Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Simple Spaghetti Squash

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?! I've been intrigued by this pasta imposter (impasta!) for quite some time so decided to finally test it out for myself...and it was delicious! As it was probably the priciest vegetable I've ever purchased (over $7!), I reallllly didn't want to eff up the cooking of it, but thankfully it turned out perfectly. I was afraid that the strands would be really mushy, but they actually had a great bite to them, and the bland flavour pairs well with any type of sauce. Obviously, it doesn't taste quite the same as real pasta, but at 1/5th of the calories, it's a pretty good trade-off. 

Here are the simple steps I followed to prep it:

1. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise for shorter strands; widthwise for longer ones -- I did the latter).

2. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.

3. Place the halves (cut-side down) on a plate and microwave for 12 minutes.

4. Scrape out the inside with a fork (the fun part!). 

5. Serve with your sauce of choice -- I opted for a pre-made alfredo sauce.

{Cut-open spaghetti squash with innards intact}

{I never realised quite how...seedy...this vegetable is. Apparently you can save the seeds and roast them for a tasty and healthy snack if you're so inclined}

{The finished product! Doesn't it look so legit?!}

So there you have it -- a healthy and simple meal in minutes! I was pleasantly surprised at how filling spaghetti squash is (I felt just as satisfied after a bowl of it as I would have with the same amount of the real deal). And there's so much of it too -- definitely more than enough for two hungry people, and could easily feed up to four.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Met Gala 2015: Red Carpet Lowdown

Despite the fact that I love a good red carpet (I practically count down the days to the Golden Globes and Oscars each year), the Met Gala has never really registered with me as an event to get excited about. Each year, it'll come and go and I'll give a cursory glance to the fashion of the night and then completely forget about it until it rolls around again. But I felt there was something different and way more outrageous about it this year...and like EVERYONE in Hollywood was there! Why has it never dawned on me that pretty much everyone who's anyone goes to this?! 

With the theme being "China: Through the Looking Glass," there was a definite Oriental vibe to the majority of the night's looks, and the fashion bar was raised to a higher-than-usual standard of WTF-ness. Here are my thoughts...I'd love to hear yours!


{I love Sarah Jessica Parker, so I may be biased, but I thought she totally owned this striking ensemble: a Philip Treacy headdress and SJP x H&M dress. If anyone can pull off a high-drama look with nonchalant ease, it's SJP.}

{Solange Knowles is another favourite style icon of mine, and while this supremely bizarre Giles number would definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, I think she really worked it.}

{I loved the colour of this Guo Pei gown/cloak on Rihanna, I loved her bob and the headpiece, and I thought she had the perfect haughty demeanour necessary to pulling off such a look...but I just felt there was something really off about the fit -- too bulky around the torso or something??}

{Wow, what a weird dress. Obviously there's the hood, and then there's the fact that it looks so incredibly budget  -- like as if Anne just picked up a random piece of material from the bargain rack at Fabricland and made it herself (it's actually Ralph Lauren)}

{I realise these ladies are never going to be paragons of class and elegance on the red carpet, but do they have to be so OBVIOUS?!}

{Why bother going to the Met Gala, Reese Witherspoon, if you're just going to wear THIS?!}

{Wouldn't you just love it if Julianne Moore wore something completely outrageous on the red carpet?! Like, just once?? She's always so incredibly staid.}

{I loved the combination of Lily Aldridge's icy blue dress, mint green earrings and super dark lip. So sleek and crisp.}



Monday, May 4, 2015

5 Favourite Beauty Trends for Spring/Summer 2015

What are your favourite trends for hair and makeup this season? While there were definitely some pretty out-there looks on the s/s 15 runways (um, dyed pink eyebrows anyone?!), there were thankfully some more wearable ones too. Here are five looks I'm drawn towards...

Spring/Summer 2015 Beauty Trends

1. Low Ponytails
I'm pretty boring when it comes to hair (most of the time I just wear mine down), but I love the polished yet easygoing look of a low ponytail. 

2. Hot Pink Lips
I've always loved the look of a bright pink lip (NARS' "Schiap" is one of my go-to lipsticks), and apparently this Barbie-esque style is right on trend this season.

3. Nude Nails
I'm not a big nails person (I bypassed the whole nail art thing completely), but this neutral look is one I can get behind.

4. Graphic Pastel Eyeliner
The models at Fendi actually sported strips of pastel-coloured leather on their eyes -- not exactly a look I'm willing to commit to, but I do think a swipe of mint green or powder blue liquid liner would look equally fresh.

5. Gold Hair Accessories
I love the minimalist look of a simple metallic hair accessory a la Céline's gold circle clip, but even just a few well-placed gold hair slides would give the same sleek vibe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

10 Items Inspired by Pantone's Spring 2015 Colour Report

As you may have guessed by now, I'm pretty much obsessed with colour and I always look forward to seeing which shades Pantone select for each new season. Which of these hot hues are you most drawn towards?! I'm loving the retro vibe of Lucite Green myself, and I think Toasted Almond may just be my new favourite neutral.


pantone s/s 151. Oscar de La Renta shirt / 2. Dorothy Perkins bikini / 3. Dorothy Perkins cardigan / 4. Roksanda culottes / 5. Miss Selfridge skirt / 6. Choies skirt / 7. Victoria Beckham tote / 8. Valentino dress / 9. Charlotte Russe hat / 10. Mango coat 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lipstick of the Week: Cruella (NARS)

Sephora's birthday gift this past month was a good one: two decent-sized NARS lip pencils, one of which, Cruella, I thought I'd showcase for this LOTW. Described as a "passionate scarlet red," it's the perfect shade to wear when you want to toughen up a sweet outfit, and I'm a big fan of its matte finish. At first, I thought it seemed a bit, well, dark (even by my standards) when I applied it, but it wears to a beautiful wine colour after a few hours and didn't need a single touch-up throughout the day. 

The Lowdown on Cruella
Brand: NARS
Product Type: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Shade: "Passionate scarlet red"; deep wine/burgundy
Price Range: $26US / $$
Celebrity Fans: Charli XCX
Vibe: Intense, edgy

"nars cruella"

"nars cruella"
"nars cruella"
"nars cruella"

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lipstick of the Week: Bolero (NARS)

I recently raided Vicky's lipstick collection and unearthed this little beauty: NARS' Bolero, a lip pencil in a Velvet Matte finish. A light peachy-pink colour (described on the NARS website as "pink cantaloupe"), it's a far cry from my favoured bright/intense shades, but it feels perfect for this time of year -- very springy and fresh. And I love that because it's so soft, I can pair it with a more defined, smoky eye. 

A word of warning, however: it is very drying (even more so than other Velvet Matte pencils I've tried, for some reason), and can easily look cakey/flakey if you haven't exfoliated well beforehand. Also, the swatch on my hand is somewhat misleading; on my lips it's definitely not quite so vibrant a colour.

The Lowdown on Bolero
Brand: NARS
Product Type: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Shade: "Pink Cantaloupe"; light, peachy-pink
Price Range: $26US / $$
Celebrity Fans: Alexa Chung
Vibe: Fresh, playful, retro

"nars bolero"

"nars bolero"

"nars bolero"
"nars bolero"

Monday, March 2, 2015

Crop Star

When it comes to fashion, there are some trends I bypass entirely (ie. culottes), and some I latch on to right away (ie. crop tops). This little white top from last summer made a return appearance for our trip to Cuba, this time paired with one of my favourite skirts ever, a midi/maxi (mixi?) I picked up in a post-Christmas Anthro sale. I love long skirts but I often find it tricky to decide what to wear them with -- so often, a tucked-in t-shirt can look kind of awkward when it bunches up around the waist, I find. So thank God for crop tops! And I love that this plain white one is the perfect backdrop for a big, statement necklace.

pink maxi skirt, white crop top, yellow kate spade bag, ali o'neill blog

Crop top - H&M
Necklace - Aldo
Skirt - Anthropologie
Bag - Kate Spade
Sandals - J. Crew
Sunglasses - Forever 21
Lipstick - Posh Pink (Lancôme)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Little Things I'm Loving: February

Hope you've all had a fabulous February! I'm loving the longer days and the occasionally springlike weather we've been getting  -- there's nothing like a bit of winter sunshine to cheer the spirits. 

