Saturday, March 31, 2012

Visiting Blogs

“There’s something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else’s site. It’s like visiting a friend’s house for a quick meal ’round the breakfast table. It’s personal — you’re in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting.” – Trent Walton

(via Cup of Jo; via Swiss Miss)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Round-Up


Oh TGIF, literally T. G. I. F.!  I'm so pumped for the weekend; tonight will be a low key evening in and watching 'The Ides of March'.  On Saturday I plan to check out the new Marshalls that just opened up in my city with a girlfriend and that night I'm attempting home-made thai food (rice wraps & pad thai, we'll see how that goes).  Have a great weekend!

If my sewing skills suddenly improve, I'd love to try and make this.

Have you seen this slow motion ballet?  Incredible.

Don't forget about Earth Hour on Saturday night.

Want to dye your hair 'Rihanna Red'?  She shows you how to.

These boots are sweet and sassy (& cheap).

Have you ever consigned your clothes?  

Side-note: I'm totally obsessed with Instagram, are you?  If you use it, leave your user name below so I can find you.  Mine is acoest1984.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Recent: iPhone Snaps


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Outfit details:
* Dynamite blazer (a personal fave), last seen with a ruffled pale pink dress, here with a geometric print dress & with skinny pants.
* Spense dress, picked this up in Florida at Ross and was part of my birthday gift from my parents.
* BCBG heels from TJ Maxx last year when I went to Florida.  Last seen with white skinnies, here with grey denim, and my with my favourite ruffled skirt.
* Givenchy nude fishnet tights that I wear all. the. time.  I found a handful at Winners and scooped them up as they are hard to find and since I've been wearing them for years, I need to replace them yearly.
* Vintage necklace,  Pandora bracelet (with two new charms I received for my birthday: 'Journey' and my birthstone, 'Aquamarine,' similar), Dillards & F21 bangles.

I'm switching up how I list my outfit details, what do you think?  Do we like it?  LoveMaegan... does something similar and I really like how she lists what she previously wore with something and gives a visual before you even click the link.  Thoughts?

So I wore this dress to work the other day, and while I got a ton of compliments and love the colour, I couldn't wait to rip it off when I got home.  Too tight and too fussy!  The following day was dubbed a 'flowy' day where I wore skinnies and a flowy top.  Ah.  To be able to breathe.

I know I said I had a purchase post coming soon on the loot I nabbed in Florida, plus a recap of my vacation, also I want to share the birthday gifts I received; I did not lie, it's just taking me a bit longer.  Between going through all my photos, editing them, and (the worst) not having Internet (the connection I was pirating has now been locked.  Damn!), I've been a little slow moving.  But alas, I have a 'net connection now and will get those posts up very soon.  Hope you are all having a great day!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Listening to...


Monday, March 26, 2012


Old Navy dress (last seen here), Urban Original boots (last seen here), Suzy belt & Auslini bangle

This year my birthday extended over three weeks (three weeks!) and I must confess, I’m not complaining.

My girlfriends and I (a new group of girls I was introduced to less than a year ago by a dear friend) try to have girls’ nights once per month, but we hadn’t seen each other since our Christmas Party in December!  Anyways, we decided to plan a get together a week prior to my birthday and I mentioned to my friend (the introducer) that it’d be nice to go out and in a way celebrate my birthday with those girls and since this girls’ night was so close, we could roll it into one.  I figured we might say a, ‘Cheers! Happy Birthday Amanda!’ over drinks at dinner.  Boy was I wrong.  My girlfriend made it her personal mission that we celebrate my birthday that night and she made that very clear when she showed up at my apartment before dinner with the amazing, custom cake above.  Yes, that is a big chocolate shoe.  It brought tears to my eyes!

From there, we got ready and met up with the other four girls and had an amazing Italian dinner complete with complimentary shots from our server.  Afterwards, we went back to my place and cut the cake, had some drinks and laughs.  It was one of the best nights of my life (that sounds pretty bold, but it was).
I have spent three birthdays in Florida: five to six, eleven to twelve and this year, twenty-seven to twenty-eight.   Pretty lucky, right?  I’d say so.

