Thirty

Numero treinta!  OLÉ!

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I guess I’ve sort of started doing ‘concert/artist reviews’ with my Johnny Reid post, so here’s another!  Prepare for length; I have 3 artists to cover!

When I think of country music, I tend to think: home-grown, strong roots, authenticity.

I’ve been a country music fan my entire life.  Some of my favourite memories from my childhood are weekend mornings, waking up to the sound of country music blaring and my mom singing along (sometimes the vacuum cleaner added an extra essence to the melody).   I suppose you could say that country music runs through my veins.

Music – in general – is a very important part of my life and I love going to concerts, especially when they involve country artists.  I’ve met so many amazing people through country music (and developed some pretty awesome friendships), and yet, each time I meet someone new or experience a show for the first time – I’m always so surprised with how I feel.  I suppose maybe it has something to do with the way of the world these days, and how shocking it can be to still come across such wonderful, sincere people in it.

Last night was an amazing night (drunk stranger shenanigans aside).  You know, this year I’ve really pushed to make positivity my main mantra, and it’s been great!  But I’m not made of plastic and so there are still those bum days.  April is always a tough month for me, but this year in particular (in less than one week to be exact) will mark the 10 year anniversary of the loss of one of the most important people in my life.

The #CertifiedCountry tour could not have rolled through at a better time for me.  The line-up itself was like a golden triad: Gord Bamford, Joe Nichols, Beverley Mahood.  WHAT?!  I couldn’t miss it, and I’m SO glad I didn’t.

First to grace the stage was the lovely Beverley Mahood.   I’ve been a fan of Bev’s since I was an awkward 12 year old, belting out “I Want A Man” into my hairbrush  (Lace throwback, anyone?).  It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I had the absolute pleasure of meeting her.  Even though she hails from Ireland, when you think of a “Sweet Georgia Peach”, you think of Beverley.  She is sweet as pie.  She carries a genuine air about her; she has true authenticity to her character.  She’s the type of person that, when she speaks with you, makes you feel like the most important person in the room regardless of who you are.   One of the traits my grandfather passed on to me is being a good judge of character.  In plain English, when I meet good people – I know it.  Beverley is good people.  She’s also got incredible talent!  Check out her new single “New Religion“, which is SO good (and I’m so excited for her new album!!!)… or my all time favourite summer jam “Hope and Gasoline“. UGH. THAT MELODY.  Her music evokes emotion, and it’s brought me through a lot over the years of my life – especially the more recent years.  There are always those songs we hear that remind us of the good times and the bad/the happy and the sad…but there is one song in particular that helps to get me through those tougher than though days – “I Can’t Outrun You“.  I find it so comforting when I find a song I can relate to – right down to the core of it.  I often wonder if artists think about the lives they will touch when they write songs, or how meaningful their words will become to other people.

Next up was Joe Nichols.  It was like a mega flashback to my teen years.  His music was very popular in our household, so hearing it live really turned up the nostalgia.  I’ve never actually had the pleasure of seeing him in concert, but he’s so awesome!  He is such a down-to-earth performer, but at the same time is the guy that seems like a hella good time, you know?  Songs like “Brokenheartsville“, “The Impossible” and “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” were always in the background noise of my life.  Then of course, there’s the classics like “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Off” and “Yeah“.  If you’re unfamiliar with his other work, you KNOW you’ve heard these two hits.  I always find myself singing and bopping along to these when they’re on the radio.  I’m glad I finally got a chance to see Joe perform; listening to him sing brought back so many of the wonderful feelings and memories I had growing up.  It really was such a treat!  Thankful for moments like that 🙂

