Friday, May 31, 2013

May Favorites!

Well another month has come to an end and it seems to me like June has approached very quickly. With the end of the month comes MAY FAVORITES!! 
 Coconut oil has so many health benefits that I actually did a separate blog on it a while back. I use this brand of coconut oil for oil treatments on my hair, on my skin and even to help hydrate my eyelashes. Now that it is getting warmer out I won`t be using it on my skin anymore but I  like the brand. I purchased this at GNC.

I have been loving these Color Zone nail polishes. I use the pink one for my pedicures almost all summer because it is so bright and vibrant. I got them at Winners but you can also check Marshalls.

For some reason my hands have become very dry lately and this herbal cream with hemp in it has helped dramatically. This cream leaves my hands soft and supple for hours even after washing. I purchased this from my local beauty supply store.
This leave in moisture treatment by Elasta QP is great at reviving your hair in the morning. It adds softness and has a light conditioning effect while protecting hair from the sun and adding tons of vitamins to nourish your hair and scalp. I purchased this from my local beauty supply store.

I have tried many different kinds of antiperspirants and deodorants but this Scent Expressions deodorant by Secret is by far my favorite. I like that the clear gel doesn`t leave those horrendous white marks on my clothes and it smells like a body mist or perfume. This scent is called oh la la lavender but doesn't smell anything like lavender. 

I love this Betsy Johnson perfume. It smells divine but a little goes a long way especially when you want a lighter scent for summer because I do find that it can be a tad heavy. My hubby is obsessed with this scent and loves when I wear it.

I also love this Betsy Johnson body lotion, although I don't use it for my body I use it as a hand cream. This cream like the perfume is made in France and has the same scent only lighter. It makes your hands smell amazing and you smell like you are wearing perfume even when you aren't, just by creaming your hands.

I have been loving these Wet n Wild Lipsticks in the shades Purty Persimmon and Don`t Blink Pink. They are very heavy colors so you only need to apply a small amount to get a good color payoff. If it looks too heavy I usually wear a gloss over top but the colors show up extremely bright and quite matte with just a  touch of shine. I got these from Walgreens.

When I want something a bit lighter on my lips I usually reach for my Baby Lips tinted lip balms, especially the shade Pink Punch. It also smells delicious and fruity.

I had bought this for my trip and have been using it all month. I really like the scent and the exfoliating beads.I think I will try another scent from this brand when this one is finished. 
 In the summer time Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato is my drink of choice. It is light, delicious, sweet and bubbly, in fact I think I may have some this weekend!

I found these delicious almond stuffed dates covered in chocolate while in Dubai and I brought some home for my family and for myself of course. I don`t usually like dates but these are yummy.

I have been loving Lindt`s dark chocolate this month. I figure If I am going to eat chocolate it should at least have some positive health benefits too.

The best book I read this month was Gone Girl. I liked the way it was written, I also liked all the psychological aspects to the characters and how the story was told from different perspectives. The ending was also very unconventional which I liked. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whats in my beach bag

Hi everyone,
I decided to do a whats in my beach bag post since I just got back from Dubai where they have some beautiful beaches and since summer is on its way.

I have tons of beach bags because I buy one from almost everywhere I go. I got this one in Aruba and it came with the matching sarong, wallet and scrunchie for about $20.

When I go to the beach I always take my hat to protect myself from the sun, I got this hat at La Vie en Rose, I take a pair of flip flops which I also got at La vie en Rose, and snorkeling gear (purchased at Walmart) especially if there are good reefs and marine life. I also take a pair of sunglasses, I got these from Ralph Lauren but I usually alternate between my sunglasses.

I take sunscreen for my body, usually water proof, this one is SPF 60 even though it is for kids. I also take the Polysporin antibiotic pain relief ear drops because my hubby gets swimmers ear often. Swimmers ear is caused when salt water gets into your ear and irritates your inner ear canal causing a lot of pain. I am always prepared just in case someone needs it. I also bring my beach towel, I obviously got this one from the Bahamas. 
I usually take a good sunscreen for my face, this one is SPF 100+ because I find that no matter what I do I always tan, and since I don`t want any premature wrinkles I try to protect my skin the best I can. I also take my Tresemme heat protectant spray for my hair, so many people forget to protect their hair from the sun but sun exposure can make hair dry and brittle. I take a book with me and extra clothes for after I get out of the water. Usually I take a light dress that is easy to slip into and some extra underwear, it is a good idea to take extra clothes especially if you have plans after you go to the beach.

