Sunday Lately: January 19 - 31

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole. Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life this week.  This weeks prompts are Doing, Appreciating, Designing, Humming and Expecting.

Doing: Debating placing a Colour Pop order.  I really don't need to, and it royally sucks because even though the products are cheap, the exchange rate to Canadian dollars kills us!  I have a few products placed in my cart, but we will see.  I just wish the exchange rate was better because then I wouldn't hesitate!

Appreciating: Lazy weekends.  Our plans to throw a birthday party for our friend on Friday night got thrown out the window, thanks to a combination of mother nature, sickness, and a few other things.  We ended up having a few drinks and playing games with our friends who live downstairs - very convenient when you only have to walk a few feet in the snowstorm!  After sleeping in on Saturday then snowblowing the driveway (or playing with Macy, in my case), we went to Walmart and stocked up on snowstorm goodies (oops!).  Needless to say, our diets are gone out the window.. and out of sight!  We watched The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire while shovelling our mouths full of junk food and it was pretty much the perfect night.  

Today was my mom's birthday so we went to my parents' house for supper and watched a couple NHL All-Stars 3-on-3 hockey games (John Scott for MVP!).  Now we are back home, settled in on the couch and watching Grease: Live on Fox.  Normally I am either working on the weekends or we are constantly busy - it felt so nice to have a lazy weekend in for a change!

Designing: I have to say.. nothing!  Editing graphics for the blog is the extent of my design work.

Humming: Grease songs, obviously!

Expecting: Gastro to hit our house any minute, though I really hope not!  It seems to be making its rounds and tonight Jordan is saying that he isn't feeling well.  Fingers crossed that it stays away because I really don't want to have to deal with that.

I hope you guys had a great weekend!  

Monthly Favourites: January 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I have a feeling that this will be one of my favourite posts to write at the end of each month, given how much I love reading these posts written by other bloggers!  I feel like January maybe isn't the best month in terms of discovering new things given that I tend to scale back the spending after Christmas, as well as go into hibernation due to the weather.  These categories may evolve over time if I find that they are getting repetitive between months, but we shall see.  If there are any other categories that you can think of, be sure to let me know!

Song: "Faded" by Alan Walker.  This song is going to be everywhere soon.  I found it on Spotify and I haven't been able to stop listening to it.  I love running to this song - despite its melancholy lyrics, it has a fantastic beat for cardio workouts.

Read: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, which I've already mentioned countless times.  I'm over halfway finished and still thoroughly enjoying it. 

My favourite blog this month is Be Loverly, whom I discovered through Wendy at Fashionable Heart.  Kristi is a fellow, cold-hating Canadian and posts about "beauty, books and life".  I get so excited to see a new post from her because I feel like we have a lot in common and I definitely value her opinion on beauty products.

TV Show or Movie: I'm not an avid watcher of TV or movies, so this is one of those categories that may disappear after a few months.  Right now, Jordan and I are making our way through the fifth season of Dexter.  Sadly, it has gone downhill from the beginning and neither of us are particularly interested anymore, therefore this category doesn't really have a favourite this month.

Beauty Product: It's a tie between the Milani Baked Blush in "Dolce Pink" and the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in "Cherry Blossom".  I will eventually post thorough reviews on both of those products but I highly recommend them.

Food: Brussel sprouts, all the way!  Definitely not what most people would pick as a favourite but I can't seem to get enough of them this month.  Whether they are roasted with balsamic glaze, pan fried with cranberries, or steamed with butter (I could eat these all day, every day), I cannot get enough of them.

My friends (and tenants) also gave me some homemade spicy crab sushi rolls that are to die for.  I just remembered that I have a few left and I cannot wait to devour them after I finish this post.

Purchase:  Aside from the makeup that I mentioned above, I haven't purchased much this month.  I picked up two shirts - a super soft berry tunic and a sparkly top to wear to the Dragonette concert - but I think that's all.  My favourite old purchase that has been a lifesaver this month is my Patagonia boots.  I was out playing in the snow with Macy today (check out my Snapchat @janineallison for a video!) and they kept my feet warm and dry the entire time.

If you have any suggestions for categories or if you have your own list of monthly favourites, please leave a comment below - I'd love to hear from you!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Him

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Consider this your tried-and-true basic Valentine's Day gift guide for the men in your life.  Nothing out of the ordinary but these are gifts that I would consider classic staples.  Some of these I've purchased for Jordan, others he has picked out himself but you can't go wrong with any of these gifts!

1. Herschel Supply Co. Duffel Bag | This is one of the gifts that I've actually given to Jordan in the past.  It's stylish and comfortable with a cushioned shoulder strap and is the perfect size for weekend getaways.  My favourite thing about this bag is the practical, separate shoe compartment!

2. Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones | These earbuds are clearly a splurge gift, but they were actually a suggestion from Jordan. They are perfect for working out at the gym or for those long flights while traveling.

3. Jack Black "Clean & Cool" Body Basics | I've only heard good things about the Jack Black line of grooming products for men, though I can't personally speak for them.  This set includes a lotion, hand cream, body wash and deodorant - (mostly) all necessities that your significant other probably wouldn't splurge on themselves.

4. Montblanc "Legend" Cologne | I gave Jordan this cologne for Christmas a few years ago and it is definitely one of my favourites!  I actually gave him the Montblanc Legend "Intense" this year, but I prefer the original to that one.

5. Recover Bamboo iPhone 6 Case | This is another one of Jordan's picks!  As I mentioned in my Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Her, cell phone cases are a fun and relatively cheap gift.  Plus, they are pretty much a necessity, because who wants to leave their phone naked and exposed?

6. Patagonia Men's Nano Puff Jacket | Patagonia is having a major sale right now and if I hadn't already bought Jordan a similar jacket for Christmas, I would definitely consider this one!  This jacket is lightweight and folds back into itself which makes it great for travel or camping.

7. MVMT Watch | One of our friends recently bought a MVMT watch for her fiance, which was the first I heard of this brand.  I checked out their website and they have a lot of sleek looking watches for a sensible price!  I'm loving black-on-black watches right now because I think they can be dressed up or down.

I'm hoping this list gave you some ideas for the men in your life!  I cannot say what I am thinking about buying Jordan as he reads my blog but if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

This post contains affiliate links, which mean that I may make a small commission if you click them. However, I would never endorse anything that I do not love or would not purchase myself.

Valentine's Day Gift Guide: For Her

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I feel like Valentine's Day is a holiday that people either love or hate.  Personally, I love it, and I am not just saying that because I'm a relationship.  I am a total girly girl, so I'm all too happy to celebrate any holiday that revolves around pink, red, and glitter.  Jordan and I usually exchange a gift or two on Valentine's Day, simply because we like to spoil each other and not because we feel obligated to show our affection that way.  But even if you aren't in a relationship, Valentine's Day can be a great opportunity to spread some love to your family and friends, whether that is through a gift or a simple "I love you".  The holiday is not limited to those of us who are in relationships!

This is the first part of my Valentine's Day gift guide - the other will be for the men in your life.  This could also double as a wishlist for myself as I would love to receive any of these gifts (hint, hint!).  In all seriousness though, I will be grateful just to spend the day with Jordan, gifts or no gifts.

1. Viktor & Rolf "Bon Bon" Perfume (Limited Edition) | I've linked to the limited edition perfume because the bottle is absolutely gorgeous, but the original would be just fine, of course!  I actually prefer this over the more-popular "Flowerbomb" perfume by Viktor & Rolf.  Rollerball perfumes are another (cheaper) option and are perfect for gifting friends!  I sniffed the original Tory Burch perfume at Sephora recently and it has a nice, light citrusy scent which would be great for Spring.

2. Tarte "Tartelette In Bloom" | This palette is all the rage lately, and for good reason!  With nine matte and three shimmery shades, this neutral palette needs a home amongst my Naked collection.  Other great gifts that I would love to receive from the beauty department include the Sephora Cream Lip Stain (I picked up my first one in #7 - Cherry Blossom), Two Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Power Duo, and Bobbi Brown Blush.

3. Kendra Scott "Tanner" Stud Earrings | If I could have just one of these gifts for Valentine's Day, I think I would choose this one.  It's a little more money than I would want Jordan to spend, but I am in love. Honestly, I cannot even choose a favourite color.  The gold and blue as well as the gunmetal and blue are just gorgeous and I also really like the rose gold set.  You can also never go wrong with Kate Spade "Rise and Shine" studs (the sapphire has been on my wishlist for a while now).  Locally, Whink sells nice studs that are similar to the Kate Spade pair but even cheaper!

4. S'well Insulated Water Bottle | These water bottles are everywhere lately!  I haven't tried them, but they supposedly keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for 12 hours.  They are also a huge supporter of UNICEF and reducing plastic landfill waste.  They are available in a variety of colors and designs, which means you could find one to suit anyone on your list!

5. Kiel James Patrick "Pink Oyster" Bracelet | I own a few pieces of Kiel James Patrick jewelry, including two from the pearl collection.  I love that they are simple and classy and can easily be dressed up or down.

6. Kate Spade "Cedar Street - Stacy" Wallet | You can't go wrong with Kate Spade for Valentine's Day (or any day, let's be real).  This wallet would also make a perfect gift for your mom! I love the mint color and the simplicity of the design.

7. Michael Kors Metallic Card Holder & iPhone Case | Who doesn't love to swap out their old, battered cell phone case for a new one?  I currently have a Kate Spade case but I like that this one is pretty and functional as it provides slots for your credit/debit cards and ID.  Perfect if you are going out on the town and don't want to bring a wallet!

Phew, I hope you guys enjoyed this list! Look for the men's gift guide in the next few days, though it won't be nearly as fun to compile as this one was.

Do you exchange gifts with your significant other, friends, or family on Valentine's Day? 

This post contains affiliate links, which mean that I may make a small commission if you click them. However, I would never endorse anything that I do not love or would not purchase myself. 

Sunday Lately: January 18 - 24

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe - KatyAngelicaMeghan and Nicole.  Each week they present five new prompts to describe what is happening in your life this week.  This weeks prompts are Planning, Loving, Reading, Wishing, Feeling.

Planning: A 26th birthday party for one of my best friends!  Honestly, she did most of the planning in terms of inviting people, making a supper reservation, etc., but we are hosting the party which means I have to plan how to get my house clean in time.

Loving: This little space of mine. Spending time with great friends. New makeup. Taking more time to read. Vacation planning.

Reading: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. I know, I'm late hopping on to the bandwagon for this one, but I am really enjoying this novel.  I plan to write a review when I finish but so far, I highly recommend it.

Wishing: For winter to go away. I am so over the cold and the snow already and it's only January! I cannot wait for summer - warmth, BBQs, boating, swimming, not freezing to death.  Sadly in our climate, I will likely be waiting until July to experience any of those joys, hence the need for a tropical vacation!

Feeling: At peace with myself.  I am not sure where this feeling came from, but for once it seems like everything is on the right track.  Sure there are things that I would change if I had the time or money, but overall I am in a happy place right now.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!  I am off to a baby shower this afternoon and possibly the gym this evening to burn off all the spinach dip I ate last night, oops!

Five on Friday: Volume 1

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Yes, I realize this is Saturday but I figured I would carry on with the delayed theme that we have going on here.  Actually, I was so tired when I finally got home last night that I figured the post would be incomprehensible anyway, so I may as well wait to post it in the morning.  Moving on, "Five on Friday" will hopefully be a semi-regular feature where I will feature five highlights, discoveries, or just random thoughts from the previous week.

1. First of all - how nice is to actually spend time with girl friends?  I have one or two close girl friends, a few co-workers and acquaintances who I mostly see at work or at the occasional get-together, and my very best friend who resides on the other side of the world.  I find that while it is easier to be friends with girls now (as opposed to when I was younger and they were all drama, all the time), it is harder to make really close girl friends.  Yesterday two of my girl friends joined me on a mini road trip to my orthodontist appointment in the city and it was so nice to just talk about make up and shoes and how our boyfriends/fiances/husbands are the absolute worst! (Just kidding. We love you. Most of the time.)

2. Juliette shared this video on Twitter and I nearly died.  Aside from the fact that I actually enjoy kale and smoothies, this is the story of my life.  "Hello wine and bagel bites" was one line in particular that truly spoke to me.  However, last night, we splurged on calamari and chicken nachos and I actually regretted it afterwards because I felt so gross.

3.  I found out earlier this week that I won Adaleta's giveaway for a Lorac Mega 2 Pro Palette!  I was shocked because I don't normally enter many giveaways and I have certainly never won before.  It is especially great because it is not a brand that I have easy access to here and it was limited edition which means that it is unavailable to buy now.  Cannot wait to get my hands on that beautiful palette!

