Thursday, May 14, 2015

O.P.I. Soft Shades

Based on my penchant for soft, nude nail polishes mixed with a love for glitter and all things sparkly, I was really excited to try OPI's Soft Shades range, which is a basically a combination of both of those.  As much as I love nail polishes, I have to concede that my personal manicure skills are far from perfect, so for swatches, I'd recommend having a peek at this post from The PolishAholic.

The sheer and creamy colours were lovely for a natural nail look, and, I think, would be gorgeous if used for french manicures (on my to-try list). I'd most likely pair Put it in Neutral with Chiffon My Mind. Especially if topped off Petal Soft, a pretty glitter with flower pieces, that were, for me at least, SO HARD to get out of the bottle! I had to fish around for ages before I finally found one, but the hunt was worth it. I do think that the addition of the glittery topcoat with the gently coloured neutral base makes for a lovely spring nail look. 

This Silver's Mine! - a frosted iridescent silver with a gold tone was nice, although I don't know that I love it as much as I do Essie's No Place Like Chrome.  I will say that I ended up liking it a whole lot more once I added the polish that is the absolute winner out of this group, which is ... drumroll please...

Make Light of the Situation.  Oh. My. Gosh.  This stuff is magnificent, and if I had to choose one colour out of this whole group to pick up, it would be this one.  It is, put simply - gorgeous. I love how glittery polishes look on the nail, but I hate, absolutely detest taking them off.  That said, this polish might just be a game-changer for me because not only does it  look beautiful on (over any of these colours - and I can't wait to try it over some of my other polishes), but it is actually very easy to take off.  I may have actually gasped in shock at how easily it came off compared to my other glitters. - in surprised delight! This little beauty might just have officially joined the ranks of my very favourite polishes ever. It's that great.  Seriously.

Have you tried any of these shades? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Friday, May 08, 2015

Oh! You Pretty Things!

When I heard the premise for Shanna Mahin's debut novel, "Oh! You Pretty Things", I thought it sounded like like a fun, guilty-pleasure sort of read.  It follows Jess, a barista/aspiring chef-turned celebrity assistant.  It's about the glitz (and grit) of Hollywood, with a sassy protagonist, strong friendships (and shallow ones) and navigating relationships of all kinds alongside an often ridiculously demanding work schedule.
The friendship - I really liked the relationship between Jess and her friend / roommate Megan.  It seemed realistic in that they had fun together and shared confidences, but there were also awkward moments, conflicts, and tearful telephone calls. It felt genuine and I enjoyed that. 
The flaws - each and every one of the characters had good qualities and bad, Jess didn't make all the right decisions, she made mistakes, she had issues, she had tough family relationships - in short? She was human.

The humour - working with demanding celebrity clients made for some wild, wonderful and downright ridiculous situations for Jess.  Mahin's depiction of this was totally on point, most likely due to the fact that she has some real-life experience in this type of role herself.   The very real and often rather unpleasant and/or absurd idiosyncrasies seen behind the facade of celebrity was illustrated really well, I thought, and in a clever, fun and engaging way. It made for an interesting take on the Hollywood scene, especially considering our celebrity-obsessed culture.
The branding: It seemed like every few minutes there was a branded cigarette mention, notably American Spirit.  I understand that brand names get dropped when you're writing about people who have lots of designer clothes and bags, but I didn't understand why there was a need to draw attention to the cigarette branding, and so frequently.  Basically, if this book was a blog post, I'd definitely guess it had been sponsored:  I wasn't a fan of that.
Abandoned storylines: I am a Food Network addict, and so I loved the idea of Jess as an aspiring chef. It seemed to play a large role in some ways - in that it caught the eye of one of her employers, but it was largely unexplored as a plot point.  I guess I felt like, if she was "aspiring" mightn't she have had a plan, a dream, something specific to work towards? In addition, there was a half-hearted love interest that sort of disappeared partway through.  I thought this was at least a bit understandable considering Jess' über-demanding employment situation, but still.  It did leave me with a bit of an unfinished feeling.
Overall, in spite of a few little bumps, I did have a lot of fun reading this book, which is really the main thing that I was looking for going in.  I love a bit of an indulgent, easy read like this for tucking under my arm on my way to the beach, settling into the sand for a relaxing afternoon - and I think this novel falls firmly in that category. If you're looking for something similar in a summery beach-read, this would definitely be on my recommend list.  
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Reading in Style v.15

Cee of Coco & Vera
Coline of Et Pourquoi Pas Coline
Meagan of Living Boldly (photo by Sara)
Kayla of Not Your Standard
Mariah of Rya Pie
Nessy of MessyNessyChic
Amy of Amy Flying a Kite

I love that I was able to find so many photos of such gorgeous and stylish readers to share in this latest "Reading in Style" installment.  I am always on the hunt for kindred spirits who love curling up with a book!

