Saturday, 30 December 2017

20 Healthy(ish) Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes

I have totally meant to do a blog post for almost a week now. I haven’t been feeling great though. I had to go to the walk in clinic on Thursday, then no local pharmacy had ever heard of the medication that the doctor prescribed me. My pharmacist directed me to the emergency room. The hospital had the drug, hallelujah! I had to spend hours waiting and waiting to make sure that there were no medical concerns from being sick, however. I got from the hospital at 3:45 am, and have been trying to sleep since. Unfortunately, Oliver has been absolutely insane today so not much sleep for me.

On the plus side, I let him outside for the first time today in the snow. This was his reaction:

I think it's safe to say, I don’t think I’m going to have to worry too much about my indoor cat going outside this winter. He doesn’t seem to like it.

In other news, Mater loved it:

Now, onto the blog post! Last January, I decided to make it a mission to lose weight. This is what happened:

Then September hit. This has been me since September:

I have decided that I need to make it my personal mission to lose weight and get back to where I was. For me, I find that when I cut meat out of my diet, I eat so much healthier. With my Celiac disease, I also find that it’s easier for me to eat meat free because then I’m more obligated to make food than to eat takeout.
Today, I thought that I would share 20 delicious gluten-free, meat-free recipes that I want to make in 2018.  

P.S. I changed my theme – opinions? 

Monday, 25 December 2017

Links + Loves

First off – Merry Christmas!
If you’re reading this on Christmas day, thank you for taking the out of your busy day to read my blog post. If you’re reading this after Christmas, thank you still for taking the time out of your day to read my post.

I’m sitting here, cuddling with my cats after a long day of festivities. I slept over at my sister’s, got to watch my nieces open presents, then went to my dad’s and off to my mom’s after that. I was spoiled rotten this year and am so thankful to my amazing family.

I’m not loving the template of my blog. I haven’t for a while. In the new year, I have full intentions to revamp my blog. I’m debating doing this theme or this theme. Let me know what you think!

I love Vance Joy, everyone who knows me knows that. Emmylou is one of my favourite songs by him.

I find that I eat more seasonally as my digestive system seems to prefer it that way. How delicious does this low-carb pumpkin, cranberry & feta tart sound? Plus it’s gluten free, vegetarian and keto-friendly!

I’m loving this bar of soap. I love bars of soap. I’m not sure what it is, but I honestly feel so much cleaner when I use it vs. body wash. It’s also lavender + sweetgrass scented, which would be smell amazing.

The week after Christmas is such a great time to reflect and unwind. This set (especially the aloe ones!) would be so great for relaxing and these journal prompts would be great for reflecting on 2017 (just update the year when writing).

I’m not going to sit and brag about what I got for Christmas, but I did want to share my new boots. After an incident last Christmas involving a fall and a broken elbow among other injuries, my mom decided it was important that I owned a good pair of winter boots.

Last but certainly not least, how adorable is this sweater from Old Navy? 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

If I had $5 000...

Remember the show What Not to Wear? With Stacy London and Clinton Kelly? I loved it growing up. A few months ago, I watched a few episodes during a night shift and I forgot how great it was. Currently I’m curled up in bed with a nasty cough and sinus headache, so I thought it would be a great time to do a “What I Would Do If I had $5 000 for a New Wardrobe” post.

Old Navy

* Old Navy has so many good deals, but I’m going to use the original prices as their deals change almost daily*
Mock-Neck Boucle Sweater (in neutral stripe)
Original Straight Jeans (in lakeshore)
Curvy Boot-Cut Jeans (in blue reeds)
Mid-Rise Pixie Long Pants (in rolled oats)
Mid-Rise Pixie Long Pants (in black jacket)
Sueded Ankle Boots (in chestnut)
Total at Old Navy: $569.20
Total remaining: $4 430.80


