Room Retouch

Friday, 30 January 2015

Winter blues have me feeling like a little home decor shopping is in order.  And this time it's a pink and girly fetish.

I had to make this sign after a near-traumatic experience involving me, the shower, and the HVAC guy...

 Fake flowers are like Tamagotchis.  You feel responsible without having the responsibility.  Sounds good to me!  And they're pink.  

Pink books, which I highly recommend.

More flowers in my fireplace.  I've never actually lit a fire in there because there is a family of birds nesting in the chimney and I don't want to blow up their humble abode.

More home stuff to come!

xo B

Fairytales and Such

Saturday, 24 January 2015

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

I just painted my toenails and am now sitting on the couch willing them to dry before I go up to bed.  I always do stupid things like that.  But at least it gives me time to revisit my Gossip Girl days on Netflix.

Okay, enough chit chat; down to business!  Since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with books and with writing in general.  I have stacks of "manuscripts" that I had my parents type up on the computer before I could even spell.  It's quite humiliating to look at nowadays but my passion for stories is still very much alive.  I have been mulling this one idea over and over in my head for several years now; first just a small thought and eventually a little bit of a plot, etc.  I want to write something more mature, which is why I think it's a good thing that I'm taking my time with this one.  Everything I've written in the past has been pretty lame, for lack of a more elegant term.  Here is a little excerpt from the middle of the story and it's a part of a chapter I'm really excited about.  



           “Come along then, dear.  The carriage is just down the lane here.”  
     The woman had already gotten up from her position and was heading toward the exit, assuming that Charlotte was right behind her.  Charlotte, stunned, remained on the bench.  
     “Oh what’s the matter?  Really, we should get going before the next train arrives, we’ll be slaughtered in the onrush.”  She turned around and strode back to where Charlotte stayed, extending a tiny hand with nails like those of a gardener’s hand.  “I’m sorry, dear, I thought you knew.  I am your Great Aunt Esme and you are Charlotte.  Do call me Esme.”

     They sat in silence most of the way, Charlotte fidgeting at her clothes to look occupied and Esme not paying any attention, the latter of which held a neutral expression that could not be analyzed by the former.  The ride was no more than 20 minutes, but Charlotte’s backside was aching nevertheless.  Between ruts in the road she managed to ask, “Does anybody find these conditions to be a safety hazard?”

     Esme sat across from her in the carriage, in the opposite corner.  Staring out of the window, she looked out a bit to see for herself the poorly maintained road that they were on and her face was rediscovered from under the shadow of her wide brimmed hat.  She turned to speak to Charlotte and said, “Well, it is called Breweryman’s Lane after all.  What can you expect?  Before we lived here you see, a long long time ago it is now, these fields that we’re passing – look here –,” she motioned to the tall crops growing beyond the hedge that was whizzing past, “they used to belong to the single only farm for miles that sold beer hops.  And so that’s how our pub survived.  The brewery men would come down here to collect their hops and that’s how the town’s pub managed.”  She chuckled to herself remembering, “the funny thing was that people joked about how the brewery men must all be drunks anyway, so it didn’t really help them much to have a flat road to walk on.”
     Charlotte smiled, acknowledging the farce.  “So they’ve never fixed it, now that other homes are nearby?”

     “Oh no!” Esme replied.  “Not until the road name changes, they say.  And so here we are, it’s not fixed, and at this point in my life I’d rather not put up a quarry with the next burly man who smells like pipe tobacco and grime that they send down here to deal with my complaint.”  She returned her focus to the country outside; clearly still ruffled by the issue that Charlotte had reminded her of.  “Ah, here we are now.”

     Charlotte scooted over to Esme’s side of the carriage and peered out of the window at a thick hedge that had sprung up at the side of the lane.  It appeared to go on for ages.  Deep down Charlotte knew that this hedge was the one to enclose the property where she would soon be staying.  Charlotte was therefore unsurprised when the wrought iron gates finally came into view and a fairy-tale like mansion was visible at the end of a long gravel drive.  They turned onto the gravel and as they entered the estate, she read a large engraved stone that was surrounded by luscious hydrangeas and blue bells:

Est. 1897

     Esme eyed her new guest as the footman began lifting things out of the compartment.  Charlotte had still not taken her eyes off of the Victorian manor house that she was about to call home for a while.  Then she was thrown out of her reverie by a sharp voice that sounded momentarily like a squeaky bark.

    “Shut your mouth, child.  It’s rude to gape.”

                                                                            xoxo B

Miss Alexa

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Guys.  I read the book.  In one day.

As much as I want to believe that it was a major feat, it wasn't.  The secret to being a fast reader?  Pictures, pictures, pictures!  

So anywho, back to the book.  
I bought the paperback version because that is all I could find at my local bookstore but the hardcover is much much nicer looking, as you can see.  Either way, It is definitely a coffee table book/discussion starter piece to have laying around.  I am very glad I read it since I love style and Alexa Chung; however, if you're not into either of those things, or the colour pink, save your 20 bucks for a trip to Starbucks.


At first, I thought I had accidentally skipped a page - you know how they stick together sometimes and you find yourself reading something that doesn't make sense? - but I quickly realized that this book is basically Alexa's stream of thought conveyed via numerous emails to her publicist.  Which, don't get me wrong, is cool.  She is still cool.  Actually, even cooler than how I saw her before reading her book because I could just imagine her voice embedded into each sentence.  The sarcasm practically dripped off the page, or so I imagined.  Who knows, maybe I interpreted it totally wrong since, well, I've never actually talked to Alexa.  

Besides the style icons and tips and random thoughts packed in between two cotton candy-coloured covers, I have to point out that I really admired Alexa's notes on music.  To be honest, I've never heard of any of the bands she mentions, but her words inspired me to hop on Spotify and surf around for everything and anything that is anti-mainstream.  Believe it or not, after several hours of ultimate procrastination, I had created a playlist of music that I actually like listening to, rather than Top 40 hits that I know all the lyrics to only because I hear them at least three times on the radio each time I get in the car.  

So yeah - check It out, or don't check It out.  Doesn't matter to me.  Especially if your coffee table or night stand is looking a little sparse on the home decor front...unless you hate pink.  

Love you and live good.

xo B

A Book, a Bath, & a Blog

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

It did not take long for me to remember how great a little soak in the tub soothes the soul.

I got my homemade cinnamon latte, my bath bubbles, my jams, and my newest read IT by Alexa Chung {as you can full well see}

I obviously knew of Alexa before buying this book but I didn't know enough about her to be all crazy in love; she was just a famous person I had heard of and seen before but nothing special.  Now, holding this book in my hand, I have changed my mind.  She is freaking awesome!

She's just cool, I don't know how else to put it.  I love the way she has made a mark on the fashion industry with her style and beauty without letting her modelling career take over her personality.  Not that I know her personally or anything, so my opinion is pretty much based on photos and videos and her writing.  Her writing!  From modelling to writing?  Talk about beauty and brains.  

Sophisticated, smart, stylish.  That's all I have to say at the moment.

Cool beans.  Maybe I'll post a reading list one day.

Love you and live good.

xo B

Just Flow

Has anyone ever told you to just go with the flow?
Whenever I hear that I think, Seriously?  I'm a girl.  How is that even possible?!

Picture a turtle on Niagara Falls.  That's me "going with the flow".  And maybe I'm totally off the mark on this one but I think a lot of girls can relate to this.  Overanalyzing; worrying; criticizing; gossiping; all of these are part of a groove that I often find myself stuck in and they make it really difficult to mellow out.  Which is why I think of myself as a turtle, with a rock hard shell, so that I have somewhere to hide with only my ridiculously unrealistic thought process until the craziness around me dies down.  Maybe mellow is too mellow of a word.  I don't necessarily wish I was mellow - I like who I am am respect my type-A personality - but it'd be nice to just coast along in a turtle-sized canoe with some heavy duty paddles for a change.

