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Is it just me, or did it somehow go from third winter straight to summer? Either way, when the weather gets nicer one of the first things that I am excited to do is leave my boots behind. With my winter boots firmly in the back of the closet and my spring/fall boots with them, it is finally time to switch it up.

For this post, I am partnering with Hillcrest Mall. They have recently upped their shoe game, so I had to stop by to update my wardrobe. I like to have a few different pairs of shoes so I can switch it up, but let's be honest, my colour palette is pretty consistent white, navy, khaki, soft blues, greys. 


My first stop was Browns, where I found these stunning Navy Leather "Charlston" Boat Shoes for $169. I fell in love with the gold soles, and the mix of navy and brown leather details. I love these shoes with a cute summer dress, or even a business casual outfit for the office. They are so soft and comfortable -- they feel like slippers! I think that these are perfect for the office or a meeting, though because they are so pretty I would be hesitant to walk long distances in them.

My next stop was Sporting Life. Now, to be honest I thought that I would just stop by, do some window shopping, and then head off to the next store. See, Sporting Life has a reputation for being a bit expensive...however, I found these stunning Keds! The Womens Champion Floral Sneaker retails for $54.99. I love how bright and fresh these look, and the little floral details make them perfect for spring. I have been loving these with khakis, shorts, and other casual outfits. 

My final shoe stop was The Bay. Every spring I buy myself a pair of Sperry's. They are the perfect every day shoe for me in the summer. I find the more you wear them and the more beat up they get the better they look. I love wearing them on my parents' dock, walking around the city, and everything else in between. I would wear them all day every day, but I find they are not formal enough for work. The Sperry Top Slider Original retails for $125. I found that this pair of Sperrys could be found in a bunch of different stores at Hillcrest, but The Bay was the first store that had them in stock in my size. 


One really cool thing I found at Brown's were their disposable insoles. With six pairs for about $8, these are an affordable solution to my least favourite thing to wear in the summer: socks. As you can see, all of the shoes I picked up for the spring/summer aren't really shoes you wear with socks. These insoles help keep your shoes from smelling, and are easy to swap out. They slip in so you don't have to worry about sticking them on.


Best part? Once you are wearing the insoles, nobody can see them!


I was really excited to learn that both Sporting Life and Browns accepts Apple Pay, and Sporting Life even accepts WeChat Pay!

While I was at Browns, I couldn't get over the beautiful selection. If I had my way, I would have a pair in every colour! Some of the beautiful brands they carry include Jeffery Campbell, Raf Simons, Dr. Martins, Guiseppe Zanotti, and even Stuart Weitzman!



I also couldn't get over the selection at Sporting Life. I wasn't really in the market for running shoes, but if I was, this would be heaven! Some of their other brands include Soia and Kyo, Preloved (which Hilary Duff adores!), Moncler, Patagonia, and Y-3.


What shoes are you loving this spring? Anything catch your eye?

This post is in partnership with Hillcrest Mall. Opinions are my own.
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Too Faced is a champ when it comes to new launches-- but sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the new goodies they are coming out with! Over the winter, Too Faced brightened our days with their new Sweet Peach collection. With a foundation, a primer, a spray, an eye shadow palette, blushes, bronzes, highlighters and more, narrowing down my favourites was no easy task! However, I wanted to share my top picks with you in hopes that it will help you find some products that you love!




Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette - $55

The superstar of this collection is, of course, the eye shadow palette. With 12 pretty pink, coral and orange shades to choose from, this palette smells like fuzzy peach candies and blends like a dream. My favourite shades include Fresh-Picked, Peaches and Cream and Peach Cobbler. I love that I can make a complete look with this palette. There are enough neutrals, pops of colour, and base, transition and crease shades to create a beautiful look. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can go back to wearing these pretty sun-kissed shades!



Peach Kiss Moisture Matte Long Wear Lipstick - $25

I. am. obsessed. with. these. These matte lipsticks are so comfortable on the lips-- non-drying, creamy, long lasting. With little peaches embossed on the bullet, these peach & fig scented lipsticks are as beautiful as they are peachy! There isn't a single shade in the range that I dislike, but my favourites include Sunday Funday, Peach Beach, Make Me Blush and Breakfast Club. This collection has a fairly traditional shade range, with nudes, pinks, reds, peaches (of course!), and purples. 


Have you had a chance to fall in love with this collection yet? While I do admit it has taken a bit of a back seat during the winter, I think these shades will be well used once the sun comes back and the temperature hits the positives again. 

xoxo
Products sent for review
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New for Spring 2018, Stila has released a collection that has just about everything that this April is missing. This collection has a beautiful selection of pastel hues, opulent colours, textures, and sparkle. If I could describe the collection, I would say it looks like a spring garden. Sadly, Toronto is on 7th Winter with an awful ice storm, snow on the sidewalk, and a chill in the air. They say positive temperatures are on the way, and I hope they are right! With winter still in full force, I can't exactly say my look has switched over to "spring" yet. But this beautiful collection has me excited for better weather, and brighter looks.

I was lucky enough to be sent two lippies and an eyeshadow: Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Sheer Carmello and Paradiso, and Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Freedom. While the liquid eyeshadows are a big hit, I was most excited to try out the sheer liquid lipstick. 


Sheer Carmello, Paradiso, Freedom


Sheer Carmello, Paradiso, Freedom

Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Carmello - $29 

Availiable exclusively at Murale, Shoppers Drug Mart, and beautyboutique.ca

This was with out a doubt the product I was most excited to play with. I've never used a product that is both matte, and sheer. I was hoping that this would provide sheer, almost balm like coverage, with a matte finish that wasn't too drying. I've probably mentioned this a thousand times this winter, but this winter has been really drying on my skin, and my lips. I've all but sworn off true mattes-- at least until true spring arrives. And with all that said, this lipstick did not disappoint! Described as a "neutral nude", this neutral had a sheer wash of colour with considerable staying time. It hugged my lips nicely, and, best part, did not feel drying at all! This shade also feels perfectly on trend of spring. Neutral, a bit of a brown undertone, but still that fresh faced, no-makeup-makeup look. 

Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks in Paradiso - $29

One of my all time favourite liquid lipsticks, the formula is known for its remarkable lasting power, but also how comfortable it feels on the lips. Paradiso is a new cranberry shade. While I love cranberry shades in the fall and winter, I have never really reached for them in the spring. This shade is much more purple than a traditional cranberry, and I think it will transition well into summer for those looking for something bright and bold. I found this hue a bit more difficult to work with-- it wasn't exactly patchy, but you could see each layer. If this is the shade for you, be careful with your application!

Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eye shadow in Freedom - $31

Stila's liquid eye shadows have taken the beauty world by storm. Bloggers are loving the shimmer for everyday looks and of course, special events. This spring they have released a whole bunch of new pretty shades. Freedom is described as a "shimmering pale aqua". This pretty blue will be so perfect the moment April actually starts to feel like spring. This shimmery eye shadow has a bit of a pearl finish, and has an impressive pigment. I like to apply this on the centre of my lid with my fingers. 


Paridiso


Sheer Carmello 


I think that Sheer Carmello will be finding a home in my purse once the weather warms up. For spring I love fresh faces and no-makeup-makeup, and I think this lippie will be the perfect compliment to the look. I love that the finish is matte without being too matte.

As we head into spring I am excited to get more wedding planning figured out, and to celebrate our engagement at our Engagement Party. Right now I am really focused on securing the perfect photographer. Obviously as a blogger I value having beautiful images. I've just been thrown for a bit of a surprise with the price point! 

Happy Spring / 7th Winter!

xoxo

All prices are in CAD.

Products sent for review.
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Ah that time of year again. It is still snowing here in Toronto, but the department stores are full of florals, so that must mean spring is on the way, right? Right? Please tell me I'm right...well, another way I know spring is coming is that I start to hear rumblings of their annual spring sale. Keep reading for the details, and for my shopping guide!
Rouge - EARLY ACCESS - April 13, 16 & April 20-23

Use code YAYROUGE for 15% off. On April 13th you can bring a friend to shop with you in store and they can also enjoy the discount.

VIB - April 20-23

Use code VIBYAY for 15% off.

Insider - April 20-23

Use code YAYINSIDERfor 10% off.

There is no limit to the number of purchases you make in store, or online. However, The Ordinary is not included, and there is a limit to 3 Drunk Elephant purchases and 1 Dyson purchase. As usual, you can not combine the discount with another code (typically for a deluxe sample sized product).

Now that we have the business out of the way, I wanted to share my shopping guide with you!


Perfume - 1

I love getting a good deal on perfume. Not only is it usually in the range of about $100 a bottle, but it lasts, and looks so pretty on your vanity! I have always been a big fan of Marc Jacob's Daisy, it is the perfect light and floral scent to wear to work. Other perfumes I love include Chloe Love Story, and Dior Hypnotic Poison. Perfumes also make for a great Mothers Day gift, which is coming up soon on May 13th!

New Releases - 2, 7, 8

There is nothing better than snagging some new released at a discount! The Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam palette has me swooning (and I will probably pick it up during the sale!). So many pretty roses and golds...I'm also really excited about Too Faced's re-launch of their Natural Matte and Natural Eyes palette. I hear that the new formula is so buttery and soft. I have the old edition of these palettes, and they are so great for every day wear. I like them better than the Urban Decay Naked collection. Benefit also has a new cheek palette out which includes their latest launch "Gold Rush" which is a pretty, wearable blush, once you get rid of the sparkly top coat.

Skincare - 4

Another great investment during the sale is to stock up on your favourite skin care. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am a big fan of Old Henriksen's Walnut Scrub. I love how exfoliating it is, and how wonderful it smells! Since I go through one bottle every three months or so, I always buy an extra one or two during the sale. I figure its a great way to save some money, since I know I will re-purchase it anyways.

Old Favourites - 5

Similar to stocking up on skin care, the sale is a great time to stock up on your favourite foundation or mascara. Currently my every day foundation is IT Cosmetic's CC Cream. I am also a big fan of their Superhero mascara! While some favourites I will probably never hit pan on (for me, that would be bronzers and blush!), I know there are others that I go through a few times a year.

Splurge-worthy Investments - 3, 6

And finally, some splurges. I pretty much love anything Tom Ford makes (and I have had my eye on these cream shadows for a while!), but my wallet does not. The iconic Dyson blow dryer is pricy ($499 CAD), but 15% off saves $75, which helps. If you have had your eye on it, there is no better time to make the investment then when it is on sale. I recently picked up this blow dryer, and both my fiancé and I have been loving it!

ALSO set a budget. While the sale is fun, its not saving money if you spend more than you anticipated.

What is on your spring sale shopping list? I think I will probably be picking up my Ole Henriksen scrub, my IT Cosmetics CC Cream, and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam palette!
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Registering for our wedding has probably been one of the most fun parts about the wedding process so far. Going to the department store together to scan our way to wedded bliss was pretty great. Not only was it a fun date, but I can't remember the last time that Stuart and I went shopping for something other than groceries together. (actually, I remember some IKEA shopping, but that was more of a hard core attempt at survival rather than an enjoyable experience!).


It was really cool to get a chance to see what he wanted-- and I can guarantee that there are some things on our registry that I never would have even thought of including if it wasn't for him. In particular, a clothing steamer, and an air fryer. He was also really great at wheeling back my over zealous scanning, reminding me that we want to encourage our guests to give cash if possible to help us buy our first home. "We need to save the money to buy the house to fill it with things. Not the other way around." Though... those napkin rings were cute.

Today I wanted to share my tips for your Canadian wedding registry. What makes a Canadian registry any different you may ask...well, it boils down to choice. And by choice, I mean the lack of choice that it can feel that we Canadians have.

I get it. You googled "wedding registry" and you were first met with suggestions for Target, Macy's and Kohls. But as a Canadian bride, you know that those simply aren't options for you. So you scrolled a little further down, and you found Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. Maybe you even scrolled through their websites, imagining your flawlessly airy and white future kitchen. Perhaps you even found the artisan cheese board of your dreams. I get it, because that was exactly me.

In theory these registries look great, but in practice they simply are not the right fit for most Canadians. With Crate and Barrel, guests can view your registry online, but must either go to a store (which aren't in every province or major city) or phone a store during store hours to place an order. Pottery Barn is much the same. While you can view a registry online, you must make the purchase in store.


Curious about my experience registering at The Bay? Read about it here, and also find some of the items I am most excited about!

Make It Easy For Your Guests

Make it easy for your guests to help fill your home. I am happily registered at both The Bay and Bed Bath and Beyond. While Bed Bath and Beyond currently has a much better web process than The Bay, I have been assured that The Bay will have a brand new website soon. I love that with these two options that my guests can either shop in store across the country, or order online and have it sent directly to me. Guests won't have to worry about finding their way to the store (which, if your guests are from as far and wide as mine, they will appreciate!). If you do your wedding invites with Paperless Post, you can even include a handy link to your registries in your invite that will make it really easy for your guests. Earlier this fall I was invited to a friend's wedding through Paperless Post, and I was able to RSVP and purchase the gift will still lying in bed! This same friend also registered at Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, and while I totally checked out what they registered for, not being able to order online ended up being a deal breaker. Yes, I work a few blocks away from both stores. But then you have to lug the gift home and then you have to bring it to them, and with The Bay it arrived at her home a few days later.

Don't Limit Yourself To One

I had always assumed that I would register at The Bay, and that was it. I mean really, The Bay has everything I could ever possibly want, right? Well, the truth is that no store has everything that you could possibly want, and thankfully there is no reason not to diversify your options and register at two (or even three!) stores. I'm actually really excited about many of the items I have registered for at Bed Bath and Beyond. At the end of the day, each store has exclusive items, and each store has overlap. For example, as a house warming gift my parents purchased the Gordon Ramsay Maze in "White" collection. And while the standard 16 piece / 4 person setting is avialiable at both stores, it appears that only The Bay has their tea set. I have recently taken an interest in jersey sheets. At The Bay you can only register for branded Calvin Klein jersey sheets. However at Bed Bath and Beyond you can register for their exclusive collection from Pure Beech that comes in just about every colour you could want. I don't really think that one registry is necessarily better than the other, they each have different products, different price points, and different bonuses.

If you are really taken by the selection at Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, or Pottery Barn I would suggest registering at one of Bed Bath and Beyond or The Bay, and then one of Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, or Pottery Barn. That way your out of town guests can have an easy time ordering online, and your friends who are able to get to a store can purchase a gift for you there. Best of both worlds!

Get That Free Swag

So let's talk about that swag...those perks...

The Bay including Home Outfitters

  • When you go in to register you are given a special card that is valid for six months past your wedding date for 10% off anything on your registry when purchased in store. Pro tip: Take the scanner with you through the store and scan anything you are planning to purchase. Just remember that anything you purchase will show up on your registry as purchased. 
  • I have also been told that you will be eligible for other special offers, promotions and prizes, though have not experienced them myself...yet!

Bed Bath and Beyond


  • After your wedding you will be invited to a completion event in store where you get 20% off any remaining items on your registry (though I understand that you can also purchase other items that catch your eye!). And while the usual 20% off coupon excludes brands like Dyson, my understanding is that the completion event includes everything -- every brand -- in store! 
  • When you register for, and receive, certain items -- think 5 place settings of a particular fine china, or $500 from a particular brand, you can mail in a coupon to be sent a free item through their popular Freebook.

Crate and Barrel


  • Shortly after your wedding date they will mail you a 10% off completion card that you can use on any item in store (even if it was not on your registry!) for six months following your wedding.

Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn & West Elm


  • 15% off anything left on your registry after your wedding, plus anything else that you may want.

Amazon

  • Just like at Bed Bath and Beyond, when you register for certain brands and guests reach a certain spending threshold you can get bonus gifts for free!
  • After your wedding, get anything on your registry that is shipped and sold by Amazon for 20% off.
If there are additional stores that you think would add value by being listed here, please leave a comment and I would be happy to research them!


Want to learn more about my experience registering at Bed Bath and Beyond? Read about it here, and also find some of the items I am most excited to have registered for!


Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Registering can be intimidating. There are so many things to choose from and so many things that could be missed. Be sure to check out other bloggers top picks. The stores mentioned above will also have online tools that show you what products other couples are loving. Check out what your friends registered for. There is no harm in taking something off of their list and adding it to your own! For example, when one of my friends got married recently I purchased a vase off her registry. Well, I thought the vase was beautiful, and I am not surprised since she has amazing taste. A few months later when it came time for me to register... I added the same vase to mine!

Register In Store

Make sure to go into the store at least once (though going a few times, in different seasons, is probably best) so that way you can inspect the quality of the items you are interested in, and ask questions to an expert at the store.

I hope that you have found this Canadian registry tip list to be helpful! If you have any questions please leave them in the comments! I am looking forward to publishing some posts that focus on what I have registered for soon, and hope that you enjoy those!

Keep It Fresh

If you are planning on having an engagement party and a shower (or two!) in advance of your wedding, don't be surprised if you run out of gifts for your guests to get you! While some suggest registering for a whole bunch of stuff off the bat, I have decided to only register for the things I actually want. If we are lucky enough to have slim pickings on our registry after our engagement party, we will go back to the store to add a few things for the shower and then actual wedding.

Read Product Reviews

Read the reviews on products. Something that may look beautiful could chip easily or otherwise fade. You want things that will last a while (maybe not a lifetime.... but a while).
What tips do you have for registering?

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A few weeks ago my future husband and I went to register at The Bay. We opted to go to their flagship location on Queen Street right across from the Toronto Eaton's Centre. While we decided to take the subway (it was a quick trip for us!) I loved knowing that if we had chosen to drive that they are able to provide free parking on weekends.

We arrived in the gift registry area, surrounded by pretty china, fancy serving wear, and a wall of scanners. We were greeted by a very nice registry assistant who took our coats and walked is through the process. She showed us how to use the scanner, and then told us that anything we register for and buy that we will get 10% off. After that she sent us on our way.

We took a good walk through the two floors that are mostly dedicated to home goods. While there were many things that caught my eye, we were focused on keeping our registry as tight as possible. That being said... a few things did catch my eye! I wanted to share with you a few things that we are excited to have registered for at The Bay!



Joseph Joseph Nest 100 Compact Food Set - $164.99

Stuart found this in the kitchen area and was instantly drawn to the idea of being able to stack everything in one place -- mixing bowls, a strainer, and measuring cups. Currently our mixing bowls are a bit hit or miss, and they never quite seem to stack together properly.


Le Creuset 0.24L Mini Round Cocotte - $40 (each)

These mini cocottes are inspired by Le Creuset's classic round french ovens, and are a perfect for individual servings. These fun pops of colour would really add to a tablescape for a dinner party, or to a pretty breakfast bar. I registered for four of them in Marsailles, which is a bit of a darker blue than I have featured. Sadly this pretty shade appears to be retiring soon. Heres hoping the have a new pretty blue!




Phillips Airfryer - $299

Another Stuart find! He is really excited about the idea of an airfryer, and of all the things we can make in it. I'm a bit skeptical about it, but hey, its his registry too!


Gordon Ramsay Maze White 3 Piece Beverage Set - $110

I have some various tea sets, but this one would be a perfect match for my every day dishes. I love how smooth and clean it looks!
Royal Doulton Pacific Dots 16 Piece Set - $300

I registered for this set in addition to some serving plates and such. While I am not in the market for fine china (I already have a set!) I do love the idea of having a second set of dishes for hosting friends. I love the blue dot theme. They even have sister collections with stripes and ink blobs which are great to mix and match with. Have you noticed a bit of a blue theme in our home? These get huge bonus points for being dishwasher safe!

Other notes....

One thing to keep in mind with The Bay is their famous Bay Days! Typically held in the Spring and the Fall, quality items can go for amazing prices. For example, we saw a knife set worth well over $500 on sale for about $200. Not only was it by a respected brand, but it included five kitchen knives and a set of steak knives. We also saw a All Clad roasting pan that regularly retailed for $430 on sale for about $200. When guests purchase big ticket items for you, you may want to inquire (with the store! Not your guest!) to if they paid full price for them. If they did, and the item goes on sale consider exchanging it, and repurchasing it with a gift card, and then holding on to the remainder on your gift card for a rainy day (or to buy yourself more items off your registry!). Of course in order to do this successfully, I would suggest not using your gifts until you have made sure they won't go on sale.

While we were walking through the store we also ended up picking up a few things for us to purchase immediately, including a meat tenderiser, a pancake flipper, and some new pillows. In order to get the 10% off our purchase we had to register for them first. The only problem is that these items are now on our registry which our guests will see, and there is no way to delete them since they have been purchased. Thankfully we didn't buy anything embarrassing, but I do wish there was a way to remove them.

Now that I have been home and checking in on my registry from time to time (mostly to add to it!) online, I must say that the website is pretty difficult to navigate. With Bed Bath and Beyond I can browse their website and click "add to registry" as easily as one would normally add to a cart or a favourites list. With The Bay this is impossible. You don't add to your registry through the regular website. You add to it through a special portal. The problem is that you have to know the name of the product you are looking for and you can't really compare through photos. I have been assured by the lady I worked with at the store to set up my registry that this will change and that a new website is in the works. At the moment, my in store experience was excellent. However, the website leaves much to be desired. I am hopeful that the new website will make it easy to find new products to add to the registry.

Read about my experience registering at Bed Bath & Beyond, and some of the goodies we registered for there!
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Just before Christmas, Stuart and I got engaged! Today I wanted to share a bit with you about where we are at in our wedding planning process.

Before I get deeper into this post, I wanted to first let you know where I got these beautiful goodies from!

I had the mug custom made with Vistaprint (which is quickly becoming a favourite wedding website!) for Christmas, along with matching groom, mother of the bride, father of the bride, mother of the groom and father of the groom mugs. We gave the pairs of mugs to each set of our parents as a Christmas gift, along with a packet of their favourite tea, and they were a huge hit! It was a great way to help our parents feel like they are a part of the process, and for them to show off our good news to their friends!

The cupcakes are from one of my new favourite bakeries, Le Dolci. They were a gift back in December when I attended their grand opening at the Scarborough Town Centre. And while they are long since devoured, the pictures will last forever!


Things we have done so far:
  • We picked a date! We will be getting married on May 4th, 2019
  • We registered at The Bay & Bed Bath and Beyond
  • We have booked our wedding venue! 
  • We have made a draft list of wedding invitees.
  • We have made a list of people to invite to our engagement party.
  • We have ordered our engagement party invites (and they are so cute!).
  • We have (mostly) picked our bridal party.
  • We picked where we are going for our honeymoon! 
  • We have almost celebrated 5 years together (just two weeks to go!).
  • I've asked the flower girls and ring bearer if they want to be in our wedding, and they all said yes!
Over the next month or so we are hoping to:
  • Finalize our photographer.
  • Finalize our bridal party.

To add to the wedding fun, one of my dearest friends, and future bridesmaid got engaged last week!


So far I am having a good time planning the wedding. I've been loving adding things to our registry and picking out beautiful touches for our home together. Maybe it sounds silly, but it has really sort of gotten me in the mood-- thinking about how we may use an item and how it could fit into our lives. Maybe a frame that will hold a photo from our honeymoon. Perhaps a chip and dip bowl that we will use when we have guests over. Either way, picturing the next stage of life together is pretty exciting. Of course, we are being pretty selective about what we register for. We only have so much space in our apartment, and would really appreciate cash gifts towards our future home. But there are some things I am really excited about, like some new bedding, or a nice kettle.

We have also pretty much settled on where we want to go on our honeymoon: French Polynesia. I can't wait to stay on a beautiful tropical island, and I am looking forward to planning that out as our next big trip together.

I hope you have enjoyed this little wedding planning update! Looking forward to sharing more with you as more things come together!
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Between wedding planning, and things getting a little crazy in my work life (which... if anybody knows what I do for work, they would know that you could probably write a Netflix series to rival House of Cards with everything that has been going on), blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat. I always, always tell my blogger friends that real life comes first. Well, in the last month, real life has been very real, and everything else has become #2. WITH THAT BEING SAID, Yesterday my fiancé and I made some time to stop by Bed Bath and Beyond to start* our registration process. It was really nice to have a bit of a date for the two of us to dream a bit about what our life is going to look like.

*and by start I mean I had already made a registry online and added a few items I knew I wanted to it.

We had booked an appointment in advance, so when we walked in to the store we told the first staff we saw, and were directed to the registry area (which was in the middle of all the fine china) where we were greeted by our Registry Expert, Danica.

Danica walked us through the "how to's" and the perks (mainly a completion event following your wedding where you can get anything still left on your registry for 20% off!) and then we were free to go. She had asked us if we were planning on registering anywhere else, and we told her the truth, that at this point we were also planning to register at The Bay.

I really appreciated that she respected our choice, and didn't have anything bad to say about registering there. She told us it was very normal to register at both, and reminded us about how great Bed Bath and Beyond's completion event is (hello 20% off everything), which I found to be a very classy way to approach the issue. She asked us a bit about what we wanted, and we explained that we already live together, and we were looking to upgrade a few things, but that we wanted to keep our registry tight for two reasons. First, we only have so much space. And second, we would really prefer if our guests gave us money towards our downpayment. Of course we would love to register for all the nice things, but until we have a home of our own, we don't really have space to put it.

We also told her that since we live in an apartment, and since we don't know what our future home will look like, that we wanted pieces that would both fit any space, but also that would transition well for us from where we live now to our future home.

We asked that she join us in the vacuum section first (we knew we wanted one by Dyson, just not sure which) and she walked us through some of the various Dyson options until we found the one that was right for us.

After that we walked through the store section by section as a couple and talked through what we needed, what we wanted, and what we could actually use and have space for. And of course, we also ended up picking up a few things to buy that day-- some place mats, a shower mirror for Stuart to shave with, some Doctor Who coasters on clearance. Things that we wanted now, and also things that were too insignificant to register for.

I thought it would be fun to share with you 6 of the items that I am most excited to have registered for (so far):

Breville Variable Temperature Kettle $199.99


My loyal readers will know that I love drinking tea, and will probably know that green tea is always and without a doubt my favourite. My current kettle is alright... I guess. But it dribbles all over the place when I make tea, and I would love to upgrade to something nice. Personally I hate kettles that you directly plug in -- I prefer when it is easy to remove from a base. But the best part? This kettle has various temperatures you can set it to, including a green tea setting, so the delicate leaves are not burnt. 



Something about a great set of bedding really turns a house into a home. While the set of bedding we have is perfectly fine, we figured getting married was a great chance to upgrade. But we are more than upgrading, not only did we register for this stunning grey pinstripe duvet cover and shams, but we also registered for some pale blue euro pillows, a cute throw pillow, and some soft and silky jersey sheets. All together these pieces are going to create a perfect, hotel quality bed. While I would love to have all of the pink things, I know that this is our bedroom, and a nice neutral grey and soft blue pleases both of us, and is so relaxing.

3 Tier Server $69.99



I love hosting friends at my place, and would love to do so more. And what would make hosting better than having some great pieces to entertain with? I love the simple design of this tray, and that it can hold a significant amount of food-- perfect for big gatherings! And let's be honest, I would never buy one of these for myself!

Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum in Titanium $599.99

Nothing says #adulting quite like a fancy vacuum. We have a small hand vacuum that we use around the cats, but not a big, proper one. The only problem with large transitional vacuums? Where would we possible store one in our apartment? I love the cordless stick vacuums not only because you can use them literally anywhere in your home (or car!) but also because they are compact and can easily fit in a small closet. This vacuum can run 40 minutes between charges (more than enough time to vacuum my whole place) and is specially designed to help with pet hair and dander.

Nambe Harmony Chip and Dip Bowl $129.99
If I owned a chip and dip bowl like this I would be the kind of person who make home made guac and hosts parties all the time... at least, that's what I tell myself. I never thought I would be excited about a chip bowl, but I think this could look great just out on a table between uses, and I love that it has a seperate little bowl attached for dip. 

Availiable in 23 different colours, from white to black, from red to blue, from pink to yellow, there is a KitchenAid Stand Up mixer for everybody. While I would LOVE to get the pink one, or really even a coloured one to fit my future home, I have absolutely no idea what my future kitchen looks like. I do, however, know that it will probably have stainless steel (just like this mixer ;) ) and will probably have whites and greys, because guess who loves neutrals! This girl! I think that the white one will be a great piece to transition from our apartment to our future home. We also registered for the blue ceramic bowl, and ice cream maker attachments.

The great thing about registering this far out is that I can still add and edit our list, so if there is anything that you registered for that really impressed you, or that you use daily in your home that you think I would love, please leave it in the comments!

I will do another similar post about registering at The Bay when I do so.

On the way home from the store, my fiancé asked me if I would be okay if nobody bought us anything off our list. Of course I would be okay. These are items that I would (perhaps over some time!) purchase for our home anyways. A gift if a gift, and this is just a personalized guide ;)

What was the best thing you registered for?
All photos are from Bed Bath & Beyond's website.
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So its Christmas Eve. And while I am proud to say that I am done all my shopping this year, and am otherwise pretty great at not shopping last minute, I know that not everybody starts their shopping in September like I do. Lucky for those last minute shoppers out there, I have a special gift guide, and some tips and tricks on how to avoid Christmas disappointment.


While gifting is easy if you know what you are buying -- really that would make it just shopping and wrapping -- what do you do when you have a hard to shop for grandpa? Uncommon Goods has recently introduced Sunny, your expert gift guide. Type in the information you have about your giftee, and follow the prompts until you have them find the perfect gift. 

I spent some time going through the website selecting the gifts for this post, and then tried out Sunny. I tested it out by looking for a gift for my grandma (Grandma, Senior, Interested in pets, dogs, gardens and knitting) and one of the top suggestions was actually a gift I had selected for her: The Pedigree Poem Tote Bag ($57.21 CAD). This bag can be customized to many different dogs and coat colours including a salt & pepper coloured Miniature German Schnauzer, just like her beloved Echo! I love this bag for my grandma because she can hold her latest knitting project in it, or carry groceries. Grandma always loves Echo related gifts, and I know this will be a huge hit. Just one problem.... it still hasn't arrived!

When my gifts don't ship in time... or when it is totally my fault and I order it too late, I print off a picture of the gift and put it in the card. It is sort of an IOU but they know you thought of them before the big day! I find gift cards a bit impersonal, so this is a nice alternative. 

For my dad, I am loving these Kebob Baskets ($21.60 CAD). My dad is a big BBQ'er and is always looking for the latest took or gadget to upgrade his BBQ game. I know that he is going to love using these in the summer!


Another gift for Grandma, found using Sunny, is this beautiful hummingbird garden ornament. Humphrey The Hovering Humming Bird Stake ($25.43 CAD) is a glass and copper ornament that will look great in my Grandma's garden. My grandma loves hummingbirds, and I know she will love this thoughtful little bauble. 


My dad is a a big golf fan, and is in the process of building out his new bar. I love the vintage feel of these "Set of Fore" ($53.40 CAD) glasses, and they have a really nice sturdy weight to them. With four glasses each related to a golf club, I know my dad will really enjoy these, and will enjoy using them with company in the new year!


My fiancé (it is really nice to type that after keeping quiet for the last few days!) loves playing chess, and he was really interested in having a travel chess set ($33.06 CAD). This set comes with tiny peg like pieces in a beautiful, miniature wooden set. 


Funky socks are very in among men working in business. It gives them a chance to express their personality while still looking the part. These fun shark socks ($12.71 CAD)  can have a few meanings -- is the shark eating his leg, is the shark his industry? Who knows! My brother or my fiancé would love these socks in their stocking. Currently this is sitting on the tree with a name on it. Part decor. Part gift. 100% fun.

Do you have any last minute gifting to do? What do you do when you are in a pinch?

This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods. Opinions are my own!
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Maybe its just me, but I find buying for the women in my life so easy. Boyfriend's mom? Done months ago. My mom? Same. Me? All things sparkly, please. Stay tuned for my men's gift guide that will be going up tomorrow. Today I am thrilled to share with you probably my favourite post of the year: my gift guide for her. This is for your mom, your girlfriend, your best friend, your wife, your mother in law, and of course, for you. Enjoy!


For The Cat Lover

Paul & Joe know my heart. Makeup, pretty packaging, and CATS. Their Champagne Soirée Holiday Collection ($64 CAD) includes a cute red pouch with cats all over it, a shimmery pink mini blush (that looks so flattering!), a sparkly champagne coloured  eye gloss (that I was so skeptical about, but I am obsessed!), and a red lipstick with a cat imprinted on it. Not only is the makeup high quality, but it is simply adorable, and would bring a smile to the face of any (not so) crazy cat lady!

For The Makeup Addict

There comes a point in every makeup addict's life that she no longer needs more makeup (but I mean... she ... I... always want more). It is never too soon to invest in quality brushes, but brushes are a really wonderful gift for the girl who has it all. The Lustrous Brush Set by Make Up For Ever  ($95) contains five full sized brushes (including a blush brush and a highlighting brush that I adore!) and a little case. I love that while the box is "festive" the brushes are their classic brown. I love Christmas, but I don't really want to be using Christmas themed things come next June. Between that, and the quality, this is a gift that your recipient will be able to enjoy for years to come. 

For anybody*

With a best selling brow pencil that flatters many people*, their popular They're Real Mascara, a neutral lippie, and a mini Dandelion Twinkle Highlighter, City Lights Party Nights ($42) is perfect for the girl who loves a natural or glam look. I love that this set has everything you need to look pretty and polished, all wrapped up in a cute little light purple bag. 

*I say anybody with a * because you can't sub it out to match all skin and brow tones. It is perfect for me, 3 is my usual Benefit shade. I think 3 works well for blondes and light to medium brunettes, and red-heads. 


