I Can See Clearly Now [Again] with @ClearlyContacts

Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands

Three years ago I won a pair of glasses from Casie Stewart and Clearly Contacts. I wore those Derek Cardigans nearly every single day and even when my prescription changed in May of last year, I continued to wear them. The trouble is that I updated my contact lens prescription but didn’t change the lenses in my glasses, this equalled many headaches and an appalling amount of eye aches. After an intense inner-battle, I finally went over to Clearly Contacts and virtually tried on any pair that I found sale.


Within an hour I decided on the pair that I wanted, the Dakota Smith Valor Brown, and placed my order. Within a week they arrived at my doorstep! For under $70.00 I got a brand new pair of glasses with the correct prescription, scratch-free lenses, and a repair-kit to boot! Since they’re men’s frame I find the bridge width a little too big but I think if I get them tightened they should be okay. I am loving these new frames and cannot believe how good they make me feel! Change your glasses and you can change the world, that’s they say right?


Putting on a new pair of glasses or sunglasses is a simple way to completely transform your look – just like a new hairstyle. Brad Goreski


Love Always, 

Vanessa Xo

*Disclosure: Although I’ve worked with Clearly Contacts in the past, they had nothing to do with this post. I searched for and purchased the glasses on my own. I wrote this post because I love their products and my new glasses.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha [Product Review]

Products and Brands

Back in September, I got to test out the Nokia Lumia 1020. Since then I’ve been drooling over three phones: the LG G3, Moto X, and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Well my Christmas wish has been signed, sealed, and delivered because Samsung sent me a beautiful sleek white Alpha to test out for two weeks.

Photo from the Samsung Website

Photo from the Samsung Website

First Impressions

  • it’s a great looking phone, reminds me of the iPhone 5
  • light, sleek, and great aesthetic
  • the camera lens pops out in the back (but slightly)
  • it seems fragile, feel like I need a case on it (I’m a klutz)


  • the interface is crisp and easy to use/function
  • obsessed with the font
  • the calendar is so much more functional than the iPhone and super easy to use. You can colour co-ordinate events and shifts at work to ensure that you know where you have to be and when (a OCD person’s dream)
  • has tonnes of options when it comes to editing and filtering photos. You can add stickers and draw on them too
  • apps are easy to download and due to the 4.7″ (119.0mm) display, tweets, Instagram photos, and Facebook statuses are easy to read
  • there’s a blinking light for notifications, which I’ve secretly missed from my Blackberry days AND when you slide open your phone, the notifications are sitting nicely at the top so you know exactly what you’ve been missing
  • S Health is downloaded and ready for me to keep track of my fitness
  • although I might never use it, there’s a fingerprint log-in
  • ULTRA POWER-SAVING MODE, do I need to say more?
  • VIRTUAL TOUR MODE for the camera  = AWESOME
  • selfie’s just got easier to take with their “beauty face” mode — it adds a bit of airbrushing to the photo

Every time you try something new, a screen pops up to show you how to use it!

 What I Didn’t Love

  • although the camera is 12 MP — I didn’t find the photos as crisp as the ones on even my iPhone 4, but HECK I COULD GET USED TO IT BECAUSE THIS PHONE ROCKS!!

Thank you to Samsung Canada and Lianne for making this trial possible! Looking forward to working with you again in the future!

 – Vanessa

Tiny Devotions – Mala Beads

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands


I was introduced to beautiful Mala Beads by Tiny Devotions a while back and haven’t been able to get them out of my mind.  Tiny Devotions is a Canadian company that creates mala beads for the bohemian girl (or in my case a girl who loves wearing jewelry with a message).  Their mala beads and accessories represent “the free spirited lifestyle of living your dreams, following your passions and looking good as you do it”.  Since I’ve been struggling a little lately with following my dreams, or following a path that with lead me to the amazing moment of living my dreams, I’ve been looking at the Tiny Devotions website on a daily basis looking for the perfect mala beads to inspire me. Here are the four that I’m torn between — for their messages, for their mantras, and for their beauty.

Tabula Rasa: Luck, New Beginnings, Potential.

Tabula Rasa — Luck, New Beginnings, Potential

The Law of Attraction Mala -- Friendship, Growth, Love

The Law of Attraction Mala — Friendship, Growth, Love

Ashley Turner: Urban Priestess Mala -- Heart Chakra, Meditation, Self-Reflection

Ashley Turner: Urban Priestess Mala — Heart Chakra, Meditation, Self-Reflection

Hamsa Silver Intention Necklace -- Luck, Protection, Strength

Hamsa Silver Intention Necklace — Luck, Protection, Strength

I love the beauty, simplicity, and meaning behind each of these malas/necklaces. They have so many to choose from and I’m sure you’ll be able to find the perfect mala for YOU, for this point in your life, and for what you want out of life. If you’re struggling, there’s an article that can help you choose your very own mala beads here. To connect with Tiny Devotions check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook. Let me know what you think about these beads in the comments — which one would you choose if you were me?


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Vienna Victoria — Where Jewelry Meets Makeup

Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands

Have you noticed the Pretty Living PR button on the side bar? Well I’ve teamed up with them to bring you a few posts a month on the latest fashion and beauty products. This post is for all you ladies out there who have ever gone out with a wristlet that couldn’t fit your lipstick and realized half-way into the night that you really need a touch-up.


Introducing the Vienna Victoria Collection, which received a lot of hype at the Teen Choice Awards this year by the way. “V & V is a brand committed to fashion and function. As a designer, I want women to know they can have it all! I believe women should feel great no matter where they are going, whether it is the supermarket, the boardroom or a fancy dinner,” explains Designer Satin Van Cleef. Women have proven to be masters of multitasking and now Vienna Victoria has redefined the art of multitasking with a collection of multi-use fashion jewelry. Glamorous and stunning defines the Vienna Victoria brand and like women it does more than one thing at once.


Made with Swarovski Elements, V&V Jewelry is designed with yellow, white, rose, and black gold over bronze compacted with lipstick luxuries. The luscious lip colors and glam glosses are formulated with ingredients such as Shea Butter, Aloe, Vitamin A, C and E to moisturize and color your lips.  And even better, it’s all refillable. So basically you get to free up some space in your wristlet, have a beautiful piece of jewelry to compliment your outfit (I love the rings), and you get to look good all day and all night — WIN!

“I love a great bag just as much as the next girl, but sometimes you just want to travel light.” –Satin Van Cleef

I love to travel light, it’s the only way to go when you’re at a wedding or an event in the city and I think V&V Jewelry really has something special going on. If you have a chance to check out their website, take a little time to read how the company was born, it’s a great story. Let me know what you think about this innovative jewelry in the comments too!


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Hottest Workout Clothing Around — Dona Jo Fitwear

Bursting the Bubble, Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands

I’m a workout-at-home kind of gal, which means you’ll find me in the basement in old sweats looking pretty gross. BUT I think I’ve found the perfect workout clothing. A huge step up from my high school gym shorts, Dona Jo Fitwear makes me want to go to the gym to workout or take up a Yoga or Spin Class.

PicMonkey Collage

Dona Jo Fitwear is all about being fashionably fit — A bold and stylish new etiquette has finally come to sportswear. Introducing Dona Jo Fitwear, a fashionable and high quality sportswear line with vibrant prints and designs inspired by the beauty and free-spirited Brazilian culture. President Ashley Ferraro fell in love with Brazil and their fitness clothing. She felt inspired and knew that if she wanted to see that kind of clothing in America, she’d have to create her own. Her unique pieces are designed to fit most, with a 5-way stretch, breathable fabric that is color-fast, minimizes the appearance of cellulite, and is faster drying than cotton.