A few other things I pack:
-Large plastic shopping bag to put wet clothes into
-A hair brush and some hair ties in case my hair looks all crazy after I get out of the water
-A snack, something easy to carry
- Bottled water, I try to stay hydrated when I am out in the sun for long periods of time
-If I don`t take a sarong I usually pack or wear a bathing suit cover up

What do you pack in your beach bag?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

What is the Clarisonic and what is it suppose to do:
*The Clarisonic is an advanced at home skin cleansing system
*Cleanses skin 6x better than hands alone
*The brush moves 300 times per second to open pores and lift dirt and debris out
*Prepares skin for better absorption of moisturizers, creams and serums
*Gentle enough to use 2x per day
*Uses sonicare technology and moves in a micro massaging motion to remove impurities
*Leaves skin softer, smoother and more beautiful
*Cost: $149 +taxes

Directions: Gently move the brush using small circular motions. Use on the forehead (20 seconds), nose/chin (20 seconds), and both cheeks (10 seconds each) the device will beep to let you know when to move from section to section.

*Brush heads should be changed every 3 months and cost $29 each or $45 for two.

My results and review:

Initial results...
*My skin never felt cleaner and more refreshed after using this device
*My skin felt very smooth and soft
*The texture of my skin was more even
*My creams and face products seemed to be working and absorbing more efficiently 
* The overall appearance of my skin was more radiant 
*My makeup applied more evenly because my skin was more even in texture
*I needed to use less cleanser because the brush helped distribute and lather my cleanser more effectively 
*I loved that it only took one minute to cleanse my face 
*I woke up with skin that looked fresh and polished
*I no longer needed to exfoliate

After 3 weeks the irritation started...
*I did not notice a big difference in the size of my pores but I do not have large pores so this wasn't a negative.
*The device takes a very long time to charge 18 hours!
*After 3 weeks of using my device once per day every night with light pressure my face began to get irritated, itchy and sore. I was not breaking out yet but I did feel that maybe the brush head was too harsh even though it is suppose to be for sensitive skin. I think the sensitive brush head is more suited for people who have normal skin. I purchased the delicate brush head for $29 hoping that it would be less abrasive. 

After 6 weeks... the real problems began
I heard a lot of rumors that this device can make you break out when you begin to use it but I didn't really believe it. Many of the reviews claim that some people go through a purging stage where the debris and dirt in your pores comes to the surface and causes beak outs for a while. 

My skin began breaking out. It started with irritation and a week or so after that I had acne on all the areas I used my Clarisonic on. I have rarely if ever got pimples on my forehead and chin but I began getting them. Red bumps and pimples started popping up on my face especially on the areas I used the Clarisonic on the most. I was using a gentile cleanser that had never caused any issues, light pressure and the delicate brush. I was also only using the device once per day even though the directions claim you can use it twice per day. 

UPDATE: (5 Months later)
After owning the Clarisonic Mia for almost 6 months now my skin has improved from the initial purging phase. I now use my Mia 1-2 times per week with the delicate brush head and that seems to be working for my skin. You should use it whichever way is most efficient for your skin type.

The model I got:
The Clarisonic I got is the travel size Mia 2 but it is still quite large
The color is passion fruit (limited edition)
The system also includes:
*Universal voltage charger
*Sensitive brush head
*Travel size cleanser
*Protective case
*Instruction booklet

The Clarisonic is not for everyone or every skin type. It may work well for some and not for others.

The Olay Pro X cleansing system never caused any irritation or break outs so that is an option for those who want a cleansing device.

The Mia  provides a great cleanse and as long as I only use it a couple times a week I have no major issues.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My favorite purchase from Dubai: Prada

I have wanted a Prada bag for some time now because I have always liked the simple sleek styles of many of the bags compared to some of the other overly labelled high end brands.

 I no longer buy bags as much as I once did because I prefer to wait until I can get something I really like and because I wait until something really catches my eye before I buy it.

There is so much shopping in Dubai that I did not even skim the surface while I was here. The malls here are massive and some can take you a couple of days to walk through. In addition to the large malls there are souks, smaller malls and higher end markets to chose from.

I chose to get a simple black bag because it goes with everything.

This bag is from the Galleria Capsule collection. For more details you can find it here: 

I am preparing to leave Dubai later tonight. I really enjoyed my time here and our friends who live here Darlene and Jasen have been wonderful hosts, amazing friends and incredibly helpful. I will miss them and I will even miss that cute little antisocial cat Max; but Dubai is definitely a country I will visit again someday.

I now have to get ready for the long, exhausting flight back to Toronto and all the airport lines and waiting before finally getting home.

Friday, May 24, 2013

View From the Top, The Tallest Building in the World

I have a fear of falling; it isn't really heights that bother me so much, even though being up in the clouds is unsettling. It is more the thought and prospect of plummeting to my death that I have a problem with.

Today we went up to the observation deck in the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest building in the world. The building itself is beautiful to look at, slender, sleek and futuristic as it towers well above Dubai's other impressive sky scrapers.

If you lay out all the steel used to make the Khalifa it could stretch all the way from Dubai to Australia or Dubai to Los Angeles which is pretty impressive.

Here are some views from the observation deck which is not really "the view from the top" as they claim but this is as far as you can go as a visitor.

It would have been nice if the elevator had a view of the outdoors as you ascend to the observation deck but it was enclosed. It was extraordinary how fast the elevator climbed 124 floors in less that 60 seconds! your ears pop and you have no idea how high you are until the doors open and you see the impressive city below and desert landscape spread out before you.

Although the view is impressive I think the view from the top price is over the top and I would recommend booking online through the website if you don't want to pay the high price at the ticket counter. There is really nothing else up there but the observation deck and a souvenir shop.  

After taking some pictures at the observation deck we stopped off at some shops in the mall and I just had to get a cupcake.
sweet store in the Dubai Mall

Dhow River Cruise, The Saluja

Last night my hubby and I went on a Dhow dinner boat cruise on the harbor with the beautiful skyline of Dubai as a backdrop. Despite the scenery it was difficult for me to fully enjoy the cruise because I think I got food poisoning from something I ate yesterday and I feel terribly ill. Despite that I sucked it up and tried to make the most of the night.

The Dhow boat we cruised on was called the Saluja which was a traditional dhow wooden boat. Even if you don't plan to go on a cruise it is nice to go down to the harbor and see all the boats lined up with their colorful lights.

I expected a formal, romantic, quiet evening out with a nice dinner but I was unpleasantly surprised when I saw a lot of families and a lot of very rowdy kids on the boat making a lot of noise. The food was okay, it was mostly Indian food which seems very popular here, but the buffet was not very orderly and everyone was shoving and weaving in between you to get what they wanted. 

The boat sailed a very small route circling the harbor a few times, so the scenery doesn't change and even though they stress punctuality the Saluja left half an hour late waiting for those who couldn't be bothered to be on time.

The performers were adequate but the amateur magician seemed to be there for the kids alone. 

If you are looking for a quiet, romantic night and dinner out then this may not be the cruise for you. If you want a casual night out with the family then you may enjoy this cruise. 

We booked through Marhaba and got a very good price.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Liebster Award!!

Hi everyone,
So I was nominated for the Liebster award!! This is my first nomination. I was nominated by Christina Murray from

I want to say thank you to Christina for recognizing my blog and nominating me. She has an amazing blog herself.

This is a word of mouth award and helps bloggers with under 200 followers gain some recognition.

The rules as stated on Christina's blog are:

  • Answer the questions set for you 
  • Post 11 facts about yourself
  • Choose 11 new bloggers to tag 
  • Add 11 new questions 
  • Tell the bloggers they've been nominated!
 Answers to the questions set for me:
1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
My willingness to be there for my friends and family when they need my support.

2. What is currently to your right?
A terrace at my friend’s house in Dubai with beautiful trees and flowers and a big fluffy orange cat.

3. If you could live anywhere other than where you live now where would that be?
I would live in Miami close to South Beach. I go there often and I love the city, the beach and the atmosphere.

4. What makes you happy?
Spending time with my family, sunny days on the beach, travelling the world, snuggling up in bed with my hubby and watching a movie.

5.  Do you collect anything?
I collect key chains from all the places I travel to and totes and beach bags from the places I travel to.

6. What is your biggest phobia?
I have a fear of falling so anything that has to do with jumping from somewhere high like parachuting, sky diving, bungee jumping ect  scares me. Tomorrow I will  face that fear when I go up in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

7.  Do you exercise?
Yes, I like to workout and I go to the gym but I don’t like gyms themselves. I also like hot yoga. I tend to fall off the wagon for weeks at a time before getting the energy to workout again.

