March 31, 2013

My All Time Favourites!

Today I want to talk about my all time favourite cosmetic products. These are the ones I always go back to. No matter how many I products I try, these are still my favourites. I like to try ones that claim to be similar to them or I think may sway me from them. It's like a test or a game to see if they can beat out everything else. Nothing can beat them! They're that good!

Now keep in mind, everyone is different. these are my "can't live without" products, but maybe they won't necessarily suit your needs. But from working with a lot of people over the years with their beauty needs, I can say the majority of you adore these ones too! They are worth trying out for sure.

Falsies Flared Mascara in Very Black (Waterproof) by Maybelline

Here's the deal, this one is not only my favourite mascara, but it's also my all time favourite cosmetic product! I have purchased so many of these, it's crazy. No matter what mascara I try, I always end up ditching it and going out to get this one again! I'm very loyal to this beauty. 

What's so awesome about it? The spoon brush gets you to the bottom of the lashes and sweeps them up so high. Your lashes will look so full and amazing. People ask me all the time if I'm wearing false lashes! It gives volume, length and an overall dramatic look. it also wings out the sides of your lashes creating a really sultry, romantic look. I like waterproof mascaras, but this one does come in regular (and different colours.) I've tried both regular and waterproof and neither of them budge. No flaking or smudging throughout the day. It doesn't come off until you want it to. At the end of the day, this mascara looks just as good as when you put it on first thing in the morning. I like a mascara that's going to work overtime, because I don't have time to fix it up in the day. This mascara is worth it. Of course it takes a few times to get a hang of the spoon brush. That's what worries a lot of people. I promise you will get used to it! It's the best.

True Match Touche Magique Concealer by L'oreal

This concealer is insane. I've never ever been so impressed by a concealer. The fact that it is a mass product, but it behaves like a prestige product blows my mind. It has the qualities of a very expensive product. L'oreal did it right making this one. I will buy this concealer forever. 

Why? First of all it's an illuminating anti fatigue product. Basically not only is there pigment to hide your dark circles, it also works with the light to draw attention away from flaws. It's a lifesaver. I like that it's not thick. The texture is light and silky, so there's no clumping in your eye area. It blends in really well and stays put. A lot of concealer with high coverage is thicker and can look cake-y if applied wrong. This formula is simple to apply. You really can't go wrong. I have very dark circles under my eyes and I've used it on other people with dark circles as well. It always does the trick. If you have this problem too, you need to try this. It's perfect for any blemish or problem area you want to hide. 

Lise Watier Sun Smart

I am so glad I discovered this product, because it does a few different things. It actually eliminates a couple beauty steps, and making a beauty routine easier is a big bonus in my book! Now it's actually a sunscreen first of all. With an SPF of 30, it's dermatologically tested, extremely gentle and very silky soft. It had a universal uv shield, so it filters the suns harmful rays. It's also paraben free. It's also good for all skin types. Basically it's a sunscreen miracle. If you're like me, you hate the thick feeling of sunscreen. Especially on your face. That's a big problem. Here's where this gets acts like a primer. Yes! It has a primer effect on the skin. it smoothes, fills in lines and pores and helps make your foundation look flawless! Put this on first and then the rest of your makeup and you will be amazed. I have an oilier acne prone skin type and I found that after using this it acted as a barrier to keep dirt and impurities away from my skin just like a primer would. It also made my skin fell smoother and healthier. I noticed a reduction in acne and my pores became small and untraceable! Even on days I don't wear makeup, applyng this makes my skin look amazing. It's on the pricier side, but this is one of those things that will pay off for you. Think about the price of a great primer and a really good sunscreen. This has both in one, and the level of sunscreen in this one is hard to beat. The sun is harsh! Be kind to your skin!

