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Monday, 30 July 2018

LBH July Favourites: Essential Back to School Supplies, Muzmm Backpack and Discount Code, H & M Makeup, Urbio Wall Organization

Is it possible that there is only one month left to summer?  Say it isn't so.  I have finally caught on to the coral eye makeup hues that are trending right now.  These warm tones just seem so right in balmy weather.  H & M aren't really known for their makeup line but like their clothing line, their makeup features a lot of on point products.  And like their fashion offerings, the prices are kind to students or indeed, any one on a budget.

I picked up an eyeshadow in Ginger Snap for $7.99, a pressed powder and a bronzer for $12.99 each.  The eyeshadow is a lovely metallic copper, very pigmented and soft.  The powder and bronzer are velvety and very finely milled.  All three items were made in Italy, testimony to the quality.  I didn't experience any fallout with the eyeshadow which impressed me a lot.  I do find that there is a real difference between the H & M makeup products that are made in Italy versus another country.  I tried a palette that was made in China and the highlighter was gritty and the eyeshadows not very pigmented and felt quite coarse to the touch.  So, word to wise, check where it was made.  Obviously, for these prices, there won't be a luxe feel to the packaging. I have experienced lids snapping of compacts.  However, I do think that, considering the pricepoint and the quality of the product(s) it is good value for one's money. Bonus points that it is cruelty free. I think H & M's makeup definitely flies under the radar in the beauty world and I, for one, will be legging it back to pick up a few more of the eyeshadows.

Stocking up for back to school means a proper backpack to lug around a laptop and everything else a student needs for campus life.
via www.muzmm.com
The great thing about these backpacks from Muzmm is that they are convertible so they can be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag or duffel bag.

via www.muzmm.com
This means they work for travel or that emergency visit back to Mum and Dad's.  And for LBH readers, use discount code bleue10 for 10% off your purchase!

I picked a couple more pieces to add to my Perch by Urbio wall organization system.

via www.myurbio.com
I love that it's modular so you can customize it according to your needs.  The compartments are held to the backplate with magnets.  The backplates can be attached to the wall using Command strips or screws.  If you are a student, sending your child off to college or living in a rental, the Command strips are a fantastic solution for putting up a super stylish wall organizing system without damaging the walls. My old dorm room had cinder block walls (very jail like) and I wouldn't have been able to get any nails or screws into the walls even if I had been allowed.  Now, in my own home, I still opt for the Command strips as it is just so much easier to install. Plus, inevitably, I end up wrecking the wall every time I attempt to drill a hole. I get the Perch system from Staples. If you are in the Stayes, I think you can get them at the Container Store as well.
Bring on the last month of summer. I intend to savour every moment of it!

Monday, 23 July 2018

The Must Have Convertible Backpack for Back to School and Travel Plus Discount Code

Hello lovelies!  August is just around the corner and that means it is time to start stocking up on those back to school essentials.  When I was a student, I would spend all summer scouring the sales and slowly but surely stocking up on every thing I needed for another year at school.  A top priority on my list was a sturdy backpack.  I have to say that backpacks have come a long way since then.  Take a look at the latest offerings from Muzmm.

via www.muzmm.com

The amazing thing about these backpacks is that they are convertible as they can be worn not just as a backpack but as a shoulder bag and a duffel bag.  How clever is that?

via www.muzmm.com
There is a padded compartment for a laptop so a student can easily transport their laptop to class and the library.
via www.muzmm.com

I love this grey one, called Ash.  The black one, Charcoal, is a favourite too.
via www.muzmm.com
Can you believe that it also comes in pink?  Woot!
via www.muzmm.com
Because they are convertible, they function well for travel.  This one with the aqua and teal leaf print, aptly named "Caribbean," would be perfect for a tropical getaway.
via www.muzmm.com

All the backpacks come in two sizes, Little and Big, so you can choose the size that works best for your needs and physical proportions.  This is a big tick for me as most knapsacks are almost always one size fits all.  For what they are, they are really good value.  And to make them even better value, just for my wonderful readers and subscribers, I have a discount code for you!  Enter bleue10 with your order to receive 10% off.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

How To Pick The Right Ceiling Light Fixture For Your Space

The very first time I decided to change the ceiling light fixtures in my home,  all I cared about was how they looked.  Fast forward several years, tack on a number of lifestyle changes and my criteria has lengthened considerably.  I have written before on my odyssey to change out the light fixtures in my home here,  and it was time to change out another.  The impetus came when a certain someone broke one of the glass shades on the ceiling light fixture in the kitchen.

