Easy Bike Wrap Using Patterned Duct Tape!

I lived on campus in university and bought a cute cruiser bike to get around the sprawling campus.  I thought the bike looked pretty unremarkable, so I gave it a makeover by sanding it, priming it and painting it bright pink (of course!).  I customized it further by swapping out the seat and adding a cute basket, and the finished product was absolutely adorable!  I even started to be known on campus as “the girl with hot pink bike”.  The only downside was that since the paint was only sprayed on (rather than professionally baked on), locking up the bike would cause chips despite the multiple clear coats I applied.

Leopard Print Bike Duct Tape Before

Fast-forward to now, a friend of mine bought a new bike and mentioned that we should go cruising around town.  After dusting off and fully cleaning my bike, I decided it was time for another makeover.  Not willing to go through the trouble of repainting it just to have it chip off again, I wanted to try wrapping it with the patterned duct tape I’ve seen everywhere.

Here’s how I did it…

Duct Tape Bike Makeover Materials

PREP:

  • Clean your bike thoroughly with soap and water– spray paint and adhesive will not stick to a dirty surface
  • If it’s an older bike, use CLR to remove any rust
  • Wipe down with a microfiber cloth and let dry completely

PRE-TAPE AND SPRAY PAINT:

  • If you don’t want to disassemble your bike, determine which corners, crevices and small areas may be difficult to wrap in duct tape and spray paint them with 2 coats of neutral colored spray paint (or one matching your patterned duct tape)
  • Make sure to carefully cover any of the parts around these areas that you don’t want to get spray paint onto. I used masking tape for small areas and screws, shielded the wheel spokes with paper grocery bags and taped plastic around the pedals and kickstand.
  • Let dry overnight

WRAPPING:

  • To make the wrapping process as easy as possible, I recommend using a pattern that you won’t need to line up (e.g. leopard print rather than stripes or checkers).  If it does need to line up, make sure to buy extra tape.
  • Bikes with straight frames can be taped lengthwise along the frame, but if you have a cruiser or a one with a lot of curves, I recommend using many short strips and wrapping around the frame instead
  • Tape over any screws and use a box cutter to cut around the protruding parts for a neater wrap
  • Buy more duct tape than you think you’ll need (I used about 1.5 rolls) and keep any leftovers to touch up areas that get scuffed

Leopard Print Bike Duct Tape After

After 2 quick afternoons, I now have a one-of-a-kind bike that’s pretty… and pretty unlikely to be stolen!  Really, thief?! You’re telling me that you have leopard-print-duct-tape-wrapped-cruiser too?  The wrap seems pretty durable and I’m happy to know that any parts that get scratched or scuffed can be rewrapped at the end of the season.

If I ever get bored with the pattern I can always peel it off, use some “Goo Gone” to remove the leftover residue and re-wrap it all over again.  The peacock plume printed duct tape by “Duck Brand” seems promising!!

What duct tape would you wrap a bike in—neon, polka dots, glow in the dark?  What are some other fun uses for patterned duct tape?  

Leopard Print Duct Tape Bike Wrap

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

Killer Legs x POUND Workout

Lunges.  We  know they’re necessary for really killer legs, but they’re the one part of my workout that I seem to skip repeatedly.  I’ll do a few extra squats or leg presses to make up for them, but lunges are always met with the empty promise that “I’ll do them next time”.

Thankfully, the Steve Nash Sports Clubs offer Pound classes, which are my little secret to slipping an obscene amount of lunges into my workout whenever I feel like my legs are in need of some attention.  I’ve been attending classes led by Marion, a super fun and upbeat instructor who somehow manages to make the classes even more fun than they inherently are.

Rockout Workoutimage from Pound Fitness

According to their website:

Pound is a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming. The workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses into a 45-minute series. Burn between 600 and 900 calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique – all while rocking out to your favorite music!

I love this class because it’s a really intense and musically driven workout.  Unlike Zumba (my previous favorite), you stay in one spot with your yoga mat for the whole the class, which means you’ll always have enough room no matter how packed the class gets.  To give you an idea of how it stacks up to other fitness classes, I think that it is more challenging and requires less coordination than Zumba (great for those of you with two left feet!) but it is still easier than Tabata.

