Simple Sangria with Big House Wine

Simple summer sangria made with Big House Wine Cardinal Zin

Yikes, being a blogger can come with its own set of #firstworldproblems. Case in point: Big House Wines kindly sent me a 3 L case of their Cardinal Zin zinfandel ($36.99 at BC Liquor stores) to try out in March, and I'm only posting about it now. (Cue the guilt trip.) But writing about boxed wine during barbecue season seems pretty apropos, no? Especially one with such a patio-party-friendly, serve-it-yourself form factor. The box holds 3 L—the equivalent of 4 bottles—which is plenty to keep guests happy throughout the night.


Latest Outfit: Little White Dress

Gap dress | Old Navy scarf | BCBGeneration shoes (c/o StyleNV) | Nails: Essie 'Strut Your Stuff'

Believe it or not, this is my first little white dress ever but hopefully not the last. I love the high neckline, demure A-line silhouette, and tonal stripes. Plus, the skirt has hidden pockets! A dress this streamlined doesn't need a lot of fuss and muss, so I kept the accompaniments simple with an ombre peach scarf, blue nails, and pointy ankle-strap beige flats. Perfect for a laid-back long weekend.


Product Review: Pantene Smooth Serum with Argan Oil

Pantene Smooth Serum with Argan Oil

I have thick, relatively straight, extremely low-maintenance hair that also happens to have inexpensive taste. My routine (if you can even call it that) consists of washing with shampoo and conditioner every 2-3 days and working a smoothing product into towel-dried locks. I use dry shampoo on the roots sometimes, and occasionally I'll do an intensive hair mask.


Staples Canada #30SummerDays Photo Challenge & Giveaway

A sunny beach day here, a backyard barbecue there...if we don't pause to appreciate the finer moments, the dog days of summer are bound to slip by in a golden haze. One way of slowing down and commemorating small pleasures is sharing a photo a day, which is why I was so excited to participate in the Staples Canada #30SummerDays photo challenge. The challenge was simple: Staples would send me the Canon PowerShot S200 wifi-enabled point-and-shoot camera to try out, along with a calendar of daily themes to inspire my snap of the day for the month of June.


Latest Outfit: Stripes

Black and white Breton striped top, statement necklace, khaki shorts, ankle strap mini espadrille wedges, orange wristlet
Club Monaco top | Banana Republic shorts | J. Crew sandals | Benji Frank shades (c/o) | Roots wristlet (c/o) | J. Crew Factory necklace | Lips: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain 'Miami Fever' | Lashes: Dior Addict It-Lash 'It-Purple'

Oh, this Club Monaco striped top. If my summer wardrobe were to have an MVP, I think this sale rack find from Boston would have to be it. I've already worn it tucked into a ladylike midi skirt, with white eyelet and black accessories, with black skinny's the quintessential, no-brainer, throw-on-and-go summer top, especially when paired with khaki shorts and espadrille sandals. Perfect for a weekend of Jazz Fest concert-going, evening strolling, and solstice adventuring.


My Experience

Getting summer-ready with Swimco's new online shopping website. Seafolly top, Karen Walker sunnies, Dior Addict Fluid Stick, and Dior Vernis.

Full disclosure: I can't swim and I'm not exactly a beach bunny, so the last time I went swimsuit shopping was at least 5 years ago. But even the sun-and-surf-averse among us needs a cute bathing suit for the odd outdoor trip or hot tub dip, which is why I jumped at the chance to try out Swimco's new online shopping experience.


Dior Summer 2014: It-Lash, It-Line, and Diorshow Mono Pop Shades

Dior's latest eye makeup for summer 2014 features limited edition pop hues.

As if the Dior Transat Summer 2014 collection weren't enough escapist beauty lovin' fun, now the luxury label is transporting us to a technicolour wonderland with its latest launches. The new Dior Addict It-Lash mascara and Dior Addict It-Line eyeliner, as well as Diorshow Mono eyeshadow, are all available at Dior counters now. But if you want to snag the limited-edition pop hues, you better hurry. Ready for a closer look?


