Life in Pictures: June/July

I can’t believe we are basically halfway through summer already! Sad! We have barely done any barbecuing and no lake time at all. I guess we have the rest of July and all of August to pick it up but it seems like it has gone so fast. It has been a fun summer so far though, lots of friend time and enjoying being newlyweds, eating a big breakfast together on Sunday mornings on our little patio! This summer I turned the dreaded thirty (a low point), but I also started this blog that I love doing so far, spend lots of time with friends and my new husband and will soon welcome the new baby of a good friend and watched another reach six months old (all highs!).

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We were lucky enough to spend time with these sweetie pies this summer, my dear friend Azadeh and her husband drove over 3000 miles from Virginia to British Columbia to be in our wedding and even though we see each other infrequently it is exactly like old times the minute we get together.

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My very first meal as a wife! Salmon fillets that I marinated in orange olive oil and lemon balsamic vinegar for three hours, then baked. Yams that I toss in olive oil with rosemary and salt and pepper the bake as well at 400 for 20 minutes, flip them all and cook another 20 minutes. I LOVE yams, and these are so easy and good. Then a spinach salad with blueberries, feta and walnuts in a raspberry balsamic vinegar, yum.

iPhone pics 425This beautiful Mom to be has a new baby coming in less than two months and I can’t wait to meet little Noah! Her baby shower was so cute and all Noah’s Ark themed. Kimberly is one of those girls that looks not at all pregnant from the front and back, but when she turns she has a big belly. You want to hate her but you can’t because she is so sweet.

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Black pedicure for the death of my twenties.

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My thirtieth birthday. There must be some mistake on my birth certificate. I’m certain.

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My boyfriend James and I on a starbucks date. We are truly in love, he just doesn’t know it. His Mom is my bff Lindsy and she is such a great Mom and person, she makes me feel like maybe I could handle motherhood!

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Watermelon is my summer ADDICTION! I literally can not get enough. One day I bought one that was too ripe that I had to throw it out and I honestly thought I might cry. I know it’s gross but I probably go through a whole watermelon a week. I love it!

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Peonies from my Mother in law’s garden. So pretty and summery. My bouquet at the wedding was peonies and roses and I thought it was totally gorgeous, I’m having a peony love fest.

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More wedding stuff to come.

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Some of my favourites and I at a lovely wedding of an old friend.

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Dinner on our humble little patio. I made pulled pork in the crock pot, it is literally the easiest thing ever. Slice up an onion and put it all on the bottom of the crock pot. Rinse a 3 pound pork loin and cover with seasoning salt (I used Lawry’s) and pepper and put that in the crock pot next. Mix a can of Diet  Coke with a cup and a half of BBQ sauce, we like Cattle Boys, pour that on top of pork loin and cook on low for 7-8 hours. After 8 hours take it out and shred it with two forks (so easy) and put it back in the crock pot, stir it all up and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve with corn on the cob, multigrain buns and coleslaw. This made a LOT of food, Ryan had pulled pork sandwiches in his lunches for a week.

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Free slurpee day at 7/11! Slurpees are Ryan’s all time favourite from childhood so we had to go for it. I find them too sweet so normally can only get a couple sips in but they definitely scream summer!

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Mermaid inspired makeup. I used Smashbox Champagne all over the lid, did the crease and under my eye with Smashbox Emerald, then my tear duct and browbone with Smashbox Vanilla. Really simple and pretty, just don’t go too heavy with the emerald, it’s quite pigmented. On my lips is MAC Love Nectar, one of my all time favourite lip glosses. Without my sister to teach me I could not do makeup to save my life. She is a professional make up artist and you can see more of her work here.  The flash was working overtime in these pictures but I swear by highlighting and contouring, my sister Gillian and I are going to do a make up post next week on this little blog of mine, and I know she will cover it because she is the master.


I am basically computer illiterate, so doing this blog has really forced me to learn a lot and one of the fun things is playing with photos and collages I can make. This is my first and only one so far, a little tribute to honeymooning.

Our next project is redoing my office and I’m getting really excited! When Ryan got a new office at work he took my desk out to double the desk usage in his office. That left piles of things with nowhere to go (I admit I had numerous stacks of books and textbooks, cords to old blackberries, wedding stuff, pictures, magazines, and more sitting there). Since then I got so busy with the wedding and a new job that my office just became a dumping ground, it’s getting embarassing. We went all over the city today to choose what would work  and look good. I think it is going to be great when it’s done. I’m doing a major purge to get ready for it. I know I have papers and essays  from the first year of my first degree in there, I don’t know why. I don’t usually hold on to a lot of junk but in this room I have lost all control! I come by it honestly though, as far back as I can remember my Mom would have a beautiful pristine house with one serious “room of shame” as we like to call it. This project will be my new pride and joy and I will document it and show it all, before and after!

Stay tuned! I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!

Can’t be Tamed!

I have some seriously wild hair. It is curly, coarse, long, thick, dry and basically has a complete mind of its own. The minute I get into some humidity it immediately poufs. As soon as I hit puberty my hair just went completely off the deep end. I used to just let it go curly and leave it because it was so much maintenance to straighten but I dreamed of having hair exactly like Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless, which is probably still my favourite movie to date. Image

It was so silky smooth all the time, never a curl or frizzy spot, I absolutely yearned for this hair! I used to make my Mom literally iron my hair straight while I would kneel beside the board. I much prefer my hair straight but it has taken many trials and tribulations, cuts, damage and pretty much blood, sweat and tears to get a good system. Here are my go-tos and tips and tricks.



