Instagraming March!

Hello!

Apparently, March turned into April ten days ago. You’d never know it by how cold it’s been lately. It’s still below zero most days. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in March:
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Kitchen is completely painted red! // Carrot cake pancakes were so good! recipe via smitten kitchen  // More snow! It never ends. :( // First Seasonsbox – post here // My tweet was mentioned in Style at Home magazine! // Could not stop drinking this tea even though I’ve had it for months // Marvelled the retro checkout at the nearby Safeway  // Became a bit obsessed with my mom’s issue of Redbook. I actually wanted to pick up my own copy. Great rebrand! // Sprinkles is sleeping and is adorable x // Green ombre-ish NOTD – post here// Discovered my favourite PBS Euro travel show host Rick Steves has a podcast // Shamrock plant! // What can I say? I love the snow? // Bunny! // Loved this memoir by Grace Coddington. Two thumbs up! // More Sprinkles x 2 //

What have you been up to this March? Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

Bride & Prejudice!

brideandprejudiceAs you may recall, this is the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice and I’m participating in a year round challenge hosted by Austenprose.

For March, I watched Bride & Prejudice. This movie has been on my must see list since it was released. I can’t believe this was the first time I’ve actually seen it. I’m such a fan of Bend it Like Beckham that I knew I’d want to see everything from this director.

Bride & Prejudice takes the classic Jane Austen story and updated to modern day India. Lalita (the Elizabeth character) is attending a friend’s engagement party when she first meets her Mr. Darcy. He’s an American businessmess looking to open a hotel in India as the one he’s staying in is not up to snuff.

This movie excellently showcases all the major themes from the original novel with a new emphasis on classism. Mr. Darcy as a wealthy American considers his way of life superior than those in India because of his wealth and amenities. It leads to this interesting ourburst from Lalita which I loved.

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I found the movie plot to be quite realistic. However, I didn’t really find Mr. Darcy very enticing. I’m not sure what Lalita really saw in him but I’m still glad they found each other. The one aspect of this movie that made it different then all other adaptations is the fact that it’s a BOLLYWOOD movie which means music and dancing!!

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Previous challenge entries: 1 / 2

Are you taking the Pride & Prejudice challenge? What are you reading at the moment? Have you seen Bride & Prejudice? Do you love it?

Add me on Goodreads!

Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with my favourite Irish writers!

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{Cliffs of Moher on my last trip to Ireland}

One of my favourite things about visiting Ireland is their admiration for their literary heros. I’m not sure it’s possible to not be reminded of James Joyce or Oscar Wilde while you’re there. Their literary history is constantly referenced throughout the country. I love that. I don’t see a lot of monuments to Canadian literary icons when wandering around here. Not to say that there aren’t any, I just haven’t seen them.

Anyway, last year I posted My 5 Little Bits about Ireland and this year I thought I’d add to it. As I mentioned, Ireland has a rich literary history. Without a doubt, that tradition has continued to this day. In fact, I find that many of my favourite writers are Irish women. Here are my top two. If you haven’t read a book by these ladies recently, I suggest you pick one up!

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{Source}

Sheila O’Flanagan: I was introduced to Sheila O’Flanagan’s books when my parents received a recommendation from a bookstore employee. I was working at a resort at the time and they included it as part of a care package. I’m not sure which book I read first but after that moment, I made sure to finish her entire catalog. Her latest, “Better Together” focused on life in a small town from the perspectives of two different women. The first, Sheridan, a young woman who’s just lost her job, boyfriend and apartment and Nina whose husband of decades has found national fame and isn’t sure if the small town life is right for him anymore. The book struck a perfect balance of the romance of new love and the difficulties that may come with older relationships.

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{Source}

Marian Keyes: Upon my discovery of Sheila O’Flanagan, I started looking for Irish authors specifically. Marian Keyes was another terrific find. I loved the way she marries serious situations with romantic comedy. I particularly like her series about the Walsh sisters which has been spread out over a decade with a book focuses on each one. The latest in the series, “The Mystery of Mercy Close“, has sister Helen a private investigator, trying to track down a missing member of a newly reunited boyband. While trying to solve the case, she’s also struggling with depression which she has been hospitalized with before. Although, you would think this would be a completely maudlin story, it’s actually very interesting and quite funny.

Who are you favourite Irish writers? How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?

NOTD: Essie’s Mint Candy Apple & Friends

A few weeks ago, I finally saw Essie’s Mint Candy Apple in person. I’m not sure if it hadn’t been available in Canada before but I certainly hadn’t seen it and believe me I looked. After seeing it for the past year on many blogs, I was so happy to finally find it. Once I picked it up, I wondered if it was too similar to China Glaze’s For Audrey. I also thought of Mac’s Peppermint Patti which I also have. Before I used it, I wondered if they were too similar.

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You can see that in the bottles China Glaze’s For Audrey and Essie’s Mint Candy Apple look very similar.

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So I came up with this cute NOTD using all three to compare them better.

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Clearly, I had nothing to worry about. Although similar while in the bottle, For Audrey dries to a darker turquoise/teal where Essie’s Mint Candy Apple stays a bright light blue. I really loved how these three worked together. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I do my nails like this.

What’s your favourite nail polish at the moment?

February Favourites!

Hello!

I love watching YouTube videos of people sharing their favourite beauty products. In February, I actually bought a few new products that I was obsessed with so I thought I’d join in on the fun. Generally, I buy a couple of things and like them enough to keep using them but not enough to advocate purchasing them. I can’t predict whether this will be a regular post just yet so we’ll play it by ear.

February began with me having very dry skin. You would think that dry skin would be more of an issue when it’s -40C and not when it’s hovering around -10C. However, my regular creams were no longer working. I should mention that I have combination to dry skin for comparison’s sake. Also, I get eczema on the palms of my hands and on my eyelids if I’m not paying attention so I’m worried about introducing new things because they can often make things worse. FYI – Vaseline (and the new Live Clean non-petroleum jelly) are the only things that work on my eyes when I have eczema so I generally just use that as a precaution.

Lush’s The Sacred Truth: $6.95 for 2.1 oz.

I decided to go to Lush and try a fresh face cream mask to help repair the dry skin. I ended up with The Sacred Truth which is made with wheatgrass, green tea and papaya. I really loved this! I felt a difference right away and I started using it 2-3 times a week all month. It is a slightly green colour and the mask has to be refridgerated. I see myself purchasing this again & again. I even think it’d be good in the summer to destress the skin after the heat and humidity sets in.

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Lush’s Full of Grace Moisturizing Bar - $14.95 / 20g

While as I was at Lush, they mentioned that I should try the Full of Grace serum with the mask for maximum impact. Although Lush can be a bit full on with the recommendations, I decided to pick one up because although I love the idea of serums, I haven’t found one I loved yet. I really love this one. You hold it in between your hands for a few minutes so it melts and then rub on your face. I started using this before the masks and at night. Sometimes I would put moisturizer on top but most of the time I just used as is. It was thick enough to last all night. However, I wouldn’t wear as an am moisturizer. Also, the scent of this one is a little heavy. It reminds me of patcholi even though I’m not sure patcholi is even in it. The only downside is that it looks like it’s only lasting for about 6 weeks. I will purchase it again though.

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Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil - $18 / .5 oz

Literally the day after I purchased the above two products, I went to Sephora with my friends. I’ve been looking at Josie Maran’s oil for weeks and wondering about it. The thing is that it’s quite expensive so it’s hard to take the risk. The 1.7 oz bottle is $58. However, I kept hearing great things about it so I picked up the tiniest sample as a treat. Naturally, I loved it. It’s quite different to the Lush serum as it has no fragrance and it’s a lot thinner. I thought it was a good complement for the am. However, I had to reapply it in the am for the first couple of days. I wouldn’t wear it at night alone because it wouldn’t last. I would repurchase this for the quality but the price is holding me back. I’m interesting in some homemade olive oil options I’ve seen online. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

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I have to say that using the above three products for 2 days made a huge difference in my skin. I could feel relief immediately from the Lush products and by the time I had all three in rotation, the dry spots on my skin disappeared.

