shades. Which brings me to the one and only con on the list: consistency. The eyeshadows do not perform the same way in a consistent manner. While the shimmery colours are flawless....the others are a little more hit or miss. Some of the matte shades are quite pigmented but a few are chalkier and harder to use. The same can be said for the glitter shades. Fortunately, there are far more stand outs than disappointments.
Final Rating: What would I rate the Morphe 35W eyeshadow palette? 8/10. It excels in many areas - it is versatile and easy to use - however the consistency is not consistent for every single eyeshadow. Overall, I am really loving this. There are certain colours that I use often (like that squash shade and those beautiful metallic browns) and the price tag was very reasonable. 

Want more reviews? Check out my latest YouTube video for the creation of beauty is art. It is a review of some makeup brush sets from MyMakeupBrush.com


Have you tried this palette? Are you a fan of Morphe products? 

xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

my experience at the national women's show

It was a great day. Exhausting, but definitely great. Very early in the morning, my best friend, her mom, and I all took the train downtown to attend the National Women's Show in Toronto. We were tired but excited for the events that awaited us. Though we arrived at the show early....we were still quite far back in line to get in. The reason? Early arrive-es are given a massive goodie bag full of samples and full-sized products. We were eager to get our hands on that goodie bag and we did! It was certainly worth the wait.

Inside, there were food products to try (everything from pasta to chocolate bars), along with skin care samples, hair products, lotions, and a dozen other odds and ends. It was a great way to start the day. Once inside, we were able to check out the many vendors - there were some dedicated to clothing, makeup, travel, lifestyle products, food, alcohol, and well, just about everything you can imagine - and pick up samples along the way. It seemed everyone was eager to give away lip balms, food samples, lotions, and reading materials. Before long....our bags were filled to the brim.

We were also able to do a bit of shopping. I picked up some unique Christmas gifts. Splurged on some sweets. Oh, and bought a bit of makeup. We were doing really well until we hit the Jordana Cosmetics booth. Before we knew what was happening, we were getting glitter lips applied by one of the girls working there. Honestly? We looked awesome. Which explains how my BFF and I ended up buying lipstick, glitter, and adhesive. (I also picked up a beautiful eyeshadow palette.) It was such a fun and exciting way to end our day at the Women's Show. 

Here is a peek at some of the items that came home with me (that didn't make their way into the kitchen or get stolen by my hubby)....

As for the glitter lips? I'll be re-creating them in a post next week, so stay tuned for that! The picture above shows the lipstick and glitter shade that I fell in love with....a gorgeous turquoise. Definitely a great colour to play around with.

Overall, the National Women's Show was a fun (but slightly exhausting) day full of friendship, shopping, and glitter. What could be better?

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 20, 2016

it always seems impossible until it's done.

I am someone who sets goals. Constantly. My life is full of an endless array of to do lists and planners....each one full of dreams, goals, and desires. Certain things are accomplished on a regular basis. Like, writing articles, putting up blog posts, filming videos, and other everyday occurrences. Those are all jotted down on my daily to do list. But then there is a larger to do list. One that I have handy - and add to frequently. This summer, I came up with quite a few goals. One of them? Run 5K. Originally I wanted to sign up for an official 5K run but decided that my goal didn't require a lanyard, t-shirt, and number. I simply wanted to do it. Just to prove that I could.

This summer, I ran here and there. I ran home from work some days. I would run around the neighbourhood until my legs throbbed and my heart beat wildly. No matter how often I ran...that 5K seemed totally out of reach. Normally? I'd reach 2.5K or 3K on a good day. It was good. Just not what I hoped to accomplish.

Now that summer has ended and we are well and truly into the fall season....I thought my dream of 5K had passed me by. For this year at least. Then, on Friday, we had an unseasonably warm day. Temperatures soared. The sun shone brightly. So, on a whim, I decided to go for one last run of the season. (I listened to Christmas music while I ran and watched people hanging up their holiday lights. Very weird experience!) That turned out to be my 5K run.

I was about 2K in. I was definitely rusty. My legs hurt, my stomach cramped, and my water bottle seemed to weigh a hundred pounds. Then it popped into my head. This is your last chance to accomplish that summer goal. I ran faster and harder than ever. I pushed, pushed, pushed. Once I hit the 3.5K mark....I knew this was going to happen. The idea of making my 5K dream a reality kept me moving even when I wanted to stop. Once I was done? I was floating on air. The sense of pride and accomplishment was overwhelming. It was truly a blissful moment.

