“Winter is coming” – Are you ready?

Hey guys,

November has arrived, along with its cooler weather, brrr! Are you ready for winter? Lucky for me, having little ones means that I have to get my butt in gear and make sure that they are well dressed for the cooler weather but, like most parents, that doesn’t mean that I’m ready.

After wearing the same Tommy Hilfiger jacket for 7 years, and through two pregnancies, I finally decided to splurge and buy myself a new coat. Afterall, I’m going to Banff next month and “need” a new coat to keep warm 😉 The only thing is that I didn’t have the time to endlessly browse through the malls to find the perfect jacket, until this week… For those who follow my Instagram account, lovelylifexo, you already know about this but, for those who don’t, Julien and I were supposed to go to Le Nordik Monday but weren’t able to because it was packed. Rather than spending the day at the spa doing nothing but relaxing, we ended up doing some Christmas shopping and Julien convinced me to look around for a winter jacket and, of course, we found one.

We stopped at Bayshore to check out what they had to offer. Don’t you find that shopping for a practical winter jacket is like jean shopping? The shopping experience can be long and painful but once you find the right pair or coat it’s unbelievably satisfying. Especially when your husband is the one encouraging you to make the purchase 😉 thanks babe.

Our first stop was the Bay. Do you know how many jackets they have there? Tons but most of them were the same style and not what I was looking for. Like most purchases, I was trying to find something a little different and unique. Our next stop was the Coat co, Reitmans and, of course, my favourite store Zara but none offered an affordable, warm and stylish coat. It wasn’t until we went to Aritzia that I found “the one.”


I was hoping to buy a maroon coloured jacket and managed to find one. I know that Aritzia’s winter jackets are super popular but I had never tried them on. Until this year 😉 Exciting news is that they are offering new styles and they are fabulous!!!

After trying on a few, I ended up buying the Babton Harrison parka brought to you by Aritzia! How fabulous is this jacket :)!? It provides warmth until minus 30 and literally feels like you’re wearing a duvet when you put this jacket on.

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It’s the details that make this jacket amazing:

  • It’s 100% responsibly sourced goose down;
  • It’s made of both water and windproof exterior fabric;
  • It has a real faux fur hood lining and trim and is made of luxe vegan fur with an authentic look and feel; and
  • The pockets are fleece-lined and so warm and cozy.


The only con I see with this jacket is that it is almost too warm. I haven’t been able to wear it yet but I look forward to doing so during our trip to Banff next month. I think it will be perfect for the wintery occasion. An added bonus is that this jacket is stunning and is offered in both black and maroon.

So, if you are looking for a new winter jacket I suggest you stop by Aritzia to see what they have to offer this year. They have their traditional style but a few new ones as well. The only thing I have left to buy are some new and warm gloves. If you have any suggestions on where I can find some, please let me know.

For those who live in Ottawa, I hope that you’re ready for winter since it’s supposed to feel like minus 10 Friday morning and we’re supposed to get snow over the weekend. Stay warm!!!

Talk soon,

Ash xo




A review of my favorite facial products

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Hope you had a fabulous week and Halloween! Our son absolutely loved every minute of Halloween and like all great parents, we are enjoying the benefits of having all of his chocolate and chips in the house ;).

I once again couldn’t decide on one post for this week so I decided to publish two. I’ m dedicating this post to five of my favourite products that I use on my face and the other post to a recent Oatmeal and raisin GF muffin recipe that I made.

I don’t know about you, but I have struggled my entire life with finding the perfect face wash, makeup remover, lotion and eye cream. Well folks, I’m happy to report that I’ve found a few products that I absolutely love and a couple of them may shock you as they are super affordable.

Since my teens, I’ve always had problem skin. It’s very dry and I continue (and probably will always have) hormonal acne. Damn hormones! I’m sure that some of you can relate to this. ..right? 😉 I thought this would go away with age or maybe after having kids but to be honest it’s only worsened. Not fair!

For those who have similar issues with their skin, I hope that some of my skin care secrets help you out and if you have any tips or product suggestions for me I would love to hear about them.

