Sunday, April 30, 2017

Instagram Lately

I started my Instagram account last September, and I really enjoy the social network. I now spend much more time browsing Instagram than browsing Facebook. Besides my own activity and the pictures that I share on Instagram, I also find a lot on inspiration on different profiles and hashtags. During the first two months since I started my Instagram account, September and October, I wrote a few stories inspired by Instagram and I shared some of my favorite Insta moments.

For today's story I thought to do the same -- I would like to share the top 10 photos my followers loved the most on my Instagram account lately. I didn't have as a strong presence on Instagram over the last few months as I had in the first two months, so the photos captured in this story are among my Instagram photos taken within the last 6 months, since November up until now.
This is the most liked photo not only within he last 6 months, but also throughout my entire activity on Instagram so far. Two treats that I picked up from Winners when I went for a mini-shopping during one of my lunch hours at work -- macarons and a book about Laduree macarons (and other Parisian chic things).
My cat Niles, he's adorable!
My collection of mini-perfumes from my current perfume sampler. One of them will turn into a full-size bottle of perfume. I am yet to decide which of them I like the most and which of them will turn into the regular size perfume.
The mini-perfumes are:
- Signorina by Salvatore Ferragamo
- Chloé by Chloé
- Angel Muse by Thierry Mugler
- La Nuit Tresor by Lancome
- L'Eau d'Issey Pure by Issey Miyake
- Eros pour Femme by Versace
- Si by Giorgio Armani
Coffee and writing -- my favorite way to start a Saturday morning on a cozy weekend at home
A typical winter day in Canada, February 2017
You know you're a writer when you keep buying new notebooks, even if you already have half a dozen of them in your home office, but you can't help but buy more, just in case 😊
I took this photo on January 1st 2017 -- it was a particularly bright and sunny day, a perfect day to start a new year
One of my favorite purses (a tote bag in fact), a Villa Valise bag, created by a local designer whom I met in Toronto in 2015, I love the vintage inspired design of it. And a few more beauty items and accessories. 😊
My absolutely favorite shoes -- Manolo Blahnik Something Blue Satin pumps, worn by Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City". Last two times when I wore them were for the New Year's Eve party, and then a few days later for a dinner out with my husband.
My Valentine flowers, 😊 February 14th 2017
Photo credit: Victoria West

Monday, April 24, 2017

Unboxing – Topbox Beauty Box, April

Time to unbox another monthly beauty box! This time my monthly box celebrates Earth Day on April 22nd and the Earth Month during the entire month of April, so my beauty package from this month came in a beautiful little green organza satchel which is recyclable and can be reused for other beauty purposes, like keeping jewelry or as a package for a small gift. My month beauty box from April had a dry shampoo, a lip pencil, a lipstick, a face cream, two cream samples, a face mask sample and a coupon.
Photo credit: Victoria West
Jing Ai -- Velvet Shine Lip Jewel, lipstick pencil
Velvet Shine Lip Jewel lipstick pencil gives your lips a powerful dose of highly pigmented long lasting color. The formula is infused with 100% natural macadamia seed oil, shea butter and jojoba seed oil. This paraben free formula keeps your lips looking glamorous throughout the day with beautiful hydration and a sexy pout that you will love. No sharpening ever needed, just twist the lip crayon to advance the tip.
2.7 g, $22, available at

Cake -- the "Do Gooder Volumizing" dry shampoo spray
Spray generously into hair in sections, concentrating on scalp and roots. Lightly brush through. Sweet tip: use as a quick fix during the day or on freshly washed hair to add volume.
50 ml, available at Shoppers Drug Mart,,

LARITZY Cosmetics -- lip pencil
This creamy lip pencil can be worn alone or under your favorite lip gloss or lipstick for long-lasting color.
 $18, available at

Marcelle -- New Age 3-in-1 Lumi Power face cream
An invigorating multi-action gel cream, anti-aging + anti-fatigue that smooths and hydrates skin with its Radiance+ HA complex, making skin visibly brighter and more radiant. Perfect product for women with active lifestyle (that's me!).
7 ml, available at London Drugs.

