Monday, December 18, 2017

Currently 12.18.17

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari
I thought this book was really funny and a perfect look at how dating and romance has changed over the past few decades. I’ll be watching his series Master of None on Netflix soon.
That was the only book I finished in the past month!

Not much ! It’s that time of year... busy busy.

Social media. Surprisingly, not much on-line shopping. I did most of my Christmas shopping in actual stores this year, mostly on Black Friday. I’ve been watching a bunch of Vlogmas on YouTube. It’s hard to keep up with watching daily vlogs though.

The Night Before - Netflix. A funny adult content Christmas movie.
Love Actually - Netflix. Does anyone else always cry at the “ to me, you are perfect” scene?? What is wrong with me?
Orange is the New Black - Netflix. I’m halfway through the most recent season. It’s not nearly as good as it used to be...
Modern Family - I had a bunch of episodes backed up on the DVR. Such a funny show! It never gets old.
I’m looking forward to a new wave of shows in January, which I will watch from under a blanket in my warm basement. With wine.

I'm borrowing her for January binge TV snuggles. 

We had so much Chinese food left over from the work party last week. I’ve also been eating the usual  pre-Christmas baked goods and treats that are hanging around work and home, but I’m trying hard to be reasonable. We haven’t been out to a restaurant in a while actually. We tried Hello Fresh last week for the first time. I quite enjoyed it! We'll definitely try it again, maybe after our vacation - it's lovely not to have to plan a meal.

Hello Fresh

I’m writing this on my lunch break at Starbucks. Have they mopped the floor yet today? Salt everywhere.

Starbucks. Mostly the Christmas Tree frapp in front of me. Yum.

Conversations around me. Lots of retired men go to Starbucks in the early afternoon.

Zara bell sleeve top, Topshop black pants, black ankle boots. It's cold today!

Restless. Wishing I was on vacation. I find the week before Christmas is always hard to stay focused. I’m also feeling quite satisfied with myself because I’ve been keeping on my workout schedule almost perfectly throughout December, which is unusual for me. Could be the pressure of a beach vacation in January - LOL.

Christmas! Punta Cana! My oldest friend arriving home from China for the holidays! Not one but TWO of my closest friends in the world moving closer to me next year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Deck the Malls

When the mall's Christmas decor is this nice, you can't help but want a photo. If you haven't checked out Halifax Shopping Centre's displays yet, you need to! Don't forget to see the reindeer outside of the food court and the giant tree in front of Zara.

Sweater: Wilfred Free at Aritzia
Jeans: Harlow
Boots: Old Navy
Bag: H&M
Bag Pom: Topshop
Hat: Gifted

The key to mall shopping in December is to GO EARLY. We were there today at 10:30 and it was no more busy than any regular Sunday.

Glitterary Girl

Monday, December 04, 2017

November 2017 Purchases

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. My quarterly budget is $500. This amount can be rolled into the next quarter if it's not all spent. My goal is to keep my out of pocket expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget. Since I've been keeping a budget, I'm much more careful with what I buy, and I will return stuff at the end of the month if I'm not crazy about it after hanging it in my closet.

November can sometimes be a big spending month due to Black Friday sales. This year, I was much more focused on getting Christmas shopping done than shopping for myself. I felt the need to upgrade my casual holiday party attire though, as you can see by my selections.

Sweater: Zara
Reg $36, on sale for $25 (Black Friday 30% off)
This makes me look vaguely like a Muppet but I’m okay with that. I’m big on texture lately.

Sweater: Zara
Reg $20
I retired my other pink sweater after a few seasons. This is actually from Zara’s kid section - size 13/14 usually fits me in sweaters. It’s very soft and cozy.

Top: Banana Republic (no longer available on-line)
Reg: $74, on sale for $17
I couldn’t step away from this for the price. It will be great for the holidays either on its own (provided I’m ambitious enough to sunless tan myself) or under a blazer.

Earrings: H&M
Reg $7, on sale for $3
One of those purchases you need to make to get your total over $30 to use a Conscious coupon!
They’re cute though!

