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Lusting After Fragrances

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Fragrances have a special way of evoking our memories. I think it's because we live our experiences through our senses, and our sense of smell is a very important and acute but often forgotten one. I love that you can walk by someone wearing a certain scent and be reminded of a person you know. I have one particular shampoo that always reminds me of my father. I love that fragrances can bring these kind of memories back into our lives.

Along with nostalgia, fragrances can also boost self-confidence and give you that extra bit of oomph when you're doing your thing, going about your day, strutting the street, and basically taking over the world. The following are a few of my favourite scents (both men and women) that I either own myself, or temporarily borrowed so I can show you guys how amazing the scents are!

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Chanel Coco Mademoiselle

Chanel fragrance is a classic that I think most people either already own or should own at some point in their lives. Chanel fragrances can often be quite strong and robust. If you prefer light scents, I would either go for an eau de toilette by Chanel, Chanel Chance is a cult favourite OR not go with a Chanel at all.

Chloe Love Story

Chloe recently came out with a new addition to their fragrance line called 'Love Story.' Apart from the impeccable packaging and brilliant name, it also has a beautiful feminine and floral scent. I can see this fragrance as a nice daytime summer scent that if you ever come back to it in the future, it'll evoke the best memories.

Tom Ford White Patchouli

Tom Ford fragrances have a reputation of being robust scents with such as much of a punchy price tag. They are not cheap by any means, infact, nothing in the Tom Ford beauty range is reasonably priced. But with the fragrance, since it is so full bodied, you only need very little to last you the day. My god does it last though! This is a strong woody, elegant and floral scent. It's so sophisticated and one you can wear day and night.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana White

This is a personal favourite everyday fragrance for me. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers because they have such a sanguine aromatic scent. This fragrance has that peony smell through and through. It's not as fresh and light as the flower itself, it does have a musky kick to it but it makes for a beautiful blend. It is floral but not sickly, that's why its my favourite.

Men's Fragrances

Bleu de Chanel

I can't do a fragrances post and leave men out of it, can I?! As with most men's fragrances, if not all, Bleu de Chanel does have a musky note to it.  It's what makes a fragrance a bit more robust and masculine, I suppose.  This particular one is so elegant because it has a woody perfume to it as well, with cedar and sandalwood.  As with all Chanel fragrances, it is full-bodied so a little goes a long way!

Yves Saint Laurent L'homme

I can't tell you how much I personally, a woman, love this fragrance.  To me, it is primarily a woody fresh scent.  It is available as a more intense form, for night time and as eau de toilette as well.  Some of the other scents you'd smell could be a bit of citrus and ginger but its so well blended that it doesn't reek of just one perfume.  If you're looking for a present for a man in your life, your father or for yourself, this would be my number one recommendation.  I've bought my father this same bottle, TWICE. 

There are fragrances that I haven't mentioned in this post primarily because I didn't have them with me to take pictures of.  There's a few I have used in the past, a few on my current wish list as well as popular fragrances that I want to talk about as well.  First off, Burberry Brit and any Dior fragrances, primarily Miss Dior are classics.  They're both scents you can wear year round!  Burberry also does great ones for men.  Tom Ford Costa Azzura and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue (for both genders) are excellent choices for the summer time.  Light Blue is a vacation in a bottle and Costa Azzura looks like a vacation in a bottle but honestly I'd wear it year round too.  Specifically for men, Ralph Lauren Polo offers many different variations and is a popular one.  Victor & Rolf offers great options for men and women, called Spice Bomb and Flower Bomb (respectively).  Lastly, Jo Malone London specialises in fragrances that are meant to be layered or worn on their own.  Their line is so beautiful and elegant, I genuinely want everything.  If you're interested in layering fragrances, Clean and Atelier Cologne create fragrances in that style as well.  Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what your favourite fragrances are in the comments below!

What I Do To Beat The Blues

Are humans prone to negativity?  Negative news sells, we are hyperaware of our own insecurities and whether you like it or not, we are extremely judgemental and hurtful to one another.   So, it begs the question, are we as a species innately negative or is this pessimism something we learn as we age?