Here are five other little things that put a smile on my face over the past month...

Little Things I'm Loving: February
1. I didn't want to be this girl on the beach for our holiday to Cuba a few weeks ago, so I made sure to slather on a liberal amount of St. Tropez' Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse in anticipation. St. Tropez has always been my brand of choice for fake tan, and this new product is miraculous, transforming me from Celtic to Hispanic (kinda) in a record-breaking three hours. 

2. Is it just me or has Forever 21 really upped their shoe game of late?! Not long after purchasing these black beauties, I was back for a second hit -- this time, returning with these faux patent leather ankle strap flats (also available in black) in tow. I've always had a thing for red shoes, and it was love at first sight.

3. The food in Cuba was terrible (and this is coming from a girl who actually kind of likes airplane and theme park food), so I pretty much lived on drinks the whole time we were there...and piña coladas were my poison of choice. The ones served at the all-inclusive we stayed at were fairly good, but the real deal we had a roadside stop on the way to Havana was a game changer. Served in a coconut and garnished with a slice of pineapple, it was ambrosial

4. Target, as a store, has never been a particular favourite of mine, but the fact that they're shutting down their 133 locations in Canada means massive liquidation sales, with 20-40% off everything in store. Well worth a visit!

5. This Burt's Bees Rosewater & Glycerin Toner is one of my new favourite products -- it doesn't irritate my super sensitive skin, and it smells heavenly. (When it comes to scents, my taste can sometimes verge on the geriatric -- I'm a big fan of anything lavender or rose-scented).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Little White Pleated Dress

As anyone who follows me on Pinterest knows, I'm a big fan of white dresses (I have a board solely dedicated to images of perfect LWDs). The ubiquitous little black dress, while a classic for obvious reason, can easily veer into funereal/frumpy/lacklustre territory, in my opinion, but the little white dress, in all its iterations, always seems so fresh. 

This pleated J. Crew dress, a sales-score from last summer, is incredibly versatile -- I love changing up the vibe of it by pairing it with different accessories and jackets. If I want to enhance its preppy vibe, I'll wear it with a blazer, while tossing on my leather jacket instantly edges it up. 

Which are you more a fan of -- the LBD or the LWD? 

Dress - J. Crew
Necklace - Forever 21
Sunglasses - Forever 21
Shoes - Forever 21
Bag - Kate Spade
Lipstick - All Fired Up by MAC

Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Carpet Recap: Oscars 2015

I usually feel a little bit let-down with the fashion on Oscar night, and this year was no exception. There were only a handful of looks that I liked, but, unlike at the Golden Globes (recap here),  none that I felt strongly enough about to condemn to a "Worst" list. What were your thoughts? 


{Rosamund Pike in Givenchy}

{Jennifer Aniston in Atelier Versace -- I thought this looked best on-stage, not so much in pictures}

{Jennifer Hudson in Romona Keveza}

{Giuliana Rancic in Mireille Dagher}


{Margot Robbie}


{Dana Perry's Cape}


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Neon Peach

I scored this vibrant little number in the post-Christmas sales last year, and it's easily become my favourite coat to wear once Christmas is over and the new year has begun. It's even more highlighter-esque in real life, if you can believe it, and I find it to be the perfect transitional item for this dreary time of year: warm enough to keep the chill at bay but bright enough to feel fresh and springlike. Some people are convinced it's a pinkish colour, but I consider it a part of the orange family -- a neon peach if you will. To tone it down, I wear it with basic pieces in neutral shades...but I can't resist the addition of a punchy orange lip. 

Wool coat - J. Crew
Sweater - Dynamite
Jeans - Dittos via The Bay
Shoes - Forever 21
Sunglasses - Ray-Ban
Lipstick - So Chaud by MAC

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Little Things I'm Loving: January

How have you all been enjoying 2015 so far? Although January is without a doubt my least favourite month of the year, this one hasn't been so bad. I'm feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the New Year (long may my positivity last ;).

