Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Fall Skirts

October came out of nowhere and now we're already in the last full week. I say this far too often but, really, where did the time go? In a month and a half I'll be finished the final fall semester of my undergrad. While exciting, it's scary. I'm in the abyss of wondering where the next six months will lead me. Any-who, onto fashion:

Suede, leather or corduroy? These seem to be the most popular options for fall skirts. Though denim is still acceptable, I personally would prefer to have a skirt that I can pair with tights for the cooler days (I don't love the look of denim and tights). Here are some cute little options to take you into winter. 

Bag // Blouse // Skirt // Flats

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Links of the Week

Well, it's that time of year guys. Change is in the air! Do you all have some cozy knits to bundle up in and the kettle brewing? I've basically been living in jeans, sweaters and my loafers this past week. No complaints here! I'm buckling up for a busy October and really trying to get ahead of my readings and assignments. I hope you all have a beautiful start to October this weekend!

Speaking of...  The coziest looking fall sweater. Anyone willing to donate to my GoFundMe page for it?

Spectacles Wasn't quite expecting this new venture from Snapchat (now Snap Inc.) but I suppose it's not too surprising. Will they take off? I'm not sure.

Who'd You Rather These are so funny to watch on Ellen! Seeing Lea Michele also makes me miss the good ole Glee days. 

Ultimate Fall Doughnuts If you don't follow Tieghan's blog, you are missing out. Her photography is out of this world and her recipes are even better (if that's even possible?). These doughnuts sound absolutely delectable. 

The 10 Pieces You'll Have Forever according to Gwyneth. Hard not to agree with these choices, but they really are "investment" pieces. 

How to Behave at a Steakhouse This made me laugh a little. 

Meryl Streep's Greenwich Townhouse That shower. Oh my gosh that shower. 

The Crown It's almost here! I've been waiting for this show for a while and it looks stunning. Netflix is really killing it with their original programming. Looking forward to binging The Crown! (And hopefully getting around to Luke Cage at some point as well)

Lupita for Vogue I get so excited when I see Lupita Nyong'o. She's so refreshing and down to earth that it's hard not to love her. Seeing the video of her going back to her parent's farm in Kenya was so cute. We really have no idea what that part of the world is like so seeing it from her perspective was pretty insightful. 

Paris Fashion Week Looks Tons of outfit inspiration for fall and spring.

Currently Reading: Bartholomew Fair by Ben Jonson. 
Not quite as exciting as my readings earlier in the year but it's hard to do anything other than school readings at this point. Especially when my major requires me to read plays and stories weekly... 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Links of the Week

Where did the week go? Don't answer that. I know it disappeared into the school and Fall madness. I don't really need to be reminded. I just still can't believe it. This week was a busy one as I had a course scheduling kerfuffle that needed to be sorted, trip planning, applications, and... what else? I don't even know. Maybe my week actually wasn't all that busy. It's just the anticipation of the next few months that occupies my time. 

Last week I volunteered at the Atlantic Film Festival. My dream is to go to the Toronto International Film Festival one year, but the AFF was quite sufficient in the mean time. One of the theatres hosting screenings is a wonderful older theatre that takes you back to the early days of cinema (Oxford Cinemas on Quinpool, if you're interested). A true classic. 

Here are some of my favourite reads of the week! Hope you have a great weekend all :)

Classic Style I loved this simple little look on Liz and her words about style. And not just because I'm obsessed with her bag...

Career Tips from Smart Women Full of great quotes from some of your favourite ladies. 

Waiting for Girl on the Train? Here are some books to fill up your space in the mean-time. 

50 Most Influential Bloomberg's annual list of their 50 most influential people in the finance market across the globe was released. Anyone you're surprised is on the list? 

Gwyneth and the Lenny Girls I subscribe to the Lenny Letter emails, and though they're sometimes not always my cup of tea, I really enjoy seeing what they've got each week. This was a fun little interview with Miss GOOP herself. 

Fall Fashion Musts, according to your sign I tried this with some of my friends and found some of their tastes match up, though definitely not all. I know mine did! Very in love with my Virgo slide.

The Royals Coming to Canada Never have I wanted to be in Vancouver more than right now. I caught a quick glimpse of the Royal family during the Queen's birthday celebrations outside Buckingham Palace, but it would be so neat to see the little family on their first trip here. 

