Friday, March 31, 2017

Tori's Pretty Weekly Wrapping - Why hello, Spring!

CN Tower and Lake Ontario, Toronto at Sunrise
Lake Ontario, Toronto Sunrise 
 I've decided. I'm over being cold.

I'm a true season-lover. I even generally prefer the cooler Fall and Winter months over the warm. (Is it terrible that I'm already itching for a bit of Christmas music already?!)

Yet, there is always that point - the one day I wake up and say, "Okay, I'm full. I've enjoyed as much as I can and I'm ready to move onto the next."

Well, today is that day. Winter, I'm over it.

I mean, would you just look at that sunrise? Doesn't it give you all the feels for warmer weather?! Springtime blooms, iced coffees, and light jackets - I'm so ready for ya!

But, le sigh. Warmer temps just aren't in the foreseeable future yet (or, at least, the 10-day outlook in my weather app...)

Until then, I'll just keep wearing all the spring and trying to make outside time a thing again - even if that outside time still means my parka is in full rotation.

This Week's Pretty Nails

OPI Alpine Snow, OPI Let's be Friends!, OPI Skull & Glossbones
OPI Alpine Snow mini, OPI Let's be Friends! (Similar), OPI Skull & Glossbones mini (similar)
Excuse me while I continue my love affair with white nails. #sorrynotsorry

Yes, I know I already wore white nails here, here, and here this year. I just can't help it! I didn't know how much I needed a new white polish until OPI's Alpine Snow came into my life in a holiday gift set.

Could it be this whole "I turned 30" thing and wanting a bit more sophistication in my life?

(Because what's more sophisticated than leopard print, obvi?!)

Truth be told, I think I'm a bit bright-colored out (I know! The shock! The horror!) I'm just really loving this whole soft neutral trend and it's almost palette-cleanse like effect on my nails.

OPI Let's Be Friends Swatch, Easy Leopard Nail Art
OPI Alpine SnowOPI Let's be Friends! (Similar), OPI Skull & Glossbones (Similar)
For this design, I was inspired by an Instagram post that I pinned years ago. I love a good leopard mani!

Once you nail the technique (Ha!), it's one of those go-to designs that always look way more detailed than it actually is.

OPI Skull & Glossbones detail, Easy Leopard Nail Art
OPI Alpine SnowOPI Let's be Friends! (Similar), OPI Skull & Glossbones (Similar)

For this design, I'm wearing all OPI polishes.

I used Let's be Friends!, a very pale cool-toned pink, from last year's Hello Kitty collection on my pointer nail, pinkie, and the leopard dots.

I used Alpine Snow, a true white shade, for the base of the leopard print. I used Skull and Glossbones, a whitened gray shade, for the leopard "spots".

OPI Alpine Snow Swatch, Easy Leopard Nail Art
OPI Alpine SnowOPI Let's be Friends! (Similar), OPI Skull & Glossbones (Similar)
While two of these three polishes are tough to get your hands on, this mani is easy to re-create with any pink, white and gray or nude shade you have in your collection.

This Week's Pretty Makeup

Easy spring everyday makeup look and messy Top Knot Bun
Brow Pencil, Brow Gel, Eyelash primerMascara, Eyeliner,  Blush, Highlighter, Liquid Lipstick
Can I just say how much Emily's top knot tutorial up'ed my messy bun skills?!

That little tutorial took my top knot from ballerina cute to full volume chic, strictly through the help of her teasing techniques.  I highly recommend the read (and, really, her blog overall!)

Easy everyday makeup look for spring 2017 with a Messy Top Knot Bun
Brow PencilBrow GelEyelash primerMascaraEyeliner,  BlushHighlighterLiquid Lipstick
For this makeup look I was really feeling something easy but colorful, as I  brought some of my springtime shades back into rotation.

On the day-to-day I don't usually wear a lot of eyeshadow (who has the time?!) So here I paired my holy grail black liquid liner with a peachy lip shade and a bit of soft highlight.

It's a simple look that makes me feel really pulled together for those work-from-home video calls.