I always use a flat brush to blow dry. First I do a general blow dry all over while finger combing, then I section it off in layers (that’s where the clip comes in) and dry with a flat brush.
I know its so annoying of me, but I can only use the Chi. I have tried other straighteners and nothing gives me the results a Chi does, they are expensive but I think it’s worth it. You will also need whatever blow dryer you prefer of course.
This is what it looks like post dry, pre straighten.


So then the hard part begins – the dreaded straightening. I do wrap around layers instead of sections because that way I never miss any pieces. Starting with the underside and working my way up until the crown. In the crown I do it little piece by little piece so I can set the part. With each piece that I straighten I first comb it with a fine skinny toothed comb (basically a mustache comb) so it is smooth before putting the heat of the straightener on. This is what I mean by straightening in layers.





The crown is always the hardest part because it is the thickest but I always straighten my bangs forward then style them. I don’t know if that makes a difference in styling, but I had blunt bangs for a long time, so that is what works for me. With each layer I use a hand held mirror to look at the back and fix any pieces I couldn’t do by feel.


I completely swear by Redken products for shampoo and conditioner, I think they are far and away the best for us curly-q girls. Right now I’m loving the All Soft line.


It does what it says it will – it makes my hair really soft. I have also used the Real Control line and liked it, and I have used the the Anti-Snap from the Extreme line as well from time to time. Next I think I am going to try their new Smooth Lock line which is supposed to do what All Soft does plus help control frizz.

For heat protection and to help control the frizz, I am in love with Moroccan Oil.


Since I started using this product my hair is a lot more manageable and way smoother post straighten. Before I usually wouldn’t have a decent straight hair day until I had slept on it at least once, but now I’m ready to go the day of. I put it in when my hair is wet before blow drying, then again before straightening. I use quite a bit, like at least a toonie size amount each application, but if you don’t have really coarse curly hair, then scale it back because it is straight oil. I always think it’s hilarious when bottles say “use a quarter size amount.” Yah right!! When I condition my hair I literally use a third of the bottle.

For shine I have found this Organix gem and now I live and die for it!


It is so super light and smells delicious, I do a thousand spritzes to finish off my hair. It makes my hair shiny but not ridiculous and its not oily, plus it is totally affordable – you can get it at any drugstore.




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I always complain about my curly hair but it does have some benefits. When I straighten it, it is really thick and full, I have never back combed it in my life and it holds a style really easily. I can also do pretty much any braid, bun, twist and turn because I have so much hair. Also, I wash my hair very infrequently. In the span of two weeks I usually wash it three times. I know that seems gross, but it really helps the health of my hair and straightening takes about an hour and a half so I will only do it once a week. But I will admit my husband notices it starts to smell like dirty hair around day 4 or 5 (but I’ll still sneak in another day or two).

I once had my hair platinum blonde for a long time and it completely wreaked havoc on my tresses, I had to cut it quite short and it took a long time to get it healthy again. The hardest part was growing it out. If you want to grow your hair and get it healthy these are the things that work for me.

Infrequent washing – I know this is not a reality for a lot of people but try to stay away from washing everyday, you want your natural oils. Don’t be afraid of braids and buns, and wearing a fedora, it’s cute!

Once it’s straightened, it’s straight – Try to stay away from heat, if you straighten your hair on Monday, don’t take the straightener to it again on Tuesday if you haven’t washed it. If some of the under pieces or the roots have gone rogue, you can cover it with the higher layers or wear it up. Don’t keep taking heat to what is already straight, you’re damaging it.

TRIM! – I can’t emphasize this enough. I know it seems counter intuitive but the more you trim the more growth you will notice and the better your hair will look. Your hair is not actually growing more, it just isn’t breaking. You will notice it getting longer and it will look a million times better. I trim about every 5-6 weeks and a couple times a year I get a full cut. I had a lot of blonde in my hair leading up to the wedding so I just had it cut, it’s a bit shorter than normal but feels way better and is a lot more manageable.

Leave it alone – Try to cut down on the dying, keep it as close to your natural colour as possible. When you’re at home leave it down natural, the ponytail elastics pull at your hair and cause breakage. I wear a ponytail all the time, but very rarely at home and never to bed. If you need to pull it back to sleep, do a loose braid and use a scrunchie or ouchless elastic at the bottom.

Deep Condition – You don’t need to go out and spend a bunch of money of conditioners. Try mixing coconut oil, argan oil, and bergamot essential oil. Put it on your dry hair and leave it on for like, 5 hours. Wash it out really well and your hair will be soft and shiny. It is extremely greasy so you really need to wash and rinse well. Coconut oil is the gift of the gods! It comes solid though so you have to melt it between your palms to apply. If you want an extreme deep condition then apply the mixture, put a shower cap on and apply heat all over with a blow dryer. The heat will open your strands and they will suck up the oils.

Good Luck!

Also, I know I said I wanted a big hair change but I think I’m over it. Every time I see someone with pretty blonde hair I get hair envy. The grass is always greener!


Blonde vs. Brown – the ultimate debate!

Also, how cute is my Nana?!?!