“I want to get every woman out of their comfort zone when it comes to fashion at the gym, yoga, or any fitness activity for that matter. We want to look sexy and beautiful in every other facet of our life, why not while we are getting sweaty?” — Ashley Ferraro

And I completely agree! I cannot wait to get my hands on my own workout clothing from Dona Jo (the outfit in the middle is my fave + the white shirt on the right).

Check out their great pieces and connect with Dona Jo Fitwear on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Are you ready to get #FashionablyFIT?!


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

The Red Bow Shoppe [GIVEAWAY]

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Products and Brands

Photo from The Red Bow ShoppeI love discovering new brands that have something unique to offer to their customers. I am a fanatic for dainty jewelry, versatile accessories, handbags, and notebooks, so when my cousin told me about The Red Bow Shoppe, I knew I had to check it out. The Red Bow is an online shoppe inspired by Hello Kitty and the Iconic ‘Red Bow’ for fashionable, grown-up Hello Kitty fans with luxe taste. Each piece is chosen by Karen (the owner) herself, where she hopes each customer will find a little everyday luxury to add to their style. I browsed their website and quickly fell in love with a few pieces…

I got in touch with Karen and we’ve teamed up to provide my readers and followers with a wonderful giveaway. As summer is just around the corner WE want to know what your summer plans/dreams/memories are. What can you win? A Red Ibiza Notebook — to keep track of all your summer adventures and a Red Bow Besties Bracelet.

To enter you must follow @theredbowshoppe on Twitter and like their Facebook Page


 TWEET or INSTAGRAM a picture that represents your Summer Dreams and give us a little explanation too.

Be sure to include @redbowshoppe and @VanessaGrillone in your Tweets/Instagram Pictures as well as the hashtag #RedBowSummer

 The contest is NOW OPEN — the last day to enter is June 26th at which time a winner will be chosen!

Best of LUCK!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

** This contest is open to Canadian entrants only **

Share your Dreams and Win! [Giveaway]

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands


My crush on Dogeared Jewels and Gifts occurred suddenly a few months back when I was scouring the Chapters website  for something to purchase. I stumbled on these wonderful necklaces and thought Mama needs one of those! I headed over to the Dogeared website and poked around a bit, looking for something to add to my birthday wish-list. Which I found — but I’ll get to that in a second.

Dogeared is a family owned business (a husband and wife team, Marcia and Merlin Clarke) with its headquarters in Culver City, California. Their charms are custom-made in the design studio and made-to-order. What I love most about their product is the message that comes with each necklace. This simple card makes each piece much more personal. It says this necklace was made for you, to inspire you, right now

My favourite Dogeared collections include Make A WishWhispers, 3 Wishes, and Love. I found my favourite piece in the Make A Wish collection: lovely charms, pretty chains, and lots of positive energy. These necklaces remind you to wish without limits!

My necklace of choice: free bird.


As a Writer I’ve always had an obsession with quills, they’ve always represented “WRITER” to me. That’s one reason I fell for this feather — the other reason is the meaning behind the charm. I want to wear this necklace as a reminder to be curious, to open my heart to all different possibilities, to be free to take chances. I want to wear it as a reminder that I am a Writer and I must follow my dreams.

I got in touch with the wonderful people at Dogeared and they have agreed to run a giveaway for this beautiful necklace on my blog — so that YOU can wear it as a reminder to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. Get this, they also sent ME my very own free bird necklace!!!!


This necklace has quickly become my favourite everyday piece. It’s sweet, subtle, dainty, and goes with any outfit. It’s the perfect length too, not too long and not too short. It’s always visible with what I’m wearing and I’ve gotten tonnes of compliments on it.

Here’s how to win:

Step One: LIKE Dogeared Jewelry on Facebook

Step Two: Using the Hashtag #DogearedDreams, post a picture on Twitter or Instagram that represents YOUR passion/dreams.

Be creative!

