Winter Vacations to Sunny Places!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Hello world,

I'm sorry for the lack of posts. My birthday week was a whirlwind of fun, but I got sick on Christmas Eve, and have been quite under the weather since. No worries, I'll get better! Here are a few fun links for resort shopping this winter - many of you are planning, or already in warm destinations. I'm jealous! Hahaha! Have a great one darlings!

Portugal Gems: TemaHome

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Hi everyone!

Since I'm home for the winter break, that means I get to watch satellite TV and a lot of Portuguese and Brazilian programs. There was a segment a few days ago on up-and-coming businesses in Portugal, and one of their original exports was TemaHome (who are based in Lisbon). Even during the recession, this company has flourished! I loved what I saw in their showrooms, so I decided to scoop out a few lovely pieces online. They're like an upscale, durable Ikea but with nicer designs. The minimalist in me is rejoicing, and the quirky weirdo in me is doing a 'cat-daddy when I dougie'. ^-^ Anywho, I hope you enjoy my petit discovery! It made me so happy, and proud. I'm now back to decorating my future loft/house in my head. Best visualizations ever!

I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday. Remember to keep thinking positive, happy thoughts. The more you practice, the easier it will get. Negativity just clouds judgement and does nothing to solve your problems. 
Clear the mind, walk on sunshine.
images: temahome

I love TemaHome's tagline:
"Living your dreams"

Present tense. Booya.

Happy Birthday to Moi!

Monday, December 19, 2011
Hola everyone,

Today I turn 23! I'm so glad I had a marvellous year under my belt, and I'm looking forward to the crazy adventures the next 12 months have in store for me. Currently, I'm laying in bed waiting for my family to arrive; we're going to eat delicious Italian food, have some Bailey's cheesecake, and a few glasses of white house wine. I'll be heading out later on, and if anything exciting happens I'll mention it on my blog or tumblr. I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful week. Christmas is almost upon us! HOOORAYYYYYY! That means lots of family and friend time, food, and many many laughs. I'm so excited! :D

"Most of us would be upset if we were accused of being "silly." But the word "silly" comes from the old English word "selig," and its literal definition is "to be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous." - Zig Ziglar

Saturday, December 17, 2011
Dear beautiful people,

I'm bouncing with excitement for my flight home tomorrow. It's going to be a marvellous holiday! I hope everything is going well on your end. I know many of you are finish up with finals, and I want to remind you to have something fun planned for right afterwards (be it a night bar hopping, or snuggling up with your favourite movie & a steaming hot cup of tea). Make yourself happy! It spreads like a virus, and the worst that can happen is a] nothing, orrrrrr b] someone gets inspired by you, thereby offering an opportunity/situation that makes you even more content. Hellz yeah! Keeps smiling, and don't let your current state of affairs imprison your mind. I know that each of you have experienced "It always gets better".

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself, or your life, that you want to change. - Barbara de Angelis

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I just had a great epiphany the past 7 days, and I'm walking on sunshine. 70% of my days are now spent jolly-good and happy, especially before I go to bed - I'm practically bursting at the seams with excitement. After a 5 days of research into positive psychology, meditation and the likes I realized two things:
1] always be grateful 
2] situations are never as bad as they appear, you're just a victim of your own thoughts. 
 So I stopped thinking about negative stuff (which gets me nowhere), and I started focusing on beautiful, wonderful thoughts that make me HAPPY! 

There are a couple things that keep me on track, because this takes practice and dedication:
1] Every day I write a list of things that I'm grateful for/made my day (ie/ talking to my parents on the phone and hearing how excited they are to have me home for Christmas, listening to a song that really moved me, getting invited to an event I think is going to be crazy fun, etc)
2] I attempt to meditate every night to get to sleep. Sometimes I can nail it and clear my mind then pass out in 15mins, but other nights my brain is in overdrive and I have to consistently force myself to stop thinking and focus on my breathing/a blank wall/ocean waves.
3] Every time I feel upset, I stop whatever I'm doing and force myself to get rid of those thoughts & replace them with fun, positive, optimistic ones. It's harder than I thought, since your emotions get the best of you, BUT your mind controls your emotions. There's much more practice ahead of me for the next few months, years, life, but if the outcome is continuous joy = I'm up for it.
I looked up fun balloon editorials for this post and ended up discovering the photographer of these beautiful shots above: Luis Monteiro [He's either Portuguese or Brazilian, which makes me super proud.]
* CHRISTMASSSSSSS: Flight home in t-2 days!
* Blogger just linked up my Google + account, add me! [I dunno how to use it and never use it.]
* My tumblr is full of good stuff that I find on my 'positive psychology' journey.
* I just downloaded an iPad app that will play "Feeling Good" by Michael Bublé  every.single.morning. Hellz yeah!


"Stay hungry. Stay foolish." - Steve Jobs

Friday, December 09, 2011
Hey everyone,
I've come across some amazing stuff on the internet as of late. Thought I'd share. I absolutely love reading!

+ How to use your brain to its full potential
+ I've just recently taken an interest in positive psychology, meditation, and happiness. I'm going to start a personal word document where I collect all the information to keep me on track, and discover more about myself. Here's 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning & Happiness. I'm working through it this weekend!
+ I also started writing a list of things I'm grateful for/ made my day, each day.
+ The surprisingly relaxed lives of elite achievers -> I really hope I'll reach this level one day. I am one of those people that spreads things out, and takes a lot of breaks, which cause me to work later into the night.
+ I've added the gmail app onto my ipad, so now my school email (which worked something out with google, because we use the same platform. AMAZING!) and my regular gmail for this blog don't conflict.
+ Talking to my dad for 2 hours about the recession, and having him explain the economics behind it in layman terms. It was amazing. I love having conversations where you get a lot out of the other person, and in turn become a more informed being. Good stuff!
+ Caramel dip. Makes apples taste even more delicious. I just used it in a bowl of raspberries, blueberries and flakes. Nom nom nom....
+ I was watching a positive meditation video, and this one question came up that has been sticking around in my mind since then: Picture yourself ten years from now. What would you say to your present self?


“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” - Fight Club (Tyler Durden)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011
I'm in love. I'd wear this entire get-up in a heart beat.

image source: stardust & sequins

P.S. This is the first time I deactivated Facebook. I am doing it until the end of exams, and possibly further. It's such a freeing experience.

P.P.S I'm still updating on my tumblr, but I've made it a bit more personal with random daily photos, or exercise & diet journals. I'm NOT trying to lose weight, but rather keep/increase my total muscle mass the healthy way. I detest when people tell me to get fatter by eating a bunch of unhealthy foods. Le GROSS!

"Here's kind of my motto - if you're not happy at home, you're not happy anywhere else." - Angie Harmon

Thursday, December 01, 2011
I've been on such an interior decor high this past month, that all I can think about are crisp whites & beautiful topaz. Anywho, here's a lovely gem from last week. Also, if you don't have flipboard on your iPad... get it!
Sometimes I think about my future abode and get excited. I hope it's a nice mix of old and new. Sometimes TOO NEW stifles creativity.

source: freshome

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." - Stanley Horowitz

Sunday, November 27, 2011
I'm so in love with this photo. I hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday! See you on the flip-side. I'm studying for my next exam, so the days have been filled with green tea & yogurt. Hee hee ^-^

(image source: the simply luxurious life)

"Believe with all of your heart that you will do what you were made to do." - Orison Swett Marden

Friday, November 25, 2011
How to make a French omelet by Jacques Pépin. I've now got my long weekend brunch all set up! I absolutely love his accent. What a wonderful man!
If you have time, please read Wendy's incredible life story. I started tearing up by the end. What an inspiration!

Have a wonderful Friday everyone! I'll be hibernating in my apartment studying for Tuesday's exam. Hopefully I'll get a few more posts in during my breaks. xoxo


Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Lily from ShopBop just sent us an e-mail for their upcoming Black Friday sale, which starts TOMORROW Wed Nov 23, and ends on Nov 28. It's 20% off everything, plus an additional x amount of dollars depending on how much you spend. Ladies, this is the time to buy yourself that super-expensive bag or pair of shoes you've been eyeing for 3 seasons. Bonne Chance!

“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, despite the time, the place, and despite the circumstances. The thread can be tightened or tangle, but will never be broken.” - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Hope you are all doing well this week! I've been inspired by white interior decor lately, and began mentally furnishing my future abode. Such a girlie thing to do. ^-^ See you on the flipside.
All images from tumblr.

"There is nothing we like to see so much as the gleam of pleasure in a person's eye when he feels that we have sympathized with him, understood him. At these moments something fine and spiritual passes between two friends. These are the moments worth living." - Don Marquis

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Hello my wonderful people,

I've just come back from the gym, and discovered a blister on my palm. Damn elliptical. I began using it a few days ago, and now I'm secretly in love with this contraption. I've finally put on a few more pounds since I moved to Chicago, and I'm hoping to keep them on for good. Hence why I started strength training this week. Anywho, enough about me! There are some lovely things I've come across on the internets lately and I'd love to share.
+ Neutrinos! Helloooo revolutionary physics discovery =D Einstein is probably pretty pissed right now. Speed of light, whaaat? Muahahaha.
+ Eat Your Kimchi is a Youtube channel about a young Canadian couple in Korea. They're hilarious, and absolutely adorable together. Every week they have "WTF" segments where they review odd Asian objects we don't see in North America. Here's high-heel pain fixers. I dieee.
+ Lissa Rankin M.D post on how the media shuts down any talk about vaginas, but allows penis and sperm to be freely aired on TV or published. This actually got me pretty pissed off. I detest inequality; it's the kryptonite that gets me riled up/ dragon-lady. Dr. Rankin is the author of "What's Up Down There?"
+ I've been telling ignoramuses that you can still catch STI's even when wearing protection. Dr. Rankin backed me up. Some of them include warts, herpes, public lice, and molluscum contagiosum.
+ Gala Darling's 100 ways you can start loving yourself right now. I love her blog. Been a fan for years.
+ I finally bought Shatter polish. It's amazing. I have light pink under metallic silver cracks. Try it out!
+ Fitspiration blogs. Here's the one that got me to the gym within a week: lookingoodinundies. I love her abs <3

[images all from tumblr]

"It’s a 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes; it’s dark and we’re wearing sun glasses. Hit it!" - The Blues Brothers

Friday, November 18, 2011
As promised, here are a few pictures from my day in downtown Chicago. I had lovely evening weather, and great friends for company (& food!!). Have an amazing weekend everyone. TGIF!IMG_1195 IMG_1174 IMG_1177 IMG_1171 IMG_1182 IMG_1158 IMG_1156 IMG_1116

Fall to Winter Transition: How to Look Cute in a Snow Storm.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Hey everyone,

I've been bogged down with exams and travelling this month, hence the large delay in posts. I came across this selection of clothing on ShopBop a few weeks ago, and it has been sitting on my desktop ever since. Hope it can still inspire some of you to invest in a couple good pieces to battle the winter this year [& many more to come!]. I was just in downtown Chicago two weeks ago, and the decor and horse-drawn carriage rides got me in the holiday spirit. I am SO EXCITED! Also, I'm going to have my first American Thanksgiving this year. Double the fun! (Pictures to come soon)

+ dark skinnies: J Brand
+ neutral blouses: Equipment
+ comfy sweaters: Roseanna, Dolce Vita
+ snazzy hats: Eugenia Kim 
+ sexy booties: Joie, Boutique 9
+ simple tees: Vince

Catch ya soon :D

“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” -Goethe

Friday, October 28, 2011
Wow, I just spent 40 minutes tagging old posts. I'm almost done; 210/380! I can't believe I actually wrote that much. See... I'm committed. :D [chuckle]  Anywho, let's proceed:

images from: home-designing

I never thought a Hermés Birkin would be on my future wish-list... but after seeing Carla Peres' videos, it has made top 3. If only I was [finally] 35 and bringing in some big moolah. I know, patience is a virtue.

+ I'm so excited for Sydney & Tys' baby arrival! Any day now... 
+ Fall break is in two weeks! I know I have an exam before and after it, but I'm excited to get back home to Toronto!
+ We don't have Simply Lemonade in Canada; I just discovered the Raspberry version here in Illinois...and I'm HOOKED!
+ My new obsession is Betsey Johnson & Madewell jewelry. It is so quirky & fun <3
+ I've been trying to find a warm anorak for the fall transition to winter, but not luck. I've been on the lookout since late August. This is quite frustrating. :(
+ I'm going to set up a few give-aways before Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled. 
+ Does anyone know if they're still selling those leopard scarves at H&M? I think I want to get my hands on one next weekend. If not I'll get this silk one by Yarnz, but it's not quite winter-friendly.

What's up with you!?

Academic Toolbox #2: Keeping Your Cool During Midterms

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hey everyone,

Here are a few more tips for midterm season. I hope everyone is doing well, keeping sane, and not losing hope. I just had a rough week on my end, so I'm glad it's over and Halloween is approaching!

- Always make sure your written notes have the correct information. I've found myself memorizing incorrect points many times!
- Don't be afraid to ask questions, either through e-mails or in person. This doesn't mean pestering your professors on the daily, but rather having a studying group where you can hash out details. Then if you're all stuck on a concept, you can go to the teacher/prof/TA for clarification.
- Which brings me to the following point, get a study group even if you're a solo learner. You'll keep each other sane as exams approach. Who else is going to answer your nagging questions at 4:30am the night before a test?
- Study where you peak, if it's a library, stay there, if it's your room, stay there! Also, keep in mind your best studying time frame. Mine is 11pm - 3am [I'm working on it.]
- Take this quiz to see what kind of learner you are, and how to adapt to it
- If it's 1-2 days before a test, and your stress has caused extreme anxiety attacks. Stop. Breath. Do something relaxing. I tend to take hot bubble baths or do some yoga. Trust me, you'll get 80% more work done afterwards! Extreme anxiety isn't conducive to proper memory solidification. Chill. 
- Don't give up. EVER. 
- Look at the big picture. What's the main point of each lecture? How is this material related to the lecture before and after? What does the prof want me to see by relaying the information in this order?