And last, but certainly not least, Gord Bamford.  Now, if I’m being completely honest here, I can’t say I was a huge fan previous to this show.  I mean, I’m familiar with his songs (I’m always singing along to them at work when they’re on the radio),  but I didn’t really take it much further than that until I purchased tickets to his show. Now?  Fan, through and through.  For me, sometimes it takes seeing an artist perform to really become a fan.  Something to do with matching personality to music, I suppose.  Gord Bamford is country.  When you think of a country song, you’re probably thinking of something he created.  You can really see his small town personality shine through everything he does.  I’ve heard a lot of great things about him within the ‘country music circle’ and I gotta say I’m more than impressed.  When I say that he is country, it’s because he has the values and the heart of gold to prove it.  There was a very touching moment when he invited his cousin onto the stage with him, and presented him with an autographed guitar for his birthday.  I’m pretty sure my eyes weren’t the only wet ones in the house.  Like a boss (and a true leader), he took up-and-coming artist Jesse Mast under his wing to mentor him and show him the ropes.  He speaks so lovingly about his family, and his pride for his children radiates out of his face like sunshine. He very sweetly took the time to sincerely thank us all for spending our hard earned money to see his show.  He also does so much for charity in support of youth across Canada and in our own backyard.  I can’t really think of a better role model to have out there for country music fans.  He embodies the entire package.   It truly is so inspiring that someone from a tiny place in Alberta can make such an impact! “When Your Lips Are So Close“, “Don’t Let Her Be Gone“, “Is It Friday Yet“, “Blame It On That Red Dress” – check these out.  Also, keep your ears peeled for “Breakfast Beer” and “Apples” – I’m sure these two are going to be big hits!

If you have a chance to check out these artists on the Certified Country tour, do it!  They all bring such a positive message with what they do, and that positivity is so infectious.  You’ll leave smiling and feeling like your faith in humanity is restored 🙂

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I loooooooove lace, and especially pairing it with anything ‘country’.

Lace, fringe, leather.  That’s my #CountryChic !

Top: Ricki’s
Trousers: H&M
Blazer: Dynamite Clothing (similar)
Shoes: Ardene (I KNOW, RIGHT?!)

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Twenty Nine

Friday night is always movie night for my boyfriend and I.
We LOVE the cinema, and so it’s one of our favourite things to do together.  It also conveniently satiates my obsession with popcorn, so it’s like 2 birds with 1 stone really.

My style generally leans towards the Tom Boy end of the spectrum, and this “Rocker Chic Pink Lady” outfit (Grease, anyone?) I threw together definitely follows that theme.

(Currently, I am enjoying my Sunday in a leopard print onesie.  I can’t determine which OOTD is better – Friday night’s look, or today’s.  It’s a tie, really.)

Jeans:  GUESS.  You can find a similar pair here (bonus, they’re on sale).
I guess the specific style I’m wearing is no longer available.  😦  GUESS Jeans are amazing for fit and comfort, and they also help to accentuate the booty – which is always a plus 😉

Tops:
Bodysuit with Lacing (H&M)
Flannel Shirt (H&M) – This specific one I recently picked up on Clearance.
Leather Jacket (H&M) has been in my closet a few years, and is presently my most loved outerwear piece.

Shoes:
Winners Fab Find!

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Happy Sunday, friends!

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”

Twenty Seven

I will always love playing with neutral colours.
Navy and beige/tan/camel are pretty much a match made in heaven.
You really can’t go wrong.

I also really love the oversized collar on this jacket, and the extra panel along the back shoulder.

Top: H&M (similar here)
Jeans: H&M (similar here)
Jacket: Le Chateau (some time ago…)

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Peace & Love ❤

Twenty Six

When you live in Canada, and it’s “spring” (okay, almost) but you’re straight up sick of having to dress for winter weather.   Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

SOLUTION:
Step 1 – Wear a dress, and bare legs (cause f**k snow, right?).
Step 2 – Throw on faux fur vest that, let’s be honest, is more like a giant rug with arm holes.

(FAB Winners Find! Still bloody awesome.)

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I was playing around with looks last night.  I recently got this ridiculously adorable dress (from Garage! Get it here) but I obviously bought it on a whim, and when I got it home I realized in horror that I had no idea how to style it.

That’s when I discovered that it goes exceptionally well with these amazing boots (courtesy of my S/O’s mama) and this ballin’ vest.  Boho spring/summer chic, anyone?

