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Vanity Makeover

13 Nov

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A long time ago (I mean seriously long time) I mentioned here, how much I wanted to redo our spare bedroom and make better use of the space. I dreamed of having a lovely vanity to get ready at in the morning, complete with a fully functional and organized space for all my makeup, products, and jewelery. Well, I am happy to say we finally got around to doing it, and now I can’t believe we waited so long to get it done.

Before, we used this space for extra closets (read: where I keep all my stuff because our marriage wouldn’t last if we shared one closet), an office (for when my husband was in school), a spare bedroom (we had a futon we could use for guests) and just a general room for dumping things. When my husband finished school last September, we had talked seriously about turning the space into a more functional day to day room, but just never carved out the time to do it or really took the time to figure out what the space needed.

In the end, like all home reno projects big or small, it took much more time, a bit more money and definitely more patience than we had predicted, but the end result is well worth it. We literally feel like we have so much more space now, because we are using the room in a much more effective way. It is now a bigger closet (read: we added ANOTHER wardrobe but this one is actually shared for coats since we don’t have a coat closet), a nicely laid out office for when either of us need to work from home, a gym (we got a spin bike and needed a good place to put it) and a dressing room.

I was obviously most excited about the dressing room/vanity part, and had so much fun tracking down all the little pieces I wanted to make the space perfect. From scouring Pinterest to figure out what would work as an additional storage piece (the space we had was very limited), to finding the perfect lamp, chevron bench with built in storage, lucite containers, and finally building the necklace racks I have been meaning to do for the past two years, it was a really fun project.

Here are the items we used to create the new space (please excuse any reflection of the spin bike, desk, etc. in the background, like I said, it is a functional space). Hopefully, it will help you if you are thinking of doing a similar project, because in the end, we managed to find really affordable pieces to make the space special. Sadly, after all this time I didn’t have a great before picture to share, so you will just have to use your imagination, but I promise it is way better than before!

Key Pieces:

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Target Lamp here, Lucite tray here, Lucite duo container here – I love the clean feel of the lucite pieces and it is still easy to see everything but feels much more organized

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Organized nail polishes and jewelery make finding things so much easier

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Necklace racks made from knobs from Anthropologie and recycled wood that we spray painted white (literally total cost of under $20)

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For the pieces I reach for most, I decided to keep them front and centre but this glass tray still makes it feel organized

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Simple dividers from Target now keep all my makeup organized and easy to find

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This shelf above the vanity used to be a jumbled mess of things, now it is clean and sleek looking with some special items that are close to my heart

I literally look forward to getting ready in the mornings now

I literally look forward to getting ready in the mornings now

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The fully finished space….and my new favourite area of the house

Check out my pinterest board here for more vanity inspiration and this post I did a long time ago on makeup organization if you are thinking about trying something like this at home as well.

Spa Week in Toronto

11 Apr

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Last night I had the chance to attend the “Spa Social” which was the official kickoff to Toronto’s first Spa Week. For those not familiar with Spa Week (like myself until last night) it is an opportunity to take advantage of great offers ($50 treatments) at many of the best spa’s across Toronto. The event runs from  April 15th – 21st and you can take a look at all the participating spas across Toronto here if you are looking to treat yourself next week. This event has been happening two times a year across many cities in the U.S., but this is the first time it is happening in Canada.

In addition to Spa Week debuting in Canada next week, I also had a chance to meet the founder of WaySpa (they are the ones bringing Spa Week to Canada) and learn a little bit more about their company. Until yesterday, I had never heard of WaySpa, but they are a great Canadian company that partners with many of the best spas across the country to offer a simple, easy way to get gift cards from many of the stores you visit regularly (Shoppers Drug Mart, Target, Costco to name a few) and make your gift giving as easy as picking up a gift card at the check out. You can check out all of the spas affiliated with WaySpa here, and keep your eyes peeled for exciting SpaWeek events heading to many other major Canadian cities in the fall.

I would love to hear if you are attending any of the spa week specials or if you have used WaySpa before. I think I have found the perfect Mother’s day gift for the wonderful mom’s in our life (sorry for spoiling the surprise, they are two of my most loyal readers).

