Ultra Chic and Easy Up-do!

I have an ultra chic and easy up-do for you…all you need is one claw clip. Depending on how long your hair is and how many layers you may have, a small to large claw clip is all you need for this hairstyle.

Simply gather your hair to the back of your head, twist around into a small bun, but then clip your hair just above the twist and let the ends spill over each side of the clip. Quick and easy!

I usually will carry a clip with me in my purse if I haven’t tied my hair up already. I usually throw my hair up into a ponytail or messy bun to get it off my neck; This style is a little more chic than your basic ponytail or bun. You can leave some hair out around your face for an edgier style or add curls to soften it up. 

There are so many cute hair accessories out there to add pizzaz to any hairstyle. The claw clip is a favourite of mine as they come in so many colours and sizes. For simplicity though, it is nice to have one that blends into your hair colour when you don’t want it to be the focus of your look. 

This hairstyle is chic enough for a dinner date out and dressy enough for a conservative business office, but is also so easy just to quickly get your hair up and keep you cool when the sun is out and the air is hot.

My Summer Base (and update to Project Pan 2020).

Summer Base 2020

As our skin gets sun kissed and more golden, it is time to update our base products to correspond to our new shade. With that said, I have swapped out the “Tan” contour shade from my NYX Professional Contour and Highlight palette, for a darker one called “Hollow”. A rather sad name for a makeup product don’t you think? It does hollow out the cheeks though…see what I did there? 

My e.l.f. Blotting Powder went kaput also. I went to dump a small piece and the whole kit and caboodle fell into the sink…It was almost done, so I wasn’t too sad about the waste, but it was a waste…oh well! It was contaminated by that point so I wasn’t going to try to salvage it. In place of that blotting powder, I am now using Too Faced Translucent Powder. It looks exactly the same as the e.l.f. powder but about 3x the cost. I do like it and Too Faced is also cruelty free. I will be sure to give a full review of the e.l.f. powder soon, and the Too Faced powder in the future. 

Now onto the base products I will be using this summer.

I apply one squirt of Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer (June’s Makeup Hero) with my fingers all over my face, except my eye area.

I brush the NARS Tuomota stick foundation with a foundation brush and then blend it from the middle of my face to the edges, adding more if needed but applied with a light hand.

Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer in Light/Medium is applied under my eyes and to any blemish that I wish to blend out.

Then, using a small powder brush (travel sized), I brush on the Physician’s Formula Colour Correcting Powder to set the concealer around the eyes.

To set my face makeup, I brush Too Faced Translucent Powder with a large powder brush on the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin)

I use a small, wedge-shaped bristle brush to apply the NYX Professional Contour Powder in Hollow to the hollows of my cheeks, sides of my forehead, nose and jawline, and just under my chin. Then I brush on the Mariposa Blush in Nude over my the top of my cheeks, forehead and across the bridge of my nose. I then take a stippling brush and blend the contour and blush into my skin and to soften any harsh lines.

Finally, I us a flat stippling brush dabbed in the NYX Highlighting Powder in Soft Light, and apply to the very top of my cheekbones, as well as my nose and cupid’s bow above my lips.

I think this base gives my face a nice tanned look with a little chiselled effect under the cheek bones and jawline. The foundation finally blends into my skin better now that I have some colour; I normally resemble Casper the ghost, lol! The blush gives a nice rosy glow to the overall look, even though it is a nude shade, it shows up pink on the cheeks.

I will be sharing a post on what I wear on the rest of my face soon! Stay Tuned!

Summer Capsule Outfit #1

Since I shared how I planned and put together my summer capsule wardrobe, I thought it would be fun to share the odd outfit with you…Let you see the pieces in action!

This first outfit consists of a comfortable linen jumpsuit, worn over a white tank top, with my favourite black ballet flats. I added a jean jacket to add some colour to the look. For jewelry, I chose a pair of simple hoops and a funky necklace for some pizazz!

The jumpsuit is from Zanzea which I bought online a few months ago from New Chic, an online retailer that sells clothing, shoes, accessories and housewares. The prices are very low so I do not believe that the brands they sell are ethical/sustainable. As such, I do not purchase from this retailer anymore, however, this jumpsuit is actually of pretty good quality. 