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One of the first things I thought of immediately after I threw it on (like I was a member of the Russian mafia) was a quote I’d seen online that goes like this:

“Walk in the club like what up I have social anxiety and I wanna go home.”

LITERALLY ME.

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THESE BOOTS THOUGH.  I am obsessed with them.  I received them in November, and had tucked them away for summer.  You can’t tell from a distance, but they are perforated and are technically “summer boots” so – not so Canadian-winter-friendly.

I caught a glimpse of the bright floral out of the corner of my eye, like the blinding of the sun when a cloud once covering it suddenly dissipates.  IT WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS ALL OVER AGAIN.

“OH YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!”, I gleefully exclaimed.
“THESE ARE PERFECT!!!”

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Since this weekend marks the official beginning of spring, I am hoping with every atom in my body that the snow will disappear promptly, and I can whip this styling out in real time sooner than later.

Additional bonus: Floral is SUPER in right now (I’m looking at you Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana – you masters, you).  Rediscovering these boots couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! ❤

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Gold accents.
THREE HUNNED HASHTAG SWAGGA. 

Yeah, I went there.  Happy Friday! 🙂

 

 

Twenty Five

Any ladies out there with itty bitty legs like me?

Ever find yourself checkin’ them luscious gams in the mirror, but think: WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE A COUPLE INCHES LONGER?!

Have no fear, I have a solution for you – one that doesn’t involve a wheelchair and extensive rehab for months (I’m looking at you, leg extension surgery).

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Pumps!

Look for a pair that has a pointed toe.  The narrowing lines of the point will elongate your beautiful legs, boosting your height (sort of) – and your confidence.

** Extra length if you buy the pumps in nude!

I’m always looking for ways to feel taller, because yes, I do have a complex about my height.  *insert blushing emoji here*

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I saw these babies at Winners (right?!), and I LOVED everything about them.  The colour obviously caught my eye first – hello, they’re cobalt blue – but the design was what really drew me to them.   I’m loving the lace-up style with the sexy little cut outs.

Side note: There is a “rule” about little legs and ankle straps.  That rule is to avoid them as they ‘cut off’ your leg at the ankle and therefore actually give the illusion of shorter legs.  Let’s just avoid that rule for now.  It doesn’t always apply. 

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I decided to play around with things since my usual go to is very black, or very white.

I feel like I’ve achieved “global” status with this look.  

Global…get it?

You know, green/blue/tan? Earth colou…….. nevermind.  I’ll just see myself out…

 

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I paired these blue suede beauties with my favourite jade pants (Urban Behavior), and this AH-MAZING faux fur coat (H&M).  Honestly, this jacket makes me feel so thug…but like, Beyonce thug.  Is that even categorically correct?

MY POINT IS, I feel so badass/Queen-like in this piece (also, very warm so very practical).

If you don’t already own a ridiculous(ly awesome) jacket like this, you should definitely invest in one.  You’ll cherish it and BONUS: if you’re socially awkward quiet like I am, it’s a GREAT conversation starter.  People will be asking if they can pet you, left – right – and – centre.

It’s not that creepy, I swear.

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If it does start to get overly weird, then you’ll look fabulous as you run the opposite direction.  I recommend practicing the running if you’ll be wearing your blue suede shoes.

This post got kind of weird.  Sorry.

(Not sorry)

For a 4 inch heel, these shoes are actually quite comfortable.  Especially for naps mid-shoot (see below).

Ladies, don’t be afraid of heel height.  It all depends on the style of the shoe.  If the shoe supports you in all the right areas, then the height of the heel won’t be so intimidating.

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Now that you know what to look for — Happy shopping! 🙂 ❤

 

Bonus Material

If you REALLY want to feel small and insignificant, take a journey into the mountains.  Every so often I need that escape, and I had the privilege this past weekend.

To remind me to stay humble, and to remind me that my troubles really are non-existent in the grander scheme.    The fresh mountain air also does wonders for a soul.  I swear, it’s truly magic at work…like some kinda Harry Potter sorcery.  Ya feel me?