You will see that the top right light is missing its shade.  This fixture has been a particular bugbear of mine for years.  It was chosen by a real estate agent, not me.  The glass shades have a tendency to pop off whenever the lightbulbs need to be replaced.  The lightbulbs themselves are not readily available and are expensive to replace.  Actually trying to insert the lightbulbs is a nightmare.  Add in the fact that now we have two disabled people and there are sad faces all around.  I drew up a list of criteria in my search for another ceiling light fixture that might be of help to you.

Consider What Room The Ceiling Light Fixture Is Going In

My new light fixture is going in to the kitchen.  It is a small kitchen with standard height ceilings.  I have decided that I prefer a light that gives off 360 degree lighting.  Spot lights create areas of darkness which we find annoying.  A kitchen needs to be well lit as it is a workspace.  There is no room for a breakfast nook so there is no requirement for ambient lighting.  The lights in the fumehood create a sufficient amount of task lighting.

Consider Ceiling Height

I am obsessed with Sputnik light fixtures and would put one in every single room if I could.  Those of you who are long time readers of mine know of my love for the Sputnik light fixture.  However, with standard height ceilings, this is impossible.

via Amazon.ca

Ask yourself if it is going over a dining table or a stairwell?  What is the maximum drop?  How tall are the people in your home?  Are you putting it in your foyer and will people be bumping their foreheads into it as soon as they walk through the front door?

Consider The Style And Decor Of The Room

My kitchen has a lot of matte stainless steel and the rest of the home has ceiling light fixtures in brushed nickel.  So even though my tastes have changed and I was leaning towards matte black and oil rubbed bronze,  I opted for something in brushed nickel.  In a small home, I think it is important that there be a sense of continuity and flow as one moves from space to space.  There is a round drum light in the foyer and I wanted an echo of that shape in the kitchen.  Also, I have a lot of vintage items on display but still wanted a modern feel.

via Amazon.ca

I love the edgy industrial feel of this light fixture.  I think it provides a nice fusion between a vintage vibe and a modern aesthetic.  

Consider Light Bulbs And Accessibility

I really wanted a light fixture that took Type A bulbs plus it would be easy to access whenever the bulbs needed to be changed.  I read the reviews on the one that I finally picked and one reviewer said he picked it for his mother who was elderly and had difficulty reaching up to change the bulbs.  Sold!  The fixture above is pictured with Edison light bulbs to enhance the industrial feel but it will take any Type A bulb. Compare the one above to the one below.

via Amazon.ca

I have a ceiling light fixture in the living room that is very similar to the one above.  I have to snake my arm up, over and down to change the light bulb, all the while teetering on a chair.  The bowl-like shade can't be removed so it has become a graveyard for dead insects.  Viewed from below, all I can see is a growing mound of ghostly little shadows.  Believe me when I say that the living room ceiling light is the next one to be replaced.

Consider Your Budget  

I had a couple of gift cards burning a hole in my pocket so I knew what my budget was.  It is very easy to get carried away and blow your renovation budget just on fancy lighting.  I took my time and bookmarked the one I wanted.  It was slightly over my budget but when it went on sale during an Amazon Prime Day, I whisked it into my cart and through checkout.

I hope this checklist was of some help to you.  Please add any useful tips you might have in the comments below.

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 16 July 2018

LBH Weekly Roundup: Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit, Harney & Sons Tea

Summer is the time when one's thoughts turn towards vacations and getting as far away from the muggy confines of the concrete jungle as is possible.  I have been obsessing over Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kits as they are perfect for travel.

You would not believe it but that little tartan case pictured above contains 17 essentials such as breath drops, hairspray, lip balm, nail polish, a mending kit and stain remover.  I adore miniature things and this kit is like a tiny Narnian wardrobe.  It comes in various themed cases and contents such as a Minimergency Kit for Brides so there is a kit for almost any occasion.
The last couple months have been sad and stressful due to the sudden illness and passing of a beloved family pet.  I was so shocked when I received a very large box in the mail.  My stepmother had sent me a selection of tea from Harney & Sons to help cheer me up.  The presentation was beautiful with lots of tissue paper and ribbon.

There wasn't just tins of Earl Grey tea (my favourite) in the parcel but Harney & Sons' version of biscotti, which they call "Biscottea."  They are shortbread cookies delicately flavoured with specks of black tea.  A box of lemon gummies was tucked in there as well.  I can't even begin to describe how overwhelmed I felt.  And that's it for this week.  Not a lot, I know, but things have been deliberately quiet over here as I learn to live without a familiar face running to greet me at the door.

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

LBH June Favourites: Sony Earphones, Urban Decay Ultimate Basics Palette, Whiskey Stones

I can't believe that the year is already half over and it is time for June favourites.  I resisted joining in on the palette trend for ages.  I only ever use a couple of colours and, considering the price tag, it just seemed a waste.  However, I couldn't resist picking up the Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Basics palette.

It was half off at www.sephora.ca so I got a full sized palette with 12 shades for the same price as an Urban Decay mini, travel sized palette which is an amazing deal.  I just love the rose gold packaging and the double ended brush is a good usable size.  It comes with a huge mirror.  The only shade that has a hint of shimmer is Blow which is the first one on the top row, the rest are matte.  Do you have any makeup palettes that are your holy grails?

The hot, humid weather has well and truly arrived and frosty drinks are my saviour.  Ice cubes melt and dilute drinks so these whiskey stones are a great alternative.  Made of granite, they stay cold for a long time and do a fantastic job of keeping drinks cold without diluting them.  These are Canadian made and were perfect for Canada Day celebrations which was this past week.  I got mine at Chapters.
My old Ipod earphones were slowly dying but I was dragging my feet on getting another pair as I had already replaced them one time previously.  However, I decided to drop into The Source and pick up another pair as I saw they were having a sale.  I am really pleased with these Sony earphones.  The sound quality is very good.  They are noise reducing and I was a little sceptical at first as I wasn't sure how much noise reduction in-ear earphones would be capable of as compared to on-ear headphones.  However, they reduce ambient noise surprisingly well.  

The little silicone covers on the earbuds are like suction cups that create a vacuum in the ear.  I didn't realize how much my enjoyment of listening to podcasts and music was being impacted by my previous earphones until I got new ones.  Lesson learned!

This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

$25 Metro Grocery Haul

There's no doubt that groceries takes a big chunk out of any household budget.  I have noticed that, living downtown, groceries tend to cost significantly more than outside of the downtown core.  I do a big monthly grocery order online and then do a smaller weekly shop as needed. By keeping an eye on the weekly loss leaders and sticking to a grocery list, it is possible to maintain a reasonable grocery budget.  Below is my haul from Metro.

1) Metro has daily dinner specials and their Tuesday roast chicken is a winner in my book.  $8.99
2)Cashmere toilet paper $3.33
3)IOGO yoghurt was a great deal at $1.99.  It is lactose free which is a bonus as Monsieur is lactose intolerant.
4)Lactantia butter for $3.33.  Another great deal for name brand butter.  Normally, I only see this type of price for no name or house brand butter.
5)The ice cream was $2.99 for the box.  It's summer time, enough said.
6)Monsieur is a hot sauce addict and the Grace hot sauce is his favourite. $1.69.
7)Totally unnecessary but we were in the mood for soda.  $1 each.

It all came to a little under $25.00 (before taxes).  Not bad for a quick grocery run.  How do you grocery shop?

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 25 June 2018

LBH Weekly Roundup: Bed Bath and Beyond, Wamsutta Sheet Set, Dri Soft Towels, NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  We all love to crawl into luxurious bed sheets at the end of the day.  For some reason, I go through sheets, especially fitted sheets like the clappers.  The fitted sheets shrink from queen to single size over and over again and the elastic gets worn out.  My linen closet ends up with a huge assortment of mismatched flat sheets and nary a fitted sheet to be found.  A trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond was in order.

I was thrilled to pick up this Wamsutta sheet set.  I've washed the fitted sheet a couple of times now and, thus far, no shrinkage.  It was on sale and with the ubiquitous BBB coupon, the final price was a real deal.  While there, I also picked up a set of Dri Soft towels.

I am obsessed with these towels.  My old towels would take up to 3 hours to dry in the tumble dryer.  Living in a condo, I am unable to line dry towels outdoors.  The towels would take forever to dry in the bathroom and, inevitably, end up with that awful musty smell.  The Dri Soft towels dry in a flash in the tumble dryer (20 minutes) and come out fluffy and soft.  They are light weight but still feel cozy and dense against the skin.  If you are on a budget and watching your electricity bills or even if you are environmentally conscious, these towels are a real boon.
Lastly, I hit pan on my e.l.f brow palette a long time ago and all that was left was a ring around the pan.  I am not sure if it was because the product was getting old but I noticed that it just wasn't lasting for very long on my brows.  I swear the product would just evaporate or get absorbed into my skin within an hour.  It was time to switch to something new.  I have heard that the NYX micro brow pencil is a good dupe for the iconic Anastasia Beverly Hills brow pencil so I picked up the NYX pencil yesterday.

Like the Anastasia brow pencil, it has a spoolie on one end and a thin twist up pencil on the other.  I had forgotten about the convenience of using a twist up pencil rather than a cream or wax in a pan formula that requires a separate brush.  Travel-wise, this is a great option.  Do any of you own both the NYX pencil and the Anastasia pencil or have tried both?  How do they stake up against each other?

This is not a sponsored post.
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