Being Tazim http://www.beingtazim.com Vancouver-Based Lifestyle & Adventure Blog Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:06:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spring Self-Care Treats from LUSH http://www.beingtazim.com/spring-self-care-lush/ http://www.beingtazim.com/spring-self-care-lush/#respond Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:06:39 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13686 Since April is Earth Month, I thought I would share some of the Earth-friendly things about all things LUSH cosmetics. Packing (or lack-thereof) is one thing that likely comes to mind when you think about ways that LUSH is environmentally conscious. It’s true that LUSH prefers to focus on what’s inside the their products rather […]

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Since April is Earth Month, I thought I would share some of the Earth-friendly things about all things LUSH cosmetics.

Packing (or lack-thereof) is one thing that likely comes to mind when you think about ways that LUSH is environmentally conscious. It’s true that LUSH prefers to focus on what’s inside the their products rather than what’s on the outside:

“Creating Naked and packaging-free products at LUSH is at the core of our philosophy. We use as little packaging in our LUSH shops as possible, and give you the choice to go completely Naked – we mean the products, not yourselves (although you may want to remove your clothing before hopping into the bath or shower).”

But there’s more to the story. LUSH’s environmental policies also extend to their energy and water use, 100% post-consumer recycled plastic for their containers, sustainable sourcing of ingredients and transportation. Learn more about LUSH’s environmental policies.

Spring LUSH Cosmetics

Spring treats from LUSH

To relax after all the spring-cleaning and to warm up from all the April showers, I’ve been enjoying the following self-care bath-time treats:

The sweet way these Bunch of Carrots Bubble Bars have been tied makes me feel like they were freshly picked! I admit that it’s quite fun to pull one “carrot” from the bunch and run it under warm water in the bath tub. . .and watch the beautiful bubbles emerge! You can get several bubble baths out of each carrot.

Carrot Soap smells more like a tropical, fruity blend of joy than carrots. There’s a sweet little white bunny in the centre of each slice of soap that will help you celebrate spring. This soap has cocoa butter in it that helps keep skin soft and conditioned. I like to use this as hand soap in my bathroom because the orange and white colours are so cheerful—and the lemony scent makes me happy.

“Dip into uplifting orange waters.  Sink in and inhale the uplifting citrus blend of Sicilian mandarin, tangerine and bergamot oils, and imagine yourself in a sun-drenched locale. You’ll emerge from the tub feeling energized and smelling like a dream!”

It’s easier to look on the bright side of life with the Brightside Bubble Bar—which is made up of swirly yellows, oranges, and pinks. I love how this turns my bathtub in to a lovely bright-coloured wonderland. The citrus-y scents also helps take me away to that fantasy place. Each bubble bar can be used a few times. The recommended amount is 1 to 2 times, but you can decide whether or not you want to stretch it out.

After a long week of working on my business and taking extra shifts at work, I was so glad to drop this Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt in to the bath tub and soak away the stress! I thought for sure that the golden flakes would stick to me and all over the bath tub, but there wasn’t any mess less behind, in the end. So, what is a bath bomb melt, anyway? Well, when I dropped this lovely LUSH product in to the bath tub, the fizzy bath-bomb-y-ness started. I hadn’t enjoyed a bath bomb for years, so that in itself was a real spring self-care treat! The fun continued as the bath melt in the middle of the egg started to combine in the water. After the dryness of winter, I was glad to have the softness and conditioning of the Golden Egg Bath Bomb Melt working its way in to my skin. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone for some serious self-care.

I want to know: What will you be doing to fit in some self-care time this spring?

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WeMo Home Automation (with Giveaway – Canada only!) http://www.beingtazim.com/wemo-home-automation/ http://www.beingtazim.com/wemo-home-automation/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:00:06 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13669 I remember reading about Smart Homes years ago—prototypes of things that haven’t yet (and perhaps never will) come to pass. One of the coolest things I read about was the ability to control your electronics from a handheld device, as well as have motion-sensor activation and notification just as easily. This may sound cheesy, but […]

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I remember reading about Smart Homes years ago—prototypes of things that haven’t yet (and perhaps never will) come to pass. One of the coolest things I read about was the ability to control your electronics from a handheld device, as well as have motion-sensor activation and notification just as easily. This may sound cheesy, but . . .the future is now! Have you checked out the capabilities of the WeMo Home Automation products?

There are so many cool things you can do with the WeMo system, that it’s hard for me to know where to begin. Get the full details on the WeMo Home Automation system here so you don’t miss out.

Do you use IFTTT (If This Than That) online to “put the internet to work for you”? Happy news: WeMo and IFTTT like to work together! To tell you the truth, the number of different recipes that you can create with IFTTT and WeMo are a little bit overwhelming. Maybe that’s a good thing, as I like to try out new things, especially when it comes to technology.

Coffee

wemo insight switch

Does the smell of freshly brewed coffee make you want to jump out of bed? Plug in your coffee maker to the Insight Switch and set it up to turn on at a certain time every morning.

Here’s another idea that is perfect for warm or cool weather: plug in a WeMo Insight Switch, then plug in your fan or heater to it. Using your WeMo smartphone or tablet app you can easily turn on/off your heating/cooling device and also track how much energy it uses.

WeMo works over WiFi and 3G, so you can control anything you can plug in from anywhere! Think you forgot to turn off your light when you left the house? You can do so with the WeMo app. Maybe you want to start the laundry machine at a certain time and have it finished by the time you get home so that you can just throw all your clean clothes in the dryer in the evening. Easy! Here’s a fun idea for you parents out there—hear your children watching TV or playing video games when they should be studying? Use your WeMo app to turn off the TV. A little mean, but it does get the point across.

What can you use the WeMo Switch + Motion for? Set the motion detector to turn on a light when you walk in the from door. You could also set it to send you a text message when someone else is walking near the sensor. Take a look at some of the other popular IFTTT recipes you can set up: popular WeMo Switch + Motion recipes. The WeMo Switch + Motion is as easy to set up as the WeMo Switch is (and I’m sure the other products in the line are equally easy to set-up as well). I have this set up in my bedroom to turn on a little lamp when I enter the room for now, but I’m always dreaming up different ways to make use of this cool bit of technology.

WeMo Switch + Motion

tablet

There are SO many smartphones and tablets that will work with the WeMo Home Automation system! Click here to check them out (scroll to the bottom).

WeMo has partnered up with “Jarden Corporation, maker of Crock-Pot®, Mr. Coffee® and more, to bring home automation to your favorite everyday appliances.” I don’t have a Crock-Pot, but think it would be so cool to be able to turn it on with the WeMo app when you were out of the house and come home to something yummy all ready cooked for you! See the full range of WeMo Home Automation awesomeness here. And get excited, because. . .I have a surprise for you—Belkin loves to spread the technology love, so they’re offering my lovely readers a chance to:

Win this set of WeMo goodies: WeMo Insight Switch (ARv $59.99) 
AND WeMo Switch + Motion (ARV $79.99)!

Please note that this giveaway is open to Canada only. Ends April 25th. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Get Prepared for Summer Camp! http://www.beingtazim.com/get-prepared-summer/ http://www.beingtazim.com/get-prepared-summer/#respond Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:02:12 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13671 FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  Did you go to summer camp when you were a kid? I was lucky enough to go away a fews times when I was younger, and often went to day camps, too.The […]

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FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

Did you go to summer camp when you were a kid? I was lucky enough to go away a fews times when I was younger, and often went to day camps, too.mabels labelsThe season for summer camp preparation has begun! By now you’re already scrambling to sign your kids up, and soon you’ll be sorting through the piles of sunscreen, swimsuits and sneakers. Make their lives a little more organized (and yours a little easier) by picking up some Limited Edition Camp Combo Packs from Mabel’s Labels . These UV resistant, waterproof labels and tags are designed for kids camp equipment — clothing, toiletries, swim gear, backpacks and more — and ready to take a summer beating. To complete the outfit of adventure, receive 20% off of an insulated water bottle from Eco Vessel with your Limited Edition Camp Combo Pack purchase.

Let Mabel’s Labels help you to get them sorted, tagged and prepped for a summer they won’t soon forget. Plus, save $2 with early bird pricing now through April 30th! Happy Camping!

 

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Home Office Essential: Sonos Play:1 Compact Wireless Speaker http://www.beingtazim.com/sonos-play1-wireless-speaker/ http://www.beingtazim.com/sonos-play1-wireless-speaker/#respond Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13531 Every home office needs a Sonos Play:1. I really think that having clear, inspiring or motivating music streaming in your work space can really make your day just so much more awesome. Whether or not you’re doing the boring (but necessary) work, or actually doing something enjoyable—the right music streaming from the right sound system […]

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Every home office needs a Sonos Play:1. I really think that having clear, inspiring or motivating music streaming in your work space can really make your day just so much more awesome. Whether or not you’re doing the boring (but necessary) work, or actually doing something enjoyable—the right music streaming from the right sound system can seriously improve things. These are my thoughts and results—I feel like there should be a disclaimer, but who amongst you wouldn’t love to have a great music system in your home and work place?

Sonos play:1

Concerned that you’ll be limited to what music you can listen to/play on your Sonos? Don’t be:

“ALL THE MUSIC ON EARTH
Do you roll with iTunes? Or prefer streaming music services? Want to hear radio stations from around the world? Whatever your jam, we’ve got you covered.”

67.01 GB. That is the size of my music library on iTunes. What do I usually do when I want to listen to music? I pick out a playlist on Songza or Slacker. I just love all the options available when I want to listen to music—and it all works with the Sonos Play:1 I have been trying out.

In addition to the Sonos Play:1, I have set-up a Bridge Wireless HiFi System so that I can have a wireless music system. The Bridge works with all of the players in the Sonos family. It connects to your router, which may not be very accessible, to extend the range of the whole network. This would be perfect for my brother’s house, which is a 4-level split.

The Sonos system is expandable. This is great because you don’t need to put down all your money at once. Each component of the system will make your place more and more awesome. The sweet little Sonos Play:1 has a mini footprint, which makes it perfect for my home office. I can put that “good things come in small packages” compact wireless speaker on a bookcase or here:

Check out the whole Sonos Home Theatre family here, and print off the page to put on your dream/vision board. I’ve been lucky enough to check out (or: make my dreams turn in to reality) the Sonos Bridge, Play:1 and Play:3 products. My birthday is coming up soon. Guess what I want this year? Thanks in advance.

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Easy Spring Makeup Ideas http://www.beingtazim.com/easy-spring-makeup-ideas/ http://www.beingtazim.com/easy-spring-makeup-ideas/#respond Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:00:35 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13524 Long months of staying inside is enough to leave most people excited to see colour again. For some, this shows up in the green grass and pretty pink or bright white flowers on cherry blossom trees. For others, who are still seeing snow, spring colour must be brought. Here are a few easy spring makeup […]

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Long months of staying inside is enough to leave most people excited to see colour again. For some, this shows up in the green grass and pretty pink or bright white flowers on cherry blossom trees. For others, who are still seeing snow, spring colour must be brought. Here are a few easy spring makeup ideas to get you looking forward to the warmer weather ahead: 

Spring Makeup Ideas

Idea #1:

Like many people I know, my skin has gotten very pale throughout winter. Being inside and under dark grey skies does that. I know it’s the same for my friends who live in snowy climates, too. What can you do? Well, I have recently been introduced to Skin Tint from LUSH—which you could think of as a bronzer. Charisma Skin Tint adds a lovely warm glow to my skin. I recommend using a small dab on the back of your hand, mixed with a bit of moisturizer or liquid foundation. The Skin Tint is really moisture-rich (perfect for post-winter skin!), so it will leave a lovely dewy glow on your cheeks.

Idea #2: 

Dry winter lips crave moisture—but most lip glosses don’t add much colour (mostly shine). I was doubtful that the Liquid Lipstick would actually live up to my expectations. I’ve been happily surprised to find that the Perspective Liquid Lipstick goes on easily, stays for hours and also adds a lot of moisture to my lips. These Liquid Lipsticks glide on to lips as easily as lip gloss. The pretty pink colour is just right for my skin tone. Go here to take a look at the other Liquid Lipstick colours.

Idea #3: 

Now that your skin and lips are taken care of, what about those lovely windows to your soul? LUSH has a beautiful range of eye makeup from cream eyeshadows, to liquid eyeliners to mascara. The cream eyeshadow is slightly cooling when I use it on my eyelids, and I love how easily it is to apply. You can use just one colour for an overall shadow look, or combine a few. The Sophisticated Cream Eyeshadow I received would work well as an overall colour, but could also be used as a highlighter on brow ridges or the inner corner of your eyes.

Idea #4: 

To complete the look, and take things from day to night—Fantasy Liquid Eyeliner is a glitzy, shimmery gold. A bit of sparkle to my eyes is just what I want sometimes. If you’d rather have colourful eyeliner, there are several different colours available, and also plain black, too. Now that I know how well the Liquid Eyeliner works, I may try out the other shades available.

What makes Emotional Brilliance unique? Read the story fresh handmade colour story. All the products I mentioned are vegan, and I love that LUSH labels their products as such (when they are), and also includes a list of ingredients as well.

Here’s my “after” images with and without glasses with the finished spring makeup look:

Easy Spring Makeup Ideas

What are your favourite ways to change your makeup look for spring?

Check out the whole Emotional Brilliance line from LUSH. I’ve been really enjoying trying out new techniques with the range of products I’ve received, and look forward to trying out more colours in the future!

 

 

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How to Make a Blurb Cookbook http://www.beingtazim.com/make-blurb-cookbook/ http://www.beingtazim.com/make-blurb-cookbook/#respond Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:03:26 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13515 (This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated if you purchase through these links) Ever thought of putting your favorite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favorite content, and get those books shipped in […]

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(This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated if you purchase through these links)
Ever thought of putting your favorite recipes into a beautiful book you can give as a gift or pass down the generations? Blurb is a company that lets anyone create beautiful books from their favorite content, and get those books shipped in any quantity (even just one copy). Not a designer? That’s ok, Blurb’s free BookSmart software is an easy route to a great cookbook.

What’s the best way to get started? Holding off a bit. It’s tempting to want to dive right in, but thinking a bit and getting organized is worth it in the end. Make the most of your time by dividing each step into chunks so you can tackle them at different points in your book-making process. 

And here we go:

1. Organize: Gather your recipes and do a process of elimination. Once you’ve narrowed your favorites down, you can gather accompanying images—just make sure you’re giving the recipe and image files the same name to make it easier when it’s time to upload. Keep everything in one folder on your computer.

2. Flow it: Next, determine how you want your cookbook story to flow. Do you want to sort your recipes by age, popularity, or even something else? Once you’ve determined the order, you’ll have done the bulk of your creative decision-making.

3. Get the tool: Download our free book-making tool, BookSmart, choose your book size (Standard Portrait and Standard Landscape are the most popular for cookbooks) and input your title and author name. Then choose “Cookbook” as your starting point — this will give you the best layouts for the job. Then pick a source for your images — from iPhoto, your computer, even Flickr or Picasa. Lastly, choose a theme. Now you’re ready to put together your cookbook.

4. Lay it out: This is where the real book-making comes in. BookSmart will provide you with 20 pages in our standard recipe layout, but you’ll find plenty of alternate layouts in the “Choose page layout” panel on the upper left. You can also add additional pages ­­— including photo pages — by clicking “Add Pages” in the top toolbar.

5. Just add copy: Our layouts provide space for stories, introductions, and those all-important ingredients and directions. Paste in your copy and you’re golden. Then garnish with photos. Don’t forget to run BookSmart’s spell check feature.

6. Preview and review: Click “Review book” and go through page by page. If you’re not a natural-born proofreader, ask a friend to take a second look.

7. Order: Make any last minute edits, click “Order,” and follow the prompts to checkout. Remember to order extra copies for friends and family—or sell it in our Bookstore. Order now and save 15% on all print book orders through April 30th with code TAKE15%.

That’s it, you’re done. Give yourself a toast, a pat on the back, and a moment in the sun. Congratulations!

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My Devices Deserve a Smart Wireless Home Network http://www.beingtazim.com/linksys-ea6900/ http://www.beingtazim.com/linksys-ea6900/#respond Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:27:16 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13507 They work hard, they’re loyal, and (because I chose them) they’re awesome—my devices deserve the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router. I get the best cases and covers for them—make sure they’re dust-free, so this is just the next logical step in making sure my devices know that I care about them. About 10 minutes ago […]

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They work hard, they’re loyal, and (because I chose them) they’re awesome—my devices deserve the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router. I get the best cases and covers for them—make sure they’re dust-free, so this is just the next logical step in making sure my devices know that I care about them.

About 10 minutes ago something exciting started—I initialized the set-up of my new Smart Wi-Fi Router. Yes, it only took that long to get everything connected, and test that it was all working (as smarty devices in a wireless home should). My last router took me a (painful) hour or so to set-up, so I procrastinated starting with this new one until now. Included in the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router box is a “Quick Start Guide.” This little booklet is no joke—the simple instructions really did make the set-up quick. Quick set-ups are my favourite kind (other than the kind people do for me)! 