Please be sure to include myself @VanessaGrillone and @DogearedJewelry in your tweet/Instagram pic.

GOOD LUCK and may all of your DogearedDreams come true! 

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo 

The contest runs from today (MARCH 28th) until midnight on APRIL 4th, 2013 (my birthday). I will announce the winner on April 5th!

I have something else for you, for the duration of the giveaway week, Dogeared Jewelry has offered my wonderful readers 10% off of their first/next purchase, just use promo code DEDREAMS10 and you’re good to go!


HOLY CRAP I’m (mostly) Au Naturale

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

I’ve always been a Plain Jane, au naturale kind of gal — minimal makeup, virgin hair, the whole shebang. My one weakness is face products. I love trying out new face washes, creams, sunscreen, ANYTHING that will make my skin soft, smooth, and blemish-free. The problem is that since I’ve entered my twenties, I’ve been more prone to blemishes and pimples than I had been in my teens! To worsen things, I’m a picker — if I see a pimple, I pop it. Then I get scars. Yay me.

My mom suggested that I STOP with all of the products and just use soap and water, her beauty regime since forever. It’s worked wonders for her — she has minimal wrinkles, a nice glow to her skin, and ZERO blemishes or scars. As of late I’ve been following her advice. Dove soap and warm water to wash my face OR natural products like Neutrogena Naturals — no more testing random brands.


I’ve also been turned onto Bio-Oil, which literally gets rid of nasty pimples, blemishes, and scars within a week. It’s a great product, surprisingly light and easily absorbed — it’s fantastic for spot treatment. My aunt bought it for me for Christmas and it has been a lifesaver.



After a December of dry, itchy, and blotchy skin these products (or lack thereof) have got my skin feeling super-healthy. It’s starting to get a nice glow to it and a more even complexion. I’m a strong believer in being active, eating well, drinking lots of water, and using natural products, so in addition to my skin “health-kick” I’m trying to add some more nutritious food to my diet.

** In walks HOLY CRAP**

A_9ohtsCMAEYRaV.jpg-large IMG_1815

I know what you’re thinking, how could that crap taste good? Well, it has a wonderful cinnamon apple taste to it and it adds a great crunch to your yogurt. You can also eat it as a hot cereal (but the texture of hot cereal grosses me out :P).

Wondering what all those seeds and crap are? I pulled this info off of the HOLY CRAP website for your reading pleasure. After only a week or so of chomping down this delicious crap I feel more energetic, my bathroom breaks have been flowing nicely (gross but true), and I’m not sure about the concentration thing but who knows, maybe that takes time.

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 1.31.25 PMGiven that we’re at the beginning of a new year and we’ve made resolutions we’re trying  to keep, I thought I would share a few new products for anyone who put BE HEALTHIER or FEEL HEALTHIER on their list.

Good luck! Let me know if you try out any of these products!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

I can see clearly now, thanks to Casie Stewart and Clearly Contacts!

Just for Fun, Products and Brands

Remember that one time I won frames from Casie Stewart and Clearly Contacts?


Well they arrived today! Merry Christmas to me and a huge thank you to Clearly Contacts and Casie Stewart!

Now, I may not look as hot in big frames as this babe…


Or this one… (yes that’s Mama and me)


But I absolutely love them! What’s more is that they’re designed by Derek Cardigan (a CANADIAN eyewear designer, eh?) and they’re the same style that Alicia Keys wore in her new music video. I’ve been doing some research on the Clearly Contacts website and their frames and contacts are awesome, reasonably priced, and you get free shipping on your contact lenses if you use the code FREESHIP12. I also found that they have a whole Change the View charity mission: For every pair of eyeglasses purchased, someone in need is given a pair of eyeglasses, a pair of sunglasses or Vitamin A tablets.” Awesome right? You can read more about it here.

I can’t wait to get my own prescription lenses in these puppies – I’ll be hipstering all over town!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo