5/25/2014

bold nail polish colours for summer


summer nail polish | marlee and you

Summer is the brightest, sunniest time of year! It's also the perfect chance to go bold with nail colours! I browsed through my nail polish collection and selected my top five nail colour picks for the summer season - check them out!

summer nail polish | marlee and you

1. This metallic blue is the perfect pool-blue shade by Avon in Lagoon.

2. A more shimmery polish in a bold green shade by Nicole in Make Mine Lime.

3. This flat yellow polish is the perfect shade to brighten up your nails! Lightening by Sally Hansen (Insta-dri collection).

4. Pulsating by Rimmel London is a daring metallic fuchsia shade with purple undertones when the light hits it!

5. Lastly we have a classic purple polish from Justin Bieber's Nicole collection in I'm a Belieber.

So there you have it - my favourite nail polish colours that remind me of all things summer! I can't wait to pick a few of these polishes and make some crazy nail art to welcome the warmer weather and the summer season!


What bold nail polish colours are you loving this year?

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5/23/2014

summer bucket list 2014

 
summer bucket list | marlee and you
(source)

Now that school is done and I've finally settled into my new summer job (working at a pool store), I'm now able have some actual fun and start planning summer adventures! I think the best way to make the most of the summer months is to write out a bucket list! I can't wait to cross things off this list and get into my summer state of mind!

Check out all the things I want to accomplish this summer season!

- have a beach day
- go to a farmers market
- go for a bike ride
- do some gardening
- explore downtown
- watch a baseball game
- see a drive-in movie
- go to a karaoke night
- make homemade ice-cream
- send a letter
- have a bonfire and make s'mores
- paint all afternoon
- go camping
- make lemonade from scratch
- have a girls' night in
- have a girls' night out
- unplug for a day
- check out garage sales
- give a secret gift
- have a picnic
- watch a sunrise/set
- do more DIYs
- get a decent tan
- make an awesome fort on a rainy day
- go berry picking
- enjoy some fireworks
- travel

Let me know what's on your summer bucket list!

-MJ


5/21/2014

Bentley's adoption story


Bentley's adoption story | marlee and you


In March 2013, my mom and I had never owned a dog. I always liked the idea of having a dog, but we never really considered getting one until a particular Facebook post showed up in my mom's feed one day. One of her Facebook friends had posted that a dog had been abandoned and that it now needed a good home.

For some reason, my first reaction was, "Mom, we need to help this dog." There had been other posts of dogs that needed adopting, but this one just seemed right. Somehow it only took a little convincing before my mom agreed that we could adopt this dog. Within a week and a half we welcomed a one-year-old Puggle into our home. We named him Bentley and he seemed to be just as excited as we were to start this new adventure.

Bentley adjusted well to our home. Mom and I both had some struggles being first time dog owners. We needed to add many different things into our routines like walks, feedings, baths and groomings. We also had to do multiple tests and shots at the vet, because Bentley had no medical history. Thank goodness Ben enjoys going to the vet! He's always so excited to see everyone there! 

Bentley's adoption story | marlee and you

With all the joys that comes with it, adopting a pet can have its setbacks. Bentley has some separation anxiety and we still have lots of training to do. Everyone has had to adjust to this new lifestyle, but we're all making progress. Any form of adoption is so rewarding! Many people I've talked to tell me about how loyal their adopted pets are compared to others. These pets don't forget that you rescued them and brought them to a better way of living.

It's now been over a year since we initially brought Bentley into out home. Bentley made the perfect addition to our family and has brought us all together in a unique way. I encourage anyone who is capable to adopt a pet - it will change your life!

-MJ


5/16/2014

my nail polish storage


nail polish storage | marlee and you

I used to keep all of my nail polishes in a cute lidded box, but this box started to overflow and I needed to come up with a new way to organize my polishes! Of course the first thing I did was search the web for nail polish racks and organizers, but I didn't like the results I came up with. The only online options I found were around $40 and I would have had to pay for shipping too.

A $40 nail polish rack was definitely not in my budget, so I decided to look in outside-the-box places to find what I was looking for. I ended up in a store called Solutions that sells everything organization related.

nail polish storage | marlee and you

After scanning the store I finally spotted the perfect organizational piece in the kitchen section! A three-leveled stand designed for kitchen cupboard storage for items like spices! Who would've thought to look for something like that for nail polish!

nail polish storage | marlee and you

I bought the piece without hesitation and went home to find that it fit all of my nail polish bottles with room to spare for new ones! The best part is, this rack only cost me $15 and it was exactly what I was looking for!

Now all of my nail polishes fit nicely on my bookshelf and make a really cool eye-catching display!

Where do you keep your nail polishes?

-MJ


5/12/2014

prom look: hair, make-up and nails


prom look | marlee and you
The Look

Even though my prom days are long behind me, I still happened to wind up in the prom season buzz this year! My best friend's little sister asked if I could beautify her for prom, and of course I said yes!  I ended up doing hair, make-up and nails - the works! Surprisingly I'd never done someone else's hair and make-up before, so this was a first for me. I'm quite pleased with how everything turned out! My little prom-goer was looking mighty fine when her date arrived!

prom look | marlee and you
The Hair

I'm pretty confident when it comes to doing my own hair. I'm familiar with my hair type and what I can do to make it look formal and elegant. Doing someone else's hair was definitely a challenge for my first attempt! I'm still not sure how it turned out so well, but we were both please with the results, thank goodness!