Ripstix

This class is great for people of all levels because you get exactly what you put into it.  It can be hard or easy, depending on how much you want to push yourself and how deep you choose to go into each lunge and movement.  You’ll use 1lb Ripstix to drum on a yoga mat (to absorb the sound), but I have to warn you that the class can get quite loud at times, so I wouldn’t recommend it to those with sensitive hearing.  I actually considered wearing earplugs but figured that it would prevent me from drumming in time with the music.

You’ll drum to songs from popular artists like Bruno Mars and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but the music includes all genres from hip-hop to rock (of course!).  It’s a very amped up class and invigorating workout and I really like that the loud music seems to give me an extra boost of energy.

Pound Workout Gear

My favorite part of this workout is that you get distracted by drumming to the beat of your favorite songs so you never realize how many lunges and squats you’ve actually done.  Every single song is a full-body workout, but there are certain “Poundtracks” that are geared to individual areas like your arms, butt and abs.  So make sure to bring a towel and water bottle and get ready to really work!

Pound classes are offered by Steve Nash Fitness World at their Morgan Crossing + Richmond locations (sorry, the Sports Clubs only!) but if you’re in an area like Cali, you can check a class out at a CRUNCH or UFC Gym, where SNFW members also get access!  More and more gyms are offering this rock star workout so I highly recommend giving it a try!

Check out the creators of Pound – Kirsten and Christina – demonstrating the workout on Access Hollywood!

What’s your favorite fitness class?  

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥

Oh Look A Sunscreen I Don’t Despise! x Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

Creams, scrubs, powders, glosses… If you couldn’t already tell, I love beauty products.  A serum promising more radiant skin? I’m all over that.  A deep conditioner that will rehydrate fried strands? Sign me up.  A cream that gives you instantly firmer skin? Okay, kind of skeptical… but in it goes to my basket!

One product, however, sticks out in my mind as abhorrent no matter what I do or which ones I try…sunscreen.  I loathe everything about it from its smell, stickiness, the oily looking finish, the horrid white sheen…and that you need to go through it all over again every 2 hours.  Ugh.

My detestation for the white gloop means I don’t wear it nearly as much as I should, which is embarrassing since the importance of sun protection has been drilled into our heads in the same way that we have been taught to floss as kids.  But if the threat of skin cancer isn’t enough,  I’ll make a plea to your vanity and remind you that the sun WILL cause pre-mature aging in ways that no serum or cream can completely reverse.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and staying in the shade or throwing on a hat isn’t enough.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration

Before a recent trip to a music festival, I stumbled upon a jewel in the form of the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen.  I was going to pick up a spray sunscreen, but I’ve always hated how expensive they end up being since I can whip through one can over a long weekend—even less if you have to share.  I’m obsessed with moisturizing, as you may know, so it intrigued me that this product does double duty as both a sunscreen and lotion.

PACKAGING

It comes in an upside-down squeeze bottle, which attractively displays the swirls of cream and light brown while indicating how much product you have left.  The product isn’t sticky which makes it very easy to dispense and although I usually prefer pumps for lotions and creams, I appreciate that the flip top cap ensures a secure seal when tossed into your beach bag.

WHAT’S IN IT?

The “ultra-luxurious hydrating silk ribbons” don’t just refer to the swirls of sunscreen and lotion because the cream contains silk proteins, which are used in cosmetics to prevent the dehydration of skin.  I was skeptical of its claims of containing “nourishing antioxidants” and “exotic botanicals”, but a look at the ingredient list reveals the use of shea butter, mango seed butter and aloe vera leaf juice as well as papaya, taro root, mango, purple passionflower, plumeria and guava extracts.

APPLICATION / FINISH

This is where the product impressed me most.  It isn’t overwhelmingly thick or too runny (it’s about the consistency of a thick cream) and the fact that it isn’t at all sticky makes application a breeze.  It spreads easy and absorbs rapidly, melting into your skin as an ordinary moisturizer would.  There is no tacky or greasy residue and you’ll find zero evidence of that shiny, white layer sitting atop your skin.

SCENT

I really like the smell of this and would say that company’s description of it as a “warm tropical fragrance” is pretty accurate.  It doesn’t have the overpowering and artificial smell of coconuts found in other sunscreens, but instead has a milder coconut scent with some tropical and floral notes.  The effect is light and pretty, and it won’t overpower any fragrances you decide to wear that day.

