Music

Listen: Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson

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Album: Wrapped In Red
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Release Date: October 25, 2013

We are big fans of Christmas music around here!

Kelly Clarkson’s latest album, ‘Wrapped In Red‘ is a beautifully recorded Christmas album that will instantly put you in the Christmas spirit!

The album has a great blend of new, original songs mixed with covers of classic Christmas songs & the whole album through is really solid. Definitely a great Christmas CD to add to the collection.
(Kelly never disappoints!)

Get into the Holiday spirit & check out Kelly Clarkson‘s new album ‘Wrapped In Red‘!

Album highlights (Natasha’s faves):

Wrapped In Red
Underneath The Tree
Every Christmas
Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)
Just For Now

Fun Facts:

 – Kelly co-wrote on each of the 5 original songs on the album
– Artist Imogen Heap wrote the song ‘Just For Now’
– Kelly Clarkson filmed a Christmas Special called ‘Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale’ which will air on NBC in December! (Can’t wait to check that out!)
– ‘Underneath the Tree’ is the album’s lead single; released on November 5th, 2013
– ‘Wrapped In Red’ is Kelly’s first Christmas-themed album, and her sixth studio album release

Check out one of my favorite songs from the album: Wrapped In Red:

Natasha xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Laura Loves: POREfessional by Benefit

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POREfessional
by BENEFIT

Being a Makeup Artist and working in the cosmetic industry I get to try a lot of products.  (It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!)  I also get asked all of the time for my opinion. When my clients ask for my opinion on products, I am always honest. Regardless if a company has given me their products to try or if I have purchased them it does not persuade my opinion. I will never represent a product I do not believe in.  All of our product reviews will be our opinion and our opinion only. Good or bad.

Sometimes I come across a gem of a product and I want to share it with everyone! Like this little miracle in a tube! It has made it on my ‘must have‘ list… and I like to keep that list short as possible. The less steps every morning the better!  I’m sure all you ladies agree!

This balm is used to minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. The silky light weight, oil free formula can be used under foundation or on top. It also contains vitamin E which helps fight free radicals. So it not only helps the look of your skin, it’s also a prevention for anti aging. Perfect! 

Although it’s listed as a ‘primer’, I have found that wearing it on top of my foundation works best for me. All over my nose and a little on the outer corner of my eyes (where the wrinkles laugh lines are) and just a touch on my forehead.  I use a different primer for all over which I will post another time.

You only need a small amount and pat it on lightly rather then rubbing it on. Think of it as a filler, of sorts. Smoothing your skin and prepping it for foundation. Or in my case as a finishing touch over my foundation.

Seriously in love with this product and recommend it 100%!

Laura xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

What’s In Her Bag? Laura’s Summer Beauty Picks.

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I get asked all of the time what my favourite products are and what products do I use. Being in the cosmetic business and working as a make up artist for many years, I have used hundreds of products. In fact, too many to list in a single sitting!
So I decided I would share what products I am currently using this summer. I try new products constantly and change things up often but this group of products are my staples.

(Photo – from left to right)

Revlon Photoready Skinlights in pink light:
Revlon had this product years ago but it was discontinued at least 3 years ago. They relaunched it (in new packaging) this past spring and I was so excited to find it again. I use it as a highlighter on my cheek bones. Can you say glowy and gorgeous?

Stila One Step Skin Tone Illuminating in bronze:
This is a primer with a bronzer built-in so you get that slight bronzed radiance that looks completely natural.
You can use it alone or I like to mix it with my foundation on top of my hand then apply it.

Stila Stay All Day Foundation:
I don’t always use liquid foundation but when I am needing a little extra coverage this has been my go to formula. You can achieve medium to full coverage and it wears for hours.  It’s oil free and has botanical extracts which has many benefits including extra hydration and helps to slow down the onset of premature aging. Now who doesn’t want that benefit?
An added bonus, it comes with a coordinating concealer which is attached to the lid. Very handy.

La Roche-Posay SPF 60 Ultra Fluid Lotion for Face:
Now I don’t have to tell you just how important sun protection is, especially for your face. It’s our #1 protection against premature aging. Now that should catch more then a few ladies attention. We hear it all of the time, but most women don’t use any or apply enough when they do use it. Dermatologist recommend using SPF everyday. Yes, even in the winter.
I am more of an oily t-zone skin type and I don’t love the feeling of thick heavy products on my skin. That’s why I am so thankful I found this little gem. It’s good for all skin types, light weight fluid, fragrance free, paraben-free and dries matte. What more could you ask for?

Porefessional by Benefit:
This little miracle in a tube is just what the make up artist ordered!
Porefessional is for, you guessed it, those dreadful pores. It fills in and smooths out your skin. This lightweight, oil-free primer can be applied under your foundation, ontop of foundation or simply alone. Since I already use a primer (Stila bronze) I apply this one lightly ontop of my foundation around my nose area. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes. You have to see it for yourself to believe it.

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes (one pictured is the Limited Edition by artist Alber Elbaz):
Unfortunately we are not all born with beautiful long lush lashes so all of us ‘unfortunate’ ones have to supplement best we can. Like many other women out there we are forever searching for the ‘perfect’ mascara. For me, this Lancome Doll Lashes is pretty darn close to perfect. The cone shaped brush is designed to build and separate lashes without thick clumps. I very rarely find a mascara I will purchase more then once, but this one I’ve bought more than a few times.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in candy shimmer #05:
I am a big lip gloss girl and have to admit I’m kinda picky when it comes to choosing them. That probably explains my makeup drawer designated solely to glosses…approximately 70 or so. Not sure, I lost count.

The reason I keep coming back to this Clarins one (always alternating the colours) is because it’s not sticky, heavy or gooey. It’s a soft gel formula that hydrates and nourishes your lips while your wearing it. Plus it’s so darn pretty.

Laura xo

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Projects

Cracked Plates Bring You Closer

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My sister invited us to go to a pottery studio with her so we could work on some ceramic pieces and get a little family bonding time in, which is awesome because Natasha and I had been talking a lot about going to do some ceramic pieces and spending time with my sister is somewhat of a rarity these days with our schedules, so I was completely excited to do both.

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We decided to meet on a Sunday which is ‘family’ day for us.  Our motto: Sunday = Funday. I don’t know what we we were thinking waltzing into the studio thinking we were going to simply pick out a piece, design it, paint it, glaze it, fire it and bring it home with us a few hours later. There were so many choices of objects to choose from. Plates, cups, bowls, vases, trays, tea pots, nick-nacks of everything you could think of. Just making a decision took us almost half an hour. Then to sit down and actually design it, pick out the colours, stencil a design onto our ceramics and paint it. Three coats of paint and in between each coat putting it in the heater to dry.. So many steps.
Our little projects turned into 3 Sundays spent at the pottery studio.

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After we got it all organized we finally sat down and got to work on our masterpieces.

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Tricia was the pottery expert (we LOVE Tricia!) who helped us with every step. She wasn’t about to let us be plain and not be as creative as we could be with our pieces.
We basically relied on her to give us step by step instructions and ideas.
Although now we have learnt many techniques that we will use again and some that we won’t use again. (sorry Tricia, we still love you!)

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Natasha ‘a la artist’

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Natasha’s project before.

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Natasha’s project after (cupcake cookie jar)
Along with my sister’s bird, which we ended up naming ‘sexy bird’ because it took so many steps and techniques to complete, and it turned out gorgeous!

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Ta da! 
Natasha’s finished masterpiece.


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Ah yes… this is my ‘masterpiece’ in progress. The Flower Power Plate.

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And this is my masterpiece after..

Notice the huge crack right down the middle of the plate.
Tricia felt horrible about the crack and vowed to get to the bottom of the mystery of who dropped something on the plate.
Alright, I admit I think I was shocked when she gave it to me and it was cracked. I realize I’m no Picasso, but I did work on that piece for 3 weeks lets not forget.

However,  I wasn’t mad, sad or anything really. The funny thing is I have nothing but good memories of these past few weeks spending the time together while making the plate. My sister, Natasha and I had such fun that it was honestly worth more than crying over a cracked plate.

My cracked plate has become a conversation piece of sorts. Mostly of what I would design and paint differently when I paint another plate. Yes, I said it. We are going back and I will work on yet another plate. Different design and colours altogether, but definitely another plate.
What did I do with this plate you ask?
Well, I use it on my dresser and display all of my perfume bottles on it.
And every time I look at it, I smile.

Laura xo

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So I know I’ve been seriously lacking with the music portion of the blog, (I have been so sidetracked by my baking obsession lately!) but I found some much-needed motivation after coming across an artist named Max Frost.

I first came across his song ‘White Lies’ a few months ago on the ‘May 2013 Playlist’ from the Indie Rock Playlist. If you haven’t heard of the Indie Rock Playlist – they release epic playlists monthly that consist of really cool indie rock/pop/electronic songs by up-and-coming artists, and also some more mainstream bands. If you are a fan of indie music, definitely check it out. I’ve found out about a lot of good songs and bands from there.

White Lies was the song that really stood out for me and I’ve probably listened to it a good hundred times since then. The song is so catchy, its got a killer melody but the lyrics are what gets me. Sooo good.
I just thought to look up the artist the other day to try to find out more info and I’m glad I did! There’s not too much info online about him yet but I’m sure that’s going to change very soon… Max Frost is definitely an artist to watch. So much talent.

I’m not sure how I would classify his music – mix of soul, hip hop, feel-good, alt, blues, funk, fresh, rock. Normally the greatest artists have a wide range of influences which translates into their music and I believe Max is one of them.
If you were to take the greatest bits and pieces from each genre of music and blend it all together to create this unique new sound – that’s how I would describe his music.
Catchy, unique, feel-good tunes.

So from what I could gather, I found out that he’s a Singer/Songwriter/Producer & Multi-Instrumentalist (Max played all the instruments on every track he’s recorded so far) from Austin, TX.
He’s only 21 years old (crazy!), and has been playing gigs for almost a decade already.
He just signed to Atlantic Records and is releasing an EP later this year so look out for that! I’m so excited to hear the EP – I’m sure he’s going to be topping the charts soon and doing big things.

Follow Max on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/maxfrostmusic or visit his site http://www.maxfrost.net for the latest news.

Check out another great track by Max titled My Walk :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_qvgN3TGbY
(this has been my jam the past few days – i listened to it while running today, and literally couldn’t stop smiling at everyone i passed haha. instant mood-booster)

Natasha xo