What were your favourite products in February?

February Seasonsbox!

Hello!

Last month, I found out about Seasonsbox and immediately became obsessed. Seasonsbox is a bit different then other beauty boxes as it also includes items for the home. Since I purchased this condo, I’ve definitely become more interesting in home decor. It’s a lot more fun when you have more than a bedroom to decorate!

The other thing that’s different about Seasonsbox, is that they guarantee 3-4 full size products each month based around a specific theme. They’re also an eco-friendly and organic company. So, what was in the Seasonsbox?

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Dream Organics Rose Water (full size value – $22): I’ve been loving spritzing this on mid-afternoon or post workout. It’s smells so lovely.

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Bambu Earth Sugar Cookie Body Glow (full size value – $18): I have not tried this yet but it smells incredible. I actually want to eat it. lol Also, I like how grainy it is. It’s actually quite dry but you can feel the oil in it.

From their website: Bambu Earth™ Products are: • Made with Organic Ingredients • Phthalate Free • Paraben Free • Sulfate Free • Preservative Free • No Synthetic Fragrances • No Synthetic Dyes • Sustainable Palm Oil • Never Tested on Animals

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Kaia Naturals Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths (full size value – $17.99): I was excited to try these because they’re biodegradeable & cruelty-free. They smell like citrus which is so nice. I’m a bit cheap when it comes to makeup wipes. I use baby wipes (thanks Star Jones for the tip lol!) and so it’s good to compare to see if there is a difference. I haven’t used them long enough to figure that out yet.

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Galerie Au Chocolat Fair Trade Bar (full size value-$5) : This is such a lovely treat! I love Belgian chocolate and I like how they included something edible in the box. I’ve been eating a square every so often and it’s very good.

Seasonsbox is a bit more expensive than regular beauty sample boxes (It’s $29.95 plus $5.95 for s&h) but for me personally, I think it’s worth it. I really don’t purchase a lot of beauty products outside of the boxes. I might spent $20 a month outside of the boxes on average. You also get to preview what’s coming in your box before you order it. If you’re interested, click here.

What do you think about this Seasonbox? Have you received one? If not, what’s your favourite beauty box?

Pretty Reads: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

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As you may recall, this is the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice and I’m participating in a year round challenge hosted by Austenprose.

For February, I re-read Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. I selected this book because it is probably the most famous modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. It’s also one of my favourites and I haven’t read it since the movie was released.

I clearly remember reading this book for the first time. Half of the time, I was trying so hard to figure out what a stone was. I wasn’t quite the accomplished anglophile that I am today. Ha! Re-reading a book after so many years (and so after so many viewings of the movie) made it feel like a whole new experience. I even found the copy I read at my parents home so I could read the same edition. The book is still laugh out loud funny.

For instance, “It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s like being called Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting “Cathy” and banging your head against a tree.” – Bridget Jones

I think Bridget Jones became so popular because she’s a relatable heroine. It’s easy to dismiss her as a bit of an idiot when in my opinion, she’s just not bothered. She has a job but she’s not really passionate about it. She wants to lose weight but she’s never actively doing anything about it. She only goes about two days without smoking or drinking. It’s as though she’s worked out in her head how she has to achieve certain tasks to be perfect and she’ll only be happy when she’s achieved them.

number of current boyfriends zero

The movie, although fairly different from the book, still manages to capture its essence. Certain events are moved around or changed but the best bits of the dialogue are included and I think they did a really good job with it. I remember when it was announced that Colin Firth was going to be Mark. It made me so happy because although I barely knew who he was, I knew that Bridget had a crush on him in the book. It was so clever to include him. This has become one of my favourite movies as well. We won’t talk about the sequel (although I still watch it often).

Previous challenge entries: 1

Are you taking the Pride & Prejudice challenge? What are you reading at the moment? Do you also love Bridget Jones?

Add me on Goodreads!

Instagraming February!

Hello hello!

