Four tips every Bride needs to hear before they get Married

I just hit the two year mark a few weeks ago. Man.. let me tell you that time goes by fast! But flashback to 27 months ago.... the planning part was very interesting! Between the feelings and unsolicited opinions. You have to stand your ground. Here are four pieces of advice that I can give to you to make the best out of your big day!


Things don't go as planned..... and its okay
I cant even list the amount of things that didn't go the same way that I dreamed it up in my head. For example, my bouquets didn't make it to the ceremony. I HAD NO FLOWERS TO WALK DOWN THE AISLE WITH! I swear when I heard I almost blew a gasket.
Conclusion: I ended up walking down without them and no one noticed (or thought that I did it on purpose).

Take advice from other brides
I know that you want your day to be unique. You grabbed inspiration from your favourite magazine BUT real experiences are key. Although it wasn't a vendor recommendation the best advice I got was live in the moment. The days speeds by soooo quickly. On that day smile a little longer, dance harder and take a lot of pictures!


Let your mom win a battle or two..
I come from a very strong Jamaican family. As a first generation Canadian (plus the first child in my immediate family to get married) my mom had a lot to say. A popular Jamaican tradition is black cake at your wedding. My husband and I are pretty Canadian and wanted to skip that tradition but my mom keep on insisting. In the end, she ordered two cakes and we ended using them for the wedding. Literally, it was one of the best cakes i've had in my life! It ended up being better than my original wedding cake!

Wear what you want!!
I spoke about this in my Five things I wish I knew before I went dress shopping post a while back. Well aware of my body type. Small waist but very 'busty". Anyways wayyyy back in 2013/2014 I went to Davids Bridal just to ask a few questions and was shocked at the way I was treated. I walked in with an oversized turtle neck and I remember a woman telling me that I should only wear a ballgown anything else wouldn't be flattering. I never really told anyone but I avoided bridal shops for months. In the end, I ended up wearing a trumpet/mermaid type gown. My advice... Try on everything even if it's not your type. Then rule it out.. never make ANYONE force you into something that isn't you!

Currently Obsessed: Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask

I’m so excited that skin care is making a comeback. I’m obsessed with it and live for a good skin day. Random fact about me: I started making my own skin care masks when I was 10. My friends and I use to get together and create some really crazy mixes. I’m happy that if I need to remedy a skin care issue there is a product for that!


Right now, I’m loving Mary Kay’s Clear Proof® Deep-Cleansing Charcoal Mask ($26 CAN). 
I’m into masks that don’t feel like I’m ripping every hair off my face when I use it.

Other ingredients to note:
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Mineral clay
  • Kaolin
  • Bentonite
  • Honeysuckle
  • Navy bean

For summer ready selfie skin: This gentle triple-action charcoal is everything you need right now! 
Why? it deep-clean pores, absorbs oil and removes impurities from your skin.
It can be used two or three times a week.


HOW to Use:
  • Start with clean skin
  • Apply a thin even layer
  • It starts creamy and dries to a matte
  • Wait 20 minutes
  • Then remove

Thoughts:
It had a cooling feeling when applied.
When it was drying it wasn’t tight or uncomfortable.
After my skin felt smooth and refreshed after.

Are you a fan of charcoal masks?

Easy ways to save money on your vacation

One of the best things I did in my 20's was travel with my husband! Thankfully the beach was one of our passions so we had a lot of fun in Jamaica (multiple times), Cuba, Dominican Republic and Bahamas. I can admit that if it wasn't for these tips we would never have saved as much money as we did.  FYI if you missed my Four Tips to Help you Plan your Next Island Vacation post... get on it.

Let me explain......

Be Vocal
Speak up! I love an intimate vacation but group vacation are also everything! This one is easy and two words: GROUP DISCOUNTS.

