Back, again!

I’m back!

I feel like I’ve started posts this way a few times since this blog’s inception. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to five countries in the past 10 months. Just thinking about it is crazy! Do I have an amazing job where I make a TON of money? Nope. I just make travelling my “splurge item”. I haven’t had to make any large purchases in the last year and I’ve also had a minimum amount of bills. That’s all about to change soon so I’m glad I got to travel as much as I did this year.

Anyway, my most recent adventures were in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Where I spent a lovely week with two lovely coworkers friends. This was my fifth time in Cuba and sixth time at an all inclusive resort. I love travelling and sight seeing but it’s nice to sip a cocktail in a giant pool once in a while. The week in Cuba was a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. We spent hours in the pool and on the beach everyday but also had our fair share of off-resort adventures.

My favourite moments from the trip were riding horse-back through small villages and catching a barracuda! I also got chummy with a baby crocodile, never knew I could find something that scaly – so cute! Here are a few photos from the trip (more to come!):

SAM_0224 SAM_0171 SAM_0120 DSC_0672 DSC_0526 DSC_0607 DSC_0631

 

Are you planning any trips soon? Where are you going?

xo Martyna

Table for Two

I work at a local Swiss Chalet restaurant and there’s this sweet elderly lady that cabs over from a nearby retirement home to have lunch every once in a while. She always sits alone and orders a kids meal with a glass of white wine.

Image

Today, she wasn’t alone. She came in with another lady only a bit younger than herself. They sat down, ordered and chit-chatted over lunch. Their server went over to talk to them and commented to the lady how it was nice she had a friend with her today. She asked them how they knew each other – they didn’t.

It turned out that they had just met minutes before coming to the restaurant. The elderly lady had been at the bank and was having trouble getting down a step outside. The other lady walked by and helped her down the step. When she noticed she wasn’t getting into a car, she asked her where she was off to. The elderly lady said she was off to Swiss Chalet for lunch then she was going to call a taxi to go home. When the lady heard this, she told the woman she’d be joining her for lunch. She helped the lady into her car, put on her seat belt and drove her over to the restaurant.

After they finished their lunch, the new friend told the server to make sure the lady stayed still, that she was going over to the grocery store quickly but would come back to pick her up. She came back with her groceries and said to the lady, “Where shall we go next?”.

———

We all have something to offer. We have the means to make someone’s day. Do something today that will make someone smile.

When I realized this was going on yesterday, I couldn’t help but cry. Yeah I’m a cry baby but I just have such a soft spot for the elderly. They have so much wisdom and they have weathered through so much that they deserve to be loved and cared for and treated with respect. They shouldn’t be left to cab to a restaurant by themselves just to have somewhere to go.  The amount of elderly people that come to Swiss Chalet to dine alone just breaks my heart. Sometimes it’s a choice but most times, I think people rather have someone to sit with, to talk to. So share a smile at the very least or prompt a conversation – it could make someone’s day.

——

I’m leaving for Cuba tonight friends, I’ll be back next Wednesday and will share photos and stories then.

xo Martyna

Super Simple Gluten & Dairy-Free Pancakes

gluten-free-pancakes

Hi friends, today I wanted to share a quick recipe. As part of my grain-free challenge, I searched for alternatives to my usual breakfast foods. My mom shared a recipe she discovered while in Poland for the simplest pancakes ever. Here it is:

gluten-free-pancakes4

Basically this is a 2 ingredient, 2 step recipe. Can not get any easier than that!

Simply crack two eggs in a bowl and whisk them until they are light and fluffy. Mush up two bananas either using a potato masher or a fork. Combine the two ingredients until you get something that resembles a batter.

gluten-free-pancakes2

I added semi-sweet chocolate chips this time around for more of a treat.

gluten-free-pancakes3

After you finish whisking everything together, heat up a frying pan on Medium heat. Add oil or butter. When the oil is sizzling, scoop up batter and place on frying pan like you would regular pancake batter. I found that the smaller the size, the easier the pancakes flipped over.

It’s as simple as that!

gluten-free-pancakes5

Who would have thought you wouldn’t need milk or flour for pancakes? These pancakes (Technically banana omelettes?) have the same consistency as ‘regular’ pancakes. I’m so delighted by this healthy alternative. Let me know if you try it out:)

Have a great weekend everyone,

xoxo Martyna

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

#ThriftStyleThursday – Pretty in Pink

If I was a creative person, today’s outfit would have been totally 80′s Molly Ringwald. I, however, did not think outside of the box (or maybe it was in the box?) when I thought about today’s theme. I just figured everyone was wearing pink things…oh well.

I could pretend I was channeling Molly Ringwald with my oversized pink blazer? (Just spent 10 minutes trying to Google Molly Ringwald in a pink blazer with no success) We’ll have to use our imagination then.

pretty-in-pink-5

Do you ever have those days where you just can’t find anything to wear? Today was one of those days. That is why this post is about five hours late. I took apart my whole room trying to put together an outfit and failed. So naturally I went to eat. Food helps sometimes. After breakfast I was inspired (or maybe I just gave up on trying) and put together this simple outfit.

Pretty-In-Pink

I’m wearing: Blazer – Value Village $5.99, Leggings- Gift, Shirt – Winners, Sandals – Value Village $6.99, Guess Purse- Gift. Necklace – Handmade.

pretty-in-pink-2

I thought I’d pose with Lola because of her pink collar. Okay that’s not really why. I just think I have the cutest bestest dog ever and I wanted the world to see. She finally reluctantly accepted a kiss or two…

Pretty-in-pink-3

 My sandals were purchased at Value Village Brampton this week.  I was slightly hesitant about them because they reminded me of my grandma’s sandals. Alas the comfort level and quality leather allowed me to look past their senior citizen footwear status.

pretty-in-pink-4

This blazer is now my favorite layering piece. In the Fall and Winter it was rendered useless due to the extreme cold we had. It was too thin to act as a coat and too thick to wear under one. It has now found it’s home in my Spring wardrobe!

Thrifty threads aside, if you read my last post, you would know that I’m doing a grain-free challenge this week. I’ll also have you know, that I’m failing it. Am I discouraged and disgusted by my lack of self-control?!? Not really. I cheated only three times all week and they were small portions. I went from eating grains 3-6 times a day to 3 times in almost a week. Not bad if I do say so myself. It became a fun challenge, trying to find alternatives to eat. My mom and I have been making juices with various fruits and vegetables every day and I’ve been eating a lot of salads, nuts and have even tried out taking soy in my lattes instead of milk (okay, has nothing to do with grains, but have been trying to change my overall diet).  This morning I made amazing pancakes that could technically be categorized as an omelette. I’ll be sharing the super complicated recipe tomorrow :)

xo Martyna

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

You know the drill :)

Zhenya at Being Zhenya
Sheri at Confessions of a Refashionista
Kristi at Alligator Toe
Miche at Buttons and Birdcages
Jackline at Sincerely Miss J
Nout at Sandpaper Kisses
Justine at The Two Cent Chic
Alex at Snippets With Alex
Erika’s Style Diary 
Sistas From Cali

Grain-free for a week

Happy Sunday!

For those of you 9-5ers I know this means the weekend is almost over – but for me it is just beginning. TGIM (I get Monday-Wednesday off)! You know when you have those days and everything just seems so good? Might be partially due to the wonderful sunny day we’ve been having here in the GTA, but today has just been awesome. Feels like Spring is finally arriving and I didn’t wear my coat out today – woo hoo!

After a late night talk with coworkers Friday night (Read: bonding over pitchers of beer and nachos), the topic of the Paleo diet came about. Long story short, I decided the following morning that I was going to try a gluten-free diet for a week. That means no grains, no potatoes, etc. By Saturday morning I was already stumped as to what I was supposed to be eating. Cereal? NO. Toast and jam? NO. Okay maybe just some chicken noodle soup. NO.

After getting past the initial shock, I found alternatives in my kitchen and am crossing my fingers that I can try this for a whole week. I’m treating it as sort of a cleanse, from all the bagels and breads and countless pasta dishes I eat on a weekly basis. As if it were a sign, my mom came home the very same day with a brand spankin’ new juicer. I already made my first juice. I put 1 apple, 1 orange and 1 giant carrot through the machine and made the best tasting juice I ever had.

Also as you can see, I found something to eat. Made a mushroom and cheese omelet. Man am I good at this or what.

Apart from the whole gluten-free thing, I’ve been getting ready for my trip to Cuba. Finished up my bleached shorts DIY:

Bleached-shorts-DIY

It was so easy to do. I’m going thrifting with my friend Cassie tomorrow to find some more jeans to alter.

Sorry for the randomness of the post – how was everyone’s weekend? Have you ever made your own juices – what veggies/fruits do you use?

xo Martyna

 

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

#ThriftStyleThursday – Athletic Aesthetic

athletic-outfit-7

Happy Thrift Style Thursday! Today’s theme is athletic aesthetic. To be honest, my athleticism (or interest in sport) – on a scale of 1 to 10 – is about a negative 2. The only reason I even have this baseball tee is because my boyfriend bought it for me. I do, however, live a fairly active lifestyle so I think I can be forgiven.

athletic-outfit-1

athletic-outfit-2

I honestly had a hard time putting together an ‘athletic’ outfit, so I just turned to what I would wear on a ‘casual’ day. My hair is getting to a weird in-between stage – it doesn’t know if it’s still a pixie or a mop. I’ve been turning to my beanie a lot and have been doing some experimenting with headscarves (still trying to muster up the courage to wear them in public).

athletic-outfit-3 athletic-outfit-4

I’m wearing: Blue Jays Tee – Gift//Jeans – HBC Outlet $9//Sneakers – Converse $39.99//Purse – Blogger Swap//Watch – thrifted

athletic-outfit-5

So, I just realized that my outfit is not even thrifted. Oops. Can you forgive me? Here are some pictures of me and my doggy.

athletic-outfit-6   athletic-outfit-8

Do you have a lot of athletic items in your closet? Do you wear them out when you’re not working out/playing sports?

P.S. Have you ever worn a scarf in your hair? How do you style it?

xo Martyna

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

You know the drill :)

Zhenya at Being Zhenya
Sheri at Confessions of a Refashionista
Kristi at Alligator Toe
Miche at Buttons and Birdcages
Jackline at Sincerely Miss J
Nout at Sandpaper Kisses
Justine at The Two Cent Chic
Alex at Snippets With Alex
Erika’s Style Diary 
Sistas From Cali

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I’ve been thinking about travelling a lot this week. I’m going to Cuba in two weeks and I couldn’t be more excited! There’s something about getting on a plane and landing in what seems like a different world, that makes you feel alive.  At times, it only takes a few hours to find yourself in another world. The more I travel, the more I realize how accessible it really is. If you play your cards right, you can make travelling a part of your life once, twice or ten times a year. A big reason why I’m able to travel is because I have a job with flexible hours. If I give enough notice, I can pretty much leave for as long as I want (Wouldn’t that be awesome if this was always the case?). I’m at that point in my life where I want to travel as much as humanly possible before I have too many responsibilities weighing me down. So, Cuba, here I come!

pink-vero-moda-dress-1 ,

pink-vero-moda-dress-2

Remember this dress? I bought it last week at The Hudson’s Bay Company Outlet for $17. I thought it would be relevant to the topic of travel because it’s an airplane print! How cool is that?

pink-vero-moda-dress-3

pink-vero-moda-dress-4

It’s a feather-light dress and the pink is just so cute (would be much cuter if I didn’t look deathly pale with it on).

pink-vero-moda-dress-5

I had a question for you guys. How tall do I look? I’ve been told on three separate occasions that I look taller than I actually am. People standing next to me thought I was at least 3 inches taller…So how tall do you think I am, for science.

pink-vero-moda-dress-6

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I did some thrift shopping yesterday and found two pairs of jeans for $3.50. I’m in the process of turning them into shorts. I put the jeans in a bucket of bleach to soak for an hour but I got called into work and ended up leaving them for 8 hours :/ soo, they’re a little on the lighter side. Hope this won’t be another DIY FAIL.

xoxo Martyna

#ThriftStyleThursday – Pastels

Happy Thrift Style Thursday and Happy First Day of Spring! What better way to kick off Spring than to share the Spring-iest trend ever?

PASTELS-1

Today’s theme is pastels and I think I might have overdone it. When I found these pants at Joe Fresh for $6.99 I was already thinking about pairing it with my thrifted minty sweater. Is it too much mint?

pastels-2

I’m wearing: Pants – Joe Fresh $6.99 (Still Available)//Shoes – Payless Brand – Value Village $6.99//Sweater – Anne Klein – Goodwill $4//Faux Fur Vest – Le Chateau – Gift//

pastels-3

I added in the vest to help break up the color but also as an extra layer for the transitional temperatures we’ve been dealing with.

