goodbye 2014!


I can't believe the holiday season has come to an end and tonight I'll be celebrating the start of a new year! That's crazy! So much has happened in 2014! Countless big and small events made this past year one to remember! Some of my most memorable moments being my 20th birthday, finding my first summer job, getting my wisdom teeth out (yes, it was quite the ordeal), connecting with a penpal, going to EUROPE and spending a wonderful Christmas holiday with family and loved ones!

Looking back on this year I feel incredibly blessed. Things did not always go as planned by any means, but I realized that I have some awesome friends and family members that I can count on to be with me during whatever 2015 brings!

Have a safe and happy New Year!
See you on the flip side!
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pinterest challenge: december '14

As this year is coming to a close, I decided to pick some Christmas/winter related pins to try out this month! I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already! The snow didn't last long here, but I'm still hoping for a white Christmas morning - we'll see! Anyway, enough of this chit chat... time to check out my Pinterest recreations for this December!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Recreation (right)

First, I tried my hand at arm-knitting. This concept is totally new to me and I thought it was worth a shot. I've knit a scarf using needles before but it took forever and I never really wanted to make another one because of it. This pin lead me to a video that said I could learn to arm knit an infinity scarf in a half hour, so I was up for the challenge! It truly took no longer than 45 minutes to make and I think it turned out great! The yarn I chose is super soft - I love it! Definitely a success!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Recreation (right)

Next I made a music ornament for my Dad as a Christmas gift. I saw this pin and immediately thought of him, so I tried my own take on recreating it. It's essentially Mod Podge and old Christmas sheet music. I chose to use Silent Night because that's one of our favourite songs. I also used a rub-off "E" for a monogrammed look.

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Recreation (right)

Lastly, a Christmas card! This year I made so many gifts that I ran out of time to make as many cards as I had hoped. I found so many great pins to try, but this was really the only one I made! I think it turned out well! I already had green buttons on hand, and although they're a little too bright-green and not varying much in size, I think the effect is still there!

Have you been inspired by Pinterest Christmas DIY's this year?

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Christmas gift wrap inspiration


I consider myself to be artsy in many different ways. The majority of Christmas gifts I give consist of some sort of DIY element - including the wrapping! This year I was inspired by an idea I saw on Pinterest (here). Picture brown paper wrapping, names written in gold sharpie, and a nice red bow to tie it all together! Genius!

I went for a red and gold theme for all of my wrapping this year. I'm not finished shopping or wrapping all of my gifts, but I'll give you a sneak peak of the finished presents I have so far this year! (right)

My favourite feature of this year's gift wrapping is the eco-friendliness! I re-used the brown paper that served as stuffing from a package shipped to me. Not only am I re-using (and it looks great), but this paper can be recycled after the gifts are opened! Bonus!

I know the wrapping isn't the most important part of the gift itself, but I think the effort and thought can make any present become even more special!

Also, if you're looking for a last minute gift-exchange item for any upcoming parties, I found some really cool treasures at Winners this year!  I got a mug that's shaped like a pig, a pug poncho and a festive-scented Yankee Candle! Pair those things up with some Christmas chocolate and you've got a hit!

Are you almost done your Christmas shopping!?

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student goals for winter break

winter goals | marlee and you

Now that I'm stress-free and examless I'm so ready for the Christmas season and all the festivities that comes along with it! We have our REAL Christmas tree up (it smells amazing) and the house is all decked out! Now that I'm able to breath and sleep easy, I'm enjoying my winter break and have a lot of exciting things on the go! I made a list of my own personal goals for this break that I think most students could benefit from...

You're done! You did it! You made it through another semester! Make sure you do your favourite recreational and relaxing activities! I love doing face masks and reading magazines. Have a girls' night, bake Christmas cookies, sleep in! Do a lot of sleeping in! No one can make you feel guilty for having some me-time after you worked hard all term!

2. Read Ahead
Reading for school can be relaxing when you don't have a whole bunch of other projects on the go. I take a lot of English classes where I have multiple novels to read. I'm definitely going to be sitting by the fire with the Christmas tree lights on, reading some novels for next term!

