June 4, 2015

Book Club | Lunch In Paris. A Love Story, With Recipes

I thought that a fun way to connect with you guys would be to have a sort of "Book Club"/"Book Review" after I have read a book I really enjoy (or didn't). Since it's those "lounge on the beach and read a book" months I figured that we could all use some help in choosing that perfect beachy book to read while catching some rays. 

Lately, I have been fantasizing a lot more about Paris, France. Reading all sorts of literature on the city and those little hidden gems and secrets I MUST know before I go there for a visit. 

My first book on my list was found by fluke at the local library. I was actually looking for a book on Anastasia, and low and behold found this baby looking right at me a shelf above. 

I was immediately transfixed with this book. It's a true story, and is that perfect treat for anyone who dreams of that "what if" of packing up and moving to the city of lights (and love). 

The book starts with telling how Elizabeth meets her boyfriend, Gwendal and their romance in Paris. You can tell right from the get go that Elizabeth loves food, and is quite the foodie. Every chapter ends with a few recipes for the food she mentioned during the chapter itself. A couple of them I even copied down to try out at home! 

I enjoyed how you can tell the evolution and growth of Elizabeth as the years pass in Paris, and as her relationship blossoms with Gwendal. She is, after all, an American Girl in Paris. The book even references Sex and the City, as the only city true New Yorker's dream of going to is Paris. 

In all honesty, I loved the book. However, I didn't enjoy the last chapter. I found that it was a quick end, too quick for my liking. I understand it is a true story but I wasn't quite ready to not hear anymore of Elizabeth's Parisian mistakes! 

I definitely would suggest this book to any fun loving gal who dreams of travel, and most of dreams of Paris. It's reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love! If you enjoyed that book in the slightest than you will enjoy Lunch in Paris! 



Author : Elizabeth Bard

June 2, 2015

Spice Up Your Life | My Metamorphosis




May was an interesting month for me. Filled with dedication to my personal well-being (working on my fitness/health), friendships renewed and a lot of bright and colourful additions to my life. Do you ever feel like you are not staying true to yourself? Remember if you are living vicariously through someone else's life, once it's your turn to get that golden ticket it's all going to be a lie and not feel so good deep down inside. I love my life. It's wild, colourful and full of life and love. It look me a while to embrace the fact that I am not your average "blogger" or "fashionista". But here I am! Ready to spice up your life! I am working on Hillary in Wonderland (check out my instagram!) and it makes me delightfully happy, and in turn I hope it makes YOU smile!


CFDA Awards 2015 | Olsen Twins

It's not The Brunette Shake without a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen update post! 



They took home another big win at the CFDA Awards last night! Womenwear Designer(s) of the Year for The Row! They looked stunning on the red carpet as well. Seeing the Olsens these past few years have become equal to sightings of unicorns. You rarely see them! They both looked stunningly gorgeous last night, and I really enjoy that they both wore flats. Totally dominated the red carpet with their head to toe black, elegant look. 

SnapChat has a CFDA story right now. Make sure to check it out! You get to see the twins meeting Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and I dare say that Mary-Kate seemed super excited about the meeting! 

video

May 20, 2015

Bad Blood | Strong, Sexy, Powerful

Taylor Swift's new music video for "Bad Blood" is amazing. I mean, total squad goals, am I right?!

Taylor and all her friends have a super sexy, powerful, womanly vibe and I'm lovin' it! Just because we're women doesn't mean we can't KICK ASS! 

It makes me totally want to rock my new Oh La La bandage lingerie for a powerful photoshoot.

May 11, 2015

Shopaholic Stays Local | Vintage Hot Spots

I recently stumbled upon a magnificent vintage shop that is local to wear I live. It's called "SDV Vintage" and "OK My Dear Vintage". Two vintage shops in one! They have the most lovely vintage finds, and the vibe of the shop is so fantastic. It's one of my top favourite places to shop vintage. 

I first walked into the shop and had to do a double take at a 1950's vintage petticoat in rainbow colours, YES RAINBOW COLOURS! If you don't follow my new instagram Hillary in Wonderland, you should. It's where I can share my colour fascination and creative self! 

Anyways, back to the story. I left the shop with the petticoat, a 1960's red and white checkered tote in a brown paper bag tied with a vintage scarf and lovely little card from the shop owner. The ladies that were working were absolutely ADORABLE. 



I immediately called my boyfriend and told him the news, that I had found my new favourite spot.

 SDV Vintage and OK My Dear Vintage both have Instagram accounts which I love to look at on a daily basis. They post incredible content! Vintage styled outfits, body positivity and so much more. The very next day, I noticed a fantastic vintage 1970's dress posted on instagram and rushed to the store to pick it up. Sadly, it was far too small for me, but Stephanie (SDV Vintage owner) gave me lots of other options and I walked out with the most fabulous vintage pink leather skirt a girl could possibly dream of! 

I've actually been dreaming of another dress from SDV Vintage and I positively cannot wait to scurry back to pick it up off the sale rack. It was pink and polka dotty and reminded me of a vintage Barbie (a la Moschino). Hopefully it's still there tomorrow when I swing by! 



If you guys live in New Brunswick, and in the Moncton area I HIGHLY suggest you make a stop at SDV Vintage and Ok My Dear Vintage. In the meantime, check out their instagram accounts and get dreaming of vintage. 

Address: 327 Mountain Road, Moncton NB

By: Hillary Gail Stewart
Ph: O. Stewart

Bikes and Fashionistas

I've always had a thing for vintage flair. Not vintage as in old women's lace dresses that go down to the floor and smell like moths - I mean, vintage as in beautiful pieces from decades past. Last Summer, I put in an order for a BEAUTIFUL custom blue vintage-esque bicycle. A lovely robin's egg blue colour with a wicker basket and leather details. This Spring, my boyfriend and I picked up a vintage 1930's bike in AMAZING condition for only $75. It is a cute yellow/beige colour and we plan to make it a couples project. We are going to re-do the bike in a pretty bubblegum pink colour, add a basket to the handlebars. 

Also, currently taking applications to start an all female bicycle gang, just putting that out there.

I used my blue bike to go for a ride on the boardwalk recently while wearing a Kate Spade striped dress and with a red and white vintage 1960's tote bag in my basket. I was having a wonderful time! I was stopped several times to get my photo taken, and to receive compliments about my bike and style. 



It then occurred to me that  bikes and fashion do in fact go hand in hand. Just like how cars can have a stylish appeal. 

I mean, if Blair Waldorf can wear a floral Alice + Olivia dress while riding a bike in the Hamptons - so can you! 










May 1, 2015

Currently Playing | Elle King

Try not to listen to this on repeat for the rest of the day. Sorry I'm not sorry.

#nowplaying


The Brunette Shake by Hillary Gail Stewart

April 30, 2015

Speedsport 2015 | Scuffed Boots Photography

After many months of lusting after Scuffed Boots Photography photoshoots, I finally had enough courage and confidence to book an appointment to model for a photoshoot at the Moncton Speedsport 2015 Car Show. 

Jill (the photographer) is an absolute darling! She's very kind and supportive, and gave inspiring words when she knew I was nervous at the beginning of the shoot. Her hair & make-up girls were a dream team (you should see my hair in the photos below!). It's been a very long time since I participated in a professional photoshoot. 

I love how the photos turned out. I am known as a smiler and a girl full of infectious laughter, the best photos had a smile! I love how she captured my happiness. The costume's Jill provided were so perfect for the shoot! I paired them with a pair of thrifted heels from a local thrift shop and it made the shoot even more perfect if that's even possible! 

If you guys ever want a photoshoot done I would highly suggest going to see Jill at Scuffed Boots Photography. She makes you feel comfortable and is extremely friendly. I know that she does wedding photography, boudoir shoots and so much more! She's local to Moncton, NB and is plain ole fabulous!

Check out her work :
Website

Here are my two favorite photos from the shoot below, I plan on getting 3 more too!


 Hillary Gail Stewart


April 22, 2015

The Yoga Lifestyle

On and off for the past few years I have dabbled in the art of Yoga. 

Lately, I have been going to a class called Body Flow at my local women's Goodlife Gym in Moncton, NB. I quickly fell in love. 

Body Flow mixes yoga, taichi and pilates all in one 45 or 60 minute class. At the end of the class, the relaxation/meditation is the most rewarding, it only lasts 10 minutes but changes your entire day. At first, I didn't think I could get those pesky thoughts out of my mind, but after my third class I successfully felt as one with my body. It was a wonderful experience! After only a week of my daily Body Flow classes, I already found my mind was more calm, and my balance was top notch. 

I highly suggest heading to your local GoodLife Gym to try out Body Flow. It's a class by Les Mills, and I have found it highly beneficial in my fitness routine. 

After a talk with one of my Body Flow teachers, she directed me to a few different yoga sites that I simply cannot wait to try out! I also mentioned to her my love for Tara Stiles and all things rebellious when it comes to the traditional yoga practice. 

I thought I would share some Tara Stiles videos with you below. I love to use her YouTube videos first thing in the morning or right before bed. She also has a series called "Tara Eats" on the LiveStrong Woman channel with the most delicious vegan recipes you'll ever find. 







 Do any of you do yoga? What are your thoughts? Also, do you find the colour of your yoga mat makes your yoga practice different?

March 9, 2015

Arm Candy | Statement Clutches

I recently purchased a new clutch, it's absolutely adorable! It says "arm candy" on it. It's so me, and it was only $14.99 at Marshalls. 

A photo posted by Hillary Gail Stewart (@hillarygailstewart) on

Arm Candy is definitely trending right now. As in, fun and bright clutches that guarantee a sunny disposition when you wear them. 

Some of my favorite clutches are from Charlotte Olympia (there's an Archie comic inspired clutch - I nearly died.), Sophia Webster, Aldo and Judith Leiber Couture. Of course, some of these are more than your mortgage payment - but they are absolutely stunning! I am currently doing a DIY project to make my own Archie Comic inspired clutch since I cannot justify spending $1,805 on the Charlotte Olympia one.

Here are some options for you (affordable and designer) plus some fabulous street style too!


Untitled #51



  How adorbs are these clutches? I mean REALLY! They're so fun! A super easy way to incorporate these into your outfit is to simply wear them with a casual outfit - think black jeans and a sweater. The clutch really makes your entire outfit "pop" and you'll be noticed for your cander!

I've seen a lot of street style bloggers and stylish gals on Instagram sport these badass clutches. There's something about them that just screams "rebel" - don't you agree?





By Hillary Gail Stewart

Focus | Margot Robbie

I recently went on a double date with my boyfriend, my brother and his girlfriend. It was fun! We went to see "Focus", a movie about a con man with twists and turns. It wasn't what I expected, honestly I found the most I took from the movie was the hair/beauty/style ideas that stemmed from Margot Robbie's character in the film. 

Margot absolutely shone in this movie. She is naturally gorgeous, and it was fun to see the different up-do's she had with her hair. There are two specific do's I plan to recreate. The first being an up-do with braids and bumps, and the second being a side sweep of wavy hair kept to the side with a leather bow hair clip. 

Margot's style was beautiful. I really enjoyed the transformation as well, the costume designer did wonders in this film. Margot's character went from more trendy style with bangles to very womanly looks. Think sleek and slim dresses...Fun fact : all of Will Smith's costumes were chosen based on psychology! Using the colours that would be more influential in trusting someone; which is the colour blue if you're curious. 

 Have you seen the movie "Focus"? What were your thoughts? 

Ta ta for now, 

Hillary 









Written by Hillary Gail Stewart

March 7, 2015

Kiss Me Organics Review | Matcha Green Tea Powder

I received this AMAZING product from Kiss Me Organics. It's Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. I'm literally in love with this! 

YES I store all my smoothie stuff in blue mason jars - so sue me! I love it! 


I love to add a tablespoon to my smoothies, or to use it to make a super cool frozen green tea latte! It tastes wonderful PLUS has the following :

It's 100% organic, tested for purity, and contains up to 137x the antioxidants found in a cup of brewed tea. (No joke!)

1. ALL DAY ENERGY & FOCUS: Lift your vitality and concentration with the slow release natural energy from Organic Matcha

2. CALORIE BURNING BOOSTER: Support your weight loss goals with an all-natural way to increase your body's metabolism

3. LATTES | SMOOTHIES | BAKING: Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder arrives in an easy-to-use airtight health grade packaging allowing for as much or as little use as you need for any occasion. Enjoy a relaxing latte in the morning, bake a dozen cupcakes or simply add a small boost to your morning smoothie

4.Up To 137x ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA: USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea can only be used in a powdered form because, unlike brewed green tea, it contains the entire tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content.
Are you impressed yet? It didn't take me long to get addicted. I even purchased my own bag after I used up the first one so quickly!

My go-to smoothie recipe with this matcha powder is: 
1 cup vanilla soymilk
Handful of frozen (or fresh) blueberries
Scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt
Scoop of my vanilla whey powder
1 tbsp of matcha green tea powder


If you want more information here are some shopping links and information links for you:

March 5, 2015

How "The O.C." Shaped My Style

Watching The O.C. for the first time was a revelation. I didn't watch The OC right away from Season 1 though. I started watching The OC when it was in Season 3, and watched it from the beginning. About 7 times. I remember sitting in my first apartment on my lavender silk comforter in my bedroom. I fell in love with the characters and the drama. Not to mention to fashion! It was a trifecta! Summer Roberts was always my favorite. Watching her style evolve over time encouraged my own personal style to evolve, and to try new and exciting things. 

Unfortunately, I was lacking in funds to purchase all of the things I wanted to create my style, so I frequently visited the local thrift stores to score for finds. I remember there was a "stuff a garbage bag for 5$" sale down the road from my apartment. I purchased the most beautiful floral vintage dresses and lacy tops. I was full flown bohemian, just how I liked it. I had a short pixie hair cut, and rocked that free people look with ease. 

I didn’t know any girl who wasn’t envious of the wardrobes in The OC. I would cut magazines with photos from the style of the show and make mood boards. The style was my main interest in the show. The pools of fashion that Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper had access to was essentially the same as the rest of us—polo shirts, silk camisoles, jeans, cropped cardigans, flip flops, floral dresses, jean skirts—there was always a unique twist or finishing touch to the outfit to make it quirky and one of a kind. There were ribbons as belts, tank tops and tee shirts under strapless dresses, bikini tops under sheer T-shirts (classic OC beachy style), disheveled hair with formal dresses, bandanas tied around purse straps, layered necklaces over graphic T-shirts, slip dresses as tank tops, and so on and so forth.

These characters experimented. They shook things up in a way that was cool rather than crazy and over the top. It gave me the sense that I could do the same—and, did I ever! I distinctly remember rocking a vintage flowly skirt and a tee with a cardigan just because Summer did. Seth and Summer were the best dressed couple on TV (now trumped by Blair and Chuck of course), and Seth looked so cute and punk inspired with his band, and comic book graphic tees. 

This was the real start to my independence and style. Where I could wear what I wanted, when I wanted and be confident in doing so. 

What inspired you as a teen? Did you watch The OC?