White Romper & How To Make The Most Out Of Summer

June 21, 2016

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Hello, summer! It feels like we've been waiting for summers arrival for far too long and now that it's finally here I'm planning on making the most out of this short lived season. I'm so excited to already be crossing things off my summer to do list. This weekend we went strawberry picking, which is something I haven't done in years, and we've been having lots of outdoor fun (i.e.: going for long bike rides, trying more of the city's fabulous ice cream spots, and even hitting up the tennis courts).

The sizzling temperatures meant it was all about easy, breezy, light pieces. I scored this little, white, crochet romper at Target on a recent trip over the border a few months back, and I love how it can easily transition from a day at the beach, to a night on the town (for under $25.00!) Heels and a swipe of (my new favourite) matte lip cream really can do an outfit wonders! I know we're only mere hours into the season but it's looking like summer is getting off to a great start! I do have some tips to share to help you make the most out of your summer. And I'd love to hear yours too!

Don't live for the weekend. We all do this. Glare at the clock at work wishing that 4:00 PM, Friday would come as soon as possible. We have things to look forward to on the weekend and work just gets in the way, right? Well cramming everything into the weekend is  just wasting precious time. I'm making more of an effort to infuse weekend activities into weekdays. It can be something as simple as going for ice cream, seeing a movie on Tuesday, or having a glass of rose after work. Plan a cooking date night, or go for a bike ride. There's so many ways to make the most of your evenings, and I promise once you're out that exhaustion will float away!

Make a list. Seriously. I do this every year. Get out a piece of paper and write down all the things you want to do this summer. Go on a hike, see an outdoor concert, take a day trip to the country for antique shopping, visit the flower market, etc.! If I don't actually write things down and schedule days to do them the days just sort of pass and it becomes so much easier to say "oh, next weekend". When you have a plan, you're in the right mindset, and it becomes non-negotiable.

Connect with old friends/new acquaintances. Summer is the perfect time to connect with those you haven't seen in a while or reach out to your Insta-buddy to plan a meet-up. The days are long and the temperatures are warm, which means there are many more activities/events happening. Take advantage and make plans! Once winter rolls around you won't be nearly as excited to head out in the dark/cold to meet up.

Wear your wardrobe (aka all the florals/prints/skirts/dresses/etc.). Does this just apply to me? I hope not! But in all seriousness, I've said it before and I'll say it again, do not save your wardrobe. I mean who buys a skirt for their August birthday when it's June?? Lol.. okay, so I almost did! But no way, jose. Dress up for work, or running errands, wear the floral dress, and enjoy your summer wardrobe everyday, and not just on weekends or when you know you'll be seeing someone. Dress for you and remember why you loved the piece in the first place.

What I'm Wearing
Old Navy sandals (similar)
Forever 21 clutch (similar)
Retro sunnies (similar)
Shop for Jayu necklace
Michael Kors watch
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam 

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Target Crochet-top Popover White Romper, how to make the most out of Summer, NYX  soft matte lip cream in Amsterdam

Mixing Jewel Tones & Making the Most Out of Your Closet

June 16, 2016

Magenta & Royal Blue for Summer; Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Micro Bucket Bag, Old Navy sandals

I'm all about making the most out of the pieces I have in my closet. The top portion of this ensemble is actually a dress, and one that I've had in lingering in my closet since second year of university. It's a beautiful satin shift dress that I thought was a major splurge piece at the time. I bought it at Urban Outfitters for a wedding in Mexico and sometimes it makes its way to the semi-front of my closet in the summertime. When I did my spring purge this year the dress almost made it's way into the give-away pile, that was until my eyes turned to this magenta skirt and - lightbulb moment- the outfit just clicked. 

Do you ever have moments like that? Where you put together an outfit in your head, immediately fall in love, and just hope it looks as good as you imagine it will? Royal blue and magenta are so strikingly different, but look so bold and fun paired with one another. The comment of the day was definitely "I would have never put those two colours together". Don't get me wrong... the skirt looks great with a black cami, and the dress is fabulous on it's own, but together they make a fun statement and had me twirling the day away (even in the rain)! 

So how to make the most of what you have?

1. Don't get set on the conventional mode: Tuck a dress into your skirt, wear culottes over a romper and let your imagination run free. Not every piece has to be one dimensional, just use your creativity and pair unexpected colours and items together. You'll be surprised what works! Mixing these unexpected colour combinations and items together will make you feel as though you have an entirely new wardrobe. 