So here are the products that I’m currently using on my face daily:

1. Face Wash: Nivea’s refreshing foaming cleanser 

Nivea refreshing foaming cleanser

I always start by washing my face with Nivea’s refreshing foaming cleanser. I’ve used so many products on my face since my teens and only came across this cleanser about a year ago and LOVE IT! It does an excellent job at cleaning my skin and removing my makeup and it also doesn’t dry it out or leave a residue on it. More importantly (and I may regret saying this lol) I’ve NEVER reacted to it.

Even better, it only costs $10. I remember my mom using their products when my sister and I were young and I never really gave them a try until I was older and I’m happy that I did. Like I’ve said before, mom usually knows best ;). For all of these reasons, I give this product a 10/10 and highly recommend that you try it out.

2. Makeup remover: Clean and Clear cleansing makeup wipes

Clean&Clear Facial Cleansing wipes

Once I’m done washing my face, I wipe away the leftover makeup with these wipes which surprisingly work like a charm. Why surprisingly, well I’ve always associated clean and clear products with back to school adds when I was in elementary and high school lol “clean and clear and under control.” Does anyone else remember those adds lol?

The awesome thing about these is that they actually work. I wipe each eye once or twice and the makeup comes off effortlessly. Another bonus is that this product isn’t oily, it leaves your skin feeling nourished and there’s no need to rinse after use. Finally, an added bonus is that it’s super affordable costing around $10 depending on where you buy it. These Clean and Clear cleansing wipes are an absolute fav and I highly recommend that you try them out as well. Because of these reasons, I give this product a 10/10 as well.

3. Eye creamKiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate 

Kiehls Powerful-Stregth Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate

After washing my face and removing my makeup, I dab a little bit of Kiehl’s Powerful- Srength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate. I’ve only tried a couple eye creams in the last few years but this one is my favourite so far. I find that after using it for a couple of days I can notice improvements in the skin around my eyes. They become brighter and the dark circles lessen. I’m onto my second bottle of this product now so I would say that I’m pretty happy with it but I would love to hear any recommendations you have regarding any line reducing and eye brightening creams. I would give this product a 7/10.

I’m looking forward to trying others, once this bottle is empty, to see if there’s anything else out there that I’d love more.

4. Lotion #1: Clarin’s HydraQuench Lotion SPF 15 – Normal to combination skin

Finally, once I have washed my face, removed my makeup and applied my eye lotion I apply lotion all over my face (of course, in an upward motion ;)). I’ve always been a lover of products made by Clarins. My mother-in-law started me on them years ago and I’m so grateful for that. Merci Mona 😉 The bad news is that they’re no longer selling my favourite daily moisturizer. I went to buy it this summer and found out that they’ve replaced it with this HydraQuench Lotion with SPF 15. Unfortunately, I’m sad to report that I’m not a fan of this lotion. Although it’s light and hydrating, my skin always breaks out after I use it for two or more days. I was very surprised by this since I had never reacted to their products before. I guess that this new product just isn’t a good match for me. I still use it but I rotate it along with Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm which is AMAZING!!! I swear by this product. See review below.

I give this lotion a 5/10 because it does go on lightly and you don’t have to use much but unfortunately, I won’t be buying it again since it makes my skin breakout. Below is a picture of it along with the Beauty Balm.

Clarins HydraQuench Lotion and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

5. Lotion #2 – MY ABSOLUTE FAV – Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm (brightens and tightens)

Ok, this product is by far my favourite cream of all time and you have to try it. I was told that it isn’t supposed to be used daily since it’s more of a pick me up cream and is meant to be used “when needed” but if I could I would 🙂 Why? Well, it’s because I actually notice a difference in my skin as soon as I use it. This beauty flash balm is supposed to brighten and tighten and that it does. When I apply it to my skin I feel its effect right away. My skin immediately looks more alive and much brighter. Being the mom of two kids under the age of 4 and having just returned to work both my skin and myself are a little tired once and a while lol and could use a pick me up. This balm goes on thicker than the Hydraquench cream, however, it doesn’t feel thick once applied and more importantly it doesn’t cause my skin to react. Actually, I’ve never reacted to this.

