Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Sunflower Field and Instagram Photo Etiquette

Nestled in the countryside of Hamilton, Ontario lay Bogle Seeds. A family run business, Bogle Seeds makes their primary income farming sunflower, corn, millet, oats, barley and also bird seed. A few years back, they opened up their beautiful 75 acre sunflower fields to the public, charging a modest entrance fee for access to a literal postcard come to life.

I visited this beautiful sunflower field on a Monday and it was magical - greeted by the Bogle family themselves, we paid our entrance fee, joined the handful of other people - mostly families - taking photos, took our own photos, enjoyed the view and then packed up and drove down to Burlington for donuts. It was the perfect morning.

This past weekend all hell broke loose.

Due to an apocalyptic amount of visitors, mob-like behaviour and police intervention the Bogle farm is closed to the public indefinitely. If you're interested in this learning more about what went down this past weekend, The Globe and Mail sums up the entire story very well.

This whole experience has got me thinking. While I do not think that this is the fault of bloggers, content creators, Instagrammers - whatever you want to call us - I do think that in stories like this we do have a target on our back. After all, our jobs include scouting out locations like Bogle Seeds to take photos of ourselves.  While we all set off on our quests to capture the perfect photo in different locations and businesses, our actions can have consequences to the owners and I think it's about time to contribute to the discussion of social media and content creating etiquette; the dos and don'ts of taking photos in other people's property and places of business.

Always Ask Before Taking Photos

This first point seems so simple, but it's a step that oftentimes gets neglected from us DSLR-toting types. The easiest way to avoid any potential mishaps from shooting photos in someone else's location or place of business is to simply ask them if you can. This can be achieved by either contacting the business before arriving, or asking the owner or an employee before taking out your camera. Most of the times the answer will be yes, but this can open up the dialogue for the business to let you know of any areas they want you to highlight or stay away from.

Treat Each Location Like It Belonged To Your In-Laws

Although the general rule has always been to treat each location like it's your own house, I beg to differ; while I'm inclined to move things around and step on furniture at my own condo, I would definitely think twice before doing that at my mother-in-law's house. The same principal should be applied to each and every location that you visit with the expectation to take photos. Would you re-arrange furniture, step on furniture, pee in the bushes (yes, this happened at Bogle Seeds) at your in-law's place? I'm willing to bet no, and definitely not without asking first. Each place you visit to take photos is someone else's business and livelihood - treat it with respect.


One of the things that broke my heart the most when reading about the mayhem the descended on Bogle Seeds over the weekend is that people were sneaking into the fields without paying the modest $7.50 fee. You guys if there's a fee to pay, then pay. If you're taking photos in a café then buy a coffee. A restaurant, then buy some lunch or at least something to-go if you're not planning on staying long. Pay the fee, buy the coffee - it's literally the least you can do.

Know When It's Not Working

I've been there  - you drive all the way to a location for the sole purpose to take a photo and it's just not working. Wether it be the lighting, the crowds, anything - your photography vision isn't coming to fruition and you start to get frustrated. This is the time that all of the social media photo-taking etiquette rules start to fall out of the window, and you start to let your frustrations get the better of you - moving furniture, disrupting other patrons, or being rude to staff just to get the shot. The thing is, it's just a photo and it's in everyone's best interest to know when it's just not working and move on.  It's obviously impossible to know, but I honestly believe that the Bogle family would still be open to the public if the people had realized that the conditions just weren't working for photos, abandoned the vision and just moved on to enjoy their weekend.

I really hope that this post doesn't come off as preachy. The more social media is ingrained into our everyday lives, the more we're going to encounter situations like this and I think that the actions of a few affect us all. Let's all take a minute to step back and check ourselves and how far we'll go for the perfect photo, wether it's your full-time job or not. It's not worth sacrificing your morals and the livelihood of others. It's ultimately just not that serious. It's just Instagram.

Interested, as always to know what you guys think.

xo Joëlle

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Prince Edward County Weekend Getaway Guide

Last week I had the absolute pleasure head to Prince Edward County for a two-night stay with Le Petit Marseillais. I had been looking forward to this trip since I had first heard about it and let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. Think beautiful places, picturesque moments, girl talk and a lot of laughs. I had the best time with our hosts and some incredible Toronto bloggers that I admire: Sabrina, Mel and Victoria.

Here's a run down of what we did, where we ate and where we stayed in beautiful Prince Edward County.