A photo posted by Janine (@janineallison) on

4.  If you follow me on Snapchat (janineallison), you know that this was a good mail week for me.  My new work sneakers finally arrived, after being delayed by the snow for two days.  Given that I am on my feet for 12 hours a day when I am working, I have to replace my sneakers at least once a year.  My back has been acting up lately and a few co-workers recommended Sketchers sneakers.  I generally buy Underarmour because I love how lightweight they are but I decided to give Sketchers a chance.  As soon as my eyes fell on the Sketchers Flex in Floral Bloom, I knew they had to be mine.  Given that I have to wear a uniform to work, I am always looking for ways to express my (perhaps eclectic) style and these fit the bill perfectly.  I also received my January Birchbox which means that there will be a review coming your way shortly.  If you are thinking about signing up, use my link above and you will receive $5 off your first box if you join before January 31st.

5. I've been working through Helene's Build a Successful Blog E-Course and I am quite enjoying it.  I have always loved to learn new things but it is even more enjoyable when it is something that you are truly interested in.  On that note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me on Facebook, left a comment, or expressed your interest in my blog.  I was overwhelmed by positive response and I could not be happier!  For all of you people out there who are considering it (and I know you exist, because you told me), I encourage you to go for it!  

Goals for 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Okay so I may be 21 days late with this post but better late than never, am I right?

Honestly, I've been debating whether or not to start a blog.  It's not my first foray into the blog world but I've never been able to continue with the effort required to sustain a blog.  It's all fun and games for a month or so and then I run out of things to talk about and the thought of editing one more photo makes me want to die.  But yet, here we are again. Do I think it will last this time?  Maybe, hopefully.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I were reminiscing about Livejournal and how, for a while, everyone and their dog had one.  It was fun to go back and look through the old journal entries and laugh at our naive, youthful selves.  I actually kept a Livejournal for ten years, from 2003-2013.  Granted, the entries were sporadic at best by the end of it, but I still love having all those memories to look back on, so that's where this "lifestyle" blog enters the picture.  My life is hardly exciting but I do miss having a place to store all my memories.  Also, I really need a creative outlet.  In hindsight (of course), I probably should have chosen a career in a creative field but alas, I took the safe route and now I'm stuck with a job that I am not passionate about.  Here I can talk about fashion and makeup and the little things in life that excite me, and no one can tell me otherwise.

So without further ado, let's get started.

Get Healthy | Here's the thing - I'm currently carrying an extra few (unwanted) pounds.  People often look at me and say "Where exactly do you need to lose weight?" because I am petite, but it doesn't change the fact that I am currently 25lbs heavier than I was in high school.  Do I want to be that weight again?  No.  Do I want to lose about 12lbs and get back to my "normal" weight?  Absolutely.  Jordan and I bought gym passes this month which, in all honesty, is something I never expected to do in this lifetime. I hate working out with a passion.  I hate sweating.  I hate feeling like I'm going to throw up.  I was the girl who refused to participate in P.E. classes.  But the fact of the matter is that I am getting older, my metabolism is slowing down, and I can no longer avoid it.  I've been working out 3-4 times a week and my jeans are already fitting better.  Also, I don't want to die of heart disease, so there's that.

Wear Lipstick Every Day | This is a fun goal.  My lipstick collection is currently rivalling that of Sephora (I wish), yet I keep buying more.  The thing is, if you never use it, you will never have any less.  Duh, right?  So in order to justify buying more, I need to use what I have.

Pay Off Bills | I'm not going to lie, I have credit card debt.  Sure, this is the new normal in our generation, but I hate it.  The thing is - building and maintaining a house is expensive.  It's not as easy to pay off bills now as it was when I lived at home, rent-free.  I'm hoping to have at least the majority of my bills paid off by the end of June 2016, and then I want to start saving.

Save, Save, Save | Because you never know when you are going to need it.  And also because you want to build a bigger house.

Read 12 Books | This is such a small number that my book-loving self is ashamed to even say it. However, when you consider that I only read a handful of books last year, it is an improvement.  I love to read, but lately I've found myself more caught up in reading blogs and watching Youtube videos.  I'm trying my best to read at least a chapter every night or so in order to read an average of one book a month.  I've already finished one book ("Carry On" by Rainbow Rowell) and I'm currently working on my second.

So there it is, my goals for 2016.  Nothing too major, but hopefully I will end up in a better place, physically and financially by the end of the year.  Also, putting this out in the universe is really scary, so perhaps 2016 will be the year that I also let go of my fears and just do whatever makes me happy.
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