I flew down to to Florida the day before my birthday so was there to celebrate and it played out perfectly.  In the morning, my mom, step-grandmother and her niece all went to get pedicures at a Cosmetology school.  It was interesting and fun.  The pedicures were only $14, which is a steal (I know I mentioned $8 before but the numbers were mixed up) and everyone was very nice.  I picked out an orangey-red colour but cannot remember the OPI name.
F21 top, American Apparel bandeau, Almost Famous shorts, Bamboo sandals, H&M bangle & Dollarama ring

We hit up Target after our pedicures and I must have tried on half the store.  I walked away with some new skinny pants (in magenta!), a bikini top, some Elf make-up brushes and the brightest pink blush you have ever seen.  I certainly didn’t buy a lot, but it was our first day of shopping so I didn’t want to go too crazy.  

On that note, I had four more things in my cart that I was planning on buying (cat-eye sunglasses, a white bf cardi, a coral pencil skirt and some jewellery) but put them back at the last minute.  Do you ever do that?
Ashley B jacket (last seen here), Rachel Roy pashmina, Charles Jourdan purse & Diva Lounge wedges (last seen here)

That night, my whole family (seven of us) went to my favourite US chain, Chili’s, for dinner.  We had two-for-one drinks (love this concept as we don’t have that in Canada!) and I got my favourite: the buffalo chicken sandwich with coleslaw.  Mmmm.   

Our server got wind that it was my birthday and came along after dinner with some others, sang to me and presented me with the most delicious brownie you’ve ever had.  I shared.

Jacob Connexion button-down, thrifted leather skirt (last seen here), Joey heels (last seen here), Suzy belt & Dollarama ring
Once I returned home, I was taken out for a very special dinner to a favourite restaurant of mine.  Since the weather was so mild, I took advantage and went bare-legged with highly uncomfortable shoes and rocked some extensions.

What you didn’t see:

My work friends (which includes one of my besties) surprised me by taking me to lunch at one of my favourite lunch spots.  

 I thought it was just going to be me and my girlfriend and I was saying how I really shouldn’t go and spend money since I was leaving for Florida the following week.  She said she would treat me for my birthday and little did I know; we showed up and the other three were there (one of whom is on mat-leave currently!) and they had already ordered (my favourite dish) and were waiting.  

It was so kind.  They also gifted me with the sweetest card and a gift card to one of my favourite stores, Winners! 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Healthy Apple Crisp for One

Sometimes I get a craving for something sweet, even though I'm not hungry.  

Okay, who am I kidding?  I frequently get sweet cravings.  

Tonight was no different but I knew if I tore open the bag of mini-eggs I have stashed in my purse, imense guilt would set in immediately after especially since I induldged enough this weekend.  So, the alternative?  A make-shift 'healthy' apple crisp.

It's has fruit, that's healthy, right?

It's simple.  Go!

You will need:
* 1 apple
* 1 tsp. butter
* 1 heaping spoon of whole wheat flour
* cinnamon
* vanilla frozen yoghurt (optional and personally, I like the option)

With a fork, mix your melted butter and flour together until it forms a pebble-like consistency.  Peel the apple (remove the skin) and slice into flat-ish pieces into a bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Sprinkle with flour/butter mixture.  Add more apple pieces, repeat & microwave for about four minutes (or until it looks cooked).  Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another shot of the beach.  Your thoughts: Yawn.  Snore.  Boring!  I'm on holidays though and not doing full fledged outfit picture taking and all that jazz... Is it Tuesday or Wednesday?  I can't keep up.  That's what true holidays feel like, right?

Shopping purchases post coming soon.  Two days of vacation left.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meeting My BBFF

Have you ever met someone you felt you knew for a long, long time, but really only knew them online?  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hang out with another blogger?  Have you ever Skyped, emailed and bonded simply through today's technology yet never physically been in the presence of someone you consider your 'friend'?

Jamie from Glam Latte and I 'met' over two years ago after discovering each others blogs.  We became Internet friends fast and  blog comments turned to emails and emails turned to Skyping and last week that turned into meeting in person.  She tells the story so much better than I, but I have to say it was so great finally meeting my BBFF (best blogger friend for-evah; yes, we are that cheesy and we love it).  It was a fluke and the stars aligned or something, but it happened.  We had lunch, chatted for hours, and got one picture (ha!).

Have you ever met a blog friend?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Florida Update

You guys I'm in Florida!  I'm having such a great time and am finally unwinding and relaxing.  You know when you first arrive on vacation and you're all go-go-go!?  Well, I am, and it takes me a few days to come down from the regular pace of life and just simply enjoy doing nothing, basically.  I think I'm almost there.

Today I spent all day at the beach, which was glorious.  It was over 80 degrees, sunny and breezy (we are staying in Cocoa Beach, Florida so the wind off the ocean is great as you can lie on the beach all day and not sweat, but it's still uber warm).  I finished reading my book, I swam in the ocean (I body surfed & boogie boarded), I walked down to the pier and I sat out in the sun and relaxed (wearing SPF 30, of course).  My spray tan is slowly fading and the albino in me is slowly showing her face (ha), but that's okay.  People often comment when I come back from vacation that I 'didn't get much colour', but that's because I'm so fair skinned that one week in the sun isn't going to render me much colour, on top of that, I do tend to stay out of the sun (save today) as I try to be preventative (pre-mature aging) and I know I won't get much colour anyways!

I just finished dinner with my family and we ate at the condo for the first time since I've been here.  Last night we went to this little pizzaria on the main street where you can get a pasta dish, salad and garlic bread for $5.99.  What?!  Where I'm from, that would be at least $15 and it was good, and there was a lot of food.  I love eating down here, it's cheap and the portions are huge. 

So I have five more days left in my holiday and then it's home time.  So far the weather has been amazing, sunny and beautiful.  Yesterday, my mom and I hit up Ross, Payless Shoes & Bealls.  Although I tried on a ton of stuff at Ross, I only walked away with a couple items.  The day before that was more successful at Target where I found a couple bikini tops, some new skinny pants (in magenta!) and some awesome Elf make-up products (we don't have Elf in Canada) including a super bright pink blush.  We still need to hit TJ Maxx and maybe a few other places and I really hope I can go to a favourite: Bijoux Terner, which is at the Orlando outlet, before I head home.

Hope you are all having a great weekend & fabulous St. Patty's day!

 Not my favourite photo, but for blog purposes, I'm letting you guys see it!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Look what I found...

...for all you confused out there, we don't have a Target in Canada...yet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Girly Girl

Old Navy top, F21 skirt (last seen here), Guess heels (last seen here), Givenchy tights, H&M necklace, MK bracelet & F21 bangle

I finally wore this top after raving about it in my Boxing Day shopping video (okay fine, I wore it for an evening in one time, but that doesn't really count) and sure enough, I wasn't the only one that loved it.  Tons-o-compliments and I think it's just because it's so pretty, almost unexpected and I paired it with the girly skirt.  This is major girly-ness happening over here, and I kind of love it.  It's fun to dress feminine and really girly, for me anyways.

So, as I type this, I'm sitting at the airport (how cool is that?!) waiting for my flight.  I have some snacks packed to deter me from eating plane food (but I have to admit, I secretly kind of like it) and I'm pretty pumped I will be in Florida by this afternoon.  However, another reason as to why I'm even more excited for today?  I'm meeting Jamie from GlamLatte in Florida!  It was by total fluke that this is supposed to work out and we are both looking forward to it.  Basically, she is flying out and I am flying in, we're making our paths cross at the airport in order to have lunch and officially meet.  After two years of emailing, skyping and being BBFF's, it's about time!  Exciting!  I'll be sure to share photos.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I Packed for Florida

I'm heading to Florida this week and pretty pumped.  I know I mentioned it before, but I sent a suitcase (a big suitcase) down with my parent's who drive to Florida every year (it's a 24 hour drive).  This will save me from lugging a suitcase through airports and also paying to check my luggage (woohoo!).  Additionally, I'm not packing at the last minute, like I normally would be.

Whenever I travel, I style and pack outfits, versus just throwing everything into a suitcase (like I used to do).  This helps ensure I have (almost) everything I need, makes it easy to get dressed while on vacation and (sort of) eliminates over packing.  Sort of.

I definitley packed many favourites this year (which means I have to live without many favourites in my closet for a month) and aimed to pack lots of colour.  Also, you never know what kind of weather you're going to get in Coco Beach this time of year and since it's right on the ocean, the winds are breezy and the nights can be cool.  Layers, pashminas and light-weight jackets are a must.