Trying to think of how to articulate my feelings about flowing is a tricky task.  I guess I'd have to say that it's really only been the past couple months out of my entire teenage era that I've made progress in the flowing department.  At university, I was definitely not going with the flow.  I was uptight and a basket case about pretty much anything - including a massive freaking fly that inhabited my dorm room.  I kept asking myself, This is everything you wanted...why can't you just enjoy it now, the ups and the downs?  My mind was telling me that the goods outweighed the bads but my heart was still beating a mile a minute.
I guess my head and my heart weren't on the same page.  My mom always says to me: go with your heart and your mind will follow; go with your mind and your heart will hurt.  Even though I had heard that so many times, it didn't click in until I found myself at university drowning against the current.

I was following my mind.  Although I was on the path that I believed was best for me, my heart knew something different.  The definitive turning point for me was looking in the mirror and realizing that while following the supposed path to success, I was turning into this person I didn't like.  I did not respect myself, like myself, or have any confidence.  Period.  So my final stroke against the flow was a big one.  I removed myself to start fresh.

Since that point, I haven't focused on going with the flow, rather on following what my gut believes to be the best path for me.  No comparison, or regret, or doubt.  Regaining a good life has brought me to such a better state of mind and body.  From there, my confidence has allowed me to try so many new things and all of these new experiences have boosted my confidence in return.

Long story short, going with the flow does not mean keeping up with status quo and managing what life throws at you.  It means finding your own groove and working towards being the best version of you.  It's a lot easier to handle the obstacles in your way when you are happy with where you are headed.

Love you and live good.

xo B

The Coveted Collection: First Edition

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Hi guys!

I can't believe the first week of the year is already a thing of the past!

Maybe some of you read Sprinkle of Glitter's blog and maybe you don't but I'm about to take a page out of her book, inspired by a recent idea of's called a fashion wish list.  Lists in general are cool.  I like lists.  They're just a bunch load of fun to think up.  Now, I'm not saying that I own or plan to buy all of the things on my wish list; think of it instead as a Pinterest board titled What I would wear if I suddenly won the lottery or something.  Okay, here goes:

tortoise shell glasses
cat eye-shaped glasses
hats, hats, hats
thick heeled boots
ripped black skinny jeans
burgundy lipstick
ear cuffs
super soft loafers with denim capris
simple gold rings

I'm sure the list will grow rapidly, but it's a start!  I think it's ambitious to make wish lists; it gives you something to work toward; something to keep you on track, whatever track you might be on.  Keep your eye on the prize, right?  So what are you dreaming of this season?

Love you and live good.

xo B

The Powder Problem Solved

Friday, 9 January 2015

When I was first learning all about makeup from my mum, she took me to a department store and got me a mascara, a liquid foundation, and a powder foundation, saying that that was all a young girl really needs; that a flawless complexion can work wonders.  I have to say I agree.  

As an awkward, disproportionate little teenager, there was nothing I wanted more than to cover up all the spots on my face.  The foundation really did the trick, boosting my confidence ten fold.  I was wearing makeup, which in an of itself made me feel a bit more special, but what's more was that I didn't look like a thirteen-year old who had caked it on.  I just looked like a spotless version of me.  And I liked it.  

So to this day I believe that mascara and foundation are essential tools in the belt; HOWEVER, I have struggled for ages to find a powder foundation that actually does anything.  My issue is that if I just feel like putting powder on without the liquid, it doesn't provide enough coverage to actually cover anything, which kind of defeats the purpose of wearing foundation in the first place.  So I end up wearing liquid most of the time and I would rather have another viable option.  Ya feel me?