3. Re-Write Notes
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I go back and look at my notes from class, I have a hard time remembering exactly what I was trying to say. While the classes are still fresh in your memory, go back and spruce up notes for your full year classes! You'll thank yourself later! All you're sacrificing now is an afternoon or two!

4. Resume
The most opportune time to apply for summer jobs always ends up being when school gets busiest in the new year! I'm going to be re-vamping my resume this winter break so I'm ahead of the game and ready to go when application season begins!

5. Relationships
Sometimes I get so incredibly busy that my tentative coffee date with a friend gets pushed off to a time where I can actually swing it with all the school things I have on the go. I currently have two coffee dates, an all-nighter games night, a girls' night and a family baking afternoon to plan!Time to catch up with family and friends!

Do You have any goals for the break?
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pinterest challenge: november '14

Another month has gone by, which means it's time for another installment of my Pinterest Challenge! Every month I choose three pins to try and share my attempts here on my blog! The untimate goal of this Pinterest Challenge is to inspire you to actually try out those pins that you have so many of but have never tried! Check out what I've been up to this November...

Original Pin (left), My Attempt (left)

First off is a cooking recipe! My latest attempt at cooking came from this recipe I pinned to my food board a while ago and finally got the guts to try! It's baked honey garlic chicken that uses Panko bread crumbs. This recipe required a bit of multitasking but turned out great! I'm not quite sure why my version turned out to be a much darker brown than the picture on Pinterest, but my theory is that I used more soy sauce or something? Either way, this tasted delicious and I definitely recommend you try this one out!

Original Pin (left), My Version (right)

Next I chose a pin from my new Christmas themed board! It's time to start getting in the Christmas spirit and I thought this simple DIY would be the perfect not-very-time-consuming way to add a little winter wonderland vibe to my bedroom! These paper snowflakes can be made using coffee filters, which I thought was a great idea because they're already in the perfect round shape! Coffee filters are rather fragile though, so that's my only warning.


Lastly, here is a pin that I actually haven't done this month, but figured it would be appropriate to share to give you all some fitness motivation for the month ahead! My friend pinned this workout schedule the other day and I'm going to do my best to stick with it all December! Print this off, post it on your bedroom or workout room wall and get in shape this holiday season!

What pins have inspired you lately?

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my 2015 agenda and planner

I find each year I'm in university I become more organized! I think the more organized I have things, the less likely I am to get overwhelmed and stressed - makes sense. I just picked up a new agenda and planner from my local Coles book store and I don't regret this purchase in the slightest! I feel more organized already (if that's even possible!)

My favourite features are the full month calendars at the front of the book, the event stickers, and the box to fill in weekly to-do's. An extra bonus is the perforated shopping and to-do lists at the back that I can rip out and bring with me when I go out, or pin on my bulletin board as a visual reminder for things!

I'm definitely taking a lot more care in keeping up with my weekly schedules! This agenda is the perfect aid. I've got multiple lists of things I'd like to get done over the winter break, and now I have it all laid out in my pretty little book! So convenient! You can purchase the same one here, or check out your own local book stores!

Do you keep an agenda or pin up a calendar each month?

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november playlist: favourite Christmas tunes

november playlist | marlee and you
Well, there's a heap of white stuff on the ground out there, so I guess you could say winter came early here in Canada! We've had snow for almost a week now! Looking forward to my winter break, there's nothing I'm more excited for than CHRISTMAS!!

Whenever I take a study or work break, I'm playing my favourite Christmas tunes to get me in the spirit. It was a difficult task, but I've pared down my favourite songs to make a "top five" to share with you!

1. That's Christmas To Me - Pentatonix
2. It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Michael Buble
3. Mary's Boy Child - Glee
4. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
5. Baby It's Cold Outside - Elf soundtrack

It's quite the random compilation, from jazz to pop to tropical beats, these songs cover a wide range of stylings! 

What's your favourite Christmas song to get you feeling festive?

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I don't know what your current Facebook situation is like, but I'll give you a little insight to what I've been seeing in abundance on my Facebook feed lately: engagements and weddings. Something you may not have known about me is that I volunteer twice a year at the local bridal expos in town, modelling wedding dresses in a fashion show. Through these experiences, I've gathered stacks of wedding magazines and even considered becoming a professional wedding planner. I'd say I'm pretty in the loop with the whole celebration aspect of weddings.