I still have to pack my jewelery (going to aim for just silver this year, to make things easy), gym shoes, leather jacket (for motorcycle rides with my parents), pashminas, toiletries and my favourite black skinny pants (which I refused to pack at the time as I wear them at least once a week).

While the itinerary will be laid back, my mom has already texted me asking me if I wanted to get $8 pedicures ($8?! What?!).  On top of that I will be celebrating my birthday in FLA on Thursday (exciting!), hopefully spending lots of time on the beach (thank you for all your book recommendations) and get some shopping in as well (Ross, Target, TJ Maxx & the outlets).

Are you going away this year?  Did you already?  How do you pack wisely?

Freshly painted, ready for the beach, mon.

Related posts:
* Florida 2011:  what I packed.
* Weekend trip to Toronto:  what I packed.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

1.  Friday night I celebrated my birthday with some girlfriends and one of my besties got me this cake!  More on the celebration to come.
2.  Newly thrifted necklace.
3. & 4.  New neon polishes.  Love love love.
5.  Home made pasta (chicken, shrimp, asparagus, red pep & a rose-style sauce).  Or you could try spaghetti.
6.  Greek apps (not home made).
7.  Making the home made pasta.
8.  My 'laundry' purse (I used this everytime I do laundry; fits my SmartCard, my phone & keys, plus it's cross-body and small so it's perfect).
9.  My front foyer is tiny but my dining room is tinier (since it's half a walk-in closet as well), so I found a place for two of the four chairs and made a make-shift bench by my front door.
10.  My new shoe rack (I know, it's not full but that's because there are shoes in various places around my apartment, not just this rack).
11.  Pretty Sunday night sunset (yay Daylight Savings!).
12.  Hung this above my linen/make-up/accessories closet (a gift from my sis).
13.  Sunday shopping day outfit.
14.  New F21 shorts.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reading Material Suggestions?

 Dynamite blazer, H&M dress (worn as a top & last seen here), Stitches skirt, unknown tights, Aldo booties (last seen here), Suzy necklace, Pandora, Dynamite & F21 bracelets

First off, thank you all so much for the amazing comments, yet again, on yesterday's post.  You all brought a big smile to my face; your compassion and empathy, your kindness and sweet words all mean so much.  Thank you.

So in other news, I am so excited: I just booked my flight to Florida!  Ya!  I wasn't planning on going down this year (financially it just wasn't feasible) but things have changed and I am going!  Yipee!  I'm so excited to spend a week and a day on the beach, wearing sandals, eating at my favourite US restaurant (Chili's) and spending some QT with my parents (they go every year and rent the same condo).

I packed a couple weeks ago and sent a suitcase down with my parents (they drive) so I wouldn't have to (a) lug a big suitcase through the airports (simply a carry-on now), and (b) have to pay additional fees to check my baggage.  Not having to think about packing in itself is a stress reliever (more on what I packed later). 

However, the one thing I am 'stressed' (if you can even call it that) about is reading material.  I love to read (especially on the beach) and am currently reading a book, but not obsessed with it (obsessed in the I-will-finish-this-in-a-few-days obsessed).  I'm looking to you dear readers for some good book recommendations.  Are you reading anything right now that I simply must check out?

I wanted to share this photo to give you guys a sneak peak into my new apartment (finding space for my shoes is a work in progress!), plus I kinda liked the photo.

Related posts:  


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Selling the House

Me in my old bathroom  |  Stairs

The house I have lived in for the past five years was for sale.  It is now sold.  Today is the closing date.

Trying to sell the house ourselves has been really tough.  Not only is the situation difficult, obviously, but having to work together and coordinate schedules to host open houses, ensure the house is clean and pay the bills doesn't make it easier.  Fortunately it's been as smooth as likely possible, considering the circumstances.

It's with mixed emotions that we finally sold the house.  After being on the market since August, I didn't think we would sell in the dead of winter, but we did, and to a super sweet couple.  It seriously makes the deal even sweeter to sell to people like them.  Knowing your home is going to people who love it and are excited?  The best.  

Last night I went to the house for the last time.  It was an evening filled with emotion.  Excitement because finally after many months this is a step forward, some form of closure and, let's be honest, more money in my pocket each month (no more paying a mortgage and rent).  However, on the flip side, sadness and old memories of what that house used to be.  

As I walked around the empty rooms, I remembered the good times I spent there, the nice features and various projects and hobbies I started in that house; I learned how to sew, I started a blog, I had a walk-in closet (and two other closets for overflow, and a room dedicated to all my shoes), I started painting canvases, and more.  I tried to absorb the last views I would take of each room, hoping to hold onto the memory of how it looked, every nook and cranny.  I took photos of each room (although I have photos of it furnished) just to have, then loaded up my car with any remaining items I had to take.  Then I said my good byes, locked the door and walked out of that house for the last time ever.  It was a definitive moment, and a bittersweet one at that.  It's hard to say good bye to your first home but it's exciting to say hello to what's ahead.

I wrote the following post last month, but never posted it:

February 10th

Today is such a good day!

Last night we got an offer on our home, and we accepted!.  The first paper (ahem, official and not just verbal) offer.  I am too excited.  It's been a while since I've felt a high like this.  I've spent this morning faxing paperwork to the lawyer, getting advice, scheduling an inspection, sharing the exciting news with friends and drinking a large tea in under three minutes flat.  Woot, caffeine!

It's been such a long winded road trying to sell our home.  We listed it in August 2011 ourselves and hoped for the best.  After a month on the market, and not much activity, we decided to drop our price.  We started holding open houses every weekend and we got a lot more visits.  Still though, no offers.  We pushed through the fall and there was interest, but nothing serious or worth settling for.

In December an offer slipped through our fingers and I kicked myself afterwards.  In January an offer was ridiculous and we turned it down.  All the while continuing to pay the mortgage and for me, also rent (expensive!) on top of that.

When we got a (verbal) offer this week from someone immediately after seeing the house, we negotiated and accepted.  While waiting for the paper work, the deal fell through and it was pretty heart breaking (and frustrating).  However, we had a 'back-up plan', that being another couple traveling from out of city (and province) to come see our place (and a few others).  Fortunately they loved ours the most and made an offer within 24 hours of seeing it.  After going over the details, making a couple changes, we accepted and are supposed to close in just over three weeks!  Excitement ensues!

Selling the house is totally bitter sweet.  It's the end of something huge; our first home, my place of residence for the last (almost) five years, the house I made a home, the last piece of joint material item in our marriage, and more.  It is the materialistic item that officially symbolizes our split and it's kind of strange.  The first offer we ever got had me jumping in excitement and immediately after, in tears!  It was such a bittersweet moment.  That offer fell through, among a few others, and I've had time to adjust to really selling the home and letting it go.  This time around felt a bit different, almost like I'm more ready to let it go.  The people that are buying the house are so sweet too, and I think that really helps.  It's so nice to sell your home to a couple you connect with, like, and are genuinely nice people.  Sounds kind of cheesy but it's true!

So, pending the inspection goes well, I will be moving the last of my stuff out in a few short weeks, which also means some major packing needs to get done over the coming weeks.  Eep!  I feel happy!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekend Recap: iPhone Snaps

1.  Friday night dinner:  Shawarma.
2.  Saturday afternoon.
3.  Cottage country.
4.  Sat by this and read all weekend long.
5.  Saturday night fondue dinner.
6.  Sunday morning big breakfast.
7.  Temperatures went above zero degrees Celcius (!).
8.  China Glaze magnetix nail polish (review to come).
9.  Casual Friday at the office.
10.  Driving home Sunday night.


Friday, March 2, 2012

New Hair: Before & After

So here it is, the before and after!! I love it.  

I went to get my hair done Thursday night after work and first I just want to say thank you all so much for your sweet comments and kind words and advice on how to handle the situation.  I was a little anxious going there, but once we got talking, it was fine.  Turns out she was aware of my life situation, she didn't say who told her but specifically said it wasn't him.  She was so normal about everything, which made the whole ordeal a non-ordeal and so great.  I admitted I was a little apprehensive about going to see her and hoped it wouldn't be awkward.  Her response?  'Why would it be awkward!?'  Perfect!  I'm so grateful and felt at ease almost immediately.  A superb experience.

It takes forever to get my hair done as my natural colour is quite dark and getting darker as the years go by (aka, I'm aging).  She does a full head of foils and then I sit and wait for a good hour before she takes them out.  But it's worth it, so worth it, because she is amazing and I'm always super happy with the results.  Yay, fresh hair!   I (almost) feel like a new woman.

Have a great weekend!
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