About Le Petit Marseillais

 Le Petit Marseillais is relatively new to Canada, but has been a long-time staple for the french; in fact, it's the number one selling body wash in France! Founded in Provence, the products and scents used are all reminiscent of scenes and ingredients that one would enjoy while in the South of France.

I had been introduced to Le Petit Marseillais when they first launched in Canada and have been using their body washes exclusively ever since. My favourite scents are White Peach & Nectarine and Orange Blossom - so good! We were also lucky enough to try some of the body lotions and creams that  Le Petit Marseillais offers, but for now they're only available in Quebec so I won't go on about them. I'll just leave you with this; if you're in Quebec, I would definitely find the Mediterranean Algae & Marine Minerals Hydrating Body Balm and stock up - I plan to.

Where We Stayed - The June

A converted motor lodge in Prince Edward County, The June is the thing that girly pink dreams are made of. Bought and completely renovated by a couple of gal pals, The June is not only a beautiful property to experience, but the service is un paralleled. I've always looked at The June as a tangible representation of what happens when women work together - something beautiful, inclusive and visibly full of love.

Sabrina and I had visited The June before, but this would be my first time staying at the property. I could not get over the retro vibes of staying in a midcentury motor lodge, but with completely updated rooms and amenities (and in-room espresso machine which is key.) Rooms aside, the entire property is something to experience; from the picture-perfect lobby, the rustically beautiful fire pit and Bohemian Garden for a group dinner. This is the perfect location for a girls trip and I can hardly wait to go back.

What We Did

There is so much to do in Prince Edward County, it's incredible. We had one full day to explore the area outside of The June, and with an exciting itinerary. Here's a taste of what we got up to, and some fun activities to enjoy if you're planning a trip to the area.

  • Our first stop of the day was breakfast at Seedlings at Angela's Inn. This place is so cute, with rustic charm and a delicious breakfast spread. 

  • Following breakfast, we all headed for a boat tour around the Waupoos Marina with Stay and Sail Boat Tours. Truth be told, I get very sea-sick so I was a little nervous for this activity. Our hosts ensured we had a smooth ride, and I'm happy to report that I didn't get sick once. We were able to sit back and enjoy the beautiful views on the water - and take photos, of course.

  • We then had a delicious lunch at Lake On The Mountain, where the views on the terrace overlook the edge of the Prince Edward Escarpment. Really beautiful, and the food was delish. Make sure to either go early or make a reservation if you want a spot on the terrace - this is a busy place.

  • Before our next winery, we had the pleasure of visiting Prince Edward County Lavender Farm. Be still my heart! The lavender fields at PEC Lavender are gorgeous and lucky us were able to experience them in full bloom! You could almost fool yourself into thinking that you're in Provence. We also tasted some of their lavender-infused honey that's made right on-site, as well as delicious lavender lemonade. What a beautiful place.

  • After the lavender fields, we rode our bikes a short distance to Grange Winery where a picnic, bocce ball, wine and some party-crashers in the form of chickens greeted us. It was the perfect end to a great day full of exploring Prince Edward County

  • For dinner, we all enjoyed a tasting menu prepared at The Courage. The menu was a beautiful mix of local ingredients with tastes reminiscent of Provence - an homage to our host brand, Le Petit Marseillais. We literally shut the restaurant down and returned to The June very happy with very full bellies.

Before we knew it, it was time to check out and head back to Toronto. I absolutely loved my time in Prince Edward County, and have already made plans to head back in a few weeks. If you're looking for a beautiful summer getaway that's only a few hours drive from the city, then I couldn't recommend Prince Edward County enough.

xo Joëlle

Thank you so much to Le Petit Marseillais for hosting our stay. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

OOTD - What I've Been Wearing Lately

Happy July! I feel so cliché for saying this, but I cannot believe that we're already halfway through July. This summer has been incredible so far, and has been passing by quickly due to a couple of trips to Miami and NYC. Now that I'm back in Toronto for the next month, and other then a quick trip to Prince Edward County next week, I'm excited to be able to re-focus and enjoy everything that the city has to offer.

My style this summer has been very casual, with longer hemlines and flowing fabrics. I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older and more comfortable in my own skin, but I feel as though I've finally hit my groove, style-wise. I'm excited to be able to share more summer style with you, both on the blog and on my Youtube channel. In the meantime, check out what I've been wearing lately with some outfit details.

