Monday, 30 March 2015

Well, hello again Monday. I hope you all had an amazing weekend, with plenty of R&R to recharge you for the (short) week ahead! I'm not going to lie, when I was looking back at these photos the combination of the burgundy tones, hat and trench coat reminded me a lot of Carmen Sandiego - anyone else used to play those games?
Dress: Gap {similar} | Coat: Burberry {exact} | Hat: Target {exact}| Necklace: F21 {similar}
When I was on vacation last summer, I found this dress at the Gap outlet nearby. I loved it so much I went back in search of more, and ended up taking this striped one one home as well. It was an amazing steal for my fall/winter wardrobe, because I've probably worn it at least once every other week since. Subtle pattern, beautiful colours and just the right amount of stretch make it the easiest piece to wear dressed up for work or down for a weekend outing. Seeing as the colour of the year is Marsala, I fully intend to find ways to brighten it up as we head into the warmer weather!

What was your wardrobe workhorse this past season?

Remixed Pieces:
One | Two | Three
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Linking up with: Jana | Lauren | ErinSarah | Lindsey | Lauren

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

If you're anything like me, cleaning your makeup brushes is one of those necessary chores that you just don't look forward to. Deep cleaning leaves your brushes out of commission for hours, so for daily cleaning I used a spot cleanser.

I used to purchase these from MAC and Sephora, but when you look at the ingredients they are usually 90% alcohol. While that works well for sanitizing and quickly drying brushes, I find that when I use cleansers with alcohol it tends to make the brush hairs dry and brittle. I pay good money for my brushes and want them to last, so I experimented to come up with my own solution.

All you need are three simple ingredients than can be found at most drugstores:
Witch Hazel - a natural astringent
Tea Tree Oil -  kills bacteria (you could also use lemon, lavender or another anti-bacterial essential oil if you don't like the scent of tea tree oil)
Glycerin - adds moisture (you can find natural or vegetable glycerin at many natural pharmacies or online)
Since exposure to light can decrease the shelf life of essential oils, I suggest trying to find an opaque spray bottle to house your cleanser. Add 5 parts Witch Hazel, 1 part Tea Tree Oil, and a few drops of Glycerin to your bottle, and you're pretty much ready to go! I recommend shaking before use to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Spraying on the cloth instead of the brushes will help to keep drying time to a minimum. Simply swirl your brushes into the cleanser to remove all the grime, and use a dry section of the cloth to absorb excess moisture.
I think the photo speaks for itself! Of course I still give my brushes a good shampoo every few weeks, but by spot cleaning them daily I am helping keep my brushes and my skin clean and free of bacteria.

Be honest - how often do you clean your brushes?
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Monday, 23 March 2015

Happy Spring friends! The snow is finally starting to melt away, but I'm still waiting for the real spring weather to find its way North. Still, nothing that a little layering and bright accessories can't help cure!

Shirt: Old Navy {exact on major sale} | Vest: Old Navy {similar} | Jeans: American Eagle {exact}
Necklace: Forever 21 {similar} | Boots: Spring {similar} | Glasses: c/o Firmoo {exact}
I've been waiting all winter to be able to bust out this necklace again. I just love the pretty spring hue that it brings to this basic outfit. Paired with my well-loved staples, the world's most comfortable jeans and black puffer vest, and a little bit of pattern it makes for the perfect Sunday outfit for church and errands.
Here's a little peek at how I've remixed some of these pieces:
Going Dotty | Black & White | Fashion Friendly Frames
 What are you favourite comfy layering pieces?

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Linking up with: Jana | Lauren | ErinSarah | Lindsey | Tara | Allison

Friday, 20 March 2015

It's been way too long since I last shared the love of some of my favourite fellow bloggers. These ladies have all recently shared some amazing content that has inspired me in so many areas, so here I am linking up with Amanda to share with you some of my recent favourite reads!

