Review: Viva Vantage Paper Towels

Friday, July 31, 2015

If you're anything like me, you've definitely spent some time standing in the paper towel aisle. completely overwhelmed with all your options and then left with the first thing within reach.

There are a LOT of options out there and it's hard to choose. 

I recently received a sample the new Viva Vantage (Kleenex) paper towel to review (through Influenster) and I am super excited to share my review with you!

What makes Viva Vantage

Paper Towels different?
  • V-Flex weave for unprecedented stretch and scrubbing power
  • Best combination of strength, stretch and softness
  • Sponge-like absorbency

Here's how I've used the paper towels:
- cleaning up spills on the floor (thank you mini-me)
- wiping counters
- drying dishes quickly
- as a napkin (because I was too lazy to get the napkins from the basement)
- drying lettuce (I'll explain)
- drying my hands 
- wiping the cupboards
- cleaning mirrors

As far as the 'stretch factor', I did notice that the paper towels don't rip nearly as easy as other paper towels I've used. I pulled on them quite a bit and while they're not super stretchy they do have some give which helps them stay intact.

These paper towels are strong. Not only do they not rip easy when they're dry, but even when they're soaking wet they don't rip easily. I HATE when my paper towel rips. 
Sometimes to dry lettuce quickly I'll throw it in a bowl or ziplock with paper towel - usually, I am pulling out the paper towel in wet pieces. I am happy to report that this was NOT the case with the Viva Vantage towels. They soaked up the water quickly and I wasn't worried about left over pieces of paper in my salad.

You really can use them to scrub. We had a few good spills on the floor (and counter and patio table and kitchen table etc etc) and given the state of my floors, some extra elbow work was involved. The towels stood up to the scrubbing without issue. 

I also LOVE the adjustable size. This is a MUST in a paper towel for me because I really don't like having to use a massive piece for a little job. I'm thrifty with my paper towel! 
Price: looks like they range from 1.15 - 1.99/roll. I'm not pro on the price of paper towels but that seems about average to me. Plus, it looks like there are lots of coupons out there AND there will be sales! 

Would I purchase: absolutely! I don't have a favorite paper towel at the moment so if the price is right, I would definitely add to my grocery cart!

*Disclosure - I received a free product sample in exchange for my opinion on the product. 

what I wore - go-to summer outfit

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My last few 'what I wore' posts were outfits that I wish I had been wearing. This week, I figured I'd show you what my actual go-to summer outfit looks like.

It's basic but dressed up with some pretty, but plain, jewelry. This is a look I've worn many times and I can't wait to be wearing my non-maternity version of this outfit (be it this summer, or next lol).

This is the perfect outfit because it's easy, comfy, cute and I don't look like I just rolled out of bed. Perfect for a mom on the run.

summer go-to

Linking up with:

The Pleated Poppy
Pumps and Pushups
Pampers and Pearls
Tucker Up
The Mummy Chronicles
Cappuccino and Fashion 
Classy Yet Trendy

baby update!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I've been quiet around here... I do have pretty much the best excuse EVER though. I was off having a baby!

 We welcomed Oliver James to the world on July 23, 2015 at 4:04pm. Our big guy weighed in at a whopping 9lb 1oz and was 22.5 inches long.

I will probably be a little quiet around here for a bit as I get to know this little man and adjust to life as a parent of two (which is challenging at this point, to say the least - more on that later).

I have a few posts scheduled and will try and get back to writing as soon as I learn to juggle things (at least somewhat, anyways). I will also try and get back to comments and catch up on blog reading as soon as life with the littles allows. 


June and July's Ipsy Glam Bag - Review

Monday, July 27, 2015

Remember my signing up for the Ipsy Glam Bag?! (see my review of May's bag HERE)

Quick recap for those who don't know what Ipsy is:
A monthly subscription ($10 US - plus shipping if you're in Canada - boo-urns) for a makeup bag and 5 product samples (but some samples are actually full-sized products). You sign up online but can cancel at any time with a few clicks.

I'm still getting and loving the bags but June kind of got away from me so I missed that review (bad blogger, I know). I do love getting to try some new products every month and so far, I've been pretty happy with what I've received.

Here's a peek at my June Bag

IT Cosmetics - Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil - this retails for $24.99 so makes the whole bag totally worth it PLUS I LOVE it!!! I have fairly light colored brows and the taupe color works perfect. I quickly added this to my daily makeup routine.

Smashbox - Photofinish Foundation Primer - I've tried this product before and loved it. Primer isn't something I use everyday but it's great for when you really want your makeup to last. I'm happy to have a sample size to keep in my travel bag.