I ask this because my life is consistently littered with negativity either from my own doing or external circumstances.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to deduce this but I would even go to say that YOUR life has it too.

If our world was a story book, then negativity and depression has to be the perfect villain.  A villain so smart, that it takes over your own thoughts, emotions and behaviour to make you self-destruct.

With all this being said, if we have negativity in our lives and if it is adversely impacting the quality of our lives, it leaves us only one topic of discussion.  How do we beat it? How do we fight it? How do we overcome it?  We have this villain, but we also have tools in our arsenal to combat the things that make us blue.  These are a few of mine.

 

The Bigger Picture

Seeing the bigger pictures helps in reducing the impact of negativity because it puts your worries into perspective.  I often worry and get stressed over things that truly, in the long run don’t really matter.  Even if they do matter, it’s not worth being negative over because some events or people don’t have as much influence over your life as you might think.  Getting that parking spot, feeling guilty over that one cookie or slice of pizza, when someone cuts you off while driving, missing a train or a bus, being 10 minutes late.  Is your overall longterm health or life going to change if you stress over those small things? No, so you might as well not.

Only Do What Makes You Happy

If I am going through a particularly depressive time in my life, the best way I have learnt to deal with it is to let go of the things that are obviously causing those feelings.  It’s ok to cut people off.  If they are bringing bad vibes and making you a worse version of yourself, its ok to let them go.  You don’t have to burn bridges but you don’t have to entertain negative people either.

My blog, Netflix, Corgis, Makeup, Music, Baths.  These are a few of the things that will always bring joy to me so when i’m having a down moment, I will fill my day’s schedule with those activities.

Just Keep Swimming

Sometimes our goals, the things we want to accomplish will bring negativity into our lives.  I can confidently say that university has challenged every aspect of my patience to deal with it.  Some days I thrive, and genuinely take pride is pursuing a degree.  Other days I just cry, and want to beat my textbooks with a hammer.  Like Dory says, ‘just keep swimming just keep swimming.’  Learning how to deal with a real life crisis while in the path to accomplishing your dreams is a life skill.  If you can keep your life from falling apart while your head feels like its in a burning room, you’re a rockstar.

Shop The Post Or Similar

I thought I would do something a bit different this week and write my first style post along with one about self-development.  I have written posts about fashion before but never a typical ‘Outfit of the Day’ or ‘Style Diary’ type of post — where it showcases my personal style.  Most of the ones in this particular outfit aren’t available in the shops anymore so I have linked similar options.
I really do hope you enjoyed this kind of blog post from me.  Its something new! If you’d like to see more of this, please let me know in the comments below and I’d be sure to do more fashion ones.

Barcelona Part 1

As you grow up, the number of new experiences you can have reduces.  Some of the things that were once so exciting – going to the mall alone, having a drink, going to a party – aren’t as exciting anymore because they’re no longer new.  Experiences like that can become a rarity the older you get.  When was the last time you had a jaw dropping awe inspiring reaction to something? That being said, travelling will always bring that new, exciting, youthful, and at times intimidating feeling.  The best thing about being an adult is that going on quests to foreign lands aren’t just a thing of childhood fantasy anymore, it’s so attainable.

Travelling to Barcelona, Spain was an absolute treat.  People there were friendly, helpful and warm.  The architecture and city itself was gorgeous with its gothic history.  Also, being by a beach truly made the experience feel much like a holiday.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures from my trip, there’s more to come.

La Sagrada Familia

One of the main monuments in Barcelona is a basilica called ‘La Sagrada Familia.’  It is an old church designed by famed spanish architect Antonio Gaudi.  It was a beautiful gothic monument that towers over the whole city, the aim being that you will be able to view the top from any point of Barcelona.  It hasn’t been completed yet, therefore there is still lots of construction around.  It was started and created by Antonio Gaudi and carried on by Barcelona.

I love the gothic elements of this basilica.  Visiting a european country, I wanted to a see a life that is very different from what I know.  While Canada has a wonderful heritage, at least Toronto, doesn’t have architecture that even closely resembles this.  You want scenic view of the nature? We got it though.  I feel that all gothic architecture has an eery and mysterious emotion to it, and La Sagrada Familia colourfully reflects that emotion.  I say colourful because the interior and mainly the windows are just that: full of life and COLOURFUL.  With it’s large columns and larger windows, there is beauty all around to look at.  You can spend hours just looking around or there are guided tours.  If you are visiting Barcelona any time soon, this would be number one on my list to see.

Parc Guell

My reason for ever visiting Barcelona stemmed from my obsession with Parc Guell. Pronounced ‘park well.’ I have seen numerous bloggers and fashion labels have photoshoots at this park, and at this bench.  Since the first time I saw it online, I knew I HAD to see it in person.  I really wanted to sit by these beautiful mosaic tiled bench and take in the view.  Now that I have seen it, I can tell you that it is breathtaking!

The actual park itself is public and free to enter.  That being said, you do have to pay entrance to see the artwork present at this park.  It was also designed by Antonio Gaudi.  The same man who was the mind behind La Sagrada Familia.  At any tourist information kiosk, or entrances to these attractions, you can get a discounted package that allows you to see all/most of them.

When you enter the section that allows you to see the art, you will be greeted by a wide open space and the mosaic tiled benches on one end and a row of palm trees on the other.  Both very reminiscent of a classic summer holiday.  There are so many different elements of this park, you can go down the stairs and come across a beautifully designed lizard, run around a column maze and a rock cave.  I’m not kidding, its actually a movie setting.

Shoutout to that guy that sort of photobombed my picture haha 😉

More Information

If you’re planning on visiting Barcelona any time soon or want to learn more, here are some links to the places shown in this post.

La Sagrada Familia – sagradafamilia.org
Parc Guell – parkguell.cat
You can purchase tickets online, which I highly recommend.  Many city tour busses will drop you off right at the door step to these places. You can also take the metro, it’s very easy and Barcelona metro is quite advanced.

If you like these kind of travel posts and would like to see more, please do let me know in the comments.  I would also LOVE to know any of your travel adventures.  Also, are there any places you think I should visit?

Five Signs You Are Already Successful

Have you ever wanted success in your life?

I think humans as a collective tend to have a habit of keeping one foot in the past and one foot in the future.  (Maybe it’s fulfilling some subconscious need to be in two places at once, eh?) We always seem to want success but we never stop to notice whether we have it already in our lives.

We all have an image in our heads of who we want to be — the more successful version of ourself.  Well, that person probably has traits that you have now.  In an aim to bring more positivity in the world (because let’s be honest, some days it is hard to be optimistic), I have compiled a list of signs that already make you a successful person.  Let’s not wait to have the perfect job, house and car to be that person.

1.

You have a goal.

This is where it all starts.  However small or big, if there is something in your life that you want to accomplish then congrats!  You have just made the first step to being a success.  Maybe your goal was to complete your education, get a promotion, run a marathon or simply to get out of the bed in the morning.  If you have intentionally and honestly set out to do something, then you have just overcome (in my opinion) the toughest hurdle to living the life of your dreams.  You made a choice to better yourself when you could have chosen to stay the same.

2.

Your current actions are helping you make that goal a reality.

Goals? Anyone can make goals.  So you want to accomplish something? Chances are you have gone about trying to make it happen.

Not too long ago, in the midst of exams, my friend and I were discussing the stress of attaining our Bachelor’s degree.  He said something I will never forget.  He was filling out a form where he had to indicate his highest level of education. At that point for us, it was Grade 12 Highschool.  He had been through 3 years of rigours formal post-secondary education, yet it didn’t matter.  This is because he wasn’t finished, we hadn’t graduated with degree in hand, yet.  Therefore, the goal didn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter what you set out to do, it matters how you finish.

If you have a goal and you are doing something about it, congrats! You are already incredibly driven and successful!

3.

You have made mistakes and learnt from them.

There is a popular saying used in management: Which teaches you more, success or failures?  Failures.
Most people that I have asked if they have regrets in their life will say they don’t, because even failures taught them a valuable lesson.  I think its very human of us to fail and trip over ourselves.  It really doesn’t make you any less perfect, intelligent or brilliant.  If you make the same mistake over and over and not learn, well maybe that makes you a bit less intelligent. I could use many cliches to elaborate because it really is true.  Just because you have screwed up, it doesn’t make you a screw up.

If you have made a mistake in your life, well done, you are no different than anyone else.  Pat yourself on the back because you have a new tool in your ‘life skills’ box. If you feel that you’ve never made mistakes in your life, please see your doctor.

4.

You keep a track of your money.

Let’s speak as a matter of fact.  Money is the number one way most people measure success.  I find it to be a habit of successful people to always know where they stand with their bank balance.  I’m not talking about earning within a certain tax bracket.  You are right on the money if you have your bank accounts organised (pardon the pun). All I mean is, if you keep a constant eye on what you’re spending, saving etc., then you have a habit many successful people have.  I call it a habit because good money management is something that I believe can be learnt and mastered.

5.

You are connected with your social network.

I read in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, that some of the most successful people have people collections.  It sounds creepy at first, do they collect the skins and DNA of people like they do with stamps and coins, how do they store this? No, just kidding!  It simply means that they are always eager to meet new people, make a conscious effort to keep their contact information and to learn about them.  Everyone knows a people collector.  Someone who strikes up a conversation with everyone they meet.  Someone who knows everyone.

Even if you are not this, chances are that you have a social network.  However small or large, accomplished or not, you keep up with them.  Your friends and family are the number one resource to a better life.  Once you have that (and you do!), you have mastered the ultimate skill to being a successful person.

If you are having a down day, I hope you read this post and find some solace in the fact that you are probably kicking ass at life.  Sending all the love from me to you.  If you liked this kind of content, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to write more.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

Something I really love to do on a day off is binge-watching Netflix and baking.  Baking is such a great activity to get your mind off of whatever is stressing you and to just concentrate on putting together yummy cakes and pastries.  It makes your house smell delectable and your family very eager and hungry. (MWAHA)

These blueberry buttermilk muffins were just an off the cuff decision as I happened to have all the ingredients laying around at home.  I think it’s a great breakfast or afternoon tea idea.  You can easily make this variation healthier by substituting the all purpose flour for whole wheat or teff flour, white sugar for brown sugar and so on!

If you’d like to know how to make these, then keep reading.

2 cups of All-purpose flour
3/4 cup of Granulated White Sugar
1 tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
1/2 tsp of Salt
1 Egg
1 cup of Buttermilk
1/3 cup of Vegetable Oil
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Zest of one Lemon or Orange
1 or 1 1/2 cups of Fresh Blueberries

1.Preheat oven to 350F (190C).  Grease or line 12 muffin cup tray with paper liners.

2.Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3. Whisk egg, buttermilk, sugar, oil and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.

4.Add egg mixture to flour mixture and blend.  Add blueberries and zest until combined.

5.Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.  Cool before serving.

Niagara Falls Frozen

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Whether you live in Canada or are here for travel, visiting the Niagara Falls is a right of passage.  I know so many tourists to come to Canada just for the purpose of seeing it.  I have been there so many times that I have lost count.  Each time it’s breathtaking.

It doesn’t happen often, but last winter the Niagara Falls froze.  It may have been due to the ridiculous cold that the polar vortex brought but it did make for a beautiful sight.  Christmas takes along with it the general cheer and so, us canadians are normally left with white skies, little sunlight and a lot of cold.  I don’t mind it normally but boy was this a sight for sore eyes.

When I found out that the falls were frozen (or partially frozen), I jumped at the chance to see it.  I went with all my curiosity just to find out what a waterfall would look like completely frozen.  I gotta tell you, it was quieter than normal.

Although this was last year, these pictures turned out so well so I thought I might share them with you.  Incase you didn’t get to see them, maybe these photos will make you feel like you were there, experiencing it first hand.  Enjoy!

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