A 5'3 Perspective

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Manicure Monday: Halloween Nails

The Halloween countdown is on, only 10 days to go! I’ll admit that I have given no thought to my costume for this year – but my nails are definitely feeling the spooky spirit! This manicure is simple and fun. I’ll include a tutorial and a list of products used so you can give it a try! Halloween ManicureUsing essie blanc as a base coat, paint each nail entirely white. Once this base is dry, use a dotting tool (I use this Quo brush and dotting tool set, which can be found at Shoppers Drugmart) to create two black dots for eyes near your cuticle. Next use the smaller end of the tool to create the nose by painting two dots attached to each other. Finally, use the brush to paint five thin lines from just after the middle of your nail all the way to the tip. Allow the black to dry completely before adding a top coat to avoid colour bleeding.

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

xo Lauren

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High Five, It’s Friday

High Five For Friday1. Surprises in the mail from Marianna at Castellammare Jewelry. If you haven’t checked out her beautiful pieces – go, now. You won’t regret it!
2. My new pair of Paige Edgemont skinnies arrived in record time. You better believe I will be wearing this non stop!
3. After years of waiting, Ottawa finally is home to it’s first H&M. The store opened to the public yesterday but I was lucky enough to score an invite to the launch party on Tuesday. Although I didn’t make any purchases, I did receive a beautiful purse in my swag bag!
4. Wearing shorts in the fall while parking myself on a bench and spending the afternoon reading made my Sunday afternoon. The almond milk latte wasn’t bad either!
5. Sephora has finally restocked their nail polish displays with the new Formula X polish. These brightly coloured stands are neatly organized and have special testing stickers so that you can play with the hues before you buy! I love the new look and will definitely be adding a few polishes to my cart soon!

Thank to Lauren for hosting High Five For Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

xo Lauren


Five Last Minute Halloween Costumes You Already Own

At the begin of October I always start to think about an elaborate Halloween costume for the year. By mid October, I have usually forgotten all about it. The day before Halloween I am frantically trying to throw together anything in my wardrobe to make a costume. If this sounds like you, here are five costumes ideas that are likely already hanging in your closet.

1. Where’s Waldo WaldoAll you need to make this costume work is a red and white striped shirt and hat, a pair of jeans, and glasses. The cane and messenger bag are optional – if you’re friends can’t figure it out without those two items, they need a lesson is 1980s children’s literature.

2. Robber RobberBlack pants, black hat, black and white striped shirt, dark sunglasses and black shoes. The more black the better! If you can find a bag to carry around for your bounty – even better!

3. Rosie The Riveter Rosie The RiveterYou go girl! Pair a denim blouse with denim short and add a bandanna, red lips and an obscene amount of bicep flexing and consider this Halloween a girls night out!

4. Black Cat Cat CostumeBlack on black on black. Add some ears and a few whiskers [drawn on with eyeliner] and give your superstitious friends a run for their money.

5. Tom Cruise in Risky Business Risky BusinessThis is probably one of the most overdone costumes, but it is a no brainer. Grab your boyfriends white dress shirt, a pair of spandex shorts, socks, sunglasses and a candle sick and be prepared to dance the night away!

With only two weeks until Halloween, start pursuing your closet so your costume is the least stressful part of your night!

xo Lauren


The Healthiest Pumpkin Pie You’ll Ever Enjoy!

In Canada, Thanksgiving has come and gone. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the pumpkin puree! This dairy free, grain and gluten free, sugar free, vegan pumpkin pie will have you stocking up on cans of puree for months! As long as you have a food processor, this recipe is fool proof! Guilt Free Pumpkin PieIngredients

1 1/2 cups almonds
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 t water

2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling – loads of added sugar in those cans)
3/4 cup pitted dates
5 T almond milk
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
4 T melted coconut oil


Start by making the crust. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the mixture becomes sticky. You’ll want to ensure that there are no large pieces left. Using a spring form pan or a pie dish, press the crust firmly into the bottom. Take your time to make it even and thoroughly flattened.

Next, combine all of the filling ingredients, with the exception of the melted coconut oil, in your food processor. Once a uniform filling is achieved, add the coconut oil and blend until well combined. Spread the filling into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours.

If you use a sharp knife and allow the filling to set in the fridge you should have no problem serving this dish in perfect slices. Don’t tell people that this recipe is healthy – they will never even suspect it. It can be our little secret!

Happy WIAW!

xo Lauren

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When To Retire Your Running Shoes [Plus a HIIT Workout That Will Kick Your Butt]

Knowing when to replace my running shoes is always a mystery to me. Should I base my decision on kilometers logged? Holes in the toes? Worn tread? After some research, here are my suggestions.