Today, I wanted to make a little blog post to commemorate that moment. And to remind myself that it is always possible to achieve my goals.

xo Shannon

Friday, November 18, 2016

current obsession: rimmel scandal eyes rockin' curves

I wasn't looking for a new mascara. There are several in my collection that I use frequently and love. Some are on the more expensive side (like They're Real! by Benefit and DiorShow by Dior) and others are on the less expensive side (The Super Sizer by Cover Girl is my all time favourite). So when my husband gave me the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Rockin' Curves mascara as part of my birthday gift....I had pretty low expectations. I assumed it would be a somewhat okay mascara that I would use for work now and then. Wrong! This mascara has seriously blown me away. It is fantastic.

The mascara itself creates super bold eyelashes. The colour is jet black (I personally hate when a mascara is only sort of black. I like it when my lashes are super dramatic and dark) and it creates both volume and length. There is such a huge difference when the product is applied. It adds a ton of drama to any look and is the perfect finishing touch.

My favourite thing about this mascara? The wand. This is called Rockin' Curves for a reason! The wand itself has an S-shaped curve, with smaller bristles at the tip and larger bristles along the middle and bottom. The shape makes it so easy to apply the mascara. The curve works with my eye shape perfectly and makes application on the bottom lashes a total breeze. It is a serious game changer. I am totally obsessed with this wand. It works well and really speeds up my morning! 

Overall, the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Rockin' Curves mascara definitely exceeded my expectations. It works well, adds tons of drama to any makeup look, and has a unique wand that simplifies application. It was a very happy surprise! 

Have you tried this mascara? What did you think of it?

xo Shannon

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

review: master palette by mario (anastasia beverly hills)

There are many things that make me happy. A few examples include Anastasia Beverly Hills and the Kardashians. (If you have been reading my blog for a while then you likely know about my obsession with the Kardashians. From inspiration photos to tutorials and hauls....they have definitely been featured here a time or two!) So of course, I had my eyes on the new limited edition palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills. The Master Palette by Mario was created by Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian's makeup artist. The man who has perfected the art of smokey eye looks and expertly contoured cheekbones has released his very first makeup product. And it is amazing.

My husband and I did a bit of shopping downtown on my birthday weekend. That of course included a quick stop off at Sephora. Going in, I was trying to be good. I knew about the palette but was determined not to shell out the $60 (CDN) to get it. Then I saw it. Swatched it. Fell in love with it. While I hmm-ed and haww-ed endlessly - it was as if there was an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other - my husband made the final decision. He told me to get it. Not only was there a Kardashian connection, he reasoned, but these were all the eyeshadow shades I loved most. Sold!

Before I get into my full review of the palette, let's take a closer look inside. Here are all of the shades and the swatches...

As you can see from the photo above, there is a great shade range here. The palette includes twelve shadows altogether (three matte and nine shimmer) that are warm, earthy, and easy to wear. There is a great combination of light shades, mid-tones, and deeper colours. That makes it easy to create that Kardashian inspired smokey eye look! 

These are swatches from the palette (all without a primer). From left to right they are: Hollywood, NYC, Kim, Muse, Marina, Claudia, Lula, Isabel, Violeta, 5th Ave, Bronx, and Paris. I love that the shades were named after the things that inspired Mario....the people and places he adores. So cute!

Now to dig into the full review. As you can probably tell from my review so far, I am a big fan of the shade selection. I love metallic colours, warmer tones, and bold neutrals. This has all of that and more. These are amazing every day eyeshadows that can be worn to work, out to lunch, or on a girls night out. It has the versatility to take you from day to night and work for a variety of different skin tones. Each shade was definitely well thought out. Something to keep in mind, though? If you do not like shimmery eyeshadows then this is something you should skip, as most of them have a shimmery finish. (Which is something that makes me happy. I love a good shimmery shadow!)

The packaging is sleek, simple, and sturdy. It has an elegant logo on the front, a magnetic closure on the front, and a small mirror inside. This palette also comes with a double ended brush. It has a fluffy blending brush on one end and a denser brush on the other end.

As for the texture of the eyeshadow shades? Incredible. They are so soft and buttery smooth. Each one applies like a dream and is super easy to blend. I haven't experienced any fall out whatsoever (even with the darker shade, Claudia) either. The pigmentation is another standout aspect of this palette. All of the shades, both shimmer and matte, are highly pigmented. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the quality of these eyeshadows!

The Master Palette by Mario is not just a good eyeshadow set. It is one of my all-time favourite makeup items. The quality is so high, the shadows are so wearable, and the formula is incredible. There is absolutely nothing about this palette that I would change. It was completely worth the price tag....and I am so glad my husband urged me to pick it up.

