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Monday, 23 December 2019

Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas Steamery Sephora Purdy's Chocolates Eataly

The clock is ticking down and I am sure we are all running around like headless chickens.  Here are some quick suggestions, if you are like me and have only just finished work and feel like a deer caught in the headlights at the very thought of braving the mall.
Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has been buzzing about Steamery.  Since when did people salivate over gadgets that look after one's clothes??  I suppose it is an offshoot of the whole idea of sustainability and looking after one's clothes so that they last longer.  You would never guess that this pink egg is actually a fabric shaver.

I got mine at Nordstrom.  If the man in your life balks at attacking his sweaters with a pink Pilo fabric shaver, Chapters carries them in black as well.  Steamery also offers a clothes steamer which is on my Wish List.
Gift packs filled with travel sized skincare goodies are a great option for the skincare and beauty maven in your life.  

I got this Ole Henriksen gift pack with travel sizes of Truth On The Glow cleansing cloths and C-Rush Brightening Gel Creme at Sephora
Yummy treats are always a hit at this time of year.  Who can say no to a box of Purdy's chocolates?

The best thing is that they come pre-wrapped which is such a brilliant time saver.
Speaking of food, I popped into the newly opened Eataly.  Yes, Eataly is now in Toronto! No need to go trekking to New York.

The place was an absolute madhouse but there is no doubt that you could put together an amazing hamper here with very little effort.

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

My First Purchase with Thredup and Review

If you are a long time reader of LBH, you know I love digging through thrift and charity shops.  However, finding a good score in the shoe department has always been a bit of a fail for me.  Let's face it, do you really want to shove your feet into a pair of boots that have been...sweated in?? At the end of this summer, my sandals were completely thrashed.  I couldn't find anything that was both comfortable AND stylish during the end of summer sales and fit my budget.  As the weeks ticked by, summer slipped into fall then winter and summer sandals disappeared from the stores.  That's when I happened to check out Thredup.  It is an online consignment store based in the US.  The prices are so, so easy on the wallet.  My very first search yielded these J Crew sandals.

I was in shock because I had missed out on a pair of J Crew sandals (new) a year or so ago that were almost identical.  These are made of black suede.  The low 1 inch heels are wrapped in gold foil which you can just make out.  I took a gamble as I don't think black suede photographs very well.  Every bit of lint and dust was showing up on the Thredup photos.  However, the price was such a bargain and with the discount for signing up, it was lower still.  Shipping took about 10 days which I felt was reasonable as it was coming from the US. Items are initially shipped to a distribution center and a third party handles the shipping.  This process is probably what impacts the shipping time.  The sandals arrived in a plastic bag.  If you are in the US, don't make the mistake that I made and rip into the bag in a frenzy of excitement as soon as you receive it as you can reuse the bag for returns.  Unfortunately, because I am in Canada, returns aren't allowed.  I am not able to sell items on consignment either.
Thankfully, the sandals were a hit.  Even though they are described as used, they look like they have barely been worn.  The material content stickers were still affixed to the sole.  I have to say that Thredup is a fantastic resource if you want to shop sustainably, have a limited budget or like me, looking for something out of season.  There a lot of items that are new with tags and items are constantly coming and going.  They even ran a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale!  Now, all I need is somewhere warm to head to in order to escape the doldrums of a long Canadian winter.
Have you ever shopped at Thredup?  What was your experience?

This is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Black Friday Wishlist: Schmidt Home Depot Cole Haan

A sudden life change gave me the opportunity to begin to arrange my home in a way that suited my new circumstances.  As always, Black Friday is a great time to replace those things that are worn out and need replacing to getting those coveted must-haves that have been sitting on one's wishlist forever. So herewith is my wishlist.
I was given a knife block set years ago as a Christmas gift.  To be honest, I have always hated it.  It took up a huge amount of counterspace.  The knives have begun rusting and I just don't use many of the knives.  I am sure we all have gifts that we don't like and simply tolerate because they were gifts.

I picked up this set of Schmidt knives this past weekend.  This small curated set is all I need.  I find I reach for the 6" chef's knife over and over again.  The Schmidt knives aren't top of the range but they aren't Dollar Store knives either.  They are wicked sharp and have a balanced feel in the hand.  The wood handles are gorgeous and will look better and better over time.  They are available in Canada at Crate and Barrel.
My unitized washer and dryer is slowly dying on me.  The last time I was at Home Depot, there were no sales at all.  Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier each year so hopefully I will be able to pick up a replacement very soon.
via Home Depot
I am in love with Cole Haan right now.  I ordered this pair of winter boots and the timing of their arrival was perfect as within days of said arrival, Toronto experienced its first snowfall of the season.

