August 31, 2017

Host an End of Summer Wine and Cheese Picnic




Nothing defines summer like being surrounded by nature at a beautiful location sipping a glass of your favourite wine. Fall is just around the corner, so what a better way to end summer than to host an end of summer wine and cheese picnic for your girlfriends? Picnics are so easy to host because of their casual vibe and how easy they are to prep for. I thought I would share some tips how to host the perfect picnic for your girlfriends especially since summer is almost over. While I try to keep picnics simple and casual, there are still some things that are essential in having a successful summer gathering with your girlfriends. Like say, Wine?

How To Host The PErfect End of Summer Wine and Cheese Picnic with XOXO Wines 

Pack light

Packing light for a picnic is a must. You definitely do not want to be carrying tons of bags with you. Keep it simple and bring with you only the essentials. I recommend serving cheese on a board that has a lid that way you don’t have to worry about flies or bugs getting on your spread. Wine glasses are beautiful, but not the kind of glass you want to be packing for a picnic. For my picnic gathering, I went with the cutest plastic glasses to match the fun colourful theme of the picnic.




Find A Picnic Location

Location is always key when you want to put together a picnic for your girlfriends. Of course company trumps all other elements, but location is just as important to set the mood for a successful gathering of chit chat, laughter and memorable moments. Picnics are defined by beautiful landscapes, lots of greenery, and a serene atmosphere so pick your picnic location wisely.



What to Drink

You’ll be fine as long as there is wine. I would define myself as a casual, unpretentious wine connoisseur. One of my favourite summer drinks is Sangria! XOXO Wines has a light-bodied Sangria with semi-sweet fruit flavours of pomegranate, blueberry and  orange, with hints of purple grape, that will immediately quench your thirst and refresh your palate. This is their Red Sangria! To give my girlfriends the option I also added to our wine choice a White Sangria so they can try both or choose according to their liking. The XOXO Pinot Grigio Sangria is a light-bodied with medium-sweet fruit flavours of white peach, mango and passion-fruit. It also has some hints of pear and floral. I find these two XOXO Sangrias to be the perfect summer drink not only because of the summery element, but also because it pairs well with so many different foods, making it the ideal wine to serve during any gathering especially a picnic.



Food to Pack for your picnic

When it comes to entertaining outdoors, especially picnic gatherings your spread should be as simple as possible. To match my laid back feel of my picnic I decided to go with a Wine and Cheese theme picnic.I paired the XOXO Pinot Grigio Sangria and Red Sangria with a tray of red grapes, strawberries and figs. I also packed olives, crackers, crostinis and nuts (not shown in pictures). So many reasons to love Sangria especially since you can pair your glass of Sangria with any food you love. The last addition to my food spread for my XOXO Wine pairings was chocolate. I usually pair the Red XOXO Sangria with spicy salami and chorizo because it balances out well the falvours. For those that prefer the XOXO Pinot Grigio Sangria, I love pairing it with guacamole or shrimp which are also easy to pack and take to your picnic.

Like your typical wine, sangria also goes well with cheese. From Gouda to Havarti to even blue cheese, I created a tray of mixed cheese for the perfect wine and cheese picnic. Serve the cheese with the crackers or crostini and add a slice of fig on top. Delicious!

Your Picnic Food Spread should Include

A mix of cheese (Cheddar, Gouda, goat cheese, blue cheese etc.) 
Nuts
Breads and crackers 
Olives and Pickled items
Salami, prosciutto or any cold cut meat you prefer
A mess free salad
Chocolate truffles or any other sweet delight
Fresh Fruit


Don't Forget about the music

I love the casual vibe of picnics and just sitting down on a blanket tasting the delicious spread and sipping the refreshing XOXO Sangria, but not so fast! Tunes are just as important to set the mood of your picnic. I usually bring my speaker with me and connect to my iphone to create the perfect atmosphere.


So there you have it, how you can also host the perfect end of summer wine and cheese picnic for a fun afternoon or evening with your girlfriends serving my favourite bottles of Sangria.

Thank you to XOXO Wines for collaborating with me on this post to create the perfect end of summer picnic.

SHARE:

August 29, 2017

Off The Shoulder Floral Dress

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd

Bijuleni - Off the shoulder floral dress #ootd
This off the shoulder floral dress has been my favourite summer dress and on major repeat. Love how airy and breathable the material is, and the pattern is just perfect with the right amount of floral details on it. Unfortunately, it has been a bit cold out that I have to always wear a cardigan over it but it looks just as cute even when I layer it. 

Shop my favourite Off The Shoulder Dresses
         

     

SHARE:

August 21, 2017

7 Mistakes You Are Making While Blow Drying Your Hair

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair. Cavalier King Charles puppy getting her hair blow dried
My biggest challenge when it comes to my hair is knowing how to properly blow-dry it without damaging it. It has been a roller-coaster ride the past couple of years, but I have finally gotten the hang of it and I am actually really happy to share with you 7 mistakes I was making and you are probably making too when you are blow drying your hair. You will be so surprised how these little things will improve the health of your hair. Read below some mistakes you may be making when blow drying your hair. 