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

A general rule of thumb is to change your shoes approximately every 500 km (which is just over 300 miles). Now this distance depends on a few variables. The first is the weight of the runner – the heavier you are, the quicker you will wear out your sneakers. Next consider the efficiency of your stride. If you land hard on your heels with each step, for example, you’re going to wear through shoes more quickly than someone with a lighter technique. Finally, consider the cushioning of the shoes. A minimalist shoe that begins with less padding will wear out quicker than a more supportive shoe.

If you’re not sold on miles logged as an indicator of when you’ll need to replace your runners, there are some other variables to consider. The surface and terrain have a huge impact on the longevity of your shoes. A treadmill trainer will be able to rack up more miles than a concrete runner due to the cushioning of the terrain. Another red flag is worm tread on the soles. If it’s basically flat along bottom of the shoe and the tread is worn out— it’s time.  Some runners may notice an uneven wearing pattern on the soles of their shoes, this doesn’t mean that you should wait for the entire tread to be worn out, it just means that you are a heavier runner on one side.

Personally, I use my body to tell me when I’ve worn through a pair of shoes. If you’re used to pain-frees training – and all of a sudden you experience knee, back, foot, or shin pain – consider that a sign.

To increase the lifespan of your sneakers, try rotating between two pairs. By giving running shoes a day or two off the cushion will relax and keep it’s structure longer, but more importantly, you are changing up the way your foot is stressed based on the design of the shoe. Interchanging between a minimalist shoe and a structured shoe will not only increase the longevity of both pairs, but also help train your feet and improve your stride efficiency.

Now that you’ve got an idea of when to retire your running shoes, here’s a High Intensity Interval Training workout that will put them to good use.  HIIT Treadmill WorkoutFor your sprints you will want to go as fast as you possibly can on the treadmill. After 30 seconds, jump off the treadmill (to the side) or straddle it while the belt continues to move at your sprinting pace. This ensures that you don’t waste any time resetting the pace between each sprint. You may get some funny looks if you do this workout at the gym, but I promise you it is worth it.

Have a wonderful day!

xo Lauren

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What’s Better Than A Weekend?

The answer to that question should be pretty obvious, the only thing better than a weekend is a LONG weekend! Having an extra day to relax and spend time with family and friends is always such a treat, but before we can celebrate the holidays (it’s Thanksgiving in Canada), let’s take a moment to appreciate the past seven days. High Five For Friday

1.  On Sunday I ran for a cure for breast cancer along with my family and friends. Thanks to you guys, I was able to raise almost $1600 to donate to the cause!
2. Do I even need to explain why this is awesome? Whiskey and fried chicken… You better believe I had a sore stomach the next day. It was worth every bite!
3. Just a tiny selection of my product sample collection. I love trying new products and these mini packages are just so cute. I’m already dying to splurge on the full size NUDE ProGenius Treatmeant Oil.
4. 5 AM elevator rides. My man is heading out west for a few days (actually a lot of day :(). I miss him already but I know he is going to have an amazing time!
5. Enjoy nature and each others company before Neil’s trip – I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting this appreciation party! If you want to link your post of Friday reflections, head over to TheLaurenElizabeth.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren


Five Beauty Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Okay, so maybe life-changing was a strong choice of descriptor, but I promise you that these five tips will help you out when it comes to your beauty routine!

1. Match Your Foundation To Your Neck, NOT Your Face.
Think about it, you will be covering your entire face in the stuff while your neck is left bare. Matching the colour to your neck will ensure that you never look like your wearing a face full of someone else’s make up!

2. Suck Your Thumb After Applying Lipstick To Avoid Getting It On Your Teeth.
I know this sounds weird, you don’t really need to suck your thumb, just put it in your mouth and lightly close your lips around it. If you do this immediately after applying lipstick, the area of your lips that tend to touch your teeth will be bare. Your lipstick application will be flawless and you’ll never have to worry about having red teeth again… unless you’re drinking red wine, but that’s a different story.

3. Lightly Touch Your Nails Together To See If They Are Completely Dry.
I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before. Your nails feel dry to the touch, but as soon as you resume your daily activities, your new manicure gets completely ruined. This happens because the under layers of the polish are not completely dry. Once your nails feel dry to the touch, you can confirm that you are no longer incapacitated by manicure hands by lightly tapping two nails together. If you feel any pull or stick, wait longer.