2. Rid your wardrobe of the noise: Minimize and purge the junky pieces. This will allow you to follow through with step 1 and make room for step 3. You'll be able to see the pieces come together (literally), as the inspiration will be right in front of you. 

3. Invest in quality pieces: Remember, less is more, and don't shop the trendier pieces just for the buy. Focus on the classics that will last and you'll want to wear those quality pieces time and time again. This doesn't mean buy everything black, white and basic. A royal blue, satin shift dress certainly isn't a little black dress, but in this case the quality has lasted me years. Work with what you have in your closet and formulate new ways to wear things.

What I'm Wearing
Urban Outfitters dress (similar, similar)
The Store on Queen skirt (similar, similar
Rebecca Minkoff Micro Lexi Bucket bag
Old Navy sandals (similar)

Now you tell me… how do you make the most out of your closet?

Magenta & Royal Blue for Summer; Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Micro Bucket Bag, Old Navy sandalsMagenta & Royal Blue for Summer; Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Micro Bucket Bag, Old Navy sandals

Magenta & Royal Blue for Summer; Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Micro Bucket Bag, Old Navy sandals

Magenta & Royal Blue for Summer; Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Micro Bucket Bag, Old Navy sandals, Michael Kors watch, Shop for Jayu necklace

Garden Girl & DIY Flower Bouquet

June 13, 2016

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Is it obvious The Secret Garden was one of my favourite books growing up? This weekend I spent time frolicking around in my mom's gorgeous gardens picking fresh peonies, and also went to The Toronto Flower Market. I felt as though I was living Mary's tale. This floral maxi dress is beyond romantic; it feels like such a dream to walk around in. The slit opens, the wind blows the light fabric aside and suddenly you're walking in a fairytale with the dress billowing in the wind. The print is summertime perfect and it pairs so well with that heavenly, golden hour shimmer. The price point also makes it so easy to justify adding another floral dress to my wardrobe. (Bonus-- from June 12th-14th you can score this dress with free shipping worldwide!)

Fresh cut flowers are my weakness. I love picking them and setting them up all throughout the house. There is just something so romantic, intoxicating and lovely about them, and I'm sure you can relate. The look, the feel, and most definitely the smell. But, I didn't just spend time prancing around in gardens for the sheer joy of it (although I could have); I also had a purpose. I love giving flowers as gifts. If your lucky enough to have the resources, like a garden, it can be so easy to put together these arrangements for friends and family. Taking a little bit of extra time to curate a sweet, little bouquet makes the gift that much more special.

Here are my tips on making the assortment of flowers in your garden come together in a beautiful bouquet.

Also, what do you think of this maxi? I paired it with a purple, moody lip (MAC- Hang Up) to add a touch of romance!

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Flower Picking

1. Bring a large vase full of water outside with you to prolong the flowers' life.
2. Choose a colour scheme or a few colours you want to work with. 
3. Pick 3-5 blooms of each flower variety. (In this case I was working with all peonies, but once the others bloom I will be mixing and matching!)
4. Don't be afraid to add in a touch of greenery to really hone in on the natural beauty.
5. Leave a big enough stem so you can adjust the length afterwards.
**If you are picking peonies be sure to allow yourself enough time to hang upside down, or to lay flat so that the ants will work their way out of the blooms. Be sure to do this away from the house! You can also give them a good (gentle) shake!

Making The Arrangement

1. Group the flowers into individual piles so you can see what you're working with.
2. Pick your focal point (1 bloom) and add greenery/foliage encircling that bloom. 
3. Add different varieties of flowers around the greenery. 
4. Finish off the last layer with greenery. 
5. Re-cut the tips on an angle to your desired length. 
6. Tie with raffia or garden string right above your hands. Keep in fresh water until you are leaving, or set aside in vase for display.

What I'm Wearing
Shein dress (free shipping worldwide from June 12-14!)
Old Navy sandals (on sale!!)

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet

Shein Garden Floral Maxi Dress, Old Navy Fringe sandals & How to make garden bouquet



White Retro & Top Summertime Day Dates

June 08, 2016

Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag

Pairing a high neck mini dress with flats is one of those retro looks I have been loving lately. What's even better is that this dress (along with many others from Zara's summer line) have shorts underneath! So in case you were wondering, you now don't have to worry about pulling your legs up on the bench outside to enjoy your cold brew with your bae in the sun! Impromptu day dates, like the one in which I wore this dress, are my favourite. They don't have to be elaborate by any means; it just feels good to get out of the house and go for a simple stroll for an iced drink. I love that about summer. 

