Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Truffle would like to wish all of you a wonderful and safe Christmas! He looks grumpy in this photo but I'm sure he feels happy inside.

Have an amazing holiday with your loved ones! :) x

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Travel Tuesday . Mont Saint-Michel . June 2012

Ever since my friend told me about her visit to Mont Saint-Michel over 10 years ago, it's been on my list of must-see places. I wanted to see it so badly that Hubs and I rented a car and drove there last year despite only having one short week in Paris. We arrived in Mont Saint-Michel in the late afternoon and stayed overnight. It was amazing to see the Mont as the sun set, then at twilight, and then set against the deep indigo blue night sky. Besides being a historical place of pilgrimage, Mont Saint-Michel (along with the Bay of Fundy) is known to have some of the most dramatic variations between low and high tide in the world. Unfortunately, the tide was not scheduled to change the week we were in France... I guess that means we will have to visit again!

Ready for some silliness?

The photo on the left seemed like a good idea at the time hehe...

The walk over to the Mont was so beautiful.

We stepped onto the Mont and were captivated by the narrow alleyways, stone steps, and seemingly secret passages. There were dramatic vistas and beautiful scenery at nearly every turn.

It was getting dark quickly so we decided to head back to our hotel on the other side of the causeway and return the next morning.

It was incredible to be at Mont Saint-Michel after the sun set. It was lonely, quiet, and desolate... the perfect opportunity to reflect and do some soul searching. It is a place like no other. The next morning, we woke up bright and early to visit the Abbey before driving back to Paris... photos will be posted on a future Travel Tuesday!

A very Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates the occasion! Hope you are all having a wonderful time with your loved ones. :) x

Sunday, December 22, 2013

November 2013 SeasonsBox - Unboxing and Review

Just a quick post today on the November SeasonsBox. This month's box was better than October; however, the value was only $32 compared to a price of between $34.90 to $44.95 depending on where you live.

Here are the products in the November SeasonsBox - we received 5 full size products this month:

1. Earth Therapeutics Loofah Body Scrubber
1 Scrubber // $1.99
Nothing too exciting here... just a standard loofah scrubber.

2. Organic Apothecary Sinus Blend Shower Tablets
2 Tablets // $2
I haven't tried these yet but I am excited to see if they work.

3. Green Bubbles Tired Pigs Foot Soak in Lavender Peppermint
8 oz // $8
I haven't tired this product yet either but I am happy to receive this foot soak. My feet are really needing some TLC.

4. Green Bubbles Shampoo in Honey Patchouli
8 oz // $10
This shampoo was great at cleaning my hair - very gentle yet effective. However, the patchouli scent is waaaay too strong - it ended up giving me a headache the next day. I've since used this shampoo to clean my makeup brushes and the scent is still really strong but at least I won't be exposed to it all day.

5. Green Bubbles Conditioner in Honey Patchouli
8 oz // $10
The conditioner made my hair feel nice and soft... super sleek and shiny as well. Unfortunately, the scent was too strong (see comment for shampoo above).

Overall, I did not find this to be an exciting box. I miss the scarves, bracelets, candles, and other "lifestyle" items of previous boxes.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Travel Tuesday // Honfleur // June 2012

Honfleur is one of those places that just drew me in. When I started doing research for our trip to Paris, I knew I wanted to take an excursion to Mont St. Michel. It seemed that the best way was to drive so we booked a car and it was up to me to decide whether we would do any additional side trips. I chose only one stop en route to Mont St. Michel and it was Honfleur. Something about this little town sang to me. We only spent a few hours there - we meandered through the narrow streets, ate deliciously fresh mussels for lunch, walked around the waterfront, and popped into little shops. Honfleur is a beautiful town with kind people and a relaxing vibe. I would definitely go back, if only for the amazing cider!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fabulous Swap with Pebbles!

I have another huge swap to share with you today! Near the end of summer, Pebbles (aka Maria) and I decided to do a swap. We've been pals on YouTube for quite some time and thought it would be fun to surprise each other with a bunch of beauty goodies. We chatted over e-mail and shopped for each other... and then the day finally arrived for us to rip open our swap packages. Pebbles bought me so many things!!! She truly went above and beyond. I was so impressed with the products she picked out for me... it's like she could read my mind. I have been really enjoying everything and I'm so thankful for her generosity and friendship.

