Tips & Tricks on How to Avoid the Dreaded VPL

Hello, bloggers! I know it’s been a while; this summer has been jam packed with plans so it’s been a little hard to balance life and this blog during the month of July! Nonetheless, I’m coming back with a highly requested post. From a few lovely followers (and an overwhelming amount of supporters in the comments from a previous post), we are discussing the dreaded… VPL (dun dun dun)! Otherwise known as “visible pantie lines”, a few readers have agreed that this can make or break an outfit. I was lucky enough to turn this post into a collaboration with some members of the blogging world and I couldn’t be more excited! Here are a few tips and tricks on how to manage those unwanted lines.

I was initially approached by two lovely women to do this post who have been extremely patient (sorry for the delay ladies!) and insightful on this topic. They were eager to get in on this collab and I’m so happy they were able to contribute to this post. Thank you all! In order to have a range of different ladies involved, I asked them to provide their stats (age, height, size, line of work) and for fun: VPL Pet Peeve. It was also important to have a well-rounded and thought-out post, so each lady has also provided their own tips on how to avoid VPL. I hope you all find this helpful!

Laura:

Age: 31
Height: 5’6
Size: S/M (depending on brand)
VPL PP: VPL under leggings! It’s a tight fitted pant, so wear the appropriate underwear!!!! Especially at the gym, I know we are working out but still ….
Tip/Trick: I personally wear thongs! I think most of us ladies do this day and age? I’m personally a sucker for Victoria’s Secret underwear. Can always find something for every occasion! 

I totally agree with Laura on this one. Thongs are the easiest way to avoid VPL with all types of clothing. I’m trying to be a little more aware of sales that happen at Victoria’s Secret, Aerie etc. Stay tuned into my Instagram account for these announcements! I know price can sometimes deter people from purchasing the higher end under-garments, but if you’re lucky at the right time of year (aka VS Semi-Annual Sale), you can stock up on some good quality underwear.

Jenn:

Age: 27
Occupation: Lawyer
VPL PP: My biggest pet peeve at the office is other women who have that dreaded VPL with their pencil skirts and dress pants!  We take all this time and effort to dress up and do our make up so a cute skirt or pair of pants gets ruined by tacky lines!
Tip/Trick: Obviously thongs help avoid these and to go one step further I try to wear seamless so not even lace thongs show lines at all! Currently obsessed with lulu lemon underwear! Super comfy and amazing, a little pricey, but worth it in my mind! When I’m not at the office I’m usually doing yoga, which to be honest, I usually go commando to avoid the lines in my yoga pants.

I can certainly relate to you Jenn. I also work in an office where my pencil skirts come out of hiding, but what shouldn’t is those unwanted lines. Jenn and I had an email chain going back and forth in which another tip was revealed: if you’re afraid of lines, check in the mirror before you leave the house. Not only pencil skirts, but all business casual and formal wear is one of those extreme “make or break” styles when it comes to VPL.

Kelly:

Age: 26
Height: 5’5
Size: M
VPL PP: I hate seeing even casual looks ruined with lines, especially when leggings are involved. In the fall, I love feeling comfortable, so leggings are the way to go, but not when super cute looks are ruined by VPL!
Tip/Trick: I personally love seamless for an “all-purpose” underwear, but thongs for leggings 100%. It’s the tightest pair of pants you can wear… remember that.

Kelly, I totally get that. Fall looks are the transition into your most comfortable clothes, but that doesn’t mean we should allow those unwanted lines into our lives! My leggings definitely get their use in the fall, so its important to pay attention to VPL – especially when you’re trying to rock the riding-boot legging combo. I find that even jeans you need to be mindful with… Some jean material is thick enough to withstand the textures from what you’re wearing underneath, but not always. Jeggings or jeans mixed with other materials are something you need to be mindful of. I personally love Levi’s for a good quality and reasonably priced jean.

My Two Cents…

I totally agree with the ladies above. Outfits can be taken to a whole new level with the fine details alone… Shoes, a belt… VPL vs. no VPL! If you were unable to read through the comments on my last outfit post, my personal stats are as follows: I am 25 years old and about 5’1 (#shortpeopleproblemz). I typically wear an XS, but often for undergarments I go with a size S for comfort!

VPL PP: Boyfriend style underwear/ full paired with a thong-cut bodysuit. At this point, the thong really would just be more comfortable!

Tips/Tricks:
1. Shop the sales. Seriously, some stores have amazing deals during the year! Victoria’s Secret and Aerie come to mind for me.
2. If you wear a full coverage underwear (especially with leggings), a little trick is to wear an over-sized layering piece. This way, your comfort levels remain at 100% while avoiding the “visible” VPL to the world. I suggest doing this with any item that goes below your waist – which is cute AND doesn’t ruin your outfit. Think about incorporating long knit cardigans, boyfriend style blazers, duster coats… the list goes on and on.
3. I recommend trying out all of the styles of underwear the ladies above mentioned. Find one that works best for you! Whatever is most comfortable will make you excited (and ready) to put together an outfit without having to worry about unwanted lines. Some like thongs, others prefer seamless, it really depends on personal preference. Just know, it is in fact possible to remain comfortable without compromising the whole look.
4. If cost is an issue, don’t underestimate the “no-name brand” garments. I know Canada doesn’t have Target anymore, but I remember they had some pretty cute pieces at very reasonable prices. Try Walmart, Target, and other bargain stores. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you shopped at VS or a no-name store, lines are lines.

Where to Shop:

It wouldn’t be a post for the “outfit” category without links, right? Here are some standard brands, along with others mentioned by the ladies above:

Victoria’s Secret
https://www.victoriassecret.com/

Aerie
https://www.ae.com/ca/

La Vie En Rose
https://www.lavieenrose.com/

Lulu Lemon
https://shop.lululemon.com/c/women-underwear/_/N-8n3?mnid=mn;en-CA-JSON;women;bras-+-underwear;underwear

My Every Day Drugstore Makeup Routine

I don’t know about you guys, but during the week I try to keep my makeup routine as simple as possible. This is mostly because I only give myself approximately 15-20 minutes to get ready from Monday – Thursday. Not to mention, I borderline do my makeup in the dark because #notamorningperson. This means… I need something quick, easy, and cheap. I’ve got into a pretty standard routine and thought I would share it on the blog! Here are the products I use for an everyday, simple makeup look.

Some of these are my holy grail drugstore products, and others I’m just trying out for the first time. My holy grail’s (and the products I will continue to repurchase) are the Maybelline Lash-Sensational mascara, the NYX Matte Setting Spray, and the Maybelline City Bronzer. It’s actually my first time using this bronzer, but I’m in love! My skin is quite fair, so I picked up the lightest shade (I think there are 3), and am so happy with how it translates onto my face. Not to mention it smells like a vacation. Aka, it smells incredible. In terms of the Lash Sensational mascara, it competes with some of the high-end products at half the price. If you’re lucky, you can often find majority of these products on sale so it’s a win-win situation.

The Cover Girl True Blend Matte Foundation was surprisingly very good. I’m not normally one for a super matte finish foundation, but this one did not feel drying or too matte. I am not a huge fan of packaging because (side note) foundations that are packaged in glass containers will be my demise… I get so frustrated when I pay for a product and can’t get the foundation out. It’s like toothpaste for me. I need to be able to squeeze every bit out; I could not do that with this product and it did leave me feeling like I ran out of my foundation faster than normal…

Soap and Glory’s One Heck of a Blot setting powder is a classic. I had never tried it myself, but was able to get my hands on it at the airport coming home from the UK. I liked this product; standard and reasonably priced.

I think NYX has some of the best products out there for the “finishing touches” of my routine. Blushes, lippies, highlighters, setting sprays etc. Not to mention their eyeliner is my absolute favourite. I picked up the Angel Veil Primer hoping it would perform well, but I was a little disappointed. I think for long days, it’s important to invest in a base primer that will hold your look. After all, it is the canvas to the whole look. I haven’t yet found a drugstore primer I’m in love with, but the hunt is not over! What are some one’s I should try?

Brows (not photographed), Essence Make Me Brow. This is an incredibly easy product to use. Let’s be honest… brows take FOREVER on a days you actually have time to go all-out with your makeup. For the 15-20 mins I give myself during the week, brows are a challenge. Make Me Brow allows me to glide through this step of my makeup routine with the final result being: I have brows that are acceptable for the public eye.