A Reading in Style regular, Cee of Coco and Vera is juxtaposing her Parisian je-ne-sais-quoi with the rustic Canadiana of her Vancouver home.  I also love that Paris and Canada join together in that fantastic toque!

Coline of Et Pourquoi Pas Coline is hands down one of my favourite youtubers (who has helped keep my French skills up to snuff!) and a seriously chic style blogger into the mix.  If you speak French and love a great beauty video? You should absolutely check out her channel - you won't be disappointed. 

Meagan of Living Boldly is a relatively new discovery for me.  I loved this cozy at-home look, curled up in flannel and warm socks with a good book. Basically my ideal weekend ensemble / activity.  

If you're looking for major style / lifestyle inspiration, you should be following Kayla's blog, Not Your Standard and her fantastic instagram.  I am always interested in hearing about what other people are reading, and so of course I was a fan of her post on three current bookish favourites. 

Bespectacled and bookish = win-win.  This post from Mariah of Rya Pie was so adorable, I had to share it.  I especially loved her über-colourful glasses. So fun!

Vanessa / Nessy of MessyNessyChic has such interesting posts on travel, adventure and more.  I absolutely loved the carefree, joyful feeling in this photograph from her post about a roadtrip through the French countryside.  

Last but absolutely not least, one of my favourite Canadian bloggers, Amy, of Amy Flying a Kite. This post was an absolute winner for me, because in addition to her lovely and whimsical style, it also featured a pretty genius list of reasons to pick up a book and get reading (Yes!) - and reaffirmed my feeling that this talented lady might well be a kindred spirit. 

Would you like to be featured in my next Reading in Style post? If you've got a bookishly stylish look/post to share, feel free to send it my way! rebecca (at) lotsixtyfive (dot) com!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day Everyday

Earth Day Picks

It's easy to remember to be earth-conscious today, on Earth Day - a day worth celebrating, in my humble opinion.  That said, I think this day where we take time to actually think about the earth and our impact upon it, that it's worth remembering how each and every small choice we make EVERY day can have a lasting effect.  There are small changes to daily habits that can benefit us as well as the world around us, and I think making conscious decisions to make those small steps, can lead to bigger ones.  I think it's worth being intentional about the small things - from how we carry our groceries to how we choose the clothes we wear.

Even though it was a cold, rainy Earth Day on PEI, I still managed to get outside and enjoy it. If rain is falling, it means more snow is melting and that green grass is no longer a far-off dream, but a soon-arriving reality.  In addition to my rain-soaked celebration out of doors, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite earth-friendly picks.

First? A tote bag. Plastic bags are one of the worst things, and it is so easy to replace those grocery bags with a fabric tote. They are stronger, they carry more (for my individual grocery shopping needs, my whole order can fit in one!), and they look better too.  I love this one from the Stay Home Club, that has been on my wishlist for ages. Soon!

Glasses, for me, are a necessity. I am lucky that big frames are having a moment, since they camouflage my super-thick lenses.  But plastic frames are even better when they're made from recycled materials, as this pair from Evergreen via is.

I'm always looking for ethical beauty products, and I love that I can rely on Tarte for cruelty free and ethically sourced make-up picks.  Lately I have had my eye on this gorgeous poppy picnic palette from their summer collection = beauty I can feel good about.

If you've been following along here for any length of time, you'll know that I love supporting local Canadian designers.  You can't get much more local than Island talent, Dreamboat Lucy (although they've recently relocated to Alberta). I particularly love this cover-up and necklace from their summer range.  I already have several items from Dreamboat Lucy, both clothing and jewelry items, and a couple of them were actually made for me specifically to measure.  There's something awesome about knowing exactly where your clothing comes from, and especially knowing that the hands that made it were happy ones.

My dad has long prescribed baths as a cure-all to every possible ailment, and I think from that stems my love of bath products. I have recently discovered Rocky Mountain Soap Company, a Canadian company that makes their organic and toxin-free beauty products in beautiful Canmore, Alberta.  I have already developed an addiction to the heavenly-scented Blossom Berry collection (which I mentioned in my latest Beauty and Books video) and have also recently started using their lavender roll-on deodorant, and am officially converted. 

Last but not least - reusable beverage containers! The amount of plastic pollution both on land and at sea is absolutely horrifying, and I feel it is so important to minimize the use of one-time-use beverage containers wherever possible.  I have both a glass and metal water bottles for the gym and on-the-go, but I'd also like to add something like this Keepcup to that arsenal for trips to the coffee shop or, more importantly, to contain my constant tea-drinking habit.

Do you have any favourite eco-friendly products? I'd love to hear about them!
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Intentional Gratefulness v. 8


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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