Friday, 15 December 2017

Gift Guide for Last-Minute Gifts with Amazon

I am a procrastinator when it comes to buying gifts, and I'm sure I'm not alone with this. Not only is my schedule completely insane with all of the holiday events, but the malls have hit also an all-time peak in chaos. With all this in mind, I've taken to online shopping for my last-minute holiday gifts and Amazon is completely saving me with their Prime shipping options. Not only do I have a huge selection of amazing gifts to choose from, but I'm also stress-free when it comes to delivery thanks to the Prime option - Free two day shipping! I've gone ahead and put together a last-minute gift guide for those of us that leave our holiday gifts until the eleventh hour. I tried to think of a theme, but honestly these are all gifts that I would be super happy to get!

I've been seeing this Poloroid Instax Mini cameras for a few years now, and always thought that they were cute. This year, during my trip to the Dominican one of the other bloggers I went with brought one of these cuties along, and took some amazing photos of everyone with it! She said she brings it with her on all of her trips, and I was sold. This is a fun little camera to gift someone on your list, especially if they have a trip coming up!

Anyone who has an Instant Pot will talk your ear off about it; so much so that I'm convinced that it's the ultimate gift for this holiday season! This would be a great present for someone with a busy schedule who loves to cook at home, or for someone who's trying to cook more as a new years resolution.

I'm convinced that the way to any dog-lovers heart is through gifts for their pets, so these adorable cable knit doggie sweaters are a great gift option! I have my eye out for one in pink for Fritz.

Makeup palettes are such a fun gift for any girly-girls or makeup-loving guys on your list. I've heard amazing things about The Balm, and this neutral palette looks amazing to create countless natural and dramatic looks.

I picked myself up a Kindle earlier this year, and have been loving it! It's perfect for reading in bed, and comes in especially handy while traveling. In fact, I credit my kindle for keeping me sane during the multiple flight delays that I experienced this year!

Last but not least, the gift that almost everyone will enjoy is this massive Ferrero Rocher chocolate. I recently gifted this giant baby to Brian's grandparents and it was a huge hit - especially since it's filled with more Ferrero Rocher! I'm going to pick up a few more of these to bring with me while visiting family this holiday season.

That's it for my last-minute gift guide! I'm so happy to have Amazon Prime this year to help me out when I'm procrastinating during the holidays. I would love to know if you have some go-to gift ideas when you're in the home stretch of Christmas. Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

OOTM - Outfits of the Month

I'm currently writing this blog post as Toronto experiences its first snowfall of the season. Beautiful and serene in theory, but that means I'm about to go into serious hibernation mode. Here's a roundup of what I've been wearing lately, before succumbing to a wardrobe of mostly PJs. Have a look!

Skirt - Forever 21, Sweater - Topshop (old), Jacket - Topshop

Dress - H&M (sold out)

Coat - Majorelle via Revolve, Bag - Poppy & Peonies

Coat - Reiss (last season), Dress - Tobi, Boots - Le Chateau, Bag - Poppy & Peonies

Cami - Majorelle via Revolve

Skirt - Uniqlo, Sweater - Le Chateau, Shoes - Gucci

I hope you guys like these roundups! I'll be back shortly with the complete opposite - what I wear when I hibernate LOL. Let me know if you like these more outfit roundup posts, or if you prefer the traditional full post per outfit.

xoxo Joëlle

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Dyson Supersonic and the Perfect Blowout Hack

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, myself included. Days that are perfectly planned down to the hour, holiday parties and braving the malls for gifts; with everything going on, giving myself a proper blowout is virtually out of the question. Not one to sacrifice good hair, I turn to my trusty hair hack for a professional looking blowout using the Dyson Supersonic™.

You guys have probably heard of the hype surrounding the Dyson Supersonic - especially the new purple and black version available exclusively from Dyson Canada. I'm definitely not immune, and I was absolutely giddy when my Dyson Supersonic arrived and I was able to use it for myself. After using the first time, I was already hooked, and have been loving it ever since. The difference between my older hair dryer and the Dyson Supersonic is incredible, and I've been really enjoying the improvements the Dyson Supersonic has made to my hair routine.

  • I love that this hair dryer reduces drying time. My hair normally takes so long to dry, even when using heat on it. The Dyson Supersonic has air flowing through it's barrel super quickly - 150mph to be exact! The result is that my hair drying routine takes me less than half the time now, and I'm able to completely dry my hair the same morning as washing it - something unheard of before!
  • This dryer is light! Normally hair dryers are so top-heavy but the motor of the Dyson Supersonic is in the handle, so not only is it light, it's also very balanced too.
  • The Dyson Supersonic comes with a smoothing nozzle as well as a diffuser and a styling concentrator, and they attach to the dryer magnetically so it's very easy to use the different functions of the dryer.
  • The Dyson Supersonic is controlled by only 4 buttons with 3 precise speed settings and 4 precise heat settings. It makes using the dryer, as well as controlling the heat very simple.
  • My favourite feature of the Dyson Supersonic, and the feature that helps out my chemically processed hair the most, is that it measures air temperature 20 times a second, which protects against extreme heat damage. Anything that can reduce unnecessary damage to my hair is a huge win in my book.

With all this in mind, I'm excited to share my holiday hack with you - a fool-proof way to get the perfect blowout - without actually having to use a brush! I love using this hair hack with the Dyson Supersonic because it literally takes half to time to achieve this style and now I can get out the door with perfectly blown out hair in minutes. Here are all of the steps:

Start with damp hair. I like to run the Dyson Supersonic over my hair a few times to get most of the moisture out of it.

Separate your hair into two. I usually like to make a messy centre part. Take one side of your hair and twist it into a mini bun.

Secure the mini bun so that it stays put. I love using my Jen Aitken x Chloe Isabel pins to help keep my mini buns in place. These pins are perfect for a hairstyle like this, since they help keep your hair securely in place and don't leave any kinks or bumps in your hair.

Repeat the same process on the other side, using another pin to secure, so that you have two mini buns on either side of your head - Princess Leia style!

Now here's where the magic happens. Take your Dyson Supersonic and set it to medium-high heat, with a low speed setting. Run the dryer over your mini buns until they are completely dry, which will only take about 5 minutes with the Dyson Supersonic.

Once you've dried your mini buns completely, switch your Dyson Supersonic to the 'cool' setting, and give your mini buns a cool blast for about a minute.

I like to chill out for a few more minutes with my mini buns, because I'm a nineties kid and they speak to my soul.

After I'm done having fun with my mini-buns, it's time to take them down.

Give your hair a quick brush to set it into place, and voila! Soft curls, volumes and all the other features of a blowout - without spending the time, or having to fuss with any brushes. Thanks to the Dyson Supersonic, what was once a trusty hair hack is now super speedy, and I don't get any of the frizz that comes along with using a traditional hairdryer. This is one of my favourite hair hacks, and completely necessary during the busy holiday season.

When I want to change it up, I love taking my freshly blown-out hair and creating an easy twist. Just gather all of your hair and make a twist at the back of your head. Secure the twist in place with a beautiful hair comb like this one from Chloe + Isabelle and you're done! I like to leave a few pieces of hair loose in the front for an effortless, undone look.

So there you have it! My new obsessed with the Dyson Supersonic, and my tried-and-true hair hack to get the perfect blowout every time. I think that the Dyson Supersonic would be an incredible gift for the holidays, or a fun treat-yourself indulgence for a busy holiday season.

What do you guys think? Have you tried this hair hack before? What are your favourite ways to save time during the holiday season? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Dyson Canada. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

OOTD - Holiday Party Ready with Saks OFF 5TH

Is it just me, or do the holidays seem to start earlier and earlier each year? Not that I'm complaining; I love the festive spirit once December rolls around and the glamour and parties that come along with celebrating the holiday season. That being said, I've learned to always have a few party dresses to carry you through all of the parties and well into the New Year celebrations. When searching for holiday dresses I look for something pretty, something that gets me out of my comfort zone, and something comfortable. With this criteria in mind, I headed to Saks OFF 5TH to find the perfect holiday dress, and it was a huge success.

The selection of dresses at Saks OFF 5TH is amazing. I loaded up my change room with dresses in all sorts of different colours, textures and patterns. After trying on what seemed like a countless parade of dresses, I finally narrowed my choice down to this nude Laundry by Shelli Segal dress with a black lace overlay. I love how the nude tones add some interest to the dress, and the shape is totally up my alley; nice and loose, so that I can overindulge in all of the holiday treats. Paired with a pair of champagne and pearl pumps that I found in the shoe section at Saks OFF 5TH, and this girl is ready to party all season long.

Another reason that I love finding fun dresses and party accessories at Saks OFF 5TH is for the value. While I love a beautiful and special piece to celebrate the holidays with, I don't love spending an arm and a leg to get it. This gorgeous lace dress was marked down to under $100, and makes me feel like a million bucks.

All in all, my shopping trip to Saks OFF 5TH was a roaring success, and I can wait to take on the holiday party scene with my new, beautiful dress.

Dress - c/o Laundry via Saks OFF 5th, Shoes - c/o Nine West via Saks OFF 5th

What do you guys think? What do you guys look for in a holiday dress? Are you used to seeing me in black instead of pink, LOL? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in partnership with Saks OFF 5TH. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Easy Holiday Entertaining with Boursin

The holiday season has kicked into high gear, and everyone is busy busy busy trying to get their preparations done. I know for my friends, we've been running around like mad people in anticipation of the holiday season and we all just need a bit of an excuse to let loose and celebrate, rather than stress. For this reason, I decided that an intimate holiday party was in order, and threw a day-time shindig to celebrate the holiday season with some of my closet friends. Now, when it comes to entertaining, I'm no Martha - but I can whip together a mean cheese plate, and my cheese plate always features Boursin.

Boursin cheese has always been my go-to when planning out my holiday parties. I just love how there are so many flavours to choose from, and the texture and taste pairs so well with so many different ingredients. For my holiday party, I picked up the Cranberry & Pepper flavour and build my cheese board off of that flavour profile. Needless to say, the subtle spice from the pepper and festive cranberry flavour got everyone into the holiday spirit and my holiday get-together was a huge success.

Since I've gone ahead and tooted my own horn about my cheese plate making skills, I'm going to share a few tips and tricks that I always use when crafting my cheese plates for easy entertaining.

My Tips For Building the Ultimate Cheese Board

  • Be sure to include cheeses that all of your guests would enjoy. It should go without saying, but sometimes it's easy to be distracted by your own tastebuds and to loose sight of those of your guests. For example, for my holiday party I knew that one of my guests doesn't enjoy spicy foods. For this reason, instead of opting for Boursin Red Chili Pepper, which is one of my favourites because of the spice, I instead chose to accompany my Pepper and Cranberry Boursin with a mellow Garlic and Fine Herbs.

  • Don't be afraid to mix flavour profiles. I always love to include both savoury and sweet elements to my cheese boards, with a variety of different foods for both flavour profiles. For my day-time holiday cheese board, I mixed different savoury meats with briny olives, sweet honeycomb, salted nuts and sugary dried apricots. Each ingredient is very different from one another, but all pair nicely with my Boursin cheese and gives lots of variety to my cheese board.

  • My philosophy when crafting a cheese board is 'more is more.' For me, I love when every inch of my board is covered, so it looks like there's an abundance of different foods to be enjoyed. I always strive to make people comfortable when entertaining, and I find a cheese board that looks like it's overflowing with ingredients is much more inviting than one that is sparsely decorated. 

Check out some photos from my intimate holiday party, with my friends Sabrina of My Miaou and Didier of Didier YHC.

What do you guys think? Have you tried Boursin cheese? What are your tips for easy holiday entertaining? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was created in collaboration with Boursin. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own
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