Silk Hydration Swatch

It is broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB) and is available in SPF 12, 30 and 50.  Its active ingredients are Avobenzone (3%), Octocrylene (6%), Oxybenzone (4%) and it is water resistant for 80 minutes.  Though it’s perfect for lounging on the beach, my only gripe with this would be that it’s not completely waterproof.  I’d be very diligent about applying every 2 hours if you’re swimming or doing water sports, but its easy application means this isn’t that much of a hassle.

I would definitely recommend this to all my fellow sunscreen haters out there because this is what I’ll be reaching for whenever I plan to spend time under the sun!

Check out my handy dandy image below to find out how much to use.  For easy application of all sunscreens, rub the lotion between your hands and pat each area to disperse the product before spreading.  Reapply every 2 hours and remember that we should be wearing a minimum of SPF 30 everyday, even when cloudy!

How Much Sunscreen

Have you come across any fantastic or horrible sun protection products?  I’d love to hear about them so leave a comment below!

With love,
Veronique♥

Disclosure:  I purchased this item on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my own opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thank you for your support! ♥

Monday Musings x Be Happy.

I hope you had a lovely weekend.  Here’s a little inspiration to get you through the week… ♥

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With love,

Veronique♥

[Disclaimer:  The above images were pulled from Tumblr – I do not own any of them.  If anyone requires photo credit, please let me know and I would be happy to include it.  Thanks for your support! ♥]

29 heels, 9 flats, 13 sandals, 4 ankle boots, 5 tall boots & 4 sneakers in 2.5 square feet of floor space!

When people say they have a “shoe problem”, it usually means they buy too many shoes. As a shoe addict in total denial, my shoe problem is how to store what I’ve accumulated so that everything is visible, easily accessible and neatly organized… all while taking up as little space as possible!

While I would loooove shelves upon shelves of neatly displayed shoes like Carrie Bradshaw’s closet in the movie Sex and the City, function and practicality are my main concern. I consider myself to be more of a shoe-addict-in-denial, rather than full blown shoe addict because when it comes down to it, shoes are not my weakness. I am more of an overall or general beauty/fashion junkie, and any space taken up by additional shoe racks only means a bigger problem storing everything else…

Shoe Storage Polaroid

I was previously using 2 extendable shoe racks stacked one on top of another. My heels and sneakers were on the shelves, half my boots were along the top shelf, the remaining boots were lined up next to the wall and I also had a bin off to the side containing my flip-flops & flat sandals.

For those of you ladies who wear high heels on a regular basis (+3 in.), I’m sure you understand my frustration with the standard shoe racks that use 2 bars in place of a shelf. While they do hold everything in place, taking heels in and out can be somewhat of a nightmare—the tall heels often hang down too low, touching and getting hooked onto the shoe that you are trying to pull out or put back. The result: a messy shoe rack with some shoes half hanging, some that tumbled down to the shelf below and a lot of shoes perpetually strewn at the base of the shelf. So maybe it’s not a complete nightmare (read: first world problem), but I knew there had to be a better solution.

Here’s how I crammed neatly organized 29 pairs of high heels, 9 pairs of flat shoes, 13 pairs of sandals, 4 pairs of ankle boots, 5 pairs of knee-high boots and 4 sneakers into 2.5ft2 of floor space…with room to grow!

(There are also 4 more pairs of random over-the-knee boots, Ugg boots and rain boots somewhere to the right, but for the sake of this post, let’s just pretend they don’t exist. I don’t think I can fit much more onto this one shelf, but if you think of a way to do it leave a comment below! I’d love to hear it!)

shoe storage overview

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  1. Ikea Billy Bookcase ($69.99 CDN)
  2. Ikea Billy Extra Shelves ($10.00 CDN each) – I used a total of 3 extra shelves
  3. Screwdriver + Hammer (as per the Billy Bookcase instructions)
  4. Power Drill

**If you aren’t quite as comfortable as I am with power tools, feel free to replace 3 & 4 with your dad, boyfriend, super nice guy friend or very handy girlfriend!

Billy Bookcase Materials

SOME CONSIDERATIONS:

The best part of this project is that you can change it and switch it up according to your own shoe collection. Feel free to make use of the predrilled holes and use only what comes in the Ikea box, or purchase additional shelves and take a power drill to the bookcase to make the shelf levels completely customizable.

Before you start, you should decide if you want to build something that is more of a shoe display case (i.e. something that nicer and neater but doesn’t hold as much per bookcase) or if you are looking for a more practical shoe storage solution (i.e. more shelves and more shoes per shelf). Your decision should take into consideration how extensive your shoe collection is and how much floor space you have to work with. Whatever you want to achieve will determine how best to install the shelves and organize your shoes.

TIPS:

Arrange first by style / type of shoe

This will make the most efficient use of shelf height. I determined the height of the shelves by measuring it against the tallest pair of each style. If you have more than one shelf per style, make sure that all of those shelves are the same height, and try to start new styles of shoes on different shelves so that the excess space can be used for any future purchases.

♥ Then arrange by colour

Arranging by colour is the most aesthetically appealing because it gives a greater illusion of order and organization, especially if you are tight on space. To keep things simple, I went lightest to darkest with neutrals, with some variation near the end for coloured/multicoloured shoes.

♥ Determine how best to arrange the shoes on each shelf

Shoe Shelves

  • 4 Pairs Per Shelf: Display 4 pairs of shoes per shelf facing forward.
  • 5 Pairs Per Shelf: Alternate the direction in which you face shoes to compress each pair’s width. Fitting 5 pairs per shelf will allow a little buffer between pairs so that taking something from the shelf does not disturb the shoes next to it.
  • 6 Pairs Per Shelf: (This was the option that worked best for my shoes) I alternated the direction of my shoes, but pulled the front facing shoe as far forward as possible while pushing the back facing shoe as far back as possible. This further compressed each pair’s width allowing me to fit one more pair per shelf, but removed the extra space between pairs. Removing or returning a pair does disturb the shoes next to it, but not by much and not inconveniently so.
  • 7 Pairs Per Shelf: Alternate the directions of the shoes again, but first put in all the back facing shoes at a diagonal, then put all the front facing shoes in facing forward. Although this method makes the most efficient use of shelf space, I opted not to organize my shoes this way because I found removing and returning shoes to be too inconvenient. I think that there are also too many shoes crammed onto each shelf, making it difficult to remove or return shoes quickly and neatly.
  • Flats + Sandals: If you have few pairs of flats & sandals, I recommend stacking them one on top of another with pairs side by side so that removing one pair doesn’t jostle the ones next to it (as I did with my shelf of flats). If you have many pairs of flats & sandals, I recommend laying them on their side with the toes facing opposite directions and soles facing outwards (as I did with my sandals & flip flops). This allows you to compress the space further if you purchase more shoes, and keeping the soles facing outwards prevents them from dirtying one another while also preventing the straps from getting tangled when taking them off the shelf.

Note: I recommend that you spread your shoes out as much as you can at first, then cram them in a little at a time and reorganize/compress as you buy additional pairs.

Keep a shoe mat nearby

Wipe them at the door, but it doesn’t hurt to keep one nearby to wipe shoes before putting them back onto the white shelves. Buy a nice one that matches your décor or do what I did and grab one for $1 at Ikea—it’s very plain, but it can be put away when company comes over and is easily replaced after each rainy/snowy season.

SOME ALTERNATE IDEAS:

♥ If you wear sneakers more often than I do, place one low shelf along the bottom and store sneakers below your boots rather than along the top.

♥ Arrange your shelves so the shortest ones (for flats) are at the top, and the tallest ones (for boots) are at the bottom. Although this will make things look more orderly, consider that it may be less practical to have to reach higher for flats and sandals.

♥ Hide or conceal your bookcase using the accompanying glass doors from Ikea. If you are planning to close off your bookcase, make sure to air out your shoes every once in a while.

♥ If you are creating a display case:

  • Tilt the shelves forward by placing the back pegs one peg hole higher than those in the front to give a better view of the shoe.
  • Replace all regular shelves with the frosted glass shelves from Ikea (same price, $10 each). If you do this, please note that the middle shelf is fixed and will have to remain white.
  • Consider installing lighting to illuminate your display case

Would you organize your shoes this way? What other space-saving solutions have you come up with to store your shoe collection?

With love,
Veronique♥

[Disclosure: I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post. These are my opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned. Thanks for your support! ♥]

All Natural Beauty x Is it worth the switch?

all natural

For one reason or another, I’ve never seen much appeal in using all natural beauty products.  I love experimenting with this and that, but what matters most is whether or not I see results.  If I love a product that just so happens to be all natural, then that’s FANTASTIC, but I’ve never sought them out specifically for that reason.