They have shearling cuffs and as with all of Cole Haan's Zerogrand line, serious take-no-prisoners treads.  In the middle of a Canadian winters, the sidewalks become perilously slippery and boots that grip onto snow and ice are a must.  There is lots of room for thick socks and, remarkably, were comfortably straight out of the box, no breaking in required.

via Cole Haan
I am definitely going to drop by Cole Haan again and see what else captures my eye.
So what's on your wish list?

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Life Update: Suddenly Single and Life After Separation

This week's Weekly Roundup is more of a Life Update.  It's unusual for me to lift the curtain on my private life as whatever gets published on the Internet tends to live on forever.  But for the sake of authenticity, I do want to allow a bit of a sneak peak at what has been going on behind the scenes at LBH just to provide a bit of context.  This year has been tumultuous and stressful, even more so than last year.  Without warning, I became a Singleton again.  I didn't have much choice really as I discovered that my long term partner had been having a long term affair.  One plans for retirement, for a holiday and for buying a new car or appliance but never for a separation.  I ended up picking up extra hours at work wherever I could and for long stretches of time I was working 12 hour days.  Unfortunately, I couldn't keep that up anymore.  Years of being in a toxic relationship had taken its toll on my heart (really and truly!!).  I am so thankful that I live in a country that has public health care.  But now a lot of time gets taken up with visits to the doctor and the cardiology clinic.  On top of all that, after 2 years of negotiating, my workplace finally unionized!  The down side to that is that we had to wait over a month to get even a partial payment of wages while management came to grips with such novel concepts as direct deposit and biweekly pay.  I'll leave my thoughts on that for another post. What this meant was a tightening of the belt.  In the spirit of WWII's philosophy of Make Do and Mend,  anything that needed repair was mended instead of rushing out and buying a replacement.  The strap had ripped off one of my favourite tote bags so I took it to a local tailor to have it sewn on again.

Tintin and Snowy get to live again!  You can make out the extra stitches on the upper left side.  I love that my tote bag gets an extra lease on life and I am supporting a local small business.
I have always liked strolling the aisles of Dollarama (Canada's version of The Dollar Store).  You just never know what sort of deals may be lurking on the shelves.  While I was waiting to get paid, trips to Dollarama  pretty much became the order of the day.  I was very pleased to find Canadian healthy pet treats there.

Any pet owner will tell you that healthy, natural pet treats and food normally come at a premium price.  This pack of freeze dried chicken was only $2.50.  Now if only I can break the furkids' addiction to the junky stuff...
I was thrilled to find a couple bottles of my favourite hypoallergenic shampoo (which I have written about here).

Live Clean hair products go for over $9.00 at the drug store but it was only $4.00 at Dollarama.
I have to take my hat off to anyone who is able to maintain a heart healthy diet and live on a tight budget at the same time.  Recipes and tips would be greatly appreciated!
In the future, I hope to keep you updated on everything I have learned in terms of financial recovery, adjusting to life as a Singleton and reconnecting with myself after living for years in negativity and chaos.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

The Weekly Roundup: Cole Haan Boots

I have been inspecting my Autumn/Winter Capsule Wardrobe and have known for some time that there were a number of gaps, namely a comfy but stylish pair of flat heeled ankle boots.  I love me a sexy pair of boots.  Is there any sound more tantalizing that the heel strike coming off a pair of killer boots?  The problem is that I am on my feet for hours every day and even the chunky stacked heels on my beloved J Crew ankle boots begin to feel uncomfortable at the 4 hour mark.  I was gutted when I came across Cole Haan's Harrington Slouch Boots last Winter only to find that they were completely sold out online.  When Cole Haan brought them back this Autumn, I didn't bother waiting for a sale but ripped off to the nearest Cole Haan store.

These ankle boots are Cole Haan's interpretation of the 80's slouch boot.  I loathe 80's fashion.  I am sure that to a millenial, 80's fashion is new and exciting but for me, it is a case of "been there, done that, don't need to do it again."  BUT, and this is a big but, I absolutely adore these boots.  They are that perfect blend of 80's redux with a modern twist. The ruching around the ankle means there is a lot of give so there is no painful breaking in of stiff leather. I love the fact that there are 2 zippers (!!), one on either side of the ankle.