Speaking of Amanda, if you're looking for some wedding inspiration she is your girl. The photos of her recent nuptials seriously belong in a magazine they are beyond beautiful!
image by Sunglow Photography via Meet @ The Barre
If you're looking for the perfect weekend look for spring, Karly has you covered. She's shared this amazing laid back look that has me on the hunt for the perfect accessories to pair with a crisp white button down.
Casual Vibes
image via Miss in the Midwest

Alyssa shared her incredible half-marathon race story that inspired me to sign up for my next race in June! All the elements were against her but she pushed through and crushed her goal - how amazing is that?!
image via Alyssagoesbang
And finally, for anyone looking for a new hairstyle for spring, Meagen (who also JUST gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy) recently shared this tutorial for achieving this super pretty halo braid. Here's hoping I can master the dutch braid in this lifetime so I can rock this look!

image via The Modern Tulip
What are some of your favourite recent reads? Share a link in the comments and spread the love of  your favourites!

keep up with me: bloglovin' | instagram | pinterest | twitterxoNadia

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Today I'm happy to introduce Madison, a fellow beauty obsessed Canadian blogger, here to talk about her favourite green polish for spring! Say hi and drop by her blog for a visit!
 Hi everyone! My name is Madison and you can normally find me over on my blog, Cold Side of the Pillow. I’m excited to be a guest on Nadia’s blog this month. It’s my first time taking part in the Canadian Beauty Bloggers Network Guest Post Swap, so I hope this goes okay! Let’s jump right in.
The theme for this month’s guest posts was the colour green. What colour is more fitting for the first days of spring? As the snow disappears and is replaced with various shades of green, my mood instantly shifts. Although the current snowstorm we are enduring in Halifax makes it feel like spring is a far off dream, the colour green gives me hope for the sunny days ahead!
I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to showcase one of my favourite spring nail polishes: Revlon Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel in ‘Entice’. 
 If I could bottle up the first few weeks of spring and put them in a nail polish bottle, this would be it. This muted, sea foam green shade is something so lovely - it’s really quite special.
Not only is the formula great, providing even application rarely found from a “drugstore polish”, but the price is also right. Depending on where you live, you can pick it up at Walmart for around $5-$6 CDN. 
If you’re looking for a new “spring” polish to add to your collection, look no further my friends. Revlon’s got you covered.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

Even though the official start of spring is just under a week away, in the North we're still in a holding pattern of cooler weather. During this transition time I love playing up the seasonal accessories, and what says spring more than a bright green? 
Coat: Burberry {exact}| Scarf: Local Boutique {similar} | Leggings: Old Navy {exact}
Boots: dav {similar} | Lips: Rimmel {exact}
This coat was something that I had fallen in love with months ago, and finally decided it was worth the splurge once they started clearing out their winter collection. I see the classic style and amazing fit becoming a staple in my fall/winter/spring wardrobe for years to come. I just love the combination of camel, green, and fuchsia - it brings some much needed brightness to my still white surroundings.

What are your favourite bright accessories?
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Linking up with: Jana | Lauren | Sarah | Lindsey | Allison

Friday, 13 March 2015

If you follow me on instagram, you'll know I recently picked up some new gym gear, which inspired me to share a few of my gym bag staples. Besides the standard running shoes and water, here's what you'd find if you took a peek into my gym bag.

CLEANSING WATER | Because my gym is at the office, I often go straight after work with my full face on. Removing makeup is a must, and while I used to use makeup wipes I found they were really making my skin feel dry and tight. Using a cleansing water (you know I love this one) has been great because it removes makeup without stripping my skin. Plus it feels super refreshing to use post-workout as well. 

JEWELRY POUCH | I'm always wearing at least one piece of jewelry to work, and I find tossing them in a small pouch versus straight into my bag helps keep them from tangling up or falling apart.

TANGLE TEEZER | My hair tangles so easily so when putting it up after a long day there is almost guaranteed to be a mini rats-nest to deal with. Tangle Teezers are great for on the go because they're super compact.