Credit cards
Let me start off by saying both of this card has a yearly fee. I also don't work for it or have ANY affiliation with it. If it wasn't for my America Express Card benefits I wouldn't have things like Travel Emergency Assistance, Lost or Stolen bag assistance, complimentary Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance or flight and baggage delay insurance. Or one of my favourites- Hotel burglary assistance. We all know that one issue on resorts is thief. Imagine your cellphone goes missing because you left it out. Well guess what coverage is in effect as long as you have fully booked and paid for your accommodations with your American Express Card. Girlll. yes!

Opt in + Print Media
This can be done before and after. You know when your researching a destination and you stumble upon their official page and they tell you to sign up for info. Do it! Also you know those annoying forms that you fill out when you first get to a resort. Fill them out and give them your email address. One of the resorts in Bahamas that we went to constantly sends us emails when their rooms are on for 40% off or more. That totally works out for us because all we have to do is book the flight and go.

Do Research
Visit travel sites regularly.  I love sites where I can look at a "lowest price calendar". I find weeks that are affordable for both of us to go. One time my husband and I saved $1000 by switching our vacation a week. That's more money to go on excursions and to buy gifts.

Adulting: Shopping at Lowe's Canada

So the first time in my adult life, I have a lawn & backyard which requires maintenance. I grew up in house which was a part of the condominium complex. So all my parents had to do was pay the complex monthly and they would take care of everything outside. They took care of the grass, shovelled snow, paint and even planted trees/flowers. Now as a married woman....  although I don't have to mow the lawn or shovel snow, it is my responsibility to try to keep the house as warm and inviting as can be!

I was sent a Lowe's Canada Spring/Summer Style Guide for inspiration. Which literally made me want to overhaul my whole house and start over. The emphasis was on 4 patio trends: Metro Modern, Renewed Formality, Gracious Living & Cuban Cool. Each theme takes the guess workout of the stress of finding decor that works together. Plus it's exclusive to Lowe’s Canada.

Here are some of my favourite looks:

Colour anyone?

This is a dream!

My backyard is horrible right now, I will spare you a picture. I decided go with the front of the house since that is a visual point that people mostly see when they drive-by. I decided to go to Lowe's at Markham Road and Steeles on Victoria day. Which I might add I am happy that the garden centre was open. With a giftcard that Lowe's Canada provided me with!
My Husband in Lowe's Canada picking the flowers I wanted.

My full cart!

We decided to go with two Azura Tall Urns (usually $14.99 CAN) which were actually on sale! Now for the flowers (Begonias) part, I did something different. I bought to hanging planters for the urns. Why? I just liked the arrangements better than the potted one.  Just a preference.

Just for photo purposes:

At first I thought it was a good idea to have two different types of plants but I am slowly rethinking that one so I'll probably end up going back to get the pink plants and putting up the hanging planter.

How are you planning to update your outdoor space for the summer?

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Concealer + SWATCHES

What if you were told that you had to keep your makeup regimen to three products.
Would it be hard for you? It would be the easiest choice for me.
  • A liquid lipstick
  • Lashes
  • Concealer
Years ago concealer would never be in my top three "survival" products. But I won't lie, I love how awake it makes me look. Especially days when the world is trying me and I'm surviving on NO sleep. 

As a woman of colour, I know that we are prone to getting dark under eye circles. With the MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Concealer’s ($34.00 CAN)  you don't need a lot to get the job done! I also forgot to add that the concealers have a Anti-Dark Circle Complex with Radiance Booster.

What does that mean?
  • It supports collagen to refresh and awaken the undereye area. 
  • Helps with filling and smoothing fine lines.
I'm happy to say that the darker shades have been added to the line 
which now makes a total of 14 shades.

For me, it gives me a medium coverage (that I can thin out to light coverage) but I know if you layer it - you can get full coverage.

SHOP:



I was given a few shades to try but there are two which I'd reach for more than the others.

I mix:
R50 & R52
**If there was a 51 it would suit me perfectly!

Swatches:

R50 & R52 mixed together:

Are you a fan of MUFE products?

Basic Brow Combos with Arbonne Cosmetics

So my holy grail brow product has now finished. I'm now kind of jumping from unsuccessful brow products- one right after the other. It's tragic.. I know. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 I had the opportunity to try out some brow products from Arbonne to get my to get my brow basics down pat. I don't know about you but brows are so important to me. When they just get done! GIRL!!! I swear I feel like nobody can tell me anything.


 Here is my brow in its natural state, you can see I have very long and thick brow hairs. So if you accidentally take out a few extra hairs accidentally it really shows!


To be able to get a bold striking brow- (which I might add is the look you see all the celebrities rocking right now) it's best to start off with a brow pencil.

Why do you need a brow pencil first?
You need something that going to shape and create the overall look that you're going for. I used the Shape It Up Brow Pencil– Dark ( CAN $32.00) which was actually pretty easy to use.  
Good thing about this product is that it's retractable! 
No sharpening need. 


On the other side is a brow spoolie which is really important part of brow life! 
Before you do your brow you can use it to brush up and pluck out any stray hairs. 
Or to distribute product through out your brows.


In short brush stroke type movements create your desired shape. 

 With Shape It Up Brow Pencil– Dark

For some people, that's enough! They can go out the door and conquer the world. For me, I'm a little bit extra and I need more. I also paired the pencil with a tinted brow cream! Shape It Up Tinted Brow Cream ( CAN $32.00) is actually an awesome little product. 
The formula is buildable. It's not watery but it is water resistant and smudge-proof. The cream is really cool it almost reminds me of little fibres when applied. It creates a soft look!


Lastly you can take this route if you want it's super extra but I usually leave the little block at the front of my eyebrows with NO product.  I finish off by taking the eyebrow gel (CAN $22.00) and I just brush my hair in place.

Finished look:

Remember...There is no wrong combo when it comes to your brows. I should also add that the brow pencil and tinted brow cream have larch and green tea extract which actually helps with making your brows look fuller. 

What do you think about my brows? 
If you're interested in the products above -please contact your Arbonne rep or shop online.
Let me know in the comments below.

Purse: Declutter & Simplify

I think I've reached a part in my life where I'm ready to simplify.*I hope my husband isn't reading this*... Simplify is such a scary word because if you knew how many things I own right now you would know that it's REALLY needed.


But for me, not to overwhelm myself... I have to start small. Soooo why not start with my purse. 
I used to be the queen of large purses... It all dates back to college and every girl had one of those large TNA bags. It was perfect for me! I could fit my laptop, lunch and whatever essentials I needed for a full day of class. 

See!!

Don't get me wrong- having a large purse had perks. I love the fact that I would be able to carry a literal store everywhere I went. But man my shoulders were in pain!

I was still playing around with a big bag recently but what I was finding that was my bag was so empty. And surprisingly, I couldn't find anything in there.


Here is my current bag from Kate Spade. This bag is ideal for me because of the compartments. There's a middle compartment that has a zipper to side compartments that just have a clasp holding it together. Super simple and fashionable.

SHOP

What do I carry in a small bag?
For me:
  • I have a large wallet.
  • Make up bag with my beauty essentials for today. 
  • In the inside compartment I have my feminine products.
  • At the bottom you can find a few hair ties, iphone cord, cream, tea bag and mints.

    Maybe down the line with kids, I might go back to the bigger bag.
    Right now, the smaller bags are less stress on my shoulder and less clutter in my life.

    So let me know are you a big bag or a small bag girl?

    My Thoughts about Hairsprays + Herbal Essences Biorenew

    This post is going to be so awkward because it’s about a product that is so known to everyone but I just don't embrace it. Here it goes. I hardly use hairspray. I don’t know if it’s laziness (probably laziness) but it’s just a step I always look over.

    I spent a lot of time on my curls, whether it be with heat or Flexi rods… but with the heat and humidity of the environment they don't last. By the end of the day I’m rocking a semi-straight style- that I didn’t ask for…

    Let’s go back to the root of the problem…Why do I hate hairsprays? We all know the hairsprays of the past. They’re heavy and not workable at all. Like I just remember those up-do’s that were sprayed to the high heavens and did not move. Like a week later you would see the person in the same style and a curl hasn't budged…that is not for me. Lies… it happened once and NO I won’t share pictures LOL. Just bad vibes all over.

    For me to start using hairspray, I have three requirements.
    • It has to be flexible
    • Not sticky
    • Doesn’t dry out my hair

    I truly feel like that is not a lot to ask for…

    Anyways.. I had planned this fun girls night a few weeks back with required. Big bouncy curls. The only problem is that it was a really hot day and I know that my curls would NEVER last the 30 minute car ride. I recently received the Herbal Essences Biorenew Flexible Hairspray ($7.99 Walmart CANADA) from my Beauty United Mailer. And thought it was a good idea to break it out.

    Here are the results:

    An hour later…Not bad eh!
    First thing I appreciated was how my hair STILL had movement and wasn’t weighted down.

    Three cool things that I found out about the Herbal Essences Biorenew Flexible Hairspray:

    • Made with a blend of antioxidants, aloe plus bamboo
    • Has NO parabens, gluten or alcohol
    • Flexible with a manageable hold.

    SHOP


    Are you a fan of Hairspray?

    TREND: Bomber Jackets

    You don't have to be a high school jock to enjoy the bomber jacket trend.
    They're fashionable, come in various prints/colours and are pretty affordable.


    I got my first bomber jacket when I was in high school. I literally wore it until the seams ripped out. Right now, most of my bomber jackets come from Forever21 and Roots. 
    A variation of a high to low price points.

    SHOP



    Just quick history lesson because I know you are all dying to know how/where they came from. They started off being casual jackets for pilots in World War l. Combating cold in the cockpit. Fast forward to the present.... You know good ole pop-culture took it over and made it a cult classic.

    I actually found this jacket in the sale section at Forever 21
    Buy one get One free!

    I can't pass up a deal!!

    SHOP


    Do you have a favourite bomber jacket?

    Lise Watier Cosmetics: Rouge Intense Suprême SWATCHES

    I'm always talking about how I need to highlight some more Canadian companies.
    Especially ones who are doing amazing things!
    Honestly have been sitting on these pretty lipsticks for a while….but it's time that you experience the greatness that is Lise Watier Cosmetics: Rouge Intense Suprême ($27 CAN).

    These lipsticks actually come in 15 different shades. I know this is corny but these lipsticks were definitely “love at first swatch”. They apply effortlessly! No dragging! No tugging! When I first applied them they literally glided along my lips. You guys know I'm queen of matte lipsticks but these were a lovely surprise from my usual.

    Three main selling features for me are:

    • The colours are super rich and pigmented.
    Even though I have pigmented lips (naturally) one swipe is all I needed.

    • The colours are long-lasting.
    Even after eating/talking throughout the day the colour was still on my lips. Almost like a “stain”. Which is awesome! I think that this would be perfect for brides or anyone going to a special event who wants something a bit more than a matte lipstick.

    • Lastly it's super hydrated.
    As I'm actually typing this.. I am slowly smacking my lips together and it's such a good feeling. These lipsticks are actually infused with Labrador tea extract. This is very important because this is an exclusive agent in this Lise Watier Cosmetics lipstick.

    Let me add a bonus. I love the fact that they come in a magnetic casing. Sometimes I have a lipstick in my bag and with all the moving around the cap comes off. Then I go in to reach for something and my bag is full of lipstick marks! Not what you want to see you in a $400 bag… I can tell you right now.

    SWATCHES

    LIP SWATCHES
    Days when I'm feeling that I need something bold and exotic I go for Caroline.

    Days when I want something soft and feminine I go for Kelly.
    To showcase this lipstick, I used a deep brown to line my lips.

    So ladies what colour is your favourite here?