Latest Outfit: White Noise

Black and white Breton striped top and white eyelet skirt for summer
Club Monaco top | Bootlegger Temperance 'Marlowe' skirt (c/o) | J. Crew Factory sandals | Chanel WOC bag | KOMONO shades (c/o)

For whatever reason, life lately seems to feel so much more draining. Maybe it's the post-vacation struggle to get back into the swing of things, but I think it has more to do with the fact that I'm constantly toggling my attention between five projects at work, and home and blog priorities. All that context-switching can really do a number on a girl's focus, energy, and efficiency.


Yes, You Can Wear Blue Eyeshadow (Here's How!)

Fresh blue eyeshadow look by CoverGirl artist Veronica Chu

The words "blue eyeshadow" may conjure up images of 80s era fashion victims, but as CoverGirl makeup artist Veronica Chu proved during yesterday's Procter & Gamble media preview, blue eyeshadow can be fresh, pretty, and downright modern. In the look she created, the sheer wash of colour across the lids is intensified with liner and lush lashes, while the skin has a lit-from-within luminosity and the lips are muted. It's a nice summertime day-to-night look, for sure. Ready for the step-by-step?


Lise Watier Eden Tropical Summer 2014 Collection

Lise Watier Eden Tropical Summer 2014 Collection

This spring, Lise Watier wants to transport us to a sensual, heat-filled paradise through its Eden Tropical collection. To which I say: Bring it on, especially after that long harsh winter, and especially if it involves oversize, palm-leaf-emblazoned palettes! Ready to take a closer look?


Latest Outfit: Birds on a Wire

Breton stripes, bird-embellished midi skirt, Chanel
Club Monaco top | eShakti skirt (c/o) | Pour La Victoire pumps | Chanel bag | Karen Walker shades (from Rebecca Bree) | Lips: Dior Addict Fluid Stick 'Aventure' | Nails: Dior Vernis Trianon Edition 'Bouquet'

Being 5'3", finding a good midi skirt has been quite the challenge. Most off-the-rack offerings either hit above the knee (thereby defeating the definition of "midi") or are designed for taller gals, with dismally unflattering results. You can imagine my delight, then, when eShakti offered me the chance to try their service by ordering a made-for-me piece. Simply select the style you like, and then enter your measurements, height, and any customization requests (like a shorter hemline or no pockets).


Product Review: Kocostar Nail Therapy

Any girl who wears nail polish for a lengthy time—without letting her nails breathe between manis—will know the annoyance that is weakened, splitting, peeling nails. I try my best to prevent it with a regular regimen of hand lotion and cuticle oil, but even that might not be enough. That's where a product like Kocostar Nail Therapy ($4 from their website or at BeautyMark) comes in.


Ready, Set, Smooth: Veet Natural Inspirations Giveaway

Veet Natural Inspirations

Sunscreen? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Smooth, summer-ready skin primed for this season's sun dresses, short shorts, and shin-baring midi skirts? Check, thanks to Veet's new Natural Inspirations line and this generous prize pack (valued at $100) to be awarded to one lucky Solo Lisa reader.


Latest Outfit: Free Spirit

Black peasant top and a little red bag
Bootlegger Temperance Collection 'Skylar' top (c/o) | H&M shorts | Benji Frank shades (c/o) | J. Crew sandals | Roots bag

When it comes to summer dressing, peasant tops have such an effortless ease about them: the billowing, loose cotton; the pretty embroidery; the way they pair so well with shorts and faded denim. Small wonder, then, that when Bootlegger offered me the chance to pick a piece from their new Temperance Free Spirited Summer Collection to style, I chose this little black number. The lace and crochet details make this an ideal day-to-night top, while the dark hue keeps it from feeling too twee. Shades, a pop of red (courtesy of a little crossbody bag), and silver metallic sandals lighten things up and keep the vibe summery.

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