In my experience, I’ve found that natural products are often more expensive, have a shorter shelf life (they often lack preservatives) and rarely result in dramatic improvements performance-wise when compared to their regular counterparts.  Between mashing an avocado to use as a hair mask or using an avocado based deep conditioner that has been specifically formulated to penetrate your hair shaft, I’ll take the more effective—albeit less natural—one every time.  While the reasoning behind switching to all natural products makes complete sense from a health perspective, I’ve always figured that it probably isn’t that worth it if I’m still willing to chow down on a McDonalds burger.

Avocado Hair Mask

Re-examining the Benefits

In a recent attempt to find a miracle cure for the bags luggage that has made a permanent home under my eyes, a little digging revealed that they might be excess fatty tissue.  While fat in the eye area is normal and helps to support the eye, the puffiness of my eye bags seemed excessive.  Regardless of how much sleep I get or how long I place cold compresses on them, they never fully go away (especially when I smile)!

I came across a few articles that indicated that the fat in this area—as well as the stubborn exercise/diet-resistant fat everywhere else—may be so difficult to shed because of the chemicals we consume daily and… wait for it… the “nasties” that are being absorbed into our skin through beauty products!  That got my attention.

These nasties, as they referred to in the beauty industry, are supposedly also to blame for a lot of the skin ailments people are experiencing nowadays.  While the extent of that particular statement may be questionable, the David Suzuki Foundation took a look at the “Dirty Dozen“—a list of the 12 most often used chemicals in cosmetics and their effects when absorbed into our body.  According to the article, almost 80% of products contain one of these dozen toxic chemicals, which can include carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, hormone disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants.   Okay, so that got a little too depressing a little too fast (I actually had to stop reading articles because it made me want to purge every less than organic product I owned) but it did shed a new whole light on my natural vs. not natural product dilemma.

I have come to the conclusion that for me personally, it IS important to make a more conscious effort to use natural products regardless of the extra cost—but NOT at the expense of seeing results.  The good news is that although natural beauty products aren’t new, the resurgence of their popularity means that cosmetic companies have been forced to step up their game and create all natural products that are better and more effective than ever before.  There are also a few product lines that I’m also very interested in exploring further such as Ren Skin Care (found in Sephora), Michael Todd True Organics (bloggers have been raving about this), and of course, the always creative Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.

michael todd

Here are a few quick tips for purchasing natural beauty products:

♥ Be diligent about reading reviews!

The trend towards greener cosmetics means that a lot of new products that have come out aren’t tried, tested and true.  This should go unsaid, but I want to emphasize the importance on doing a little digging on new products to find out if they really work, if they smell funny, expire quickly, etc.  Avoid making the same mistakes as other consumers by reading up on what they have to say about each product.  A quick Google search of “[product] review” is all you need.

♥ Be aware of GREENWASHING!

If you’re going to go all natural then it’s important to do your homework because cosmetic companies have been heavily accused of greenwashing (claiming to be more natural or organic than they really are)!  If you’re simply working more all natural or naturally based products into your routine, then this step isn’t as critical, but is still something you should be aware of, especially if it’s the “natural” aspect that you’re paying premium prices for.

♥ Swap out when possible

Swapping products out is easiest with those where results aren’t as important—for example, swap out your heavily fragranced Bath and Body Works shower gel for a more natural one from The Body Shop.  Also, try to swap out some of the products that are the worst for you, like shampoos containing sulfates (sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES)).  I’ve used both of L’Oreal’s sulfate-free EverPure and EverCreme lines, which are easily found in drugstores and grew in popularity during the Brazilian Keratin Treatment trend as the sulfates in ordinary shampoos washed away the treatment’s smoothing effects.

♥ Purchase in smaller quantities + refrigerate when possible

This rule mostly refers to Lush products, because although I absolutely adore many of their items, I’m often put off by the extremely short shelf life (resulting from the lack of preservatives).  As a result, I always try to buy the smallest amount of product and keep items in the refrigerator whenever possible.  A week or so before a product’s expiration date, I separate the products into single uses and stick everything into the freezer, taking out only what I need for a week at a time.  I’ve heard that this is not recommended by the staff, but personally, I’d rather use the rest of the product up with lower expectations than toss something away that could still have some potential benefit.  I’m also more likely to keep purchasing from the store if I actually use up their products, rather than consider shopping there to be a waste of money by throwing half away each time.