Nars Pure Matte Lipstick

My favourite of these lipsticks is Vesuvio, a bright matte red. In fact I'm wearing Vesuvio in my jewellery photos! I love the skinny, compact shape of these. It helps get the perfect amount on my lips without making a mistake or a huge mess. I can dot it right on the cupids bow on my top lip and the diameter of it fits my lip shape perfectly. I also love the long lasting effect. It's matte with an awesome colour payoff. Of course, if you're not crazy about matte lipstick, this may not be for you. But I adore a matte lip like nothing else! This one's also a bit pricier, but well worth it I've found. I get a lot more use out of these than all my other lipsticks. They come in a lot of great colours, and they bring in limited edition colours for different collections and seasons. I would suggest trying this lipstick on before purchasing to get a feeling of what it's like. Try it!

Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner (Universal Dark)

This is a great brow liner! It's so inexpensive but it's better than a lot of brow products from more expensive lines! It has a fabulous texture. When you use it, it glides on so effortlessly. The stick form is easy to use and it even has a brush on the end to comb out your brows. You can use it to create any number of looks. You can keep your brows thin and precise or full and thick or anything in between. It's such a good tool to get any look you need. I would definitely recommend trying this brow pencil out. I find it's better than using a powder or gel or any other type. It stays put, but still looks soft and natural. 

I hope you enjoyed my favourite products. If it inspires you to go out and try them, that's great! Let me know so we can gush about how awesome they are later. Have a great day everybody and Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate Easter!

Marissa xo

*All photos found on Google from products websites.

March 30, 2013


Hi everyone! I hope you're having a fabulous Spring Break. I've been spending mine mostly in the kitchen. I think I've caught the Spring Cleaning bug, because all I want to do is cook and organize and think about home renovations! It's crazy to think in a couple months we will have had our house for a year! There's still so much to do. Tonight is our family Easter dinner. I made these cupcakes for dessert!

I made 21 cupcakes. The others are in a huge Tupperware container, so I thought these guys would be easier to photograph. I love making things from scratch, because then you know exactly what's going into them. Sometimes though, there isn't enough time in the day! You know what I mean. So this cupcake batter is a rainbow bit cupcake mix from Betty Crocker. The icing is from scratch though!

Cupcake Icing:

1 cup butter (soft)
3 and 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

First mix the butter, icing sugar and salt in a bowl. Then add in the wet ingredients - milk and vanilla. 
You do need to work at it for a while until the mixture becomes creamy. It takes a little time.
Add in the food colouring of your choice! 

It makes a lot of icing. I was able to ice all my cupcakes without making a second batch. I just split my mixture into two bowls, so I could make both green and lilac icing! This recipe is quite sweet too, just a warning!

I covered everything with sprinkles. I just wanted my cupcakes to be super sweet and colourful.
I think my family will love them!

Have a great day you guys!

Marissa xo

March 28, 2013

About My Jewellery

I started making fashion jewellery as a side hobby. I didn't really mean for it to turn into anything, but after making a few things I started to notice that I really enjoyed the work. I was kind of addicted to the thrill of putting beads together and coming up with interesting formations. After that I spent almost every night making necklaces.

I knew at once I wanted to work in silver tones. It was an obvious choice for me. I love the sparkling clean look and how silver catches the light differently. In my daily life I generally always wear silver, so I thought I would spread the word!

After a while when I got more serious about creating, I noticed a definite style forming. It was feminine - vintage inspired but still modern. All my patterns were precise and repeating. And I realized I was using the same format I use for my art, in my jewellery. 

It was never on purpose. It just happened. I realized that's just me, and that's the way I conduct my creations. So now that I know what I'm aiming for and what my bar of creation is that I have to reach, I look at my standard, and make everything around that. I use my style to my advantage, because I enjoy girly, pretty things! 

Now that I'm aware of my style I try to keep my pieces in the same family and flowing together.

I really hope you enjoy my pieces. At the end of the day, they're all meant for you to enjoy and wear.
Whether your wearing it to a summer garden party or to work on a Monday, I hope my jewellery takes you everywhere.