Sweater: H&M
Reg $30, on sale for $10 (on for $15 plus used $5 Conscious coupon)
I have a sparkle sweater in a similar color already but I’ve worn it for a few holiday seasons in a row and I wanted something different. The full sleeves on this is what sold it for me.

Top: Gap
Reg $40, on sale for $20
Again, another holiday staple - the basic black velvet top. I retired my other one, which was long sleeved.

Original value of items: $207
Price I paid: $95
I saved 54%

I’m left with  nice chunk of budget ($213) to get me through December and Boxing Day. I’m hoping to find a black spring/fall jacket on sale and will likely place a sizable Zara order on Boxing Day as per usual. I don't think I have anything to buy for our tropical vacation next month... I stocked up on sundresses and stuff at the end of summer.

Did you find any goodies on Black Friday?

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Currently 11.19.17

Chanel Bonfire- Wendy Lawless
This was my at-work book. It reminded me a little but of The Glass Castle in that it was about dysfunctional parenting. Worth the read for sure!
Miss You- Kate  Eberlen
A YA book about missed connections. I quite enjoyed it!
Everything, Everything- Nicola Yoon
I read this because I noticed there was a movie and I love reading books and then seeing the movie. The book was really good- a fast read and hard to put down. Why am I obsessed with reading teenage love stories?

A ton of care plans at work for lots of new clients. I’ve penned a few poems as well.

I’ve done some online Christmas shopping. We are trying to decide on a winter vacation so have also been researching a lot of resorts and visiting travel booking websites. The goal is to get something booked by the end of the week. Too scared to book today in case there are better Black Friday deals.

I finished season 3 of The Affair a few weeks ago. The season finale was disappointing but I otherwise really enjoy that show! I’ve also completely caught up on Greys Anatomy in the past month. The American Music Awards are on tonight and I will be glued to the red carpet show to see if Justin ends up appearing with Selena. I’ve recently changed my opinion on them. I used to roll my
eyes at the thought of them getting back together. However, if two people have been through that
much drama and still can’t stay away from each other YEARS later, then they deserve another shot.
This is Us is getting really good again as well... everyone is hyped about Jack and Randall.... but I have a thing for Kevin...

Thank goodness the Halloween candy is gone. I had way too many mini chocolate bars. I’ve been in winter cooking mode of comfort food and soups.

Starbucks - the 2 for 1 holiday drinks last week were amazing. The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha is soooooo good. I had it both hot and as a frapp.... I highly recommend! I made my way through a bottle of Trapiche Cab Sauv last weekend. I like red wine in colder weather. My David’s Tea collection is slowly getting picked away at. I literally have about 40 different teas between work and home. I also have 50g free to redeem - trying to decide what kind I want.

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now with a white iced tea. There are no job interviews happening around me which is awesome because when there is, I pick up on the nervous vibes. There are two older gentleman across from me who appear to be friends but aren't really talking. I get that.

Jeans, grey sweater, white adidas Stan Smith’s, my trusty Lole raincoat

Wish I was wearing this... from Pseudio.

Usual Starbucks noises... conversations, coffee machines, coffee shop music

coffee, also the honey body lotion I’m wearing

Warm and fuzzy. Alive.

Getting a tons of Christmas shopping done this week! I took Thursday and Friday off to hit the sales hard.  My mom and I did well with Black Friday last year and we will aim for the same this year. Once we’ve got a trip booked I’ll be excited for that too! The holiday decor at Halifax Shopping Centre this year is flipping amazing. I walked in there the other day and practically turned into an elf. Bring on the holidays!

Glitterary Girl

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What’s Up Doc

One day I was sitting at the mall, sipping on a Starbucks iced tea and browsing Instagram on my phone, when I had a sudden urge to buy something very specific. "I think I want a pair of Docs" I typed out to a friend, and as soon as I hit send, I got up out of the chair and went and ordered them at Little Burgundy. 

Vest: Club Monaco
Shirt: Zara
Jeans: Gap Factory
Boots: Dr. Marten Pascal 8 Eye via Little Burgundy (color no longer available)

I originally ordered them in white, but when they arrived and I tried them on, SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless) told me they looked like figure skates. And, they kind of did. So back they went and instead I ordered these green ones.

I LOVE THEM. The first few times I wore them, they were not so comfy. Thank goodness for thick socks. But the more I wear them, they better they feel. I have a blue pair of combat boots from Aldo and I wear them a lot, so I'm sure these will get much wear for many years to come.

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, November 05, 2017

My October 2017 Purchases

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. My quarterly budget is $500. This amount can be rolled into the next quarter if it's not all spent. My goal is to keep my out of pocket expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget. Since I've been keeping a budget, I'm much more careful with what I buy, and I will return stuff at the end of the month if I'm not crazy about it after hanging it in my closet.

What a strange and wonderful October we had in Halifax. Most days it still felt like summer.  I think we’re going to be in for a rude awakening when our quasi- summer flips into winter! This week will be the week to finally embrace fall and all it’s faux-fur, tall boots, and blanket-scarf-wearing glory.

Boots: Dr. Marten via Little Burgundy
Reg $200, on sale for $80
These boots might be my favorite purchase in a really long time. I’m sure it’s partly due to the 90’s nostalgia. I keep building the rest of my outfit around my Docs instead of picking something to wear and then choosing my shoes.

Cardigan : Zara (no longer available on-line but it's still in the Halifax store)
Reg $26
I was originally hunting for a red crew neck sweater but this will do. It’s surprisingly heavy weight for the price.

Leggings: Zara
Reg $36
Seriously, these are really good leggings. They have them in several different styles, but I was drawn to the moto details on this pair. (They are still not pants, cover your bum).

Jacket: Gap
Reg $80, on sale for $26
This was an impulse online purchase but I really liked it when it arrived. I love throwing a denim jacket on over a dress and this is a little different than your classic blue.

Sweater: Gap Factory
Reg $55, on sale for $12
Apparently I can’t own too many grey sweaters. This might be #5 in my closet....

Tee: Gap Factory
Reg $20, on sale for $6
My previous red tee needed replacing.

Sweater: H&M
Reg $25, on sale for $12
I had a Levi’s zip up sweater in high school that was sort of like this. I guess nostalgia is ruling my closet lately! Maybe I’ll wear it with my Docs and time travel back to 1995.

Original value of items: $442
Price I paid: $198
I saved 55%

I had $55 to add to my budget this quarter. So for November (Black Friday) and December (hello, Boxing Day), I have $357 left to spend. I have nothing in particular on my radar except for maybe a big oversized pullover sweater in a color I don't already own.

Glitterary Girl

Monday, October 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Stretchy Pants

I now own three pairs of these Uniqlo pants. They come in handy when there’s a high chance you’re going to overeat (a given for Thanksgiving). They’re also really comfy for traveling in and work appropriate if you have a casual office like I do.

Top: Topshop
Pants: Uniqlo
Shoes: Tory Burch
Bracelet: Alex and Ani
Necklace: Banana Republic

When you're helping prepare a meal for 37 people (yes, really!) you have to make sure you wear something you can move in and no droopy long sleeves. These 3/4 sleeves worked out perfectly.

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Currently 10.14.17

I've been turning more to TV/Netflix than books lately which is really weird for me.
Faithful- Alice Hoffman
I spent half this book liking it and half disliking it. The main character is hard to like at times. In short, it’s about a young girl who plays a part in a horrible accident and how she copes afterward over the course of several years.
My Not-So-Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella
I enjoy all books by SK. It’s very true to her usual style. A girl who thinks her own life isn’t good enough, tries to come across as someone who isn’t true to her real self.

I haven’t been writing a lot this month. I’ll get the urge to write something, then when I sit down to do it, I can’t focus. Sometimes my writing prompt book helps to get me going, but not always. And of course, I often think of things to write when I’m lying in bed and think I’ll remember them in the morning, but don’t.

I just did an on-ine rode at Gap with 40% off. I ordered a big box from Zara, but only ended up keeping one thing. Social media is taking up more of my time than it should, but I’m okay with that! I’m finding lots of fall style inspo on Instagram.

Friends from College- I finished this at the end of August and loved it. Can’t wait for season two.
The Affair - I only started this a month ago and I’m on season three already which is really quick for me to watch a show. This show is probably why I’ve not been reading much this month! It’s very addictive.
Girlboss- this one took me severally months to get through but I really liked it. Give it a try if you love fashion and throwbacks to the mid 2000s.
This is Us- I love this show! It makes me cry.
Grey's Anatomy- I’m still trying to get through last season. So far behind...
I don’t think I’ve watched any movies lately! I was toying with going to see IT in theatre but couldn’t decide if it would freak me out too much. We’ll probably watch a few scary movies before Halloween.

We had the best dinner at our friends’ place Friday night - shrimp and salmon, asparagus, pasta, bruschetta, and pie. Yum! We’ve had Chinese food a few times lately and I grabbed some Pad Thai from Thai Express last weekend. One order feeds me twice. I had some fabulous appetizers at The Stubborn Goat a few weeks ago with friends. I was doing the Arbonne protein shakes for breakfast and lunch most of the time in September and trying to eat clean 80% of the time. My clothes are fitting normally again, so it did what I intended for it to do!

I went to the Festival of Wines in September where I tasted a ton of really nice wines from all over the world. The same night, we ended up at Stubborn Goat where I had my favorite cocktail - The Bully. At home I’ve been enjoying the occasional glass of wine or bottle of Radler. Flavoured club soda has on high rotation as well.

Destroyed jeans, Club Monaco long sleeve tee, black Chucks.

I’m at Starbucks and I’m staring at some crumbs on my table that I’m trying to avoid. I’m really not feeling the vibe here today at all. Time to grab my London Fog and head home!

I’m back at home now and totally enjoying my Pumpkin Pie candle.

I've been playing Maroon 5's What Lovers Do waaaay too much.

I’ve been feeling rather blah for a few days, like I’m coming down with some sort of illness but it wants to take it’s sweet time to actually present itself. Work has been more stressful than usual the past few weeks but hopefully that will settle down soon. I haven’t been working out as much. Life has been busy- lots going on in the evenings to keep me away from the workout room. It's so dark in the morning, I can't tear myself out of bed to work out before work.

I actually have a legit Halloween costume this year which will be fun for a change Also looking forward to figuring out the mind boggling electronics on my new car.  Much like my iPhone, it takes me a bit to warm up to new to me technology. I'm heading to Annapolis Valley soon with my friend to check out some cider, wine, and beer spots. The leaves should be gorgeous! I found a new hobby I love in September- stand-up paddle-boarding. I'm excited to do it again next year.

Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring

SUP St. Margaret's Bay

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, October 08, 2017

My September 2017 Purchases

Every month, I break down my clothing expenses and share them. My quarterly budget is $500. This amount can be rolled into the next quarter if it's not all spent. My goal is to keep my out of pocket expenses within $2000 a year. Gifts and gift cards don't count towards my budget. Since I've been keeping a budget, I'm much more careful with what I buy, and I will return stuff at the end of the month if I'm not crazy about it after hanging it in my closet.

It was a beautiful September here in Halifax - to the degree that I really wasn't in the mood yet for fall  clothes. We barely even had any chilly mornings, so I was able to stretch bare legs out a little longer than normal!

Vest: H&M
Reg $50, on sale for $25
Shearling (faux) was on my need list for the fall. I wore it to work and the inside of it sheds LIKE CRAZY. Ugh.

Bag Pom: H&M
Reg. $7 (I got it for $2)
I wanted to use a H&M conscious coupon, which requires a $30 spend. So if I'm near $30, which I was with the vest above, I'll throw in something to bring the total to $30.  FYI: Tank tops are great for a throw-in item too. Love H&M tanks for layering.

Jeans: Gap Factory Store
Reg $70, on sale for $17
I like wearing cropped jeans with fun shoes. I'm pretty short, so the crop effect is sometimes hard to achieve for me.

Jacket: Zara
Reg $46, on sale for $20
I've already worn this several times. It's perfect for this time of year when the afternoon temperatures are still warm but the mornings are too chilly for bare arms.

Tee: Zara
Reg $20
I'm going to wait to see if this pearls trend sticks before spending much on anything. I love white tees, so this was an easy way to try the trend. It's hard to make out in the photos, but there are pearls around the collar and down the front.

Hat: Forever 21
Reg $21
I was on the hunt for a baker boy hat in black for a few weeks. My blogger friend Sarah appeared on her blog in this one and I rushed out to get it. I can't seem to find it on-line but it was bought in late September.

Dress: Zara
Reg $50. Free for me.
I had a Zara gift card for the store opening, so I picked up this shirt dress, which I styled last weekend with the hat above.

Original value of items (minus the free Zara dress): $214
Price I paid: $105
I saved 51%

This was the end of a quarter for my shopping budget and I actually came in $55 under budget, which I can roll ahead to next quarter. On my wish list is a pair of black leggings from Zara. I think I know the style I want already. I'd also like to find a red pullover sweater.

Glitterary Girl

Monday, October 02, 2017

Zara Tips

I’ve been shopping at Zara for years, both on-line and when traveling. Halifax now has a Zara store that opened in August. I’ve had some people ask me how I have such good luck finding stuff there. I admit, lots of the styles are not for people who want to blend in, and some of them are ridiculous, but there are hidden gems if you’re willing to spend some browsing.

Five tips for Zara success:

1) Know when to shop. I haven’t figured out the store arrivals yet, but the new styles tend to drop on-line on Tuesday and Fridays. If you go to the “New In” section on these days, you’ll find all the most recent stuff, organized by most recent. That being said, if our visit often, you can quickly see what has become available since the last time you looked.

2) It doesn’t hurt to try it. The return policy is one month for both on-line and in-store purchases. It’s also FREE SHIPPING over $50 and free mail-back or store returns. I’ve ordered two giant boxes of clothes before and only kept two pieces. If you are unsure, just get it and try it on at home. If it doesn’t work for you, return it. 

3) You snooze, you lose. Don’t wait on something you think you might like. Even though I know better, I did this last week with a green tunic.  When I went back to buy it the next day, it was gone. Remember, you can always take it back!

4) Some things run a bit small. I’ve found I need to size up one size in any tops with button fronts and most pants and jeans. Dresses and tops without buttons tend to be true to size.

5) Know where the sales are. On-line you’ll find mark downs in the “Special Prices” menu. When they have a big sale, there will be an obvious sale section on the website. In the Halifax store, there hasn’t been a big sale yet, but the mark downs hang out close to the cash.

I had a gift card recently and picked up this cute shirt dress that I wore to the Festival of Wines on Friday night. Even though the pattern is bold, it has tons of colors in it and I know I’ll be able to wear it with bare legs, leggings, tights, and skinny jeans.

Dress: Zara
Tights: Calvin Klein
Boots: B2 via Browns
Hat: Forever 21 

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Spectacular September

It's hard to not have a spring in my step lately, even if it is technically fall. We normally have great Septembers but I think this one has been even more beautiful than usual. Yes, I'm excited for fall fashion, but I can hold off on wearing my wool sweaters for a little while longer. You'll know fall has truly arrived I trade my iced teas for lattes!

Hat: Le Chateau
Shirt: American Eagle Outfitters
Tee: Gap
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind
Sandals: Aldo
Bracelet: Alex & Ani
Bag: H&M

If anyone sees a hat like this in black, please let me know! The one at Zara is too big for my little head!

