It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas . . . 

Goodness me, I have been a real naughty and haven’t published a single post in December thus far and it’s almost half over!!! Ha, looks like Blogmas isn’t happening this year. 

In my defence, school ended on on the 2nd, and then I had finals on the 5th, 7th, and 10th. But now I have a bit of a reprieve until the 19th when I write my last exam. Regardless of what courses I take or how much planning I do, I always, always, always end up writing an exam on the last day of exam period. Does this happen to any of you???

Christmastime this year was heralded by something that hasn’t happened in my city for years: snowfall. And not just the old 1cm light dusting that is washed away by rain the next day. I am talking about 10cm, covering the ground, people driving like right fools on the roads despite the ice and snow warnings, and snow people on everyone’s front lawns. Despite the fact that I live in Canada, snow is not common in my city, so this was a lovely surprise to wake up to. I wish I was a more artsy photographer but I am hoping to learn some tips and tricks in the new year, and I had to snap a few pictures of the gorgeous white blanket:

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Is it snowing where you live???

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Pumpkin Carving

October 2016 pumpkin carving lit upYesterday, my boyfriend and I got together and carved pumpkins. Halloween is his favourite holiday and neither of us could remember the last time we had carved a pumpkin so I insisted we carve up a few this year.

I don’t know about other places, but in Canada we have annual field trips in elementary school to a local pumpkin patch where we can pick out a pumpkin, and then take it back to school and carve it. That was one of my favourite field trips as a child because we were allowed to scout out pumpkins for as long as we liked; I could sit down and just have a chat with them if I wanted to (I was an odd youngster; still an odd person now). The only rule was you had to be able to comfortably carry your pumpkin back to the school bus. And no, it doesn’t count if you can roll the pumpkin to the bus. My friend and I tried it one year, and it turns out you have to be able to get it off the ground and keep it that way. 

I live just up the road from a local farm with rows and rows of pumpkins, but my boyfriend lives quite far away from me, and neither of us were too fussed about it so we picked up two pumpkins from the grocery store. 

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Initially, it was meant to be a pumpkin carving contest, but the competitive element never really panned out since I needed help carving the top opening and then dislodging a knife from the mouth of my pumpkin. 

He went for more of a classic pumpkin face with an eclectic flair of diamond eyes and parallelogram-like top opening, and I went for a Jack Skullington-esque pumpkin.

All in all, I think they turned out quite lovely, and this definitely got me excited for Halloween 🎃🎃

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My Top 5 Red Lipsticks for Canada Day

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Canada
Image from wikipedia.org
Happy Canada Day everyone!!!

For those of you who may not know, I am Canadian, born and raised. Neat, eh??? All Canadian jokes aside, I love this country and, not to bore anyone with a whole history lesson, but I think it’s important to understand the importance of holidays.

Canada Day is a Federal statutory holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the enactment of the British North America Act, now called the Constitution Act, on July 1st, 1867. This Act united the four British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario (formerly Upper Canada in the Province of Canada), and Québec (formerly Lower Canada in the Province of Canada) into a federation of four provinces comprising a single country within the British Empire. This made The Dominion of Canada a kingdom in its own right, but the British government still kept some rights of political control until 1982. 

Across Canada, the holiday is observed through social gatherings like barbeques, parties, and downtown celebrations complete with fireworks at which people typically dress up in red and white attire. So, to celebrate this holiday on my little blog here, I thought I would share with you my top 5 favourite Canada Red lipsticks. 

1. Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Matte Crimson $21

This lipstick is formulated to be long-wearing without drying or feathering, so the colour stays on for hours with a soft matte finish. This is ideal for spending the day celebrating downtown with little opportunity for touch-ups. 

2. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella $33

This is a darker shade of red, and doesn’t last quite as long but is super easy to apply, with or without a mirror, so it is another great choice to wear when out and about on Canada Day. 

3. BITE Beauty Matte Crème Lipstick in Mulled Maple $28

This is the darkest red shade I have worn on Canada Day, but it is particularly close to my heart given BITE Beauty is a Canadian company, and this lipstick was part of their limited edition Canadian-exclusive Maple Collection. This shade is the same as Black Cherry from the US-exclusive Frozen Berries collection. However, this one has a sweet maple scent and a subtle sweet taste, making it extra Canadian. It offers high pigmentation, moisturization, and longwearing colour with a velvet glossy finish. Unlike other BITE Beauty lipsticks, this one does not last quite as long, so this will require the odd touch-up throughout the day. 

4. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour in La Fascinante $37

This non-drying matte shade is luxurious lipstick at its finest. It glides on during application, boasting sumptuous, highly pigmented colour, and stays on for hours with few to no touch-ups. This is the lipstick I wear if I want to class things up a bit for Canada Day. 

5. Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick in Kiss of Life $6.98

This is my newest addition to my list of Canada Day lipsticks. I picked this up earlier this month and discussed it in my Drugstore Haul post, but it is a lovely, rich matte red shade that does not smudge or bleed throughout the day. While it does not last as long as the other lipsticks in this list, it is definitely the most affordable and easy to find in any drugstore. 

What red lipstick are you sporting this Canada Day???         Blog logo

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Her

Happy Sunday dear readers 🙂 🙂 Earlier this week, I published a gift guide post featuring some nifty Valentine’s Day gift ideas for men, so today I wanted to share with you some of my Valentine’s Day gift ideas for women.

While women, me included, can think of ourselves as easy to buy for, apparently this is not the case. My friend so informed me the other day that shopping for girls is way harder than the reverse because thoughtful and sentimental gifts can be difficult to come up with. So I rounded up a few ideas of gifts for the ladies in your life this Valentine’s Day.

A Few Beauty Goodies

Picture 22These Sephora Collection Heart-to-heart Makeup Sponges are absolutely adorable and can be used for a variety of applications with streak-free and buildable coverage.

 

 

Picture 23Of all the eyeshadow palettes out there these days, this tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette is one I would love to add to my collection. It features 12 brand-new shades, 9 mattes and 3 lusters, which are paired for lid, crease, and liner use for easy-to-create smoldering smoky and nude looks. All of Tarte’s eyeshadows are highly pigmented and blend really well, with all-day wear.

Picture 24 Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment has been my saving grace during winter months for about three years now when the days have been chilly and my lips need some extra TLC. I started out using the clear shade in the brown case, and then branched out to the tinted ones. These are really great if you want hydration and colour because you don’t have to worry about smearing lipstick or getting more lip balm on the lipstick tip than on your lips. It is formulated with reparative oils and waxes and real sugar, and has a really nice citrus scent. Also, if you don’t want to opt for the gift set route, these lip treatments are available individually.

A What I Love About You Fill-in-the-Blanks Book

Picture 25 It is often difficult to list things you love about someone when put on the spot, like when trying to write a personal note in a Valentine’s Day card, so for those of you out there, this little book is perfect. With 112 pages of prompts, you can simply fill-in-the-blanks and gift it to a best friend or a significant other so they can read about all the things you love about them that make them who they are.

A Handmade Heart Box

Picture 28 If you already have a gift picked out but are looking for a unique way to package it, then this might just be the solution. For any bookworm friends or lovers in your life, this box is perfect for gifting small items like a necklace, and it’s handmade

We First Met Here Jigsaw Puzzle

Picture 29 It is not often that I wish I lived in the United States of America as I love my little Canadian city, but this is one of those times. This item only ships to the US, it is one of the cutest gift ideas I have come across thus far. While you may not remember the exact day you met someone, chances are you remember where you met them, and this personalized 400-piece jigsaw puzzle is handmade around the zipcode provided of that special place. It even has novelty pieces that read “I LOVE YOU” with a heart marking the location. Measures 18″ x 12″ when completed.

Rectangle Dates Necklace

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So you decided to give a necklace to your best friend/girlfriend/random person you’re hanging out with on Valentine’s Day. This necklace is such a neat idea because it allows you to engrave up to 5 special dates on it, like when you first met, your first kiss, your first inside joke, whichever dates are important to you both. While the numbers are in MM/DD/YY format, there are no dashes in between, making them look like random strings of numbers that only you and the other person will know the meaning behind. This idea is pricy at $113 but I just think it is such a unique approach to the cliché of giving jewelry.

A Flatterbox

Picture 32 I first found out about this company late last year when my mother was planning a retirement party for a co-worker. In my opinion, I saved the best gift idea for last because I am so in love with this. First, you select a box type between a transparent acrylic one or a signature one (pictured above). Then you select a card colour and an occasion. This website lists so many already like Birthday, wedding, anniversary, baby shower, graduation, get well, christmas, mother’s day, father’s day, goodbye, just because, etc, but there is an “other holiday” option if yours isn’t listed. Once you have completed this, an email will be sent with a personalized message to all of the “Flatters” you would like to contribute sentiment notes to the box. Alternatively, you can use a provided unique link and send it through email, text, or social media. You do not pay for the box until all of the sentiments are collected and are then printed on their own card. Up to 50 cards are included in the box price, but you can add up to 100 for an additional $15, and even up to 200 for an additional $35. Starting at $49, I think this is simply the coolest gift idea I have ever seen, not just for Valentine’s Day, but for any special occasion. Alternatively, if you do not have enough time to create a custom box for a special event, there are several Grab-N-Go options, where you can purchase the box and then fill in the cards when the box arrives.