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Twenty Four

I don’t know why I always seem to find myself blogging at midnight, but there I was last night – 12:01 a.m. – sitting at my computer uploading/editing photos.

No wonder my sleep schedule is so screwed up.
I decided it was best to just go to sleep and finish the post today.  Even though it IS the weekend, I still need sleep to function!

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I just had the privilege to see Johnny Reid in concert.  If you’re not familiar with who he is, GET FAMILIAR.  He’s the country artist with so much soul that you feel yourself becoming a better person just by listening to him.

Side note: I’m not sure why people are always shocked when they find out I am a country music fan, but there it is…

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Now…usually I will throw on my Justins and take my wardrobe colour advice from Mr. Cash, but I felt compelled to ‘spice things up’ for Mr. Reid.  I opted for a more Classic look – with my fringe close by as always.

(Okay, I left the hat at home, though that was a decision I carried immediate regret for.)

If you’ve never been to a Johnny Reid concert before, you need to add that one to your bucket list.  Whether you’ve heard of him or not, it’s a decision you will not regret.

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I knew who Mr. Reid was.  I was familiar with his wee songs, but I only learned about the man when he lit up that stadium like the Sun.

Now, I’ve seen many an artist in my time.  Music is a huge part of my life, and I go to as many concerts and shows as I can.  Perhaps to just feel the rhythm match my own, or perhaps as Johnny said so eloquently himself – to experience something greater than myself.    Which I can honestly say I did when I entered those doors to his show.

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I was NOT prepared.

Not prepared to laugh so hard because his humour is relatable and so on point.

Not prepared to feel so incredibly surrounded by love, and have it reach my very core.

Not prepared to sing, in such communion, with every other heart and soul beside me there that night.

Not prepared to cry so many tears, for being truly touched with the stories that he shared with us.   Stories that reminded us all that we have so much in common; that we all stood there as one.

 

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I was just not prepared at all to feel so many incredible emotions in one night.  It was an amazing experience; it’s a night I will never forget.  I don’t think I can say I’ve ever been to an event that was so humbling.  You could FEEL his gratitude wash over the space, for every single person there, every time he thanked us all for spending our dollars to see him perform.  It was absolutely dollars well spent.  It is dollars I will spend again and again each time that he rolls through my city.

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I left feeling inspired to pursue my dreams even harder.  To spread love to all around me.  To strive to love within myself just a little more each day.   To share my gifts with as many people as I can.  To do good, and to be good.  ❤

Today, I can more concretely say, Mr. Reid – you are definitely my cup of tea.

 

Twenty Two

This illness is seriously kicking my arse. HXC. Ugh.

I’ve been on a ‘positive’ journey this year, but let me tell you – it is HARD to stay positive when everything hurts or aches and you’re having trouble getting proper nutrition, which just further drags you down.

When the sun doesn’t shine anymore, so-to-speak.

It makes me realize just how much I take my health for granted.  It’s time to make that shift back to appreciating my every day abilities, and spend less time pondering what I can’t do in this moment.  Truthfully, I can do anything.  It’s just difficult right now and I’ve been having a mini pity party the last few days about it.

Feel free to take out your tiny violins and sing along to the tune… *wah wah wahhhhhh*


Shoutout to all of the people in this world who live with chronic illness and constant pain, and still manage to kick butt and get shit done with a smile – you the real MVP. 

On the brighter side, I’ve been able to hella level up in COD, so that’s the bonus to this whole situation.  But enough about that.  Let’s talk about clothes!
(Something that makes me super happy no matter what else is going on)

I’m still obsessing over the high-waisted jeans, and these ones that I found are extra awesome because they have a HUGE bell flare to them.

High waist.  Massive bell.  Clearance for Five Bucks (again).  TRIPLE WIN.

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You also may have noticed that beautiful blob of grey hanging beside my shoulder.

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That is my new homegirl, Rhea (Kors).

I have been searching high and freakin’ low for the last year at least for a backpack that caught my eye.  Something classic, something simple, something solidly coloured, something smaller.  Seems like an easy enough list to fulfill, right?