* Gap also has some great deals, so I thought I would include regular price for them, too!*
However – there’s a 40% sale right now with the code GAPSOGOOD
Short Sleeve Mockneck Tee (in new heather grey)
Featherweight Turtleneck (in charcoal heather)
Merino Wool Turtleneck (in light heather grey)
Softspun Cowlneck Tunic (in true black)
Long Sleeve Cowlneck Top (in true black)
Ribbed Turtleneck Tunic (in heather grey)
Flannel Pocket Shirt (in red plaid)
Softspun Open-Front Cardigan (in light grey marled)
Icon Denim Jacket (in saddle blue)
Classic Wool Coat (in true black)
Leather Pointed Loafers (in true black)
Suede Chelsea Boots (in olive green)
Total at Gap: $1 418.25
Total Remaining: $3 012.55



Medium Format Memory Tunic (in floral), $45
Windy City A-Line Dress (in navy), $75
Marketing Maven Blazer (in black), $39.00
Merry to Carry Bag (in brown), $65
Turn Back Prime Vegan Flat (in cognac), $35
Total at Modcloth: $857
Total Remaining: $2 102.06

J. Crew Factory

Although J. Crew normally is kind of pricey, the factory quite often has some great deals!
Plus today if you use the code FIFTY, there’s an additional 50% off clearance. *Prices are listed in USD, however, they do ship to Canada for $9.95
Tissue T-Shirt (in black), $9.50
Classic Crewneck Sweater (in deep jade)
Cashmere Sweater (in foggy)
Cashmere Sweater (in stonewash)
Space-Dyed Turtleneck Sweater (in night sky ivory)
Skinny Cords (in dark wine)
Addison Chino Pant (in British khaki)
Anya Leather Ballet Flats (in burnt sienna)
Total at J. Crew Factory: $910.49
Total Remaining: $1 245.06

Banana Republic

Piped V-Neck Top (in royal blue)
Soft Jersey Wrap Top (in charcoal)
Total at Banana Republic: $660.00
Total Remaining: $585.06

I couldn’t pick any jewelry and accessories that stood out to me – so therefore, that’s what that almost $600 would go for.
Of course, you would then go to Nick or Ted for a hair makeover then Carmindy for makeup.
I don’t know what would happen with my hair, but this is what I would want for my makeup:
Foundation, highlighter (in lucid), contour (in sombre), eyebrow pencil (in midnight brown), mascara, lip stain (in envy)

What would you buy and where would you shop if you had $5 000 to buy a new wardrobe? 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Friday Five

I’ve decided that every Friday, I would share five awesome things from Amazon for under $25! I love shopping, and it’s always great when you can find things for a good price.

So cute, 5 star rating and they sit perfectly on the side of your mug? For under $20, you genuinely can’t go wrong.

As the owner of two cats and a dog that sheds, I deal with a lot of animal hair. My favourite product for dealing with the hair is my Swiffer. Plus, how awesome are these Swiffer hacks?

How cool is this? It’s a hat that plays music directly from your phone. It’s great for those days you don’t want to take headphones with you, or for enjoying sports in the winter. It has the power to play music for 4-5 hours, but takes about 2 hours to recharge. However – great for a winter run, hiking, skiing and more!

I love a good cookbook and I love an even better wine. This book has almost 5 stars, plus it explains what type of wine goes for each meal. It tells you whether or not to have a cabernet or a merlot with a steak; or a chardonnay or a sauvignon with a certain cut of chicken. Great for a quick reference as well!

Need the perfect blanket to keep you warm this winter? This blanket is only $22 and has over a 4 star rating! Plus, it’s machine washable. You could also read one of the books from my favourite books of 2017 post and keep you warm! 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My Favourite Books of 2017

I love books. I am a book worm. I thought today that I would share my favourite books of 2017; there were definitely some good ones!

I loved A Stranger in the House. It’s a page turning thriller about a woman who is accused of murder, but can’t remember any of the event leading up to it. This story is the journey or her and her husband trying to decide what their plan of action, and whether or not she is innocent or guilty. I finished it in a day, I couldn’t put it down.

Clearly, I am a sucker for a good thriller. This book rocked. It took me a bit longer than usual to get into it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. It’s about a cold-case full of suspenseful moments. If you don’t like it right away, take your time – it does get really good!

Those Girls is a little bit older, but was recommended to me based on my reading interests. This book was awesome. I read it in one night on a night shift. It’s about three girl from western Canada who have a thrilling adventure after a murder and no money to escape. It’s definitely a page turner, but a Canadian book which is a win-win.