4. Blow Dry Your Eyelash Curler To Enhance Your Lashes.
First of all, make curling your eyelashes a regular part of your beauty routine. This tool helps to open up your eyes and create more visible lashes. To really amp up your eyes, heat the metal part eyelash curler with your blow dryer before using. A heated tool will create a curl much more effectively that an unheated tool which means that a warm curler will give the effect of longer-lasting, noticeably curlier lashes. Just don’t forget to test the temperature of the metal before putting the contraption near your eye.

5. Conceal Your Lips Before Applying Colour.
Yes you will look strange before you apply your lip colour, however, priming your lips with concealer will give the lipstick a blank canvas. Your reds will be more vibrants and your vampy colours will be taken to a whole new level. With this trick, you’ll never have to worry about whether the colour in the tube will look the same on your lips. And as a bonus, the layer of concealer acts as a bond and will make your lipstick last even longer!

What are your favourite beauty tricks? Have you ever tried any of mine?

xo Lauren

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Healthy Buffalo [Not Chicken] Wings

If you’re ever in need of a healthy and vegan crowd-pleasing snack, this is your go to recipe. It is simple enough to make before work [yes I do that often] but taste like it came from a restaurant. This recipe was born because I kept buying these delicious spicy bites from the ready made section of our organic food store and I knew I could make it for much cheaper. Buffalo Cauliflower BitesIngredients

1 medium head of cauliflower
1 T. olive oil (or enough to coat the cauliflower lightly)
1 T. paprika
1 T. chili Powder
2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. hot sauce


Preheat the oven to 425F. Chop the cauliflower florets into bite sized pieces and move them into a large zip lock bag. Add olive to the bag with cauliflower, seal and shake until each piece is lightly coated. Add the rest of the spices to the zip lock bag and shake well until completely coated. Pour mixture onto a tin foiled lined shallow baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Once baked, allow the cauliflower to cool. Toss in a generous amount of hot sauce. Serve and enjoy!

If you want to make this an authentic substitution for wings, serve with a blue cheese dip!

Happy eating friends!

xo Lauren


Eating Cobra, Ottawa’s Secret Supper Club

Ottawa has always had a reputation of being a boring government town. Sure it’s more tame than Toronto or Vancouver, but that doesn’t mean the city is devoid of unique offerings, you just have to look a little harder to find them.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend one of the city’s most exclusive [and elusive] dining experiences, Cobra. This event can be summed up in one word. cryptic. It all begins with the sign up process, which can be found [but not easily] at EatCobra.ca, once you enter your email prepare to wait. Guests are chosen at random from a draw. It can take years for your name to be chosen, but when you finally receive the news, do not turn the invite down.

After being chosen, you’ll be given directions to meet an individual holding an obscure item, who will then lead you to your dining destination. From my research most Cobra events are quite intimate with only 10 – 12 guests. Last night was completely different. After following our guide through alleys and back entrances, we slid [yes, literally took a slide] into the party of a lifetime.

Excitement and anticipation were at an all time high as we climbed to our final destination.

Excitement and anticipation were at an all time high as we climbed to our final destination.

Foodie Paradise.

Foodie Paradise.

Our secret destination was filled with about a hundred eager foodies, mingling and sampling sips and bites from Ottawa’s most talked about restaurants. Chefs from Atelier, El Camino, Black Cat Bistro, Zen Kitchen, Absinthe, and Union 613, just to name a few, lined the perimeter of the room preparing gourmet dishes for diners to try.

While we didn’t have the opportunity to eat cobra as the name implies, we did sample some unexpected items:town Wellington Gastro Pub Jim Bean Atelier Chez EdgarThis is by no means an inclusive representation of the items offered, but in the theme of the event, I am keeping some of the goodies to myself! I will say this, everything was delicious, which made it almost impossible to choose a favourite. Neil absolutely loved the “Lord’s Bounty” from Union 613, while I couldn’t get enough of the “Flu Season” from Atelier, which was made from cough and cold syrup, Halls and Flintstones vitamins. Sounds strange but it was surprisingly delicious.The Lord's BountyFlu SeasonThe evening ended with a live band and flowing wine. It was an experience of a lifetime and I can only cross my fingers that I am one day selected to attend another Cobra event!

If you’re interested in attending Ottawa’s Secret Supper Club, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Visit EatCobra.ca and figure out where to enter your email.
2. Stay informed by following @CobraOttawa on Twitter.
3. Wait patiently until you receive your mysterious e-mail!

PS: In case you’re wondering, I ate everything (with a little help from my lactose pills) and my body hated me for it, but sometimes feeding your soul is more important than worrying about food intolerance.

Have a wonderful day friends!

xo Lauren