I also love the details this dress offers; a ruffled neckline, a deep V in the back, and made with the perfect lightweight, white cotton to withstand summer's heat. I must also introduce you to a new friend-- the white Micro Lexi bucket bag I scored on the online Rebecca Minkoff sample sale. It's the perfect mini bag for summer. I had been on the hunt for a white bag for the longest time; something to dress up or down and hold just the essentials. Mission accomplished!

In need of some impromptu day date activities? Here are some of my summertime favourites:

Ice cream and a walk

Bicycle rides around town

Take a drive to a quaint part of town and explore

Vintage furniture hunting / garage sale searching

Picnic in the park

Day at the lake / beach 

Trip to Centre Island

Jays Game in the sun (dome open, please!) 

Brunch and a matinée

Berry picking / farmer's market

Glass of rosé on the patio

Driving range to hit some balls

What are some of your favourite summer activities? Whether it be with friends/family/ or your love? 

What I'm Wearing

Zara jumpsuit dress (similar, similar, similar)
Rebecca Minkoff Micro Lexi bucket bag
Ivanka Trump sandals (similar)

Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag
Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag
Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag
Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag

Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag
 Pastels & Pasties-- White Zara dress, Rebecca Minkoff white micro Lexi bucket bag

Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Whip & Roasted Pistachios

June 06, 2016

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

This weekend I took to the kitchen to make an elevated version of a summertime childhood favourite dessert: pineapple and cool whip. When I was younger my mom would cube up some pineapple, spoon some cool whip on top and I would devour it within minutes, and even drink the juice at the bottom of the bowl! A perfect way to beat the heat as it's chilled and refreshing, oh, so quintessentially summer time appropriate. We got to talking about the dish just last week and how I hadn't had it in years! Our conversation had my tastebuds hankering for the sweetly refreshing treat. 

As a healthier alternative to cool whip I tried my hand at coconut whip. Wow-- can I just say this is the simplest thing to whip together (literally)? The can of coconut milk needs to chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but once it's chilled it takes mere minutes to put together. All you do is chill the can, open it from the bottom, drain the liquid on top and, using a hand mixer, whip the (hardened) coconut milk with some agave and vanilla extract. Once your BBQ is hot the whole dish literally takes 5 minutes to throw together-- throw some pistachios in the oven, grill the pineapple, spoon on the whip and there you have it. 

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessertCoconut whip is probably my new favourite thing. Eat it with berries, add it on top of smoothies, or devour with a spoon, it's just too good! And grilled pineapple?! Well, that was also a first for me also, and it was divine! So juicy but the little bit of BBQ char gives it a nice touch. If that isn't your thing feel free to leave out the grilling and serve your whip on a bowl of mixed fruit and berries. It's equally as delicious! Don't leave out the pistachios! They really add such a nice crunch to the dish and work so well with the sweetness of the pineapple. The dessert brought me right back to my childhood and I can't wait to whip it up (literally, again) all summer long! 

Ingredients:
Pineapple rings, or fresh fruit/berries
1 can full fat coconut milk (the less preservatives it has, the better for whipping purposes)
1 tablespoon agave (or any sweetener such as sugar, honey, etc.)
1 teaspoon vanilla (feel free to add more agave & sugar depending on your taste)
Raw pistachios

Prep:
Chill can of coconut milk overnight in fridge
Flip can of chilled coconut milk upside down and open from bottom
Pour out liquid on top and spoon remainder into bowl (save coco water for smoothies!)
Using a kitchen mixer, whip coconut with sweetener and vanilla until fluffy
Chill in fridge

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
Roast pistachios in oven for 3-5 minutes
Grill pineapple a few minutes each side
Top pineapple with chilled coconut whip and roasted pistachios 
The coconut whip will last in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days.
Try out this dish! It's perfect for summer entertaining. Your guests will love it and how could you go wrong with dessert that takes 5 minutes? 

And let me know, what were some of your favourite summertime desserts as a child? 

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

Grilled Pineapple with Vegan Coconut Whip, Roasted Pistachios - summertime dessert

Denim Days

May 30, 2016

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

I love how versatile destroyed denim can be. This pair of jeans was last seen with a blush trench and flats on the blog, but I've been living in them ever since. Ridiculously comfortable, soft, and the perfect light wash for spring/summer. Last weekend we were sitting outside enjoying the warm weather and sunshine with a glass of rose, when I realized I had minutes to get ready for dinner. My semi-tipsy self put this ensemble together without any second thought and it turned out to be a favourite combo;  classic, chic, and comfortable. What more could you want? 

It's funny how you can make the best decisions, like putting together the perfect outfit, when there is little to no time to contemplate or work at it. At the moment I am reading "The Happiness Equation" by Neil Pasricha and he proposes the idea that in order to have more time you need to eliminate time itself. 

You're probably confused. Let me explain. What he's saying is when there is less time available you put in more effort because you have no choice but to do so. So, you end up focusing more, giving it your all,  and the superior results shine through --aka throwing together this outfit in lightening speed. I may have spent an hour contemplating what to wear, or how I had nothing to wear, but instead I was forced to make a quick decision.  

I love how he relates this to work, especially with deadlines.  He goes on to say how "work expands to fill the space available and the result is lower in quality". So what's the take away here? Move deadlines up and get ready for your best work. Or in my case, enjoy the extra glass of rose and give yourself 2 minutes to get ready. You'll avoid the whole "I have nothing to wear" situation and end up putting together a stunning outfit. Try it out! 

What I'm Wearing
American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging
Zara sandals (similar)
Francesca clutch
Shop for Jayu Bar & Circle Necklace 

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries
American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

American Eagle Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging, Le Chateau blazer, Zara black sandals, Summer Style Pastels & Pastries

3 Podcasts You Should be Listening To

May 27, 2016

3 Podcasts for girl entrepreneurs, creatives and bloggers

Lately I've been feeling a tad bit uninspired. I mean... I'm so excited for the warm weather and what is to come for spring and summer, but have found that in my down time I'd rather do nothing than something. Whether it be due to the lack of sunshine, feeling stuck in a rut at work, or feeling like I'm in a stagnant state, it's been kind of annoying.

In looking for ways to pull myself up I've discovered the world of podcasts. I know-- a little late, right?! I'd been wanting to get into podcasts for a while but every time I searched for one to listen too I couldn't find one that sparked my interests. Now I'm hooked. I pre-download my favourites and play them on my way to and from work. They are also the perfect lunch-time walk companion. Sometimes music doesn't cut it and you want to feel inspired, and feel a sense of community, even though you're alone! There are three podcasts that I have been rotating between, which I enjoy all for different reasons, but all of them have one thing in common, and that's that they all are giving me life, inspiration and energy throughout my day!

#girlboss radio: Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso a.k.a the ultimate girl boss, interviews serious powerhouse women who are excelling in the business world and in the creative scene. If you loved the book, you'll love the podcast. Sophia asks leading ladies real questions, and offer insight, great advice and tons of laughs. These interviews with top CEOs and extraordinary women will leave you thirsting to make a difference in your career and beyond. It's so inspiring to hear how other women have made their mark in the world and what they are doing to really excel. I really love how it offers advice from a business perspective, yet can still make me laugh.

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast: Lauryn Evarts has to be one of the most real, bold, doesn't-give-an-eff bloggers out there. I started reading The Skinny Confidential years ago and loved her for her wellness, body and blog related real talk. This bombshell has launched a podcast with her fiancé, Michael. They are both entrepreneurs and give advice on business, branding, blogging, relationships, travel, and more. They are hilarious, witty and offer sound advice and their experiences. The title of their most recent podcast is "How to deal with anxiety, sexting, what we look for when hiring"-- so I'm sure this gives you an idea of their diverse, laid back style of pod-casting! This is a lunchtime special for me, as the podcasts are generally around 30 minutes in length and they are guaranteed have me smiling on my way back into the office.

Make it Happen: A Podcast by Jen Carrington: The ultimate podcast for creatives. Jen Carrington is a blogger, content coach and creative mentor. She interviews other female creatives who are making serious waves for themselves. I love this podcast for so many reasons-- she divulges into real problems/hurdles creatives may have, and offers real solutions to provide real results. Some topics which I'm sure you'll find interesting relate to putting yourself out there, evolving your personal brand, and making money with your blog without relying on traffic. If you are looking for ways to creatively and uniquely build your blog and creative life, definitely check this one out! You'll find yourself leaving with great take-aways.

Have you entered into the world of podcasts? What are your favourites?