Have you tried this palette? What do you think of it?

xo Shannon

Monday, November 14, 2016

inspired by: kerry washington

There is nothing like Netflix. Not only does it allow you to watch shows endlessly....but it lets you test the waters. Try new things. Catch up. With so much hitting the big (and small) screen, it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. Before long? You've fallen way way behind on that thing you meant to watch but never got around to. No wonder Netflix holds such a special place in my heart. After all.....it brought me Scandal.

It was a show that I kept hearing about. Meaning to watch. Get around to. I just never managed to find time for it. Then it popped up on my Netflix recommendations and finally, my husband and I sat down to give it a whirl. Bam! Obsessed. We have been watching constantly. Somehow, we are already midway through season four and I am worrying about getting caught up. I simply cannot imagine waiting week to week for all of the drama and adventure.

The star of Scandal, Kerry Washington, was someone I already knew of. Mostly because of her stunning magazine covers and impeccable red carpet fashion. Now that I am watching the show on a regular basis? I can't even deal with how beautiful she is. Or fashionable. Her style on the show is beyond incredible. From the oversized jackets to the breathtaking white dresses....wow. There is no doubt about it: Kerry looks good everywhere she goes.

Since I have been so obsessed with Scandal and Kerry Washington lately, I thought an old fashioned inspiration post was in order. These are some of my favourite photos of Kerry as the iconic Olivia Pope. Fingers crossed they give you tons of style inspiration for the day.

Are you a fan of Kerry Washington?

xo Shannon

Saturday, November 12, 2016

holiday shopping tips for the budget conscious shopper.

This should come as no surprise...but I absolutely love shopping. Few things are as exciting as great deals and bonding time. Which is why my mom and I always go shopping together. Whether we are travelling or just spend an afternoon at a nearby mall, it is one of our favourite past times. Unfortunately for me? Money is tight. Since I got married last summer, most of my money has gone to rent, food, and other necessities. (Boy do I miss the days of spending my paychecks on trips to the mall!) Budgeting has become a part of my every day reality.

No wonder I am a little anxious about an upcoming shopping trip. Don't get me wrong. I am excited. Eager. Giddy. My mom and I are taking a bus trip to Erie, Pennsylvania to do some pre-holiday shopping. The bus tour will take us to a bunch of outlet malls and stores that aren't found in Canada. (Like Target, Kohls, and Ulta.) As much as I am looking forward to this trip....I need to stick to a strict budget. Which will certainly not be easy.

That leads me to today's post. These tips will help you (and me!) stay on track this holiday season.
  • Come Up With a Detailed Budget. Having a holiday shopping budget in place is great. Except that it can be super easy to get off track. The best way to avoid that is to make your budget as detailed as possible. Decide how much you will spend on Christmas gifts for each person in your life. Then how much you will spend on decorations. Holiday dinners. Extras. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to stick to your budget. 
  • Shop In Unexpected Places. Most of us go to the same stores over and over again. There is nothing wrong with that....but you are less likely to find spectacular bargains. So be open to shopping in places you might not think to. Like discounts stores or dollar stores. The latter is where I found a Christmas gift for my brother for a mere $3. (It is still being sold at Hallmark for $20.) Try looking around, heading into different stores, and venturing outside of the mall.
  • Pick Up Useful DIY Items. Super strapped for cash this year? That's okay. Just pick up items that will help you create some awesome DIY gifts. There are a ton of great ideas online. A few to get you started include: a spa in a jar (fill up a mason jar with a nail file, face mask, and other at home spa day essentials), decorated photo frames, and homemade cookies. 
  • Know Exactly What You Need To Buy. It helps to have a list. Being organized makes it that much easier to focus on what you need. The next time you go holiday shopping? Have a list of everything you need to buy and who you need to shop for. For example, Mom - one large item and two small items. Budget - $75. Know what you need. This will help you avoid overspending or picking up unnecessary items.
Need a little shopping inspiration? My latest YouTube video is all about my most repurchased makeup  items....take a look! 

How will you stay on budget this season? Have you done any shopping lately?

xo Shannon

Thursday, November 10, 2016

shock is a strange feeling. it knocks the wind out of you.

This is not my originally scheduled post. But there has been a heaviness in my heart for the last few days..and it seemed only right to acknowledge it. Deep down, I have always believed two basic things: that good wins over evil and that people are intrinsically decent. The events of Tuesday evening proved this is untrue. We are living in a world full of hatred and anger. People are consumed with self-interest rather than the good of all.

Honestly, I had a full day where I felt depressed, hurt, and betrayed. I even bought containers of ice cream to ease my sorrows. All the while, I kept thinking: how could this happen? 

With so much negativity in the world today, I wanted to share a quote with you that is helping me deal with this sense of loss and injustice. I hope it helps you too.

This is a time to come together....and keep fighting for what is right.


xo Shannon

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.

It has been a while. Though my birthday was a few weeks ago, things are only now starting to calm down. Finally life is starting to return to normal. Honestly? It actually feels good to get back into a regular routine. With so much going on recently....I am just now starting to go through (and put away!) all of the wonderful birthday gifts I was given. There were DVDs, accessories, makeup, books, and more. I was definitely spoiled this year. So, it only made sense to share some of those things on my blog. Without further ado, here it is. These are a few of the birthday gifts I received this year.....

Some gorgeous accessories from Ardene's (headbands, earrings, necklaces, and more), noise makers, an iTunes gift card, MAC Trolls powder, and an Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette. 

An assortment of books, DVDs, and movies (the new Amy Schumer book, Anne of Green Gables collection, Snow and Snow 2, iZombie season one and two, Little House on the Prairie season seven and eight, and a gorgeous Audrey Hepburn book). 

Lots of amazing new makeup, including a bunch of nail polish colours, a Rimmel mascara, some eyeliner pens, CoverGirl lippies, and a NYX butter gloss. 

A Harry Potter shirt, card, gift card, USB stick, and telephone booth tin.

A stunning pair of diamond earrings from my mom. I love them because they're beautiful...but they are special because they actually belonged to my mom! She wanted me to have something from her jewellery collection because it was my 30th. 

Some Olaf goodies, cute cards, a birthstone bracelet, a Harry Potter Pop! figure, and a gingerbread scented candle. 

The Too Faced Christmas in New York makeup scent (OMG! Gingerbread scented makeup!), a Kate Spade wallet, and the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off.

Some new clothes! Two pairs of pants and two super cute tops. (I love the cat one!)

Yes, this birthday was definitely one to remember. There were tons of activities, get togethers, and gifts. It was a fun (but super busy) experience. Now that everything is over, it will be nice to catch up on life and settle back into routine.

Have you been given any gifts lately? 

xo Shannon

Sunday, November 6, 2016

jennifer lawrence: love it or leave it?

Red carpet fashion always makes me happy. There is something about the dramatic gowns, the elaborate hairstyles, and smokey eye makeup that brings me an endless amount of joy. Perhaps it is the glamour of it all....or the way a red carpet look can leave me feeling completely and totally inspired. When Jennifer Lawrence attended the 2016 Britannia Awards last week, she definitely made a splash. Heads turned. Jaws dropped. Fans were made. That is the power of fashion. It has the ability to take your breath away. 

Which brings me to the latest edition of love it or leave it? This is all about Jennifer Lawrence and her A-list style. 

What I Love. Oh my goodness. What an incredible look! There are so many things that I adore about this outfit but the biggest is definitely the choice of colours. That soft pink shade is stunning and I love the almost metallic shimmer it has. That gives it just the right amount of drama. The fit is also beautiful. I love that the belt really defines her waist and the soft way it tapers down at the bottom. Her hair and makeup are also winners for me. The pieces of hair framing her face are so soft and romantic. They perfectly compliment that elegant red carpet gown. Everything about this look is sweet and sophisticated. 

What I Loathe. Okay, I admit. There is one thing that I am not overly fond of. The upper half of the dress seems needlessly complicated to me. While it certainly is figure flattering...it feels like two different dresses were stitched onto one another. That complicated (or busy) upper half detracts from the overall elegance of this look. 

Overall, this was a lovely head to toe look. The hair, makeup, and colour of the dress were absolutely stunning. While there was one aspect of the dress that definitely did not make me smile, I would still crown this red carpet look a love it. 

Speaking of loving it....I recently filmed a YouTube makeup tutorial inspired by my all-time favourite YouTuber. I am such a huge fan of Trisha Paytas. From her incredible style to her bold personality, and genuine spirit, I absolutely adore her. Please take a look at my "Cinderella" music video inspired tutorial....

What did you think of Jennifer's red carpet outfit? Love it or leave it?

xo Shannon

Friday, November 4, 2016

how i celebrated my birthday.

Woosh! It feels like everything is moving so quickly lately. All of these noteworthy events are zooming by....before I can even pause to appreciate them. That is what brings me to today's blog post. I wanted to commemorate my 30th birthday celebration in some small way. To look back, reflect, and remember. It was certainly a jam-packed few days full of friends and family.