Altcheck MD - DePuff Eye Pads - I'll be honest, I haven't tried these yet... I suspect I'll need some serious help in the eye de-puffing department with the arrival of the new baby.

Formula X - Nail Polish - my review on this is skewed because I tried it on my toes nails while trying to paint around my 39 week belly. It did not go well. I love the color but my application was poor at best. I'll have to give it another shake once I'm not maneuvering around a giant belly. 

tre'StiQue - Mini Shadow Crayon - this goes on easy and smooth. The color is a neutral shimmery color which works great on its own or as a primer under your other shadow. 

Now.... onto July's bag! 

First, the bag!!! How cute is this makeup bag?! I love how colorful and fun it is. Mini-me thinks it's hers so I keep having to steal it back - kid has already got great taste ;)

Jersey Shore Cosmetics - Mongongo Vanilla Coconut Cream Lip Conditioner - a lovely smelling lip conditioner. It's smooth and seriously smells like something you'd want to eat. This lip conditioner will keep your lips feeling soft. My only complaint is the lack of SPF which limits my use of it to when I'm going to be inside (SPF in my lip stuff is a MUST in the summer). It's $10 price tag pretty much pays for the bag this month (yes, I'm rationalizing).

'Tini Beauty - Eyetini Swizzle Stick Eyeliner in Blue Hawaiian - a full-sized Hawaiian blue eyeliner. Okay, I likely won't get a TON of use out of this simply because of the teal color. I'm not overly brave when it comes to colored eye-liner; however, I did give it a try and it goes on easy and seems to last well. (retails for $18)

BellaPierre Cosmetics - Mineral Lipstick (in P.I.N.K.) - a full-sized lipstick in a bright and fun pink color. This color is a HOT pink color that's really fun. Not something I'd wear on the daily, but a fun way to add a pop of color to your summer makeup routine. The lipstick feels nice on (though it definitely comes off on cups etc), isn't overly dry and has a great color. (retails for $19.99)

tarte - Deluxe Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer - I LOVE bronzer and it's a must for your summer makeup routine. Even on days where I keep things to a minimum, it's usually mascara and a little bronzer. This bronzer starts fairly light but you can easily add more to achieve your perfect level of bronze. It's not overly shimmery, which I'm a big fan of. Could be used as a regular bronzer or for contouring.

Jor'el Parker - Classico perfume - the description of the scent reads: "spicy seduction of Indian Tuberose, the striking and and sweet sensation of Turkish Cyclamen and the purifying calm of Spanish Mandarin". Um okay. Clearly the scent is a little hard to describe but I actually quite like it (and I'm SUPER picky with perfume). It's a light scent and I love that it's a roll-on (perfect for travel). (the 0.3 oz size I received retails for $21). 

not a great pic but I'm wearing the eyeliner, bronzer AND lipstick here! The lipstick is much brighter in person (I have the lip conditioner on underneath here so it didn't go on quite as vibrant as it would otherwise)

Overall: VERY happy with my July Glam Bag. I love looking up the regular prices of the products and feeling like I got a deal (again, rationalizing my purchase). It's always nice to have some new products to try and potentially add to my beauty routine!

If you're interested in receiving the Ipsy Glam Bag, sign up HERE!

Note: if you sign up through my Ipsy referral links I earn points to put towards free products.

Summer Eats and Treats

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Eats and Treats

Summer time brings so many wonderful things including lots of deliciousness!

The BEST part about summer cooking, in my humble opinion, is the regular use of the BBQ!

Mr. B got totally spoiled last year for Father's Day when mini-me and I got him a brand new BBQ. We sprang for a Napoleon gas BBQ and haven't regretted the decision once.

Why I love BBQ-ing:

it saves time - if you have a good BBQ (one that gets super hot), cooking is a breeze! It's so much faster than using the oven/stove. 

less dishes - anything that means less dishes is awesome in my books! You can just throw the meat right on the BBQ and anything that can't be thrown right on there can be wrapped in tinfoil (which is then thrown out). It's win-win. 

pride - maybe this is just me, but there's such a sense of accomplishment when you cook something so perfectly! I glow when Mr. B compliments how perfectly I've cooked something. 

it gets you outside - as if you need another excuse to spend time outside on a beautiful summer day! The other bonus to this is you're not over-heating your house by using the oven/stove.

the taste - there's nothing like a perfectly grilled steak with a side of grilled fresh peppers. YUM!

you can BBQ ANYthing!! - if it can be cooked, you can cook it on the BBQ! Meat, veggies, fruit (um, grilled pineapple anyone?!). Seriously, if it requires heat, you can use your BBQ. 

