New Year's Eve: Last Minute Outfits

Thursday, December 27, 2012
Although I sent a little reminder to get your celebratory get-ups together a few weeks ago, here are some ideas for those of you that can't help but procrastinate. It's tough to break old habits, I know!
Images 1, 3 &4: Harper's Bazaar. 2: Heather Kincaid
For the comment asking to clarify Medical Education in North America vs. Europe:
      In North America we finish our undergraduate degree before applying to medical school [there are a couple schools in Canada that let you apply after your 3rd year of university, but very few of those students get a spot, because they don't have enough research experience/not enough hospital experience/low GPA/not high enough MCAT scores/ don't do well on the interview]. We do not begin medicine straight from high school; as you may notice we need a lot of qualifications before we can apply. I don't have a solid background on your system in Europe, but I do have feedback from many friends and family that compared the services offered in both locations. All of them favor their Canadian healthcare system; but keep in mind this is just the opinion of a small few. In my own path towards an M.D., I can tell you that my experiences made me more mature, taught me how to learn/study effectively, and my long fight for an acceptance letter meant I sure as hell needed to make sure I loved medicine. The average entrance age in North American medical schools is 23-25 years old. This means many of us take a couple years off after undergrad to boost our application with more research/education, etc.; I got a Masters while a few friends in my program hold a Ph.D and/or several years of international clinical experience and life experience in general. The European medical schools also have an incredibly high drop out/failure rate compared to North America; there are many reasons and I read a few of them involve not being prepared academically for the pace & difficulty of medical education, succumbing to the partying [they're only 18; it's understandable], and also easier admissions. I would definitely do more research if I were you. Also check out some forums of students that are already in medicine, and ask around. The systems are completely different! I commend the European students that make it through; I read that there's a 50% fail rate in Hungary so the odds are almost against you.
Your perseverance is admirable & beautiful! Keep pushing!

Life Update: Toronto & Birthdays

Friday, December 21, 2012
Hi everyone!

I just wanted to mention that I will be MIA for a while, because I am back home in Toronto & currently celebrating my birthday for an entire week! Hee hee! I love Christmas holidays.

A couple images from my iPad this week. Yay for crowns & hot pink beanies!


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu

Monday, December 17, 2012
I've been trying to put a decent blog post together today, but I keep reading/watching the news and crying over the CT shooting. 
If you need another reason to love and hug the special people in your life, then please see this father's video, and this teacher's story

God bless.

- Chantelle

Latest Visual Addiction: the pink diary

Friday, December 14, 2012

I want to pack my bags and live in her photo stream. Check it out here: thepinkdiary.


By the time this is live I'll be on an airplane back home to Toronto. Happy Holidays everyone!

Winter Blues & How to Kick Seasonal Depression

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Hey everyone! I thought I'd make a compilation of tips, advice, and informative links to help everyone get through winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I am lucky enough to be happy and content most of the time, but even in this weather I can get into a tiny funk. So let's get the sparkly fun times- happy thoughts train rolling. Choo-choo!

1. Keep your social life active, and not in hibernation mode. I'm not talking wild party animal, but keep your extracurricular activities at the level you retained during warmer weather. Getting out of the house for a walk, grabbing a coffee, meeting a friend for macaroons, joining your sister for hot yoga, and anything else that involves movement & human interaction is going to keep you perky.
        +Tip: If you're studying for exams/writing a paper/reading a new book for fun, head over to a coffee shop so you will be around people. Bring some headphones if you get distracted easily.

2. Continue to set goals. I have my monthly habits charted every 30 days. I'm now a pro at daily flossing, maintaining a rigid nighttime skin routine, and making my bed. I'm hoping to combine my October meditation goal with daily gratitude lists for December, but I've yet to reach a good rhythm. Never despair when something doesn't work out. It will happen one way or another, just keep hammering away!

3. Get some sun - take a walk. Take Vitamin D supplements. Just do it, it's science. Also, listen to Dr. Oz - He knows best.

4. If you get extreme cases of SAD [Seasonal Affective Disorder], or are prone to depression, and/or have enough money lying around...then plan a trip - preferably somewhere warm. Sunlight, fun and relaxation are good funk busters. Trust me, the Mayo Clinic says it's true.


Photo Diary: Christmas in Chicago

Saturday, December 08, 2012
Wednesday I had a wonderful evening full of holiday cheer with The Boy. We strolled through a market, ate an authentic German dinner, then headed off to the theatre to see A Christmas Carol. Magical!

It's German-themed, and full of stalls with handmade goodies, and delicious food & drink. I had the chance to pop by last year, and I'm hoping to make it a tradition while in medical school nearby.

Berghoff - Having some German food after the German Christmas market.
It was my first time eating Pot Roast, and I fell in love with their mashed potatoes. They were heavenly.
It was an amazing play, and the production flowed so well. I felt like I was transported to a different time period. The costumes were well done, and the cast included a mix of ethnicities which I'm (unfortunately) not privy to in regular plays - I really loved that! I don't want to ruin it for anyone planning on catching CC, but I totally got the lights scared out of me a few times.  ^-^

I look like a dweeb, but we snuck in a picture of the cute little house that's part of the set. Hee hee ^-^


Interior Decor: Feminin, Chic and Full of Pastels!

Friday, December 07, 2012
I really can't get enough of interior decor. I'm pretty sure if I could have multiple professions, my mother and I would own a small fashion design label and be contracted out as interior designers/decorators. One can dream...

The latest issue of Adore featured Maria Barros, a Portuguese interior decor/design maven from Lisbon. As a fellow Portuguese girl, and a lover of all things light, sparkly and feminin.. I just had to share!

Below is a fun way to decorate a plain white bookcase. I found it on Bright.Bazaar, and adored the different wallpaper backings + pottery. Funzies!


It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Here are a few pictures of the very little decoration I was able to do at my place. Being a renter sucks sometimes, but it won't stop me from getting creative and festive. Also, I love Target. That is one magical place.
 I also picked up a few things that add a little aesthetic joy to my life while I'm busying around studying.
The desk accessories are from Poppin, a fun company I mentioned in my previous post. They sent me a handwritten card a week later. Being written to in pretty purple ink makes me feel so special! 
When I was at Starbucks I also spotted this grey, white, and sparkly silver mug by Rodarte! It's even more pretty in person. The funky straws are for me to sip any smoothies or cool teas I throw in there.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us." - Samuel Smiles

Monday, December 03, 2012
Some inspirational images for the day. Hope it's a good one on your end!

images: google,, jak&jil, pinterest x2

The week is fresh and new; make some goals and change some habits. No time like the present. :D

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." -Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, November 30, 2012
    I keep a running wish list of products in a special bookmarked folder so I can remember to shop wisely, and to save up for items that I really want. While perusing it a couple days ago I realized a few of these would be great gift ideas! I've added a couple extra pieces that I feel appropriate for the holiday gifts, and hopefully you may find it helpful! [I tried my best to include a large price range, in case you are looking for stocking stuffers or slightly bigger ticket items.]

1. Coach - Legacy leather large wristlet [$108]
2. Steven - Triummp Ankle Strap Pump [$169]
3. You & Me: LOVE series print [$55] 
*Four letters sold as a set. So pretty!*
4. E.L.F Holiday Cube - [$10]
5. You & Me - Mint Skull [$55]
6. Noir Jewelry - Nightfall Crystal Drop Earrings [$106]
7. Deepa Gurnani - Spike Cuff [$88]
8. HRH Collection Arm Candy [$22-$70]
9. All Saints - Quake Top [$295]
10. Joules - Evedon Rainboots [$158]

Shopping Tip: When getting jewelry, be careful with sizes. Not all bracelets or rings will fit your friends/lovers. Discretely get their measurements, or just ask. :D

Good luck my lovelies! 


Come chat with me!! twitter tumblr instagram

Fun Activities for the Winter Season!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The title is pretty self-explanatory, and I've also added a few images from The Boy & I's weekend in the city & enjoying nature. Cheers!

1. Taste all the holiday season drinks & sweets at Starbucks. Bring a new playlist, or a great book, and cuddle up in one of their comfy arm chairs. [There's one near my place in Toronto that has a huge leather couch facing a fireplace. Heaven!]
2. Check out the new exhibits at the museum or art gallery. Frida & Diego is on until January at the AGO in Toronto. The Art Institute of Chicago is currently showing Steve McQueen!
3. Buy tickets to the Nutcracker, or any other holiday-season inspired ballet/musical theatre/opera performance. The arts are so wonderful during this time of year. And you get to see everyone's lovely coats and fancy hats!

4. My personal favourite (I do it every season with slight variations): Hot chocolate + furry blanket + warm socks + good movie.
5. Once it finally snows enough, test out a few winter sports: skiing, skating, snowboarding, the works!
6. Get your Christmas shopping done early from the comfort of your own bed. I love the internet.

7. Organize your closet, and give it a nice clean out. If that's already done, start slowly buying matching hangers. You'll thank me later.
8. Go for a nature walk. The silence is golden. Plus, it's healthy. :D
9. Buy all the December issues of your favourite fashion and beauty magazines, and mark all the things you may want to keep a lookout for on Boxing Day/Post-Holiday Sales.

10. Start shopping for your New Years Eve outfit, or any upcoming fancy occasion! Here are a few designers to check out if you have time: Shoshanna, Clover Canyon (their prints= heaven), and Milly. [I have a Gala in January so I'm looking for a funky dress, or some killer shoes to spice up an ensemble I already have.]
11. Learn how to make seasonal recipes, maybe ones with pumpkin!
12. Make sure you get out of the house almost as much as you did in the summer. Vitamin D from the sun helps ward off seasonal depression, as does human interaction and exercise. Take care of yourself! 

Hope you enjoyed reading my suggestions as much as I enjoyed making this animated gif. ^-^
Lists make me happy & remind me to have fun. Yay!

[Credit: Almost all of the images were taken by The Boy.]

“Organization isn't about perfection; it's about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.” ― Christina Scalise

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I just saw this PAX closet by IKEA on Aurora Mohn's blog [check her out, she's a super cute 15-year-old blogger from Norway]. I just had to share it, because it's customizable, and it makes my inner neat freak/minimalist rejoice. Hallelujah!

Let's chit chat! twitter tumblr instagram

Beginning Boutique - Concrete Jungle

Friday, November 23, 2012
BB recently sent me their new lookbook to share with you lot, and I couldn't help but oblige. 
I adore so many of these pieces. *le sigh*

Materialism; sometimes resistance is futile.

 Have a great weekend! 
 I'm still stuffed and food happy from all the Thanksgiving dinner. ^-^


P.S. I just got twitter (again). In case you want to follow me and see my banal tweets about med school, cooking, my online shopping addiction and The Boy. @bellechantelle
P.P.S. I'm almost done my challenge!

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I had the pleasure of trying two different & new eateries this break, and I thought I'd share them with you! I love discovering tantalizing taste-bud-explosion masters. :D

1. Yamato - Yorkville
Japanese cuisine + personal chef show. Oh, and he made a volcano of firrreee. WOOOHOOO!

2. MoRoCo Chocolat - Yorkville
Two words: Chocolate Heaven. I had their sipping chocolate (milk chocolate infused with Chai) and nearly died of happiness. ^-^