Sunday, July 26, 2015

Intentional Gratefulness v. 10

I read a lovely post recently by Rebecca of From Roses that called to mind feeling grateful, particularly finding joy in the small moments of the everyday.  Her words (and examples) really resonated with me.  Sometimes the smallest, most seemingly insignificant things can be beautiful bits to both enjoy and feel thankful for, and so with that in mind,  I'm sharing a few of the small yet joyful happenings that I've felt grateful for this past week. 

 - Sniffing the intoxicatingly delicious aroma of farm fresh strawberries at the local general store
  (I bought and subsquently ate them = yum)

- Driving home through sun-showers and spotting the absolutely glorious double rainbow that accompanied them

- Stopping to enjoy stunning sunsets (see above!) over the water - I never tire of these

- Picnic lunch(es) in the park with colleagues

- Watching my humble herb garden begin to flourish on my windowsill, and harvesting the spoils

- Homemade jam (Thanks Rosie!) on a bakery-fresh roll = scrumptious

- Feeling the wind on my face while running on the trails

- The smell of salt water

- Opening my curtains to a sunshiny morning when it's been rainy for ages. 

- Spotting a piece of seaglass during shoreline strolls to add to my growing collection

- Watching my youngest niece quite literally laugh until she fell over - cuteness plus!!!

What are you thankful for lately?
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GRTTWaK Charlottetown

Photo via GRTTWaK
I have been an avid listener of the Grown-ups Read Things They Wrote as Kids (GRTTWaK) podcast for quite a while. I often listen and chuckle along to the half-hour-ish episodes while getting ready for work in the morning, a practice which never fails to help me start the day off in a great mood.  The episodes are recorded at live events across the country, and I was dreaming of the day that a Charlottetown date would be announced.  
When such a date WAS finally announced, I made my way to my parents' basement, digging eagerly through boxes of childhood keepsakes when I stumbled upon the most hilarious, perfect story ever, that I knew would be a total hit at the event. 
I turned over the sheet of paper and saw, written in Mom's handwriting - "Rosalyn's Story, 1992". 
Needless to say, I was devastated. Nothing I'd found of my own, save a very visuals-heavy picture book I'd created at age five (that didn't lend itself to being read in front of a crowd) seemed right. So I was on a mission to encourage my reluctant sister to read her short fiction, "The Foal" that had my parents and I laughing so hard upon our initial reaidng of it as to have tears streaming down our faces.  
Being an absolutely wonderful sport, Rosie agreed to read the story, and so we submitted an application. I won't put the quote I used to describe the story here, as I feel it would be too much of a spoiler. All I will say, is that Rosalyn unknowingly created a whole new genre of children's fiction, which Dan alludes to following her performance.  She told me beforehand that I'd better act as her plant in the audience, and laugh at appropriate spots, in case no one else did, but she needn't have worried, because barely two lines in, the surprised and amused audience chimed right in, enjoying her story as much as I did.

If you'd like to have a listen to her piece, written when she was just ten years old, you can check out the podcast episode below (and you'll also get the treat of hearing several other readings that were among my favourites for the night).  Rosalyn is last, at around the 24-25 minute mark.
So much thanks to Dan and Jenna - a lovely fellow former Stylelist Canada (RIP) alum that I got to meet in person! - for coming up with this genius podcast and for organizing the most enjoyable, hilarious and touching event I've been to in ages.  Come back to PEI soon!! 
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Music Monday - Sorrey

Something I will always love about the Island is the seemingly endless fount of local talent on the arts and culture scene.  There's just so much creativity bursting forth across this little province and I'm always excited to discover something new.  And so, it seems quite apt to share a tune from dream pop ensemble Sorrey (see a great review on exclaim! here) taken from their EP, Thick as Thieves which will be officially released this coming Thursday.  I have been loving the dreamy pop sounds of Jenn Grant's new AquaAlta project and so when I heard a similar description of Sorrey's music, I was instantly intrigued.  

I definitely enjoyed all of the songs on this debut release. Lead singer Emily Sorrey has a lovely voice, which winds its way beautifully through the synth/instrumental driven melodies. My favourite is the first single, Washington. Have a listen below!