The tank top is a men’s undershirt from Jockey that you get in a pack of three. They make great light tank tops for the summer heat! It is hard to come by light tank tops from ethical/sustainable brands for the price that I paid for this three pack ($25), and since I am wearing one top at a time, these will last me a long time. I have been wearing this tank top since my spring capsule and will probably wear it into the fall. Kotn sells basics for the lowest price I have found among ethical and sustainable brands.

I bought these ballet flats about a decade ago from Payless. They have been worn a ton and they are still going strong, proof that not all items bought from Payless are of poor quality. I have other shoes from there that I have had almost as long as these. Payless is no longer in business, but because they were like the “Fast Fashion” of shoe retailers, I wouldn’t purchase from them if they were still around, which is kind of a shame. They had some great items there.

The jean jacket is another piece I have had in my wardrobe for over a decade and I absolutely love it! It is WindRiver from Mark’s, cut in the classic style made famous by Levi’s. If I can remember right, I think I paid $35 for it on sale and it has paid for itself 1,000 times over!

The earrings are purchased from wish.com. They are gold plaited and have a nobby texture that adds a bit of interest to the simple style. Wish is an online liquidating retailer that sells merchandise that they have acquired from many sellers. It is not apparent what the original manufacturer or retailer the items came from, so you have no idea whether the items were made ethically or sustainably or not, and therefore, I will not be purchasing from Wish going forward. 

On the other hand, the necklace was purchased from Ten Thousand Villages, which is a fair trade retailer of artisan goods from all over the world. The items are handmade, and each piece is unique in and of itself. Unfortunately, many of their brick and mortar stores of had to shut down since Covid-19 hit, although I don’t think that was the cause. However, you can shop online as well at tenthousandvillages.com. Check out the beautiful artisan made pieces from around the globe! 

Stay tuned to see what outfit I share next!

3 Ways to Wear a Biker Jacket!

What can be better than a gorgeous leather Motorcycle Jacket? Finding one secondhand in perfect condition for $78 is what!!

This past year I have gotten to know a lovely woman here in Edmonton who started an online consignment store called MOD Uncorked. You can shop her inventory at moduncorked.com The first thing we bought from her was an authentic Burberry scarf which my husband bought for me for Christmas. 

Then this past winter, I found this gorgeous Moto Jacket on her site, and I knew I had to have it! I couldn’t believe how perfect its condition was! It was practically brand new! If I never believed in love at first sight, I do now! 

Dressy

In this picture I am wearing my Moto Jacket with a simple black T-shirt (actually a men’s undershirt), my Encircled Dressy Sweatskirt, and my zipper wedge sandals from Ardene.

Cool

This picture shows how I normally wear my jacket, with comfortable leggings I got from Costco, my Depeche Mode T-shirt I bought at their concert a year and a half ago (Wow! Where did the time go?), and upping the coolness factor are my Doc Marten lace-up boots. Everything looks cooler with either this jacket or these boots!

Casual

Finally, I thought my striped T-shirt dress from Kotn would look cute with my jacket and my Cariuma sneakers for a more casual, fun look. 

This jacket has been one of the best additions to my wardrobe as it adds a cool edge to my overall classic style. After all, nothing says cool like a Biker jacket!

Summer Decor Trends!

Photo courtesy of Montana Vintage Market on Pinterest.

It is time to dress your house up for the summer season! Luckily that does not entail an entire overhaul! Just adding a few bright or “beachy” accessories changes things up nicely!

Living in Edmonton, the only beach we have in the city is the side of the river, lol! sometimes when the river is low we get a sandy “false beach” which locals call the “accidental beach”. To me, adding a beach theme to our condo when we are not near a true beach feels weird. Therefore, I try to find other ways to add a touch of summer to our decor, mostly through colour.

Lemon yellow is all the rage this summer…from colour to actual decorative accents, they are everywhere! I have to admit that I do enjoy the bright and cheery yellow of lemons. 

Photo courtesy of Rustique Charm by Leese on Pinterest.

I am a candle freak! I love all types of candles, especially those in rustic containers such as jars, and twine wrapped holders are so darling and nothing says country like burlap and rattan!

Photo courtesy of You & Your Wedding on Pinterest.

This candle holder above would be an easy DIY project; all I need is a clear candle holder,  twine and a glue gun, and I have all three!

Taking this jar idea a bit further by using lemons as the decor instead of sea shells, and wrapping black and white gingham ribbon around a couple of the jars would add a cool and whimsical look to this candle display! To keep the taper candles upright, adding glass “pebbles” would do the trick and add some shine and sparkle as well!

