December 27, 2016

Neutral Winter Monochrome


white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck


To be honest, I have not adjusted to the cold yet. The temperatures are starting to drop and we've officially reached below zero temperatures and beyond. It's funny how every year you know it's coming, but when it hits, it hits hard! And, no matter how prepared you feel, you just aren't! Just before the holidays, I got together with a bunch of gorgeous Toronto bloggers to celebrate Rebeca's birthday. We went to Colette when the decor is stunning. Picture floor to ceiling windows, white marble tables and French themed accents everywhere. It's beyond Parisian chic and a blogger's dream restaurant. I really wanted to wear something signature and fitting of the venue, aka pastels (specifically this skirt), but I could not fathom going bare legs! I finally decided on a pair of ivory trousers and this sweater...again, because I'm obsessed with the statement sleeves. I wanted to change the look of the sweater since I've been wearing it non-stop, so I added a glam necklace, but this wasn't enough. I took it a step further by throwing a shimmery gold crop top on top of the turtleneck. Not only did it switch up the look completely, and add an extra sparkle to the outfit, it kept me nice and toasty!

I would have never thought to pair the crop top with a sweater, but you know I am all about making the most out of what you have in your closet! These pieces are definitely from my summer wardrobe, but they work so well in winter, too! They make for such a monochromatic look that I'm loving. Don't you think? Also, how do you feel about the slip dress on top look? This crop top over mock neck look is sort of another take on it, and I'm feeling it!

So, put away those thick black tights and make the most out of what you have! There's always another possibility.

What I'm Wearing:
Zara drawstring trousers (on sale!), Simons mock neck knit (similar, similar), Shop for Jayu necklace, Forever 21 crop top (similar on sale!), Sam Edelman pumps, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote in charcoal

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Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck

Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck

Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck

Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck

Pastels & Pastries- white monochrome in winter, Sophie Hulme Albion Tote, Zara ivory trouser, Bell sleeve turtleneck


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December 21, 2016

Festive in GUESS

GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style

I somehow tend to forget all about denim in the winter months. Black pants and booties, and skirts paired with tights seem to get all the love. But there is something about a classic pair of dark indigo denim paired with dark accents that I love. I recently got a chance to check out the GUESS Spring 2017 Preview and it is going to be an exciting, print filled collection! But, more on that later... we are after all still getting through the winter months. This pair of GUESS Shape-Up Seamless Jeggings (on sale now!) is so comfortable that you'll actually forget you're wearing denim! Comfort in denim is essential. I just hate feeling confined or construed in pants! Since these are seamless they seriously shape the bod. And I love that this pair can be totally dressed up or down and they have a skinny fit.

With Christmas only a few days away I was feeling ferociously festive in buffalo check and this faux fur stole this past weekend! I busted out this blazer, which is more-so a coat, for a Sunday of errands and found myself totally in the mood for all things holiday. This stole (also on sale!) is probably the warmest thing of life, and it adds such a fun, playful element to any outfit. It keeps the blazer from looking to professional or fancy, and I'm all about Sunday style that is casual and playful. Fun accents like a pom topped hat and furry scarf can really change up the look of a more business looking piece.

So tell me, are you ready for the holidays?! It's my last day in the office today and I couldn't be happier!  What about you? What last minute planning are you doing?


What I'm Wearing:
Old Navy toque, Pink Tartan Inverted Lepel Jacket, Le Chateau Faux Fur stole (on sale!), GUESS Shape Up Seamless Jeggings c/o, Cougar COPE boots c/o, Poppy & Peonies crossbody 

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GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style

GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style

GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style



GUESS Shape Up denim, Faux fur black stole, Buffalo Check Blazer, Pom Hat, Cougar COPE booties, Festive Style


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December 19, 2016

Surviving a Canadian Winter with Parajumpers

Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter If you know one thing about me it's that I am ALWAYS cold. Never fails. I sip on hot water at my desk at work to keep me warm and there is an oversized blanket scarf that has taken up as a permanent resident on the back of my chair. So needless to say, in winter, I struggle with the elements. There are two things you really need in order to get through a Canadian winter-- a warm coat and waterproof boots! Finding a warm coat to combat the harsh temperatures that's also stylish is never an easy task. I find that most coats made for warmth, durability and comfort make you look and feel like an oversized marshmallow. And no one wants that!