Sometimes it can be hard, being a girl in her twenties, seeing everyone getting married and feeling as though you're being left out. Like I said, you may not be experiencing the bombardment of new engagement photos and announcements that I am, but I'm sure even watching chick flicks and seeing wedding-themed TV shows makes you feel a little impatient for your own big day.

I stumbled across a quote on Pinterest the other day, and thought it was the most perfect advice and tidbit of knowledge I wish every twenty-something girl pondered right now: "You can't rush something that you want to last forever."

Think about it, if you're so eager to get married just to have the big wedding and party, then you're not ready to be married. If you've ever been in a long term relationship, you'd know that dating and being with someone takes work. Marriage takes even more work. Sure, making use of your wedding Pinterest board and getting to throw a big celebration would be nice, but that's not the most constructive attitude to have.

Don't worry about how other people's lives are progressing right now - focus on yourself! Don't rush into anything hoping for it to last forever. If it's meant to be, it will happen in time (just maybe not as soon as you'd like).

Personally, I'm taking this time of my multiple friends' future weddings to be happy for them and excited about their futures!

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recent favourites

favourites | marlee and you

I've been trying out a few new beauty products lately and I wanted to share my first impressions with you! I've picked them up over a few shopping trips and I've been using them for a few weeks now, so I'd say it's safe to say whether or not they're any good...

1. Tea Tree Oil from The Body Shop
I bought this item because I wanted to experiment with using oils during my skincare routine. I know tea tree oil is great for troublesome spots on your face (which I get quite often). I've been using this oil at night because it's not my favourite scent and I wouldn't want to smell it all day on my face. I definitely think it's been working effectively for me, so it's a keeper!

2. Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter from LUSH
This product has been on my Lush-wishlist for a while now. My hands are extra dry now with the seasons changing and I wanted a product I can bring in my backpack to school to use throughout the day. I use cuticle oil at home before bed, but I wouldn't want my fingers slimy when I'm on-the-go, so this cuticle butter is great! A little goes a long way, so I've put a bit into a smaller container so I don't even need to bring the whole pot with me. It's also great for any dry spot of skin - you can try it on your heels or elbows! There are many possibilities.

3. Triple Layer Tinted Balm from Mary Kay
I don't usually wear dramatic colours on my lips, so this tinted balm is perfect for me! I got it in the shade "Pink Again" and I love the subtleness of it. It smells good and is also rather hydrating for my lips. It's a good product to keep in my wristlet whenever I go out!

4. Dry Shampoo by Batiste
I've tried other dry shampoos, but haven't been a huge fan, because I have dark hair and it makes me look grey. I think the hint of colour in this Batiste shampoo for dark and deep brown hair is genius. Yes, everyone has been raving about the Batiste line, and I totally see why! It's the perfect pick-me-up for your day two hair!

What beauty products have you been loving lately?

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halloween happenings

halloween | marlee and you

As Halloweekend comes to an end, I thought I'd share what I was up to the past few days. I'm sure you all had your fill of chocolate and goodies - I know I sure did! Growing up, my family never really acknowledged Halloween, and it's only been a few years now where I've taken part in certain traditions. My favourite part of all (being the artsy person that I am) is the pumpkin carving!!

halloween | marlee and you

My boyfriend Cory's family always does pumpkins together, going to a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect ones. This year I ended up carving two pumpkins: and average sized pumpkin, and a giant "Starry Starry Night" pumpkin. I think both were a success.

halloween | marlee and you

As far as costumes went, Cory and I dressed up as the classic 90's duo, Garth and Wayne from Wayne's World! I think we pulled this look off pretty well, although it was super weird seeing Cory with a mullet all night!

I'm currently at that state where I've eaten so much chocolate in the last three days that my tongue is starting to hurt... I think this is a sign. Time to revisit my healthy living Pinterest board and start making an effort to be more active and eat better! (Isn't that how it always works this time of year?)

Did you dress up this Halloween?

