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Lifestyle Motherhood

a quick mother’s day gift guide

May 2, 2017

Here are some of my picks for Mother’s Day’s gifts! As a mother, I would love to sleep in the whole day and drink an iced cold coke in peace and spend quality time with my family. That’s probably the best gift anyone can give me. Butttt sometimes moms just need something a little pretty. These are some tangible items and gift ideas I thought would be lovely for any mother to receive. And they are: Continue Reading

Lifestyle Travel

my vacation beauty essentials

April 24, 2017

I brought a lot of makeup with me on this Mexico trip because I was doing my best friend’s makeup for her wedding. With all the options I had with me, these are the items I used the most during my five day stay.


Marc Jacobs’ Fineliner Ultra Skinny Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner (in Blacquer)
I picked up this liner at Sephora after the girls tried the product on my aunt. I’ve been a big fan of gel liners (Bobbi Brown in particular) and was interested in this pencil version. After the kids were born, I didn’t have time to bother with a brush and a liner pot so I became a loyal user of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner. Pencil form, convenient and easy to use. Continue Reading

Food Lifestyle Travel

postcard from mexico

April 20, 2017

My best friend got married this past week in Rivera Maya, Mexico. Friends and family traveled down and stayed at the Azul Fives Resort to be with her on her special day. Here is my photo travel diary for the short time I was there. I will also be sharing a mini review of the resort we stayed at down below. xx

my beautiful best friend, a couple days before her wedding

The Azul Fives Resort is a small one tucked behind the main strip heading towards Playa Del Carmen. Its decor and architecture was more modern than all Mexican resorts I’ve been to before. With its white buildings, green foliage it was a very beautiful. Rooms were updated tastefully and if staying on the Esscence side of the resort, the rooms are new with concrete and modern furnishings.

Food at the resort was the standout point for me. When it comes to Mexican all-inclusive, food can be a hit or miss. At most resorts, the food is just okay but nothing too spectacular. However this resort’s quality of food I found to be superior even though the buffet offerings are smaller in quantity. The restaurants were very good. In the case of the Italian and Thai restaurants, I would’ve paid to eat that kind of quality of food back home. I was pleasantly surprised at how much care their chefs put into keeping the menus relatively authentic. One of the best items were their tacos. As stereotypical as having tacos in Mexico can be. They had little carts with cooks pressing fresh corn tortillas and frying them on the spot, filling it with beef, pork and fish. I still dream about them.
As for activities, there isn’t too much to do on the resort. There are tennis and basketball courts but the late night activities were not as abundant as other places I’ve stayed. The live music and singers they brought in were very good, probably the best I’ve seen in Mexico. Azul Fives is a good, quiet resort for people who are looking to unwind. But I would suggest to get off the resort on excursions to make the most of your stay in Mexico.

The smaller beach was beautiful to look at but very rocky. You will have to step pass the rock barrier to get to the soft sand in the water, water shoes would be a good asset to have here. Because the resort is smaller, there is always an available lounge chair which is a huge plus for me! There were also ample umbrellas and shade which is appreciated.

Their infinity pool is gorgeous, leading up and drawing your eye towards the beach. There is a system of pools that connect and run throughout the resort, weaving in and out of the villas. This provides quieter areas well suited for families with young children. A unique feature of Azul Fives is its bridge. A wooden bridge that spans the resort and cuts through a natural jungle. Spider monkey sightings are common. For a girl from a very non tropical country, seeing monkeys was something very exciting indeed.




The wedding. I wasn’t too involved with the wedding planning process on the resort end. But from what my girlfriend told me the coordinators knew what they were doing, they were quick and efficient. The wedding went very smoothly without any large mishaps. They set everything up for her and it turned out beautiful with chiavari chairs, beautiful rustic centrepieces they provided and white and blush accents. She got married on their Sky Deck as opposed to the traditional beachside wedding. It overlooked the skyline and was absolutely stunning. It’s a good option for someone looking for an alternative to a sandy ceremony.


Staff were pleasant, friendly and courteous. Rooms were clean and well maintained. And the showers were hot. It seems trivial to mention but I take showers that could probably blister normal people and I appreciate really hot water. Overall, our stay was lovely and enjoyable. And on a vain note, this resort is incredibly photogenic. Every corner you pass there is an interesting wall or decorative feature begging to be photographed. So coming from someone who has their camera permanently attached to their body, this definitely was a positive feature.

That was our stay! Where is your favorite place to go when in Mexico? If you are heading somewhere soon, happy travels!

 

Lifestyle

six favorite makeup brushes

April 3, 2017

As a mom of two kids, I don’t often wear makeup. But when I do it has to be quick and easy. Having a good arsenal of brushes will keep your makeup application smooth and effective. If I were only allowed to have 6 makeup brushes, these are the ones I would pick. I’ll be describing them generally as most brands carry similar version of these types of brushes. I am in no way a professional I am just a makeup enthusiast and I hope this little guide helps some of you out there! Here we go!


Small Tapered Blending Brush
– I love my little blending brush, if you sweep wide it can blend a larger surface or use just the tip for percise blending. If I’m in a rush and in a bind, I’ll use this as an all around eyeshadow brush and sweep one single colour all over my lid and call it a day.

I own the Sigma Blending Brush E25. But the Mac 222 is another alternative. I also love my Sigma E40 which is a slightly larger tapered blending brush. Continue Reading

Food Lifestyle

french madeleines

March 30, 2017

French Madeleines are easily my most favourite sweet to eat. Buttery, spongey, perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Their nostalgic vanilla flavour base, their warm cakey texture are heavenly. These little cakes are simple and perfect all at the same time. I can go on and on. But lets just share the recipe I use to make them! Continue Reading

Featured Food Lifestyle

throwing a bridal shower

March 28, 2017

Many of my closest girlfriends are married and we’ve become pretty good at throwing Bridal Showers. We just hosted one for one of our best friends. It had a  slight Parisian flair and these are some of our tips for making your event go smoothly and less stressful!

-Planning-

1. Decide on a theme. If you decide to go without a theme (which is totally fine!) then decide on a general colour palette. Our shower had a underlaying Paris theme. We kept it vintage-y and subtle with blush pinks, beiges/creams, little black accents and lots of white. Having a dominate colour will help with decor decisions and keep everything consistent and unified.  Continue Reading

Lifestyle

it was a good day

March 15, 2017

A very cold and snowy morning, I actually changed out of my yoga pants and headed out for brunch with my sister in law and one of my closest girlfriends. Afterwards, we headed for an afternoon of Calligraphy with the talented Justine Ma. She holds incredibly popular workshops and we were able to snag three tickets to the event.


Give Justine’s website a look, she sells everything from her hand lettered greeting cards, gifts and apparel. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time and was not disappointed after having spent the afternoon in her class. I think I may take up calligraphy, even though I do it quite poorly… There’s just something about pen, paper and a pot of ink that is soothing and so calming. And it’s always a good idea to try and learn something new!

The workshop was held at the trendy FaBLOOMosity floral studio. We were happily greeted by Justine with hugs, smiles, and instant chatter. At my station I was surprised to find a small succulent that doubled as a place card. Justine had taken the time to write each of our names on the adorable little glass pots. There was a tote bag filled with a couple of her greeting cards and other goodies. And for every table there were little cakes and artisan chocolates by Brianne Gabrielle Cakes sitting on a marble slab in case you need a sweet pick me up as you’re busy writing.


Once we took our seats, we had a clipboard with a lettering guide and several worksheets.  There was a calligraphy pen, a pot of ink, and an envelope with two nibs. And am I the only one who has such an obsession with detail? On the little envelope, Justine had written (beautifully) “nibs”. I’m such a sucker for pretty things and thoughtful details.


We learnt basic strokes and worked on our worksheets as she walked around correcting and giving us tips here and there. It was such a wonderful experience. I would recommend it to anyone! It’s nice to be able to leave the house and do kid free activities. Where there’s no finger paint or trampoline involved. I’ve always said its good practice for moms to do something that is not kid related, keeps you grounded and keeps you sane really. So give calligraphy a go! It’s so much fun.

xx, CiCi

 

Lifestyle Travel

oh Canmore, you’re pretty awesome.

March 1, 2017

My best girlfriends and I headed into the mountains to celebrate one of us leaving her single days behind her. And what better way to send her off to marital bliss by taking a weekend away? Visiting the Canadian rockies needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The mountains, the crisp air, the bluest water. My goodness, be still my heart. We avoided the more touristy Banff area and decided to stay in the quieter town of Canmore, AB. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, charming street corners and great food. Oh my god, the food is stellar in Canmore. I still don’t understand how such a small town can so deliver on their culinary offerings. My girlfriends, taste buds, and the food gods thank you.


We got into Canmore quite late in the evening. Tired from the long drive, we picked up take out from The Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. This little spot in Canmore is insanely busy, we received a busy signal every time we tried calling but we persisted. And it was worth every second of the wait! Their flatbread style pizzas are artisanal oven baked, thin, crispy and topped with fresh, local produce. We ordered a couple salads but the flatbread was definitely the star and a big hit with my tired crew. Continue Reading

Food Lifestyle

how we charcuterie!

February 13, 2017

I love cheese. And cured meat. And them together. Some nights, I’ll throw whatever cured meat I have in the fridge, a couple slices of bread, a wedge of cheese and call it dinner, it’s neither  fancy or frivolous. However, it’s nice to assemble a full board when you have guests over and hosting. There are many guides to making a “proper” charcuterie board but when it comes to food, the best advice is to follow your heart. And taste buds! Put together what you like to eat and not pick a fancy cheese just because it has fancy name. If you like cheddar (I do!), put cheddar on the board. If you like Blue Cheese (I don’t!), then throw blue on that board! Continue Reading

Featured Lifestyle

current favorite toddler tees

February 7, 2017

If you follow us on Instagram (if not, come join the party! @wongertwins), we have an obsessive love for the graphic tee. It’s stylish, comfortable, and wardrobe staple. To be fair, our favorite big box stores such as H&M, Zara, Carters offer very good prices on children wear, so we purchase the bulk of our clothes from them. What frugal mama doesn’t?? However, we are a big supporter of small shops, local stores, and ‘mompreneur’ companies. And when it comes to our graphic tshirt collection, we take the oppurtunity and support the small guys. Continue Reading