I started off by putting the top section of her hair in velcro curlers to add volume to the roots and smooth the hair for a more polished look. Then I curled the bottom layers with my smallest curling wand attachment to get nice tight curls to match the natural curls that were already there. Then I took out the rolers, teased the hair at the crown of her head, secured a nice volumized bump with some bobby pins, then criss-crossed her hair at the back.

prom look | marlee and you
The Make-Up

Make-up was my favourite part of this beauty session! We went for a more natural yet slightly dramatic look with the eye make-up, using shimmery neutral colours with subtle eyeliner and of course, mascara. I added a bit of blush and bronzer to the cheeks before she applied her lipstick and gloss (after this photo).


prom look | marlee and you
The Nails

And lastly, the nails! I did her nails the night before prom, so that they could dry properly and not get smudged and ruined the day of. This saved a lot of time and stress on prom day! We chose a deep purple for the base of the nail, then I used a sponge and gold polish to create an ombre effect up each nail. The final result looked stunning against her golder patterned clutch for the evening!

And there you have it! A complete prom look! My job as a "beauty stylist" was definitely made easy because my "client" was already super beautiful before we even got started for the day! She looked like a million bucks when she finally put on her dress and shoes! Now I can't wait for the next formal occasion so I can do more beautifying - I've found a new hobby!

Prom Tip: wear a loose top when getting hair and make-up done so that you can change into your dress without ruining your look!

Did you create your prom look yourself, with friends, or get everything professionally done?

-MJ


5/10/2014

boradway nails: imPress press-on manicure review


imPress manicure | marlee and you

I'm a member on the Influenster website where people share reviews on different products! I was sent two imPress Manicures, complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. Check out my results and thoughts on these press-on manicure kits!

imPress manicure | marlee and you


I really like both designs! The silver and black look is one that I would be able to achieve myself with the polishes I have, but the purple is more intricate and I wouldn't be able to do that design on myself! One of my biggest challenges when doing nail art is having to repeat the design on my dominant hand. These press-on nails are perfect for achieving a consistent look on both hands!

imPress manicure | marlee and you

The nails were very straight forward to apply. You just wipe your nail with the prep towelette, pick the nail shapes that will fit nicely, take off the backing, then firmly press the nail down! Voila! I was pleased with 9/10 of my nail applications. For my second manicure, I'll start by applying nails to my dominant hand, because I think it would make the process easier.

imPress manicure | marlee and you

I love how natural these press-on nails look! I've never done an artificial manicure before, but I'm definitely impressed by this first experience! Now we'll just see how long this imPress manicure lasts! (So far I've had them on for a full day at work and everything is holding on strong with no damage!)

Have you ever tried a press-on mani?

-MJ


5/09/2014

a dose of healthy motivation


Last summer I got the sudden urge to participate in a 5k run. This was actually quite ambitious for myself because I have never been a long distance runner and I had no idea where to start! I recruited my boyfriend to run alongside me and it became a 6 week project of ours to train before race day. Although the training sucked and it was incredibly challenging, I was so thrilled with the benefits running had on my body and overall daily energy level!

last year's 5k Color Run

This summer we likely won't be able to participate in an organized run due to scheduling issues, but we're keeping with the running hobby. What I noticed looking back on last year and the few runs we've done this spring, is that we both have this bad habit where we'll snack and binge-eat fatty and unhealthy foods after our runs - what a terrible idea!!

I'm not the type to be concerned about calories or specific ingredients in the food I eat, but I'm well aware of the "junk food" things I should consume less of. I get cravings, have a sweet tooth and like to munch on things when I watch TV. Is there a solution to this? Totally!

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There are plenty of healthy snack options for after a run or workout! Chocolate milk, protein bars, veggies, cheese and crackers, fresh fruit, hard boiled egg, peanut butter... the options are endless! My solution to my eating-junk-food-post-workout habit is quite simple: plan ahead. You gotta make sure you have the healthy snack ingredients bought, ready and easy to prepare after a workout so that it's as little work as opening a bag of chips when you're ready to re-fuel.

Speaking of chips... for those times when the salty cravings just don't want to get lost, try a healthier chip option! I picked up some kettle chips the other day from the natural/organic section of the grocery store to give a try. They're delicious, salty and crunchy and are also some of the least-bad-for-you chips you can buy! So if you're gonna have a junk food day, grab some "more healthy" junk food!

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At the end of the day, my goal isn't to lose weight, burn fat or slim down. I'm quite comfortable in my skin. I just want to become more active and healthy overall in every aspect of life! I believe this is something we should all strive for!

And now, as a side note: Marlee and You has expanded to the Facebook world! You can check out the page by clicking here, or by using the social media button in the sidebar of my blog! Go take a look!

Do you have any fitness goals for the summer months ahead?