I did not photograph my blush because I change it up everyday! Sometimes I gravitate to more pinkier tones, sometimes I feel more in the mood for an orange/bronzed blush. Sometimes a mixture of both! My favourite drugstore blush products are the Milani Baked Blush or the Wet N’ Wild Icon Blusher. What are your favourite drugstore blushes?

Everyone’s favourite part… highlight, highlight, highlight! My favourite drugstore highlighter at the moment is Maybelline’s Master Chrome Highlight in the shade Rose Gold. This shade is so subtle in the best way possible. When I bought it, I wasn’t sure how I felt about putting pink on my cheekbones – I’m a fan of the classic gold hues of the makeup world. I fell in love! With the brand, the product, the price; all of it.

I’m not one to wear a lipstick everyday, but when I do, I love NYX’s Lip Creams. They have great shades to choose from and the product does not dry out my lips. For my typical “every day” I just pop on a lip balm (or good old Vaseline).

The Products I Use:

  • Primer: NYX – Angel Veil
  • Foundation: Cover Girl – TruBlend Matte Foundation (Shade L40/ Classic Ivory)
  • Setting Powder: Soap & Glory – One Heck of a Blot
  • Bronzer: Maybelline – City Bronzer (Shade 100)
  • Blush: Milani – Baked Blush (Shade “Luminoso”)
  • Highlighter: Maybelline – Master Chrome (Shade 050/ “Molten Rose Gold”)
  • Brows: Essence – Make Me Brow (Shade “Blondy Brows”)
  • Eyeliner: NYX – Matte Liquid Liner (Shade Black)
  • Setting Spray: NYX – Matte Setting Spray
  • Lipstick: NYX – Soft Matte Lip Cream (Shade “Stockholm”)

Let me know if you guys love these products as much as I do! I know it’s hard to believe, but truly, all of these products make it onto my face within a 10 minute time frame. This is why I love them for my week-day makeup routine.

LD&L: She’s The Man

Fun Fact: I am ALWAYS down to binge and re-watch early to mid 2000’s movies. Anyone else like that?

The Review:

What’s not to love? You’ve got early 2000’s Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum portraying dreamy Duke Orsino. Not to mention, hilarious content. No matter how many times I could possibly watch this movie, I will always laugh at the same parts every time.

As I’m sure a handful of you already know, this movie was based off of Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. I’m someone who enjoyed English and Drama throughout my schooling (and as I obviously still do), this movie is topnotch material. I love how they were able to bring Shakespeare’s work to life in a modern and hilarious way. 10/10, would recommend for your Saturday night feature. Real question though… is Gouda your favourite kind of cheese? #notmine.

Rating: 5/5 – Isn’t it always?

This movie will always receive the highest of ratings because it never fails to keep me entertained. Isn’t that why we watch movies, read books, go to live plays? Don’t listen to the downers over on the Rotten Tomatoes website (tough crowd…).

Let’s Chat:

Here in Ontario, it seems we forgot a season and went right from Winter into Summer. Had to pop on shorts already! Do you guys have summer plans? What are you looking forward to?

I’m so excited to be working on my first makeup post. Drugstore products for an everyday look is something so achievable at a reasonable price! I can’t wait to share the content with you all. If you were able to send suggestions of products I might like over on my Instagram account, thank you! I look forward to introducing some new products into my everyday routine. Stay tuned this week for the post!

Full Day Tours to Take from Cardiff That are Worth the Money

Three words… When Where Wales. We took two day trips with the When Where Wales Tours and it turned out to be an amazing way to see the beautiful country. With only a few days budgeted for Wales, our base was Cardiff, the capital city. My friend and I booked two trips with this company because they covered so much ground in the little time we had. Broken down here are the two we took, but there a plenty to choose from!

Tour No. 3: Gower Explorer

Let me start off by saying, the facilitators of the day tours were such kind people. Jan and her husband clearly have a passion for what they do. The tours were extremely organized. They cover every inch of Wales in proximity to Cardiff you could want to explore. Often with group tours, it’s easy to fell forgotten about and rushed through the stops. Not once did I feel this on the When Where Wales tours we took. The Gower Explorer was my favourite of the two. Swansea was a highlight I never knew I even wanted to see!

Here is what the Gower Explorer covered:

  • Swansea Marina & National Waterfront Museum
  • Mumbles Lighthouse
  • Langland Bay to Caswell
  • Rhossili (and lunch stop)
  • Arthur’s Stone
  • Llwcher Estuary and Salt Marshes
  • Cefn Bryn

Swansea, Mumbles, Langland

Rhossilli

Arthur’s Stone, Cefn Bryn

This day exceeded my expectations. The weather turned out to be incredible for the views and feeding wild ponies near Arthur’s Stone. Which yes, you get to touch for good luck! Swansea and the Gower Explorer Tour is something I look back on and think, “I’m so glad I spent money on that experience”.

Tour No. 1: South Wales Valleys Tour

This tour covered the whole idea of what I thought Wales would be like; endless green hills, sheep, castles, sheep, ancient folk tales, and you guessed it… more sheep! Seriously, they are everywhere!

Here is what the South Wales Valleys Tour covered:

  • Caerphilly Castle
  • Brecon Beacons National Park
  • Ancient Standing Stone
  • Welsh Villages
  • Brecon Town
  • Libanus Visitors’ Centre
  • South Wales Valleys

Caerphilly Castle

I think Daenerys Targaryen parked her dragons here between filming seasons, and boy do they fit in well.

Another castle we visited other than Caerphilly Castle, I cannot for the life of me remember it’s name. SORRY. What I do remember is its killer drawbridge and really, that’s what matters most.

Brecon Beacons, Ancient Standing Stone

Myths, Welsh history, legends – I’m into it. If you are too, you’ll love Wales and these tours.

Links to the When Where Wales Tours:

Why “When Where Wales”?

The guides were incredible. As the main source of info, this is the first thing I want on a bus tour. They were so passionate about showing off their beautiful country and they actually invest in their group’s well-being. The whole tour was so organized. Each stop made sense; honestly there was not one part that I thought, “ugh, that was a drag” or “wish that wasn’t included in the price”.

I will be honest for my young travelers out there, the crowd was a little older than anticipated. It doesn’t exactly target two friends in their 20’s, but it completely worked for us. We had a lot going against us in Wales: not enough time, no transportation, not a ton of knowledge on the areas surrounding Cardiff… This tour took care of all of our issue and they did it with a small bus group. I personally love the more intimate groups. It gives you a chance to connect with the guides, as them questions, spend more time (and actually get a turn) at the stops. It also gave you enough time to decide what you wanted to do with your time at certain places. As a smaller group, though there is an itinerary, it has the ability to be somewhat more flexible.

During our lunch break on the Gower Explorer at Rhossilli, we were given so much time to explore the area. If you were unable to walk around, you didn’t have to, they had alternatives. Again, you got to pick how you wanted to use your time. With the average group tour, I often feel rushed; I did not feel this way on any of these tours. I wish I could have taken more of these tours!

If you’re interested…

Be sure to book these ahead of time, the spots fill up. Something to also note: if you were interested in a specific tour, each one only happens on certain days – it is only the two guides after all, and one of them is the driver! This may change the look of your itinerary, but I promise it’s worth it. I’m also all for contributing to a local family business, and Jan and her husband deserve every penny!

When Where Wales, thank you!

LD&L: When Breath Becomes Air

This book was an emotional roller coaster. I’m not typically one for reading memoirs, but this found it’s way into my home. Literally. My boyfriend mailed me (yes, old school snail-mailed) a copy of When Breath Becomes Air with a simple message; “I love getting mail. People should get more mail, you know”? Knowing I’m a reader, and often a fan of Heather’s Picks at Chapter’s/Indigo, he made a great choice!

My advice to readers who still love holding the physical copy of a book…take time to “old-school mail” a new book to your friend, loved-one, parent, sibling. It will brighten up their day tremendously and it’s such a simple, fun, kind gesture that goes a long way.

The Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

As I mentioned, memoirs often do not catch my interest on the bookshelf. With that being said, this book was a lovely reminder that everyone one in life has a purpose. That even in times of struggle, and in this case illness, your purpose in life doesn’t shrink when you put into perspective what’s most important in your life. The memoir was beautifully crafted. It was well thought out from the prologue and introduction to the closure written by his wife.

I was hesitant to read this knowing it was going to be a sad read. A book about a patient with lung cancer is not something I would have selected to enjoy in my spare time, but I’m glad I did. It brought a new perspective on how to handle devastating news, much like Paul and his family experienced upon his diagnosis. The astonishing part about reading this book was… I wasn’t overwhelmingly sad reading it. Paul presented his cancer journey as a fact rather than an emotion. Reading this, you learn about the science behind his diagnosis, the cold hard facts. Emotion at times does play a role in his journey, but it was not necessarily the forefront of how he chose to present his story. It translated through Paul’s novel that he really lived his life to it’s fullest. Despite the trying circumstance in his last year, his life always had a clear purpose.

Rating: 4.5/5

What’s coming on the blog?

Lined up, my first Wales travel post will be coming this week! I’m also working on putting together an “everyday drugstore makeup” look (something like my picture below). Of course, some more movies, more books. Are you guys enjoying the book LD&L’s or movies?

Also in the works (hopefully for month-end or a post sometime in July), I’m working on my first collab with some fellow blog readers! This post is going to be so fun to create, I love that some of you want to be involved! Thanks for following along so far!

Let me know if you’ve read When Breath Becomes Air. What did you think?

Until next time, xx

3 Ways to Wear a White Bodysuit This Spring

You can’t go wrong with a white basic when transitioning your winter wardrobe into your springtime one. Here are three ways to wear a white bodysuit this spring. All the links in this post will bring you to the actual product if you’re interested in buying anything (sorry in advance)!

First thing’s first… the star of the show… the one and only versatile Wilfred Free Bodysuit:

Casual

“Casual”: AKA something you can wear with jeans. This look is perfect for the beautiful spring days that borderline on summer weather. Anyone else experience the hard transition period for your wardrobe? Is it going to be rainy, cold, hot…will I sweat if I step outside or run back for a parka? Typically, when I think “spring”, the Miss Rhode Island quote from Miss Congeniality comes to mind. You guys know the one. “Describe your perfect date”, to which Cheryl responds: “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.” Sometimes, not even that light jacket is required, though popping one over a casual look like this one is a great way to adjust for when the sun goes down. And don’t get me started on how much I love these H&M slides

Comfy

I know, I know… bodysuits can only get so comfy. And by that I mean, they’re not often made for comfort at all. That’s why pairing the tighter bodysuit with loose fitting pants is a match made in heaven. I picked up these black tulip pants from M Boutique which complement the bodysuit perfectly. They come in a few different colours, and I had to stop myself from buying one of each. Slip on a few accessories with these basics and you’re good to go!

Low-Key Dressy

Of course you can absolutely dress this basic up for something more formal, but the most I would dress this bodysuit up in spring would be for a nice dinner date. You can wear this with some dark-wash jeans, black bottoms, or a skirt. Adding some heels and accessories can really change up the look. I’ve added a pair of black heels and a long white cardigan to make it a little dressier, but not formal.

And that’s a wrap! First outfit post done. What did you guys think of this feature? Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the post or other ways you wear a white bodysuit in the spring. Reach out on any of my social media links and be sure to follow along for notifications on when content goes live on the blog. Happy shopping!

@touchofmasceira

LD&L: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Zac Efron has come a long way from the halls of East High… This Netflix film follows the evolution of Ted Bundy and his relationship with Liz Kloepfer. I’ve mentioned before in the LD&L section that I’m not normally one to go for super scary content, but… Zac Efron. Realistically, this was more of a movie with extremely creepy concepts as opposed to feeling like you can’t sleep for a week after watching it.

The Review:

I have to say, Zac Efron surprised me in this one. There were some moments where you really saw an “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile” look in his eyes. The story was an interesting take on the famous serial killer’s story; less about his individual victims, more from the perspective of his one true love with Liz. The story maintained the alarmingly easy charm of Bundy and how he smoothly lured his victims with ease. I liked that the movie made it very clear which State and year they were focusing on when Bundy attacked. This made it easy to follow the story, the tragedies, and the personal evolution of not only Ted himself, but also his long-time girlfriend Liz.

Rating: 4.5/5

Let’s Chat:

I’m so excited that summer is just around the corner. I need some sunshine in my life! As you can see by this section, I do love my coffee and tea, but I wouldn’t mind switching it up to a patio drink every once and a while.
I’m happy Instagram is an outlet for us to chat about what I want to put out on the blog, but also what you want to see. Here were some suggestions:

  1. How I style my hair. Though not as long anymore, I would love to put out hair content. Perhaps places you can still donate hair would be a good post?
  2. More travel – yes, yes, yes. Even if it’s a mini-road trip this summer, you can bet more travel posts are in the works.
  3. More books, more movies. Every week I look forward to a lazy Sunday where I can unwind by putting out an LD&L post. I’m so happy you are all loving this sections as much as me!

What’s Coming on the Blog?

  1. Well, we’ve tackled every inch of the UK except one country… Wales. I’m working on some content to complete the whole United Kingdom on the blog.
  2. I know I’ve been slacking in one particular section. Outfits. First outfit post coming soon: 3 ways to wear a white bodysuit this spring. Keep an eye out for the post this week! Here’s a little sneak-peak:

Let me know in the comments what content you want to see. How are you liking the blog so far? Talk to you guys next week!

5 Pubs to Visit in Dublin

If you want to live like the locals, you can count on visiting a handful of pubs. Dinner, dancing, drinks, live music – Dublin pubs sure know how to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Though I wish I could have stayed much longer, here is a short list of pubs I visited in Dublin. Have a read, plan a trip, and grab a Guinness. Sláinte!

O’Neill’s

Recommended by our hostel, O’Neill’s was a short walk from Temple Bar. It had live Irish dancers, live Irish music, good food, and an overall lively atmosphere. This pub, perhaps caters more to the tourists than the locals, but nonetheless, I had such a fun time! The Irish dancers and musicians did a great job of including the crowd and they provided consistent entertainment while we ate our food. I will never not be happy singing Galway Girl by Steve Earle. If you’re not one for standing around, you may want to go earlier in order to get a seat. This place gets crowded fast because of it’s authentic Irish acts.

http://www.oneillspubdublin.com/

Con’s

Okay, I’ll admit it… Con’s is not actually located in Dublin, but for my fellow Directioner’s and Niall Horan lovers, it’s a quick train ride away. Located in Mullingar, Con’s is a pub frequented by locals. If you want a true Irish pub feel away from the novelty of Temple Bar, Con’s is a great choice. The food was delicious, and it was a very relaxed vibe in the pub. I would go again just for their potato leak soup and Irish soda bread. My teenage dreams were officially accomplished (RIP 1D).

The Auld Dubliner

In the words of my friend Carly, “you know a pub has to be good when they spell words the ancient way”. Again, another pub with good food, live entertainment, and most importantly – my favourite cider. I was disappointed to find out they don’t sell “Orchard Thieves” here in Canada. If you prefer cider to beer, be sure to mix up the classic “Bulmer’s” with Orchard Thieves if they have it on tap. The Auld Dubliner is in Temple Bar and easy to find among the cobble stone streets.

https://aulddubliner.ie/

Temple Bar

Temple Bar Pub is one of those “when in Rome” – or rather, when in Dublin – moments. In the center of Temple Bar, Temple Bar Pub is a high volume area of tourists. More live traditional Irish music, statues in the middle of the tables, but it lacks one thing: locals. You find many, if any, locals in this pub. We stopped in for one drink to see what this pub was about, but not one person we spoke to was Irish and the drinks are much more expensive. I’m glad we went, and it certainly can’t hurt to pop in to see for yourself given the location of this pub.

https://www.thetemplebarpub.com/

The Guinness Storehouse

I added the Storehouse to this list, because what better place to try a Guinness than the Guinness store itself? This was one of my favourite experiences in Dublin. The tour provided us with two pints (half-pint Hop House, half-pint Guinness Dark, and one pint of Guinness). You learn the in’s and out’s of how the famous Irish stout beer is made including the ingredients, advertising/ marketing, and of course, lessons on how to properly pour a pint of Guinness. Yes, the whole 119.5 second process is necessary! Coming from a non-beer drinker, this experience is a must. Dare I say I actually enjoyed the taste? We had a chance to shop the gift center and I scored the comfiest sweater of life with the Guinness logo. What an experience this was!

https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en

I loved Dublin and I can’t wait to go back someday if not for my family history, the trad tunes and fresh pies. More pubs will be on the list of things to do. What are some of your suggestions if you’ve been to Dublin?

LD&L: Lilac Girls

One of my favourite types of books to read are historical fiction novels. My sister would disagree, but even I think she would love this one! I follow another blogger who suggested this read, so naturally, I had to go out and buy it that day. While in the book store, I had to control myself not to pick up one of everything. Who else knows that all-too-familiar feeling?

The Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls was a book that held my interest from the first few pages in. I’m a sucker for novels that feature more than one person’s story at a time; Lilac Girls was no exception. Martha Hall Kelly was able to portray the story lines in a way that were not confusing at all. I know some people who are hesitant to reach for books set up in this way because they really have to think about what’s going one, who connects to who, and what time your in. This book presented the characters in a way that made you excited to keep reading. As the reader, you didn’t want to go too long before being reintroduced to the other characters. When you were reading about Kasia, you were excited to get to Caroline. When reading about Caroline, you were wondering about Herta. This was genius and very well executed.

This historical fiction focuses on the lives of three women during WWII – each with very different roles and representations. I truly loved this book. If I can walk away from a book having learned something, it automatically deserves a 5/5 star rating. This book has it all – compelling characters, intriguing story lines, and researched based writing to back up her facts. This novel quickly climbed to one of my favourite books ever read.

Rating: 5/5

What’s coming on the blog?

As mentioned in my last LD&L post, I’d love to get some more travel posts out. One will be coming next week, so keep an eye out for something Irish!

What’s new with me?

May has been quite a busy month for me! I launched my blog (and am having so much fun creating these posts) and celebrated my 25th birthday. This has borderline turned into a “birthday month”… oops! The weather is finally starting to cooperate a little more which means…wedding season is here! To kick it off, I’m helping my friend Emily “day-of-coordinate” an event. How do you guys prepare for wedding season? Let me know all your tips and tricks in the comments below or on any of my social media links!

I’d love to know what you all think of Lilac Girls if you get a chance to read it. I hope you like it as much as I did. Bye bye bye (cue Justin Timberlake, it’s gonna be (a busy) May), for now. xxoo

How I Spent My 25th Birthday at the Elmwood Spa

I did it… I joined the quarter-century club (cue tears). I decided to get a small group of friends together and celebrate by pampering ourselves with a half-spa day at the Elmood in Toronto. Here is how I distracted myself from being “ahead by a (quarter) century” (RIP Gord Downie).

In the heart of downtown Toronto, you’ll find this relaxing day spa. It is extremely accessible, only a few streets away from Dundas. For a first time visitor, I had no issue finding the spa.

Our check in at the front desk was seamless and the staff were very welcoming. I, of course, had to snap a picture with the showcased windows of cages and cherry blossoms. Nice touch, Elmwood.

You’re given an itinerary upon check-in the stay on track with your treatments. This came in handy – it’s easy to see how you can lose track of time in a spa atmosphere (#namaste).

First up was lunch, and it was fantastic. Not exactly sure what I was expecting, but the food was very good! It’s hard to go wrong with a 3 course meal experience. If you spend a certain amount, it is included in your package.

My friends let slip that we were there for my birthday and the staff put a personalized touch to my dessert with a candle. Eating lunch and quite literally spending half a day in a robe was already enough of a dream come true, but I made a wish of course. Speaking of these robes, I may have tripped about 45 times – one size fits all robes are not for for short people. That was the hardest part about my day. Well, that and not falling asleep from being so relaxed.

We selected the “Serenity Retreat Package” which included: lunch, water therapy (the steam room took my breath away, literally, but so worth it), manicure, and pedicure. All the elements were so fun and truly an all-round experience. Food, drinks, and being pampered with friends; what’s not to love about that?

Going once was just not enough… Where are your favourite spas? I think I need to create a list of ones to attend. Strictly for research purposes. My birthday was a success and the Elmwood Spa was the perfect venue. Thank you for such a fun experience!