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Monday, 10 June 2019

May Favourites Banana Republic Summer Sandals Hylamide Pore Control

Warm sunny weather has finally arrived in the Great White North.  It is such a relief to pack away the heavy cumbersome winter boots.  I picked up these gorgeous sandals from Banana Republic in the sale.


With a low one inch heel, I can walk comfortably for hours and those pom poms and tassels just make me smile.
Of course with the onset of warmer weather, Hylamide's Pore Control is a must for me.  Unlike a lot of other oil control lotions which clog my pores and cause breakouts,  Pore Control does exactly what it promises.  It helps decrease oil production so my makeup lasts a lot longer.  I find that a very thin layer works the best.  Any more than that will leave a white powdery residue on the skin.


That's it for May.  Short and sweet.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 Review Spoiler Alert

***If you are not caught up with watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones, then please click away***

via HBO

Canada is heading into the Victoria Day long weekend.  How ironic that the very last episode of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday on a weekend dedicated towards one of Britain’s most venerated female monarchs.  At this point, I am not sure if I am going to watch the last episode on Sunday or wait a few days, nay, weeks, months or possibly years to watch it.  I came late to Game of Thrones.  In fact, I didn’t start watching until the show was several seasons in.  But once I started watching it, I was riveted.  I freely admit that the show had me with the scene of Jaime and Cersei getting hot and sweaty in the tower at Winterfell and then Jaime pushing Bran out of the window and I was lost when Ned Stark was beheaded.  Layer by multifaceted layer, thread over thread, Game of Thrones has been weaving a dense tapestry of a world that, at times seems so much more real than my actual life.  But after the Battle with the Night King, it fell apart for me.  Characters are now acting bizarrely out of character.  Plot twists and turns are glaringly awkward to the point of being inexplicable.   