It all started on the Friday. I booked the day off of work (even though my birthday wasn't until the Monday) to enjoy a nice relaxing day. Though I did writing work for a lot of it...it felt nice to stay in my PJs all morning. That night, my best friend and I went to dinner and a movie. She spoiled me with awesome birthday surprises, like a celebratory hat, pin, sparklers, noise makers, and some gorgeous accessories. Though the movie we saw was only so-so (Keeping Up With The Jonses was not as good as I hoped it would be) it was still an awesome night.

Nights out and my new Matilda t-shirt. Love it!

The Saturday was equally busy. My husband took me downtown to see Matilda the Musical. Definitely a fabulous birthday gift. The musical itself was really well done and I enjoyed seeing it. Though, I confess, the best part of the performance was the merchandise table. I bought an amazing t-shirt that I am mildly obsessed with. After that, we went to check in at our hotel, mix a few drinks, and watch TV. Then it was off to dinner with some friends.

Sunday was pretty much perfect. My husband and I went out for breakfast in the city (Dennys....my favourite! They even had Rudolph shaped pancakes. Day made!) and did some shopping. We wandered the mall, bought a few presents, and splurged a little. Then it was home to watch a movie and catch up on some sleep.

Sunday shopping haul...new stuffed people, candles, makeup, CDs, DVDs, and a book!

Then it was time for my actual birthday. I have a twin brother, so I always always spend my birthday with my family. I got there early in the afternoon while my Dad and brother were still at work. When I got there? My mom had totally decorated everything. I had decided since I was turning 30 that my theme would be crypt keeper. So she had skull hands leading up the walkway, an inflatable grim reaper on the porch, and a sign at the front door. The inside of the house was decorated as well. There was even a grim reaper on the couch and a cake decorated with skull hands. It was so cool. Not just the decorations themselves, but the fact that she went to so much trouble to make my birthday special. I felt happy, blessed, and loved.

We spent the afternoon catching up on shows and talking. Then my Dad and brother came home and we opened presents. (My brother and I were incredibly spoiled....but I will show you all of that in a post next week!) After that, we headed out to Pizza Hut, which is my favourite place to eat, to enjoy a birthday dinner with my sister and her boyfriend. Then it was back to the house for cake. By the end of the night, I was very full and very happy.

There were definitely a lot of highlights. This was a birthday to remember, for sure.

xo Shannon

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

review: MAC trolls beauty powder

This may be an unpopular statement...especially in the beauty community....but I am not a huge MAC fan. For me? The shopping experience ruins it. You have to ask to see most items, everything is super pricey, and the staff have a habit of being cold. (At least in my experience.) I much prefer Sephora or my local drugstore. That's not to say there aren't good products available at MAC. I used to use one of the foundations and loved it for photos. Generally speaking, however, it is not my cup of tea.

So imagine my surprise when I received a MAC gift card. It was a thoughtful gift (since makeup is a huge part of my life) that was very much appreciated. But I had no clue what to look for. At first, I browsed the selection of lipsticks. There were some that were nice but nothing that caught my eye. Nothing I felt I needed to have. Or didn't have something similar to already. Then I started looking at brushes. They were quite expensive and not exactly what I wanted.

Then I found a bunch of Trolls makeup. It was 60% off and the packaging looked really cute. There were glitter pigments which I did not really need and some eyeshadow shades I would never wear. In the end? I opted for the Beauty Powder, pictured above. Even with a sixty percent discount, it used up the entire gift card. Talk about crazy! But I figured, this was a cute little piece to add to my collection. Was it good? Not so good? Here are the pros and cons of the MAC Trolls Beauty Powder.

Pros: The packaging is amazing. It comes in a neon pink compact with a green troll silhouette printed on the front. The name is Glow Rida and there is a cute troll print pressed into the powder. When it comes to the cute factor? This beauty powder has it going on. It looks absolutely adorable.

Cons: Well. As cute as the packaging is....it cannot make up for how utterly disappointing this powder turned out to be. The texture is dry and flaky. It looks like absolutely nothing on the skin. There is no coverage level whatsoever. While there is a shimmery finish in the pan, it provides no shimmer or highlight. I am truly baffled by this product. It looks like it would be a cute shimmery highlight. Or at the very least a cute pressed powder. It is neither. It is nothing! There is honestly no point adding this to your makeup look as it will make no difference whatsoever. Talk about a waste of time.

This was one MAC product that really let me down. Thank goodness for the packaging! At least I can display it somewhere, if nothing else. If you have tried this specific product (or anything from the Trolls line) please let me know what you thought of it. I am genuinely curious to know if I am the only one that was left disappointed.

Do you shop at MAC? Have you tried this beauty powder?

xo Shannon