I hope that these gift ideas have given you some inspiration for what to get your friend, significant other or, in my case, my cat. Click on any of the images in this post to be redirected to the website from which you can purchase them, and let me know in the comments below if you decide on any of these gifts. Also, please share other ideas you come up with 🙂 🙂 

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Him

Hello there lovely readers 🙂 🙂

With New Years almost a month behind us (how is that even possible???), another holiday is fast-approaching: Valentine’s Day!!!

For me, Valentine’s Day usually consists of hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner party with heart-shaped desserts and take out. And, of course, a Secret Valentine gift exchange. I find it quite easy when I draw the name of a female friend, but for male friends, and undoubtedly for boyfriends or other male significant others, it is much more difficult to pick out a present. Thus, I wanted to create this little gift guide to give you some inspiration.

Tommy John Underwear

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I know underwear is traditionally a female gift idea for Valentine’s Day but hear me out: Tommy John has the best mens underwear, undershirts, and socks, along with t-shirts and loungewear. The underwear comes in a variety of styles like boxer brief, trunk, square cut, brief, and boxer short, and is available in a number of colours (Valentine’s collection available February 2). I had never really thought mens fashion could be uncomfortable. I mean, women are the ones who wear dresses and high heels, but just picture a man trying to comfortable fit a pair of bulky boxers into a pair of skinny jeans. Not a pretty picture. All of Tommy John’s products are made with patented silky smooth and non-pilling fabric that is designed to stay in place when playing sports, working at the office, or lounging at home. With a best pair guarantee, 15% off upon subscribing to their mailing list, and free 3-day shipping upon spending $50 or more, Tommy John underwear and other items are definitely gift ideas I am going to hang on to.

Warby Parker Sunglasses

warby parker sunglasses

Warby Parker has so many colours and styles of sunglasses to pick from, that it should be easy to find a pair someone might like. I picked out the Preston sunglasses in Whiskey Tortoise because I think they are a great modern take on the traditional eyeframe shape, and apparently this style suits narrow faces, which tends to be difficult to find. All Warby Parker sunglasses have Akulon-coated screws to avoid those moments when your sunglasses break on vacation and you’re forced to resort to the old method of using your hand to shield your eyes from the sun. They are also cut from a single sheet of acetate so that the colour parity is consistent. I find this is really important with tortoise sunglasses because any changes in pattern or colour are really noticeable. And, you know, these sunglasses have 100% UV protection, which is always useful.

A Yankee Candle

personalized yankee candle
So maybe your candle will be for a special someone and not your cat, but you get the idea . . .

More and more, candle companies are introducing new scents and packaging to appeal to the male demographic. Yankee Candles has such a wide variety of sizes and scents, and they now offer the option to create a personalized candle. Simply select your candle and fragrance, then upload a photo of you and your friend or significant other and customize the label. Some really nice scents for men are Balsam & Cedar, Sun & Sand, Black Cherry, and Midsummer’s Night, While I used a photo of my cat as an example, I think this would be such a cute idea if I draw the name of one of my male friends for this year’s Secret Valentine gift exchange because it is both memorable and useful. But act fast, because only orders placed before February 5th will be processed in time for Valentine’s Day!!!

An “Ussies” Photo Album

ussies photo album

While selfies might be all the rage, so are the lesser termed “ussies.” You know, those photos you take with your significant other or a whole group of friends where one of you holds a camera way above your heads and you all squish together to fit into the frame. Or, now that I think about it, those photos approached civilly with one person simply holding out a selfie stick that could smack someone in the face at any moment. This photo album would make such a nice gift, especially if you gift it already filled with ussies.

Cologne or Eau de Toilette Spray

Finally, the classic mens gift: cologne. One of my favourite fragrances for men is Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million Eau de Toilette Spray. With grapefruit, mint, and blood mandarin among the scents included in this spray, I find it to be so fresh yet spicy, and long-lasting. Plus, this spray comes in three sizes (1.7 oz, 3.4 oz, and 6.8 oz) making it fit most budgets, and offering the chance to gift a new fragrance or an old favourite for at home or on-the-go use.

 

I hope that these gift ideas have given you some inspiration for what to get your friend, significant other or, in my case, my cat. Click on any of the images in this post to be redirected to the website from which you can purchase them, and let me know in the comments below if you decide on any of these gifts. Also, please share other ideas you come up with 🙂 🙂

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Blogmas Day 24: Last Day to Enter Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway!!!

blogmasbannerMerry Christmas Eve everyone!!!

I just wanted to quickly announce that today is the last day for you or any of your friends to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway!!!

As a reminder, the giveaway includes one (1) Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette.

