What I’m Loving – June/July Edition

I cannot believe it’s already mid July. Where has time gone to?  Before we know it, Autumn will arrive and then Winter.  Our wedding is in 145 days!. OMG.   Ok, slow down. It’s still only July and as much as I wanted to do a favourites blog for June there was just too much going on.  We flew home exactly one week ago today from Italy where we spent 2 amazing weeks attending a family wedding in Bari then travelling to Florence, Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome.   I did a little shopping while there so this may be a little longer favourite blog than usual but they tend to be the ones I like reading the most. I love seeing what products and things people are into and find myself, many times, trying them out.

So lets do this.  These are the things I’ve been loving in June and July

Kiko Milano Lip Oil with Orange Blossom 

While we were in Siena Italy, we each took a morning to do what we wanted to do on our own.  My fiance headed out on a 3 hour wine tasting and I headed for the shops.  I’d heard of Kiko Cosmetics through makeup artist and vlogger Lisa Elridge but didn’t know where I could find them.  Boy was I happy to stumble upon this shop. And shop I did. I picked up some of their amazing creamy pencil eye shadows, a gorgeous matt bronzer that smells like chocolate and this amazing lip oil. It’s light weight, non greasy texture sinks into your lips and feels delightful. I put it on every night before bed and wake up with a lusciously kissable and soft pout.

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Pottery Barn Bath Bombs 

Part of our Wedding “homework” has been to visit the shops we like and register.  We registered at The Bay, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Pottery Barn.  I am completely obsessed with Pottery Barn and always take their seasonal catalogue and lose myself in it while I’m in the bathtub. Their Autumn and Christmas decor are hands down my favourite and I’d love to add a set of plates with one of these themes to my home.  During our registry visit I  was pleasantly surprised with their spa/bathroom section and picked up a few bath bombs. I’d never thought  of stopping in for bath and spa products here but will now!  I think the honeysuckle is the nicest scent.  It’s been so hot in Vancouver I haven’t wanted to have a bath. Just another reason for Fall to please come soon!

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Michael Kors Outlet Store at Tsawwassen Mills

I’ve been meaning to visit Tsawwssen Mills Outlet Mall for ages. I even headed out there with my sister one day only to realize we were at the wrong mall once we’d arrived haha.  This time Seth and I got proper directions and spent a few hours there.  The idea was to window shop and just check it out.  That did not happen.  We shopped..a little more than we’d expected to. Aren’t impromptu shopping trips the best though?  I was particularly thrilled to see a Michael Kors outlet store as MK is one of my favourites brands for clothing and shoes. In fact the majority of my shoes are MK and I have jeans, dresses and even a MK purse and wallet.  On the proper website, I have an account where I save things I like on my wish list – then I wait until it’s on sale and buy it.  There was this dress that I really liked last season. I’m a sucker for stripes. So I saved it to my wish list but it ended up selling out.  I walked into the MK store today and there it was.  Originally $200, for $44.!  I threw in these wedges too.

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Lush Solid Body Tint 

Right around the corner from the flat we rented in Florence Italy, I found a Lush. If you know anything about me you will know that: 1. I love Lush because 2. I love baths.  This time however, aside from the bag full of bath bombs I walked out with, the sales girl (who was super friendly and spoke perfect english) asked if I’d tried their Body Tints. I had not so she tested it on me.  Basically its a solid massage bar (with cocoa and shea butters) but with bronze mica’s in it.  The bar melts when in contact with your warm skin so after applying a thin layer to arms and legs, you just massage it in. It leaves a hint of a golden shimmery tan and makes your skin look glowy and healthy.

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Jennifer’s Nude by Revlon

I’m always on the lookout for the perfect nude lip shade. I’ve bought them all; the matt liquid lip sticks, the creamy nudes by Clinique. Yesterday, while on an outing to London Drugs to pick up my shampoo (because I got in the shower to wash my hair the night before and realized I’d bought conditioner instead of shampoo).  I stopped at the Revlon counter and tested the nude lipstick collection, each with the name of a famous actress or model. The one created for J Lo, Jennifer’s Nude  not only bears my name but is the perfect natural shade of pinky brown nude that makes my lips look like my lips, only better.

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My Yearly Birthday Dress..es

I have many rituals like long baths, meditating daily and buying myself a new dress to wear on my birthday every year.  This year I have a couple of birthday engagements; Dinner at my mother in laws with the family, a romantic dinner at an Italian Restaurant with Seth and a day at the beach with friends and family.  Of course I needed something new to wear!  So I bought these 2 dresses from Asos.  I’m into flowers this year I guess.

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Eating Like Italians

Every time I travel I get really inspired by the local customs and especially cuisine. As someone who loves to cook, I just had to pick up a bottle of Jamaican jerk rub when I was in Montego Bay last Fall and came home and made jerk chicken with peas and rice.  In Italy, before dinner was served we’d always get a basket of fresh bread and a plate to mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.  This is something I learned many years ago but hadn’t done at home for so long and it’s so delicious I was grateful for the reminder.  We’ve been doing this with our meals since we’ve come home with a lovely olive loaf we buy at Terra Breads.

Another favourite was the heirloom tomato salads with basil and fresh burrata cheese.  Just a drizzle of olive oil and salt is all you need. A little slice of heaven.  And of course when in Italy we ate a lot of pasta.  I will never again buy a jar of spaghetti sauce. In Italy, the trick is to always use fresh tomatoes, capers, garlic and butter. 2 nights ago I made some fresh pasta and to a deep pan added:

  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 Tblsp of butter
  • 1 Tblsp of garlic butter
  • 1 cooked Italian sausage sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • fresh basil (from my garden)

In this order I slowly added each ingredient. The butter is the key because it mixes with the tomatoes and gives the sauce its creamy consistency.  It turned out so good. Serve as soon as it’s ready for the creamiest pasta you’ve eaten. I garnished it with grated parmesan.

 

In Flight Essentials Kits

I used to be afraid of flying. Well, I guess it really never was a fear of flying but because of my anxiety, I attributed feeling anxious when travelling to a fear of flying.  After our trip to Italy I can confidently say I am not afraid of flying or travelling, in fact I love it and am so excited to start planning our honeymoon.  On our latest trip I created 2 kits that I carried in my bag on the plane. The first, an anxiety kit, in case I felt anxious. Simple things like my favourite essential oils, mints, my medication, gravol, my ipad (loaded with netflix movies and audio books to keep me distracted and relaxed).  I also put together a beauty kit because we flew from Vancouver to Munich which took 9 hours and 40 minutes.  In my beauty bag  I created a mini spa equipped with:

– burts bees cleansing wipes
– pixi mist
– clarins face masque
– clarins moisturizer
– bottled water
– hand cream body shop coconut
– tooth brushes disposable to feel fresh
– lip balm
-under eye creme
Shortly after takeoff, I cleansed my face with the wipes (all but my eye makeup), applied a lovely face masque, moisturized my hands, applied a thick layer of lip balm,  popped my eye mask on and took a 6 hour snooze while listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone on Audible.  When I woke up (somewhere over the Atlantic ocean), I removed the masque with another wipe, spritzed my face with the pixi mist,  brushed my teeth, moisturize my face, applied under eye cream and was ready and feeling fresh to have my on flight meal.  I highly recommend trying this.  It not only kills time on long haul flights but its the next best thing to being able to shower.  I even had a small sample sized mascara and a little concealer in the bag to freshen up my make up and a deodorant which I applied in the bathroom. While some were feeling jet lagged and sweaty, I was refreshed and energized.
Note:  when you’re at the beauty counters, ask for samples.  They’re the perfect size for 1-2 uses (say for flying to your destination then back home). I took samples and the Clarins face masque and moisturizer and did my little spa session on the way home as well.
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Olio Da Bagno Rosa by Santa Maria Novella

Years ago there was a cafe downtown that was also an apothecary. They carried all kinds of rare and hard to find products. During one of my visits I discovered Santa Maria Novella; a beauty line that was created in Florence Italy 600 years ago.  I immediately fell in love with the luxurious colognes, soaps, candles, all made with essential oils and was devastated when the shop closed and my only option to the line was ordering it from Lafco in NYC.  On top of the price tag of these amazing products, I’d have to pay taxes, shipping and import duties that added up many times to more than what I was ordering.  To visit the actual Farmacia during my trip last week was a dream come true. I suggested a cologne to my fiance and was so happy he loved it as much as I do because it’s one of my favourites and now he smells like it all the time!  I picked up a tabacco scented candle for the fall (which even un-lit is scenting my entire living room) and this gorgeous Rose Bath Oil.  It’s a dream. Pure deep rose scent, so concentrated you only need a few drops to scent your tub. Its so yummy, I’ve even been using a couple drops on my wrist as perfume.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Another one of my in-flight essentials is having a couple of books downloaded on my Kindle.  This book is one I’d been wanting to read since it came out.  I downloaded it and purposefully waited for our trip to read it.  I’m not finished yet. We moved around a lot in Italy so leisurely sitting on the beach reading for hours never really happened.  So far, Eleanor is turning out to be quite an interesting character. I don’t know where this story will go. Sometimes it suggests a dark ending but I guess I’ll have to keep you posted or you’ll just have to read it yourself.

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And this concludes my June/July favourites.  I appreciate you joining me and will see you soon!

Love,

Jennifer

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