Coloured Hair Care

9 Apr
Coloured Hair Care
The number one question I get asked about this blog is where I come up with the ideas for my different posts. Truthfully, inspiration comes from all over the place, but primarily it comes from reading and conversations I have with friends, where we are chatting about something and I leave thinking “this would make a great blog post” (sometimes I get requests too, which I am happy to oblige).
This particular topic is close to my heart, as a “not this naturally blonde” blonde. To be honest, I would be hard pressed to tell you my real hair colour these days, because for as long as I can remember, I have been loyal to my fantastic hair stylist Anna, who in my opinion is one of the best colourist’s out there. Even though Anna keeps my colour in tip, top shape, I still struggle to keep my hair healthy, shiny and the perfect (read: non-brassy) shade of blonde inbetween appointments. Particularly in the past year, I have worked hard to find a routine that helps manage my colour and heat treated hair, and I realized a lot of other ladies in my life have been trying to find the right routine for their colour treated hair as well.
Here are my top tips, tricks and products that I have found made a noticeable improvement to the health of my hair, but I would love to hear what you do to keep a healthy mane.
  1. Kiehl’s Sunflower Colour Preserving Deep Recovery Pak – amazing scent, and leaves hair feeling soft and shiny. Also provides the added benefit of a good excuse to pamper yourself a little bit after a long week.
  2. Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner – again has an amazing fragrance and I find a little bit goes a very long way. Be careful not to over use though, as it can weigh your hair down on day two if you aren’t careful.
  3. John Frieda Sheer Blonde or Brilliant Brunette Shampoo – keeps your blonde from going brassy or your warm chestnut from going a dull brown. I can always tell when I haven’t used the blonde shampoo for more than a couple washes – if you are going to make one change, this would be my number one suggestion, and they won’t blow your budget.
  4. TRESemmé Split Remedy – this is the newest addition to my arsenal and I have been really pleased with the results, particularly on day two hair, my ends are noticeably less dry – and it is under 5 dollars at your local drugstore.
  5. TRESemmé Dry Shampoos - another product that is incredibly budget friendly and extends the life of your hair. The biggest difference I noticed is when I religiously stopped washing my hair daily, but I still always felt icky on day two (or sometimes even day three if I can push it). That is where this product is a game changer. Not only does it have a great scent, it doesn’t weigh down your hair, and it works in 2 minutes. I would love to know what other dry shampoos you are using, because so far I haven’t found anything that can beat this one – even when they are 10x the price.
  6. T3 ‘Featherweight” Professional Dryer – For me, my hair dryer is one of the places I spend more. This is my second T3 dryer in the past 8 years, and while there might be some wallet friendly equivalents out there, this one makes my hair noticeably smoother, and helps me hold the style in my hair much longer. Whenever I use another dryer in a hotel or somewhere else, I find I really miss my dryer, so to me, it is more than worth it. HINT – check out ebay for deals on this model and others way below store prices.
  7. Wide Tooth Comb - This is an easy way to help make sure you don’t damage your hair when it is wet and it costs next to nothing.
  8. Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics – prevents the snags and tears that some elastics leave, and if you adopt the every other day hair washing rule, these come in handy to help you get creative with day two hair.
  9. Fekkai Shine Spray – The finishing touch after you blow dry your hair, the thin layer helps hair look shiny and healthy all day – same thing though, less is more to ensure you are not greasy for day two hair.
*This is a completely unsponsored post – these are my true opinions about products I buy and use every day. To learn more about any of them, simply click on the product names.

Spring Polish

8 Mar
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Butter London Spring 2013 Collection – Sweetie Shop

It is that time again, when all the beautiful new colours are hitting the shelves and I am officially ready to transition out of dark winter nails. I love checking out the seasonal collections from all my favourite nail polishes, as it often inspires me to get excited about some unexpected colours for the upcoming season, and I usually find one or two colours that I have to add to my collection.

I am absolutely loving Estée Lauder’s macaroon inspired collection, the colours really are so good you could bite right in and Butter London’s Spring “Sweetie Shop” collection looks to be from the same vein, so sweet you could eat them up!

What colours are you excited about this spring?

dior nail polish spring 2013

Dior Le Vernis Chérie Bow Collection {155 – Tutu, 355 – Rosy Bow, 306 – Gris Trianon}

Chanel-Spring-2013

Chanel Spring 2013 Collection {569 – Emprise, 571 – Fracas, 573 – Accessoire}

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Estée Lauder Heavy Petals Collection

Deborah Lippmann Romantic Rapture Collection

Deborah Lippmann Romantic Rapture Collection

YSL Spring 2013 Arty Stone Collection

YSL Spring 2013 Arty Stone Collection

Essie Madison Avenue Spring 2013 Collection

Essie Madison Avenue Spring 2013 Collection

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