Birthdays: Why Celebrate?

After celebrating my 25th birthday a couple weeks ago, I was encouraged to write this raw post. Although a few of my best friends couldn't be there (and for that, I hate you NYC), the day was filled with so much genuine love and friendship that my heart felt so full. I have never been a big birthday person. As someone with anxiety, I used to hate birthdays because I would get so wrapped up in how many people would show up, if I looked "my best", and all the other small details that went into planning an event centered around me. This year it was different, although, I didn't plan it that way. 

It was just about my time of the month and I woke up two days prior to my birthday brunch with THREE under-the-skin pimples (no actually, they were craters) on my chin. Talk about inviting self- consciousness to the party. I tried everything to get rid of them, with no luck. I wanted to blame my awful hangover but I was tempted to cancel my brunch due to the sheer embarrassment of my face. Who does that? Cancel a party because of a few pesky pimples! 

As I struggled to get into the shower, the "I over committed", "I'm hungover", and "I'm not going to be able to make it" texts started to roll in and I enter the next phase of self-doubt. At this point, I was convinced this was NOT the day to celebrate my birthday. Not only did I look like crap, but I was starting to feel like crap (and not because of the hangover).

Thank GOD for my supportive boyfriend and best friend, who quickly reminded me that 1) I would look beautiful no matter what uninvited guests showed up on my face and 2) the important people in my life that could be there, would be there to celebrate. As soon as I walked into that room (30 minutes late), all my self-doubt and self-consciousness washed away after I was greeted by THIS!

I immediately noticed two things. One, my balloons spelled GAS (my initials are MES, and my nickname is MAGS) and two, I had some of the best people I know in the room come to celebrate me. 

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I ended up having yet again, one of the best birthdays with (most of) the people I love and who love me. Let's just say the party didn't stop after brunch. The small details like the purple diamond confetti, flowers, and rosé champagne that my friends had surprised me with made me feel like the most loved person in the world that day. Thank you to those of you reading this. You are what makes me, me. 

Not only did this day bring a ton of laughs and champagne, but it also taught me a lesson. Make the real reason to celebrate your birthday not about the number of people in the room, how many likes you get on a birthday post, or what you look like that day, but about having an amazing group of friends surround you as your blow out your candles or toast that glass of champagne. OH, and always hold onto the M balloon, so you're not left spelling GAS :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Mags (Piper) XX

See some of my favourite pics from the day, below!

Under $100

My five high school best friends and sister were all born within the last two months, so needless to say it was a busy couple weeks of gift giving. To avoid bankruptcy, I had to find most gifts under $100, which I've now put together for you all to shop below. BONUS: some will have major memorial day sales so keep your eye out for those codes (usually located on the homepage)! 

1) Baublebar Earrings
I first spotted these on my all time favorite blogger, Something Navy, and immediately ordered a pair for my most fashionable girlfriend. There are so many good options and they all come in at a really reasonable price point, starting at $30USD. The ones I ordered were backlogged for a couple weeks, but you can reserve different colours to make sure you get the ones you want! My favourites are below. 

2) Tarte Creamy Matte Lip Paint
OK, so this was actually discovered through the Sephora Birthday Gift 2017. I picked mine up a few weeks early and fell in love with everything about this product. Not only is the birthday colour amazing, but the texture and feel of this product is unlike anything else I've tried! It lasts forever and doesn't have the same drying effect as a lip stain. I ordered two more colours included below! 

3) Always x Always Yoga Mat
We have all noticed the trend, or rather, obsession with the palm leaf print this spring and this new Toronto-based company has mastered it! Always x Always is a new Canadian lifestyle brand that is inspired by the beauty found in the simplicity of nature. Although this mat comes in just over $100, at $125, I couldn't keep it off the list. Lisa Ho (designer and owner), created this mat from recyclable, renewable, biodegradable 100% tree rubber, and there isn't a better way to practice than with a tool like that beneath your toes. 

A few of my other Always x Always Favs:
this phone case / this card set / this journal

4) Sports Bras
I spend at least one hour everyday in a sports bra, and know that a good quality bra can make all the difference in crushing a workout. I'll never forget the time I wore a loose fitting Under Armour old sports bra to my spin class. There are no words to describe how awkward it was to make sure nothing fell out for 50 minutes straight. RIP.

A good sports bra is one of my favorite gifts to get, because let's face it, its rough spending over $50 dollars on something you plan on drenching in sweat.Below are my favorites; and don't forget to check the LuLu Lemon sale links below as well. 

Body Con Bra / Make A Move Bra / All Day Ease / Fast Lane / Hot Like Agni

5) Kara Yoo Rings
For anyone that enjoys minimalist accessories or jewelry, this is the company for them. Kara Yoo creates the most beautiful, stackable, minimalist jewelry at such a great price. I have the three below, but there are so many options on her website! If you're located in Toronto they have a ton of options at Smoke & Ash on Queen. 

Dent Stacking / Four Corners Stacking / Matchstick

 

6) Kara Yoo & Meagan Jett Chokers
I have my fair share of cheap choker finds from Zara, Forever 21, and Aldo Accessories, but I recently stumbled upon Meagan Jett and Kara Yoo Chokers at Smoke & Ash a couple weekends ago. My favorites are linked below.

Pointed Neck Cuff Gold / Navy Blue Fabric / Blush Velvet

7) The Five Minute Journal
This is one of my favorite gifts to give, as it carries a deeper meaner than the beautiful aesthetically-pleasing exterior. This book has helped so many close friends through hard times by helping to focus on the good in your life, practicing mindfulness, and living with intention. Stay tuned for a partnership with Intelligent Change & Through Her Style on a giveaway for these amazing journals. PS - they also make the cutest nightstand books; see below!

A few other finds that I love under $100 include: 
this shirt / this camera strap / these bralettes / this phone case / this sweater this highlighter

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Pepper & Piper
xx

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

This is the first year I'll be in San Francisco for Canadian Thanksgiving. As sad as I am to be away from my family, I'm excited to be giving thanks at Friendsgiving! My fellow Canadian friend and I are hosting a group of Americans and Kiwis for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner next Saturday. 

I cannot resist a good DIY, and picked up this festive garland from Paper Source to bring to the party. It's a great activity to do with friends while the turkey is in the oven or to pre-make and hang for when your guests arrive.

Giving Thanks

The kit comes with the pre-cut letters, cut outs for the florals, and a satin ribbon. You'll need a pair of scissors, and tape to put it together. Again, I used my handy 3M hanging hooks to fasten it to the wall but good old fashioned tape will work as well.

Giving Thanks

I started by placing the letters on my coffee table to get an idea of how long to cut the ribbon and the spacing before taping them down. All of the letters were placed face down (in reverse order right to left) with the ribbon placed on top. I then cut a piece of tape long enough to cover 1/3 of the paper

Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks

I hung the garland in my apartment in preparation for the week ahead. We often get so busy with work, friends, and family that it's easy to forget about the things we're thankful for. I'm hoping to be able to pause this weekend as we prepare for Friendsgiving!

This year, I'm thankful for my life in San Francisco. The first year here was an adjustment, but I'm finally feeling comfortable and at home. I'm so thankful for all of my friends here and family who have come to visit who have made that happen.

Giving Thanks

I hope you all have plans to be with family or friends next weekend or on November 24th (for all of our American friends)! If you're heading somewhere for Thanksgiving, I've put together a shopable list of festive hostess gifts below! Remember to take some time to reflect on what you're truly thankful for!

As always, thanks for stopping by!!
Pepper xx