Here are five little things that have been brightening the grey days of this past month...

Little Things I'm Loving: January
1. I didn't have any intention of buying a new pair of shoes when I wandered into Forever 21 last week...but somehow that's just what I ended up doing! These pointed ankle-strap flats (also available in nude) are pretty much my dream shoe. And they're super comfortable too! I find that most shoes I buy (even flats) require a torturous breaking-in period, but these happily did not.

2. I'd been on the look out for a new highlighter for a while, and NARS' Albatross highlighting blush is exactly what I was searching for: something that I can lightly dust on my cheekbones and nose to give a bit of a luminous glow without being garish.

3. I've always been fascinated by other countries and cultures, so this beautiful book by Lonely Planet -- which gives a one-page low-down on every country in the world, complete with stunning photography -- is right up my alley. 

4. I know there's no real need for a print planner, as anything worth noting, like appointments and the like, can be tapped into a phone in 2 seconds...but I'm a sucker for an aesthetically pleasing product, and Katie Daisy's 2015 Live Simply Planner -- filled with uplifting quotes and gorgeous illustrations -- makes planning ahead that much more fun for me. 

5. Have you guys heard of the app Trivia Crack?! Basically, you play against an opponent to answer a series of questions from six categories -- Art, Science, Sports, Entertainment, Geography (my favourite!), and History. Whoever correctly answers the questions from all categories first wins! It truly is addictive...

Monday, January 19, 2015

My Personal Style (Interview with Vicky)

I recently had the honour of being interviewed on my personal style by Vicky for a school project she had. It's always nice being on the other side of an interview for a change, so I was delighted to take part. Here's what I shared :)

My personal sense of style is constantly evolving, but at the moment I'm drawn to feminine pieces,  interesting patterns, and striking colours. I wear a fair amount of neutral shades, but I love colour -- everything from pale, sugary pastels to punchy jewel tones to obnoxiously bright neons.

I would say that I've always had an interest in fashion -- in the sense that I've always had a weakness for a pretty dress -- but it was really only around 2-3 years ago, when I started my blog, that I began to pay more attention to trends. I don't slavishly follow them, but I always look forward to seeing what looks will be dominating a season. Above all, though, I try to wear things that flatter my figure -- for example, even though I appreciate how cool a mannish, oversized coat can look, I personally prefer more of a nipped-in waist.

My personal style has definitely changed over time -- a decade ago, I pretty much lived in oversized Gap hoodies, track pants, and Sketchers, while these days you'd be hard-pressed to find me in anything other than a dress or skirt.

In terms of style icons, I'm a big fan of Blair Eadie of the blog Atlantic Pacific. She has a fantastic eye for colour and pattern, and always looks immaculate. I also love Solange Knowles' style -- again, she always has fun with colour and print, and her lipstick game is on point. And I think I'll always have a special place in my heart for that other fashionista-named-Blair, with her perfectly placed headbands and daring tights. As I believe the wise Blake Lively once said, "You can watch Gossip Girl on mute and still be entertained."

How would you describe your personal style? And who are your icons? I'd love to know!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Red Carpet Recap: Golden Globes 2015

January to March may be my least favourite stretch of the year, but there is one perk to this otherwise dreary time: Awards Season! I'm not the biggest movie buff (I have yet to see any of the big films nominated this season), but I love love love the Red Carpet coverage. Here were some of the best, worst, and, uh, most interesting looks of the night in my opinion. What were your thoughts on the fashion this year? I'd love to know! 


{Naomi Watts in Gucci}

{Gwyneth Paltrow in Michael Kors}

{Julianne Moore in Givenchy}

{Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Carolina Herrera}

{Julia Goldani Telles in Carmen Marc Valvo}


{Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad}

{Keira Knightley in Chanel}

{Tina Fey in Antonio Berardi}

{Claire Danes in Valentino}

{Lana del Rey}


{Rosamund Pike in Vera Wang}


{Amal Clooney's Gloves}

{Kate Mara's Belt}


{Conchita Wurst}