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pinterest challenge: october '14

Looking back, it feels like October has just flown by! I can't believe it's already time for another monthly installment of my Pinterest Challenge! Every month I find three things on my Pinterest boards to recreate and share with you. I always look forward to picking new pins to try, because I think many people are the pin and forget type. Check out what I did this month!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (top), My Recreation (bottom)

First off, I did a nail art design! I have an entire Pinterest board specifically for nail art. I'm always looking for new inspiration and designs to try. This one was super easy - all you need is a dotting tool (or end of a bobby pin) to create ombre dots on a white base. My dotting tools are apparently smaller than the one used in the original pin, but I really like how my design turned out!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Version (right)

I also tried out a little craft pin to make button push pins! How cute! I have an inspiration board in my room (full of quotes and photos) so these push pins made the perfect addition. All you need is flat thumb tacks and buttons that are larger than the thumb tack surface. I used a superglue adhesive and it worked great! These pins could also make a cute gift! P.S. Thanks to my penpal Kelly for the beautiful quote on my inspiration board!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Attempt (right)

Lastly, I made a recipe from my beverages board.I didn't have all of the proper ingradients tha this recipe called for, but I substituted and used whatever I had on hand and my drink turned out great! Pretty soon iced beverages will be a little too chilly to enjoy - it's getting cold outside!

So there you have it! My three pin picks for the month of October! I can't believe I'll only be doing two more of these before the year is done! Holy moly! Now it's time to go get ready for Halloween!

What are you favourite types of Pinterest pins?

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just a spoonful of sugar

mary poppins | marlee and you

It's midterm season at school (and it has been for a while). Of course, with midterms, papers, tests and every other kind of evaluation, the first word, thought and feeling that just barges into your life is stress. It's this time of year where I find inspiration in one of my favourite childhood movies: Mary Poppins. I'm adding a particular quote from this film to my inspiration board, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."

Just ponder this thought for a moment. Technically, it's our own choice if we want to enjoy doing anything we do. We can find a way to motivate ourselves and have fun while doing the most mundane or stressful tasks!

If you've got household chores to do, blast some pump-up music while doing it. If you have essays to write, reward yourself with candy or by watching a Youtube video after each page you write. If you're studying for a test, don't go it alone - study with friends! Your friends can help keep you on task and can also bring to light certain concepts that you would've have thought were important!

There are so many ways to find joy in everyday, stressful, midterm related tasks (you just have to find a way that works for you!)

How do you stay motivated during midterm season?

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thankfulness | marlee and you

October 13th was the Canadian Thanksgiving Monday. I love the fall season - the colours, the crisp air, the fresh apples to eat... but most of all, I love Thanksgiving. Although the holiday commemorates historical events, it has turned into a bit of an excuse to be glutenous. I'm not going to get too serious about that topic (it's a discussion all on its own), but I found this year at my family gatherings, there was truly lots to be thankful for, besides the giant meal we devoured!

I know every family has its struggles and hardships, but this past year was especially challenging in some ways for us. Last Thanksgiving we found out my 20-year-old cousin had cancer. This was a huge shock to us and the winter was full of surgeries, hospital trips and healing. We found out in April that he was cancer free - a victory my whole family shared! For my cousin's health, I am thankful.

We were reunited with some distant family members this year after the passing of my great aunt. At her funeral, we were able to share stories, learn more about where we come from and grieve together. Our Thanksgiving dinner was held at my great aunt's son's place. It's truly awesome being able to get to know these family members after all these years. For being reunited with long-lost family, I am thankful.

Lastly, one of my cousins had avoided contact with any of our family members for a number of years. At our thanksgiving dinner, my aunt announced that she and her son are now talking and getting together. By Christmas, I'm sure he and his wife and child will be joining us for our celebrations. For future family healing, I am thankful.

I know this isn't the most upbeat post you'll read here on my blog, but I think it's important to share the latest and greatest news in my life. I am so thankful for family and the relationships I have with my relatives. Although this past year wasn't very easy, we all made it through together and were able to celebrate a year of blessings with one another.

What are you most thankful for right now?

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style crush: lauren conrad

lauren conrad | marlee and you

Now that fall is underway, I turn to one of my favourite style icons for some outfit layering inspiration. I've always been a huge fan of Lauren Conrad and I think everyone can agree that she has amazing style! Her street-style day-to-day look is always so effortless. Lauren is definitely one of my style crushes.

I picked a few of my favourite layered looks to share with you below. Scarves, blazers casual jeans, simple hairstyles... you can't help but be inspired!

lauren conrad | marlee and you
Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4

I've always loved Lauren's versatility in her outfits. She can rock a formal skirt, ripped jeans and a glitzy purse and always look comfortable and glamorous. I especially love her use of neutral and not over-the-top colours. Somehow she manages to achieve simple yet thoughtful ensembles, which I love!

Who is your current fall style crush?

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perfect nail polish colours for fall

fall nail polish | marlee and you

Fall is a great season to go deep, dark and dramatic on the nails! I picked out my top four favourite polish colours that I'll be rocking this fall! Check out my polish-picks below!

fall nail polish | marlee and you

1. O.P.I. - Goldeneye, a great sparkle polish to use for an accent nail, or over top of a dark polish.

2. Maybelline Color Show - Taupe On Trend, the perfect warm and earthy colour to match your fall wardrobe.

3. Avon - Night Violet, a dramatic dark purple. I love deep polishes that look almost black, but have a hint of another colour!

4. Essie - Aruba Blue, a bold dark blue to add a bit of flare

And there you have it! Four picks from various brands in different fall colours. I hope these polishes inspire you and your future fall manis! I know I'll be starting my fall look with the Maybelline colour first!

What's your favourite fall colour this year?

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pantene pro-v BB creme

Pantene recently came out with a BB cream product line for hair! I was given these three products to try thanks to the website called Buzz Agent. I've completely switched my hair-care routine for the past 3 weeks to use these products and see what sort of results would occur.

pantene pro-v | marlee and you

My first impression was a good one! I always judge a hair product by smell as soon as I try it. It's difficult to describe scents, but I'd say these products all smell very fresh and feminine.

The BB creme is a 10-in-one hair perfector that claims to:
- repair rough hair
- provide strength against damage
- give hair silky softness
- add brilliant shine
- smooth hair
- moisturize
- control frizz
- protect against heat
- give hair managability
- tame fly-aways
I find that this list is a bit of a stretch because most of the points could be combined to be the same thing. I didn't find this product to help much with protecting against heat or taming fly-aways.

My hair was in pretty rough shape when I started using these products. I hadn't cut my hair in about 6 months, so my ends were damaged and my hair was dry and hard to work with. I noticed some major differences with the texture of my hair after using these products. My hair felt softer and didn't get dry when I styled it. I always applied the BB creme after towel-drying my wet hair and I think the one product made all the difference!

I'd definitely recommend all three of these products, however, I think you could totally just try the BB creme and stick with your regular shampoo-conditioner combo to get the same results!

Would you try this beauty balm on your hair?

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pinterest challenge: september '14

I had started my own Pinterest challenge a few months back and have decided to bring it back to life! My Pinterest challenge is an attempt to actually do the pins that I pin on my boards and share the results with you! Each month I'll choose three ideas, recipes or DIYs that I've pinned and brought to life. Check out what I was up to this month!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Re-creation (right)

Everyone knows that Pinterest is full of amazing recipes. I decided to try out a dessert-for-one salted caramel mug cake! The recipe looked straight forward enough. The only ingredient I didn't already have was caramels, and I didn't mind buying those... my sweet tooth was calling. I think this recipe turned out great! One minor thing was that the top half of the cake was rather dry and the bottom of the mug cake was almost too moist. It tasted great when I mixed it all up though - no complaints!

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin (left), My Attempt (right)

The next pin I tried was a DIY beach wave spray. This was a recipe to make a texturizing spray to spritz over your damp hair to make it get natural beachy waves/texture. My version, however, did not turn out. One of the ingredients for this recipe was coconut oil. Coconut oil comes in a solid form and typically melts upon contact with skin or under low heat. Even though I mixed the ingredients together after it was melted like the recipe said to, the coconut oil solidified in the bottle. I'm a bit disappointed with this one, but not all pins will be winners.

pinterest challenge | marlee and you
Original Pin

Lastly I have a workout pin for arm-day! This one has been a favourite of mine all month! The photo here is just two of the five moves to try. What I like about this pin is that you can choose which weights to use and for how many reps and repeats. I've been using 5lb weights and doing sets of ten for each move. By the end my arms are like noodles. I'd definitely recommend trying this arm workout!

What have you been loving on Pinterest lately?

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