Ever dealt with ghosting? Mary Torjussen takes it to a whole new level! In this psychological thriller, Hannah Monroe’s boyfriend goes missing. Hannah goes to whole new extremes to the point she drives herself almost crazy trying to find him and figure out what happens.

In This Moment was a fantastic book! I love Karma Brown, I follow her on Instagram and she lives relatively close to me. It’s cool. In This Moment is about a woman, Meg Pepper, who blames herself for a horrific accident involving a teenage boy. All the while, she becomes friends with the father of the teenager and has to deal with the moral dilemma. Although not a thriller, it was definitely a page turner. I couldn’t put it down! It was so good.

Although it was released in 2016, this is one of my favourite autobiographies. I love Lauren Graham, I love Gilmore Girls. This book was written so well, and it was so comical. I loved learning more about Gilmore Girls and the actress that made it so real. In other news, it also talks about Parenthood – another awesome show! 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Last-Minute Gluten Free Holiday Dessert Recipes

Monday, 18 December 2017

Links + Loves

This week has been insane. From working to personal drama, I don’t think I can express how badly I can’t wait for 2018 to begin. On the plus side, I accepted a position at a municipality in their long term care recreation department. I’ve wanted to work for a municipality for years now so it definitely made my day!

In other news, I’m sitting here under about 25 blankets. I ran out of gas tonight and my dad had to come save me from the side of the road. Almost five hours later and I’m still cold. I don’t think it helps that I was too lazy to throw my coat on.

Now, onto the fun stuff – the random round up of stuff I’m digging this week.

For years now, I’ve been obsessed with Modcloth. I’m loving this sweater, as well as this dress right now!

Also, as a crazy cat lady, I am in love with this cat calendar from Modcloth too.

If I ever win the lottery, this purse will be the first thing I buy.

For now, I’ll add this most cost efficient bag to my wish list.

I’ve been wanting a backpack for a while. I’m having day dreams about the Papa Alex Tribe backpack from Roots.

These boots are adorable for winter. These socks would match them so nicely, too!

How awesome does Buck Naked Soap Company sound? Based out of Ontario, they have some super great products. I’m especially loving the ideas of Coffee Sea Salt Bath Salts, Charcoal & Anis Soap, Naughty & Nice Bath Bomb Set and Dog Shampoo.   

One of my favourite Friends scenes.

A chocolate, caramel and vanilla yule log? Yes please! Plus, it’s gluten free and vegan.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Great Articles for 20-Somethings

I could spend days reading articles on Thought Catalog. They’re written by regular girls, so they’re super relatable. Today, I thought I would share some articles that are so true. I’ll share my favourite line from each article, too!

“2017 was spent grieving. 2017 was a year spent burning and crying out all that love. 2017 was spent living without them, but not really able to truly live. Not 100%. 2017 was the time in your life where you lost a part of you. Because you had given so much of yourself to them.
2017 was the year you crumpled. So let 2018 be the year you begin again.
And let 2018 be the year you let this love go. For good.”

“Let 2018 be the year you begin to throw away toxic friendships that only being you down. Let it be the year you call up old friends who you have lost touch with. And let it be the year where you learn and love your true friends even more. Chat with them more. Invite them out for a drink. Ask them questions about more than what they had for lunch that day. Truly get to know them on a deeper level. And learn to love them even harder.”

“In 2018, I will make sure to speak up. I will make sure to put everything on hold if my mental health is in jeopardy. I will need to realize that sometimes, I need breaks in order to keep me sane. I will need to come to terms with the fact that I’ll have anxiety for the rest of my life. I need to learn how to accept that.”

“Make 2018 the year of you. The year that you hug more, kiss more, eat more, treat yourself more, and smile more.”

“To the friend who is kind and patient even when you’re a handful,
To the friend who is a real blessing to you and you don’t tell them enough because if you did, it would get annoying,
To the friend whom you talk about to other people just because they’re so awesome to you,
To the friend who will always have a special place in your heart even after you move away,
To the friend who you hope you will never not be friends with,
You’re the best and I love you to bits and pieces.”

“At 25, you will be in crisis mode. Everyone on Facebook is getting engaged or moving in with each other. And you’re alone. 25 is the year you’ll learn to not compare and contrast yourself with your peers. It will be hard to do, because everyone seems so happy, but there’s a lot more going on that meets the eye. 25 is the year you’ll learn how to live in the now, even if it isn’t what you want yet.”

“You have the capability to be able to do anything. You have the potential to be your own knight in shining armour. You are the protagonist in this book, and it is your choice how you decide to save yourself, because listen, think of all those days you thought it was over and you still lived to tell another tale.”

“Because she’s just the nice girl who had no intention of falling in love. She’s the nice girl who didn’t want to love you anyway because love to her means hurt. It means crying at 2 am and wondering why someone can’t love her the way she deserves to be loved. Love to her means every display of affection that she’s mistaken for something more. Love to her means every single time she’s gotten it wrong. She’s the nice girl who can’t seem to get love right. She’s the nice girl who falls for people who only let her down.”

“The strongest women cry. They weep. They scream. They fight. And it doesn’t make them weak. It doesn’t make them small. It doesn’t make them inferior. No, it makes them warriors. It makes them tough and brave. Because having feelings? Is nothing short of courageous.”

“It’s not me, it’s a hundred percent you. It’s the way you assume it was my job to cater to you in this relationship and never to reciprocate. Change my plans to fit your schedule, answer the phone on the first ring when you rarely even look at yours.”

“Your feelings, in this moment, what you consider an overreaction, are completely valid. You are allowed to hurt. You are allowed to feel bad. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed with pain. And you do not need to apologise to anyone for how intensely you are feeling right now.”

“On days like this, I still notice the miracles but I’m no longer fascinated by them. I tell myself I don’t deserve to be surrounded by all this beauty. I read but nothing goes in. I write but nothing comes out. I sleep but the thoughts won’t leave me. I act like I’m perfectly fine around friends, when in reality my bedtime stories have been replaced by tears.”

“You no longer depend on other people’s thoughts and perspectives to shape your own. Whether it’s a past value, or a new question you have, you search within yourself or within the world to find the answer, rather than let someone tell you what to think.”

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Gift Guide: For the Makeup Lover

To me, the giftsets at Sephora are hands down the best. They’re the one thing I look forward to at Sephora all year. Today I thought that I would share some really cute gift ideas. Most are under $50, so you can always get one for yourself and one for a friend.

In my honest opinion, Fresh lip treatments are the best. They’re so nourishing and I love that they have the light sheer colour. Sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of lip colour instead of a lipstick. This lip set has three different shades of pink. It’s only $30 for the set, plus you could separate them and make 3 $10 gifts. Great for stocking stuffers!

Similar to the set above, but with six shades instead of three! Plus, it’s under $60. Again, it’s great for giving as a complete set or separating and giving as a single gift – six gifts under $10! The colours are great, too. Ranging from light pink to berry, there’s lots of options.

A year or so ago, I was given a sampler kit when they released the new Vice colours. I fell madly in love with the pigmentation and the quality. For under $50, you get twelve different palettes – six matte, six metallic. From reds to pinks to plums, it has every colour you could possibly want for a lipstick in this set.

Bold, beautiful eyebrows have become such a staple in the beauty world in the past few years. Benefit’s beauty kits are always so cute and beautiful. Plus, they’re affordable – under $50.
I’m loving the brow kit this year, as well as this brow palette and this one, too!

I love having a variety of different perfumes for different moods. This set is only $25, and comes with eight different scents. From Gentlewoman (described as “traditional notes of neroli and bergamot but twisted with an almond essence”) to Mad Madame (described as “metallic notes of rose oxyde, blackcurrant bud absolute and woody, modern ambroxan), these scents are sure to please.

Most people find their skin gets so dry in the winter. So why not get a nice face mask set? This set has every type of mask you could need – wrinkle reduction, hydration, skin toning and reducing fatigure looking skin.

Blotting linens make such a good stocking stuffer! They’re so practical for every day, especially to hide midday oil from makeup. These linens are only $10 for 100, plus have the cutest packaging.
These charcoal ones for $14 are great, too!

I feel like Philosophy gift sets are the go-to for every holiday. They’re cute, simple and not super expensive. I’m loving this holiday set this year. It comes with the iconic Philosophy 3-in-1 gel, plus a bottle of body lotion. Such a great gift idea.

I read an article yesterday about how millennials are killing different industries. One of them being bar soap. When I read it, I thought I can’t even remember the last time I used a bar of soap. I love Fresh products, they’re always so high quality. Lemon scent is always so great. It smells so great. Plus, in the middle of January it makes you feel like it’s the middle of July again. With shea butter, vitamin E and brown sugar – it’ll make your skin feel so refreshed and it also acts as an anti-bacterial.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Cozy Clothes for Cold Winter Days

Yesterday was a bit of a snow morning for me (I worked in the afternoon). I curled up on my couch with a golden milk latte and binge watched Friends. I thought that I would do a post of cute clothes to curl up in front of the fire on a snow day. Plus, you can totally rock a face mask or have a candle burning. There’s so many great things about winter and the fashions this time of year are the best.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Links + Loves

I totally meant to do my links and loves yesterday since it was Monday. Life has been crazy though. I haven’t been feeling well, I’m exhausted and I’ve been working a lot lately. So I chose my bed instead. However, I thought I would do a round up of random things that I’m loving online this week. 

How cute is this vest? It would be so warm for the winter.

This is my all time favourite long sleeve tee, plus it’s under $20!

The crazy cat lady in me is loving this t shirt. It’s also loving this purse.

The best Christmas CD ever and it’s the vinyl edition, too!

These socks are a great last minute gift for any sushi lover in your life!

Gingerbread and lemon are two of my favourite food flavours. Check out these delicious Christmas cookies that mix both together! P.S. they’re gluten free and vegan, too!

Also on the topic of gluten free Christmas goodies – don’t these gluten free, vegan sugar cookie bars look delicious?

New Years Eve is fast approaching, and how cute is this balloon set?

Speaking of New Years, this dress is so cute for a NYE party!

I’m not normally a jewelry person, but I’m loving this simple ring set. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

My Top 25 Songs

For as long as I can remember, music has always been such an important factor in my life. Same with the lyrics. If it’s a song that I can relate to, I can play it a million times and never get sick of it. That’s why I think I do generally stay away from super mainstream, overplayed songs. I always get pegged as the girl who listens to mainstream pop and country; however, as you read this post, you’ll learn that there’s the odd mainstream artist I like (such as Lorde and Khalid) but that’s not my thing in general.
Note: the songs probably aren’t that new, but some of them aren’t super popular either and they’re the songs that I love.

The first five songs are my absolute favourite songs from this decade, the rest are in no specific order.

“Bring me to your house, tell me sorry for the mess. Hey, I don’t mind. You’re talking in your sleep, out of time. Well, you still make sense to me, your mess is mine.”

“You’re gone, gone, gone away, I watched you disappear – all that’s life is a ghost of you. Now we’re torn, torn, torn, there’s nothing we can do. Just let me go, we’ll meet again soon.”

“So when your hope’s on fire, but you know your desire – don’t hold a glass over the flame, don’t let your heart grow cold. I will call you by name, I will share your road. But hold me fast, hold me fast ‘cause I’m a hopeless wanderer.”

“If the sun don’t shine on me today and the if the subways flood and bridges break, will you lay yourself down and dig your grave, or will you rail against your dying day? And when we looked outside, couldn’t even see the sky. How do you pay the rent? Is it your parents, or is hard work holding the atmosphere? I don’t wanna live like tht, yeha.”

I must add, I honestly hated the original version of this song, but this remix is so amazing!
“Hold onto me, ‘cause I’m a little unsteady.”

“I have a memory, you’re visiting me at night, climbing in my bed. You were so quiet that you never woke me. I love that you could see the good in everything.”

“Hey, my life is real great, feel I’m well on my way to my dreams coming true and I’m getting to do it with you.”