WRONGGGGGGGGGGGG.  SOOO SOOO WRONG.

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It was totally on a whim that I decided to step into a Michael Kors that day and just “browse”, as I had done previously so many times.  I have NO idea how I missed Rhea before on the countless times I’d visited MK, but it was fate this day when I happened upon her.  Especially when I looked at her price-tag and saw a number under 250.  HOLLA!

It was like a backwards Academy Awards speech.  My wallet thanked me for spending reasonably within my limits.  My heart thanked me for finally fulfilling it’s material wish. My right shoulder and neck thanked me for finding a solution to the constant torture they’ve endured carrying a single strapped purse filled with 5 lbs worth of crap…crap that I insist on carrying everywhere (even though statistically there is basically nil chance that I will need 95% of it, BUT THE CHANCE IS STILL THERE).

My left shoulder can now carry it’s weight (haaaaaa, see what I did there…).

It’s only fair.

I am so looking forward to the days that I can step out in this outfit without having to layer a massive winter jacket over top of it.  How much longer until the grass turns green?!

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PS.  I do NOT look like this currently.  I took these photos a few days ago before this Throat Beast got a hold of me.  Currently, I am curled up in sweats and tissues, with my Saje diffusor furiously working beside me.  I smell good though, because I did make it to the shower today.  Celebrate the little victories.

PSS.  You’ll see these curls in quite a few posts right now (or maybe all).  That is what happens when you decide that you need to trim your bangs but think you can handle it all on your own.

PRO TIP: If you’re me, you can’t and you will definitely mess it up.
At least my bangs grow fast.

It’s almost Friday.  Hang in there, beauties! ❤

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Twenty One

Well that was an interesting week.  

I have been so ill, but the optimist (?) in me just thought,
“Oh this is just a stress cold.  It’s fiiiiiiiiine.”

But, it wasn’t feeling all that fine, and so I drug myself to the doctors today to find out that it could be (probably, most likely, almost certainly) strep throat!  Huzzah!

I’m actually okay with this.  Any excuse to stay in the pj’s, amirite?!

Thank God for backlogged photos.

Aside from feeling horrid, I’ve also just been so distracted lately.  You’ve seen that puppy video floating around … you know the one titled “When You Can’t Do Life Because You Get Distracted By Everything”?

Literally me.  #TooSchoolForCool

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In all honesty, I tend to get sidetracked and moved around often – I just blame it on my creative side.  SO MANY IDEAS.  SO LITTLE TIME.  

To my fellow walking tornado’s – hi!
(I see you out there…you can’t hide).

I don’t know why but I’ve really been digging the retro styles lately.  Maybe because so many old styles have been popping back up and planting their seeds in my subconscious.

I  picked these jeans up a couple weekends ago for FIVE BUCKS.  #ThanksHM

“I’m not a mom but I’ve got the pants for the job!”
…Who coined ‘Mom Jeans’, anyway?

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These high-waisted flared babes are soft, and comfortable, and maybe they give me a “mom bod” (*insert controversy surrounding women wearing high-waisted jeans*) but that doesn’t offend me.  Moms are humans who create other humans within their own bodies.  Moms are badass…seriously, highest admiration for you all…and you read the part where I said they were 5 bucks, right?

Hell, if you can find any clothing item for 5 bucks I say buy it and rock the crap out of it.  Who gives a hootenanny what anyone else says.  Make it YOU.

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It’s never your clothes that make you look amazing anyway; it’s the confidence you have in your glorious, incredible, strong, beautiful self.  

(And a great pair of sunnies doesn’t hurt…)

 

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Furthermore, I love these jeans because they give me a hint of a booty.  All my “that’s-not-my-arse-it’s-just-extended-thigh” sisters will relate to me when I say I will take that hint WHENEVER I CAN.  Who’s with me?!

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Now, here’s to kicking whatever this is that’s dragging me down and onward to a wonderful (hopefully warm) weekend ahead! 

