What I'm Reading - September

August was a brutal month for me - I have virtually no time to read! I've compiled quite a collection of books to read and decided to share a few with you! 

As always, they're loaded on my Amazon Kindle, because it's the perfect companion for travel. As much as I love the smell of a book, the practicality of the Amazon Kindle was just too great to pass up on. 

My Current Wish List

We all make them, the coveted wish list. Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to have the extra income to purchase most things on my own, however, there are a few pricey items just out of my reach that I lust after. 

Linus Bike Dutchi 3 in Sage 
This bike is my dream bike! I want to be riding it all over the place with a cute basket on the front!

Elkin Collection Asshole T 
This shirt screams my name, unfortunately they don't ship to Canada so it's just out of reach.

For Love and Lemons Lingerie 
Everything this company has to offer is truly magical. Have you seen their lingerie? BEAUTIFUL!

Jeffrey Campbell for Free People Joe Lace Up Boot in Black Leather
These have been on my mind for about a year. I need them in my life but they're just a teensy bit of a splurge so I'll  have to continue lusting for now. 

Now that you've seen my wish list I'd love to see yours! Send me your lists or head to my Facebook page and leave me some pictures! 

- Carlybellexo

Tips To Stay Productive (when you really want to watch Netflix instead!)

Sometimes it's hard to stay on task (or even to get motivated to start that task at all) when there are so many things that can derail you (Netflix/Buzzfeed/YouTube, I'm looking at you!).

***EDIT - It should be known that it took me 15 minutes to complete that part because I was in fact watching videos on YouTube of dogs chasing carrots attached to string and a ceiling fan***

Now I'm the last person who should be giving ANYONE advice on staying motivated, but I do have a few tricks that help me out during the worst "Meh" and "Bleh" moments. 

Get Out of Your Bed
I am 100% guilty of trying to write my blog posts while in my bed. This is a TERRIBLE idea. What's that - pillows and a blanket? NAP TIME! Find yourself a nice stiff chair (like the ones at your grandmother's dining room table, you know, the ones that make even one family dinner feel like eternity). Sit at a table or desk. Set yourself up with a special place to stay motivated. Of course, don't get distracted with designing your space, save that for it's own day!

Set a Timer
If you're really having trouble with staying on task, set yourself a timer and focus for 5-10 minutes at a time. Reward yourself with a few minutes downtime with checking that social media feed or watching a video or two!

Put on Some Tunes!
A little music never hurts at all! Nothing gets me going on a task better than a little music (OR truth be told, a little nerdy science talk from my favourite radio show CBC's Quirks & Quarks. I will NEVER deny my love of science or Bob McDonald)!

Dance Break (or Get Up & Move)
Sometimes you have to give yourself a dance break or jump up and down! Get yourself going so you don't fall asleep or get so bored you give up!

What do YOU do to stay on track or get motivated? How do you stay on task when you need to get something done? Leave me some comments below on over on my Facebook page

- CarlyBellexo

Spruce Up your Decor with Minted.com (Sponsored Post)

Recently I partnered with Minted to share with you the amazing array of artists they have readily available to help you transform your decor. 

Minted isn't just a place to get business cards or invitations, stationary, Minted is a design marketplace that connects you with independent artists to create some truly one-of-a-kind decor for your walls.

All artworks are printed on museum-quality paper and available in a wide array of sizes and framing options.

Minted sells the work of independent artists from 43 different countries and the crowdsourcing model enables anyone, anywhere, to submit designs for its challenges. 

Minted gave the most amazing opportunity to pick out some framed prints for my collection, and I have to tell you honestly - it took me FOUR days to choose amongst the designers and art prints. There is just SO much to choose from! 

I'd like to talk a minute about the packaging. I ordered my prints and they arrived to my house 2 days later! And they were neatly stacked at my front door just waiting for me to tear into them!  I took a few pictures to show you just how well cared for your prints are when they leave the facility and show up at your door. 

I ordered 5 different framed pieces! I was so excited to tear into them I almost forgot to photograph them!

Can we talk about how well this came packaged!

Can we talk about how well this came packaged!