**Enter the two lifesavers**

Lifesaver #1: Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder

This little beauty - the round one on the right - was first given to me as a sample at Sephora and I am loving it!  What I love is the packaging, how it lets you take just as much as you need without spraying powder everywhere.  Another bonus is that you can buy the regular size compact or the travel size!  HALO powder gives great coverage and comes in 8 skin tones.  It gives your skin a nice natural glow while doing its job of hiding your spots and evening out your complexion.

Check it out at Sephora here.

Lifesaver #2: Benefit Hello Flawless Powder

This one is a recent discovery of mine - I got it for Christmas - and I must admit I love it more than the Smashbox one.  Even though Benefit's Hello Flawless is my personal favourite, I wanted to show you both because you'll all probably see different results from each depending on your skin.  
Anyway, this Benefit powder is slightly different from the Smashbox equivalent because it's pressed powder as opposed to loose powder.  I don't mind pressed powder besides the obvious downfall of this Benefit one that sends a lot of powder flying all over the place when you put your brush in the compact.  That being said, the product is worth the small mess; just learn to dab your brush lightly.
Hello Flawless, honest to goodness, is the best coverage in a powder foundation I have ever witnessed.  Seriously guys.  No liquid foundation necessary whatsoever on this one.  I dare you to go into a cosmetics shop and try out the tester.  Additional plusses: SPF 15, 9 different shades, and the compact comes with a cute little brush! 

Check it out at Sephora here.

That's it.  Let me know what you think.  I would love to hear about your foundation faves too!

Love you and live good.

xo B

The Hunt

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Okay, let me just rave for a second.

The Hunt is an app, a beautiful beautiful invention where people who don't have anything better to do answer some of life's greatest mysteries.

Find a photo on Pinterest of the sickest boots but have no idea where to buy them?  Put that photo on the Hunt and somebody will find it for you.  PING! **checks phone** Outfit envied cured.

And the weird thing is, even though I kinda make fun of the people who I imagine to be sitting on their phones all day solving other people's fashion problems, I have to admit that there is huge satisfaction in making a fashion find for someone else!  PING! **checks phone** You solved someone's hunt.  PING! **checks phone** Somebody gem'd your find.

Ahh, the Internet.  Oh how I love thee.  Except when you are so complicated you give reason for apps like the Hunt to even exist.

And don't just think the Hunt is for fashion finds.  Ohhhh no.  No sir-ee-bob.  That thing is a genius when it comes to anything from movies to book quotations to song lyrics to shoes to makeup and on and on.

So if you're looking for something in particular or just inspiration, check out this awesome app.  And find me while you're there too - I might be able to help!  @britanypowell.  That's me.  

Have a lovely day you guys!  

Love you and live good.

xo B

That YouTube Thing

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Good evening everyone!

Hope you all had a lovely day, wherever you are.  

Just writing because I know I did a shameless self-promotion post the other day but I'm wondering if you guys could give your opinions about starting up my YouTube channel again.  I really love doing it but it's easy to get disheartened, you know?  So what would you like to see?  Comment below with your opinions or ideas or suggestions!  Should I stick to the blog or try to tackle video as well; what kind of posts; what sorts of videos; etc, etc.  If you don't want to comment below you can always write me a note in the contact me section of the home page!

That's it from me tonight - going to watch Downton Abbey which is coming on in one minute!!

Love you and live good.

xo B

London Calling!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

How life turns upside down when your best friend moves across the Atlantic...

As a bit of a back story, I should mention that my bestest soul mate gal pal, Firoza, is a freaking brainwave who has left the great white north for the chic high streets of London and beyond.  To study law and boys and shopping and clubs.  But she swears that studying comes first!  So as much as I love living vicariously through her via Skype and iMessage, the moderately significant body of water which some of you may know as the Atlantic is a serious issue.

Examples of why the ocean is annoying are as follows:

1. You wake up in the morning to a kagillion messages from your best friend who has gotten herself lost in the city in the middle of the night

2. Skyping or calling often occurs at the most inconvenient time for at least one of you

3. Mail can take up to a month to arrive, at which point everything you ranted and raved about in your letter is pretty much irrelevant

4. English on that side of the ocean is not the same as English on this side of the ocean so when you finally get to speak you have no idea what she's saying

5. As much as you try to update each other on a regular basis, you keep finding that she's talking about people you've never heard of and secretly you get a bit jealous

Even though I can't stand only seeing my best friend every few months, we still have the greatest bond and I know we will be friends until the end of time.

Oops, I better run, London's calling!

Love you and live good.

xo B

Q&A January 2nd

Friday, 2 January 2015

New year, new me, as the saying goes!

For Christmas this year, one of my best friends gave me a five-year Q&A journal (link below), which everyday for the next five years, requires that I answer a simple question.  Today's question, though seemingly straightforward, left me thinking for a while.

Can people change?

My initial response was definitely yes, especially considering what I wrote yesterday about experiences changing you.  But then, while laying in bed with my journal this morning, I discovered a new perspective.  Perhaps people don't entirely change from one thing to another; there are too many characteristics ingrained in each of our individual existences that identify us as who we are.  It makes more sense to me rather, that with experience, people learn more about themselves and gradually redefine their identities as a result.  The older experiences remain equally as significant to each person as the most recent ones because over time, all of them have contributed to that particular person's development in some way or another.  So I suppose people do change, gradually.  It's not like an apple has ever rolled out of bed one morning and declared, "I want to be an orange."  POOF!

Sorry for the deep thoughts - something to munch on with your morning coffee!

Love you and live good.

xo B

{click here for link to Q&A a Day journal}

Shameless Self-Promotion

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Shamelessly inserting link to my YouTube channel below...

I have worked really hard on my first few videos and I know I have a long way to go but I love love love the entire video-making/YouTube channel process.  But heck! It's hella hard to get people to watch my videos!  For the mean time, I am working hard to get a good running start at my channel after a large hiatus - in which I left and returned from uni (more on that later) - and will be satisfied just blogging and vlogging for my own enjoyment and the benefit of my tiny following.  Hopefully, this year perhaps, I will be able to connect with more and more people from around the world!  

Love you and live good.

xo B

Cheers to the New Year!

So long 2014 - you are a thing of the past; an imaginary 365 page scrapbook with all the highs and all the lows tucked neatly away on the shelf with the other eighteen years that came before.  

I don't really know what to say about 2014 except that I am grateful to have lived it.  There's one quote that comes to mind that really sums up my feelings: a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.  In that respect, what have you got to say for a year without obstacles?  If you are the same person on January 1st 2015 as you were 365 days ago, you've lost a year with nothing to show for it.  The key is to remember that any experience will change you for the better.  You win and you learn or you lose and you learn.  I have to admit I have done a lot of the losing side of things this year but as I reflect on my personal growth, I cannot allow the more dismal experiences to taint my true successes.  And I don't want yours to taint your reflection either.  Treat the goods and the bads equally.  Because either way you learned something important; about yourself, about others, about life.  That's progress!  And ultimately, life is about progress, not perfection. Wow, cheezy, but true.

The temptation is to look back instead of forward.  The past is familiar and the future is unknown.  Yeah, reflecting on the year is a great idea right about now, but dwelling on the would haves could haves should haves is not.  The future is a blank slate! Don't be afraid of it.  Say to yourself, like I have, that you are going to take life by the reins this year before it takes you for a spin of its own.  You are the only player in this game.  Every move is your choice and the power of choice can take you to greater heights than you've ever seen before.  But to trust in yourself is the first resolution we all must make for 2015.  Trust.  Trust in what is good and right and real and the choices will come.

I cannot wait to see what 2015 is going bring for you guys!  Only one day in and it feels like all the pieces are just waiting to fall into place.

Love you and live good.

xo B 

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