This product runs for $50 and is worth every dollar. For all of the reasons above,  I give this product a 10/10 and look forward to continuing to use it. Oh, I forgot to mention, the only downside (which doesn’t affect my rating, is that it doesn’t contain an SPF).

Well, that’s what I’m using on my face. I would LOVE to hear about your favourite facial cleansers or creams so please take the time to let me know in a comment.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Talk soon,


Fall Style Favourites!

Welcome back!

I don’t know about you but I’m a hot weather kinda gal. I love summer and I love hot weather BUT I also welcome fall and the cozy sweaters and boots that accompanies it. It’s nice to get back into your favourite baggy sweaters, ankle boots and wear fall coloured nail polish and makeup.

Last fall, when I was off on maternity leave, I picked up these beautiful knee high camel coloured boots but haven’t had a chance to wear them yet. I’m looking forward to being able to rock them soon.


They’re the perfect colour and I love the heel. In my younger days 😉 I loved a higher heel but nowadays I welcome a medium hight heel.

I’m also looking forward to wearing some of my closed toe pumps. How cute are these navy and grey pumps from Zara. Check out the cute detail on the heel of the Navy pump. Love! I’ve come to realize that Zara is by far my favourite store. They offer the cutest styles at affordable prices. If I could, I would own everything they have.


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I can’t believe that I’m going to share this lol but I hadn’t been to the Rideau centre in literally almost a year and a half until recently. Two weeks ago, I decided to bus over on my lunch hour and couldn’t believe the changes. My first stop was Zara, of course, but I didn’t know that it had move. Not only that though, it’s now two floors YESSSS. I shopped the top floor first and only found a few items. I asked the girl at the cash if there was another floor and she said yep. I almost went into a frenzy when I made my way down. The store is beautiful and I wanted it all! I only have an hour at lunch so I had to shop quickly. I choose several things to try on and of course loved them all. I wish that I could report that I bought them all 😉 but I did treat myself to a few beautiful pieces. The first is this stylish light grey sweater coat:


How cute is this coat? It’s super cozy and looks super cute over jeans and work clothes. It’s also a lovely piece for the fall since you can layer over and under it. Even better, this sweater coat was crazy affordable. Guess how much it cost? Go on…take a guess 😉 It was only $50! A total a steal right!?

I also treated myself to two new blouses which I’m in love with. I wasn’t sure if they were a little too out there but they’re FABULOUS. I wore them this week and felt great in them. The first is a floral print, long sleeved blouse with a faux velvet collar and giant bow tie. How stunning is this piece:


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The second top I picked up is a cream coloured classic blouse with a twist. It has ruffles down the centre, pointed shoulders, and a collar that ties into a lovely bow down the middle:


Overall, I was happy to have found a few pieces in the short visit I had at Zara and I’m looking forward to the next one where I will hopefully have more time to browse through what they have to offer.

What are some of your favourite styles for fall? Any fellow Zara lovers out there? If so, I’d love to hear about any recent purchases or finds that you’ve picked up and love.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. If you’re interested in trying out a new fall recipe for a side dish please check out my new post on a new roasted carrots recipe I tried out this week.

Talk soon!


Marquee Noir – Have you heard of them?

Hey guys!

As you know, I’ve only recently started blogging and I’m really enjoying this experience and something kind of fun and unexpected has come of it. A couple of awesome companies have reached out to me to collaborate. Marquee Noir (MN), an international clothing company from Toronto, reached out and sent me an awesome t-shirt of theirs. Have you heard of them? If not, you have to check them out online at www.marqueenoir.com. They are an amazing local and Canadian apparel company who’s also doing good in our communities and country.


Their journey began when they started creating custom clothing for people in Toronto and Markham. Their primary focus was to provide their customers with high-quality clothing and exceptional customer service. After receiving awesome feedback about their products they decided to launch their own business focusing on individuality and expression. Their pieces are based on minimalism and their goal is to create clothes that can be dressed up or down.

Several things drew me to MN. The first was their unique Instagram page featuring their products, but even cooler is that their posts are of consumers wearing their clothes. How cool is that? I’ve never seen anything like it. Secondly, they’re all about being body positive and I LOVE THIS!!! Like most, I’ve had difficulties accepting certain things about my body, but with age 😉 and after having had two kids, I’ve learned to love and appreciate my body. Most importantly, I’m grateful to have a healthy body. If we could all learn to love ourselves just the way we are earlier on in life, it would be so beautiful. Thirdly, they have an initiative to “rebuild our home.” What does this mean? It means that with every purchase made, MN plants a tree in British Columbia “in an effort to sustain the environment and preserve its scarce resources.” Lastly, if you send them your used clothes they will give you 10% off your purchase and personally distribute them to shelters across the GTA. How amazing are these initiatives!!!

Keeping Canada green, preserving ecosystems, reducing poverty in the GTA and making Canada better for everyone are all initiatives that are high on MN’s list of priorities. Like most, I think that these things are important to all of us which is why I support their cause!

So, about their products. Well, I received my YOW black t-shirt quickly in the mail and loved it right away. Not only is it super comfy and original, I love that it’s a long t-shirt. Long tops are a staple in my wardrobe, so I was happy that this top was. It’s also very soft and comfortable to wear. Even cooler, the YOW (Ottawa airport code) is written in a vibrant red but they also have other colors available. They sell t-shirts, sweaters, hats etc… in all different colours with different sayings and airport codes. Please do check them out!


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My experience with Marquee Noir has been nothing short of exceptional and everyone I’ve dealt with has been very kind. For anyone looking to purchase original pieces and/or interested in supporting a local business that’s also community minded, I highly recommend MN. Visit them online at http://www.marqueenoir.com or on Instagram at @marqueenoir.

For those interested in buying any of their items, please feel free to use the code lovelylife to get 15% off your purchase!

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend! Please check out my Instagram account to see what we get up to.

Talk soon.


Back to work shopping!

The end of my maternity leave is fast approaching and I will be returning to work in August. I can’t believe that our baby girl is turning one next week. It’s been over four years since I  bought new work clothes, so I’ve decided to buy myself whatever it is that I need. I usually don’t go nuts on myself, when it comes to shopping, but after two pregnancies and maternity leaves, I deserve new clothes! Let the shopping games begin ;).

So far, I  found quite a few new tops from Banana Republic and Reitmans. I said it, Reitmans. I always thought it was a mom store…My shopping there confirms it ;).  They have good sales though once and a while super cute accessories. Check it out. Being a mom, I find that I don’t have much time for shopping so it is kind of nice when I stumble upon sales by accident since we all know that planning a shopping day or evening almost never happens. (Side note: one of the perks of going back to work will be a little bit more time for me whether it be shopping, coffee breaks or reading. Although I am not looking forward to leaving baby girl, I am looking forward to some me time).

Back to shopping.  I’m a sucker for a great deal! I happened to be out shopping for the kids last week when I came across a 50% off sale at Banana Republic. I ended up picking up 5 new tops for $156. Amazing! Here are a few of the tops that I bought.


As for Reitmans, I ended up buying three new tops, two undershirts, a dress, a cardigan and a skirt. I don’t love the tops and won’t wear them outside of work but they are cute and only cost $15 each so I couldn’t resist them. I don’t know about you but I get this kind of rush whenever I come across an awesome sale. I feel like the lady in the Ikea commercial. “Start the car!!!” Not only was each piece from Reitmans reduced, but they were an additional 60% off. Amazing!


After finding these gems, I still needed some new skirts. The ones I currently have look pathetic and have been worn one too many times. I spent hours shopping and several evenings at the outlets and at the mall but couldn’t find anything that I liked or that fit me properly until I tried RW&Co. I hadn’t shopped there in years. Turns out I hit the jackpot. At this point I was ready to spend anything one new skirts since I was getting desperate. Good news is that I found four amazing skirts and a cute black wide strapped tank top. Each skirt is quite different from the other and fits comfortably. Another bonus was that two of them were 70% off and the other two were buy two get each for $45. Not bad eh! All four skirts and the top cost me $160 and I saved over $150.

I also managed to finally find a couple cardigans from H&M. They aren’t anything special but they’ll keep me warm in the air-conditioned office. I picked one up in black and another in light grey. Both cost less than $40.

Of course, there are a few other things I’d like to pick up before heading back 😉 like a big city bag, cute jackets (the list goes on ;)) but they aren’t needs so I will pick them up slowly as I transition back into work and my new life routine. I’m happy with the purchases that I have made so far and excited to wear them and get out of my “active wear” clothes! You know what I am talking about mamas ;).

What’s your favourite spot to shop for work clothes?

Talk soon,

Ash xo

A few of my favourite things – June 2017


Here are a few of my favourite things! This June I have fallen in love with a few fun items that I would like to share with you. The first being the cosmetic line “Pixi.” Have you heard of them? Probably 😉 I only just recently came across this line while I was walking through shoppers drug mart and love it. I’ve only purchased two items so far but I’m very happy with both. The first is their Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Opal Glow. The palette offers 6 beautiful neutral shades of soft shades of pink, peach and browns. They also have some shine to them and who doesn’t like a little glitter ;). Another bonus is that the shadow lasts all day. I use a MAC primer first and then use which ever colour I feel for that day. I find that the primer really helps accentuate the colour and helps it stay on beautifully. I also purchased their Shea Butter Lip Balm in Sweet Peach. This product is a must for those looking for a very moisturizing, neutral lipstick for day wear. The sweet peach goes on like a lipstick but feels like a lip balm. It leaves your lips feeling very hydrated and the colour lasts for a good little while. You don’t have to re-apply every 30 minutes to keep the colour. Overall, I am very happy with these products and I do plan on trying others. Please let me know if you have any favourite Pixi products. I’d love to try them out.

I also experienced a blast from the past this month. My high school love for gold hoop earrings has returned with a vengeance. Nothing makes me feel better than wearing my hair half up or in a pony tail with gold hoop earrings. I recently bought a nice pair from Aldo and have worn them on a couple of date nights already. I’ve also worn a funky pair that my in-laws bought me for my birthday, last year, while they were in Greece. They are too fun and super original. It has been nice to get out on a couple date nights recently and to be able to wear play jewelry. For the moms out there that are reading this, I am sure that you can relate. I can’t wear these earrings on the regular since the kids play and tug on them as though they are their personal pinata ;).

Another high school come back are my recent purchases from American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). I don’t know about you but I have been all over the boho chic style this summer and they offer amazing and affordable options. Their floral patterns are on point and I am a sucker for matching shorts and tops or skirts and tops. I kind of went nuts, after my birthday in May and spent most of my birthday dollars at AEO but I don’t regret it one bit. I haven’t worn all of the pieces yet since the weather hasn’t been nice enough, but I will make sure to post pics of them, when I do.

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Last, but not least, after years of ignoring my hairdresser’s request, I have finally purchased traceless hair-ties and LOVE them. If you haven’t tried these, you have to! They are amazing and totally work. Being biracial, my hair is curly and quite dry. I tend to wear my hair straight most of the time and find that it never grows. Like it literally never grows past my breasts. (If anyone has any suggestions for products that could possibly help me with this I would greatly appreciate it!). Due to my damaged hair and breakage, my hairdresser has been asking me to use a good old fashion scrunchy. Yep, like the scrunchies from the 80’s-90’s. They aren’t sexy but they protect your hair from breaking. I have yet to buy a scrunchy but I recently came across traceless hair ties and they have the same effect. I actually found them by accident. I went to the brookstreet hotel for a massage and saw them by their cash register when I was paying. They had the cutest display of multicoloured traceless hair ties. As soon as I saw them I was sold. They came in brown, clear, neon pink, bright blue etc. I ended up buying a pack of brown hair ties and have worn them every day since. I also picked up two more packs of pink ones from another location.

The cool thing is that they actually work. They don’t cause any kinks in your hair and don’t pull.  Ladies, I highly recommend these traceless hair-ties. They not only protect your hair but they also look super cute.

Talk soon!

Ash xo