COCONUT OIL | This may seem strange, but I love taking a little bit of coconut oil with me to the gym because it is so multipurpose. Since my hair will be up and I'll be washing it afterwards anyways, I'll sometimes use gym time as an opportunity to do a moisturizing treatment on my hair. I feel like the heat from my workout also helps it really absorb into my hair. If after my workout my skin feels really dry, I can use a little bit to moisturize it before I head home home (it can take me almost an hour to get home from the office) and do my full skincare routine.

APPAREL | Most of my workout clothing at this point is from Old Navy and Target. They both have really great activewear lines that don't break the bank. The Champion Capri Leggings are my favourite workout pants because they have a high rise (nothing is worse than constantly feeling like you need to hike up your pants when running) but don't cause me to overheat. When I'm warming up or running outside in the spring the Old Navy pullovers are the best because they're light weight, hold up well in the wash, and have so many fun colours in store. Plus they have thumb holes, and I think that speaks for itself.

DRY SHAMPOO | I keep dry shampoo in my gym bag for the occasions that I have to make a stop on the way home and don't want to look like a greasy mess. This one from Lush isn't my favourite for regular use, but it's small and portable so it gets the job done for short spurts.

Now I'm curious, what are your must haves for the gym?
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

As someone with super fine and limp hair, getting volume that sticks around has always been a struggle. In the last few years, I've tried so many different ways of adding volume that I now have a routine down for when I feel like adding a bit of extra va-va voom to my flat locks.


1 | Get all the product build up and grime that could be weighing down your hair out by using a clarifying shampoo - it will give your hair more natural lift. You'll know from my latest empties post that this one is my favourite. 

2 | Grab your favourite volumizing mouse and use a dollop not only on your roots, but also distribute through the lengths of you hair. A little goes a long way so don't overdo it! This will give more shape, thickness and texture to your whole head, and avoid the dreaded crunchy feeling. Not all mousses are created equal, but I've had good look with this one for years.

3 | Rough dry your hair upside down until 80% dry, making sure to direct air flow down the shaft of your hair for less frizz.

4 | Add the concentrator nozzle and use a round brush to focus on the crown of your head. Boar bristle brushes give more smoothness and shine to the overall look. Hair shape is fixed while it cools versus while it's heating up, so leave the brush lifting the roots for a minute (or use velcro rollers) after you've finished drying a section to achieve the ultimate lift!
If you have to use a flat iron to smooth out the rest of your hair - focus on the ends and avoid the roots so you don't pull out all the hard work you just put in!


1 | I've mentioned this before, but one of my favourite ways to keep my hair from getting flat overnight is using a scrunchie to tie my hair up in a super high pony. It keeps the roots lifted all night long and is way less tight on the hair so minimizes the risk of kinks. If you don't have a scrunchie, a large hair clip can be used too.

2 | Dry shampoo will help soak up all the oils that weigh down the hair - but most aren't designed to do much more than that. The Batiste XXL Volume is my favourite because it does double duty and is mess free. There are also tons of other volumizing powders on the market that can be used for the same purpose after dry-shampoo. These will leave a residue in your hair, but the grip they give your roots is amazing!

3 | I don't regularly feel the need to tease my hair if I follow the routine above, but if I'm looking for serious volume to last for a long time, I'll do a bit of light teasing after using a volumizing powder. Using a teasing comb is the best way to get volume exactly where you want it.

Following these steps, I can get and keep volume in my fine hair for days! What are your big hair secrets?
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Monday, 9 March 2015

It's always around this time of year that I start looking at my winter wardrobe and thinking blah. The thought of above freezing temperatures this week has got me in the spring mood, and even though I said I wanted to add some more pattern into my clothing this season, this floral dress is pretty much all I have to work with at this point. Instead of wearing it as is, I decided to turn it into a top to make it a bit less formal.
Dress (Top): H&M {similar} | Blazer: Forever 21 {similar} | Necklace: Nadri {exact}
Jeans: American Eagle {exact} | Bracelet: Unknown {similar}
I love that the colour palette of this dress lends itself particularly well for transitioning into/out of the colder weather. Topping it with a darker blazer and bottoms really brings out the moodier colours and adds the extra coverage that we definitely still need in Toronto. 

Have you started busting out your spring wardrobe yet?
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Linking up with: Jana | Maegen | Sarah | Lindsey | Tara | Allison

Friday, 6 March 2015

When I heard the birds chirping away outside my window this morning, it officially put me in the mood for spring. Even though temperatures are still sub-zero and there's snow and ice everywhere, I'm still dreaming of the days when I can start lightening up my layers and ditching the tights.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Since I'm tall, I'm all for the midi-skirt trend. This season I'm hoping to find some different colours and textures to add into my basic and boring work bottoms wardrobe. I have been on the hunt for the perfect lace skirt forever, so I'm hoping this will be the year I finally find it!

I tend to stick to solid colours because they're easy to mix and match, but I want to get out of my comfort zone and experiment with more patterns. What better time than spring when all the beautiful soft florals and watercolours will be flooding into the market?

I've heard nothing but good things about Makeup Geek shadows, Sephora lipstains, and OPI nail polishes. I see getting some fun spring colours in my future. Have you tried any of the above? Which colours would you recommend?

Is it starting to look like spring in your neck of the woods?

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

It still amazes me that I seem to be using up enough products every month to warrant a full empties post, but by focusing on actually finishing products over the past year I've rediscovered some great gems in my collection and found a some new favourite products! This month had a pretty good mix of both, so let's just get into it.

Miracle 10 Light Serum | I am so sad to see this go! Miracle10 gifted it to me in December, and I loved it so much that I was scraping the last little bit out with a q-tip. If you've seen how many gel moisturizers I have laying around you'd know that says a lot. The only problem: Tyler really dislikes the scent. I wish they could make an unscented version because it's the only thing stopping me from repurchasing in a second!

Recommendation? If you're in the market for a great moisturizer that gives great hydration without getting greasy, do yourself a favour and test this out!
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo | I've had this shampoo for what seems like years, but I finally made my way through the entire Costco-sized bottle. For a lover of dry shampoo like myself using a clarifying shampoo every now and again is essential for getting rid of excess product build up and the like. This one is great at getting a super squeaky clean, but I'm thinking of trying out the DIY baking soda method before I repurchase.
Recommendation? I loved it and would definitely recommend it for occasional use - one bottle will last you forever so it's a great value!

Garnier Normal/Combo Gel-Cream | If you've been around these parts for any length of time you probably already know that I love this stuff. It's a staple in my skin care routine, but since we've had such a brutally cold winter I've needed a little extra in the moisture department. 

Recommendation? Come spring this will be back in the rotation - but if you have super oily skin this a solid drugstore option for a light moisturizer.

Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde | I rediscovered this in my collection a few months back and fell in love. It's a great colour, not too harsh for my blonde hair, and the formula is just waxy enough to stick around for the whole day. The comb on the other end is pretty much useless, but the product itself is great.

Recommendation? I went to repurchase and was so sad I couldn't find it in any of my local drug stores! Regardless, if you're into a more natural looking brow and are able to find one around you - snatch it up.

How appropriate is it that everything I finished up in February was coming up roses! Did you finish up anything life-changing this month?
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Monday, 2 March 2015

I have to admit, I didn't even know that "colour of the year" was an actual thing until last year. While Radiant Orchid was a beautiful shade, I was beyond thrilled to see Marsala take the title for this year. Burgundy-wine colours are some of my personal favourite colours to wear (as you could probably tell from here, here and here) and would look good on absolutely anyone.
Dress: Forever 21 {similar} | Scarf: Aldo {similar} | Tights: Hue {similar}
Watch: Michael Kors {similar} | Bracelets: Joe Fresh {similar}
While this dress may come closer to maroon than marsala, I still think it fits the bill pretty well. I just love how this family of colours acts like an almost-neutral, but still adds a little punch to an outfit. The darker hue makes it perfect for winter, but I can't wait to see what inspiration comes along for summer! 

How are you rocking the colour of the year - clothing, lips, nails?
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