If you like what you hear, you can stream the whole EP here

What have you been listening to lately?
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Favourites v.9

I'm officially re-instating the Friday Favourites of old, sharing with you a few of the things that I've been loving over the last little while. Sharing the good stuff and bits of happy is always a good idea no?
Here are a few things that have caught my eye lately:
 - This great article by the fantastic Isabel Slone featuring one of my all-time favourite brands (Valentino) and cultural appreciation and cooperation (vs. cultural appropriation) done right.  DSquared, take a lesson!
- An absolutely wondeful video on Make-up for Glasses wearers, such as myself, from one of the best, Lisa Eldridge. Invaluable.
- So many gorgeous bookstores to visit - I've already been to a few, and can't wait to check out the rest!
- One of the best books I've read so far this year, Lost & Found by Brooke Davis (not of OTH!)
- This fun (and on point) video on the benefits of friends vs. selfie sticks.
- An absolutely scrumptious-looking brunch idea = yum. 
- The Grown-ups Read Things They Wrote As Kids podcast. They recently organized an event on PEI and my fabulous sister read a story! It was the MOST fun, and the podcast shares the best of the best from their live shows. So good, sweet, touching, heartfelt and just plain hilarious. 
What have you been loving lately?
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Red Hair Skincare v.1 - Facial SPF


Unbelievably, it's already July! Summer has officially begun, and I am keen to spend my days swimming in the sea (even if it is still bitterly cold), combing the shorelines for sea-glass and trolling the numerous dairy bars the dot the PEI landscape. Summer sunshine, here I come!

Much as I love the sunny weather, anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a die-hard sunscreen fanatic - it's not just a summer thing, it's an all year thing.  That said, I'm much more likely to be re-applying multiple times a day when outside for any length of time, especially on beach days. I'm generally not overly fussy with sunscreen for my body, as long as there's an SPF of 30+ combined with the coverage of a misting spray, most options are fair game. But I've yet to meet a Coppertone or Banana Boat-esque brand that didn't break my face out in the most horrible way, so my search for the perfect facial sunscreen has always been a priority.

I'd already tried quite a few, but in a recent Sephora order, I got my hands on a giant sample pack of sunscreen, about which I was admittedly, rather unreasonably excited.  I found some old favourites and discovered some new gems, and from those and others I've tried, I thought I'd share a few of my top picks, divided into group as to how I (personally) prefer to use them. I will note, however, that this is just how they work best for me; it's all about finding what works for your own skin!

Pre-Make-up Picks

Tarte's Tarteguard (SPF 30) is a newer product which I'd been dying to try as Tarte is one of my favourite beauty brands. I like the consistency, the protection, and how easily and well it wears underneath make-up. So good.

Benefit's Dream Screen (SPF 45) is another winner for me, because it has the higher SPF that I look for. Added perks include the fact that it's oil-free, dries super-quickly, and leaves a matte finish (!!!) which I and my combination-to-oily skin definitely prefer.

The Nourishing Fluid Veil (SPF 30) from Korres was one of the samples I received in the sunscreen sample bag from Sephora and I love love loved it. It is closer to a liquid than a cream, but goes on beautifully, smells good, and wear's super-well under make-up.

The All-Rounders

It isn't that these don't wear nicely under make-up, it's just that the previous three work SO well in comparison. These picks are good for everyday, for beach or active outdoor days, or even for more natural beauty days where you want protected skin that is hydrated without being too oily - it's a fine balance, folks!

Aveeno's Protect + Hydrate lotion (SPF 45) is a classic, super-budget-friendly, perfect for sensitive skin like mine. I reach for this one regularly, as it's easy to find in local drugstores, can also be used for body (although I do usually use a misting spray SPF for that) and does the job well.  I have worn this under make-up, and though I don't like it as much as the picks above, it does do the trick in a pinch!

I am a big fan of First Aid Beauty's moisturizer, and so it is no surprise that I love their Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer (SPF 40) too. It is incredibly hydrating and creamy, although be warned - a little goes a long way!

Clinique's Broad Spectrum (SPF 30) Face Cream is slightly more budget-friendly pick than some of the others, and is also gentle on sensitive skin and features non-comedogenic ingredients which is crucial for me, as someone who tends to break out, especially from sun-care products.

The Heavy Hitter

Okay, so it's expensive, I'll admit it. But Shisedo's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream has the most protection (at SPF 50), wears really well on the skin, and is amazing for beach days, as it becomes even more effective when wet (seriously great ). I do seriously love this stuff, but I admit that the higher price tag has me hesitant to purchase the full-size bottle.

The Outlier

Make-up setting spray with SPF? Yes! Not to be relied upon for full protection, but rather for touch-ups, Coola's Setting Spray (SPF 30) is on my to-try list.  I haven't yet gotten my hands on it, but as someone who is a slave to the re-application of sunscreen, the idea of a simple mist to top-up my initial sun protection without ruining my make-up is absolutely genius.  Have any of you tried this beauty? Would love to hear your thoughts!

If you have any favourite facial SPF products, I'd love to hear about them! Let's chat!

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