Other items -- two L'Oreal cream samples, a Garnier face mask sample, a coupon for Laritzy cosmetics.

Can't wait to try them out! The Jing Ai lipstick looks particularly interesting and attractive. 😊 But I'm also curious about the Garnier face mask and the Cake dry shampoo.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cele mai recente cumparaturi – Shopping Lately

Weekendul acesta este un weekend linistit pentru mine pe care il petrec acasa impreuna cu familia mea. Azi fiind sambata, am chef sa scriu despre un subiect lejer si frivol, si anume despre cumparaturile pe care le-am facut recent – produse cosmetice si de frumusete, carti, birotica si papetarie fina.

Sa incep cu produsele de frumusete si ingrijire.
Sampon L'Oréal, servetele umede demachiante
Sampon L'Oréal pentru par lung si fin si servetele umede demachiante. In cazul ambelor produse este prima oara cand le folosesc, ambele sunt grozave si mi-au placut foarte mult. Samponul l-am luat din massmarket, servetelele de la Winners.
Sampon si balsam Herbal Essences
Sampon si balsam pentru par Herbal Essences cu ulei de argan -- sunt grozave! Le-am luat de asemenea din massmarket, si le folosesc in prezent. De obicei imi place sa cumpar produse pentru par cu ulei de argan de la Winners/HomeSense/Marshalls, dar se gasesc si in supermarketuri. Cand am luat acest set de sampon si balsam Herbal Essences, ma grabeam, nu aveam timp sa ajung la Winners sau HomeSense, si le-am luat pe acestea de la supermarket cand am facut cumparaturile mele saptamanale. Sunt foarte "spornice", nu trebuie sa folosesc prea mult produs la o utilizare, ci cam jumatate din cantitatea pe care o foloseam in cazul altor sampoane. Parul meu fiind foarte high maintenance, consum produsele pentru par cu nemiluita, un sampon sau un balsam ma tine 1-2 saptamani, si produsele pentru par sunt categoria de produse pe care le cumpar cel mai des, pentru ca le consum cel mai mult.
Gel de dus SoftSoap, detangler pentru par L'Oréal, masca de par L'Oréal
Gel de dus cu miere si levantica SoftSoap, detangler pentru par L'Oréal, masca de par L'Oréal -- si aceste produse sunt din massmarket, dar toate sunt grozave! Gelul de dus are o aroma intensa de miere, il folosesc in prezent, dar il folosesc si pentru Alex cand ii fac baie si ii fac multa spuma in cada.

Detanglerul L'Oréal este deocamdata neinceput. Am mai avut un astfel de detangler in trecut, este foarte bun si mi-a placut mult, asa ca l-am luat a doua oara. Atunci cand l-am luat, sa fie cateva saptamani, inca mai foloseam descalcitorul meu precedent, care era pe terminate, si ma gandeam ca ar trebui sa-mi iau unul nou, sa nu raman cu parul descoperit fara descalcitor, si l-am luat pe acesta L'Oréal de la Shoppers Drug Mart, ca stiam ca e bun din experienta mea precedenta. De fapt, de data asta voiam sa cumpar un alt descalcitor, de la Pantene, ca stiam de existenta acestuia, si ma gandeam ca mi-ar fi placut sa incerc un produs nou. Dar nu am gasit acel descalcitor Pantene pe raft la Shoppers Drug Mart in ziua respectiva, nu era disponibil, si bineinteles ca n-am avut rabdare sa revin sa-l caut intr-o alta zi cand va fi fost pe stoc, asa ca l-am luat pe acesta de la L'Oréal, din nou. Nu cu mult timp in urma i-am facut un mini-review cand am scris cel mai recent articol despre produsele consumate, daca vreti sa stiti mai multe despre acest detangler pentru par L'Oréal. Intre timp am trecut pe la salon pentru o coafura noua, mi-am facut coafura frantuzeasca, am parul mult mai scurt acum si deocamdata parul meu nu are nevoie de descalcitor, ma descurc doar cu celelalte produse pentru par (sampon, balsam, masca). Momentan nu folosesc acest detangler, asa ca il tin in baie si o sa incep sa-l folosesc in cateva luni cand parul meu va creste iar si va deveni din nou high maintenance -- creste foarte repede. Pana si detanglerul meu precedent nu s-a terminat, mai am un pic pe fundul sticlei, l-am parcat in baie si am incetat sa-l folosesc atunci cand mi-am facut noua coafura frantuzeasca, acum doua saptamani. Il voi folosi din nou cand parul meu va mai creste si voi avea nevoie din nou de un descalcitor pentru par.

Masca de par L'Oréal -- un alt produs grozav pentru ingrijirea parului, care imi place foarte mult, o folosesc o data pe saptamana.
Sampoane Dove, deodorant stick Dove, rimel Rimmel London, gel de dus Ivory
Doua sampoane Dove pentru volum, deodorant stick cu castravete Dove, rimel Rimmel London, gel de dus Ivory cu nuferi. Sampoane Dove pentru volum -- in general imi plac sampoanele Dove, sunt de buna calitate, le-am folosit de multe ori, diferite arome. Mi-am luat doua de data aceasta, ca sa nu trebuiasca sa ma gandesc la sampon pentru urmatoarele cateva saptamani, avand in vedere ca ma spal pe cap in fiecare zi si consum sampoanele atat de repede. Inca n-am inceput sa folosesc nici unul din ele, momentan ma spal cu samponul Herbal Essences cu ulei de argan despre care spuneam mai sus.

Deodorant stick Dove cu castravete -- este un prieten vechi de-al meu, are o aroma proaspata de castravete, l-am folosit de multe ori in trecut, l-am mai luat o data.

Rimel Rimmel London -- il folosesc in prezent, e destul de ok.

Gel de dus Ivory cu nuferi -- Ivory este o gama de produse de ingrijire pe care o folosesc des, imi plac mai ales gelurile lor de dus. Am folosit pana acum diverse arome, de data aceasta am ales-o pe cea cu nuferi. Inca n-am inceput sa-l folosesc, avand in vedere ca mai am in baie gelul de dus SoftSoap cu miere despre care spuneam mai sus. Nu-mi place sa folosesc doua geluri de dus in acelasi timp, ca sa nu aglomerez baia, ci prefer sa il termin pe cel curent dupa care sa trec la urmatorul.
Cute stationery...
Carnete, agende si jurnale -- am o slabiciune pentru produsele de papetarie fina, cum ar fi aceste carnete si agende colorate, pe care le-am luat de Winners si HomeSense. Unele dintre ele le folosesc in prezent si am inceput sa le scriu, altele inca sunt noi. I'm obsessed with cute stationery. 😊 Primele doua, cele cu ananas pe coperta, sunt cele mai groase jurnale pe care le-am gasit vreodata in magazine, si de aceea le-am ales de pe raft, pentru ca stiam ca o sa ma tina mult timp. Primul, cel verde cu un ananas, are 192 file (dublu fata de marimea standard pentru jurnale); iar cel de-al doilea, roz, cu multi ananasi, are 224 file (mai mult decat dublu fata de marimea standard). Sa nu credeti ca am numarat filele -- nope 😊 (ar fi o nebunie, nu-i asa?), ci am eu o formula prin care sa calculez numarul filelor unei agende sau unui carnet, daca numarul filelor nu este indicat pe coperta. Cand cumpar astfel de carnete si agende, unele din ele au numarul filelor indicat pe coperta, altele nu, si stiu eu cum sa-l calculez daca vreau sa stiu cat de voluminos este carnetul.
"Parisian Chic" by Ines de la Fressange
Si in sfarst, ultimul item din articolul de astazi, o carte de tip coffee table book cu care mi-am imbogatit biblioteca mea de moda -- Parisian Chic de Ines de la Fressange, am gasit-o intr-un anticariat. Cartea e scrisa sub forma unui bullet journal, si contine idei si sfaturi despre cum sa duci o viata chic la Paris (obviously...).