Note: Whether or not you should freeze items will vary from product to product (e.g., freeze a face scrub or a cleanser but not the fresh face masks since freezing will kill the enzymes in certain ingredients)

lush-cosmetics-office

So even if going all natural isn’t for you, try working a few more natural products into your routine—it’s definitely not an all or nothing thing as I had previously thought.  There’s absolutely no harm in doing so, with a world of benefits to be gained if you’re able to find some good ones.  Don’t discount beauty products or makeup for being less effective just because they’re all natural.  There has been a dramatic increase in the quality and effectiveness of natural products in response to the growing market for this trend!

What are some natural beauty products that you have fallen in love with?  Are there any that you’ve tried that are absolutely terrible?  Share your recommendations below!

With Love,
Veronique♥

 

[Disclosure:  I purchased these items on my own and did not receive any compensation for this post.  These are my opinions and are in no way indicative of the positions or opinions of the companies mentioned.  Thanks for your support! ♥]

Sunday Funday.

Willow Stream Spa Sunday

It’s been a rough week, but I think this more than makes up for it…  This is possibly the most perfect place to relax and get some work done 🙂

 

What are you up to on this lovely sunday?

 

With love from Vancouver,
Veronique♥

 

 

 

I heart blogging.

Here are some reasons why I have fallen in love with blogging and some of the reasons why you or your business should get into it too (or join the community!):

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♥ IT PUSHES YOU – For most people, blogging is something new and exciting that brings them outside of their comfort zone.  Since blogs are completely public, they push you to keep working harder and doing better.  Although it was kind of scary at first, nothing is more satisfying!

♥ IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE INDUSTRY – Find likeminded people, find INSPIRATION.  Become part of the community and you could make connections that couldn’t have been achieved any other way.

♥ BECOME AN EXPERT – From both a business and personal standpoint, delving into different topics enough to write a full post about it forces you to dig deeper and take a more active approach in whatever you’re working on.  It also gives you the perfect platform to showcase what you have done and what you could do.

♥ IT’S NEVER BORING – Your blog is your blog. Whether it be your personal blogmor a blog for your business, it can grow, adapt or evolve into whatever you want or need it to be…

♥ IT GIVES YOU AN EXCUSE TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE – Blogging gives me a creative outlet and forces me me set aside time to do things that make me happy—a passion project, if you will.  But most of all, I now have a legitimate excuse to buy/try/do anything and everything related to beauty, fashion and/or lifestyle… I mean, it’s all in the name of research right?!

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So give it a shot!  If you are willing to put in some time and effort (as much or as little as you want!) you may find yourself as addicted to it as I am!  And if blogging really isn’t your thing, then just keep browsing or maybe contribute and be part of the community.  There are blogs out there for everything under the sun and some of them are truly fantastic… all you need to do is comment, like, subscribe and be inspired!

With love,

Veronique♥

I’d love to hear what some of your favourite blogs are to follow!  Share them below ♥

Book Candy x Crazy Rich Asians + Revenge Wears Prada

For a while now I’ve been on the hunt for another good book, but nothing has jumped out at me as of late.  My threshold for sad things is usually maxed out with movies and TV (I actually cried after the Game of Thrones “the Red Wedding” episode!!), so I tend to gravitate towards books that are lighter and happier in nature.  Sadly, I think I’ve finally hit the point where I’ve finished all the must-read chick-lit focused on the younger set and a lot of the genre’s recent offerings sound terribly bland. 