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How to Enter: 

  1. Like this blog post
  2. Follow my blog if you aren’t already
  3. Comment on this post when you are finished
  4. Additional entry: Follow me on Twitter (completely optional!!!)
  5. Additional entry: Follow me on Instagram (also completely optional!!!)

I have one last quick thing to say. Many people have only completed a portion of the entrance requirements of the giveaway, so please double-check that you have completed all three parts (and additional parts for bonus entries) in order to be entered in to this giveaway. I don’t want to leave anyone out!!!

The winner will be randomly selected through a random name generator on December 26th, 2015 after Christmas, and will be contacted via email or through their blog’s contact page, and will be asked to get in touch. Please note that the winner will need to provide shipping information so the item may be sent to them, but it will remain confidential, and will be destroyed once the items are sent off. The winner will be announced on this blog in a congratulatory post, and I will also announce when the next giveaway will be held.

Once again, thank you all so much for your support, and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve 🙂 🙂

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Blogmas Day 23: Winter Birthdays

blogmasbannerGreetings lovely readers, and welcome to the 23rd day of Blogmas on Literary and Lovely!!!

Today, my family and I celebrated two very special birthdays: that of my grandfather, and that of my mother. My grandfather turned 86, and my mother, well . . . we don’t talk about her age. Almost everyone in my family was born in a winter month, with my birthday in November, my mother, grandfather, and aunt born in December, and my grandmother born in January, so we try to group celebrations together on certain days to make it easier for more of the family to attend the party.

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My grandmother decided to make a sunshine yellow cake, which was both pretty and pretty delicious. However, we did encounter a small problem with the candles. Clearly “they don’t make them like they used to” in the words of my grandparents, because the candles melted right into the cake and actually pooled into a big, waxy mess. We didn’t even have them lit that long, which was disappointing. We ended up having to pluck bits of wax off the cake, but it was still just as tasty, albeit a bit bare in spots.

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P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Christmas giveaway here for a chance to win an Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette!!! Giveaway closes December 24th at 11:59pm PST!!!

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Blogmas Day 22: Holiday Grammar

blogmasbannerHello there lovely readers, and welcome to the 22nd day of Blogmas 2015!!!

I came across an online quiz through today’s Google Doodle, and thought it was so apropos that I had to share it with you.  This online quiz, which can be taken here, tests your knowledge of correct spelling for some of the words most commonly mispelled around the Christmas season, such as ’tis, threshold, poinsettia. See how many you get right!!!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette giveaway here!!! Giveaway closes December 24th at 11:59pm PST!!!

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Blogmas Day 21: Giant Wool Haul

blogmasbannerHello all and happy 21st day of Blogmas!!!

As of 4pm this afternoon, I am officially finished my fall term of university!!! I wrote my final exam for my Cognitive Neuroscience class, and now I am free!!!

To celebrate my newfound freedom and warmly re-welcomed social life, I popped into a local wool shop to scoop up some wool bundles for a bunch of projects I am hoping to start soon, and to get working on a few last-minute Christmas presents.

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Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted 100g in 100% Acrylic in vibrant pink

Universal Yarn Uptown Worsted 100g in 100% Acrylic in pale yellow

Hayfield Baby Chunky 100g 70% Acrylic 30% Nylon in pale pink

Hayfield Baby Chunky 100g 70% Acrylic 30% Nylon in purple

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Red/Green/White

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Red

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in Green

Lily The Original Sugar ‘N Cream 56.7g 100% Cotton in White

Drops Design 10.0mm Needles in purple

Aero 5.0mm Crochet Hook

I kind of got a little carried away as you can see . . . but everything was on sale; how could I not??? It will all be used eventually, and I like having a wide selection of colours to pick from.

What are some of your recent knitting projects???

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette giveaway here!!! This giveaway ends December 24th at 11:59pm PST, and there are chances to have up to 3 entries!!!

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Blogmas Day 20: Favourite Christmas Lipsticks

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Happy 20th day of Blogmas everyone!!!

With Christmas Day only 5 days away, many of you will be spending the remaining days planning and hosting a Christmas party or attending one. So today I thought I would share with you some of my favourite holiday lipsticks to give you some lipspiration of the festive Christmas colours that could adorn your lips at Christmas parties!!!

Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte lipstick in Matte Crimson

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BITE Beauty’s Matte Crème lipstick in Mulled Maple

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NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

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Clinique’s Different Lipstick in Heartfelt

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Clinique’s Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape

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BITE Beauty’s Matte Crème lipstick in Sugared Maple

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Clinique’s Long Last Soft Matte lipstick in Matte Plum

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 What festive lip colours are included in your holiday makeup looks???

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette giveaway here!!! Giveaway ends December 24th at 11:59 pm PST!!!

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