Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I am so glad this is the first book I'm sharing since rediscovering my inner Book Worm. Why? Because I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I'm not going to lie, it took me a LONG time to get through, but that should not be reflective of how I felt about it. 
Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson, book, book review
We all know who Steve Jobs is. I mean, he changed our world for goodness sake! He actually changed it. Love him or hate him, I learned so much about him in the book I didn't know and I'm sure never would have known otherwise. You can love him because he was so creative, artistic, innovative, and determined. You can hate him because he was emotionally immature, harsh, insensitive, and controlling. It was when he became ill that Steve Jobs actually asked Walter Isaacson to write this book about him and gave Walter full access to him and the people in his life (past and present). Steve figured that once he passed away someone would write a book about him, so why not endorse it, and make it one of truth, where people can know the real him. 

I am my father's daughter and am constantly interested in and intrigued by technology and innovation. This book also told that story. I thought learning about how it all (Apple and the Steve Jobs legend) began was interesting, but even more so how the technologies of late have come to be. The Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes... all of it! Each and every single one of those products changed the norm, shook up industries, and had people NEEDING something they previously didn't even know they wanted. 

Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. - Steve Jobs

If you like biographies, this is a great one. If you love technology you'll love this one! I am definitely an Apple girl and I've always appreciated how they upped the ante for anyone in their lines of business, and it was taken there by Steve Jobs. The fact that this book is so well written and honest just makes you get lost in the story. Steve Jobs also had such a unique perspective of the world, that some of the quotes in the book are quite profound. I'm very much in awe of him.

One more quote from the book I'd like to share is something Steve said after he got diagnosed with cancer, and although it is a touch morbid, it is also very real: 

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choice in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Celebrity Wedding Tease

I don't know about you but I love all things weddings! This goes from real life weddings, to wedding TV shows (Four Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress, etc.), celebrity weddings and so on. A big element of every wedding is of course the dress. I love looking at what the bride is wearing. This is one of the reasons I get especially excited about celebrity weddings - it's no secret I love going through celebrity fashion, so naturally checking out their wedding attire is like Christmas to me. Celebrity dresses can be the most extravagant and unique!

Way back when Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got married I mentioned that one wedding I was dying to get a glimpse into was that of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. I think they are adorable and I love her style so I knew it would likely be incredible.

Well I think the time has finally come to come to terms with the fact that we (me) will never get to see what it was all about. Shortly after their wedding the 2 pictures above were released by Martha Stewart Weddings who helped coordinate and design it all - but being the private people they are, I think that might be all we get (hence the post title "Celebrity Wedding Tease"). I thought the pictures were lovely though so I wanted to share. 

Next up in celebrity weddings I am looking forward to seeing Jennifer Aniston tie the knot again. She looked so stunning when she married Brad Pitt, and her style has only evolved since so I have no doubt she will look beautiful. I also wouldn't mind seeing Angelina Jolie... but more out of curiosity

How about you? Whether married or not, are you into the wedding craze?

P.S. I'd like to credit my mom with my wedding fascination. My parents got married when I was 7 years old so most of my childhood I was exposed to wedding planning. She had a wedding binder, and as her mini-me I got to have my own wedding duo-tang, haha! It was pretty cute. I also got to be the maiden of honour at their wedding! :) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Funny Friday: Dove Real Beauty Sketches (Men)

So you know the beautiful Dove Real Beauty Sketches video that's been making the rounds on the internet the last couple of weeks? The one that touched you so deeply and had you in tears? Well this is the men's answer to that video. It was bound to happen and I am nothing short of impressed.

*IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE ORIGINAL YET, PLEASE DO SO BELOW, AND MAY I RECOMMEND DO SO FIRST* or just watch it again because it's so amazing... 


And the original just in case:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Time 100 Gala

This past Tuesday evening was the Time 100 Gala in New York City. This is not an event that would normally be on my radar but there were some great looks that evening so I couldn't help but share!