1. You are using the wrong type of hair dryer.

A blow dryer is not just a blow dryer. Not all blow dryers are made the same, so it's important to know what you're working with.Certain hair dryers are meant for certain types of hair. Before running to the store to purchase the latest must have blow dryer do your research and see if it is actually the right hair dryer for your hair. I did a lot of research before I got my Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool hair dryer. I wanted a hair dryer with Ionic Technology that enhanced the shine of my hair and reduced the uncontrollable hair frizz I usually get. The Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool does all of this, and an amazing bonus is that it is made with noise reduction technology. Because Margot has very long hair that has a slight curl (especially her long luscious ears), we always have to blow dry her hair after showering her. This is very typical for the Cavalier breed, and since hair dryers are a bit scary for dogs, I love the fact that the Conair 3Q keeps the noise to a minimal. Margot loves having her hair blow dried and I owe it all to Conair. 

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

2. You are not using the hair dryer attachments.

Hair dryer attachments will make your life much easier.  If your hair is curly and you want to enhance your curls or actually make your curls look like curls instead of a tangled mop, use the diffuser. The diffuser is a magic tool that will add body to your curls. Since my hair is straight, I always use the concentrator to control the crazy frizz and style certain areas of my hair, especially my side bangs. I used to remove the concentrator all the time because I thought it was preventing my hair from drying faster, but the concentrator actually helps with styling your hair.

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

3. You don't section your hair properly.

Seriously. Are you even sectioning your hair? I actually used not to. Then I started to section my hair while blow drying my hair and my whole hair game changed. My tip is to tie you hair into a half top knot bun (see picture above) so that you can work with the lower layer of your hairline then work your way up by letting loose one section at a time. Also, work your way from the front to the back. 


4. Your hair dryer air setting is too high or on Hot heat.

Heat levels on your hair dryer are there for a reason. The Conair 3Q has 3 heat / 2 speed settings. The number one mistake I always used to make is set myhair dryer heat air setting on hot. In reality, you should be adjusting the different heat levels depending on hair type. The high heat setting on your hair dryer is there for thick or coarse hair. Since my hair is thin and not thick what I usually do is use the high heat setting (Hot) when I first start to blow dry my hair and my hair is really wet. This helps for me to remove the excessive moisture. Then I move my hair dryer heat setting to low. This hair dryer actually has 70 percent more air pressure than Conair DC motor dryers, so it actually dries your hair much faster with less heat to minimize heat damage. So really, no need to use the high heat. 

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

5. You are not using The cool shot.

This is one setting your hair dryer has you are most likely not using. The cool shot air button is one of my favourite features of my new Infiniti Pro. What does this cool little button do? It helps to seal the hair cuticle which gives your hair long-lasting hold and gives you that Blake Lively hair shine. I use the cool air setting when my hair is about 80 percent dry and work my way around my whole head.

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

6. You are holding the hair Dryer in One Place.

Thankfully, this Conair 3Q  hair dryer has up to 70% more air pressure for ultra-fast drying, with less damaging heat that helps make your hair shiny and healthy looking, but that doesn't mean you should be pointing your hair dryer at the same hair section for a long period of time. Pointing your hair dryer at the same hair section will fry your hair regardless of what hair dryer you are using. Don't do that. Constantly move your hair dryer because otherwise you are going to damage your hair.  

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

7. You are not using a heat-protectant product.

When I blow dry my hair a little voice keeps screaming at me Are you using the hair protectant? That little voice is Kamiran. He is a firm believer of heat protectant. No matter how much your hair dryer protects your hair, you need that extra protection for your hair. Whether it is a spray or a serum do not forget to add it to your hair before blow drying and styling. Your hair dryer will protect your hair while blow drying your hair to a certain extent, but you need to take it a step further. My favourite product at the moment to use when styling my hair is Kerastase RĂ©sistance Ciment Thermique. I am going to share my favourite hair products I have been using for the past couple of months in a post soon, so stay tuned.  

Bijuleni - 7 Mistakes you are making while blow-drying your hair, plus Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool review

For optimal results when blow drying your hair regardless of what hair dryer you are using, if you are making the 7 mistakes I mentioned above your hair will suffer. When I started paying attention to these little details I saw a major improvement in the health of my hair and the way my hair was transitioning from wet to dry. Powerful yet extremely lightweight, the Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling hair dryer has been an amazing tool to use so far when it comes to drying my hair faster, and helping me maintain shiny and healthy looking hair.

Are there any mistake you make while blow-drying your hair?