“It’s the very first breath when your head’s been drowning under water. And it’s the lightness in the air when you’re there chest to chest with a lover. It’s holding on, though the road’s long and seeing light in the darkest things and when you stare at your reflection finally knowing who it is. I know that you’ll thank God you did. I know where you’ve ben, where you are, where you going. I know you’re the reason I believe in life, I’m just tryna shed a little light. It can be hard, it can be so hard. But you gotta live right now, you got everything to give right now.”

“I wanna make a million dollars, making all my days count, clowning with my day ones.”

“I’m just a teenage dirtbag baby, listen to Iron Maiden, baby, with me.”

Sorry for the length, I just love this song and all the lyrics so much!
“Baby really hurt me, crying in the taxi. He don’t wanna know me, says he made the big mistake of dancing in my storm, says it was poison. So I guess I’ll go home into the arms of the girl that I love. The only love I haven’t screwed up. She’s so hard to please, but she’s a forest fire. I do my best to meet her demands, play at romance. We slow dance in the living room, but all that a stranger would see if one girl swaying alone, stroking her cheek. They say, ‘you’re a little much for me, you’re a liability, you’re a little much for me.’ So they pull back, make other plans, I understand, I’m a liability. Get you wild, make you leave, I’m a little much for everyone.”

“Oh, baby girl, you know we’re gonna be legends. I’m the king and you’re the queen and we will stumble through heaven. If there’s a light at the end, it’s just the sun in your eyes. I know you wanna go to heaven, but you’re human tonight.”

“Jumping up and down on the floor, my head is an animal.”

“Every time you call on me, I drop what I do. You’re my best friend and we’ve got some shit to shoot.”

“I just wanna dance all night, and I’m all messed up, I’m so out of control. Stilettos on broken bottles, I’m spinning around in circles.”

“For a second, I forgot I was a bad bitch. Begging you to stay became a habit. I’m tired of begging you to love.”

“I could easily lose my mind, the way you kiss me will work each time. Calling me to come back to bed, singing Georgia On My Mind.”

“I’m peeling off all the honour and protecting my skin. Apologize, I’m laying down my ego to rest. Would you be mine forever? Just in case it exists.”

“Midnight into morning coffee, burning through the hours talking. Damn, I like me better when I’m with you.”

“Ou la la, I’ve fallen in love and it’s better this time than ever before.”

“If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting time after time.”

“How do you fall in love? Harder than a bullet could hit you. How do we fall apart? Faster than a hair pin trigger.”

“I had all and then most of you. Some and now none of you. Take me back to the night we met. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, haunted by the ghost of you.”

I had to add Everlong, it’s so old but hands down one of my top three favourite songs of all time.  
“If everything could ever feel this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again- the only thing I’ll ever ask of you, you’ve got to promise not to stop when I say when.”

“Snow comes down, everything is new and different. I found you hidden in plain sight, why’d I take so long?”

Thursday, 7 December 2017

My Current Wish List

Honestly, most of my Christmas list was home goods. As I’m getting older, I’m starting to ask for stuff for around the house because I genuinely don’t know when I’ll be moving out. So my list consisted for cookbooks, fairy lights, a Swiffer and small kitchen goodies like tea towels.
However, there are some clothing and accessory items that I’m currently loving so I thought I would share them today (they’re also things that I honestly never afford, but love anyways).

As per usual, my love for Gap’s winter items is strong. How cute is this sweater? Plus it would be so warm. I would totally wear this with leggings and running shoes to run errands or with a pair of jeans to a casual restaurant.

Seriously… Gap fit has been killing it this year with their cute gear. This is so adorable for days when it’s chilly enough for a jacket but warm enough that you don’t need a parka. It would look so cute with a simple knit scarf and messy bun.

In the past year or two, I’ve become all about comfort. When I’m at home, it’s usually my favourite t-shirt, favourite leggings or track pants and a pair of slippers. I’m loving this jacket to throw on over top for when I’m a touch cold… just kidding I’m almost always cold and wrapped in five blankets. Either way, this is adorable.

As I mentioned above, I’m all about comfort! Roots is my go-to comfort clothes. How cute is this sweater? It’s a zip-up hoodie, but the details are so adorable. P.S. instead of linking them separately, this would go wonderful with a pair of Roots leggings – another item on the wish list.

Until the age of about 19, I used to think that stripes were the devil because of that horrible myth they made you look bigger. Now, they’re my go-to. I’m loving longer sweaters. I’m so thankful that duster sweaters are coming back in style, which means that I have more of an excuse for leggings. How cute is this striped cardigan from Old Navy?

A second midi cardigan, my oh my! I actually featured this one on my mom gift guide. I keep looking at it for myself, though. It’s just so cute and looks so cozy.

When I first saw these jackets a few years ago, I thought ugh. However, one of my friends pointed out that it gave her serious season one Rory Gilmore vibes. Ever since, I’ve wanted one.

I love this jacket. I’ve been wanting a simple beige wool coat for a long time. Plus it’s under $75!

Over the past few years, I have struggled to find a trend that I’m head over heels for. I hate crop tops, lace up anything, the 90’s grunge, etc. However, I have fallen super hard for bell sleeves. If I could own everything from Anthropologie, I would. Unfortunately that’s not in my budget. I am super digging this bell-sleeve top though. So simple, yet so classic. Plus it’s a turtleneck and you can never go wrong with a turtleneck!

Like Anthropologie, Madewell is another store that I’m loving but could never justify spending the money with my current budget. I do love this bell-sleeve tee. Stripes and bell sleeves? Totally up my alley!

I’m not 100% if they’re the exact pair that I borrowed, but back in the summer, I wore a pair of my sister’s track pants after she picked up after drinks with my friends. These pants are almost identical, and I have literally had day dreams about them ever since. Plus, they’re under $35!

Uh yeah… how beautiful is this scarf? I’m especially loving the Crimson.

I saw these at Indigo a few months ago and fell in love. The #1 colour on my list is Henna, but also love the ink and forest. Definitely pricey, but definitely worth it. The reviews for these bad boys are awesome.
Again… another Matt & Nat bag. I could honestly spend hours looking at them in Indigo. I’m loving this bag in carbon, as well as black and ink.

You know those times you wish you hadn’t discovered a brand because you love their products so much? That’s exactly how I feel about Daniel Wellington. I discovered them about a year and a half ago via Tumblr and have been obsessed since.

If my girl Sam saw these on here, she’d flip – she always tells me how much she hates Adidas originals. I personally love this shoes and would get so much use out of them!

As previously mentioned, the older I get the more comfortable I want to be. Hence the two pairs of sneakers on my wish list. I just feel like these running sneakers are great for everyday wear with jeans and a sweater, or at the gym.

Again… another brand I probably wouldn’t have discovered without Tumblr. However, how adorable are these boots? I love them so much! They’re so versatile for autumn and winter.

Another item that I’ve had on my wish list forever is over the knee boots. How cute are these grey ones?!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I’m the clumiest human in the world. After many falls, the worst last year, these boots are definitely high on my list of things I need to invest in. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Updated & Revised: Having a Congenital Heart Disease

I wrote this article in July 2016, and it remains to be my most popular post to date. I thought that today I would re-write this article as I still strongly believe talking and advocating for myself and others is one of the best things I can do.

June 26, 1993 was the day that I was born. Within the first 24 hours, I had gone from being a healthy baby girl to being placed in a drug induced coma at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. By July 2, 1993, I had undergone my first open heart surgery. I was in the 1 in 100 statistic of a child born with congenital heart disease.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada defines a CHD as:
Congenital heart disease happens at birth. A congenital heart defect happens when the heart or the blood vessels near the heart don’t normally develop before birth. Congenital heart defects are present in about 1% of live births and are the most frequent congenital malformations in newborns. In most cases, there is no known cause. In other cases, causes may include viral infections such as rubella, certain inherited conditions such as Down Syndrome or drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy.

Since July 2, 1993, I have undergone a total of four open heart surgeries, eight catheterizations and one case of endocarditis. I have lost a complete count of how many doctor’s appointments I’ve had or how much time I’ve spent in the hospital. When I was twenty one, I figured out that it was close to six months of my life in total.

In 2016, my cardiologist and I had a good conversation about my medical procedures. I had heart surgery in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2010. I also had my endocarditis in 2005. Some years, I had more than one procedure that year.

I was born with transposition of the great arteries. In layman’s terms, two of my arteries (the pulmonary and aorta) were reversed. I also have ventricular septal defect, which is when you have holes in your lower chambers. This means that I’ve had the holes filled as well as my aorta and pulmonary valves replaced.

For as long as I can remember, people have either pitied me, made comments about how they couldn’t do what I have or stare my scar until I feel uncomfortable. Here’s the #1 thing I want people to know – I’ve never lived a life without my scar, surgeries or regular appointments. I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes. I wish I did, but I don’t know.

Currently, I’m at seven years surgery free. That’s a huge accomplishment for me because the longest prior to this was five, but I did have endocarditis in that stretch. My goal is to make it ten years and a day surgery free. That means I have to make it until May 11, 2020.

Since May 11, 2020 is my goal – that makes May 10, 2010 the date of my last open heart surgery. My last surgery was a lot complicated than expected, and I consider it my second chance at life. When I went into my procedure, they didn’t even intend to use a bypass machine. Unfortunately, a CT scan missed that my heart stuck to my chest wall. Therefore, my heart literally exploded on the table when they opened me up and I was rushed onto bypass. The first 24 hours post-op was very touch and go as well. The blood flow was going properly between my heart and brain. The doctors were preparing my parents that I may have to go back into the cath lab or that I may wake up with brain damage. I woke up okay, and the only downfall is that I get migraines now.

As I go into adulthood, I have become more thankful for all the experiences that I’ve had that have made me stronger.

Congenital heart disease sucks. It’s painful, scary and overwhelming. There are going to be bad days and there are going to be days even worse than that. However, the good days will almost always outnumber the bad.

I’m at a point in my life where I embrace my congenital heart disease. I don’t sit and let myself be pitied anymore. If it wasn’t for my CHD, I don’t believe that I would have the relationship that I do with my family. If it wasn’t for their love, support and days spent with me at the hospital; I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t have been taught to be strong, to raise my voice and educate others on what a CHD truly is.

For the parents of kids with CHD:
It’s going to be alright. It’s okay to be scared, overwhelmed, heart broken and any other emotion you want to feel. However, this isn’t your fault – you did nothing to cause this. Embrace the milestones, your child will remember. Something even as small as staying with them and holding their hand while they get an IV is something they’ll remember.
Be there to love and support through the difficult times, they’ll remember that, too. Give them lots of hugs and kisses, hold their hand when they need you, wipe their tears even if you’re holding back your own.
If you know you can’t handle something, take a step back and let someone else step in. That’s what your support system is for. Have your child’s godparent, sibling, other parent or your family friend help them. They’ll remember that and be thankful as they get older.
(I still remember my godmom always coming to appointments and doing something that my mom would hate, like zipping off those zip-off pant/shorts from the 90’s, but it’s a memory)

Remember, everything happens for a reason. The reason usually is to make you a stronger person. Having a congenital heart disease makes you stronger, and being the family member of someone who has one makes you strong, too.

If you’re interested in donating to help people like me, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Sick Kids Foundation are both wonderful organizations.

To finish, I wanted to share three of my all-time favourite commercials. The first one is from their sick not weak campaign because it’s always been my mantra. The second and third ones are their dad strong and mom strong videos, because I know both my parents relate to the videos. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Links and Loves

I decided for my links and loves today that I would share some adorable homemade gift ideas that didn’t really suit any of my guides.

I love this DIY herb garden seed bomb set, plus it’s only $15!

This is an adorable gift for a teacher.

There are so many girls that love Gilmore Girls, like myself. This is a great gift for any Gilmore Girls fan, plus it’s under $20!

This make-your-own chai set is great for any tea lover.

Growing up with a hairstylist and barber in my family, I’ve learned that wine and gift cards are usually the go-to gift. This “Chop It Like It’s Hot” wall art is adorable, unique and is great d├ęcor for a salon.

This is such a great gift for anyone who needs pampering.

Why not get him some beer soap for a stocking stuffer? This one is under $10.

While on the topic of him, beard oil is a great gift for any guy with a beard! This set is so cute, plus it comes with two different scents.