Linksys-EA6900 Wireless Network Smart Wi-Fi Router

This is reason enough to upgrade your router to the Linksys EA6900: “Up to 4.3x Faster than Conventional Wireless”  - Linksys.com site. This router uses the next generation Wireless AC technology. This router is perfect for those with a large network of devices, stream a lot of HD videos or play online games.

linksys router

If you use things like VOIP or other things that take up a lot of bandwidth, you can prioritize these devices using the Linksys Wi-Fi website. This is just one thing you can do when you set-up your account. Want to turn off connectivity to particular devices for a set amount of time? This can easily be done within your account on your computer browser or smartphone.

To upgrade your computer to use this new router, you may need the Linksys AC1200 Wireless-AC USB Adaptor:

 Linksys Adaptor

This adaptor comes with a Quick Guide as well, for easy set-up. No worries—a fast network can be yours in minutes! “Upgrade your computer with the freedom and reliability of Wireless-N. Just plug the USB Adapter into your computer to wirelessly connect to your network.”  - Linksys website.

Read more about the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router and all the benefits. You can purchase both of the products I mentioned in this post directly from the Linksys site. Nice!

My devices are enjoying being on their new Smart Wireless Home Network, thanks to the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router (and AC1200 adaptor) I received for this feature!

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Vegan Strawberry Banana Milkshake Recipe http://www.beingtazim.com/vegan-strawberry-banana-milkshake-recipe/ http://www.beingtazim.com/vegan-strawberry-banana-milkshake-recipe/#respond Mon, 24 Mar 2014 01:11:40 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13498 It’s been a long time since I’ve had a milkshake this good. The vegan milkshakes I find at restaurants are often really complex, with tons of different ingredients and a non-smooth texture. This recipe is super-simple—only 5 ingredients! This milkshake is smooth, you can taste all 4 main ingredients, and it’s also nice and frothy. […]

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had a milkshake this good. The vegan milkshakes I find at restaurants are often really complex, with tons of different ingredients and a non-smooth texture. This recipe is super-simple—only 5 ingredients!

Vegan Strawberry Banana Milkshake

This milkshake is smooth, you can taste all 4 main ingredients, and it’s also nice and frothy. I like that both strawberries and bananas freeze well, so I can enjoy this refreshing milkshake year-round.

Vegan Strawberry Banana Milkshake:

-1 cup vanilla soy or coconut milk yogurt

-1 cup soy milk

-1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries

-1 medium banana

-2 to 4 ice cubes

Those really are all the ingredients!

Instructions: Put all ingredients in to a blender, and. . .blend! I use the crush ice feature for 10 seconds or so, then the liquify button.

Makes: 3 servings

This milkshake is nice and filling, so it’s a perfect way to start the day.

Pin the image below:

Vegan Strawberry Banana Milkshake

Here are more ideas for vegan cooking:


Follow Tazim Damji BeingTazim.Com’s board Vegan Recipes on Pinterest.


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Case Logic Laptop Bag— Perfect for Entrepreneurs http://www.beingtazim.com/case-logic-laptop-bag/ http://www.beingtazim.com/case-logic-laptop-bag/#respond Sun, 23 Mar 2014 21:28:49 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13486 A backpack is too juvenile, a hard case laptop bag is too stuffy, but the Caselogic laptop bag I just got is just right. The Case Logic MLA-116 Laptop Bag allows me to take all the essentials with me when I’m meeting a client, giving a presentation or teaching a workshop. I can easily carry my 13″ […]

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A backpack is too juvenile, a hard case laptop bag is too stuffy, but the Caselogic laptop bag I just got is just right.

The Case Logic MLA-116 Laptop Bag allows me to take all the essentials with me when I’m meeting a client, giving a presentation or teaching a workshop. I can easily carry my 13″ MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone, wallet, notebook, pens, and room for a little more.  I like that it has both a shoulder strap and comfortable handles, so that I have options when it comes to carrying the laptop bag. 

case logic laptop bag

In fact, it’s so light that I had to check inside it a few times to make sure that everything was still in the bag. I tell ya, this laptop bag would’ve been perfect in university, with all the stuff I was constantly carrying around. . . I certainly didn’t need to have the extra weight of a heavy laptop bag on top of everything else. I used to have a huge messenger bag that was way too roomy—meaning, I ended up filling it with too many books. My new laptop bag is so much better—compact and light.

case logic laptop bag

Not sure whether the day calls for an iPad or a laptop? Take both in this understated attaché, along with those necessary daily accessories.

The outside of the Case Logic MLA-116 Laptop Bag is made of nylon, so it’s wipeable and easy to care for. You can find the bag on the Case Logic site, or find out where Case Logic products are sold.

I received the above mentioned laptop bag so that I could write this feature.  

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Attention Fashion Lovers! http://www.beingtazim.com/blurb-fashion/ http://www.beingtazim.com/blurb-fashion/#respond Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:29:36 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13480 How to make a fashion book with Blurb: Blurb is a cool company that lets you make books about anything that interests you. And if you’re interested in fashion and style—and love to show it off—making a book of your personal fashion is a fantastic way to capture your sartorial genius for all time. Whether you […]

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How to make a fashion book with Blurb:
Blurb is a cool company that lets you make books about anything that interests you. And if you’re interested in fashion and style—and love to show it off—making a book of your personal fashion is a fantastic way to capture your sartorial genius for all time. Whether you want it just for yourself, so you can look through your greatest hits, or you’re a bit of an Internet fashionista who wants to make a book to sell, you’ll find these tips pretty helpful:

1. It’s all about lighting. To make your fashion really pop, choose natural light or studio light with a soft box (you can even make one from a lamp and last season’s white t-shirt). If you’re using a flash, you’ll probably want to bounce it or stick a diffusion filter on it.

2. Make a shot list. This is a critical step, and even more important if you are photographing models. Even if your model is just your best friend who owes you a favor, they’ll appreciate it if you know exactly what you want to shoot. Think about the poses you want to capture, the outfits you want them to wear, and the details that you want to highlight in every shot.

blurb
3. White balance (WB). Accurate color and skin tones come from making sure the WB function on your camera is set to your lighting situation.

4. Choose the right lens/zoom setting. If you’re using a wide angle, you’re going to lose your beautiful lines (and your model may never forgive you). If you have a camera with different zoom levels, zoom out to minimize lens barrel distortion.

5. Keep it stylish. It’s a fashion shoot, after all. Play music, keep things moving, try new angles. Attitude, attitude, attitude.

6. Dress it up. Make your book as fashionable as the clothing featured in it. Choose a simple design that doesn’t upstage the clothing, but still looks chic. Pick a size and paper type that showcases the work brilliantly.

If you’ve ever paid attention to what’s on the catwalk, you know that fashion means different things to different people. Follow your own fashion obsessions and document them in a fashionable book. If you look good today in person, imagine looking great forever on the printed page with Blurb! Start your Blurb book now and Save 25% on print book orders of $75+ at Blurb.

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An Innovative Way to Deal with Traffic Congestion http://www.beingtazim.com/innovative-way-deal-traffic-congestion/ http://www.beingtazim.com/innovative-way-deal-traffic-congestion/#respond Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13476 Besides being really expensive, the other thing people think about when I bring up the fact that I live in Vancouver, is the traffic congestion. Being as densely packed as it is, and there being such a short distance between traffic lights means that there are tons of cars on the road and it take […]

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Besides being really expensive, the other thing people think about when I bring up the fact that I live in Vancouver, is the traffic congestion. Being as densely packed as it is, and there being such a short distance between traffic lights means that there are tons of cars on the road and it take a long time to go not-that-far. There are more and more high-rise buildings going up all the time, which doesn’t ease traffic at all.

Obviously, traffic congestion isn’t a Vancouver-only problem; in fact, I’m sure it’s much worse elsewhere. I always like to read up on different vehicle innovations to find out how green technology can be used to alleviate pollution from car emissions, and reduce fuel consumption.

I recently poured through information from Toyota about their i-Road car, which is said to make short distance travel within cities a lot more enjoyable. Sounds good to me!

Toyota recently gave the i-ROAD a test on streets in Japan. After a brief introduction and a bit of orientation, the cars were ready to be tested on public roads. As you can see in the picture, the i-ROAD only has 3 wheels. It’s the perfect, compact size for zipping around cities for daily commuting. The Toyota i-ROAD has been described as something that gives the driver “the sensation of being at one with the machine as it speeds along narrow streets with ease.”