Marissa xo

March 27, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt

Hi everyone! Yesterday I played around with eggs! Easter is coming soon. I love Easter. When I was younger I loved it because Easter is so close to my birthday, we used to celebrate my birthday and Easter on the same day. Now it's just all about the season for me. I love the pastel colours and the spring flowers. It just feels like a time of regrowth and renewal to me. Everything smells fresh and clean.

I couldn't let Easter pass by without decorating some Easter Eggs and this year I took a more kitschy, homemade approach. So I hope you like my Easter Egg Decorating Tutorial/DIY plus some cute display options.

This is what you'll need:

- eggs (I used seven. Plan to eat a lot of eggs that day, so they don't go to waste! We just need the shell!)
- knife and chopstick (This is what we used but you need anything with a point that can pierce the egg and then something to get the egg out of it's shell.)
- bowl (to empty raw eggs into.)
- food colouring (I used four. Mine are Neon style - blue, pink, green, and purple. But any kind will do.)
- small bowl of water (You will need to change the water for each egg.)
- markers (regular sharpies work well.)
- metallic gold marker 
- gloves 
- paper towel
- cake pan (or anything you can stand the eggs up in that can't get stained.)


Okay I hope you planned a day full of cooking and baking with eggs! We had lots of scrambled eggs and I baked cookies too!

Find the base of your egg (the bigger end.) This is where we will poke the hole. You can use whatever you want to pierce your egg. We just had a little pointed knife. (I say we because my boyfriend helped me out here!) Gently chip away and make a hole. You want to make a hole big enough for the egg to come out, but not too big that's it's very noticeable. About a cm will do. 

Now use a pointed object (we used a chopstick) to coax the egg out of the shell and into a bowl. Take your time so the egg does not break. Just let it drip out.

Clean your eggs. Rinse them out with water. You can also use a bit of soap. There shouldn't be any residue left in there. 

Now rest them on a paper towel. 

Food Colouring Time!: 

Fill your bowl with warm water.
Put on your gloves!

Add a couple drops of food coloring (one of each colour you want to use.)
Now dip in your egg and lift out. It will look like a light wash of colour. 
Holding your egg over the bowl, drip food colouring on top of your eggand turn your egg around and around slowly. This will help the food colouring spread around the egg better.

Once it looks the way you want to, place it down in your cake pan sitting up. Because of the hole in the bottom it should stand up on it's own. If some don't just lean it carefully on the edge of the pan.
Rinse out your water and keep repeating these steps with all your eggs. I did four this way.
Once they're finished and all in the pan, leave them for a few hours to dry.

Decorating with Markers:

You've waited and your eggs are now dry. Take then out of the pan one at a time and gently pat the bottoms with a paper towel to make sure they're dry. This part needs to be done very slowly. You need to keep paper towel with you to wipe your fingers, because if they get wet at all the marker and watercolour dip dye you did will start rubbing off and melting off your egg! I found it was best to pick up an egg and colour it while only holding onto the bottom of the egg. It's tricky, but it will keep things from smudging. 

Take the markers of your choosing and create cute springtime designs in keeping with the colours of your dyed eggs. I coloured three eggs and used a gold marker to go over my watercolour eggs. It really adds some dimension!

Now let your eggs rest for a bit to let the marker dry.

Display Your Eggs!:

What will you do with your eggs? Are you keeping them for yourself? Are you giving them away? How will you display them at your house?

We're keeping the eggs in our house until Saturday when we go to my moms for Easter dinner. Then they will go over there with us! Until then they are looking so pretty in our living room.

This is what we did:

This is a shelf in our living room TV unit. As you can see, we have a very unique way of decorating at our house. Wai (my boyfriend) enjoys comics and vinyl toys. I love girly vintage things. We make it work. 

Want a more modern option? I set this up for you guys too. Just to show a more modern take on Easter decorating. I really like them both ways!  

Have a great day!

Marissa xo

March 26, 2013

Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Today's diy is of the kitchen variety. Baking to be exact. I really love cooking. I'm not so much into baking, but it seems like I've been doing a lot of it lately. A while ago I made these AMAZING cookies, and ever since then I could not stop thinking about them. They have a lot of ingredients and I like it that way. All the different flavours are what make them so good. But hey, if you have any allergies or you don't like my choices, feel free to make your substitutions. 

Here's what you'll need:

* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup brown sugar
 * 1/2 cup sugar
 * 2 eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla
* 1 and 1/4 cups flour
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
 * 2 cups oats
* 1 cup dried cranberries
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* cashews for tops of cookies 
*ungreased baking sheet

The baking soda isn't in these pictures! So make sure you don't leave it out!
Got all that? Okay then let's get started!

First Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
I always leave my butter out (in it's wrapper!) overnight so it's nice and soft.
Cream together your butter, brown sugar and white sugar until it's completely smooth. (Today I only had white sugar, so I just put in 1 and 1/2 cups of white sugar. Trust me though, the brown sugar is totally worth it.) Beat in eggs one at a time. Once that's all mixed together, add your vanilla extract.
Next combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Make sure you've mixed this really well because next it's the dry ingredients, but you also don't want to overdo it either because this can change the way the cookies bake. So get it to the right consistency and stop. 
Good job!

Mix in your oats one cup at a time. 
Don't put them in all at once, because it can be too tough to stir it by hand. 
But look at it this way, you're building your muscles. That's what my mom and grandma always said!
 Next add your chocolate chips and cranberries. 
Guess what? It's time to get those babies into the oven!

No need to grease your pan...unless you want to. I never do for these cookies.
Form your cookies into little balls. Not too big or too small. About a large spoonful usually does it. You don't need to flatten your cookies, because they will flatten while in the oven. 
Now stick them in there (and be safe! The oven's hot!) and wait 12 minutes.
Time it right. These cookies are best if left for exactly 12 minutes!
 Weird I know, but I've got it down to a science. Trust me.

Alright it's been 12 mins now and you've just taken them out of the oven - safely, with oven mitts, I may add. At this point, your cookie will be very hot and extremely soft to the touch. There shouldn't be any signs of too much browning. They need a while to cool off, but before you leave them, decorate them with your cashews! I usually put a whole cashew on each cookie and when I have just bits and pieces I start getting creative. Okay now let them rest on the baking sheet for a while. 

It's 10 or 15 minutes later. Go check your cookies! They should be soft but a lot harder and easier to work with now. Carefully lift them from the sheet. You've got yourself an amazingly soft, melty cookie with the most flavour a cookie can possibly have. Seriously. They're so good.

I put mine into my vintage aqua Tupperware container, and I'm sure these will be devoured in the next few days. Not by me, sadly. I'm living the gluten free life lately, but my family can enjoy them!

Try out my cookies and let me know how it goes. Did you follow the recipe or did you try your own version? Experimenting in the kitchen is so much fun!
 Lots of love from my kitchen to yours



March 25, 2013

Art in Bloom

Today's Window Shopping feature is a look at my artwork only! Why you may ask? Well as I said yesterday, my artwork is my first love and it deserves mountains of attention. Even though I adore my jewellery line and how well my jewellery and art go hand in hand, my shop is currently dominated by jewellery listings! So I didn't want my art to feel left out...

I know right now my darling jewellery line seems to overpower my art pieces in the shop, but soon enough I will have some new pieces up for you all. 

Don't these three pieces look lovely amongst spring flowers?!

As always, you can find these beauties in my shop! The link is near the top of my blog, under my picture! I hope you enjoyed my art mixed among a floral display today. It sure made me feel that spring is on it's way. Now I'm off to create some new goodies for CharmingShop. Thanks for looking!


March 24, 2013

My Life's Work...So Far

Hello! Yesterday we had a little chat about my Balloon Girls. Today I wanted to let you in on the secrets of my true passion, my mixed media artwork. I'm really quiet about my work and I don't usually talk about it. I think that's sort of part of what makes it interesting. It's a mystery to people.
But because I promised I would talk about all my work, I will pour it all out for you. 

When I was younger, I guess high school age, I was developing my style. I was always serious about art. I like to say that Art picked me. It wasn't something I chose, it just was in my life. I liked pattern, texture, colour, anything repeating. I think in part it was about my need for structure. I loved everything to be equal or the same. I was kind of obsessive about tidiness and perfection. Everything I did had to be perfectly measured out, and all that has pushed me into the way I work today.

I started off doing lots of swirls and shapes that looked like a cross section of something you would see under a microscope. Lots of repetition and detail. Somehow my work developed sort of a tribal or Native American art look. And at first I was so surprised by this, but it was a natural, gradual evolution and it allowed me to look deeper at where my art style was going. 

Okay I know, talking about art is so serious. Sorry!

"Cell Division" (above) was the first piece I really fell in love with. It was different from anything I had done so far. It was more detailed and more beautiful. There was just something about it that I really clung to and knew that this was the new standard for me and everything had to be as good as this. I was so proud of it.

I continued to work in a similar style, but nothing like this ever came out again. So I examined what I liked most about it, and in the end, it was a few things. I liked the collage style. This was the first time I had ever incorporated collage into my work. I was especially taken with the floating circular cut outs. The colours were my next favourite. I loved the brightness. It was breathtaking. And last, the floral wallpaper sections. The gorgeous Asian pattern I had chose to go with my piece was my new inspiration for every piece that followed.

I have always loved wallpaper and vintage fabric. I collected scraps of anything floral or retro looking. My mom had old card game tally sheets from my grandmother, and as a child I would stare at them for hours, because they had gorgeous floral patterns on their covers. I collected everything I could get my hands on. And at that time, it was a little weird. It wasn't even about how pretty the flowers were. Mostly I loved the repetition and the flow of everything. So when I really thought about it, the transition to a wallpaper themed art piece was so natural and I couldn't believe it hadn't happened sooner!

This is what I came out with. I worked on it for hours an hours. In total it took around 20 hours to create. While drawing away and recopying each panel as perfectly as possible, I realized this was going to be my art style. All the pain of drawing it by hand was so worth it in the end. Since then, I've created similar pieces. None of them are alike, but they all have a similar theme. They are all inspired by vintage wallpaper. 

 I really feel like this style was meant to be mine. Every time I create a piece, I get to discover it as I'm working. For me, I start off with a general look, usually the pattern style, and everything else appears as I go. I choose colours and accents to go with how the piece is evolving, so when I'm done, it's even a huge surprise to me. I look back at it and I still feel so proud. I'm proud that I created these and that they have utilized every part of me and everything I enjoy. 

Talking about art is so intense! I hope you got a sense of my work and enjoy my pieces. They're so special to me. I always say it, but if I could keep every piece, I really really would. I would cover my entire house with them. But they're all for sale. These are just a few. There are more in my shop, CharmingShopLove on Etsy. Thanks so much for all your interest. If you read all this, you're the best. Seriously. Happy Sunday everyone.

Marissa xo

March 23, 2013

Home Updates

I'm a big believer in doing little crafts and home updates here and there to give your place a little pick me up. Spring is here! We still have snow here, but it should be melting a bit soon enough. But next week is Easter and I've been busy making sure my house has spring flowers everywhere! I can't help but feel like warm weather is on the way. Actually this is funny... as I write this I'm sitting here in shorts! It's strange how I subconsciously put on shorts today without even thinking about it. Nice one, Marissa.

Whenever I do one of my crafty hobbies or make something to put out at my house, It always makes me feel like I've accomplished more that day. Whether it's something seasonal to put out for a while, or something I can always keep on my shelf, I look at it and feel really good about it! Try doing something crafty at your house!

Here are two little projects I've done in the last little while. They're small, but every little thing counts.

#1 Magnetic Spice Rack - We got two of these magnetic spice rack boards at Canadian Tire a while back. They were on sale and because my kitchen is on the small side I liked the idea of getting everything off the ground and onto the walls.

We made a list of 12 spices or ingredients that we would get the most use out of when we cook or bake. 

For us it's:

* Cayenne Pepper
* Oregano
* Sesame Seeds
* Garlic Salt
* Rosemary
* Basil
* Parsley
* Curry Powder
* Dill
* Cinnamon
* Sage
* Nutmeg

We went out and bought bags of spices. Don't get the jars! They're more expensive and if you're only putting it straight into these containers, you won't need the jars anyway. You can get them prepackaged or go to a bulk food store to get the amount you want.

I thought our jars needed a little personal touch. I am so bad with spices and telling them apart. I will admit that now. If we left it unlabelled I would never know what was what without tasting it first. So I had some white labels we use for garage sale stickers. I have a typewriter, so I fed the stickers through and typed out the names. Then I cut them to this size with scissors and placed them all in the centre of the jars. Aren't they cute?!

I urge everyone to invest in a spice rack or some way to store your spices. It keeps everything tidy and organized. We use a lot of spices over here. My favourite is probably Rosemary. It tastes amazing with sea salt on roasted potatoes. Yum. Maybe I should do a little recipe in the future? I think so.

#2 Vintage Dog Planter - Alright I don't know a whole lot about this guy, but I got him a few weeks ago at Value Village. I've seen ones like him before and have always admired them. So the second my eyes spotted him, he was in my arms. I know, I know. I guess he's a boy because I keep saying "he", but I didn't name him at least. I'm not that weird...

He won me over instantly with his sweet wiener dog face and kitschy look. I just thought of all the possibilities for him. I knew I wanted to put little cacti in him. He looked like he would be a good mini cactus planter. And he is!

Instead of buying live ones that would need attention and water and room to grow, I got a couple fake cacti groupings at the craft store, Michaels. They were clearing them out, so I got a good deal. The bases were made of Styrofoam, so I cut them into a shape that would fit into the planter. And like any good crafter, I have an assortment of mosses I keep for crafts. So I put moss all around the cacti. This guy is going on the top of my TV unit, where he can sit proudly and be admired. He's so cute. Did he win you over too?

If you love to keep busy and make things, I suggest making something for your home or for your room. Whatever you want! You can try these or make something totally unique. It's up to you! Enjoy your weekend!

Marissa xo

Balloon Girls

Hello everyone! I know I missed yesterdays blog post, but not to worry I have two for you today!
Since making my art career my full time job, life has become a roller coaster of events. I'm enjoying all the time I have to focus on just my art at CharmingShopLove and just my blog here at CharmingShop Life. For a while I lost the creative imagination that it takes to be an artist. Working out in the world means you don't have that time to be your own person. But I feel things coming back to me and I'm constantly dreaming up new things to do.

So I thought it would be nice to tell you a little about each of my projects that I've put into my shop and how they originated. Today I thought I would start with the unusual and adorable, Balloon Girls.

These girls are pretty special to me. When I first made one it was a rough, horrible doodle in my sketchbook. I was just fooling around actually. And I ended up colouring it in with marker. So their creation was completely by accident. I really liked the way it looked, but I thought it could be way more cute and soft looking. And it should be more of a reflection of me and my personality. So I worked away getting the face just right.

First off, I wanted my girls to have an overall sixites vibe. Like when you look at a 1960s magazine spread or an article, women always had the most beautiful flawless looks to them. They looked serene and the colours used were just dreamy. I wanted my girls to be real bombshells, but be reserved and classy. I really wanted their facial expressions to be soft and light. I liked the idea of having their eyes closed and just focusing on really beautiful lashes and calm lips. Maybe they are deep in thought. I wanted them to have a look of having a lot on their minds but being silent and quiet - like a daydreaming pose. Each one looks like she's thinking something different from the last. For their hair, I keep it pretty simple. I like really adorable bobs and undone looks on my girls. I wanted something effortless and I guess a little Parisian. For colour, I always stay light to go with their overall look. My Balloon Girls always get pretty, rosy cheeks. That's a little piece of me. I love a soft rosy cheek like nothing else.

Now comes colour. When choosing the hair colours, I always look straight at my girl. Who is she? What wold she be like? I make up little personalities and background histories for them, and from there I determine their hair colour. Like if she has shaggy hair with bangs. Maybe she's really sweet, but she has a little bit of a rebellious side. She's kind to everyone she meets and she loves to stay ahead of trends and doesn't want to look like everyone else. Then maybe she will have baby pink hair. Or maybe peachy-cream hair with a dip-dye ombre look with pink on the bottom. My absolute favourite girls to draw are the ones with bobs with the soft cream coloured hair. I feel like they're more of an extensions of my own personality. They have a classic look. They are more proper and shy and reserved. She's creative but she likes to look simple and elegant.

I always put my Balloon Girl illustrations in a hand painted frame. They're always different and unique to the girls they hold. Just like how each of my Balloon Girl drawings are original, I always try to keep my work as personal and unique as possible. I feel that art is special, and when I look at something that's hand done I see it's workmanship and the time it took to make it. You see all the lines and brushstrokes. It just feels good to hold something someone put a lot of work into. Even for myself, if I look at my own work, it's more special to me because I did everything with my own two hands.

I love these girls and their adorable faces. They always make me so happy. I enjoy their personalities and character traits. Maybe that's funny to say, because they are just drawings, but I spend a lot of time with them. So to me, when I create their stories, I fall in love with them. And I hope you love them too!

If you're interested, all my original Balloon Girl drawings are for sale in my etsy shop. These lovely ladies and more. Go check them out!

Marissa xo

March 21, 2013

Thrifting Tips Part 3

Do you know what today is? It's the last edition of Vintage/ Antiquing/ Thrifting Tips! I have five more for you. I think I've prepared you for a seriously educated shop. Of course I will still post about my own adventures thrifting, because let's face it, vintage hunting is so fun. I even get a rush seeing what other people have found!

#1 Be Thoughtful - Keep other people in mind. Has a family member or friend been on the search for a specific item? Maybe it's hard to find, and suddenly one day you come across one. Give them a call and see if they would like you to pick it up for them. Or maybe give it to them as a gift on a special occasion. Keep others in mind and they will keep you in mind too. Sometimes the best things come to you when other people find it for you.

#2 Different Tastes - This is such a good one if you live with a roommate or spouse. If you don't live alone please, please keep this in mind. It will save you so much trouble. Just because you love something, maybe your significant other or friend won't. I mean, if it's a gem, definitely don't pass it up, just be aware and take other peoples opinions into account. Since first living with my boyfriend in our apartment and now our house, I've scaled back on my girly things. Where I would normally just go nuts with florals and pinks and lace, I always take time to think about how my decorating decisions will affect him. Now I take time to get more gender neutral finds, that we will both enjoy. I'm not saying you can never get your favourite things ever again. Every now and then I still do. I never pass up an amazing find. Just don't let your items take over your home. There's always a compromise.

#3 Take Your Significant Other - Take them with you! Then you can get a sense of what they like. Even if your partner is resistant, I guarantee they'll get into it once they're there. (I mean, I'm sure they've witnessed you coming home with all those goodies all these years. They should automatically want to go!) They'll be picking up pieces left and right and you can get a sense of their particular style. So if there's ever a time when your spouse is not around, you'll be able to bring home finds for them. Just keep communication open. It's a great bonding experience and not to mention super fun! You'll start to notice this awesome meshing of two worlds that is so unique to you two. It's magical.

And if you're single, take a friend! The extra opinion and extra set of eyes is always great. Maybe they'll notice something you didn't.

#4 Check Before you DIY - I cannot stress this enough. Please never start a diy project before you check your facts on an item. In a world where crafting and updating has become so popular, I have seen some gorgeous, expensive pieces being painted over and essentially ruined. It breaks my heart. If you want to update something, research it first. You could have an expensive piece of furniture on your hands people. You're just defacing it and decreasing it's value. I recommend going out and getting a piece that is worth less to get creative with. Buy it specifically for that project.

#5 Get Vocal - This is the most interesting rule, and it's amazing how well it works. Is there something you really want to find, but you haven't had any luck yet? Get vocal! Post pictures of it on Pinterest or Facebook or anywhere else. Tell anyone and everyone about it. Maybe they have one at home in a box in their basement that they don't care about and will want to get rid of. Maybe they know where to find one. Maybe they will find one for you in the near future. This always, always happens to me. If you make room for it in your life and you think about it and talk about it, it's just a matter of time before you find one. Try it!

Okay ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our Thrifting Tips. I hope you enjoyed them and you will really think about everything I've said. I know they will help you. It's a lot to remember, but it is an ongoing process. If you're new to thrifting, I promise you will get the hang of it quickly and you'll start to develop a style in it. So get out there and start hunting! You're all set! I can only imagine all the cool things you're going to find and I'm super excited for you. Good luck everyone!

Marissa xo

March 20, 2013

A Mid Week Break

Hi everybody, I hope you're having a great day. I had a very early start today. I've been sick with a cold so I've been living in my pjs and drinking rice tea. How sad. Today I finally went out, and it felt really good to join the world again! I did my makeup and wore my favourite sweater and even took a couple pictures for you! Yeah this is me in my everyday look! Pre ponytail and post. I normally wear my hair down but since I've been sick, I wanted to have a more energetic look today. Why do ponytails always make you feel more awake?! So weird!

 Well the reason I rolled out of bed super early was to get a few things done before a morning trip to Ikea with my mom! Lately we haven't seen each other very much and I sure do miss hanging out with her! We had breakfast and had a little shop. Okay a big shop. Basically we looked at everything. But in the end this is what followed me home...

Ikea is new to us here. I mean I've been there before in other places: Edmonton and Minneapolis, but our city just got one, and I am both pleased and worried. Pleased because my house has gotten some really cute updates since then. And worried, because clearly I spend large amounts of money there. Oh dear. So these are my finds today. A really awesome plastic planter that looks super mod and amazing. A lilac candle, because lilac is my all time favourite scent. AND a set of four glasses with a really retro inspired print of pear-halves. Obviously that trip was well worth it. I've been dying over Orla Kiely's gorgeous spring line. From one pattern-loving lady to another, she sure does know what she's doing. I can only dream of owning one of her beautiful items adorned with lovely retro prints, because oh my, it's too pricey for me! So when I saw these glasses I thought, these will quench my adorable pattern thirst for now! Oh Orla, quit making me love your work so much. I can't afford you.

Well I'm home now from our post Ikea visit at the family house with my mom, sister and the three dogs, and I thought I would let you in on my latest project. Remember that Storage Bin I made before? I decided to make another one, but for our living room this time. I wanted to try something different so I'm painting this one instead. I just started and it only has a few coats. I will update you on the process as I finish it up. So here it is in it's beginning stages:

Just like the one before, I did each side in a different colour: baby blue, light pink, pastel purple, and light turquoise. I guess I'm in the mood for Easter with my pastel theme. Don't judge me! I plan on painting each side with a different pattern or theme. I can't wait until it's done and it doesn't look so rough. It's pretty cute, right? I couldn't help myself with the scallops. I'm the queen of scallops. And because my little cat jumped in the last shot (He's a huge ham. He loves the camera)... I thought I should probably introduce my two partners in crime.


Here he is, little Royal. Royal is our youngest and he's a handful. He's about eight months old now and there is no end to his energy. This is his favourite position to be in for some reason.

This is Holly. She's about 4 years old. The crazy thing is, she is actually Royal's real life Aunty! Her brother is Royal's dad! Aww so cute. She is shy, which makes these two exact opposites. 
These guys spend a lot of time with me. Since I've been working from home, they've really enjoyed all the extra cuddling time they get.

Well I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my life. It's been a crazy week so far and I felt like sharing a little bit of what I've been up to. See you back here tomorrow for some more Thrifting Tips!

Marissa xo