York Avenue Etsy Shop I've loved Jackie's blog for a while so it was exciting to see that she's opening up a print shop on Etsy! Her photography is beautiful and certainly doesn't help my pipe Manhattan dream.

Image source

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Backless Loafers

Loafers, mules, slippers, slides, or whatever it is that they're referred to as. When I first saw the Gucci Princetown Slipper last fall, I didn't really understand the trend. Sure, it's Gucci. But with all the fur and the totally lazy look, I was confused.

I bought a pair of quite comfortable loafers over the winter and though I love them, they sometimes rub my heel the wrong way. They are my go-to shoe in during cooler days when sandals just don't cut it anymore - but, ugh, blisters. Alas, I started searching for open flats and began to fall in love with those backless Gucci beauties. My question though: how long will this trend last?

I've been searching for a more reasonably priced style for options. If the consensus is that the trend is here to say, these are some great choices.

Asos // Nine West // Kristin Cavallari // Urban Outfitters

Have you found any other loafers or fall shoes to try?

image sources: 1, 2, 3

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Links of the Week

Well, summer is almost over. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? Granted, I've only been home for two months and I've kept myself decently busy. I'll be heading out on Saturday to return to school (with a little detour in Scotland...) so it's time to pack up and get ready. It's hard to believe that this time next year I may not be in this position. Hope your summer ends nicely! 

Truly Madly Guilty So I just started Big Little Lies (more down below) and could not be more excited for the tv series. But what's even more exciting is that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bought the rights to Liane Moriarty's most recent novel, Truly Madly Guilty.

Hollywood Ruining Method Acting I saw Suicide Squad the Saturday it came out and was a little disappointed. It was a great film but could have been SO MUCH better. Jared Leto's performance has obviously garnered a lot of criticism and analysis - Leto is the main example in this article. I completely agree with everything the article states. 

Mixing up the Jumpsuit I'm so tempted to try and recreate this outfit but then I'm reminded that (a) I don't live in New York, and, (b) I'm not Blair Eadie.

The Best Button-Up Shirt This is the loveliest shirt. I picked it up during a back-to-school trip (maybe my last? at least second last) to Madewell and though I haven't worn it yet due to the scorching heat, it will get some great use during the other three seasons. 

Julia's Favourite Makeup Products I know next to nothing about make-up so I love comparing other people's must-have's. I was rather excited when I saw that I use the same Fresh Sugar as her!

Dogs and Real Estate This made me laugh a little but then realize that I will probably be the subject of a follow-up article in a few years time... The things we do for our dogs!

Most Liveable Cities Does your city make the list? Does it make you want to explore some of the top 10? It's making my unplanned trip down under more inevitable. 

Currently ReadingBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
Another one I've had on my Goodread's "Want to Read" section for a while (well, since Reese Witherspoon recommended it...) and I love it. I have a few heavier reads that I should've started instead as I've had them for longer, but BLL seemed like a nice, lighter book. Reese is tooootally Madeline and I just love reading Celeste with Nicole Kidman's voice. Though I kind of wish that I hadn't known the actors before starting the novel, it makes me pretty confident in the adaptation. Excited to see who the victim is! I'm nearly 100 pages in.

Image via

Monday, 15 August 2016

Links of the Week

Ocean's Remake I've been eagerly waiting to see who will headline the new Ocean's film as I'm a huge fan of the Clooney/Soderbergh trilogy. This cast seems pretty unbeatable! Very excited to see all of these ladies and their (hopefully) quirky characters. 

Nicole Warne Style My obsession with the Gary Pepper Girl began a few years ago when I started following her on Instagram. It's easy for anyone to fall in love with her page because of her incredibly enviable style sense and constant state of wander. I never really noticed patterns in her wardrobe (probably because I was too busy drooling and reminding myself that her taste in probably unattainable for me...) so I thought C&C's breakdown of her outfits was interesting.

Most Adorable Shirt The second I laid eyes on this blouse at Madewell, I knew it would be mine. I've been looking for a great button-up that didn't look too stiff or preppy for a while and this is certainly it. The top fits great and has a nice feminine flair. 100 percent recommended! 

Cinnamon Rolls These rolls are my favourite treat for breakfast. They are so darn easy too! I made them this past week and they didn't last long. I've tried this recipe a few times but I think I'll venture to Sally's Maple Cinnamon Rolls next time!

