A 5'3 Perspective


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Manicure Monday: Tiny Triangle Tips

When the essie Fall 2013 launched, I couldn’t stop swooning over After School Boy Blazer. Sure I have a few deep blues in my collection, but this one is so dark it almost appears black – until you take a close look, then the complexity of the hue will have you in awe. I finally purchased this shade last week and knew that it would combine perfectly with essie No Place Like Chrome to create a fun, futuristic and geometric nail art mani. essie nail art ellepottsie manicure MondayAfter two base layers of No Place Like Chrome, I used the weight of the brush to paint V shapes at the top of each finger and then filled in the bottom to create this look. Remember to take your time and breathe to keep a steady hand.

Now that the new Fall colours are readily available in stores, which hue are you coveting for the season?

xo Lauren

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High Five For Friday: A Week In Review

Friday1. Spending some quality time with local bloggers at the Rideau Centre Project Preview Reception! Obviously a selfie with the queen of selfies (ML of Twenty York Street) was necessary.
2. Hockey is back! To start the (pre) season off right, Neil and I headed to a 67s game which got us in the spirit!
3. Decked out in head to toe Banana Republic, I had the opportunity to model fall coats on Daytime Ottawa. It was such a fun experience and my outfits were absolutely amazing.
4. Last night Neil and I celebrated four years of being together. After running around town on a scavenger hunt, he finally found me waiting at Murray Street for drinks and dinner. I highly recommend visiting this spot if you’re looking for a delicious meal.
5. Finishing my second half marathon with my dad by my side – I couldn’t have asked for a better running partner!

If you want to link up your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com.

Have a great weekend!

xo Lauren


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Hey Ottawa: Welcome To Your New Rideau Centre

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Rideau Centre Project Preview Reception along with hundreds of other bloggers, media personnel and store owners. The event gave a nod to the mall’s past, present, and most exciting upcoming future. Thirty years after opening it’s doors for the first time, Ottawa’s largest downtown mall is about to get a complete face lift!  Over the next 34 months, huge investments (think double the spend to develop the Ottawa Convention Centre) will be made to turn this already popular shopping center into Ottawa’s go to fashion destination.

Exciting announcements regarding the upcoming Rideau Centre redevelopment - with Ottawa's majestic Parliament Buildings as the backdrop.

Exciting announcements regarding the upcoming Rideau Centre redevelopment – with Ottawa’s majestic Parliament Buildings as the backdrop.

Blogger Babes

Blogger Babes

After being wined and dined, Ian Boulva, VP of development at Cadillac Fairview, announced a couple teasers for the crowd, naming a handful of new stores that will be taking up residence at the Rideau Centre: J. Crew, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret, Simons, and a flagship Harry Rosen, as well as a new food center which will occupy the first floor space where Sears used to be. On top of a plethora of new brands, Ottawa can expect a four level expansion project where the old Ogilvy building used to be, filled with thirty (or more) stores and a new destination retailer. The redevelopment project will create a revitalized Rideau Centre, with completely renovated interiors, and a more vibrant Rideau Street.

Exact details including, store names and budget will be updated today at the 9:30 AM press conference.


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Clean Apple Spice Muffins [and the CIBC Run For The Cure]

Lately Pumpkin everything has been the go to flavour for Fall, but what about Apple?! For me, Fall is about layers, crisp air, and apple picking. As a kid I remember heading out to the orchard at least once a year to bring home bags full of delicious local apples. As the old adage goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away – so why not eat your apples baked inside a delicious and healthy muffin? Apple Spice MuffinsIngredients

2 cups oats
1 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
2 droppers of liquid stevia
2 tbsp softened coconut oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 apple (finely chopped)

Optional: 1/3 cups nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients (except for the chopped apple and nuts) in a large mixing bowl. Once the batter is well uniform, fold in apples and nuts. Spoon the mixture evenly into a muffin pan (silicon or lined) and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

On an unrelated note, nest weekend I will be participating in the Ottawa CIBC Run For The Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. As many of you know, this is a cause that is near an dear to my heart. If you are able to, please visit my fundraising page and donate to this worthy cause – anything and everything helps. I would really appreciate if you could share this link with your friends and family to help raise as much money as possible to further cancer research and bring us closer to finding a cure.

If you are in town on the 6th of October and would like to join Team Esther, please let me know, I would be happy to have you!

Have a wonderful day friends!

xo Lauren


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My Second Half Marathon Experience

After sleepless nights, training doubts, and racing remorse, I am thrilled to have completed my second half marathon this Sunday – and even more excited to have finished in under two hours! If you read my running remorse post last week, you’ll likely be surprised to hear that I have been bit by the racing bug again. While I am not signing up for another half marathon in the near future, I am looking into a couple 10 km races in the winter (just checking out my options – I want to come down from my running high before I make any commitments).

