Uniform

Happy summer! I am having one of the best summers of my life. With what seems like endless beautiful weather, my daily routine has consisted of picnics, swims, ice cream, outdoor markets, perfect avocados (priorities) and lots of warm evening strolls. I have to say, this outfit combination has been on repeat this season. JACOB was kind enough to send me this skirt – my first maxi! – and I love it. I wear it at least once a week. It can be dressed up or down, in warm or cool weather and is absolutely one of my go-to pieces this summer. Wishing you a happy week! XO

Earrings, flats and chambray top: J. Crew | Bracelets: Silver Daisy, Unknown
Sunglasses: Gap | Skirt: c/0 JACOB

Posted in Outfits | 9 Comments

Dresser do-over

When I started following the blog Little Green Notebook I quickly realized that unique pieces of statement furniture could be mine with some patience and amateur DIY skills. I purchased this dresser from Kijiji years ago for $15. I decided it was the perfect piece to test my makeover project on, since it didn’t really matter to me if it completely failed. Luckily, I’m pretty happy with the results :)

First I dismantled and cleaned the entire dresser. Then I sanded it (not down to the bare wood, but just enough so the surface was rough), primed (not pictured) using SICO’s GoPrime water-based primer and then applied the first coat. I applied two more coats after that, using SICO’s water-based interior paint in Sparkling Blue.

Then I spray painted the hardware a metallic gold – this was my favourite part! I used Krylon spray paint in Brilliant Gold and I did three coats.

And voila! This project cost me about $60 total for supplies. I spent a full day painting the dresser and an afternoon spray painting the hardware + putting the dresser back together. I can’t say that I’ll now be a dedicated DIYer, and this project would have been easier if I had a garage, but otherwise it was fun and I learned lessons along the way :)

Posted in Life | 8 Comments

Aidan Mattox dress – Giveaway!

Aidan Mattox dresses totally encompass what I view as perfect formal wear – rich colours, playful details and pops of sparkle. As much as I love casual clothes, I totally adore the feeling of getting dolled up and dreaming of all kinds of accessory, hair and make up combinations to pair with a beautiful dress. I’m so thrilled today to be able to participate in a summer gift promotion and give away an Aidan Mattox dress! The winner will be able to choose from a selection of dresses (not necessarily the ones above) available in her size.

To enter, leave a comment telling me where you
mightwear the dress if you win!

For bonus entries (please leave a separate comment for each):

1) Follow me on Twitter
2) Tweet about this giveaway, including a link to this post, tagging @_brilliantsugar and @AidanMattox

This giveaway is open until Monday, July 30 at 5 p.m. AST! Good luck! XO

Update! The winner of this giveaway was commenter number 20 – Sab! Congratulations!

Posted in Giveaway | 40 Comments

Asparagus and lemon fettuccine

This, to me, is the perfect summer pasta. Light flavours, a light sauce & it features my favourite side dish – asparagus! I added crumbled turkey bacon to mine along with lots of pepper. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 pound uncooked fettucine
2 tsp salted butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound uncooked asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large egg
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep hot. Meanwhile, place butter and oil in a large skillet; melt over medium heat. Add asparagus, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus begins to brown, about 6 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and half and half; add to skillet used to cook asparagus. Place skillet over medium heat; add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove skillet from heat. Add pasta, asparagus and remaining ingredients to skillet; stir to combine and serve immediately. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Source: Weight Watchers

Posted in Outfits | 4 Comments

Dressing for ‘I do’

Wedding season has arrived! If you are like me, which I think most of you are, you have fully entered the years where wedding invites are plentiful in the spring & summer. And isn’t it great?! I love weddings. There is a romantic side of me that absolutely adores seeing two people in love celebrating with their friends & family. But we’re here to talk about dressing for the affair … so here I go!

Wedding wear is such a broad topic – it’s difficult to outline black & white rules. I’ve been to all kinds of different weddings – traditional in a church, outside on the ocean, laid back on a lake, glamourous on New Year’s eve – and of course every occasion called for different types of outfits. ASOS was kind enough to ask me to choose some of my favourite wedding looks from their site for this post, which are in a collage above. Click here to see more.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up from the weddings I’ve attended in recent years!

Be classy. A wedding is not the place to take risks with a plunging neckline, a sheer dress or a sky-high skirt slit. This day is about the bride. I always feel it’s inappropriate to wear an outfit that will draw too much attention to a guest instead of the bride.

That said, stay true to your style. Feel free to wear a cute headpiece, a bold colour or statement jewelry. The reason you’re at the wedding is because the bride or groom wants you there – so be yourself with your style.

Be comfortable … sort of. You’ll likely be wearing your outfit for most of the day – from the ceremony, to dinner, to mingling and cocktails to dancing – and you should try to be comfortable. That said, this is the time to dress up. Take the opportunity and don’t wear flip flops because you want to be able to dance. If you really find your heels are killing you – take them off on the dance floor! I find this really common (or is that just me?!)

Be happy and kind and have FUN. If I see a guest rolling their eyes at the food or texting throughout the father of the bride speech I feel absolutely crazy. I might be traditional, but the bride, groom and wedding party have put so much time and effort into this day for you, their guest. Appreciate that. Understand that if members of the wedding party see a guest being negative or appearing to have a bad time it will probably kill their spirit, even if just for a moment. Never let that happen! Share your positive energy and enjoy the day. It’s only going to make the entire experience better for everyone involved.

Note: I was compensated to share these ASOS looks on my blog.
I’ve always had excellent experiences with ASOS and would love to wear any of these dresses to a spring or summer wedding!

Posted in Life, Outfits | 2 Comments

Avocado and Mango Salsa

I could, and did, eat this salsa with a spoon. It’s that good. The combination of tomatoes and avocado is one of my all-time favourites, and the mango adds a really nice, sweet twist on this dip. While it’s great with chips, I really hope you’ll try it with chicken or fish – takes what could be a bland weekday meal and transforms it!

Ingredients

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro*
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and fresh pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients and let it marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Serve with pita or tortilla chips or spoon on top of chicken or fish.

*Cilantro is one of the few foods on this planet I cannot stand. I omitted it from my version, but left it in the recipe above in case you want to add it!

Source: Gina’s Skinny Recipes

Posted in Eats | 4 Comments