The goldtone hardware adds subtle glamour.  The flat heel means I can wear them all day and don't have to worry about sore feet.  Amazingly, they were comfortable straight out of the box.  I was surprised that dustbags weren't included.  I was told that Cole Haan got rid of dustbags as a cost cutting measure.  Considering that Cole Haan footware isn't dirt cheap, I was a tad disappointed.  Over all though, I am in love with my new ankle boots.  The 80's never looked so good.

Monday, 16 September 2019

August Monthly Favourites New Kitchen Faucet, Bareminerals Complexion Rescue, Ask For Task

August is done and dusted, school is back in session and Fall is here.  This Summer was emotionally and physically hard on me.  I thought 2018 was tough but 2019 has been a year of upheaval.    In order to shake off the glooms, I finally had the leaking kitchen faucet replaced.  After much searching, I ordered this beauty off Amazon:

Long time readers of this blog will know that I did a number of minor renos several years ago.  At the time, they were done under the advisement of a real estate agent.  Many of those renos have had to be replaced or redone as they did not stand the test of time.  The kitchen faucet was one of those renos.  I found that the curve of the faucet was too low and it sprouted multiple leaks.  I really wanted an industrial type faucet with a high arc.  After experiencing sticker shock at the big box hardware stores, I ordered the above faucet from good old Amazon.  The price was at least 50% lower than what I was seeing at the hardware store.  I love the fact that there are not one but 2 faucets which is handy if, like me, you have a double sink.  Each faucet has an on/off lever at the nozzle as well as one at the base.  Be warned, it is extremely powerful.  I think the brushed nickel finish and the industrial vibe works well with the industrial light fixture that I chose for the kitchen (which I wrote about here).  I booked a tasker off Ask for Task to install it for me.  I love Ask for Task.  No more stressing over trying to find a contractor to do repair work.  Booking a tasker is so easy and straightforward that I had to include it as a Monthly Favourite.  I can't even begin to describe the thrill of having a functional kitchen faucet again.  No more having to go to the bathroom to get water and no more emptying out a bucket under the sink!
Next up is Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream.

I usually get freckles and sunspots over the Summer but this CC cream with SPF 30 really helped to safeguard my face from UV damage.  I noticed that I didn't freckle up as much as I would have without any UV protection.  Of course, a CC cream will not offer as much protection as a stand alone dedicated sun protection cream but I love the fact that my makeup has a built in SPF which makes my morning makeup routine easy and efficient.  I know I have written about this product before but this really is a holy grail item for me that I have repurchased more than once.
With Fall sneaking its way in, I have been assessing my Fall/Winter capsule wardrobe.  There are some gaps that need filling.  I am looking forward to telling you about them!  I have had a capsule wardrobe for a while.  Do you have one?  Let me know if you have any suggestions for having a streamlined and edited wardrobe.

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

The Weekly Roundup: Michael Kors Crossbody Bag and H & M Makeup Haul

Can you believe that the Labour Day long weekend is approaching?  Where did the Summer go?  The city is amok with students and their helicopter parents.  This Summer has been a roller coaster whirlwind for me with a lot of personal highs and lows.  Hopefully more peaceful days are ahead.  I just had some family members come in to town for a visit.  They were so kind as to give me my first Michael Kors bag.

I love the neutral tan that can transition effortlessly from Summer to Fall.  It is a very convenient crossbody with a strap that is a mix of gold chain and leather.
There aren't that many big summer sales left but I did score a nice H & M makeup haul.  It is H & M so their prices are already easy on the wallet but the sale prices will you have scooping up makeup by the handful.

I have always wanted to try invisible powder so one of these came home with me.  To date, I have been sceptical about invisible powder being truly invisible.  However, I can attest that applied with a light deft hand, you will not end up looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost.  I think I must have bought five tubes of the concealer.  I use it daily but there is only a tiny 2.2 ml in there which gets used up very, very quickly.  The $9.99 regular price may seem affordable but if you are having to replace it every couple of weeks, the cost can quickly mount.  However, at the sale price of $2.99, it gets the green light from me.

I am always on the hunt for pretty gifts that I can stockpile to give away.  This makeup palette has a great mix of matte and glittery shades that are perfect for Fall.  I haven't used a powder compact foundation in years but wanted to try out H & M's version ($5.99 on sale).  The gel nail polish in Bordeaux is a great Fall colour ($2.99 on sale).  
Can you believe that the next Weekly Roundup will be in September?

This is not a sponsored post.

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