 

Twenty

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I made it to Twenty.  I can hardly believe it.  This blog has been my love child for over 2 years now; it’s the execution that’s been the struggle.  Woo for accomplishments, however small they may seem!

(note: no accomplishment is ever really small. celebrate every victory.)

Smiling tons lately because it feels more and more like Spring, which is ABSURD for February where I’m from…

(Canadian Prairies)

Spring Fever means florals!
This is one of my favourite shirts for obvi print reasons;
also it’s light and airy – perfect for Spring vibe-age.

Is that even a word? Vibe-age? Well, it is now.

Also, absolutely obsessed with these suede fringed booties from Aldo ❤
Something in my closet that is ACTUALLY IN SEASON for once.
(Style: WADIA -> Get them HERE)

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I seem to have a favourite pose, but hey, if it works….right?

 

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This leather jacket is from H&M (similar style HERE), and is easily the MOST worn item in my entire wardrobe.  It’s been in my closet for a couple of years, and if I recall correctly I got it on clearance for less than 20 bucks.  Super deal, right?!  Fashion doesn’t have to break the bank, ladies (and gentlemen) 😉

Classic piece, goes with everything (literally), always in style.

Speaking of H&M, if you have never purchased a pair of Superstretch Treggings (trouser/leggings) THEN WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR.
But seriously.
These are a must-have staple.  They stretch, they are black, did I mention they stretch?
They are also only $20…
So you really need to grab a pair.  You’re welcome.

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Something else we need to chat about before you return to your Hump Day activities.
Make-up related.  

You probably already know since I’m a bit of a late bloomer in this department.

Recently got a sample of the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original)
(find it HERE)

I’ve tried other primers in the past, and even become a little creative in making primers from things that aren’t actually primers… I’ve never been impressed.

Then this little purple tube of magic liquid fell into my black and white striped bag and I was blown away.
IT LASTED THROUGH A SWEAT FEST.  LITERALLY.
I wanted to really test it out, so I threw it on before my Zumba class.
I used it under MAC’s ORB shadow* and Kat Von D’s Ink Liner in Bukowski.

*(probably not the best choice since it’s exactly the same colour as my skin but hindsight is you know…)

Guys, if you knew how much I sweat in my class your mouth would be agape like mine was.  It did not BUDGE.  Not a crease or a smudge what-so-ever.
I even had to include some heavy elbow-grease when I attempted to remove it;
NOTHING was taking it off (not even my make up remover wipes).

Moral of the Story:
If you’re looking for a primer, then this UD product is the jackpot.  Pick it up.
Or shame me for only discovering it now.  Same-same.

Note: These photos (^^^) were taken *after* my Zumba class, not before.

Nineteen

Pre-apologies for the RBF in these photos.
Sorry, not sorry; that’s just my face.

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Generally, people do yoga to create “zen”, to relieve stress, to unwind, to just be.  That’s definitely why I started my personal yoga journey. Apparently, I actually do yoga to induce creative ideas.  No relaxing or unwinding what-so-ever.

In referencing Eat Pray Love once again, my yoga experience in a nut shell:

“Okay.  Simply empty your mind. Breathe. … Stop thinking.  Why is this so hard?
Screw you Corella, how the hell does she do this?
She looks like friggin’ Mother Teresa.”

(Perhaps it had something to do with my glasses constantly falling off and annoying the absolute crap out of me)

Honestly, sometimes you just get ideas in your head that you have to rush home and try out.  Black on black on black – AKA my every day wardrobe.

Not my every day wardrobe?  Playing around with my makeup and hairstyles.
This = fun!

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Lighting will be the end of me….

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Fun fact: My late grandfather served in the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) during the second World War.  This ‘vintage’ bag find was a little feather from Heaven.
Now, I feel like I can carry a piece of such an important man everywhere I go.

To lighten things up:

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PS: This hella cute jacket – an Ardene steal of a deal.

To end:
Here’s proof that I can smile (and in fact do so a lot IRL)

CHEERS TO THE FREAKIN’ WEEKEND!