The below photos show the products Pebbles picked out for me, but if you watch the (very long) unboxing video, you'll see how much care Pebbles put into wrapping up each gift. She left little notes on each of them and it was so much fun to open everything. She also included some perfume samples... which reminded me of a Sephora order, albeit a super huge and incredible order!

- Killer Queen by Katy Perry // I like this scent, but I don't really feel it suits me. That being said, I like having little samples on hand so I will continue to use it!

- Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf // This scent is incredible!! I really really like it... if I could remember to wear fragrance on a regular basis, I'd be tempted to pick up a bottle of this.

- Alien by Thierry Mugler // I haven't tried this scent yet, but I've heard great things about it.

Next up, Pebbles picked up some beauty tools for me. :)

- MakeUpMiser Makeup Spatulas // I didn't even know this product existed, but it is brilliant! I've already used one of the spatulas to clean out every last drop of one of my moisturizer samples. These are also great to have so I don't dig into my face creams with my fingers.

- SPAresource Pro Series Cream Shadow Brush // I needed a brush for my cream shadows and this one works great.

- SPAresource Pro Series Crease Blender Brush // I really like this crease brush because it's smaller than the other ones I have in my collection.

- SPAresource Pro Series Blush Brush // YAY!! I have been loving smaller blush brushes lately so I've been reaching for this one a lot!

I was so happy to see that Pebbles included a couple of sheet masks for me to try! I've never heard of Dermal masks (made in Korea), but I love sheet masks so I was over the moon about these!

- Dermal Green Tea Collagen Essence Mask // I love love love this sheet mask! It smells amazing and it was so soothing.

- Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask // This mask was great too, but I preferred the scent of the green tea mask. I don't really remember the scent of this one so it was probably very light.

I was in desperate need for some hair treatments or deep conditioners so this is one of the areas where Pebbles read my mind!

- Silk Elements Luxury Moisturizing Conditioner // I haven't tried this conditioner yet, but I'm hoping it will in fact make my hair "as soft and smooth as silk."

- Ion Repair Solutions Effective Care Treatment // I was intrigued that this product is 100% vegan, so this is the first hair treatment I tried. I liked the scent. It was very thick and creamy, so it coated my hair well... unfortunately, I didn't notice a difference with my hair after using it though. There was enough product in this packet for 3-4 uses and I enjoyed trying it.

- Hair One Cleanser and Conditioner // I like that this product contains olive oil for dry hair. My hair (and scalp) have been extremely dry lately. One of the many reasons I dislike winter in Toronto. I've only tried this product once, but it is amazing!! I noticed a difference with my hair the very next day. My hair was extremely soft and silky, and my scalp felt less dry. I also loooove the scent!

Scrubs and things!! :)

- Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub in Coconut Lime // I absolutely love this stuff!! I received a small tub from Beauty Box 5 and the scent is simply divine. I was so happy Pebbles picked up a massive tub of the scrub for me!

- Mr. Pumice Pumi Bar // My tootsies have been in a sorry state lately, so this pumice bar could not have come at a better time.

Pebbles was so incredibly thoughtful with these next goodies!

- Sephora Fishnet Headbands // Hehe, I think Pebbles was tired of seeing me use my Starlooks elastics to hold my hair back so she bought me these super cute (and very comfortable) headbands! I love that they have a lace pattern on them. I wear them almost every day.

- Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in Pink // I've been talking about needing to make my skin look more luminous so I was so pleased to see this product included in my swap package! I've been using this product every day (mixed with my moisturizer). I'm not 100% sure it makes a difference but I feel better when I use it.

- Palladio Rice Paper in Warm Beige // This is a product I requested... I had actually forgotten about it so thank you to Pebbles for remembering!! I've heard great things about this product and can't wait to try it.

- Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder // OMG this compact is so beautiful. I think it may be the most beautiful (and weighty) compact I own. The powder itself is a stark white but goes on translucent. It doesn't keep me shine free all day, but it does do the job for a good 2-3 hours.

As a true lippie addict, these next products were right up my alley!!

- Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss // This smells so good and does a great job at moisturizing my lips.

- Smashbox Wondervision Lip Gloss Set // I haven't used these lip glosses yet but I know I'll like them, because I have a Smashbox mini lip gloss and I really like the formulation. The red lip gloss in particular looks so beautiful and jelly-like.

- YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in 13 Pink in Paris // The name of this product is perfect and the colour is even better! Such a beautiful mid-tone pink and I've been using it a lot lately. The YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lippies are among my favourite so I was very happy Pebbles included this in my swap package!