-MJ


5/05/2014

my dream travel destinations


travel destinations | marlee and you

Although I haven't traveled to many places, I absolutely love the traveling experience! I've done a few major trips over the past few years, all of which have changed my life in their own way. I can't wait to start new adventures this summer! Right now, I'm in the planning process to go to Germany for August to take part in a study abroad program! These future plans have got me all excited, so I'm launching my newest content category for my blog: Travel.

For this first post, I'll be sharing my top travel/vacation destinations that I would love to visit some day - take a look!

travel destinations | marlee and you
Konstanz, Germany (source)

Even though I already know I'll be going to Germany this summer, it has always been my dream to travel there. My family background is very German, so learning the language and traveling to see the country itself will be unforgettable! I've never had a specific location preference of where I want to travel in Germany. Just to go there and be in the country will be satisfying enough for me!

travel destinations | marlee and you
Quebec City, Canada (source)

Growing up in Canada, I learned a lot about the Carnival festival in Quebec throughout elementary school. Ever since then, I've wanted to travel to Quebec City and take part in all of the festivities; seeing the ice sculptures, visiting a frozen palace, meeting Bonhomme - the works!


travel destinations | marlee and you
Orlando, USA (source)

Along with Carnival, Disney World was always a destination I dreamed about since I was a child. Even though the whole Disney experience is overrated, I'm still going to go their someday! I love everything Disney and really just need to see it all for myself!

travel destinations | marlee and you
New York City, USA (source)

Next! I love watching movies and chick flicks and somehow the majority of these films end up taking place in none other than New York City! New York has always appealed to me in an artistic way. It's a hustle and bustle place full of life and culture that I want to experience for myself! I want to see a Broadway show, walk through Central Park, stay at the Plaza Hotel and eat some greasy street food! Honestly, who doesn't want to see New York?

travel destinations | marlee and you
Paris, France (source)

And lastly, every French-speaking romantic at heart wants (and needs) to visit Paris at some point in their life! Paris and New York appear to have some similarities in my mind. Some friends of mine who have visited either place comment on how busy, dirty and unwelcoming these cities can be, but I'm more interested in seeing the landmarks and being able to say, "Hey!, I've been there!" I have a passion for French culture and simply have to travel to France someday! Paris is one of those iconic cities that I need to see in my lifetime!

What locations are on your travel bucket list?

-MJ


5/03/2014

pretty hurts: my thoughts on beauty


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I was at a complete loss for words after watching Beyonce's music video for her song "Pretty Hurts." The video footage was so gripping and truly got me thinking about the price women are willing to pay for beauty. Some girls are will go to such painful extremes in order to achieve a look that they consider to be beautiful. It's completely tragic.

I want to address the topic of beauty in a post for you to read because I have and will continue to feature beauty related posts on this blog. I don't want my posts on certain beauty products to be the reason why someone feels pressured to wear makeup or to be concerned about their appearance. I do not want to promote vanity in any way. But, with that being said, I'm still going to promote beauty - true and natural beauty.

I do not wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis (if not ever). I do, however, buy cosmetic products to use to get dolled up and boost my confidence for going out on special occasions. Everything in moderation.

I believe that beauty first starts on the inside. Don't ever feel the need to rely on beauty products or procedures in order to feel what society claims to be "beautiful." Every woman I have ever met has had their own unique and natural look that is undoubtedly gorgeous, and I hope that all women will begin embracing the natural features that have been given to them, instead of trying to cover them up.

Take a minute and check out this music video and feel free to share your comments and opinions below.

"Perfection is the disease of a nation"



Whoever you are, you are beautiful. How do I know that? It's quite simple - we have all been fearfully and wonderfully made.
Don't forget that.

-MJ


5/01/2014

instagram: top 5 accounts to follow


instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you

Happy May! It's truly feeling like spring! Now that my school year is finally complete, I have even more time to spend on social media sites. Instagram is definitely becoming one of my favourites, so I thought I'd share a countdown of my top 5 picks for Instagram accounts to follow!

instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you


5: Paris in Four Months! This account is full of european inspired beauty. Lots of gorgeous shots of nature, buildings and of course, macarons!


instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you

4: Glitter Guide! An account full of all things glitzy, glamorous and girlie! Such a lovely compilation of inspiring photos!


instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you

3: China Glaze! One of my go-to Instagram accounts for nail art/design inspiration! I'm a huge fan of the China Glaze polishes and love the unique colours and textures they come up with!


instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you

2: Zoella! The famous beauty and fashion blogger/vlogger who is incredibly beautiful! I'm always so inspired by her! She has made a career for herself that started off with a blog, which is amazing! I love seeing the photos she posts on Instagram, whether they're shots from everyday life, or from cool events that she attends - I love it all!


instagram accounts to follow | marlee and you

1: Lauren Conrad! I've loved Lauren Conrad for years! Way back during her Laguna Beach and The Hills days! She has always been so stylish. I love seeing Lauren's photos of decor, outfits, LA life and of course, her adorable dogs!

So there you have it! My all-time favourite Instagram accounts! Which accounts are your faves?

-MJ