Photo courtesy of The Turquoise Home on Pinterest.

Finally, adding yellow accent pillows and a striped throw blanket to your favourite chair, or in our case, sectional would brighten up your sitting area just nicely! I would just need to find a couple of lemon yellow pillow covers for my throw pillows and striped blanket and I would be set…looks like a have a shopping trip and a couple of projects coming up!

How are you decorating for summer?

Clementine California

Clementine California Shower Gel from Atelier Cologne, Paris France.

I received this sample of Clementine California Atelier Cologne Shower Gel as part of a Christmas advent calendar a year and a half ago now, lol! You can still purchase the calendar on the company website. It was filled with samples of Atelier’s best selling colognes and shower gels.

The scent of this shower gel takes your senses to a clementine grove in California. What could be more lovely than walking through an orchard with the smell wafting in the air and invigorating you with that fresh citrus aroma! 

Citrus scents have proven to be energizing and refreshing and are great to wake up to in the shower…Starting your day off with a blast of energy!

Unfortunately, Atelier Cologne is not a cruelty free brand, so I will not be purchasing from this company in the future, but for now I will savour all the samples I have left!

A similar product can be found at The Body Shop, called Satsuma. You can purchase it in a shower gel or glycerin bar and layer the scent with body butter and mist, or eau de toilette if you prefer something a bit stronger. Satsuma is a strong scent though, so for the office it may be too much for those sensitive to strong scents.

The Body Shop is a cruelty free brand and work with countries to produce their products on a fair trade basis. You can find 10 different products in this scent either online or in the store, ranging from $5 to $22 USD.

If you love an invigorating citrus scent, you can find the Atelier Cologne Shower Gel on the company website as a hand and body gel for $40 USD. Or you can get a similar scent at the Body Shop for $15 USD. I know which one I would choose, even if I wasn’t concerned with animal testing. 

Stay tuned to see what I review in July!

Summer Accessories To Make Your Outfits POP!

Accessories to Make Your Outfits POP!

Summer Sandals, fun jewelry, fresh new bag…these are some of the fun things I look forward to adding to my wardrobe.

The first thing I am adding to my Summer capsule is a fun and colourful infinity scarf that goes perfectly with the overall colour palette of cream and teal. I bought this scarf a couple years ago (omg has it been that long already?) at Dollarama for $3! I love this scarf, it is so whimsical, polychromatic and down right hypnotizing! 

These sandals rock my world! They are so comfortable and they have a cool zipper closure in the front that adds a cool edge to my look. They are from Ardene and I purchased them about a year ago for a disgustingly cheap price, now that I am woke about the fast fashion industry, I am embarrassed at how little I paid for them. I believe it was a 3 for $50 deal, which for shoes is crazy cheap! However, knowing that I will be able to wear them for quite a while, makes me feel better. 

The bag I bought online last year from Amerii which is a sustainable brand that sources their bags from Balinese rattan and ata grass weavers. According to the website (amerii.com), each bag is handmade by equitably paid artisans and employees in Bali.

The Sunglasses and cuff bracelet were bought off of the Wish website. I only paid for shipping and handling for both the sunglasses and the cuff; the sunnies are about a year old now, while the cuff bracelet is a new purchase.

The earrings were also purchased online from Daya. I used to see their adds on Instagram all the time, but I haven’t seen them for quite a while. I am not even sure if the company is still around since Covid-19 hit. I hope they are still well. Their jewelry is beautiful.

To see these accessories in action, you can follow me on Instagram (@iamnj46) where I post outfit pics showcasing items from my seasonal capsules.

What are your favourite accessories? 

Cocktail Hour!

It wouldn’t be a blog about enjoying the simple things in life if I didn’t include a simple recipe for a libation….What’s better than a simple cocktail that you can make after a long week to enjoy while sitting on the patio? I enjoy a good drink now and then, but if you do not imbibe in alcohol, simply forego the alcohol, but enjoy the flavour! 

I especially enjoy a nice refreshing drink while sitting outside enjoying the summer air, and these recipes are so nice and refreshing and do not call for any crazy ingredient that you can’t pick up at your local liquor and grocery store.

Granted, these recipes are for more of a highball than a true cocktail, but if you put it in a cocktail glass with a cute umbrella, how are we to know?