I could definitely picture myself in an i-ROAD, especially after watching this video:

What do you think of the amount of traffic in your city?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Toyota. The opinions and text are all mine.


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Creative Ways To Make Your Home Décor Even Better: Achieving A Form/Function Balance. http://www.beingtazim.com/make-your-home-decor-even-better/ http://www.beingtazim.com/make-your-home-decor-even-better/#respond Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13416 They’re functional, sure—but can Kleenex boxes be part of a home décor scheme? Maybe in the past it was a toss-up: keep a box of Kleenex out because it’s functional (especially in winter—am I right?!), or hide it away and end up having to search for it when you’re in need. I have to be […]

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They’re functional, sure—but can Kleenex boxes be part of a home décor scheme?

Maybe in the past it was a toss-up: keep a box of Kleenex out because it’s functional (especially in winter—am I right?!), or hide it away and end up having to search for it when you’re in need. I have to be honest—I really like the way the new Kleenex boxes look. I know a few interior designers who will be glad to hear about this new partnership!

How do you make something functional, like a box of Kleenex, part of your home décor? Easy: stop hiding it and pretending it isn’t there! Celebrate every single thing you choose to include in your décor by giving it pride of place—these gorgeous boxes would look amazing lined up on a mantle place, for instance.

make your decor better

Here’s how I celebrated these functional products in my own home:

A vintage modern style décor is one where classic furniture and accessories come with a modern twist. Naturally, the contrasting colours and vintage patterning on the Kleenex box I’ve put on display fits right in. There’s no need to hide your Kleenex box away with these new designs.

There are two differently coloured boxes that would work well in my décor: one being a lovely pink floral pattern and the other a blue floral. Both have contrasting colours to my décor. There’s no point hiding these away and searching for them whenever I need a Kleenex—not when they actually add to the look of my apartment!

The Kleenex brand will celebrate 90 years in 2014 and plans to celebrate in Style with these newly designed Kleenex® Expressions Tissues – All the softness you expect from Kleenex® tissues with unique box designs to help decorate any room. In stores March 17th.

Kleenex

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Kleenex via Glam Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kleenex.


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Get Creative with Blurb http://www.beingtazim.com/blurb-comic/ http://www.beingtazim.com/blurb-comic/#respond Mon, 17 Mar 2014 05:28:57 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13470 Attention creative types! This one is just for you: Ever wanted to make your own cartoon or comic book? You can do it without a publisher at Blurb! And if you’re worried about quality, don’t! Blurbpaired up with one of the all time comic book greats, Paul Rivoche, who is known for illustrations of Batman and Ironman to […]

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Attention creative types! This one is just for you:

Ever wanted to make your own cartoon or comic book? You can do it without a publisher at Blurb! And if you’re worried about quality, don’t! Blurbpaired up with one of the all time comic book greats, Paul Rivoche, who is known for illustrations of Batman and Ironman to name a few. Heard of those guys? I thought so! Take a look at this video and try not to be inspired to write up your own book right now.

Take a look at the video below:

Blurb Comic

Want to try Blurb out? Save 25% on print book orders of $75+ at Blurb until March 27th.

I received compensation in exchange for posting this, and have included my affiliate link.

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Why I Must Watch The TV Show The Blacklist http://www.beingtazim.com/must-watch-blacklist/ http://www.beingtazim.com/must-watch-blacklist/#respond Sun, 16 Mar 2014 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13455 Monday nights I go on a sometimes scary, sometimes suspenseful, always dramatic adventure. I don’t typically welcome drama in to my life—I certainly don’t go around seeking out tense circumstances, daily see mysterious men with questionable intentions, or put myself in dangerous situations. While these things seem foreign to me, I am perfectly happy to […]

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Monday nights I go on a sometimes scary, sometimes suspenseful, always dramatic adventure.

I don’t typically welcome drama in to my life—I certainly don’t go around seeking out tense circumstances, daily see mysterious men with questionable intentions, or put myself in dangerous situations. While these things seem foreign to me, I am perfectly happy to cheer on FBI rookie profiler Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone) when I watch The Blacklist.

If you haven’t been following along, here are the basics: James Spader’s character Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington is an ex-government agent who also appears on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Reddington has serious connections and has made plenty of underground, shady deals with top criminals around the world over the years. Why does he target Liz as the one person to surrender to in the FBI, helping to catch the worst of the the worst criminals on the “blacklist”? Well, we don’t yet fully know his reasons and intentions—and that’s just part of why I love to watch the show!

Ah but, Reddington’s presence in Liz’s life isn’t where the drama and mystery stops. There are many more interesting characters who make Liz uncertain about who she can trust, how she got where she did in her career and so much more. Here are a few teasers that will give you some more insight in to Liz’s story and the backstory of The Blacklist: 

Are people who they seem?

The Blacklist

The Blacklist

The Blacklist

The Blacklist

A new and sure-to-be-exciting episode of The Blacklist is airing Monday, March 17 at 10:00 ET—will you be watching? 
I want you to help you get in The Blacklist mood, so I’m letting you know about a giveaway that I have going on right here!  It’s a 5-pack giveaway package—a mug plus 4 t-shirts (2 women’s and 2 men’s) valued at $50, and it can be yours—just enter the Rafflecopter form below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to Cut Vegetables Uniformly http://www.beingtazim.com/cut-vegetables-uniformly/ http://www.beingtazim.com/cut-vegetables-uniformly/#respond Wed, 12 Mar 2014 23:26:43 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13431 Do you like to prep your ingredients prior to starting to cook your meal? Or do you like to get things together as you go? Either way, I have a tool to show you that will make things go more smoothly. I’ve already shared why I love Microplane products—because they’re designed well, have ultra-sharp blades, […]

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Do you like to prep your ingredients prior to starting to cook your meal? Or do you like to get things together as you go? Either way, I have a tool to show you that will make things go more smoothly.

I’ve already shared why I love Microplane products—because they’re designed well, have ultra-sharp blades, and make me feel like I am a professional chef in my own home. The Adjustable Slicer with Julienne Blade just reinforces my love for all things Microplane. This product slices and juliennes fruit and vegetables. 

How to cut vegetables uniformly

For dishes where you need to have evenly-cut vegetables, or when you need to put together a quick vegetable platter, this adjustable slicer really comes in handy! The slicer is adjustable between 1/32″ to ⅛” for thickness. The food holder makes it easy to push your fruit and vegetables through. I received a Cut-Resistant glove which is described as “Accident protection for the prudent.” – yes, that’s what I need!  This glove protects your hands from being sliced on the super-sharp blades of the Adjustable Slicer. It can be worn on either hand, and is one-size-fits-most.

Not only does this product slice, but it also juliennes. There is a julienne blade that attaches to the front so that you can cut matchstick strips. When it’s not being used, it can be stored on the back of the Slicer, so it’s out of the way and also doesn’t get lost. Speaking of storage, I would recommend storing the food holder on top of the Slicer, closest to the blade.

microplane-adjustable- How to cut vegetables uniformlyslicer

Here’s the finished product—I used the Microplane Adjustable Slicer to cut onions and red peppers for fajita filling. The meal came together really quickly because of that time-saving device, and I love how everything cooked up evenly.

microplane

A few things you can use the Microplane Adjustable Slicer for:

  • cucumber and carrot slices for dips
  • round slices of carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber for salads
  • potatoes for roasting

If you have a food dehydrator, think of how easy it will be to slice up oranges and other fruit to put in your dehydrator! This will really come in handy when produce is in season and on sale.

What would you use the Microplane Adjustable Slicer for?

I’ll be preparing meals and snacks with the greatest of ease, thanks to the Microplane Adjustable Slicer with Julienne Blade and Cut-Resistant Glove I received.

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Getting Ready for Spring with Stripes http://www.beingtazim.com/getting-ready-spring-stripes/ http://www.beingtazim.com/getting-ready-spring-stripes/#respond Wed, 12 Mar 2014 22:20:10 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13439 Stripes are timeless, don’t you think? I see them come out in different widths and colour combinations each year, though. I’m loving  the striped fashions I’m seeing so far this year in preparation for warmer spring and summer weather. My go-to combination is light grey and white stripes, but I’ve been really liking the blue […]

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Stripes are timeless, don’t you think? I see them come out in different widths and colour combinations each year, though. I’m loving  the striped fashions I’m seeing so far this year in preparation for warmer spring and summer weather.

My go-to combination is light grey and white stripes, but I’ve been really liking the blue and white combo lately. Do you have a favourite stripe combination?

