GIVEAWAY: The new braiding handbook

by thedemuremuse on July 7, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone! Starting this week (and month of July) with an awesome giveaway for a copy of Abby Smith’s The New Braiding Handbook! This book has seriously been a lifesaver for me this summer and I have been having a ton of fun playing with new hairstyles to prep for wedding season that kicks off next month. Want to join in on the hair fun? Here’s your chance to win a copy of the book for yourself! :)

braidinghandbook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

– Winner will be chosen within 24 hours of giveaway close
- If I don’t hear back from the winner in 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn
- Giveaway is open to international readers. YAY!

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Tough cookie

by thedemuremuse on June 30, 2014

tough cookie

Today’s off to an amazing start, thanks to a case of really really awful insomnia. The lack of sleep is kicking me in the butt today, which sucks because I hate being bed ridden on a work day, but kinda nice because between the naps I’ve been writing this post.

If you’re following along on Instagram, you would’ve seen a sneak peek of this outfit already. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve already worn this out, but it’s definitely in my top 3 outfits of the season. The jacket might be overkill as summer continues, but until the nights stop being so cold, I love it! I tend to plan my outfits around what I’ll be eating (priorities!) and a flowy top to cover a food baby never hurt anyone, right? ;)

tough cookie
outfit details:
quilted faux-leather jacket: Forever 21
blouse with gold accents: H&M (similar)
shorts: H&M (similar)
velvet wedges: Report (similar via OnlineShoes)
glasses: SEE Eyewear
necklace: SheInside

outfit closeup

How cute are these gold accents on the drawstrings? I wouldn’t have normally gravitated to a top like this, but the attention to little details gets me. every. time.

Just for kicks, I tried to be super cool and pull off a look where all my fav bloggers wore jackets without putting their arms in the sleeves. I laughed so hard when this photo came up in the viewer… my face pretty much sums up my feelings about this photo trend. I felt as ridiculous taking this photo as it looks below…

tough cookie
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Bookshelf Must-Have: The New Braiding Handbook

by thedemuremuse on June 27, 2014

I don’t know if this needs to be said, but I’m not one for fancy hairdos. My current repertoire of hairstyles is only 4 styles big: natural waves (thank goodness for mousse!), top knot/messy bun, tucked in half-ponytail, and now a French-braided messy bun. I’ve always pinned beautiful hairstyles on Pinterest, but I get stumped quite easily whenever trying to follow hair tutorials if I can’t figure out a step from a certain angle. Doing hair has never been my forte (you can ask my mom about all the awful braids I tried to do growing up), so I was super excited when offered the chance to review The New Braiding Handbok by Abby Smith.

The new braiding handbook<br />

The full-colour guide walks through, step-by-step (in much more detail than past hair tutorials I’ve tried to follow), how to do an array of 60 different hairstyles. My favourite part of this handbook is the fact that there are modern twists on classic looks. The first look that caught my eye was the French braid with a messy bun.

The new braiding handbook by Abby Smith

No matter how hard I tried to do a French braid in middle school, I could never perfect the symmetrical, centered braid down the back. With the clever modern twist tugging on my asymmetry-loving heart strings, the side braid paired with the messy bun look was super easy to recreate with the instructions! Bonus points: the hairstyle is dressy enough to get through a full day of work, while still being playful enough to continue through Happy Hour.

French braid messy bun hairdo

I’m pretty stoked to continue to try new styles from this book! With wedding season about to kick off, I’ve already started tabbing the styles I hope to recreate for each of the weddings I’ll be heading to this summer. As said, the styles range in such a broad spectrum for every occasion that I really don’t have excuse to not try all of them out before the end of this year!

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Swap & Style: Romp-romp-romper

by thedemuremuse on June 25, 2014

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outfit details:
Erica’s romper: Forever 21
ankle booties: Madden Girl
M.A.C. clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (exact)
glasses: SEE Eyewear

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Truth be told, I was terrified of styling a romper. When Erica and I first started talking about the Swap & Style series back in 2012, we made a list of colours and styles of clothing that we didn’t think would be flattering for both of us. As someone who is very aware of my longer-than-average torso, rompers are high up on that list of clothing articles that I tend to avoid.

Erica being the queen of rompers and styling them beautifully every single time (seriously, you should search for her stylings of rompers on her blog… it’s awesome to see how creative she gets with a premade outfit) challenged me to style a romper for the first time. I was terrified that the “top” of the romper would be too short and I’d get a front wedgie from the “shorts” part (was that TMI? haha), but the fit was perfect! I don’t know why I was so terrified to ever try a romper before this one because now that I’ve tried one, I’m kind of obsessed! Confession: since this swap, I’ve been trying on rompers and summer jumpsuits and toying with the idea of adding some of these to my wardrobe. They’re basically the classier version of adult onesies, right?

Don’t forget to hear over to Sweets and Hearts to see the details of how Erica styled her romper. I love the light layering that she did with this fun piece!

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Summer Sangria recipe with CK Mondavi

by thedemuremuse on June 24, 2014

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

I’m super excited today to share a fun, tasty variation on a traditional summer sangria recipe for the upcoming July 4th weekend in collaboration with CK Mondavi! Sangria is my favourite summer drink, especially when hanging out with my girlfriends on sunny weekends! CK Mondavi wine is sold nationwide in every US state and remains a family-owned business that has thrived for four generations to produce fine wines.

What you’ll need:
- 1 bottle of CK Mondavi Blonde Five
- 1 grapefruit, sliced
- 1 naval orange, sliced
- 1 apple, cubed
- half a litre of lemon/lime soda

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

First step is to slice and dice all your fruits! The size of the pieces is completely up to you. I usually try to make them less than 1″ so that they’re easy to snack on without splashing beverage on yourself. As you can see below, the pieces don’t have to be perfectly uniform. At the end of the day, the fruit are there to add light hints of sweetness to the (already delicious) wine. I specifically picked this Blonde Five bottle because of its luscious baked apple, honey, and lemon flavour to compliment the selected citrus fruits.

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

Pour the entire bottle of wine into a seal-able container and add the fruits. Let the fruits soak in the wine overnight in the fridge. The longer the fruits soak in the wine, the stronger and sweeter the drink will become. Be sure to try a slice of the grapefruit and orange before adding to the wine– a sour citrus fruit can ruin the sweetness of a sangria pretty quickly! (I learned this the hard way last summer…)

Last step: Add the lemon/lime soda to the chilled wine and fruits immediately before serving.

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe
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Can you tell why this is one of my favourite drinks ever? It’s so simple to make and really yummy! Hope you guys enjoy a glass (or two) in the next couple weeks!

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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