- Milani Lipstick in Chilled Brandy // I have never tried the Milani lipsticks before and I was definitely missing out! This dark berry colour is perfect for fall and winter. The lipstick smells great too!

- Milani Lipstick in Dolce // I love this shade - it works beautifully on my skin tone and is very much my taste. :)

- Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Lavender Voltage // This lippie screams Pebbles as she loves purple lipsticks. I don't have anything like this in my collection, but I'm so glad she included this because I think it looks amazing on! Such a gorgeous punch of colour.

Pebbles picked out three gorgeous nail polish colours and I love them all!! So much so that I've actually already worn all three shades.

- L'Oreal Nail Color in Eiffel for You // This is a beautiful cream polish in a light taupe-y grey.

- L'Oreal Nail Color in Stroke of Midnight // I love this shade on my nails! It's a midnight blue that borders on charcoal/black.

- L'Oreal Nail Color in Charmed I'm Sure // This is a stunning rose gold polish. It reminds me of Deborah Lippmann's Glamorous Life, but I haven't done side-by-side swatches to compare yet.

I also received three mini candles!

- Bath & Body Works Candle in Spiced Cider // My favourite scent out of the three! This one is long gone, but I will be cleaning it out and using the container for storage. This one has a pretty lid too. :)

- Bath & Body Works Candle in Pumpkin Caramel Latte // This scent is so festive! I've also finished up this candle. I burn through candles like nobody's business hehe.

- Bath & Body Works Candle in Marshmallow Fireside // I like that this candle has a scent that's more complex than just sweet marshmallow. I thought I detected a floral scent when I first smelled this candle... hmmm...

Pebbles clearly knows I have a weakness for blush... my goodness, look how many she included in the swap package!!

- Quo Baked Blush in Pinch // This blush is so gorgeous and apparently it's also handcrafted in Italy. How lovely! It's a little powdery so I just dab my blush brush carefully. It's very pigmented so you don't need much anyway. I've worn this a bunch of times already.

- TheBalm DownBoy Shadow/Blush // I love my FratBoy shadow/blush so I was really excited to receive this! I've used this only once but I really like it.

- Wet n Wild Blush in Berry Shimmer // Holy pigmentation, Batman! A little goes a loooong way with this blush! I've only swatched this one but I think I will give it a try this week.

- Femme Couture Mineral Effects Floral Blush in Plum Posh // This blush is so pretty that I didn't want to swatch it! I've worn this blush a couple of times and while it is sheerer than the other blushes Pebbles bought me, the colour is buildable. This blush is also made in Italy. Love!

- Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Katie // I have been eyeing this shade for a very long time! There are two super light Illamasqua blushers that I've been wanting to get my hands on - this one and Tremble - but they were sold out for a while and then I kind of forgot about them. I was so happy Pebbles picked this up for me! I haven't tried this blush yet, but I plan to this week as well. Hooray for trying new makeup!

As if all these goodies weren't enough, Pebbles also got me a bunch of palettes!! I love this Shady Lady (Special Edition) palette from TheBalm. It is incredibly gorgeous. I haven't even swatched this palette yet because it is so pretty. Oddly enough, I tend to "save" a lot of my eyeshadow palettes, whereas I do not hesitate to immediately dig into new lippies.

I've tried the Tarte Coral Crush palette and I really really like it! It's got a beautiful set of eyeshadows and I also love the blush, highlight, and bronzer shades included in the palette. Oh and did I mention the gorgeous packaging?

I was super stoked to receive the Urban Decay Theodora palette!! The packaging of this palette was out of this world - I love the tin and the removable eyeshadow pans. There's also a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil tucked inside - my favourite eyeliner. Not only that but there was a final little surprise included in the set - the Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color pencil in Theodora. I've never tried the UD high gloss pencils before and I can't wait to wear this out and about!

Last but certainly not least, here is my favourite item in the entire box! Pebbles got me... get ready for this... little bunny earrings from France! I love these so much, I can't even express it in words. They are so dainty and perfect.

Maria, thank you so much for doing this incredible swap with me! I really appreciate the thought and care you put into the swap package. It was so exciting to receive a box of goodies curated specifically for me. I am loving everything you sent me... you did amazing, girl!! :)

If you're interested in seeing what I picked up for Pebbles, please check out her unboxing!

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