Social Media

ME to WE Back to School!

|
This is the first September since I was three years old that I'm not going back to school and that terrifies me! But regardless of what I'll be doing this fall, I'll still always love looking at stationery and back to school supplies. It's always fun to see how things have changed over time (shout out to the days of Apple Works!) And besides, who says stationary is only for back to school? Having some notebooks on hand is great for most people, whether you want to keep track of purchases, make meal plans, or a million other routine tasks. ME to WE offers some amazing socially conscious products to help you start the school year off right. 

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

What's unique about the ME to WE range is that they develop socially conscious products that can easily be used in your everyday life. Every purchase helps to empower a child in a developing community to gain an education. The range features things like pencils and notebooks, which allows kids to focus on their studies and help raise their families and communities out of poverty. Since 2009, ME to WE has donated more than $8.5 million to WE Charity in cash and in-kind donations.

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

Half of all ME to WE profits are donated to WE Charity, with the remainder being reinvested to ensure sustainability. In addition, ME to WE has developed the "Track Your Impact" promise for transparency, meaning the positive impact of your products and experiences can be traced to the WE Village partner community where it was delivered. The designs are fashionable, functional and socially conscious.  

me to we store, me to we, me to we stationary, back to school

Whether you are looking for back to school items for yourself or children, or stationery for home or work, ME to WE offers high-quality stationery with a charitable backing. 

xoxo K

Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine: Book Review

|
Every now and then, a book comes along that you fall head over heels for. You empathize with the characters, you laugh out loud at the sharp-witted dialogue while tears spill out of your eyes, staining the carefully handled pages before you even realize how much you have connected to the book. That was the experience I had with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.


Reese Witherspoon has an online book club (RW Book Club), where anyone can read the book of the month and discuss it with fellow readers on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I remember seeing this book when it first launched on Chapters but didn't think anything of it. But I thought I would give the book a chance since I loved some of her previous recommendations.

Within the first few chapters, I was hooked. Eleanor is an eclectic character, one who is socially inept and possesses an expansive vocabulary. She has lived on her own for over ten years and works as an office assistant at the same job she got right out of school. Eleanor is completely fine with the way her routine life has turned out.

But as events unravel and she begins to interact more with other people and develops a life-changing crush on a musician, she begins to realize how things aren't necessarily as good as she leads others to believe.




I absolutely loved how the reader is able to witness Elenaors personal evolution--you are with her through hilarious shopping trips and unethical adventures, through her lowest points and her joyous occasions. It felt like such a natural progression through the story. The book also centres around the horrendous conditions that Eleanor faced as a child and her early twenties, but these passages were beautifully written as they explained Eleanor's coping mechanisms.

I generally find myself more comfortable reading books where the character is relatable, and while Eleanor's scars and emotional wounds are a far cry from the loving childhood I experienced, I can relate to the socially awkward part of her character. Whether it's ordering the same thing every time you go to a coffee shop, having set days and times for chores, or wanting to stay home instead of spending the night out with friends, I think the comfort of a routine is something a lot of us can relate to.


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is part of a new age of books that are being referred to as "Up-Lit". Whereas thrillers (grip-lit) and dystopias have been most popular in fiction in recent years, "Up-Lit" books are uplifting fiction (the name says it all). These books are more optimistic than feel-good, leaving readers on a high note. They focus on empathy and positivity despite the problems the characters may face.

In light of this, I loved how Eleanor's storyline didn't progress into a love affair. One of my biggest pet peeves in books is when the main character happens to fall in love and all of their problems are miraculously solved. While Eleanor certainly begins working through her complex problems, she did so with the help of a friend. Not a lover who suddenly appeared, but someone who cared about her well being and who was there to help her through her lowest points.

I'm certainly not the best at articulating why I loved certain books, and while it's something I'm hoping to work on, I really do recommend you give this book a try. This has easily become one of my top books of all time, and regardless of your literary preference, I think you will enjoy this book immensely. After all, there is a bit of Eleanor in all of us.

xoxo K

Rodial Instaglam Compact Deluxe Contour Powder

|
I very rarely wear contour. It's not that I have amazingly defined cheekbones and don't need it. On the contrary, my face is quite round. But I'm also becoming lazier with my makeup routine as I get older (she says at the ancient age of 24). My once 20+ product face has been pared down to about 10 items. My general rule for contour is that if I know I'm going out and having photographs taken, I'll apply a bit under my cheekbones and on my temples for some added definition. 




The Rodial Instagram Compact deluxe contouring powder in 03 is very cool toned and completely matte, especially in comparison to the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. It has a stiffer formula, which is actually preferable in my opinion because you don't pick up as much product on your brush. That being said, it is very pigmented and quite dark on my fair skin, so I do tend to wipe the access on a tissue before applying it to my face.

It leaves a very natural shadow under the cheeks and looks great in photographs. I can't actually find a photo of me wearing it, so you'll just have to take my word on it. The compact is very weighted and luxurious feeling, as I would expect from Rodial. It has a good sized mirror at the top as well, making it perfect to throw in your purse to amp up your makeup for a night out.