These are my very first ‘busy’ pants, how do you help tone down super patterned items?

xoxo Martyna

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

Don’t forget to check out the other Thrift Style ladies <3

Zhenya at Being Zhenya
Sheri at Confessions of a Refashionista
Kristi at Alligator Toe
Miche at Buttons and Birdcages
Jackline at Sincerely Miss J
Nout at Sandpaper Kisses
Justine at The Two Cent Chic
Alex at Snippets With Alex
Erika’s Style Diary 
Sistas From Cali

Ivanka Trump Coral Dress

coral-dress-

Yesterday I wrote about my outlet haul, and mentioned that this coral dress was my favorite find. Because it’s -10 out and I’ve nowhere fancy to go – I decided to style my new dress at home. Why do I love this dress? Well, it’s a fabulous orange, and I feel like a million bucks in it. Do I need any more reasons? I also discovered that it has pockets! I couldn’t ask for more in a dress…

Ivanka-trump-dress-1

I paired the dress with my leopard shoes, Betsey bag and cluster necklace I received from Lisa in our blogger swap.

DSC_0828

My mom brought me back a lovely little blazer from Poland. I love how the lining is leopard print!

DSC_0824 DSC_0822

I’m wearing // Ivanka Trump Dress – The Hudson’s Bay Co. Outlet – $20// Heels – Pull & Bear – $7//Betsey Johnson Purse – Winners $39.99 (Still available!)//Cluster Necklace c/o Lisa Fox//Blazer – Poland $20// coral-dress-3

I can’t wait for Spring and an excuse to wear this dress. I’m tempted to go back to the outlet and see if I can find some other pieces from her line. 

coral-dress-2

As usual, Lola wanted to get in on the photo-shoot. I’m off to take her to the doggy park now, hope everyone has a nice day!

Have you found an amazing Spring piece recently? What is it?

xo Martyna

letsconnect3

Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Bloglovin’

Outlet Haul + Major Closet Downsizing

Happy Monday & Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

I had a lot of fun this weekend – I went on a mini shopping spree with my coworker Linda on Saturday. I strayed from my usual thrift stores and revisited the Toronto Premium Outlets - a hop and a skip from my house. (If you’re a GTA dweller and haven’t gone yet – go!) I visited the usual suspects, Kate Spade, then Fossil, Coach and The Hudson’s Bay Company.

Although I did buy a little something something from Kate Spade, the real deals were found at The Bay. I originally went in just to look at their bags but soon got lost in the clothing sections. I spent a solid hour sifting through every rack. Almost everything I tried on fit perfectly (which we know is pretty rare ladies…). I walked out of the store with 7 items and paid $81 plus tax! If you know The Bay, you know that’s a good deal. I was pretty proud of myself for finding good deals amongst the thousands of items they had. Even the lady at the cash register commented on how I must be ‘a really smart shopper’.

DSC_0845

Without further ado – here’s what I got:

airplane-print-dress

This Vero Moda dress is so cute! It’s a lovely pink and has an airplane print. I love how the lining comes out from the bottom. It was originally $39 – got it for $18

hudsons-bay-outlet-1

Mexx Jeans. To be honest, I’ve been living in these pants since I got them. They’re a high waisted pant and the denim is so soft. They were originally $49.95 – got them for $9.99.

hudsons-bay-outlet-2

I was in dire need of a cute cardigan. I found this Jones New York printed one for $9.99 (originally $49.95)

ivanka-trump-coral-dress

THIS dress. The picture does zero justice. It is amazing. It was the very first thing I picked up in the store and I ran to the fitting room with it. I was holding my breath hoping that it would fit. It fit like a glove and I’ve just been wearing it around the house trying to dream up somewhere I could wear it to. It’s like that little black dress, except, well, coral.  It’s Ivanka Trump and was originally $180. I paid $19.99 for it!! I can not wait to style it, this dress might just get it’s on blog post…

tie-dye-tanktop

I’m leaving for Cuba in three weeks so I wanted some beach wear. Found these tie-dye Ralph Lauren tanks for $7.99 (Originally $42) $42 for a tank top is insane. Just saying.

vero-moda-tanktop

 Lastly, I got this Vero Moda tank ($6) – ready to be printed! Hmm should it be a vintage camera, bright eyes, Scrabble or vintage poster tank….

—–

Finding great deals on clothing is always exciting, but getting things on the cheap has it’s downside. My closet is full. Like over-flowing. I decided to challenge myself to downsize by at least 50%. I know, sounds crazy, but I think I can do it. I’m in the process of making a list of how many of each  item I need and get rid of any excess. I spent the last year adding items and not getting rid of any, so it’s added up. Stay tuned for my challenge post and the final purge results!

DSC_0832

 (Mom and I started filling some bags to donate!)

How do you maintain your closet? Any tips on what to get rid of and what to keep?

xo Martyna