Glitterary Girl

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I'm Done With You: September 2017

Every few months I share what I've used up or decided to part with when it comes to make-up, skin and hair care, and home scents. I'll leave a * next to the items I would re-purchase.

I always have a decent amount of Bath & Body Works products that I go through. Missing from this stash is my usual 3 wick candle. Turns out, I don't burn candles nearly as much in the warmer months. Also, I tend to want more variety, so I end up burning a few different scents partway, leaving me with half-burned candles and no empties!

Hand soaps in Nectarine Sun Tea* Beach Bellini*, Sweet Mint Mimosa*, Springtime in Paris*, Bali Coconut Cove*, and Aloe Agave*
Body wash in Coconut Lime Verbena*
I've also gone through a few body soaps from Pearl & Daisy* in Truro, but they were bought in bulk and had no packaging so I don't know the names of them. They are really nice and moisturizing though!

Wallflower scents in Beautiful Day*,  Champagne Toast, and Mango Dragonfruit*. I'm full-on obsessed with Wallflowers now and trying to decide if I need to pop by the mall and pick up the cute pumpkin plug that's on sale today (update: they sold the last one ten minutes before I went into the store *crying*)
Anti-Bacs in Sugar Plum Dream* and Black Cherry Merlot (which I generally like as a scent, but not as a hand sanitizer in the car.  Probably shouldn't be driving around with hands smelling of wine...)

Rimmel Brow this Way in Blonde* I use this after a brow pencil to set my brows. It doesn't have super strong hold but it looks natural.
Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Light* The closest thing I can find at the drugstore to MAC. I much prefer brow pencils that don't requite sharpening.
Nivea Lip Volume. This is way old and I don't even think you can buy it anymore.
Benefit Rollerlash Mascara* My holy grail mascara. I refuse to buy it full size though. I keep getting sample sizes in gift sets and as 100 point perks at Sephora.
Buxom Lash Mascara. Not my favourite to be honest. I find it smudges, but only on my left eye. Weird.

Hair Stuff
John Frieda Full Repair Conditioner* I like to always have a drugstore conditioner on hand for when I do my hair naturally curly. Salon conditioners tend to not work as well for my natural state.
Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil. I got this as a 100 point perk at Sephora and I don't think it's special enough to spend money on. B&B is expensive!
Amika Nourishing Mask. Another product that's not quite special enough to re-purchase.

Skin Care
Olay Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Gradual Sunless Tanner* I usually have some of this on hand for nighttime use when I feel my face needs some color but maybe not so much color as a full-strength sunless tanner
Vichy Liftactiv Supreme face moisturizer. I got this as part of a skincare kit. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, I just can't see myself buying it again unless I found it in another kit for a good price.
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye* I normally don't bother including samples this small in my blog posts but this stuff in the tiny package lasted me WEEKS. Kiel's is pricey, but you have to use so little of the products that it lasts forever. This was a really nice eye cream. I'd consider buying the full size once I run out of the ones I'm currently using up. I have three eye creams on the go right now, so it might be awhile!
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel * I like this face wash almost as much as the Kiehl's one. You use the smallest amount so the bottle lasts forever.
First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser * Another great cleanser. This one is better for wintertime, when my skin is drier, as it's pretty creamy.
GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment * A few years ago when my skin was going crazy with hormonal changes, this product saved my skin. I only use it on my t-zone as a mask or on any blemishes as an overnight treatment. It's expensive, but it WORKS. It's actually available in trial size at Sephora this month for 100 points.
Bioderma Micelle Solution * This stuff is always in my cabinet. It's the best makeup remover and not greasy at all. I use it every day.
Joe Fresh cotton rounds. I prefer the Quo ones to these.

Not empty but not using
Hask Kalahari Melon Oil shampoo and conditioner. I found these too heavy for my hair although they smell amazing
L'oreal Color Radiance Instant Miracle. This made my hair really tangled.
Tea Tree Oil. Expired.
Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lip gloss. Too much sparkle.

Thanks for reading all about my recycling!
Have a fabulous week!

Glitterary Girl