So get outside and BBQ!

And because I can't leave it at just that here are some other food/drink items that just scream summertime to me:


ice cream

frozen drinks

corn on the cob

anything on the BBQ

What are you favorite summer foods?

what I wish I wore - jean capris and cute cami

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm still pregnant. 40 weeks plus 4 days. I'm ready to meet this little dude but it seems he has other plans.

Since I'm still sporting the maternity duds, you're all getting another edition of "what I wish I wore".

As I said last week, I miss my normal clothes and (especially) being able to fit into them. I'm especially missing my cute jean capris (similar to the ones below) and tops that require a strapless bra (haven't been able to wear one of those in quite some time).

Anyways, I pulled this outfit together as something I could picture myself wearing on a (not super hot) supper day or on a nice summer evening. Something casual and cute but still comfortable and suitable for pretty almost any situation/event (perfect for a casual date night, a backyard BBQ, a summer concert or whatever!).

casual summer outfit

Love and Hate

Friday, July 17, 2015

betcha by that title you came over here thinking this was going to be some deep, thought-provoking entry about some life-altering relationship.

You do remember I'm super pregnant right? No deep thoughts from this sleep-deprived lady.

So what is this about?! I was tagged by one of my bestie bloggger friends, Deena @ Shoes to Shiraz to do a list of 10 things I love and 10 things I hate right now. Thanks for the tag Deena... here goes:

Loves and Hates: 

Things I love

maternity leave (in Canada) - a year off with my babies, yes please!!

sunshine - there's nothing like the feel of warm sunshine on your face to make you smile.

getting mail - (bills don't count, see 'hate' section below) - I check the mail daily on my way home from where ever I happen to be, it's always a pleasant surprise when there's something not requiring a payment.

pedicures - who doesn't love a little pampering?! I am no exception. I love the massage chair and just taking 45min to myself. Perfection!

morning snuggles - I love not having to rush in the morning and being able to bring mini-me into bed with Mr. B and I to just hang out before we get our day started. There are always lots of cuddles and laughs. It really can be the best time of the day.

belly laughs - not only do I love hearing someone (especially mini-me) find something so funny they just can't help but have that all-consuming belly laugh, but I also love a good one myself. You know the ones I'm talking about, where once you're done you just feel like you've had a workout!

red wine - it's been a loooooong time since I've had a glass but I highly suspect I still love it. Having said that, can't wait to test that theory once this baby arrives.

family time - with both my little family as well as my larger family (and I include my close friends in this one). I love get-togethers where we all just hang out.

summer - this goes with the sunshine one above. Love the warm weather, playing in the water and just being about to be outside and enjoy life!

coffee - not only do I love coffee, I don't think I could live without it! Nothing like a great cuppa jo first thing in the morning (or any time, really).

Things I hate (hate is strong word, so I'll say 'things I don't like that much')

being late - I hate being late and I'm not a huge fan when other people are late. Having said that, with a little (or more than one) it seems that running late just happens a lot of the time.

spiders - sure, they're pretty benign for the most part, but I just don't like 'em. Ew.

dishes - it seems there's always a pile of them on my counter and I can't ever keep on top of them. Thank goodness for my trust dishwasher!

laundry - I don't mind washing and drying the clothes, it's the whole folding and putting away thing that I never seem to get done right away (I need to get better at that).

winter - snow can be fun, but I dread driving in it and I really don't like being cold all of the time. Yuck.

bad drivers - seriously, how hard is it to use your blinker?

being tired - story of my life.

whining - mini-me has made me learn how much I truly dislike whining. It's the worst sound EVER!!!

bills - obviously, who likes bills?

dog hair - I love our dog, he's super cute and cuddly but my goodness, he sheds hair like nothing I have ever seen. I can vacuum and then 10 minutes later there's dog-hair tumbleweeds rolling through the livingroom like it's the furry wild west up in here.

Now I'm supposed to tag some bloggers whose Love/Hate posts I'd love to read!
WELL I have so many bloggers I love, so I'd love you all to consider doing a post!!  xo

Here are a few blogs I read regularly (just so I'm not totally getting out of picking people :)

Carrie - Curly Crafty Mom
Leslie - Once Upon a Time Happily Ever After
Jill - Doused in Pink
Lana - Two Teens and Their Momma
Carrie - A Lovely Little Wardrobe
Sarah - Foxy's Domestic Side 
Katie - The Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life
Nicole - Nick and Nicole plus 4

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

what I wish I wore - summer dress day to night

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I have a confession: I'm sick of my maternity clothes. Also, the closer I get to baby-time, the more my 'style' slides. It's all about comfort right now which means little-to-no outfit selfies up in here.

After nearly 7 months of full-out maternity gear, this momma is ready to get her shop on for some non-maternity duds. Unfortunately, I'm reminded of that awkward post-baby body that I'll have to deal with for some time. Yuck.

For today, I'm going to show you what I wish I wore this past week.

I found this AWESOME dress from Modcloth and thought I'd imagine how I'd make it work for a day-to-night look.

Perfect Day-to-Night Summer Look (for my non-pregnant self)

summer look

Look ma, I read a book!! The Girl on the Train - book review

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Well folks, remember my recent post about my Summer Reading List? I am happy to report I actually read one of the books already!!

I literally went out the Friday the post went live and purchased The Girl on the Train with good intentions of reading it at some point.

Well, I read a few pages Friday night and then we were away for the remainder of the weekend. We returned home on a very rainy Sunday afternoon and I thought "this is pretty good book reading weather" so I dove right in.

Thankfully, Mr. B was on board with parenting mini-me so I pretty much read all day. I won't lie, I got wrapped in fairly quickly and ended up reading until 12:30am! That may not sound that crazy, but given that I was 37 weeks pregnant and can barely make it past 10pm, it was quite a feat!

I finished the book first thing Monday morning.

Sooooooo what did I think?

I really enjoyed the book. It's told from the perspective of 3 different women with one character as as the 'primary'. Sometimes I find it confusing when books are written like that but I found this flowed and I appreciated the different perspectives because they allowed you to get to know the characters better.

The main character's struggle with alcoholism can be somewhat head-shaking and frustrating but it certainly lends itself to the 'mysteriousness' of the storyline. The story really just wouldn't have went the way it did if Rachel didn't have gaps in her memory.

The story flowed well for me, obviously or I wouldn't have been able to stay away reading, and I enjoyed the 'twist' ending (though, I'll admit, I figured it out a little bit before it happened).

The Girl on the Train is a pretty good book, I'm no pro-reviewer by any stretch but I'd give it a sold 4/5 solely for the fact it held my interest so well.

It's a good summer good with some interesting characters; however, still a light enough read for a beach day or just a summer afternoon on your porch!

Personalized Jewelry: The Perfect Gift

Saturday, July 11, 2015

If you're anything like me, you're always on the hunt for the elusive perfect gift. Something that's thoughtful yet unique and personal. This always seems to be a challenge, especially if you also happen to wait until the last minute, like I do, to start coming up with ideas.

Well my friends, you'll have to bookmark this post for future reference because The Bradford Exchange really can help you solve this dilemma!

Personalized Jewelry!!

Now, I'm not talking the super cheesy stuff, they truly have some really nice pieces and because the majority of made of stainless steel, they look nice, are great quality AND are affordable.

The gift giving holiday possibilities are endless:

Mother's Day/Father's Day
Just Because (the best kind of gift to give AND receive)

Why Shop the Bradford Exchange?

When you shop with The Bradford Exchange, they offer you these many benefits:
  • Ease of ordering online, anytime, from a source you can trust. 
  • The opportunity to manage your own account and track your own purchase, payment, billing and shipping information online, whenever you wish.
  • The expediency of our deliveries and the safe arrival of your orders.
  • The satisfaction of knowing that your privacy is protected in all transactions. 
  • The best guarantees you will find anywhere in the collectibles marketplace.

The Bradford Exchange Guarantee:
Money-back guarantees on all the items they sell.
You may return your purchase for 100% of everything you have paid at any time within the specified number of days. Just use our convenient postage-paid Return Card. 

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post which means I have been compensated in some way for writing this post*

My summer "go-to" style

Friday, July 10, 2015

We all have those "go-to" looks for each season. It may or may not change depending on what's trending but I find I always have a favorite outfit I go to when I'm not sure what to wear.

This summer is no exception and I suspect my 'go-to' would be the same whether or not I was pregnant. The actual pieces would obviously different, but, without a doubt, my 'go-to' summer style is a maxi dress.

I know, I know, I've probably written about a maxi dress one too many times but that's not going to stop me from doing it again.

Maxi dresses are awesome because:
  • A maxi can be as dressy or as casual as you want.
  • They're easy to dress up with accessories.
  • You don't have to worry about matching a top and bottom because it's one piece!
  • Comfort. A maxi dress is essentially the equivalent of socially acceptable pjs and I'm so down with pjs.
  • They come at every price point. You can literally find cute maxi dresses for $10 and then spend up to... well... whatever your heart desires I suppose. PLUS, they're literally in every women's clothing store.
  • Endless options. The selection out there is so huge, there's options in every color, pattern, size and for every occasion.

Bonus: maxi dresses are a pregnant lady's dream. I can still look cute, be comfortable and showcase my baby bump (which now resembles a beach ball).

If you aren't sold yet, well, you're crazy but here are some of my maxi dress looks:

A look from last spring - you can easily make a maxi cool-weather appropriate by wearing flats and adding a scarf and jacket.

Fun with a hat and denim vest. (don't mind my photo-bomber)

Maxi dresses are perfect for a Girl's Night Out!

They can be glamorous too!!

Back to casual.

PERFECT for maternity pictures!!

NOW, if you're still searching for the perfect maxi dress(es) to enjoy for the rest of the summer, don't fret, I have some suggestions!

Do you love the maxi as much as I do??
What's your 'go-to' summer look?? If you have one, make sure you linkup with us below (new or old posts welcome) so we can check it out!

Linking up with:
Jo-Lynne Shane
Garay Treasures

summer challenge recap and white dresses

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

For the last few weeks I've been kinda/sorta participating in the Summer Style Challenge. Okay, the truth of the matter is I mostly just signed up because I couldn't miss out on 'the list' but I really haven't been an active participant this go around. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed it. I still looked at the daily outfits, checked out my fellow challengers on the Facebook page and even posted a few outfits here and there.

Sadly, I don't have one outfit picture from the past week to share! Not a single one! 

BUT here are some of my recent 'what I wore' posts that were inspired by the Summer Style Challenge

38+ weeks pregnant at this point and it's safe to say I've let myself slide a little bit. Don't worry, I haven't totally reverted to my frumpy-ways and I'm proud to say the yoga pants (even the maternity ones) have still been reserved for evening attire (aka 'my ice cream eating pants'). I'd say for working out, but let's be serious, that's not happening right now.

Soooo due to the lack of pictures I'm going to tell you about one of the challenge pieces that I didn't buy, am still afraid of, but LOVED on my fellow challengers. A white dress.

I'm not a good 'wearer of white', even with my trusty Tide-to-go, I still inevitably spill something that can never completely be removed. (read more about my fear of white clothing here). I did not purchase a white dress because my giant belly just made the fashion choice even more risky for me; however, seeing how awesome it looked on everyone else has me somewhat coveting a white dress.

Soooo here are some white dress possibilities for when this baby vacates (although, home with a toddler and new baby is probably not the time to get adventurous and start wearing all white):

It's yet to be determined if I'll actually buy AND wear a white dress... but at least I have some options.

What are your thoughts on white dresses? Yes or no?

As per usual, would love for you to link up with us below AND I will also be linking up with the following lovelies:

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

thank you, to the sweetest group of bloggers I know

Friday, July 3, 2015

I got a very pleasant surprise today when I went to check the mail: an unexpected package!!!

I was a little confused by this decent-sized package and even more confused when I saw that the sender was one of my blogger-friends, Sarah.

Sarah and I both belong to a group of bloggers who met through the Style Challenges and have been linking up regularly. We recently did a gift exchange, but that's all done and over with and to the best of my knowledge, I didn't miss an email about another exchange. So why am I getting a package and what is is?!


I opened the package to find some super adorably wrapped gifts and a very sweet card from, you guessed it, the Style Me Bloggers!!!

My sneaky blogger friends had gotten together and bought a TON of stuff for our little man! Seriously, they spoiled us with a bunch of outfits for our little guy.

When I started blogging almost a year and a half ago, I knew I'd find some awesome blogs to read but I never expected to connect with such an amazing group of women who I consider friends even though we've never actually met.

To the Style Me ladies: THANK YOU! This thoughtful gift not only made my day, but also ensured I have very little shopping to do for our new family member (Mr. B is especially thankful about that part lol).

This was so unexpected and kind that I teared up immediately! I'm so grateful for all our collaborations but more to consider you all friends!

I only with we weren't separated by such distances because I'd love to be able to introduce you to our new arrival in person. Rest assured, you'll be among the first to hear our happy news and get a ton of sneak peeks of the little guy.

Thank you all, so very much. You made this momma feel beyond special today!

Now, I have whole load of baby-laundry to do thanks to you guys :)
Carrie, you still up for folding??