While I won't be using it often, I think it's a great product to have in your collection for nights out. And while it is expensive, coming in at $75 CAD, you do get 0.4 oz of product, which is more than what's in a Too Faced bronzer.

xoxo K

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Highlighter

|
When Amy brought in this highlight in her discarded box of goodies to work one day, I went mental. She had some amazing products in there, including the Teeez Cosmetics and Stila watercolour blush I reviewed a few weeks ago. I've heard wonderful things about the Bronze Goddess range, and I was quite excited to give the Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Gelee highlighter a try. While this particular highlighter is no longer available (at least from what I can find online), there is a similar version. 

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review, flatly

highlighter, art decor, Paris in bloom, esteem Lauder, makeup, review, makeup review

On an unrelated side note, how gorgeous is this book? It's Paris in Bloom by Georgianna Lane, and you'll probably see it pop up in backgrounds quite a bit!

Back to the highlighter now. I've used it a few times, and can honestly say it photographs better than it wears. It's a very stiff formula, and I can't seem to get a lot on my brush. It applies very sheerly and appeared to have a bit of glitter in it that I didn't detect when I swatched it. Perhaps there was some residue on my brush from another highlighter.

The colour is very golden and I don't find it the most flattering on my skin tone. That being said, because it is so sheer, I can still pull it off, unlike the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, which is far too dark for me. It appeared to last most of the day, but it would have been hard to notice if it was fading due to the sheerness of the formula.

Would I recommend this product? Only if you are looking for a golden, sheer highlighter.

xoxo K

Recently Read: July

|
I read 4.5 books this month (one of these is currently on the back burner while I find the stamina to keep going). But in the month of June, I read some amazing books and some absolutely horrible ones. Keep reading to find out my thoughts on everything! 

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders

what I'm reading, what I read, book review, book recommendations, the Rosie project, sense and sensibility, big little lies, firecracker, magpie murders


The Rosie Project is about a socially awkward genetics professor, Don Tillman, who develops a test to find the perfect wife. His 16 page questionnaire helps eliminate any potential partners who were "unacceptable," such as smokers, drinkers, barmaids and late-arrivers. But as his friendship with Rosie grows, Don needs to re-examine his criteria and figure out if someone who is completely wrong for him on paper may turn out to be his ideal candidate. 

I've heard nothing but great things about this book, but I'm going to admit I was a bit disappointed in it. The character seemed too similar to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and I had a hard time relating to the purposively self-centred and annoying protagonist along with his two friends. I've read much better books about characters with Aspergers or autism. I think if there wasn't so much hype surrounding this book, I would have gone into it with lower expectations and would have enjoyed it more.

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters with very different personalities. While Elinor is calm and well-mannered, her younger sister is eccentric and passionate. As both girls seek to find suitable husbands, they uncover what they truly want in a perfect partner.

I haven't read many classics, but I really wanted to try a Jane Austen book this summer. I thought I would start with Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I gave up on it. My bookmark is nestled in at 150 pages, taunting me relentlessly that I've left it unfinished. I'm so used to reading thrillers with intrigue and scandal, or contemporary novels with identifiable characters and witty dialogue. While I don't necessarily find the text too outdated to understand, the storyline itself wasn't pulling me in. I'm still hoping to finish this up soon, but I think I need a bit more motivation before I crack it open.

Focusing on three families, Big Little Lies centres around a death that rocks the small community. Madeline, with her vibrant personality, has no problem being the centre of attention and rocking the boat. Celeste's stunning looks and perceived perfect life are the envy of other parents. Jane, the unassuming single mother who recently moved to the area, attempts to find her place in the tight-knit  community. As their paths cross and histories are revealed, the three woman discover the brutally honest truth about each other. 

I absolutely loved this book. It's one of the best books that I've read this year. At first glance, it would appear to be about parents dealing with the struggles of their children as they start school, but the story is much more complex and entertaining. It focuses on domestic abuse and rape, self-worth, post-traumatic stress, bitter divorces and reconciliation. It's about the struggle between putting your child's well-being above your own and learning to let go of the past. I would 100% recommend this book, so much so that I've already purchased two more books by the author.


Firecracker: 0.5/5
This was the book that I tried to read post-Austen. I thought it would be a quick and funny read, especially since the author was a writer on SNL and New Girl. This was probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I'm not even going to summarize it because I don't want anyone thinking it was funny and wanting to try it. Every stereotype was amplified to the umpteenth, the characters were brutally annoying and I hated almost every second of it.


Soon after Susan Ryeland, the editor of Alan Conway's successful Atticus P√ľnd series, receives his last manuscript, she realized it is incomplete. While Ryeland doesn't have the best working relationship with Conway, she soon discovers the links between his novel and his death and inserts herself into the investigation to develop her own clues and theories. As the events begin to unravel, Ryeland must confront those who are closest to her to unveil the truth.

If you're a fan of old school mysteries like Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, then you'll enjoy this book. It's a unique premise, in that it's a book within a book. The first half is the detective novel, and the second is the publisher trying to piece together the events of a peculiar murder surrounding the book. While I did find the first part a bit slow, I really enjoyed the second half and trying to solve each murder.

Pew! You made it to the end. Congratulations! In the future, would you prefer if I wrote about each book separately, or maybe 2-3 books at a time, so it isn't so lengthy? Let me know!

xoxo K