For the Better Half

With "Because Its You" ($90 for 1.7 oz) for her, and "Stronger With You" ($90 for 1.7 oz) by Georgio Armani for him, these partner fragrances are delicate, strong and romantic. With notes of raspberry accord, rose absolute, and vanilla bean accord, this perfume is sweet, happy, and perfect for gift giving 

For the Timeless Classic

Daniel Wellington watches have become a staple in my outfits over the last few months and its not hard to see why. With endless combinations of bands and faces, its easy to create your perfect watch. I love how easy these are to pair with my outfits. Personally I love a classic leather strap with their rose gold finish. 

Featured: Classic Petite St Mawes 32 mm Rose Gold ($169). Use code ALANNAVICTORIA to save 15%.

For The Girl Who Loves Glimmer & Shine

Swarovski recently launched their Remix Collection. With a whole bunch of pretty, stackable bracelets to choose from, these remind me of charm bracelets for adults. Availiable in silver, rose gold, and gold colours, I think this is one of the few times that I am going to fully embrace and encourage mixing metals. I am particularly in love with this bracelet with an infinity symbol, black crystal, and faith phrase ($89). You can purchase multiple to stack, or connect together to wear as a necklace. 

I always wear my Swarovski Remix Rose Gold bracelete with my rose gold Daniel Wellington watch. I love how they look together! Check them out together here

For the Shoe Addict

A perfume shaped like a stiletto? Good Girl by Carolina Herrera (80 mL for $148) looks stunning on a vanity, and smells so good. With top notes of sambac jasmine and tuberose crystal, and other notes including almond, cocoa and coffee, this scent is rich and inviting. I love that the spray "nozzle" sprays the perfume as a fine mist. 

I was lucky to win this perfume in a Dave Lackie Twitter giveaway.


For The Starbucks Fan Girl

Starbucks recently launched a collection of Swell bottles featuring Liberty London Fabrics. You can read up on the details here. They retail for about $45, though I got mind on sale for about $36. With several pretty prints to choose from, I was most interested in "Edenham Coral", from 1994. I love that these highly functional water bottles are so cute, and such a great way to express personality.

For The Girl Always Drinking Tea

David's Tea always knocks it out of the park on their limited edition seasonal collections. I love their Winter Favourites ($26) for gifting because not only is it easy to wrap, but it is a real crowd pleaser, with 12 teas to choose from. This is a great gift for somebody who is adventurous with their tea, or for somebody who you know likes tea... you just don't know which ones! I also want to give an honourable mention to the Rustic Mug Tea Set ($32). I helped my boyfriend purchase this for his mom for Christmas. With two beautiful mugs, and 50g of their popular Organic Cream of Earl Grey tea, it was a no brainer. I know she is going to love it! (Fingers crossed that she doesn't read this post in the next few days!)


For Mom

My mom is always looking for neutral, matte brown eyeshadows in an easy to use format. The Sophisticate ($66) eyeshadow palette by Charlotte Tilbury is a beautiful collection of four finely milled matte shadows that make creating an every day eye easy. Add to that the fact that Charlotte's products always feel like pure luxury, and you have a formula for an easy gift to give to your mom (or mother-in-law!).

For Millennials 

While the moms in my life are always reaching for their neutrals, the younger crowd in my life are all about warm rich coppers, and burnt orange. Marc Jacob's Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette ($64) contains seven beautiful eyeshadows ranging from neutrals to warm shimmery copper to hot pink. I love the burnt ember looks you can create with this palette and the endless opportunities for creativity.

For Fenty Fanatics 

Rhianna entered the beauty world by storm with her Fenty Beauty launch this fall. My favourite product in her collection are her Match Stix Trios ($67). With a contour, highlight, and shimmer shade trio for Light, Medium, Tan and Deep complexions, Rhianna has taken the guess work out for matching these little beauties. Their packaging is a bonus, as is the fact that they are magnetic!

Light collection featured. 


For the #HairGoals Goddess

IGK has taken the hair world by storm this year. Their Friends With Benefits Texture & Shine Kit ($42) includes a full sized Beach Club texture spray, and travel sized Smoke & Mirrors and Mistress. Not only do these products smell amazing -- Beach Club is my favourite -- but they work well and have fun packaging. A great gift for the ladies in your life whose hair always makes a statement, or for the ladies who are looking to try something new!


For The #LongHairDoCare Goddess

I have very very long hair, and people always ask me how I maintain it. Of course I don't use heat often, but I am religious about using hair masks. I am a big fan of the Kérastase Nutritive line, and their deep conditioning mask ($47)  is a favourite of mine.



For the Flirty & Fun Gal

A sexy gift for your partner, or a fun gift for a friend the ORA 2 by Lelo ($239) is designed to simulate oral sex. Availiable in a selection of fun colours, this sleek gift has a variety of settings to choose from. Enjoy trying new things with your partner as you usher in the New Year!

Are you done your holiday shopping yet? What is left on your list?

All products were sent for review except for the Good Girl scent which I won in a Twitter giveaway, and the Swell bottle from Starbucks, that I purchased for myself, because, hello, its stunning. 

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