Enter Parajumpers-- the ultimate solution to the whole winter coat debacle. I've recently got into the Long Bear Down Coat and can attest to feeling stylish in it's sleek, clean cut and classic military design, but also to it's warmth. Yay! Finally, a winter coat that you want to wear and wear again! Italian designer Massimo Rossetti found inspiration in Anchorage, Alaska (so you know it's a meant for the cold!) where he met a member of a U.S. military squadron trained for extreme rescues, who were just so nicknamed the "Parajumpers". These men are trained to rescue and save lives in all severities. That is where the inspiration for adding in the zips, hooks and hardware came from.

Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter

I'm wearing the Long Bear style, which is a down-filled nylon coat with a detachable hood and removable fur lining and trim. The coats even undergo a special treatment to protect them from dirt and rain. I love that it feels so luxurious but is seriously built to last. It's rated at a level 3 on the temperature scale (meaning super warm for below zero temperatures), and I put it to the test this past weekend! We woke up Saturday morning to a winter wonderland! The ground was covered, the trees were snow capped and the temperatures were just plain cold. I was seriously impressed that a coat that looks so lean could withstand such strong wind! And when paired with my favourite waterproof Cougar boots, the elements did not stand a chance.

Are you guys one to forgo the style for warmth in a winter coat? What are you essentials for surviving a Canadian winter?

If you're looking for a coat that is built to last, made with classic Italian flair and style and will keep you warm in the utmost frigid temperatures you need to get into a Parajumper! The coats are available at select retailers such as Nordstrom, Sporting Life and Harry Rosen.

What I'm Wearing
PARAJUMPERS Long Bear in Black c/o, Celine sunglasses, Joe Fresh tights (similar), Cougar COPE boots, c/o,Wilfred sweater (similar)

Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter
Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter
Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter Parajumpers Womens Long Bear parka, Cougar COPE boots, Canadian Winter


*This post was sponsored by Parajumpers, however, I am dead serious about my opinion on the style and warmth factors of this coat. A true Canadian necessity! Thank you Parajumpers! I was also given the Cougar boots to review and am happy to say they truly are a waterproof wonder! Thank you Cougar boots!


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December 16, 2016

Rustic Meets Glam Holiday Entertaining Guide


My annual girls Christmas party is something I look forward to hosting every year. I seriously can't believe we've been doing it for around 10 years now! But since this was the first year I was to host in my own home I really wanted to make it special. I enlisted the help of some of my favourite local shops to make the whole planning less stressful and go off without a hitch! Which it did! We ate delicious food, drank wine, played games, devoured cupcakes and curled up by the tree to open gifts. It was so special to have this take place in my own place-- truly an evening I won't forget! But this past month has been insanely busy, so how did I pull it off? Here's how...




DECOR - RUSTIC AND MINIMAL

Entertaining is something I love to do. As you've seen with last year's Glitzmas party, I start with the theme, or colour scheme and go from there. This year I was really feeling rustic and minimal, with a touch of gold (obviously). Since we haven't overly decorated the house yet, I brought in natural elements to really elevate the space. Bringing the outdoors is such a great way to decorate for the holidays. I picked up a wreath and added some mini flower buds to it to hang over the window, and using some tree limbs, created wall features to go above the bar cart. Coral Wreath Designs was so kind to make me the custom hanging wall wreath from dried leaves and flowers. It is actually such a stunning piece! I knew it had to be front and centre of the bar cart. I love that it is crafted on a gold circle, which blended in so beautifully with the gold bar cart.



I added some more natural elements to the cart and table scape. More branches draped over the sides of the cart and rustic flowers were placed in jars. For the table scape, I kept it pretty minimal; a burlap runner and gold mirror were placed in the centre. Since I wanted to add a few glam elements I knew some gold plated coasters and marble candlestick holders would be the perfect additions. The centre of the table was filled with candles and some rustic pine cones placed in a vase. So minimal, so budget-friendly, but so impactful! All these decor items I had lying around the home so it was so easy to put together in a pinch. You can hit up the local dollar store for faux garland, pine cones, and gold accents, too.

Rustic Meets Glam Holiday Entertaining Guide- Pastels & Pastries Coral Wreath Designs

Elegant Vegetable Platter Pastels & Pastries x The Fix + CO

FOOD - APPETIZERS 

I took a pass on making a formal dinner and opted for a wide array of appetizers. Sometimes this really is the best way! My girlfriends and I like to snack and pick throughout the night, rather than sitting formally for a jumbo meal.