So the first recipe is for a Ginger Snap:

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1 oz of Gin

1 cup of Ginger Ale (diet or regular, whichever you prefer)

1-2 Ice cubes. 

A nice refreshing drink for a warm summer evening if you ask me!

Now you can alter the recipe a bit to make two different drinks:

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For a Lemon Zinger, add 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice to the above recipe (or more if you fancy real kick!). Garnish with a slice of Lemon to add authenticity.

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Processed with MOLDIV

For a Ginger Slime, add 1Tbsp of Lime Juice. Again, you can add more if you want more lime flavour. Garnish with a slice of Lime.

The star of each of these highballs is the Ginger Ale but you can adjust to your preference…it is YOUR COCKTAIL after all! 

Let me know in the comments if you tried these recipes and how you liked them!

Roasted Rosemary Chickpeas

I got this recipe from the Better Homes & Gardens Mediterranean Recipes magazine.

2 15-16-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and well drained

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp finely snipped fresh rosemary

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. in a 15×10 inch baking pan combine the chickpeas and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Roast 40 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring every 10 minutes (beans may burst and pop during roasting).
  2. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over warm beans; toss to coat and let cool.

Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Per 1/4 cup serving: 117 cal., 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 0mg cool., 170 mg sodium, 14 carb., 3g fibre and 4g protein. 3 Points if on Purple WW plan. Sorry, not sure how many points for Blue or Green plan.

Confession time…apparently I don’t know how to read a recipe. Granted it has been a hot minute since I followed one, but let me tell ya, reading is important!! 

So here’s what happened. I used one can of chickpeas and not 2 but didn’t halve the ingredients: I used 5 Tbsp of olive oil instead of 3 by mistake and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper by mistake…these gonna be spicy!! I countered by increasing the salt and honey…also I don’t have kosher salt, but used sea salt instead. Will let you know how I fared lol!! Hey that’s life right? 

Do not do what I did…please follow the recipe as I have written it out, lol!! I am sure these are going to be 5 WW points instead of 3 for me as I have flubbed up the recipe, oh well. What can you do?

If you don’t like it too spicy you can substitute with chilli powder or seasoning salt as your salt of choice. You can use whatever herb or spice you like to change up the flavour as well.

So first taste test, not too bad. Letting them cool and will have tonight as a pre-dinner snack. Once the “sauce” is on the chickpeas, it doesn’t taste too spicy, however, after sitting for awhile, they may get spicier…but not burning my lips off at first taste is a good sign!!

I did use only half of the sauce so I can use the rest next time I make this recipe…which may be next weekend. I think this would make a nice hostess gift presented in a nice dish that you buy as the main present. A friend of mine did that with roasted cashews one time and I thought I had to return the dish…I am not that fancy people, I don’t do the hostess thing very often, lol!!

Let me know in the comments below if you think you may try this recipe or if you have tried it, how you liked it!

Stay tuned to see what recipe I try next!

Rainy Day Style

In Edmonton, our rainiest month tends to be June. Although we had our wettest summer overall last year. 

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A couple of years ago I invested in a pair of Rain boots, also known as Wellies, and/or Galloshes. They are from Kamik and are made from recycled rain boots. The main body is grey and the soles are a pretty coral pink. 

Now being me, I got the rain boots before getting the rain coat…I’m special like that, lol! So now I was on the hunt for a grey coat to match my boots. Luckily, last year I found this one at Eddie Bauer. It has a detachable hood and a quilted liner so I can wear it from late winter, through spring and summer, all the way to late fall if I want. And last year I am pretty sure I did just that!

You will notice that there is no umbrella in these photos. I have purchased cheap and not so cheap umbrellas in the past and all have been turned out and broken by our wild winds here in Edmonton, so I no longer purchase them. They just end up being a waste of money and material, and most likely end up in a landfill.

I know Eddie Bauer is not considered a sustainable brand, but their clothing and outerwear are well made and last a long time. Also, the company does not follow the fast fashion business model, so for these two reasons, I do justify purchasing the odd item from this company. 

One company I would like to look into is Patagonia as they use recycled materials in the production of their garments. I am not sure what they have for rain gear, but their snow gear is supposed to be awesome!

Here are the first pictures I was going to use but decided they looked more like out-takes than fashion shots, lol!!

Don’t I look cute?!! Ha!

How do you keep yourself dry on those rainy days?