Friday, April 17, 2015

Intentional Gratefulness v. 8



via simplyclarke.com

Is it possible that we're already most of the way through April and this is my first gratefulness post of 2015? It is, and this is. Insert sheepish look here. I'm going back to my initial goal of sharing things I've been thankful for over the past week (or weeks) and am endeavouring to capture them more regularly here on the blog - because there really are so many things worth sharing.

Most recently, I'm feeling grateful for:

- Faraway friends who send me hilariously perfect gifts completely out of the blue.

- The warm-ish (today was only 12C) breezes signaling spring's reluctant arrival to this fair isle

- (Related to the above) Getting back into outdoor running!

- Tickles and giggles with a hilarious niece and nephew

-  Supportive co-workers who love a laugh and make me enjoy heading into the office each day.

- So many friendly faces around a still-new-to-me village: Everyone from the ladies at the post office to the library clerk to the owner of the local general store greeting me by name = the nicest thing.

- My new veggie spiralizer which has made my goal of eating healthy much more convenient and fun.

- A mini-trip to look forward to with my BFF Holly

- The new freckles finding their way to my face thanks to increased time in the spring sunshine

- Being able to come home for weekly Farmer's Market dates with my parents


What are you thankful for lately?
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Book By Its Cover v.1


Despite the warning of that age-old saying, I admit that I most regularly gravitate to books with beautiful cover art - I can't help it! Of course, what lies in between those two covers is the most important bit, but a gorgeous exterior is often the initial draw for me (although not always, considering that this book is a favourite), that leads me to then pick up said book and then consider it less superficially.
  
For that reason, I thought I'd start to share, now and then, some of those books that catch my eye for reasons of their outer beauty, but that have also made it onto my ever-growing to-read list. 
First - The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton.  This book has been getting so much hype from book-lovers all over, and I was not immune. It sounds like fascinating if eerie tale of an arranged marriage, family secrets, and a set of life-mirroring miniatures - I can't wait to read it.
 
Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants was an absolutely beautiful read and I was so thrilled to see a new offering from her, especially when the cover design so simple yet lovely. Very much looking forward to getting my hands on At the Water's Edge.
 
I really don't know too much about Nova Ren Suma, but when I saw this cover for the novel The Walls Around Us crop up in the Book Riot email newsletter I subscribe to, it immediately caught my eye.  When I saw in the description that it is about two teen girls - one alive, one dead, and two intense environments - ballet and prison, I was even more intrigued. It sounds (in addition to looking) seriously fantastic.
 
I just picked up The Coldest Girl in Cold Town (also a gorgeous cover) by Holly Black and when I saw Regan from Peruse Project talk about The Darkest Part of the Forest I was blown away by the cover, and subsequently by the description of magic and fae and heroes and general awesomeness. 
 
Hausfrau by Jill Alexaner Nussbaum is set in Zurich, in my beloved Switzerland, so how could I not pick it up? The stunning floral cover is so great too, it's a winning combination for me, no matter what.
 
Last but not least, a book I heard spoken about on the Relevant Podcast (If you don't listen, you should!) when the author, Peter Rollins was interviewed. Unlike the others, The Divine Magician isn't fiction, it's about religion, faith and spirituality and it sounded so interesting, I already planned to read it based solely on what I'd heard. That said, even if I'd known nothing about it and saw the wonderfully colourful cover art, I still would have been liable to pick it up.
 
What are you reading lately? Are you as likely to be wooed by a beautiful book cover as I am? Hoping I'm not the only one... Let me know!
 
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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Brand Spotlight - Soap & Glory

 
After hearing about it endlessly from the UK-based beauty bloggers and vloggers that I follow, when I found out that Shoppers Drug Mart was finally carrying Soap & Glory products (a small but growing part of the full range) I was delighted.  I have, thus far, given several of their products a go and almost every one of those have worked their way into my everyday routine. As a result, I thought I'd do a bit of a brand spotlight on a line I'm loving, and share a few of my favourites.  
 
First and foremost- Sugar Crush Body Wash.  Oh my gosh, this stuff is seriously amazing.  It. Smells. So. Incredible. Citrus and lime and sweet fruity awesomeness. As soon as I finished my last bottle of this stuff I picked up another. It is such a wonderfully refreshing way to put some pep in your step in the morning, which, as a staunch non-morning person, I totally need.
 
The pros of the "Scrub of Your Life" smoothing body scrub are that it smells divine, and it definitely provides the silky-smooth skin one would hope for from an exfoliating scrub. There is one big con, and that is that I can't tell from the ingredients listed what the scrub itself is made from. It's unclear whether it is wax or another synthetic material that is used as the exfoliator. I was hoping for small bits of ground peach stone like in the Burt's Bees facial exfoliators. but since I can't be sure, I won't be purchasing this one again. If you want to know more about this choice, check this out. If and when Soap & Glory clarifies and/or switches this up, I'd definitely get this again, because the lather, scent and results are otherwise fabulous. Until then? I'll be sticking with my own homemade sugar scrub.
 
Another winner that I have been using religiously every night is the Righteous Butter - in the pump rather than the tub which is also an option. I am a huge fan of the soft, subtle, clean scent of this product, and also it's wonderfully hydrating and nourishing properties. I'm motoring right through my current bottle, and I know I'll be repurchasing this one.
 
I've always been one to take care of my sensitive skin, but in this endless winter (snowstorms in April? come on!), hydration has been more important than ever.  I do have to be a bit careful with my combination and spot-prone skin, so I'm often pretty picky with creams for that reason. When I tried the Catch a Wrinkle in Time day moisturizer I was pleasantly surprised by how hydrated and nourished my skin felt - minus the spots! My tube pictured here is now empty, and I am keen to replace it, post haste.
 
Last but certainly not least, another recent favourite from Soap & Glory are the Fab Pore T-Zone Cloths.  I was sent these for review, and they were released to Shopper's locations here in Canada in March.  My t-zone is easily my worst area: keeping it clear is hard work.  I use these after an initial wash with Cetaphil, as extra care for this trouble zone and I have noticed a marked difference. Add to that the clean and refreshing scent and you have a winner.
 
Have you tried any products from the Soap & Glory line-up? I'd love to hear your favourites!
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Monday, April 06, 2015

Beauty & Books v.3


After a shamefully long time, I've finally posted another video to the Lot Sixty-Five YouTube channel. This time round I'm back with another Beauty and Books video. If you can't guess, I'm sharing the beauty bits and books that I've picked up over the last little while.  

High and lowlights include: Major chattiness,  a forgotten filmed snippet (oops!) with a hint of awkward charm.

What beauty products and/or books have you picked up (or been eyeing) lately?
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Friday, April 03, 2015

ClearlyContacts.ca : A Derek Cardigan Gold Giveaway


 
As I'm sure you guessed in my last post, I am a major fan of the Derek Cardigan Gold collection from ClearlyContacts.ca, and I am so thrilled to bring a giveaway to you from this spec-tacular line-up of frames (see what I did there?). 
 
The line-up features retro-styling and a range of jewel-toned colours from amethyst to emerald and beyond. Let me just put it this way - when I had to choose just one pair for myself it was ridiculously difficult because there are just so many fantastic options.  
 
Derek Cardigan Gold



I'm delighted to share with my (Canadian only, I'm afraid) readers your very own frames from this line. Whether you want them simply as a stylish accessory or as a prescription pair, the choice is yours. ClearlyContacts.ca are offering a full set of frames to a lucky winner.

All of the ways you can get your name in are detailed in the handy widget below!

Fine Print:  Canadian readers only!


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