Each picture was framed like this with extra cardboard to protect them from shifting!

Each picture was framed like this with extra cardboard to protect them from shifting!

Each print came with a card about the artist and the print! I absolutely LOVE this!

Each print came with a card about the artist and the print! I absolutely LOVE this!

Even the inner packaging is cute! I love this! I'm a sucker for packaging and Minted wins my heart!

Even the inner packaging is cute! I love this! I'm a sucker for packaging and Minted wins my heart!

Not packaging, BUT worth mentioning that every print I received came framed and included very sturdy hang cords on the back. This makes it so much easier to get your art on the walls as soon as it arrives! How cool is that?!

Not packaging, BUT worth mentioning that every print I received came framed and included very sturdy hang cords on the back. This makes it so much easier to get your art on the walls as soon as it arrives! How cool is that?!

The wonderful people at Minted are giving me the chance to share with you a coupon code for 10% off art prints of your very own! Use the code CARLYBELLE10 by July 20th and get your creativity on! 

I bet you want to see which prints and frames I chose, well here there are! I'm just trying to decide which rooms to hang them in! 

This is the whole collection! I went a little crazy with my order! I also took the photo outside because the natural light is SO much better than the dim lighting in my house right now, but also I took it outside because I'm doing a bit of work in the house and couldn't put them up just yet!

This is the whole collection! I went a little crazy with my order! I also took the photo outside because the natural light is SO much better than the dim lighting in my house right now, but also I took it outside because I'm doing a bit of work in the house and couldn't put them up just yet!

I'm a sucker for the California prints! the pineapple is just a given (if you follow my snapchat (carlyrighteous) you'll have seen my new pineapple print pants!), the pier is actually in Manhattan Beach, which is where my friends and I went a few years ago on vacation, and the waves, well they're just peaceful! 

I'm a sucker for the California prints! the pineapple is just a given (if you follow my snapchat (carlyrighteous) you'll have seen my new pineapple print pants!), the pier is actually in Manhattan Beach, which is where my friends and I went a few years ago on vacation, and the waves, well they're just peaceful! 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the gold foil prints on Minted! This larger one was my favourite! I love the added punch it gives the print! The other is just a great mix of strokes of some of my current favourite colours! 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the gold foil prints on Minted! This larger one was my favourite! I love the added punch it gives the print! The other is just a great mix of strokes of some of my current favourite colours! 

I want to send a big thank you to Minted for sending me some amazing pieces, and for letting me share the awesome creative marketplace with all of you! 

- CarlyBellexo



Summer To-Do List

As much as I joke that I dislike the sunshine, I LOVE summer. I love being able to spend time outdoors with my friends and get a little natural vitamin D when I need it! 

I love having little plans set that I'd like to do and sometimes, the simple little things make for the best memories. 

As always, I'm excited to spend time with my friends. Sitting around the pool or having fires together always leads to hilarious conversation and a lot of laughter. 

I'm really excited this year to have more sunshine in my back yard. A VERY large maple tree developed a large crack all the way down to the base, so it had to be removed so it wouldn't fall over the next storm and damage our house or the neighbours. Now, for the first time in ages there's sunshine all over the yard! The possibilities for the gardens are now endless! 

My friend Katie is a little world traveller and picked up surfing and paddle boarding along the way. I'd love to go out on the water with her this summer and get a little pleasure from something she loves so much! 

Yoga is great. I definitely lack in the flexibility department, but I love stretching. I can't wait to spend more time with my mat outside in the mornings!

Taking the dog for a hike is always a good time. He loves it, I love it. It's a great place to spend some hours talking with my brother (or whomever else I rope into going with me). 

Summer concerts. Who doesn't love a good day of music and sunshine? I'll 100% be covered in sunscreen, but I can't wait!

Obviously there are so many other things I'm looking forward to this summer (fresh Ontario berries, corn & seafood cookouts, walks downtown, etc) but this is the list I've come up with for now

What do you plan on doing this summer? Use the hashtag #cbsummerlist on Instagram when you post photos so I can see the fun you're having! You can also let me know below! 

- Carlybellexo