I’m so happy that March is finally here. Although we’re expected some snow today, it still feels like the end of winter is near. This weekend, I’m trying to get my receipts in order to do my taxes (ugh) and I’m going to watch some curling tonight.

Anyway, here’s what I was up to in February:
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Started painting my kitchen Gumball Red! // Winterfell scarf complete! post here // Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cookies for brother’s birthday // Dogs sitting in the front seat makes me happy // Double chocolate cheesecake for my dad’s birthday – recipe here // Lovely sunset // Picked up entertainment unit from IKEA. Took 2 hours to put together!  // Watched the 1914 film, Cinderella and became a bit obsessed with intertitles – post here.  // Painting other side of the kitchen // Spaghetti squash bake kinda based on this recipe // These snow banks are ridiculous // Rereading Bridget Jones’s Diary // Glossybox cupcake cups – post here // Another lovely sunset

What have you been up to this February? I love following new instagrammers. Follow me on instagram @Lesleylu and I’ll be sure to follow back! x

Pretty Things: Happy Birthday Glossybox

Hello!

Yesterday, I received my last Glossybox. It’s in celebration of their one year anniversary in Canada. It’s such a great box that I had to share it. I really love Glossybox. I’ve had a subscription for nearly a year and I wanted to try the new SeasonsBox. In a few months, who knows? I might resubscribe.

Here’s what I received:004
I love the normal pale pink boxes that Glossybox comes in. However, I love receiving this box. It’s very cute.
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Clockwise from top left:
1. Anatomicals : You Need a Blooming Shower! – FULL SIZE!
Rose & Jasmine Body Cleanser – smells gorgeous!

2. Crabtree & Evelyn Tarocco Orange Eucalyptus & Sage Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy Sachet

3. Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips – Ultra – FULL SIZE!
Yay!

4. Essence Quattro Eyeshadow in Vamp it Up  – FULL SIZE! 
Not sure about these colours. I have a couple of them and they’re more like fall colours in my mind but I loved getting it!
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5. Givenchy Gloss Interdit No. 3 Coral Frenzy (3.5 mL)
I think this is the most luxe product I received from Glossybox so I was very excited!!008 009
6. Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment This is exactly what I’ve needed! I think that since we’re getting closer to spring (pleeassee!!), I’m started to notice that my hair is getting a bit dry. I’m very excited to try this.

7. Eucerin Hyal-Urea Anti-Wrinkle Day / Night Cream Sachet Duo Not really into this. I really don’t like using anything with urea.

8. Glossybox Cupcake Kit Seriously? How cute is this!? I will definitely be making cupcakes in the near future!

As far as I know, everything (except for the Eucerin sample) is cruelty-free. :)

I have enjoyed receiving Glossybox. Although the products included are mostly drugstore products, there are usually 2-3 full size products. Did you get anything different in your Glossybox? Let me know!

New Obsession : Silent Films

Hello!

This weekend I’ve been focusing on writing an essay which is due tomorrow. Unfortunately, I’m very easily distracted. In researching this particular essay, I had the pleasure of doing something that’s been on my list for quite a while – watch a silent film.

Silent films are such a romantic idea for me. The silent film era stars like Mary Pickford & Theda Bara are all so dramatic and mysterious to me. I loved watching their Biographies on A&E when I was growing up. I feel like I know so much about them yet I had never seen any of there films. Fortunately, YouTube has many full length silent films online. How fantastic is that? Plus, I just downloaded the new YouTube app for Wii and it’s seriously amazing.

The film I watched was the 1914 version of Cinderella starring Mary Pickford.

What surprised me most about this film was how compelling it is. I thought I would be so bored without any music but I was completely on board with it. Also, liI was really impressed with some of the technical skills. The moments when the Fairy Godmother appeared were actually gradual. I had assumed that would only be accomplished by panning away or one of those instant boom appearances like in cartoons. It made me wish I was still enrolled in a film studies course.

Also, I’ve read recently that there is going to be a new Mary Pickford film released next year. I’m very excited about it. I love Hollywood movies about Hollywood. :)

Have you seen any silent films? What is your favourite?