First off, I was pretty blown away but Olivia Munn. She showed up wearing the most stunning yellow Michael Kors dress that is perfect for so many reasons. It's lace which is right on trend, it's a beautiful canary yellow which is perfect for spring (and against her skintone), and the silhouette was very elegant. A close second of the evening for me was Jessica Biel in an asymmetrical black Tom Ford dress. I found it simple and elegant, but also that there were enough little details on it to make it unique and take it to the next level. 

Michael Kors, Olivia Munn, red carpet, fashionJessica Biel, Tom Ford, red carpet, fashion

Further to these ladies, I'd like to give honorable mention to: Christina Aguilera in Victoria Beckham (she looked better than I'd seen her look in a long time!), Amy Poehler in Tadashi Shoji and Claire Danes in Lanvin.

Time 100 Gala, red carpet, fashion, Christina Aguilera, Amy Poehler, Claire Danes

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shoe Housing: Past, Present, Future?

I love shoes, you love shoes, we all love shoes! But as you build up a collection of shoes it can get harder and harder to find room to house them. Traditionally shoes go on the floor of a closet but there is only so much useable floor space in a home before you start carpeting your house with shoes. I'm very lucky with where I'm living right now - I live with a girlfriend who also has a good amount of shoes so we have a room dedicated to our shoes! It's supposed to be an eating area off of our kitchen but since we have a substantial dining room and it's just the two of us, this seemed like a better use of space. It also leads to our balcony so there is some stellar lighting in there. 

Our shoe room consists of a giant full length mirror at the end of the room, two 50 pair racks on either side of it (one for each of us naturally) and at the other end of the room we have two red bucket chairs with a table in the middle facing the mirror (which we've used to showcase our shoes at our shoe parties). It's a good little area.

But recently, I ran into a bit of a problem. My shoe rack started to buckle. Not just because I have too many shoes (just kidding, there's no such thing as too many shoes) but because I put my boots on the top rack which weighs it down quite a bit as you can imagine. I should also mention that less than 24 hours after I took the buckling picture below, it full out collapsed. So, I had to go out and find myself a new rack. Which I did. I picked up the stainless steel beauty also seen below.

Shoes, home, idea, shoe racks

Now I will say I am quite happy with this new rack and how it turned out. It holds just as many shoes as the other one but is more visually pleasing and also, for whatever reason, feels more compact to me. BUT I am still worlds away from the shoe housing of my dreams - hopefully, the shoe housing of my future...

Shoes, home, shoe closet
The dream.
My dream is to still have a house with a shoe room/closet but to have white shelving  house all of my shoes. A step further would be to have that white shelving inset into the wall but that I realize, is quite ambitious. I previously posted about Coach's shoe closet which would be a dream. I've also expressed not just that I would like to have Jennifer Hudson's closet, but that I would be happy live in it - it would be more than enough space for little 'ol me and my clothes and shoes, haha! Her closet is a little off the charts but SO amazing.

How do you store your shoes? Do you have any shoe closet dreams of your own? :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Go someplace you've never been

Quote, travel, bucket list, trip,
I love this! Even if it's not far I think it is an awesome idea to travel somewhere you've never been once a year, or more importantly, somewhere you've always wanted to go! Time is too short to let that bucket list sit idle...

The last few years I've done exactly that with the following trips:
     2010 - Mexico, Las Vegas
     2011 - Boston
     2012 - New Orleans
     2013 - ??? (I have some ideas but it's too soon to say...) 

I've been many other places in years past, but so far I'm on a roll with at least one new place every year! Where would you love to go?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Style Icon: Julianne Hough

Not just for her style, but I think Julianne Hough is an icon in so many ways! She's absolutely beautiful. She's so smiley and bubbly it's infectious. She's got a beautiful athletic body. She's talented (triple threat). And then yes, her style is awesome! I should probably just go ahead and admit that my name is Samantha and I'm addicted to Dancing With The Stars. I love that show so much! Not just for the stars (quirky) or the dancing (can be awesome), but also for the overall humour and fun that you get with the way it's produced and the hosting. So fun. Anyway, that's where I (like most of America) first saw Julianne and started to adore her and her personality! She really is awesome. Since then she's gone on to sing and act as well. She's a little rough around the edges with both, but she's adorable and I think she's definitely getting better (and more comfortable) with time.