Good luck! Here are my exam tips from Academic Toolbox #1!

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

Friday, October 21, 2011
Winter is coming... 

[Jacket- BCBGMaxAzria, jumper- Pull & Bear (Portugal), jeans - Zara, socks - Stradivarius (Spain), boots- Charles David]

Which means I may finally be able to read the 5th instalment of "A Song of Ice & Fire"! ... But according to my grad school schedule, I have exams when I arrive from Christmas break. Fun-suckers.

What do YOU plan on doing over the winter break this year? I hope at least some of you are having fun! ^-^

"Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella." - Terri Guillemets

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Some visual inspiration for this rainy week

[p.s. that young man is Alex Watson, Emma Watson's brother.]

Images from Prada. tumblr, and SS2011 Alexander McQueen.

"Qui vit sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit." - François de LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Maximes, 1, 209

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hola everyone,

I was sent a beautiful bracelet from Marine, over at Feeliroque. She totally caught my heart after we exchange e-mails in French, and I slowly got back into the habit of exposing myself to more Francophone culture [ie./ blogs, news, movies, tout en français!] Anywho, I was given free reign over what to choose at Feeliroque, and I fell in love with the quoted braceletes. Mine says. "Be my unicorn" It's so adorable. And you guys totally know when I love something that was sent to me, I wear it to death. I still haven't removed my black LubLub stacker since I received it 5 months ago. Awesome possum! I love helping young people who have the drive and courage to start their own small business. Power to ya.

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, October 17, 2011
Two things I've been loving as of late:

 #1 on my covet list: Alexander Wang's Millie Satchel

#2. This dance piece by the New York City Ballet. [It was actually made for Chloé SS 2011.]

Have a great weekend everyone!
Also quick update: I've deleted my twitter, and will have my tumblr on semi-permanent/permanent hiatus. 

ASOS Guest Post: Winter Boot Trends FW 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Winter is just around the corner and with temperatures set to plummet we need to prepare our wardrobe for the harsh weather. No outfit would be complete without the perfect pair of shoes and without a doubt this winter you need the ultimate pair of statement boots.
Animal motifs have been a huge hit this winter and now this trend has filtered down to our shoes. If you’re an animal lover pay homepage to your furry friend by grabbing yourself a pair of fur boots. Whether you choose full fur or a simple fur trim, you are guaranteed to turn heads as you take a walk on the wild side. If you prefer animal prints then add a splash of life to your shoe with reptile or leopard prints. Spice up your wardrobe and try a sumptuous printed ankle boot to add lavish glamour to any simple outfit. 
To create a feminine and sexy outfit then you need boots with a fetish finish. This risqué trend has appeared in stores and if head to toe leather is too much for you, what better try this trend on than your boots. Aggressive lacing and a vast array of buckles are used on our shoes to bring this trend to life. Emulate Kate Moss or Nicole Richie and devastate in a pair of dramatic leather boots. Buckles this season have been so diverse we are seeing them in all shapes and sizes, so try a simple buckle or add lashings to create the look you want. Whether you choose ankle boots or knee highs, lacing and buckles have featured greatly on boots this winter so make sure you invest in the perfect pair. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment by buying boots with both buckles and laces to really create a splash.

                  Wedges have stuck around this winter and have been incorporated into our boots this season. This sturdy platform is great for providing extra support and can offer extra comfort when we challenge the oh so daunting icy paths. If you aren’t a fan of the wedge then you should try a chunky heel. More refined than the wedge, yet still solid enough to provide support, these heels are great through the day for rushing around town. Paired with 60’s dresses and chunky knits they are just right for creating a casual day time look.
If chunky heels aren’t for you, don’t worry as the sexy, stylish stiletto has also graced our runway. Bring back feminine allure and try an ankle boot with a striking spike heel. This sassy little number is great for a date and can help you achieve that classic chic look. Remember height, elegance and grace is a look sought after this season so when styling up your pencil skirts and blouses, add a platform to create extra luscious long legs with any heel type.

And we mustn’t forget the classic knee high riding boot. Simple and stylish you can’t go wrong with them. Great to tuck jeans in, paired with leggings, you can even try a heeled version with your dresses.  Clean cut, straightforward style, classic and timeless, they are so many words to describe these beauties. You can have as much detail or as little, choose a colour that will go with the majority of your wardrobe and you will be set for the season.
Ankle boots, calf boots or knee high, pick boots that suit you. If you are lucky enough to have legs that come up to your chin then try out thigh high boots. Be warned only for the insanely leggy, you will storm the streets if you can pull off this spectacular trend. Mix and match styles, designs and heels to create the perfect pair of boots this season.
Written by Emma Reidy

[Images from ASOS. I've chosen all of my favourites to accompany Emma's post.] 
Thanks a million, Emma!