Blazer - Dex c/o Hudson's Bay, Shorts - Dex c/o Hudson's Bay
Shoes - Expression c/o Hudson's Bay

Dress - Forever 21 (sold out, but this is the EXACT one from Morning Lavender)

Jumpsuit: Design Lab c/o Hudson's Bay
(sold out online, but you may still be able to find it in-stores)

Glasses - Sunday Somewhere c/o Hudson's Bay

What do you guys think? Are there any outfits that have been speaking to you this sumner? Any summer trends that you have been loving? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Monday, 9 July 2018

NYC In July - A Travel Diary

Right on the heels of my trip to Miami, Brian and I were lucky enough to find a free weekend to jet off to New York and enjoy each other's company. I absolutely love NYC, and the location especially holds a special place in our relationship - it was our first trip together as a couple, and I'll never forget how exciting seeing New York City for the first time together was.

Years later, and countless trips to the Big Apple under our belts, the itinerary is very different. Gone are the days of frantically running around the city from attraction to attraction just to say that we've done it. The recent pace is much more relaxed, and as such this post will serve as more of a travel diary then a travel guide. Add a record-breaking heatwave into the mix, and we barely ventured outside of lower Manhattan - it was hot. All things considered, it was a great trip and we took it at a snail's pace -nice and relaxing.

Here are a few of the highlights from the trip. It's a different type of post - very casual, much like the mood of the weekend. Check out my last New York City recap post for more of an itinerary - to be honest, we did almost everything exactly the same this time around! Creatures of habit for sure.

Pietro Nolita is always one of my first stops. Great restaurant and so much PINK!

The Sézane store is Soho was everything that I wanted it to be, and then some.

This is a corner is Sézane that spoke to my little pink heart.

Even though I was technically on vacation, the pink hunting never stops. This was spotted at Ladurée Soho

The only way to beat the heat at Ladurée

It was so hot - smiling through the sweat.

Mansur Gavriel in Soho

Brunch at The Butcher's Daughter in Soho.
I happily hopped onto the garbage cans at this floral facade at Yumi Kim.
That should tell you everything you need to know about me.

Give me all of the bubble tea from Boba Guys - a huge win, especially since they have non-dairy alternatives
(for those of us who love bubble tea, you know how hard this is to find!)

What do you guys think? Do you love New York City as much as I do? What are your favourite things to do in The Big Apple? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

My Summer Essentials with Schick

Summer is finally here, and I couldn't be happier. Is it just me, or does everything just seem lighter in the summer - more sunshine, lighter attitudes - even my summer essentials seem to lighten up. Gone are the heavy accessories and toiletries of winter. Here's a few of my summer essentials, and why I reach for them as soon as the weather warms up.

A straw hat - I know, I know - a straw hat seems so cliché as a summer essential, but hear me out; cliché or not, a straw hat just makes life easier in the warmer weather. Not only does it shield your face and neck from sun exposure (which is incredibly important,) but it also works overtime when used to hide frizzy, summer-humidity hair. If you haven't already, get yourself a nice straw hat for the summer.

My Schick f.a.b. razor. You guys have heard me rave about this magical razor that allows you to shave both front and back without even having to lift the razor from your leg. It's incredible - but it becomes essential in the summertime. I'm almost always in dresses, so I find that I'm shaving more than usual in the summer. I also want to get in-and-out of the shower quick, so I really appreciate the time that the Schick f.a.b. razor saves me. Smooth legs and a quicker shower routine? Definitely a summer essential.

Small purses. I find that during the hot months, the last thing I want to do is schlep a huge, heavy bag around. I definitely tend to reach more for my mini, cross-body bags in the summer, making them essential. My back thanks me.

Oversized sunglasses. I love the look of big, oversized sunglasses in the summertime but this season I'm going with a bit of a different look - translucent lenses. I think that translucent lenses are a great way to update a yearly summer essential and make it more now.

A small camera. I love carrying around my vlogging camera (a Canon G7x Mark ii) with me in the summer, and find that I'm much more likely to whip it out to capture video clips of my day in the warm weather. This I can't explain, but it's true - check out my Youtube Channel, I've been posting there like crazy! If you're also looking to get into video content, I would definitely suggest picking up a small camera to add to your kit.

A tinted lip balm. The last thing that I want in the summer is to be overly aware of my makeup. While I usually favour a more matte lip, I just don't find that formula comfortable to wear in the summer. Changing up my makeup routine to include a tinted lip balm is definitely essential for me.

What do you guys think? What are your summer essentials? Do you also seem to lighten up when the warm weather hits? Let me know!

xo Joëlle

This post was sponsored by Schick Canada. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
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