Penny Oleksiak Well, if you don't know her name by now you must be living under a rock. Penny has been the champion for Canadians during the first week of the Olympics! It's hard to believe that she still hasn't even graduated high school yet she has four medals. Her reaction and her family's to the gold medal is a reminder of why the Olympics is so great. Way to go, Penny!

The 5-Hour Rule I didn't know what the 5-hour rule was before reading this article but it seems like a great practice. If Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Oprah are dedicated to this learning then it can't be too bad. 

Make Your Bed I laughed a little at this article because the writer just nails it! Sure, Pinterest may fool you into thinking that a messy bed is the new black, but you will still be living in a mess. Make your bed, you'll feel better. 

Currently Reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kailing.
I've had this book for over a year but I only started reading it recently. It was at the top of my list but I just never set aside the time! I definitely plan on reading Why Not Me? after. She writes like she's talking to her best friend aka. you, the reader. I've laughed out loud a few too many times in public since I've started it, too. It's a book that I find I can put down and pick up whenever. I'm almost done and I'm honestly quite sad that it has to end. If you love The Mindy Project (or just funny and honest writing), pick up her book. 

image source

Monday, 23 May 2016

Kitchen Conundrums

It's not hard to get stuck on a YouTube binge. The suggested videos on the side lead you down a path of almost no return. Whether it's late night talk shows, Ellen, movie trailers, BuzzFeed food, Grey's Anatomy clips, or epic fails, we all have our weaknesses.

I don't know how I've only recently discovered this channel, but Everyday Food's series 'Kitchen Conundrums' is my new favourite binge-worthy playlist. The channel is from Martha Stewart so I'm sure the recipes are up to par. All of their videos are pretty great, but this series especially so because the host talks a little about the science behind the recipes. It also doesn't hurt that he's pretty cute to look at ;)

Here are some of my favourite videos gearing up for summertime. 

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is so nice when the weather starts to turn!

Seeding a Pomegranate

I don't think I've ever seeded a pomegranate without creating a bloodbath. 

Grilling Steak (without a barbecue)

I love steak with a capital L but tend not to make it for myself because I've never been able to cook it the way I like (medium rare). I will definitely be trying out this technique! 

Fixing "Broken" Buttercream

This has happened to me too many times to count and I hate having to try to frost a cake or cupcakes with gross buttercream. Glad to see that there is actually a way to save it!

Making No Churn Ice Cream

An ice-cream maker is nothing that I've ever considered a necessity and this tutorial validates my hesitance. This recipe seems so simple! 

Don't all of these seem so easy now? I am dying to try out the ice cream. 

Monday, 9 May 2016

Statement Couch

Over the past few years, it seems that 'statement' couches have become increasingly popular. I admire the woman who can organize a fuchsia velvet couch into her living room - it takes serious guts to invest in furniture like that. A bold piece certainly becomes a focal pint and sets the tone for the rest of the house. I mean, if you're looking to add some feminine flare, that is one sure way to do so. I used to think that something like said fuchsia velvet couch would stick out like a sore thumb, but finding these designs on Pinterest has changed my mind. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Girl on the Train

I was aware of the popularity of The Girl on the Train before deciding to read it, but it was finding out that Emily Blunt would be the star of the adaptation that encouraged me to read the book. I mean, the woman really can do no wrong. If Miss Blunt thought it was a worthy read, surely I would too. Great news: I did! It's been described as the 2015 version of Gone Girl. Sure, there are similarities - thriller, multiple narrations, different timelines, slightly unlikeable characters - but overall they are separate. Gone Girl is about games whereas The Girl on the Train is all about secrets. 

The novel is a slightly unsettling tale that will give you a lesson in character study. Our three lead women are connected through the men in their lives and the mystery begins with a death (I was going to say "shocking event", but, in all honesty, everyone presumably knows that's implied). Though the main protagonist is Rachel, we are privy to other character's thoughts that certainly enlighten the story. 

As for the film, it looks like everyone was cast perfectly. I'm a little skeptical of Justin Theroux as Tom for no other reason than he is not at all what I had envisioned (I was picturing a Matthew Goode-Andrew Scott hybrid). Haley Bennett as Meghan is fantastic - I can't say anything else; I've been dying to see Rebecca Ferguson in something since Mission Impossible last summer so I'm very excited for her as Anna; Allison Janney is perfect in everything so I have no doubt she can bring a little more life to Officer Riley; we didn't get much of a look at Luke Evans as Scott but considering the rest of the cast, I'm sure he is game; and lastly, Emily Blunt is obviously looking superb as Rachel.

Here is the trailer:

WARNING: Spoilery-area ahead :)

Some thoughts about the novel:
  • All of the characters are clearly messed up and it makes me wonder if a community of people like this really do exist...
  • It had quite a few lull points - took me quite a bit longer to get through than I thought
  • Will Rachel ever be happy again?
  • Kamal should really have his licence revoked
  • From the trailer - I think they made it obvious who the killer is
  • I first wondered why Anna was part of the narration, but I think I ended up enjoying her parts the most
  • Will Rachel and Anna keep in contact? They share a unique bond...
  • I think I read the last 70 pages consecutively because I was too hooked at that point to put it down

Monday, 25 April 2016

Style Crush: Elizabeth Olsen

My style crush on her started when I saw a picture of her hair when she was promoting Martha Marcy May Marlene. I posted a picture of it on my short hair post, and it is still one of my favourite looks. Once I looked beyond her hair, I realized how great her style sense is. It's nothing too special or extravagant, just basic everyday looks - kind of a tomboy chic. I find it nice to see a celebrity not exclusively wearing crop-tops, body con dresses, or five-inch heels. Having fashion designer sisters likely doesn't hurt, but Elizabeth Olsen has certainly mastered being "effortlessly fashionable".

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sunnies Time

Let's be honest: sunglasses are more than just protective eyewear. They are a fashion statement, hair band, and a best friend during hangovers or post-sobfests. 

A few days ago, my $12 pair of sunglasses from Aerie broke. I don't spend much on my sunglasses because typically they don't last more than a year. They get tossed around and dropped and scratched and obviously have an expiration date. I loved this pair though! Clearly, I should've taken better care of them. Now I am on the hunt for a quality pair. 

I want something trendy yet timeless (that is my mindset for basically anything I purchase ha). I'm also very picky with shapes and how they look on my chubby little face so you'll notice a theme. Here's what is serving as my inspiration :)

Ray Ban Clubmaster // Leisure Society Byron // Oliver Peoples Delray
Illesteva Leonard II 50mm // Derek Lam Lafayette 49mm // Oliver Peoples Spelman 50mm // Tom Ford Angela 53mm
TOMS Margeaux // Oliver Peoples Shaelie Mirrored // Thierry Lasry Tipsy

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

À Paris

I recently returned to Brighton after a few weeks of travel with my cousin from Canada. She visited me for two of my three weeks of spring break and we had an amazing time exploring together! One of our destinations was Paris. I'd only been once before when I came with my youth choir years ago and my memories of the city are a bit hazy. In all honesty, group (ahem, parental guided) trips are wonderful in that they allow kids to travel and become more cultured, but it's so much better when you can control your schedule.

We stayed in an apartment in Saint Germain, just a minute walk from the Seine River and about ten from the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was an amazing location! There were tons of restaurants and cafes extremely close to us, but it was great to make some of our own meals - I mean, it's all about budgeting for students, isn't it? We only spent three days in Paris so our time had to be capitalized. Our weather for the three days was less than ideal: dreary, cool, and rainy. But, Paris is still beautiful in the rain so it didn't really hinder our plans.

From Paris in Four Months

We took the Eurostar from London and hit the ground running in the afternoon! On our first day, we hit up the Musée d'Orsay and the Jardin des Tuileries. Perhaps most importantly though was our trip to Ladurée. There are various locations in Paris, not to mention the globe, and we went to the original shop. And then we ended the night grabbing some pizza from a bistro a few minutes away from our flat!

Our second day was filled with all the touristy stuff. I don't think seeing the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe will ever get boring, but the hundreds of tourists with selfie sticks does. My favourite part of this day was going to the Sacré-Coeur. We climbed up the 300 - 300 very narrow - steps and took in the skyline. Though it was a cloudy day, the view was magnificent.

Our third day was mostly spend wandering around Le Marais. Upon learning about the Paris-Brest last semester during some research for a French project, I set out to find the best one in the city. Though it is the only one I have actually ever tried, it is without a doubt the best one I will probably ever taste. I read lots of great things about La Pâtisseries des Rêves and put it on my list of must-do's. This was one of the best decisions I made the whole trip. I could hardly contain my excitement when I found out they have one in London... The location we went to was just past the Nôtre Dame so we stopped to take some pictures there first. Our day in Le Marais was so relaxing - we window-shopped, actually shopped, followed our noses into bakeries, gazed down the many alleyways. Our stomaches brought us to Wild and the Moon Juice Bar and the exquisite Jacques Genin chocolaterie. We also visited a memorial site for the Paris attacks, Place de la République. 

We missed our train on the last day due to numerous metro delays, but it was actually a blessing in disguise. We checked our bags into the lockers and headed out for a few more hours. The day before we were meant to try the famous Parisian hot chocolate, but we were out of luck at the locations we tried. So, we ventured over to Le Marais again to grab a bite to eat and a sip of chocolat chaud. Needless to say, it was delightful to have the extra time! 

I didn't expect that pot to be enough for two people - I was wrong.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

St. Patrick's Day Green

Just some green inspiration for today! Hope everyone has a fun (and safe) St. Paddy's day :) By the time I'm able to enjoy myself, I'm sure most of the population will be asleep from inebriation... Thanks midterms (and job applications, and classes, etc.).

Madewell Jacket // Sally's Mint Brownies* // Givenchy Handbag // Carven Skirt // Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack // Michael Kors Cuff / Lululemon Shirt // Minimalist Baker Green Smoothie // DVF Dress // Elie Tahari Sandal

*Those mint brownies from Sally's Baking Addiction are one of my favourite desserts ever. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

My Favourite Banana Bread

Since arriving for my exchange in Brighton, I've made banana bread 3 times. Just to clarify, my exchange only started in February. I need to bake, is that too much to ask? Thank God my flat has a real kitchen! I've tried a few different recipes over the years but this one is my all-time favourite. I don't like banana breads that are light - there's not enough flavour in it for me. They are too muffin-like. This one is dense and packed with bananas. Seriously - I normally get 6 bananas in it!

It's a hugely popular recipe on AllRecipes and for good reason: the bread is incredibly moist, uses brown sugar (always the best in my opinion), is very simple, and has a great taste!

Banana Bread

2 cups     All Purpose Flour
1 tsp        Baking Soda
1/4 tsp     Salt
1/2 cup    Vegan Butter, melted (or normal, unsalted)
3/4 cup    Brown Sugar
2              Eggs
2 1/3 cup Bananas (usually 6-7 medium-sized)
1 tsp        Vanilla
Optional add-in: 1tsp cinnamon. I don't always use cinnamon but it just depends on what flavour I'm looking for!

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line a 9x5in loaf pan with parchment paper. Sift the first three ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cream together butter and brown sugar until blended. Mix in eggs, mashed banana and vanilla until combined.
Fold wet ingredients into dry and stir until the dry is all mixed in.

Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. I usually alternate racks - first half in the top third and second half in bottom third. Keep in mind that when testing to see if it's finished that the knife may be a little wet from hitting a banana piece! Use your judgement :) 

I leave it in the pan for about 10 minutes then place it on a wire rack to cool. I said it before, but this bread is so dense so it takes a long time to fully cool. It takes mine well over two hours (I can't give an exact time because I've usually cut into it by the 30 minute mark haha). 

I'm eager to try this recipe as a base for French Toast! One of my favourite cafes in Florida has a mouthwatering Banana Bread French Toast and I'm dying to make it.

P.S. I know this picture doesn't really show what the bread looks like inside, it's just the only one I have!

This recipe was adapted from Banana Banana Bread recipe on AllRecipes. Thank you, Shelley!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Java Jolt

I resisted coffee for a long time. Never liked the taste of it, never had any interest. But of course, university happened. And like every other student, I succumbed to the appeal of a caffeine boost. It wasn't that I liked the taste of it -I just needed an extra shot of energy.
Fast forward a few years later and I now press coffee nearly everyday before class (and still sometimes grab another later in the day... Oops). I like that with a french press I can measure out exactly how much I want, and how strong it will be.
I leave for England in just over a week (I can't believe how fast this month has passed!) and I have a feeling I'll be going back to my 10-cups-a-day of tea.

I love this picture so much. 

Mmmmm who else can smell the coffee beans?