Thank you to Conair Canada for partnering with me on this post. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 
*Photography by: Laura Clarke Photography  


SHARE:

August 16, 2017

6 Easy Ways To Make Time For Your Partner

Bijuleni - Couple Photo with pretzel

Bijuleni | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy in Coach Tote

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni | Colourful ruffle sleeve sweater with lace eyelet yellow party skirt and Coach Tote

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd

Bijuleni - Casual #ootd for a picnic. Wearing Amevie Blue lens cat eye sunglasses

Bijuleni - Mens casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni - Couples casual #ootd for a picnic

Bijuleni | Mens casual #ootd

Bijuleni | Colourful ruffle sleeve sweater with lace eyelet yellow party skirt and Coach Tote

Bijuleni | Colourful ruffle sleeve sweater with lace eyelet yellow party skirt and Coach Tote

Bijuleni | Colourful ruffle sleeve sweater with lace eyelet yellow party skirt and Coach Tote

Bijuleni | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy in Coach Tote

Even though Kamiran and I live together I feel as if we hardly see each other. Our weekdays are always a blur. Between my full time job and the blog, I usually get home pretty late in the evenings. If that wasn't enough when I am home, Kamiran is usually not, so our schedule is never in sync to say the very least. This leaves limited time for Kamiran and I to do couple things. Our catch up time seems to always be on the weekends and even then it is always go go go. So that we don't end up feeling like we are each other's roommates, we have a couple of things we like to do to make our chaotic life a bit more balanced. Below are 5 ways we make time for each other and hopefully these little things will also help you to make time for your partner as well. 

1. Have A Designated Movie Night

Tuesdays are our movie nights. It is such a random day, but I love that we have something to look forward to in the middle of the week on such an uneventful day. When there is no good movies out, we usually turn the evening into a Taco Tuesday instead, so we both know Tuesdays we both need to make time for each other.

2. Find A TV Show You Both Love.

Another way we spend time together is finding shows we both love to watch which forces us to actually have one on one time without going into our own zone. We also never watch the episodes without each other, so that is a great way to set aside time for each other. I mean who can go days without watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Sometimes we PVR the shows but most of the time we watch the shows in real time.  Even though we are just watching a show it is nice to have a common interest. Currently the shows we always watch together are Game of Thrones, Death Note, Stranger Things, The OA, The Leftovers, Walking Dead, Attack of The Titans. Yes, we actually have shows we watch individually too.

3. Invite People over.

Making time for your partner does not have to be the traditional one on one definition. You can make time for your partner by also making time for other people. Inviting people over is actually a great way for you and your partner to not only spend more time together, but to also act as a team to plan the event together. It is extremely satisfying to do things as a team and create something together, in this case a fun evening with friends. I also love the fact that this allows you to mingle with other people too instead of being couped up in your little couple cocoon.

4. Go on Mini Vacay.

The past year we have been a lot better with taking little mini vacations and spending more time together outside our everyday life. Mini getaways even if they are a couple of hours away from your city are so fun. When we went to Prince Edward County, even though it is only a couple of hours away it was a nice escape from the city to spend some quality time together. We have also done a couple of mini staycations in the city like the time we stayed at One King West.

5. No phone policy.

I am still struggling with this, but try not to use your phone as much when you are with your partner. Being a blogger, I spend tons of time on my phone since social media is such a fundamental aspect of blogging, but it is also important to put the phone away and make time for your partner. I have definitely reduced the amount of time I am on my phone, but what helped was setting a no phone policy whenever we are eating, watching our favourite shows or just randomly times we are both home. This is a pretty easy way to make time for your partner, and ensuring they do not feel left out when you are glued to your phone.

6. Shop Together. 

Go shopping together. I know some guys do not like shopping whatsoever, so make the time to go shopping with your partner and help him shop. Because Kamiran knows how much I enjoy shopping by myself, he appreciates me taking the time to go shopping with him even more. I also recommend shopping for some things together. For example, Kamiran and I wanted to find new sunglasses so we decided to look for a pair together. We found Amevie, but then it was also fun to help each other pick the perfect pair. Even though it is shopping you get the conversation going. Kamiran ended up going with the Bamboo wayfarer sunglasses - Laguna in black and he also helped me pick my Bamboo sunglasses - Paris with the blue lens. This pair actually came in black but Kamiran suggested I should go for the blue lens since they look more unique, and I am glad I did.  

7. Surprise Each Other

Don't take making time for your partner as literal. Think outside of the box how you can show your partner you care for them and be creative. When Kam goes away on business trips I write messages on mini post it notes and I place them in the pockets of the pants he has packed, or in his wallet. It such a small gesture, but it is so exciting when he tells me I found a note today and then goes on to say how it effected his day. For some odd reason, it always seems he finds my notes when he is having a bad day. Little gestures like these add an element of surprise in your relationship and it reminds you that it is the little things that make a huge difference in everyday life. Even though an I love you note may seem typical you never know how it is going to affect the other person.


What are some ways you make time for your partner? 

SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig