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VIDEO: How to Stop Existing and Start Living (Existential Bummer)

December 3, 2013

Simple Things

With the holidays coming up it’s an easy time to get overwhelmed and overstressed. Luckily I found a short video online that has really put things in perspective for me…and maybe it can for you too.

Jason Silva (a cute and smart guy!) created a video called “Existential Bummer” which in 2 short months has racked up over 2 million views and is now spreading around the inter-webs like crazy.

It’s an incredibly thoughtful and eye-opening piece that will either leave you really sad, or wake the bejezzus out of you and make you start embracing your life, your loves, and everything in between.

What do you think? Does this make you hug harder, love stronger, and live more?

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5 Fabulous Things

November 29, 2013

Fashion/Beauty, Money, Simple Things

This past week I came across a quote on Facebook that really got me thinking.

It really is true, right? How we spend our time, regardless of how mundane the task, or totally average it seems…when we pile all these things up over the years…they represent our life!

And, if you’re like me and you work a lot, you make your family a priority, and you have a million things going on, it can be REALLY difficult to make sure you fill each and every day with a little joy, a little glamor, and a little spice!

So this week, I’m starting a new regular post on “5 Fabulous Things”.

Here goes!

These super cute Christmas Cards featuring Toronto’s Streetcar

As Canadian’s we often forget that we do have tons of icons. That’s why I’m loving these sparkly and fun, very wintery and super charming cards from Paper E. Clips ($15.99 from Summerhill Floral Boutique)

A week of eating healthy home-cooked meals

I made a big effort to eat super healthy, low fat, high protein, home-cooked food this week. I bought all my fresh food on Monday, and have been coming up with creative ways to cook all week! One of my tastiest treats this week was baked salmon (seasoned with salt and pepper & fresh squeezed lemon), spaghetti squash with truffle oil and parmesan shavings, and arugula salad. Who said eating at home has to be boring?!

Getting lighter highlights

I was a tad bored with my all brown, super dark hair, so this week I got some fancy schmancy highlights to break up the colour a bit. Since I was doing video interviews for work the timing was perfect!

Veuve Clicquot

Yummm. I do love some of the finer things in life, and this was a wonderful treat this week while we celebrated that we sold our condo firm! That means the deal is done, the money is in the bank, and we’re thrilled with our success.

Press Days at Lotus Leaf Communications

I was invited to a press event to check out the latest offerings from Guess, Doc Marten’s (they have baby shoes!), Pamela Lauz Jewelry, Hillberg & Berk Jewelry, to name a few, including Watch It (where I learned that Fossil is the company that makes all the designer watches including Marc Jacobs, Armani Exchange, Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld…interesting, n’est pas?).

This is a broach from Hillberg & Berk that was given as a gift to the Queen of England.

Oh Santa, I need a new watch and like these very much!

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How I made $100,000 last week

November 11, 2013


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This week we passed another great event – the sale of our third investment condo. And as we finish the math on how much we made, we’re nearing the $100,000 mark.

And yes, I’m being totally serious, and no I’m not being braggy. I just want to be honest. In case you’re a girl that’s tired of slugging it out in your day job and scrimping together for your RRSP’s wondering how it’s all going to work out, or if you’ll even have enough money. If that’s you, listen up.

This condo was not technically an investment condo, since we actually lived in the unit for a while, but it was bought with the intention of being an investment.

We bought the unit in 2009 and I wouldn’t exactly say it was easy. I knew investing in condos was a great way to make money…because I’d done it before and made $50,000, but as the date to sign our papers got closer at the showroom in that fall of ’09 it was seeming more and more scary to me. You know, all those naggy, scary, “oh my god, what if I lose everything” kind of thoughts.

And to categorize them properly, I’ll say they are fears…not just thoughts. Thoughts have more logic and reason. Fears are not logical at all, and they prey and amplify your biggest worries.

Pushing through them is hard work.

But, I did.

So, we bought our condo, and pulled together our pennies (literally) for our down payment. Then we waited for the condo to be built. We waited 4 years. And finally it was ready.

When we were about to list the condo I was worried after hearing the news. Things like “Condos won’t sell!”. “The market is crashing”. “There’s WAY too many condos for sale, you’ll end up selling at a loss”. But to quote my buddy Brad Lamb, “When someone gives you Real Estate advice, look at them and see if they’re really rich from Real Estate. If they’re not. Don’t listen”.

It’s true, people will tell you all sorts of horror stories…thinking they’re protecting you. But in my experience, all it does is keep you where you area. And my dreams are too big for that.

So with the sale of the condo this past week I’m thrilled at how this has worked out…after all $100,000 extra can buy a lot of shoes…or trips…or Prada purses!

Of course, after my fantasy thoughts subside I start to think…”Wait a second…what If I put that money into 2 more investments…and make $200,000 next time!?”.

So that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

I will say that I’m happy to invest in condo’s because I’m familiar with the Real Estate Industry. If you’re not, it can be extra scary, and that’s where getting some decent advice comes in handy. And not the fantasy land “every one makes money in real estate” Reality TV shows kind of advice…although I do love them too! No, you need to get educated and learn how to take the leap properly.

And that’s why I’d like to invite you to my friends’ Ryan Coyle and Matt Elkind’s FREE webinar on Condo Investing.

You can sign up here


Celebrating Like The Stars – For Less

August 22, 2013

Money, Simple Things

Ah, the final lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! Well, I’m not so sure about lazy, but crazy is a good way to describe my family’s summer! Between packing and unpacking suitcases for family trips, chauffeuring my kids to play dates, and keeping up with my own hectic work schedule, I barely get any time to relax and unwind.

My girlfriends and I decided that this summer was going to be different, and that we were going to make it a priority to spend more time having fun together. After reading a few articles about how celebrities revel in style, we came up with a few fun ways that we could whoop it up just like the stars! Below I put how the stars are celebrating, and then below what you can do to celebrate celebrity style for less!

Photo Credit: Popstar.com

Celebrity summer: Jet setting to the MTV Music Video Awards
You’re in for a wild night, whether you have a ticket or are tuning in! The famous and fabulous like J. Lo and Lady Gaga flaunt their outrageous style on the red carpet, and nominated performers like Rihanna and One Direction belt out award-winning hits. But the real action happens behind the scenes, and the tabloids will be dishing on all the juicy celebrity gossip for weeks!

Reality summer: Sing Your Heart Out At Karaoke Night!
Host your own music awards show! Rent a karaoke machine, and invite your guests to dress up like their favorite nominated artists and perform award-winning songs. Have everyone vote for the best routines of the evening, and award fantastic prizes, like an iTunes gift card. And don’t forget to check out Pinterest to find music-themed snacks and drinks that will make the evening extra special!

Photo Credit: BlogThingsImages.com

Celebrity summer: Red Carpets & Movie Premieres
Some of the most popular movies of the year are released during the summer months, so movie stars spend the season jetting to exotic locales to attend movie festivals and promote this year’s blockbusters. This summer is no exception. With the release of movies like “The Smurfs”, “Despicable Me 2”, and “Man of Steel”, the stars will be strutting their stuff on the red carpets again this summer!

Reality summer: Family Trip to the Movies
You don’t have to charter a private jet to New York or Los Angeles to enjoy a taste of movie magic! Take your kids to the local movie theater to catch this summer’s most anticipated releases. Who needs to walk the red carpet with Brad Pitt when you can splurge on Twizzlers, popcorn and look silly in 3D glasses with your friends and family?

Photo Credit: Seadream.com

Celebrity summer: Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Anniversary Party
It takes some real celebrity power to shut down Disneyland, also known as one of the world’s most popular destinations, for a private party! But that’s just what Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon did when they decided to renew their vows. Dressed as Cinderella and Prince Charming, the happy couple and their twins made their own dreams come true at this once-in-a-lifetime celebration!

Reality summer: Rent Out a Restaurant for Your Own Anniversary Party!
Celebrate your special day by renting out your favorite restaurant, hall or bar. What better way to commemorate your anniversary than to be surrounded by all of your friends and loved ones? Many venues will offer special menus and drink rates for large parties, so you can really go all out and create a magical night that everyone will remember for many years to come!

Today’s post is a guest post from Arianna Pierce

Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at http://ariannaknowsbest.blogspot.com/!


The Littlest Lunch Date

August 16, 2013

Simple Things

Every Friday my daughter and I run errands, and as a little treat, we go for a lunch date together after.

We usually pick a casual place close to wherever we need to run errands. Once we choose our place we sit down, chose something we can share that will arrive pretty quickly, and then we play with straws or cutlery until our food arrives.

Once we get our food we both take little bites, and I try and feed Sephora until she decides she’s had enough of being fed and gets me to give her the spoon or fork so she can do it on her own.

Then we’ll order a little desert, like strawberries, a fruit bowl, or frozen yogurt.

We also have a coffee date at least once a weekend. We’ll go to Balzac’s where they have a tiny little chair for kids, and she’ll have a croissant or mufffin while I have an Earl Grey Tea latte.

It has become our “bonding time”, and I’m really enjoying the friendship we’re developing.


Stylish & Affordable Outfit for Under $100

August 13, 2013


I love dressing up and looking put together…even to do things like run errands, do some local shopping, or lunch with my daughter. It’s part of my mission to incorporate everyday glamour into my everyday life.

But of course, like every frugal fashionista, I want to watch my pennies while I’m still looking good. My trick is to buy summer dresses and trendy and affordable jewelry every summer, and then mix this with my older more expensive or quality pieces. Most of my outfits cost less than $100…unless I’m wearing a designer purse or really quality piece, which I’ll do for evenings.

Here’s my Monday outfit. I wore this to run errands and go for lunch with my daughter (who was not impressed with me taking a selfie in the changing room). The dress was cotton and really easy to wash and care for, without looking like too much of a comfort piece.

Striped Dress – Old Navy: $30
Jean Jacket – Mavi (7 years old): a gift from a friend
Necklace – Joe Fresh Style: $8
Sandals – Aldo Discount (3 years old): $30
Glasses – Coach (3 years old): I returned a small purse a friend got me and got these instead

Total: $68


The House Is Sold!

July 30, 2013

Money, Simple Things

For 3 years we were living part time in the city, and part time in the country. We had a big gorgeous country house with 2 wood-burning fireplaces and a huge lawn on 21 acres. Our house was surrounded by vineyards, and some of the best wine from Niagara on the Lake was within a 3 minute drive from my house.

In many ways it was heavenly. Quiet days, natural beauty, a wonderful break from our insanely busy city lives. Of course, like every experience, there were good things and bad things about it.

But when we moved there full time, it was a bit too much “country” for me. We lived there full time for one year, and then decided it was time for a change. To be honest, I needed a change. My husband loved it. He loved the peace, the fact we had no neighbours, and our big beautiful house. In many ways it was magical. We had an incredible Christmas last year there. We lit our fireplace, went to church for midnight mass, drank champagne, and opened presents at 2am. It was a beautiful memory, and an amazing first Christmas for our daughter.

But it was the everyday that was too quiet, isolating and lonely for me. I’m a social person, so going to an event is a weekly necessity for me. In the country, there are no events! Ever!

So we put our house on the market. It was a bittersweet moment. We were happy that we made the decision. But also sad that we were closing this chapter of our life…one that my husband loved so much.

But in order to move forward and achieve the life of our dreams, we needed to sell it. And when it sold I was thrilled to be making a step in the right direction.

And just before we went to Greece it sold!


To Die For Fashion

July 25, 2013


If you’re looking for the ultimate in temptation I’ve picked out my very favourite fashion pieces on Pinterest.

I love looking for new styles, different ways to style great pieces I already have, and dreamy “If I had a million dollars” pieces.

I also love that it shows what my real style is…so I won’t get distracted when I go shopping and find something that realistically, I’ll never wear.

Click here to see my Pinterest fashion board.

If you enjoyed this article and know others would too, please share it on Facebook & Twitter (links are below)

And of course, Join our Newsletter to make sure you get regular updates on living a balanced, fulfilling and fabulous life the Cashmere Clutch way! join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj



3 Delicious Chicken Recipes for Healthy Summer Dinners

July 23, 2013

Simple Things

It’s summer, it’s warm and it’s the perfect time to gather friends and enjoy dinner on the patio with some wine, music and laughter.

Here are my 3 favourite chicken recipes that are delicious, diet friendly and easy to make:

Zesty Mexican Chicken Soup

Delicious & Light Chicken with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce

Scrumptious Baked Chicken With Lime & Mustard Sauce



If you enjoyed this article and know others would too, please share it on Facebook & Twitter (links are below)

And of course, Join our Newsletter to make sure you get regular updates on living a balanced, fulfilling and fabulous life the Cashmere Clutch way! join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj


Tell me what you want (what you really, really want)

July 22, 2013

Simple Things

This fall we’ve got some awesome giveaways, contests and events and I want to make sure I’m offering you what you really, really want.

I put together a few questions (it should take you 2 minutes or less) to help me get the right prizes for you. Click here to tell me what you want: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XJRP5B6

If you read my blog post about getting over the baby blues and back on the blogging horse, you’ll know that I’m going to be focusing more of my efforts on this blog as my “passion project”. It makes me happy to think that I’m sharing things with you, that you’re actually interested in.

I would love to think that I could read your mind and just give you what you actually want, but we both know that’s not possible, so I’m asking for you help. Please let me know what you want here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XJRP5B6


P.S. I can only give you what you ask for, so to make sure you have a chance to get some great stuff you would LOVE to get your hands on answer these questions: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XJRP5B6