Haine nu mi-am cumparat deocamdata in acest an, ca ma aflu intr-un shopping dry spell si nu cumpar haine, avand in vedere ca deja am dulapul burdusit cu haine, mai astept pana imi vine cheful sau inspiratia sa merg la mall din nou.

Voi ce cumparaturi ati mai facut in ultimul timp? 😊

Sa aveti un weekend frumos!

Photo credit: Victoria West

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Unboxing – Topbox Beauty Box, March

Time for another monthly beauty box! Today I am unboxing my Topbox monthly beauty box for March. I should have published this story weeks ago while it was still March and not let it slip into April, but well, my attention has been elsewhere for the last few weeks, so it's only today that I got the chance to write about my beauty box from March.

So, here it is. :)
Dove conditioner, 30 ml

Dove shampoo, 30 ml

Dove hair oil, 9 ml

L’Oréal Professionnel Fix Anti-Frizz hairspray
Use on dry hair at a distance (15-30 cm) away from head to achieve best results. Keep your hand in constant movement when applying.
75 ml, available at

Cake Beauty Desserted Island supreme body mousse
A richly whipped body lotion with extreme hydrators that leave skin lightly scented and highly moisturized.
30 ml, available at

Ciaté London nail lacquer
The formula is amazingly pigmented, long lasting and available in a range of finishes whilst formulated to be easy to apply.
13.5 ml, $15, available at

Eyeko London Eye Do liquid eyeliner
Intense single stroke waterproof carbon black colour. Easy-to-use precision tip creates the perfect line to subtly accentuate the eye or create a dramatic cat eye. Glides on over eye shadow and stays on even on the waterline.
1.2 ml, $28.65, available at

The box also had a couple of coupons that I may decide to use to take advantage of Topbox offers.

I have already tried some of these products, and I loved them -- the Dove shampoo, the Dove conditioner, and the Eyeko eyeliner, they are really great. I haven't tried the other ones yet, but I'll make time to test them soon.

Photo credit: Victoria West

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter / Paste Fericit!

This year the Western and Eastern christian world celebrate Easter on the same day, like it happens once every few years. I am at home today, as my long weekend for the Easter holidays has just started. I'll start cooking for Easter soon, and among the dishes that will grace my Easter dinner this year will be the traditional lamb and my renowned cabbage rolls. And of course, red eggs.

I would like to wish a wonderful holiday season to all those who celebrate Easter this coming Sunday.

Happy Easter!


In acest an crestinii din Vest si din Est, adica cei catolici si cei ortodoxi, sarbatoresc Pastele in aceeasi duminica. Astazi sunt acasa, caci in Canada weekendul lung cu ocazia sarbatorilor pascale incepe in Vinerea Mare. Voi incepe pregatirile pentru ziua de Paste cat de curand, iar printre bucatele traditionale care se vor gasi pe masa mea de Paste in acest an vor fi friptura de miel, sarmalele mele celebre care au reputatia celor mai bune sarmale din Toronto, si bineinteles, oua rosii. Eu si familia mea vom petrece sarbatorile pascale acasa in acest an.

Sarbatori fericite tuturor celor care celebreaza Pastele in acest weekend!

Saturday, April 01, 2017

A Workout Training Session at F45, the New Fitness Club in Yorkville, Toronto

Last week I had a very interesting experience – I was invited to try out a training session at a new fitness club, F45, located in Yorkville, at 110 Bloor Street West in Toronto. F45 has its very own style of training, combining elements of conventional weight training and cardio with functional movements in a high-intensity interval workout all done in 45 minutes. Research has shown that this type of training is more effective burning fat for 15 minutes a few times a week, compared to running on a treadmill for 45 minutes.