My go-to spot for juice, smoothies, and healthy eats is The Fix + Co (as you've seen here, and here), and they created the most gorgeous crudité platter. It was filled to the edges with raw and grilled vegetables, nuts, amazing spreads, and more. Seriously it was a piece of art! I'm so happy they offer this service now because it makes entertaining so easy and effortless! Cutting and prepping just vegetables alone is a timely process so the fact that this was prepped and put together all on a wooden platter was a huge relief! It even matched the theme (lol!). But it also allowed me to focus on creating other nibbles.



I made up a batch of this warm artichoke dip and pesto chicken skewers. Both were a huge hit. We also served up the classic charcuterie board with an assortment of cheese and meat, a baked brie dish with honey, cranberries and walnuts, homemade pizza and a few other little bites. All around tried and true favourites where everyone is sure to find something they enjoy.



SIPS

The Fix + Co also provided us with amazing juices to act as mixers. The two flavours were grapefruit, rosemary, cucumber and apple, pear, lemon and cinnamon. They tasted amazing mixed with vodka. I put the juices in glass jars and attached some more natural elements to the outside of the jars (evergreen branch and cinnamon stick). It's a great way to add a touch of the theme to the glass jars. One of my best friends just got engaged so we also had champagne ready to be popped! My vintage champagne coupes were placed on the bar cart for this special moment.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe- Holiday Menu Pastels & Pastries

FOOD - DESSERT

Dessert is something you just cannot skip out on for a holiday party. I usually have all my baking done by this point, but this month has been extremely hectic and I plan on doing the majority of it this weekend. So needless to say, I did not have my usual spread of homemade peanut butter balls, turtles, shortbread cookies and hello dollies ready to serve. All I can say is thank goodness for Kelly's Bake Shoppe and their Christmas menu! You know Kelly's is my ultimate favourite bake shoppe (check out this post) for many reasons. The staff, the atmosphere, their values, and the fact that their treats are not only the best I've had but they are vegan, gluten free, nut free and all around made with good for you ingredients. 

They provided us with a selection of their limited Christmas menu cupcakes. Some of the flavours included Classic Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread and Lemon, Chocolate Candy Cane, and Chocolate Cranberry. I could not keep my hands off them! The Classic Pumpkin Pie, which is filled with homemade pumpkin pie filling, and the Gingerbread and Lemon, topped with an adorable gingerbread man, were my favourite! If you've never tried Kelly's you need to get yourself to Burlington (they also deliver!). They also gifted us some of their Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, infused with organic peppermint oil, and Gingerbread People. Kelly's slogan is "baking you happy", and it's easy to see why! 

Rustic Meets Glam Holiday Entertaining Guide Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Rustic Meets Glam Holiday Entertaining Guide Pastels & Pastries Pastels & Pastries x Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Rustic Meets Glam Holiday Entertaining Guide Pastels & Pastries

THE EXTRAS

Ambience is key. Candles, dim lighting, and soft music are all party essentials. Have a playlist going so you don't have to constantly keep checking up on the music. We started off with the Christmas music, but like usual ended up busting out some RihRih and Beyoncé by the end of the night! Anywhere you can infuse the theme is golden; I wrapped the cloth napkins in natural coloured string and stuck a mini pine branch into the tie. I also wanted to have a little something at everyone's place setting so I made a batch of my Natural Lavender Body Scrub. It's a nice little treat that is so easy and handmade with love! 

If you're looking for other fun things to do at your holiday party you could put on a classic like 'Love Actually', 'Serendipity', or 'The Holiday'. Over the years we've watched them all! This year we tested out of lip syncing and DJ skills playing the card game Heads Up. We also had a fun game of Kris Kringle and exchanged gifts after dinner. 


Another fabulous fete to go down in the books! But I couldn't have pulled this one off without the help of some amazing shops. Huge thanks to The Fix + Co, Kelly's Bake Shoppe, Coral Wreath Designs and Indigo for making this one oh so special! Keep scrolling for more pictures and to shop the party! 

Elegant Vegetable Platter Pastels & Pastries x The Fix + CO

Kelly's Bake Shoppe- Holiday Menu Pastels & Pastries

Kelly's Bake Shoppe- Holiday Menu Pastels & Pastries

Kelly's Bake Shoppe- Holiday Menu Pastels & Pastries



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Indigo 3 Wick Mercury Candle- Crackling Firewood & Ember 
Indigo Copper Mule Mug 
Anthropologie Clustered Bell Cocktail Shaker
Samantha Pynn x Simons Chevron Napkin
Indigo Umbra Prisma Mirror 
Renee Redesigns Gold Coasters


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December 14, 2016

5 Simple Holiday Pleasures




It really is the little things that get me most excited around the holidays; an evening stroll on a fully decorated, shiny, well-lit street, putting up ornaments while listening to carols, and having the intoxicating scent of cinnamon and nutmeg escape the stove while baking. It really is a special time of year!

But I know that some people find this time of year hard to deal with. There are so many feelings, and memories the holidays evoke and bring forward, and sometimes it's not always the positive, cheery ones that we want to remember. It can be easy to get wrapped up in all the go, go, go action, but it
is important to slow down and really take it in, to enjoy the little things, and really focus on what we do have. In hopes of slowing down this holiday season, I put together a list of five things you can do to make the most out of the holiday, and really embrace the season, instead of letting it pass you by.

Mercury Moonglow candle , Saje "Precious Glow" candle, Homesense snowglobe

1. Get in the spirit by decking the halls.
 I love decorating and listening to classic Christmas music. The OC 'A Very Merry Chrismukkah' has been my go-to album for years! I leave it on repeat since it's so catchy. This year I am loving 'A Very She & Him Christmas' from Zooey Deschanel and musician M.Ward. Zooey has such a jazzy, soulful, yet playful voice. Perfect for a date night in while setting up the tree! Also, keep in mind you don't need to go overboard with decorations, either! Something simple as a bit of greenery, a candle, and lights is all you need to get in the festive spirit. I've been adding touches of greenery, and outdoorsy elements such as pine cones and branches all over the house. It's a simple, budget-friendly way to decorate. I also added some faux flowers to our mantel. I couldn't resist the blush pink colour! And these twinkling string lights from Indigo really elevate the space!




2. Get together with friends. You can take it among yourself to host a holiday get-together, but if hosting a get together it too intimidating for you, not to worry! Surrounding yourself with loved ones is all that matters, and meeting up for a coffee date is the perfect solution. I know that when I meet up with my friends for even a simple coffee I like to indulge a little bit, especially during the holidays. McCafé's new seasonal menu offers the perfect, festive specialties that you would want this time of year. Think-- Salted Caramel Latte, sweetened with salted caramel syrup and topped with sea salt and caramel, or the Peppermint Mocha, sweetened with peppermint mocha syrup, topped with real whip cream and -yes- crushed candy cane! I love that the beverages are made with 100% fine arabica beans, so you really get that full-bodied, high-quality espresso taste! You can't go wrong with the side authentic French croissant or double chocolate pie from the McCafé Bakery. Getting together with friends, old or new, is always special this time of year. Why not make it extra special with McCafé?




3. Visit a Christmas Market. Every year we try and make it out to the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. It's just fun to walk around and surround yourself with Christmas cheer and others who are fully embracing the season. There is the homemade goodies, mulled wine, the carollers, the large Christmas tree and the classic European charm to enjoy. The vibrant energy is contagious! Many other towns have Christmas markets set up for the season. Make a point to get out to one of them!


4. Get Giving. After all, it is the season of giving. Surprise someone with homemade treats, pay for the person's coffee behind you in line, donate to a children's shelter, spare some change for the homeless. Sometimes you have no idea on the impact doing something unexpected and special for someone else will have. It's the littlest thoughts that count and can really make you realize just how lucky you are.


5. Just stay in. There is nothing wrong with wanting to curl up by the fireplace with a Christmas movie on TV and a cup of hot chocolate. In fact, that's what I'm doing right now! Put some cookies in the oven (try my aunt's famous Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing or my favourite White Chocolate Stuffed Ginger Molasses Cookies), and put on your favourite movie. Try to enjoy the holidays at a slower pace this year and embrace the little things that mean the most.

Indigo Copper Mule Mug, La Vie en Rose pyjamas

Thank you to McCafé for partnering with me on their festive campaign! All opinions and thoughts are, as always, my own. 
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