I’ll start with the Jaime and Brienne storyline and work my way up the ever increasing pile of offenses.  There has always been an intriguing frisson of tension between these two from the very start à la Mulder and Scully.  And yet, when they finally consummate their relationship, the scene starts with Jaime exclaiming repeatedly, “It’s so hot in here” and clawing at his shirt like a gauche teenager embarking on his first tryst.  This is JAIME, son of House Lannister, who has spent years honing his bedroom skills with his willing twin sister.  Tyrion’s character fares no better.  He turns in Varys-arguably his best friend and the only other advisor left to Daenerys after the death of Jorah Mormont and Missandei, on the grounds of treason and then commits treason himself by setting Jaime free.  Finally, let’s turn to Daenerys.  I know, I know there is a camp of fans who will argue  that  turning her into a psychotic killer has been foreshadowed throughout Game of Thrones.  However, there have been plenty of times where she has acted nobly by freeing slaves or chaining her dragons after Drogon accidentally killed a young girl.  Many viewers have voiced their opinion that the writers David Benioff and D.B.Weiss have shown that they are nothing more than hacks when they ran out of original source material from which to extrapolate.  It is my opinion that  the writers made the cardinal sin of making their presence known in the story.  Any good story relies on that invisible fourth wall between the story being told and the audience.  But with characters acting out of character and illogical plot devices, it is impossible to immerse oneself fully in the story.  The effect is like being doused with a bucket of cold water.   Instead of shaking my head at the character and pleading, “Don’t DO that, you fool”, I'm left with shaking my fists at the writers  and shouting at the screen, “Why did you write that, you fool?”  When Ned Stark was beheaded in Season 1 (remember those early glory days of the show?), it made sense.  It was obvious that he had written his death warrant as soon as he admitted to Cersei that he knew that her children hadn't been sired by Robert Baratheon. The writers simply haven’t given Daenerys enough runway this season for her character to reach the point where they are forcibly pushing her.  Repeating over and over again in the last few episodes that  “The Gods flip a coin every time a Targeryan is born” is not adequate justification for her to morph into a Mad Queen.  The rushed plot devices speaks volumes of lazy writing.  At the end of every episode of Season 8, the writers give a short interview explaining their reasoning (in this case, lack of) behind the script.  They said that “Dany forgot about the Iron Fleet.” Wuh?  Drogon was badly injured by a Scorpion bolt when Dany attacked the Lannister-Tarly army.  There is no way she would have forgotten about the Iron Fleet or that the Lannisters and their allies had this weapon.  The only reason for this pathetic excuse of a plot device was to kill off Rhaegal and leave her with only one dragon.  As an aside, any of you who are pet parents and regard your pets as family members, you know the rage you would feel at the very thought of anyone deliberating harming your pet child.  There is a big difference between rage and grief and genetically inherited psychosis.  And on the matter of psychosis, likening the burning of King’s Landing to Adolf Hitler and thus ample evidence that she is a genocidal maniac is neither here nor there.  This is the world of Game of Thrones where it is completely normal for a great House to marry brother to sister.  No one mentioned madness when Arya murdered and baked Walder Frey’s sons into a pie and then fed it to him or when Sansa delivered Ramsay Bolton to his hungry hounds, acts which, one could argue, were many, many degrees more gruesome and psychotic.  What is important in storytelling is that there is a sense of internal logic that drives the storyline forward and that underpins the arc of a character.  One only has to compare the near pitch perfect redemptive arc of Theon Greyjoy to see how far short Dany’s character arc falls.  Season after season there has been this inexorable buildup to a monumental, apocalyptic clash between two formidable queens. Instead, in Episode 5 the much vaunted Lannister forces threw down their arms at the feet of the Northern army which seemed to symbolize the writers throwing their figural pens at the feet of the viewers.
I think the reason why I feel such a sense of betrayal is that I face a sea of moral turpitude almost every day at work.  The world of Game of Thrones, where characters are willing to put everything on the line for what they believe in such as the Blackfish refusing to surrender his home, or Dany losing a beloved Dragon to the Night King because it was a worthwhile sacrifice protect the living was a refreshing and much needed antidote to the ethical vagaries of the world that I and possibly many other viewers face every day.  Even when characters made foolish decisions, I understood because it fit their character.  From the intricate costumes to the even more intricate braids of Dany’s hair, Game of Thrones reminded us of what the small screen could be, where every detail, no matter how small, mattered.  It gave me the same rush as when I viewed the recent Impressionism exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario which ended recently. Looking at those glorious paintings, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that each brushstroke mattered to the artist. Hence the sense of outrage, of feeling cheated and snubbed as each episode drops.   I don’t want a fairytale ending, that wouldn’t be Game of Thrones, but an ending that unfolds as organically and thoughtfully as it began.

There is a petition on change.org for HBO to redo Season 8.  The last time I checked, there were well over 800,000 signatures.  I for one will be signing it.  What are your thoughts?  I realize this is a heated topic at the moment so please keep this space respectful of everyone’s viewpoint.  

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Miracle Bamboo Comfort Bra Review

Another birthday done and dusted and as I march on in years, my body has changed.  My bras just didn't fit me anymore. In fact, I don't think I have ever had a bra that fit me well. I have broad shoulders but not much in front so the band would always cut into me and create those horrid mini muffin tops that made me look heftier than I really was whilst the cups would gape.  I was determined to rectify this situation but trawling disconsolately through the lingerie section of department stores was a surefire recipe for frustration.  I don't know about you but have you ever seen a 38 bra with a small cup size?  I haven't.  When I do find a 38, it inevitably comes with cups that are just way too big for me.  And the straps?  Don't get me started on the straps never mind the itchy, stiff, scratchy fabric.  I had resigned myself to spending the rest of my years wearing the same old stretched out ill fitting bras when, whilst wandering around Bed Bath and Beyond, I spotted this:



What?  BBB, one of my favourite places on Earth, sells bras?  I decided to take a chance and purchased one.  What a revelation!  It is true that once you find the right bra, you feel different...better about yourself.  It has front closure, which is a boon to someone with joint issues.  No more twisting myself into knots trying to do up the back.  It conforms to your shape and provides wire free support.  



The high sides smooths the sides thereby reducing any unsightly bulges.  There are removable pads which is convenient for those days you want a bit of extra va va voom or not.  Because it conforms to your shape, a wide variety of cup sizes and body shapes can fit one size.  For example, the back of the box says that a size large with a bust of 37-40 will fit a 32DD, 32DDD, 32QD, 34C, 34D, #4DD, 34DD, 36A, 36B, 36C, 38A.  It comes in L, XL, 2XL and 3XL.  As far as I can tell, it only comes in a nude beige which is fine by me.  It is like a cross between a conventional bra and a sports bra.  Now I know why babies feel so comforted when they are swaddled.  It does feel like I have a tensor bandage wrapped around my chest but this is in no way a bad thing.  This is the first time I have ever bought one of those "As Seen On TV" products as I always thought such things were a gimmick but I am so, so sold on this.  No, it isn't the sexiest piece of lingerie out there but, right now, comfort and fit trump all that.  Let me know your bra horror stories.  Surely I can't be the only one?

This is NOT a sponsored post.

Monday, 4 March 2019

February Favourites Too Faced Haul

Even though February is done and dusted, there was another heavy snowfall this past week and it looks like more is on the way.  I don't know about you but a new lippie or two always helps to chase away the winter doldrums.  I had been hoarding my last remaining Too Faced lipstick in Spice Spice Baby for what seemed like forever as they were no longer available for purchase on the Sephora Canada website.  When I saw they were on sale on the Too Faced website, I ordered two of them. 






The drought is finally over.  This lipstick is my all time favourite as it is such a lovely coral pink nude.  I ordered 2 of the Peach Frost Highlighters which are on clearance on the Sephora Canada website.  I think they won't be available in Canada for much longer.  So if you are interested, I would hurry and put in an order.  I read the reviews and many people complained that it just wasn't blingy enough.  I am of the age where disco glitter would look manic on me.  I prefer discretion over bling especially when it comes to work appropriate makeup so I decided to take a chance.


The highlighter is a cream to powder formula.  I love the Too Faced blush in the same range so I was curious about how a cream to powder formula would translate as a highlighter.  It is true that the sheen is very subtle and understated, possibly a touch too understated.  However, for the bargain price of $12 CAD (!!!), I can't really complain.
Now bring on Spring!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

The Minimalism Game #minsgame

Miracle of miracles, I finally did it!  I completed the Minimalism Game in the month of January.  Woot!  If you don't know what the Minimalism Game is, you declutter one thing on the first day of the month, 2 things on day two and so on.  By the end of the month, you will have decluttered 496 things.  It was conceived by The Minimalists.  I have attempted it so many times, only to admit defeat around day 12.   Truth be told, most of what I decluttered was paper clutter.  I think Marie Kondo said that she hates paper clutter the most because it is so boring and uninspiring.  Because it is so boring, it is quite easy (for me at least) to part with.  I struggled with depression for many months last year and just let the junk mail pile up.  I think the enormous pile of mail kept me going for at least 2 weeks.  I really wanted to start the new year on a more positive note and tackling the home was a step in the right direction.  Now, I am not a hardcore mininalist but I really appreciated having a system that gave me a road map for the entire month.  I actually continued into the first half of February because I was so thrilled that I was able stick it out for an entire month.  Continuing on in the vein of trying to declutter the home and be organized, I picked up this drawer organizer which I repurposed for coralling the makeup I use on the daily.

  

 I really believe in coralling bits and bobs.  All the disparate items placed in a single container help to reduce "visual noise" as they magically become one.  I really like this drawer organizer because it has expandable sides and it is small and compact.  You can find similar at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Not pictured above because I had it out is Urban Decay's Lightbeam Palette.


I am obsessed with this palette.  Pantone's colour for this year is Living Coral and the sunset hues of this slim curated palette is beautifully on trend.  Don't let the warm coral tones put you off.  They are the perfect office appropriate  eyeshadow for my warm skin tone.  I do find the glitter shadow "Golden Hour" to be gritty and chunky.  But I am past the age of wearing disco glitter on my lids so I don't mind.  It is similar to Urban Decay's iconic Naked Heat palette, in particular the Mini Naked Heat, just with a bit more pizzazz. I love a curated palette where I use almost all of the eyeshadows and not just one or two.  Plus the fact that it fits neatly into the container above is a massive bonus.
How are you doing with your 2019 goals?  Drop a comment and let me know.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Weekly Roundup: J.Crew Store Closing Haul

I was sauntering through my local mall checking out the January sales as one does when I noticed that the shelves in the J.Crew store looked surprisingly bare.  I went inside thinking that the sale must be very, very good and what did I see?  Signs saying "70% off Everything" and women digging frenziedly through merchandise heaped on tables. Now 70% off for J.Crew is unheard of even for a Boxing Day or Black Friday sale.  I asked a harried looking employee if the store was closing and, sadly, it was.  To be honest, instead of leaping into action when faced with such unexpected opportunities, I tend to freeze like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights.  I prefer a much more leisurely approach to shopping where I get to browse, wander around for a bit and contemplate in a Zen-like manner whether I really want or need something.  Nonetheless, store closings mean the chance to score deals for things that normally would not be within reach.  I was in desperate need of work-appropriate clothing and I knew Monsieur was in need of new pants.  Here is what I scored:


Monsieur was ecstatic when I brought home two pairs of J.Crew`s classic 770 pants at 70% off.  Yes, he did specify he wanted a cranberry pair.  At these prices, it is a good time to experiment with offbeat colours.
via jcrew.com
This blouse came home with me as well.  I love the flattering neckline and the full sleeves.  At a certain point, women need sleeves!  Also, I have been on the lookout for a blouse that is a proper white, not cream, not ivory or any version of pale beige as these non-colours tend to wash me out.  Weirdly, it is quite difficult to find.
via jcrew.com

This dress came home with me too.  It would be perfect if it had sleeves but I knew I could pair it with a cardigan and, for the price, I couldn`t say no.  I love the cowl neckline and how it just seems to arrange itself into the right architectural folds.  An LBD is so versatile as it can be styled for work or after work in a snap.

via jcrew.com

I had given up on finding a pair of jeans that looked good on me years ago but I decided to take a chance on a pair of J.Crew`s iconic toothpick jeans in Classic Rinse (a dark wash).  Oh my, I have been living in these jeans for the last couple of days.  I may never go back to leggings again.  Now I am wishing that I had bought another pair.
  

Finally, I picked up this Timex watch which is actually a gift.  I wish I had been able to pick up more gifts but there was not much left by the time I found out about the store closing.  I felt really lucky to find the items that I did in the right size.
How did you make out in the January or Boxing Day sales? Have you heard of any other J.Crew stores closing down?


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffer Gifts: Bluetooth Selfie Stick and Light, Stonewall Kitchen, Charlotte Tilbury

If, like me, you were stuck at work right up to the last minute and still had to bring home piles of work to slave over during the holidays, then like me, you have been racing around the shops like a headless chicken randomly grabbing anything off the shelves.  The following is a true representation of what is going into a certain someone's stocking.  It is a bit of a hodgepodge but I think they cover the fun, frivolous, luxe and useful to a "T."  All but one are gender neutral which is a bonus.


In a selfie obsessed age, a selfie stick is a must. This one is Bluetooth enabled so you csn take the perfect selfie and hold your mobile phone at the right angle at the same time.



Along with the selfie stick, this selfie light is genius. It clips on to your mobile phone so worries about unflattering lighting are now a thing of the past. The stick and light were picked up at Chapters.



Christmas is always a good time to try out delicious foodstuffs that you would normally not indulge in.  I was so pleased to find Stonewall Kitchen jams in Toronto  (it is an American company). The jam was picked up at the Bay.


And finally, for the makeup maven on your list, you can't go wrong with a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick or for that matter, anything from Charlotte Tilbury. Above is her iconic lipstick in "Pillowtalk." I picked up the lipstick at Sephora.

Let the countdown begin!

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