All hesitations aside, I knew I had given my best effort effort training for this race. Preparing for a Spring half is much different than a Fall one – I have learned that I prefer running in cool temperatures (and even snowstorms) as opposed to warm scorching weather. Most distance runners will use Sundays as long run days; take a moment to think about what that means. Fun Saturdays are always cut a little short to make sure you feel ready to get a 16, 17, 18 k (or even longer) run in before peak heat hours. Depending on your pace, these distances can take over two hours to complete meaning you’ll need to be out pounding the pavement before 9:00 AM. Another sacrifice you’ll have to make is running on vacation. If you let your training slip, it is very hard to pick up where you left off – summer is a very popular time to take weekend trips, be prepared to pack your running gear and map out a couple routes to run while everyone else is sleeping in. This being said, running on vacation is one of my favourite ways to explore a new city, it makes me feel like a local and I almost always come across neat areas I would have never found otherwise.

Winter is easier. Long runs aren’t scheduled around the sun, Saturday partying is less frequent since patios are closed, and buy new cold weather running gear is a lot of fun. Sure the footing is slippery and you might run into a snow storm (literally), but as long as you are careful and alert, these added elements of difficulty make the time fly by. Maybe this is personal preference though!

father daughter finish line

Strides away from the finish line!

half marathonI had planned to do a race recap, but as the kilometers ticked by, they all merged together. I can tell you that the Canada Army Run is much less flat than the Ottawa Race Weekend route. If you are looking for a PB, consider that. Although I did not beat my first half marathon time, I felt much stronger and in control throughout the entire race – extra hills and all. I am confident that if the courses were the same I would have snagged a PB this time around. Either way, I was elated crossing the finish line knowing I had secured another sub two hour time!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

Neil and Alicia along the course cheering us on, with Lanna and Susan close beside them!

I cannot even begin to express how thankful and honoured I am to have such great friends and family that pushed me every step of the way. From my dad you ran by my side, to my amazing boyfriend and friends who cheered me on along the course and at the finish line, I know I couldn’t have made it through the race without you guys. Knowing that I have such kind and thoughtful people in my life makes me feel so lucky. It truly meant the world to see your smiling faces cheering me on.

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Celebrating another sub two hour finish with my dad!

Will I run another half marathon? The answer is most likely yes. Crossing the finish line on Sunday reminded me of why I make the sacrifices I do to be a runner, it also confirmed that I truly do love running.

Despite a little muscle soreness, I am eager to lace up my sneakers this week and do what I love.

Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend, you did it!

xo Lauren


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Manicure Monday: Galaxy Nails

Inspired by outer space, these dark but shimmery nails have been making quite a splash in the blog world. After watching a couple tutorials, like these (one and two), I couldn’t wait another day to try them out myself. I’m a huge fan of manicures that look complicated and unique but are easy to achieve – this is one of them.Galaxy Nails galaxy nailsFor this manicure you’ll need quite a few different polishes: a black for the base, then you’ll apply a dark blue, followed by purple, followed by white – using a sponge to dab the colours on. Once those layers have dried, you’ll need a translucent and sparkly polish to layer on each nail, followed by a polish with large silver glitter pieces. I highly recommend watching one the tutorials above to see how this manicure is achieved before ruling it out for its complexity.

If you’re rocking a fabulous manicure today, send some pictures my way. Tag me in your nail pics on Instagram or Twitter.

xo Lauren


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It’s The Weekend!

After a terrible and fatal tragedy this week, I think it is safe to say that this week was a particularly tough one for the residents of Ottawa. Horrific events like the one that occurred on Wednesday remind us how important it is to cherish every moment, from the smallest things to the biggest accomplishments – I plan to take this as a reminder to love unconditionally and be kind. Life is precious and you only get one chance to live it, so smile and make the most of every day. Here is just a tiny snapshot of some things I am appreciating this week:High Five For Friday1.  It is rare that Neil will participate in a race without me, but over the past week he did – and on top of that, he finished with one of the best times of the entire group! I am a very proud girlfriend.
2. This weekend my partying brought me back to the good ol’ university days – who brings a flask with them anymore? Wait – I do.
3. I used to be one of those people who wakes up at the very last moment and runs out the door. Over the past four years, Neil has taught me the importance of relaxing in the morning. Now I can’t imagine going back to whirlwind mornings – spending those 45 minutes drinking coffee and hanging out is one of my favourite parts of the day.
4. Pumpkin = Fall. Sure, but what about apple season! In my mind, apple picking trumps the pumpkin patch – unless I am carving them for Halloween. Speaking of apples, I have an amazing quinoa/oat/apple/cinnamon muffin recipe to share with you soon, if you’re interested.
5. Sunday is my second half marathon. I am so honoured to be running along side with the men and women who risk their lives for our beautiful country. The Canada Army Run is the fastest growing run in the nation over the past five years and I can’t wait to be a part of it! If you’re in Ottawa – take a look at the route and come out and cheer on the runners.

Thank to Lauren for hosting High Five For Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

xo Lauren