I accepted the invitation, so I went there last Monday. The invitation said showers on-site, just bring a towel and your workout clothes. The club offers classes of 45 minutes with a pre-established schedule, so I chose a class at noon, 12 to 12.45 PM. The invitation also said that I could go with a friend, but I ended up going by myself, and then I met my friend downtown at a restaurant on Bloor Street West for a lunch later on, after the workout class.

The class that I took was attended by 15 or so people who looked like the club’s regulars. Everybody was in a great shape, and it was clear to me that F45 was an active part of their lives. I met the trainers – Vanessa and John. The class consisted of a set of about 6 different exercises, and we worked out the entire class in small groups of three people, taking turns at each station for the next exercise, different type. Each exercise was one minute long, then a break of 30 seconds, then onto the next exercise, until we completed the whole round, three rounds in 45 minutes. The trainers guided us throughout the entire session.

I grouped with two other girls who seemed to be friends and who totally were the club’s regulars, and boy, were they fit. They were very comfortable and at ease with all those exercises, considering that each exercise was different. I have been a very lazy gym goer lately, last time I went to gym sometime last December, for a swimming session. So when I went to try this session at F45, I kind of had to pick it up from where I had left it last time, and it wasn’t easy for me. I barely could keep up with my partners, they were way ahead of me at each of those exercises. It was funny how I made a discordant note with everybody else in there, because I was the new bee, and everybody else was so accustomed with this training. And the training itself, I found, was not easy, it clearly requires hard work, patience and focus to yield good results. The exercises were intense and challenging. Sometimes I just couldn’t do it the way it was supposed to be done, at its full capacity, so I did as much as I could. I wish I could say that I am a gym rat, but I’m not. I am a (lazy) gym goer, but not a gym rat. These guys at F45 are true gym rats, and I am saying that not as an offence or sarcasm, but as the sincerest compliment and in the best way possible – I was amazed how fit and in such a great shape all of them were. The only kind of rat that I have ever been was the library rat and the office rat, and I’m still far away from calling myself a true gym rat.

I felt good after that session, and I actually enjoyed this class. It felt good to move my muscles a bit, since I hadn’t been very active in a few months. I had a bit of a muscle pain the following days, which I consider to be a good thing, because it burns out the fat and the dead cells from your body. F45 also offers a 2-week free pass to those who want to try it out before committing to a longer term relationship with the club – visit for more information.

While researching the club, I found that F45 comes from Australia, and it is used by some of Australia’s biggest celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, but also by many celebrities in US. F45 uses functional training, which is the engagement in exercises that mimic or recreate everyday movement. This style of training builds and sculpts lean, functional muscles.

No workout is ever the same. The fixed, 45-minute duration of F45 workouts exists to provide a timing structure to maximize growth and progress. Daily workouts vary. The club have developed 27 different 45-minute workouts, with more currently in development. The workouts are created by the F45 Athletics and Peak Performance Department from a database of over 3,000 different exercises, so members never get the same workout twice. The weekday classes have a 45-minute duration, and it’s one hour on Saturdays.

F45 workouts are fueled and organized by the robust technology systems. A series of TVs mounted on the front wall of their studios provide an organized, station-by-station diagram for each daily workout, plus you get guidance and motivation of the F45 trainers.

F45 uses a team training atmosphere which is the final factor for fueling F45 training’s dynamism. The motivation and encouragement in a group training facility create a pulsing, upbeat environment where goals are met and exceeded.

F45 first opened in Australia in 2012 – the F45 training Co-CEOs struck out to do the impossible, create a group-training facility that featured the most dynamic and effective training styles to date. Not only did they seek to find the best types of workouts, but they wanted to find a way to vary those workouts every day and make them accessible to the masses. They envisioned highly-capable, charismatic instructors to lead the workouts to motivate people to reach their potential. They wanted to create a structured, systemized and powerful training system that could be implemented around the world – and hence F45 was born. The F45 club in Yorkville, Toronto was opened in November 2016.
Photo credit: Courtesy of F45