For me, stripes mostly appear on ¾ and long-sleeved shirts—but think I should add in some striped dresses this season, no? This Cowlneck Striped Dress is bold, has a combination of horizontal and diagonal stripes and can be dressed up or down. Awesome!

stripes

photo credit: WhiteDesertSun via photopin cc

Stripes!

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Top 3 Nail Polish Problems and Solutions http://www.beingtazim.com/carrie-underwood-opi/ http://www.beingtazim.com/carrie-underwood-opi/#respond Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:00:02 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13405 Ok, so, am I the only one who has issues with nail polish? You would think that it would be a simple thing right? Just like colouring…but on your fingers. I mean, we mastered colouring in kindergarten. Painting our nails should be a snap. But there is actually an art to it that I am […]

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Ok, so, am I the only one who has issues with nail polish? You would think that it would be a simple thing right? Just like colouring…but on your fingers. I mean, we mastered colouring in kindergarten. Painting our nails should be a snap. But there is actually an art to it that I am learning about. So, I want to take a few minutes today to talk to you guys about some common nail polish problems and how to fix them. Then I want to tell you guys about a really awesome line of nail polish that I recently tried out!

Nail Polish Problems and Solutions

Let’s start with some common nail polish problems and solutions:

  1. You get nail polish on your finger.  I empathize with kindergarteners. Youhave the whole colouring thing down pat, but sometimes you colour outside of the lines by mistake. It happens, yall. Instead of screaming in frustration and asking the nail polish gods why they hate you, simply grab a cotton swab, dip it in nail polish, and carefully wipe away your mess. No one has to know but you.
  2. The nail polish chips. This one is VERY annoying because once it starts to chip, the obsessive compulsive side of me has to redo the entire nail. Which involves breaking out the nail polish remover. Again. Then I usually end up redoing the entire hand. Don’t ask me why. Just let me be weird, okay? Anyways, one way to prevent nail polish from chipping is to apply a top coat once every couple of days. If it’s too late for evasive measures and you notice a dastardly chip, then throw on a layer of glitter nail polish. Make sure you do the same thing on the same finger of your other hand, though. That way you’re not walking around with a weird-looking manicure.
  3. The nail polish takes forever to dry. You know the saying “a woman is only helpless while her nails are drying”? It’s true, isn’t it? I swear it is within those minutes that your nails are drying that everything in the universe works against you and your newly fancified fingernails. Your nose itches. Your phone rings. You have a sudden and urgent desire to go to the restroom. But all of that must wait until your nails dry, because if you do anything, you risk smudging your polish. And that, my friends, is something none of us want. So…what’s a girl to do? Here’s a little tip for you: dip your painted fingers in cold water for 3-5 seconds. When you pull them out your nail polish will be hard as a rock. Yay!

Ok, hopefully that helped you guys to find some nail polish tricks to store away for your next manicure. Now let’s get on to the good stuff.

I was given the chance to try not one, but three nail lacquers from Nicole by O.P.I. Colours! The colours I was sent were all from the Carrie Underwood Collection: Sweet Daisy (a peach colour that I describe as being a muted pink), Carnival Cotton Candy (this one is a more traditional pink colour) and Goodbye Shoes (a gray-green colour). Here is part of the Carrie Underwood O.P.I. collection:

Carrie Underwood O.P.I.

If I had to choose a favourite, I would have to say that it is the Sweet Daisy. However, I really like the quality of all three of them. One thing that bothers me about nail polish is when it is really thin and doesn’t provide a good amount of coverage. It’s like you have to use up half the bottle applying multiple coats just for one manicure. I didn’t have that problem with these. Another issue I have is when the manicure doesn’t last more than a day. With this it lasted a couple of days without me having to add a topcoat.

So…score one for Nicole by O.P.I. and the Carrie Underwood Collection. They get an A+ in my book. If you want to check out all of the colours offered in the Carrie Underwood Collection (and there are some really cute ones in there!) feel free to check it out here. You can also check out all of the other products that Nicole by O.P.I. offers on their website. I am so pleased to have received these nail polishes to check out!

Do you have any secret (but shareable) nail polish tips to let me know about??

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A Unique Addition to My Collection: Randolph Glasses http://www.beingtazim.com/randolph-usa-eyeglasses/ http://www.beingtazim.com/randolph-usa-eyeglasses/#respond Fri, 28 Feb 2014 15:00:26 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13399 All of you lucky people out there who have great vision may not understand where I am coming from with this one, but finding a great pair of glasses is “kind of a big deal”. It’s hard to find that perfect blend of functionality and style that I crave. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, glasses can […]

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All of you lucky people out there who have great vision may not understand where I am coming from with this one, but finding a great pair of glasses is “kind of a big deal”. It’s hard to find that perfect blend of functionality and style that I crave. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, glasses can be yet another way of making a fashion statement. The media may lead you to believe otherwise with their depictions of bespectacled people as being people who care more about books and grades than they do about their appearance. I think that mentality is a bit silly and full of stereotypes. But let me not go off on a tangent here.

The reality is that I wear glasses every day. I know that I could wear contacts, but, to be honest, I don’t like them.  They cost more in the long run, they aren’t as durable (seriously, I have ripped one just trying to close the container), and they aren’t all that easy to put in. Plus, have you ever had one fold up in your eye? (OUCH!) Ummmm….yeah. No thanks. I prefer glasses. And I feel like I should be able to find glasses that do more than just keep me from bumping into walls – I want them to look nice as well. Some people love picking out new shoes, purses, and jewelry. I love picking out new glasses. So when I come across a great pair to add to my collection (which currently stands at 12 pairs), I may or may not do a little victory dance.

So, imagine my joy when I was offered the opportunity to pick and review a pair of glasses from Randolph USA. I was able to select a really cute pair of glasses that fits my needs and all I need to do is provide you guys with my honest opinion of the glasses. So…that’s why we’re here today folks. To talk about this beauty right here:

Glasses Randolph

Sassy yet classy in appearance…check!

Makes my life easier…check!

Glasses Randolph

This pair of glasses is called Ashby.  It comes in black, olive, and brown. I love the way that it is both simple yet stylish, with the solid colour and diamond patterned embellishment at the temple. It has the type of understated flair that means I can wear it with a lot of different outfits. I chose the olive pair, but I think that any colour choice would probably be really great. Now, as far as function, I would rate these glasses highly. They are nice and big so I can see my screen and keyboard at the same time (if you wear glasses, I know you know what I’m talking about). Since I do a lot of work online, that is a huge plus for me. The lenses are also perfect. No distracting scratches. So…what do we have so far?

What else can I say about these glasses? Well, if for some reason you are not satisfied with your investment, Randolph USA offers a pretty good guarantee. According to their website you can return your purchase for a full credit within 30 days or exchange it within 90 days. Pretty fair deal, if you ask me. They have a one year quality guarantee on each pair of glasses as well. So if your glasses happen to mess up due to a defect or faulty workmanship within a year, they will repair or replace it for free. Sweet! To take it even further, they also offer a repair service. You can send your glasses to them and they’ll provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost to repair or replace your glasses. If you happen to be under warranty, they will fix it for free and even waive the processing fee.

randolph glasses

Overall, I find that these glasses are high quality as well as aesthetically pleasing. I am very happy to add them to my collection. If you think you’d like a pair of your very own or want to check out the other their other glasses options, feel free to visit their website.

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I’ve been Doing Some Research with The Dog Encyclopedia http://www.beingtazim.com/dog-encyclopedia/ http://www.beingtazim.com/dog-encyclopedia/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:00:59 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13387 It’s said that looking at pictures of babies and animals is a quick way to inject some happiness in to your day. This is likely why videos of baby animals are so popular on YouTube. Therefore, to say that DK Canada’s The Dog Encyclopedia was a book of happiness wouldn’t be much of a stretch. […]

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It’s said that looking at pictures of babies and animals is a quick way to inject some happiness in to your day. This is likely why videos of baby animals are so popular on YouTube. Therefore, to say that DK Canada’s The Dog Encyclopedia was a book of happiness wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

Dog Encyclopedia

The crisp, full-colour images make it seem like you could reach out and pet the dogs in this book. It’s no secret to those who know me, that I have long wanted a dog or three. Though I’m not in a place in my life to be able to take on that kind of responsibility, the Dog Encyclopedia has helped me to research the different breeds out there so that I can narrow down my wish list. Having different types of dogs really depend on one’s lifestyle. Big and shaggy? Not great for an apartment you can barely turn around in—though they may be lower-energy and far less barky than smaller dogs. It really is a toss-up sometimes!

Book: Hardcover | 251 x 302mm | 360 pages | ISBN 9781465408440 | 23 Jul 2013 | Dorling Kindersley (ARV $44) More info here!!

Do you have a dog? If so, what kind?

 

 

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My Favourite Ways to Achieve Style on a Budget. http://www.beingtazim.com/favourite-ways-achieve-style-budget/ http://www.beingtazim.com/favourite-ways-achieve-style-budget/#respond Tue, 25 Feb 2014 03:36:18 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13391 Gold? Silver? Who can choose sometimes? With this necklace, I feel like I always win. Clothing can be really pricey, and so can shoes. True, those are two ways to show your style and personality—but my favourite is actually with accessories like jewelry! A plain outfit can easily and inexpensively be jazzed-up with a necklace […]

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Gold? Silver? Who can choose sometimes? With this necklace, I feel like I always win.

Clothing can be really pricey, and so can shoes. True, those are two ways to show your style and personality—but my favourite is actually with accessories like jewelry! A plain outfit can easily and inexpensively be jazzed-up with a necklace and some earrings. O.co has a selection that I love, including the DB Designs Two-tone Rose Gold over Silver Diamond Heart Necklace (ARV $53 CAD).  

budget style

Maybe it’s a nervous habit, but I like to have a necklace on most days so that I have something to play with when I’m thinking or contemplative. The 18″ chain is the perfect length for me—it allows the pendant to hit me in the right spot to not be hidden under my top, but also doesn’t look like a choker.

Yes, this is a beautiful heart necklace—but it’s anything but girly! This sophisticated necklace suits me well. This is the type of necklace that is really versatile—it’s got a bit of glam to it with the white diamond accents, yet it’s not too “showy” that you couldn’t wear it everyday.

budget style necklace

This necklace is really light, which is pretty perfect for not feeling weighed down by your jewelry! I like the delicate combination of the rose gold, silver and diamonds. One thing I really appreciate is how the pendant has too places where it connects to the chain, so that it doesn’t end up looking lopsided as it hangs from your neck.

I’ve been doing better this year with celebrating my successes and ME—and this necklace is definitely one way to do so! When was the last time you bought a piece of jewelry for yourself?

I was sent the above mentioned heart necklace from O.co to help me celebrate ME! 

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ModCloth Make The Cut Contest: ‘Prints Charming’ http://www.beingtazim.com/modcloth-make-cut-contest-prints-charming/ http://www.beingtazim.com/modcloth-make-cut-contest-prints-charming/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2014 01:17:31 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13365 It feels like that time of year when I’m thinking about bright colours and prints! How about you? Also, of getting creative – I’m tired of being bundled up inside during the winter! Have you always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer? Well now that dream can come true! The ModCloth Make The Cut program is a […]

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It feels like that time of year when I’m thinking about bright colours and prints! How about you? Also, of getting creative – I’m tired of being bundled up inside during the winter!

Have you always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer? Well now that dream can come true! The ModCloth Make The Cut program is a recurring design contest that invites the ModCloth Community to design garments, graphics, or fabric prints. Its main purpose is to further their mission of democratizing fashion by producing clothing designed by community members. YOU can become a designer at ModCloth

Make the Cut

How does the contest work?
Entrants will design a new print for a private label dress silhouette that is already being produced! Contestants have two weeks to submit designs. After the submission period, the ModCloth Creative Team will narrow down the submissions to 20, which will be sent to the guest judge, Amanda Needham, Costume Designer for Portlandia. After Amanda has chosen the 10 finalists, they will be posted on the Be The Buyer page for voting. There will be a week for the Community to vote, then ModCloth will contact the winner and update the contest announcement with the big news!

• Contest is Live Now!
• End of Submission Period: Friday 02/14/14
• Launch voting on Be The Buyer: Monday 03/03/14
• End voting on Be The Buyer: Monday 03/10/14
• Winner announced on ModCloth Blog (winner will be contacted personally): Wednesday 3/12/14

Send your entry in now and good luck!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


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A Beautiful Way to Celebrate Success! http://www.beingtazim.com/success-derek-cardigan-clearly-contacts/ http://www.beingtazim.com/success-derek-cardigan-clearly-contacts/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:21:30 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13359 I’m a passionate eyeglass collector. ClearlyContacts.ca fuels this obsession with their stylish, budget-friendly frames. Since I wear glasses everyday of my life—I can’t possibly be faulted for adding another pair to my collection, can I? I fully believe in celebrating milestones, holidays, and achievements big and small. I absolutely think that adding a new pair […]

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I’m a passionate eyeglass collector. ClearlyContacts.ca fuels this obsession with their stylish, budget-friendly frames. Since I wear glasses everyday of my life—I can’t possibly be faulted for adding another pair to my collection, can I?

I fully believe in celebrating milestones, holidays, and achievements big and small. I absolutely think that adding a new pair of glasses to my collection is an excellent and appropriate way to celebrate. Would you agree? Some people like jewelry or pretty clothing, but me—I like to get myself practical, yet beautiful gifts like eyewear.

So, what am I celebrating now, and what do my new Derek Cardigan glasses have to do with it? I haven’t really shared this with you, but I transformed my love of social media marketing in to a business. I have been working in social media for several years through “real” jobs I’ve had, promoting products and services through my blogs, and also promoting the same for small business owners and entrepreneurs. This past December I got serious, decided on a business name, started taking more business classes, and put some plans in action. I’m happy to say that things are going in a great direction and I see big things coming from this throughout the year. (P.S. here is my new biz website: Whirligig Social)

Last year, so many things changed for me, that it was hard to take the time to focus on the achievements and to celebrate along the way. Doing things for me gives me confidence to push through the hard times and struggles that come from starting a new business. Here is my celebratory gift to myself:

The Derek Cardigan glasses look so great on me, and I love that one side has a “colon” and the other a “semicolon” on the front of the frames. So delightfully nerdy. I love it! The retro-ish tortoise-shell cat-eye frames totally suit me and my personality. I like to put these frames on when I am “getting serious” on my computer. That’s one thing I love about having a growing glasses collection: something for every occasion! Want to get your hands on a pair of the same or similar Derek Cardigan glasses? Head over to ClearlyContacts.ca and celebrate YOU and all your awesomeness!

The above mentioned celebratory gift was given to me by ClearlyContacts.ca, because they are really awesome! I was a HUGE fan and advocate for ClearlyContacts.ca long before we started working together, so this is a truly heart-felt message of love.

pssst. . .these LOVE glasses are only $48 until Feb 17th!!

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A LUSH Love Story http://www.beingtazim.com/lush-love-story/ http://www.beingtazim.com/lush-love-story/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2014 08:49:24 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13347 You could call this a LUSH love story of sorts, for I have long been admiring the goods from this cruelty-free brand of beauty products. As I recall, I first saw, or rather smelled, LUSH products when I went to London in 1998. My cousins and I popped in to a LUSH store, and I […]

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You could call this a LUSH love story of sorts, for I have long been admiring the goods from this cruelty-free brand of beauty products.

As I recall, I first saw, or rather smelled, LUSH products when I went to London in 1998. My cousins and I popped in to a LUSH store, and I saw huge chunks of handmade soap that looked like cheese. That was it. . .love at first site, if you will. The smells, the colours. . .it was an experience unlike any other. I don’t recall what kinds of LUSH goodies I purchased that

I enjoyed buying and using LUSH products before I became vegan – but knowing they had everything clearly labeled and tons of options available made me fall in love with LUSH all over again when I did.

One of my goals this year is to spend more time relaxing. The prospect of being able to use yummy-smelling beauty products makes it easy to want to enjoy some self-care time.

LUSH Love Story

I can’t remember the last bubble bath I enjoyed—it’s been years since I’ve had a bubble bar from LUSH. A soak in the bathtub with the sweetly floral scented Rose Jam Bubbleroon was the perfect way to get into this relaxing habit again. It’s easy to use this bubble bar twice, since it’s two pieces connected together (see the picture above). The Rose Jam Bubbleroom softens and soothes skin and is oh-so-relaxing!

For those days when I don’t have time for a full bath, the Neon Love Soap puts a smile on my face—the perfect way to start a day! The bergamot and rosewood in the soap ensure that I relax a bit first thing in the morning, and the bright pink colour cheers me up and cheers me on!

Lush Love

Heading to the gym or to visit my family—I can still relax and enjoy some time in the bathroom with my favourite products. The Prince Charming Shower Gel is highly portable, so there are no excuses for finding time to relax!

Is spending more time relaxing on your list for this year, too? I know of a few ways you can achieve your goal this year! I was lucky to receive the above mentioned LUSH products. Take a look at the full collection and get more information on the products I mentioned at Lush.ca

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Operation Smile Heals Children’s Smiles http://www.beingtazim.com/operation-smile-heals-childrens-smiles/ http://www.beingtazim.com/operation-smile-heals-childrens-smiles/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:00:26 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13337 If you don’t think mouths are important, or you take yours for granted – this should tell you how important the surgeries are that Operation Smile performs: “The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents […]

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If you don’t think mouths are important, or you take yours for granted – this should tell you how important the surgeries are that Operation Smile performs:

“The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.”

This is something that I just found out: did you know that every 3 minutes a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate? Sadly, one in 10 of these children will die before their first birthday! Operation Smile is out to change that!

 

operation smileSounds like a great cause, doesn’t it? One way to donate to Operation smile is through CampusBookRentals.com. They donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. If you’re like me when I was a student – you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on textbooks that will just end up collecting dust at the end of the semester or year. Unfortunately, most professors insist that their students have textbooks, so what can you do?

One thing you can do to save money and shelf space is to rent your future textbooks.  Another is to rent your current textbooks to other students with www.RentBack.com. You can make 2 to 4x as much renting out your textbooks as you would by selling them at the end of the semester. Awesome! Everyone wins!

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Love Thyself – New Year, New You with Way Spa http://www.beingtazim.com/love-thyself-new-year-new-you-way-spa/ http://www.beingtazim.com/love-thyself-new-year-new-you-way-spa/#respond Sun, 09 Feb 2014 04:58:01 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13340 I celebrated the beginning of the New Year on a date that made more sense to me than January 1st. This year, I got a bit of a late start, since I was out of town for most of January. Instead of getting down about the fact that 2014 didn’t start with a bang! I […]

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I celebrated the beginning of the New Year on a date that made more sense to me than January 1st. This year, I got a bit of a late start, since I was out of town for most of January. Instead of getting down about the fact that 2014 didn’t start with a bang! I decided to use Chinese New Year as the date to really soar this year. I celebrated by treating myself to a much-needed massage.

With all the craziness of December and visiting family in January behind me, a massage was the perfect way to get things back on track.

I started by checking out the WaySpa.com website. You can either search by the name of the spa or choose your location and see what spas come up. When you click on the name of your city you’ll see a map with spa locations marked, and a sidebar filters. Want to make sure you’re provided with tea while you relax in a spa? Just look for that under features and you’re good to go! The spas that accept gift certificates are listed, and any gift certificate specials are automatically applied when you purchase on the website. 

way spa

 

If you’d rather gift a specific treatment for your friend/family member, or know exactly what you want for your own? You can see all the services available and purchase just the ones you’re interested in. I love the different ways you can customize your experience from the comfort of your home! From there, you can either make a reservation online or call the spa of your choice to book an appointment.

By now, most people have forgotten their New Year’s Resolutions. I didn’t make any, but instead have a theme word (“soar”) and am setting intentions for myself for the year. A “new me” means regular massages and self-care time generally. What does it mean for you? And what are your favourite kinds of spa treatments?

Way Spa treated me to a spa treatment recently, so I was able to discover first hand how their website and gift certificate system works. I’m so grateful! 

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Here’s a Quick List of iPhone Essentials http://www.beingtazim.com/heres-quick-list-iphone-essentials/ http://www.beingtazim.com/heres-quick-list-iphone-essentials/#respond Sun, 02 Feb 2014 02:46:20 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13324 Before you load up your iPhone with zillions of apps, you have to take care of the essentials. It may be true that all I could think about when I picked up my new iPhone from the mobile store was all the great cases I could now outfit my phone in. I know that some […]

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Before you load up your iPhone with zillions of apps, you have to take care of the essentials. It may be true that all I could think about when I picked up my new iPhone from the mobile store was all the great cases I could now outfit my phone in.

I know that some people like to have “naked” gadgets, but if I’m going to spend several (several) hundred dollars on something that is going to get a ton of ware, you can bet that I’m going to be taking good care of it! A cute case is. . .well, cute obviously. . .but what good is it, really, if it doesn’t do much to protect your new toy?

iPhone Essentials

Here is my list of iPhone Essentials:

  1. An awesome case to protect your new gadget. The Orla Kiely iPhone 5s case I received has many of my favourite colours all together, in a cheerful pattern. This makes for one happy iPhone. The case is soft, but has button covers on the sides and wraps around the front of the phone, so everything is well-protected.
  2. A wall charger. This pretty pink one works well as an on-the-go charger. That bright colour will make it easier to spot – and you’ll be less likely to leave it behind. I wouldn’t want to lose my one and only factory-fresh wall charger, so I am glad to have this one from Belkin to keep in my purse when I leave the house.
  3. A car charger. If you use your iPhone as a GPS or are app-happy, you’ll want to be able to charge your iPhone while you’re driving so you don’t end up getting stranded somewhere with no means of communicating with others, whether in an emergency or otherwise. Pick up a car charger.
  4. Sport-Fit Armband. A hands-free iPhone case like the Sport-Fit Armband is perfect for when you need to quickly head to the corner store and don’t want to take a ton of stuff with you. There is a handy key-holder, and enough room to slide in a couple bills or your debit card behind your iPhone. Of course, if you’re a runner – this is MADE for you! Just attach your headphones, slide your arm through and you’re ready to go!

Check out the rest of the Orla Kiely iPhone 5s cases, other cases and tons of other fun accessories (which are totally essential).

I want to know what the first things you bought when you got your new iPhone are – and what you consider to be essentials!

I’m lucky enough to have received the 4 iPhone Essentials pictured above. I am all about telling it like it is—so, obviously. . . all opinions are my own. Just the way it should be.

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How to Have the Best Year Ever http://www.beingtazim.com/how-to-have-best-year-yet/ http://www.beingtazim.com/how-to-have-best-year-yet/#respond Fri, 17 Jan 2014 19:41:02 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13288 New Year’s resolutions: don’t you just hate them? Many people make them, and never stick to them, or make resolutions that they think they should—like a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight. I’m doing things differently this year; really focusing on what is most important to me. First, I started by creating a […]

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New Year’s resolutions: don’t you just hate them? Many people make them, and never stick to them, or make resolutions that they think they should—like a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight. I’m doing things differently this year; really focusing on what is most important to me. First, I started by creating a word for the year, and using that to guide me with my goals and intentions for the year. Along with the word of the year, I will be using several other tools in my life. 

How to have the best year yet

Sleep mask Vision Board | All other photos by Tazim Damji

Here is my list of how Im going to have the best year ever, and how you can, too:

  1. Sleep I don’t know about you, but I saw at least a dozen tweets and Facebook messages saying that all people wanted for Christmas was enough sleep. This obviously seems really important for a lot of people—so, make the conscious decision to get more sleep this year! This goes for me, too—I’m naturally a night owl, but since I’m on the West Coast, everyone has already been up and working by the time I get up in the morning. I’m going to turn myself in to a morning person so that I can get more done during regular working hours—which will be better for my business, and just makes sense all around.
  2. Goals With all the ideas floating around in my head of things that I want to do and places I want to visit this year, it’s important for me to have clear goals so that I can focus on priorities. Setting up an action plan to achieve those goals is crucial to staying on track.
  3. Reflection Okay, so you achieve this or that goal—now, what? Set aside time to reflect on what you’ve done, how it made you feel and decide whether or not it was a good return on investment of time and money. This is a good idea for any time of the year, not just at the end. If you schedule time to reflect, you can make adjustments as you go, rather than just “starting over” the next year. I will be doing this bi-weekly, but do what works for you and your schedule—monthly or weekly, perhaps. You don’t need to journal, if that’s not your thing—try list-making instead, or draw if you’re so inclined.
  4. Support Having friends and family to go to for moral support is important, for sure. But, have you considered also having a life or business coach? I’m going to be working more closely with a business coach this year—someone I can go to talk through my business goals with who has experience in that area, and can lead me in the right direction with new ventures/ideas. Do you have an accountability buddy who will check in with you to make sure you’re on track with your goals for the year? A friend or business coach can be this for you.
  5. Visualize Do this by meditating or by putting up a poster with your goals and intentions for the New Year. I’ve never made a vision board before, but I put mine together and also made a Pinterest board, which I can keep adding to throughout the year. If I feel like I’m moving away from my goals and intentions for the year, I can come back to these boards to remind myself where I want to be and how I want to feel.

It’s not about changing who I am; it’s about being the best version of myself possible. This year is going to be the best year yet, and I’m going to make it happen thanks to the little changes, as I shared above.

I would love to hear from youin what ways are you planning to have the best year yet this year?
And, what are you adding to my list? 

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*Light: 25% less calories than dessert-inspired flavoured vodka beverages

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by the makers of Smirnoff Sorbet Light™* via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed here in are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the makers of Smirnoff Sorbet Light™*.

 


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Next Issue App – Love is a Many-Magazined App http://www.beingtazim.com/next-issue-app-magazines/ http://www.beingtazim.com/next-issue-app-magazines/#respond Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13280 I have been spending a lot of time on my iPad lately—not surfing online, not on social media. . .but reading! You heard that right—I’ve been taking my iPad with me everywhere so that I can make the most of the few minutes here and there to catch up on my magazine reading. The Next […]

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I have been spending a lot of time on my iPad lately—not surfing online, not on social media. . .but reading! You heard that right—I’ve been taking my iPad with me everywhere so that I can make the most of the few minutes here and there to catch up on my magazine reading. The Next Issue app has saved me from both lugging around multiple magazines, and also from wasting time while I’m waiting for appointments and what-not.

I recently flew from Vancouver to Calgary. Normally, this is a one and a half hour flight—no big deal, right? Well, due to several flight delays, and having to take transit from North Vancouver to Richmond, it was an all-day affair. Buying myself more and more magazines to keep occupied would’ve been super costly. But with the Next Issue app? An entire month of unlimited magazines (and so many choices of what to read!) for $9.99.  I didn’t mind when my uncle took an hour to pick me up from the airport after I’d landed—I had a new issue of Condé Nast Traveler to read. I daydreamed of flying off to one of the warm and adventurous locations outlined in the magazine, rather than cold and snowy Calgary.

next issue appnext issue app

next issue app

My magazine choices are as varied as my interests in life. Lucky for me, the Next Issue app has me covered. I ended up choosing travel, fashion, cooking, business and home organization. One thing that I like about the Next Issue app is that issues of magazines download while you’re reading, so you don’t have to wait before diving in to your favourite article.

Out of all the magazine articles I’ve been reading lately, here are 5 of my favourites: 

All You (August 2013) –  ”Have a Bowl of Good Health” is all about choosing the the most healthy cereals to enjoy for breakfast. I like how there are tips on other healthy things you can add to make cereal even more healthy—like fruit and nuts.

Condé Nast Traveler (September 2013) The article ”The Visionaries 2013″ shares stories about individuals, like Freida Pinto, who are using their influence to make a difference in communities around the world. Pretty inspiring stuff!

Better Homes and Gardens (May 2013) Being the gadget-junkie that I am, I really appreciated the article “50 Make-Life-Better Innovations.” From apps to new tech, there are, well, 50 (as the article title suggests) things that I’ll be checking out this year!

Backpacker (November 2013) I would love to travel to other continents for adventure travel, but I don’t see that happening this year. The article “Best of Adventure: N. America” makes me think that I don’t need to go very far to get myself into some adventures, though!

In Style (My 2013) I’m someone who has a hard time figuring out how to wear certain wardrobe pieces, so the article “Three Ways: Striped Skirt” really helped me visualize different ways to dress up/down one single skirt. Clicking on the three outfits within the app shows me more details about each component!

What magazine titles would you start with on the Next Issue app?

next issue app

Try the Next Issue Canada app free for 30 days – and you’ll be staying up all night reading magazines, like I’ve been. This post was brought to you by Next Issue Canada. All opinions are entirely my own.

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Top Home Office Essentials for Bloggers http://www.beingtazim.com/organize-home-office-essentials/ http://www.beingtazim.com/organize-home-office-essentials/#respond Sun, 05 Jan 2014 04:13:00 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13273 Beautiful and useful—two reasons that I like to keep my Belkin Messenger Bag around my home office—at the ready for blogging on-the-go. Whether you’re blogging from home or blogging from elsewhere. . .there are certain things that every blogger needs for their office. While I do most of my writing from home, I do like […]

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Beautiful and useful—two reasons that I like to keep my Belkin Messenger Bag around my home office—at the ready for blogging on-the-go.

Whether you’re blogging from home or blogging from elsewhere. . .there are certain things that every blogger needs for their office. While I do most of my writing from home, I do like to treat myself to a coffee once in while and get some concentrated time to focus on getting things done without distractions. I have been lucky enough to take my blogging career on the road a bit last year and plan on carrying on with that this year. Being able to work from anywhere in the world is my ultimate goal, so being able to keep all my office essentials in one place is. . .well, essential.

Because I know you’re anxious to put together your own to-go office, I am here to announce that I have 3 (!!!) of these sleek messenger bags from Belkin to be won! Way to start the New Year, huh? Read the rest of this awesome post, then enter to win, below. Giveaway open to Canada only.

Office Essentials for Bloggers

1. Favourite pens and a pretty notebook—Wait. Whaaaat? This IS the “digital age,” right? You don’t want to pause what you’re doing (working, not seeing what everyone’s up to on Facebook—right?) to type up a few notes or thoughts that suddenly cross your mind, so bring along a notebook and a pen to keep things flowing. This Belkin messenger bag has lots of spots to store your notebook and multiple pens, styluses, and what-not.

Belkin Messenger Bag - Home Office Essentials for Bloggers

2. An editorial calendar. Do you have a digital one, or do you use a paper day planner? I like paper, and since I spend enough time on all my electronic devices, I prefer to keep a paper planner with me. I write down all my blog post ideas, what I want to write on certain days and incoming/outgoing money. If you have a paper planner or daytimer, here’s plenty of room to store it in this messenger bag.

3. A computer or tablet of your choice. If you’re going to be working on your tablet, pick up a keyboard case for it to make typing so much easier! While I do take just my iPad with me (decked out in a sweet Belkin Ultimate Keyboard Case) if I don’t plan on being out for too long, I much prefer working on my MacBook Pro, since everything I need is handy. There’s a cushy padded section in this messenger bag that will keep your tablet and/or your laptop comfy and safe.

4. Charging cords and cables for all your devices. Even a quick run to the coffee shop could turn in to several hours if inspiration strikes you—so come prepared. The best idea would be to leave a duplicate charger that you can leave in your messenger bag so you don’t have to worry about leaving anything at home.

5. A stylishly sleek and light messenger bag, like this one from Belkin. Having an organized spot to put everything makes it so much easier when it comes time to pick up and change locations.

If you don’t back things up electronically—in the cloud or with one of the many online storage sites available, a USB stick may come in handy for saving files. What else would you add to my list of home office essentials for bloggers? ? What do YOU bring with you when you blog outside the home?

Now’s your chance! Enter to win one of 3 awesome Belkin messenger bags! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Hibernating in Style with this Seventeen Bedding Set http://www.beingtazim.com/hibernating-in-style/ http://www.beingtazim.com/hibernating-in-style/#respond Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:00:11 +0000 http://www.beingtazim.com/?p=13234 Whether you want to re-style a dorm room for the winter semester, or you want to jazz up your bedroom at home, this bedding set from Seventeen, exclusively sold at Macy’s, is cheery and cozy enough for the job. The Ikat Vintage Ombre pattern is a refreshing ikat design in revitalizing shades of blue on a […]

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Whether you want to re-style a dorm room for the winter semester, or you want to jazz up your bedroom at home, this bedding set from Seventeen, exclusively sold at Macy’s, is cheery and cozy enough for the job. The Ikat Vintage Ombre pattern is a refreshing ikat design in revitalizing shades of blue on a white background.

I first fell in love with ikat print when I visited India, almost 10 years ago, and saw it being produced by hand stamps. I just love the subtle pattern, and how easily it can fit in to many décor styles.

This particular Ikat print, on the Seventeen bedding set, is printed with a calming blue range that goes from deep blue to turquoise. The weight of the comforter is perfect for winter, but the cheery colours and pattern mean it will easily transition in to spring, too.

seventeen bedding set

Even though the Seventeen bedding set line from Macy’s is targeted to teenagers, I actually really like them for my own bedroom. I feel like most bedding targeted toward adults is boring—solidly coloured and neutral. I really like having printed bedding, though—so I’m loving this Ikat Vintage Ombre set.

Do you like changing out your bedding seasonally? If you do, or if you’re looking to add some cheery elements to your winter bedding, you’ll appreciate this Ikat Vintage Ombre bedding set.

The comforter comes with matching pillow cases to complete the look. Take a look at it on Macy’s website. You can order the Seventeen bedding set in different sizes, and also get the coordinating sheet set.

Here’s to hibernating in my fluffy new bedding this winter, thanks to Macy’s and Seventeen. 

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