This Week's Pretty City

Canada Life Building, Downtown Toronto
Canada Life Building, Downtown Toronto
Earlier this month, I flew back to New York for work. I'm enjoying my in-flight snack when all of a sudden I feel - CRACK!

Turns out, Dentists weren't kidding when they told us that crunchy foods can crack your teeth (or, in this case, a veggie chip.) Womp, womp.

So off I went this week to my first Canadian doctor visit, and to a very nice dentist who patched me back up!

Queen Street West, Toronto
Queen Street West, Toronto
I've had a dozen random teeth ailments in my life (including shark teeth, a palette expander, and wisdom teeth extractions). So a successful dentist visit is sort of par for my course.

But you know what I was proud of?

I was able to walk the 20 minutes myself...WITHOUT USING GOOGLE MAPS!


Not even that, I knew so well where I was going that I stopped to snap these photos on the way home! (...Granted, I also almost walked into moving traffic doing that, but that's a story for another day.)

I am so proud to be learning my way around my new city - at least my downtown portion of it :).

This Week's Pretty Life

All I need in life is Mascara, Lipgloss and Coffee Mug
All I need in life is Mascara, Lipgloss and Coffee Mug (Similar all over Etsy!)
I was so proud on my walk home, you know what I did?

I walked myself right on into the Michael's near my apartment - the one that's 3 beautiful floors and I've been responsibily avoiding.

I convinced myself that I was just going to check off another to-do list item by replacing a broken picture frame. Somehow, though, I walked out with a total of 4 new picture frames and this perfect mug...Whoops!

But really, can any day start out on a bad foot in a coffee mug as cute as this?!

Peter Pan Bistro, Homemade Scones, Homemade Jam
Peter Pan Bistro, Queen St W, Toronto
I'm still working hard at my new fitness goals and sticking really well to my new eating habits.

This week's cheat meal turned a bit more into a semi-cheat day, though. 

 Canadian's do scones better than any scone I've ever had (It must be a throwback to those British days, I guess!) So for my official cheat meal (#alwaysbrunch), I was itching for a good scone and Salmon benedict at one of our favorite restaurants.

B and I got there bright and early around 10 and still got one of theie last scone orders! We learned their scones are so coveted that they sell out almost every weekend.


Margharita Pizza and Zucchini Friti from Figo, Toronto
Margharita Pizza and Zucchini Friti from Figo, Adelaide St W, Toronto
Later that night, I met a couple of new friends for dinner.

New faces + great conversation + yummy food? There really aren't many things in life better than that.

However, it's so much tougher to eat healthy when you're eating out! So those Zucchini Friti for the table were a little bit of a splurge. The Margherita Pizza, though, was a "not perfect but within limits" kind of a main dish :).

Where I enjoy said TV shows!
I was absolutely convinced that moving to Canada meant that I couldn't access my US Netflix account anymore.

But thanks to some of that great conversation with new friends, it turns out I was just typing in the wrong login email

There is SO much TV that I'm digging lately.

Feud: Bette and Joan is so good!

Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis?! Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford?! That talent on talent alone makes this such a delicious mini-series.

Schitt's Creek is also a must-watch these days. This show has the smartest humor and it's just so Canadian. I can't even, I love it so much!

And now that I have Netflix "back", I'm finally getting around to finishing season 2 of Fuller House.Who doesn't love a good nostalgia-inducing comedy?

That's a wrap on another pretty week

And that's it! Another week in the books.

Now it's your turn! Are you as ready for Spring as I am? What food are you eating? What shows are you watching?

Tell me in the comments below!

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Tori's Pretty Weekly Wrapping - New Weekly Series!

Downtown Toronto
Downtown Toronto - March 2017
Well hello! Welcome to my new weekly series!

I'm a woman with many creative outlets - nails, fashion, beauty, cooking, baking, exploring.. the list goes on and on.

But I'm going to be frank - as much as I want to write a daily post on every single thing, I just don't have the extra free time to pump out content on content on content.

I don't want to promise you posts that I can't deliver on, and I don't want to kill myself just meet an over-promise. (Pretty sure working too hard blogging last fall contributed to the bronchitis I was telling you about...)

But I can't help it - blogging just makes me so happy!

I'm a natural-born writer so this in-depth outlet lets me chat with you more, share more of my life, and gives me a better way to add some creative inspiration to your life!

So welcome to my new series - a pretty weekly wrap up of life as I know it, tied with a pretty bow and delivered on TPT to you every single Friday :)

Maybe in the future I'll break this out into more in-depth and frequent posts. For now, this my smile-inducing middle ground.

So let's dig in!

This Week's Pretty Nails:

Gals, if you are as obsessed with light blue polishes as I am then you NEED to get your hands on this one!

For their holiday release, OPI created a Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed collection. As an avid polish collector, I knew as soon as I saw the promos that this shade needed to join my stash. 

Zoya Cosmo
OPI I Believe in ManicuresZoya CosmoEssie Base CoatHK Girl Top Coat
Light blue just screams Spring and so I was saving it for these warmer months. While I can't really say the month is much warmer... (#WelcometoCanada), at least my nails have this whole, "It's now Spring!" thing down.

I painted two very easy coats and let the polish dry completely. Then I used an "X" stencil from What's Up nails and painted Zoya's Cosmo pixie dust glitter polish over top.

While I wish I painted the glitter first and then used the Blue over top, I'm still pretty happy with the results.

This Week's Pretty Outfit:

Spring 2017 Outfit of the day
Cardigan (old - similar), Blouse (old - similar shape, similar color), Jeans (similar), Booties (old - similar), Phone Case
On that same "It may be Spring but the weather sure doesn't feel like it" sentiment, why is March fashion so difficult?

I just want to "Wear all the Spring!" but the weather keeps saying, "Here's all the cold!" Le sigh.

I scooped up this Forever 21 blouse roughly five years ago and it's a true Spring staple now. Goes to show that sometimes fast fashion doesn't always mean poor quality :).

Spring 2017 outfit look
Cardigan (old - similar), Blouse (old - similar shapesimilar color), Jeans (similar), Booties (old - similar), Phone Case
As a March weather compromise, I like to make outfits similar to the above. Take one part bright blouse, one part chunky knit cardigan, toss in some trendy ripped jeans and pop on taupe booties.

Voila! You quell those "Must Stay Warm" feelings but feel those "Yay, Spring is here" vibes!

This Week's Pretty Meal:

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry by Natasha's Kitchen
This recipe was so abso-freaking-lutly delicious!

Not only did it check off those Chinese-food hunger pains but this recipe was fairly simple and fairly healthy. Check, check, check!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry weeknight dinner
Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry 
Plus, I just had a really great time making this.

I popped on the Spotify Songs to Sing in the Shower playlist, gathered all of my ingredients, and had a little cooking and dance party in my kitchen. #partyof1please

In general, I'm trying this new thing where I stop treating my diet like a yo-yo. I have a terrible habit of eating right and regularly exercising during the warmer months, but from October to February I indulge in more junk than I'd like to admit.

So this year I'm vowing to make a true, lifestyle change and I'm putting this here for accountability. It's time be a grown up and find some balance. So here's to a mostly healthy diet full of healthly deliciousness like this, with a weekly cheat meal for good measure :).

This Week's Pretty Life: 

Easter in Canada
Easter in Canada
Chocolate = Health goals? #amIright?

lol I kid, I kid.

I definitely did not purchase either of these but couldn't help but laugh out loud when I saw this in Shoppers last week!

What an incredibly symbolic way to speak volumes about the subtle differences of Canadian versus American living :).

In the US? This would be a Princess and a Baseball player.

In Canada? It's a Princess and a Hockey player. #YouGoCanada!

Photo Source 
Speaking of those new health goals, I am SO obsessed with this new app called Apptiv!

I'm a very self-motivated person but even I have a hard time really knowing what to do in a gym. I would love a little help but want help on my schedule, without all that pressure, and without spending a gob of money on it.

Plus, Pinterest Fitspo is great but it only goes so far. Who knows how legit those workout plans are, anyway?

Enter Apptiv.

Guided workouts to help you meet your fitness goals, on your own time, and at your own pace!

The $10 a month is completely worth it for me to have a coach in my ear every time I'm on a treadmill, guiding me through a workout, and keeping the motivation high.

I know this sounds like a paid advertisement but I'm not getting paid a cent to talk about this. This app is just really, really working for me so maybe it could work for you, too!

It's pretty much like taking a personalized fitness class everytime I'm at the gym, without 30 other people that I'm pretending not to compare myself against.


Old School, Toronto, ON Blueberry Hill Pancakes
Old School, Toronto, ON  - Blueberry Hill Pancakes
However, let me clarify - when I said cheat meal, I meant cheat meal!

Insert this week's cheat meal with the Blueberry Hill pancakes from Old School. Wowwie!

B and I are big, big fans of brunch and want to try as many Toronto brunch spots as possible. (Really, this was no different when we lived New York, either.)

A few weeks ago, I found Old School on Yelp and those blueberry pancakes just melted my soul. It's a good 20-minute walk away but this past Sunday, B and I decided to venture.

My goodness am I glad we did!

The decor was super hip, the service was great, and those pancakes -  they spoke to a craving I didn't even realize I had!

If you're spending some time in Toronto, I highly recommend this gem. But get there early like we did... according to Yelp, this place packs up fast past 11 am.

That's a wrap on another pretty week!

We've made it!

Now it's your turn. I'd love to know what you think about this series and get a conversation going.

So tell me - what was the best part of your week?

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Tori's Pretty Life - Welp, Lesson Learned...

The CN Tower - Toronto, Ontario
The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario
Launching a blog during the holiday season, while also balancing a major move to another country, is never a good idea.

In this wonderful world of blogging and social media, sometimes life just...happens!

With always the best of intentions, even our favorite bloggers vanish sometimes. I find that I'll always forgive them though, so long as they share all of the juicy details about what made them stray :).

I'm hoping you'll feel the same with this lovely life recap (...and boy is it a long recap!)

Without further ado, here's where I was the last few months...

November 2016 

The last we chatted, Thanksgiving as around the corner.

 You know what else was around that corner for me? 


Yeah. That was fun. 

Thanksgiving Makeup Look
Brow Pencil - Eyeliner - Mascara - Eyeshadows - Lipstick - Blouse (old, similar here
I trooped out Thanksgiving like a champ, thanks to the help of a really great under-eye concealer and some OTC cold meds (that were replaced right after Thanksgiving with a doctor's visit and an Rx).

Thanksgiving Dinner 2016
Thanksgiving Dinner at my Mom's House 
There was just no way that I would miss out on all of the delicious noms, family time, and Black Friday shopping!

Plus, I really don't care how sick I am; I just can't show up to my Mom's Thanksgiving empty-handed (... no matter how much she tries to tell me to just bring myself!) 

A non-canned cranberry sauce was the perfect, easy solution to contribute without over-doing it. (Find the recipe for the perfect cranberry sauce here.)

Mom's Christmas Tree 2016
My Mom's fantastic Christmas Tree
After Thanksgiving, I high-tailed it to the doctor because there were some very big and last minute plans that I needed to be on my A game for....

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto
Nathan Phillips Square skating rink, Toronto  - Christmastime 2016
B, my loving long-time boyfriend, earned a well-deserved international promotion (...that I am still so beemingly proud of him for!) 

So three days after Thanksgiving, with an Rx and inhaler in hand, B and I flew from New York to Toronto to embark on the next chapter of our lives!

Toronto Christmas Market 2016
Toronto's Christmas Market Christmas Tree 
During these 36 hours, we applied for our work permits, found a new home, and began our biggest whirlwind of a move to date. 

But really, who would I be if I didn't try to squeeze in as many holiday festivities as possible, along the way?  :)

December 2016

With droopy eyes and bronchitis on its way out the door, we landed back in New York to begin my favorite month of the year!

What better way to celebrate the season, and this new life chapter, than with a major milestone birthday?

You got it - December rolled in and so did the big 3-0! 

30th Birthday Celebration
My 30th Birthday Surprise Dinner  - Wearing:
B's Shirt, My blouse (old)

For years, I felt like Jenna Rink in the movie 13 going on 30. When was I finally going to be 30, flirty, and thriving?! So I woke up all smiles that day to start the next decade of my life.

To ring in this joyful celebration, that doubled as a big "see you later" hoorah, some of my most favorite people planned a surprise dinner at my favorite Italian resturant.

(They even brought in my all-time favorite Mott St. cake!)

I still feel all of those warm fuzzies thinking about that night. Thank you (again!) to my bestie J and my B for pulling that off :)

Rockefeller Centre Tree, New York City, 2016
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, 2016
From there, I did my very best to balance the holiday whirlwind of wrapping presents, trimming up the tree, and holiday traditions (like seeing the Rockefeller Center tree with J)... 

Pencil Christmas Tree 2016
Our Little Pencil Christmas Tree 2016
...alongside signing a new lease, hiring movers, and saying goodbye to our home for the last three years.


Little Italy, New York City
Littly Italy, New York
After a warm and wonderful Christmas, B and I wrapped up December with a one-way flight on New Year's eve. 

We left New York and started our next chapter in Toronto by ringing in the New Year in a new city!

January 2017

January was all about settling in - or at least trying to!

New Apartment Views - Toronto Apartment
Bare bone living in our new Toronto Apartment
We knew from the start that we would spend most of January in an empty apartment, being the only time we ever hired professional movers to handle our stuff.

International moves can be so tricky. We figured it was a smart investment to hire people who handled this type of a move a bajillions times, than to try (and probably fail) to move our stuff ourselves :).

CN Tower and Lake Ontario, Toronto
CN Tower and Lake Ontario, Toronto
So we tackled as much of the adult-ing as we could before the chaos of unpacking began.

We spent those few weeks setting up the internet, buying some new furniture (oh hey, Ikea!), tied up some of the moving formalities, and enjoyed magical Toronto views like this :).

Eventually our stuff made it across the border...

Moving Boxes
Our moving boxes arrived. Halp...and send chocolate!
Let's just call this the before shot of a very tiring week of my life and move on...:).

February 2017

February rolled in with an unpacked home and two tickets back to New York...

Living Room Unpacked - Toronto Apartment
Unpacked, finally! - Couch, Chair (old - newer version here), Living Room Table


We were lucky enough to be able to overlap our two leases. So the first weekend in February started with a bright and early 7 am flight back to tie up some loose New York ends. 

Realistic New York Apartment
This is what a real New York apartment view looks like... lol
We cleaned (...and cleaned and cleaned!) our old apartment, dropped off a slew of donations, and soaked in those final New York vibes. 

Peppe Rosso Restaurant, New York City
Peppe Rosso Social, New York City
What better way to soak in some New York than with an Italian dinner? :)

It was a bittersweet trip, though. Turning in the keys to our New York apartment wasn't without a few teardrops!

However, before we knew it we were in back in flight and ready to celebrate our first real holiday in Toronto.

Valentine's Day Roses
Valentine's Day Roses :)
These stunning roses arrived at my door on Valentine's day morning. Sigh :) 

 Later that weekend, B took me out to a romantic dinner in our new city, to celebrate our new life and our long-standing love. (I know - I'm so cheesy!)

March 2017

Now, here we are!

Pre Spring 2017 outfit
A Pre-Spring OOTD - Wearing:
Scarf (old), Blouse, Phone Case, Jeans, Boots (old), Watch (old - similar here)
The holidays are done, the move is done, and I'm ready to pick up where I left off in this lovely little blogging home :)


This time, I want to focus on consistency and quality. Even when life tosses me a few lemons, I want you to still be able to count on a weekly pitcher of lemonade. 

So let's raise a glass to a new month, a fresh start, and a new season just around the corner...

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