 
I walked into Chapters today for another quick lunch-break browse and walked out feeling like it was Christmas in July (or in this case June)!  I found not one, but two books that screamed “READ ME!”, which is great news for the quilted, black Kobo that has been relegated to the bottom of my nightstand drawer. 
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I grabbed the first book off the shelf solely for the glittery gold cover and shocking pink title—“CRAZY RICH ASIANS” by Kevin Kwan.  Even if you weren’t interested in reading it, the book cover is so great that it would be worth purchasing, if only to display on a bookshelf or side table (seriously, it’s fabulous and the picture simply doesn’t do it justice!).  Here are a little about it from the publisher and a few reviews I came across:
 
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
 
“Crazy Rich Asians is an unputdownably funny, original, modern novel. An outrageous satire of the Asian squillionaire set, this book is like a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice. The combination of gold homewares, couture, private jets, absurd social rules and snobbery is utterly hilarious. I actually couldn’t put this book down to eat or to watch Downtown Abbey.”
—Plum Sykes, bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes
 
“Crazy Rich Asians is like Dynasty on steroids with more private jets, bigger houses, and a lot more money. It is the very definition of a beach read. I finished it over a weekend and by the end was longing to see the ridiculously extravagant and over-the-top world that Mr. Kwan had created…. I predict this will be the 50 Shades of Grey of this summer.”
—Michael Carl, VanityFair.com
 
Yes, the title and cover art are what piqued my interest (the book could have seriously been about anything!), but a peek inside to discover that it was a tongue-in-cheek story about the outrageous and über-wealthy Asian set had me completely and 100% sold.  And yes, these people really do exist!  Think of whatever you consider to be wealthy and multiply it by a billion à la Rich Kids of Instagram—where one learns to drive on a Phantom and buys 6 Birkins because it’s a Tuesday. 
 
Having grown up in North America, I can relate to the culture shock of travelling back to Asia for vacations.  While the endless gossip, the obsession with family and reputation and the nonchalant manner in which they publicly point out that you’ve gained weight (despite the fact that you are only a size 2) seem almost normal to me now, I can’t wait to see Kwan’s take on the whole situation.  The current Good Reads rating (think of it as IMDB for books), shows an average of 3.88/5 (from 168 ratings) which is very promising, and I tend to trust these types of websites more than I do the never less-than-raving reviews printed on the book cover or website. 
 
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The second book needs much less of an introduction.  The second I saw it on the shelf, my eyes widened and I grabbed it in the MINE MINE MINE kind of way that is usually reserved only for sample sales.  The man to my left in a helmet and bicycle shorts definitely looked perplexed, but I didn’t care because in my hands was the much-anticipated sequel to Lauren Weisberger’s the Devil Wears PradaRevenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns.  I absolutely loved the first book and the movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway is still possibly my favourite movie of all time.  Admittedly, I did read the book eons before watching the movie, so it wasn’t spoiled by the usual disappointment of when a movie doesn’t quite live up to what your imagination has concocted.  Here’s a little bit about the book from the publisher:      
 
Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine-a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing-not her husband, nor her beloved career-is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago-and directly into the path of the devil herself…
I was very disappointed to see that the current Good Reads rating was not nearly as complimentary for this book—it pulled in a measly 2.83/5 (from 731 ratings).  Nevertheless, this book will still remain on my reading list, since I liked some of Lauren Weisberger’s other novels and I loved the first one too much to completely ignore its sequel.  At least I can go into it with low expectations and the knowledge that this is nothing more than a fun read that I can always put down and come back to later on.  Plus, it would be nice to know what eventually happened to Andy Sachs, and maybe Hollywood will make magic happen and create a sequel that is way better than the book! (Yes? Maybe? Probably not, but oh well.  Fingers crossed!)
 
So, those are the two books that I’ll be reading next.  Yes, I know I’m such a geek but I’m so, so excited to sink my teeth into both of them!  I may also do a quick post once I finish to let you know what I thought. 
 
I’d love to hear what you have to say, so if you’ve read either of them let me know what you think!  Or if you have any other recommendations feel free to leave them below! 
 
 
With love,
Veronique ♥
 
 
P.S.  Here are some links, if you want to pick a copy up for yourself!
♥ Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (released June 11, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters
♥ Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (released June 04, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters (**Originally $29.99, the hardcover is currently on sale at Chapters for $16.99!)
 
 
 
[Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.  These opinions are my own and are in no way indicative of the opinions or positions of any of the companies mentioned.]

What I’m Loving at the Moment x Soko – I’ll Kill Her (Hannes Fischer Remix)

Who would have thought that bitter, cheated on ex-girlfriend could ever sound so chic?

I can’t seem to get enough of this song! It’s just so perfectly french and despite what it’s about, it makes you happy just listening to it.  This remix pulls off being catchy while still managing to be laid back and is one song that will definitely be on my playlist all summer!

With love,

Veronique♥