On working full time and blogging

30.7.14


I've been blogging for a little over 6 months now, and so far the experience has been amazing. Blogging is something that I had been interested in for a while (I read tons of blogs daily), and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I've been able to connect with new people, work on my photography skills, and who can complain about having their own little slice of the internet!

But the journey hasn't been without it's challenges as well. If you've read a bit about me here, then you'll know that I do have a full-time job. I work in a hospital in the ALS clinic, as part of a multidisciplinary team, as a clinical research coordinator. Basically, my role is to run all of the clinical trials for the patients. Saying that working with terminally ill patients is difficult would be an understatement. At times, it can be very emotionally draining. But at the same time, it is so rewarding, and some of these patients have changed my life. They are amazing people.

Blogging has really helped me decompress from that, and so it's something I plan to continue! Balancing work and blogging can be difficult, so here are a few things I've learned over the past several months:

1. Carry a notebook EVERYWHERE! You never know when an idea will pop into your head, so I always carry a small notebook on me. Having my iPhone around is also handy to take quick snaps of something that inspires me.

2. Don't chew off more than you can swallow. And along with this goes don't compare yourself to others. Lots of blogs I read have posts every day. While that's great for me as a reader, it just doesn't work for me as a blogger. And I'm ok with that. I try to stick to posts Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, and so far that's working well. But as you'll see in #4, that doesn't always work out. Just do what you can, do it well, and be happy with the work you do.

3. Schedule Schedule Schedule! Working full time means I can't really work on posts in the middle of the day. So I work on them ahead of time, and then schedule them to appear during the day. I work with majorly complex schedules as part of my day job anyways (managing peoples', patients', and meeting schedules), so I'm pretty kick-ass at it already.

4. Life happens. Case in point: today's post was actually supposed to be the recipe for the amazing pie cookies I made this weekend (seriously, they were out of this world. Jealous yet??). But when I went to transfer my photos to my computer, something wonky happened with my memory card and they all got deleted. Insert mega sad face. But hey, it was a one off thing that could happen to anyone. Move on, make more pie cookies. And if you were supposed to take a bunch of photos of that super cute outfit, but then drinks with friends got in the way? Who cares! Enjoy life!

5. Be yourself! There are so many things I love about blogging, but having a space to be myself and be creative is my favourite. This is my slice of the internet, and it's going to stay that way!

-Kris

The Weekend Edit Vol. 7

27.7.14


Ah, Sunday, we meet again. I'm out in the country with the fam jam again this weekend, but yesterday's sunshine has been replaced with rain. Boo. Oh well, nothing a giant cup of tea and a good book won't fix. Have I ever mentioned that I love tea? I practically grew up on the stuff, and it's my belief that it's what really makes the world go round. Maybe I'll do some more baking (hint: the above photo is an upcoming post on a wonderful creation).

This past week was a scorcher in Montreal, and so I tried to avoid cooking as much as possible. So I had an impromptu cheese platter from the local market one night (by the pool of course), and tried a local restaurant with a friend another night. And oh em gee was it amazing. Cho's Restaurant, in St-Henri, is like asian fusion meets tapas, and all the dishes we tried had such interesting flavours. We will definitely be back again sooner rather than later, and if you live in Montreal, you need to check it out.

Anywho, here is my round up of things I found on the internet this week:

Oh Joy the Baker, how I wish I could meet you and pick your brain on how you come up with some of these recipes. I really want to try the Raspberry Pomegranate Smoothie with Green Tea Ice Cubes, and the One-Pot French Onion Pasta is crying out for me.

On a less delicious note, the History of Autocorrect is pretty funny.

I also enjoyed reading the 10 reasons you should blog from Meredith.

My inner microbiologist gets the best of me sometimes and I just couldn't resist this article on the 3rd ever documented survivor of the brain-eating amoeba. Seriously, it's a real thing. I kid you not!

And finally, this article on what really is going on behind our instagram photos is amazing. That weird contortion thing you have to do with your arm to get that perfect angle? Yeup, I know all about that.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
-Kris





Happy Hour - Sweet Craig

21.7.14


I don't know about you, but I've got a serious case of the Mondays. It's hard to get back to work after spending a weekend on the lake sailing, so what better way to perk up a Monday by talking about cocktails again! There's a restaurant in Montreal, called Deville Dinerbar, that makes AMAZING cocktails. My favourite, called the Sweet Craig, is named after 007 himself, Daniel Craig. What's not to like? I've been playing around with the ingredients trying to re-create it, and I think I've finally settled on the right mix. Read on for the recipe!

The Weekend Edit Vol. 6

20.7.14



Cheers to the weekend!! Out in the country again this weekend for more copious amounts of time in the sun and on the water. Yay! I brought my best friend from uni and her boyfriend with me this weekend and we're just chillin' and enjoying the summer.

A Beautiful Mess released their second app, #partypartyapp, this week and it is awesome. I've been having fun playing around with it and created the gif above (sneak peek of an upcoming Happy Hour post).

I came across this great post this week on blogging and working full time. I'm having tons of fun with the blog, but it can be hard when working full time as life often gets in the way. But what's the fun without some challenges!

And another great post on staying happy while blogging :)

Emily is amazing and she always has such great advice. This post really hit home and I'm keeping it all in mind.

What were your weekend plans?

-Kris

DIY Leather Business Card Holder

18.7.14


Back with another DIY project today. You never know when an opportunity to network will arise, so it's a good idea to always have some business cards on hand. My wallet is already bursting at the seams, so having a cute business card holder is handy. Many companies such as Coach and Kate Spade make them, but why not DIY your own? Read on for the full instructions.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation

16.7.14


Anybody else feeling the heat this summer?? While I'm not necessarily complaining after our eternal winter here in Montreal, I could do without the humidity. We're in full blown makeup-melting mode over here, so today's post is all about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation for those hot summer days. Read one for the full review.

Happy Hour - Amaretto Sours

14.7.14



It's cocktail hour here on the blog today! While I love my scotch, I can't deny myself a good cocktail either. Mixology seems to have become an art form these days, with new concoctions being created at every bar in town. The gals over at A Beautiful Mess are my fave when it comes to happy hour, and are always a good start when looking for some inspiration. To kick things off, a simple but a good'un. Read on for full instructions!

The Weekend Edit Vol. 5

13.7.14



Hey there! Another Sunday, another Weekend Edit. This week was rather chill at work, which translated into catching up on hoards of paper work. Not the most exciting task, but I guess that's what the summer months are for.
Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous out in the country, and my dad helped me get our catamaran into the water for the summer. There's something really peaceful about sailing, and I'm looking forward to more windy weekends this summer. I followed up too many hours in the sun with a good drink on the deck, and today it's looking rather gloomy so not too much going on. So here are some cool things I found on the internet this week.

Summer sales are in full swing, and I managed to snag this silk blazer for a bargain at Aritzia. I'd been looking for a peach colored blazer for a while, and this one is oh so heavenly. I've also got my eye on a couple things in both the J. Crew and Madewell sales, but we'll see.

Chriselle released an amazing video in partnership with Estee Lauder this week. I'd never considered using a serum as a "top coat" for makeup to add some glow.

I'm hoping to start featuring some more fashion-related content here, as it is something I'm passionate about, and this post on the state of fashion blogging was really interesting. My favourite fashion blogs are always those that feature affordable fashion, but with distinct and unique style.

One of my favourite posts from this week came from Alex from To Vogue or Bust with her Weekend Packing List. I'm definitely consulting this for my next weekend away.

Also on the travel front, this site features everything you need to do, from a place to stay down to where to get pre-dinner cocktails, for 12 hours in a city. I usually have very little time to myself when I travel for work, so I'll probably be consulting this next time!

And so after all of that, I've got major wanderlust. In case you missed it, this week I talked about what I have in my carry on for a long haul flight, and also some travel makeup tips.

Finally, something completely unrelated to anything above: my inner microbiologist was overjoyed when I came across this piece this week. Ebola fascinates me and I think it's one of the coolest bugs around, and when I was in school that's what I wanted to study. A really good read!

What did you get up to this week?

-Kris




Travel Makeup Tips

9.7.14


For the longest time, I struggled with packing makeup for travel. I would try to cram as much as I possibly could into the largest makeup bag I owned. Then I arrived at my destination, didn't use half of it, and still had to lug it around everywhere with me. What was I thinking?? When I started to travel often for work, I smartened up and streamlined the process. So here is what I carry in my travel makeup bag, and also some tips!

What's in my carry-on bag? (long-haul flight)

7.7.14



I'm very nosy and love the "What's in my bag" features that bloggers do (coming soon perhaps??), and I'm even more nosy when it comes to what essentials people bring on flights with them. My favourite articles in those in-flight magazines are where they feature a frequent flyer (seriously, how do some of these people rack up so many miles?!?) and what their carry-on essentials are. I got back from Amsterdam last week, so keep reading for a round-up of my long-haul flight essentials.

The Weekend Edit Vol. 4

6.7.14


Cheers to the weekend!! Between flying back from Amsterdam Monday, Canada Day on Tuesday, and a very busy 3-day work week, saying that this week has been hectic would be an understatement. Enjoying a little R & R this weekend, with no concrete plans. It's nice to have one of those every once in a while.

I read this fantastic piece from The New Yorker on the Chilean Mine disaster. It seems like this was only a couple of months ago, when really 4 years have gone by. It was such a compelling read.

While I don't really consider myself a beauty blogger (how about a mish-mash blogger?), this interview on the state of beauty blogging is great.

One of my goals come fall is to really streamline my wardrobe. I think this article will really come in handy. The concept of the 5 piece wardrobe also really intrigues me...but maybe I can cheat and bump that up to 10??

Geneva does it again with a great DIY Kimono, perfect for summer, and I've already ordered the kit from Wander & Hunt. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

-Kris

Amsterdam Photo Diary!

2.7.14


Sadly, I have returned from my whirlwind business trip to Amsterdam. I currently have no idea what time zone I'm in (middle of the Atlantic perhaps?), and the Montreal heat wave isn't helping matters, but it was an amazing trip. Here are a couple of snaps.
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