8. Who was the last person you spoke to?
I spoke to my mom yesterday from my vacation.

9. Food of choice in a restaurant?

10. What is your favorite memory?
My birthday is on Christmas Eve so my favorite memories are of when I was a kid, my family use to have these huge birthday/Christmas parties for me with all my family and friends and we use to party well into the night and I use to get tons of presents. 

11. What is your worst habit?
Procrastinating on things I have to get done but do not want to do.

11 facts about myself:
 1. I like snorkeling and I'm interested in marine biology
2. I LOVE to travel
3. I’m Canadian
4. My favorite colors are purple, black, wine and pink
5. I have one sister (Amanda) who I am very close to
6. I hate ANY and ALL kinds of sea food
7. I like doing adventurous things even though I’m usually scared out of my mind
8.  My favorite animals are dolphins and bunnies – (who doesn't love bunnies?!)
9. I love studying Ancient Egyptian culture and would love to go to Egypt
10. My favorite cuisines are Indian, Thai, Italian, Mediterranean and Greek
11. I have a degree in psychology and studied medicine. I also have a travel agent licence.

I nominate and tag:

(I am in Dubai right now so the links have an .ae/ at the end I hope they all still work)

My questions for those tagged:
1. What is the nicest place you have ever been to OR what is your dream vacation spot?
2. What is your dream occupation?
3. What is your favorite perfume?
4. What month were you born?
5. What is one food you absolutely hate?
6. What is your biggest pet peeve (something that annoys you)?
7. What are your hobbies?
8. What is your favorite movie?
9. What has been your favorite purchase for this year thus far?
10. What is your favorite season?
11. What is your favorite novel? 

Looking forward to reading your responses :) 

Relaxing day at the beach

Today we spent a relaxing day at the beach. It was very hot here in Dubai today, the heat really sucks the energy right out of you.

Here is a view from the beach today. This is the Burj Al Arab hotel. It is one of only two 7 star resorts in the world!!!
There is this restaurant in Dubai called Eat and Drink where you can get cheap food that is very tasty! I LOVE the fresh mango juice loaded with chunks of fresh fruit. I am going to miss them when I leave.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Haul! What I got in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Gliterz eye shadow #309 in a purple/pink shimmery shade. I have never tried this brand before, it is made in Turkey.

Vatika enriched coconut hair oil with henna , almond and lemon.
Cheri Paris Painted Love lipsticks, made in Paris. This pack is #2 and comes with 7 lipsticks in very light shades.

While in Abu Dhabi I found an Inglot store which I haven't ever seen in Toronto. I picked out a few shades that I don't really have in my collection. Most of the shadows are matte except for the orange shade which has some shimmer in it. The colors are very pigmented and go on smoothly. 

Since I stopped in London before coming to Dubai I decided to commemorate the trip by getting a Big Ben charm for my Pandora bracelet.

I got these Top Lady polishes at a mall kiosk in Abu Dhabi. The colors are very bright and vibrant. I have never tried this brand or even heard of it before.

I have been very busy so I haven't done much shopping but I may pick up a few more things for my family before I leave.

Arabian Nights Desert Safari

Today we went on The Arabian Nights desert safari in Dubai. The tour guide picked us up and we headed into the desert.

The first thing we did was go over the dunes in a 4x4 jeep. I don't think this tour is for the faint of heart. The dunes are pretty steep and the jeep does some amazing maneuvers that makes you feel like the entire car will flip. We actually went down some of the dunes sideways! The driver Mohammed Ali was excellent and my friends specifically asked for him as a guide. It was a lot of fun, like a half an hour roller coaster ride in the sand. The jeeps had to have the tires deflated a bit so that we could climb the dunes and move through the sand.

One of the cars behind ours going down the dunes

me (yes I brought my Gucci purse into the desert)
Beautiful as the sun begins to set
After going through the desert we went on camel rides. It was bumpy but a once in a lifetime experience.

The camp was in the middle of the desert with sheesha pipes, a barbecue and drinks. The atmosphere was amazing with Arabic music, and a campsite equipped with Persian carpets.

Dinner was delicious! with lots of salad, fruit, pasta, Indian and Mediterranean food.

 After dinner there was a belly dancing show
There was also an Egyptian dancer
 In one of the tents I got a henna tattoo
If anyone is thinking of going to Dubai this trip is something you should definitely try!
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