Here are some of my recent fave looks Julianne rocked on the red carpet:
Julianne Hough, style icon, fashion

Off the red carpet her look is definitely more simple but always on trend:
Julianne Hough, style icon, fashion

I'm not sure about anyone else, but I was also quite sad to hear of her and Ryan Seacrest breaking up a few months back. I thought they were SO cute together! Oh well, that is neither here nor there :) What do you think of Julianne's style?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Worm

As I kid I was the biggest book worm ever! I consumed books like my life depended on it. I would always carry one around with me and would read just one page, or even just a paragraph whenever I could squeeze it in. I always enjoyed evenings hanging around with my parents, each just reading quietly. That's not all we did - it's not as nerdy as it sounds, haha! I've openly admitted time and time again that I am a definitely a TV baby. But reading is of course more intellectual, and was (is) a big part of my life. I am also someone who really enjoys and appreciates her alone time, and one of my most favourite ways to spend that time is reading. I absolutely love the feeling of being lost in a good book.

Every now and again in the last handful of years I find myself without a book on the go, and after some time passes, I find myself longing for one. That happened to me recently but I'm happy to announce I'm back on the reading wagon and it feels SO good! I never want to lose my desire to read, or not make time to read. It is so important.

reading, pastime, book
Typical young me, lost in a book.

I think we all know that reading is good for you, but just in case you weren't sure exactly how, here are 7 major benefits of reading:
  1. Enhanced smarts
  2. Reduces stress
  3. Greater tranquility 
  4. Improved analytical thinking
  5. Increased vocabulary
  6. Improved memory
  7. Improved writing skills     
Who wouldn't want to reap those benefits?! Are you a reader? Read any good books lately?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

MTV Movie Awards

I normally catch some of, if not all, of the MTV awards shows. I just find them more fun, funny, and laid back. There's also usually SOMETHING that happens that people are talking about the next day. I couldn't last night though but I tried to catch the replay as I was drifting of to sleep... but there was no drift, just immediate sleep. When the live show aired I noticed the Twitterverse lighting up saying that Rebel Wilson (of Bridesmaids fame) was doing a great job as host. That's kind of what I wanted to check out - how she'd be outside of that cult hit movie. 

Anyway, on to the red carpet analysis, I didn't find much that caught my eye. You had everything from formal gowns, to basic shift dresses, to suits, to whatever the heck Ke$ha was wearing - I wasn't too impressed. I was a little confused too! Normally the fashion for this kind of thing is a little more fun. Oh well! I had two standouts - both stunning in white - and also both on the more formal end of the spectrum. Those standouts are: Jordana Brewster (flashback!) and Kylie Jenner. Both rocked their white ensembles!

MTV movie awards, jordana brewster, red carpet, fashionKylie Jenner, MTV movie awards, red carpet, fashion

Basically it looks like I picked 2 versions of the same outfit as my top two - but I didn't have a lot to work with!

One outfit did have me stumped though - Kerry Washington in Michael Kors. Do I love it? Do I hate it? Best dressed? Worst dressed? I don't know!!! I love the colour combo, no doubt about it. I love the black silhouette. I love the pop of yellow. But the train, do I love the train? Maybe it should have been wider and less like a table runner. Some online articles are calling it a mullet dress (clever) but even they are not saying yay or nay. Anyway, I'm torn (obviously). What do you think?

MTV movie awards, kerry washington, red carpet, fashion
And who did you think was best dressed?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Be the woman you want to be

I definitely take this to mean that whether you're figuring out your path or walking it, figuring out what you're meant to do or doing it, do not compromise who you are or who you want to be.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Style Icon: Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm going to go ahead and guess that you either love her or hate her as I rarely meet anyone who's in between. No matter where you stand, you just have to admit, the lady has style! I absolutely love her red carpet style, event style, and street style. It's always simple and effortless but incredibly chic! Her enviable long and lean figure certainly helps as nothing seems to look bad on her frame. And the fact that she's a mother of two?  I commend anyone who can always look pulled together, and extra points when you're a mom!

Gwyneth Paltrow, style icon, fashion,
All the above are of her in the past month, and it's this awesome outfit-after-outfit that inspired this post! Also, can we please take a moment to appreciate those orange ankle strap Michael Kors sandals? Paired with that purple dress? Love. 

Gwyneth Paltrow, style icon, fashionGwyneth Paltrow, style icon, fashion
 Last years Oscars | Street Style

For the record I am a fan :)

Bonus looks I love:

Gwyneth Paltrow, style icon, fashion

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What to Give up to be Happy

I came across this list of 15 things you should give up to be happy. I thought it was a really great list and agreed with everything on it! I think most of these things are things that we already know, but a reminder never hurts.

life, opinion, happy, advice
I definitely know people who hold on to too many of these things. All that does is bring you down and also has the potential to bring down the people around you. I feel like I could dive into each and everyone of these individually, and I might do exactly that in some future posts. It's not only important to recognize whether or not you are holding on to these things, but important to recognize who around you or in your life does. Acknowledging it in yourself can help you deal with it and then move on, or figure out what to do to move on - they say the first step is admitting you have a problem! :) In recognizing it in other people it can help you either realize you need to distance yourself from that person, or become more resistant against the negativity.

Let's all let go a little bit and move forward into a happier and more positive mindset!

What do you think of this list? Anything missing? Anything stick out to you?

Monday, April 8, 2013

ACM Awards

Last night was the Academy of Country Music Awards. I definitely like country music but it's not something I listen to often or follow, so it wouldn't really make too much sense for me to watch the awards show. I know the biggie country stars but most, I might not have a clue! Of course that doesn't stop me from eying the fashion. Carrie Underwood in her floral Naeem Khan gown came out on top for me. It's not a dress typical of my usual taste but there's just something about it that I loved! Also on top, I though Jewel came out looking absolutely stunning. I was going to post a few of my favourites but I decided to stop with these two ladies as they looked gorgeous and were my clear favourites.

Carrie Underwood, red carpet, Naeem Khan, awardsJewel, red carpet, Georges Chakra, awards
 Carrie Underwood in Naeem Khan | Jewel in Georges Chakra Couture

 Who was your favourite?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Not your average outfit post

This outfit post is not going to tell you how to look long and lean, or how to flatter your silhouette, nor will it tell you how to wear the latest trends. What it WILL tell you is how to be cozy and a little bit majestic at the same time!

fun, funny friday, humour, unicornLet me introduce you to my unicorn onesie. Like most girls, as a child I found myself rather infactuated (obsessed???) with rainbows, pink, and unicorns. Yes, I was the epitome of a girly girl, and still am. Fast forward to my adult life: I still do everything possible to embrace those things I onced loved so very much, but perhaps in a more mature and subtle way. This is of course until I stumbled across these beauties online. And by stumbled, I mean I typed something the likes of "unicorn adult onesie" into Google. There she was. A beautiful pink unicorn one-piece just waiting to be worn by me. It was meant to be. Of course when I saw a blue one and showed my roommate, she was all to willing to become the blue unicorn to my pink unicorn

The day they came in the mail and I pulled them out of the box, I just remember hunching over and laughing so hard. They were exactly what I envisioned, if not better! The heads too - they were a bit more sturdy and stuffed than I thought and that is what was killing me. I have nothing bad to say about them - they're awesome. Wearing it just makes me feel so happy and like a kid again! I definitely don't feel like a professional career woman, but who wouldn't like a little vacation from that by simply putting on a unicorn onesie?

fun, humour, funny friday, unicorn
P.S. These are just as comfortable as they look, if not more. 

P.P.S. The above pictures were taken by a friend of mine who JUST SO HAPPENED to come over unexpectedly the first night we wore them. And she never does that! It was one of those right-place-right-time moments for her. Imagine a unicorn answering the door? Haha! :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Black & White

It is no secret that black and white is HUGE for spring! This is one of my favourite colour trends because it can often be made up of existing items in your closet! We all have black things, we all have white things, and I'm going to bet that we also all have black&white things. Ingredients, check. The other thing I like about the trend is how neutral it really is. It has a classic and chic look to it. You can also play around with it by adding a pop of colour with an accessory, shoe, or make up. Make it your own, there's no wrong way!

Jamie Chung, Black and White, Alice and Olivia, spring, style, trendBlack and white, spring, style, trend, Shay Mitchell
Jamie Chung in Alice + Olivia | Shay Mitchell in Sachin + Babi

BUT, if you were to go shopping, I found some beautiful finds that are just right for spring and summer...

Black and white, fashion, spring, trend, style, ParkerDVF, black and white, spring, trend, style
 Parker | DVF

Or, instead of making the black and white pop with colourful accessories, you can do just the opposite and rock the trend WITH the accessories...
Black and White, spring, trend, style,
Cambridge Satchel | Marc by Marc Jacobs Cross-body
Black and White, shoes, style, spring, trend
L.A.M.B. Cia Pump | SoftWalk Napa Flat

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Can't live without: Dove Dry Shampoo

Dove, Dry Shampoo, products, reviewThis product review is a must. Ever since discovering it, I can't handle how much I love it. Before I jump in, let's talk about hair for a sec. Did you know that you are NOT supposed to wash your hair everyday? I hope you know. If you do wash your hair every day, your hair can suffer... BADLY. What you're doing is removing the natural oils that your scalp produces to protect and moisturize your hair. Doing that everyday causes dry, straw-like hair and split ends. In an effort to replace those natural oils your scalp then overproduces the oil and your hair will get that greasy look faster. So the answer: cut down your hair washing. It is recommended that people only wash their hair a couple of times I week, which is not necessarily ideal, but anything less than daily is good. If you're a daily-hair-washer and you are ready for change it's hard to imagine your hair less greasy, but like anything, routine is key! By washing your hair less, the oil production will balance out, and your hair can survive longer and look fresh without washing! It will get a whole lot healthier too! There's your hair science 101 for the day. Now, if only there was something you could do for the off days...

Enter: dry shampoo. I was only introduced to dry shampoo a handful of years ago and it has since changed my life. For anyone that doesn't know what it is (is there anyone that doesn't know?), dry shampoo is magic when it comes to making hair look fresh and clean on non-hairwash days. I love it. Anyway, I think it's safe to say I found the holy grail of dry shampoo and that, if you haven't guessed already, is Dove's dry shampoo. It's light, not powdery, needs only to be applied once at the start of your day and has a bonus: it adds a natural volume to your hair! Another perk is that it is only $5.99 (Canadian $) at your local drugstore or grocery store. I can't think of anything bad to say about it, it's just that fantastic!

I should note that I have tried numerous brands, such as
  • KMS - second favourite but at $17 it's not cheap
  • Klorane - 3rd favourite
  • OSIS - I'm neutral on it, so not worth the salon price
  • Kevin Murphy - good but I found I needed to reapply, so also not worth the salon price
  • Batiste - I found it too powdery which put a thick coating on my hair & makes my blonde hair white so I can't even imagine brunettes!
  • TRESemmé - definite no as it made my hair greasy and flat

Hair and hair health is SO important to me. I'm not sure about you but I invest a lot of money in my hair. As a blonde I also know how hard it is to keep your hair healthy and soft, so I do everything and anything to keep it that way. A lot of people (even some hairstylist friends) are impressed by how healthy my hair is despite being a blonde and ask my secret. Well, this - not overwashing my hair and using this dry shampoo - is one of them!

*Another "Can't Live Without" beauty product: Benefit Mascara

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lethal Combination

Prabal Gurung, quote, designer
Yet another designer with some wise words, with a dash of girl power...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shiny Ponies

Happy April (Fools)!

I couldn't think of a better way to start off this week then with this short video featuring Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's creative director. I really appreciate her sharing some behind the scenes on how J.Crew designs and constructs their shoes. I also like the part where she mentions that she has about 289 pairs of shoes!!! Makes me feel like such a rookie, haha!

Just a beautiful, beautiful movie, full of (shoe) eye candy... :)